Bene bashing 6.0

Written By: - Date published: 10:06 am, February 20th, 2024 - 102 comments
Categories: benefits, Economy, employment, national, same old national, unemployment - Tags:

So what does National do when its minor support party tries to steal media attention with dog whistling racism?

It reverts to some good old beneficiary bashing.

And it has engaged in some selective interpretation of data in doing so.

From Radio New Zealand:

The Social Development Minister Louise Upston told Morning Report the Government was taking “sensible steps” to get more people off the benefit and into work.

“What we do want to see is more people in work and I make absolutely no excuses for that.”

No one would be sanctioned because they can’t find a job, she said.

But they would be expected to take practical steps to find one.

Under the “reset” Work and Income would also be required to take a more proactive approach to helping those on the Jobseeker benefit, Upston said.

She pointed to recently published research from Taylor Fry about the length of time young people spend on a benefit.

“I’m not willing to not take action and do everything we can to support more New Zealanders into work.”

The Taylor Fry research she was referring to is covered in this Herald Article.

Rather than blame beneficiaries for what is happening the authors said that “[t]he exact reasons for these changes are unclear”.

The article says this:

Taylor Fry’s analysis suggests people on benefits tend to have lower incomes, worse life satisfaction and more contact with police and mental health services than they otherwise would. Many have precarious family, living and financial situations that could be compounded by longer periods out of the workforce and on public assistance.

Cutting their benefits through sanctions will not improve things for them, or for their families.

The Welfare Expert Advisory Group said this about the system and particularly about sanctions:

The current system is based on conditionality including sanctions and is tightly targeted, with inadequate support to meet even basic needs. The experience of using the system is unsatisfactory and damaging for too many of the highest need and poorest people. We heard overwhelmingly during our consultation that the system diminishes trust, causes anger and resentment, and contributes to toxic levels of stress. There is little evidence in support of using obligations and sanctions (as in the current system) to change behaviour; rather, there is research indicating that they compound social harm and disconnectedness. Recent studies recommend moving away from such an approach towards more personalised services. For the welfare system to work effectively to deliver the new purpose, principles and values we conclude that mutual trust between parties is essential.

Given this, we propose a system based on whakamana tāngata – an approach based on mutual expectations and responsibilities governing interactions between the state and welfare recipients. It is a commitment to improving wellbeing by supporting positive long-term outcomes for the individual, including increased skills and labour market capability. This approach must immediately reform the current obligations and sanctions regime.

The WEAG made the following recommendation:

Remove some obligations and sanctions (for example, pre-benefit activities, warrants to arrest sanctions, social obligations, drug-testing sanctions, 52-week reapplication requirements, sanctions for not naming the other parent, the subsequent child work obligation, and the mandatory work ability assessment for people with health conditions or disabilities).

The current Government is having none of this expert based deep dive into what is actually happening in peoples’ lives. It has its own reckons based on its supporters’ expectations of cruelty as well as a couple of dubious anecdotal examples.
It is one thing if we have full employment. But we don’t.

The unemployment rate is predicted to increase. This is not through the mass increase of blugerism, it is because of clearly understood economic drivers.


And this Government has shown that it wants there to be greater unemployment. How else can you explain it using urgency to remove full employment as one of the Reserve Bank’s goals? Or its planned cuts to the public which will inevitably increase unemployment.


The Government’s actions are totally predictable, cruel and will do nothing except increase misery for those of us in precarious situations. Shame on them.

 

102 comments on “Bene bashing 6.0 ”

  1. Barfly 1

    Paraphrasing some prescient bloke

    "To picture the current government just imagine a boot stamping on the faces of the poor ……forever"

  2. gsays 2

    ""I'm not willing to not take action and do everything we can to support more New Zealanders into work"

    "..everything we can …"

    I look forward to migration levels dropping to a point that they are only replacing those who have left.

    I will not hold my breath.

    ​​​​​​

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Fully support Micky’s piece, it is structured sadism from the Natzos. Must add though that NZ Labour not fully implementing the WEAG Report promptly has come back to bite the vulnerable.

    If abatement rates etc. had been sorted and embedded it might have been harder for the new Govt. to discard.

  4. SPC 4

    Some questions.

    Have lenders of last resort donated to the governing parties?

    If there is no community work, in lieu of a reduced or suspended benefit, will the alternative be "money management"?

    If not, how will people cope with a reduced or no benefit – less money for food, power or rent?

    Will checks be done to identify whether people can cope if their benefit income is reduced or suspended? Local food banks … emergency housing …

    Does W and I have the resources for this, as well as the 6 month re-application?

    It's vital for those on limited incomes to either have cash reserves, or some support.

    The reason why ACC should include sickness are going to become apparent in the next 3 years – those not able to get timely health treatment (limited primary care access or stuck on a waiting list), those who get cancer and those with long COVID.

    And the living cost increase (rent, food and power etc) being higher than that of the average CPI will cause hardship.

    It is long past time the government took over the debt*** of those on the sole parent benefit (the public debt cost is at 5% and under) and delay repayment until there is work income.

    (Charities*** could consider something of this sort, as per the USA where they act to pay off medical debt once it goes onto the debt recovery market).

  5. bwaghorn 5

    But they would be expected to take practical steps to find one.

    Is night shift at McDonald's taihape one should be expected to take or suffer sanctions? I recall a few angry nats muttering about these jobs not being filled awhile back.

    • FFonTS 5.1

      If they live in Taihape and they don't have any constraints that would mean they couldn't work night shift, then why not? I've worked night shift at McD's, my daughter-in-law and her sister have worked night shift at McD's, and each of my other kids have also worked night shift in hospo. I would have never expected to be able to collect a benefit when I was capable of working and it would have been bad for me if I had. I think most NZers would not consider being expected to work at McDonalds, if someone is capable of doing so, in any way cruel or sadistic.

      • Descendant Of Smith 5.1.1

        Once those security checks come in they discount so many New Zealanders.

        Would be interesting to know how many of those on benefit have criminal convictions. If so the theoretical working at night shift at McDonalds in Taihape ain't gunna be any use.

        And how many unemployed are there in Taihape?

        Last census there were only 80 people total aged from 20-24 as opposed to 130 aged 55-59 and 140 aged 60-64. GDP growth declined 2.4% while at the same time NZ grew 2.9%.

        There is a total of 962 jobs (and declining) and a working age population of 1,070. Business establishment has a clear boom and bust cycle.

        Not enough jobs for everyone even if all the over 65's gave up their jobs to those younger. There is currently one job on SEEK for Taihape which at least is a trainee position with the railways.

        https://ecoprofile.infometrics.co.nz/Taihape/Population/AgeComposition

      • Descendant Of Smith 5.1.2

        The irony of using the terms cruel and sadistic when referencing working at McDonald's. My son used to bike at 4:00 am to do the night shift cleaning at McDonalds. His lovely supervisor after he had finished cleaning the toilets went and shat in it again with diarrhea and then told him to clean it up.

        He wouldn't let me bollox them but stayed there til he found another job which is more than I would have done at his age. All three of my kids have been treated terribly by employers at various times. One is still owed well over $6,500 in wages which he'll never see even though the guys a millionaire.

      • Descendant Of Smith 5.1.3

        And let us not forget this.

        The union had heard of several cases where the guaranteed hours offered would only last as long as the subsidy, typically six months, Treen said.

        Former beneficiaries would then have their shifts slashed from the minimum 30 hours a week, and be put on zero hour contracts with everyone else.

        Treen said taking away guaranteed hours was as much about controlling workers as it was about milking taxpayers subsidies.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/72983494/mcdonalds-accused-of-using-zero-hour-contracts-to-game-work-and-income-subsidies

  6. tsmithfield 6

    We host Filipino students who come to train for farm jobs here.

    We had a case recently where a farmer was considering a young couple we were hosting for a farm job which included a nice house. But first he wanted to consider a kiwi couple who had also applied for the job. However, the kiwi couple never even turned up for the interview.

    In contrast, we have found the Filipinos to be fantastic. If they see us working in the garden or whatever, they get stuck in and help without being asked. I have talked to several farmers who have said they will only employ Filipino workers because they are so much better and more reliable than kiwis.

    We have had similar experience here with applicants for good roles we have offered. People apply, arrange interviews then don't bother turning up, or even letting us know that they aren't coming.

    Totally hopeless. I don't hold much hope in the government succeeding in getting more into work unfortunately, if this is the prevalent attitude.

    • Kay 6.1

      And with that you continue to perpetuate the myth that all kiwis are workshy. Well done. Of course there are always a few, and it's those very few who are giving the Nats their 'justification ' to punish everyone. There's also way more than a few shy about meeting their social (and legal) obligations to pay tax.

      I do agree with the appalling behavior of no common courtesy when it comes to no shows/communication in general. That seems to be coming more prevalent across society as a whole.

    • Bryan Dods 6.2

      @ tsmithfield The other side of the coin is employers not bothering to notify job applicants about the results when they have gone to the interview.

      That is, unfortunately, a prevalent attitude towards applicants.

      • thinker 6.2.1

        Yes, was also thinking how bringing back 90 day contracts is supporting people to work.

        And waiting for Luzon to say…

        "Because we have a pool of kiwi unemployed, you will only be able to employ a foreign worker if you can demonstrate attempts to hire local unemployed people and with a decent employment contract and conditions. We will support employers to be fully staffed but the days of the free rides are over"

        • FFonTS 6.2.1.1

          It de-risks giving a chance to people who may not have a great work history or have issues in their past. No employer wants to hire and train someone for a couple of months and then dismiss them for no reason. I used to run a construction-related company and got a few employees through WINZ and other social organisations. They all had a bit of baggage. I never had to use the 90-day rule, but it definitely played a role in my decision to work closely with WINZ etc and give these guys a chance.

        • Craig H 6.2.1.2

          That's the rule now and has been since 2005.

    • weka 6.3

      However, the kiwi couple never even turned up for the interview.

      What was the rate of pay? (including whatever deal around the house)

    • Drowsy M. Kram 6.4

      Aotearoa NZ inhabited by well-to-do Kiwis and motivated Filipino temps – paradise!

      Exploited dreams: Young migrant workers in despair after paying fortune for security jobs – only to be made redundant [22 Jan 2024]

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/2024/01/exploited-dreams-young-migrant-workers-in-despair-after-paying-fortune-for-security-jobs-only-to-be-made-redundant.html

    • Robert Guyton 6.5

      "…the kiwi couple never even turned up for the interview."

      Did you find out why?

      Did you ask?

      Have you formed an opinion about this?

      Are you … prejudiced?

      🙂

    • Peter 6.6

      "People apply, arrange interviews then don't bother turning up, or even letting us know that they aren't coming."

      Reminds me of the many businesses over the years who I've had dealings with, well, tried to, who didn't get back, follow up as promised and so on.

      No doubt some of them are in the mob who grizzle about how slack and terrible things are in the country. Or are the sons and daughters of the moaning bitching brigade.

    • Anker 6.7

      Perhaps said beneficiaries might turn up to interviews and really try to get a job if they know they could have their benefit sanctioned?

      Every KIwi who turns down a job means we have to import workers from overseas. These workers require housing, healthcare and education for their kids. So Kiwis who don't take work are contributing to the issues we are having with housing, health care and education

      • weka 6.7.1

        Perhaps said beneficiaries might turn up to interviews and really try to get a job if they know they could have their benefit sanctioned?

        those sanctions already exist. It's been a very long time since beneficiaries are allowed to decline work. But the important things to understand here are:

        • the abatement rate means that beneficiaries accepting some kinds of jobs end up with a weekly income that is less than the minimum wage.
        • the flow on effect is that when they need to fix their car, they can't pay someone to do it because they don't have enough money, and they can't do it themselves anymore because their spare hours are taken up by their waged job
        • I will reiterate. People on the dole do unpaid labour that waged people don't, just to keep their lives functional. Obviously if the car doesn't get fixed and they need it for work, then they're screwed

        There's a lot more to say about that but essentially you are arguing for making poor people more poor. Also, consider the jobs you are physically, mentally, socially, or geographically unsuited for and what it would be like to be financially forced to take that job or risk losing your house/family/community/savings.

        Every KIwi who turns down a job means we have to import workers from overseas. These workers require housing, healthcare and education for their kids. So Kiwis who don't take work are contributing to the issues we are having with housing, health care and education

        The only way I can see your argument here works is if you support suppression of wages. Because at the moment, we allow visas for overseas workers because it is cheap labour. Kiwi employers won't pay rates good enough to give local workers enough to live on, they pay rates and conditions that people from countries with lower standards of labour laws.

        The importing of cheap labour drives unemployment and worsens the housing crisis by keeping a chunk of NZ workers in the precariat or on welfare.

        Tsmithfield's example was a bit of sophistry because there was no mention of wages/salary, what the work is, what the deal is with the house and so on.

        • Anker 6.7.1.1

          opps Weka I replied to you by pressing the reply button on Peter's post.

        • Anker 6.7.1.2

          No I am arguing for making poor people on the benefit clear that they must accept work after a say 6 month period.

          Its very bad for peoples mental health not to work. Also although they might start on a low pay job, it is an in and there is the potential to progress and earn more. Life on a benefit does no one any favours.

          I really support having benefits for when people are down on their luck eg. made redundant etc, but the aim should always be to get a job……

          • joe90 6.7.1.2.1

            Its very bad for peoples mental health not to work.

            You've done a paper, haven't you?

            /

          • weka 6.7.1.2.2

            No I am arguing for making poor people on the benefit clear that they must accept work after a say 6 month period.

            Even disabled people on a benefit? Or solo mums? The barriers to work are built into the abatement system. I just explained that to you, why are you ignoring that? Most people want to work,

            Its very bad for peoples mental health not to work. Also although they might start on a low pay job, it is an in and there is the potential to progress and earn more. Life on a benefit does no one any favours.

            But working for below minimum wage does?

            Being on welfare stops people from starving and being homeless. Above you suggested sanctioning people for not working. What kind of sanctions did you mean if you didn't mean financial ones?

            I really support having benefits for when people are down on their luck eg. made redundant etc, but the aim should always be to get a job……

            Does that mean you are in the same camp as Luxon, that someone getting cancer treatment should also be job ready and looking for work, and if they don't then they should have their benefit reduced?

            You don't seem to have thought this through. There are indeed people who do badly by being long term unemployed. They're not the majority. Most people on a benefit who have mental health decline do so because of *poverty*. Forcing them into waged work below minimum wage doesn't help that, I already explained how.

            Lots of people on benefits do unpaid work. There is a direct correlation between the unemployment rate lowering and less voluntary work being done.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 6.7.1.2.3

            Its very bad for peoples mental health not to work.

            Working may also be bad for mental health. Early retirement was good – for me. Imho, everyone should have such a choiceit's later than you think smiley

            Occupation type, family demands and mental health: analysis of linked administrative data [6 March 2023]
            Self-reported chronic mental ill health was more prevalent among workers in lower paid occupations, while “public- facing” occupations had the highest rates of medication. In fully adjusted models, informal caregivers were less likely to report mental health problems but more likely to be in receipt of psychotropic medication, as were lone parents. The association of family demands also varied across occupational groupings.

            Employers and managers have a moral obligation, as well as economic motivation, to foster mental wellbeing in the workplace and should develop tailored work plans that consider occupation specific risks and needs of their employees, based on work/family dynamics and other risk factors.

          • Descendant Of Smith 6.7.1.2.4

            You know there are 10's of thousands of people work for employers who only give them work for part of the year. Freezing workers, fruit pickers, forestry workers, cafe workers etc etc. Most of these jobs are in summer.

            Historically job numbers peak every December with the extra Christmas jobs.

            Are you expecting employers to:
            A: employ them 52 weeks of the year
            B: pay them an annual salary equivalent over the work period to carry them through.

            Currently the state picks up the tab through benefits for their business model.

            Maybe you expect those businesses to shut up shop.

        • Robert Guyton 6.7.1.3

          "… essentially you are arguing for making poor people more poor…"

          Go easy on Anker, weka; they voted ACT.

  7. Michael 7

    Labour made it easy for the Natzis to crack down in beneficiaries. It enacted the Social Security Act 2018, containing extensive provisions for sanctions, drafted under the Key-Enlgish government. The same statute also contains provisions for medicolegal assessment of people too sick or disabled to work. This regime is almost identical to that used by Britain's Department of Work and Pensions, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of people (exact numbers unclear because DWP won't reveal the numbers) after assessments by companies contracted to it. This is the next step for our government after it strengthens the sactions regime. I note that Labour hasn't said a word against the Natzis' sanctions regime either.

    • weka 7.1

      The same statute also contains provisions for medicolegal assessment of people too sick or disabled to work

      That provision existed before the Act. Can you please explain more specifically what has changed?

      https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2018/0032/latest/whole.html

      • Michael 7.1.1

        The relevant provisions in the 2018 Act concerning both sanctions and medicolegal assessments are not identical to those in the 1964 Act. More to the point, and more egregiously they were enacted by a Labour government that spent millions on WEAG, which recommended against both.

        • Chris 7.1.1.1

          What are those precise differences? It would be great to know because the 2018 Act was touted as "policy neutral" and "a simplification". Neither are in fact the case – the 2018 Act is longer and set out in a far more complicated way than the 1964 Act. There are single provisions in the 1964 Act that are now contained in a mix of 3, 4 or 5 separate sections plus references to regulations and schedules. Here's the comparative table in the 2018 Act:

          https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2018/0032/latest/DLM6785173.html?search=ts_act%40bill%40regulation%40deemedreg_social+security_resel_25_a&p=1

          As far as being "policy neutral" goes, there are a handful of nasty changes that were slipped in under the radar, but you have to look for them, so it'd be good to get your take on how the sanctions were altered.

          • weka 7.1.1.1.1

            do you happen to know what was changed about the medical assessments?

            • Chris 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I don't think this problem emerged from the change to the 2018 Act. It's more about how doctors are steered, by the way the medical certificate is framed, away from ticking the boxes that suggest the person should receive the supported living payment, formerly the invalid's benefit. It's the same certificate for either the jobseeker support benefit with a medical work-test exemption (the old sickness benefit) and the supported living payment. The questions use terms most people would regard as pretty straightforward, but they relate to specific parts of the Act that will have a bearing on which benefit is granted. I don't think a lot of doctors realise. So the result is there are people who've had medical conditions for years that would bring entitlement to the SLP when instead MSD's quite wrongly thrown the person on the jobseeker support benefit with the medical work-test exemption, which causes all sorts of unnecessary difficulties and disadvantage.

              • weka

                do you think that was intentional or incompetence?

                • Chris

                  Very much intentional. It rode in on the "work will set you free" rubbish MSD was bandying about a few years ago, and the 'regional health' and 'regional disability' 'advisers' who used to ring GPs who had the tenacity to tick boxes on the form that 'banished' the applicant to 'life on the scrap heap' to try to convince them to change their mind.

  8. Robert Guyton 8

    Chris Trotter asks,

    "Is Applying “Tough Love” To A “Fragile” Nation The Right Answer?"

    Good question.
    https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2024/02/is-applying-tough-love-to-fragile.html

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      Trotter buys Luxon's line that the nation is in a fragile state which is total rubbish if compared to even recent history, and the history which Trotter primarily compares the country's state is America in the Great Depression, ffs.

      Luxon is never going to do an FDR or a Savage for this country because he’s a right wing nut job. It’s ridiculous to hope or pretend he might.

      Trotter is an ascetic, and an idiot.

      • tc 8.1.1

        Trotters a useful tool that's why he's there selling the coc's lines.

        Chris is a well behaved media poodle thus the granny slots to spread his musings.

  9. barry 9

    never underestimate the average new zealander's desire to see people punished.

  10. adam 10

    This is what happens when you let those who listern to Mammon grab the handles of power.

    If you need an example try 130 Mill rd Whangārei, it suppose to a church, not a den of fear and misogyny.

  11. newsense 11

    Luxon gets quickly onto filing his application to be our worst PM in…well perhaps back to Lange. Or Muldoon.

    He’s a lying sack of shit without a moral backbone. His government has rushed to give money to people who don’t need it, taking it from those who do and these policies will cause suffering, hardship and death. Now worst of all he’s set about, generically, without caring or really even trying, blaming unemployed people for their unemployment, while the RB looks at creating harsher economic conditions BECAUSE UNEMPLOYMENT IS IMPROVING. Our economic settings require certain level of unemployment, but the Nats are blaming the unemployed for this.

    But apparently our economy is actually quite decent https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL2402/S00028/on-national-spreading-panic-about-the-economy.htm

    Humpty Dumpty is telling Porkies. In order to rip people’s lives to shreds. Perhaps even worse than Muldoon or Lange who also were public servants besides their mistakes and misdeeds.

    Muldoon had Think Big. Luxon has Don’t Think.

  12. Right wing whack jobs feel the need to scapegoat others for the state of New Zealand because they can't allow the possibility that their own selfish greed, rentier capitalism, cartel behaviour, corrupt deals between MPs and big business, and tax regime rigged against ordinary workers, is the root of our problems

    • Graeme 12.1

      More it's selfish greed, rentier capitalism, cartel behaviour, corrupt deals between MPs and big business, and tax regime rigged against ordinary workers is the only way they know to survive.

      Having to actually create value and wealth, as opposed to taking it from someone else is completely beyond the skill set of most New Zealanders.

      It's a very sad reflection on our society.

      • roblogic 12.1.1

        It's a very sad reflection on our society.

        X/twitter💩 is a trash fire these days. The level of vitriol and resentment against Jacinda, tribal jeering at the misfortunes of left-wing politicians, hatred of Labour for the "tyranny" of lockdowns and vaccines, stupidity and racism around 3W and Māori health initiatives, outright falsehoods around the economy, housing, and poverty — it is exhausting.

        The well funded astroturf orgs that popped up prior to the election have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams at poisoning the public and sowing division and blame.

        Sure, parts of the left are annoying and obnoxious, but on the things that matter the most, "Kiwis" (the pakeha working class) has decided to punch itself in the face and sabotage the future, while mocking and deriding the very people who would help them.

        The anti-vax mindset is spreading into other areas where all common sense and authoritative (mainstream) analysis is rejected.

        National is doing its best to crash the economy and cause a disaster to keep the public in a state of confusion and fear – all the easier to for their sponsors to eat our tāonga.

        • Sabine 12.1.1.1

          Labour lost 25% support in one term.

          TPM barely made 3% support.

          Greens got about 11-12%

          do you really think only white people vote for National?

          Do you really not think that Maori voted for Ntaional, NZFirt, or ACt?

          Do you really not think that the Chinese, Indians, and the many other ethnicities did not vote for National?

          National was quite honest about cutting spending any which way. And yet they won.

          Why do you think did Labour lost all that support. Why do you think did TPM only won electoral seats but ran under other on the Party vote?

          • weka 12.1.1.1.1

            this is misleading.

            Labour got a massive vote bump in 2020 because of the pandemic. Better to compare 2023 with 2017.

            2017

            Lab: 36.9%

            GP: 6.3% No electorate seats

            TPM: 1.2% No electorate seats

            Centre left block: 54 seats out of 120

            2020

            Lab: 50%

            GP: 7.9% 1 electorate seat

            TPM: 1.2% 1 electorate seat

            Centre left block: 77 seats out of 120

            2023

            Lab: 26.9%

            GP: 11.6% 3 electorate seats

            TPM: 3% 6 electorate seats

            Centre left block: 55 seats out of 120

            https://electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2017/

            https://electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2020/

            https://electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2023/

            The difference in seats between 2017 and 2023 is 1. It's very clear that both the Greens and TPM did very well in the 2023 election.

            Much of the rhetoric around the 2023 election is based in FPP thinking, and that subverts understanding the nuance of what voters are doing. I think it's reasonable to assume that there was a big shift from Lab to both the GP and TPM.

            2017

            NZF: 7.2%

            2020

            NZF: 2.6%

            2023

            NZF: 6%

            Rob didn't say anything about the non-Pākehā vote. He pointed to a dynamic within Pākehā working class people and who they vote for and what was influencing them in 2023. I think this probably shows up most in the swing vote and the NZF vote. That's what you are pointing to in comparing the 2020 with the 2023 vote, but NZ has always had elections that are determined by the swing vote, and since MMP, by Winston Peters. The main difference between 2017 and 2023 is what Peters wanted. But also, what Rob was pointing to about the astroturfing and social media frenzy being fed by the right telling Pākehā to fear Māori.

            None of that precludes the significant problems with Labour from a leftist or working class perspective. But your argument here is sloppy and misleading and doesn't add much other than to bash the left thus helping the right win in 2026. I'd be interested to know if that is what you want.

            • Sabine 12.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree with you. They did.

              Why did they loose that bump? That is my question. They had the holy trifecta, literally, and somehow they lost all that support.

              Why?

              • weka

                one theory:

                People vote for the incumbents during an emergency (assuming the incumbents are competent, which Labour were). By 2023 we were no longer in an acute emergency, so the vote was probably always going to drop back to normal levels.

                And not to downplay Labour's handling of the pandemic as a reflexive vote. They *did in fact do very very well. Not perfect, there were notable fuck ups. But at a scary and stressful time, they stepped up and did good. People were happy with that. It was never going to last, but we were really fucking lucky to have Labour in power and not National when the pandemic hit.

  13. Sabine 13

    How many women are routinely denied benefits, under labour and national alike when partnered?

    How many people get sanctioned under Labour and National alike?

    Fact is that Labour had 6 years, three with a full ffn majority to reform Winz and they did not.

    They increased the main benefits clawed back with reduction of fringe benefits and that was that.

    And now National is doing what National does.

    If anyone left beneficiaries and unemployed and invalids behind by not bringing Winz into a the 21st century, establishing a proper unemployment benefit and taking people who can not work due to illness out of the 'job seeker' benefit it was Labour.

    • weka 13.1

      and those voters that didn't vote Green, who had an actual costed plan for addressing many of the immediate and systemic issues with WINZ.

      How many people get sanctioned under Labour and National alike?

      You could probably look that up. My guess is that significantly more were sanctioned by the Key/Bennett government than the Ardern/Sepuloni one.

  14. Sabine 14

    The Green Party that is happy that violent males are incarcerated in female prisons?

    The Green Party that has a Leader who literally on video stated that 'All the violence all over the world is the fault of 'cis white males'?

    The Green Party that called a public bashing of middle aged women in a public park, livestreamed to the world ' a party full of transjoy and no violence happend"

    The Green Party that went to that riot posting onX going to 'fight' Nazis?

    that Green Party?

    Again, why do you think that Green Party did not get more support then they did?

    • weka 14.1

      The Greens had the best election result they've ever had in 2023.

      I think they don't get more support than that because a range of things, including but not predominantly what you refer to. More that most NZ voters don't prioritise climate, poverty, ecology in real terms especially if it's likely to affect their property values. There are also perceptions of competency (a big factor in voting) which is why their vote tanked in 2017.

      • Sabine 14.1.1

        I don't disagree with you there either.

        Yet they sit in opposition and are currently imploding. Why is that?

        • weka 14.1.1.1

          they're in opposition because they won't support NACT.

          How are they imploding? They look in good form to me this year, probably the best they've been for ages, although Shaw leaving is a great loss.

  15. Sabine 15

    14 in answer to Weka 13.1.

    Sorry not sure what happened.

    And fwiw, i don't consider the Green Party in any way a credible Party at the moment.

    And i do not blame them either for the many misgivings of the Labour Party.

    It was Labour who had a full majority and could have easily reformed Winz and did not.

    In the end, National ran on cutting services and forcing people back into work that does not exist, and People voted for it.

    Why did people not vote for the Greens and Labour and TPM in large numbers? Why?

    Disclaimer i never voted for Jacinda, i voted for Greens in 2016. I voted NZFirst in 2020. And i voted NZFirst in 2023, on the grounds of my sex and for a start to bring women back a single sex category for XX only.

    • Robert Guyton 15.1

      "And fwiw, i don't consider the Green Party in any way a credible Party at the moment."

      It's not worth anything, imo.

      And fwiw, i don't consider NZFirst in any way a credible Party at the moment.

      I'm guessing you rate my view as low as I yours 🙂
      * You should watch Chlõe’s latest performance – it’s Masterclass!

      • Sabine 15.1.1

        She lost me when she wrote a post about Transjoy and what a great Party she had the day some women got mobbed – a 70 year old and some others, bashed on world wide watched life stream and NZ was lucky to not be the country that would trample to death a women for speaking about things pertaining to women.

        Sorry, again. Not voting for people who call women Nazis, who condone male violence against women if these women dare to disagree with their stance that Gender Identity should override biology and sex.

        • Robert Guyton 15.1.1.1

          Yeah, yeah, cancel a politician and a party over one side-issue.

          You'll be hard-pressed to find a politician who scores 100%.

          Sure as hell ain't Winston Peters!

          • weka 15.1.1.1.1

            for many people, it's not a side issue. Women in particular feel very strongly about this.

            Swarbrick's responses to the mobbing in Auckland diminished my respect for her quite some way. Same with Davidson.

            Sabine didn't say anything about cancelling CS. She talked about her personal voting preferences and she gave clear reasons for her no longer liking or voting for CS/GP.

            This dismissal of women's sex based rights as a side issue is part of why a chunk of the left don't understand what is happening with the culture wars. It's been such a big issue in the UK that UK Labour had to reverse their previous position for fear of losing the next election. Women were promising to ask 'what is a woman?' of every Labour candidate, and UK Labour finally came to their senses.

            SNP took a significant dive in polling when Sturgeon couldn't reconcile her parties position on GI with putting rapists into women's prisons.

            The Greens have a blindspot on this. Like you say, no-one has to be 100% perfect, but I do wish they weren't as arrogant and zealous as they are on this issue.

            • Robert Guyton 15.1.1.1.1.1

              "Women in particular feel very strongly about this."

              weka, can you please quantify this claim: which women, how many women?

              I know this is perilous territory, but some fool has to ask 🙂

              Thanks.

              • weka

                Some of the things I base my opinion on, that make it an informed one.

                Peak GI (aka peak trans). I know from many years on twitter that people that were formerly supportive of trans rights, believing in live and let live or wanting to be kind. These people 'peak', where their position changes radically usually because of a sequence of exposures to the realities of the argument (that they previously didn't understand because of No Debate). Many of those are women, and they are all over twitter and organising.

                Once it is explained to women that 'trans women are literally women' means that any man can self ID into any women's space at any time, many women say hell no (see yougov polls below)

                Mumsnet, a UK based website forum for mothers, had large numbers of women going gender critical.

                Professional people who are GC and have taken the risk of speaking out talking about the number of messages they get privately from people who are too afraid to speak. Many of those are women.

                In the UK, which already had a strong feminist grassroots movement, many of the gains made by GC has been done by women.

                That might all sound too vague if you want actual quantities, so here is the yougov polling on public attitudes about trans issues in the UK. The gist is as above, most people want trans people to be ok, but they draw the line at trans identified males in women's toilets/changing rooms and gender recognition certificates.

                Polls in next comment.

                • weka

                  This yougov poll looked at various aspects of trans people in society and how British attitudes. Note the bottom section.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Thanks, sort of: I was really wondering about women here on TS and women in New Zealand. The UK is one thing but a bit distant for me to take much notice of. How about where we live and go about our business and yes, pretty vague and that has always irked me in these discussions; who are those people? Where are they? How many of them are there? I do think the claim that "Women in particular feel very strongly about this." is unintentionally I'm sure, opaque 🙂

                    • weka []

                      Opaque? Do you know what No Debate is?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Your question doesn't seem to answer mine 🙂
                      Feels like answering a question about growing companion plants in your veggie garden by asking, “Don’t you know what Deep Ecology is?”

                    • weka []

                      it was a straight forward question, no hidden barbs and no, it’s not akin to your example. If you wouldn’t mind letting me know whether you know what No Debate is, then I can answer the rest of your question. It is relevant to how I will answer (eg if you don’t know then I won’t be assuming you do in what I say)

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I believe so. I've asked and had discussions with lesbian friends and done some reading but suspect that, given the intense way the term is presented here on TS, there's more to it than I can fathom. My first reaction was to liken it to Stuff's declaration that they wouldn't print or engage with climate-denial as part of their service to the community 🙂

                    • weka []

                      No Debate was (is) an intentional strategy to block any conversation about gender identity. Afaik it started with Stonewall UK and other genderist lobby groups as part of their shift from gay rights to trans rights (this coincided for instance with most of SWUK’s work being on trans rights and very little of it being on lesbian rights). SWUK simply refused to engage with anyone that didn’t wholly accept their position (eg trans women are literally woman), even through the long years of law reform and court cases in the UK around GI issues. SWUK are also key in establishing the trans umbrella (any male who says they are a woman is a woman and should be treated as such).

                      The liberal left picked this up on social media, and likewise refused to have any kind of meaningful conversation about the impacts on women’s rights, whether putting children on pathways to medical and surgical transition was a good thing, and the needs of detransitioners. Some outcomes of that are things like detrans people find it very difficult to get health care (irony alert). Because no-one is allowed to talk about it (figure of speech, but No Debate is the reason I am having to write this out now instead of linking you to a post on TS that explains it all)

                      No Debate has blocked academics, researchers, feminists, unionists, teachers, parents, trans widows, medical practitioners, and perhaps most significantly, journalists. No, I can’t easily quantify that, because of No Debate. If journalists won’t cover an issue, and researchers aren’t allowed to gather data, and academics aren’t allowed to analyse and present that information and develop theory, then what is there to quantify?

                      There can’t be any left wing gender critical feminists with analysis that is progressive and mindful of the rights of trans people, because if there were we would know about them, right? All women that are GC women are like Kellie Jay Keen, right? There are many lw GCFs, the public doesn’t know about them or their thoughts/beliefs/work, because of No Debate. No, I can’t quantify ‘many’, but I know it to be true because I’ve been listening to all sides of this debate for a long time, not just one side.

                      The liberal left’s position of No Debate is why the gender/sex war is currently dominated in the public by the narrative of Good trans people and their allies and Evil right wing, Nazi bigots. Meanwhile, in the UK, feminists and other progressives and centrists have been doing the long hard yards of pushing back against No Debate, and making sure that the rights and needs of women and children are considered in law and public policy. They’ve been successful in medical reform, political parties, census questions, employment law etc.

                      This is why the UK stats matter. Most people in the UK want trans people to be ok. They don’t want trans women/trans identified males in female spaces, and once people understand that a TW is any man that says he is a woman at any time and must be treated as one, their positions change.

                      No Debate is the biggest own goal of the left I know of. It’s precisely why we have a massive backlash against trans rights in the US, and building in places like the UK, Australia and NZ. When you force the progressive GC voices to shut the fuck up Nazi bigot or we will take your career, livelihood, place to live, social standing, ability to take part in politics (let me know if you want NZ examples), then what you get is the small liberal class in a culture war against the larger conservative class, and the biggest bunch of people in middle trying to figure out which way to jump.

                      What we know from a decade of this war, is that when women’s backs are against the wall and they are forced to choose by liberals, many choose to side with women’s rights. When they are called bigots and transphobes for doing so, many also go ‘fuck you’ and give up caring about being called a transphobe. It’s not far from that to being an actual transphobe, but that wasn’t inevitable. I am extremely grateful for the UK GCFs and other women and men who took a progressive position rather than a reactionary position. They’re the hope of getting out of this mess.

                      (btw, I would encourage you to talk with your lesbian friends about how they feel personally about having sex with TW who have socially transitioned but haven’t medically or surgically transitioned. If they say they are ok with having sex with people with male bodies, you might want to consider that they’re not your lesbian friends, but your bi-sexual friends. If they say that everyone is free to choose who to have sex with and lesbians don’t have to have sex with trans identified males, come back to me and I will give you examples of where lesbians are pressured to agree that they should include TW in their dating pool or be called bigots and transphobes and ostracised from their peers)

    • weka 15.2

      I think there is a bug where sometimes people's replies end up as a new comment.

    • weka 15.3

      I addressed the numbers issues above. Greens and TP increased their vote in 2023. Labour's vote in 2023 is better compared to 2017. The centre left block difference between 2017 and 2023 is one seat. Your argument on the numbers is flawed.

      It was Labour who had a full majority and could have easily reformed Winz and did not.

      That's not why the left lost the election. The people that care about such things voted G/TPM instead of Labour, but that doesn't affect who gets to form government.

      • Sabine 15.3.1

        It is one of the reasons.

        Another would be the protests on the lawns.

        Another would be the men are women issue.

        Another would be the high cost of living.

        Another would be the failure to bring about a wealth tax.

        Another would be the failure to bring about a CGT

        Another would be to make Winz a Government agency that works.

        Another would be the vax mandates.

        Another would be the refusal of locking up violent criminals

        another would be the refusal to listen to the people in Rotorua in regards to the warehousing of people in gang run motels (Tiny Dean) and run down motels that burned down.

        A death by a thousand cuts.

        Honestly i never have seen a party squander so much goodwill in such a short time in all my life.

        • weka 15.3.1.1

          It is one of the reasons.

          truth is neither of us know. But I do agree that Labour fucked up on most of those things. I'm just not convinced that people voting right this time cared about welfare and WINZ issues.

  16. Anker 16

    100% Sabine.

    I would also add co-governance and Hepuapua. Whatever you opinion is about this, voters lost trust with Labour due to their sneakiness about these issues.

    Kiri Allen and Michael Wood didn't help. Forget the Atlas network. Labour lost the election due to all of the above

    • Robert Guyton 16.1

      Should we list ACT's failings?

      How long have you got?

      • Anker 16.1.1

        By all means do Robert. I am all for free and open debate. Although I have to say I think they get a pretty good airing on this site.

        • Robert Guyton 16.1.1.1

          Failing No.1 – ACT, it's politicians and its adherents suffer a shrivelled world-view and lack empathy.

    • Robert Guyton 16.2

      "Forget the Atlas network"

      You wish!

  17. Sabine 17

    I don't care. I don't vote for them. They have not won a full majority and are not responsible for Labours failings.

    As i said above, I do not blame the Greens for the failures of the Labour Party who had a full majority.

    But i guess somethings cows are apples.

  18. Anker 18

    I meant forget the Atlas network as the reason why the left lost the last election. That did seem to be one explanation that some of the left were attributing the loss to after Mihi Forbes piece.

    Feel free to focus on and write about the Atlas network as much as you wish Robert

    • weka 18.1

      I crunched the numbers above (someone please check them). On the face of it the centre left block got one seat less in 2023 than it did in 2017. I think it's not unreasonable to consider that the covert work from the right played a part in that.

      Obviously there was a lot of dissatisfaction with Labour last year. But unless/until we see research like this,

      voter flow

      we are all just guessing at what happened with voters.

      Other factors at play:

      • Peters ruling out Labour
      • Ardern's resignation, which seems to be in part about the abuse she sustained and I suspect the impact on her daughter and her own mental health. The right is actively fomenting a culture of abuse.
      • the pandemic. Almost no-one talks about this. Sabine says the parliament occupation was a factor (I agree), but also the fact that for three years the Labour government were under enormous stress and workload beyond what governments in NZ normally have to deal with.
      • Robert Guyton 18.1.1

        weka – a voice of reason.

      • Anker 18.1.2

        I think it is possible to speculate on what gave us the election results that we got.

        What do you mean by convert work by the right wing?

        • Robert Guyton 18.1.2.1

          "What do you mean by convert work by the right wing?"

          How can you possibly not know, Daughter of Atlas?

        • weka 18.1.2.2

          I think it is possible to speculate on what gave us the election results that we got.

          I agree. But the speculation still needs to be grounded in something and that something needs some kind of rationale or evidence beyond reckons or feelings.

          What do you mean by convert work by the right wing?

          I'm also curious about this question, because you've been around when all these things were happening.

          What I mean is the campaign run by the Business Roundtable and others to prevent NZ shifting from FPP to MMP. Who all was involved in that? Who funded it?

          Or we could go back to how we got neoliberalism in the first place.

          Or Dirty Politics, there's a whole book explaining what was going on behind the scenes, including the two track strategy.

          Or the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook%E2%80%93Cambridge_Analytica_data_scandal

          https://www.1news.co.nz/2020/01/07/new-zealands-2017-election-was-in-cambridge-analyticas-sights-new-leak-reveals/

          It's inconceivable at this point in history that the right aren't working covertly to subvert democracy for their own gain and purposes. The above isn't a comprehensive list.

          Of course, progressives don't make all their meetings, networking and politics public either. But the left by default eschews attempts to subvert democracy and strategies like dirty politics. Not that the left are angels or perfect, but there is a basic set of ethics at play here that allow the right to do this and the left to not.

  19. Anker 19

    I thought you were referring to this last election.

    I wasn't very political re the MMP. Was the Roundtables campaign covert? Were they not open about it.

    Yes Dirty Politics. Shameful

    • weka 19.1

      I am talking about the last election as well. I said,

      It's inconceivable at this point in history that the right aren't working covertly to subvert democracy for their own gain and purposes. The above isn't a comprehensive list.

      It's built into RW political values now.

  20. Anker 20

    I gets it depends on what you mean by working covertly.

    I still have no examples from this last election. It may be that you assume this is happening.

    • Anne 20.1

      weka is assuming nothing.

      The right are indeed working covertly to subvert democracy for their own gain and purposes. That has become obvious in recent times and if you can't see that, then I don't know where you have been these past few years. weka has also mentioned relatively recent campaigns to back up her claim and imo renders it indisputable.

      We know it is an international phenomenon which comes under the umbrella of the global Atlas network. So, in an indirect sense, the Atlas network was responsible for the "left losing the last election". Or to put it another way, the outcome of the strategies used by those who swear allegiance to its right wing ideology which in our case is the National and ACT parties.

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