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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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    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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