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When Paula Bennett is positive about a group of beneficiaries, be suspicious

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, March 26th, 2013 - 47 comments
Categories: benefits, child welfare, families, paula bennett - Tags:

So, it looks like Paula Bennett doesn’t hate all beneficiaries with the power of a thousand suns!

After taking a close, careful look at a particular group of beneficiaries – those being paid to look after children of parents who are “incapable or unable to do the job” – Paula’s decided that they’re not bludgers: they’re heroes.

Simon Day of Stuff then handily produces a profile of one of these heroes, a grandmother raising eight of her grandchildren.  Hmm … I wonder how he got all her personal and financial information?

And this should be a heartwarming story about people doing what’s best for the kids and the state being willing to support them when they take on the financial burden of raising (eight!) extra children, and coincidentally doesn’t this just prove that Paula Bennett is really kind and compassionate and not just out to screw all beneficiaries?

I guess that means that the beneficiaries she does screw over really are bludgers.

And this is why that narrative works:  because Paula Bennett has found someone else to do the dirty work for her, and that person is Diane Vivian, chair of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.

Now, grandparents who step in to raise their grandkids when it’s necessary are doing fantastic work.  They’re providing a really important social good.  They deserve to have a group which advocates for them.

But that group, and its chair, should take care.  Because right now, you see, it’s really useful to Paula Bennett for them to be the ones slagging off parents:

There has been a generational failure in parenting in New Zealand, leaving grandparents to pick up the pieces, according to Diane Vivian, the chair of GRG, who raised three children and two foster kids.

“Parents are putting their own selfish wants and needs before those of their children. What I am seeing from our perspective is there is a whole generation of that,” she said.

… because right now, that feeds into the narrative that Paula Bennett wants:  look at me, I don’t hate all beneficiaries, just the evil bludging scum ones, and see, the saintly heroic grandparents agree with me!

Ms Vivian might just like to consider this, though:  what if that weren’t the order of the day?  What if Paula Bennett hadn’t front-footed this story for her own gain?  What if it had been the season for dumping on people raising kids who aren’t their own?

Then, Ms Vivian, you’re fucked.  Because the nasty little question you really don’t want journos like Simon Day to ask is this:

Why did you fuck up raising your own kids so bad in the first place?

I mean, Ann Tahitahi, the subject of his second article, is doing a fantastic job.  A job which should be supported.  She shouldn’t, in my opinion, still have to be working graveyard shift while raising ten kids.

But Paula Bennett isn’t saying “good on you, Ann Tahitahi” out of true admiration.  She’s saying it for a political purpose.  And if her purpose were just slightly more sinister, she might be saying “why should Ann Tahitahi get paid to raise more children when on her first try she turned out neglectful P addicts?”

Diane Vivian might like to consider that before sticking her foot in the way of a gun barrel.  Right now it is convenient for Paula Bennett to be on your side.  Do not assume she will be on your side tomorrow.

47 comments on “When Paula Bennett is positive about a group of beneficiaries, be suspicious”

  1. karol 1

    From the Heroes article:

    On a cocktail of payments, the eight foster parents received Orphans and unsupported child benefit (UCB), which is paid to support a child or young person whose parents can’t care for them because of a family breakdown, their parents have died or can’t be found, or can’t look after their child because they have a long-term illness or incapacity….

    And the cost of negligent parents is growing. Orphans and unsupported child benefits have grown from $101m in 2010, to $107m in 2011 and $111m in 2012.

    So what’s the evidence for all this money being paid out to compensate for “negligent” parents? Most of it sounds like it is the result of unavoidable circumstamces. The Grandparent’s spokesperson claims that:

    Drug use, violence, neglect and mental health issues are forcing grandparents to take responsibility for children, according to research by the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust (GRG).

    There has been a generational failure in parenting in New Zealand, leaving grandparents to pick up the pieces, according to Diane Vivian, the chair of GRG, who raised three children and two foster kids….

    The growing decline of traditional family values has contributed to the neglect of New Zealand’s children and means the Government has to pick up the cost, Pilbrow said.

    “There is a fundamental breakdown in the family unit. Couples aren’t staying together as much as they used to, so there is a breakdown that way. Or, there is violence. And it is a growing market unfortunately.

    “Family values”? *Sigh*. Violence is a “market”?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      There is a fundamental breakdown in the family unit.

      And the obligatory fundy BS about the traditional family – the tradition that’s not much older than the colonisation of NZ.

      • David 1.1.1

        I doubt it’s even that old. If one was to have access to the reality of the lives of people in the nineteenth century, one would undoubtedly find that living arrangements were far more varied and complex than people imagine. I suspect that throughout history the trajectory of the majority of individual’s lives has been anything but normal. However, also in history, the myth of “family values” being used by conservative leaders to attack the marginalised has been a long one. Augustus Caesar was a fan of “family values”. In many societies extended family arrangements have been the norm, with the larger group caring for children rather than “mum and dad”. NB the main purpose of “mum and dad” of course is to buy shares in energy companies.

    • prism 1.2

      “Orphans and unsupported child benefits have grown from $101m in 2010, to $107m in 2011 and $111m in 2012.”
      Bul..t. The amount hasn’t grown much -it is mainly inflation affecting the figures. Nothing like making a big hoo hah so as to make the situation sound as bad as possible.

      All the government needs to do is support parents and ensure they have plans for their future and resources, or allow open adoptions and training for both mothers in child rearing so they can communicate amicably, also more control over alcohol and medicalising other drugs to make one of these step changes they were always on about in the heady early days of promise of the NACTs government term.

    • Wisewoman 1.3

      It is sinister how mental helath issues are being tied up with “bludgin”. WOrrying

  2. freedom 2

    figuring why Paula Bene-hit is promoting this story is like throwing a thousand darts at a bouncy castle,

    easy and deflating

    but i do i like what Lady Luna said
    “with people honing in on the fact that she receives an allowance to foster these children – do people not realise that all foster parents receive an allowance for looking after foster children? She works full time, and gets an allowance, that doesn’t make her a beneficiary”

    • karol 2.1

      They aren’t so much foster parents as grandparents who get the Orphans and Unsupported Child Benefit.

  3. Tim 3

    ALWAYS ….. be suspicious of Pulla Bent! For those that haven’t already cottoned on – more fucking fool you.
    An ugly specimen (in EVERY sense of the word UGLY – aesthesticallyi is what most assume. No!!!!. This woman is UGLY in a broader sense – hence – well, hence her want for assemtence amongst leaopard skin ugg booted, alongside fag-hagged finlaysons alOIK.
    I laugh at the philistines – indeed I laugh at those that ponder over the very definition of what consitutues a philistine.
    For now: Bent – HYPOCRACSY, ENVY, POWER STRUGGLE, HOLIER THAN THOU, Attitude of commin from the comman man – when REALLY – she hasn’t, nor ever did in comparison with those that do.
    UGLY UGLY UGLY.
    Ugly in look
    Ugly in mind
    Ugly in intent

    [Disclosure] I have not, nor have I ever been in a relationship with Pulla Bennet.
    I have worked in environments where this over-ambitious bitch [person] has been present and whose word takes second place to the sewerage that exited her exit points – (at the time) we thought it was green-friendly.
    [In her case, I doubt the waste will ever break down. It’s already at it’s lowest: CARBON]

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Gotta love how Tories are so good at divide and rule. Amazing advice they get.

  5. Olwyn 5

    I fear that this could be a step toward normalising the removal of children from beneficiaries and the like who have not met an ever-increasing list of obligations.

  6. Athena 6

    It’s not fair that some people who have already demonstrated that they were crap at parenting the first time around get applauded and funded to stuff up the next generation and someone who ends up on the DPB now is despised by Bennett and her cronies. Yet another example of the Nats inability to think straight.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Yet another example of the Nats inability to think straight.

      Probably more accurate to say that they’re looking after a large part of their base – the old fogies with their Holier Than Thou attitudes.

      Of grandmothers and beneficiaries

      The grandmother is a model of virtue, the transmitter of matrilineal knowledge and wisdom who presides from a certain distance over the institution of the family.

      Yes, the supposed virtues of grandparents comes through loud and clear in those articles.

      Yeah, I know I posted it in Open Mike – fits here too.

      • rosy 6.1.1

        the preference accorded to the noun ‘grandmother’ over the noun ‘woman’ (or retiree, or former teacher etc) is a source of some puzzlement to me. Is this how most women who also happen to be grandmothers self-identify? Is this how most people who aren’t journalists think of them? Or is this some kind of normative nominalism that reduces the individual to the most malleable abstract category available, furnishing a convenient peg on which to hang one’s preconceptions?

        Heh. Good observation.

      • Roy 6.1.2

        What Draco said.

      • Rogue Trooper 6.1.3

        yes, an interesting echo Draco.

    • It’s not fair that some people who have already demonstrated that they were crap at parenting the first time around get applauded and funded to stuff up the next generation…

      That’s a quite remarkable level of confidence in the ability of parents to determine how their children will turn out.

    • Wisewoman 6.3

      SO because PB is manipulating a tragic situation, you have to jackboot salute and blame grandparents for parents who are unable to cope with bringing up children either temporarily or permanently. What is not fair about a grandparent looking after their moko? Your sweeping and generalising statement is exactly like that of Appalling Benefat? Why does ANYBODY have to be judged or despised. She judges the parents, you judge the grandparents. How is you sanctimony any better than hers?

  7. jpwood 7

    Looking at their annual returns the Trust is only solvent because of the benevolence of their largest donor – the Ministry of Social Development. So this taxpayer funded advocacy group is suddenly aligning with the narrative being put forward by the Minister who is keeping the trust afloat.

  8. Mary 8

    This is Bennett et al doing the spadework to begin the “debate” about whether these dead-beat parents giving their children to their parents to look after is becoming a “lifestyle choice”. Guess what comes next.

  9. irascible 9

    Now, TVNZ should create a reality show with Paula Benhit taking on the job of looking after the 8+ children and household expenses for a month living only on the monies paid to the carer with no other income allowed. TVNZ could allow the public chances to create problems for Paula during the month that could threaten her budgetting.
    Could prove a real audience grabber.
    The show could be followed up with Heckia Parrota living & working as a teacher,getting paid on the novopay system and being held to public scrutiny / accusations of not delivering to Notional standards and coping with a set of really demanding parents at a parent-teacher night etc at regular intervals.
    Suggestions for other similar reality shows to be sent to TVNZ … Double Dipton to live on a Parliamentary cleaner’s income for a month…???

  10. pollywog 10

    There ya go young mother, that’s how you can find a job while your littlie is not yet a toddler.

    Farm the wee sprog out to the grandfolks.

    And all you grandfolks who fucked up raising your own kids can now be guilt tripped into making amends with your grandkids.

    No flies on Paula alright…sharper than your average hammer!

  11. Cactus Kate 11

    I was contacted by Mr Day to comment on this story, he OIA’ed what the top 10 beneficiaries earn and found many were receiving orphans benefits. That is the original source material.

    While he did not use my comments I asked what Bennett’s response was and at that time she didn’t have any so any suggestion she planted the story is false, the journalist seems to have gone to her.

    While this grandmother is commendable, it is of course her family that produced the problems here in the first place and indeed her own parenting. I did point this out.

    Had the Minister said this herself I am sure you would have written your piece here and ripped her throat out.

    • Colonial Weka 11.1

      “While this grandmother is commendable, it is of course her family that produced the problems here in the first place and indeed her own parenting. I did point this out.

      Had the Minister said this herself I am sure you would have written your piece here and ripped her throat out.”

      Probably because it’s not the whole, or even a useful part, of the real truth, when it comes from the mouth of the Minister.

      We know that on Planet Bennett, everything is the fault of the individual, but the Tahitahi woman didn’t spoon feed her adult children P did she?

      Besides which, if you want to blame the grandmothers, why not the great grandmothers? Pretty soon we’re back in the mists of time.

      • rosy 11.1.1

        Exactly, Weka.

        It’s no fun being a grandma, bringing up grandkids – A grandma’s job is to love, care for and spoil them, not love, care for and bring them up. And as for being fully responsible for how your kids turn out? Take a look around, bad luck, poor health, bad decisions, inappropriate friends and easy drugs can happen to those you least expect. There are a few high-profile New Zealanders that can attest that point.

        Because you’ve bought up a kid that can’t bring up their own kid doesn’t make you the wrong person to bring up your grandkids, nor does it make you the right person – all sorts of factors come into play. Maybe the husband who used to beat you up and messed with your children’s heads is no longer on the scene, for example.

        If you’re a straight-up person without vices that have damaged you, you have a stable marriage and job and you’ve brought up a kid that turned out o.k. maybe you still might want to just count yourself lucky, when as they get older, all the things that could have gone wrong along the way slowly emerge. I know I still touch wood when I think about how well my kids are managing their lives.

    • Mary 11.2

      “it is of course her family that produced the problems here in the first place and indeed her own parenting.”

      I can’t see how anyone could be so simplistic as to say this without knowing anything about the family, their history, what went on. Parenting is just one factor influencing a person’s make-up. Oh how easy it is to instantly assume it’s all the person’s fault without knowing anything about that person. It’s one of the fundamental errors underpinning the callous uncaring attitudes of many on the right.

    • QoT 11.3

      Yes, I would have, “Cactus Kate”, because beneficiary bashing is shitty. This really isn’t the hypocrisy you want to pretend it is.

    • Mary 11.4

      Day’s story certainly suits Bennett. And in any case, what makes you so sure it wasn’t Bennett? People don’t necessarily just lodge OIAs because they miraculously decide to out of the blue. Sometimes it’s because someone’s suggested that they should.

    • karol 11.5

      So who added the grandmother slant (out of 8500 state sponsored foster parents receiving the Orphans and Unsupported Child benefit) and decided to go with the quotes from the fundy grandparent organisation?

      The article says:

      Receiving $2188 a week, the highest paid beneficiary is caring for eight foster children for which he receives a UCB. He is married, has two of his own children, and also receives an invalid’s benefit.

      The second highest paid receives $1822 a week from the government and is also working fulltime. He and his wife receive an UCB for caring for nine grandchildren, four of whom have disabilities for which the family also receives child disability allowance.

      Doesn’t sound like the first example is looking after his own grandchildren, the second probably is, though it doesn’t explicitly say whose grandchildren they are looking after.

      If they chose not to use CC’s input, who else did they get input from but not report on?

      This article praises (a small number of specific) beneficiaries, in order to attack many more, and make it look like Bennett isn’t against beneficiaries as a group.

    • felix 11.6

      “I was contacted by Mr Day to comment on this story”

      And that tells me all I need to know about Mr Day and his approach to journalism.

      In what fuck universe is your opinion on benefits relevant to the public discourse? Do you have some special expertise or experience in this area?

      Nah, he just thought “hmm, story about some of the poorest and most downtrodden families in the country, better get a wealthy overseas-based nasty right-wing hatemonger’s perspective on this”.

      What a cock.

  12. Colonial Weka 12

    “When Paula Bennett first took over the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) portfolio in 2008 she was concerned at the amount paid to those looking after unsupported children. Now, she believes these caregivers deserve every dollar.”

    Great, it’s taken her 5 fucking years to figure out the obvious.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      She still thinks those on the DPB, the UB and the sickness benefit are getting too much though.

  13. Lloyd 13

    How about Jerry Brownlee living a month as a snail on a mountain that Squalid Energy covets?
    Oh sorry, Squalid Energy has proved that coal mining is soo last century, long live the snails!

  14. Scintilla 14

    And you notice that, once again, it’s all about the wimmin. Who else has a half-share in this scenario? Fathers, grandfathers, husbands – what’s their roles? How did their presence or absence affect their children & grandchildren? Somehow it’s more about the women, in a retro-Freud kinda way it’s always the Mother’s Fault.

    Wouldn’t it be nice, just for once, to have Paula Bandit stand up and say “Well done, all you solo mums who’ve stuck it out and brought up your children on the smell of an oily rag and with sweet fuck all help from anybody else. Good on you.”

    John Key raises his glass and says “Cheers to that, I’m rilly relaxed about solo mothers.”

    • Fathers, grandfathers, husbands – what’s their roles?

      In a situation where 35% of Maori babies are supported by benefits at the end of their first year and 21% in the population overall, a significant proportion of the nation’s fathers are effectively sperm donors – the women involved recognise that the deadbeats they’ve been fucking aren’t husband material and look to the state as “defacto spouse,” as one of my commenters put it. It would be nice if the state could impose some consequences on these sperm donors, but effective means of doing so that wouldn’t breach the BoR aren’t obvious.

  15. just saying 15

    … look to the state as “defacto spouse,”

    What absolute rubbish Psychomilt.

    More of your nasty, victim-blaming rhetoric.

    Sole parents are doing the job of two parents – a job that two parents working together often struggle with. The state provides sole parents with a subsistence income way below the minimum wage, which allows them to continue doing the job of two parents 24/7 with no breaks, holidays, or sick leave. If the state didn’t provide this inadequate pittance, it would have to pay much more for the children to be cared for by someone else, and/or through dealing with increased health costs, social problems and crime.

    The state does none of the parenting work, housework, or any of the other tasks that keep a family functioning, and provides the sole-parent with none of the emotional and physical support, that a “spouse” and second parent would be responsble for.

    • The state does none of the parenting work, housework, or any of the other tasks that keep a family functioning, and provides the sole-parent with none of the emotional and physical support, that a “spouse” and second parent would be responsble for.

      Deadbeat dads don’t do those things either. The difference is the state has cash in its pocket and won’t make your life a misery – which makes the comparative attraction of the state as partner in childrearing obvious.

      • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1

        The state is just as much a ‘partner’ in these cases as it is in families that recieve wff, or take their kids to hospital, or send them off to public or integrated school.

        All these families get support from ‘the state’ in different ways, so why single out one type of support and elevate it to ‘defacto spouse’?

      • just saying 15.1.2

        Deadbeat dads don’t do those things either. ..

        Which is why they are not “spouses” if they ever were. As you put it, they:

        …aren’t husband material

        So now you’ve slid away from the state-as-defacto-spouse line, to state as “partner in child-rearing”

        Would you like a list of the responsibilities of an actual “partner in child rearing”?
        Or maybe you can just think about your own responsibilities in this role.

        According to your logic, the state is a “partner” to all private businesses, and to every single one of us, at some points in our lives.

        …….won’t make your life a misery – citation required.

  16. karol 16

    So the research that the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust referred to in the article, was completed in 2005. It was a survey of 324 grandparents and other kin carers.

    the findings were:

    Parental relationship breakdown is a common feature for the children being cared for by their grandparents

    – The major cause of placement with grandparents is drug (40.255%) and alcohol (29.10%) abuse and neglect (as a co-existing state).

    – The age of the parents at the time grandparents assumed primary care of their children was also analysed. The largest cohort for both genders was in the 20-30 year age group. The figures tend to debunk any theory grandparents are for the most part assuming the care of children of teenage parents

    – Nearly 25% of the caregivers have been caring for their grandchildren since birth, with drug/alcohol abuse, mental illness, abandonment, parental incapacity or incapability being cited as the principal reason for the placements.

  17. Rogue Trooper 17

    Reap what ya sow; no guarantee that being raised by a “grand-parent” is going to lead to any better developmental outcomes…considering some of the size of responsibilities identified along with the increased generational / cultural divide. I am personally aware of many situations where the parenting of young people by “grand-parents” is leading to increased “delinquency” outcomes, lack of supervision and understanding of current socio-cultural norms for example.

  18. Rogue Trooper 18

    also, it is arguable that the majority of “Boomers” are Nats / NZLast / Maori Party / Conservatives constituencies .

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  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Policy of fear
    Community groups have a vital role in New Zealand. In addition to speaking out on social problems such as poverty, mental illness and addiction, they also often have a direct role in fixing them via government funding. Unfortunately there's an...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
    A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • ‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC
    TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation. Earlier this month the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Asia-Pacific plans for gender equality
    New Zealand is one of the few countries who have not sent a government minister to an Asian and Pacific conference on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Thailand, but it has sent TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb.  The conference...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • TEC, Ministry and Treasury want new funding model
    The government should consider a radical shift in tertiary education funding policy according to advice from the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Treasury. All three agencies advise the government to shift tertiary education funding away from...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • The awkward question of New Plymouth
    It’s rather common knowledge that Andrew Little wasn’t exactly a star in New Plymouth. He stood in the former Labour Party seat in 2011 and 2014, losing ground in both the electorate and party vote on each occasion. Overall, the...
    Occasionally erudite | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas. Staff and South Auckland community members had been campaigning to turn around the polytechnic’s proposal for mass redundancies since they were announced last...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Proud’s Britain
    Alex Proud has a very good long piece in the Telegraph that is as disturbing as it is accurate. The subject? Baby-boomers, and the way they have blindly robbed the generations that came after them. He is writing about Britain,...
    Polity | 19-11
  • This year’s (super) model: visualising atmospheric CO2
    Here’s a superb high resolution supercomputer visualisation from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center of the flows of CO2 in the atmosphere around the planet. Apart from being beautiful to look at, it shows the major sources of CO2 emissions in...
    Hot Topic | 19-11
  • Public Service Announcement: Advice to Andrew Little
    Over the last 48 hours absolutely everyone and his/her dog/cat has been publicly advising Andrew Little what he should with his front bench and much else decides. Good for them. Free speech is super. I won't be joining the chorus,...
    Polity | 19-11
  • Jordan uses Islam to battle ISIS
    My former UCLA colleague Larry Rubin, and my former Michigan colleague Michael Robbins, have a fascinating piece at the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog overnight, all about how Jordan is setting Islam against ISIS: Many people in the Hashemite Kingdom...
    Polity | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Why lifelong prisoner surveillance is evidence of our failing prisons
    The intrusion of more and more State surveillance is easier to implement if the State begins with groups the populace are frightened of. Muslim radicals, Maori radicals, environmental radicals and prisoners are all easy fodder for ratings chasing media to...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • REVIEW: The Blind Date Project
    The Blind Date Project Silo Theatre 4-29 November The Basement  Part of the excitement of a live performance, be it music or theatre or a circus with trapeze artists and lion tamers, is the risk that it could all go...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Good News For The Left!
    EVER SINCE the debacle of 20 September 2014, the New Zealand left has been hanging out for some good news. Today, thanks to Stephen Mills, the Executive Director of UMR Research, it has finally got some. UMR Research has for...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • The SIS won’t use 48 hour warrantless spying for ‘evidence’
    Let’s just slay one of the myths the Government are trying to use right now to justify the SIS 48 hour warrantless search fishing expeditions shall we? The Government has been telling all who listen over the weekend that the SIS...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Right to Life Congratulates the new Labour Leader
    Right to Life congratulates Andrew Little MP, on being elected as the new leader of the Labour Party. This is a very important election as Andrew Little is now a Prime Minister in waiting His election follows a line of...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Reply to open letter on earthquake repair in Christchurch
    You raise many points and I acknowledge the frustration some people are experiencing when their homes are still not repaired or rebuilt. We have consistently said that the scale and complexity of events has always meant that it will not...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little New Labour Party Leader
    In a press conference held on Tuesday in the Labour Party Caucus room at Parliament, it was announced Andrew Little had been voted in as Leader of the Labour party....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Liam Butler interviews Professor Jay Kandampully
    Jay Kandampully is Professor of Consumer Sciences in the Department of Human Sciences. He also serves as a visiting professor at University of Innsbruck, Austria; Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China; and Furtwangen University, Germany;...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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