$2.3b Health funding shortfall

Written By: - Date published: 7:06 am, June 9th, 2017 - 45 comments
Categories: health, labour, national - Tags: , , , ,

Labour’s health spokesperson David Clark is doing good work:

Fiery exchanges over mental health as Minister fronts to Parliament’s health committee

Coleman’s appearance came at the same time the Labour Party released its own updated figures, claiming $2.3 billion had been effectively stripped from the health budget due to successive years of underfunding.

“The gap is why mental health care is in crisis and patients are being discharged into caravan parks, it’s why people aren’t going to the doctor because of rising fees, and it’s why elective surgery is becoming harder to qualify for,” Labour health spokesman David Clark said outside the meeting. …

A statement by Little:

$2.3 billion shortfall in health

The funding needed for health to be restored to the level it was seven years ago to keep pace with cost pressures has widened to a massive $2.3 billion, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.

“We used to have a health system that was the envy of the world, where people could access quality, free health care. As a parent, it saddens me that families are not getting the health services this country should be providing.

“The gap is why mental health care is in crisis and patients are being discharged into caravan parks, it’s why people aren’t going to the doctor because of rising fees, and it’s why elective surgery is becoming harder to qualify for.

“The huge sums of money missing from health are why workers in the sector are overstretched, exhausted and operating without the resources they need to care for Kiwi patients properly.

“The updated study by economic consultants Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, sees the gap since 2009/10 in core crown health expenditure that is required to meet cost pressures grow from $1.7 billion last year to $2.3 billion by June 2018. Infometrics used Treasury’s own modelling for calculating real health costs for core crown health expenditure. …

The Infometrics report is here. It’s not just Labour saying this:

Frustration, disappointment over health funding in Budget 2017

Patients and healthcare workers say they have been left frustrated and disappointed by “inadequate” funding for health in the 2017 Budget.

They said the Government’s announcements on Thursday would not go nearly far enough in addressing concerns about overworked staff, access to new medicines, and access to mental health treatment.

The Government said total health spending would be a record $16.77 billion in 2017/18 – an increase of $879 million, with an overall increase of $3.9b over the next four years.

However, the record claim does not take inflation into account, and sidesteps the fact that almost half the spending will go toward mandated wage increases as part of the pay equity settlement. …

Read on for more on the impact on mental health, overworked staff, and access to medicines.  Here’s what the nurses have to say:

Think of your health when voting this September, nurses urge

New Zealanders are being asked to think of the health system when they cast a vote this September. A nurses’ union released an open letter saying “it’s getting harder to do the work that we trained for”.

“Health underfunding means that sometimes we’re not able to give you the best. We are often short-staffed, rushed, and need a little more time to give you care,” the letter says.

“We are sad sometimes because of what we couldn’t do for your tamariki, your grandparents or your neighbour. Many of you are feeling frustrated by delays in getting the healthcare you deserve and expect. We are frustrated, too.”

The letter tells voters who they back is a personal choice and doesn’t name any political parties, but makes clear the organisation’s position that health funding is not adequate under the National-led Government. …

And a selection of recent headlines for context:

Study shows ‘damning’ level of unmet health care need. “The Government needs to demonstrate its commitment to the health of all New Zealanders by addressing the high levels of unmet health need as a matter of priority.”

Nurses spending their own money to help patients – union. “The Nurses Organisation says hospital patients are soiling themselves because there aren’t enough nurses to help them to the bathroom.”

Leaked document shows 10 District Health Boards face budget cuts: King. “Labour claims that health has been underfunded to the tune of $1.7 billion over the last five years…”

Researchers claim NZ health budget declining, publicly-funded surgery on way out. “New Zealand’s health budget has been declining for almost a decade and could signal health reforms akin to the sweeping changes of the 1990s, new research claims.”

Families’ despair as hospitals face severe shortages for acute mental health treatment. “Hospital beds for people suffering from extreme mental distress are stretched to breaking point, with double as many people being seen for crisis assessments as there are bed nights available.”

Auckland’s crumbling mental health services. “The problem was a lack of funding as more people accessed mental health services and Auckland struggled with an increasing population and rising house prices…”

Thousands of patients going without hospital care, figures show. “Dr Mackay says funding levels for health are a “disaster waiting to happen…””

Call to government to address rural health crisis. “Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ), representing over 40 rural based organisations, says the country’s rural health and social workforce is in crisis.”

Patients turned away. “Nearly a third of orthopaedic patients referred for a first specialist assessment are being turned away from Dunedin Hospital, and the situation is becoming “untenable”…”

Despite denials, poor service plagues our health system. “New Zealand’s public health system, which was once the pride of the developed world, is clearly ailing.”

New Zealand’s declining health care system is slipping behind other countries’. “Our national health system was once the envy of the world; it is no longer. The facts show that we underperform in many areas.”

There have been cuts, freezes, and underfunding everywhere to generate enough of a “surplus” to try and buy back some votes. In the end what it means in this sector is that a lot of real people not getting the care that they need.

45 comments on “$2.3b Health funding shortfall”

  1. Wayne 1

    Who would have guessed, health unions saying they need more money.

    At least the language of health “cuts” has been changed to “underfunding”. So it seems the work by David Farrar has actually got through. That rather than cuts, there have been real increases to the tune of 10% per capita over the last 9 years.

    So the political debate is on the appropriate level of overall health spending.

    It seems to me that Labour is in a bit of a trap here, due their Budget Responsibility Rules. They say they won’t increase taxes, that the size of govt will not increase and that they will have surpluses. No-one seriously disputes Treasury figures. So where is Labour going to get $2.3 billion extra per year for health, especially when they also say education, conservation, foreign aid, social housing also need a lot more money.

    The latest tax and family package is almost certainly locked in. NZF will not backtrack on it. even if it is not locked in and it is all available for social programmes, it is not large enough to cover all of L:abour’s spending plans.

    The answer can’t be the capital spend on defence over the next few year, since that is not available for annual operating expenditure. The capital account can only be spent on capital.

    Similarly it cant be Police and Corrections, since Labour wants more police than National, and realistically more police will inevitably arrest more people. so that means more on Corrections. In some respects governmements don’t really control the Corrections budget, it is largely a function of police and judicial decisions.

    The conclusion has to be that the Budget Responsibility Rules will be broken. That even if Labour does not increases taxes, it will not have surpluses but instead will have deficits.

    • BM 1.1

      It seems to me that Labour is in a bit of a trap here, due their Budget Responsibility Rules
      They say they won’t increase taxes, that the size of govt will not increase and that they will have surpluses

      The Budget Responsibility Rules were last week Wayne, Labours moved on from that

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/80272365/Tax-increases-on-the-table-for-Labour-for-2017-campaign

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      They say they won’t increase taxes

      Do you ever bother to inform yourself before commenting?

      Pretty sure I told you at the time that your spin on Little’s statements was a lie. Perhaps you should pay attention next time.

      • The Chairman 1.2.1

        Was Little lying?

        “We’re not planning on any tax changes for the 2017 election” – Andrew Little.

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/326370/labour-party-won%27t-raise-taxes-little

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.1

          Speaking on TV3’s The Nation, Mr Little said the exact levels of tax rates would be affected by decisions made by the government in the Budget due in May.

          “We’re not planning on any tax changes for the 2017 election. We will finally collaborate what we do once we see what the government does in its foreshadowed tax changes, which we assume will be in this year’s budget.

          No, he wasn’t. Not so sure about the sub-editor who wrote the headline, but.

          • The Chairman 1.2.1.1.1

            After the interview, a Labour spokesperson contacted Newshub to clarify Labour would definitely not increase taxes.

            http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/03/labour-probably-won-t-raise-taxes-andrew-little.html

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.1.1.1

              An unnamed spokesperson, eh?

              I think the finance spokesperson and leader are probably right, and the unnamed spokesperson is wrong.

              • Enough is Enough

                Who cares if he did say he wouldn’t raises taxes.

                He now has the chance to go into the election promising tax hikes for the rich to pay for these health cuts.

                Its quite simple really.

                • The Chairman

                  Stating one thing and then quickly doing the opposite robs one of their credibility.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    It worked for Key and circumstances change.

                    We just had something called the Budget which introduced further mass cuts for the Health Service.

                    None of the rich pricks will vote for Labour/Green in any case so why bother appeasing them.

                    • The Chairman

                      Key had the talent of being able to sell things to the public. Whereas, Little struggles to communicate his stance let alone trying to explain such a quick contradiction.

                      Nevertheless, If Labour are planning on increasing taxes, it’s a shame Little couldn’t commit to correcting the health funding shortfall (on Morning Report) within their first term.

                      His failure to do so won’t entice voters. When raising such issues, Labour require to have an alternative with substance prepared. Little had little to offer.

                    • Enough is Enough

                      I agree with you.

                      Little’s confused messaging and narrative that “NZ Sucks” is a problem. People don’t think New Zealand is a bad place. We just want a positive vision of the future.

                      He needs to keep it simple and positive.

                      “We will fund the cuts that National has made to our Health Service. This will be paid for by those who can afford it- the rich. Vulnerable New Zealander’s will be looked after by the caring government that I lead. ”

                      Simple really.

              • The Chairman

                “I think the finance spokesperson and leader are probably right, and the unnamed spokesperson is wrong.”

                It leaves one envisioning a Labour Party rowing in different directions.

              • mordecai

                It really is entertaining watching you contort yourself trying to justify Little’s various positions. There’s an old game from the ’70’s called ‘twister’…

    • KJT 1.3

      Well they should be bloody broken.
      It has been blatantly obvious for decades that the Government share of the economy is too low for a successful country, and society.
      Allowing a few wealthy people to run of with all the money has resulted in the opposite to Waynes stated goals, in his advocacy for increasing inequality.

      We now have the lowest premium for education and skills in the OECD. And the highest for inherited wealth and speculation, outside the USA. Not the intended result.
      Wayne being one of the “party for individual responsibility” like all Nationals MP’s never! take individual responsibility.

      Why Labour Greens have signed up to a bullshit right framing baffles me.

      Because, unlike National/Labour, the Greens do stick to their election promises.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1

        Dr. Mapp is lying.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        Why Labour Greens have signed up to a bullshit right framing baffles me.

        Baffles me as well. They must be able to see the damage that radical right-wing capitalism does as well as I can but they refuse to acknowledge it and keep trying to make it work.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.2.1

          radical right-wing capitalism

          Looks like a mixed economy to me. Massive intervention in the housing market is hardly a radical wingnut proposal.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2.1.1

            Looks like a mixed economy to me.

            That’s a little too broad to have any meaning. Under it even the government specifying a minimum wage would be a ‘mixed economy’.

            I think an actual definition of a mixed economy would be a better place to start and then we could compare the deregulation and under-taxing of the rich with it.

            IMO, a mixed economy would be: Where all infrastructure and necessary services are provided as a government service through government departments with the private sector then making up the ‘nice to haves’ and to provide everyone with a reasonable standard of living.

            Funding would be through the creation of money by the government and spent into the economy with taxes then used to control inflation.

            Obviously, anything that National does does not meet that definition and neither does Labour’s continued belief in the failed private sector.

            Massive intervention in the housing market is hardly a radical wingnut proposal.

            True but the RWNJs at National aren’t doing that and Labour’s only doing it in such a way as to protect capitalism from it’s own proven failures.

    • r0b 1.4

      Who would have guessed, health unions saying they need more money.

      I expected this utterly facile response. I didn’t expect it from you Wayne.

      • Carolyn_nth 1.4.1

        And doesn’t take into account the experience of those of us using the public health service.

        Had a sinus operation recently at Auckland Hospital. It and the pre-op were on Saturdays, because they are trying to clear a backlog of such non-urgent surgery. presumably they mostly only been able to deal with the most urgent surgery.

        The doctor and nursing staff were excellent, friendly, helpful and professional – but obviously worked to the limit.

        I was kept on a ward for a few hours after the op – Saturday evening. The ward was very busy. “My nurse” got called away to the emergency department for a period. She was kept extremely busy here and there in the ward. The nurses deserve medals for their composure under extreme pressure.

        My post op appointment is on a Sunday. I asked if the time could be changed because it will cause problems at my work – also stretched for staff on a Sunday. they said they can’t change post op appointments as they are on a tight schedule.

        it’s taken over 2 years to get any medical intervention for my ENT problems. My GP at one point recommended going private because “the public system is broken”.

      • Wayne 1.4.2

        r0b,

        The Standard is a political site, a little bit of politics is allowed.

        But in any event my comment about the health unions was not really the point of my post.

        OAB,

        Where is my “lie” in my post? I have simply raised what I see to be contradictions in Labour’s position. And Labour has been pretty clear that it is not going to raise taxes. If they are, they need to be clear about it and not try and fudge it.

        KJT,

        None of the political parties disputes Treasury figure. Especially Labour does not. It is after all the same Treasury and the same accounting systems that applied when Labour was in office from 1999 to 2008. If Labour did dispute them, they would look like fools.

        Draco,

        You are plain wrong. There have been real increases in funding over the last 9 years. That is quite different to a debate as to whether you think those increases have been enough.

        So in my view if Labour is to fulfill all its promises they can only do so by going into deficit. They will need to be upfront about that since there are plenty of commentators who will call them on it.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.4.2.1

          Wayne, the two links above (at 1.2 and 1.2.1.1) demonstrate quite clearly where your lies are.

          In chronological order:

          1. Little: ‘we’re not planning on tax increases [NB: present tense], and we’re going to wait for the budget to make a final decision.’
          2. Dr. Wayne Mapp: ‘Little promises no tax increase.’
          3. Robertson: ‘we’re going to announce tax increases before the election’.
          4. Dr. Wayne Mapp: ‘Labour promises no tax increase.’

          There are your lies, Wayne. Not all of them, I’m sure; the others can wait.

          • Wayne 1.4.2.1.1

            OK, I concede Robertson has said tax increases in his May 23rd speech, which i had previously missed.

            It will have to be on the rates or thresholds on income tax, if he is serious about getting at least a billion extra.

            A property speculation tax will not do it, since people change their behaviour to avoid such taxes (ie don’t sell within the specified period).

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.4.2.1.1.1

              And they could take steps to significantly lift wages, and increase revenue that way. Reduce unemployment, ditto.

              What they won’t do is sit around waiting for the market to fix it and looking for ways to trade policy for lucrative business opportunities.

            • KJT 1.4.2.1.1.2

              It is disingenuous to claim an increase in funding, using overall figures, ignoring inflation and population growth, when the inflation adjusted per capita funding is decreasing.
              A typical National fudge of statistics.
              Especially when a lot of the funding is going to managing, and paying the extra for, farming out to the private sector, and paying the plethora of “Managers” needed for the right wing model

        • Draco T Bastard 1.4.2.2

          There have been real increases in funding over the last 9 years.

          Only according to National spin. The actual figures show a different result.

          And then we have the fact that our health system simply isn’t providing enough service and is going backwards under National.

        • greywarshark 1.4.2.3

          Wayne
          Politics under National seems to be mainly stirring the opposition when any questions demand straight answers.
          I think Google has a wider meaning and that making a sneer or slur about the opposition is not real ‘politics’,
          .
          the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.

          If National got on with the activities associated with governance, lessened the amount of jeers and sneers which is what any debate tends to fall to, we copuld
          have a functioning country, not one on upper and downers with help from crutches.

      • greywarshark 1.4.3

        r0b
        It’s a default RW position from Wayne, slipped out in an unguarded moment.

      • tc 1.4.4

        Its the best he can do. Sad and pathetic and probably eyeing the end of his precious sinecures

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      That rather than cuts, there have been real increases to the tune of 10% per capita over the last 9 years.

      No Wayne, there’s been cuts to funding in real terms as you well know which means that you just outright lied trying to spin for this government.

      So the political debate is on the appropriate level of overall health spending.

      Which can be worked out scientifically.

      X number of population requires Y number of doctors requiring Z number of nurses and W drugs.

      We can be certain that under National none of those requirements are met.

    • DoublePlusGood 1.6

      Well the answer is obvious, isn’t it. Labour will confiscate your vast country estates, and sell of the lavish furnishings…

    • reason 1.7

      Labour could easily increase Government revenue by overturning John Keys legacy ….all the corrupt money laundering and economic apartheid legislation …. tax havens and bent rules that have been written by rich thieves.

      Once the providence of greedy individuals this disease against democracy is now embraced by nearly all corporations ….. through legalized theft all the biggest corporations are stealing our money ….. money meant for health, education, pensions etc etc.

      Apple, IBM, all the oil companies , all the cellphone and internet providers …. all using the tax haven/offshore economic apartheid system …… where the rich do not pay.

      The 2.2 BILLION that was recovered when John Shewans ‘tax vehicle’ for BNZ, ANZ, Westpac broke down and was exposed as a fraud in our high courts …..that shows the scale of theft the rich and greedy indulge in.

      Ending a system that takes from those who do not have enough …… to give to those who have more than they could ever use.

      And Wayne…., Farrar is a dirty swirler still engaged in dirty politics …..The show roles on with you guys … As his false flag partisan ‘Tax payers union’ …… with its continual printing by our dirty politics media demonstrates…

      Did he point out the $10 Billion war toys being purchased with Govt money goes to corporations … who dodge their taxes.

      It stuck out …. that you never referenced the increased suicide rates, misery, sadness and sickness when talking about our artificially constrained budget…. and predictable outcomes of that nice Mr Keys and Bills choices ….. Cows and Tax cuts … ecocide and loss of swimming spots for our country …. more money and speculation for the rich.

      Is that all meant to disappear ….. like Fatima

      Do they not count for anything ….. like Fatima

      Do we need to kill and exploit children overseas to have enough for ours in your world view . ?? ( trade deals/wars) .

      New Zealand once lead the world with our anti nuclear legislation …. I’d like and prefer our NZ government to lead the way against economic apartheid … Aside from the injustices and inequality in NZ …..Its a World issue

      slavery sweat shops, poverty, starvation, deforestation ….. and war… it survives on the corrupt system which Key thrives and networked us into….

      Lets lead ourselves and the world out of it…..

      Through simple fair legislation ….. and jail the bank robbers behind $2.2 Billion drive offs

  2. ianmac 2

    A few decades ago a National Government let the Public Health System fall into decay. The intent was then to justify Privatisation as a means of “rescuing” health care.
    This is currently happening in UK and the USA interests are the ones buying up selected Health Boards.

    • KJT 2.1

      SOP for the right wing. Fuck up State provision, then claim their failure was a result of it being State provided, rather than a typical right wing fuckup.

      Privatise. Get rewarded with Directorships in the in the privatised company.

      The next left wing Government, and tax payers, then have to unfuck it.

      At a far greater cost then we would have to pay if it hadn’t been fucked in the first place.

      Surprised the “Tax payers union” aren’t up in arms about it!

  3. Sorrwerdna 3

    Increase in funding = funding cut ???? That creative accounting

    • Macro 3.1

      Obviously you fail to understand that increased costs also feature in the equation. When increased costs are greater than the small increase in funding, the result is an effective cut in the ability to provide services. Since taking office National has effectively failed to provide the funding for around $2.3b of services in the Health Sector.
      That is why

      “The gap is why mental health care is in crisis and patients are being discharged into caravan parks, it’s why people aren’t going to the doctor because of rising fees, and it’s why elective surgery is becoming harder to qualify for.

      “The huge sums of money missing from health are why workers in the sector are overstretched, exhausted and operating without the resources they need to care for Kiwi patients properly.

      Is that clear now?

  4. greywarshark 4

    Neo liberal economics has a philosophy that observes people critically and finds them wanting as entities and inefficient. And people that have been brought up in the shadow of that are, in contrast, very efficient at absorbing the distaste for the general public and focussing kind consideration on themselves.

    So it’s no use arguing for what’s good for society, or what’s fair for the individual, in health. There is a financial imperative here to stop wasting money on humans which are inefficient entities. That attitude might be arrested if protesters can show that it is more costly to let services run down till they break down than it is to provide a right amount of skilled action, at the right time. But cutting costs is likely to win every time under this thinking regime, so the fight goes on.

    And it can be confusing when those in public health management are also owners and shareholders in private companies either operating in parallel with public, or supplying services to the entity they are accepting salary from, and ostensibly working for. It’s called conflict of interest, but can be hard to sort out, like a ball of string that has tangled. Sometimes it is better to cut the losses, and literally cut through the tangle and start again.

    In the case of health, it may be that talking to the people in national workshops and presenting them with a budget based on a percentage of GDP that they have to allocate. Are they prepared to allocate it fairly according to the needs of age and development, more for very young children so they don’t get chronic sickness that delays or prevents their growth affecting them lifelong etc. We all have ideas about suitable treatment, and all would have to change ideas to some extent after taking part in a health workshop that starts off looking at one’s own particular group environment, older people, rural people, pre-school, working parents etc and then looks at the regional and national needs. That could be good for Dunedin for example, so burdened with problems, and apparently with NZs greatest distances to travel in a more sparsely settled region, said to be severely underfunded because of the present population model budget.

  5. saveNZ 5

    The Natz keep adding more people onto the health service, but not giving any more money inspite of our fake rockstar economy.

    Plenty of cash for Natz cronies though like Sky City, private irrigation schemes with public money and zombie TPPA and free trade agreement bribes like the Saudi Sheep farm massacre.

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  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    7 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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