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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    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 23, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Health: Shane Reti announced the Board of Te Whatu Ora- Health New Zealand was being replaced with Commissioner Lester Levy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    21 hours ago
  • HealthNZ and Luxon at cross purposes over budget blowout

    Health NZ warned the Government at the end of March that it was running over Budget. But the reasons it gave were very different to those offered by the Prime Minister yesterday. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon blamed the “botched merger” of the 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) to create Health ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    22 hours ago
  • 2500-3000 more healthcare staff expected to be fired, as Shane Reti blames Labour for a budget defic...

    Long ReadKey Summary: Although National increased the health budget by $1.4 billion in May, they used an old funding model to project health system costs, and never bothered to update their pre-election numbers. They were told during the Health Select Committees earlier in the year their budget amount was deficient, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    24 hours ago
  • Might Kamala Harris be about to get a 'stardust' moment like Jacinda Ardern?

    As a momentous, historic weekend in US politics unfolded, analysts and commentators grasped for precedents and comparisons to help explain the significance and power of the choice Joe Biden had made. The 46th president had swept the Democratic party’s primaries but just over 100 days from the election had chosen ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Solutions Interview: Steven Hail on MMT & ecological economics

    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    1 day ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    2 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    6 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    6 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
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    2 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
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    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
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    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
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    5 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
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    6 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
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    6 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
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    7 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
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    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
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    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
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    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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