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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 8-) 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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  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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