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Beneficiary bashing – an inglorious National sport

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, March 30th, 2010 - 29 comments
Categories: john key, Media, national, same old national - Tags: , , ,

Lifted from comments for wider reading by commentator acclaim..

Beneficiary bashing in this country is definitely becoming uglier by the day. It seems that Paula Bennett’s attacks on beneficiaries seemingly condoned by the Prime Minister has given prejudice free reign in the country. It is now permissible to demonize a vulnerable group in society based on the pretext of ‘ending bludging’.

The SUNDAY STAR TIMES article ‘Solo mum racks up 36 years on benefit’ (28 March), was a grubby piece of pseudo-journalism. The article was critical in it’s tone of an un-named woman who has cared for children for 36 years. The article failed on every level of professional journalism to ask the basic questions; What, How, Why, and Who.

For all we know, that woman has dedicated herself to raising unwanted children from broken families children who might otherwise have ended up like Nia Glassie or James Whakaruru.

But we don’t know.

Because the SST took a few facts and figures (provided no doubt by a compliant Minister of Social Welfare) and presented them in a way to guarantee a moral outrage response.

This is not journalism. This is propaganda. And though Dr Goebbels would have been pleased with it, I found it vile.

As for the Q & A last night; we sat and watched with a mixture of horror and amusement (if the two can ever be mixed). Bennett’s statements became more outrageous every time she opened her mouth and god knows what Guyon Espiner must have thought of that grinning idiot.

The most telling moment came when Espiner suggested that sickness beneficiaries would probably end up working for the equivalent of $1 an hour. Bennett blithely replied that it’s not all about money, it’s about other ‘benefits’ to working.

I have three responses to that.

  1. Ms Bennett earns $243,700 plus perks plus generous retirement packages plus god-knows-what-else. So much for ‘it’s not all about money’.
  2. Five haunting words, taken from one of the darkest periods of the 20th Century: ‘Work will set you free’.
  3. John Key originally had more humane ideas about welfare, prior to the election;

Before I get into that, I want to talk a little more about welfare in general.

You might ask why I use the word ‘welfare’ when the vogue nowadays is to talk about ‘social development’. I unashamedly use the word welfare because I believe in the welfare state. I have a personal commitment to it. My father died when I was seven years old. My mother, my two older sisters, and I had no other family in New Zealand. For a period of time after my father died, my mother relied on the safety net provided by the Widows Benefit.

My family was poor, and we knew it, but the benefit gave my mother enough security to keep us together and keep us focused on a time when things would improve. By having our most basic needs covered as a family, we were able to hold on to that most precious human emotion hope.

Over time, my mother moved off the benefit and into work. The welfare system continued to support us, however, by providing us with a state house. It wasn’t flash, but it was home.

I think almost all New Zealanders believe in the desirability of the welfare state. In particular, I think New Zealanders take it on trust that there will always be a safety net of social welfare benefits. We’re a compassionate and fair people whose instinct is to give a person a helping hand when they need it.

National is committed to a benefit system that is a genuine safety net in times of need. We’re committed to a comprehensive system of benefits that provides temporary support to people as they return to independence, and also provides indefinite, compassionate support to people who are physically or mentally unable to support themselves.

Yeah, right.

Frank Macskasy

29 comments on “Beneficiary bashing – an inglorious National sport”

  1. Peter Johns 1

    The people who get bashed most are the middle income tax payer. All you leftards want is to screw working class people to keep paying for things we will not be able to afford in the future.

    As for beneficaries, cry me a river. Paula rocks.

    [lprent: Who have you been pissing off? Just had to rescue your last three messages from the ‘probably spam’ queue. Feels like someone fed a pile of your messages into akismet. Mind you, I’ve felt like it a few times… ]

    • Pete 1.1

      “We’re a compassionate and fair people whose instinct is to give a person a helping hand when they need it”

      Except for the Peter Johns’ of the world I’d agree. Don’t even get me started on the Stuff/Herald comments sections when a benefit story rises up like the proverbial in a badly plumbed toilet bowl. Clearly this sort of statement comes from someone with limited capacity for even the most basic comprehension of compassion (particularly when it eats into his personal bottom line) – and sadly, there’s plenty more where he came from.

      Oh, and Paula certainly does rock, when she moves her head around too fast they knock about up there.

    • Zepher 1.2

      “As for beneficaries, cry me a river.”

      They’re already in one.

    • pollywog 1.3

      The people who get bashed most are the middle income tax payer.

      No…the people who have been bashed the most is pasifikans inclusive of maori. It’s like we’ve been institutionally bashed so much that if a nation could be represented as a person, we’d all have post traumatic stress disorder and be drug addicted paranoid schizophrenics, or at the other extreme, suffer narcissism with delusional bouts of grandeur from thinking that, eating the crumbs of the massas table is the same as living in the big house and feasting on the banquet.

      Heres a comparison to Jamaica as a person and their problems…

      http://pollywannacracka.blogspot.com/2009/04/ya-betta-lively-up-yo-self.html

      But back on the local front, y’all should thank fuck you still got a semblance of christian values holding the rage back and theres not the gun culture, but times, they are a changin’…

      captcha : irrelevant – ( yup thats me, a lone voice streaming from the cloud saying ‘make way a highway in the desert to prepare for the comin of’…oh fucked if i know actually but shit’s gonna get a lot worse 🙂 )

    • Frank Macskasy 1.4

      Peter, I’m a middle-class taxpayer and I certainly don’t feel “screwed”. Well, maybe a bit since National came to power.

      At least under Labour (for all their faults) the Middle Classes got Working for Families, Kiwisaver, and Kiwibank (which ultimately forced Australian-owned banks to reign in their bank fees. You should have been present when the manager of the ANZ tried to offer me a ‘sweetener’ not to close my accounts and go to Kiwibank!)

      And at least under Labour, we didn’t get this constant demonisation and vilification of an entire group in society.

      Tell me, Peter, that you don’t feel a wee bit uneasy about the current climate we’re in?

      And it’s not about “crying you a river”. Just consider that you and every other NZ worker, middle-manager, and upper manager, is only a redundancy-notice away from going on the dole yourself.

      Being a beneficiary is a life-lesson that you wouldn’t want to repeat. Trust me on that one.

  2. JAS 2

    If the national party really were committed to helping people acheive true independence, they would not have canned the proven Training Incentive Allowance for those really trying to acheive independence from the state.

    • Ms X 2.1

      Anyone remember apprenticeships? They’ve gone west(ie) too.

      • A Nonny Moose 2.1.1

        Who wants to be a lowly chippy or sparky when you can make all your money in being the site manager?

  3. Ianmac 3

    Frank: Succinct and powerful. Thanks.
    I do believe that John’s mother was not forced off the benefit to work once the youngest reached 6. She went with dignity when she was ready and able.
    Somehow John and Paula’s hypocrisy leaves them unscathed.

  4. Sally Ann 4

    You are so right. National, via the Prime Minister and the Minister charged with ensuring that those most vulnerable in our society are able to eek out an existence – Bully Bennett, have given every redneck New Zealander permission to slag off Beneficiaries all for the sake of Middle NZ swing votes.

    Vilifying and making all Beneficiaries out to be criminal-like is a sad and scary indictment of what this Government stands for … ‘kick ’em when they are down and keep them down and then smile at the rest and say “see we are being tough so vote for us” ‘. It amazes me how so many people are being sucked in by this legalised bullying by the very people who we have chosen to look after and grow our country.

    I like this comment posted in reply to Tapu Misa’s commentary about Paula Bennett’s ‘reforms’ ..

    “Paula Bennett holds herself up as a shining example of a success story.

    Single DPB mum raises a child that then gets arrested for alcohol issues. Would appear the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    Said daughter then goes on to get pregnant at an early age while the father of the child who has gang connections is incarcerated.

    Well done Paula, well done for showing us that whilst you cant keep your own house in order, you think that you are an expert in doing it for everyone else.

    The hypocracy of this woman is unbelievable, and she holds the Child Youth and Families portfolio as well, what example is she setting to the most vulnerable in society? that double standards are ok?.

    She doesn’t know how to get it right for her own family, why should we trust her with everyone else’s?”

    Also remember, that Paula herself has said she holds herself up as a role model to Sole Parents mothers!!!! I think NOT.

    • Daveosaurus 4.1

      Surely Paula Bennett’s done enough on her own account to earn widespread disrepute without bringing her family into the discussion? Some of your comments show an almost Wishartian level of creepiness.

    • B 4.2

      I can’t say I agree with the implication that it’s Bennett’s job to ‘keep her house in order’ ie make sure her family are perfect model citizens. There are many factors which contribute to teenagers getting into situations like Bennett’s daughter (one example the gang culture in west auck) and this may come as a shock but its not always the mothers fault. I admire Bennett for getting to where she has but really really wish she hadn’t. I know National would have put the same policies through – it just seems like a sick joke to have a former solo mum doing the bashing.

  5. tc 5

    All this from someone who has never had a job in private enterprise going from benefits to taxpayer funded roles being carefully groomed by the Nat’s for one of the resident rottweiller roles.

    She’s just a moth drawn to the flame of money and power where she’s got plenty of mates like Collins/Tolley etc to encourage and boost her not insignificant ego.

    She’ll get alot more arrogant before the inevtiable fall and find that the pot of gold that was promised at the end of the rainbow’s actually a tincup alongside a graffiti ridden wall in west akl……what goes around people etc etc.

  6. Name 6

    There again I do know of a ‘beneficiary’ who has apparently been unable to work for 20 years because of a ‘sore finger’, and who is fairly unapologetic about living off the system. He lives in a beautiful, remote part of the country where there are few jobs anyway and spends his days fishing, hunting and ‘pottering’ in the garden. In short the taxpayer (including me) is supporting his choice of lifestyle and the one real marketable skill he has is knowing the relevant legislation inside out and backwards – far better than the average staff-member in Work and Income.

    He sees no ‘dignity’ in work. He doesn’t see why he should spend his life jumping to the whim of other, or making money for owners, managers or shareholders. Nor does he measure his worth in possessions or equate his value to his income. He lives simply but needs some cash, and the ‘state’ (or us) is (or are) kind or stupid enough to give it to him.

    Is Bennett right in wanting to force this guy into some mind-numbing, soul-destroying job for a few dollars a week?

    • quenchino 6.1

      He lives simply but needs some cash, and the ‘state’ (or us) is (or are) kind or stupid enough to give it to him.

      Frankly I don’t care. Our benefit system is incredibly mean and tightfisted as it is… if you’re happy to live on the pittance it doles out then good luck to you.

      I’d much rather pay a few percent of my tax towards these folk than have them in my face begging or worse still trying to hold down jobs they are hopeless at.

      • jcuknz 6.1.1

        As each wave of beneficiary bashing comes around it seems to usually when things are ‘tight’. For years I have seen no point in forcing those who apparently can happilly live on a benefit into paid empolyment, when we have hundreds if not thousands desparately trying to find work to regain the life style they prefer. The bene’s are to be commended in this situation for not depriving somebody else of a job. What little income they have goes to keep the ecconomy turning over which is another point in their favour.

    • B 6.2

      sore finger – good one : )

  7. The thing that really grates about her, amongst admittedly many things, is that she is going off for a 5 week self enhancement course on pay!!

    Where are all of the wingnuts complaining about this terrible waste of taxpayers money?

  8. Xtine 8

    John Key is a bean counter who, like most of his mates, dodges more tax in a week than someone on the dole gets in a year. People on benefits are not a drain on anyone- their income is all spent on consumables and goes straight back into the economy. It makes me so angry to hear the people who want to hand some of our most amazing public assets to their mates, who will strip the minerals out leave the taxpayers to clean up the mess, and take the profits offshore- call anyone bludgers.

  9. Joe Bloggs 9

    Xtine – “dodges more tax in a week than someone on the dole gets in a year”

    And your source for this gem is … what???

  10. Some maths, very, very round numbers only:

    50 million, earning, say, 5% = 2.5m taxable income. Lets say one million due in tax. If Key or his tax advisers can find a way to minimise that tax by a quarter, that’s a saving of $250K. Or enough to cover the UB for 12 people.

    So, on those numbers, it should have read “dodges more tax in a month than someone on the dole gets in a year’

    But if Key can find a way to pay no tax at all, which is the name of the game, then, on those numbers, the line “dodges more tax in a week than someone on the dole gets in a year’ is actually spot on.

    Anyone know how much tax Key actually pays in NZ?

  11. Jenny 11

    “The SUNDAY STAR TIMES article “Solo mum racks up 36 years on benefit’ (28 March), was a grubby piece of pseudo-journalism. The article was critical in it’s tone of an un-named woman who has cared for children for 36 years. The article failed on every level of professional journalism to ask the basic questions; What, How, Why, and Who.”

    How true, it reminds me of a similar case in the last National administration when they tried the same trick. The solo mother they chose to demonise for being on the DPB for many years, had been fostering and caring for unwanted and severely handicapped children often in difficult and trying circumstances, Social Welfare had even referred troubled children to her care.

    By reporting the bald fact of the length of this woman’s time on DPB in isolation and not supplying the “What, How, why and Who”, the Sunday Star Times trajectory to the gutter is well under way.

    • Frank Macskasy 11.1

      Jenny, not only do I remember that article – but actually TWO stories were written on that family. The first was in the late 1990s, and was pushed by ACT MP Muriel Newman. (I can’t give you a link to it cos I only have it on hard-copy – the media weren’t publishing online back in those dim, dark, days.) Both were published by the SST.

      As it turned out, subsequent questions revealed that the family in-question were indeed caring for children with disabilities.

  12. john 12

    When Paula Bennett gets tips from the War Criminal Colin Powell she may learn some Shock and Awe tactics which may be useful for dealing with lazy solo mothers! (The Eisenhower bullshit Corporation rip off method)This government is pathetic and stupid still trying the failed greed tactics of Reagan and Rogernomics.It’s so sick I could throw up!This so called government have the intellectual calibre of a beech crab except the latter is much less self important.Still! You pathetic Kiwis voted in Xmas for the Turkeys!

  13. john 13

    Paula will be learning about Corporate responsibility from Colin Powell and others. For those interested in American Corporate responsibility (Think of Bhopal in India as one example where profits and cutting costs come before the safety of people) refer this link http://carolynbaker.net/site/content/view/1590/1/

  14. john 14

    Another link illustrating American Corporate greed and criminality, the system John Key made his millions in as a money trader. The failed neo-liberal,Reagan,Rogernomics system he wants us to follow, a junk economics system,a ponzi scheme where the rich get richer and the workers get very little. the system Paula Bennett is going to America to learn how to practice and pay ideological obeisance to, the system we bow to to get a free trade agreement which will never happen!The system which has ruined America. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25124.htm

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    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the 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. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    4 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
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    10 hours ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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