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Who in the House is for beneficiaries?

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 am, December 5th, 2012 - 64 comments
Categories: benefits, greens, hone harawira, housing, jobs, labour, mana, Metiria Turei, news, nz first, paula bennett, poverty, spin, welfare - Tags: ,

There was a debate in open mike yesterday, on Jacinda Ardern’s questions to Paula Bennett on the issue of WINZ paying transition to employment allowances for beneficiaries to travel to Aussie to get jobs.  xtasy raised a very good question about which Labour MPs, especially front benchers, are there for beneficiaries?  I would widen this to ask, who in the House is for beneficiaries?  Certainly not any NAct MPs.  What about the opposition MPs?

As I learned more of the details I swung from one side to the other on the issue of Ardern’s question and statements on the issue. Mary argued that Ardern had wrongly targeted the issue to trigger another round of Bennie bashing in the media.  Before midnight arrived, Mary said TV3 were already incorporating the bennie-bashing angle in their reports.

Here are some of the references/sources on WINZ paying for beneficiaries to travel to Aus – I can’t find the Nightline report that Mary referred to, but here is TV3’s report from earlier:

Ardern’s question during Question Time yesterday:

6. JACINDA ARDERN (Labour) to the Minister for Social Development: How many times, if any, has the Transition to Work Grant, or similar funds, been used by Work and Income New Zealand to purchase tickets to Australia for job seekers who have found work there?

Ardern’s press release yesterday, begins with the appeal to misuse of taxpayer money for beneficiary trips to Aussie:

Revelations today that taxpayers are picking up the tab for unemployed Kiwis to fly to Australia to take up job offers is further proof that the Government has no interest in creating work opportunities here, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

This shows Bennett is not fully on top of the goings on in her ministry. Ardern’s questions and press releases could have been better targeted to focus on the government’s failure to enable the increase of jobs in NZ: ones that provide a living wage.

The legislation/programme doesn’t mention anything about travel to Aussie, and the advice on WINZ website for individuals applying for the grant does.

I looked at the websites of opposition parties to see who has been most active for beneficiaries recently.

Labour:

Ian Lees Galway on suicide prevention needed especially for the mentally ill (December)

Clare Curran on disability rights (December)

Jacinda Ardern on Hearings of submissions on the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill (December) [although Ardern's passion and commitment on this issue has been questioned by TS commenters]

Sue Moroney on women’s contribution to the economy being undervalued, with a brief mention of women taking the brunt of rising unemployment (November)

Ardern on Bennett’s poor efforts to help unemployed young people into work (November)

Greens:

Metiria Turei on children’s focus on food, housing and basic necessities for all (November), and on her (defeated) Bill to extend WFF to all low income people (November).

Jan Logie will be speaking at the AAP action for beneficiaries outside WINZ in Onehunga next week (I thought Mana and Labour would also have speakers there).

Mana

Fact sheet on their up-coming “Feed the Kids Bill.

Press release giving limited support to Labour’s KiwiBuild, but saying Mana wants to go further with affordable housing for low income renters.

Hone Harwira’s feed the kids speech (November)

Mana involvement in protests for state housing and against the removal state housing/”ethnic cleansing” in Glen Innes.

My assessment:  Mana is most focused on supporting beneficiaries, but they tend to get marginalised by the media, and as a solitary voice in the House.  Metiria Turei in the Greens has especially shown some commitment to speaking for beneficiaries and their children, but the main Green Party focus seems to be on Russel Norman and the economy.

Special mention for NZ First in their focus on the elderly, but it doesn’t amount to speaking for the younger beneficiaries who are the main ones demonised.

I agree with xtasy that there is not a strong enough voice for beneficiaries among MPs: one that counters the dominant MSM line in bennie-bashing.

64 comments on “Who in the House is for beneficiaries?”

  1. King Kong 1

    Surely lobbying for a group of people, who want even more money from their fellow citizens for doing nothing, is poison.

    • Lefty 1.1

      You have unwittingly put your finger on the problem KK.

      MPs have not cared enough about beneficiaries to effectively combat sicko right wingers defining them in the way you just have.

    • One Tāne Huna 1.2

      It probably would be, if your premise were correct.

      Since the vast majority of beneficiaries go off a benefit in a short time, the notion that they “want even more money from their fellow citizens” is ridiculous.

      Basing policy on such a false belief would be very stupid.

    • felix 1.3

      Who you talking about there Monkey Boy? The Aussie banks?

      Beneficiaries, by definition, are people who can’t work because there are no jobs for them to do or because their circumstances preclude it.

      There is no benefit available for people who “want … money … for doing nothing”. Not possible to apply for, not possible to grant.

      Have another banana and try again.

      • McFlock 1.3.1

        lol snap :)
             
        This government is all for letting capitalists make nothing and produce nothing yet still rort us all for basic necessities, and does fuck all to sort out tax evasion, but god forbid they throw a few crumbs to people in genuine need. 

        • aerobubble 1.3.1.1

          Worse, unnecessary, inefficient use of limited finite resources, has been spurred on by Thatherite monetarism world wide, in showy extravagant elitists who think the party cannot end and will force feed us all into civilization collapse if needs be. Taxes were once very high, they didn’t get there by accident, government raised taxes on the rich, all we need to kill off this rump of stupidity, the boomer dumbarses, is government to again raise taxes on the richest and reintroduce the invisible hand of capitalism. Because currently our mess is due to a bureaucratic right wing corruption of our economy and parliament.

      • weka 1.3.2

        Actually many beneficiaries can and do work. What you mean is that they are precluded from certain kinds of paid work that has a high value in our society. Things like raising children, caring for other family members, voluntary work, invisible work are all valued much less esp when done by beneficiaries.


        It’s also common for some beneficiaries to work under the table. Wake up NZ, that’s how people are able to survive on a benefit (the benefit itself is intentionally set to below what one can live on).

        • QoT 1.3.2.1

          Things like raising children, caring for other family members, voluntary work, invisible work are all valued much less esp when done by beneficiaries.

          +1

          All these things actually contribute to a “healthier”, “more productive”, “safer” society (scare quotes because all those things are value judgements). But who gives a crap if it ain’t included in GDP?

          Coincidentally, much of that work is predominantly done by women. Pay no attention to the patriarchy behind the curtain.

        • felix 1.3.2.2

          Yeah good point weka, that was some lazy wording on my part.

        • aerobubble 1.3.2.3

          In order to drive up wages at the bottom of the wage scale, its necessary to remove people from the working population with subsidies, creating scarcity and impelling those removed from the working population to take on debt by getting retrained, or worse, forced into
          the hands of loan sharks.

          Its a industry, from the case managers in WINZ getting bonuses for given grants to kiwis to pay the airfare to Oz, to the hopeless retarded educational loans that indenture free individuals independence inquiry. The whole drive of the last thirty years has been to create a distance alienated apathetic indebted work slave class, for the few winners to pour scorn and derision on from their media pulpits.

          Oh, for another sermon from Laws, or a distorted debate by Moro staging the panel with right wingnuts schooled in the ways of turd blossums. Pouring more money into every fracture of the economy has not lead to any worthwhile longer gain, just one almighty fund for a few global elites to play like naked emperors with.

    • bad12 1.4

      Seriously??? for doing nothing??? i was always of the impression that we paid beneficiaries so as to have them NOT burn down the House of Parliament whilst hanging from the nearest lamp-post the majority of it’s inhabitants befor starting upon ransacking and burning the rest of the town,

      Forgive my ignorance….

    • KJT 1.5

      Stop talking about bankers, ports of Auckland managers, finance company directors, asset strippers and politicians like that KK. You may upset them.

    • xtasy 1.6

      King Kong: Thank you for your “contribution” and expressed bizarre “sympathy”.

      Yeah, get those sick and disabled off their arse, get them slaving it out for meeting their living costs, get them working, even if it is assembling ball point pens at $ 1 an hour (similar to prison labour), you are really “enlightened”, are you not?

      I do not consider you to be a “fellow citizen”, rather a “jerkish citizen” playing on the ignorance of most, which is exactly what this government has been doing for too long.

      Bring in the gas chambers, will likely be the next “final solution”, right?

      YOU and your ilk make me SICK, and that is why I do not like many people here, as they fall for the brainwashing, the prejudice and lies, and they are even contributing to the total injustices, cheering on arseholes like Michael Laws.

      NZ is NOT a HUMANE society anymore, that is my observation. It is due to the mean spiritness of so many people now, who rather run down their neighbour and back-stab each other at work, rather than learn and work for real solutions. It is the age of PRIMITIVISM in this country. You are PART of it!

      • aerobubble 1.6.1

        I think everyone should have access to work, the problem is cost, WINZ cannot afford the transition to work. But there predicament is due to legislating the work place, including the
        huge cost of compliance, paying taxes, work place safety, but also forcing people to work
        for long hours (which suits employers) but means less people are employed overall (job
        sharing is pressing human rights issue when active employment opportunities contact due
        to the introduction of computers to many work areas). So there’s this perfect storm
        coming, where few people are needed by the economy, legislation making it harder
        and costlier to share jobs and the taxes on employers (compliance, health safety), means
        that anyone who isn’t normal, has any barriers too employment, will be ignored by govt.
        And this explains why governing parties leading media lackeys love to have a good beanie
        bashing about the bludgers. Their powerless, their alleged delinquency is widely held
        amongst society (so we are told and reminded), and its government’s pulling all the economic
        and legal levers to create the under class.

    • xtasy 1.7

      DO NOT FORGET, dear “monkey”, as that is what I perceive a King Kong to be, the vast majority of “beneficiaries” have also worked most of their lives, and they paid taxes, exactly for the emergency that they may one day not be able to work anymore.

      You are a Minister fancying masturbater, as it appears. When you see her face, you fall in love and indulge in bizarre loyalties and “love acts”, which I find despicable.

  2. vto 2

    .
    Who in the House is for Bankers?
    Who in the House is for Chorus?
    Who in the House is for the NZX?
    Who in the House is for loans to Mediworks?
    Who in the House is for central government soviet-era planning?
    Who in the House is for holiday highways to the beaches?
    Who in the House is for investors in finance companies?

    as far as i can tell each of those groups is perfectly capable of looking after themselves yet this government still gives them money and other advantage for nothing. And on a scale far greater than beneficiaries.

    king kong you’re as thick as shit and an asshole.

    • David 2.1

      The answer, quite simply, is that yes Jacinda Ardern really is in the house for people receiving benefit support. I think the evidence for that, in hansard etc etc, is conclusive, and that as I say below, people casting doubts on that really do need to have their motives questioned. Either that, or they are simply not paying attention.

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    I would say the Greens have the strongest voice, not Mana because as you say they are marginalised nutters.

    • karol 3.1

      Good point about the Greens having the strongest voice, AWW.  But also, you have slightly misquoted me.  

      The word “nutters” is not one I usually use these days, and I certainly wouldn’t use it to describe Mana – marginalised they may be, but they make a lot of very good points, and also act according to their words.

      • marty mars 3.1.1

        True Karol, Mana are not just talking about it they actually do it which is why I am a member. I look around at the inequities and injustice perpetuated by the system and parties that support it and I’m not prepared to support those parties. Meanwhile the enemies of equality will continue their disinformation campaign against the Mana Movement – yawn – who cares about them, they will destroy everything just so they can die with more money than someone else – if we let them.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 3.1.2

        Sorry, nutters is my word. At least they are passionate and haven’t sold out.

      • xtasy 3.1.3

        I can only agree with Mana on some core policies, like bringing in a “Hone Heke Tax”, increasing public housing and addressing poverty by some forms of job-creation and also offering food at schools.

        I saw the Insight documentary on TV3 not long ago, and it showed that in Sweden it is STANDARD practice, to offer school kids a real, wholesome MEAL for lunch (cooked, with veges, meat and other ingredients), while in NZ voluntary organisations, some in cooperation with Fonterra and others, only are able to offer very BASIC food to kids. I saw toast and jam as being “breakfast” they offer at many schools. Now that is NOT very nutritious.

        A country, living largely on agricultural and horticultural exports, offering the best quality of their products to overseas consumers, offering second rate at home, that has a moral issue when 20 to 25 per cent of the kids in it suffer from poverty and likely also malnutrition.

        How disgusting, to have NZ go around presenting itself 100 per cent pure, green and as a “cultural capital” due to some “Hobbit” movie, at the same time neglecting so many in poverty.

        Also I live near the middle class and upper class suburbs of Epsom and Remuera, plus Newmarket here in Auckland. Since the Nats got in power I have detected a huge increase of large, petrol guzzling SUVs on the roads near here, driven by middle class tax cut beneficiaries, ignoring the poverty in South Auckland, in Glen Innes and so forth.

        Take a bus ride from Meadowbank down to G.I., dear folk, and the contrast cannot be starker, where wealthy suburbanites pampered by National live on top of the hills, and below the considered “riff raff” of beneficiaries and working poor they could not care less about.

        Every year I see this country becoming more of a failed state like in some South American nations. It is a condemnation what goes on here. Be bloody ashamed, NatACT and your supporters!

  4. infused 4

    You will probably find this is WINZ workers exploiting this. They get bonuses for getting people off the benefit.

    This was going on 10 years ago, wouldn’t be surprised it’s still happening. They will deny it however.

    • McFlock 4.1

      in the same way they deny they have specific quotas.
              
      The system is insidious – there is no set expectation to deny or kick people off benefits, but middle managers seem to have an incentive to implement their own unauthorised practises.
             
      It’s a crying shame that the most helpful I found WINZ back in the day was when I no longer abjectly needed them. 

      • infused 4.1.1

        Yeah. I know they do, because they got a special unit in to look at people who had been on the dole for a long period of time (I was on there 2 years). In the end, he told me exactly how it worked.

  5. Richard 5

    I think Ardern’s angle about National paying beneficiaries to leave, rather than creating jobs, is the best one. any other line would bring scores of troll-like King Kong responses, and Labour ends up on the back foot.

  6. Mary 6

    It was interesting that even Metiria this morning on Morning Report was scathing about the TTWG Programme being used to assist people go to Australia. She’s obviously accepted the MSM spin on things that was always an inevitable consequence of Ardern going down this cul-de-sac. Ardern’s clearly scored an own-goal here, but the real question this has raised is who the hell is advising Labour MPs? And the Greens for that matter?

    What Ardern’s done is that she’s tried talking about a whole bunch of essentially unrelated issues in the same breath: (1) the lawfulness of getting the grant to relocate to Australia; (2) whether or not there must be real job at the other end; and rolled this into (3) the issue of people leaving for Australia because there’s no work here. She’s confused the different categories of costs, some which require actual employment to be secured like relocation costs, with others that don’t, like travel to a job interview. On top of this she’s failed to acknowledge that the amount of $1500 is a maximum cap, not the amount of each grant – she’s done all of this with no real knowledge of the detail, including how the TTWG Programme works, its relationship with operational policy – and has just used just snippets of information which when looked at in isolation invariably leads to the wrong conclusions. The result is it’s quickly become something the government can make hay with. Just watch Bennett tighten up the criteria and score ‘tough on beneficiary’ points in the process.

    The correct analysis of the fact the TTWG Programme is being used to assist people to go to Australia is that it highlights the government’s lack of action of jobs in this country – full-stop. Such use is in fact clearly within the scope and purpose of the TTWG Programme, which is about assisting people into employment. Ironically, calling for the axing of the practice (which would require the Minister to alter the Programme because at the moment there’s nothing to stop such a grant being made, provided there’s clear proof there’s a real job 100% secured at the place the person relocates to) is calling for less employment and greater continuation of ongoing benefit payments. Looked at another way, will restricting the grant for relocation costs to within New Zealand increase the numbers of jobs and reduce the number of ongoing benefit payments? Of course not.

    If Jacinda or Metiria want to talk about these issues they need to get their heads around the detail and address each of the points properly. Failing to do this just ends up being one more fantastic dog-whistle, which of course may be their intention, but I sense in this particular instance it wasn’t.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 6.1

      Personally I don’t see the issue with sending beneficiaries to Australia, apart from them being no longer covered by social security if they go on to lose the job they moved for. Good on the ex-b’s…. at least the pay is better which might make up for the really shitty weather over there.

      I think our government should also consider paying for our citizens to fly overseas for dental care. Really should work out to be far more cost effective and far more exciting than your average dental treatment.

      • weka 6.1.1

        Highly transient populations are counter to good community.
         
        There is also the issue of how many people are coming to NZ and being given temporary work visas. Something is not right.

    • karol 6.2

      *sigh*  Ardern’s questions in the House today did seem to be a bit of a  train-wreck, with the PM jumping in with a supplementary hitting at Labour’s record.

      It did also not refer at all to the lack of jobs in NZ, and did not support beneficiaries in any positive way.

      It became an issue of the extent to which WINZ had given transition to work payments for people to take up jobs in Aussie.  No-one seems to know the  full answer.  Surely Ardern would know that before heading down that line of questioning?

      Bennett’s answers also clarified for me something I was trying to get at last night.  From my time teaching social policy a couple of decades ago in the UK, I knew that UK government policies include the legislation and government directives that are issued from time-to-time.  I thought that Bennett saying she has made it clear to staff that the payment shouldn’t be issued for Aussie, and a statement on WINZ website was an indication such a directive existed.

      However, it seems not, because today Bennett said she will draw up such a directive about tightening up on the payment, and will present it to the House.  So it looks like beneficiaries will be the losers. 

      • Mary 6.2.1

        Yes, she will have to alter the Minister’s Programme. There are a number of these, for example the Minister’s Special Needs Grant Programme etc. Here’s the list of them here. Go down to “Welfare Programmes”.

        http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures/legislation/index.htm#legbmk_Welfare_programmes

        They’re “approved” by the minister under section 124(1)(d) of the Social Security Act, so the actual programmes contain the precise words that must be followed, as if they were legislation. The principal Act simply allows the Minister to create the programmes, which must then be followed accordingly. This is different to, for example, ministerial directives, which the minister can issue under section 5(2) of the Act, but which simply allow the minister to pretty much give guidance on how particular parts of the principal legislation should be applied, but they can’t direct or instruct the ministry to ignore or step outside of the principal legislation.

        The policy you referred to last night was just that, policy only, and has absolutely no legal force at all. It’s a policy only that says “normally” a person shouldn’t receive the grant to relocate to Australia, which may or may not be unlawful in itself, I don’t know. It doesn’t exactly say that a grant cannot be issued if the person has secured employment outside of New Zealand, but then again the TTWP doesn’t restrict the assistance for jobs secured in New Zealand only.

        One thing’s for sure, though, and that is that all this is now academic because Jacinda has manged to force the minister to put an end to helping certain beneficiaries from moving into real jobs. As I mentioned before, everyone’s jumped all over this without understanding what it’s really about and it’s all ended with a micro solution to help address what’s a macro issue that in fact can do not a jot to fix that macro problem, and in fact makes things worse for everyone – more beneficiaries get to miss on on a job and stay on benefits and the government gets to shell out more than what it’d otherwise have to. Thanks Jacinda.

    • Johan 6.3

      Fantastic send them overseas if no one in NZ is able to hand them a job on a platter, after all to be given a job is one’s birth right. I have seen so man new immigrants from China and India in the past 15 years, who have the initiative and entrepreneurial drive to make a living from self manufactured jobs. It appears that we need more people with courage and skill to set-up small businesses and eventually be able to hire more people.

      • karol 6.3.1

        The Chinese and Indian people who come to NZ, tend to be ones from families that can afford the money required for changing countries and moving such a distance.  They tend to be reasonably well-educated and have the resources and know-how to set themselves up in business.  

        The ones who remain in those countries tend to be from low income backgrounds & most end up working in sweatshops to produce cheap products for countries like NZ.

        • Olwyn 6.3.1.1

          I have also seen Indian and Chinese immigrants in the dole office, as well as solo mums who have invented jobs for themselves. I do not know the numbers in either case so I do not jump to conclusions. By and large though, you do need either some personal resources or someone who can lend you a little money to create a job for yourself.

          The fact is, people are obliged to work, but no one is obliged to give them jobs. One of the cruellest things in the world is to give people obligations that they can’t possibly fulfil, but Jacinda is probably not allowed to mention the cruelty of it; just that something or other “does not work” or is ‘a burden on the tax payer,” or similar.

          This is because some of the people to whom Labour wants to appeal, though not necessarily represent (which is another question altogether), hate beneficiaries. Just as people have in the past hated the Irish, the black, the gay, etc. The hatred of these groups was in part overcome by outrage at injustice and appeals to people’s better nature. The Labour leadership team, however, does not seem to have imaginations that extend so far.

          • Colonial Viper 6.3.1.1.1

            Just heard them taking the piss out of the beneficiaries/flights to Australia thing on radio.

            The announcers wanted to know whether its just flights, or do beneficiaries get a full “flights and accommodation” package, can you choose the hotel you stay at eg the Novotel, and are return tickets included.

            Life as a beneficiary must be really great.

            • I hate vipers 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Maybe your mate Cunliffe can help, oh hang-on he got sacked and is now sulkng on the back benches. Too bad, haha. Shearer showed, what your bitch doesn’t have, balls! What a fucktard.

          • xtasy 6.3.1.1.2

            I do not want to sound “racist”, but I have met some, and heard of Chinese and Indian work visa holders and prospective permanent residents going to great lengths to find ways to bend the rules, and to “create” jobs, or be the recipients of “created” jobs or businesses, that were never really meant to last!

            A fair few of them “passed” the hurdles and got PR in the end, some of whom ended up in ordinary jobs, others on the benefit.

            This has also been abused by both major parties to gain votes, namely to “assist” certain migrants and their relatives to get into the country, and to “work” here, which happens in some cases, but in others it could and would never work.

            Phil Goff has a fair few answers to give there, same as some Nat MPs. It applies to various migrant groups by the way.

            That is NOT how a country and society should be run, I feel.

        • Johan 6.3.1.2

          I don’t necessarily agree Karol that these people are monetarily and educationally better off. These people often borrow money from others, (NZ’s have the same option), to set themselves up in a small business and then work very long hours to meet some sort of success. I venture to say that many NZ’s seeking work are unwilling to make these sacrifices.

          • Colonial Viper 6.3.1.2.1

            You’re dreaming and playing to stereotypes mate.

            And what about the 98% of people who aren’t cut out to be entrepreneurial, or who don’t want to make their children work behind the counter of their shop for free?

            These people often borrow money from others, (NZ’s have the same option)

            Please specify who you can borrow money from to start up a new business, especially if you don’t already own property, and at what usurous interest rates.

            • Johan 6.3.1.2.1.1

              CV you must be dreaming yourself, did you pluck that 98% figure out of the air, or is it just your kind of B.S. to facilitate a discussion? If you were hardup, would you consider taking up eg a lawnmowing business? Just one idea, simple straight forward and with very little cash outlay. Entrepreneurial skills are being taught and developed at certain schools, these skills, I like to add should be taught to the younger children (primary and intermediate schools) to help them think creatively.

              • Colonial Viper

                So you’re arguing that these Chinese and Indian immgrants are picking up lawn mowing businesses? I mean all you need is a car, a few hundred dollars worth of equipment, and then you can go compete against all the established lawn mowing franchises out there yeah?

                Any other brain dead suggestions? Ones which will pay decently, perhaps?

                So who is lending money to start new businesses with?

                • Colonial Viper

                  By the way, how many lawns do you have to mow a week to make $800 a week, net?

                  • karol

                    By the way, how many lawns do you have to mow a week to make $800 a week, net?

                    Ask the Nats.

                    In the debate just finished in the house on protection of young workers private members Bill (and voted down), it was one of the jobs mentioned that people under 16 years do as independent contractors.  And they were talking about children as young as 10 years.

                    Under 16 yr olds as contractors is something Nats celebrate as a good thing, in spite of the lack of employment protections. They claimed it was an example of NZ entrepreneurial spirit, and young people exercising their democratic rights and rights to individual choice: the right to choose to be an independent contractor, for which they are regarded as having their own business.

      • millsy 6.3.2

        Well personally I think a job should be a person’s birth right. That was the whole point of full employment back in the days. As I said before, the system of having people slog their guts out knocking on doors and sending their CV out only to be rejected over and over and over is not working and is just demoralising so many people.

        Not everyone wants to own their own business, some people like the SECURITY of being an employee. That was the whole point of the ‘Hobbit hating’. All the actors wanted was ACC, sick leave and holiday pay. Peter Jackson could have quite easiliy afforded it.

        You sound awfully lot like an ACT supporter. You oppose job creation scheme, public health and education, welfare, state housing restrictions on air pollution and so on and so forth.

    • David 6.4

      To be fair, you really do have to see Jacinda’s remarks in the context of her wider commentary, which as far as I can see has been relentlessly and conspicuously on the side of those on benefits. She never fails in my experience to leave you feeling that people receiving benefits are just that: human beings interacting with a social safety net, who deserve respect and dignity.

      I think anyone suggesting otherwise needs to be questioned: is this a part of an agenda to paint all of Labour as right wing benebashers? Is it basic unwillingness to accept that Labour might in fact be the party of real social progress, a party wherein good smart and committed people like Jacinda can in fact find a place to work from, support, and a real possibility of delivering good social policy when they are the majority party in a coalition government? It is denial that Labour could possibly really be in the side of the poor, and have plausible plans for dealing eg with child poverty? If not, sorry, I really dont understand.

      • Colonial Viper 6.4.1

        Does the wider commentary, which from Jacinda is quite well tuned to social justice, nevertheless excuse tactical political ineptness.

        Because she’s help make a non-issue into another excuse to beat beneficiaries up with.

        • karol 6.4.1.1

          Agree on the tactical ineptness, CV.  I don’t know about commitment as I don’t know Ardern.

          In today’s question time, Ardern just seemed to be flying a kite without having done the background work: eg submitting a  written question for the relevant information.

          In contrast, Goff and Julie Anne Genter showed how to do use question time, having done the ground work before hand and having the documentary evidence on the relevant issue. 

          • Colonial Viper 6.4.1.1.1

            yes both Goff and Genter were highly impressive. I’ve always thought Goff very capable.

            In some ways Genter shone more brightly though when you consider that she is an MP with only one years experience! (How was Shearer doing after just one year in Parliament?)

            • Joe Bloggs 6.4.1.1.1.1

              Surely you jest.

              Goff’s inept allegations against Kiely can hardly be described as capable… reckless and ill-advised maybe, but not capable.

        • Mary 6.4.1.2

          Well, Bennett’s already said she’s going to put an end to the grant being used to help relocate people into secured employment if that employment isn’t in New Zealand. Is this what Jacinda wanted? Fewer people moving from benefits into real jobs? Problem is she’s arguing for micro changes to address a macro problem. Pretty naive. Hope she’s happy.

      • Olwyn 6.4.2

        I do not doubt that Jacinda is concerned about poverty, and I suggested that she might be constrained by party policy – I know she is not heartless. Shearer and co, while showing approval of the group that give lunches to school, and also of the living wage campaign, have not squarely and unequivocally offered plans for addressing poverty, and Shearer still stands on his roof-painter story, which expresses a shared and unexplored prejudice against “undeserving” beneficiaries.

        It is true also that I am looking at things through a jaundiced eye – I am angry with the party for so determinedly pursuing what is essentially a centre-right course when the poor need parliamentary representation more than ever. And as some have pointed out, the media have picked up on the “free plane ride” aspect.

        • Mary 6.4.2.1

          TV3 has just done the same thing, including saying that each grant is $1500 which is just rubbish. At least Ardern and Bennett are both finally acknowledging that the issue is only about relocating to secured jobs. Radio NZ has still reporting incorrectly that the practice is not allowed, but as expected Bennett has announced she’s going to end it all by altering the Ministerial Programme. Again, well done, Jacinda for be responsible for stopping people from moving from receipt of a benefit into employment. Great stuff.

          • xtasy 6.4.2.1.1

            Mary, in hindsight, I agree to your comments last night, she is NOT FIT for the job, simply not just inexperienced, but a bit of an over-ambitious IDIOT!

            • Mary 6.4.2.1.1.1

              Yes. It was good to see your comments last night have sparked this post by Karol today. We need to keep sticking it to Labour until they come clean on their welfare policy. Until they do I don’t trust them at all. The signs are all there for more of the same if they become government.

  7. just saying 7

    citations needed

  8. Arkonaut 8

    Jacinda’s question in the House today backfired when Bennett revealed that only 6 people on benefits have gone to Australia to seek work in the last year, but 16 people went there in 2007 when Labour set the scheme up.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      And that is simply more evidence of bad and incomplete staff work on the Labour side.

      • Arkonaut 8.1.1

        You cannot blame the staff for this cv, she directed the questions and she got owned by Paula Benefit. Jacinda is just a lightweight. Promoted well past her talents. What has she ever actually achieved? She was given everything by the labour party, every fricking opportunity handed to her on a plate and she’s done nothing with it.

  9. I e-mailed Jacinda about a concern i had with the policies of winz about various health
    issues and to her credit she e-mailed me back quickly and was helpful with regard to
    a situation, in all i had 3 e-mails on the subject from her.
    Jacinda is a new politician and is still learning the ropes,she will grow into the job
    well, i feel.
    Jacinda’s revelation about winz paying airfares to aussie for jobseekers had unintened consequences, it’s all about the learning process.

  10. Skinny 10

    Oh for crying out loud ‘what were they thinking’ actually why weren’t they thinking? So Bennett was able to sling mud back in Labour’s face. So what really happening here is MP’s self interest comes 1st, I noticed the posturing since the AC. Yes the New Year front bench reshuffle. The insecure incumbents desperate to hold off the wannabe’s. That’s what’s going on of course it is.

    • xtasy 10.1

      Yes, I noticed this “posturing” in pretended “confidence” by many caucus members also!

      I asked myself the same question as you.

      Was it not the base that raised their voices? So what has the caucus done to be more “confident”???

      Zilch, I must say!

      All fall behind the new head ram, who rammed one contender down the ranks, like a wild animal, not using common sense and brains. It seems to be all about “alpha males” there!?

  11. xtasy 11

    Thank you Karol, after reading through comments on Open Mike and also some other posts on other threads, and also re-reading Ardern’s press release, as well as following the media coverage to date, I have come to the same conclusion as MARY and apparently also YOU now!

    Ardern has kicked herself a HUGE own goal.

    It was discussed between one of the few still great NZ journalists on Checkpoint of RNZ’s National Program tonight, with Ardern.

    She was challenged with the fact, that it was a “back to work grant” that was introduced by a previous Labour led government, AND it was used in a fair number of cases already in 2007 under a Labour led government.

    Ardern tried to distract, accepted that mistakes were made, but supposedly not noticed, and tried to lay most blame on Bennett. I understand her reason and intention to attack Bennett, and for that it is “fair enough”.

    But Labour has a chequered history on welfare. I stated repeatedly the fact, that it was under a Labour led government, that a parallel kind of system was introduced withing MSD and WINZ in 2007, where new “advisory positions” were created, to have Principal Health Advisor and a Principal Disability Advisor oversee a range of Regional Health Advisors and Regional Disability Advisors in Regional MSD offices, and “advise” on health and disability related issues to case managers and other staff.

    It appears, from my information and observation, that this system, largely run by the PHA Dr David Bratt, was increasingly abused, to try and influence the WINZ selected “designated doctors” and even more generally GPs altogether, to tow a very tough line when assessing sick and disabled applying for, or being reviewed for entitlement to sickness and invalid’s benefits.

    Some appalling decisions have surfaced over the years, not dissimilar to ACC cases.

    I also learned through documents and other sources, that Dr Bratt and the former Senior Advisor Dr Rankin (both MSD staff), TRAINING of designated doctors took place from 2008 on. That is like having the prosecution be allowed to “train” a judge in a supposedly “independent” hearing.

    This has all been established under a Labour led government, and it was well received and happily taken over by this National led government, to tighten up on entitlements for sickness and invalid’s benefits under the Future Focus policies.

    New, now heard reforms go substantially further and will create a ruthless system similar to the UK.

    Now Ardern has NOT said ANYTHING re all this, she is always distracting, or trying so, with “media savvy” comments and little else, not addressing real concerns.

    I see her as now TOTALLY UNFIT for her role as SPOKESPERSON for SOCIAL SECURITY in LABOUR!

    She must go, like many others, she lets sick, disabled, children and mothers caring for them while unemployed down.

    This recent media story about flights to Australia, paid for by THE TAXPAYER is working along the same rotten lines as disqualified LABOUR leader Shearer!

    I want to see a real shake up in NZ politics and see a total need for a new and independent left party now!

    Labour does not care for unemployed, sick, disabled, sole parents and children in welfare. It is all just total lip service, and I am SICK of it!

  12. prism 12

    Jacinda Ardern’s choice of words about beneficiaries being given one-way tickets and help to get to Australia implied they were being got rid of, even being dumped there. She isn’t the brightest about the true situation for most beneficiaries, belonging to the David Shearer boot camp club I think.

    Her comments would just confirm the nasty idea that Oz politicians have about most NZs which is one of the big reasons they cut all our entitlements as tax paying citizens working there. Why we haven’t done the same here in NZ I don’t know.

    • xtasy 12.1

      Because NZ is DESPERATE for migrants and replacing the loss to Australia, so they do not want to scare away prospective migrants with tightening up on entitlements for new migrants. It is just proof of how desperate and hopeless the situation is for NZ.

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  • 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
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • 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
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • 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
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