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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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    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Fiji pre-election ‘politics’ blackout stirs media protests, frustration
    BLACKOUT DAY – Monday, day one of the “silence window” in Fiji leading up to the close of polling in the general election at 6pm on Wednesday. And this is under the draconian threat of a $10,000 fine or five...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • “Now the work of movements begins”: government corruption, media bias, ...
    I am so tired of the dirty politics of the National government, aren’t you? I am tired of John Key and his pathetic attacks on award-winning journalists who have spent their careers fighting and digging for truth and good. The...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Moment of Truth review, smoking guns and the awful coverage by the NZ msm
      There were queues unlike any the Town Hall has seen, 1000 were turned away once it became full…     …full to the rafters. The energy and atmosphere within the room was extraordinary, and it begun…   …Glenn Greenwald...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Why Maori TV’s Te Tai Tokeraou Poll will be proved wrong
    If Hone Harawira had a dollar every time the media wrote off his chance of winning Te Tai Tokeraou, he would have more money than Kim Dotcom. Remember the by-election? Hone was 1 point ahead of Kelvin in an exact...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
    . Acknowledgement: Emmerson . 15 September – Leading up to the Moment of Truth public meeting this evening, these Radio NZ interviews are worth listening to; . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Live Stream: Moment of Truth Tonight 7pm
    Live Video Stream by eCast: The Daily Blog will Live Stream the Moment of Trust public meeting from 7pm. The meeting will feature Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, and a very special guest…...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The proof Key lied about GCSB mass surveillance
    And we start getting to the evidence that proves Key has lied about mass surveillance. The article by Glenn Greenwald is out and it is beyond damning… Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • A brief word on the Ede-Slater emails
    Every day I have rushed to read the paper to see if a breaking story on the Ede-Slater emails had broken yet. They haven’t. Day after day, where are these emails? We know Rawshark sent the emails to David Fisher...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should party vote...
    There are 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should consider casting their party vote for Internet MANA this election. 1 – Feed the Kids: There is no excuses now that National have flirted with the idea...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • What I want from a change of government
    The prospects for a change of government look a little brighter so I though I’d look at what we can expect. The only option being provided by Labour, the main opposition party, is for a Labour, Green, NZ First coalition....
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Why is the “Progressive” Coalition so Regressive?
    Have you ever, when parallel parking, got yourself wedged into the curb? The car in front is centimetres away and your rear wheel is touching the curb at an angle. This is a metaphor for the state of economic policy-making...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Of course the Greens could work with National
    A warm soy latte with John Key?   Sharp in take of breath moment as TVNZ last night reported Greens could work with National post the election if National win. It’s a smart move. The Greens are so viciously anti-tribal...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Quality of Journalism
    “Skilled journos getting unwarranted shit from hack bloggers & online warriors could earn big $ in PR/marketing, so thank you for what you do”. As this tweet rolled across my screen this morning the irony had me rolling my eyes. Why on...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – #BlueGreen2014 – Or: The Media Jetskiis O...
    During Thursday’s iteration of One News, I was virtually shocked off my seat to hear a reasonably well-known political pundit slash nominal “journalist” prognosticating about the likelihood of the Green Party “switching gear” on its electoral strategy … and deciding...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Winning on the Economy
    One of the great tricks of the right over the past twenty years has been to desiccate debate about our economy. ‘The economy’ is spoken about as if it is an independent entity, divorced from the realm of democratic politics...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Conservatives Break through 5% Threshold
    Reports in today’s Dominion Post that the Conservative Party is polling at 6% in Nationals internal polling are not surprising says the Conservative Napier candidate Garth McVicar....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Hundreds of Students Turn Out for Political Debate
    With only a few days left before the general election, over 500 Victoria students packed the central Hub space on campus today to listen to a political debate on student issues organised by the Students’ Association. Victoria University of Wellington...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Ex-prisoners make most of mentoring to make most of life
    It’s not every day that an organisation triples a programme in size, but PARS Inc (formerly known as the Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society of the Auckland District Inc) has managed to do just that with their Community Mentoring Scheme,...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Unscrupulous worker highlights why 90-days works
    Federated Farmers believes the experience of a husband and wife farming team in Taranaki underscores why the 90-days provision is so important to small businesses. “Yesterday a member called 0800 FARMING to alert us to a guy doing the rounds...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eye to Eye Uploaded
    Leading Maori broadcaster and political commentator Willie Jackson previews Eye to Eye Uploaded, a multi-platform series of interviews that he’s aiming to put in front of media radars next year....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Party Rankings against Inequality
    Revealed: which party will do the most to reduce New Zealand’s growing inequality crisis...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Maritime Union backs change of Government
    The Maritime Union says a change of Government is required to deliver secure jobs and decent wages for New Zealand workers....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Green Party package for newborns welcomed
    16 September 2014 Media Release The New Zealand College of Midwives has welcomed a policy announced today by the Green Party which would provide a package of essential items for every newborn baby. The College is a non partisan organisation...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • ALCP Release Election Manifesto
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has released its manifesto in the lead up to the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Election Daily Update #9
    John Key’s National Party appears to have received a major boost from last night’s “Moment of Truth” event, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Despite no major changes...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eminem Publishers Sue New Zealand National Party
    Detroit-based music publishing companies sue National Party for damages for unauthorised use of song in election campaign advertising...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws
    Overwhelming Majority of Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws. Press release- Fifty Fifty Campaign, 16 September 2014 National is the only political party willing to defend the way WINZ treats separated parents who share their kids...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parents Smacking Down Prime Minister
    "John Keys failure to deliver on his promise to change the anti-smacking law is costing National votes, and helping the Conservative Party," says Colin Craig....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Video & Audio
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence was happy to host a political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invited representatives...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Greens Take Nanny State To A New Level
    Family First NZ is labelling the Green’s ‘welcome package’ for newborns policy as wasteful and misdirected. “This policy is taking ‘nanny state’ to a new level but indicates just how much the Greens want to intervene in family life,”...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • 2,100 people send message about dirty politics
    2,100 people have signed their name to a full-page open letter featuring in the New Zealand Herald this Wednesday. The letter is designed to send a message to politicians that dirty politics is an important election issue....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Are DoC manipulating Rat Numbers?
    Ban 1080 Political Party co-leader Bill Wallace says there are serious rumours DoC has changed their rat counting technique to cover up the lack of the mythical “Rat Plague” claimed by the Department in Kahurangi National Park, and also that...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Average Full time Student Is in Financial Distress
    A new survey has found that nearly half of all full time students are in significant financial distress....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Key and Cunliffe, research revealed by Ancestry.com.au
    Contrasting family histories of John Key and David Cunliffe, revealed by research from Ancestry.com.au....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Revelations a Damning Indictment of Key’s Honesty
    The Prime Minister’s honesty is now central to the election, says Internet Party Leader Laila Harré, following the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden that there is mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by the GCSB....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Organisations Have ‘Duty of Care’ for Players says Law Firm
    Concussion injuries in amateur and professional sporting arenas are currently highly topical. Concussion potentially appears to have been implicit in the recent death of a young player in Northland....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Media Release from Closing the Gap on Health and Housing
    “Inequality is the biggest problem facing New Zealand at the present time” says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Closing the Gap. It underlies many of our social ills, poverty, lack of trust, an economy that could do much better, and...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Expanding Whānau Ora – a bottom line for Māori Party
    Leaving the best to last, the Māori Party has launched its Whānau Ora policy today following a fun family event at Te Ore Ore Marae in Masterton last night. “When we change what happens in our homes, we change what...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Colin Craig’s Incredible Claims Continue
    Hot on the heels of a Conservative Party candidate proposing to double the price of a bottle of wine, Colin Craig has come up with an even more fantastic idea to buttress his uncosted tax policy....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • The Letter: Jamie Whyte is going to Parliament
    Friday night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts Jamie Whyte in Parliament. TVNZ rounded down the poll result (ACT was on 1.2%). With the high wasted Conservative vote, just 1.2% makes Jamie an MP. It is ACT, not NZ First that...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Why are we letting Dotcom steal our election?
    Why are we letting a convicted German fraudster and his American polemicists steal our election?...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan
    ACT has a five point plan to grow the economy by a third. To lift economic growth from the Treasury's long term forecast of just two percent to three....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Christchurch rebuild cost sharing plan must be improved
    “The agreement between the government and the Christchurch City Council about sharing costs of the rebuild is due to be revised in December, as some costs are more accurately known now than they were originally,“ says Warren Voight, Local...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ‘Key vs. Cunliffe’ Final Live NZ Election Reactor
    ohn Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the final time on TV One on Wednesday as Election Day looms. Roy Morgan wants to know what you think about their performance as the leaders try one last time...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Chamber welcomes Business Growth Agenda priorities
    Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes the National Government’s 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda as essential to continuing strong business performance and economic growth....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • #SafeSource NZ – A secure way to share the truth
    Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Last vid to encourage youth vote
    Here's the third and final in our series to boost the youth vote. It's called CINDER and it's a play on the popular dating app....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fee hikes restrict student choices
    A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan to grow the economy
    ACT has a five point plan to double the rate of economic growth. The Treasury long term forecast for growth is 2% a year. We can lift it to 4%....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • iPredict Daily Election Update
    National’s forecast party vote has risen to 45.3% over the last day, at the expense of Labour and the Greens, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. A National/Act/UnitedFuture/Maori...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • National’s economic strategy attack workers’ rights
    The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Questions Raised Over Cow Deaths
    The death of 200 cows after eating a new variety of PGG Wrightsons HT swedes [1] is a disaster for New Zealand farmers....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 6-11 September
    Below is iSentia’s weekly Election Index for the period 6 to 11 September, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will publish...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness
    “Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said. “Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National tries to dodge the discussion on workers’ rights
    New Zealanders deserve a proper conversation about National’s plans to keep undermining the real value of their wages and conditions at work. “Today National has released a ‘workplace policy’ which will further widen the imbalance of power between...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Didn’t Get Your Easyvote Pack? You Need to Enrol Now.
    If you didn’t get an EasyVote pack in the mail last week, you need to check your enrolment now as you may not be enrolled....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Survey shows television without adverts could be vote winner
    Survey shows television without adverts could be a vote winner Television news focuses too much on politicians' personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Which of Key’s many statements will Greenwald challenge?
    John Key's credibility and honesty will be tested on many more GCSB issues than whether there was / is mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB. I have put together this by no means comprehensive list of Key's statements...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • 4th tranche of Auckland Housing Accord licenses sprawl
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is appalled at the next stage of the Auckland Housing Accord, released today, as it is once again focussed on urban sprawl. The fourth tranche of 41 Special Housing Areas (SHAs), allows for 8000 dwellings, nearly...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
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