On botox and pet grooming

Written By: - Date published: 3:38 pm, August 8th, 2008 - 41 comments
Categories: ACC, national, spin - Tags: ,

Pansy Wong’s supposed outrage over ACC “shelling out $750,000 for staff to indulge in day spas, manicures, and botox” has nothing to do with the organisation’s health and wellness programmes and everything to do with National’s attempts to prepare the scheme for privatisation.

First off, her attack is utterly dishonest. ACC, like many large employers in both the public and private sector, provides a small annual health and wellness benefit of $250 per staff member. Again, like many large employers, ACC does this through Southern Cross Healthcare’s activa card, which staff use to “buy sports equipment, pay for gym memberships and so on.” Wong has provided no evidence to the contrary.

The card also makes great economic sense. At a cost of just 0.005% of ACC’s total salary bill the activa contribution has led to improved productivity, less sick leave and improved staff retention, leading to a more stable and effective workforce. Pansy Wong and the Nats know all this, but they choose to attack ACC anyway.

Their motivation is simple: National knows Kiwis won’t support privatisation if it means higher premiums and reduced cover, but if all they hear on ACC is National’s cynical PR about taxpayer funds being wasted on ‘botox’ and ‘pet grooming’ then these negative perceptions will become the reality and the public will lose faith in the system, even come to resent it.

Pansy Wong’s ‘expose’ was never about fixing a problem. It was only ever intended to undermine public confidence in ACC in order to soften the ground for privatisation.

41 comments on “On botox and pet grooming”

  1. Draco TB 1

    Personally, I can see where all of those would help staff morale and health and, at $250/person, is damn cheap. Well worth the price IMO.

  2. And it’s just a part of the remuneration package. You don’t hear the Nats bleating because some employees spend their wages on gin, why should they bleat when employees spend another part of their remuneration package on a range of services that promote health and wellbeing?

  3. These sorts of taxpayer rorts are exactly why the ACC should be sold. It is theft pure and simple.

    http://darrenrickard.blogspot.com/2008/08/acc-staff-spending-on-day-spas-and.html

    How can you condone the likes of facelifts and pet grooming for ACC staff when a woman with no limbs is only entitled to a $100,000 payout because Labour capped it at that figure earlier this decade.

    First off, her attack is utterly dishonest. ACC, like many large employers in both the public and private sector, provides a small annual health and wellness benefit of $250 per staff member

    You miss the point entirely. First of all it is taxpayer money, NOT private business, secondly I doubt whether a private company would be dumb enough to hand out these sorts of things to 2000 desk drones, too stupid to get work in a real job.

    ACC premiums were cheaper and there was morer cover under Nationals scheme.

    Nice try though.

  4. Tane 4

    Good point Steve. So many good points, but I had to leave them out to keep it short.

    The Mental Health Foundation’s release is well worth a look:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0808/S00090.htm

  5. Darren. How is a part of a remuneration package used by many large businesses a rort? And don’t post whole posts from your blog here. I know no-one’s reading them on your blog but we’re not a charity service.

  6. Draco TB 6

    You miss the point entirely. First of all it is taxpayer money,

    Taxpayer money being used to reward people for doing a job. Would you prefer it if we didn’t give them any incentives to work there?

    ACC premiums were cheaper and there was morer cover under Nationals scheme.

    Not in the long term as a lot more claims where ending up in court. There’s a reason why our ACC scheme is the best in the world and it principally seems that’s because it doesn’t have privatization anywhere near it.

    Can it be improved?
    Sure, but it requires evolutionary change and not the revolutionary change that those idiots over at National would bring about.

  7. higherstandard 7

    Tane

    I doubt that there is any evidence that will back up the assertion that the activa contribution has led to improved productivity, less sick leave and improved staff retention, leading to a more stable and effective workforce.

    That aside I have no problem with any workforce receiving benefits – it’s just part of an employment relationship so what’s the issue ?

    You are completely correct that the general public won’t support privatisation of the in work and vehicle cover if it means higher premiums and reduced cover … but that is the 64k question will it mean reduced cover and higher premiums that we don’t know prior to details being released about how it would be structured and the relative costs and benefits.

  8. Im not posting my blogs here Steve, only worthy comments.

    “we’re not a charity service”

    Come on Steve, that is going agaisnt your party’s main mantra-have a heart buddy:)

    Plenty of people read my blog Steve,including collectives from your Labour party, but I don’t have Labour party funding and have only been around for a few months. Give me time. There is only one of me as well.

    Back to the topic at heart. You glide pass the point again.

    Private business is private business. ACC is using taxpayer money to pay for botox and pet grooming for their staff.

    THAT is the difference.

    What about your party passing legislation so that the Microbiologist lady who lost her arms and legs can only get a maximum of $100,000. THAT is obscene without having salt rubbed in the wound by Labour condoning ACC staff in the use of taxpayer money to pay for facelifts.

    Surely even you cant support this nonsense.

  9. fraser 9

    ‘too stupid to get work in a real job.”

    dude – thats just plain offensive

    (no i dont work in the public sector)

  10. Jasper 10

    Darren

    Yes, Im so stupid that I left a private sector job to come and work in the public sector.
    I’ve foregone my healthplan, my super scheme, my voluntary leave days, and 5 weeks leave to come and have none of those.

    Why did I leave?
    Pure and simple. In the private sector, bullying from employees is shunted under the carpet and the complainant “moved” to another area as the Private sector don’t want to know about it.
    In the Public Sector, bullying claims are investigated and followed up on with the bully being placed on watch.

    I wonder how much worse off the Private sector is with not following due process in regards to bullying claims. If the latest ERA figures are anything to go by, it’s a pretty expensive process what with all those PG’s being raised for bullying.

    Stupid? Hardly, Smart: Totally.

  11. Matthew Pilott 11

    Darren, as I understand it, Jeannette Adu-Bobie is also having $330,000 costs paid. If you’re going to cherry-pick one case, try and research it so you don’t look like an idiot.

    The maximum lump-sum payment is $117,000, not $100,000; this is what she will recieve.

    If Ms Adu-Bobie stayed in New Zealand, ACC would also pay for all of her treatment, which could be in excess of a million dollars.

    If you went with Tower health insurance, your maximum lump sum would be $20,000, or for a higher premium, $50,000.

    The limit for treatment would be $200,000, or $300,000 for a higher premium, so she would still be $30,000/$130,000 out of pocket on costs.

    I’m afraid you don’t know dick about insurance.

  12. burt 12

    Tane

    So ACC need a private healthcare provider to manage it’s staff wellness benefits? Why do you think that is?

    [burt, it’s just a part of the remuneration package and ACC doesn’t provide health services to Kiwis anyway, it just pays for them. you can do better than this.. SP]

  13. Matthew Pilott 13

    So ACC need a private healthcare provider to manage it’s staff wellness benefits? Why do you think that is?

    Because they don’t sell gym gear.

  14. burt 14

    Matthew Pilott

    That is not an answer. Southern Cross don’t sell gym gear either.

    Lets start again.

    So ACC need a private healthcare provider to manage it’s staff wellness benefits? Why do you think that is?

  15. Tane:”improved productivity, less sick leave and improved staff retention,”

    Got numbers to prove this ? I fail to see how buying staff a pair of running shoes or botox improves productivity. Productivity gains come from good top-down management commitment to making consistent small improvements in cost reduction and output improvement not a few ‘baubles’ or expensive team building workshops.

  16. burt 16

    SP

    Tane said above: “provides a small annual health and wellness benefit of $250 per staff member.”

    So why have you chipped into the bottom of my comment contradicting him?

    [I haven’t. The card is part of the remuneration package. SP]

  17. Matthew Pilott 17

    Oh, sorry burt, a bit opaque in my response.

    ACC doesn’t do an Activa Card equivalent.

    Do you think it should? Expand the role of ACC? I’m down with that, if it can be provided collectively with greater efficiency than it can privately.

    Not sure it’s really a role they should take up but if you want to advocate it, be my guest.

  18. Matthew. Post of the day.

    Bryan. tane is relying on the ACC offocial who spoke on Morning Report this morning, you’ve got no grounds on which to doubt that man’s word and if you do so on this site you will be banned.

    Incidentally, Bryan, do you get no non-cash remuneration? Because in most roles I’ve had there has been some form of non-cash reward for working, like these activa cards.

  19. Matthew Pilott 19

    Bryan, there are numerous examples illustrating how healthy and fit people are more productive. I tell you what – if you can’t come back to me with two by this time tomorrow, I’ll find a couple for you…

    …if I’m not out, getting fit and healthy (it’s a-snowing, and the ‘ruas beckon).

  20. outofbed 20

    The spuds speak to you Matthew ?

  21. burt 21

    Matthew Pilott

    I’m down with that, if it can be provided collectively with greater efficiency than it can privately.

    This is exactly the point. Clearly it can’t or it would. If it can then it’s being wastefull by not doing this internally itself – not surprising form a monopoly.

  22. burt 22

    SP

    I know it’s part of the staff package. But it’s managed by Southern Cross – Yes or No ?

    If “Yes” then could you retract the “you can do better than this.. SP”. or perhaps clarify why you needed to comment in the first place. Perhaps you just didn’t like where my comment was going ?

    [you were going to go on to suggest that if ACC is paying a private company to provide these cards that are used to buy health and wellbeing products that means the private sector is more efficent at supplying those services to people than ACC is, otherwise ACC would have made its own cards… but that would be stupid because these activa cards are nothing like the compensation for inability to work and payments for medical care and recovery treatments that ACC pays for. SP]

  23. Matthew Pilott 23

    Burt, are you trying to say that ACC should offer Activa accounts to all New Zealanders, as a product, or that it should but they’re not for some reason?

    Are you demanding an Activa account from ACC?!

    What benefit would that provide to all new Zealanders? If it is popular and can make some money, then good on Southern Cross.

    If it is something that all New Zealanders would use I still can’t imagine ACC providing it – it’s not even vaguely within their brief, do you even know what it is?

    If it isn’t something everyone would use, then you want everyone to subsidise something that not everyone would benefit from – I assumed you’d be against that kind of thing. unless you have me confused, which I think you do anyway – demanding that ACC venture into a niche area for no good reason…

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    Ah well I’m off. oob – something like that (or it might be the Tararuas)…

    I’ll try to figure out what you mean sometime later burt, I honestly have no idea whatsoever why you’re asking ACC to provide a niche product. It’s like demanding Tranzpower sell fairy lights – sure they make money, but…

  25. Matthew, if you think $100,000 or $117,000 is enough for losing ALL your limbs you clearly are a fruit cake.

    $330,000 of costs paid. Pathetic.

    This will barely cover her first year or two of living.

    She should be getting millions, but ACC have failed her miserably.

    It isn’t isolated. Labourers,forestry workers etc, that your party purports to support, lose limbs on a regular basis and you think all they are entitled to is a lousy 100K?

    You are pathetic and your shameful attitude towards workers leave the once great worker’s Labour Party, under Norman Kirk a distant memory.

    Shame on you Matthew

  26. burt 26

    Matthew Pilott

    No, no and no. ACC = monopoly administration. When a large monopoly administration outsources administration of internal functions one needs to wonder just what other functions it provides that would be better/cheaper if they were also out sourced. National have some ideas on this.

  27. burt 27

    Darren Rickard

    Labour appologists will support this – because Labour did it. It’s enough justification for them.

    I agree with you, it’s a disgrace.

  28. burt 28

    SP

    So I was right – you didn’t like where it was going so you denigrated me. Thanks for confirming that.

  29. “It’s like demanding Tranzpower sell fairy lights” brilliant.

    Darren. She is getting compensation for treatment (and presumably lost income but maybe not as she isn’t a Kiwi resident, I’m not sure).

    Anyway, ACC is not a scheme that gives some kind of wergild (you lose a limb you get a million) and if there was civil or criminal negiligence that led to her illness, it’s not ACC that is to blame or should be paying damages- it pays for treatment and lose of income.

  30. burt. it’s just that I could see where you were going and it was so predictable and boring and wrong and I really believe you could do something thoughtful and challenging instead.

  31. burt 32

    Steve Pierson

    Is this a blog ? Are people allowed to express their views here or not ?

    Was I offensive? Did I make any personal attacks? Is there a thought control aspect to moderation ?

    In the context of a blog I think you just way over stepped the mark. I don’t expect you to appologise – but you should.

  32. burt. sometimes I comment at the bottom of a comment so it’s clear what i’m responding to and because it’s easier to do it that way when i’m looking through the backdoor (same reason Lynn does it).. it wasn’t moderation, your comment wasn’t altered in any way.

  33. r0b 34

    So the short summary of this transparent attempt to create a distraction from the orchestrated litany of truth is: “Nats want to tell ACC staff how they can and can’t spend their pay”?

  34. burt 35

    Steve Pierson

    My comment was altered – it has a great big interuption from you attached to it. Thanks.

    Have a nice weekend – I’m off for some snow as well. I’ll probably end up sharing a hut with Matthew! I could end up sleeping next to him !

  35. How much does it cost the taxpayer to groom Helen’s teddy bears?
    Does Ms Dyson drink botox?

  36. Draco TB 37

    No, no and no. ACC = monopoly administration. When a large monopoly administration outsources administration of internal functions one needs to wonder just what other functions it provides that would be better/cheaper if they were also out sourced

    Jesus Burt, the Activa card isn’t an internal part of ACCs administration at all and they have no reason to supply one. Southern Cross does and so ACC went to them when they were looking for incentives to put in staff remuneration packages. How hard is that to understand?

  37. Greg 38

    “National knows Kiwis won’t support privatisation if it means higher premiums and reduced cover”

    And it won’t. Look what happened to the price of insurence for the same standard of cover in 1999, it dropped dramatically. Also, it wasn’t the insurence companies ‘loss leading’ – to the contrary they had their prices higher than need be to cover the cost of the possibility (that did eventuate) of Labour winning the 1999 election. Just talk to anyone in the insurence business at that time. Why wouldn’t you want to privitise ACC?

  38. Oh the irony. Why doesn’t the Labour Govt use a public organisation to fund perks for their employees? I would have thought with the recent buying spree Labour would have had that sorted too.

    Using Southern Cross is proof that private can indeed be better. Touche!

  39. it’s not ACC that is to blame or should be paying damages- it pays for treatment and lose of income.

    Steve, $330.000.00 will not cover her full treatment and 117K will cover her first year for loss of income.

    She was a highly paid individual and will lose millions of dollars of income over her working life because of her employers neglect, a loser State employer at that.

    It doesn’t matter if she isn’t a kiwi. She was covered under the ACC scheme and they are supposed to be there to cover these sorts of workplace injuries.

    She definitely has a case to sue either her former employer, ACC or both and I hope she does.

    I would gladly contribute some of my forced ACC tax to voluntarily pay her legal bill so she can get the cover than is morally, and legally, due to her.

    The point that another writer, Burt, exemplifies is a dandy. ACC are taking workplace cover from a private company because ACC see the private sector as better and more efficient. They are.

  40. Draco TB 41

    because of her employers neglect,

    There was no employer neglect as they were doing what they could to prevent infection but no matter what is done it can’t be made perfect and so there is always the chance that infection will occur. She should still be a highly paid individual. She hasn’t lost her brain or the knowledge she gained and, even with the amputations, will still be able to work in the field.

    ACC are taking workplace cover from a private company because ACC see the private sector as better and more efficient.

    WTF are you talking about?

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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