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War on the poor: flexible super

Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, August 27th, 2013 - 94 comments
Categories: activism, benefits, jobs, john key, national, peter dunne, slippery, unemployment, united future, wages - Tags: , ,

While much of the MSM is focusing on the very important and energising Labour leadership election, the Key-Dunne government has slipped out a discussion paper on Dunne’s proposal for flexible superannuation.  Make no mistake, this is a U-Turn for Key, while he hides behind it being a Dunne and flexible initiative and good for low income people.

Investigation of Mr Dunne’s proposal was part of his confidence and supply agreement with National at the last election.

The proposal allows people to choose to take a reduced rate of NZ Super from the age of 60, or an increased rate if they defer taking up superannuation until they reach 70.

“Flexi Super lets people choose for themselves when they want to take up superannuation without being told by the government when they should or should not retire,” Mr Dunne said.

While this seems good for many low paid workers, especially Maori and Pasifika people who have relatively short lifespans.

RNZ, Nine-to-Noon did a series of interviews on it this morning.

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First up, Michael Littlewood from Auckland University says that it isn’t that simple.  He says the discussion document is a relative sideshow to the wider issues with super.  Littlewood says Dunne’s proposal is superficially attractive.  It will increase the costs to the country, and decide who can get it earlier will be difficult.  The current superannuation is one of the simplest and most effective in the developed world. Dunne’s proposal just creates unnecessary complications and confusions.

Anne Martin from Age Concern talks next in the slot, saying their concern is the amount of the pension which is currently inadequate.

Sue Bradford was the final person interviewed in this slot. It is an excellent and clear interview in which Bradford explains why Auckland Action Against Poverty will oppose this initiative.  She says it cannot be seen as separate from the wider welfare system, which needs a complete overhaul. She describes it as (16 mins 30),

another step, another step in the dreadful  war on the poor that’s been happening in Aotearoa for many years now, because for people in those groups, for whatever years of life are left – for people, they will be spent in grinding poverty rather than having the chance – I mean – Anne was saying that the  super at the moment is not high enough.  it’s 350 something dollars a week.  That’s still a lot more than people get on welfare and to think that you might be on a lot less than that for the rest of your life on this new form of pension is actually grinding people into enduring poverty for the rest of their lives.

She gave examples of 60+ year olds, still caring for family members, who are being harassed by WINZ to seek for work, even though their chances of getting jobs are pretty poor. She said many would opt to go on a retirement pension, which looks to be a better option for them in the short term, but would mean, in practice, living the rest of their years in poverty.  The government will aim to drive down the rate of the pension for those receiving it at an earlier date.

Bradford argued for universal benefits and that Dunne’s plan would be more beneficial for those on higher incomes, who have options to work til they are 70.  Under Dunne’s proposal, those who defer collecting their super until they 70 years old, will get a bigger pension.

94 comments on “War on the poor: flexible super”

  1. Bill 1

    I’m a bit ignorant on all of this as I always assumed that by the time retirement came around for me, there would be no such thing as a state pension.

    So, excusing my degree of ignorance, can somebody enlighten me as to whether the level of ‘super’ is related in any way to a person’s wage when they were working? (If it is, then those on lower wages will be compelled to ‘work on’ in spite of their lower paid job potentially ‘taking it out of them’ to a far greater degree than those in better paid co-ordinator type jobs.

    And further than that, is there anybody out there seriously believing that pension funds, currently invested in oil futures and gawd knows what, aren’t going to crash and burn in the not too distant?

    Is it not high time to move beyond the question of retirement monies and question the viability and desirability of ‘working for life’? And then, possibly discuss how we shift into a situation whereby we deal with potential financial precariousity while moving to part-time or short term stints of working as a way to top up a universal income for the sake of consuming whatever luxuries we may desire?

    • karol 1.1

      NZ superannuation is a universal benefit, with everyone entitled to the same basic amount, although, there are some differences: e.g. based on relationship status, whether getting overseas pension.
      It’s simplicity, in being universal, is one of the positives.

      This is unlike my UK state pension, which is based on the amount I paid into it while working there. Also, my UK pension will be deducted from my NZ super when I qualify for it.

      How much you get depends on your current circumstances, such as:
      whether you are single, married or in a relationship
      your living situation if you are single (eg live alone, live with dependent children, share accommodation with others)
      whether your partner is included in your New Zealand Superannuation payments or not
      any overseas benefit or pension you may get.

      Payments from accident insurance or Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) may affect your pension. If you get these payments you’ll need to talk to us.

      Payment of New Zealand Superannuation is made directly to your bank account every two weeks.

      Bradford’s main point is a good one: superannuation revisions need to be part of a whole wider restructuring of all social security.

      And I would go for a universal income also, and agree with your point about moving away from “working for life”. I’m all for more part time work.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        I’m all for more part time work.

        Yep, a high level Universal Income so that people don’t drop into poverty while encouraging people to do part time work as well as learning/R&D/Arts.

      • Molly 1.1.2

        Worth a look if you are debating the merits of a shorter working week: 21 hours – from the New Economics Foundation.

        ” The vision

        Moving towards much shorter hours of paid work offers a new route out of the multiple crises we face today. Many of us are consuming well beyond our economic means and well beyond the limits of the natural environment, yet in ways that fail to improve our well-being – and meanwhile many others suffer poverty and hunger. Continuing economic growth in high-income countries will make it impossible to achieve urgent carbon reduction targets. Widening inequalities, a failing global economy, critically depleted natural resources and accelerating climate change pose grave threats to the future of human civilisation.

        A ‘normal’ working week of 21 hours could help to address a range of urgent, interlinked problems: overwork, unemployment, over-consumption, high carbon emissions, low well-being, entrenched inequalities, and the lack of time to live sustainably, to care for each other, and simply to enjoy life.

    • just saying 1.2

      This is what I understand -every person becomes eligible for National Super when they turn 65 (I believe spouses of those 65 and over become eligible according to means test). Rates vary only according to whether or not the superannuitant is living alone.
      WINZ top-ups are means-tested.

      I’m not expecting there to be super when I get there either, but I do care about the possibility that it will changed to the detriment (as always) of the least well-off for those who do, or will get it.

      • Mary 1.2.1

        Yes, that’s my understanding too. What’s interesting is that while the legislation hasn’t changed Work and Income has started a policy-based attack on superannuitants in areas such as residency, reciprocal agreements with other countries and rules around asset testing for residential care subsidies. We’re not necessarily hearing too much about it because it doesn’t involve legislative change – yet – but it’s a full-on assault nonetheless and is causing a lot of older people a lot of stress and financial suffering. No group is immune from what this government is doing to its citizens.

    • Bill 1.3

      Thanks Karol and js for taking the time to explain :-)

  2. Winston Smith 2

    So basically the left is against choice, nice one

    • karol 2.1

      Is it a real choice, when it’s a choice between living in grinding poverty or living in even more grinding poverty for some? – while for others it’s a choice of a high or even higher income in the final decades of life.

    • weka 2.2

      “So basically the left is against choice, nice one”

      Where did you see a consensus from the left on this issue Winston? A link would be good.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      A Universal Income and the removal of the state pension. All the support you’d ever need for the choices that you make as to whether to work or retire or learn or R&D or art or whatever you choose. Compared to the choice that the right give – work for someone else or be in dire poverty with working for someone else still leaving the plurality of people in poverty.

      This government and the political-right always put in place policies that restrict peoples choices. We especially see this in their welfare reforms.

    • Foreign Waka 2.4

      A couple receives $ 549.88 currently per week, a single person half – after tax. The average income of two adults is about $ 1,000.00 to give you some measure.
      The expenditure in retirement is now reduced to live within the means reduces life to paying Rent, Utility, Food, Clothing, Transport and if you are lucky 10 seconds with your doctor once a year. Dentist is a pipe dream. Any reduction further will mean not just that one is poor but certain poverty , and this means REAL poverty. So really the “choice” that is being offered is nothing else then Mr Dunn’s price to have an income that is far far far higher. Looks like he knows that very well.
      http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Households/HouseholdEconomicSurvey_HOTPYeJun10/Commentary.aspx

      Today’s statistic on suicides states that by far the largest group are elderly men, with women not far behind. With the bleakness that awaits you after having worked at low wages it is no surprise.

  3. weka 3

    “And further than that, is there anybody out there seriously believing that pension funds, currently invested in oil futures and gawd knows what, aren’t going to crash and burn in the not too distant?”

    Most people believe that superannuation is safe. Ditto Kiwisaver.

    Myself, I think we have no idea when everything is going to fall over.

    • Bill 3.1

      The operative word being ‘when’ as opposed to ‘if’.

      • weka 3.1.1

        True. But also operative is “we don’t know when” (cf to “not too distant”), IMO.

        Boy who cried wolf syndrome. I bet there is a relationship between how often we say it’s urgent/happening now/happening soon, then it not happening, and people’s disbelief.

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          sheesh – ‘not too distant’ can be anything from a week or two to some decades, ie – it’s just not very specific and relies on the reader’s own perspective/belief/interpretation. And that’s a quite deliberate fudge on my part.

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            Ah, ok. In teotwawki crowd, not too distant would mean anything from a year to five or ten years. I think it’s possible (but less likely) that it’s decades away. There’s a big difference between this decade and maybe not in my lifetime for people that are struggling to believe it’s true. I suppose what I was getting at was that in order to have that conversation (about UBI and the fragility of the future), do we need people to believe about the fragility of the future. It would be good to have a post sometime on the UBI, so we can really focus the discussion beyond the general theory.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      The other thing about the “pension fund” craze of the 90’s and 00’s is that they provided capital for the investment banks to squander and cheat investors out of.

      Workers pension funds, worth hundreds of millions, or billion of dollars, blown on “AAA” rated subprime mortgage bonds etc.

      All the while the money men running the show pay themselves obscene bonuses using other people’s money.

      Even NZ farmers and city councils are losing their savings due to bullshit derivative products sold by NZ banks.

  4. weka 4

    Has anyone suggested what the lower amount should be? Surely that is a huge factor in this debate.

    And what about the demographics? I’d expect that the people most likely to be choosing earlier retirement are the group more likely to be dying earlier, eg Maori, Pacific Islanders, the underclasses ie people who as a class are already on lower incomes and living with the long term consequences of that. Hardly seems fair.

    • McFlock 4.1

      here

      Mr Dunne’s proposal would allow people to access superannuation between 60 and 70 years of age, and adjust the level lower by 6% for every year before 65, and raise it by 10% for every year over. That means if someone took the pension at 60, they would get 73% of the rate, while someone taking it at 70 would receive 160%.

      Basically, if you can afford to put it off for a few years and still live an average lifespan, you get loads more than someone who gets pressured into taking the pension early because WINZ still harass them like they’re a high school dropout.

      • weka 4.1.1

        Right, so $350/wk becomes $255/wk.

        People with other sources of income might be fine with that I guess (looking at you Mr Dunne).

        • Foreign Waka 4.1.1.1

          Current Pension for couples it is $549.88 or $274.94 per person. Single person $357.42.
          It would mean that a partner going into earlier retirement will get $ 200.00.
          Considering that the parliamentarians have voted themselves whooping increases all around, one wonders what kind of people they are. Perhaps this was the wrong question, is should be – are they actually human?

  5. Sanctuary 5

    I don’t get this proposed change from Dunne.

    If I were a Maori, I could retire at 60, still die on average at 67, and get less money for those seven years? So if the average Pakeha male lives until 74, then he gets nine years at the full amount? How does that add up? It doesn’t seem make any sense.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      It’s not supposed to make sense, it’s supposed to save the government money so that taxes can be cut for the rich.

    • McFlock 5.2

      If the Pakeha male put off the pension until 70, he would get 6.2 equivalent-full-pension-years (EFPY).
      The Maori male gets 7 years of pension @73%, so only gets 5.1 EFPYs.

      Less money and a shorter life.

      • weka 5.2.1

        I seem to remember Tariana Turia suggesting that Maori get to retire earlier (on the full rate).

        • McFlock 5.2.1.1

          Not a completely silly idea.

          Although it could be taken to extremes – earlier eligibility for smokers/highBMI for example. Enough of a discount to make it rewarding, but tilted on average in the House’s favour :)

          I think it might be safer in the long run just to address the causes of inequality.

          • weka 5.2.1.1.1

            True, but I’m guessing it would take more than a generation for the life expectancies to change.

            • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Not with a bit of commitment. And without that commitment, I suspect that the tories would find some way of using the idea to stiff people when it comes to pensions – use the earlier payments as an excuse to cut them across the board because of a cost “blowout”.

    • alwyn 5.3

      Quite apart from the fact that your numbers for life expectancy aren’t right there is a very simple reason for the fact that you get the pension for less years if you die younger.
      It’s the fact that you don’t have any living costs after you are dead and don’t ned an income.
      The purpose of the pension is to ensure that the elderly, who can no longer provide for themselves, should not live out their lives in a state of penury.
      Incidentally every one collecting NZ Super should hold their hands up to the heavens and say “Thank you Mr Muldoon” for bringing the scheme in.

      • weka 5.3.1

        “Quite apart from the fact that your numbers for life expectancy aren’t right there is a very simple reason for the fact that you get the pension for less years if you die younger.”

        Yeah, but you do get that there are whole classes of people that die younger due to socio-economic reasons?

        • alwyn 5.3.1.1

          Of course I get that. I suspect, although I don’t have the figures or analysis to hand, that your race is not the predominant factor in you life expectancy.
          I would expect that the major factors determining your life expectancy are, in order, whether you smoke, your sex, and your general cardio-vascular fitness. I don’t think that race, per se, would be that significant.
          However I can only repeat that the purpose of a pension isn’t to give everyone the same size pot of money. It was to provide an income to keep them out of penury during their old age. When you die your need ends.
          I’m also a believer in John Mortimer’s views of course when he said
          “There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward”
          Incidentally the NZ Statistics Department say that a Maori male aged 60 can expect another 20.6 years to live and a non-maori 23.3 years.

          • McFlock 5.3.1.1.1

            Incidentally, that just means that the Maori male receives 15 EFPY, the non-maori male receives 21.28 EFPY. In half the time.

            The direct determinant might not be ethnicity, but Maori/Polynesians are seriously overrepresented in almost all the determinants of early mortality, post-infancy included.

            That might be an amazing coincidence, but the key point here is that Dunne’s policy guarantees those who can already afford to hold off on the pension a lifestyle twice as munificent as for those who need to take the crumbs as soon as possible. First-class and working-class pension carriages.

            • alwyn 5.3.1.1.1.1

              I suppose I could equally claim that all non-maori would retire at 60 and that all maori would retire at 70. Then I suppose you would agree that Maori were going to get a much higher rate of super during their retirement years would you and that is quite unfair?
              The thing Dunne is proposing is that people should be given the choice as to when they retire. He isn’t saying that all Maori must retire at 60 and all non-Maori must slog on till they are 70, which is what your claim implies.
              Incidentally do you say that woman are treated much more generously now than men, in that on average the collect superannuation for longer? They also are likely to get more per week as there are more widows living alone, and getting about $360/week than men. Men are far more likely to be still living with their wife and only getting abou $275/week.

              • McFlock

                that flip in the demogs simply means that the NMNP male would get 17 EFPYs and the Maori male would get 16.9. Great. You almost give them the same income, rather than spending a third more on non-Maori “to keep them out of penury during their old age” than on Maori (many of whom are already in penury prior to their pension years, anywhay. Those that make it, of course).

                But of course who is more likely to be in a position to hold off on getting the pension until 70? Who would have that security, who is more likely to be working paper-pushing higher income jobs?

                It’s like the rest-home workers arguing gender discrimination – if it is impartially targeted at particular economic groups, then if those groups are heavily weighted to particular demographic groups then the outcomes are the same as if the discrimination were explicit and intentional. Tralah, we have discovered the structural discrimination inherent in the system.

  6. Wayne 6

    Hi Karol, A few points. Dunne is probably going too far when he goes down to 60 and up to 70. Because of acturial calculations flexibility should probably be only a couple of years either side. By the way I presume Labour is pushing for 67? I think it would hard to seriously suggest Super should be significantly increased.

    Mind you if Labour really does go Left, max tax rates might be 50% for incomes over say $200,000 which would mean more money for all sorts of benefit increases. Incidentially I have been thinking of Chris Trotters view that David Cunliffe will abandon all aspects of the “neoliberal experiment”. I presume that would mean all employees on awards, max tax rates of 50%, CGT, pulling out of TPP negotiations, closing down all the casinos, buying back various ex SOE’s, including Contact, increasing benefits, 10,000 extra sate houses (but no schemes for first home buyers), a true state TV company, buy local, no new irrigation, pulling out of “five eyes” etc, etc.

    Actually no real need for Labour, just let the Greens get on with it. However, I do appreciate most Labour voters won’t vote Green, but on the above prescription they might as well do so.

    • framu 6.1

      engaging in a bit of smear tactics there wayne?

      the straw man cometh

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2

      Raise the double standard, Dr. Mapp. National abandoned the “neo-liberal experiment” when you sold gambling legislation to party donors, and legalised mass surveillance.

      Where is your “small government”?

      As for your your wild policy predictions, they seem about as sincere as your crocodile tears for the NZLP.

      You normally give good comment. Disappointing.

    • Tracey 6.3

      why do national supporters always assume the only way forward (either by national or Labour) is to repeat earlier mistakes.

      I will wait to find out what each candidate actually stands for and what they then actually do.

      I wont make excuses for any of them if they retreat from those positions.

  7. just saying 7

    Have I got this right? I see this as a way for superannuitants who are able to stay in the paid worforce beyond 65, to avoid losing some of their super to secondary tax. Just wait a few years, working, as they would be anyway, and they get the lot at the lower tax rate.

  8. Wayne 8

    framu, why is that smear tactics, I was trying to think through what going “Left” would really mean in terms of policy. Perhaps the one unfair bit was suggesting there would be no policies for first home buyers, that all housing spending would go to state rentals.

    Now it is actually my view that David Cunliffe is not nearly as left as some here (Karol for instance) would like to beleive. Sure he will change some things, but it is simply not possible to end the “neoliberal Experiment”. The world has changed too much, and all modern economies are much more free than they were 30 years ago. If DC does become PM (preferably in 2017!) hopefully he would look at what more could be done to stimulate innovation.

    • McFlock 8.1

      Resistance is futile, eh?

      Thanks for your concern.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.2

      “trying to think”

      Keep trying.

      I’d like to see next year’s Labour/Green government “stimulate innovation” by nationalising charter schools without compensation, taking back the property the National Party sold to the 2.5%, passing whatever gambling legislation they damn well please with no regard to what National Party clients think, reestablishing genuine privacy and information security from eg: the National Party’s US clients, abolishing vandalism National’s Standards, and taking steps to reduce inequality.

      The world hasn’t changed that much, Dr. Mapp. The systemic problems exposed in 2008 still exist.

    • karol 8.3

      Wayne, I have made no claims about Cunliffe being very left wing. Just the opposite. It is Key and the MSM that are talking up Cunliffe taking the party to the left. Key was also saying Robertson would also take the party to the left. that’s all scaremongering and spin.

      In my post on Cunliffe getting my electorate vote, I described him as moderate and nowhere near as left as I am. This morning I made this comment:

      I make no claims for Cunliffe leading a brand new direction for Labour. I have said in other comments, he is the best of the current crop of Labour MPs to lead them right now. If he wins the leadership, I don’t propose to give Cunliffe or any other opposition leader or MP a free ride. Democracy means continually holding our politicians to account.

      I am not in favour of Labour’s current policy of raising the retirement age to 67. I am more for Bradford’s idea of looking at superannuation in the context as a wholesale review of social security.

      I do favour raising taxes for those on higher incomes. But that’s not something Cunliffe has committed to.

      The rest of your above comment about Cunliffe taking Labour left on a range of issues is a diversion from the topic of this post, and just looks likes more rightwing spin re-Cunliffe.

    • framu 8.4

      ” I presume that would mean all employees on awards, max tax rates of 50%, CGT, pulling out of TPP negotiations, closing down all the casinos, buying back various ex SOE’s, including Contact, increasing benefits, 10,000 extra sate houses (but no schemes for first home buyers), a true state TV company, buy local, no new irrigation, pulling out of “five eyes” etc, etc.

      Actually no real need for Labour, just let the Greens get on with it. However, I do appreciate most Labour voters won’t vote Green, but on the above prescription they might as well do so.”

      thats the smear wayne, stop being cute

      now, there might be a few grains of truth in there – but in your first comment you pulling together all the worst things you can think of, ignoring any kind of political and economic reality, track record etc then trying and make a extra attack at the greens – all prefaced with “i presume”

      shit mate – you werent that far from chucking watermelon or communist in there are you

      then your follow up is “Sure he will change some things” – so it looks like you dont even believe what you wrote in the first place

      for someone whos meant to be experienced at this kind of politics and policy stuff i dont for the life of me know why your using an argument style that is more at home on talkback

    • Draco T Bastard 8.5

      but it is simply not possible to end the “neoliberal Experiment”.

      Yes it is. The only thing stopping us from doing so is the politicians belief that we can’t.

      at what more could be done to stimulate innovation.

      Well, the first thing to do would be to drop the neo-liberal experiment as has obviously failed to provide the innovation that it promised. The second thing would be to re-write the IP laws so that people aren’t penalised for being innovative. And the third thing would be to stop giving so much wealth to the few and make it available to the majority so that more people actually have access to the resources they need to be innovative.

      The one thing we can’t afford is the rich.

  9. Matthew 9

    Is this policy part of Dunne’s deal over the GCSB bill?

    • bad12 9.1

      Apparently Dunne’s ‘policy’ is part of the coalition agreement Slippery and Dunne signed up to after the 2011 election,

      i would suggest that Slippery the Prime Minister has simply released this as a distraction, there’s a number of things going on here, not the least the PM having to have Dunne win the Ohariu electorate in November 2014 against a backdrop of an increasingly hostile populace for Dunne,

      So this seems in that vein to be a quick quick the patient has gone into cardiac arrest situation where Dunne is allowed the oxygen to plug His ‘plan’ and attempt to lift His flagging fortunes which in turn would lift those of Slippery the PM…

  10. Tracey 10

    Is Todd Mclay receiving full pay at the moment?

  11. Sable 11

    Yes I read the little weasel’s proposal regarding super in the Tory Times this morning. Blatant social engineering that benefits the well heeled at the expense of the poor.

    • johnm 11.1

      Hi Sable
      Agree 100% ” the little weasel”
      Problem he’s done an infinite amount more damage than any honest little real weasel could ever do! :-(

  12. bad12 12

    As a Labourer all my working life,(not all of it was worked, there has been plenty of forced downtime), i find Dunne’s wee options for retirement ‘interesting’,

    Labourer’s you will find, those who engage in the real physical labour in our economy are pretty much past their use by date by the time they hit 50, because of the hard physical nature of such work you will find that bone and muscle dysfunction become dramatically apparent in Labourers from age 50 onward,

    i do not propose to discuss this in terms of ‘Universal incomes’ or ‘full reviews of the benefit system’ as these two issues are not at present ‘on the table’ as a proposition being currently discussed by the serving politicians,

    i would prefer to look at this proposal not in comparison to any particular wishlist but simply the proposal itself,

    Dunne’s proposal of a 6% decrease in the payment of the pension for every year earlier than 65 at which a recipient chose to take that pension doesn’t do it for me, however, a 3% reduction in the payment per year of early up take would and i would happily sign up under a condition of 3% to be able to enter the ranks of the truly retired 5 years early,

    i assume Dunne’s proposal leaves in place the ‘living alone allowance’ and would involve a legislated change to the age at which a retiree could take up a gold card,

    i do not find Dunne’s original proposal all that heinous unlike the proposer Himself and it will be interesting to see whether this proposal grows any legs or is simply a convenient political distraction getting Dunne’s name into the media in an attempt to shore up His election chances…

    • Sable 12.1

      Well said Bad12. I’m sure there are plenty of tradespeople, builders also spring to mind who are physically past the demands of the job by the time they hit 50. I would wonder what form this policy would take as on the surface its highly discriminatory.

      I think too you are right its Dunne trying to shore up his tarnished image.

      • Greywarbler 12.1.1

        For sure, but it’s not a bee with honey and a sting, look again and it’s a wasp and nothing good will come from that.

      • bad12 12.1.2

        If there is anything ‘wrong’ with the current pension system i would suggest that allowing people to continue working while accessing National Superannuation is in fact ‘it’,

        i have no actual numbers of the number of people that actually do this, but, every person able to retire and collecting that pension while working is simply denying employment to a younger person in the economy,

        Am i proposing a solution to this, Lolz, no way, i like the skin i am in and to propose interfering in the payment of National Superannuation would be an open invitation to have myself flayed to within an inch of my miserable little life,

        However, if i were to make such a proposal it would center around not being able to work while collecting a pension and the housing costs of a pensioner being 25% of their total household income…

    • Wayne 12.2

      I am inclined to agree. 6% is just too much of a reduction and will put some people into poverty.

      It is generally agreed that NS is pretty reasonable when it is the only income you have. Not great, but OK. The majority of my aunts and uncles are in this situation. They get some help (small) from their children and do OK.

      Most were manual workers. They may have wanted the NS earlier, but it would have been much harder for them if say their income was reduced by 25% (accepting NS at 60).

      I appreciate actuarially that 6% might be right, but if so then the flexibility should not be more than 2 years.

      It also seems unfair that delay boosts income by 10% per year. Again actuarially correct, but it probably will favour healthy people in higher income jobs.

      So too big a deviation from age 65 will undermine the social contract that underpins NS. A dangerous thing to do.

      • Foreign Waka 12.2.2

        What kind of income are you guys on and are you all just a step away from retirement? If a person in their 40’s with an average income of 38k and renting wants to to keep their family afloat and save for retirement (hahahahaha) the living costs are far higher than some of you state here. Housing costs 25% – yeah right. There is POVERTY written all over it.

  13. Greywarbler 13

    What about a reduced rate and allowing for part time employment with no secondary tax or diminishment until 65, then the full rate with some diminishment of say 10 cents in the net $ (after tax on earnings) thereafter.

    That means that some people will be able to keep earning and afford a good lifestyle, and some will improve on just super, and the others will get sufficient to live on and be able to apply for extra help when needed.

    Also that superannuitants can get their full entitlement plus a bonus if they take on shared jobs where they work with up to four young ones to gain work experience. The olders helping the young ones get job training, experience and then a real job, a great idea surely. Also volunteer work of approved kind, with social welfare outcomes.be counted as special work and receives a bonus also.

    There is no reason why some old people should be doing nothing for the community while being given their living out of community funds. If they want to avoid such a system let them try to save enough in a private unguaranteed-by-government system from which they can receive payments, annuities etc. tax free. And see if they can live on that! Even with low inflation it probably wouldn’t stretch to buy more than the basics and a pair of support stockings per week.

  14. To be any sort of left, Labour should dump its proposal to increase the pension eligibility age.
    Maori and those who have to retire early for health reasons should have the pension at least 60 and indexed to their health parity status.
    The age of eligibility of the rest should be reduced to 60, and those in poor health etc also reduced downwards from 60, by one year per year.
    And by the way pay it at the ‘living wage’.
    Bring back Muldoon’s income tax rates that made the rich pips squeak.
    Tax loopholes should be closed, dodgy deals and crony favours stopped, tax havens closed down, CGT raised to 100% over say 10 years.
    All of this will clear out the financial parasites, land speculators, rent farmers and other non-productive parasites.
    This will create a sovereign wealth fund which we can use to try a bit of ‘socialism’.
    Of course the ruling class will try to pre-empt this by spying, media vomit, and a police state.
    It’s backdown or showdown.

    • Wayne 14.1

      Red rattler

      While this might be your socialist dream (but not one you will get from David Cunliffe), in the real world this would be completely unaffordable.

      It wasn’t affordable when Rob Muldoon was in power when the proportion of older NZer’s was much smaller and he had 66% tax rates.

      So it guess it is backdown (by you).

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 14.1.1

        So you don’t think Cunliffe is the raving leftist bogeyman your leader asserts, Dr. Mapp?

        Not even his sycophants can sustain his lies eh ;)

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        in the real world this would be completely unaffordable.

        No, in the real world it’s affordable, on Planet Key it isn’t.

  15. feijoa 15

    I meet many people in my job as a health provider, and I would say the people who struggle to work up to 65 are those doing manual work – the builders / labourers / plumbers / construction / forestry / etc
    Those I meet who work well past the age of 65 seem to be accountants, lawyers, who “keep on a few clients”
    Can’t see that that’s fair

  16. Binders full of women 16

    Was it a Labour MP (de Cleene? Prebble?) or was it a National MP? who challenged someone to find a better superannuation scheme in the world? I can’t remember- doesn’t matter. But the answer is nice to remember. There isn’t a better system… some get more, some get it earlier or later, some are more but asset tested. But nowhere has a universal entitlement, at 65 years, at x% of the average wage.

  17. Descendant Of Sssmith 17

    First thing you could do if cost was an issue would be to stop allowing underage partners to be included.

    Second thing you could do would be to increase benefit rates so that those who are unable provide. to work as they get older have more income than the current benefits provide. You could even remove the age discrimination and pay all people the same rates.

    This would have the simultaneous effect of lifting all beneficiaries incomes, circulating more money in local economies and putting pressure on wages to go up thereby lifting lots of peoples incomes.

    Third thing you could to is increase taxes on people like me to help pay for it.

    Fourth thing you could do is to then allow people to earn the equivalent of super from other sources (thereby ensuring that you still have a reasonable income, can part-work and part-retire if you so wish) and still get it with no super at all if you choose to work full-time or close to it. We pay super for your retirement so you get it when you retire.

    • Greywarbler 17.1

      Add to 4th thing DoSS, medical rates that keep pharmacy costs and GP costs down even if these older people are still working full time. So they would be getting some advantage and it would be practical for the government as it helps them to keep working and earning and paying tax.

      Also bad12 there is no reason why an age benefit should not be paid even if earning, but it would be helpful rather than income provision, so enough to help with transport costs and medical costs so that people would not be able to yell that they aren’t getting anything if the main benefit was decreased as a result of income.

      Underage partners – there could be good arguments for allowing the married rate when one partner turns 65.

  18. millsy 18

    One only need go to places like the USA, where retirees live on the street, or work in burger joints and department stores, and employers (including the government) are busy looking for ways of getting out of honouring pension obligations, to see why changing NS would be a bad idea.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 18.1

      Ours did used to be income tested however so going back to an income test isn’t getting out of honouring obligations. Just keep it simple.

      • bad12 18.1.1

        Yes perhaps the ‘income test’ is the best means of being able to lower the age of retirement, it would seem reasonably fair,(except to those who scream entitlement as they demand recipients of other Government benefits be continually ‘restructured’),

        An abatement rate attached to an age of eligibility of 60, so part time workers, especially taking into account the negative effects upon some who give up working, would receive a part-payment of their super while those who chose to work on full time would receive a severely rebated payment,

        Interestingly Slippery the Prime Minister in today’s Herald online makes the point that we as a country are spending less now on Superannuation than we were as a % of GDP back in the 70’s, He may as usual be talking from within the realm of a heavily flushing toilet bowl, but, is quoted in the same article dissing the Treasury over ‘it’s claims on the affordability of Superannuation payments in the future,

        The superannuation question is of relevance to those currently engaged in the Labour Party leadership contest as Labour seem to still have as policy the raising of the age of entitlement to 67, a policy i would suggest that saw Labour ‘flat-lining’ in the 2011 election campaign as many found this particular ‘major plank’ of Labour’s 2011 economic strategy abhorrent,

        Such policy as what Phill Goff went into the 2011 election campaign trumpeting is part of the reason why i ‘see’ Labour having become a Party of, for, and by the New Zealand middle class,such policy simply assumes that ‘everyone’ has been able to stash away a good little nest egg via their ‘Kiwi-saver’ and such policy seems to assume that those nearing retirement are all likely to have a rental investment or two with which to provide for them in their retirement,

        My opinion is that Labour need to revisit it’s policy on superannuation and get far far smarter with the approach to it or find that 2011 repeats as far as elections go with the ‘registered but did not vote bloc’ again staying on the sidelines…

        • karol 18.1.1.1

          Some good points, bad.

          I would like to see a wider reform of social security on the agenda for the next Labour led government

          • bad12 18.1.1.1.1

            Karol, that’s definitely a ‘me too’, but, when i look at the candidates in the current election race i find that all 3 seem to have stuck to ‘the vows of silence’ which Labour seemed to have taken at some point in the distant past,

            Issues of ‘welfare’ as well as the dire lack of ‘State Housing’ certainly havn’t been to the fore so far in this particular campaign,

            I have to believe that Labour can be ‘swayed’ on both these issues by the Green and Mana Party’s in post-election coalition negotiations,

            Metiria Turei being the Minister of Social Development would be a good point at where the discussions might begin…

            • Tracey 18.1.1.1.1.1

              will adern relinquish it bad?

              • bad12

                Lolz Tracey, Labour will not willingly ‘relinquish’ any of the Ministry’s to the Green Party except maybe Conservation and Climate Change,

                Of course, if the Green Party are in a position where to form a Government Labour must have their vote then the ‘game’ changes,

                My advice to the Green Party is to be seriously working on the Nitty Gritty of the coalition agreement and what the Green Party expects to gain across ALL Ministy’s for the Green Party to support a Labour Government after November 2014,

                Could i see Labour after November 2014 attempting to treat the Greens as lapdogs as the current Government treats the abysmal weak at the knees Maori Party, unfortunately Yes i could…

                • Tracey

                  God I hope you are wrong.

                  • bad12

                    Lolz Tracey, ‘it’ isn’t all that bad, David Cunliffe as leader of Labour would be a far better fit to build a strong coalition with the Green Party and Mana as well,(especially if the latter Party gains the 3 MP’s i am hopeful of in 2014),

                    A lot of what a Cunliffe lead Labour will enact in office the Green Party will be quite happy with,( us more radical lot here on the Standard will always be demanding the ideal),

                    What i personally will not resile from is the changing of Working for Families into a universal benefit for all children no matter if the parents of these kids work or not, and, a serious State House building program especially in the cities of Auckland and Christchurch where while beneficiaries are well catered for as HousingNZ tenants the lowest paid workers in the workforce are ‘trapped’, currently ineligible for a HousingNZ property, paying 40%+ of their miserable wage levels renting from the private sector,

                    That’s 2 pieces of Social Justice that as a Green Party member i see as my bottom line, hardly bank or coalition breaking stuff…

                    • Tracey

                      I can see the difficulty with releasing policy early because it immediately gets attacked and dissected BUT so far only the Greens appear to have a plan for how to attack poverty for children. Like it or not it is a plan. Everyone else is just paying lip service and claiming to want to end it.

                      Like you I remain a Green supporter and it will take some convincing to move me from this position.

                      Sadly Labour seem intent of “converting” National voters which means national lite if Labour leads our next government.

                    • bad12

                      Oh parts of Labour fully recognize that disallowing the children of beneficiaries inclusion in Working for Families was wrong,(including Annette King at the 2011 election),

                      It will not then, in my opinion, take much leverage from the Green Party to get a David Cunliffe lead Labour to agree to make that benefit universal in nature, a far far harder ask would be if either of the other two contenders were to win selection,

                      What makes the non-inclusion by Labour of ALL children an ugly look is at the time Working for Families was being introduced the money was there to do so,

                      The cost of including ALL children in a universal benefit???, approx 500 million dollars,

                      Labour instead chose to lower the business tax rate, the cost??? approx 400 and something million dollars,

                      Yes, Labour seems to be hell bent upon fighting with National over that 2-3% of the middle class vote in order to be able to govern,

                      This could be a reflection of the fickle nature of the 800,000 ‘registered but did not vote bloc’

                      If Labour continue as they have been it then behoves both the Mana and Green Party’s to become ‘more’ activist in areas of the wider electorate where they can see the ‘left’ vote growing,

                      The larger the Party vote grows for both Green/Mana the more Labour will have to concede to them in coalition agreements…

        • Greywarbler 18.1.1.2

          bad12
          Labour talking about 67 going to 70 for OAP to me smacks of their past purist appproach to policy of the dedicated utopian mixed with authoritarian. This is right, it will make everything right, and we will do it whether it hurts the people or truly serves the purpose, because we are right. Finding a system that manages the situation is what is needed, not a Treasury-like heaping of austerity and poverty.

          One thing could be to try to rein in expenditure with progressive claw backs for working pensioners till they receive just a basic. At the same time bring down what GPs can charge, and have government clinics if necessary, as some GPs are charging Gold Card holders (community cards) $40 a time. And prescriptions are now $5 an item (note not for just the prescription sheet, but each medicine on it).

          Putting more money into services like home help would be wiser for real assistance, but I hear in Nelson they are getting rid of District Nurses, but I can’t believe it. Also getting rid of the the practice of setting high salaries and expenses and FFS incentives! for CEOs, but instead putting jobs out for tender as Alan Gibbs I think suggested for the workers. It would actually be a good idea for these top job holders. And worrying that the best or right persons might not then be obtainable would have no credence, as the ones we have are often making a muck of it anyway. You can’t lose with my suggestion.

          And cutting down the very expensive last years of care by allowing the legal option of managed demise so that people who are ready to die can choose to go, and plan their end of life celebration before they get hopelessly beyond thought or celebration.

  19. Ron 19

    Interested in comments on Pensions
    Can someone please comment on the scheme that New Zealand used to have which if I remember correctly was Old Age Pension at 60 but means tested. and National Superannuation at 65 not means tested.
    You could possibly look at moving these ages up a bit say 65 & 70 but it seems that the idea of a pension for those that need it with no other source of income and a full pension for those that work longer but when you get it is set at a good level with no discrimination regardless of your income status. We seem to spend a great deal of money on tracking peoples savings/earnings or whatever when a truly universal Superannuation would get rid of all that.
    It seems a simpler system than what Dunne is suggesting.

    • bad12 19.1

      Ron, not wanting to be rude, but mostly finding that rude is my natural state, can i say Google is your friend,

      Perhaps you would like to find the time to undertake a little research and then post a comment here on what you ask other’s to find for you,

      We could then debate your conclusions if any…

      • Ron 19.1.1

        Don’t mind rudeness but I was not asking for people to search Google which would not give anything that would be useful. I was more interested in people that had been receiving super around that time if still alive, or alternatively what the general consensus would be on the two tier superannuation of early but means tested or later and no means test as an alternative to what Dunne was suggesting which I consider not really helpful at all.

        • bad12 19.1.1.1

          Yes we somewhat agree on that, i would lower the age of eligibility for the pension to 60 and ‘income test’ it up to 65 or 70 or somewhere between those 2 ages,

          From 70 onward i would suggest the full pension be paid without resorting to an income test, that is of course speaking off the top of my mind without seriously considering whether that would burden the Government with a large cash shortfall,

          Such a shortfall might of course be covered by moving the age of the full un-income tested pension out to 72,(or said in a whisper,temporarily adjusting the tax system to take into account both such a shortfall and the ‘bulge’ in coming retirements of the ‘baby-boomers)…

          • Greywarbler 19.1.1.1.1

            bad12
            There was a radio interview that touched on trusts and eligibility for government care this a.m. on 9toNoon. There will be more onerous or less relaxed investigation of people’s assets, depending on one’s point of view. This should limit the costs to the government for some of these extremely long-living people who are said to be developing into an expensive bulge for those supporting them and planning for their need of specialised services.

            There is considerable government work on seeing that trusts don’t skew incomes so much and put pressure on government coffers. The understandings on how to operate trusts have been wrong, but appeared reasonable because the Welfare Dept didn’t take the law into account and operated on a historical method which has now been revised.

            This has resulted in some very unhappy situations for people who thought that they had made prudent and advantageous decisions on the disposition of their assets.

            • bad12 19.1.1.1.1.1

              A bit different going after the people on the basis of ‘assets’ tho depending on what is actually proposed as ‘assets’,

              Being totally ‘Cloth Cap’ and having 30 years of Neo-Liberalism, and dare i say Neo-Socialism scarring my psyche i still refuse to remove that ‘Cloth Cap’ i look at everything based upon Need, and those comparative Needs weighed against each other when we consider the Class Society that we as a nation are fast redeveloping,

              If a recipient of the full pension, and no matter what age it is paid at it should start at the full amount, has assets that are generating an income i would leave their assets alone and abate the full pension based upon the income received,

              Some may have assets that they receive no income from where the asset, or the thought of the inheritance of, induces the wider family to take more care of their elderly relatives which is an ascribing by me of a mercenary attitude which may or may not be present in family relationships,

              i am sure tho that those who would propose setting the level of pension payments against the value of assets the recipient held no matter whether or not they accrued any income from those assets would have some quarters practically salivating in a lip licking fantasy of forced asset sales from the elderly, after all it would be that class of people most likely to be able to pick like vultures through such forced asset sales for their personal enrichment…

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    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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