Benefit fraud vs white collar crime

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, July 18th, 2017 - 39 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, crime - Tags: , , , ,

The political hills are echoing with the aftermath of Meteri Turei’s confession of lying to WINZ, and Paula Bennett’s conciliatory and very precisely worded claim of not having done so “deliberately”. A good time to revisit the topic of benefit fraud vs white collar crime / tax evasion.

The institutional hypocrisy in the response to these issues is staggering:

Welfare fraud targeted more than tax evasion

White collar criminals get a better deal than welfare fraudsters because the system is biased before they even get to the courts, a lawyer says.

Research by Victoria University shows 10 times more welfare fraudsters were prosecuted than tax evaders even though tax evasion costs the economy 33 times more.

The research shows tax evasion amounts to at least $1 billion a year compared with $30 million for welfare fraud, but the courts are much harsher in their treatment of welfare fraudsters. …

Here’s a comparison of specific example cases reported only recently. In related news:

Economic crime costs up to $9.4bn

Economic crime is costing New Zealand up to $9.4 billion a year according to a draft Serious Fraud Office (SFO) report obtained by Radio New Zealand. …

Courts tougher on benefit fraud than tax dodging – study

New research reveals tax dodgers are ripping off the country at up to 150 times the rate of welfare fraudsters, but are being jailed much less often.

Last year, tax evaders cheated the country of between $1 and $6 billion, while welfare fraud cost $39 million.

“The problem of tax evasion is at best case scenario 25 to 50 times the financial amount of welfare fraud, and at worst case scenario potentially 100 to 150 times the amount,” says Dr Marriott.

And the latest research from Victoria University suggests our courts are far from equal in their treatment of the two groups.

“For tax evaders, the average offending is about four times as much, but have about a third of the likelihood of receiving a custodial sentence.” …

Tax burden falling on NZ’s working class

Economist Gareth Morgan believes New Zealand could be missing out on up to 25 percent of total income tax because the rich aren’t paying their fair share.

Morgan also told The Nation it is possible to get global corporations like Apple and Facebook to pay more tax on what they earn here.

The Government collects about $30 billion per year in income tax, but Mr Morgan says that take could be much bigger. The figures come from a soon-to-be-published report from the Morgan Foundation. …

Instead of bashing beneficiaries, who are often just trying to feed their kids, shouldn’t the power of the state be turned on the much bigger problem of white collar crime? Use the funding from a crack-down on a more universal and generous benefit system.


Just in passing:

39 comments on “Benefit fraud vs white collar crime”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Don’t forget that so-called benefit “fraud” includes overpayments made because beneficiaries report income after they’ve received it.

    That pie-chart demonstrates that corruption is present in every sector of the economy.

    Obviously the solution is to defund the SFO (pdf).

    On any analysis, and given the rise and sophistication of economic crime, the current budgeted volume of cases (and related funding) means SFO cannot properly address serious financial crime, and has significant challenges to be viable at the lower volume of investigations.

    Treasury, 2011

  2. Ad 2

    Anthony, the political hypocrisy only exists because it perfectly mirrors the hypocrisy of the general public.

    The public of New Zealand want to see the poor punished and the successful simply smudged rather than burnt.

    This is not due to political leadership gently leading the tone downwards. Nor from the mainstream and digital media. Both simply reflect the New Zealand public and their long term economic circumstance.

    This punitive tone is what you get when the great majority of people in New Zealand are going backwards, far more are in poverty, so they make sure that they police and enforce those who are already on the bottom to stay there: the poor are the floor for the declining.

    The truly poor are the class marker that the declining public need. So they hate on them. It’s a New Zealand condition.

    • “The public of New Zealand want to see the poor punished and the successful simply smudged rather than burnt.”

      why do we do that though? Is it that as we pull them down we get uplifted? Is it just fuck them – born from neolib and individualism. Is it the competitive eat anything ethos of capitalism? Embarrassment? Shame? Why do we hate ourselves so much – guilt around the orgy of resource use? Guilt about the pollution, the mess?

      • Incognito 2.1.1

        Good question: why do we do it?

        Even though it might have been rhetorical I’ll bite anyway.

        My basic & simplistic answer is that we look down on the ‘poor’ and up to the ‘rich’.

        We see many moral and personal failings in the poor despite the many more (obvious) qualities.

        We see many qualities in the rich despite the many more (obvious) moral and personal failings.

        It’s our dualistic view of everything that is the root cause.

        Change our view and we’ll change everything and first and foremost ourselves. [Note the dualism in this statement]

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        Fear of losing face, of not being “respected”. Yes, we’re a bunch of fragile cry-babies 😈

      • Kevin 2.1.3

        30+ Years of Neolib bullshit being forced down your that. To many now, that is the only way they know.

    • ‘ The truly poor are the class marker that the declining public need. So they hate on them. It’s a New Zealand condition.’

      I just cant understand that mentality , I have just never understood it.. unless… someone is so full of envy or anxiety about their position in life… but it all seems like such a self imposed prison.

      But man ! – those figures above !!! Wow !!! Even the first opening lines ,…

      ‘ tax evasion costs the economy 33 times more. ( than welfare fraud )

      The research shows tax evasion amounts to at least $1 billion a year compared with $30 million for welfare fraud, but the courts are much harsher in their treatment of welfare fraudsters. …’

      It just seems that poor people are so much more easily badgered and authority’s know they do not have the finance to defend their case . Perhaps this is why they also removed state / court subsidized lawyers for those who have little money to afford one. That is evil.

    • Carolyn_nth 2.3

      Bashing the poor, separating them into deserving and undeserving, has a long history in British culture. British colonisers brought those attitudes with them to NZ.

      It’s been passed on through the generations to a greater or lesser extent.

      When politicians and major/governing political parties compete to get tougher on beneficiaries, it increases the bennie-bashing tendencies. And Labour and Nats have both been competing in that arena for a couple of decades.

      Time to turn the tide and for some left wing party/ies to show leadership in a truly left direction on this.

      • Karen 2.3.1

        +1 Caroline

      • CLEANGREEN 2.3.2

        yes good blog Carolyn we are living in a corrupt time when to lioe is standard practice in administrative circles.

        Only us must comply with honesty it seems..

    • RedLogix 2.4

      Chris Trotter uses the The Emperor’s New Clothes fable to explain:

      The interesting thing about Andersen’s fable is that it’s actually supported by a critical element of scientific fact. If people whose judgment we have no reason to doubt inform us that black is white, most of us will, in an astonishingly short period of time, start disregarding the evidence of our own eyes.

      Even worse, if an authority figure instructs us to administer punishments to people “for their own good” most of us will do so.

      Even when the punishment appears to be causing the recipients intense, even fatal, pain, we will be continue flicking the switch for as long as the authority figure insists that the pain is necessary and that we have no alternative except to proceed. (If you doubt this, just Google “Stanley Milgram”.)

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/94799945/chris-trotter-who-will-cry-out-that-neoliberalisms-new-clothes-are-invisible

      • NZJester 2.4.1

        No need to google that, just look at President Trump in the US and his hypocrisy as a case study.

    • NZJester 2.5

      I don’t think it is the General Public that wants to see the poor punished and the successful simply smudged. It is those that have lied and cheated and stood on the little guy spending money to get the rules written in their favor so they can continue to lie, cheat and step on the little guy without worrying about it affecting them too badly if caught.
      The quality of the layers due to what they can afford to pay tends to get them a better time in court as well being able to block some of the evidence and/or testimony against them because their lawyers have the time to study everything and find the smallest technicality to do that, while the benefit fraudster is normally represented by a lawyer who does not get paid enough to look through all the evidence to find those small technicalities. A good layer also knows how to turn peoples words against them making the testimony of witness look unreliable by using mind games on them by looking into their histories.

  3. Good one Anthony – exactly great timing on this post.

    I cannot imagine anyone not being implicated.

  4. Ad 4

    It was great to see the Labour party this morning focus on smacking down on multinational corporates who conceal their profits.

    Sure hope the IRD are ready for an alternative government to this lot.

    • Cinny 4.1

      Yes ! Super happy about that announcement.

      Well done Labour

    • Indeed. Its game on . In the NZ Herald ;

      Little has written to the leaders of multinational companies setting out his intention if Labour leads the next Government .
      Little has not specified yet how Labour would determine a fair share or what the penalty tax would be , but has announced it would collect an extra $600 million from multinationals over three years .
      If it was introduced, however , the penalty tax would likely be higher than the corporate rate of 28 per cent , as is the case in Britain where , since 2015 , a new diverted profit tax was set at 25 per cent , compared with company tax of 20 per cent . Labour’s extra $600m revenue from the penalty tax has been budgeted to help fund its alternative Budget, which is to be unveiled tomorrow .

      Little said Labour would give the Inland Revenue Department a further $30m in order to collect the extra $600m .

      ” If multinationals aren’t prepared to pay their fair share, Labour will introduce a diverted profits tax , to enable New Zealand tax authorities to impose tax at a penalty rate if they believe that tax has been deliberately avoided . ”

      A diverted profits tax would be an important tool to encourage multinationals to behave appropriately and pay their fair share of tax , like hard-working New Zealanders , Little said . A discussion document issued by the IRD in March estimated that up to $300m of tax a year was being lost because of multinational avoidance . It included proposals that were in line with recommendations from the OECD base erosions and profit-sharing project . Labour said its policy was aimed at collecting all of the $300m .

      …………………………………

      And this is another area beside tax evasion where the pot calls the kettle black when it comes to benefit fraud. There’s good times ahead when Labour gets into power after September 3rd.

      • alwyn 4.2.1

        You state
        “Little has not specified yet how Labour would determine a fair share or what the penalty tax would be , but has announced it would collect an extra $600 million from multinationals over three years .”.
        How is he so clear on how much is the tax going to be without explaining how it is going to be calculated?
        That’s easy. He is simply going to decree the numbers. That is the approach they are taking these days in South Africa. Just say a company owes you whatever amount you feel like. Don’t bother about the rule of law. Andrew has seen a few to many Westerns and loved the line “I am the law here”.

        No doubt you will get a rebate if you make suitable donations to the Labour Party.

        I am not saying that there is no problem with the taxation of multinational companies. It wasn’t so bad when the goods being traded had a physical existence. It is much more complicated when the goods, such as computer software, have no real physical existence and the main value is the Intellectual capital.
        Even so, unilateral action, based on arbitrary claims as Little is proposing is mad. It is essential that we have universal agreement by all countries if the taxation is to work.

        On Little’s silly idea what is there to stop China copying it and claiming that all the income received by Fonterra sales to their country is taxable. Not just the accounting profit but ALL the income.
        Fonterra expects to reach $10bn in Chinese sales by 2020. Suppose that China simply decrees that all the sales were profit and demands 40% in tax? There goes $4bn/year and the dairy industry collapses.That would be in line with the Little fool’s proposal. Just decree some arbitrary profit.
        What do we do then?

        It is essential that we promote the idea of a internationally acceptable way of allocating profits by multinationals to countries. The ridiculous proposal Andrew is proposing may be popular with the economically illiterate part of the population here but it is madness for New Zealand’s real interests.

        • RedLogix 4.2.1.1

          And that makes a very reasonable point alwyn.

        • BM 4.2.1.2

          Well said alwyn.

          Little knows this though and has no intention of following through on any of these proposals like you say the whole thing is just a pitch at the stupid and gullible who have no idea how it all works,

          Pretty dishonest and Trump like if you ask me.

        • Craig H 4.2.1.3

          Political parties are not schools, donee organisations or charities, so there is no rebate for donations to them.

        • McFlock 4.2.1.4

          meh.

          Call it a “windfall tax”, like the UK did. The sky didn’t fall then.

        • So, firstly, on Multinationals that do trade in concrete goods:

          Little is right. Calls to wait for multilateral action have gone nowhere. It’s time to say that unless multinationals voluntarily pay their fair share, we will impose penalties on them. If they want to withdraw their parasitical limbs from our country and let kiwi businesses take over their markets, fine, that just gives more opportunity to our own entrepreneurs.

          I don’t mind if we have to adjust things later to line up with a different, more internationally accepted approach. The point is that it’s critical to start, or there will never be an internationally accepted approach because Serious Fiscal Types will keep arguing that nobody should do it on their own.

          As for digital goods, I think there really does need to be a volume test there. I don’t mind small outfits selling under a foreign tax regime. But if you’re making millions of transactions digitally with New Zealanders, you should probably be subject to New Zealand taxes whether or not you maintain a physical presence here, the trick will be on how to enforce it in the more difficult cases, and whether it would result in unfair double-taxation. (which isn’t to say double-taxation is inherently unfair, just that it might make big digital outlets essentially pay a tariff compared to small ones if double-taxation isn’t sorted) That’s the kind of case where an international agreement actually is appropriate, because the people involved are usually paying tax in their place of business. (unless they’re tax-dodgers and operating out of, say, Ireland, like Facebook)

        • Ad 4.2.1.6

          I have as much sympathy for Fonterra as any multinational.

          Fonterra gets massive scrutiny of its accounts from the farmer suppliers and shareholders. Their profit is not merely decreed.

          And no, you don’t wait for all global rules to be equal before you act.

          What you do is act.

          • alwyn 4.2.1.6.1

            You will note that I didn’t say it would be New Zealand that jumped on Fonterra.
            I said it could be CHINA that did such a thing.
            Also I see that I accidentally put the word South ahead of Africa. It should have been just Africa. The country concerned is in fact Tanzania.

    • Sure hope the IRD are ready for an alternative government to this lot.

      This government has been heavily cutting IRD so probably not.

      156 IRD jobs axed
      Inland Revenue reveals details of how it will slash 1500 jobs

      Can’t go round having enough people to catch the rich defrauding us.

      • CLEANGREEN 4.3.1

        “Can’t go round having enough people to catch the rich defrauding us.”

        Yes they are banking on this too!!!!!

  5. ianmac 5

    There was some sort of documentary a few years ago, about the imbalance of investigators for benefit fraud against the number of investigators for the much larger fraud like tax evasion. I think there was one tax investigator for every ten benefit investigators.
    My brother rented out a house and claimed pots of paint etc as maintenance when he was really making improvements. In a microscopic way that was fraud.
    A farmer friend built a flash 5 bedroom house on the farm but it was tax deductible as it was recorded as a new barn.
    Must be countless examples of big and little fraud.
    The hypocrisy of the big ones makes me angry.

  6. Carolyn_nth 6

    There’s now an #IamMetiria being used on twitter.

    • Bill 6.1

      Nice! 🙂

      Must admit that I’m disappointed in the approach or framing of this post. It suggests there is merely a league table of moral or criminal wrongdoing on the part of individuals.

      In doing that it buries the central point- that the system designed to provide social security is unnecessarily onerous and also immoral.

      • And also, it misses that criminal actions committed to survive under class warfare aren’t simply justified resistance against an immoral law that says it’s okay for the state to abdicate its responsibility to help people survive.

        Yes, some people’s focus is infuriatingly wrong on this issue. But that doesn’t mean we should ever concede that welfare fraud to survive isn’t the right thing to do under the circumstances. I would pick people surviving- Every. Single. Time.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          I would pick people surviving- Every. Single. Time.

          Absolutely.

          I guess what I didn’t quite get across in my comment above is that, like stealing food when genuinely hungry, much of what gets sold back to us as “benefit fraud” simply isn’t. Yes, by the letter of the law it may be. But by any reasonable moral or ethical code it just simply isn’t.

          So comparing actions that are necessary for survival (social security indiscretions) to actions that are born of greed or a sense of entitlement (tax avoidance) is contemptible bullshit in my book.

          • Korero Pono 6.1.1.1.1

            +100 looks like the Greens are the only party that understand the hardship beneficiaries experience, it’s good to at last see progressive policy coming out to tackle the last 30 plus years of backward policy. #IamMetiria

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.2

            Was this woman caught stealing a loaf of bread? Transport her to the colonies I say !!!

          • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.1.3

            Yeah, I thought you were on the right path with your previous post but that it deserved expanding on. It is the refusal to admit that class war exists that is the right’s problem on this issue, and its obviousness to anyone who ever listens with empathy to any beneficiary ever is what makes clear the difference between tax fraud being straightforwardly wrong but benefit fraud sometimes morally fraught but ultimately justifiable when committed out of genuine need. (which isn’t to say there isn’t the rare case out there of people who defraud the benefit system for frivolous reasons or just because they think they can get away with it, the question is whether our over-emphasis on those people has lead to a culture where everyone else on a benefit is treated like dirt)

  7. web-developer 7

    It’s just redic. Most of the $80 million will be ‘fake debt’ which is (due to slow processes) is remarkably difficult to clear. For instance: if you are receiving an accommodation supplement as a job seeker and become employed but are still eligible for an accommodation supplement and the Work and Income person doesn’t change you from a ‘benefit accommodation supplement’ to a ‘non-benefit accommodation supplement’, you rack up a debt to Work and Income. This is despite the fact the non-bene AS is paid at the same rate/amount. The only difference is some background administrative title. So, you start declaring your wages to continue receiving the payments. Then, three months down the track and without explanation, the payments stop and the payments you had received (could be anywhere between $200 and $800) are then classified as a debt, and no doubt ‘beneficiary fraud’. It would be hard for anyone to categorise that as a debt or fraud for which the recipient is liable, yet this ‘fake debt’ is still counted as such.

    If this happens 1/20 times to the 300,000-odd AS recipients, that’s nearly $10 million per year added to the $80 million ‘beneficiary fraud’ total.

  8. Jlo73 8

    If I read this correctly, estimates of tax fraud are $1 billion, but actual benefit fraud convictions are $33 million. Can’t really compare the two.

    Better to compare estimates of tax fraud against estimates of benefit fraud, or actual tax convictions against the $33 mil.

    Also, IRD can gut a person like a fish with with penalties and interest before it goes to court with a conviction.

  9. gsays 9

    I seem to recall banks getting pinged a few times over the last couple of decades.
    Enormous sums, yet they entered into ‘negotiations’ with ird.
    It is sickening compared with how they treat individuals, e.g. compulsory deductions from wages etc.

  10. mosa 10

    English gets caught out claiming tax payers money he should never have been entitled to in the first place and he knew he was ” rorting ” the system and Key remarks that it was ” unfortunate distraction ” that pretty much sums up the National party corporate approach.

    Keep stealing until you get caught.

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    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    7 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    7 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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