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“Work” and the false economy of Bennett’s welfare reforms

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, September 26th, 2012 - 99 comments
Categories: benefits, capitalism, employment, paula bennett, unemployment, welfare - Tags:

Bennett’s reforms aim to cut the costs of government spending on welfare. But what this means is that more of the necessary caring and service work in NZ will be unpaid, or underpaid. It doesn’t mean people will necessarily work harder or longer. It’s a mistaken belief of the bennie-bashers that beneficiaries who are not in paid employment, don’t do work that makes a significant contribution to society and the economy.

Under capitalism, “work” has come to take on a primary meaning of paid work. This tends to mask how much positive energy people put into unpaid or underpaid activities that are of value to society. (Henceforth, in order to avoid confusion I will use the term “wurk”, to refer to both paid and unpaid “work”). Paula Bennett’s latest welfare reform bill the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work focus) Amendment Bill, and a lot of the opposition to it, put a strong focus on paid work.

In the comments under my post on the second reading of Bennett’s latest welfare reform bill, there was an important discussion on the way both government and opposition parties put their main focus on work, getting beneficiaries back into work, and “work-readiness”. (Special mention to Dave Brownnz, Xtasy, Bill, and weka for their valuable contributions on the issue of “work”).

Mainstream economists and many right wingers tend to particularly hail the noble cause of “work” that increases the profits of private enterprises. They don’t acknowledge that some of these enterprises can be damaging to the health of citizens, society and ultimately the economy (e.g. think of some aspects of the fast food industry, the alcohol industry, an undue focus on RONS and the gambling industry).

In contrast, there is also a fair amount of academic, government/state and international research that has focused on the definitions of “work”, comparisons between paid and unpaid activities, and the relative contributions each makes to the economy. The government’s own online encyclopaedia charts the history of unpaid work in NZ. It outlines changes in women’s domestic work and other necessary daily activities like DIY, that are necessary to keep the country, its economy and its paid work force operating effectively.

It’s difficult to be fully totally accurate in classifying and thus measuring paid and unpaid wurk. Statistics NZ has a 2001 article reporting on the relative time spent on, cost and benefit of paid and unpaid work in NZ.

It claims that New Zealanders spend more time on unpaid than paid work; women do more unpaid work than men; in a year New Zealanders do over 4.2 billion hours of unpaid work, equivalent to over 2 million jobs; in 1999 the value of unpaid work was $40 billion, equivalent to 39% of GDP.

And a 2011 OECD comparison of 28 countries shows that internationally people spent one tenth to one fifth of their time on unpaid work.

Here the statistics gathered between 1998 and 2009 show that, on average, this is how New Zealanders spend their time: 16% (of their time on) unpaid work; 19% paid work or study; 48% personal care; 17% leisure. However, it is not easy to clearly differentiate “unpaid work” from leisure activities. For many people, especially women, domestic wurk is something they do in their leisure time.

Bennett’s welfare reforms will be a false economy. They will provide more ways of controlling those on low incomes, resulting in an increase in unpaid and low paid servitude, for the benefit of the state and private enterprises.


99 comments on ““Work” and the false economy of Bennett’s welfare reforms”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    “It’s a mistaken belief of the bennie-bashers that beneficiaries who are not in paid employment, don’t do work that makes a significant contribution to society and the economy.”

    So those who remove themselves from the “wurk”-force voluntarily can expect the state, and therefore the working public who are forcibly taxed, to support them? Nice safety net we have here.

    I don’t moan about the unpaid “wurk” I did between 1999-2009, nor the unpaid “wurk” i have done since. I don’t expect the state to reimburse me either, stop taxing me so much would be nice. But hey, gotta pay for the massive majority of welfare recipients who do such sterling “wurk” happily and voluntarily. like standing in the winz queue.

    So the 16% of NZ’ers time spent doing unpaid work, how much of that is done by those also in paid employment? “wurk” as it is more colloquially known.

    • muzza 1.1

      So those who remove themselves from the “wurk”-force voluntarily can expect the state, and therefore the working public who are forcibly taxed, to support them? Nice safety net we have here.

      You might find yourself needing that safety net one day, and as a tax payer of this country frankly I am comfortable with the numbers of those who might “decide” to use the stystem, becasuse the relative costs are SFA.

      What I am NOT comfortable with is a government who sponsors corporate welfare, borrows from abroad at interest without an audit trail, continually legislates profits and jobs abroad, bails out its rich mates, and removes our so called demoracy a piece at a time..

      All the while little minds like you can only see the very small picture!

      • TightyRighty 1.1.1

        So you don’t like government. Whoopie. We all have our problems with it, no matter who is in charge. What is our second largest government expense? think about that before going on about little minds and talking about little problems.

        • muzza 1.1.1.1

          Why are you talking about government expenses, like it needs to be relevant, its NOT!

          NZ as a sovereign nation should have no problem funding its people requirements, job creation, R&D, infrastructure programmes, health care, energy, food & water etc, education and so the list goes on…

          Get the blinkers off mate!

          You are stuck with your little mind, asking narrow minded questions!

          EDIT: I don’t like CORRUPT government – FIFY

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            +1

            We can afford to do anything we want if we have the resources here in NZ which, as a matter of fact, we do have.

        • Dr Terry 1.1.1.2

          TightyRighty – you are confessing that EVEN YOU have problems with the Government? You had better tighten up a little more!

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      So those who remove themselves from the “wurk”-force voluntarily can expect the state, and therefore the working public who are forcibly taxed, to support them? Nice safety net we have here.

      Typical of you to have it completely reversed: its the unpaid work in this society which subsidises for free the capitalist money system.

      Not the other way around. Duh.

    • karol 1.3

      Tighty, yes that 16% is according to the OECD definition of unpaid work. The definition is somewhat problematic, with respect to the differentiation between unpaid work and leisure. here is how they define it, from the document linked in my post.

      The boundary between unpaid work and leisure is determined by the so-called “third-person” criterion. If a third person could hypothetically be paid to do the activity, it is considered to be work. Cooking, cleaning, child care, laundry, walking the dog and gardening are therefore all examples of unpaid work. On the other hand, someone else cannot be paid to watch a movie, play tennis, or silently read book on another’s behalf as the benefits of the activity would accrue to the doer (the third person), and not to the hirer (Ironmonger, 1996). These activities are therefore considered as leisure.

      But consider that some people are paid to play tennis, read books, and watch movies: the latter 2 done by reviewers, teachers etc. As someone who has spent most of their life adult life teaching, I have often noted that reading and viewing I’ve done in my “leisure” time ends up having been useful in my teaching work.

      And also note that the Stat NZ study of 2001 concluded that NZers spend more time doing unpaid than paid work. And yes, of course, people in paid work also do unpaid wurk.

      But when the government axes workers in necessary public services, as the current government is doing, there is an increase in people doing unpaid but necessary wurk. And often it is the people working the least paid hours, and on relatively low incomes, who do more of the necessary wurk.

    • RedLogix 1.4

      Simple question TR.

      If your wages were to drop, would you choose to work more or less?

      Be careful how you answer this question because the neo-classical economic theory insists that you would work less.

      • TightyRighty 1.4.1

        Too simple a question RL. Basic theory, ceterus paribus, would agree with your last statement. any other variable would change the equation beyond recognition.

        • RedLogix 1.4.1.1

          No it’s perfectly fundamental. The orthodox theory depends on the idea that the labour supply curve is forward sloping, ie the more people are paid then the more they will work.

          • TightyRighty 1.4.1.1.1

            Labour supply curve is actually backward bending after a point to the right the point of intersection with the labour demand curve. Simpy put, no matter how much you pay someone there comes a point where that person stops working more, and even starts to work less. Basic theory and very fundamental.

            • RedLogix 1.4.1.1.1.1

              So this means that there will be a different labour supply curve for every point along the labour demand curve … with multiple possible equilibrium points. None of which can be said to be any more ‘fundamental’ than any other.

              In other words the standard theory simply tells us nothing.

              • TightyRighty

                so you are saying that because two lines exist and could cross each other anywhere, theoretically, the standard theory is wrong? It would be wrong if you chose to ignore the other line in the equation, the “demand” line. But it’s perfectly true because you can supply your labour at any price you choose, yet you need another party to pay your price. Thus, markets. Pretty simple really.

                • RedLogix

                  Thus, markets. Pretty simple really.

                  Well no. A ‘market price’ is theoretically where the supply and demand curves meet yet the supply curve is not forward sloping and could meet at many points. And because worker incomes also determine commodity demand and in turn labour demand …it is not an independent variable either. There is no obvious or apparent equilibrium.

                  In other words standard ‘supply and demand’ theory is a very unsuitable tool when applied to labour.

                  In the real world wage rates are not set by any mythical ‘market’ … they are mostly determined by relative political power.

                  • TightyRighty

                    Supply and demand is an incredibly suitable tool when talking about labour, as it’s a good like any other. It can be traded, there is supply of and demand for it. It fits all the criteria of a good. Your spin that real world wage rates somehow don’t reflect the relative supply and demand and therefore price of labour as it is is complete bullshit. Prices don’t rise when their is a glut of supply. Prices rise when there are shortages. No matter how much you want it to be right, you can’t be as you fail to grasp this basic concept.

                    Simple question RL. If I offer you a good that everyone can get for free for $1, would you pay me that $1 in exchange for the good?

                    • mike e

                      The real world doesn’t work like that .
                      Maybe at a company level but internationally no, every country that we trade with is tilting the field in their direction.
                      ie Fisher &Paykel!
                      They were given 15 years of heavy subsidies by the thai govt.
                      What did they get from NZ a high Dollar Zero subsidies!

                    • RedLogix

                      If I offer you a good that everyone can get for free for $1, would you pay me that $1 in exchange for the good?

                      There are no such goods because no-one would produce a ‘good’ for free. Every real good has a marginal cost to produce. So the question is not meaningful in reality.

                      Of course from an employer’s perspective getting labour for free would be nice. That way they could easily achieve maximum profit and there would be zero unemployment because there would be unlimited demand for this ‘free’ labour.

                      errmm … except there would be also zero demand for all the goods and services produced because none of the workers would have an income. Ooops where is the equilibrium here?. Of course a ‘floor’ to the market such as the minimum wage and a social wage for the unemployed prevents this case from arising in practise.

                      Prices don’t rise when their is a glut of supply. Prices rise when there are shortages.

                      But when individual workers are paid more they are just as likely to work fewer hours, or not increase them. A point you just made yourself. There are only 24hrs in a day and roughly 2000hrs in a year and no amount of ‘incentive’ will get workers to exceed this about any significant amount.

                      In this case a shortage of workers might lead to rising wages, to fewer hours being worked, an increase in demand for goods and services …and thus to an even worse effective shortage of workers. In this case the rise in wage price is declared as ‘dangerous inflation’ and the RB bangs up interest rates to suppress demand.

                      Total real wages are not so much determined by some non-existent market mechanism; they are set at low end by the minimum and social wage price, and at the other end by the RB acting to constrain inflation. These are political mechanisms, not market ones.

                      And of course the distribution of income among workers is a whole different story which again reflects more upon relative political power than anything else.

                    • TightyRighty

                      comprehension and economics. Not things you would put on your CV are they RL?

                      [End of conversation....RL]

                • mike e

                  Its to simplistic Tighty almighty!
                  Tag team trolle of the day.
                  So where are all the jobs then!
                  Bene basher has said they are going to reduce the numbers on benefits!
                  So far we have nearly 100,000 more on benefits after 4 years of Nactionals economic mismanagement!
                  So whats changed to make any difference in job creation fact the situation has got worse!
                  TA crawl bag under your bridge to no where!
                  We need a dollar stabilised at around 63cents to the US dollar! then employment would increase!
                  Once those manufacturing jobs have gone they don’t come back we are being sold down the drain by the Rights adherence to fundamentalist economic theory!
                  Economic Terrorists!
                  The same idiots who brought us the GFC PONZI schemes!
                  Shonkey is our binladen Brought direct to you by Merrill Lynch the worlds most corrupt toxic investment Bank!
                  And as for spongers TA BofA paid $29 dollars a share 3 times the market share value which was paid by the US tax payer so old Shonkey sponger extrodinaire!

            • Foreign Waka 1.4.1.1.1.2

              Basic theory – ceteris paribis (all things being equal)- applied to labour looks to me so that in a very mechanical way a persons performance is measured to optimise return for a third party. The difference between slavery and today’s system is that the ancient Romans dictum of “bread and games” has been added to keep the masses quiet. Of cause there are a small group of privileged individuals who’s social job is to keep the rest in line. Naturally, “social peace” is best guarantied when the equilibrium of wealth distribution is just about perfect. We all know that this is like balancing a raw egg on a spoon and has so far eluded this government. No amount of pulling the rug under the hungry will make the problem of uneven wealth distribution go away. In fact things will go right back to the Dickensian era. Now the question that needs to be posed is: who is benefiting from this?

              • Colonial Viper

                We all know that this is like balancing a raw egg on a spoon and has so far eluded this government.

                Has eluded many governments in a row.

        • Mike 1.4.1.2

          If it’s a simple question then your answer should be simple should it not?

  2. ianmac 2

    At the beginning of the English Industrial Revolution in the 19th Century, the idea of the Work Ethic was developed by Church Leaders many of whom were also factory owners. By preaching the God expectation that it was your Christian Duty to work 14 hours a day even if you were only 10 years old, strangely enough the profits from factory work blossomed.
    And in the 21st Century? “Work harder, be more productive, for lower pay and get rid of those pesky Unions!”

    • TightyRighty 2.1

      Sorry? I don’t work harder for less money, if you do, you’re an idiot. pretty simple really. Sounds like you’ve been “wurking” again. Humans react to incentives. quoting “19th century formula of work ethic” as if it somehow trumps millennia of human instinct?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        TR does not understand human motivation at all, nor 100 years of psychological study into why people do what they do. A sense of self fulfillment, societal recognition, altruism, etc. All things that neolibs like TR pretend are invisible.

        And the latest evidence – people’s overall work performance declines the more that money becomes the primary motivator. The more creative or intellectual the job, the worse the affect.

        • TightyRighty 2.1.1.1

          Humans react to incentives. because someone sat down 100 years and pondered human motivation means that their theory trumps millenia of human evolution. sounds dangerously like creationism to me.

          The latest evidence is correct about monetary rewards and you talk about about a sense of self-fulfillment, societal recognition, altruism. But you talk about them as if they are independent of working. Do you have a job? have you noticed how society, all societies, since forever have given the highest regard to those who show altruism while seeking self-fulfillment through the rewards of being successful at work? or do think we should just bow down to those with their hand out permanently?

          Do you work at all CV?

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            I work hard at keeping my partner happy and her parents work hard to look after me well. Surely you approve?

            • TightyRighty 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t care at all as long as you don’t sponge off the government. I was only interested as you seem to know so much about working people.

              I do find it humorous though that you admit to being little more than a joke. What do you say when your at a social function and someone asks you what you do? i’d be screaming with laughter if you told me that face to face.

              • muzza

                What do you say when your at a social function and someone asks you what you do? i’d be screaming with laughter if you told me that face to face.

                And there it is…The real core of is issue. EGO!!!

                • TightyRighty

                  Ego: “I” “self”

                  What is your point?

                • Mike

                  Yep, I had to laugh. When someone asks me that at a social function I instantly know they’re an insecure bore, to be avoided. But before getting rid of them I always ask “why are you asking? does that somehow influence your opinion of me?” TR has shown himself for what he is, someone who is ego driven and is worried about his social status amongst his peers in terms of how “important” he/she and they perceive their occupation to be. In short, a twat..

                  • Dr Terry

                    A healthy ego is OK. But “egotism” is another thing, Right Tighty?

                  • TightyRighty

                    I ask because I genuinely want to know. I’m guessing CV would lie about it in a social situation anyway so it makes little difference. Cue the white knights though, ignoring the substance of the argument and focusing on the values of the actually productive person in the tete-a-tete at the social funciton.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m guessing CV would lie about it in a social situation anyway so it makes little difference.

                      Ahhhh the sociopath making predictions about others sins.

            • BM 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Hilarious, it that why you spend so much time running down wealthy people.
              Is this in some vain hope that it may save you from the guillotine?

              Sorry to say it won’t.
              As the hoards gather outside and you hide in your benefactors house you say
              “Don’t cut my head off!!, I’m one of you, look at my posts on the standard”

              Unfortunately for you CV, the blood lust is up and your days are numbered, so embrace the position your in, eat caviar and chocolate off the back of the working class, thumb your nose at the lower classes and enjoy it until the end comes.

              • Colonial Viper

                :cool: quite a narrative!

                Hilarious, it that why you spend so much time running down parasitic subgroups of wealthy people

                Added for clarity

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.2

            Humans react to incentives.

            Most of which are non financial, i.e. environmental/social/intrinsic in nature. Open your eyes to what it means to be a human being.

            • muzza 2.1.1.1.2.1

              TR appears to suffer from the classical signs of brainwashing..

              Human being = Slave consumer, unable to see beyond this mantra, and can’t begin to understand the mind trap he is caught in!

              No thought at all, or vision put into what this world could, or should be, and too stuck in the diabtribe to understand that views such as his are part of the problem, and will eventually land on his door-step!

            • TightyRighty 2.1.1.1.2.2

              most of which actually relate to ones position in society which comes from the quantifiable value one inputs.

              This is one big self-justification exercise for you isn’t it? you would be a psychiatrists wet dream. You spend all day on the internet justifying yourself as you know society doesn’t as you sponge off your partner and her folks. Do you get out and do the hard yards for the left parties that you support so fervently online?

              • mike e

                Tighty Almighty!
                So what is the incentive for you to blog away with your Chicago BS all day!
                Psychiatrists wet dream an Emotionally aloof Narcissist such as yourself!
                Are you wasting company time doing this sponging of the hard labour of other investors and workers!

                • TightyRighty

                  Multi-tasking having been confined to the showroom while covering staff on holiday. You provide 70% of your companies invoicing? I can’t believe you would attack me, a working tax payer because of my beliefs about how my tax dollars are spent, while defending a lazy carnt who lies around the house all day bludging off family wealth who happens to agree with you? Your radar is WAY off.

                  • McFlock

                    It’s the quality of the argument, not the source, that gathers support.
                           
                    For example, your reference to tax dollars as “my” tax dollars is idiotic. They’re “our” tax dollars. Basic errors in fact like that mean that your comments are merely the delusional relics of an obsolete economic cult, unencumbered by any relationship to reality.

          • muzza 2.1.1.1.3

            The latest evidence is correct about monetary rewards and you talk about about a sense of self-fulfillment, societal recognition, altruism. But you talk about them as if they are independent of working.

            Where is this evidence, because you are talking absolute gob-shite

            Do you have a job? have you noticed how society, all societies, since forever have given the highest regard to those who show altruism while seeking self-fulfillment through the rewards of being successful at work? or do think we should just bow down to those with their hand out permanently?

            All societies…really! Successful at work…what does that actually mean?

            Your comments are juvenille garbage!

            • TightyRighty 2.1.1.1.3.1

              “The latest evidence is correct about monetary rewards and you talk about about a sense of self-fulfillment, societal recognition, altruism. But you talk about them as if they are independent of working.

              Where is this evidence, because you are talking absolute gob-shite”

              are you talking to CV or me? he introduced the “evidence” line. I caught what he was on about in the paper the other so decided not to question it. Try reading a whole thread retard.

              All. Societies. You couldn’t even name one that doesn’t to prove me wrong. But go find some obscure tribe that doesn’t work and has everything provided for them. You won’t have to go far given your moniker and general demeanour and intelligence. Your whole suburb probably thinks it’s a special case and “deserves” the welfare it gets.

        • ianmac 2.1.1.2

          Research also shows that the pay rise has a glowing effect of only a few days. The real incentive is Job Satisfaction and Job Recognition. Job Recognition is nothing to do with rewards and a lot to do with the boss or colleagues noticing good work.
          (We noticed that when we said thankyou to checkout assistants their faces lit up. This was in countries where it was simply not done to acknowledge such lowly workers.)

        • framu 2.1.1.3

          he also doesnt get that at a certain point you most definately work more for less $ – its called having bills to pay and dependants with needs that must be met

      • RedLogix 2.1.2

        I don’t work harder for less money, if you do, you’re an idiot.

        If your hourly rate dropped then yes you would in order to maintain your income.

        • TightyRighty 2.1.2.1

          again, to simplistic. All other things being held constant sure, but it would actually incentivise you to look elsewhere. or given the generosity of our welfare system. stop work all together and stick the hand out.

          • RedLogix 2.1.2.1.1

            If there is a positive relationship between wage rates and hours worked, then as the wage rate dropped, so would the number of hours worked … and crucially incomes, the product of the wage rate and hours worked, would drop even faster. So according to economists a fall in the wage rate should mean that workers will substantially reduce their incomes and devote more time to ‘leisure’.

            In reality the only leisure activity you can devote more time to with less money is sleeping. Some workers might have access to capital or skills to create their own employment, but these will always be a minority. In reality the choice for most workers (in the absence of a generous social safety net) is either working or starvation. Rather than smoothly choosing between work and leisure most people face a choice between work and starvation.

            This means that labour supply and demand is not a commodity, nor does it’s supply and demand behave as ‘market’. The fundamental neo-classical tenets that have been used to suggest it does are completely false and irrelevant.

            • TightyRighty 2.1.2.1.1.1

              So you’ve gone and thrown the simple question out the window? problem is you threw the baby along with the bath water RL. You’ve gone and applied the wrong market theory to this problem.

              There is a labour market, it does operate differently from other markets and can distinguished easily by the shape of it’s supply curve. Should of kept it simple , you had me on the ropes until you forgot ceterus paribus was the only thing keeping the thrust of your argument correct.

              The choice is not work or starvation for most workers. It’s for all workers. The welfare net throws the distortion in. As it once stood it worked very well. Now though, being an optional career choice, it provides a price floor for the market. Which creates deadweight loss and has the effect on everybody of pushing prices up. Good work on letting me point that out to you. Thanks

              • RedLogix

                You’ve gone and applied the wrong market theory to this problem.

                errmm … I was merely applying exactly the same theory you were using yourself, namely “I don’t work harder for less money”.

                Then when I showed you were wrong you moved the goal-posts.

                • TightyRighty

                  You jumped from telling me that all the variables couldn’t change to they could. IF someone offers me less money than what I currently am on to do the same job, I don’t work more, I move jobs. I’m not a slave. If any variable can change it’s the work. You seem to be labouring under the illusion that there is a monopsony for labour? that’s the only way your argument makes any sense?

                  • RedLogix

                    IF someone offers me less money than what I currently am on to do the same job, I don’t work more, I move jobs.

                    True for you as an individual. But it cannot be true for the aggregate of the whole labour ‘market’ … can it?

                    • TightyRighty

                      Ah yes it can. The mobility of labour is a pretty essential part of not being a slave. Funny how your union mates act against the free movement of labour. Slavers in the making.

                    • RedLogix

                      So logically the only barrier between a mobile labour force and higher incomes is that we should all move to higher paying jobs? Now while that may well be possible for individuals .. it cannot be possible for the entire labour force all at once. In this case it’s totally obvious how you simply cannot aggregate from the behaviour of one individual to an entire market.

                      Unless of course labour organised itself into a single trade union (the monopsony you mentioned earlier) and then logically the price of labour would indeed rise for each individual worker employed. But I somehow don’t think that is what you are arguing for.

                    • TightyRighty

                      Pretty much. the only barrier is the individual. if all the individuals have problems, then the market has a problem. If only half the market has a problem, then the other half are held back when you aggregate it. What you are advocating pretty much shows what a right fucking burden the current social welfare system is on the productive of this country. Thanks for making my point for me.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You’re an idiot Tighty. The point of an economy is to support society, Not the other way around.

                    Further, the workforce mobility of an individual is highly limited. You close down an auto plant, it will take those workers years to retrain in IT, and many will never ever be able to accomplish the transition.

                    You are throwing people away.

                    Social security is an essential structure required to protect the population from capitalist predators.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The choice is not work or starvation for most workers. It’s for all workers. The welfare net throws the distortion in. As it once stood it worked very well.

                History tells us differently.

                The worst thing about poverty in the 19th century was the callous attitude of many people. Many of them believed in ‘self-help’. That is they thought everyone should be self-reliant and not look to other people for help. They also believed that anyone could become successful through sheer hard work and thrift. Logically that meant that if you were poor it was your fault. Many people in the 19th century (not all) felt that the poor were to blame for their poverty.

                At the end of the 19th century more than 25% of the population was living at or below subsistence level. Surveys indicated that around 10% were very poor and could not afford even basic necessities such as enough nourishing food. Between 15% and 20% had just enough money to live on (provided they did not lose their job or have to take time off work through illness).

                For most people in the past where you think the labour market worked it really was a choice of work or starve. NACT are trying to bring this back so that a few people can boost their own wealth.

                The dead weight loss is profit.

          • Mike 2.1.2.1.2

            Please explain, what is overly generous about $195 per week unemployment benefit?

            You crack me up when you keep saying “too simplistic”. How can a question possibly be “too” simple. It just requires a simple answer. If your hourly rate dropped then yes you would work harder whether you liked it or not because you would have to work longer hours to collect the same pay.

            simple aye…

            • TightyRighty 2.1.2.1.2.1

              I agree with the argument when just using basic theory. It doesn’t hold true in the real world. That’s why I’m pointing out that the simplistic argument is correct but doesn’t allow for real world situations by being to simple.

              Starting to think the the only things simple round here are the premise and you

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re the one who thinks that human behaviour largely boils down to just money. No, that’s just you and about 10% of the population.

                • TightyRighty

                  Being exceptionally good at HR CV, I know that there is a mix of factors that are involved in people motivation. Rewards, both intrinsic and extrinsic, fuel our motivation. But have a good old crack at a tory who likes money and works bloody hard for it. I’ve dated wealth, could’ve married. Would’ve kept working. Hold my head up high when I am the pub and all that.

                  Got your allowance today?

              • mike e

                Tight arse almighty!
                The latest research shows supporters of Conservative economics and policy!
                Don’t think much have a low level of intellect and look for simplistic ideas to complicated ideas you are a shining example!
                They used MRI scans to uncover the way people think.
                Left thinkers were more interested in community and cooperation and future consequences while right wingers were into selfishness and short sightedness1

                • TightyRighty

                  Do you even stop for a second to tread the tripe you write? Even basic proof reading would help make your comments slightly intelligible. Seriously, this post gave me cancer just reading it.

                  National Standards just might have helped you. how is it down in the LONG tail?

                  • Tiger Mountain

                    Jeez talk about “fear and loathing”, have a rest TR, pip pip, the drinks trolley will be along soon surely. Get slaughtered and leave us poor lefties to it.

  3. r0b 3

    Welcome aboard Karol – great post!

  4. Uturn 4

    Looking at work in the sense of “positive energy” will recreate the same mess we have now. Wurk is still measured by the dominant culture as being profitable within the existing system, effectively reinforcing that system.

    People measure their personal worth by what they do and their connection to each other through economic ties or the dollar value of the work if they were paid to do it. This creates a hierarchy and hierarchies invite all the abuses of power that the Left theoretically oppose. If there is a top, then there is a bottom. If we say, “You can’t treat me badly, I look after your children/parents/fix your house/do your books for nothing”, we are not doing “positive” wurk, we are using wurk as a way to reinforce our own worth, protect ourselves and maintain our position within a corrupted system; a system we perpetuate despite our “positive effect” and with our votes every few years. No one can appease a system that divorces humanity from itself.

    At best, it’s Bourgeois socialism, at worst Fascism and underlying all of it is fear of our neighbours. It is not until people stop rating each other in terms of profit, cultural or emotional benefits that a new arrangements can begin to form. No policy or politican can do that for us.

    • karol 4.1

      Uturn, you make some good points and provide much food for thought.

      Looking at work in the sense of “positive energy” will recreate the same mess we have now. Wurk is still measured by the dominant culture as being profitable within the existing system, effectively reinforcing that system.

      This fits with ex National MP, Marilyn Waring, being one of the international leaders in refocusing economics on “unpaid work”.

      http://www.aut.ac.nz/institute-of-public-policy/ipp-staff/marilyn-waring

      She has highlighted some important weaknesses in current economic orthodoxy. But she does still look to put a monetary value on “unpaid work”, and bring it into the mainstream of capitalist economics.

      The OECD report I linked in my post, also aims for such a result. And I notice in their definition of “unpaid work” vs “leisure” (as I commented @9.43am above). They tend to focus on egs of unpaid work that are stuff that people need to do for everyday survival and maintenance, or that can be measured in terms of monetary value in the short term: Cooking, cleaning, child care, laundry, walking the dog and gardening

      For leisure activities they give examples of watch a movie, play tennis, or silently read book

      But that book could be something like The Spirit level, or John A Lee’s Children of the Poor, which could be part of later discussions that contribute to long term changes in social policy, for the betterment of society. Playing tennis, or being able to talk with others in the community about watching Coro, could be an important element in developing community solidarity.

      Of course, the latter is doing something, albeit in a different economic context, that the wealthy and business elite refer to as economically productive networking (as in golf games and “business lunches”, which they can write off as business expenses).

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Not to mention that most vital ‘unpaid work’ of all … having the children who are the next generation of workers and consumers for the system. This is the ultimate subsidy to the capitalist system.

        Besides, without children everything ‘economic’ becomes utterly pointless.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Plenty of people out there right now who seem to think that hoarding piles of assets for themselves is the point. Even at a painful cost to NZ’s children they keep doing it.

      • Jokerman 4.1.2

        Excellent, articulate posts karol :)

  5. Dr Terry 5

    I notice that nobody appears to connect “work” to “sense of vocation”. What Bennett is threatening is that people must accept demeaning work, like it or not. Any job will do. Employment brings reward both financially and through personal fulfillment (or vocation), attaining certain goals. There is nothing worse than to be forced into degrading work which fosters resentment and loss of self-esteem (hence mentally related distress, often “depression”). As with most things in a democracy, work must be associated with an element of choice in line with personal aims.

    • Jokerman 5.1

      i must be forgiven Doc.
      ironically, btw, guess where i am going to begin Sunday, prayer and worship services (and some gardening i imagine) nothing like a little “new blood” aye? (becomes quite upsetting witnessing ‘the blind leading the blind’)
      anyway, when i took the latest Taonga out of me bag, a John Stott Memorial Fund brochure fell out on the floor…..like little bread crumbs left by Him.

      Once upon a time, in a cloud far far away, i had to find “things” to fill the day; now He finds me.:)

    • karol 5.2

      Agree on the divisive attitude to work as forced labour compared with vocation, Dr terry. Hence the image with my post of the non-choice (as promoted by Bennett for the low paid and beneficiaries) of wage-slavery or starvation.

  6. aerobubble 6

    Its called slavery. When the state expects everyone to work for pitiful remunerations.

    One sad fact about the activity economy compelled into existence by the emergence
    of cheap oil in the 80s, is the idea that growth comes about by throwing money at
    science, and does away with the ideals of a free society where real growth isn’t
    chosen by the market (or government) but by free individuals often living as far
    from demands of taxation, income necessity, surrounded in a society of equally
    time rich people. i.e. the activity society is transforming into the compulsion society.

  7. xtasy 7

    Karol:

    “Bennett’s welfare reforms will be a false economy. They will provide more ways of controlling those on low incomes, resulting in an increase in unpaid and low paid servitude, for the benefit of the state and private enterprises.”

    First of all thanks for mentioning me for some “contributions” re the debate on welfare, work-readiness and whatever else I may have thrown a few bits in.

    As for my selected quotation from your piece at the top: International experience has shown that such “fiddling” with welfare systems will not save much or anything at all. What the measures proposed by Bennett and her NatACT masters (she is just a useful mouthpiece and “front” servant) will result in is, that beneficiaries having less entitlement, due to stricter criteria, reduced benefit components, or in the worst case due to having their benefit cut (as “sanctions”), will be forced to find other means to make up for the loss in income.

    This will lead to crime, prostitution, secret odd jobs done by those on benefits that may be able to do something (“job seekers”), drug trading and so forth. All this will have consequential follow up costs of different types. Crime will create costs due to police and justice system work, prostitutes on benefits will compete with already working prostitutes (lowering rates, putting others out of “business”), drug dealing will take money out of consumption of other goods, in some cases keep cops, courts and lawyers busy, and doing odd jobs will affect tradesmen, lawnmowers, other workers, losing “business”. Also will taxes not be paid on odd jobs.

    So all that it will result in is, some more work in other areas, a shift of “work” and income between different groups affected differently, no real savings being made in the end, and a government thus likely going to react by making yet further cuts.

    The biggest losers will be those too sick and disabled to do anything, who may not be able to survive properly (see the Sam Kahu case), and thus some may see no hope anymore, thus taking their lives.

    Paid work is needed, and I am warming for the idea of Gareth Morgan and some others, favouring a basic community income or wage for all, which will be topped up for those in extra need (due to sickness, disability, child raising and so). So a lot of voluntary work already done by those officially not working for pay, will be rewarded that way, and further work can and will still be done, to grow the economy, which needs the right types of investment, not more punitive cuts to incomes of the poorest and not more re-distribution of wealth from the bottom to the top.

    • karol 7.1

      xtasy, yes, I deed omit to mention anything about the impact on crime and the implications for the disabled. I agree with the points you make on these angles.

      On disabilities – there’s a worrying trend on this in the UK, with disability-bashing being a growth sport, according to articles I’ve read – an extension of benny-bashing.

      The idea of a universal wage/income is a one I like too. It will cut the admin, and ensure everyone has enough to survive.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    This to not quite fir in this thread but I’ll put it in here anyway:

    My father commented once that all the work I do, means the government is getting my services very cheaply. The current government policies, however, make me feel incredibly guilty; that I have been unable to turn my contribution to society into something that can support me financially. I feel guilty because I know that I have enough intellect and function to get paid work, but employers look at the way I walk and talk, then freak. They need to see me at the LAC board table; they need to see me having meetings with the Regional Manager; they need to see the ideas that are generated by the Auckland LAC; they need to see me in the other advocacy roles that take up my time.

  9. xtasy 9

    Bennett has little time for such more positive ideas as shared in this thread. She rather wishes to pursue the same kind of ideological, misguided approach as Dr David Bratt, the mentor of Regional Health Advisors, Regional Disability Advisors and Health and Disability Coordinators – working under him at WINZ and MSD, to “train” and “guide” “designated doctors”, GPs in general, and thus “robustly” and “resulutely” deal to these “work shy” “benefit addicts”:

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP%20CME/Friday/C1%201515%20Bratt-Hawker.pdf

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP CME/Friday/C1 1515 Bratt-Hawker.pdf

    Work in open employment is the “best medicine” from his point of view, no matter what. He is supported by Dr Beaumont, who also advised ACC, and who sits on the Social Welfare Reform Panel.

    But thankfully some are onto it now, what has been going on for far too long:

    http://fyi.org.nz/request/list_of_designated_doctors_for_b?unfold=1

    http://fyi.org.nz/user/acclaim_otago

    http://www.acclaimotago.org/

  10. Anna 10

    I’d just like to know why I can get a child-care subsidy to use the services of a corporately owned child-care centre like ABC for Kids (totally owned by Australia) but can’t spend that same money to pay or part-pay a wage to a real person, for example a retired Grandmother or a Stay-at-home Mum… I’d much rather have the later… Just saying

  11. Angel 11

    In case anybody’s interested, I’ve uploaded my photos from the Henderson demo and march onto Demotix. You can see them here:
    http://www.demotix.com/news/1501576/national-day-action-against-welfare-reforms-auckland

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    Labour | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics New Zealand’s latest building consent figures show consents in Auckland are down for the second month...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world's smallest and most endangered dolphin, the Maui's dolphin. The plan is the third component of the Party's environmental priority this election: clean rivers and beaches.The key policy points in...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media rele...
    The government is fudging the figures over Wellington road project, Transmission Gully, the Green Party said today.The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said today it had let the contract to a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for "a net present cost...
    Greens | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    New Zealand needs to listen to Pacific Island leaders when it comes to climate change action, said the Green Party today. Discontent with New Zealand and Australia is rife at the 2014 Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit which commenced today...
    Greens | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government's attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows National will stop at nothing to open up our coastlines to deep sea oil, the Green Party said today.The article outlines...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Gerry Brownlee today tried to poor cold water on the...
    Labour | 29-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    At midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch her campaign to win the Waiariki electorate seat for MANA in the upcoming general election. “A key goal for MANA this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi, and...
    Mana | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Jamie Whyte loses the plot and why this is Dame Devoy’s finest hour
    I was a damningly critical voice over Dame Susan Devoy’s appointment as the Race Relations Commissioner, but her righteous condemnation of Jamie Whyte’s farcical statement that Maori somehow have the same legal privilege of 17th Century French Aristocracy is such a courageous stance...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Latest Roy Morgan Poll: Labour jumps 6.5 points up to 30%, National tumble
    Latest Roy Morgan Poll: National down to 46%, Labour up to 30%, Greens down to 12%, NZ First down to 5%, Maori Party up to 1.5%, Internet MANA up to 2,5%, ACT, United Future and Conservatives stay unchanged. To take into...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • What is the nature of satire? Issues for the Human Rights Commission as the...
    Congratulations to Fairfax media for their detailed coverage of the current Human Rights Commission case being asserted by Louisa Wall that Al Nisbet’s cartoons were racist and deserved censure. Pity Fairfax published the cartoons in the first place however. The Human...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage Labour leader David Cinliffe From the New Zealand Herald By Derek Cheng Wednesday July 30, 2014 A $2-an-hour boost to the minimum wage, scrapping the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira Posted on July 30, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Labours policies a step change for working people “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Novopay's end must not be bulk funding's beginning Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release Teachers have endured two years of hell, never knowing from one week to the next if they’ll...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released Exactly one year after Chelsea Manning was convicted of leaking classified government material, Amnesty International is renewing its call on...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade The European Union (EU) must urgently strengthen its laws to enable member states to immediately ban the trade in new devices and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free s...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free speech The sentencing of a newspaper editor and a human rights lawyer to two years in prison on charges of contempt of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auckland consents down second month in a row National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • A brief word on why Murray McCully’s email didn’t work in New York
    Ummmmmmm. What? An email to Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s office about former Malaysian diplomat Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail invoking diplomatic immunity remained unopened for weeks – allegedly because communications were limited as the minister travelled to New York. So Muzza...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The infallible NZ Police
    You would think 44 years after one of their own framed an innocent man by planting evidence that the NZ Police would admit they got it wrong. Not so. The whitewash report yesterday into the Crewe murders does the usual...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Just how crazy is ACTs Whyte Supremacy?
    Two reasons why Jamie Whyte’s claim that Maori are as legally privileged as 17th Century French Aristocracy is possibly the most stupid thing anyone has ever said. 1 – That easy-Maori-University-entry chestnut is one of the worst examples the right...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour Commits To An End To Factory Farming
    Revelations that the Pigcare Accreditation scheme is still failing animals despite protestations from the Ministry, resulted in a day of national action across the country last Saturday. Thousands rallied in the centres against factory farming for a historic outcome for animals. For the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Has Apartheid Israel committed war crimes?
    Last week 29 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted to set up an inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Apartheid Israel during it’s latest bloody purge of the Palestinian people. It’s interesting to note the only member...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Mr Fixit is broken – Novopay becomes Neverpay
    There are deals so poorly agreed to with the barest amount of oversight green lighted for ideological reasons so mangled and damaged that not even Steven ‘Mr Fixit’ Joyce can dress it up beyond the turd cake it is. Novopay is one...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Right-wing – strong on crime!
    . . National, ACT, and the Right, generally, are renowned for being “tough on crime”. What follows are just a few examples,  to illustrate National/ACT’s “toughness”. . . Ms Hauiti isn’t the first MP to mis-use tax-payer’s money, and most...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution: Chris Trotter responds to Phil Quin.
    PHIL QUIN writes a mean political column. His long-standing connections to the right of the New Zealand Labour Party are extensive and strong. When he writes about politics, especially electoral politics, it is from personal experience and with considerable authority....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour’s new worker policy – $16.25 minimum wage
    Labour’s much anticipated worker policy has been released. It’s a mix of the aspirational and the smart. $15 minimum wage by Christmas this year, bumped up to $16.25 next year while banning the 90 day right to sack laws and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Liberal Agenda: 30th July- 3rd August
    Wednesday GAZA: Setler colonialism, apartheid and resistance panel discussion Want to know more about what’s going down (and has been going down since 1948) in Gaza, and by extension the Palestinian territory?  Come along to this panel discussion. No boring...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • NZIFF: New Zealand’s Best
    Eleven   Saturday night was New Zealand’s Best at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The collection of 6 short films are selected from over a hundred and are all of very high quality. They compete for a number of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The Government needs to come clean. In fact, the cost is $125 million per...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.” New Zealand needs to...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Seafood NZ Says Kaikoura Conservation Legislation a Template
    Seafood New Zealand has hailed the passage of the Kaikoura (Te Tai-o-Marokura) Marine Management Bill by Parliament today as a template for seafood and environment conservation measures throughout New Zealand. Parliament passed the bill into law on the last...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Whale Watch Kaikoura Welcomes Third Reading of Bill
    Whale Watch Kaikoura General Manager Kauahi Ngapora today welcomed the third reading of the Kaikōura (Te Tai ō Marokura) Marine Management Bill....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal
    NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal to restore fairness and certainty for NZ workers Equity New Zealand today welcomed the announcement by the Labour Party that if elected, it would restore the right of film and television workers to collective...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Tear Fund’s Obsession: Food And Sex (Trafficking)
    Food and sex have always been kindred bedfellows; both are sensory experiences that ignite the passions. For TEAR Fund, however, the relationship is less savoury and more complex. We work in the darkest brothels of Southeast Asia where young girls...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Poll July 14-27: Nat 46% Lab 30% Gr 12% NZ1 5%
    National (46%) lead over Labour/ Greens (42%) cut significantly as Key rules out deal with Conservative Party but says National would consider a deal with NZ First (5%)...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Study could be used to counter high suicide rates
    Should social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter be subject to moral obligations with regards to their customers' mental health? In the wake of the furore following the “Emotional Contagion” study carried out by Facebook themselves, the question...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Labour’s Minimum Wage Proposal a Backward Step
    Democrats for Social Credit finance spokesperson Chris Leitch has attacked Labour’s proposals to increase the minimum wage labelling it ”a backward step for low and middle income earners”....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Sealord applauds passing of Fisheries FCV Bill
    Sealord Group has welcomed the passing of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels) Amendment Bill as a move that will safeguard workers and protect New Zealand’s sustainable fishing reputation....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon David Cunliffe
    With older Kiwis comprising a growing proportion of New Zealand's population we all need to recognise the significant contribution they make to society - not only as taxpayers and consumers, but as employers, paid workers and volunteers....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • GC Star Supports Beyer
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • New ACC Executive appointments announced
    ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering today announced appointments to the ACC Executive Team effective from 1 September. The new Executive, which contains new roles and responsibilities, contains five members of the existing Executive and two new appointments....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Ministry CEO Hides in Office for Award Ceremony
    Following this morning’s coverage of the extravagant expenditure by Pauline Winter, the CEO of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Porky the Taxpayers’ Union mascot visited the Ministry’s Wellington Office to present the Union’s first “Troughing...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Waikato-Tainui marae to receive $15 million top up
    Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui marae are set to receive a one-off grant worth more than $15 million. Following the call from Te Kauhanganui, sixty-six marae will receive a base grant of $150,000 and an additional per capita grant based on the...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Outdoor Council Backs Fish and Game in Minister Smith Stoush
    A national outdoor recreation council has backed Fish and Game in the wake of an argument with Conservation Minister Nick Smith over the organisation's advocacy role for cleaning up New Zealand's rivers from a deteriorating state....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. – Closing the Gap
    Simon Bridges says increasing the minimum wage will cost us at least 6000 jobs, hurt businesses and reduce growth. Rubbish, says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Call on Pauline Winter to Front up Or Resign
    Responding to the Fairfax report that taxpayers are footing the bill for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs’ Chief Executive and to fly to Auckland most weekends, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Petition generates progress for new nurses
    Last week the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) launched a petition to get a nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate nurse. This week, and more than 7,000 signatures later, we are very pleased to hear the...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • NZ Parliament backs media freedom in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland applauds the decision of the New Zealand Parliament to give its backing to genuine media freedom for local and international journalists in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Wellington protest rally to march for Gaza
    “Marchers from Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine intend to lay memorials at the Rabin memorial in Harris Street during a protest rally on Saturday. The names of some child victims of the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip will...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte calls Dame Susan Devoy to resign
    Dame Susan Devoy has responded to my speech calling for racial equality by publicly condemning it as “grotesque and inflammatory"....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • WW1 anniversary: Peace vigils on 4 August
    Monday, 4 August, is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, "the war to end all wars". Peace Movement Aotearoa, in association with Quakers, is coordinating nation-wide candle-lit vigils on 4 August, in conjunction with peace...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Making It Easier for Disabled Voters to Have Their Say
    The Electoral Commission is making it easier for disabled New Zealanders to enrol and vote, with the confirmation that telephone dictation voting will be in place for the 2014 general election....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • AA welcomes lower drink-driving limit
    Lowering the adult drink driving limit is one good step forward in making our roads safer, says the Automobile Association. Parliament voted last night to reduce the blood alcohol limit to .05 for drivers aged 20 or over. The AA...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • RSA welcomes Veterans Support Act
    The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association welcomes the passage of the Veterans Support Act into law tonight. RSA National President, Don McIver, says that while it has taken a long time to get to this point, and there...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Political debate Thursday July 31st at Whanau Centre
    Waipareira will host a political debate on Thursday at Whanau Centre, Henderson, starting at 7pm. Hosted by broadcaster Willie Jackson, candidates will be asked the tough questions about Whanau Ora, the future of the Maori Seats, Housing, Child Poverty...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • They Can’t All Win Off the Race-Card
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • New Zealanders Being Gouged by Electricity and Liquid Fuels
    New Zealand consumers of electricity are being price gouged to the tune of about $1.388 million while the companies pocket the profits, a new economic analysis released today by the Iwi Leaders Forum reveals....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Push For Gender Confusion In Schools
    Family First NZ is warning schools about an agenda to bring gender confusion in to schools in areas such as changing rooms, sports teams and school uniforms....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    The Maritime Union says Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement
    Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) by High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Time to lift unliveable wage rates
    The Service and Food Workers Union has welcomed Labour’s determination to lift New Zealand’s unliveable wage rates. The Labour Party today announced their Work and Wages policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Judith Collins and Women’s Refuge – ‘Doing a Katie Bradford’
    In Rethinking’s latest blog; http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/07/judith-collins-and-womens-refuge.html Kim Workman suggests that Ms Collins treatment of the Women’s Refuge in a recent Q and A interview, could spark a new slang term in the national lexicon – ‘Doing...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Independent candidate advocates monetary paradigm shift
    Waikanae veterinarian Dr Amanda Vickers is standing as an independent for the Otaki electorate, with a view to modernise monetary policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Review of Radiocommunications Act 1989
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today published a discussion document reviewing New Zealand’s Radiocommunications Act 1989. The discussion document looks at issues including competition regulation, technical parameters on...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Unite Union welcomes Labour Party increase to minimum wage
    Unite Union welcomes the announcement today by the Labour Party to increase the minimum wage by $2 per hour by early 2015....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Taxing Struggling Families to Boost Bureaucrats Shameful
    Responding to Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement that a Labour Government would ensure public servants would receive at least the Living Wage, significantly more than their private sector counterparts, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour reforms show commitment to tackling inequality
    The NZ Labour Party’s just-announced industrial relations agenda demonstrates a clear commitment to tackling the growing inequality in New Zealand and restore democracy to our workplaces, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Public servants welcome Labour’s living wage announcement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the living wage will be welcome news to thousands of hard working New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Commission urges politicians to stick to the major issues
    In the run up to the general election Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging politicians to “do the right thing and stick to those major issues that will help make New Zealand a better place for all our...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Statement on behalf of Rochelle Crewe
    Rochelle Crewe has lived a life of anonymity. The tragic killing of her parents in 1970, when she was only 18 months old, has understandably been the subject of much media attention in this country in the four decades since....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • All parties need to help save Maui’s dolphins
    Forest & Bird is urging all political parties to adopt the recommendations of scientists - and the International Whaling Commission - in order to save to save the Maui’s dolphin from extinction....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Navigating Our Future Conference: Leaders’ Dialogue
    As pre-election positioning heats up and the environment has emerged as a key issue, the Leaders’ Dialogue at EDS’s annual conference next week will be an opportunity to interrogate the main parties....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policy promises a return to fairness at work
    Workers across New Zealand will benefit from the Labour Party’s work and wages policy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. “Labour’s policy is a comprehensive package which will lift wages, lower unemployment, and build a...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labour's Industrial Relations policy package,” CTU President Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Tear Fund Launches Emergency Appeal for Gaza
    As the death toll surpasses 1000 in Gaza, TEAR Fund has launched an appeal to help civilians caught up in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. TEAR Fund CEO and chairman of the NGO Disaster Relief Forum Ian McInnes said,...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Democrats for Social Credit Party celebrates 60 years
    Monetary reformers from across New Zealand will celebrate the Democrats for Social Credit Party’s (DSC) 60th anniversary at its annual conference at Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • 100-Gun Salute to Commemorate Beginning of WW1
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), with WW100, New Zealand’s First World War centenary programme, will commemorate the beginning of the First World War for New Zealand next Monday, 4 August....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
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