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Warfare of welfare

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, September 30th, 2013 - 136 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, welfare - Tags: ,

So Paula Bennet is being all proud as punch about her welfare reforms. See, it appears she’s been innovative and has delivered savings of some $3 Billion based on some formulaic future cost of welfare calculation. For argument’s sake, let’s allow that those future costs are accurate.

Three billion dollars is a fair amount of money. So the Nats are probably toasting their own financial acumen.

Small detail. It’s coming off the back of 2000 people per week having their benefit cancelled. That’s 2000 people every week who do not have jobs having their benefit cancelled. That’s 2000 people who are late for an appointment or some such, falling foul of the punitive regime of obligations introduced by this government.

That’s 2000 people, bashed and vilified at the best of times, having the safety net pulled out from under them every week and left without rent money or food money or any obvious means of support.

Oh yeah. And the priority for WINZ isn’t the unemployed. Their principle focus, according to the Herald article, is those with long term mental health problems and solo parents. So if you were thinking it wasn’t too bad and that the 2000 people a week probably comprised of young kids who’d simply fall back on their parent’s support or ‘do it hard’ for a week or two until they got their shit together, then think again.

136 comments on “Warfare of welfare”

  1. karol 1

    Key’s government truly is the Nasty Government.

    Are they so stupid they don’t realise this is going to make the society we all live in more vicious, and uninhabitable?

    Or are they just going to build stronger gates?

    Time to rebuild social security.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      Exactly, when ‘we’ as a society were proud to take care of our own with social security rather than demonise people and put them through the uncaring bureaucratic obstacle course that is WINZ.

      A friends brother with late stage diabetes, still youngish but had strokes, barely mobile, vulnerable mentally, went to Henderson WINZ for appt. under new regs and while an invalid was told to be work ready or else. WTF? He was a mess for days. The family subsequently appointed an advocate to be with him at all times in such contacts. But not everyone knows to do this or how to.

      My partners dad worked for DSW in the 60s and 70s and said it was true that weeks would pass without an unemployment benefit form coming out of the desk drawer or stationery cupboard.
      In todays world a UBI would be the sensible measure to remove the benefit stigma and send people like Rebstock and ladder puller Bennett packing.

    • Rogue Trooper 1.2

      Gates

    • Of course Karol;
      I’m off the opinion that this is one of the worst ever governments since 1951 (another far Right Nat Party)
      This present lot are not as Key keeps telling us . “A centre right party but a far right party ,tending towards Fascism. They truly are a scary arrogant lot. I wonder if they will try and extend their term by declaring an emergency thus claiming another year,Remember they did this in 1951 .Their excuse was “the 1951 strike ” which in fact was a lock -out.

    • Intrinsicvalue 1.5

      Society doesn’t become more vicious just because people are weaned off welfare dependency. I am a firm believer in a safety net, but no government owes an able bodied person an income for life, and none can afford it. You do not make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.5.1

        Intrinsic Value,

        While I understand you to be banned I shall do you a favour and answer your comment because you appear to be so entirely misinformed.

        ‘Welfare dependency’ is a problem created by government policy and those that lobby for and support such policies. The people who have the greatest ‘welfare dependency’ are those that the lobbyists work for and the governments depending on their money in order to fool people to vote for piss poor policies that don’t work. This is the problem that requires addressing re ‘welfare dependency’.

        Shoving people off welfare solves nothing, will do nothing to improve our society and create many more problems to deal with. It is entirely inhuman what is occurring in this area. Inhuman and stupid.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.5.2

        I am a firm believer in a safety net, but no government owes an able bodied person an income for life, and none can afford it.

        Wrong.
        1.) the government is the people, not the MPs
        2.) Ensuring that no one lives in poverty is the actual purpose of the economy
        3.) This is easily possible with the resources that NZ has
        4.) The reason why we have poverty is because of the rich – they disallow the rest of us access to our resources as well as preventing us from having a say in how those resources are used

        You do not make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.

        Yes, actually, you do.

      • Colonial Viper 1.5.3

        You do not make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.

        Well, this sentence of yours is simply a nonsense.

        The key is in the distribution of the nation’s national income. Currently, workers and non-workers have far too small a share, while the share of asset owners and corporations are far too large.

        A shift of 4% or 5% of the national income from asset owners and corporations, to workers and non-workers, should be sufficient.

        I am a firm believer in a safety net, but no government owes an able bodied person an income for life

        Why not? If there are more job seekers in our economy than full time positions available in that economy, it is the Government’s failure. Not the failure of the “able bodied person”.

        Therefore, the Government must pay for that failure, not the able bodied person without a job.

      • Lloyd 1.5.4

        Surely the reason we presently have a drop in crime at present is two terms of Labour government with reasonable social services has produced a group of young people with less social problems than the products of Ruthenasia. The social welfare policies sown today won’t be reaped for at least six years, when the school aged kids of today reach the age to be sent off to jail.

        A social safety net produces a safer society, even for the rich.

        And of course you can make the poor richer by taking it off the rich. The interesting thing is that if you make the poor richer the trickle up effect actually works and the rich, eventually, get richer than they would have been if they kept all the money.

        • Colonial Viper 1.5.4.1

          Surely the reason we presently have a drop in crime at present is two terms of Labour government with reasonable social services has produced a group of young people with less social problems than the products of Ruthenasia.

          No, that kind of rationale doesn’t work unless you can show that it’s youth crime predominantly which is dropping.

  2. chrissy 2

    How dare you breathe! Benefit cancelled immediately.

  3. Puckish Rogue 3

    Well its a start

    • greywarbler 3.1

      PR
      What sort of useless comment is that? You brainless ghoul. Fuck off.

    • Melb 3.2

      I worked with three guys over April/May who would swap tips about how to minimise their hours and on-the-book wages in order to not get their benefits cut.

      I wonder if they were a part of those numbers.

      • greywarbler 3.2.1

        Melb
        I wonder why they are doing such things. Is it because they can’t get regular jobs, with regular hours, paying enough to live on. When people are part of what has been called the precariat, when they are uncertain of their future earnings, they have to manage as best they can.

        A really good book to read is Down and Out in London and Paris and another On the Road to Wigan Pier both by George Orwell. They are about how people get through hard times, just coping and living from day to day not daring to think beyond managing and trying to arrange something better if opportunity comes and projects get started, though often not.

        Clip of a tv program on Orwell – Last words http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXm5hklbBsA
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4s9pdL7tpA A small bio.

  4. bad12 4

    You have to wonder about the economic schizophrenia involved in this latest gush from Bennett and Slippery’s National Government,

    What insanity emanating from the bean counters can begin to justify claiming the ‘future cost’ of the welfare system to be effected by ‘interest rates’ which is what the latest ‘gush’ from Bennett would have us all believe,

    Where exactly is the connection, unless of course the present Government has begun the manipulation where as interest rates rise the ‘future cost’ of welfare will be calculated to have gone through the roof and Bennett will be presenting the electorate with a TINA argument for slashing the rate of benefit,

    More of the same from National, when poll results start looking bad, give those at the bottom of the heap another kicking and increase the amount of corporate welfare,

    i think after 5 years the electorate has just about woken up to this lot and November 2014 can’t come soon enough…

    • George D 4.1

      Plenty of people with schizophrenia are kind, decent and high functioning individuals. Diseases can’t be helped, but attitudes can.

      They’re cruel and heartless to the weak and generous to the rich and strong.

  5. Mary 5

    Questions need to be asked about precisely what happens to people who have benefits taken from them. Bennett hails the reduction of payments as a success because the government’s spending less, but no notice is taken of whether people still need the benefit. It’s part of basic good administration to know precisely why benefits are stopped in order to inform ongoing policy development but this government has no idea what happens to most people it throws off the benefit, which is happening more and more. Keeping these sort of statistics used to be standard practice but MSD no longer bother. When Bennett can’t answer the question pressure then needs to be put on her to start collecting information again.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      It has been documented on this site that various ministries do not collect information on the impact of govt. policies pertaining to them. They actually do not want to know. The last “senseless” (Census) was a piss weak attempt after it was put off from original schedule after the Christchurch events. The questions seemed prying rather than collecting info for future societal planning as they were originally set up for.

      As a citizen I do collect information as I walk the neighbourhood with dog, there are more beggars on the streets, fact. There are more people living in garages and overcrowded housing. There are more bad dudes hanging around happy to bash for cash. Even people doing ok pool their resources when they previously would have had their own place. Kids stay at home longer. It goes on and on. The lost potential.

      This dirty filthy tory government won’t build state houses but it will build jails. Says it all.

      • Rogue Trooper 5.1.1

        Yep 😎 Tiger Mountain

      • Puddleglum 5.1.2

        We have a Fiscal Responsibility Act.

        Maybe we should have a Social Responsibility Act.

        Every piece of legislation should be filtered through an assessment of the social harm it would lead to. There would then be transparency over how the government’s policies impacted people, including future generations. Yes, the criteria for socially responsible legislation might be debatable, but presumably so are those used in the FR Act.

        Such an Act would seem to add some much needed balance.

  6. Meh. If it cuts down on the scam described here, society’s the winner on the day.

    • karol 6.1

      So no irony in your choice of handle then?

      A few less people on the dole, more trying to scavenge on less than survival income. whiles spinning about scams.

      The real scams are the asset sales & electricity price gougers. Nasty benefit cuts & the big scams of the wealthy do the real damage to society.

      • Psycho Milt 6.1.1

        The real scams are the asset sales & electricity price gougers. Nasty benefit cuts & the big scams of the wealthy do the real damage to society.

        Er, what? Asset sales may not be a good idea but the loss to society isn’t particularly serious. And given that electricity price gouging is mostly carried out by the public sector, it amounts to indirect taxation – which is onerous but not exactly top of the list of things that might damage society.

        The proliferation of children being raised on benefits over the last 30 years, though – well, that’s involved a huge increase in numbers of children being raised in poverty, failing at school, getting Third-World diseases, suffering abuse and neglect, you name it and being raised on a benefit is a risk factor for it. Pretty serious damage to society going on there, no argument.

        • anarcho 6.1.1.1

          What I don’t get about you is your use of the Crass symbol. Why does a right-wing dick use an anarchist-punk symbol?

          • bad12 6.1.1.1.1

            Lolz, i am pretty sure that it’s last symbol was a red star, there seems to be a little trickle of them at the moment ‘outing’ themselves as harboring some pretty far right views while claiming to be leftist…

            • Psycho Milt 6.1.1.1.1.1

              There’s nothing “far right” about it. MSD’s figures show kids raised 9 years+ on a benefit are something like 13x more likely to suffer abuse than kids not raised on benefits. Given that, and the plethora of similar info, you don’t have to be a right-winger to figure out that we might want to minimise the number of kids being raised on benefits.

              As to the Crass symbol, what’s anarchist about wanting to see lots of people living as dependents of the government?

              • Treetop

                Is it being on a benefit or not being in affordable housing that makes a child 13x more likely to suffer abuse than kids not raised on a benefit?

                • QoT

                  Obviously, Treetop, receiving government money (which isn’t Working for Families, of course) turns you into an abusive shithead. That’s why the Right really want to have smaller government. They’re just looking out for us.

              • psycho milt purports to be ‘the token leftie’ on a far-right website..

                ..(one where farrar is viewed as a raving-leftie..and key is a commie..)

                ..which has always been a bit of a puzzle..

                and..”. . we might want to minimise the number of kids being raised on benefits…’

                ..must get a special selective-stat/words award..

                ..and maybe those last two words should not be ‘on benefits’..

                ..but ‘in poverty’..

                ..eh..?

                ..and gee..!..living for longer periods in that poverty..

                ..has negative outcomes for children..?

                ..good one..!..einstein..!

                ..is that some sort of fucken revelation for you..or something..?

                ..and you claiming to be ‘left’..

                ..is just a manifestation of deep confusion/identity-crisis..

                ..on yr part..

                ..eh..?

                ..you might turn left out of yr driveway..

                ..but that’s about fucken it for ‘left’..

                ..eh..?..

                ..phillip ure..

            • Macro 6.1.1.1.1.2

              neocons…
              http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Neocons
              I particularly like the 6th definition 🙂

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          Asset sales may not be a good idea but the loss to society isn’t particularly serious.

          You don’t think turning NZers in to serfs of the rich is serious?

          And given that electricity price gouging is mostly carried out by the public sector,

          True but that just requires taking power back to being a government service primarily paid for through taxes rather than having it operating to make a profit which, as you say, turns it into a form of taxation – a massively regressive form.

          The proliferation of children being raised on benefits over the last 30 years, though…

          Being raised on benefits isn’t the cause of those problems – not having enough to live on is.

          • Psycho Milt 6.1.1.2.1

            No arguments from me about asset sales and electricity price gouging being Bad Things, I just don’t see them as contenders for being much more damaging to society than the abject human misery involved in child neglect and abuse.

            Being raised on benefits isn’t the cause of those problems – not having enough to live on is.

            The one is strongly correlated with the other, and it would be drawing a long bow to declare either of them causal for child neglect and abuse.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Poverty has already been shown to have an effect on child abuse and other social breakdown such as the dissolution of marriages. The point is that being on a benefit should not drop you into poverty as it does today.

              • Mary

                Yes, and don’t you just love the logic of the likes of Slater/Mitchell/Odgers et al which is get rid of benefits and you’ll get rid of poverty. Just astounding stuff.

              • We have figures that show being raised on a benefit is a serious risk factor for child neglect and abuse. I don’t draw from that the conclusion that we should therefore make raising children on a benefit more attractive. Call it a quirk.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  No, I won’t call it a quirk – I’ll call it sociopathic.

                  It’s not about making it more attractive but about making sure that people are properly supported.

                • bad12

                  No, you have figures which show that children whose parents have the least income in society are more likely to suffer abuse,

                  The connection is that welfare benefits are the lowest amount of income parents of children receive in our society,

                  If benefits were the cause of child abuse the majority of children being raised on a benefit would be being abused by their parent(s)…

                  • Bollocks, bollocks, and bollocks. The first sentence is a claim you need to find some evidence for, the second is demonstrably untrue and the third is an egregious logical fallacy.

                    It’s not about making it more attractive but about making sure that people are properly supported.

                    Again, meh. I’m more interested in the actual effects of things than what the intent behind them is.

    • bad12 6.2

      Scam, what f**king scam, all’s i see is some graphs to keep the stupid amused, or do you suggest that a woman having another baby while receiving the benefit is a scam…

      • Psycho Milt 6.2.1

        Your inability to make sense of the graphs isn’t anyone else’s problem. And, yes.

        • bad12 6.2.1.1

          Oh please enlighten us all ‘Psycho milt’, the graphs simply tell me that a number of recipients of the DPB had another child while receiving that DPB,

          Consider this then, under such rules if there are those who have deliberately set out to have a baby to avoid the ‘work expectations’ what the fuck do you think will occur again next year…

    • Tiger Mountain 6.3

      Lindsay Mitchell (quoted in Psycho’s link) comes from the evil twins–Paulas Rebstock and Bennett’s “starve ’em out” approach to beneficiary parents.

      Paul Blair from the Rotorua Peoples Advocacy Centre did an academic study of a sample released Dec. 2007 of sole parents on benefits and found that the overwelming barrier to their returning to work regardless of age of the children was A) childcare cost and B) the excessive abatement rates on any income earned. The MSD refused to release the report.

    • Tracey 6.4

      “The evidence for the existence of widespread benefit fraud is paltry to non-existent – despite the fact that a special fraud intelligence unit was set up in the Social Welfare department in 2007 to detect it. Last year, the department checked 29 million records, and found the benefit fraud rate (as a proportion of the total benefits paid) was a miniscule 0.10 per cent. A declining number of prosecutions – from 937 in 2009 to 789 last year – resulted.

      Of the $16 million in benefit fraud detected last year, a proportion was carried out by social welfare staff – ten of whom were sacked last year for ripping off the system – and not by beneficiaries themselves. While any level of benefit fraud is unacceptable, the $16 million a year currently being incurred is hardly an intolerable burden. Currently, New Zealanders spend $16,1 million a day on impulse purchases.

      Moreover, other forms of unacceptable behaviour leave benefit fraud far behind in the dust without attracting the same negative stereotypes. The major foreign owned banks for instance finally agreed in late 2009 – and only after being pursued at great expense through the courts by the IRD – to cough up $2.2 billion of what they owed in unpaid taxes. Meaning : the settlement figure this case alone was about 140 times greater than the total amount lost in benefit fraud last year.. “

      • Psycho Milt 6.4.1

        Raising kids for WINZ isn’t benefit fraud, it’s entirely legit.

      • Intrinsicvalue 6.4.2

        Yes but the $16m being spent on impulse purchases is those peoples own money. Welfare fraud is theft of someone else’s money.

        • Lloyd 6.4.2.1

          So is tax fraud, and there is a whole lot more of it, but the gnats don’t worry cos its mainly carried out by their mates at the club.

          Hey, has anyone done a study on the effects of tax fraud in a household raising kids?

    • Murray Olsen 6.5

      Society will be the winner when having more kids to stay on a paltry benefit is not seen as the best option by a small number of women. Society is the loser when those women and their children are forced onto the street.

      • Lloyd 6.5.1

        Society will be the winner when even those kids given birth to by women who see having them on a benefit as the only option are raised in good houses, with good health care, good diets and good stable education. Some of therm might grow up to be the Prime Minister….. whoops we used to have that and he did! Fat chance now…..

    • McFlock 6.6

      ~3,000 out of ~60,000, and that’s assuming that the sole reason for the additional pregnancy is to “scam” the DPB

      As opposed to bankers, that’s a pretty honest rate, much cheaper, and helps offset the 2050 retirement age imbalance.

      Of course, the “scam” is purely in the diseased little tory mind – anyone who thinks they’d be better off having another kid to stay on the DPB is short on education. Probably because the nats keep cutting access to it.

      • srylands 6.6.1

        “~3,000 out of ~60,000, and that’s assuming that the sole reason for the additional pregnancy is to “scam” the DPB”

        It should be zero. How on earth can we allow parents on the DPB to have more children??

        • Colonial Viper 6.6.1.1

          Hey shitlands, are you really lecturing us about other peoples’ reproductive free choice? Talk about a fucking nanny statist.

          I always knew you were.

        • McFlock 6.6.1.2

          Um – because we don’t believe in compulsory sterilization of the poor?

          Seriously, how can you claim to have spent a career trying to improve society and still come up with shit like that?

          • Draco T Bastard 6.6.1.2.1

            Because SSLands idea of improving society is to get rid of the poor – literally and not by lifting them out of poverty.

  7. johnm 7

    A friend of mine had his benefit cut without any notification by telephone or letter. He has only a land line with an answer phone after 6 rings. He fell foul of the rule: if they ring you 3 times and can’t get to you why you’re not available to work or not work ready(One way to cover this is to have a cell phone on you at all times, but not everyone likes these devices). All three times they didn’t hang on long enough to leave a message on the answerphone to get back to them pronto as to a job they could refer him to. He called them 4 or 5 times leaving messages on their answerphones or through the central office but got no reply. He went in and saw them and they just said sorry more or less you broke the rules and didn’t offer or volunteer how he could resume his benefit despite him protesting they should have left messages after all they operate on the same system of answerphones and he went away.

    he went to an advocate who immediately spotted they’d not followed their own rules, they should have sent a letter at least telling why they were cutting and giving him some time grace to remedy his mistakes or give a good reason for them.

    It went to review and the benefit with unpaid arrears was paid and resumed.

    He was lucky in that he was in a paid up own home with some savings in the bank and some extra legal income coming in as well which gave him space and calmness to do what was necessary. But he said to me:

    If I’d been a man with a couple of kids and a wife to support and renting I’d have been sh@tting myself with worry,(No money for 6 weeks!) imagining being evicted and landing up on the street hungry, bye bye marriage and security for the children.

    This is structural violence and against civil rights and unkiwi, just downright cruel and heartless.

    • weka 7.1

      I’ve been hearing variations on the phone issue too. It makes me wonder if WINZ are using an informal policy of phoning and not staying on the phone long enough, so they can record a ‘not available’ and thus reduce benefits. Which begs the question of how staff have been incentivised to work like that.

      Or it could just be that the benefit reforms have placed such ridiculous time constraints on staff (been hearing this too), that staff just don’t have time to do their job properly.

      As an aside, I don’t know why they’re not using email more (where the client has internet access at home), as it’s easier to prove that an email was sent than a phone call was made. It’s also easier for clients to respond.

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.1

        They won’t want to use email because they won’t want any permanent record of how badly they do their jobs, and how they flout their own rules.

      • QoT 7.1.2

        It doesn’t even need to be a deliberate tactic – given recent reporting on how overworked a lot of WINZ staff are, I wouldn’t be surprised if some people are so burnt out and un-engaged that they hang up early because they’re just trying to tick enough boxes to get the boss off their back.

    • johnm 7.2

      IMHO This government is following the example of the fascist U$K where they have refined to a cruel torture the persecution of the Bennie jew class, their main implements being workfare and punitive sanctions even on the basis of a subjective decision from your case manager that you are not trying hard enough. Then we have the abomination of Arbeit mach Frei Atos which has decided that even dying people are fit to work.

      “Buried in the Supplemental Tables at the end of the report are the Work Programme performance figures for ESA Ex-Incapacity Benefit claimants. These are claimants who were previously on Incapacity Benefit and have been re-assessed by Atos as able to do some kind of work and placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) of Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

      These are the people that the right wing press have all too often smeared as frauds, who were faking or over-exaggerating their conditions. People with cancer in some cases, or serious mental health conditions, Multiple Sclerosis or HIV. They are the people who in some desperate incidents have been driven to suicide by the stressful and demeaning Atos assessments. The same group who the Daily Mirror revealed were dying at a rate of 32 people a week after being placed in the Work Related Activity Group.”

      http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/

      http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2012/04/32-die-a-week-after-failing-in.html

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      This is structural violence and against civil rights and unkiwi, just downright cruel and heartless.

      Exactly and this government should be going to jail because of it.

  8. emergency mike 8

    “Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said the new policies were “refocusing expectations and introducing new work expectations”. ”

    She certainly has a way with expectations.

    • bad12 8.1

      When a Government, any Government, has produced an economy of full employment then ‘a work expectation’ could be said to be logical,

      Anything else is simply ‘noise’, bashing beneficiaries in the most public way possible in an effort by an economic failure of a Government to in effect cover up it’s failure to either create a fully employed society or to divide up the employment available so everyone can share equally in any Governments economic success or failure and thus cast their votes accordingly…

      • srylands 8.1.1

        So remind me why we are importing thousands of skilled migrants specificallt to work on the ChCh rebuild?

        We have a mismatch between supply and demand because of market rigidities and poorly trained workers. The work tests in the welfare system are doing nothing to address this, so you can go back to slep if you are in the wrong place or simply have no skills. If you are poorly motivated you are going to get prodded.

        If you have poor skills, use drugs and have an attitude you are unemployable.

        If you have some skills but won’t move out of Otara, you are unemployable.

        • bad12 8.1.1.1

          Dickwad, or would you prefer SSLands, we have a one off major natural disaster, although i would like to be able to blame the present Government for it’s lack of training, in all honesty it cannot be planned for,

          If there are unemployable people in our society why are not this present National Government marking their cards as unemployable instead of chasing them round to seek employment,

          Instead you whine and shout when people are moved from the unemployment benefit to the old invalids benefit which did mark them as unemployable…

        • Tracey 8.1.1.2

          Perhaps because the people on the DPB or unemployment aren’t builders, plumbers and electricians, or engineers?

          Who should pay for the training of workers? The workers? The employers? The government?

          If government it is a subsidy, if the workers it is an uphill struggle given fees for studying and if it is the employer they will shift to employing the already skilled.

        • North 8.1.1.3

          Srylands – maybe the Tories years ago killing apprenticeships is the central reason for the dearth of skilled workers.

          Your ranting behaviour and extraordinary “solutions” is sociopathic and you’re not the full quid. Want to know what sane Tories think about the likes of you. Embarrassments topping even ShonKey Python. Alf Garnett revisited.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1.1.3.1

            Dr. Wayne Mapp for example, had some choice words for Srylands recently. I see the trash hasn’t taken any notice.

            • greywarbler 8.1.1.3.1.1

              e mike
              Expectoration (spitting). . FIFY

            • miravox 8.1.1.3.1.2

              ” I see the trash hasn’t taken any notice.”

              You’re assuming that s/he would actually go back and check on the comments s/he writes. S/he aims to pontificate, not discuss, I think.

          • phillip ure 8.1.1.3.2

            well..one thing is clear..

            ..srylands and psycho milt are in complete agreement..

            ..funny that..

            ..wot with pm being a ‘leftie’..and all..

            ..and sryland clearly a foam-flecked rightie..

            ..which one gets the honesty-in-(self)-advertising award..?..

            ..phillip ure..

        • framu 8.1.1.4

          “If you have some skills but won’t move out of Otara, you are unemployable.”

          you say some pretty offensive shit you wannabe

          you complain about people being rude to you on a web forum – yet here you are insulting an entire group of people based solely on where they live.

          and in doing that you also demonstrate that you know nothing about otara, or about why overseas immigrants are being brought in

          you know – i like to think all people have something to add to society regardless of their background – but not you

          the gum i scrape from my shoe has more understanding and humanity than your entire sorry little existance

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.5

          If you have some skills but won’t move out of Otara, you are unemployable.

          Basic jobs should be provided for people close to where they are. There’s plenty of community, social, health and education work which could be productively done in Otara, for instance.

        • Chris 8.1.1.6

          “So remind me why we are importing thousands of skilled migrants specificallt to work on the ChCh rebuild?”

          They are cheap labour and will work in appalling conditions that kiwis simply wouldn’t and shouldn’t tolerate

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.7

          So remind me why we are importing thousands of skilled migrants specificallt to work on the ChCh rebuild?

          Because the profit drive cause sociopathic managers and shareholders not to pay enough to employ NZers.

          We have a mismatch between supply and demand because of market rigidities and poorly trained workers.

          That comes down to those sociopathic managers again – they don’t want to have to pay to do the training. BTW, the people being imported probably can’t do the work either due to their lack of training. Different standards apply – we require higher standards.

          If you have poor skills, use drugs and have an attitude you are unemployable.

          The first two don’t apply and being different from the sociopathic manager isn’t a reason not to hire them. I’ve been on the courses from WINZ and the private providers – they all stress how much you need to conform – so much for individuality.

        • North 8.1.1.8

          The some shillings short of the pound sociopath Srylands – this is what ‘it’ SAID at 8.1.1 above –

          “If you have poor skills, use drugs and have an attitude you are unemployable.”

          This is what ‘it’ really MEANT – ” My ‘ifs’ are just me being my impeccably mannered self. Forget them – you are unemployed = you are poor = poor skills = drug use = attitude = unemployable = your own fault = good job you scum ! ”

          Which goes to show that Srylands = the some shillings above plus many more, short of the pound sociopath.

          Karma will have a rather unforgiving look at the sociopathic scum Srylands one day and good job ! Hang on………sounds like that’s already happened. More please.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        When a Government, any Government, has produced an economy of full employment then ‘a work expectation’ could be said to be logical,

        Bill English said, last century so not online, that it was impossible to get unemployment below 6%. He’s probably quite happy with it now being somewhat above that as it keeps wages down.

        What this means is that this governments beneficiary bashing is, as a matter of fact, against their own economic policy which suggests that it’s a diversion from something else.

  9. marsman 9

    Gloating Paula Bennett is the ugly face of National.

  10. AsleepWhileWalking 10

    Another area they could target is the disability allowance = discretionary, meaning nobody who is receiving it has it as of right. Plus the new legislation allows for entire classes of expenses to be disallowed (I suspect this will be first used to target alternative treatments/supplements). This government’s penchant for punishing those less able has been established IMHO. [Remember under s81 they can review a decision at any time.]

    For me the biggest mistake this country has made in terms of policy was the introduction of the Accommodation Supplement which has aided many property investors and effectively created a baseline for rents. Who are the REAL beneficiaries of the AS??
    http://www.interest.co.nz/property/62883/opinion-brendon-harre-looks-impact-housing-affordability-poverty-and-wonders-why-loca

    “That accommodation supplement costs about NZ$1.2 billion dollars a year, and state housing rent subsidies cost about NZ$600 million, so you you’re close to the NZ$2 billion mark, and that is of a serious concern to us,” Heatley the former Minister of Housing said.

    If you add in Working for Families tax credits being a further $2.8 billion, which was implemented at least in part due to concerns about child poverty and stretched household budgets by high housing costs then the total cost is about $4.5 billion.

    As house prices are rising faster than inflation and even wages, then central government expenditure on housing will also rise faster, sucking expenditure from other areas.

    • Treetop 10.1

      The dirty hat trick with housing under the National Government.

      1. 1.2 billion in accommodation supplement per year.
      2. Housing NZ pits the needy against the needy.
      3. 20% deposit required for a housing loan, (discretionary 10% with a 10% deposit).

      There is nothing in the above to be proud about because the accommodation supplement is too low for most areas, especially the main ones. Landlords are the ones who benefit the most.

      The HNZ waiting list grows by the day while empty dwellings stay unoccupied or some rich person is waiting to buy the property because they are the only ones who can afford it.

      A first home buyer now has to rent longer and rent is likely to go up because of this.

    • weka 10.2

      “Plus the new legislation allows for entire classes of expenses to be disallowed (I suspect this will be first used to target alternative treatments/supplements).”

      Got a link for that AWW?

    • xtasy 10.3

      AsleepWhileWalking:

      Extract from that opinion article by Brendon Harre on interest.co.nz:
      “Renting is statistically linked to a shorter life even after taking into account other socio economic factors p.49 and on the same page stated there is growing evidence of poor health related to high housing costs due to poor nutrition etc.”

      Some of the following seems to prove all this:

      Source: ‚THINK PROGRESS’

      “Poverty Has Same Effect On The Brain As Constantly Pulling All Nighters”
      (by Bryce Covert on August 30, 2013 at 8:54 am)

      http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/08/30/2555601/living-poverty-effect-brain-constantly-pulling-nighters/#13793150870871&action=collapse_widget&id=9230521

      also:
      “Kids Who Overcome Poverty Are Still In For A Lifetime Of Medical Problems”
      (by Sy Mukherjee on May 31, 2013 at 2:25 pm)

      http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/05/31/2079601/kids-poverty-medical-problems/#13793138158751&action=collapse_widget&id=3441677

      Myself being on a benefit with various components, and renting, where I pay over 60 per cent of total income in rent alone, and utility and all other costs on top of that, I am struggling week to week, to make ends meet. I know others who are in even worse situations.

      It certainly affects the mind and general well-being, to live as a renter and facing insecurity re the benefit all the time, as some WINZ reviews are regular, but others may be done all over a sudden, so there is NO SECURITY at all, and one lives in constant worry and fear, kind of.

  11. A lesson from NZ on the hazards of punitive welfare reform
    Melissa Sweet | Sep 22, 2013 3:36PM

    The toll that structural violence takes upon disadvantaged people in NZ was highlighted in a keynote address to the Public Health Association of Australia’s annual conference in Melbourne last week.

    Darrin Hodgetts, Professor of Societal Psychology at the University of Waikato, described how punitive welfare reforms exacerbate the difficulties faced by many people who are already struggling, and said that state agencies increasingly enact repression rather than care.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2013/09/22/a-lesson-from-nz-on-the-hazards-of-punitive-welfare-reform/

  12. democracy 12

    Pulla Benefit well well well What a hypocrite and really powerful now that she has achieved the ultimate fascist doctrine of dealing to socialist policies of a non aggressive country of people who would just like a decent wage for a worth while job that doesnt send its profit overseas never to be seen again
    We really dont need a minister that has to justify the basic doctrine of the national party that is to rid the country of communism and socialism like we are living back in the days of Joe Mcarthy
    We are in the middle of a world wide Capitalist purge called Austerity to justify 30+yrs of corporate raiding of the worlds monetary resources that have proven to be a croc o shit based on values that dont exist and this gov. is following its masters overseas who will continue to lie so long as we keep electing idiots like the ones in this govt

  13. aerobubble 13

    Key was at the UN looking into the eyes of world leaders to gain a seat on the council. Key wasn’t at home, won’t be at home, looking into the kids eyes who live in the garage, have no shoes to go to shoe in, who have suffered from decades of Tory and Tory Labour policies that consider those without wealth, those on low income, aren’t citizens who are owed a living, owed an affordable roof. Government is not just for profit.

    • Treetop 13.1

      How much lower can the government stoop when it comes to the welfare of children?

      Will anything change in election year?

      • aerobubble 13.1.1

        The top end are helped by government, those needing housing and would never be able to afford to buy need the market to provide homes, which the market will never provide as the poorest have no money. That’s why we build state housing, that’s why state housing is sold into the private sector because the market is so shameless at build leak, badly designed, over priced homes. Government need to set the standard, and so raise the standard of the housing stock.

        • Treetop 13.1.1.1

          “Government need to set the standard, and so raise the standard of the housing stock.”

          Agree.

          To see a child have their own room or to share with a sibling of the same gender and similar age group, this would be life changing for a child who lives in a crowded home. Government need to see the part they are playing in exposing children to deprivation because of the financial stress parents are under to put a roof over the families head.

          • srylands 13.1.1.1.1

            Parents need to see the part they are playing in exposing children to deprivation because of the financial stress parents are under to put a roof over the families head.

            • framu 13.1.1.1.1.1

              some parents? all parents? just the icky ones who use public transport? or just those who you deem as sub human?

              once again youve ignored the substance of the comment or chain of comments just to put in your idiotic and childish mud slinging.

              All is does in further prove just how much humanity you lack

            • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1.2

              As it is a phenomenon affecting 100,000 parents or more it is clearly a societal problem, not an individual problem, and therefore needs to be resolved on a societal scale, not an individual scale.

              Of course, government is the only body which can accomplish this.

            • Treetop 13.1.1.1.1.3

              Example per week:
              Income $480.00
              Rent $380.00
              Food $100.00

              Nothing left over for anything else.

              A responsible government would make it a PRIORTY to PROVIDE affordable housing.

            • North 13.1.1.1.1.4

              What the fuck does this actually mean you lunatic Srylands @ 13.1.1.1.1 ? Are you tripping ?

              “Parents need to see the part they are playing in exposing children to deprivation because of the financial stress parents are under to put a roof over the families head.”

              The best I can make of it is this –

              “I acknowledge that I am guilty of shameless profligacy in wantonly paying three quarters of my weekly income in rent for the sub-standard roof I so, so selfishly insist on putting over my kids’ heads. I know my irresponsibility will be their ruination Sir and I’m so, so sorry, Mr Sociopathic Srylands, Sir. I promise you – I will mend my ways.”

            • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1.1.5

              Wrong. The only reason why most parents have difficulty with finances is because the economy is set up to enrich the few while pushing everyone else into poverty. From what you’ve written on here, it seems that you’re in favour of this sociopathic economic system.

            • Sable 13.1.1.1.1.6

              Maybe you could hire some of the proles to polish your jack boots shitelands…A few pennies from you might make all the difference….

  14. home help 14

    Oh dear what can the matter be national and Tau stuck in the lavatory
    They be there from Sunday till Saturday
    Oh what a stink in the Air

  15. Sable 15

    Its rumoured Bennetts number skills not so hot so how the F**K this fat old cow can say she has delivered saving of $3B from shafting the poor, mentally ill and disadvantaged is beyond me. Indeed even if it were true its a disgrace….

  16. Tracey 16

    Pscho milt wrote

    show kids raised 9 years+ on a benefit are something like 13x more likely to suffer abuse than kids not raised on benefits:

    Can you post evidence that bennett has addressed this issue?

    • I doubt she has addressed this issue. Given the post’s point about sole parents being a focus of these changes, I wrote “If it cuts down on [sole parents adding children to existing benefits], society will be the winner on the day.” The change to work expectations following the birth of additional children is presumably intended to address that, but it’s open to question whether it will or not – we seem to have bought big-time into the fantasy of the government as parent, and as long as that continues we’re going to have that 13x risk factor.

      • bad12 16.1.1

        Tell me ‘Psycho Milt’ are you fucking 10 years old or something, it’s a serious question given that your view of history seems to only encompass a small fraction of time,(this should point out to you to look way further past your nose),

        i will take the time here to explain a couple of points to you as an attempted educative process, although i would really prefer just to dismiss you as some fucking right-wing fuck-head,

        Once upon a time we had full employment, we also had relatively high levels of child abuse across the whole spectrum of such abuse although today’s figures are much higher mostly because of high reporting rates and a willingness to keep records of such reporting,

        Now if you look back to the time of ‘full employment’ you will find that there were two factors involved which DID NOT include the welfare system because there were very few children being raised soly on benefits,

        You are getting the hint are you not, fuck all people on benefits but there was still a high rate of child abuse,(lots of which went unreported),

        Where in the economic demographic was the majority of reported child abuse in our fully employed society,

        Such child abuse was mostly reported from among the lowest paid least educated families in our society,(remember there are f. all beneficiaries at this time),

        It is not then the FACT of a child being raised upon a benefit that is the risk factor, the risk factor is the least educated with the lowest economic means,

        The fact that you and Paula Bennett see the risk factor as the benefit itself is totally false, it suits the right wing nut jobs to frame child abuse in such a manner….

        • Psycho Milt 16.1.1.1

          Well, maybe, but it also seems to suit physical reality to frame child abuse in such a manner.

          Your thesis seems to be that the bottom end of the income bell curve is where child abuse happens, and the only difference between now and 40 years ago is that now a much higher proportion of the bottom end of the income bell curve is on benefits. There’s a couple of problems with that (well, apart from the fact you don’t present any evidence for it):

          1. It depends on the idea that levels of neglect and abuse were around the same 40 years ago, but were under-reported back then. Thing is, the kind of abuse that results in hospitalisation or death doesn’t get under-reported. We have a lot more of that now, having spent the last 30 years dramatically increasing the proportion of kids raised on benefits.

          2. Another high risk factor for child abuse is having an unrelated male adult living in the same house. This factor is something that’s become common almost entirely due to the rise in kids being raised from birth by sole parents.

          • miravox 16.1.1.1.1

            “It depends on the idea that levels of neglect and abuse were around the same 40 years ago, but were under-reported back then”

            Back in the day this sort of abuse resulted in kids being put in homes for naughty or disturbed children. We no longer have those, and for good reason.

            “Another high risk factor for child abuse is having an unrelated male adult living in the same house”

            Forcing beaten parents to stay in a home with a related male is a high risk factor for the children in that household to experience child abuse, teen pregnancy and suffer from, and perpetuate, violence.

            I understand where you’re coming from, with not encouraging kids to be raised in households that put them at risk of poverty and maltreatment. But I can’t for the life of me work out that you can’t separate child abuse, which is poor parenting for myriad of reasons, from sole-parenting on a benefit.

            Maybe you need to go back and school up on social conditions and family structures before the DBP was introduced.

            • Psycho Milt 16.1.1.1.1.1

              The fact that there were excellent reasons for introducing the DPB and those reasons remain just as valid today doesn’t alter the fact that it’s also had some unintended consequences we ought to try and minimise.

              Everyone on these threads points to what the DPB was introduced for. What it definitely wasn’t introduced for is so that we can develop an ever-increasing population of people who feel they don’t need to care about contraception because the state will provide. Because, if you have a sizable number of people who think kids are just some shit that happens, what you can reasonably expect to see is for that cohort to be seriously over-represented when it comes to poor parenting of whatever flavour, up to and including child neglect and abuse. And whaddaya know? That’s exactly what we’re seeing.

              Some commenters are claiming that we’re seeing this simply because people raising kids on benefits are people on low incomes. It’s superficially plausible, if grossly insulting to low-income families in which both parents are raising their own kids and earning a living to do it with – but given that what we’re seeing is what we could reasonably expect to see, it’s a theory strongly in need of some evidence.

              • bad12

                ”Receipt of welfare income is negatively associated with childrens outcomes even when the level of income is controlled”,

                ”This effect derives NOT so much from welfare (benefit) receipt per se, but from parental characteristics that make some parents more prone than others to be on welfare”,

                ”Persistently poor families are much more likely than other families to have a caregiver suffering from depression,anxiety, or other psychological problem, physical health problems, low cognitive skills, drug or alcohol abuse or other problems”.

                ”These factors, taken IN COMBINATION reduce the liklihood of consistent and nurturing parenting”, unquote.

                Policy Journal, Issue 18, 2002, Children in Poor Families, Does the Source of Income Change the Picture….

          • bad12 16.1.1.1.2

            And what evidence have you produced y, except to repeat the bullshit that Paula Bennett trots out,

            There were a few 1000 on benefits 40 years ago, there was plenty of abuse the abuse simply occurred in the lowest economic level of the society of 40 years ago which was mainly the low waged economy,

            change your user-name to Sicko-Milt its a better descriptive…

      • bad12 16.1.2

        More rubbish, where is your statistical evidence that multiple children in a benefit dependent family are more likely to sustain abuse than single child families…

  17. Osborne to unveil new conditions for long-term jobless
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24327470

    “The long-term unemployed will have to undertake work placements in return for their benefits, under changes to be unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne”

    I would be in favour of this plan, in the absence of free training/education alternatives, in the absence of enough jobs to meet supply (like now) and only if work placements, community or otherwise organised by winz, were paid at the national minimum wage or maybe when affordable, the living wage, whatever that is. I don’t agree with work for dole, but a fair days pay for a fair days work.

    I hope Labour are watching and become proactive in their welfare policy.

    • McFlock 17.1

      When the tories are doing it, do you really think it’ll be anything other than slave labour?

      Frankly, without duress it sounds suspiciously like “the dole office is obliged to actually find you suitable work”. “In return for their benefits”, on the other hand, means that their benefit will still be needed even though they’re working, and “have to” implies that if they turn down unsuitable work, they lose the benefit.

      A spiky dildo wrapped in velvet language, is my guess.

    • the pigman 17.2

      I remember how well that worked at the London Olympics (or was it Queenie’s jubilee?). If I remember correctly, they bused in a heap of unemployed from the home counties and further afield, dumped them at London Bridge station in the middle of the night, and the majority of them had to sleep rough until it was time to report in for work at 6am.

      Great stuff.

      • The Al1en 17.2.1

        Story aside, I can’t work out if you are for or against long term unemployed being given jobs at least at minimum wage or market rates?
        Surely there can’t be much wrong with that as a fair exchange.

  18. “When the tories are doing it, do you really think it’ll be anything other than slave labour?”

    No of course not, that’s why I reject work for dole. Imagine, 40 hours per week for the pittance they give out. That would be some hourly rate, even kids getting ripped off with act’s youth wage would say wtf.

  19. greywarbler 19

    It’s enough to drive you mad so that you kill your children and cut your own throat, or perhaps hang yourself. It can seem a not impossible solution when you weigh up what to look forward to and know there can be no improvement, no way out of the hole you have ended up in.

  20. Draco T Bastard 20

    This is an interesting article:

    There was still no escaping the Single Parent tag; it followed me to financial stability and fame just as it had clung to me in poverty and obscurity. I became Single Parent Writes Award-Winning Children’s Book/Earns Record American Advance/Gets Film Deal. One of the first journalists to interview me asked me whether I hadn’t felt I ought to be out looking for a job rather than ‘sitting at home writing a novel.’

    My bold.

    As I say, if people on welfare were properly supported (access to education and other resources) chances are they’d create their own work. Unfortunately, we have a society that thinks that people on welfare should be penalised instead.

  21. xtasy 21

    Extract from the NZ Herald article by Simon Collins:

    “Taylor Fry said: “A key contributor to this is likely to be the impact of policy and operational changes related to earlier Future Focus reforms of September 2010.”

    Changes made then included requiring sole parents to look for part-time work when their youngest child turned 6, making people on unemployment benefits reapply annually for their benefit, imposing stricter criteria for the invalids’ benefit, and making sickness beneficiaries look for part-time work as soon as they were medically able to do so.

    Council of Christian Social Services director Trevor McGlinchey said the changes effectively made it harder to get on to a benefit and harder to stay on one – but did not create any more jobs to go into.”

    Own comment:
    So much of what we see already is largely still “only” the consequence of Future Focus that was implemented and applied from 2010 on. The recently introduced new regime with new benefit categories, with threatening punitive sanctions for not complying with strictly applied rules and social obligations, and with now a much more restrictive approach to sick and disabled suffering incapacity to work, this will still only start showing over time in coming months and years.

    I spoke to some beneficiaries last week, and I heard some real horror stories, where an accident victim with brain damage was denied a benefit, because some medical reports were claimed to have been “lost”, and I heard how mentally ill are sent off without being granted the deferred status for work-testing, or alternatively Supported Living benefit, thus forced to survive by living with friends, or trying to find work, even though their conditions are such, that they should not be pressured to do so.

    It is not just draconian, it is criminal what WINZ are doing now:
    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/the-health-and-disability-panel-and-its-hand-picked-members/

    http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/medical-and-work-capability-assessments-based-on-the-controversial-bio-psycho-social-model/

    Also found on ACC Forum:
    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15188-medical-and-work-capability-assessments-based-on-the-bps-model-aimed-at-disentiteling-affected-from-welfare-benefits-and-acc-compo/

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15264-welfare-reform-the-health-and-disability-panel-msd-the-truth-behind-the-agenda/

    A study of that tells you just about all you need to know what the agenda is.

  22. Oh, here’s fun – a breakdown of the number who’ve “falling foul of the punitive regime of obligations introduced by this government,” and a comparison with the equivalent number under the previous government. Class war!

    • you really are just taking the piss here..eh..?

      ..quoting lindsay fucken mitchell..?

      ..again..?

      ..why not rush limbaugh..?

      ..or any other of yr fellow rightwing loons..?

      ..phillip ure..

      • Psycho Milt 22.1.1

        Maybe you’re right – after all, Lindsay’s reasoned analysis of the actual numbers does lack the persuasive value of your incoherent ad hominems.

  23. One Anonymous Knucklehead 23

    Nothing to see here apart from a plan to implement failed right wing ideology more ways to privatise profits and socialise losses, with a side order of death and disease.

  24. bad12 24

    Sicko Milt, it’s obvious by the link that you are simply TROLLING, your previous assertion of course rests upon bullshit,

    If the benefit system was the cause of child abuse in any or all it’s forms then ALL children being raised via a benefit would be suffering abuse,(or at least a majority of them),

    i notice you cannot provide any figures for such child abuse nor whether the actual abuser was the person in receipt of the benefit upon which the child was being raised,

    What % of children being raised on benefits were the subject of abuse, 2% annually, 5% annually, your figure of 13x more likely to suffer abuse is simply a voodoo statistic designed to be used exactly how you are using it, as an attack on those who raise children via a benefit…

    • bad12 24.1

      ”Receipt of welfare income is negatively associated with children’s outcomes, even when the level of income is controlled”,

      ”This effect derives NOT so much from parental receipt (of a benefit) per se, but from parental characteristics that make some parents more prone than others to be on welfare”,

      ”Persistently poor families are much more likely than other families to have a caregiver suffering from depression,anxiety, or other psychological problems, physical health problems, low cognitive skills, drug or alcohol abuse, or other problems”,

      ”These factors, taken IN COMBINATION, reduce the liklihood of consistent and nurturing parenting”, unquote,

      Policy Journal, issue 18, 2002.Children in Poor Families, Does the Source of Income Change the Picture….

  25. tricldrown 25

    Serialiarandfraudster.
    Eugenics is what you are proposing ala hitler and southern US republican states of the 1950,s.
    You are an itellectual dinosaur!

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    RedlineBy Admin
    19 hours ago
  • Hard News: Three Dreams
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    19 hours ago
  • Did you know this about tigers?
    Next in our series, we turn to the king (and queen) of the jungle - the tiger. Here are 10 incredible tiger facts from forests campaigner Richard George:10. Tigers have better short-term memories than humansTigers’ have one of the best… ...
    19 hours ago
  • How well do you know the Polar Bear?
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    19 hours ago
  • How well do you know the orangutan?
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    19 hours ago
  • Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time
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    Closing the GapBy Ben Smith
    21 hours ago
  • Dying For Latvia?
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    21 hours ago
  • How much do you really know about turtles?
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    21 hours ago
  • How much do you know about whales?
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    21 hours ago
  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?
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    23 hours ago
  • Sylvia Park growth plans
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    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    23 hours ago
  • PrintNZ Forum Speakers Enlighten Delegates
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 day ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
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    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
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    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    2 days ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
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    2 days ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
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    2 days ago
  • The Nuit Debout revolt in France: let the gems sparkle. . .
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
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    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Free the Wicklow 2
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • DIY Touring The World: New Zealand
    New Zealand has a small population, few places to play and not much money for touring bands - but you can’t beat the beautiful landscapes, hidden gem venues and fantastic audiences. Music impresario Ian Jorgensen has been touring bands… ...
    2 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protected: Tributes to Dame Margaret Sparrow
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    ALRANZBy ALRANZ
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action
    Last week, #BreakFree2016 wrapped up across the globe. Greenpeace joined with many inspiring organisations in a global wave of peaceful actions that lasted for 12 days and took place across six continents to target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.In places… ...
    2 days ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Tinder and 3nder are officially at war
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    2 days ago
  • Weekly Listening: Die Antwoord, Joey Purp, King Kapisi and more
    A showcase of some of the best new music releases from the past week.   Joey Purp - GIRLS @ Feat. Chance The Rapper This track might be the catchiest three minutes and 32 seconds to hit your ears… ...
    2 days ago
  • Some big news, for me
    Two pieces of news that are kind of a big deal, for me. Firstly, I’m ditching my landline! I’m not a student and I’m not in a low income band, so make of that what you will. Secondly, after 10… ...
    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
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    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
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    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Spend and Tax
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    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • The birth place of the artist
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    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago

  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    14 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    14 hours ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    16 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    18 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    4 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    6 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    6 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    6 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    7 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    7 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    7 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
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