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The Standard

War on social security: demonisation of beneficiaries

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 am, July 15th, 2013 - 272 comments
Categories: child welfare, class war, cost of living, crime, democracy under attack, human rights, jobs, john key, paula bennett, public services, same old national - Tags:

Today the Nact governments war on beneficiaries steps up a gear with widespread changes to the social security system.  Fronted by John Key and Paula Bennett, who got a great start in their adult lives from the social security system that was developed in the 1930s by the then Labour government. Now they lead a vicious and nasty shift from supporting the less well-off, those suffering misfortune, and the disadvantaged – to persecuting them and treating them as though they are all cheats, self-serving addicts, and malingerers.

And Key and Bennett falsely spin the positive values of these changes for all they worth, playing on the same kinds of lies and misconceptions that are rife in the UK, as posted today by Eddie on the Standard.  On Stuff this morning,  Michael Fox writes:

Wide-ranging benefit reforms have come into force today, with beneficiary advocates voicing a mix of cautious optimism and criticism of the changes.

From today there are fewer benefit categories, as well as compulsory drug testing for jobseekers, sanctions for fugitive beneficiaries and stricter healthcare obligations for parents of young children.

And what’s it all for? Saving money, and denying as many people as possible much needed support:

Work and Income says the results are “some of the best from any case management trial” in recent years, with 6000 of the 10,000 people in the pilot no longer on a benefit. More than half of those people found work, the rest opted out or cancelled benefits for reasons such as no longer meeting eligibility requirements.

From today, 91,000 people will be enrolled.


The ministry also has a pilot planned in the next two months to get 2000 sickness beneficiaries with mental and physical disabilities into work, she said.

The Government estimates 28,000 to 44,000 people will come off benefits by 2017 because of the reforms, saving up to $1.6 billion.

So it’s all about getting people off benefits and into work…. or anywhere that is out of sight of the middle-classes, and off the books.  There seems to be little interest in helping people to deal with difficult circumstances – the original aim of social security.  Fox does the usual attempt at (skewed) “balance”  with the timid addition of some of the criticism of the changes, sandwiched in between Bennett’s spin:

Federation of Family Budgeting Services boss Raewyn Fox said dealing with one case manager meant more clarity and fewer things falling “through the cracks”, though people were nervous about the changes.

“Some people are worried about being subjected to more tests and [that] it’s a way of getting out of paying them.”

Sarah Thompson, of Auckland Action Against Poverty, said the reforms were about “cutting costs by pushing vulnerable people off the books” at a time when few jobs were available.

Labour social welfare spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern said she was hearing of solo mothers being forced to give up study for menial jobs allocated by Work and Income, such as washing dishes, meaning they could not improve their circumstances.

Simon Collins in this morning’s NZ Herald, is more blunt about the real government agenda and its impact, in his article “Thousands in Welfare cull“:

Thousands of people are expected to be chopped off welfare benefits as sweeping changes in the social security system come into force today.

The reforms represent the biggest upheaval in the welfare state since the Social Security Act was passed by the first Labour Government in 1938.


Other new obligations include drug-testing for jobseekers in relevant industries, which is expected to trigger benefit cuts for up to 5800 people, and a requirement for beneficiaries to clear outstanding arrest warrants.

About 8000 beneficiaries have arrest warrants outstanding for issues such as unpaid fines. Unless they clear them within 38 days, their benefits will be halved if they have children, or stopped completely if they don’t, in what is likely to be the biggest single purge of the benefit rolls since the system was created.

And what will be the impact of these changes?  As Collins indicates, a climate of fear, and a rise in crime, especially in drug-related crime.

And will it mean more work for private prison companies like Serco?

It’s no wonder that council workers in Wellington are being attacked my disgruntled people.  Some attacks are on librarians by young people having problems with access to the Wellington libraries’ “pay-for use Internet services: a service that should be the right of all Kiwis, and shouldn’t require payment as it is a services necessary to contemporary life.

All part of the on-going “neoliberal” shift of wealth from the many to the few.

Today’s benefit changes -a  sad day for New Zealanders, and it does so much dishonour to the 1938 Labour Government.

[update]  RNZ interview with “Beneficiary advocate Kay Brereton”

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Brereton advocates for more support and incentives for beneficiaries, rather than the stress of medical assessments and other pressures.  She argues that the focus is in getting people off benefits, and many at risk people just give up.

In a press release from the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation, Brereton spells out what the “demonisation of beneficiaries” means, and says:

“What job seekers need is assistance and encouragement to help build self esteem and confidence to keep seeking employment in a very tough market; what these reforms offer is bullying and punishment.”

“The recession has touched every family and community in NZ, and the closures and redundancies are still being announced, yet the government is vastly increasing the obligations and sanctions on those with the least choices in these tough times.”

Auckland Action Against Poverty are doing advocacy work at 3 WINZ offices today. They are critical of the latest social security changes and state,

“This is not about getting people into decent work – it’s not about job creation. It’s about cutting costs by pushing vulnerable people off the books.

“AAAP has already been working with increased numbers of beneficiaries over the past couple of months as more and more beneficiaries are being sanctioned for any accidental misstep – or sanctioned due to Work and Income error.

“In addition, Work and Income’s gate-keeping culture has seen a growing number of people being incorrectly denied both financial support and the right to even apply for various supports.

272 comments on “War on social security: demonisation of beneficiaries”

  1. JK 1

    And even sadder (and sillier) is the fact there are so few jobs for all these beneficiaries to take up … and for those with children, the cost of childcare or afterschool/holiday care will eat up any extra money they might get from going out to (low) paid work – because they certainly won’t be getting high paid jobs.
    And what about those with health problems – not serious enough to be on a sickness benefit – but serious enough to make it more difficult for them to find work and to stay in a job – those with asthma, arthritis, etc. As you say, Karol, this IS a very sad day for New Zealanders.

    • Pasupial 1.1

      This is a very sad day for all New Zealand workers – though the capitalist wealth fabricators will be rubbing their hands with glee. Expect to see more 89ers (ie those hired for one day less than the 90 day “trial” period), or even to become one yourself, in the coming months. Although cloaked as action against beneficiaries, these social security changes will affect all of us who subsist on the median wage or less (which, by definition, is half of all New Zealanders).

      Where is the opposition from the Labour Party? Arden may make the right noises, but there needs to be a clear message from the leadership that; this will be rescinded when the Left resume government for the people rather than their oppressors.

      Until there is once more a social security system that is responsive to beneficiaries and wider societal needs, our already excessive child poverty will increase apace with other social disparities. NACT take the bread from children’s mouths so their mates can have something to spread caviar upon!

      • handle 1.1.1

        The Beneficiary Advocacy Federation obviously needs the same help as Labour to explain themselves. Their media release is not only too complicated but it repeats the right’s lines for them -

        “Under this amendment beneficiaries are being automatically categorised as poor parents, a situation which requires financial sanctions to ensure that their children receive health care and education. This is not on the basis of evidence, merely some perception held by the National party and its advisers, reacting to the generalisation of the promiscuous teenage solo mum, who makes a lifestyle out of the state.”

    • Dr Terry 1.2

      Much more than a “sad day” for New Zealand, this is a “tragic day” where we are seeing the most ruthless policies being implemented, as far as I know, in our history. Victims are ever more victimized, but of course this Government mostly persecutes those from whom their votes do not come anyway.

  2. freedom 2

    I have fought for the last three months to avoid it but it looks like I will have to go sign on for assistance, I do have one question:

    • BM 2.1

      What skills do you have?

      • freedom 2.1.1

        Funny thing at my WINZ pre-application seminar interview I was told to my face that my skills base was irrelevant to my jobseeking. Seriously! Those who have not had recent interaction with the WINZ folk would most likely be as disgusted as I was with the current regime’s complete lack of interest in a person’s circumstances, despite what the Minister says. So I left that meeting somewhat despondent and uninspired. Which for someone with PTSD who also lives with depression and has fought tooth and nail to face each day, is not really what I would consideer to be a postivie jobseeker environment and now after three months of day jobs and generous friends it seems my hands are tied and I have to sign on.

        To your question though: My skills are many and my skills are real. An engineer friend says I am one of the few people he knows who can go from conception of an idea to a finished physical item. My skills are not letters on a piece of paper that proves little more than a bank gave me a loan to sit in a room for a while. My skills are mainly arts and hospitality related, but no qualifications as I have had a somewhat unique working life where the progression of my own circumstances was often put aside as I saw the benefit of what I was doing was greater than my own needs. Take for example the work I did for the Anti-Fees campaign in 1990 where I was paid a stipend of $30 a week (yes , thirty dollars) for an average of 30+ hours a week work.

        I was raised to believe if you work hard, be good to people and deliver the very best work you can, then you will succeed. I can now, after thirty odd years of ‘working’ sincerely call bullshit on that.

        Turns out, if you want to succeed, lie cheat steal rip off the ideas of others and treat people badly.

        Not really my style so though

        • BM

          Yeah, I’ve been in the same situation as what you’re in so I can sympathize a bit.

          Like yourself I have a wide array of skills, but unfortunately I don’t have a lot of paper qualifications and I have to say it does make it very hard.

          Without that bit of paper you’ll find people won’t even bother looking at you which can be a bit depressing, lack of qualifications is sort of the first cutting point HR people tends to start with when sorting through CVs.

          Your best bet would be to either try and get a job with a smaller company or go to Uni or tech and get that piece of paper.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Without that bit of paper you’ll find people won’t even bother looking at you which can be a bit depressing, lack of qualifications is sort of the first cutting point HR people tends to start with when sorting through CVs.

            And what did this government do about that critical, and yet useless, piece of paper?

            Oh that’s right, they made it harder to get one.

        • infused

          WINZ don’t care about your skills. It’s there to get you a job. This has been the case for the last 14 years or so, it’s not a National thing. I had the same issues way back in 2000.

          • Pasupial

            @ infused

            I’ve never met anyone who has got a job through WINZ – do they even have a “work available” notice board in their offices anymore? But I know many who have had; benefits refused, or cancelled, for a variety of spurious reasons. Maybe things were different once upon a time, but nowadays WINZ is there to construct increasingly elaborate bureaucratic hoops for the poor to jump through.

          • framu

            “It’s there to get you a job”

            umm – nope. thats not true in the slightest

            • Draco T Bastard


              These days it’s there to brow beat you off the benefit – job or no.

              • framu

                or send you on a privately provided course where as a post graduate technology specialist or say, an ESL recent immigrant with a masters in accounting you are forced to make collages from womens weekly mags that illustrate your goals and the barriers stopping you achieving them

                didnt go down to well when i asked for photos of the staff to add to the barriers part of my collage

        • weka

          Freedom, do you need to be in employment? Can you manage on the amount a benefit pays? We know there aren’t enough jobs to go around, and you have good work skills so why not go on a benefit and do unpaid work? Do some cash jobs if you need to to top up your benefit.

          There is nothing shameful about being on a benefit in a society that runs a permanent unemployment rate. Doubly so if you have factors like PTSD.

          • BM

            Do cash jobs?
            Are you encouraging tax evasion?

            • weka

              “Do cash jobs?
              Are you encouraging tax evasion?”

              For people that are excluded from tax paying jobs, yes. Do you understand how the abatement process works on benefits?

            • halfcrown

              Are you encouraging tax evasion?

              Nah, only tax avoidance like all the spivs and fat cats.

            • Sable

              If its good enough for the politicians why not someone else more deserving.

          • freedom

            Weka, It was whilst sitting there in the WINZ office explaining the amount of unpaid work that I currently do, the reasons why being put on a sickness benefit would be a backward step in my recovery, acknowledging the employment limitations my illness creates and discussing the unfair abatement process which most likely led to me being told my skills base is irrelevant. It is no surprise I have been told by many people to leave my brain at the door when talking to WINZ as they do not like questions(let alone questions that highlight reality.) The staffer could not answer my simple question why beneficiaries are the only taxpayers whose income is taxed weekly rather than annually. I understand the abatement recovery process and its importance in the Tax system, but should it not be equal for all NZ workers?

            If I go on the Jobseeker Benefit, and cannot secure full time employment, I am unfairly penalised for working hard as an artist. I might be lucky to sell a piece a month, I may only earn a similar amount over that month as an employed person in a p/t job on a weekly wage but that 70c in the dollar above the first hundred dollars is deducted as an abatement in the week the payment was received. Regardless of the many hours, or the many weeks it might have taken to earn it.

            An example:
            a P/T worker on a benefit earns $130 p/w, so $30 is put under the abatement recovery at 70 c in the dollar every week. Fair enough.

            If I sell one carving a month, say for $520 ( for a carving which may have taken over eighty hours work by the way) I lose almost $300 in abatement, whereas a PT worker earning $130 pw loses a total of around $80 for the same period. It is a ludicrous situation.

            I am either forced to arrange special payment circumstances with a client ( that is essentially a good way to lose a sale) or I am forced to lie to the WINZ office (another winner ) And if the payment is made via a bank then WINZ see clearly when it was paid and how much was paid. People are not carbon copies, our lives are not all the same and beneficiaries who secure PT work should not be taxed any differently than other NZ workers.

            This restrictive and highly destructive abatement policy is the principal reason why I have resisted using the current benefit system. The Minister stands in Parliament and lies, the staff do their best to apply that weeks’ rules and the unemployed are left to yap like puppies in a washing machine.

            • AsleepWhileWalking

              Or they could consider the costs of producing that work of Art as a Sole Trader perhaps?

              Benefit Rights Service, Wellington 04 210 2012
              Opposite Community Law on Level 2, Community House
              84 Willis Street,

              Mon 12.30-3.30,
              Tues to Friday 9.30-3ish

              Call them. They are specialists in this area and will be able to help.
              Mainly they work with people in the Wellington & central area, but due to a lack of advocacy services they also work with people in other areas.

              • freedom

                I don’t follow what you mean, could you please clarify it a little?
                What is the sole trader aspect you reference?

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  Aye you should operate your carving work as an annual business / hobby business.

                  IRD would give you some advice on this.

                  This would effectively mean that on an annual basis your income would equal

                  Annual sales
                  Less expenses e.g. New carving gear, rent electricity, etc for where you do carving, etc, stains,
                  Gross taxable income

                  This would be correct for both IRD and Winz.

                  The gross taxable income should be charged across the year i.e. divided by 52 not charged each time you have a sale of product.

                  IRD would want you to do this anyway for tax purposes and there is no reason for WINZ to treat it differently from IRD in treating it as annual income.

                  There are some differences in how WINZ assesses income from IRD eg depreciation is not allowed as a cost by WINZ whereas it is by IRD but most is the same.

                  If you are in an Invalids Benefit you are allowed at extra $20-00 per week exemption if you earn the money yourself – as opposed to interest etc.

                  Remember though you’ll need to. Keep records and receipts for of all your income and expenses.

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    Hmmm pleasantly surprised to see they have updated their website straight away with the actual policies staff have to follow.


                  • weka

                    I agree Sssmith, it’s a good idea and I’ve seen other artists on SB do this reasonably successfully, esp where the business runs at a loss.

                    “The gross taxable income should be charged across the year i.e. divided by 52 not charged each time you have a sale of product.

                    IRD would want you to do this anyway for tax purposes and there is no reason for WINZ to treat it differently from IRD in treating it as annual income.”

                    When you say should, do you mean this is already WINZ policy? The problem is that the dole and SB are considered short term benefits, which is why they require weekly reporting of income.

                  • KJT

                    Then if you receive a sickness or invalids benefit you have to show you are not working in your business at all.

                    Even if its earnings are zero or negative.

                    Don’t know whether it is policy or just one of the many things WINZ staff say to keep their rate of giving out welfare low, for the bonus. You know, the one that does not officially exist.

                    And keeping it at least ticking over is required to earn when/if you can work again.

                    Abatement rates seem almost designed to stop those who have been ill from easing themselves back into work.

                    And abatement rates and stand down periods work to stop unemployed or underemployed taking on brief periods of part time work when available or they are able.

                    The system is designed to be punitive. Something the evil bitch who did the “mother of all budgets’ even admitted.

                    Staff who think it is their job to be as obstructive and nasty as possible do not help when someone is seriously ill.

                    I notice the few kind people I saw in WINZ did not last long.

                  • freedom

                    “and there is no reason for WINZ to treat it differently from IRD in treating it as annual income.”
                    -you would think so wouldn’t you, but since 2009 WINZ policy has been that all income abatement is calculated in the week it is recieved, regardless of the circumstances.

                    I only used the carving work as an example. It is but a small part of the work I do, the majority of which is not commercially focused and that is why I had constructed a working life that supported my studio without having to produce decor items for gallery slaves. Like most folk out there who have been made redundant, I was caught off guard and just having trouble getting things back on track. As KJT mentions, WINZ is not about helping people into work, or assisting people to get ahead. They are certainly not interested in individual circumstances. They are there to protect their own jobs by parroting policy regardless of the obvious harm it is creating.

                    I do appreciate the advice and will look into it again as circumstances allow, just in case there is some policy shift I may have missed.

                    • freedom

                      I would like to apologize for the “without having to produce decor items for gallery slaves.” comment. It was the lack of caffeine and other essential food groups talking. I do not usually malign people in such a base manner. Peace.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith


                      I don’t have time to look right now but this is a useful resource for advocates to see what rulings are on particular cases.

                      No doubt there will be some cases here re self employment.

                      I’d say it’s important to distinguish between the entitlement to benefit e.g. You must be unemployed, available for and actively looking for work for an unemployment benefit, versus you must be unable to work for 15 hours per week for Invalids Benefit against what is income and how income is assessed and abated.

                      The old act defined unemployed as working for 30 hours or less.

                      Not sure yet what the new one says – I’ll have to do some reading.

            • Rosetinted

              You very well show how WINZ hits people in a cruel and odd game to punish you from ever being in your needy situation. The theme seems to be to demean you, not to assist you get useful paid work that doesn’t involve 2 hours travelling a day. There is no respect.

              And they want to keep you poor so you are always vulnerable.
              They want you to suffer, feel miserable and never enjoy anything in life. (Remember the furore about beneficiaries buying chocolate biscuits!) And the ordinary person is quick to seize the opportunity to chorus bludger and cheat to examples of beneficicaries who seem to be taking unfair advantage.

              Hence the abatement so that each effort you make to increase your earnings so you can at least manage your life, the Department reduces your money. These crazy policies must be the fruit of hard thinking by concrete-hard, warped to the point of mental mania, specially chosen sociopaths.

              It is so strange that when the new regime started in the 1980s A.R. (after Ruthless), there was a move to ape business and you wre to be treated like a customer, then one became a client, and now you are a supplicant.

              • freedom

                A person can only speak with any real authority when what they say is factual. When it is based on their experience, not the heresy of others. It astounds me how many people, especially journalists , speak so loudly with such incredulity on the lives of the unemployed. Though they are strangely reticent when pressed on why they own such a limited and ignorant outlook of the circumstances of an unemployed person.

                Unfortunately the inherent flaws that permeate Social Security expose the reality that far too many people have an incredibly restrictive version of the facts. Facts that are all too often being misrepresented on the drawing board. The Social Security mill is so damaged it screeches constantly. Yet all over the country people use the fractured pattern it produces to discuss, wittingly or not, how successful ‘the message’ has been. The media and the societal communication it engages are still tools however. Right tool for the right job is as important a truth as don’t eat the yellow snow. I believe people instinctively know how we use a tool determines what can be created or as we have interminably witnessed, what can be destroyed. This is an age old problem.

                All solutions come from the definition of what is absent.

                For the majority of our country, employment is not.
                Thankfully. Enduring unemployment is not their day to day experience.

                Sharing in that experience however is one of the more beneficial aspects of modern media based communication. With due acknowledgement of the individual but with no nod to malice nor martyrdom, exposing what many would see as failings in life simply allows others to momentarily consider that circumstance. When read in the context of the environment, such as here at The Standard, those moments can contribute to a greater understanding of some of the fundamental absurdities of the modern Social Security provisions.

                Society needs to know its leaders understand that harm is often done just as easily as it is avoided. I am in no way convinced that they do.

            • Opium Eater

              Hey, freedom can you talk to winz and tell them a rough average weekly amount that you would be earning? Then they can take an amount out of your benefit every week at the lower rate. At the end of the year you just need to take your invoices into winz and tally it up. I’m an artist as well and this is what I do. It does depend on who you talk to – I’ve had better luck just ringing up on the phone and saying I’m earning x amount per week now (they just log it into the system and adjust your benefit accordingly) rather than going in and being interrogated.

    • infused 2.2

      Uhh, seek? 15,967 jobs in New Zealand

      • freedom 2.2.1

        and NZ needs another zero on the end of that number, at least

        • infused

          Yeah it does. But to say there are no jobs is stupid.

          • freedom

            infused, you constantly ignore the truth and insist on being unrealistic as to what people infer when saying there are no jobs
            and that is really stupid

            As I am tethering to a prepay dataplan and no longer have a landline I cannot afford to engage as I would wish, but for the sake of your country, try harder to face reality.

          • AsleepWhileWalking

            I can offer a “job” that
            - has a location that is difficult to get to or
            - has casual hours that would seriously unstabilise your life
            - commission only….selling vaccuum cleaners. I’ve done that job and think the title “job is misleading
            - mlm/ work from home! Pay us first
            - advertised in the job section but when you call they want you to pay for training…and sure they say their is a job, but why not offer the contract up front BEFORE you pay for training?

            To quote the number of jobs advertised and use that to claim there are jobs available is horribly misleading. To me a job has actual benefits such as holiday pay, annual leave, freakin lunch breaks etc – when the hell did these become so privileged?

            As for the rest of the “jobs”, they will require relevant experience or specialised qualifications thus eliminating large amounts of job seekers.

            • idlegus

              & what about the person that has been employed at the dunedin processing centre for the last 25 years, suddenly without work, only experience is in processing mail, been on a pretty go0d hourly rate, now has to find a new job. the only jobs on offer are minimum wage cleaning jobs (maybe 1 or 2 hours a day, oncall) or mjobs or call centre work, which they will be competing with 100s of others to apply for, with young & old & now the sick & infirm, do you think itll be easy for them to get a job? you are heartless, try (to use an old cliche) walking a mile in anothers shoes, show some empathy, think a bit harder.

      • karol 2.2.2

        Uhh, seek? 15,967 jobs in New Zealand

        That’s jobs of any kind paying between 0k-200+k per year advertised for NZ in the last 30 days. So let’s break that down a bit (as on Seek NZ):

        Advertised in the last 30 days:

        12,667 Full Time jobs in New Zealand

        820 jobs in New Zealand paying up to $30k per year

        370 Full Time jobs in New Zealand paying up to $30k per year

        4,526 Full Time jobs in New Zealand paying up to $50k per year

        And advertised in the last 14 days:

        7,428 Full Time jobs in New Zealand

        500 jobs in New Zealand paying up to $30k per year

        228 Full Time jobs in New Zealand paying up to $30k per year

        3,909 jobs in New Zealand paying up to $50k per year

        • lprent

          In my experience looking through seek (I have a email every day left over from job-hunting 3 years ago) is that most (>80%) of the jobs in my narrow field are actually repeats within a 30 day period. They are usually repeated by a recruitment agency at least once per week and the same job is usually advertised by more than one agency.

          I can usually tell by the description of the organisation and skill requirements both which company they are from and that the position advertised is the same.

          Most of the positions, because of the high skill requirements in my area, frequently run for more than a month or two before disappearing. For that matter there are several organisations who put a general ad in every week or two, not for a specific position, but for people with roughly the right skills that they may find useful. DPS for instance.

          Relying on absolute stats of total job positions from Seek as a measure of the job market has the approximate validity of reading it from navel lint – none whatsoever. Only a fool or a politician would do so.

          • QoT

            And that’s not even counting the number of jobs which are actually in Australia, or don’t exist because they’re actually just recruitment companies trawling for CVs, or are being advertised because the public sector has to “test the market” superficially before appointing the person they’d already decided to appoint. (No, I’m not still bitter about that last one AT ALL.)

            Still, infused could have done worse by pulling a Gower and adding the number of vacancies on Seek and Trademe.

            • weka

              Or they’re jobs that are being advertised after 5 jobs in a department have been reduced to 3 and all five people have to reapply along with the rest of the country.

              • lprent

                Umm.. I never seem to see any jobs from corporates or government in my feeds (they’re the ones who do that type of timewasting bollocks).

                In my case I guess because of their IT habits of going for the heavy iron and slow database systems – all of which I filter out. Most of the rest of the IT world is moving to cloud server farms, combining smaller code from multiple sources, simpler cheaper development cycles or custom hardware and software for targeted vertical markets.

                And frankly the government should start building a couple of server farms next to hydro dams (manapouri comes to mind) as infrastructure for both their own use and for the use of local businesses who tend to do that kind of stuff overseas at present.

                Of course there is the issue of trust in the government after they push through those mickeymouse GCSB laws allowing breaching security on anything. All that will require is the sayso of a unaccountable court registrar fooled by some crap dredged off the internet and made into a search warrant application, and a followup application to exercise the warrant using the GCSB (something else the court registrar wasn’t aware of).

                Then it can all go through the courts for 5 years arguing about the legal usage of some “accidentally” discovered and illegally obtained evidence about the intent to avoid taxation (which is of course actually legal) made to look like tax evasion (which is not). Yeah, I can see why no-one on their right business mind would want to establish a GCSB accessible cloud here – apart from corporate lawyers and police cowboys of course.

                BTW: What is the bet that those broadcast recruiting systems will probably persist in the public service long long after the business world has dropped them in favour of trawling online CVs and public recommendations.

            • lprent

              …pulling a Gower and adding the number of vacancies on Seek and Trademe.

              Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about Trademe jobs. Actually I notice that I’m getting stalked these days by recruiters on linkedin. I’m rather suspecting that the number of actual high skill and in-demand jobs will diminish on broadcast sites as the recruiters get more used to targeting p2p networks.

              • karol

                So, high end business jobs are becoming all about the online version of shoulder-tapping, rather than “equal opportunities” procedures of opening jobs to applications from anyone?

                • lprent

                  Yeah, I think it is starting to head that way in the rarer skills combos. It has been that way for some time in that recruiters hold your old CVs and data mine those.

                  But these days I am getting contacted by unknown recruiters from organizations that I have never talked to, including overseas ones. They usually show up as having scanned my public LinkedIn profile.

                  The reason is that companies are trying to put increasingly more precise fits into particular key positions. While a lot of skilled people are being increasingly more finicky about continuing to develop their skills if they shift and certainly aren’t that interested in doing the same old same old again. The recruiters are having to work a lot smarter to find people to tempt, to place, and to make their commission.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’ve got a profile on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, LimkedIn’s idea of what my life should have been doesn’t mesh with what it actually was. Feel like I’m hitting my head on a wall every time I try to improve my profile.

                    Then there’s the fact that I try hard not to give out personal information to large corporations.

      • felix 2.2.3

        Wow, 15,967 jobs and only one job-seeker eh?

        What’s the problem then?

    • Sable 2.3

      You are right there is little work out there but of course that’s not why Bennett and co are hard on the unemployed. This government simply need scapegoats to disguise their own abject incompetence and usury.

      I wish you good luck with the job search. :)


      ~ freedom


      …a point that, sadly (cos our government just doesn’t get it), can’t be repeated too much….

  3. KJT 3

    All this, so that a few people on 200k a year can pay $2000 less tax..

    Less than $5.50 a day.

    They spend more on coffees than they are willing to spend to help their fellows who are sick, old, injured or too young or that they have put out of work.

    Working, even briefly, while ill, especially with a mental illness such as depression, is likely to cause such damage to your CV that it is unlikely you will ever get a job again. Especially if you are in a skilled trade.
    Trying to live on an invalids benefit is bad enough. Trying to work at one of the low skilled , and often physically demanding jobs, someone who is ill or injured can get, for almost the same money as welfare, is guaranteed to make your illness worse. Often costing the individual more and keeping them on low pay and/or welfare for longer.

    But it is all good. Nationals private contractor mates are going to make a fortune out of putting people in, short term, pretend jobs.

  4. KJT 4

    “6000 of the 10,000 people in the pilot no longer on a benefit. More than half of those people found work, the rest opted out or cancelled benefits for reasons such as no longer meeting eligibility requirements.”

    Gave up in despair and went to live in a garage under their parents house, turned to crime, were able to live off friends, got a job for a few months until the subsidy ran out, went on lots of bullshit courses which pretend to help the unemployed, ended up on the sickness benefit depressed after the runaround between WINZ and short term exploitative employers, or committed suicide!

    • Jimmie 4.1

      If that scenario was correct then over the last 12 months there would have been a spike in crime – there wasn’t so more likely a number of those who had their benefits canceled had changed their circumstances but hadn’t let WINZ know about it.

      Of course they should be removed so that those that genuinely qualify are not besmirched by those there to game the system.

      And if it save a few million then this is a good thing to

      • karol 4.1.1

        You need to look more closely at the crime stats: how they are recorded and go beyond the MSM spin:

        Auckland University’s Professor of Biostatistics, Thomas Lumley, says neither of New Zealand’s two main media groups comes off well in their reporting of statistics on crime in New Zealand.
        The statistics were released by New Zealand Police for the year to 31 December 2012. They indicate that there were 376,013 recorded criminal offences in 2012, which was 30,043 – 7.4% – fewer than in 2011. This followed a fall of 4.8% in 2011 on the previous year and a fall of 5.6% in 2010 on the 2009 year.

        He says Stuff’s headline was “Crime drop due to ‘tag and release’” (referring to the Police pre-charge warning system which has been called “tag and release” by some lawyers), and it was not until the third paragraph of the story that it is clear the “tag and release” impact was on court workloads “and has nothing to do with number of crimes reported”.
        Professor Lumley also says the Herald report says crime is at its lowest level in 24 years “but the percentage of offences that police solve is also dropping – less than half of all cases”.
        “This is at least technically true, but the drop they are talking about is less than one percentage point, when the resolution rate differs between types of crime by about 90 percentage points. Even a small change in the relative numbers of different offenses would make a one percentage difference in overall resolution rate meaningless,” he says.

        And the stats show an increase in domestic violence – one of the areas most likely to increase when pressures are increased on low income households). From Bomber Bradbury, April 2012

        And in 2011 the number of callouts to domestic violence was 86, 710. No decreases here are there, but wait, here comes the NZ police fairy dust. What has been changed is the way the NZ Police ‘record’ crime so that it looks like it’s falling. In 2010 Police arrested 42, 108 of those 84, 673 call outs, in 2011 they only arrested 39, 983 of the increased call outs of 86, 710.

        Between 2009-2011 there have been 12, 678 less arrests which amounts to an eye watering decrease of 31.7%

        What’s happening here is that the Police, to lower crime rates and lesson the budget costs, are lifting the threshold of violence acceptable before the Police will intervene.

      • KJT 4.1.2

        You forget that WINZ make up the eligibility criteria as they go along. Giving welfare recipients more and more hoops to jump through, useless courses to go on and meetings to attend, until they give up.
        It is the Government, and WINZ, that game the system to pretend there are less on the unemployment rolls.
        I know several personally, including two youngsters who lived in our basement, that are now on the invalids benefit for real, with severe depression, after years of being mucked around between WINZ, dodgy courses and exploitative and cynical employers.
        They are not the bludgers portrayed. In fact they are all so desperate for real jobs, they will work for nothing, to get a work record. Something else that cynical employers exploit.

      • lprent 4.1.3

        If that scenario was correct then over the last 12 months there would have been a spike in crime…

        Ah no. What you are describing is the reported rate, not the actual rate. There are a lot of reasons why some kinds of crimes are less reported than others.

        Petty theft and minor crime which is what you’d expect to show an increase if more people were penniless. The former is usually only reported if the amount is sufficient to cause people to claim it on the insurance who force people to report it – so they can get a case number. The minor crime is usually only reported if someone has to go to hospital or there are police at hand to attend a assault before everyone disperses.

        So an increasing number of penniless unemployed without welfare would tend to increase the number of “victimless” crimes of petty theft and drugs (many of not most of which don’t get reported) rather than violent crimes with much high reporting rates.

        It takes some time for people to graduate from being made penniless searching for non-existent jobs while waiting to get on a benefit, to WINZ dumping people off benefits for arbitrary reasons that make absolutely no sense*, to being forced to thieve or starve, to graduating to serious violent crimes that get reported takes quite a few years after the stupid policy decisions that cause it. Which is why you have idiots like Christine Rankin or Paula Bennett instituting policies that make good short-term sound bites and nasty downstream costs to society.

        But the usual course is for people to start to avoid a hopeless lack of jobs, a vindictive social welfare net by turning to petty crime, then slowly drawing in others around them as they get made redundant and find the same problems. You won’t see a significant upswing in *reported* petty crimes until long after there is a increase in *actual* petty crimes, and that won’t usually happen until people start getting hit often enough by later and larger groups avoiding the unusable welfare system entirely and turning directly from no work to crime.

        We’ve seen all of this pattern happen in my lifetime. You certainly noticed it when helping to run an apartment block in the 90′s and having crimes were flogging cars out of garages, kicking doors in, or sneak thieving through second floor balconies. Half of those were never reported. We just added better systems like making it harder for people to leave security cards in cars and encouraging deadlocks on doors to prevent repeats.

        Sure there are always a few people who will game any system. Most of the time the actual technique that should be used to deal with that issue is to spend money to put in more effective systems to clearly identifying them. However what usually happens is that some numbskull politician makes a dumbarse policy designed to appeal to small minded bigots like yourself with a simple slogan to “save a few million” by targeting people who are on the edge already and bouncing them out of the system and costing the rest of us hundreds of millions in damages.

        But I guess that experience isn’t likely to penetrate your stupidity..


        * The report yesterday in the Herald of a solo dad losing their benefit because some moron at WINZ scheduling mandatory job counselling for DPB recipients at the same time schools close and parents pick up kids is pretty typical. I have a rather large stock of similar systematic idiocies that I have heard and verified over the years**.

        For instance, a person with clinical depression and mild bipolar being arrested at his job of 8 years and tossed in jail without his meds for a weekend on a warrant. It’d been asked for by WINZ nearly a decade before for non-payment of an over-payment of a benefit. It turned out that it had actually been an accounting error by WINZ, they’d known about it and already corrected the error years before. However no-one had thought to withdraw the warrant at the courts and the police acted on it. This was just the final incident in a saga of screwups by WINZ that had made this guy’s life hell for decades. For some strange reason he’d avoided WINZ as if they were the problem.

        Basically with an organisation like that, you’d have to treat it as being the absolute last resort to turn to. Trusting it to be able to run a policy that is more subtle than a hammer would be foolish because it simply hasn’t ever had that ability. And that is since I have knew it in the 80′s when my partner at the time worked as both at the Labour department and later at the DSW. It is safer for society to “waste a few million” on people gaming the system (while spending money to detect them) rather than expecting

        But in the meantime I’d suggest a new slogan for the brand new WINZ structure “Pushing people towards a productive life of crime”. Personally if I had to make the choice then I think I’d prefer to use my intelligence avoiding police and IRD detection rather than having to put up with downright stupidity and petty harassment of WINZ’s existing systems. Having looked at their “new” systems I suspect that the only thing it will do is to induce insurance companies to increase premiums further for everyone over the next decade.

      • Sable 4.1.4

        Given NZ’s shitty suicide reporting laws how do you know they simply didn’t end it or if they have taken to crime maybe they simply haven’t been caught. Maybe they are being supported by working relatives who pay tax and are now paying twice.

    • Except now you can’t be on a sickness benefit if a designated Bratt-pack doctor says you are fit for work. So join the job queue and create more slave jobs.
      The whole point of these reforms is not just to save bosses taxes by cutting welfare, it’s to put another 80,000 people into the job queues on pain of starvation so that they will drive down wages and act as a market incentive for bosses to create more cheap jobs.
      Their main problem is the bosses cannot make enough profits from producing commodities without driving down wages to a 19th century level.
      In the ‘third world’ this is not news, but in OECD countries it is as the so-called ‘middle class’ is driven down into wage slavery.
      A very clear judgement from history that capitalism today has no progressive features and is all about destroying of humanity and the planet.
      Fortunately humanity and the planet are beginning to fight back.

  5. Karen 5

    There are no jobs. I know people who have tertiary qualifications and good work records and don’t even get an interview. Yes, they are applying for jobs well below their skill set; one has taken on a job that is 2 hours cleaning a day, seven days a week, at minimum wage.
    Solo mothers shouldn’t be in forced onto the job market – they have a job looking after their kids. Some have family support that make it easier to work (someone to care for the children when they get sick, after school and in the school holidays). Otherwise it is too hard and the children are going to suffer.The training incentive allowance should be reinstated – it helped Paula Bennet get a qualification but the first thing she does as minister is cancel it.
    This is all about driving us into an even lower wage economy than we are. It is about kicking people who are already suffering. Paula Bennet, Stephen Joyce, Judith Collins and John Key are like a gang of bullies beating up the disabled kid in school.

    • KJT 5.1

      The answer is, of course, a guaranteed minimum income.

      In the sort of steady state economy which we need. One which does not rely on constant growth in resource use, all we need, and a lot of that we want, can be produced without full employment.

      Many jobs, now, cost more in resources and social costs than they are worth. We would be better off to pay Key and Bennett, and treasury, NOT to come to work, for example.

      Full employment is a mirage dependent on a particular set of economic conditions and expanding resource use, which will never happen again.

      Punishing the unemployed is NOT the answer.

      Making people poor so that they chase after non-existant jobs is just to make people desperate enough to take lower wages and even worse working conditions. A race to the third world.

      It shows the shear cognitive dissonance of the RWNJ’s that they see nothing wrong with someone inheriting totally unearned millions from a rich parent, but have a problem with someone having enough for a reasonable life, as their inheritance from their working parents/ancestors, who built New Zealand.

    • infused 5.2

      There are jobs. Probably not jobs you want to do, but they are there.

      The whole ‘there are no jobs’ is fucking stupid. There are plenty.

      • freedom 5.2.1

        You can keep repeating it but that does not magick them into existence.

        Yes some jobs exist but NZ needs lots of jobs.

        Infused, with employment issues you consistently seem to have a loaves and fishes outlook

        • infused

          Because I see these jobs everyday. It blows my mind.

          A lot of my younger friends I know won’t take a job because it’s ‘beneath them’.

          It’s an employers market at the moment, hence the comment above about not getting an interview. There are a lot of candidates to choose from.

          • weka

            “It’s an employers market at the moment, hence the comment above about not getting an interview. There are a lot of candidates to choose from.”

            Yes, dimwit, that’s because there are more people than jobs available. Can you seriously be that stupid? On any given day of course there are jobs available. Just not enough for ALL the people wanting one.

          • Candace

            I have seen quite a lot of low income jobs advertised.
            But the majority still require a specific education requirement which exclude me from applying.

          • Roy

            “A lot of my younger friends I know won’t take a job because it’s ‘beneath them’.”

            You have friends?

          • Draco T Bastard

            A lot of my younger friends I know won’t take a job because it’s ‘beneath them’.

            Have you ever considered that maybe because society views some jobs less favourably than others to the point of even paying less for them even though they still require hard work and are essential to society? It can hardly be the youngsters fault that society has fucked up values. They are, after all, just copying their elders.

          • Rosetinted

            You must mix with some strange people.

      • KJT 5.2.2

        Yeah. And each one has over a 100 applicants.

        I get up to 20 people ringing me every week looking for work.

        That is without advertising and after I sold my business.

      • Pasupial 5.2.3

        @ infused

        As even Bennett herself admits; there is not sufficient work for all NZers who want jobs. This is exacerbated by employers who try to reduce “human resource costs” by forcing those who retain increasingly precarious employment to work excessive overtime. If all available work-hours were to be allocated through a central government run labour agency (Pharmac/ NZ Power style), then there’d be a work-week for everyone who was capable of participating, though it would be less than 40 hours each.

        Under NACT’s; I’ve got mine Jack & devil take the hindmost worldview, such a strategy is unthinkable. Plus Labour’s deputy (soon Leader?) has explicitly ruled out expanding state intervention in markets. KJT’s guaranteed minimum income idea would be effective, but politically not viable, barring a radical shift in the Aotearoan psyche.

        Government should represent the interests of an entire society, rather than an influential moneyed class. But the rats will always have the cash for a ticket out once the nation starts to sink, so why should they care.

        • geoff

          …barring a radical shift in the Aotearoan psyche.

          Did Douglas ask for permission before ramming through Rogernomics? No he did not.

          Sure if Robertson led Labour we’d never do anything as progressive as guaranteed minimum income but if we had somebody that was actually leftwing then you just shove the policy through, because you know it is the best thing for the country and not about being popular.

        • KJT

          Can’t take credit for the idea of a minimum income.
          It has been suggested by many people who are a lot smarter than I am.

          Solves a lot of our current issues, however.

          • Pasupial

            @ Geoff

            You’re right that Douglas went all TINA on us – that seems more an argument for public consultation and debate than contariwise. I genuinely dread Robertson becoming the next Labour leader; “not quite as feeble as Shearer”, is really not much of a rallying call.

            @ KJT
            You can take credit for introducing the idea of a minimum income into this comment thread at least. It would indeed solve so many of our current issues, especially those regarding the stigmatization of beneficiaries.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.4

        There are jobs. Probably not jobs you want to do, but they are there.

        No they aren’t. If they were then there wouldn’t be any unemployed people. This is basic logic that even RWNJ should be able to understand but I’m sure you’ll continue to believe that there are jobs available despite the evidence.

      • amirite 5.2.5

        146,000 unemployed vs. appr.16,000 jobs, yep there’s a job for everyone, eh, confused?

        Oh look, there’s another zero in the number of unemployed!
        You fucking moron.

  6. millsy 6

    No good will come from this.

    The short term outcome will be an increase in homelessness, the long term outcome will be lower wages across the board.

  7. Skinny 7

    As a result of these sweeping changes Kiwi’s can expect crime rates to rise sharply. Home invasions, burglary, fraud etc. Sadly the social costs of domestic violence, child abuse will be a consequence of welfare reform. Forcing people to look for jobs that are simply not there is a disgrace by a ever increasing right wing National Government. Meanwhile white collar crime goes relatively unpunished in this Country.

    • KJT 7.1

      Not to mention all the business closures as their customers incomes disappear, making for even less jobs.

  8. King Kong 8

    Well played National. I always enjoy these beneficiary debates.

    You would have thought after all this time that the left would have worked out how stupid it is to jump up and down about the right to smoke weed and sleep in on the taxpayer dime.

    I am certain that the comments in this post will illustrate that the lesson hasn’t been learnt and this is an issue that the right will connect with the public on, uncontested, forever.

    • framu 8.1

      “jump up and down about the right to smoke weed and sleep in on the taxpayer dime. ”

      which is happening where exactly?

      hint: what goes on in your fevered imagination doesnt count

    • mickysavage 8.2

      Gee King Kong this post went whoosh over your head didn’t it. The post is about reality and that beneficiary bashing is based on a series of myths. You seem to be saying that reality does not matter and the left should learn that the only proper political approach is to keep bashing.

      But that ignores the reality? Are you really saying that reality should be ignored?

    • KJT 8.3

      Even KK should be able to understand the number of Jobless, is a whole order of magnitude greater than the number of job vacancies.

  9. KJT 9


    To busy playing silly power games and white anting David Cunliffe. Or going on about roof painters.

    • Hami Shearlie 9.1

      Just how I feel about Labour too – NZ NEEDS David Cunliffe as Labour’s leader, but the caucus are too concerned about their own future job prospects – They are so selfish and envious of Cunliffe, that they’d rather be in opposition than have Cunliffe as leader – He’s the only inspirational MP they have! Look what’s happening to the Labor Party in Australia since they put Rudd back in as leader – UP UP UP in the polls. Why can’t the Labour Party in NZ take a leaf out of the Aussies book?

  10. freedom 10

    did others find this tool interesting?

    It certainly exposes the focus on beneficiaries as the unwarranted attack that it is. ‘Other’ could surely do with some expansion on its contents.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 10.1

      Wonder if the millions of dollars in additional spy agency costs (GCSB and the other one..SIS??) are included in “defence” or in the mysterious “other” catagory.

  11. ak 11

    Carefully select actors free of all morality and humanity and with the gift of continuous tongue, and appoint them to positions of supreme power and influence. Build stunned compliance via heavy “caring” and “everyman” monopolised propaganda. Slam the jackboot down hard on the weakest and most immiserated; deliver the trifle “saved” and an army of trembling slaves to the tax-dodgers of billions and their parasite agencies and reap the electoral rewards of division and hatemongering. Act on the maxim that knowledge is power in the crushing of nascent dissent. Know with deep certitude that the evil you inflict will gnash on your and your descendants’ entrails for generations. Enjoy your holiday in Hawaii.

  12. Winston Smith 12

    This is a good start, now i’d like to see the tax dodgers dealt to

    • tinfoilhat 12.1

      Yes indeed, the banks and multinationals should start paying their fair share.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      The rich are the problem, not the poor. So this “good start” is actually just making the problem worse as it’s sole purpose it to allow for more tax cuts for the rich.

    • Sable 12.3

      Good lets start with Nationals politician’s and move forward from there.

  13. Skinny 13

    Here is a reminder to you Right Wing brigade that read posts on here. While you will be soon celebrating a spike rise in the polls as a result of these benefit reforms, enjoy it while it lasts as the poll that really matters (next election) will show a massive increase in people voting. And sadly for you right wing lot a high proposition of the 750,000 that didn’t vote last election will vote your lot out!

    • Wayne (a different one) 13.1

      Your a dreaming plonker.

      Those 750k you speak of are too “f…..g” lazy to get of their arses to vote, because most of them are the lazy bludgers who are also too tired get off the couch to look for work.

      The welfare system is alive and well in “Lolly Labour Land”.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.1.2

        This ties in nicely with the post on the lies you believe, you poor sap.

        Reality check – NZ unemployment trends 1999 – 2013.

        So, are you lying as a perfect expression of your low character, or because you got duped by someone else’s lies?

        • framu

          with most of this uninformed punative/crony dross theres only two possibilties.

          theyre either woefully ignorant or in on it.

        • blue leopard

          @ One Anonymous Knucklehead,

          Re the shocking graph you link to:

          Wow! That would be devastatingly illustrative of a monumental failure if the Nat Govt were actually aiming at encouraging job creation (of course most of us know they are not; preferring to keep wages low which high unemployment enables).

          Seems like it would be more accurate to say that the welfare system is alive and well in “Noddy National-Party La-La Land”

      • freedom 13.1.3

        if ‘most’ of those 750 thousand people are unemployed bludgers, then unemployment in NZ is mind-buggeringly worse than we thought. You must be angry about how the Government is lying about the current situation then?


      • Skinny 13.1.4

        Suck it up buddy… The handouts in the millions to Nationals rich mates are coming to an end. Pricks like me with a social conscience are campaigning (just like the right are with benefit bashing) at getting the disempowered to vote. Crunch the numbers YOUR HEADING FOR A LANDSLIDE LOSS :)

        • King Kong

          Even though it has never happened before I am sure it will definately happen this time.

          Others in the left movement must be furious at themselves for having never thought of this strategy before. If only the had made some kind of effort to get these disenfranchised to the polling booths.

        • blue leopard

          Skinny @ 13 and 13.1.4

          Well said

  14. weka 14

    A new way of dealing with hardcore beneficiaries will also be introduced, with the Government trumpeting the success of a pilot trialled in 24 Work and Income offices since October.

    Work and Income says the results are “some of the best from any case management trial” in recent years, with 6000 of the 10,000 people in the pilot no longer on a benefit.

    More than half of those people found work, the rest opted out or cancelled benefits for reasons such as no longer meeting eligibility requirements.

    From today, 91,000 people will be enrolled.

    Hmmm, something fishy here. How long has it been since WINZ had any form of case management? More than 4 years? So NACT removed the case management system (for those that don’t know, this means that every time a beneficiary deals with the dept they deal with a random front line staffer who may have never met them before or know anything about them. You can guess the inefficiency there) and now suddenly they’re trialling case management?

    “hardcore beneficiaries”

    Nice manipulation of definitions there Stuff, thanks.

  15. Tangled up in blue 15

    From today there are fewer benefit categories, as well as compulsory drug testing for jobseekers, sanctions for fugitive beneficiaries and stricter healthcare obligations for parents of young children.

    I think it’s a good thing to identify beneficiaries who can’t give up illegal drugs while job seeking, or are fugitives, or aren’t ensuring that their kids are getting adequate healthcare. Though regarding healthcare obligations I don’t think just beneficiaries should be targeted.

    Also I definitely think we should be helping these people rather than punishing them.

    • Bill 15.1

      as well as compulsory drug testing for jobseekers

      An obvious question. What’s to happen to those on the methadone programme? Obviously their drug test will be positive. Does that then mean that they will be forced to reduce their dosage under threat of entitlements being cancelled? Or does it mean that they are exempt from job seeking?

      • Chris 15.1.1

        It’s not just methadone or illegal substances… There are many people who take prescribed drugs (opiates being one, antidepressants being another) that shouldn’t be used when operating machinery/driving etc. Where does WINZ draw the line.

        • weka

          Someone could do an OIA request on the policy guidelines (something must have been given to staff so they can make decisions).

        • freedom

          ” Where does WINZ draw the line.”

          right across our Nation’s throat, as usual

        • AsleepWhileWalking

          Nothing to worry about, those who are medically certified as addicts don’t get sanctions.
          This is precisely why the Ministry of Health objected to the policy – those who aren’t addicts are more likely to take up even worse substances so that they test clean resulting in higher costs to the Ministry of Health, OR they will deliberately become “addicted” to avoid the policy…resulting in a higher healthcare cost.

          Window dressing. Ugh.

          Bennett read their submission and ignored it.

    • Roy 15.2

      It’s not a good thing as long as eating a poppy-seed bagel can give you a positive test for opiates, which it can, and as long as it is possible to return a positive urinary THC as a result of inhaling sidestream smoke from someone else’s joint which you did not partake of yourself, which it is.

      • Martin 15.2.1

        can a Labour govt do something really radical like ending the stupid “war on drugs”. Then we can get on solving real problems.

        [for benefit of those who need it spelt out for them: do some real online research]

    • AsleepWhileWalking 15.3

      They already have the ability to identify those who “can’t give up illegal drugs”.

      Sorry to disappoint you but this policy is more about window dressing than anything else.

  16. joe90 16

    Years ago my particularly well educated brother reckoned I should read Tolstoy. I never have but talking to him this AM he told me to look up this:

    I sit on a man’s back choking him and making him carry me and assure myself and others that I am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all possible means – except by getting off his back.

  17. Santi 17

    Demonisation? What demonisation?

  18. Rajiv 18

    I am not in favour of generous and indiscriminate state hand-outs. But I think state must invest in its people so that they can become independent productive workers and taxpayers instead of becoming long-term burden.

    For example, on surface it sounds like a great policy to disqualify drug-addicts from accessing benefits. But drug-addiction in itself is the problem that needs to be addressed first. The drug addiction is beyond drug addict’s control. It has become a sickness.

    Cancelling benefit/living allowance of a drug-addict “cold turkey” is like cutting a sick person’s head off instead of curing the sickness. The right and common sense approach would be to identify beneficiaries who are drug addicts, put them on probation, make them go through detox, help them rehabilitate so that they can become productive and responsible citizens. Those who will not cooperate with the program to help them can have their benefit slashed. Simple.

    This should be the decent common sense approach, instead of issuing a populist press release: “9,799″ dole-bludging drug-addicts’ benefits were slashed saving $32193818 of tax payers’ money. A SUCCESS!!!”

    If we as New Zealanders believe in the basic human decency then we should demand that our government (“National” or “Labour”) reflects it.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1

      “…their benefit slashed. Simple.”

      Simple minded. Why not just send them straight to prison?

      • Sable 18.1.1

        That’s already happening as some have no choice but to turn to crime to survive. The other lose outs are the mentally ill who are in prison in record numbers. So much so in fact that there are increasing numbers of councillors working with the mentally ill in these institutions. Of course you are not told this by this deceitful government….

    • framu 18.2

      “disqualify drug-addicts from accessing benefits”

      except that its not about “drug addicts” – its about people failing work place drug tests – you know, the ones that dont measure impairment in any way. If your a drug addict you sidestep this requirement

      And who fails these tests the most in NZ? – people who arent wasted at work (or at interview or whatever) but have smoked cannabis in the last week/month. Think about that – you might be really employable, but because you ate a poppy seed bagel, or were near someone who smoked a joint at a mates place in the weekend – not only do you miss out on the job – you get you benefit cut and you also get labelled a recidivist drug abuser into the bargain.

      Explain just how that is going to do anything for the person involved?
      Will it get them a job?
      Will they be able to pay their rent?
      Will their kids go hungry?
      Will it make it harder to get the next job?

      I think we can all agree that being a drug addict or wasted at work is a bad thing M’kay, and if there are beneficiaries (or anyone really) with chronic persistant drug abuse issues, then we should look to address it – but to go for the “well lets do this test that proves nothing regarding their suitablitiy for a job and if they fail well cut their meagre income” achieves what exactly?

      Its just a way to appear tough, reduce budget and shift the problem elsewhere – its going to do absolutely nothing about getting people into work and its going to shift the fallout away from government books and into the community.

    • weka 18.3

      I am not in favour of generous and indiscriminate state hand-outs.

      There is no such thing as an indiscriminate state hand out by WINZ. I suspect you don’t know much about how benefit entitlements work. They’re are entirely discriminate, the system is set up for that.

      Cancelling benefit/living allowance of a drug-addict “cold turkey” is like cutting a sick person’s head off instead of curing the sickness. The right and common sense approach would be to identify beneficiaries who are drug addicts, put them on probation, make them go through detox, help them rehabilitate so that they can become productive and responsible citizens. Those who will not cooperate with the program to help them can have their benefit slashed. Simple.

      Quite a few problems with that Simple.

      1. not all addiction can be cured. What will happen to those people?

      2. the reasons that people become addicts are varied and complex. For many there are external factors at play that are outside of their personal control. Unless they get assistance with those things, it’s very hard to stop being an addict. Poverty is the most obvious example, but by no means the only one. Think about people who have chronic pain issues.

      3. Various govts have been cutting funding to rehab services for several decades how. Not to diss the good work that many people are doing in this area, but much of rehab now is struggling to cope and is dealing with the extreme end of the spectrum ie people get left until they are in a really bad state. Are you suggesting that a chunk of the health budget goes back into rehab to provide an adequate level of service? How much? Where will the money come from?

      4. I don’t think there is consensus on which rehab models work, but it seems likely that harm minimisation is a useful tool. That means that people controlling their addiction but still using will be refused a benefit and thus plunged into even worse poverty, which will most likely increase drug use and probably crime.

      5. If we were serious about addressing addiction we would look at what causes it and put in solutions at that level.

      6. Stigmatising addicts, like you do in your comment, makes the situation worse. Or do you believe that all chronically ill people should be rehabilitated into “productive and responsible citizens”?

      7. As framu points out, the policy isn’t aimed just at addicts. Who gets to decide who is an addict? WINZ staff who have no training or expertise?

      • weka 18.3.1

        hmmm, random moderation?

      • Rajiv 18.3.2

        Jesus! Where did I stigmatize drug addicts?

        I’d left that comment on Kiwiblog post so maybe I did not phrase it to match Left Wing sensibilities. But guess what, it has no fans at Kiwiblog either, and has been universally voted down.

        I was only talking about drug-addicts who CAN BE HELPED. And I’m sure there are a plenty of them out there.

        That said, YES, there will be drug addicts who cannot be helped. Similarly, there will be people who will remain chronically sick or chronically suffer from severe depression and mental illnesses. They will not be able to become productive. I ABSOLUTELY agree. It’s a shame, that almost no one on the RIGHT is admitting that. They’re too busy trying to get all the “dole bludgers.”

        It is beyond question that there will always be people who need long-term or indefinite public assistance in order to survive. But I may also add that they will form a very small minority.

        Many people can get off benefit with proper assistance from the state and job market.

        It’s really not a Left or Right issue. It’s a human issue. BOTH pragmatism and humane attitude is needed when each beneficiary’s application is processed and reviewed on case by case basis.

        • Bill

          It is beyond question that there will always be people who need long-term or indefinite public assistance in order to survive. But I may also add that they will form a very small minority

          Yeah. And they’re called capitalists.

          • Rajiv

            I just want to ask you an honest question before you write another one liner that makes sense only to your own paranoid brain.

            Do you believe that all “Capitalists” and “profit makers” are sucking everyone else’s blood? Aren’t–at least–some of them serving the public interest, providing goods and services efficiently that everyone needs?

            I’m sure the computer or laptop and many of the softwares that enable you to type and post these comments are the products of Capitalism. No?

            Stop turning politics into an orthodox religion. Not everything is black and white.

            @ One Anonymous Knucklehead— See above for definition of Simplistic.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Do you believe that all “Capitalists” and “profit makers” are sucking everyone else’s blood?


              Aren’t–at least–some of them serving the public interest, providing goods and services efficiently that everyone needs?

              No. In fact, due to the dead weight loss of profit and the added costs of “competition” and the banking sector, it’s the least efficient way of providing those services.

              I’m sure the computer or laptop and many of the softwares that enable you to type and post these comments are the products of Capitalism. No?

              No, they were the result of people wanting to produce them because it was a challenge. Capitalism’s only role in that was to exploit those people’s willingness to work hard.

              Oh, and it was all paid for by the government.

              • Rajiv

                “No, they were the result of people wanting to produce them because it was a challenge. ”

                True, that some entrepreneurs wanted to produce these high-tech gadgets and loved the challenge and thrill of it—Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. But they also wanted to make money.

                There are plenty of international entrepreneurs who create, innovate new products and services for the thrill of it. But they definitely want to make money too.

                What’s the name of that British adventurer/Billionaire? Richard Branson– do you think he is a Capitalist thug and should be sent to prison for making life hell for working class and poor people?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  True, that some entrepreneurs wanted to produce these high-tech gadgets and loved the challenge and thrill of it—Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. But they also wanted to make money.

                  Two things:
                  1.) Steve Jobs didn’t create a single thing in his entire life. He got rich marketing other peoples inventions, i.e, a perfect example of parasite
                  2.) Bill Gates actually produced stuff but most of the innovation came from those working for him or copied from other sources

                  There are plenty of international entrepreneurs who create, innovate new products and services for the thrill of it. But they definitely want to make money too.

                  Its not that they want to make money, it’s that they have to because the system demands it of them.

                  I also didn’t say anybody should go to prison. What I’ve said is that the system needs to be changed so that those who actually create the wealth, the workers, have a say in how much the administrators get paid. Under that condition, I think you’ll find that such wealth as that of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs will no longer accumulate. I’ve also advocated for the removal of patents so that people are free to innovate.

                  • Rajiv

                    Obviously you do not believe in the individual’s contribution to society. Ever heard of Thomas Edison? He had HUNDREDS of patents. He invented and perfected them. He didn’t force an army of workers to come up with many of those ideas. But you refuse to give any credit to individual’s achievement.


                    “Its not that they want to make money, it’s that they have to because the system demands it of them.”

                    Oh really??? Vow man, I just feel so sorry for many of these Billionaires who fly around the world in their private jets, sail around the world in their yachts with all the luxury, glamour and kitchen hands and bartenders at their beck and call.

                    Oh no! So……. they don’t really want all that luxury, comfort and adventure that money can buy them?

                    In fact, they are FORCED to have those lifestyles. Ah, poor Richard Branson……. forced to own everything…..because of the system…. Tch tch tch…

                    There are Soooooo many billionaires and millionaires in this world who’d rather not have all that money. They just want to work for the common good, for the little man, for the community without expecting any personal rewards or having anything as disgusting as “Private Property.”

                    I see. You have such great insights.

                    • McFlock

                      actually, Edison perfected a system of getting other people to invent things with him owning the intellectual property. That’s when he wasn’t outright stealing other people’s inventions such as motion pictures, or managing a propaganda campaign against Westinghouse’s more efficient alternating current (Edison was a DC fan).

                    • karol


                      Who invented the electric light bulb first?

                      And who usually gets the credit?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Obviously you do not believe in the individual’s contribution to society.

                      Didn’t say that at all. In fact, I tend to think an individuals contribution to society should be recognised. The problem is that it’s more often the company that get recognised and not the individuals who came up with the idea and it’s also the company that ends up with all of the proceeds because they hold the patent and not the individuals because the system has work done at a company belongs to the company. I view this as theft.

                      Oh no! So……. they don’t really want all that luxury, comfort and adventure that money can buy them?

                      The billionaires aren’t the ones producing anything. They’re the ones stealing from those that do. It’s the workers who aren’t doing it for the money specifically. They need the money to survive but, IMO, most of them would still produce that innovation even if they weren’t paid just so long as they had a place to call home and food on the table, i.e, didn’t have to stress about paying the mortgage.

                      There are Soooooo many billionaires and millionaires in this world who’d rather not have all that money. They just want to work for the common good, for the little man, for the community without expecting any personal rewards or having anything as disgusting as “Private Property.”

                      Didn’t say that either. The billionaires work against the people. Always have done, always will do.

                    • ropata

                      The integrated circuit was cpnceived by a scientist working for the British Ministry of Defence

                      The internet and communications protocols were developed by the US military and research institutes

                      Yes IBM, and other silicon valley luminaries were the major inventors of the personal computer but the notion of a private company and patent laws and labour laws and banks and a medium of exchange are all upheld by government.

                      Not to mention education and protection and lifestyle of the engineers …

            • weka

              Capitalists are people too (it’s true!)

            • Bill

              Do you believe that all “Capitalists” and “profit makers” are sucking everyone else’s blood?

              Care to supply a reasonable list of manufacturers or the goods thereof that don’t rely on externalising large parts of the costs of production?

              And when you’ve done that (shouldn’t take more than a moment to realise there aren’t any) – would you care to explain to me how the wage system can be reasonably held to be anything other than a system of sanctioned theft?

              Then can you supply a list of products that have been manufactured and distributed where the possiblity to manufacture and distribute wasn’t initially driven by calculations of potential profit and later by actual profit and/or massive subsidies from the public purse in the pre-production area of research and development?

              And then could you maybe give a run down of all the major global banking institutions that have stood on their own two feet and not gouged the public purse via bailouts?

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re too mean.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And then could you maybe give a run down of all the major global banking institutions that have stood on their own two feet and not gouged the public purse via bailouts?”

                I’ll save him the trouble:
                Subsidising Banks
                Either Fractional Reserve Banking Is Fraudulent or It Has to Be Subsidised

                Banks are the perfect example of the ripoff that is the capitalist system.

                • Rajiv

                  I never supported the international finance and banking system. Sure, it has its rotten bits.

                  But the truth is international finance and trade system is a necessary evil. Someone will always be in charge somewhere. But it is well-documented that wherever Left wing governments took charge they brought horrendous miseries– Soviet Union, Communist China (especially before it embraced state capitalism), North Korea.

                  Compared to Stalin and his gulags, give me corrupt bankers any day. At least we can catch them and try in court and generally keep an eye on them. Who would mess with totalitarian communist government that would imprison and kill all individuals who speak against their system.

                  I’m all for fairness and equality (within reason). Some degree of inequality will always exist because of natural differences between human beings. Some guys will be short, some tall, some excessively intelligent, some not so much. For example, not everyone can be given a chance to play for All Blacks. Only the strongest and most skilled MEN will play for All Blacks. No egalitarianism there. World works–more or less– on similar principles.

                  This unhindered international Socialism that you preach will sink us all. Because at the end of the day, only corrupt leaders and the Elite of the Left will enjoy all the power. We all know that.

                  Do Left’ leaders and academics really give a shit about the little man or woman? Maybe some do. But Most of them don’t. They just use their poverty, frustration and anger to grab power for themselves.

                  The deeper you look into Left’s powerful and manipulative elite more you realize how much better current Liberal democracies are. (But they can be better).

                  • handle

                    More Randian self-loathing. Sad.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    But it is well-documented that wherever Left wing governments took charge they brought horrendous miseries– Soviet Union, Communist China (especially before it embraced state capitalism), North Korea.

                    NZ, 1935 which brought us out of the depression that had hit the entire Western Empire and started, for the times, a golden age of egalitarianism…

                    Oh, wait, that wasn’t what you were getting at?

                    The “commun1st” countries of last century weren’t commun1st – they were, and are, state capitalist. The hallmark of a commun1st country is participatory democracy and none of the “commun1st” countries of last century had that.

                    At least we can catch them and try in court and generally keep an eye on them.

                    After crashing the world economy through massively fraudulent actions they’re – still walking free and getting massive bonuses. Doesn’t sound like being held to account to me.

                    For example, not everyone can be given a chance to play for All Blacks. Only the strongest and most skilled MEN will play for All Blacks. No egalitarianism there. World works–more or less– on similar principles.

                    Ah, the usual over simplification of how the world works to justify massive inequality.

                    This unhindered international Socialism that you preach will sink us all.

                    So far, it’s been socialism that’s kept the capitalist society going for as long as it has. The removal of that socialism over the last thirty years is what’s brought about the poverty and deprivation that we see today as well as the latest installment of Great Depression.

                    Because at the end of the day, only corrupt leaders and the Elite of the Left will enjoy all the power.

                    Under socialism there is no elite, that only happens under capitalism – just like we see ATM throughout the world. The “elite” that’s been ripping the world off to the tune of trillions of dollars.

                    The deeper you look into Left’s powerful and manipulative elite more you realize how much better current Liberal democracies are.

                    Mere assertion. My own readings over the years shows that it’s the leaders of the right that are sociopathic manipulators.

                    • Rajiv

                      “Under socialism there is no elite, that only happens under capitalism.”

                      That qualifies for the joke of the day. Hilarious!

                      I admire you for your blind faith in your Political Religion. I also pity you.

                      Take care.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That qualifies for the joke of the day. Hilarious!

                      And that just proves your ignorance and unwillingness to accept fact.

                      I admire you for your blind faith in your Political Religion.

                      I believe in reality which you obviously don’t.

                    • So far, it’s been socialism that’s kept the capitalist society going for as long as it has.

                      It’s one of the (many) odd features of libertarians that they just blithely ignore this. The only reason modern capitalism doesn’t look exactly how Marx described it is because of all those pesky socialists over the last century and a half who fought to implement the various impediments to exploitation that so vex modern capitalists. The libertarian just pretends it isn’t so and continues merrily on his deluded way.

                  • KJT

                    The breadth of cognitive dissonance shown by Raj here is amazing.

                    Nasty authoritarian repressive fascist totalitarian surveillance states, like Soviet Russia, capitalist Indonesia, Fascist Germeny, Pinochet’s Chile, Keys New Zealand, to name only a few, even if they call them-selves socialist, do not do well.

                    Soviet Russia was democratic and socialist, the soviets, for about a fortnight before the socialists were executed.

                    Those with unfettered capitalism, Somalia, are even worse off.

                    Real democratic Socialist States, like the USA, when they had 91% taxes on millionaires, Britain in the 60′s, New Zealand until the 70′s, Australia until recently, Sweden until they got bitten by the neo-liberal bacteria, Finland, Norway Switzerland etc etc, were doing rather well.
                    All that have adopted the neo-liberal prescription have since gone downhill by all indicators, including the favorite ones of the right, like GDP.

                    It must be very difficult for RWNJ’s like Raj when reality does not agree with them. Or may be they do not have the intellectual capacity to even notice.

                    • Rajiv

                      More comedy.

                      Somalia, a Capitalist/ Libertarian state. Sure! I’m so impressed with your intellect that I’m totally speechless.

                      This is the perfect reaction fundamentalist religionists have when their religious claims are questioned. They start speaking in tongues or go insane with self-righteous anger.

                      Don’t worry Left Wing Nut Job, friends. I won’t disturb your delusions. Go easy on yourself. You will always have plenty of other LWNJs to hang out with.

                    • lprent []

                      Don’t worry Left Wing Nut Job, friends

                      I do notice that you didn’t actually deal with the comparison by showing why it wasn’t valid. I guess you are too stupid or too ill-informed to point out the flaws in the comparison. But I guess you are too engaged with your own religion to look at it dispassionately.

                      Of course we have seen a pile of wee plonkers with unquestioning faith similar to yours in the past. There are literally thousands of comments in the archive discussing the comparison between an ideal libertarian society full of the freedom individual choice and the current disintegration into lawlessness and warlordism that has been somalia over the last 30 years. To date I haven’t seen a single member of the order of faithful libertarians actually manage to describe why their ideal society wouldn’t deteriorate into a similar mess.

                      I guess is because they don’t think much. You certainly don’t seem to.

                    • framu

                      speaking of comedy – are the libitarians still going to build that floating wonderland that they all keep threatening to decamp to?

                  • Bill

                    This unhindered international Socialism that you preach will sink us all. Because at the end of the day, only corrupt leaders and the Elite of the Left will enjoy all the power. We all know that

                    See. I abhore any notion of state communism/democratic centralism. But maybe you weren’t referring to me?

                    Moving on, I find it odd that although you claim to be a libertarian you also claim this:-

                    Someone will always be in charge somewhere

                    Kinda flies in the face of any libertarian values really, dunnit? Then again, to imagine that bankers will be brought to courts of justice kind of assumes the existence of a state that maintains/dispenses law and order. Another unacknowledged reality of the right wing (essentially) corporatist standpoint of those who adopt and abuse the term ‘libertarian’.

                    And as a sidenote, I do wish social democrats and liberals would stop referring to proponents of right wing ideology as libertarians – they ain’t. That tradition is a tradition of the left that has bugger all in common with free market fantasists.

                    • Rajiv

                      @ “Iprent”,

                      You call me stupid because I don’t agree with your conspiracy theories or conform to your half-baked concepts. Do you even KNOW where Somalia is?

                      I’ve personally known Somalians, or rather, Somalian New Zealanders. Never heard them talk about their country as Capitalist or Libertarian. But that’s the pap you’re fed by your Ideological Masters. You will exploit someone else’s misery to support your Religion.

                      You call me “stupid” because I wont agree with your Religion. Yet, you do not have the courage to espouse these ideas under your REAL name. You consider it safe to hide behind a dumb username.

                      What are you, a closet Socialist?

                      Come out of the closet my Lefty friend. We, who believe in Liberal Democracy, won’t hurt you. Because we believe in free speech, free thought and respect your right to be deluded.

                      [karol: now you are really showing your ignorance. lprent is his real name, as a large number of people know, and he is the sysop here and a moderator. Otherwise it is Standard policy to maintain the privacy of those who choose to comment/or post under pseudonyms.

                      Also, you should take note of the blog policies]

                    • lol that was very funny – god rightwing libertarians are a joke

                    • McFlock

                      Shit, Lynn – you’re not really a SOCIALIST are you?! Say it ain’t so!

                    • ropata

                      @Rajiv re:religion, do you think that poor children should be left in the gutter to die because it’s their karma? Or that poor girls should be sold into prostitution at the age of 6 because of their low net worth in the village?

                    • wtl

                      @Rajiv. He’s calling you stupid because your writing and arguments are pretty stupid. Here’s how it looks to me (paraphrasing):

                      lprent: A purely libertarian country would degenerate into something like Somalia. I haven’t seen any convincing arguments otherwise. You don’t have one, do you?

                      rajiv: But Somalians don’t call their country Libertarian so it can’t be Libertarian*. And you are a socialist**. So obviously you are just blindly following the Socialist Religion because no one could possibly disagree with my True Libertarian Beliefs for any other reason. Whine whine, everyone here is mean to me***.

                      * If we are using what a country residents’ call their country (officially or otherwise) as the best evidence of the political system in that country than I suppose Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the perfect example of a democratic country? Not to mention the fact that lprent didn’t actually say the people Somalia intended their country to be Libertarian, but instead indicated that a true Libertarian country would “deteriorate into a similar mess” as Somalia.

                      ** You complain about people discounting your arguments by calling you stupid then use word socialist as a proxy for calling lprent stupid without actually addressing his argument with an even remotely convincing counter-argument. Hypocrite, much?

                      *** Seriously, dude, grow up.

                      You better go back to writing your “postgraduate thesis”. Given the level of intellectual rigour you’ve shown here, it’s going to need a LOT of work.

          • Sable

            You have it in one (smile)

        • framu

          the thing is – your going on about drug addicts – the benefit reforms arent

          “Many people can get off benefit with proper assistance from the state and job market.”
          yeah – thats what pretty much everyone else is saying too – but the benefit reforms arent this.

          ergo – your talking about something else

          for me – its not that your wrong or i disagree – its that your talking about something completely different

          and just an FYI – i think this ” Those who will not cooperate with the program to help them can have their benefit slashed. Simple.” might be the bit where you stigmatize drug addicts.

          • Rajiv


            Okay, fine. Time out.

            Show me a naked chic. I don’t care if she is from Left or Right.


            • framu

              dude – WTF is your problem? – no ones attacking you, reasonable language is ensuing and discussion points are being posted and discussed. Its all pretty civil from where i see it.

              So – are you at all interested in a discussion, (you know that thing where someone says something, someone replies and round and round it goes) or do you want to post something then have a whine because no-ones going “totes amazing!”?

              ive raised a pretty major hole in your argument – the policy isnt aimed at drug addicts

            • Sable

              If you don’t like this site there are plenty of right wing sites (including the mainstream press) to give your neck that warm red glow…

              • KJT

                Hey Sable.

                I am a redneck. I work for my living.

                Rajiv is an ignorant twit.

                Like most RWNJ authoritarian apologists.

        • blue leopard


          The State would not create what you suggest because “it would cost too much”. [high whingey voice for the last part of the sentence please]

          Despite both left and right having followed policies that create job losses, high unemployment, loss of rights, and slowly degenerating conditions neither really wish to address these costs– that these policies create.

          I believe that this comes down to low wages and a hungry population (will work in any conditions, the worst, “just give me a crust”) being the desired conditions of those that give political parties the most money to spend on the propaganda that is required in order to get people voting for this shit.

        • weka

          “Jesus! Where did I stigmatize drug addicts?”


          “The right and common sense approach would be to identify beneficiaries who are drug addicts, put them on probation, make them go through detox, help them rehabilitate so that they can become productive and responsible citizens.”

          You believe that drug addicts are not productive and responsible citizens. That suggests to me that you have some stereotypes in your head about what drug addicts are, and possibly prejudices.

          “I was only talking about drug-addicts who CAN BE HELPED. And I’m sure there are a plenty of them out there.”

          So how about addressing the rest of the points I made in regards to that?

          “That said, YES, there will be drug addicts who cannot be helped. Similarly, there will be people who will remain chronically sick or chronically suffer from severe depression and mental illnesses. They will not be able to become productive.”

          What makes you think that permanent medical beneficiaries are not productive?

          If you are getting negative reactions to your comments, perhaps it’s because of the language you are using, or the way you think about the world.

          “Many people can get off benefit with proper assistance from the state and job market.”

          “It’s really not a Left or Right issue. It’s a human issue. BOTH pragmatism and humane attitude is needed when each beneficiary’s application is processed and reviewed on case by case basis.”

          Riiiight. So what makes you think that either NACT or Labour are going to do that, given they’ve both been in governments in the last 25 years of permanent unemployment rates? Any ideas as to why WINZ hasn’t been functioing in the way you suggest it should? And what are you going to do pragmatically and humanely with the people that there aren’t any jobs for?

          • Rajiv

            True. I’m not too concerned about Left or Right government in New Zealand.

            National has popular support at the moment. Labour is doing pathetic in the polls. Don’t blame me. Ask the people. Most New Zealanders voted National in power in the last two terms. They may do it again in 2014.

            Ask them why they do such a stupid thing and benefit 1% or 2% of the Capitalists in New Zealand. I seriously would like to know. Can you tell me?

            • McFlock

              Most New Zealanders voted National in power in the last two terms.

              That’s a lie.

            • Te Reo Putake

              “Ask them why they do such a stupid thing and benefit 1% or 2% of the Capitalists in New Zealand. I seriously would like to know. Can you tell me?”

              Control. Fear. Class. Bigotry. Ignorance. Apathy. Control.

              And this regarding drug testing the economically disenfranchised in NZ:

              “Victimless crimes are the lifeline of the RIGHT virus. And there is a growing recognition, even in official quarters, that victimless crimes should be removed from the books or subject to minimal penalties. Those individuals who cannot or will not mind their business cling to the victimless-crime concept, equating drug use and private sexual behavior with robbery and murder. If the right to mind one’s own business is recognized, the whole shit disposition is untenable and Hell hath no vociferous fury than an endangered parasite.”

              WS Burroughs.

            • weka

              Rajiv, so I take you are not interested in responding to points that people raise about comments.

            • Martin

              NZ’ers worship displays of power. This is why Key got in. Muldoon wasn’t popular for his good looks

    • AsleepWhileWalking 18.4

      @Rajiv, you have misunderstood the policy. Addicts are not KICKED OFF A BENEFIT, they are exempted from the work test.

      • Rajiv 18.4.1


        The original comment was posted on Kiwiblog. I was trying to cushion the blow thrown at ALL “beneficiaries”. I was trying to tell them that demonization of ALL beneficiaries– drug addicts for example– isn’t fair.

        But apparently, same comment posted here makes me a prejudiced RWNJ. Interesting.

        • framu

          perhaps you should have factored in

          a) its a different audience
          b) quite probably the conversation isnt exactly the same – so the same comment/reply interaction wont be exactly the same

          either way the point is your having a discussion with the people here – so talk to them. Theres plenty of discussion of your comment that is open, honest and providing opportunities to examine, debate, rebut, argue, whatever

          but if your going to ignore the substance of replies and skip about the place dont be too surprised when people get a bit tired of it. Different people have openly asked you if your going to bother with the points raised in response to you

          PS: playing the victim doesnt help much either

          • felix


          • Rajiv

            Maybe you haven’t noticed that I alone, a single person, have been discussing and debating with at least half a dozen people on here. It’s like- as Kierkegaard said- getting trampled to death by geese. Or rather getting nibbled to death by rabid Left Wing Piranhas.

            As my last comment mentions, I find you guys very funny too. But I can tolerate and enjoy only so much ridiculousness in a single day.

            I have no interest in “discussing issues” with your childish minds that equate Somalia–a country plagued by tribalistic wars and Islamic fundamentalism– with a Capitalist/Libertarian country. Pathetic.

            It’s like telling a Religious nut that there is no God. Not only the discussion will NEVER end, it will continue to get more and more grotesque.

            You enjoy your intellectually deficient and dishonest LWNJ religion and discuss/hang out with YOUR OWN Friends.

            • Bob


            • framu

              oh you poor wee dear.

              and for the record – whats so silly about repeatedly pointing out that your incorrect? Surely you would challenge the assertion or accept it and move on – but here its taken multiple attempts by multiple people for you to accept that the drug testing policy doesnt apply to drug addicts – which is where you started

              Kind of points out the problem is you, you harassed victim of socialist jackboot oppression you.
              The funny thing is – ive been nothing but civil to you, youve refused to respond in any way that proves you can read, yet you unload your frustrations at me – kinda weird buddy

              • Rajiv

                A piece of advice for you: If you really care about the rights of the down-trodden and poor workers then stop spending all your precious time on this website’s comments section.

                Go out, fight for justice and WORK.

                I have a postgraduate thesis to write and I’m at work right now, unlike you.

                Good Luck in all your future endeavours (if there are any).

                • McFlock

                  the Ego has departed…

                • framu

                  “I’m at work right now, unlike you”

                  mate – with all due respect (which isnt much) stick your sanctimonious assumptions up your authoritarian backside

                  “I have a postgraduate thesis to write” – WOAHHHH – i thought you held ideas that were so powerful they didnt need to be discussed?

            • felix

              “I can tolerate and enjoy only so much ridiculousness in a single day.”

              Off you fuck then. And don’t worry your precious little head, plenty of people come here all the time saying exactly the same things as you, so your devastatingly original thoughts and ideas won’t be missed for long.

              • Rajiv

                So, plenty of people come to your ghetto eh? That must keep you entertained, because you apparently have nothing else to do than sit here all day and pick fights with “RWNJs”.

                Throwing F-words like that under your fake username….Some balls you got mate. I’m sure your Left testicle is bigger than the Right (assuming you got two).

                • framu

                  oh the fake name argument – who is rajiv? all anyone here knows is the name is a collection of pixels – there is no proof that rajiv even exists

                  shit you plonker – that arguments been done to death and found wanting. You dont know anyone here and we dont know you – ergo – as long as the names are consistant theres no problem

                  for example – felix might be felix’s real name, rajiv might be what you call your todger – but it doesnt matter.

                  it is interesting that you veneer of reasonableness is now gone, and your now just being a whining little self made victim – well done. Youve achieved libitarian bingo

                  The fight you talk of is all of your own making – own your shit or get schooled on it

                  • Rajiv

                    Lost your temper eh? Tch tch. So, that’s the Socialist debate tactics eh? When you think you’re losing you throw a hissy fit like a little school boy. Very mature.

                    You know full well, Rajiv is my real name. There is a link to my blog and more details about me on About page. I’m sure you’ve checked it already.

                    I am not afraid to use my real name because expressing my opinions and disagreeing with other people’s opinions is my Democratic right as a New Zealander.

                    I will not allow you to take away my democratic rights and freedom through your name calling and abusive language.

                    Take a nap or something.

                    P.S. — Where are the “mods” on this blog when you need them? Please notice, the other guy–Felix– used the F-word first, directed at me.

                    [karol: I can moderate comments under my posts like this one, though I tend to leave most of it to the main site moderators, which includes lprent, AKA Lynn Prentice. He tends to have little tolerance for breaching the part of the site policy related to abuse of Standard authors. I referred you to the site's policies. Robust debate is accepted but pointless abuse is not. Some commenters have responded quite aggressively to your comments after a time because you have started to exhibit behaviours that look trollish - derailing the discussion rather than taking note of what people say and making a serious attempt at engagement.

                    I also draw your attention to this part of the site policy on behaviour resulting in banning. "Abusing the sysop or post writers" is high on the list. You have already stepped into that territory with your abuse of lprent who is both sysop and post writer. He and other moderators who have been online for a long while pick up on trollish behaviour pretty quickly.

                    You have already drawn attention to yourself in this way]

                    • McFlock

                      Well, if you link to a blog it must be your real name. For when has the interweb ever been wrong?

                      You are confused if you think that your freedom of expression means that nobody else is allowed to call you an idiot. When you fail to read the rules of the blog you come to, repeatedly fail to address points raised by others, and the person you chose initially to accuse of “hiding” behind a handle is probably the person whose identity is most freely available. All the while oozing a completely unwarranted intellectual arrogance. All put together, “idiot” seems to be a moderate description.

                      You’re a absolute idiot, and yet you seem to be perfectly unaware of that fact.

                      But felix did use a rude word. I’m sure everyone’s really cut up about that, a randian superhero like yourself being exposed to the rough patois of the hoi polloi. Fucking disgraceful.

                    • Rajiv


                      You cite me your rules. Great. Every blog should have some rules, especially regarding defamation and abuse. But at the same time, you seem to exercise protectionism towards other commenters who step over those rules just because they agree with your political opinions?

                      How is this fair? Such moderating behaviour is prejudiced and partisan, not free debate. Not once did you warn any others with your Bold caution. Only me.

                      In all fairness, you should add something in your rules and policy that says,

                      “Commenters are to adhere to our political opinions and desist from airing theirs when they strongly contradict ours and majority of our readers’.”

                      I have not noticed such prejudicial moderation being practised at other “Right Wing” blogs such as Kiwiblog.

                      I do not believe in personal attacks. I only reserve the right to disagree with others’ opinions and express my own.

                      All said, I will be mindful of your blog policy in future. Meanwhile, you can think over my assessment and suggestions for the sake of professionalism.

                      [karol: it has nothing to do with opposing political views being censored. There's right wingers who comment here frequently and stay within the bounds of the rules. Some of the left wing commenters also get moderating comments and/or bans from time to time.

                      It's about how you express your views, and the fact that, after a while some commenters have got a little annoyed with your style (see framu @ 11:23 am on the way you've raised issues, got a response, then not responded but skipped off onto another point) - it starts to like a little like trolling. Good on you if you take notice of the rules]

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I do not believe in personal attacks.

                      And yet, except for a coupe of comments, all I’ve really seen from you is ad hominem attacks on others such as:
                      I admire you for your blind faith in your Political Religion.
                      I’m sure your Left testicle is bigger than the Right (assuming you got two).”
                      And there’s several others throughout this thread. Basically, you make some assertions, get called on them and then go all abusive.

                    • framu

                      i dont think rajiv is ever going to get it – life’s tough when the world wont recognise your brilliance i guess.

                      The funny thing is rajiv (well apart from this weird idea that your existance on these comments somehow means everyone is going to rush off to your blog) is that you complain about prejudice, but launch all sorts of assumptions and attacks against other, avoid debate, side step repsponses – and to top it all off, while your doing that youve completely missed that people like big bruv, winston smith, insider, infused, shit even red baiter manage to have waaaay more successful conversation here than you have so far. They’re all pretty staunch righties who dish it out in a highly robust manner at times.

                      Why is it always the libitarians who have so much trouble with this issue of self importance?

                    • Rajiv


                      You and others have accused me of not addressing issues raised by others. Well, it is humanly impossible for one person to address issues raised by 10 different people at the same time.

                      Anyone is more than welcome to leave comments/ discuss issues on my blog. I also allow people to email me directly. I have no need to hide behind fake identities or usernames, or make myself inapproachable after leaving “inflammatory” comments on some online public forum. Only cowards and devious people do that.

                      I abhor extremism: whether religious or political. Although I am beginning to conclude that political extremism is much more repulsive than the religious kind.


                      Draco, Karol and other “mods”,

                      It’s very convenient for you to quote me randomly and point fingers. The comment before mine–about “testicle”– had directed “fuck” at me. I was provoked. It is possible to disagree with someone or their opinion without resorting to swear words. But apparently some people do not have the skill, patience or manners to stay civil.

                      I personally don’t have anything against swear words. But, in a debate, one swear word begets another, and before long it turns into a shit-storm. I cannot waste my time being stuck in a meaningless exchange of abuse.

                      Even people doing crap jobs in New Zealand (and I have done plenty in the past) make the minimum wage of $13.75 per hour for their time. But what possible benefit I could derive by fruitless “discussions” unless of course I too get PAID like some of you moderators do (I guess)? I am NOT affiliated with any political factions, Unions, or blogs who “look after me”, unlike you.

                      I don’t mind endless debates–even the meaningless kind– if I’m getting paid. Otherwise, it’s like getting shortchanged. Probably, most of you with anti-money, anti-capital, anti-private property Socialist/Marxist ethos don’t exactly get what I’m talking about.

                      I could explain. But I choose not to. Life is short.

                      Ta ta for now.

                    • McFlock

                      ” it is humanly impossible for one person to address issues raised by 10 different people at the same time”.

                      And yet if it was on your blog (or via email) you’d be able to manage it.

        • felix

          Not really that interesting Rajiv.

          What is interesting is the victim status you seem to be setting yourself up for. Has anyone actually called you a “prejudiced RWNJ”? Or have they just pointed out that you have no idea what you’re talking about?

          • Rajiv


            Maybe all those right wingers you name–I’ve read some of their comments, by the way– manage to have a successful conversation with you because they’re of YOUR calibre. I apparently am not. Sorry, I have failed you. Wait for one of those to come back.


            It is my understanding that not EVERYONE who struts around in the comments section of The Standard would come to my blog or email me. That’s why I could manage.

            Have a nice life on Planet Socialist.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Jeez, what a pompous git. You do realize you’re not the first righty extremist to come here and lecture us on where we’re all going wrong, eh. Every six months or so another libertarian pops up, gets schooled, has a wee cry about how unfair it all is, then disappears shouting ‘they’re censoring me’. You’re just the latest in a long, lonely line of the terminally deluded, Rajiv. Good luck with your blog; I had a quick look and the first thing I noticed was a whine about leftist ‘censorship’, which actually turned out to be you having a sook about getting bested by QoT on TDB. Not a great start. And what’s with the password only post, eh? That’s a form of censorship, too, you know.

              • Rajiv

                Te Reo,

                First off, you must be terribly deluded to THINK that you beat me in an argument or whatever it was. Please, read my honest and objective evaluation—You only displayed your political bigotry and small minds. And now whole world can read about it (even those who are not Lefties). You’ve only exposed your… (……).. Ahh, I am too nice a guy to mention that….

                By the way, I have nothing against Qot personally. I’m sure she’s a sweetheart behind her thorny username and avatar.

                She read my comments, but deleted them. They were not abusive. But she deleted them. I call this censorship. She may have a different name for it: “moderation”, for example.

                Maybe it wasn’t censorship. Maybe she meant it as a joke (a teasing), you know like, “heh heh heh, Rajiv, you fucker. *I* am the moderator here. You’re just a clown in the comments section. I will best you by simply not publishing your comments. I win. Yipee!”

                Passworded post? Oh no, it’s not censorship. It’s so good that I have put a pay-wall. Only those who pay money will get to read it.

                What’s the weather like on Planet Socialist?

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Ummm, nah, now you’re making stuff up. I never personalised it as being about you and I, but I did point out you’ve made a bit of a goose of yourself with everyone here. As many other members of your oppressed minority have ; )

                  And as for your opinion of QoT, well, bad luck son. Much better players than you have come a cropper there. That’s the problem with being a newbie, you never know who’s going to make you look like a fool. But, on the evidence so far, the person most likely to make you look like a fool is yourself.

                  Now run along, write a new post about how mean we are and keep up that selective censorship, you whingeing hypocrite you.

                  • Rajiv

                    I wasn’t talking about just you and I, but I and most others on here.

                    I’m sure Qot has beaten a lot of people who are much better than me. By simply deleting their comments. All power to her– may she continue to gain faithful fans and followers like you.

                    Whereas, an oppressed and whinging Libertarian/Randian/Right Winger like me will get lonelier and lonelier and will eventually die sobbing in a corner. Right? So, what are you complaining about. Start rejoicing.

                    • McFlock

                      Socialists believe that anybody suffering and dying sobbing in a corner is wrong. Although in some cases, it can be difficult living up to that ideal (serial killers, for example). But it’s unlikely that you’ll end up like that – your ego writes cheques your brain can’t cash, but at the same time Dunning-Kruger prevents you from seeing those cheques bounce.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “I wasn’t talking about just you and I, but I and most others on here.” 2.43PM

                      “First off, you must be terribly deluded to THINK that you beat me in an argument or whatever it was.” 2.18PM

                      Fish, barrel etc.

                    • While you lot continue with this inane ego-squabble, there are people out there whose stress levels will be sky-rocketing, due to not being well enough to work, yet having pressure placed on them to look for work, which they don’t feel they can do and know isn’t available, simply to satisfy some made-up notion that people have about unemployment being caused by the unemployed.

                      To be frank, I don’t think that Rajiv has been particularly reasonably treated, there was name-calling, which isn’t an effective point of argument, and yet Rajiv must be intelligent enough to know that making a habit of ‘arguing in opposition to others’ doesn’t always bear the best results either; especially if you are doing so to simply in order to argue, as opposed to making a meaningful point so how about all of you get over yourselves and stop this battle of the egos.

                      If politics is approached with intelligence and with a manner of finding common ground this type of bullshit is exactly what it aims to avoid.

                      Make up and be an example of what decent human beings can achieve.

                      Conversely please squabble elsewhere, I find it offensive that you do so under a thread that is about a serious matter that could actually lead to lives being lost.

                      Best wishes

            • McFlock

              So the line of what you regard as a “humanely impossible” amount of asynchronous communication is somewhere between 10 people and zero people.

              You’re an idiot. I can get dozens of emails a day, and still manage to keep track of each thread. You can’t even manage ten, and yet think that you’re god’s gift to political thought and blog moderation.

              • Rajiv


                And you’re apparently so smart that you cannot even spell right when you’re quoting someone — “humanely possible”…. indeed.

                But…. Actually….I completely agree with you at least on one count. I must be a Total Idiot to keep talking to the likes of you.

                I will stop being an idiot now or your mental illness will rub off on me.

                You need a rest-home my friend, A Socialist Rest-home (100% funded by taxpayers’ money of course because you apparently deserve it…you poor victim of Capitalism…..).

                • McFlock

                  No. You’re an idiot because you claim it’s “HUMANLY impossible” (happy?) to follow ten threads on a blog.

                  You’re an idiot because you fail to address points anyone else makes, preferring to be distracted by a single-character typo.

                  And you’re an idiot because you don’t recognise how much of an idiot you are.

                  You’re also a bit of an idiot if you think you’re “talking” to the likes of me, but I’ll chalk that one up to a lazy choice of words.

                  • framu

                    one would assume that the logical way to respond to 10 asynchronous comments is…….

                    one at a time

                    wouldnt one? (what what)

              • Rajiv

                Te Reo,

                For the love of God, don’t make me connect the dots for you every time you don’t get it.

                You were not the only one in the comments who–ridiculous as it sounds– claimed that I was crying and whining because I lost the “argument” or something. So “you” in my sentence is plural. It stands for all of yous who think so.

                At least in Soviet Union, they had near 100% literacy rate. I’m not so sure about Planet Socialist. But of course, it’s not your (that is, all of you) fault– the evil Capitalists took away all the funding from public schools, which resulted in you Socialists getting a poor education.

                Take care Yous

            • framu

              Its got nothing to do with calibre you fool and its got nothing to do with me!

              Its an example of people who strongly disagree with the general current of ideas here – arent afraid to say it, yet still somehow manage to hold a conversation – even have a joke with others here or receive messages of concern when something appears wrong.

              You need to take a good long hard look in the mirror pal.

              All that you complain of are direct products of your behaviour, pompous self importance and victim mentality.

              You, me or anyone else arent the star here, we are but bit players

              talk about ego – fucks sake

              • handle

                One prefers libertarians who believe their agument is so powerful they don’t need to discuss it – or whine when most people disagree with them.

  19. Have just been rewatching Alister Barry’s documentaries (‘In a Land of Plenty’ and ‘Someone Else’s Country’, which are advertised here on the Standard).

    Pretty shocking to think that our nation was ‘asked’ to be patient with Rogernomics reforms, which fairly well (unofficially) involved no longer aiming at 100% employment; that we were told that things would improve after the initial difficulties that were created from this monetary approach (Rogernomics).

    The documentary then proceeds to explain that after this ideological approach [inevitably] created mass unemployment, an approach of cutting welfare was employed in response to the [externalised] costs that this ideology created, which required a very necessary propaganda campaign to make ‘the public’ believe that beneficiaries were no better than criminals.

    One thing I learned from these documentaries is that from the early 80′s we have not had a governmental policy of 100% employment. 100% unemployment is simply not on the agenda.

    Reasons given for this policy then and now:

    [Please read with high pitched and whiney voice:]

    “We have to keep wages down, this keeps prices and inflation low”

    …Funny, cos I would have thought that if more people were working and on higher wages then we would be able to afford the higher prices, our economy would be healthier (more people spending), people could be healthier and ALL could enjoy more self respect and there would be more social cohesion too. …but these benefits are simply not important because we have to cater to those who wish to make a killing, as opposed to a living.

    Without a policy aiming at 100% employment the draconian attitudes toward welfare recipients is extremely cruel and unfair; 6% of New Zealanders are guaranteed to be unemployed by this system.

    This government, in its utter brilliance, whilst creating more pressure on the unemployed in a depression have also caused higher learning to become less assessable: Unbelievable, shortsighted and thoughtless to the point of cruelty.

    This is occurring after massive fraud has been and is being conducted by those who run the financial system and these real criminals, who are actually causing the problems (not unemployed people) have gotten away with it scot-free (and to add insult to injury we can have the pleasure of viewing AIG’s tag, one of the worst offenders, plastered across the NZ rugby team’s chests. Remember that next time you are watching a rugby game. I’m just glad I don’t watch the sport.)

    Right to a livelihood: [thought that wouldn't happen] REMOVED
    Next on the agenda:
    Right to privacy: [think it won't happen?] IN THE PROCESS OF BEING REMOVED

  20. So it’s all about getting people off benefits and into work…. or anywhere that is out of sight of the middle-classes, and off the books. There seems to be little interest in helping people to deal with difficult circumstances – the original aim of social security.

    Indeed, it’s a far cry from the original aim of social security. However, the people who implemented NZ’s social security scheme certainly didn’t envisage it prompting the development of an army of professional idlers. And it’s a safe bet they’d also have looked on it as being all about getting the able-bodied off benefits and into work as quickly as possible.

    • “However, the people who implemented NZ’s social security scheme certainly didn’t envisage it prompting the development of an army of professional idlers. “

      The people who implemented NZ’s social security were followed by people who are fundamentalist market manics (fmm)

      100% unemployment is not important to these types, this, or any other western government, therefore what the f* did they expect?

      I guess this just shows exactly how short-sighted fmm types are.

    • ak 20.2

      an army of professional idlers.

      “Idlers” who apply for every available low-rate job in piteous numbers.

      “Idlers” who daily negotiate mind-numbingly cruel WINZ hoops for a tenuous bare survival for their families.

      “Idlers” who scream into work when it is available, as they did and achieved the lowest unemployment rate in the OECD in 2007.

      “Idlers” lacking only sound economic leadership with integrity and compassion.

      “Idlers” who suffer the callous insults and denigration of insecure fools for selfish political gain.

      “Idlers” some of whom comprise my and your very own whanau and to whom you couldn’t hold a candle, you pathetic, judgmental, creep.

      • Psycho Milt 20.2.2

        Having been a professional idler myself at one point, and in the process encountered a significant number of like-minded types, I find stirring speeches about our non-existence unpersuasive. It’s also worth noting that NZ’s record low unemployment in 2007, 3.5%, involved tens of thousands of people drawing unemployment benefit at a time when employers were importing unskilled labour to work in primary industries because no-one already here could be found to do it.

        • blue leopard

          @ Psycho Milt,

          Employers were drawing ‘unskilled labour’ from overseas enabling them to pay the workers less, supported by the government to do so. They should have, instead, been required to pay a wage that allowed people to move to these areas and make a decent wage.

          It is difficult for NZers to make any profit in such jobs because they are charged, for example, rents in the realms of $80 per week for a shared room. (Orchards, this was quite a few years ago; probably more now) Unless one is willing to move out of ones permanent dwelling, in order to have a temporary job, this type of additional cost sucks up any surplus money that could be made by the worker.

          Rather than letting the job “market” determine the pay rate, our government allowed bosses to undercut this “market” and import cheap labour.

          I have spoken to someone who has been an advocate for people who were ‘imported’ for such jobs, and this person was terribly ashamed at how badly these people had been treated.

          • Psycho Milt

            On the matter of pay, conditions and the beneficial effects on them of workers organising, there’s no similarity whatsoever between the ministers of Labour govts of the 1930s and the ‘cheapjack hustlers’ sitting around the current govt’s cabinet table; however, on the matter of whether society has a right to expect the able-bodied not to cadge off everyone else if they can avoid it, there’d be little to choose between them.

            • blue leopard

              In a recession (depression), when there is high unemployment (commonly understood as NOT ENOUGH JOBS), how does a person without a job and unable to find one “avoid” asking for welfare?

              Not easily

              And how is a person who has very much benefitted from societies organisation, who has plenty of wealth, and so much income that their tax bill is so huge that the decide to hide it in offshore accounts, to avoid paying taxes not a cadger? How unavoidable is such a cadger?

              And what is our government doing about these people?

              Sweet fuck all.

              Have we got laws to stop our country from being a tax haven for such cadgers in other countries?


              This is simply not good economics

              • Last time I looked, the entire purpose of having an unemployment benefit is that it may not prove possible to avoid having to rely on your society for support. That doesn’t absolve you of the obligation to try and avoid it.

                As to the rest of your comment, the idea that if the government isn’t doing something about X then it has no right to do something about Y is a logical fallacy.

                • Psycho Milt,

                  Did I at any point say that having a welfare support system meant that people were absolved of “the obligation to try and avoid it”?


                  That notion must have come from yourself, so perhaps you could talk to yourself over that matter.

                  If the subject was simply cold hard logic, then a ‘logical fallacy’ might concern me, however on a pragmatic issue, such as a government balancing books in a recession, it seems that a more effective approach for NZ economic benefit is to target tax avoidance and not encourage our country as a tax haven, rather than attempting to push people into jobs that aren’t there.

                  Life isn’t easy at present, those at the extreme ends of the socio-economic scale are feeling it most. Placing this much pressure on people when there are no jobs, is simply just going to stress people out. There will be no positive effects with this approach.

                  We are not in 2007 now, (with a Labour Govt who seemed to actually be improving job creation) we are in 2013, there has been a massive financial crisis, and this is ongoing, there are no jobs and you think it is a grand idea to pressure people who are in the unfortunate position of being unemployed, or even worse, they are unfit for work, to ignore the fact that jobs are unavailable and get out there and act like this is not the case?

                  In these circumstances, I’m certain that this approach will end lives. Its incredibly inhumane – cruel.

                  If this is the best NZ can do. It stinks.

  21. Santi 21

    The left needs to pull its head in and realise that “employers” are not the enemy. This is the attitude from the now corrupt and defunct unions of a by-gone era.

    Employers are people too. They are people who take the risks to better themselves, and in doing so provide employment for people who are not willing to take the risks. If, and it is a big “if” their business is successful, they will be rewarded accordingly. However, nobody is there to catch the unsuccessful business. We dont have business welfare in NZ. Why do the many people who risk it all not have a safety net to catch them if they fall? I mean the many who are to stupid to help themselves do, why not the few who try to help themselves? They are, at the end of the day creating the countries wealth and providing employment for the many.

    The left continually cries “what about me” all the time without taking the opportunity to help those who will actually help the people they pretend to represent.

    • karol 21.1

      Ummm, Santi, where in my post do I talk about employers being the problem?

      • handle 21.1.1

        “However, nobody is there to catch the unsuccessful business. We dont have business welfare in NZ.”

        Santi, it is called limited liability. With lashings of corporate welfare. You really do not know what you are talking about, do you?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 21.2

      Easiest country in the world in which to do business, and still he keeps lying and whining.

      • Sable 21.2.1

        Use your brain, how could “anyone” know “emphatically” that NZ is the easiest country in the world to do business. Because some clown with a flair for stats ran a worldwide survey? Think about the problems with data collection and research, its an over blown claim that has little substance.

    • framu 21.3

      “We dont have business welfare in NZ”
      - yeah……… thats not entirely true

      “The left continually cries “what about me” ”
      no – we dont

      ” Why do the many people who risk it all not have a safety net to catch them if they fall?”
      - arent these same people eligble for WINZ benefits?

      No ones saying that employers are the enemy – not even modern unions. Even in the POA case, while language was heated on both sides you would have to look hard for the union using such explicit language.

      But it is telling that you somehow see employers and beneficiaries as two distinct and separate types of people

      • blue leopard 21.3.1

        “We dont have business welfare in NZ”
        - yeah……… thats not entirely true

        ….yes, for one thing, isn’t the reason that governments make no real attempt at 100% employment, so that they can keep wage costs low for employers????

        ….One thing’s for sure; they can’t be keeping them low for the employees….

        (Pity business owners support policies that encourage unemployment and low wages, and not ones that encourage 100% employment and higher wages, because then there might actually be people in the country that can afford to support their businesses in the traditional way…i.e buy their products and services, without us having to import such via the tourist industry)

    • Draco T Bastard 21.4

      However, nobody is there to catch the unsuccessful business.

      A couple of billion paid out to failing financial firms, another few billion to support the farmers and god knows how much we’re going to be paying to prop up SkyCity’s new casino convention centre.

      Why do the many people who risk it all not have a safety net to catch them if they fall?

      They do, it’s called A National Led Government.

      why not the few who try to help themselves? They are, at the end of the day creating the countries wealth and providing employment for the many.

      Ah, more lies from the right. It’s not the business people that create jobs or wealth but the community.

    • KJT 21.5

      Until 5 years ago, Santi, I was an employer!

      Unfortunately, National, and the right wing, are no good for small and medium business.

      As we watch shops closing all around us as business is decimated by yet another National Government, just like the 90′s, we still have cognitively challenged people in the Chamber of commerce, prattling, that “National is the party for business”.

      And Unions were good for business also. They kept my customers prosperous enough to pay me.
      And helped prevent the big firms from undercutting.

  22. Bob 22

    ‘War on social security: demonisation of beneficiaries’ and yet Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern comes out saying “A simple name change won’t help people find jobs”, if its just a simple name change that’s hardly a ‘War on social security’, or is this title just ‘How the left make people believe lies’?

    Since other posts here have used John Campbell polls to support their case, have you seen only 25.6% of people on Stuff.co.nz believe this is ‘Beneficiary bashing’ all others support the changes or don’t think the changes are going far enough?

    • weka 22.1

      Ahern is spinning the story to make it about working people rather than the beneficiary class. That’s because Labour doesn’t want to have to stand up for beneficiaries in a real way. Probably because they want votes from people like you who think that beneficiaries are 4th class citizens.

      “Since other posts here have used John Campbell polls to support their case, have you seen only 25.6% of people on Stuff.co.nz believe this is ‘Beneficiary bashing’ all others support the changes or don’t think the changes are going far enough?”

      They’re probably like you who doesn’t what know the reforms entail or how they will affect real people, and instead get confused by Labour’s spin.

      • freedom 22.1.1

        I noticed that poll’s ratios have suspiciously not changed all day, and the voting totals were also amazingly high immediately after publication of the article this morning

        then I remembered I was looking at Stuff, the Fox News of the South Pacific

    • http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10863719

      A UMR Research survey of 750 people, commissioned by the Human Rights Commission has found 74 per cent of people think beneficiaries are facing discrimination.

      • Draco T Bastard 22.2.1

        Oh, look at that Bob, real research shows that you and the Stuff poll are wrong.

        • McFlock

          stuff polls might be a pile of shit? Big surprise…

        • Bob

          As per my comment below, try reading the purpose of the completely unrelated survey and checking the date of it. Although fudging the numbers is how the ‘Left’ make people believe their lies.
          Apology accepted.

          • McFlock

            apology undeserved.

            Try reading the article again.
            And a five-month old survey with decent methodology is still more valid than a self-selecting online poll. National are just delivering more of the same shit.

            • Bob

              So you are saying a five month old survey that asked who in society was most discriminated against, is a valid survey to use on the topic of changes to the social security system that took effect yesterday? And you are saying it is more relevant than an admittidly unscientific poll of Stuff readers asked specifically about the changes to social security?
              I didn’t see you bagging the blog post using the Campbell live poll that showed 85% of people against the changes to the GCSB, or is that different because it backs up your own point of view?
              There is a serious pack mentality going on here that seems to have some posters on this blog so close minded you can’t even see how blatantly hypocritical you are, and then wonder why the general public don’t listen to the ‘looney left’ anymore.

              • McFlock

                So you are saying a five month old survey that asked who in society was most discriminated against, is a valid survey to use on the topic of changes to the social security system that took effect yesterday?

                Yep, for the simple reason that the welfare changes have been flagged for a while and more importantly are not a fundamental change to how this government talks about and treats people who aren’t on mid-six-figure incomes or higher. If the govet had been all “we fucking hate benes” and then pulled a policy switcheroo, I agree that previous data would be obsolete. But more of the same? Nope. Oh, attitudes will have moved, but it’s still a known anchor point.

                And you are saying it is more relevant than an admittidly unscientific poll of Stuff readers asked specifically about the changes to social security?

                Yes, definitely. Because stuff polls are skewed by so many factors it’s a joke: not only are they self-selecting, they have limited accessibility for people not in front of a computer during the day and are easily spoofed by vested interest groups. You might as well gaze at your navel for all the information they yield. And yeah, text polls are similar (but with lower multi-voting capabilities, if the pollster limits it that way). So all in all, even a months-old methodologically-sound survey has more practical value than a day-old online poll. Not perfect, and frankly I’d want regular surveys to get trends rather than a single datum point (yay triple-redundancy word score!), but relatively speaking, a Stuff poll is much worse than useless because you can’t even wipe your arse with it.

                I didn’t see you bagging the blog post using the Campbell live poll that showed 85% of people against the changes to the GCSB, or is that different because it backs up your own point of view?

                yeah nah – that post seemed to be more of a conversation starter about the issues involved (had quite a fun argument with a “nothing to hide” tory) rather than a firm claim as to NZ opinions – clue is “informal” in the title. Whereas you used a stuff poll as supporting evidence in an argument. Slight difference between the two.

                But thanks for your concern as to how the left can get more people listening.

          • Draco T Bastard

            No apology because the poll linked to by blue leopard is related. The poll you pointed to proves the discrimination.

      • Bob 22.2.2

        How is that survey even related? The survey you linked too found 72% of Asians were discriminated against, I didn’t even see where Asians were singled out in these changes?
        Draco, did you even read the results? Or just jump on a bullshit bandwagon because it the small quote from the 5 month survey that has nothing to do with this change to the social security system?

        • blue leopard

          @ Bob,

          I make no apologies for providing you with a survey result indicating welfare recipients are considered the most discriminated group in the country.

          Perhaps if you wish to have someone respond directly to a poll you refer to, you might consider providing a link to it in future? This allows a potential respondent to your comments an opportunity to view what it is actually measuring.

          I considered that the survey results, which I linked to, are related to your comment because it provides a measure of the general ‘climate’ of views about the level of discrimination facing welfare recipients.

          (This survey is heartening, because welfare recipients are presented extremely harshly in the media and used for political point scoring at election time and despite this, 74% of respondents to this survey have managed to see through this framing.)

          As already mentioned, it would have been good if you had provided a link to the poll that you cited. I have spent quite some time on locating it, and having finally found it, I can see why you didn’t want people to see the article it was connected to.

          The article displays a picture of a young woman and a caption: “STATUS QUO: Candice Jones, single mum to Ivy, supports changes to the benefit system that focus on getting into work, but says it won’t change much for her.”

          Nice summary.

          The start of the article emphasizes the obligations regarding children, drug testing and arrest warrants, however there is nowhere in the article that addresses what the effect of not allowing people who are sick or temporarily disabled in someway, recuperation time, instead, ramping up the pressure on them to get on out there and work regardless of their illness and regardless of the current state recession in the job market. (i.e. for the simple-minded: there are not enough jobs for all the unemployed people out there).

          The article provides anecdotal quotes of a single mother and student Candice Jones (pictured) who says that the changes would “not make much difference to her”, (not surprising really, because she is likely to be on a student allowance, which isn’t effected by the changes), she states that people shouldn’t be forced to immunize their children (this provides a view against the changes) and yet supports the push to get beneficiaries looking for work; this point is repeated.(emphasizing to readers that ‘even the beneficiary thinks the changes are positive’)

          A budget advisory person is quoted as saying the changes are “a good thing” because “you just cannot live off a benefit” (this point paints the changes as positive without addressing the issue that there are not enough jobs for all, and adding to the numbers of jobseekers at this time is simply going to mean that more people are competing for these fewer jobs, and some who are not really well enough to work in the first place, will experience constant rejection, while “not having enough to live off”)

          Such glowing quotes are interspersed with general comments that, if considered, indicate there are problems with these changes, however these points are not investigated in the article and the reader would be required to think further, and have information not provided by the article, in order to conclude such.

          So, yes, I can see why you didn’t supply a link to the poll, because it is simply a measure of how well the article relayed the issues involved in these changes.

          Additionally, I am not a fan of citing polls from publications or TV programmes, because such polls clearly have a bias; being a measure a) solely of opinions of the readers/viewers of a certain article/programme, and b) out of this ‘population’ solely a measure of those who are prepared to respond. These conditions are not sound survey practices and provide no meaningful information or accurate measure.

          (For anyone who wishes to waste their time reading the article that succeeds in convincing 25% of readers that the new welfare changes are not a case of beneficiary bashing, the link is provided below:)


          • karol

            Testing – I was prevented from commenting – got a capcha message which completed, but still didn’t seem to get access to submitting my comment.

            Edit: Weird. I now have lost my orginal comment, which was about reading Coley Tangerina’s post on today’s Daily Blog as an alternative. She gives examples of people becoming fearful of WINZ changes, and totally unfair practices. e.g.

            Amy* is now a “Job-Seeker” even though she has a job. She’s just too sick to work.
            She got sick in February, was hospitalised in March and had to stop work. The doctors are unable to give her a real diagnosis or prognosis, beyond that she’s ill and they hope with rest she will get better.
            Even though she’s sick, on the benefit she can’t afford much heating. So she bundles up with layers and counts herself lucky to have an understanding boss who gives her as much work as she can handle that week. The maximum is 7 hours, before Work and Income will stop her benefit.

            What a cruel development for this person to be now labeled a “jobseeker, thus denying visibility to and acknowledgement of her level of sickness.

            • blue leopard

              Ah cheers Karol,

              Good to hear that people are relaying the issues involved in these changes. I will go and read it!

              I really feel concerned for people currently on welfare.

          • Bob

            Actually it was this article here that it was originally linked too and where I found it: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8917905/Benefit-overhaul-rolled-out-to-mixed-reception

            While you do have a nice, reasoned answer as to why you like this survey, and why you are not a fan of citing polls from publications or TV, this does not cover why you used this survey as a direct response to my original post, as it doesn’t relate at all to my original statements. I was talking about the changes to social security which took effect yesterday and you have given me a link too, and quote from a survey which relates to levels of discrimination in NZ. If this survey was showing how those numbers had changed over a 12 month period due to the changes it may be valid, but in its current form it added no value to the discussion at all.

            I also don’t give much weight to these polls, I was simply pointing out that since others have used these to push their own POV on here in recent posts, I would throw this in to back up mine.

            • blue leopard

              Thanks for responding Bob, I appreciate your acknowledging my reasoning.

              I am glad that article you linked to wasn’t as slanted as the one I found! However, again, the drug testing, arrest warrants and childcare aspects are emphasized (at the end of the article) rather than the massive change of pressuring people who are unwell to be seeking work (the pressure is very active in my experience and means more appointments at the Winz with requirements to prove one has been asking businesses for work) This is being done in a recession, where availability of jobs are at probably all-time lows This is the aspect of the changes that is my major point of concern, not drug testing or arrest warrants.

              (Interesting that the same poll is linked to the two articles. And Freedom’s comment (above) is astute. 8000 respondants ?? is this really believable??)

              Providing the survey was not directly responding to your comment specifically relating to these particular changes however it provides a more sound survey (I am assuming that the Human Rights Commission follows survey procedures accurately) that relay that beneficiaries are seen as being discriminated against, opposing the message of the most-likely inaccurate stuff poll indicating that huge amounts of people didn’t view this specific change that way.

              The survey I cited provides further information for yourself or any other reader regarding the state of the welfare system and public opinion regarding its recipients from what I consider to be a sounder source than a media outlet.

              I continue to hold the view that these polls linked to articles reflect more what argument the article reflects most strongly, rather than reflecting any meaningful information about the general populations view. (I suspect that on issues with extremely strong public opinion, these strong opinions might come through regardless of what slant the article has, however, a Winz policy change isn’t one of these…Asset sales probably is)

              I suggest if you want a very specific response you need to be very specific in your comment and providing a link would have enhanced a responder’s likelihood to respond more specifically.

              And yes, I did pick that up re your not giving much weight to these polls, which I respect, and probably wouldn’t have bothered responding at all, had you not mentioned it!

    • Sable 22.3

      Stuff is a right wing site that attracts a right wing audience. However you are correct about one thing, polls and surveys are flawed and open to “creative” interpretation. We will find out next election what calibre of people live in this country.

    • Rosetinted 22.4

      Bob the Builder?
      Perhaps you spend a lot of time outside working with your hands? And probably very little time reading the information that can be gleaned through the media, if you filter out the silly opinion and rank fibs.

      People polled on the media – well its sort of interesting but doesn’t tell us what a real survey would illustrate. Real polls are done across randomly chosen respondents, or carefully chosen areas of differing backgrounds, then randomly chosen. All to try and gauge the wide opinions of the area – and then that may be divided – perhaps the city opinion, and the regions opinion etc.

      Whoever happens to have a thought at the time they are looking at a computer, will not be an opinion from a wide range of NZ. So don’t quote polls from stuff as if they were p214 from the Gospel.

      • Rosetinted 22.4.1

        The comment I made at 22.4 was to one from Bob at No.22. Just thought if anyone read mine they should be able to find what it referred to. It’s way up the top of the tree.

  23. “So it’s all about getting people… anywhere that is out of sight of the middle-classes, and off the books.”

    This is the guts of it. And as more people end up spat out into the gutter of society the usual crew will moan and lament those people making the place look untidy – you know dead bodies are just such a distraction when heading off to the corporate box or the play. There is no good that will come out of this for anyone and I really fear for the people who are bearing the brunt of this – the most vulnerable in our society, the most discriminated against, the most ridiculed and abused – the ones that the middle just don’t want to see.

  24. Martin 24

    It’s only called class war when the poor do it to the rich.

  25. Saarbo 25

    Thank you Karol.

    In the 2005 election campaign, National created a strong anti Maori feeling in New Zealand which still seems to persist, as we have seen in the popularity of the Pakeha Party on social media. Here we are seeing National do something similar to people on welfare, in the late 80′s I had to go on the dole, and I’ve got to say that even back then it made you feel pretty low when you waited in a queue at Social Welfare, I can’t imagine what it must feel like having to take a drug test to get the dole. I guess that is a big part of the reason why National are doing it, to make people feel so shithouse that they do any demeaning work.

    I wish we had an opposition that could very eloquently and coherently explain why this is poor policy and provide an alternative vision about social welfare, the need to place a priority on govt expenditure that stimulates the economy, that provides the young with apprenticeships and places more people into meaningful work.

    We have had an increasing number of people come into our small business asking us for work, its heart breaking to see this is in New Zealand, it reminds me of something out of The Depression. I always have a good talk to these people and they all have good reasons as to why they are on the dole, they aren’t bludgers as I wasn’t when I was on the dole.

    We’ve had some pretty poor National governments, who have created leaky homes, dismantled health and safety laws leading to workplace tragedies, created growing gaps between the rich and poor through tax switches, the list goes on and on. I’m sure when we look back one day we will say that this John Key government was one of the most damaging to our nation and communities, I hope that these damaging policies can be reversed. But as we have recently seen with the Pakeha Party, it can be difficult to reverse the damage that these National driven initiatives cause.

  26. Chris 26

    So when will beneficiaries be pushed in to prostitution? After all it is a perfectly legal occupation.

    • Sable 26.2

      Your comment is crass and distasteful. Simple as that.

    • Rosetinted 26.3

      Yes I have been wondering that. I’m sure that it is in some flunkey’s mind. And the girls and boys don’t want competition driving down rates. I’m not kidding. They want to be able to support themselves and get a decent return on their graft, and economics of supply and demand will apply here as anywhere.

      • Chris 26.3.1

        Sadly prostitution is going to be the only way for some, both male and female. I would suggest anyone having to deal with WINZ take a support person to interviews as well take notes and if their cell phone is able, record the interview ( letting the case worker know they are recording of course). p.s make sure they get any decisions made in writing before they leave the office.

  27. The left in NZ needs to wake up. Of course there are no jobs!

    So why do you think that the NACTs are implementing workfare when there are no jobs?

    They are motivated by necessity. The whole point is to create more jobs not for the benefit of workers but to devalue and discipline the whole workforce as a means to extract more surplus value and restore profits.

    The reason that unemployment rises in a depression is that investors cannot guarantee a profit at the existing levels of wages, and must reduce living standards and destroy labour rights.

    Pumping QE into the banks and corporates has failed to see bosses invest in production. Why? Because before production can be profitable labour power must be devalued.

    The global depression that came out of the global recession of 2008 can only be solved by capitalism by devaluing both its surplus non-productive assets and the price of labour.

    Workfare is about forcing beneficiaries into the workforce to drive down wages.
    That’s how capitalism creates new jobs that return a profit and overcome its global crisis.

    That why the NACTs are collaborating in the recolonisation of Aotearoa to provide cheap assets with maximum rent, and cheap labour with maximum exploitation for international monopoly capitalism.

    This is crisis-driven economics, and the response to it has to be anti-capitalist economics.

    This means employed, unemployed and beneficiaries joining forces as one working class and organising a mass labour movement to provide solidarity for all, a united front to fight every attack on any worker, and a workers party that can fight for the interests of all workers to get rid of the capitalist system.

  28. aerobubble 28

    Why should they get running water? why shouldn’t
    NZ beneficiaries have to walk to the nearest well
    and draw water that they carry home. They’re
    not in work, they aren’t contributing?

    In essence this is the basis of the argument for the
    new Welfare changes, that poor people are ‘other’.
    Why should we give money to people to pay rent, or
    rates, and for them to get running water delivered,
    when that water, those resources, are for the rich to
    make money off.

    Forget the mess that Labour and National have made of the
    welfare system, remember that we all have basic animal rights.
    That means the right to express ourselves as animals, not be
    denied basis of water, food when there is a duty on government.
    Those eligible for the benefit cannot have income support halved
    if in means that they go without basics, are forced, tortured into
    non-human behaviors.

    Then those who do survive because they have some buffer,
    some savings, that they eat into, this is the most woeful of
    indirect asset tests since the benefit must be fairly given to

    So Bennett and Key should be very worried that if one of their
    subordinates should push citizens into taken them to the intenrationa;
    human rights court.

    Of course, it could just be more of the same with Key, looking active,
    bullying without any real bite, politics of the gutter.

  29. Brian Vercoe 29

    Unemployment is everywhere and necessarily a government imposed crime against humanity.The currency is a simply public monopoly.Unemployment arises when the government fails to provide enough spending to cover the tax liabilities it imposes and the residual savings of individuals created by the tax
    and other government policy.Put another way,unemployment is evidence of over taxation.Key and his government are aggressively pursuing policies that enhance and sustain unemployment.Sanctions imposed on the most vulnerable members of our society will grow more suicides, more crime, more children dying at the hands of other family members.This war against the people who are ill equipped to fight back is one part of Keys plan to make most of us insecure about our jobs.The more desperate people get about hanging on to low paid jobs the lest time they have to concern themselves with the real fight against austerity and transfer of wealth from the public sphere [i.e. privatisation,P.P P.etc.],to a wealthy few.Remember,behind most great fortunes lies a great theft.

  30. captain hook 30

    the country i sbecoming more and more half baked by the day.
    congrats to Winsotn Peters for labelling it for what it is.
    i.e. psychobabble with the national party sycophants believing in their own fantasies of omnipotence.
    you know.
    if we say its true then it is true.
    why dont the academics and the people with knowledge start speaking out about the government by these unlearned juveniles.

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