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Turia’s legacy

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, December 14th, 2012 - 33 comments
Categories: Maori Issues, maori party, poverty - Tags: ,

Tariana Turia’s on-again off-again retirement is on-again. She will not be standing in 2014, and is looking to her “legacy”:

Turia going, legacy staying

Maori co-leader confident Whanau Ora policy will survive after she quits in 2014.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia will not stand for Parliament again in 2014, saying she will finally go ahead with plans to retire and could step down as party co-leader by the middle of next year.

Mrs Turia will stay on as a minister until the 2014 election but said she would not stand again – believing both the Maori Party and her treasured Whanau Ora policy were now robust enough to survive the change to a new leader.

Unfortunately the legacy of Whanau Ora is far from a proud one. There are success stories, but over all the programme is a mess. Here’s a sample of coverage.

Turia personifies Whanau Ora problem

In the past few months a series of mini-scandals and criticisms have been levelled at the social welfare fund, largely thanks to digging by Winston Peters.

Most damning has been the conviction of Mongrel Mob member Korrey Teeati Cook for supplying drugs he bought with a $20,000 Whanau Ora grant. At first, Turia insisted there was no proof – until Cook was jailed this month, which she dismissed as a one-off.

Peters revealed last week that an immigrant with a history of family violence, child neglect and drug abuse got help from the fund for his residency application. He has also uncovered a $60,000 grant to a rugby club to research “whanau connectedness”, and highlighted a $3000 grant to a hairdresser to hold two family hui.

Around $5.5 million was paid out last year – $164m has been allocated over four years. The grandiloquent NZ First leader wickedly calls Whanau Ora a “bro-ocracy”, a “touchy-feely slush fund” and “a circus with no accountability”. Yet, when called on to defend her policy baby, Turia rarely fronts up. …

If she wants us to believe in her pet policy – which undeniably has its merits – she must lead by example. Whanau Ora needs more accountability and that must start with the minister.

Review finds uneven distribution of Whanau Ora funding

A review by an outside consultancy and released under the Official Information Act says the distribution of money is quite uneven.

It notes nearly a quarter of all individuals who received funding applied for money in the Te Tai Hauauru region, which is represented in Parliament by Tariana Turia and has 8% of the Maori population.

By comparison, the Tamaki Makaurau region, home to a quarter of all Maori, has the lowest number of individuals getting funding.

Editorial: Whanau Ora: Where’s the difference?

Maori children are living in damp houses and leaving school without the skills needed to get jobs. Meantime, funding from the Maori Party’s flagship Whanau Ora programme is being used by Dunedin gang members to buy drugs.

Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia has some explaining to do. This is not how she said Whanau Ora would work when she unveiled her revolutionary plan to tackle entrenched Maori disadvantage by transferring responsibility for the delivery of services to Maori from government agencies to Maori providers.

Critical to the experiment, was measurement of outcomes. However, a just-released evaluation of Whanau Ora’s “integration, innovation and engagement” fund indicates that Te Puni Kokiri has no way of knowing whether the $12.6 million distributed through the fund so far has made a lasting difference.

There is some anecdotal evidence of individual whanau benefiting, but no empirical evidence to support those conclusions.

There is, however, incontrovertible evidence that the scheme has been abused and laxly administered. …

If that is Turia’s legacy it is a profoundly flawed one, and I doubt that Whanau Ora will survive a change of government in anything like its current form. If Turia wants a legacy to be proud of she still has time. She can back her words with action and stand up for kids in poverty. That would be a worthwhile way to go.

33 comments on “Turia’s legacy”

  1. One Tāne Viper 1

    If only Whanau Ora funding was as free from corruption and pork-barrel politics as other areas of government spending. No, wait…

    It’s no excuse: there are problems, but I find it hard to believe that the universally (?) negative media coverage tells the full story.

    • Colonial Weka 1.2

      +1
      If you look at the examples, the drug money one is an obvious problem. Of the others, what do we actually know? Someone with a history of violence, child neglect and drug abuse got assistance. If we ruled out people with those histories, wouldn’t that be defeating the purpose of Whanau Ora? Aren’t people with troubled backgrounds part of the core client group? Or was the problem that they were an immigrant? (I’m not familiar with the story).
      The rugby club supposed story got demolished on ts for the Peters backed media beat up that it was. I don’t know the hairdresser story, but are hairdressers not allowed assistance either? Is $3,000 for two hui alot? How many people attended? How far did they travel? What did they do? What were the outcomes?
       
      I do agree that more accountability would be good, and I’m sure there are problems. Not being able to measure outcomes is a major flaw. But prejudice is getting in the way of us knowing in detail what the actual issues are.
       
       
       

      • stargazer 1.2.1

        so totally agree with this weka. especially the “$3000 grant to a hairdresser to hold two family hui”, which is so reminiscent of the “hip-hop tours” beat-up. i don’t know the facts on the latter, but if you have youth who have been involved in crime and disengaged from the education system finding something they can get into by way of music/dance, then how is that a bad thing? it’s just that hip-hop is what those brown/black people do, so can’t possibly come under the description of art, and can’t possibly have any value /sarcasm.

        ditto re this grant. how is the person’s profession in any way relevant to the grant? and if it is, how about giving the details rather than that throwaway line meant to push all kind of buttons in total ignorance of the facts. it’s exactly the same level of criticism that was leveled at labour some years back, and i’m disappointed that it was included in the post without challenge, in an effort to discredit tariana turia. i’m not particularly a fan of hers, but i expect better than this.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        Someone with a history of violence, child neglect and drug abuse got assistance. If we ruled out people with those histories, wouldn’t that be defeating the purpose of Whanau Ora?

        Nope because he got the assistance for his immigration (ie, not a NZer) and I believe the law actually has rules to prevent such people from immigrating.

        I don’t know the hairdresser story, but are hairdressers not allowed assistance either?

        Will the government give me, a first gen NZer, $3000 to have a family meeting?
         

        • stargazer 1.2.2.1

          no doubt it would depend on your family & their history & the social issues involved, as well as the outcomes expected from the meeting. it might also depend on who else was at the meeting – did you, for example, invite a parenting expert or a social worker who could give some education/advice on dealing with particular issues that are affecting your family, or maybe an educational expert.

          see, i really have a problem with this nonsensical reduction to “meeting with my family”. if you think there should some more transparency in terms of outcomes of this particular grant, then say that. but i don’t see why you’d prima facie dismiss it without even thinking about the reasons why such a grant might achieve some pretty useful outcomes.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.1.1

            no doubt it would depend on your family & their history & the social issues involved, as well as the outcomes expected from the meeting. it might also depend on who else was at the meeting – did you, for example, invite a parenting expert or a social worker who could give some education/advice on dealing with particular issues that are affecting your family, or maybe an educational expert.

            Would it? Or would it depend upon me being Maori?
             
            Now, under those conditions I’m all for the government supporting such a meeting but it needs to be available to everyone and be advertised as being available to everyone.

            • Colonial Weka 1.2.2.1.1.1

              It’s not available to everyone, it is available to people in need. Whanau Ora support is open to all ethnicities.

              From Whanau Ora’s front page –
               

              Whānau Ora is an inclusive interagency approach to providing health and social services to build the capacity of all New Zealand families in need.It empowers whānau as a whole rather than focusing separately on individual family members and their problems.

              Some whānau will want to come up with their own ways of improving their lives and may want to work on this with a hapū, iwi or a non-government organisation (NGO).

              Other whānau will want to seek help from specialist Whānau Ora providers who will offer wrap-around services tailored to their needs. Whānau will have a practitioner or ‘navigator’ to work with them to identify their needs, develop a plan to address those needs and broker their access to a range of health and social services.

               
              http://www.tpk.govt.nz/en/in-focus/whanau-ora/

        • Colonial Weka 1.2.2.2

          “Nope because he got the assistance for his immigration (ie, not a NZer) and I believe the law actually has rules to prevent such people from immigrating.”
           
          Fine. Then the story is about Whanau Ora assisting someone with their immigration application. Why the need to describe their history of violence. And what if the person is immigrating from the Islands, already has family here, and is in a relationship with tangata whenua, including having children here. And the community that Whanau Ora was supporting decided that there was value in assisting this person? Maybe the person was an overstayer and had been living here for years and had kids/family here. It’s not too hard to think of scenarios where it might be good use of the funding. The problem here is the media beat up and lack of telling us what is really going on.
           
          “Will the government give me, a first gen NZer, $3000 to have a family meeting?”
           
          Dude, when you can demonstrate 200years of intentional state oppression of your iwi, hapu and whanau, including suppression of language and culture as well as land and resource theft, then sure, you can have some dollars to try and rebuild your cultural family structures and make them resilient and strong again. Be honest here, do you have a need for the govt to fund your family getting together?

    • Bill 1.3

      Agreed. It’s well nigh impossible to get the whole picture on so called examples of corruption various news outlets have highlighted. And setting down partial news reports as the basis of ‘the legacy’ is problematic on a number of levels. But hey…

  2. Tom Gould 2

    With Turia gone, maybe they will be able to move on from the domination of her personal political baggage and become a genuine MMP party, and a genuine option for a deal with Labour. This news will scare the hell out of Key.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      They would have gone with Labour after the latest election results if it was tenable for that combination to form a government. Obviously the chips fell differently.

      • felixviper 2.1.1

        No way. Tariana still holds a major grudge against Labour to this day. Which is really really stupid, as she supported National doing exactly the thing she begrudges Labour for.
         
        That’s her true legacy. A pointless, selfish, bitter feud that ultimately hurt the very people she presumes to speak for.

        • Anne 2.1.1.1

          +1.
          Made the same point at 8.2.1
          Those here (and Mike Smith’s post) who are extolling her virtues – and I’m sure she has some – are nevertheless showing themselves to have selective memories.

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.2

          Agreed.  Turia was not treated well by certain Labour MPs but siding up to National is way, way too far a response …

          • Descendant Of Sssmith 2.1.1.2.1

            And Labour never held a grudge towards Tari? You have got to be joking suggesting that was a one way street. 

  3. Anne 3

    Could Turia’s on-again, off-again retirement plans have something to do with the ebb and flow of the government’s predicted electoral fortunes?

    Yes, I know. I’m a total cynic – born out of many years of political observation. 🙂

  4. ak 4

    Her legacy’s assured, substantial, and goes way beyond mere putea.

    She’s presided over, and in no small way contributed to, a profound attitudinal change for the better. By simply exhibiting poise and steadfastness at the table of the traditional oppressor, the racist phrase “you know what they’re like” is now consigned to the historical dustbin.

    Albeit thanks largely to the serendipitous requirement for wee Johnny to insure against the poison of Act, Orewa One’s filth can never blight these shores again: and Winnie will take its last dregs to his grave.

    She rightly condemned the Helen Appeasements, however unpalatable it felt: thanks to her, Whanau Ora is Closing the Gaps forced on an unwilling Tory establishment, now cemented in place forever.

    She could easily have imploded it all over Hone: but the peoples’ plight retained paramount position over ego and infighting – for both parties. The door is now open wide for Mana Maori.

    Forgiveness: and steadfast focus on the greater goal.

    Lessons for all, perhaps, who slip toward the viper’s nest of hatred and pettiness.

  5. bad12 5

    Auntie Tari’s legacy???, Lip Service to ‘Her People’ whom She will have sat and watched being beaten upon by National’s bully Bennett through changes in the delivery of Social Security,

    Whanau Ora??? mere feathers in the nest….

  6. Lefty 6

    Social programmes are by their very nature risky and outcomes will often be long term, making their usefulness very difficult to assess.

    This makes them very vulnerable to attacks from the media and politicians (all parties are equally guilty when in opposition), neither of which are renown for their attention span, or their commitment to putting programmes that benefit the underclass ahead of a couple of headlines.

    These sorts of programmes also tend to suffer from the fact that bureacratic processes bastardise good ideas so much they become unrecognisable from the original vision and difficult for the people on the ground to deliver effectively.

    In fact by the time a bunch of people in the relevant ministry(s) have covered their arses there is often nothing useful left to deliver and the programme ends up becoming just another pork barrel project that helps colonise and silence part of the community sector but does little else.

    Remarkably, despite these barriers, some programmes succeed on the ground and do very good work. In these cases they have one more hurdle to clear and often they can’t do it.

    Too often the sorts of consultancies that do reviews for the Government have little understanding of how successful community sector organisations operate, and not the slightest inkling about how the people being helped by programmes live their lives. This usually makes their reports suspect because they simply cannot place the programme in the context of a world they do not know exists outside their nightmares.

    These factors combine to make it unwise to jump to conclusions about the people and organisations running such programmes, or the recipients of their assistance, without far better information than we have.

    Thats not to say they there should be no accountability, its just that we need to develop appropriate means of accountability.

    It is also important to remember that such programmes can be something of a gamble, as such we may lose the stake money, or we may increase it, either way we should be aware that the money is at risk and not get too upset if we lose.

    After all its nowhere near as much as the huge amounts used to bail out the people who gambled with Mr Hubbard or, the money handed out in tax cuts to the rich with no accountability whatsoever.

    • Colonial Weka 6.1

      Completely agree. Ideally, Whanau Ora should have developped its own processes of accountability and measuring outcomes so that they reflected something real and true, not just the top-down assessments from another culture’s way of looking at things.
       
      I seem to remember that Labour cut funding targeted at grass roots Maori initiatives (because they were accused of being racist :roll:). Some time later a friend told me about the loss of important programmes within her community as a result. Real stuff that was making a real difference to those people. I don’t know how you would assess that from the outside in the short and medium term.

  7. Rich 7

    I don’t really see anything wrong with helping people get into a useful business like making and selling recreational pharmaceuticals. It’s the sort of thing a government should be doing.

    Maybe they should make them legal first, though.

  8. Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has been a great leader for her people and the people of
    New Zealand, she will be sorly missed by New Zealand if only other leaders will take her example.

    • Enough is Enough 8.1

      Hear hear

    • Populuxe1 8.2

      If by following her example you mean stand down, then I heartily concur. As a leader, however, she deserves no accolades. She sold her people out to the National Party and then stood by with folded hands while they introduced policies that negatively impact on the poor – a category that in this country contains a lot of Maori unfortunately. She abused her authority to further the interests of her whanau. She brought the Maori Party into disrepute with the total lack of accountability in Whanau Ora. Her comments on family planning show a complete disjuncture from reality that borders on the out and out destructive. She has been a total disaster even while still in Labour.

      • Anne 8.2.1

        +1.
        Add to that her five years of obsessive revenge against the Labour Party over the Foreshore and Seabed Act – and Helen Clark in particular.  Remember the howls of disapproval? Yet when the govt. legislated in much the same way over the Water Rights issue… hardly a sound from Tariana Turia.

        • ak 8.2.1.1

          Yeah yeah Anne. But please explain why Hels failed to reverse the benefit cuts – and then abolished the Special Benefit. Not to mention sticking with the traitorous Bassett hounds in the first place. Deserving of a wee bit of stick I reckon, and if you were fully aware of just what’s been wrung from Slippery, deserving of slack for Tari, at least. No akshilly, would go further: knowing Tory psychology, perhaps entirely feasible that the anti-Labour rhetoric was a deliberate and calculated donation to the betterment of her people. Either way, no call to diss.

          • Populuxe1 8.2.1.1.1

            What a lot of incomprehensible gibberish. National do not care about Maori and no amount of cajoling by Tariana was going to change that. Just because Helen’s government might have made a few questionable decisions doesn’t make Tariana any less shit in government, and quite frankly it’s ridiculous to lambaste Pakeha politicians for lapses in standards and behaviour and not hold Maori politicians to those same standards.

  9. Descendant Of Sssmith 9

    In many ways her legacy seems a bit like whanau ora – mixed but mostly positive despite what gets played out in the media.

    The Maori Party was a breath of fresh air that should have made Labour realise how much they had forsaken the poor and disadvantaged.

    She has always spoken articulately and clearly and it’s always been clear to me where she was coming from whether I agreed or not.

    I never felt that the MP should have gone with National but understood the pragmatic approach of being in power. You can’t have partnership with Maori in this country without giving Maori some power and authority and as much as I dislike National they understand that power game much better.

    The increasing of NZS by $20 which benefitted mainly white older people and not deigning to do the same for benefits which would have at least equally helped both Maori and non-maori was a scummy decision as was not allowing the shore and seabed issue make it’s way through the courts – particularly given most restricted and privately owned areas are in European ownership.

    Labour of course have not learned anything from losing a large chunk of the Maori vote let alone from losing working peoples vote.

    There’s a couple of families locally who have used Whanau Ora funding to make some significant difference in their families with much reduced drug and alcohol use and children no longer skipping school amongst other things. The family are driving the changes rather than the agencies who have previously tried to work with them. In that case the cost is very cheap.

    I know a couple of the family and have been impressed with the change they are driving.

    I’d be quite interested by way of equivalency to hear some success from the parenting program funding to Parents Inc.

  10. RedBaronCV 10

    Whanau Ora has always seemed like a classic case of ‘be very careful what you wish for”.
    No matter how well or badly the scheme did I’ve always felt it met the “real” Nact longterm goal.
    Once it was established and a case load shifted over to it, then any other state funded alternative for those using it would disappear, taxpayer funds would start to dry up and then iwi would be invited to use treaty settlement cash to fund the programmes.

    Colour me cynical but longterm it looked like a Nact way of insisting that Maori fund their own welfare out of the treaty settlements.

    Perhaps it’s best if it stays the way it is, unseen or unheralded successes and a few headline failures(?) so that it bulk taxpayer funds don’t go that way for a few years befiore they are wound back leaving nothing in place.

  11. Descendant Of Sssmith 11

    In the 80’s Tariana was quite clear in her view that iwi should provide benefits for Maori.

    It was pointed out then that the dynamic changes when you are given the power to say no to assistance as well as yes.

    At the same time many Maori would not want to be paid benefits by iwi and benefits themselves are surely part of the right to be treated the same as British citizens guaranteed under the treaty. It would be a bit hard to take that right away.

    Potentially if iwi did want to administer benefits an opt in opt out system could possibly work where the person could choose who delivered their service. To some extent you are getting some iwi delivery with the changes for youth judging by the list of providers. It would be interesting to know how that is going for young people. Better, worse, mixed?

    • RedBaronCV 11.1

      You are quite right DoS and I am not saying that this is what Maori want or need. However, the Nacts would love to get rid of or severely curtail social security in the long term. They can achieve this if they shift funds to private providers to dole out and once that is in place they then start to limit the funds transfered.The same sort of thinking that is giving social security for young people under the age of 18 to private providers to dole out to the end user regardless of how well or badly that person is looking after themselves.
      I could see Whanau Ora being used as the “private provider vehicle” then taxpayer funds being cut  back ‘as of course the Treaty settlements can be used instead” . Also sure Nact would far rather see Treaty funds being used for social assistance rather than competing in the rich boys market and actually purchasing back assets for the benefit and use of iwi and indeed all New Zealanders.
       

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    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    10 hours ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    11 hours ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    11 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    11 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    11 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    12 hours ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    12 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    13 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    13 hours ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    13 hours ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    14 hours ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    20 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    23 hours ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    1 day ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    1 day ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago
  • March Against Monsanto
    Press Release – TPP Action Waikato March Against Monsanto (MAM)is a global form of action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long term health risks of genetically modified foods and Roundup ready crops.Today Waikato people rally, at… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • 2016 SkS Weekly Digest #21
    SkS Highlights... El Niño to La Niña... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... He Said What?... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of… ...
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    4 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    10 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    11 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    11 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    12 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    1 day ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    4 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    4 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    4 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    5 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    6 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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