A target we can celebrate missing

Written By: - Date published: 8:38 am, July 16th, 2016 - 72 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, human rights, national, welfare - Tags: , , , ,

Here’s one missed target we can celebrate:

Government’s benefits target ‘very aspirational’

Anne Tolley has effectively conceded that National is unlikely to meet its objective of moving 65,000 people off the benefit within the next two years.

The Minister for Social Development revealed that while the Government is “working hard to meet the target”, it was merely an “aspirational” ambition – and she also admitted to being “not too worried” by the number of people coming off welfare support. …

The article carries on with “aspirational” Nat psychobabble designed to lipstick over some pig ugly facts – namely the methods that the Nats have used to get numbers down. They have demonised beneficiaries. They have cast the need for a benefit as an illness. They have made WINZ as dysfunctional as possible, made benefits as inaccessible as possible, applied pressure until they got extreme outcomes. Of course numbers on benefits have fallen – for all the wrong reasons. Thank goodness they haven’t fallen further.

Only half of the people who leave benefits get jobs. What happens to the rest? Does any Nat know or care? Perhaps the rapidly increasing numbers of homeless give a clue to the answer.

Reducing the number on benefits is the wrong goal. It is a mean, demeaning, punitive goal. We should have a goal of creating jobs. We should have a goal of getting people healthy. We should have a goal of educating and enabling people. Then the number on benefits would take care of itself.

72 comments on “A target we can celebrate missing”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Address the causes by all means. How do you intend to prevent the National Party?

    • Paul 1.1

      The eradication of neo-liberalism would solve that.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        They’d stop needing to drag people down to provide themselves with a sense of superiority? I doubt it.

        • Chris 1.1.1.1

          You try to provide yourself with a sense of superiority almost every time you post a comment.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1

            If so, at least the objects of my contempt aren’t homeless families.

  2. Sacha 2

    “They have cast the need for a benefit as an illness. ”

    Insanity imported from the UK. https://wellcome.ac.uk/press-release/first-research-paper-hubbub-unemployment-being-rebranded-psychological-disorder

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      There is no clause in the Hippocratic oath that excuses this disgusting betrayal. “I was just following National Party orders” doesn’t cut it either.

      Strike the fuckers off the medical register and broadcast their crimes to the world.

      • Paul 2.1.1

        Let’s hope the arch criminal Blair gets his time in court as a warning to the other Blairite sell outs.

  3. Paul 3

    This is how you get people off the benefit when there are no jobs.
    Why are we copying the UK’s flawed neoliberal model?

  4. Nic the NZer 4

    The government works within a framework where the presumption is there is no such thing as involuntary unemployment. The presumption is that if people have exited a benefit system then they are gainfully (and happily, yes this is implied) engaged in another economic activity of their choosing.

    The implications of this framework are that people are on benefits not because insufficient jobs are available (which never happens in the framework because the jobs market clears and is in equilibrium). The implication is that people are on benefits because the benefits are too generous and this is causing them to prefer ‘leisure’ to work due to the relative rewards of each.

    A future Labour government must reject this framework and accept that the economy does not always produce sufficient jobs for the jobs market to clear (and therefore everybody who wants a job to be able to find one). On this basis it would be justified in creating a govt job guarantee scheme, allowing all those who want a job to have a guarantee of being able to find an employer. Then as Anthony Robins points out, the numbers on benefits will simply take care of themselves.

  5. North 5

    Ha ! John Key’s infamous “aspirational”. Take the word apart and look what we have –

    “asp” – a small viper with an upturned snout, the Egyptian cobra, a large predatory freshwater fish of the carp family –

    “irational” – irrational, not logical or reasonable, as in “a stroke of my ministerial pen and thus it is so [or should be so].”

    The Weak Man has seriously damaged New Zealand.

  6. keith ross 6

    I think that moving to a system that removed the responsibility for work to a totally separate dept where they could concentrate on that aspect of the problem and have another dept that is only concerned with the health and well being of the unemployed so that they can have a positive environment to look for work or up skill.
    this would give people the support that they need rather than having someone who every time you speak they are looking for the opportunity to deny you anything that you are entitled to.One dept that tells you what you can apply for and help you without badgering .This would cost less in the long term and would have a positive effect on society where people are no longer scared to lose their job because of the welfare dept.Where the staff were helpful and offered freely the different options and grants available to you.
    What I am saying is like the old model but with a lot of compassion and the idea that everyone is not trying to rip off the govt for the pittance that they offer.Peoples mental health would be much bettor making healthier workers and stronger bargaining power than now. Employers know how terrible the situation is for people on the benefit and use it in a take it or leave it ,that’s the job kind of way.Punishing people who are down on their luck is not right,economically or morally.Unlike the right wing thought line that people who are poor are lazy the truth tells another story,of hard work and still not making it to pay bills and feed the kids.have a heart.

    • ianmac 6.1

      Surely the staff at Work and Income must get really stressed at the tide of genuine people getting knocked back again and again. Sorry for the “clients” and the staff.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    We should have a goal of creating jobs. We should have a goal of getting people healthy. We should have a goal of educating and enabling people. Then the number on benefits would take care of itself.

    QFT

    If the government supported the population rather than multi-national corporations then there would be no unemployment. Instead people would be either employed or in training.

    Throwing people on the unemployment benefit and then throwing them off that for spurious reasons degrades the country’s capabilities. All the high level skill that a modern society needs is lost under the present system.

  8. Ad 8

    +100 Anthony. Heartfelt.

  9. Keith 9

    Their goal was a simple one, just get these losers off any benefit. Whether they had jobs or not was irrelevant. Hence the growing homeless population.

    But here’s some aspirational goals;

    Make business pay their fair share of tax and rates, not the discount they currently enjoy
    Make sure overseas companies pay their fair share of tax, Google, Uber, Compass spring to mind
    Cut all benefits for property speculators, no more tax breaks, just tax payments, lots of tax payments.
    End NZs tax haven status, yes John Key, I dont believe your bullshit!

    Aspirational for a moral etical government, not National or the Maori Party or ACT or Peter Dunne!

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    The NATs recently admitted that they would miss their social housing targets. Now they are admitting that they will miss their beneficiary reduction targets.

    Clearly, they are going to use the rest of Q2/Q3 2016 to get any bad news they have left out of the way.

    • BM 10.1

      Do you honestly think the voter cares about this stuff or blames National because xxxx amount of people don’t have the skills to get a job or accommodation?

      • Nic the NZer 10.1.1

        Exhibit A, a view from inside the National party framework. Clearly the presumption is there are enough Jobs or Houses for people to be provided for, and their predicament is their fault because clearly the Market provides.

        Labour must reject the framework for the unemployed, as they have started to reject it for the homeless.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2

        So, what you’re saying is that you think that all voters are as blindly faithful to the National Party and their delusional ideology as you are?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.3

        The unemployment rate was ~3% in 2007. Why did eight years of the National Party reduce people’s skills so drastically? You have two choices: notice that your hate-speech has no basis in reality, or that the National Party is a bludger-production line.

        You are incapable of grasping this.

      • maninthemiddle 10.1.4

        I would go further. Somehow AR considers it desirable that people remain on a benefit. Weird.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.4.1

          What’s weird about a right wing troll putting words in someone’s mouth? What would be weird is if you engaged in a discussion in good faith.

          It’s beyond you.

          • maninthemiddle 10.1.4.1.1

            The Headline reads “A target we can celebrate missing”. The ‘target’…getting people off welfare. I’m putting words exactly where they came from. As a nation we should want people off welfare. This government is doing a grand job at exactly that.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.4.1.1.1

              Thank you for illustrating my point: the message of the OP is quite clear. Your feeble cherry-picking only obscures its meaning to you.

              • maninthemiddle

                Cherry picking? The Headline? hahahaha

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  🙄

                  Yes. The headline is not the body of the article, which lays out the author’s viewpoint. Your deliberately dishonest misrepresentation of that viewpoint says something about you, and nothing whatsoever about the viewpoint.

                  Do you think you’re being clever?

      • dv 10.1.5

        Yes BM I do.

  11. North 11

    If you’re ‘the voter’ BM, no of course not. But that’s predictable and hardly the point.

    The point is the moral, social, financial destruction is happening so broadly and deeply now that civil unrest is on the horizon.

    Your pathetic answer is to heap pejorative and blame onto the victims. Finger pointing and blame directed at the least powerful by anti-social, psychotic wahanui may be a buzz for them but it has not worked. What do you do then BM ? Become more shrill and authoritarian ? You’re so Gower.

    • mac1 11.1

      Blaming the victims is the only way that a person with a modicum of decency can attempt to justify what is happening. Otherwise, there’s some serious thinking to be done. Like, shit, I’ve got that wrong, Bugger me, I’ve been deceived. Some bastard has deliberately fiddled figures, misrepresented, misled the public, and me.

      Lat night I watched a recording of Stone’s history of America. Amongst all the lies and deceptions one stands out. One which President George Bush Snr often quoted as an horrific example of Saddam’s brutality.

      A young woman told tearfully a story of how she worked in a hospital where invading Iraqi troops callously left babies on the floor to die. She had never been in the hospital. She was actually a daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador. According to Oliver Stone, she lied, Bush lied, the full propaganda machine lied.

      Like the Vietnam War, like the Iraq invasion, like the Falklands, lies, deception, corruption.

      How do they get away with it? Because people will believe them.

      To make war first you must demonise the enemy, dehumanise them. This is done by techniques such as blaming the target group, by accusations, by lying.

      It’s the history of the World, writ small in BM’s case of blaming the jobless and the homeless, whereby corrupt power acts corruptly against ordinary people.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Stone%27s_Untold_History_of_the_United_States

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        +1

      • maninthemiddle 11.1.2

        Ever heard of a parallel universe? Look it up, you live in one.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Saddam_Hussein%27s_Iraq

        Of course you’d rather believe Oliver Stone, and remember Sadam as a nice man, with perfect manners.

        • mac1 11.1.2.1

          Don’t put words into my mouth, maninthemiddle.

          Suggesting I live in a parallel universe does not help any discussion we might have.

          • maninthemiddle 11.1.2.1.1

            I’m not putting words in your mouth, I’m calling you on your love affair with Sadam Hussain. Your faith in a movie producer for your information is pathetic.

            • mac1 11.1.2.1.1.1

              All you have got to do, my man, is tell me where I have made any comment on Saddam Hussein (get the spelling right for a start) of any sort. Because I haven’t. You say I have, and that is what is called putting words in my mouth.

              Your misspelling of Saddam Hussein puts me in great recollection of that well-known man of American Intelligence, Lt-General Michael Flynn, former head of the US Defence Intelligence Agency, who in commenting on Fox News referred to Khomeini as needing to speak out on what happened in Nice, when the man had been dead since 1989- a mistake repeated more than once. Flynn had been considered as a potential V-P by Donald Trump!

              And you talk about living in a parallel universe.

              And, by the by, any evidence for your assertion about Oliver Stone’s information?

              Because I have the following to back up the quality of this university-educated, Vietnam war decorated veteran, from that great and well-known Leftie conspiratorial source, Wikipedia.

              “In 2012, the documentary miniseries Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States premiered on Showtime. Stone co-wrote, directed, produced, and narrated the series, having worked on it since 2008 with co-writers American University historian Peter J. Kuznick and British screenwriter Matt Graham.

              The 10-part series is supplemented by a 750-page companion book of the same name, also written by Stone and Kuznick, released on October 30, 2012 by Simon & Schuster.

              The project received positive reviews from former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, and reviewers from IndieWire, San Francisco Chronicle, and Newsday.

              Hudson Institute adjunct fellow historian Ronald Radosh accused the series of historical revisionism, while journalist Michael C. Moynihan accused the book of “moral equivalence” and said nothing within the book was “untold” previously.

              Stone defended the program’s accuracy to TV host Tavis Smiley by saying “This has been fact checked by corporate fact checkers, by our own fact checkers, and fact checkers [hired] by Showtime. It’s been thoroughly vetted…these are facts, our interpretation may be different than orthodox, but it definitely holds up.”

              • maninthemiddle

                Oh, I see, you are a tin foil hat wearer. I wouldn’t have bothered if I’d known. Stone is a movie producer, and a very good one, but his presentation of history is frequently bs. Your love affair with Sadam is obvious in your willingness to believe a movie producers story over the butcher of Baghdad.

  12. jcuknz 12

    I think BM gave you the truth of the matter that the voters do not care despite it being a sad reflection on society today, if it was ever different.

    I’m remembering the BeniBashers from thirty or more years ago when their numbers were much less than today ….I think for example the one who goes ‘bush’ on the west coast living on the dole was doing others a favour by not competing for what jobs were available even then.

    The answer to me is the UBI and the fool Labor Party seem to have dumped that idea for fear of loosing votes? Instead of seriously working out how it would work without a massive increase in taxation as the RWNJs would have us believe.

    • BM 12.1

      One thing I think that’s really hardened attitudes towards the less well of is the poor pimping the left has been involved over the last few years.

      Especially when practically in every case it soon becomes apparent that the poor person who’s getting pimped has made some rather poor life decisions and that’s the reason they find themselves in their current predicament.

      Sympathy withers and dies rather rapidly x that by multiple instances and sympathy becomes nonexistent.

      Well done Labour/Greens.

      • marty mars 12.1.1

        propaganda from a right wing nutjob – believe me says bm I am just like you and want to tell the truth so that you will believe my hero jonnykey. The only pimping is you pimping your mate key – you’d be a sellout if you’d ever believed anything worthwhile – you haven’t.

      • North 12.1.2

        Where’s your evidence of this ‘pimping’ BM ? I think you’re just colourfully ruminating after a big fattie.

      • reason 12.1.3

        National hates on the unemployed and treats them like criminals ……

        But people like John Key who builds tax havens is supposed to be the guy we’d like to have a beer with …….

        “the toxic global “shadow banking” system that led to the global financial crisis. For example, hedge funds would typically be listed in Dublin, managed in London and domiciled in a classic tax haven like the Cayman Islands.”

        And Aussie banks with the help of john shewan attempted to steal $2.2 billion of tax payers money …………. “The settlement sees the banks collectively paying around 80% of the full amount of tax and interest in dispute, and the IRD levying no penalties. ”

        “In the Westpac case, the Crown produced memos from a senior tax adviser, now chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers in New Zealand, John Shewan, advising Westpac it should declare tax at a rate that would meet public relations objectives: ….

        “the 4 big accountancy firms based here (PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC), KPMG, Deloitte and EY) who assist multinationals in evading tax. ” ( from an Irish article )

        Does BM think Building tax havens and helping the rich steal will make national popular ?????

        $2.2 billion is roughly 100 years worth of what the benefit fraud unit recovered at the same time as the greedy banks were found guilty in the High courts …..

      • maninthemiddle 12.1.4

        BM I spent time working (voluntarily) amongst the less well off, and I agree with you 100%. Virtually every case I encounter is due to poor decision making, and the area I specifically work in is with a program designed to turn that around. The media and left wing politicians are a disgrace in the way they exploit these people.

    • Pat 12.2

      “I’m remembering the BeniBashers from thirty or more years ago when their numbers were much less than today ….I think for example the one who goes ‘bush’ on the west coast living on the dole was doing others a favour by not competing for what jobs were available even then.”

      How old are you jcknz?

      There gave been couple of articles recently noting that anyone born after 1970 has only ever known neoliberalism and it explains a lot about their mindset….I am increasingly inclined to agree with that observation.

      By the way, unemployment was far higher as a percentage through the late 80s early 90s in NZ…i can recall “job seeker” stats of 20% in Christchurch in that period though you are correct bene bashing still occured ( though not as much as government bashing) and the west coast opt out was disparaged and possibly a little later if my memory serves.

  13. Lloyd 13

    BM, “the voter” may not realise how badly neo-liberal thinking is affecting hi/her. Just like the frog in the warming pot of water “the voter” may no realise how seriously their children/grand-children’s choices of a life without poverty and desperation are being reduced by the idiots in government.
    The main stream media never set out alternatives to the present stupid/corrupt/immoral economic decisions being taken by the gnats, and never mention that the basic economic neo-liberal theories that our country is being run under are an ideology based on untruths and flim-flam. The clearest analogy I can compare this to is Lysenkoism. The end result of basing your economy on flim-flam is you end in the crap. Russians starved because of the crazy theories of Lysenko on producing grain, and New Zealanders are starving and will increasingly starve because of neo-liberalism.
    Eventually we will end up with a handful of really rich New Zealanders, with the rest of us living out of their rubbish bins, while most of our economic wealth will be exported to overseas corporations. Even the few rich New Zealanders remaining will be left questioning if they would have a better life if things were a little more economically equal.
    “The voter” who is apathetic now may not care if he is getting screwed, but I suspect the average New Zealander will eventually wake up to the disaster sequence we are currently living through, caused by the gnats. When the frog eventually jumps out of the hot water the results for the gnats will likely be very nasty. Longer it takes, the nastier it will get.

  14. Sabine 14

    of course the National Voter don’t care……

    until its their kids that move away overseas or elsewhere cause there are no houses where they currently live
    until its their kids that move away overseas or elsewhere cause their are no jobs where they currently live
    until its their Nana that can’t get the hip replacment or knee surgery cause funds are being cut and who really cares about old people needing ‘surgery’
    until its their dad / mum / uncle / aunty that is being told by Winz to get a job cause having cancer is not reason to go on the sickness benefit
    until its their house that gets raced to make way for a motorway or something and they can’t find a replacement house
    until its their kid with a mental health issue that can’t get the health cause funds are cut
    until its their daughter / son who is a ‘single’ parent after death, divorce, separation that now has to run the WINZ obstacle course to receive help raising a child or four on their own.

    when all budgets are cut, when the homeless and beneficiaries of yesteryear are all purged from the books whom will the National Party find to vilify? And what services will the National led Government cut in order to hand out Tax Cuts to themselves and those in their income group. Maybe Working for Families? 🙂

    And i think what we see now is that National voters from the last two elections are coming to understand that without credit lines and ‘equity’ they are like the rest of the country only one / two pay cheques away from defaulting on their mortgage, their car payments, their school donation plans and so on and so on and then they too have no value for the National Party and are themselves just some lazy arses bludging in on Paula Bennetts Generosity and they should just try harder to pull themselves up with the aid of the Bootsraps while wearing Gumboots.

    Oh yea…..no National Voter will have ever voted something else then National. Thats why National has been in power for ever and ever and ever and ever…..oh hang on…….They don’t.

    • Observer Toke 14.1

      .
      Hi Sabine

      . I liked you comment above (14).
      .
      . There is good reason for people voting National. Because Regan and Thatcher and Ayn Rand, with the devoted support of Allen Greenspan, promised everyone that the way ahead was to ignore your family, brother and sister and take up Greed.

      GREED iS GOOD was the their catchcry. Rand even had visions of families deliberately never assisting one another. Self and self only. The most vile writer of the past century.

      But the Americans adopted this cruel mantra as a replacement for Decency and Community.

      New Zealand being a bit behind the other nations has hung on to the Mantra and has been rewarded by having their house prices reach for the sky. Greed works.

      The Greed got so big, that people praised it as a cult, and found cult leaders like John Key. Wonderful Greed. All money being sent to the wealthy. A major Global collapse of wealth in 2007 -8 (worse than that of the 1920s) has not been lesson enough.

      Greed without any restrictions. Fraud; evasion of tax and stealing from the poor became holy pursuits. Riding redneck and roughshod over the younger generation has been the hallmark of life since the late 1970s.

      So, by ignoring their responsibilities to the up and coming generations, who will never own a house nor afford rental housing, the scandalous parents will beg to become the destroyers of hope of their offspring.

      All previous generations of Parents, have wanted their offspring do well even better than themselves. Not however this generation of dark diseased Parents.

      • Sabine 14.1.1

        i agree with you that Rand was vile, but never forget she did claim social security.

        And that is why a few if not many so called National Voters will either vote NZF, Labour or even Greens every now and then. When all is said and done, no matter how happy they were with the free market they do want their ‘social security’ as much as every one else.

        So they to eventually will abandon ship, like rats the first ones to leave the drowning vessel to swim to brighter shores for a few years and then the whole cycle rinse repeat.

      • seeker 14.1.2

        @Oberserver Toke @5.06pm

        Like your personification of ” The Greed “.

        Bryan Gould also tells how this came about in his blog from about the fourth paragraph onward:

        http://www.bryangould.com/how-did-it-come-to-this/

        • North 14.1.2.1

          Excellent from Bryan Gould !

          I remember about three decades ago there was a Bryan/Brian Edwards chap who expressed similarly. Whatever happened to him ? Heard he fell into a bad crowd of neo-libs……mmm……sad.

    • North 14.2

      Nice Sabine….nice.

  15. The Fairy Godmother 15

    Anonymous caller rings and makes accusations against a solo mother on a benefit. These are not substantiated but the children are removed and put into care suddenly and without a proper handover of medication etc. The minute the children are taken the benefit is stopped and she is advised she will need to apply for a different type of benefit but can’t get an appointment for a week. In the meantime she has rent to pay and is in danger of being thrown out onto the streets but for an Aunty who agrees to pay the rent. If she loses her house and goes on the streets she won’t be able to get her kids back. Moreover the whanau take a month of negotiations with cyfs to get the kids out of care into whanau care. The state care is not all that good . Yes I can see how benefit numbers could go down. It makes me ashamed to be a new Zealand citizen having this stuff going on in my name.

  16. indiana 16

    Here’s a hint… Stop using the neoliberal meme. The people you want to help don’t stand under that flag. If the Nats have missed a target on reducing beneficiary numbers, does Labour-Green have a target to increase numbers? is that what New Zealanders want, more people making a living from state handouts? So how’s Venezuela going again?

    • Sabine 16.1

      the point of difference is

      National has a plan to ditch beneficiaries, Labour/Green has a plan to look after people that need a hand up to get them back on track so that they can live their lives humanly.

      But your concern is noted.

    • Observer Toke 16.2

      .
      .Hi Indiana

      . Go for the Greed. Don’t worry about a thing.

      > Just always remember you ignored everything except money. And the money you have will be handed on to the really wealthy people at the first opportunity.. Do you know how few people own most of the world’s wealth ?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3

      Have you engaged your wibble-wobble? Is that what New Zealanders want, more wingnuts going wibble-wobble?* So how’s homeless families living in cars in New Zealand under National going again?

      *if your only excuse for your homelessness-factory is to tell fucking stupid lies about other party’s policies, expect ridicule, and other less palatable outcomes.

    • The New Student 16.4

      It would be nice if the social security ladder had no ceiling on how high one can climb. At the very least, it should exist to limit how far one can fall. Neither of these is the case.

  17. Sabine 17

    Phil Twyford updating from Tauranga,

    Nationals plans to sell all ALL 1200 State Houses in Tauranga.
    Cause nothing says housing challenge better then continuing a fucked up plan that leaves people homeless, but lines the pockets for investors and speculators.
    I am sure the house owning generation living in Tauranga will have no issues seeing their kids move elsewhere in search of a roof over their heads. Kids or profits……surely the National Voter will know that children are replaceable but Profits!!!!!! they are awesome. All that value on paper with high rates (and rising )to pay once a year and no cash in the bank. Profits!!!!!!!! Smart National Voters!!!!!

    Yeah, National has a plan to get beneficiaries of the books, don’t ya all find it funny that the Accommodation Supplement is not classified a ‘benefit’ it is a ‘supplement’ as i was educated by one of the Winz Drones. Some beneficiaries are more equal and deserving then other beneficiaries and none are as deserving as house speculators and slum land lords. They are the most deserving of them all. OH and dear National Voter, the Supplement (all 2 billion of it) are paid for with your Taxes. Feel better now?

    • North 17.1

      Sabine that is the grossest amalgam of Vaudeville/Monty Python. “Smart National Voters!!!!! ” Ha Ha Ha !

  18. Roland Askew 18

    I spoke to someone who used to work in the Hamilton Call centre. I agreed to not reveal who they are or details about them, for safety and legal purposes.

    After taking a call centre position, they were pressured to meet a quota for betting people on the benefit – NOT OFF, BUT ON.

    And they were required to hang-up upon existing beneficiaries regardless of their situation. Even people at risk or in emergency situations.

    The pressure to meet the take-on quota came from up high – regional managers or even from the ministry itself, though the exact source was unclear. It was done to raise funding for WINZ, either nationally or regionally – because the funding model means if the overall beneficiary levels drop enough, the overall funding gets cut, regardless of funds needed for big programmes such as Mainstream, or for small actions such as seminars.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      So the doubling of the unemployment rate under National is WINZ empire building. Sounds plausible*. How do WINZ get people to leave their job in the first place so that they can sign up?

      *terms and conditions apply.

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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 day 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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