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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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    Labour
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    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Treasury says failure to cut emissions could cost $34,000 per household
    Treasury figures, released by the Sustainability Council today, show failing to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions will cost between $2,000 and $34,000 per household, the Green Party said. The Sustainability Council has obtained figures previously redacted from a...
    Greens
  • Greens call on the Auditor General to investigate serious conflict of inter...
    The Green Party has asked the Auditor General to investigate serious conflicts of interest over Food and Grocery Chief Katherine Rich's membership on the board of the Health Promotion Agency (the Agency)."I've asked the Auditor General to investigate because the...
    Greens
  • Central Govt to blame for Auckland rail delay
    The National Government is delaying Auckland's rail development, while pushing ahead with the expensive Puhoi to Wellsford motorway, a motorway with declining traffic volumes, benefiting fewer people and business, said the Green Party today.Yesterday, Mayor Len Brown proposed to push...
    Greens
  • Govt grants mining licence in marine protected area
    The Government is making a mockery of our marine protections by granting a mining licence for Chatham Rise Phosphate to mine for phosphate in a marine protected area, the Green Party said.Chatham Rock Phosphate was granted a mining permit today,...
    Greens
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
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  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
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  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
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  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
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  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
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  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
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  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
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  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
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  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
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  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
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  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
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  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
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  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
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  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
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  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
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  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
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  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
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  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
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  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
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  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
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  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
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  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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  • Government cutting back health services to dangle tax cuts
    The health service is already too stretched, and cutting further into New Zealanders’ health services to fund tax cuts is irresponsible, the CTU said today. Leaked cabinet committee papers have revealed District Health Boards need an additional $440 million...
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  • Christian Network calls for prayers and understanding
    New Zealand Christian Network director Glyn Carpenter is calling for people to pray and exercise understanding over the Sydney hostage incident....
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