A Case of IHG?

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 pm, October 6th, 2010 - 31 comments
Categories: economy, national/act government, workers' rights - Tags: , , , ,

Remember how our government decided to promise investors an 8% return on any speculative monies placed with the failing Southern Canterbury Finance? And remember how after taking any remnant of speculation out of any speculative  investment, they then took  $1 700 000 000 of our money and gave it to the aforementioned speculators as way of compensation?

Well, now it has come to light that thousands of care givers have been denied compensation for turning up to work. It seems that if you are a caregiver then there was a culture among employers to the effect  that ‘a fair days pay for a fair day’s work’ applied to daylight hours only.  Outside of daylight hours, hourly rates transmogrified into $34 allowances.  In any other field of employment, night shift would attract an allowance on top of an hourly rate of pay. Not an allowance instead of an hourly rate.

Anyway,it appears that the Employment Court agrees that being at work should mean getting paid for being at work. Which has led two IHC companies to scramble to the government seeking (and getting) mandatory management. See, they are claiming that they cannot afford to pay workers. No big deal. The companies are government funded. And so all the government need do is increase funding levels so that employees get paid for being at work. Simple. It is reckoned that back wages to our care givers, people who look after society’s most vulnerable and who may one day look after you or me will cost us $400 000 000.

That’s less than a quarter of the amount of our money that was given away to SCF investors. Call me heartless, but I didn’t have a cents worth of sympathy for people who dabbled in a financial culture that demanded they think only of themselves.  But regardless,  I got to give them $380, along with every other man, woman and child in New Zealand.

Now, in the case of workers who are generally highly regarded, I’d expect our money to be used to right any wrongs done to them. And I’d imagine that most people would have absolutely no qualms about the Government using our money to give back to these workers what was ripped off from them.

What’s more, the six year limitation on back pay would equate to about $100 000 for a person on or near minimum wage who had worked an average of three night shifts per week over that period.  And on one shift a week we are looking at roughly $30 000.  Which means we are looking at between 4000 and 12 000 low paid employees receiving, in some cases quite substantial sums of money. Which surely constitutes something of a stimulus for NZ’s beleaguered economy?

We don’t always get a bonus for doing the proper and legal thing, but here we have a situation where an incidental stimulus of $400 000 000 would be perfectly targeted at low income earners.  And it would be spread more or less evenly over the entirety of New Zealand as a ratio of population density. Which is surely why Health Minister Tony Ryall, presumably quite happily, remarked that there were  “very significant implications” for the economy as a whole.

But no, ‘fraid not.

The Government is appealing the Employment Court ruling and “Tony Ryall has ruled out a Government bailout of disability services(…) and “…said the Government was not liable for the backpay and would not pay it.”

So I guess this Government reckons it’s just plain wrong for workers to get paid an hourly rate while at work.

Meanwhile, in response to my question as to whether we are facing a case of IHG (Intellectually Handicapped Governance)?

The answer is, no. We’re not.

A Government doesn’t get to hide behind human frailties such as mental retardation as reasons or excuses for its actions.

A Government is quite simply a mirror of the ideologies it pursues. And this Government, in tune with the preferred ideologies of it’s ministers, exhibits all the hallmarks of  intellectual and moral bankruptcy. Any doubts anyone might have been harbouring on that front are surely vanquished as a result of the simple exercise of comparing and contrasting the approach taken to SCF investors on the one hand, and the approach taken  to our society’s caregivers on the other.

31 comments on “A Case of IHG? ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Serious question: why was this not addressed when Labour was in power, instead of leaving the issue to the tender mercies of Bill and John?

    Also – giving these workers windfall lump sums may cause serious familial upheaval. Counselling/budgeting services will be required: similar to those provided to Lotto winners.

    $400M? That’s a years’ pay for 9,000 nurses, teachers or policemen. OK its very likely due to those workers, but that is a metric tonne of money. OK, around a quarter of a metric tonne of money. No doubt it would be excellent economic stimulus.

    But as I said above, advice on saving it and paying off debt would be handy for people.

    captcha: LOVE

    • hateatea 1.1

      ‘Serious question: why was this not addressed when Labour was in power, instead of leaving the issue to the tender mercies of Bill and John?’

      Because the case wasn’t taken / reported on until after National took office, perhaps?

      I am unsure when the policy of not paying began but I suspect it was when contracting out of services began so in the era of Ruthenasia and Jennycide maybe. Of course, it is also possible that a Labour government may have been complicit as we have been in the era of bean counters being more important than actual social workers / health care professionals in contracting for a lot of years now

  2. BLiP 2

    Why is it that under a National Ltd™ government its always the weakest and most marginalised that are stomped on first? Sure, the workers are getting it in the neck in this instance, but what about the people that are supposed to cared for, how do they fit into the equation, where’s their voice? Isn’t IHC supposed to be working on behalf of the clients and not working hand in glove with National Ltd™ to prevent staff receiving the minimum wage? Is this model of contracting out of welfare services to be duplicated across the unemployment area? Have we learned nothing?

    Questions, questions, questions . . . no answers at the moment, not until John Key has had a chance to get his Crosby/Textor mates to run it past a focus group first.

  3. Okay so maybe it’s late and I’m tired and thus I’ve missed something. But Ryall is quoted as saying:

    Mr Ryall said the finding that “averaging” of earnings over a fortnight was not acceptable would impact on the wider economy and other employers.

    It would mean salaried workers whose complete package usually took overtime into account would have to be paid overtime. Workers who were paid on volume – such as fruitpickers – would also be affected

    Okay, I get that. But if that’s the problem, and not the fact that carers are due an hourly rate (and to be back paid) then why not indicate that he accepts that part of the ruling?

    And what’s with the averaging part of it anyway? The article just leaps into that without explaining how, if at all, it relates to the “hourly rate” part of the decision, and why the court needed to include it to rectify the problem with carers’ payments. And makes no attempt to explain what Ryall means, and whether he’s right.

    Who was that written by, someone moonlighting from TVNZ?!

  4. tsmithfield 4

    From the article cited:

    Two companies that care for disabled people have been put under statutory management because they don’t think they can meet a court-ordered requirement to pay workers for the time they are asleep at their care houses.

    Normally people get the sack for sleeping on the job. 🙂

    Seriously, though, I don’t see why they should get paid for being asleep. That is a function that would occur whether they were on the job or not. The compensation appears to be for the inconvenience of sleeping away from home, rather than for working. Personally, I would make the compensation higher than $34 as that seems a bit light.

    Fair enough to get paid if they have to get up during the night to take care of someone under their care. But sleeping doesn’t qualify as work IMO.

    • Luxated 4.1

      ts those workers are ‘on call’ all night just imagine what you would have to pay a plumber to do the same thing. Not only that I doubt they would necessarily get much sleep.

      • Zorr 4.1.1

        My mum used to do overnight shifts for IHC. They earn every cent and more. It is not a job I would do and it applies to most people. They usually get to have a little bit of sleep but they have to be awake and aware during the night if anything goes wrong – which it usually does at least once.

        • Descendant Of Smith 4.1.1.1

          My wife worked this job for many years. It was an odd night indeed when she was able to sleep through the night. This could best be measured by the need when she got home to catch some sleep when she put the kids to bed.

          During the night she got to do exciting things like clean up soiled clients, including some who liked to smear their waste all over the doorknobs in the house, clients who would regularly hear prowlers outside and often ring the police to report it, clients fighting with each other, having nightmares, getting into the kitchen to try and find food, wandering into the house next door and causing disruption there, and so on.

          It’s a tough job and people like my wife who have a passion for working with people with Intellectual disabilities are not motivated by the pay and so they just get on and do it. Those who work during the day also often do many extra unpaid hours – something both the IHC and the government are also well aware of.

          This extra unpaid hours often applies to elderly caregivers with the contracting out of those services as well. Ironically the most supportive person (supportive of the workers) I’ve heard speak about this was the financial person at the local DHB. He was quite disgusted by the open knowledge and discussion about the cutting of hours for some people would make little difference to their care because they (the DHB management) knew in many cases the caregivers would still do the extra work that was needed anyway.

          If my wife ever got paid for all those unpaid hours she was required to do she would be quite wealthy.

          This overnight income was pretty much my wife’s only income for many years – we had out own disabled kids to look after but were broke so needs must. Waving to each other in the morning as we passed in the driveway and again at night was our lot for quite a while.

          She doesn’t benefit from this ruling due to the time limitation either so I have no direct self interest in this matter.

          • Descendant Of Smith 4.1.1.1.1

            It’s also worth pointing out that not all IHC clients get staff sleeping over. Clients are clustered with several high needs clients together in one house and several higher functioning clients together in another house with no overnight support.

            Your average Downs Syndrome adult wouldn’t have overnight support and would be managing quite independently with his or her fellow housemates.

  5. Swampy 5

    “Call me heartless, but I didn’t have a cents worth of sympathy for people who dabbled in a financial culture that demanded they think only of themselves. ”

    Actually that is a very large whitewash. People invest for all sorts of reasons, including superannuation schemes. Let me see, there is this big government run scheme popularly known as the “Cullen Fund” that also invests its funds to generate a return. Also, if you know anything about finance companies and how they work, you’ll know that money doesn’t grow on trees. The funds invested are what gets lent out to their customers who are borrowing money off them. There’s nothing about investing money in a finance company for a return that demands any more negative inference than gettting paid interest for sticking your money in an ordinary bank account. What about all those workers and union members who have got their money in Kiwisaver and government super schemes, are they all in the same boat?

  6. tsmithfield 6

    “ts those workers are ‘on call’ all night just imagine what you would have to pay a plumber to do the same thing. Not only that I doubt they would necessarily get much sleep.”

    Actually, our service-people are rostered on-call a week at a time. The effect of this is that a given employee might be on call once a month. This means they can be called at home if a customer who operates 24/7 has a break-down.

    It is actually relatively rare for a customer to initiate a call out because we have a phone message that advises the high fee for doing so. So call outs generally only happen if the customer is absolutely desperate. However, we are able to offer this support to our customers if they really need it.

    We pay our employees a minimum of four hours pay at time and a half on the rare event that they are actually called out. Are you saying that we should now be paying our on-call employees for their sleeping time in their own beds even though they seldom have their sleep interrupted?

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      Sounds like a completely different situation.

      Perhaps we should only pay firefighters or other emergency response staff for the hours they are out on a call?

      Also, read the comments upthread about what this work is.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2

      They are not ‘at work’ if you are a plumber at home
      AS for sleeping on the job, trainee doctors, firemen and even airline pilots ( and cabin crew) on long flights do it.
      Using beds in their workplace.
      Whats the difference?

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Yes, common place with military and emergency personnel.

        • tsmithfield 6.2.1.1

          Granted, the IHC workers are more likely to get their sleep interrupted while on call than our workers. But in principle the only difference between our workers and the IHC workers is that our workers are on call at home while the IHC workers are on call away from home.

          Given that the key difference in principle is being away from home, rather than being “on call”, does that mean that we should be paying our workers for sleeping when they are away overnight on jobs? At the moment they are paid an overnight allowance to compensate for the inconvenience of being away from home which they are perfectly happy with. But are we ripping them off by not paying them for their sleeping time at their hourly rate?

          • Pascal's bookie 6.2.1.1.1

            By ‘away from home’ you mean, ‘at work’.

            • tsmithfield 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Away from home. But not on call.

              The thing is they get a lot of overtime while away and earn big $. If we had to charge our client for their sleeping time as well, then the client would get someone local to do the work and they would miss out on the extra income through overtime.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Completely different situation ts.
                Not at all alike.
                Kettles of fish: dissimilar.

                Away from home. But not on call. At work.

          • bbfloyd 6.2.1.1.2

            ts… you really should give this up.. my mother does this work, and you really don’t have the slightest clue what it is like doing this job, or the stresses involved. trying to argue that being payed to sleep at the homes of mentally disturbed people is like money for jam is simply displaying your ignorance of the work. stick to bean counting.

      • Fisiani 6.2.2

        I know for a fact that doctors used to be paid 25% ( yes 25% not 125%) of their hourly base rate for each hour of being first on call (physically present in the hospital) and 10% of their base rate for being second on call ( available to work close by and always sober).
        This meant that they were working 104 hours per week.
        40 hours at ordinary time and 64 hours of compulsory overtime which earned them the equivalent of 11.2 hours before tax.

        • bbfloyd 6.2.2.1

          Fisiani… can you show how this is relevant to caregivers? forgive me if i’m wrong, but that was what the original post was about. wasn’t it?

  7. Hilary 7

    The Government has known about this court case and its implications for a long time but still chose to go ahead with tax cuts for the well off rather than pay these workers properly (and they are only asking for the minimum wage) for providing overnight care for disabled people. It’s a heartless and immoral response. These are the times you wish politicians actually had some lived experience of the situation; instead they see disabled people as just a group of ‘other’, less than human, and not entitled to proper support.

  8. KJT 8

    I am on call 24/7 while at work. We are compensated and rested with leave periods. Like airline pilots and the military. I know how wearing being “on call” can be when there is nearly always several “calls”. So does anyone who has had a baby in the house.

    Rest home workers deserve to be paid properly for these times. The minimum wage is bugger all for the work they do anyway. Government will get a large proportion of any payment to rest home workers back as taxes and economic stimulus anyway. Low paid workers spend most of their pay and spend it in the local economy. Unlike big investors.

  9. jen 9

    Its not a matter of being \”on call\” during the night. These workers are actually at work providing a service. Yes, even as they sleep. If they were not there even for a tiny portion of the night, both the employer and the residents would be at risk. The Court took into account the fact that the requirements of sleep over in the case were quite restrictive for Mr Dickson ( the employee involved) During the day the employee was paid above minimum wage and IHC want to use the pay related to those daylight hours to cover the hours during the night, so that it would be sufficient if, averaged accross the total hours worked, the employee was paid not less than mininim wage for each hour worked. Contractually its a complete nonsense of course, if I have agreed to be paid 17 per hour for hours worked during the day, that bargain is completely undermined if my employer can \”use\” a portion of those wages to meet its obligation to pay me minimum wage for other hours I work. Either I am not gettting mininim wage for the sleeping hours or I am not really getting the hourly rate bargained for in respect of daylight hours.

    • Bill 9.1

      Thanks for clearing those muddied waters. Gives an interesting new twist to the concept of penal rates, that does.

      The central point I can’t reconciliate vis a vis the Governments actions or stated intent is that when people wilfully gambled with their money and lost it, the Government gave then their money back. With interest.

      But when people have been wilfully thieved from, the Government seeks to continue as high a level of thieving as possible and has no intention of giving these people the money that was stolen from them and that is rightfully theirs.

      I noticed that in a current job vacancy for IHC states that “flexibility and the ability to work weekends/sleepovers are essential.”

      Which tells me they are seeking to advertise a job and include obligations to accept non-job hooks (ie sleepovers) Cake. Eating.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        the Government seeks to continue as high a level of thieving

        There’s no real difference. This psychopathic government stole from the workers and gave to their rich mates (SCF bailout) and this lawsuit is trying to continue stealing from the IHC workers and give to their rich mates (The tax switch). If they had to pay out the $400m they’d probably have to reverse the tax cuts to the rich.

        • Descendant Of Smith 9.1.1.1

          Though the IHC shouldn’t get off lightly either.

          It was theoretically possible to get paid for hours worked if it was after the first hour and you worked for more than an hour. However it was almost impossible to get this paid. Example client had diarrhea and every couple of hours soiled the bed. Nil sleep that night as in between bouts was washing sheets and clothes etc. Approval for wages for the night was declined as the bouts of diarrhea were more than an hour apart.

          I checked with my wife who advised that she never once in over 5 years had a night of unbroken sleep.

          I’ve got a mate who is paid a decent hourly wage to babysit machinery overnight. The machinery runs 24/7 but someone is needed there as it occasionally jams or has minor issues. He’s allowed to sleep til something happens, read books, tidy up, take his Xbox along and play, and so on.

          No question at all about paying him though. One assumes machinery is more important than people perhaps.

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  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    7 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    2 weeks ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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