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Tory charity

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, March 19th, 2009 - 137 comments
Categories: tax - Tags:

America's culture of giving

America's culture of giving

According to the Herald John Key has declared people should spend their tax-cuts on charities and wants an American “culture of giving” to the needy.

I’m just stunned. His plan is to take money out of the pockets of low income New Zealanders to create tax cuts for the rich and then encourage those low-income Kiwis to beg for Tory charity?

Here’s a hint John. In a decent social democracy nobody needs to beg to survive. Stop dismantling ours.

137 comments on “Tory charity”

  1. Mike 1

    Mr Key said about 60 per cent of the population donated in some way each year without knowing they could claim some of the amount back as a rebate.

    “Imagine someone who used to give $10,000 to an organisation.

    “Now with the tax deductions, they get a third of that back. So they can give $15,000 and with the rebate, their net giving is the same. So there’s tremendous capacity for New Zealanders to increase their giving.”

    John Key, yesterday.

    “Even major tax policy changes would not impact their giving. Wealthy donors report that tax considerations are far less important to them than is commonly assumed. For example, more than half the respondents (56.1%) said their giving would stay the same even if the estate tax were repealed. Similarly, 51.7% said their giving would stay the same even if there were zero income tax deductions for gifts to charity. In another demonstration of resiliency unrelated to taxes, households with “dramatic decreases” in wealth still gave an average of $121,216 in 2005 to charity, while those with “dramatic increases” were only slightly higher in donations at $141,298.

    Bank Of America Landmark Philanthropy Study 2006

    • lprent 1.1

      Yeah right. What he didn’t say was that few people give away 10k per year. When you can show me that the amount in charity giving even remotely comes close to anything substantial (ie the welfare budgets) during a recession then I maybe could get interested.

      In the US giving to charities goes down in recessions – not up. You notice that John Key conveniently forgot to mention that.

      People then start dying. The guy is a fuckwit.

  2. lprent 2

    John Key is a dipshit. That is one of the main reasons that I pay taxes – to ensure that no-one has to beg and our elderly and young don’t starve. This is the rights message about welfare. If more is given to charity, then less taxes need to be paid for a welfare system.

    Anyone who has been to the states and looked at their welfare systems knows how appalling it is. Anyone who has looked at how the economy in the US has no bottom knows what happens in a deep recession – people starve or die of preventable causes. The inability of kids with ability to achieve the potential because their parents don’t have enough college money and the limited availabity of scholarships if you are a sports nut, that is simply an appalling waste of human resources.

    To put it simply. I’d far rather dispose of John Key than I would want to move to the “culture of giving”. In practice it doesn’t work. Just look at the US in recession or depression. They have a very limited welfare system and therefore a limited countercyclical economic balance.

    • MacDoctor 2.1

      That is one of the main reasons that I pay taxes – to ensure that no-one has to beg and our elderly and young don’t starve

      No, Lynn, the only reason we pay taxes is that the IRD will kick the stuffing out of us if we don’t… :-)

      • Redbaiter 2.1.1

        Yes. Put opt out tick boxes on taxation forms relating to welfare payments and see how many tick them.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        It’d be easy enough to figure out how to reduce the amount of tax I pay. I haven’t because generally the taxes in NZ are pretty well spent.

        However I plan not to use the tax cuts to give to any charity apart from causes that look for real change – like getting rid of NACT. I think that would be my most productive use of them.

        Maybe I should make the standard a charity… But it is rather pointless for the amount of money I spend on it.

      • Ag 2.1.3

        No, Lynn, the only reason we pay taxes is that the IRD will kick the stuffing out of us if we don’t

        The correct answer is both. We are compelled to pay for some things that we want, otherwise they wouldn’t get funded. Market Failure is in Economics 101. Charity is inefficient.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Almost all of the tax cuts will land in the pockets of the highest income brackets, who because asset values and cash flows are threatened, will use them to reduce debt.

    Reducing debt is anti-stimulatory. The Taxcuttasaurous Party is going to find that at this point in time, it’s single, and only, real policy… will have exactly the opposite effect than what they vainly imagined.

  4. keith 4

    phil goff quote from the article:

    “It smacks of the old aristocracy to say ‘we will make things worse for the low-income people and then, out of the generosity of my heart, I will call on other well-heeled people to donate theirs to charity’.”

    fuckin’eh

  5. r0b 5

    Tory charity has never worked, and never will work. There is no society (current or historical) where the benevolent actions of individuals adequately take care of those in need.

    Furthermore, proportionately, the poor are more generous than the rich. Those that have the least give the most:

    The poor are more generous than the rich when it comes to giving to good causes, according to research which challenges the “Robin Hood” myth of charity as an agent of redistribution.

    A study published today finds that the least well-off give a higher proportion of their income to charity than the wealthy, no matter what their age, class or beliefs.

    • higherstandard 5.1

      Please r0b don’t quote little surveys and extrapolate wildly you’re far more intelligent than that.

      Also in response to IBs faux outrage at Key’s comments do you really think it’s odd that key would make that king of statement at the Philanthropy NZ conference or is the outrage merely more ill considered spin out of the EPMU/Labour party.

      IrishBill: My outrage is based on seeing this type of policy leave tens of thousands of people in dire poverty in the 1990s. Stick your mealy-mouthed ” Labour/EPMU” bullshit up your arse and don’t come back here for a month you smarmy fucker.

      • keith 5.1.1

        “do you really think it’s odd that key would make that king of statement at the Philanthropy NZ conference”

        that’s exactly it, he’ll blow smoke up anyone’s arse (see what he said at the CTU meeting) but his actions are all rehashed, failed right wing policies.

      • Mike Collins 5.1.2

        IB – I can understand if you are upset about a policy. But to fly off the handle by banning someone is grossly over the top here. It’s not like he called you a fuckwit or a dipshit.

        • Matthew Pilott 5.1.2.1

          Mike, someone making some fairly crude and obnoxious observations would strike me as far worse that using childish vulgar insults. I’m amused you find that worse, to be honest, it strikes me as an immature attitude to have.

        • IrishBill 5.1.2.2

          I’ve dedicate most of my life to left causes and left principles and I get really angry when people try to claim I’m engaging in tribalist “spin”. Rather than attack my politics HS attacked my integrity and so he got banned.

          • Mike Collins 5.1.2.2.1

            Thanks IB (and Matt) for pointing out your rationale. I do find it strange though that you appear to think, and correct me if I am wrong, that attacks on integrity don’t go both ways. I have never seen someone banned here who is left leaning for attacking the character or integrity of someone from the right. Mind you I don’t expect to see them banned – I think people should be able to confront assertions about their integrity. Without looking at the merits of HS’s statement, it is valid in politics to question the motives and integrity of opponents. Getting upset about that in my view is childish. If you’ve been around a while, and I am sure you have, then you would have encountered this before and will do again in the future. Laugh it off – or better still point out exactly why someone is a dunce for questioning your integrity

          • Felix 5.1.2.2.2

            One aspect you may not be aware of, Mike, is that HS has also been around a while and it’s not the first time he’s been warned about making these exact (or very similar) character attacks.

          • Inventory2 5.1.2.2.3

            In hindsight IB, if you’re trying to enforce standards, might a less emotive send-off to higherstandard have been appropriate? To ban someone using a string of expletives does seem a touch – ummm – hypocritical ;-)

            IrishBill: You’re not getting all prissy are you IV2?

          • Ag 5.1.2.2.4

            Good for you IB. These trolls have nothing to contribute.

      • Sorry HS, wasn’t it you who was the other day extrapolating a survey of the last 6 weeks of the election campaign out too the entire election year?

      • r0b 5.1.4

        Please r0b don’t quote little surveys and extrapolate wildly

        Fair call, I only quoted one little survey, because I wasn’t writing an epic. But I was aware of several more with the same message. Proportionately the poor give more:

        http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2008/02/19/Poor-Give-More-to-Charity

        http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=4&page=161#50

        http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-welfarecharity.htm

        http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=2682730&page=2

        and so on and so on, lots of little studies with the same message.

        Sorry about your ban, but you should have sussed by now that IB doesn’t do “faux” anything – his outrage is real, and justifiably so. The burden of hard times always falls hardest on those that have the least. That combined with a government whose priorities, shall we say, lie elsewhere, mean that the less well off in our country are in for a bumpy ride. And it sucks.

      • Inventory2 5.1.5

        Not getting prissy at all Bill – just making an observation that you were responding in a way that many others have been banned for – while banning someone!

        As for your comments re “dire poverty”. My wife and I visited Ethiopia last year – we saw and experienced dire poverty there, and it bore no relationship to anything we’ve ever seen in New Zealand or any other first-world country. I guess it depends on whether your definition of poverty is whether you can afford to pay your SkyTV bill, or whether your children will eat this week, or even survive the week.

        And while we’re talking about “tory charity”, meeting one of the children we sponsor while we were in Ethipia is something that we will never, ever forget.

      • jtuckey 5.1.6

        Eh …… charity leads to tens of thousands of people in dire poverty ?

  6. This post would make a lot more sense to me if Key had cut welfare benefits to fund his tax cuts. He doesn’t appear to have, so I have to admit I’m not exactly sure how you sustain your argument about him dismantling the fabric of society.

    Americans do give over 2% of GDP to charity. It’s hard to see that in itself as bad.

    • Tane 6.1

      Tom, Key has repealed Labour’s tax cuts for low-middle income families. Anyone on $44,000 a year or less with a family receives a tax increase. At the same time he’s using that money to cut the top tax rate. Seems pretty clear-cut to me.

      • cocamc 6.1.1

        Tane – Was Labour going to keep their tax cut program if returned to power? All I hear is that they would have cancelled them – which wouldn’t be the first time.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      does that 2% include the tithings to mega churches, and the televangalists? Genuine question, as I don’t know.

      • Macro 6.2.1

        Of course it does they are all set up as charities.

        • Tom Mathews 6.2.1.1

          Pascal: About a third of it goes to religious organisations. Many of these are quite worthy charities, running soup kitchens etc, although they obviously aren’t just in it for the sake of it – they want conversions to their church.

          I couldn’t actually say if a televangelist counts as a charity or not. I suspect it might. So it is probably fair to say that less than 2% of GDP actually goes to worthy charities. I doubt there is such thing as a perfect charity however, although I guess there are some clear cases of bad ones.

          The figures are from here
          http://www.nptimes.com/08July/7-1%20Special%20Report.pdf

          Tane: You may be right, I am not familiar enough with the intricacies of both the plans. Our tax system is already pretty highly progressive though. My impression is that National’s alterations don’t change the underlying structure of that.

  7. Tigger 7

    Hey, I’ve heard the Sensible Sentencing Trust is a charity – maybe I should give my tax cut to them? :-)

    I don’t want an American culture of anything in New Zealand, I don’t want their gun culture or their fast food culture or their reality TV culture or their race relations culture or their treatment of their indigenous people culture or the political advertising culture…Mr Key, you may be desperate to appease your US big brothers (father issues much?) but leave the rest of us out of it.

    I’m really glad to see this government finally being questioned on what they’re doing – maybe they’ll pull back on their shock and awe tactics for a while…

    • keith 7.1

      “..(father issues much?) ….”

      hehe dead on, nice one tig

      • That’s a bit of a low blow guys…

        • Tigger 7.1.1.1

          Actually from a psychological perspective Key has a classic case of trying to please powerful men/companies/nations. That’s bleeding into how he runs the country (into the ground).

          Key himself has put his upbringing on the table – I’m just making a meal of it.

  8. justthefacts 8

    What on earth is wrong with letting me keep a bit more of my money Irish?

    You claim that the lowest paid are about to have money taken from their own pockets, that is of course false, the money they have in their pockets comes from those who you falsely label as the “rich”.

    The reality is that most of those who are going to receive a tax cut are the very ones who have been pillaged by Labour for the last nine years.

    Let the so called “rich pricks” donate to who they wish, those of us in the middle class are sick of seeing our money wasted on dole bludgers and DPB beneficences.

  9. Kevin Welsh 9

    The words of this fuckwit get more bizarre by the week. The more I think about it, the more Michael Cullen was correct in referring to them as a bunch or rich pricks.

  10. Monty 10

    Those on the higher income brackets such as myself work bloody hard for our money and we are already paying way way more than a reasonable share of the tax take. Of course those in higher income brackets do give more to charity simply because we can afford to. John key himself is reputed to donate nearly all of his Prime Ministerial salary – I note you would never mention that – he is at least putting his money where his mouth is.

    And of course the good thing is that organisations such as Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Catholic Social Services, Presbertarian Support, Red Cross, Fred Hollows Foundation to name but a few do so much more with so much less money than any Government organisation ever could. An example is the 400 eye operations directly as a consequence of the money donated for John Key’s plaster cast.

    But all we see from this blog is criticism. Maybe you need to realise that you obsession with our very popular Prime Minister is simply a wasted and furtile effort.

    • r0b 10.1

      Those on the higher income brackets such as myself work bloody hard for our money

      The work may be different, but it isn’t necessarily “harder” than the work done by lower income earners. And in many cases high income earners are lazy sods doing three fifths of bugger all for their massive pay cheques.

      and we are already paying way way more than a reasonable share of the tax take.

      Not by international standards.

      Of course those in higher income brackets do give more to charity simply because we can afford to.

      More in absolute terms, less as a percentage of income than those in lower brackets.

      • Monty 10.1.1

        Of course those who earn more money have a skill set for which other businesses or groups are prepared to pay – probably because the economic contribution or skill set is worth it. I have skills that two different organistions are prepared to pay top dollar for. As a result I will also pay a hell of a lot of tax – around $120k this year – proportionally that is much much more that most if not all the socialists who write here would even earn in a year – so don’t talk to me about absolute or %. I also give to charities and help out family members because they simply don’t have money. I know you hate tory Charity – but my labour voting (and ignorant) in-laws are very happy to receive such charity.

        I also work much harder than any damn socialist I know – but one thing socialists I do know all seem to have in common – they are very happpy to receive the benfits of Tory Charity.

        Goof made a fool of himself this morning – please send a note to him to continue his good work.

        • r0b 10.1.1.1

          Why Monty you are practically a saint. I bet you would never say something like: “Personaly i do not give too much of a shit about the lower clasess – I am not one of them but i never planned to be. Yes – the poor people can go screw themselves.” I can never imagine you ranting: “Yes – the poor people can go screw themselves. When I see the parasite brother-in-law living off my hard earned taxes … I no longer give a shit about the parasites”. And so on. And so on. Tory charity indeed.

          so don’t talk to me about absolute or %

          Why not? Your personal image of yourself as a superhuman and god’s gift to the deserving poor is irrelevant to the fact that the low income earners, whom you despise so much, are more generous than the rich.

      • Phil 10.1.2

        And in many cases high income earners are lazy sods doing three fifths of bugger all for their massive pay cheques.

        I’m guessing that it hasn’t occured to you that a lot of those ‘lazy sods’ were the guys buring the candle from both ends, working 16 hour days, during their 20′s and 30′s?

    • Ag 10.2

      Yeah right. When I was a student I was employed in a particularly hot summer as a drain digger for a local plumber.

      People doing things like that do hard work, as do people in things like the SAS. Desk jockeys do not.

  11. Redbaiter 11

    ” In a decent social democracy nobody needs to beg to survive. ”

    Well of course all depends upon your definition of decency doesn’t it?

    There’s actually a lot that is immoral about the society the so called social democrats have built. You cannot have decency when you have immorality.

    Here’s whats immoral.

    - Working families that need money to survive and to plan for their children’s education and their retirement having that money compulsory confiscated by the state and used to buy the votes of bludgers and no hopers.

    - Power obsessed politicians who seek election by promising to legislatively rob the productive and share the proceeds of that robbery with those who will vote for them.

    - it is immoral because of its socially destructive long term outcomes. As Margaret Thatcher once said, “Socialism works OK until you run out of other people’s money”. She was right of course, for having the fruits of your labour stolen from you by unprincipled politicians provides a serious disincentive to produce. Eventually there’s nothing to steal and only widespread poverty remains.

    The political system that you refer today as “social democracy” is a ruinous and amoral system that can only eventually end in disaster. Its major flaws are compulsion, waste and inefficiency and the dis-incentivisation of production, and it will never work in the long term because of these flaws.

    A prosperous society is what we should aim for. Social Democracy takes us away from this goal.

    “Decency” is much more akin to charity than it is to compulsion.

    • grumpy 11.1

      Very intelligent and insightful reply.

      Careful though, you’ll get banned.

      • Margaret Thatcher did more damage than any socialist has ever done.

        • Lew 11.1.1.1

          KITNO,

          Margaret Thatcher did more damage than any socialist has ever done.

          Any socialist except Lenin, Stalin, Mao, CeauÅŸescu, Pol Pot, Kim, and plenty of others.

          Say what you like about Maggie, and I’m no defender of hers, but she never lined innocent citizens up before a firing squad or sentenced them to starvation by their thousands in the name of ideology.

          L

          • Redbaiter 11.1.1.1.1

            True, but why bother with this pissant and his infantile one line crap? Utterly worthless.

          • Killinginthenameof 11.1.1.1.2

            I would class them more as communists than socialists?

            I’m thinking more modern day Scandinavian socialism.

          • Lew 11.1.1.1.3

            KITNO,

            I would class them more as communists than socialists?

            You would be wrong, then. As I frequently get told when I bag the commies, Communism was never achieved, only various forms of proto-socialism. It’s largely irrelevant in any case – it’s a difference of degree, not of kind.

            I’m thinking more modern day Scandinavian socialism.

            Contrary to what Redbaiter might say, that’s not socialism – it’s social democracy. Not socialist democracy either.

            L

          • ak 11.1.1.1.4

            C’mon Lew – you’re far too good for a cheap Godwin. Killy’s quite right: Maggie et al’s ideology gave us the nasty nineties and is currently brewing another ocean of tears and misery. Saying “Pol Pot was worse” doesn’t help a lot down at our foodbank……

          • Snail 11.1.1.1.5

            Care to put me wise, Lew, to the meaning of “ideology”.

      • Redbaiter 11.1.2

        “Careful though, you’ll get banned.”

        Maybe, maybe not. The guys who run this site give me a pretty fair go.

        I have the feeling they’re more down to earth working class than some of the insufferable ivory tower elitists out there who run blogs. Those cut off from the real world academics who only ever think of working people in patronizing terms.

        Like me, the Standard guys have probably poured placed vibrated and screeded their fare share of ready mixed.

        I’ve been banned from the so called Libertarians though.

        Just goes to show you don’t it?

  12. vto 12

    Red rags to bulls IB.

    The left and the right often completely fail to understand each others position. This thread is a classic. Hardcore lefties consider the right to have an underlying greed and as such never be charitable. Your headline “Tory charity” is a brazen red rag clearly designed to infuriate those on the left who in their eyes never see those two words used together legitimately.

    Your words censoring HS straight back at you.

  13. justthefacts 13

    “leave tens of thousands of people in dire poverty in the 1990s.”

    What utter rubbish, even if it were true you remained strangely silent during the last nine years Irish or has “dire poverty” just occurred overnight?

    The 90′s were a great time for most Kiwi’s, those who worked hard bettered themselves, those who put the effort in did well, those who were happy to sit on their bums and do nothing got bugger all….which is just how it should always be.

    • Yeah irish! where are your blog posts from the 1990′s!! and what about rogernomics, didn’t see you posting anything negative here back in the 80′s when is was labour that stood for it, you party line running lickspittle!

      • Redbaiter 13.1.1

        Wow, your name is linked to a blog that hasn’t had a post made since August 2008. Because nobody is interested in your wittering half witted rubbish. If I was Bill I’d ban you on the grounds that almost every one of your posts is just cluttering infantile nonsense. Like dog shit on the pavement.

        • Felix 13.1.1.1

          If those were grounds for a banning there wouldn’t be anyone here but you though, baiter.

          • Redbaiter 13.1.1.1.1

            Just read the last dozen posts from this loon. Almost every one is one or two lines of doctrinal nonsense. Nothing to challenge. Nothing interesting. Nothing new. Nothing fresh. Just mealy mouthed same old same old robotic spite and intolerance.

        • Blogging seemed like a good idea when I wasn’t so busy, but as things picked up, It was very early to go by the way side, sorry about that.

          I wonder thought if some of your dislike from me stems from my occasional persistence for getting a straight answer out of you?

        • roger nome 13.1.1.3

          As opposed to your last comment RB – which was only illuminating to people to people to haven’t come across you before – i.e. it shows how much of a hypocritical fuckwit you are.

  14. IrishBill 14

    vto, it’s got nothing to do with what I think of those on the right but with what happened the last time these sentiments were expressed (mostly by then Minister for Social Development Jenny Shipley). And what happened was we had widespread poverty, third world diseases spread through poor areas and foodbanks couldn’t keep up.

    Private charity has never replaced the welfare state on a dollar for dollar basis and never will. Private charity also frequently has an element of moral compulsion added to it that amounts to social engineering by those that can afford it (such as fundamentalist churches). I’d much rather a system where people were provided with a safety net and thus allowed the freedom to live as self-determining individuals.

  15. Stephen 15

    Private charity has never replaced the welfare state on a dollar for dollar basis and never will.

    That’s because with a welfare state taking a large proportion of taxes, these taxes cannot be put to use in the hands of private charity. Your statement could only be proved accurate (in future – re: your “never will”) if someone experimented with getting rid of the welfare state for a decade or so.

    • Tane 15.1

      Here’s a question Stephen. As taxes have been slashed around the world since the great neoliberal project kicked off thirty years ago, have the cuts in social welfare and public services been made up on a dollar for dollar basis by private charity?

      Did the Britain of Charles Dickens have a comparable level of social welfare and public services made up by private charity?

      The answer to both of those questions is no, and you know it. Feel free to demonstrate otherwise with some facts and figures.

    • Snail 15.2

      hi Stephen,

      would you be so kind as to explain to me how getting rid of the welfare would be an experiment..

  16. Julie 16

    Isn’t relying on charity a huge inefficient way of looking after those in need? Wouldn’t it be much more efficient, and take advantage of economies of scale, to do it through a progressive taxation system and state-provision of services?

    • Redbaiter 16.1

      For God’s sake? More efficient?? Are you completely nuts?? Read my post at 9:13

      • Julie 16.1.1

        The problem with your approach RedBaiter is that you seem to think that tax is only paid by one group, and that those who benefit from state provisions are another group entirely. Ie those who pay tax don’t benefit, and those who benefit don’t pay tax.

        I pay tax, a reasonable amount actually, and I also benefit. Everytime I drive somewhere I’m doing so on roads paid for by your tax, my tax, everyone’s tax. Even those on benefits pay tax. And there’s GST that everyone pays everytime they buy milk at the dairy.

        Beneficiaries (in the broad sense, not just those on benefits) are taxpayers. They are not mutually exclusive groups.

  17. justthefacts 18

    Why can’t I have the choice where the money stolen from me via tax goes?

    Work out how much of that tax goes to pay those on the dole and DPB and let me decide myself what charities get the money, as long as the amount is no less than what the government would take I see no problem with this.

    It would sure make me feel a lot better about where that money goes, I could even hold the charities to account for what they do with that money, wastage would be eliminated overnight.

    • Felix 18.1

      Think it through. Is there a valid reason for applying your idea to the dole and DPB but not to any other areas of public spending?

      • Redbaiter 18.1.1

        Apply it to all. Whats the prob?

        • Felix 18.1.1.1

          The problem is that it’s a completely different argument.

          If he wants to make that argument he should just make it and not piss around with these silly distractions and pretend it’s about the dole and the DPB.

    • Ag 18.2

      Because of market failure.

      Why is it that the political right is completely ignorant of the central economic feature of our societies?

      I mean you guys appear to have no clue of why we actually pay tax.

      Even if everyone had the same income, we would still be better off paying tax.

      Jesus, you folks are ig’nant.

  18. Maybe key has a modest proposal for us to be presented at a slightly later date?

  19. Bill 20

    I understand that in the US there is a culture among the socialites to attend charity fund raising dinners where they compete somewhat on the amount they donate to designated worthy causes.

    Which (apart from the observations already made about private charity being a poor second cousin to state provisioning) is problematic on two fronts. Many are posturing. Their motivation is to score points in the socialite scheme of things rather than exercise any genuine philanthropy. The second is that the worthy causes are selected and therefore probably have to get over a bar of sexy fashionibility to be considered.

    In the eyes of the rich, the poor are neither sexy nor fashionable. They are lesser scum who made bad life choices. They are the threat countering the promised pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They elicit fear, loathing and disgust…not empathy.

    Ever been homeless and hungry? Ever been an integral part of that community for a sustained period of time? If you have been you will know that it is the poor who give to the poor while the wealthy (with very, very few exceptions) hurry by, look the other way. They seem to focus their disgust on the person rather than on the situation and so tend towards favouring the removal of the people rather than removal of the circumstances.

  20. TightyRighty 21

    it was pretty reasonable for the Prime Minister to ask that those who could afford it to donate the extra money in their pocket to charity. I really, really, really fail to see the reason for villification on this issue, party lines or otherwise. If the National party are trusting people to spend their money as they see fit to do so, whats wrong with the Leader of the National party to ask those benefting to show a little generosity of spirit?

    • Tane 21.1

      Because it’s part of an ongoing theme of Key’s – gradually dismantle the remaining elements of social democracy that we have, and hope that private charity will fill the gap. It’s been tried and it’s been failed, and it leads to misery for a whole lot of people. That’s why we brought in the welfare state to start with.

      • jtuckey 21.1.1

        What drivel – private charity has always and will always fill the gap.

        Key is not advocating removal of social welfare nor is anyone apart from the far right lunatics he’s merely saying that if people can afford to give the time or money to charitable causes they should do so – I’d have been appalled if he hadn’t said something like this at a conference on philanthropy.

  21. randal 22

    this “IS” the civil society
    I have more money than you so shut the f*ck up
    or I’ll call the hired goons to fix it so I dont have to listen to your whining about being hungry

  22. justthefacts 23

    Felix

    Fair question; the answer is that the dole and the DPB are the two area’s that I detest funding, they are also areas where we waste so much money.

    • Felix 23.1

      I detest funding lots of things too.

      That in itself doesn’t make a very sound argument for anything in particular though.

  23. Tim Ellis 24

    I think you’re barking up the wrong tree here IB. John Key hasn’t said anything about charity replacing the welfare state and I don’t think you can reasonably come up with that analysis.

    Private charity has always existed in New Zealand. It does a lot of good in New Zealand particularly in areas where the state just hasn’t delivered. The Wellington and Auckland City Missions, and the Sallys do amazing work for example. Pretty much all of the voluntary sector wouldn’t exist without private charity.

    All John Key is doing is encouraging people who can afford to donate to charity to do so. I think Phil Goff has to be pretty mean-spirited to object to that.

    • Matthew Pilott 24.1

      I think Phil Goff has to be pretty mean-spirited to object to that.

      Not when the money for the tax cuts came at the expense of people who ewarn far less in the first place.

      You’re right about the voluntary sector, of course, but it does pay to remember it only picks up where state welfare left off. I’d put it somewhere around the last 5%, maximum.

      It is also horrendously biased. All the sexy causes do really well, whereas the state allocates according to a level of reasoning, for the most part (although Key and Herceptin clearly shows where politics can get in the way of reason).

  24. r0b 25

    John Key hasn’t said anything about charity replacing the welfare state

    No, but he has begun the process of undermining it. And he has replaced Labour’s tax cuts, favouring low income earners, with National’s favouring the rich.

    Leaving Labour’s tax cut structure in place would have done far more for the needy in this country than largely symbolic calls for more charity.

    • Tim Ellis 25.1

      You can hardly say, r0b, that John Key “replaced” Labour’s tax cuts, which weren’t even implemented, and which Phil Goff has basically subsequently said would have been cancelled anyway. So assuming that Labour’s tax cuts would have remained in place is nonsense.

      • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1

        r0b can say that Tim, because that is what Key’s government has done . Replaced labour’s legislated tax cuts with some of their own. It is perfectly fair to say so.

        If Labour had won, Goff wouldn’t be leader. Assuming any counterfactual to be true leads to nonsense. In any case we know that Labour wouldn’t have replaced the tax cuts they had legislated for with some that fovoured the more wealthy. Which was the point.

        • Tim Ellis 25.1.1.1

          I think it’s fair to assume, r0b, that Labour’s tax policy wouldn’t have changed just by virtue of a change of leadership. Labour has advocated cancelling future rounds of tax cuts. It is a reasonable guess therefore that Labour would have cancelled the future tax cuts that it legislated for. National retained Labour’s first round of tax cuts. So it is a nonsense to say that National’s tax cuts were at the expense of low-income New Zealanders when those taxpayers would not have got the future rounds of Labour’s tax cuts anyway.

          • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1.1.1

            Well, it’s me not r0b, but nevermind.

            The problem is you are assuming things that are pointless. What National does should be judged on what National does, not by some comparison with what you assume Labour would have done.

            What is true though, and needs no assumptions, fair, mean, or sophistic, is that National’s tax changes favour the rich compared to what would be the case had National not done anything.

            That is all r0b said really. You need to get over the fact that National is in government Tim.

          • Tim Ellis 25.1.1.1.2

            Apologies for the confusion PB.

            It can only be said that National is taking money off the poor to give to the rich, through their tax cut programme, if the poor already had their tax cuts. They didn’t. The likelihood is that if Labour were still in Government, they wouldn’t have got them. You say the comparison is pointless. Yet the whole argument from IB that tax cuts are paid for by “taking money out of the pockets of low income workers” relies on a comparison that is nonsense. The money was never in low income workers’ pockets.

          • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1.1.3

            No apology needed Tim

            You seem to think that the National party are automatons that lack the power of agency. But perhaps I’m wrong.

            They can do whatever they want, or refrain from doing so, limited only by their imaginations, will and physical and intellectual boundaries. When they do things, those things have effects.

            What you imagine a hypothetical Labour government might have done, is simply irrelevant to the question of the effects of the things an actual National led government does.

            National, when it does things as a government, changes things from what we call the ‘status quo ante’.

            That is the thing you compare National’s actions with, both to determine what they have done, and to compare it with what things might have been like if they had not done it (which was in their power to do).

            What you are doing is comparing it with a ‘status quo some other universe where labour won the election and did what I imagine they would do in such a universe.’

            Which is pointless in this universe, where we are discussing the effects of the things National has done here, in this non hypothetical universe where National won the election and Labour lost it.

          • Tim Ellis 25.1.1.1.4

            Pointless argument. The “parallel universe” you refer to is whether Labour would or would not have cancelled the tax cuts. We know the answer to that because Phil Goff has announced it.

            Future tax cuts are not the status quo, because they haven’t been delivered.

            I’m afraid I don’t have the time to split pointless hairs with you PB.

          • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1.1.5

            You seem to have found the time so far Tim, but I’m glad that you agree that it is pointless to argue about what some hypothetical Labour government might have done.

            Future tax cuts are not the status quo, because they haven’t been delivered.

            This again, is either dishonest or stupid. Sorry to be so blunt, but you seem to want to cut to the chase.

            The labour tax cuts were very much the status quo. That is why you keep asserting that Labour would have cancelled them.

            If they were not the status quo, then doing nothing would be enough to stop them. But that is not the case at all is it Tim? If it were, Labour wouldn’t need to cancel them in your made up universe where they won the election.

            If National had not cancelled them and replaced them with their own package then they would have happened. You can’t deny that (because it is true), and you know what the effects of those changes are in terms of who gets what. You don’t like the optics of it, so you are pretending that the only options are National’s new package, and Labour’s make believe hypothetical canceling of them in that other universe.

            You do this because what National did looks better in comparison with your made up world, than it does in comparison with what the world would be like if National had not changed the tax law’s status quo ante.

            With regard to your ‘knowledge’ about what Labour would have done based on what Phil Goff said, are you saying that the Key led National Party is the same as the Brash led one? Clearly not.

            So on this one too again, I’ll accuse you of sophistry.

            But I’m happy to drop it.

  25. Gustavo Trellis 26

    Oh yes, the rich. Tell me, do you know how much tax the rich pay? I’ll give you a hint. 12% of the population pay 51% of income tax. But by all means, continue your insistence that them getting tax relief is morally outrageous.

    • Tane 26.1

      All that shows is how incredibly unequal the distribution of wealth in our society is. And your answer is to make it even more unequal?

  26. Felix 27

    So how do you hard-working mainstream first-time National voters feel about this?

    You booted Labour cos you wanted a change and that nice Mr Key said he’d give you a bit more of a tax cut so you could keep a bit more of your own money.

    Now it turns out it only amounts to 10 or 15 bucks a week and that nice Mr Key reckons you should think about giving it away!

    Dunno about you, but if it were me I’d be starting to feel like I’d been had.

    • TightyRighty 27.1

      I don’t feel “had”. i like it. i like being given back the right to be discretionary with more of my income. it also allows to distribute my “wealth” to charities that i think are more deserving of it. like the salvation army, like cancer foundation, like books in schools.

  27. justthefacts 28

    Felix

    I imagine they feel good about it, I also imagine they are counting their lucky stars that Dr Cullen did not get the chance to implement his “mini budget” where he would have rolled back the recent tax cuts.

    • Kaplan 28.1

      Seriously… offering you opinion what what may or may not have happened given different circumstances are hardly ‘just the facts’.
      I think you should consider a new pseudonym.

  28. The National-led government is taking the first steps in preparing for the dismantling of the welfare state.
    John Minto responded to Key’s Burnside speech in 2007 in his Herald column thus:
    [Key] sees the solution as donations from businesses and more government funding for community groups working with families. It’s a charity model based on the philanthropy of Victorian England, whereby the undertaxed rich patronise the deserving poor.

    Minto was spot on. Indeed the National Party should be straight up about its real intentions regarding charity. I’ve seen no evidence to persuade me that the thinking on National’s front bench is much different from the Libertarianz policy on social welfare, which says:
    “Libertarianz will leave you free to practise voluntary charity. All state benefits including unemployment, sickness, and DPB – would be phased out to permit the growth of voluntary charities and private insurance.

    This is not far off what was happening in the late 1990s, when administration of the the dole and the unemployed was going to be divested from WINZ and handed to charities. Don’t believe me? That’s exactly what the Howard government did in Australia. their equivalent of Work and Income, Centrelink, doesn’t find people jobs; private employment agencies are contracted to do it. These are called Job Network members and include charities such as The Salvation Army and St Vinnie’s as well as private and not-for-profit agencies.

    This all rings a bell.

    In his Philanthropy NZ speech, Key is saying to his rich mates, “we’re cutting your taxes, so you’re duty bound to stump up some of that to charities. Then we’ll be able to hand over social welfare to charities, slash the public service more, and then chop more off your taxes.”

    Few rightwing bloggers will put their hands on their shrivelled hearts and declare on their great grannie’s grave that they don’t want that.

    • Rex Widerstrom 29.1

      “…their equivalent of Work and Income, Centrelink, doesn’t find people jobs; private employment agencies are contracted to do it. These are called Job Network members and include charities…”

      In the mid-80s I worked for two charitable organisations who ran various government-funded training and job placement programmes. “Workskills Training” was one I recall… VOTP (which I think stood for “voluntary organisation training programme) was another. And I met regularly with other, larger providers in the sector, including the Salvation Army.

      Most of the training providers managed to achieve good results with their trainees and even used some of the meagre money they were given to support other programmes such as food banks or emergency housing.

      I’d put our success in training people and finding jobs up against any period when the same thing was run by DSW, WINZ or whatever acronym they called themselves at the time.

      Again – just like the private prisons argument – there’s nothing wrong with letting outside providers run a service. It’s all about how you choose them, how you fund them, how you contract them and how you monitor them.

      Having said that, National’s record in this respect ain’t grand.

      The change of government saw all our programmes cancelled. As a result one of the charitable organisations I’d worked for shrivelled to insignificance and the other went bankrupt. Supposedly the DoL were going to run their own training, They never really got round to it though. Thanks, Jenny.

  29. justthefacts 30

    “The National-led government is taking the first steps in preparing for the dismantling of the welfare state”

    God I hope so.

  30. Ianmac 31

    As a sometimes collector for charities I am sure of a distinction in giving. When covering a wealthy looking suburb, the door would not be opened or if it did you get a very abrupt “No!” Close door.
    In a poor neighbourhood with kids barefoot, no garden, derelect car, they almost always scratched around for something to give. Just my perception? Ask other collectors.

    • ak 31.1

      Not just your perception macca – seen it over and over again for many decades (and statistically proven upthread from memory). Crux of the matter is that righties need perceived inferiors. So will hold down what they’ve got and conjour others out of anything. Bureaucrats this year.

    • The geek speaks 31.2

      Ianmac
      I’d agree with that.
      I spent several months, a couple years ago canvassing the streets to sign up members for amnesty international.
      I would have signed up over a hundred people to making monthly contributions in the time i was there… lots of students, lots of benificiaries, lots of tradies and low level office scum like myself… not once was i able to sign up a suit. it was sad to see that those most capable of giving were those least willing to….

  31. SteveR 32

    Don’t those who support fewer taxes and more choice in who they give their newly-won income to see that it puts the social dimension of our society on a very uncertain, uneven foundation.

    It all depends on how much how many people give. If they give less, then more people will face poverty, illness, death etc. At least with funding such things via taxation we are all certain that we are all contributing, and the organisations so funded have far more certainty as to their income, which allows things like planning for the future, innovation etc.

    Surely all these things are the marks of a civilised society? Don’t we look back at, for example, Victorian England, workhouses, death and squalor all around, and think: “How could people live like that?”; “How could people treat each other like that?”

    In short, don’t we feel superior to that society? Do we want to return to it, really?

    • RedLogix 32.1

      Do we want to return to it, really?

      As is plainly evident from some of our rightwing commenters here… the answer is yes. They need the ‘workhouses, death and squalor all around’ in order to feel good about themselves.

      It really is that simple.

      • Redbaiter 32.1.1

        “They need the ‘workhouses, death and squalor all around’ in order to feel good about themselves.”

        Utterly insane.

        • It certainly fits in with the pies in school carry on. No point in them being sucessful if there is not others around them to fail. Far too much of their policy so far has been fiddling around with things to make sure that there are more chances for people to fail.

          • Rex Widerstrom 32.1.1.1.1

            Oh bloody hell. The righties seem to want to give people the “choice” to starve to death while the lefties want to give them the “choice” of a school menu featuring nothing but tofu and mung beans :-D

            How about we resist the bloody urge to keep tinkering with everything just because we’re a government and thus we’re quite certain we must far smarter than the last lot who were in power?

            All things in moderation, as they say – meat pies and welfare policy included.

  32. lampie 33

    This John guy is a bit COCK-KEY

  33. Stephen 34

    Here’s a question Stephen. As taxes have been slashed around the world since the great neoliberal project kicked off thirty years ago, have the cuts in social welfare and public services been made up on a dollar for dollar basis by private charity?

    Fair point. I have no idea how you, or I for that matter, would prove that definitively. I had a look around at some old stuff from the 80s and before, and it seems that giving/expenditures were increasing very quickly in the 80s (doubling over about 8 years from 1980, but it continued a trend.

  34. Ianmac 35

    And think of the charity delivered by this Govt to Plunket, and in a sense an emotional rather than logical handout to Hercepton.

    When my brother-in-law was a plumber decades ago, he found that the hardest part was going to the door to get the rich folk to pay their bill. Months would sometimes go by and plenty of excuses why the couldn’t pay just yet.

  35. Stephen 36

    As Steve R alludes, the thing about the idea that ‘charity’ will come through takes a bit of a hit if people say, choose to save the whales instead of feeding the homeless with their super-low taxes, a lot of people will suffer…

  36. Get the chip off your shoulder about the states. I have spent time in the states and have found they are the most generous people I have meant.

    This site gets worse and worse and is really turning into gutter journalism, lose the hate Irishbill and mainstream kiwis may take this site more seriously.

  37. Snail 38

    Allow me add my own immediate response to the news: taxcuts for charity. That is to say these post-April taxcuts. Wonderment is a kinder expression than bewilderment—surely Tories have a penchant for efficiency and where is the administrative efficiency in this. In practise: mishmash!

    I dunno, end of the day for me.. and I roll up to find a long thread getting longer.. it’s only a problem insofar as finding a place to respond or comment for oneself.. a point made to explain why I wanted to add something to Monty’s earlier mucho — yeah professing himself rich by hard work is mucho

    So also — at least putting his money where his mouth is

    More to the point, Monty, as first peoples’ wisdom relates, putting his money into his mouth is the lesson to behold.

    Aid to understanding (from tee shirt culture) : You Can’t Eat Money.

  38. roger nome 39

    Brett – charity only takes you so far – without adequate social safety nets you get crime, swollen prisons, rampant prostitution, increased demand for drugs … and the list goes on and on. It’s the sadistic puritanical mentality – that people deserve to suffer, which exacerbates all these social ills. It creates a society divided – at war with itself – but that’s the brand of Christianity in the States – the focus is on punishment rather than harmony. That’s why it’s a society with such appalling social statistics (i.e. 12 times the proportion of its population in prison when compared to Scandinavian countries).

  39. gingercrush 40

    This is one of the most disappointing posts I’ve read here. But what is most disappointing, is the numerous replies in this thread with many merely using it to attack others.

    Here’s an actual excerpts from the Herald article:

    Mr Key said though many people needed the tax cuts to pay debt or bills, “I am just as sure there are many who are in a position to donate some.

    There Key clearly states that if one isn’t using the tax cut for expenditure purposes or to pay off debt then they may consider donating some of their tax cuts to charities. Key never states that they have to. He states that they consider giving to charity.

    Underlying the obvious ideological flaws evident here. John Key is not dismantling New Zealand’s social democracy. Indeed, no where does he speak of raiding benefits or turning the health care sector into private hands. There is really no dismantling whatsoever. So why insist on saying he is dismantling it when he isn’t.

    John Key is not encouraging low income earners to go out and beg. Why you assert that is belatedly beyond me. Indeed Key isn’t even taking money away from low income earners and giving it to upper income earners. And lastly Key doesn’t even state anything about the needy.

    What John Key is actually saying, is that he would like New Zealanders overall to give more generously to charities. And that the tax cuts coming into effect could go a long way to helping charity. And indeed if we as collective individuals did give more money to charity it would undoubtedly help many charities out. You know some of those charities. Some of them with long links to left organisations. The charities that go a long way to helping out those intellectually handicapped, those with cancer. Those tacking drug and alcohol problems and indeed those with Green measures. He points to how United States are generous with giving money to charity and how he would like to see some of that here. I think that is an admirable goal. Particularly, because if we gave as much money to charities as the US on top of our support in public housing, social welfare, healthcare, education and many other things. Our nation itself would be greater for it.

    I’m not even sure most of you read the damn article. Because if you had, you would realise that the points Irishbill make aren’t actually true. But no instead of reading the Herald article. You all act like little kids in some supreme shouting match and use generalisations that all people that are rich are somehow pricks and are indeed selfish with their money. Of course there are many that identity with left politics that are themselves rich. Likewise, the Green voter base tends to be inner-city with very high incomes. Are these people pricks? I am disappointing with Irishbill’s interpretation of the article. And I’m flabbergasted at some of the replies I’ve seen in this thread.

  40. Rachelr 41

    This is a classic argument which is entirely futile.

    While we sit here and debate the role of government or the non-profit sector, services are lost and people suffer. Now more than ever is the time to give generously as a private citizen, regardless of your political view.

    Tax is forced philanthropy. Wouldnt it be better if we were all sufficiently plugged into our communities enough to recognise and assist when needed?

    • Strathen 41.1

      Could the tax breaks to the upper class be an effort to ensure they don’t take their money overseas to countries that provide better tax benefits?

      Someone mentioned that 12% of the population pays 51% of the tax. If this is true, don’t we want that 12% keeping their money in NZ? Or is there a law I don’t know about that prevents the upper incomes from taking their money to Monaco? How hard would it get for our welfare system if the 12% left and the remaining 88% had to make up the loss of 51% of the tax generation?

      To put my devil’s advocated spin on it, this tax break will help the poor by keeping the big tax payers money in NZ?

      EDIT— Sorry Rachelr, I was meant to reply to the whole thread and not just your post.

      • Snail 41.1.1

        one import of what you appear to be saying is that lower-incomed folk not give to charity and rely on upper-incomed folk to do so..

        are you serious?

  41. Simon-5 42

    Ordinary New Zealanders have been expected to pay for the lifestyle choices of the criminals and the beneficiaries for far too long.

    Taking from the overburdened in order to give to the undeserving is inequitable. No amount of Labour spin is going to convince the electorate otherwise.

  42. jimbo 43

    Amazing that Key has received any criticism at all over this.

    When Australia was burning up a few weeks back, I am sure that plenty of contributors to this blog went to the Red Cross website and gave some money to the relief effort. No one waited around for legislative changes before feeling the time was right to make a contribution.

    Key is just reminding people that you can do the same thing right now and help those people caught out by the current economic crisis.

    Society’s response to trouble DOES NOT have to be state-imposed, centrally planned or uniformly collective.

  43. Simon-5 44

    When Australia was burning up a few weeks back, I am sure that plenty of contributors to this blog went to the Red Cross website and gave some money to the relief effort.

    Friend, you’re in the wrong place. This is a Labour Party blog, the absolute last thing* that any of the contributors here would do is make a contribution to charity.

    They’re the takers, not the givers.

    (*) with the exception of getting a job.

  44. mike 45

    “John Key is a dipshit”
    Gee the tone of this site his lowered since Pierson left.

    Also banning HS and calling him a”smarmy fucker” for dearing to link the EPMU to labour was a joke right?

    Anyone would think you lefties are stressed out or something….

  45. Snail 46

    Simon-5 and whomsoever et als talk of takers..

    Well, just in from Huffingpost is a remarkable story of a once-was-taker giving back. Yes, this cites some very significant (devil-in-the-detail) data and insofar as the rule of law (read sanctity of contract law) those IN-laws are definitely IN.

    Dah-dah — Douglas Poling, who received the richest payment of more than $6.4 million, is the 48-year-old son of a former chief executive of Ford Motor Co. At AIG he is an executive vice president with responsibility for energy and infrastructure investments. He is one of the roughly 418 current and former employees from AIG’s financial-products unit who received bonus payments.

    note please do, employees of the financial-products unit. WE can leave off this ledger the fate of FMC, suffice to recognise its imperilled position along with other tranport sector folks. But get that where the money is.. and maybe wonder a little at how much you were paying for gasoline/diesel last year. Connected—you bet!

    And worth looking out for huh..

  46. TightyRighty 47

    Tax cuts for donating to charities now being pushed. gee that kind of throws a spanner in the works of “who will donate $10k a year to charities”.

  47. Taken from the web:

    There is altogether too much talk about the United States being ungenerous with foreign aid. We show up as 21st in the rankings, in per capita terms, according to one estimate. These figures neglect remittances, where the U.S. is a very clear first with $28.4 billion a year sent to other countries. The bottom line: when it comes to other nations, the United States is the most generous country in the world.

    Are you interested in the rest of the top ten, for remittances? Saudi Arabia, with $15.1 billion a year, is a clear number two. Then you have Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Israel, Italy, and Japan. The Scandinavian nations receive so much kudos for their high foreign aid per capita, but when it comes to remittances, even tiny Luxembourg, population 437,389, beats them out.

    • ak 48.1

      Ever heard of the widow’s mite Bretty? Or “tied aid”? Or buying influence?

    • Snail 48.2

      BD,

      you continue to amaze me.. For someone who has spent “time in the states” (you recently said this, I believe) the following strikes out — The bottom line: when it comes to other nations, the United States is the most generous country in the world.

      There being no concept whatsoever in this statement or in the mindset that wrote of what it means to be a recipient of USAid.. or indeed a US aider.

      as the saying goes: aint no free lunches!

  48. Dr Steevens 49

    Once again, James at Editing The Herald offers an interesting perspective – do we really want to be like the US with charity plugging gaps in social services?

    http://editingtheherald.blogspot.com/2009/03/thursday-march-2009-charity.html

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  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #15
    Column – iPredict iPredicts 7000 registered traders continue to believe Winston Peters NZ First party will hold the balance of power after the election and allow National to govern. There has been a small gain to Act and the Conservatives...
    Its our future | 23-04
  • Photo of the day – Vulcan Lane
    Vulcan Lane alive with people Photo is credited to oh.yes.melbourne...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • Have your say on what Internet rights should look like
    Today I launched my Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill – NZ’s first ever bill crowdsourced by a political party. The launch happened live on Reddit, and I was joined in my office Joy Liddicoat (former Human Rights Commissioner and present...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Michael Porter on Social Progress
    via CNN, Fareed Zakaria has a fascinating interview with Harvard's Michael Porter, architect of the Social Progress Index that was launched to great fanfare a little while back. New Zealand won the top rank in that index, and Porter's main...
    Polity | 23-04
  • Time running out to save uni councils
    There’s only a week left to have your say on the Government’s changes to university and wānanga councils. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has put forward dramatic changes to the way uni and wānanga councils are made up – removing...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Another reason why we need an enforceable BORA
    Back in 2003, the then-Labour government, faced with the "threat" of an unpopular child-sex offender being released from prison at the end of their sentance, enacted the Parole (Extended Supervision) and Sentencing Amendment Act, allowing them to be detained for...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Attack of the Return of the Revenge of the Night of Boris Johnson
    The Great White Shark is circling closer and closer ...Boris Johnson is to announce he will stand for Parliament at next year’s election – to avoid speculation on his future overshadowing the Tory campaign.Friends of the London Mayor say he...
    Left hand palm | 23-04
  • The Greens’ "internet bill of rights"
    Today the Green party released their draft Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill. The bill is a response to government interference in cyberspace via the GCSB Act, TICS, and the Skynet law, and is intended to limit government control. Interestingly, they're...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Tweet FA
    It’s nothing new for politicians (and would-be politicians) to fall foul of the odd misplaced tweet, or some other social media own goal, so much that there is even a website to highlight deleted tweets. A politician speaking without thinking...
    recess monkey | 23-04
  • The two-sided density dividend: Agglomeration economies in *consumption*
    Why are people – both in NZ and around the world – increasingly choosing to live in cities? The answer usually advanced in response to this question, at least from an economic perspective, is “agglomeration economies”. In this post I...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • "Shoulder-tapping" vs public service values
    Another angle to the Shane Jones resignation: Mr Jones said he would leave Parliament next month after he was shoulder tapped by Foreign Minister Murray McCully for a new role as a roving economic ambassador across the Pacific. This is...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Good news, but enemies remain within the party
    Shane Jones’ decision to leave Labour is to be celebrated. But we must be on our guard, because others within the party hold similar views. Now is not the time to be complacent!...
    Imperator Fish | 22-04
  • Some "democracy"
    The UK calls itself a democracy. But if you try and present a petition to your local representative, their constituency staff will call the police on you:David Cameron’s constituency office has come under fire for calling the police on the...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Good riddance
    Last night, Shane Jones dropped the bombshell that he would be quitting Parliament and the Labour party to work as a "roving ambassador" for Murray McCully. Good riddance. While pegged from the beginning as a "future leader" and "high performer",...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Hard News: Jones: The contender leaves
    Like John Tamihere before him, Shane Jones entered Parliament burdened with the promise that he might be first Maori Prime Minister. That promise had probably left him before it emerged yesterday evening that he was walking away from politics, but...
    Public Address | 22-04
  • Gordon Campbell on the Shane Jones departure
    Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-04
  • Exit Jones, stage north
    I will miss having Shane Jones in the Labour tent. That isn't because I agree with him on everything. Disagreeing with people is part and parcel of party politics, especially in a party that aspires to be a broad church...
    Polity | 22-04
  • World News Brief, Wednesday April 23
    Top of the AgendaObama Begins Asia Trip to Reassert Pivot...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • That was Then, This is Now #24 – Key challenges Cunliffe – then doesn...
    .     . This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 16 April 2014.   Previous related blogpost That was Then, This is Now #23 – Bolger breaks election promise AND predicts the future! References TVNZ News: Key...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-04
  • That was Then, This is Now #24 – Key challenges Cunliffe – then doesn...
    .     . This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 16 April 2014.   Previous related blogpost That was Then, This is Now #23 – Bolger breaks election promise AND predicts the future! References TVNZ News: Key...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-04
  • Herald confirms our electric trains are quiet
    The Herald yesterday ran a story on just how quiet the new electric trains are. In a polar opposite there was a lot of noise on twitter about how the article was initially presented but after getting past that it...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • ‘I told ya so’ of the day, Shane Jones edition
    I got a bit of stick during the Labour leadership contest for my criticism of Shane Jones, so I have to indulge myself a little here. Now that we know this contender for the leadership of the Labour Party was...
    DimPost | 22-04
  • Warning to Labour; the heretic hunters are driving people away
    And Labour cannot keep Shane Jones and the people who support him unless it looks like a party capable of winning, and that means a party that is inclusive, focused on jobs, better pay, and on celebrating opportunities for all...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Coalitionally speaking – a look at scenarios on the right
    Back on my previous post, Alex Coleman asked me to stop looking at potential government variants on the left and look at what a National-led government would look like, especially (at least this is what I took him to mean)...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • Here we may see what Men for Stealth and Robbing must endure …
    It seems a bit odd to be devoting a post to a policy proposal coming from a party with just 0.5% support in the opinion polls - a bit like taking seriously United Future's crowing over the victory it has just...
    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
  • Government inaction on power and housing to blame for latest rate rise
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says today's interest rate rise, that will hit home owners and businesses, is a consequence of the government's failure to get a grip on electricity prices and the property market, particularly in Auckland."The Green Party...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Rate rise not needed if Government was doing its job
    Today’s interest rate rise wouldn’t have been necessary if the Government had been doing its job properly and targeting the sources of inflation, Labour says. “New Zealand interest rates are among the highest in the world, putting more and more...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Real independence needed in food safety
    The Green Party are calling for a truly independent body to regulate our food safety.Food safety Minister Nikki Kaye has announced the establishment of a Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council as part of the Government's response to last year's...
    Greens | 23-04
  • 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
  • Whare of Cards – It’s a shame that Shane sold out to keep up with the J...
    I love how the mainstream media claim Cunliffe is a political charlatan who isn’t really left wing, yet the leader of the right wing faction of Labour leaves because Shane knows the change in direction beneath the surface is real....
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Opportunity for new blood in Māori politics
    Labour MP Shane Jones’ news of retirement from Parliament yesterday got some korero happening alright. From his staunch loyal supporters ardently praising his skills to those in fervent opposition and refusing to let his hour of glory go without a...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • We need to protect our rights online
    New Zealanders deserve the right to a thriving, open Internet which supports economic development, innovation and free speech. The Internet over the last twenty five years has changed everything; from how we communicate, how we buy and sell products and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • 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
  • New Zealand Defence Force Ready For Anzac Day 2014
    Friday 25 April marks the 99th anniversary of the ANZAC Cove landings in the First World War, and the New Zealand Defence Force will be present at over 270 commemorative events across New Zealand, and around the globe. Highlights include:...
    Scoop politics | 24-04
  • Evidence lacking for Northland council amalgamation
    The Public Service Association has told a Local Government Commission hearing in Kaikohe that there is a lack of evidence supporting a proposed amalgamation of Northland councils....
    Scoop politics | 24-04
  • Foreign Influence Plays Key Role in Housing Debate
    At his weekly press conference in Wellington last week, Prime Minister John Key was questioned about the idea of reducing or slowing the rate of housing prices by limiting foreign purchases. His response revealed a gap in the New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #15
    iPredict’s 7000 registered traders continue to believe Winston Peters’ NZ First party will hold the balance of power after the election and allow National to govern. There has been a small gain to Act and the Conservatives over the last...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Have your say on regional council Draft Annual Plan 2014/15
    Submissions close on Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Draft Annual Plan at 4pm on Monday 28 April, so there are just are five days left to make your voice heard....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Citizens denied access to public space for Hamilton J Day
    The Hamilton branch of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ request to use the Hamilton Lake Domain Stage to hold its annual J Day gathering in Hamilton has been denied by the Hamilton City Council....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy
    One year on: progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy An official from one of the two global union bodies that negotiated the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety , currently visiting New Zealand, says that the Accord...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Another hike delivered, with more to come
    The RBNZ increased its cash rate by +25bp to 3.00% today, as expected. The economy is picking up strongly and the RBNZ has continued on a path to return rates to more normal levels, to keep inflation contained. The central...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Focus on housing costs, raise wages not interest rates
    Focus on housing costs, raise wages not interest rates "The increase in the Reserve Bank's interest rate, while expected, shows little imagination and will raise mortgage costs for home owners," says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “The focus...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • ACT fabricates 3 strikes claim
    “Jamie Whyte’s claim the UK 3 strikes legislation in 1999 has reduced burglary by 35% is a fabrication” says Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment. “Since last Monday, Mr Whyte has constantly claimed a connection between...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Students believe forging links with Australia has benefits
    University of Canterbury history and anthropology second year students mostly believe forging links with Australia has benefits but sharing the same currency was not an option....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Anti Fluoridation Advertisements Rejected
    Over the past week, the Advertising Complaints Authority (ASA) has upheld three complaints made against the anti fluoride group (Fluoride Action Network of NZ) FANNZ. The complaints involved several advertisements authorized by FANNZ and placed in...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • SAFE Slams Lab Animal Cruelty
    SAFE Slams Lab Animal Cruelty On World Day for Laboratory Animals (24 April) animal advocacy group SAFE has slammed the Government for failing to reduce the number of animals being used in experiments....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Dunne Speaks – Anzac Day
    24 April 2014 Tomorrow morning, rain or shine, thousands of New Zealanders will gather at dawn and throughout the morning to commemorate the disastrous Allied landings at ANZAC Cove, on the Gallipoli Peninsula, nearly 100 years ago. They will do...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Visit to New Zealand by Major General David Cullen
    Britain’s Assistant Chief of the General Staff Major General David Cullen will arrive in New Zealand today (April 24) for high level Army-to-Army talks and a number of other military-related engagements....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Shane Jones ‘right to go’ – Labour Rotorua candidate
    The Labour Party’s Rotorua candidate Tamati Coffey says Shane Jones is best off to leave if his heart’s not in the party....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • 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
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