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Bathwater and babies

Written By: - Date published: 9:42 pm, March 19th, 2012 - 31 comments
Categories: babies, benefits, child welfare, equality - Tags:

Tapu Misa has an excellent article in today’s Herald. She hopes those predicting the demise of Labour’s pre-election promise to extend Working to Families to the children of beneficiaries are wrong. So do I.

Election 2011 might seem like a long time ago, but I thought Labour’s policy for children was great. Here it is as a reminder. The only problem was that it was left till last, announced during the election campaign, and disappeared without trace.

I am concerned at the mixed signals coming from that part of Labour that backgrounds the media. As Tapu Misa indicates, this  policy or that policy is said to be for discard, as Labour is said to be  moving  bravely to the centre of the political spectrum.

Worryingly all the policies said to be for discard are those that would have most impact on those at the bottom of the heap. No justification is offered for these moves, nor is there any evidence that they have wide support within the party. Judging from the hopes and aspirations expressed by those in the review meeting I was at this week, I don’t think that is the case.

The only evidence offered so far appears to be the door-knocking experience of the Taranaki candidate, Josie Pagani. I suspect that had she been the candidate in Mangere or Manukau East she might have drawn a different conclusion.

If all this can be called a political strategy, I think it is a bad one. Labour didn’t only lose votes at the centre in the last election, it lost them at the margin. Turnout was down to 74%, the worst result since 1887, and Labour’s share of that at 27% was the lowest percentage since before 1935.  Theorising that Labour moving to the centre will leave more room for others on the left is in my view wishful thinking. The more likely result is even lower turnout as more people give up on political promise.

If any of Labour’s policies are to be up for review, I would hope that it be done in full consultation with all in the Party – we have a Policy Council for that purpose. Also if there are to be changes, they should at the same time include policies that will deliver real benefit to the children of the poor, and real hope to those whose situation is currently unequal through no fault of their own and the prospects of whose children are grim.

Labour can still be the party of social justice – it will be defined by what it does for our children. Let’s not throw out what was a very very good policy.

31 comments on “Bathwater and babies”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I support extending WFF to beneficiaries (the documentary on child poverty was simply shocking), but the way Labour announced it was a complete and utter clusterfuck.

    Retaining the name “working for families” and extending it to people who aren’t working is a truly incredible PR own-goal. Similarly is the fact that they did a u-turn on this after, when the policy was first implemented, repeatedly making it very clear that it was to be an incentive for people to get into work and off a benefit.

    National didn’t announce all their policies during the election campaign (like the new super ministry and Nick Smith wanting to screw down on local councils), so why on earth did Labour feel they had to put all of their cards on the table, especially with an expensive policy like this in an environment of touted fiscal parsimony by their opponents?

    • Blue 1.1

      The clusterfuck has its roots in the decision to introduce Working For Families in its current form.

      The last Labour Government was more in touch with the punitive attitude that most Kiws have towards beneficiaries, and decided to give the payment only to those in work, despite the fact that children living in poverty cannot help whether their parents have jobs or not.

      Trying to fix that situation inevitably kickstarted the shitfight that the last Labour government deferred.

      Introducing WFF was in itself an admission that wages in NZ are so pathetic that at the lower end of the scale you can’t raise a family on them.

      The solution to introduce WFF rather than raising the minimum wage is another one of those ‘defer the problem’ solutions where Labour took it on the government to give families money because employers would scream the house down if they were required to pay their staff a living wage.

      Any Labour leader who wants to get elected and stay elected cannot touch this policy or they will die a painful political death. The time for Labour to get this right was when they were in office, and now the window of opportunity has passed.

    • QoT 1.2

      Are we sharing a brain, Lanth? Exactly my feelings on the matter.

  2. It was a poorly thought through policy, poorly promoted, and poorly received by the electorate. A bit like the whole campaign – they ended up just campaigning on one anti something.

    The last thing we need is yet another layer on a complex benefit system. Everything should be substantially simplified, not made a worse mess. I don’t know if it’s deliberate or not but the complexity hides the real costs – and also masks how sparse it is for some people.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      “and also masks how sparse it is for some people.”

      Yep, definitely true. As someone who doesn’t get WFF, and is unlikely to ever get it, I don’t really have much of a grasp on how it works or the various entitlements that are available.

      I think understanding of WFF is poor in the public at large, probably even amongst people that actually claim it, and National somewhat tapped into this with their new “ME too!” tax rate that gives single workers a tax credit up to $48k or whatever it is. That was a cunning piece of divide-and-conquer legislation – “look, Labour don’t care about you guys! we do!”; of course they dropped most of it when they cancelled the rest of the tax-cuts and replaced them with the “tax switch” that made most lower-income people worse off.

  3. Olwyn 3

    I agree with Lanthanide, that the policy of getting more money to beneficiary families should be kept, but not as WFF. It is absolutely cruel to try and push people into work by starving their kids, especially when there is no work in the first place. I also think we need to address housing, since this too plays a big part in the wretched circumstances to which families are reduced.

    “If any of Labour’s policies are to be up for review, I would hope that it be done in full consultation with all in the Party – we have a Policy Council for that purpose…Labour can still be the party of social justice…” hear, hear, but it means having the conviction to challenge the current narrative, rather than seeking out a niche within it.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      I agree with Lanthanide, that the policy of getting more money to beneficiary families should be kept, but not as WFF.

      I know I may be a little boring about this, but again this is yet another area where the UBI concept simply makes the policy problem go away.

      Scrap WFF and supplement the UBI with a Universal Child Allowance in the order of say $3k pa. (Or something like that… I haven’t thought the exact amount through.)

      We used to have this, and my mother recalled it as a great thing. Worked a treat because it was paid to the mother and in those days it meant that the stay-at-home mums (as they usually were back then) actually had a small amount of financial independence. OK it wasn’t much but it was better than nothing.

      But more importantly, being a universal allowance it gets rid of all the stupid distinctions and distortions of the current targetted system.

  4. DH 4

    Labour’s answer to everything… chuck more taxpayers money at it. Hell we’re a bottomless pit & it’s not their money is it.

    Y’know about half of the total welfare spend would go straight into private landlords pockets. Give beneficiaries a bit more dosh & within two years it will all be gone in increased rents. The bill for accommodation supplements alone is more than $1.5billion every year now, and that’s just from continually topping up the benefits so people can afford a roof over their head.

    D’ya think that Labour can actually try solving a problem instead of brushing it under the carpet with handouts all the time? Just once? Or is it that the chardonnay socialists aren’t too keen on seeing their own property portfolios lose value.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Labour’s answer to everything… chuck more taxpayers money at it. Hell we’re a bottomless pit & it’s not their money is it.

      Your statement is simplistic rubbish.

      But I agree with your sentiment that Labour seems incapable of actually solving the root causes of the problems we face as a nation. More capitalist pretend and extend on the way, although a slightly gentler softer version than National.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      half of the total welfare spend would go straight into private landlords pockets.

      What… who provide homes for them where the state won’t anymore?

      • DH 4.2.1

        No, who keep the poor on the poverty line by charging as much rent as the market will bear. Who got generous tax rebates while collecting rents paid for by taxpayers.

        Even the productivity commission admitted in their housing report that extra Govt support for the poor, like the accommodation supplement, capitalises into higher housing prices by underpinning the market. And the higher the house price, the higher the rent.

        Rent is the biggest expense of the poor and it’s reached the stage where it’s killing those not fortunate enough to get a state house. Labour must fix the housing problem but instead they keep sweeping it under the carpet by handing out more & more cash that makes the problem even worse.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1

          Labour must fix the housing problem but instead they keep sweeping it under the carpet by handing out more & more cash that makes the problem even worse.

          Reminder:

          Labour is not doing any of these things you are stating at the moment because Labour is currently NOT IN POWER.

          • DH 4.2.1.1.1

            Of course. But that was their election platform wasn’t it, and now we’ve got Mike here promoting more of the same. Spend spend spend. We’re a money tree.

            The housing market is going to get a whole lot worse for the low-income earners. During the housing boom rents lagged behind house prices because of the capital gain. Now that the capital gain has stalled investors are hiking rents up to get a market return from their investment.

            Without capital gain rents provide the only return so investors won’t build more houses until rents are high enough to provide a market return. That puts the squeeze on from both ends. Once rents are high enough we’ll see the housing market take off again. And the taxpayer is presently funding that bullshit.

  5. Reasons why Labour would be stupid not to drop this policy:

    1. The people with jobs currently receiving WFF were under the impression they were getting an in-work tax credit. The political party that wants to make them social welfare beneficiaries instead is going to seriously piss them off.

    2. In a situation where wages are low, raising social welfare benefits to match those wages provides a serious disincentive to working for a living. Having it as a policy is a valuable free gift to the govt and they’ll make the most of it. The problem is the low wages, not welfare, and that’s something Labour could get some traction on.

    3. Wasters, munters and thickos are already the nation’s most prolific breeders. Providing them with additional financial incentives to adopt a career consisting entirely of living on a benefit and increasing the waster, munter and thicko population is seriously not the way to win the hearts and minds of people who vote.

    • Grumpy 5.1

      ….and….it’s a subsidy for employers anyway. WFF is the main thing keeping the minimum wage ridiculously low.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        “WFF is the main thing keeping the minimum wage ridiculously low.”

        No, that would be the National government.

  6. gareth 6

    It’d be easy enough to trim some off the top to put down at the bottom end of WFF any ways,
    I get @ 70/k per annum have 1 child and get $22 per week wff. Sure it’s nice to have, but can I survive without it? Defiantly.
    I certainly wouldn’t begrudge losing it if the money went to people who are at the bottom of the pile.

    Although my preference would be that if it were trimmed back the money saved went towards better services at a cheaper rate rather than just handing money over… I know a few guys with young kids that are always moaning they’re broke… but seem to have the cash to get on the piss every weekend.
    I know it’s probably a minority over all, but I think that there enough people that will fritter any extra cash away to make it more worth while to provide funded services. My preferences are extending free doctors visits to say 13 yrs and school breakfasts so you can be more sure kids aren’t at school hungry.

    • Enough is Enough 6.1

      I agree 100%

      WFF is and will always be an inefficent tool for redistibution. A lot is lost in IRD churn and there is never a guarantee that the targetted recipients (children) receive the full benefit of it.

      Better to have a more targeted use of funds and the two examples you have given are perfect. In that way it does not matter whether the kids are children of working poor, or children of the unemployed. They will be guaranteed a decent meal every day and free healthcare.

  7. indiana 7

    What is the household income level (for a family of say 2 children) before you become inelligible for WFF?

    • indiana 7.1

      Found it myself off the ird website…you are not inelligible for WFF if your household income is greater than $90500 for having 2 children under 12 years of age.

      So for the purpose of social justice extending WFF to beneficiaries has to be good right?

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        Yes. I think a limit of about $70k for 2 children under 12 is fairer and that money should go to beneficiaries.

        I like the policy (well broadly, in principle), but the way Labour handled it was asinine. Right on the back of their unpopular increase to the retirement age as well.

        • indiana 7.1.1.1

          I agree that the level should be reduced too…but not spent on increasing benefits to those that are not working. There is no social justice in increasing benefits for those that are capable and competent enough but are not willing to get a job. WFF is a policy where the desired outcome does not meet the actual outcome. It is a policy where the people that most benefit from it are not the ones that need it the most.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            those that are capable and competent enough but are not willing to get a job.

            What fucking jobs are you talking about, and where are they exactly.

            Last time a new supermarket advertised 150 new jobs that got over 1200 applicants.

            I can pick up the phone and find 20 unemployed people this afternoon who will take up full time $14/hr jobs tomorrow instead of staying on a benefit.

            Tell me where these jobs are and I’ll make it happen.

            • indiana 7.1.1.1.1.1

              https://skycity.snaphire.com/search

              I think these jobs pay better than what you are offering.

              • Colonial Viper

                FFS

                How many of those web entrees are still up to date and available? How many of them have already got internal promotion candidates lined up at the top of a short list? How many of those jobs require security clearances which means anyone with a prior conviction is excluded from the get go? How many of those positions are listed simply to “feel out” the job market place for a particular niche role? How many of these jobs have already been promised to friends and family already working or managing at the casino?

                You’re a two dimensional moron. 160,000 unemployed and you show me a website with a few dozen jobs on it and think you’ve made your point. Dumbass.

                • indiana

                  Any other names you want to call me?

                  You asked where the jobs were and I gave you one company’s careers page as an example. You said you could call around 20 people to fill these roles, but now you are saying that they wouldn’t have a chance even if they applied – you never told me the backgroud of the people you knew.

                  So now we may as well just keep handing out benefits as applying for jobs is just too darned hard and not worth it because those nasty employers only give jobs to their mates and in general just piss off the job market just to feel them out, like they have nthing else better to do.

                  • felix

                    “You asked where the jobs were and I gave you one company’s careers page as an example.”

                    Are they advertising 160,000 jobs? Then what exactly do you think you’ve proved?

                    • indiana

                      When CV asked where the jobs were, he never specified that he wanted me to show where the 160,000 jobs were. He said he could round up 20 unemployed people to fill jobs and asked me where to start looking. So I did, I showed just ONE company’s career website…I am sure there are more.

                    • felix

                      Oh well, problem solved then.

                      Better call Bennett and tell her to shut up shop.

  8. Jenny 8

    How is that when Labour suggests plans for helping those in need, there are always accusations of reckless spending and screams of wasting public money. These screams about waste and public money often lead to Labour making a timid backdown.

    But when it comes to handing over tens of $millions of taxpayer’s funds to the fabulously rich, there is not the faintest squeak from these same critics.

    George Kerr was handed $100 million of taxpayer money no questions asked, after he lost his $70 million investment in South Canterbury Finance. (the generous extra $30 million to cover what Kerr felt he should have earned on his $70 million investment)

    Despite the fact that Kerr was one of the richest individuals that has ever lived in this country, who had a personal fortune of $180 million without this handout.

    Instead of punishing the children of beneficiaries, why doesn’t Labour announce that on gaining office Labour will launch an active campaign to recover the total $1.7 billion gifted to the likes of George Kerr.

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    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 mins ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    25 mins ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    27 mins ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago