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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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    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – The Marianna’s Trench or Pluto?! WTF was Key hol...
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Sunday News <editor@sunday-news.co.nz> date:      Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday News . He says he doesn’t know about Judith Collins...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – The Marianna’s Trench or Pluto?! WTF was Key hol...
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Sunday News <editor@sunday-news.co.nz> date:      Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday News . He says he doesn’t know about Judith Collins...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Just what is the Prime Minister’s role?!
    . . FROM: Frank Macskasy SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 TO: The Listener <letters@listener.co.nz. . The editor The Listener . John Key says he knew nothing about the activities of his one-time media consultant, Jason...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Just what is the Prime Minister’s role?!
    . . FROM: Frank Macskasy SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 TO: The Listener <letters@listener.co.nz. . The editor The Listener . John Key says he knew nothing about the activities of his one-time media consultant, Jason...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • A life working for social justice, David Shearer
    I believe New Zealand can be the best country in the world, where everyone can get a fair go and anyone prepared to work for it can achieve their dream....
    Labour campaign | 22-08
  • Key’s pathetic excuses
    Aug 15, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 19, 2014Aug 20, 2014...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Ancient ocean currents may have changed pace and intensity of ice ages
    This is a re-post from the National Science Foundation Climate scientists have long tried to explain why ice-age cycles became longer and more intense some 900,000 years ago, switching from 41,000-year cycles to 100,000-year cycles. In a paper published this...
    Skeptical Science | 22-08
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (2)?
    Some time ago, I wrote about Cameron Slater’s claim to be a journalist, which he is invoking for the purposes of protecting his confidential sources. The District Court ordered him to turn over his sources in a defamation case brought...
    Media Law Journal | 22-08
  • Government considering starting CRL on time
    I’ve long suspected the realities surrounding the City Rail Link and its close relationship to some of the biggest development projects in Auckland would in some ways force the governments hand and require an earlier start than 2020. Yesterday the...
    Transport Blog | 22-08
  • Poll of polls
    Polity's poll of polls is up to date, over at the Poll of Polls page. The short version, good to use as a more-or-less pre-Dirty Politics baseline, is: National: 50.4% Labour: 26.4% Greens: 12.0% NZF: 4.6% InternetMANA: 2.3% Conservative: 2.1%...
    Polity | 22-08
  • Primary Teachers Rise Up!
    I have been a primary teacher for 35 years and for over half of that time I have been an active member of the New Zealand Educational Institute, New Zealand's largest education union. NZEI Te Riu Roa represents 50,000 members, including...
    Local Bodies | 22-08
  • Friday melts, weird weather and whales (it’s been a long time…)
    It’s been a long time since my last post: apologies for that. You may blame a bad cold, an urgent need for root canal work, the peak of the truffle season (and truffle tours for culinary heroes1 ), the start...
    Hot Topic | 22-08
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies – Today No. 29: It’s a left-wing smear campaig...
     Key: 'Left wing smear campaign'   Key continues to back Collins    John Key is wrong. He is not the victim of a smear campaign, and here's why: First, let's define "smear campaign". Wikipedia: A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is...
    Arch Rival | 22-08
  • How Many National MPs are Corrupt?
    Reading through the ‘dumps’ of information allegedly showing Scumbag Adulterer Cameron Slater’s messages with National Party Hacks, there is a lot of discussions about money changing hands, Tobacco Companies making ‘donations’, and so on. Not only has Key’s Office and...
    An average kiwi | 22-08
  • Tolley feeds Slater too
    Because of Nicky Hager's excellent book, Dirty Politics, we know that a number of senior National party officials and Ministers have been caught out supplying information and content to the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogsite, information that Cameron Slater uses...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Unsurprising
    No bloggers have signed up to join the Online Media Standards Authority. This isn't really surprising. For a start, membership costs $500 a year (and ten times that if too many people complain) - well beyond the means of most...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Nelson fishing museum satire or not?
    Apparently, unless Fairfax is now taking on The Civilian in the field of satirical news, the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith and fishing magnate Peter Talley are planning a fishing museum in Nelson. And the Minister considers this "ambitious new...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter Responds To Paul Buchanan.
    Uncharacteristically Idealistic: Normally a cool-headed realist (as befits an expert in international relations) Dr Paul Buchanan has taken issue with Chris Trotter's "cynical" Bowalley Road posting Dirty Politics - Is There Any Other Kind? by offering a passionately idealistic defence of...
    Bowalley Road | 22-08
  • This should not have taken five years
    Back in 2009, after the Herald was given information showing that National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was suspected by the Immigration Service of paying off a woman at the centre of allegations he had made bogus job offers, Immigration Minister...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 22 August 2014
    The latest Herald Digipoll has just been released, and with a polling window running from 14 August to 20 August, the entirety of the polling was completed following the release of Dirty Politics. The results show a sharp fall of 4.9% for National. However,...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-08
  • Hard News: In The Green Room
    Next Thursday, John Key and David Cunliffe will meet in the first TVNZ leaders' debate. At the same time, Green Party co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman will appear in The Green Room, a "companion" debate streamed live online.I'll be...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • Walking in Manukau
    Just over a month ago I was out at Manukau City, at the open day of the new MIT, which doubles as Manukau station. This is a brilliant facility, with world class integration of land use and transport. If you...
    Transport Blog | 21-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 22
    Top of the AgendaThai Junta Leader Appointed PM...
    Pundit | 21-08
  • Review finds community water fluoridation safe and effective
    A press release from the Royal Society of NZ today. I think the “take home message is: “The panel concluded that the concerns raised by those opposed to fluoridation are not supported by the scientific evidence” A review of the...
    Open Parachute | 21-08
  • Seismic testing stopped in Norway but coming soon to Northland
    Seismic testing for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea, commissioned by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has been stopped four days after it began and one month ahead of schedule after Greenpeace exposed it to the media. But off the coast...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 21-08
  • Hard News: Friday Music: A Strange Road
    It was one thing when the Electoral Commission declared Darren Watson's 'Planet Key' song and video to be an "election programme" under the Broadcasting Act. But quite another for it to then find it to also be an "election advertisement"...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • More proof
    Adam Bennet in the Herald reports: New evidence has emerged appearing to contradict Prime Minister John Key's claim he was never told by the SIS it intended to release politically sensitive secret documents to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater. But...
    Polity | 21-08
  • Up Front: Oh, God
    I'm not a militant atheist. I've always been grateful that I was raised by a good Christian woman; one who believed in kindness, and giving, and generally not being a judgemental homophobic arsehole. Those people's voices are largely missing from...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • New Fisk
    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script...
    No Right Turn | 21-08
  • Key fails to keep his lies straight
    When evidence emerged yesterday that John Key had been briefed on Cameron Slater's expedited OIA to the SIS, he was quick to deny it. Apparently when the SIS director and the Ombudsman referred explicitly to "discussions with the Prime Minister",...
    No Right Turn | 21-08
  • Enter the Mad Butcher
    One aspect of the disgusting messages between National party propagandist Cameron Slater and his accomplice Aaron Bhatnagar that hasn't been picked up on by the mainstream media yet is their discussion about Peter Leitch AKA the Mad Butcher.This part of...
    The Jackal | 21-08
  • NEWSFLASH: John Key Clone Used to Fake News Conference
    Incredibly “Left Wing Smear” Campaigners have used a time machine, travelled back to August 8th 2011, with a Clone of John Key (That they made days before, using number eight wire and Oravida Milk Powder), and held a News Conference...
    An average kiwi | 21-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Test Stream
    width="600" height="400"> archive="http://theora.org/cortado.jar [3]" width="600" height="401">...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • The Nation: Debate Between Amy Adams And Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen Hosts an Environment Debate Between National’s Amy Adams And Russel Norman From the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released
    The Remuneration Authority today released its determination covering Members of Parliament New Zealand accommodation, travel services for family members, and travel services for former Prime Ministers and their spouses....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • “Bromance” Marriage Stunt Insulting Says LegaliseLove
    A promotional competition asking two best mates to get married in order to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup is insulting, marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa claims....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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