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Bennett and Key at odds?

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, August 19th, 2011 - 60 comments
Categories: jobs, john key, unemployment, welfare - Tags: ,

Unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, and the cost of living, are shaping up to be the big election issues.  Pretty inconvenient for the Nats, because their record on all of the above is terrible.  Very very inconvenient for Paula Bennett, because it’s her patch.  On Tuesday this piece on 3 News highlighted Bennett’s woes:

Bennett flustered by unemployment figures

The Government is receiving criticism for not doing enough to address youth unemployment, and Minister for Social development Paula Bennett appeared flustered today while defending welfare reform targeted at teenagers.

There are 58,000 people between 15 and 24 out of work, school or training – enough to fill the new Eden Park stadium. …

Ms Bennett also disputed how many young people don’t have a job, saying most 15, 16 and 17-year-olds are “in school in training and would like a part time job”. “Part time jobs have dried up for a number of reasons, but that doesn’t mean they’re not doing anything.”

However, it means exactly that: they form part of 58,000 young people aged between 15 and 24 who Statistics NZ today confirmed are not in any form of education, employment or training.

Nice to see a journalist firmly fact checking a squirming minister for a change – good work Rebecca Wright.  Wright had more on the same topic last night:

Bennett, Key at odds on welfare

The gap between John Key and Paula Bennett appears to be widening on the Government’s approach to unemployment.

The Social Development Minister has continued to field questions over her conflicting positions on the Government’s new payment card scheme for teen beneficiaries.

Yesterday it emerged Ms Bennett had written to a constituent saying she didn’t support the payment card scheme, but today she won’t rule it out. …

“The best measure is actually those on an unemployment benefit”, Mr Key says – “about 16,000 in the 18-24 [age group]”.

However Ms Bennett prefers another measure, saying Government “prefers to focus on… young people who are not in education employment or training”. That number is 58,000 people aged between 15 and 24.

No government likes stories of high level splits to take root, so expect to see Bennett fall back in to Key’s line fairly smartish.

Mr Key says “for a variety of reasons” this group isn’t unemployed, but neither he nor Ms Bennett were able to say what the group of young people is doing.

So, while they’re clearly divided in their opinions and their stats, I guess its “comforting” to know that Bennett and Key are at least completely united in their state of denial.

60 comments on “Bennett and Key at odds? ”

  1. tc 1

    Much ado about nothing. Bennett will fall in behind licking arse without hesitation, otherwise it’s back on the scarp heap without those aids she’s helped destroy.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      In other news, the manager class believe workers are dispensible, exchangeable, free market dictates.
      So obviously if the manager class does not believe workers are all that important then the society
      would want workers to decide who inspects the mine safety. pretty basic 101 commonsense, if you
      say you hate government and believe government should only concentrate on the private market by
      deregulating the government out of the way, then it seems pretty obvious that these are not the
      people you want looking after child abuse, poverty, jobs, or investments. So back to youth, how
      pathethic that even after 2 and a half years this lazy stupid inane government decide that a youth
      card will stop youth drinking who neither have the money to or legally could buy alcohol.

      National aren’t not a political party they are debt addicted boozers who will do anything rather than
      admit they have a problem.

  2. burt 2

    Given the choice of a govt where the PM tells us what the stats are and all her ministers just nod and agree or the current situation – I know which I would rather have.

    • Craig Glen Eden 2.1

      Yeah burt we all know you are perfectly happy with incompetence even if it is taking New Zealand backwards. Ever thought of being a minister of a National Government? You would fit right in.

  3. Akldnut 3

    Fucking hard case watching Key defend this and his frustration while Goff was quoting Bennett during Question Time.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      From the sounds of it Bennett was arguing against the card and was so insensed that her soft
      language was ignored, so in time honoured fashion dumped her remarks where the journalists
      could fine them. Key obviously wasn’t stupid enough to not see that, so he let’s Bennett take
      the flak. It should a serious crisis of leadership in the government that Key has a hissy fit
      and walks out rather than support a senior minister, whose next? Who will Key break ranks to
      avoid defending next? He would dare do that to one of his male collegues.

      • Treetop 3.1.1

        What does Key really know about being a politician and serving ALL the people?

        I think Powers is doing Nationals dirty work before he exits.

        • aerobubble 3.1.1.1

          National hate NZ because NZ keeps getting in the way of profit for foreigners.

  4. How the hell this suckhole ever got to become an MP, let alone a gov’t minister, is beyond me. Actually being a suckhole probably explains it.

    Nice to see a journalist firmly fact checking a squirming minister for a change – good work Rebecca Wright.

    She reminded me of a pushy fat cow with painful bloated udders on the way to the dairying shed so Key can milk her for all shes worth….Bennett that is, not Wright.

  5. tc 5

    Yup notice the areas the nat’s traditionally take to task with their ‘ideology over facts approach’ have some of the most unpalatable individuals in them, social development, industrial realtions, education, environment, ACC, maori, mining, corrections and of course good old finance.

    • mik e 5.1

      Yeah in finance all they have to do is add to 1 with that because thats the most growth they’ve got and its taken them three years.

  6. Bill 6

    So let me see if I’ve got this right.

    Is it the case that 15, 16 and 17 year olds who live with their parent(s) are unable to pick up the dole under normal circumstances? And that their parent(s)…assuming they are in enough paid employment….will get wff payments for those dependents?

    So working out the numbers should be fairly simple, no?

    Questions. How usual is it for a 15 year old to have left school? Isn’t the min leaving age 16?

    Also, isn’t the min age for most types of work 16?

    Going on my own assumptions to the questions I’ve asked (and I’ve asked them because I’m genuinely unsure of the answers), it would seem to me that Bennet’s figures are a bit inflated (though not by much) and Key’s are deflated (by quite a lot).

    I can accept that some 16 and 17 year olds from reasonably well off families might not feel the need to seek work in the short term. Would that protect wff payments?

    • ron 6.1

      @Bill
      “Is it the case that 15, 16 and 17 year olds who live with their parent(s) are unable to pick up the dole under normal circumstances?” Yes.
      ” And that their parent(s)…assuming they are in enough paid employment….will get wff payments for those dependents?” Yes.

      “So working out the numbers should be fairly simple, no?” Yes. However, Key is trying to tell us that the 17 year old on a foundation employment skills course trying to knock opff their NCEA and find a job isn’t “unemployed”. While I’d agree that a young person training to be a doctor or a builder could be taken out of those figures I DON’T think you vcan take unemployted kids on employment courses out of those figures. Espoecially as they’re most often one thoise courses because W&I have referred them there (…to get them off the dole stats?). Add to that that many young people “in training” have to support themselves somehow – so they ARE looking for work. Key doesn’t think that counts.

      “How usual is it for a 15 year old to have left school? Isn’t the min leaving age 16?” There are no accurate figures for kids who’ve left school before 16. There ARE Exemptions. Usually to get an exemption the student must be going into further training or a job. There are a great many young people under 16 not at school and not in the system.

      “Also, isn’t the min age for most types of work 16?” Depends, of course.

      “Going on my own assumptions to the questions I’ve asked (and I’ve asked them because I’m genuinely unsure of the answers), it would seem to me that Bennet’s figures are a bit inflated (though not by much) and Key’s are deflated (by quite a lot).”
      Benefitt’s aren’t inflated. They are the numbers not employed who want to be employed. Key is trying to say “they’re not doing nothing”. He’s right – msome are engaed. BUT they ARE looking for work. Work that he and his government seem to have no intention of encouraging.

      I can accept that some 16 and 17 year olds from reasonably well off families might not feel the need to seek work in the short term. Would that protect wff payments?

      • Bill 6.1.1

        So there is a slight difficulty in compiling the numbers because it may well be the case that to avoid the onerous situation of dealing with WINZ, there will be number of 16 and 17 year olds who are living with their parents who may be passing the wff payments to them to live off of while providing them some combination of food and board.

        Whatever the various scenarios, JK’s figures are massively deflated. But I did want a bit of a handle on the possible intricacies. So thanks.

      • weka 6.1.2

         

        “Going on my own assumptions to the questions I’ve asked (and I’ve asked them because I’m genuinely unsure of the answers), it would seem to me that Bennet’s figures are a bit inflated (though not by much) and Key’s are deflated (by quite a lot).”
        Benefitt’s aren’t inflated. They are the numbers not employed who want to be employed. Key is trying to say “they’re not doing nothing”. He’s right – msome are engaed. BUT they ARE looking for work. Work that he and his government seem to have no intention of encouraging.
         
         

        Except, don’t those figures include teens at high school, most of whom presumably are supported by their parents and not looking for employment?

         

        • Bill 6.1.2.1

          No.

          “However Ms Bennett prefers another measure, saying Government “prefers to focus on… young people who are not in education employment or training”. That number is 58,000 people aged between 15 and 24.”

          So if you subtract the 16 000 18 -24 year olds that JK prefers to count, then there are 42 000 15, 16 and 17 year olds who are not in eductation, employment or training.

          Question. Would the wff payments cease if your 17 year old registered as unemployed? ‘Cause like he/she would essentially be claiming to be independent, right? But they wouldn’t get money. Sooo…. Are the parents of 42 000 children scamming wff?

          And if they are, how many weeks of 42 000 wff payments would it take to surpass the yearly benefit fraud total?

          • Bill 6.1.2.1.1

            Forget that. Found the answer. 42 000 people drop off the ‘unemployment register’. The parent(s) get wff as long as the dependent works less than 30 hours a week or is 18 and in secondary or tertiary education. And if they turn 18 on the 30th Dec wff payments are made for 1 day. Whereas if they turn 18 on the 1st Jan, wff payments are made for the next 364 days!

      • weka 6.1.3

        “How usual is it for a 15 year old to have left school? Isn’t the min leaving age 16?” There are no accurate figures for kids who’ve left school before 16. There ARE Exemptions. Usually to get an exemption the student must be going into further training or a job. There are a great many young people under 16 not at school and not in the system.
         
         

        National is about to require all schools to send records to MSD on when each student leaves school. Not sure if that will be personal information or stats only.

      • Vicky32 6.1.4

        I can accept that some 16 and 17 year olds from reasonably well off families might not feel the need to seek work in the short term. Would that protect wff payments?

        I think I heard Key say on the news last night, that many of these kids are taking a gap year between school and uni, to work on their father’s farm… I imagine that a very small number of kids would actually being doing any such thing!

  7. Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Any two people who are hard to tell apart.
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Tweedledee+and+Tweedledum

  8. Lanthanide 8

    The government can get away with making up their numbers and interpreting them in a variety of ways because they’re effectively the gatekeeper of the information. Stats NZ puts the real numbers out there, but the media never bother to actually follow them up and try to understand them themselves. So we get Key saying “achully they aren’t unemployed, they’re in training and the real number is x”, when the Stats NZ numbers clearly show what he is talking about is actually y. But the media never bother to fact-check him and confront him saying “you’re wrong”.

    Labour are fairly half-hearted at following this up too, but whenever they do the media doesn’t cover it and the “punters out in punter-land” either don’t understand/care or because they think the sun shines out of Key’s bum and Labour are clearly partisan that they must be lying or putting a negative spin on Key’s perfectly correct figures.

    • weka 8.1

      It would help if StatsNZ’s data was better accessible. Their website is very user unfriendly.

  9. prism 9

    Bennett and Key at odds? This sounds as if they are differing equals. Hardly. One is an ambitious, fluent, personable young woman eager to work to the requirements of her employers.
    The other is the present political head of the country with high standing in the minds of many of the people and presently with maximum votes. He and the inner cabal of the Cabinet will direct her as to her announced policies.

    She has had expensive grooming in neo liberal attitudes to welfare in the USA and if she ever had an individual thought about positive ways of working with welfare recipients to help them to individual self-support that would have been overriden. Such positive ways would both build their capabilities and confidence and lead to viable, continuing work which powers them to make their individual lives.

  10. randal 10

    wait till every body has a payment card if they are employed or not!
    you heard it here first.

  11. RedLogix 11

    And buried under this bickering and policy waffling everyone seems to have completely forgotten that one of the worst casualties of the 2008 election result was Labour’s committment to raising the education leaving age to 18.

    Instead of all these half-arsed band-aid measures National is playing political footsie with, Helen Clark could see what was coming down the road.

    In reality there are virtually no worthwhile jobs in the modern world that do not require some form of tertiary education. Gone are the days when a smart boy could make good leaving school at 15 and working his way up. These days if you are 18 and don’t have a piece of paper, or well on the way to one, you are almost certainly going to be on the bottom of the heap for the rest of your life. That’s a shocking waste and a burden on the whole of society

    Our entire education system needs to be re-calibrated and supported to take account of this reality. Yes it will require some innovation and flexibility but it can be done. And critically the govt must take responsibility to ensure young people who are entering the working world MUST have those critical first opportunities that get them on the right path.

    Up until the 1980’s we had large govt departments like NZR and MOW which acted as ’employers of last resort’ (not a perogative term but a very respectable economic idea) … but the neo-libs in their madness have dismantled that option.

    • prism 11.1

      Red Logix Well said. I thought of a young chap I knew. Home difficulties, good home and parents but things going awry. He was unsettled, felt uncomfortable with the change of faces each year at secondary school etc. Had a maths teacher who tried to spur him to more effort by stating you’re never going to amount to anything, you’ll be a loser if you keep on like this.

      But there was a transition to work program and he decided to go on that and stick with it. Worked for a landscaper which suited him as he had experience with a hammer and shovel and liked outdoor life. He got some rough tongue but weathered that and proved he could follow instructions and stick with a job unsupervised. He then got into fishing training. Had to go to Polytech and do some paperwork – got most of his certificates. Managed the time at sea and the fishing culture. Got a job – returned to Polytech and passed the certificate previously failed, plus achieved higher levels. Now out of fishing but still in marine work.

      He found his strengths, learned his trade, gained the confidence in himself to cope in the job and the world, and then to change tack and try a different career. A really nice fellow. And that’s what NZ should be seeing all the time in its young men and women if the government had intelligence used for practical, problem-solving policies. Instead we have boffins in education planning, many of them women imbued in the narrow, class-bound attitudes that consider aspiring to be a professional as the supreme goal and regarding physical work and trades as for the less able. Have you noticed how everyone wants to be a lawyer?

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        Have you noticed how everyone wants to be a lawyer?

        That’s a direct result of over-paying some professions while not paying other professions enough. 4 years training to become a carpenter, 4 years to become a lawyer and yet, for some strange reason, the lawyer gets paid more. And no, there really isn’t much difference to the job – if you listen to the carpenter you could save thousands of dollars as well – and not end up in court hiring the lawyer.

        • Lanthanide 11.1.1.1

          The difference is lawyers have played a historical part in drafting the laws in this country in such a way that you require their services whenever you do anything legal in nature. Thus they’ve legislated themselves a monopoly and so charge monopoly rates because you have no choice. Because of the sheer amount of legal work required by the system, any lawyer that put their rate significantly lower than their peers would have such huge demand they’d be swamped with work, so there’s no incentive to do that.

          When I wanted to split from my de-facto partner, it became apparent that we could choose to just have a private agreement between us, but unless it was done legally and properly, at any point in the future either of us could bring legal proceedings against the other.

          In the best case scenario if both you and your partner agree to separate completely amicably, you still need to get independent lawyers to draft an agreement for you each to sign to protect yourselves from future litigation. There is simply no way for two private individuals to make a legally binding agreement of settlement without lawyers involved.

          • prism 11.1.1.1.1

            lanthanide – Let’s be fair to lawyers. Some do pro bono work, and in practice time you can question about rates and decide how much time you need. And having no law is impossible for a functioning complex society. They are like dentists, expensive, but when you need a good one to get outcomes of true and permanent value to you, you have to pay the price.

            • RedLogix 11.1.1.1.1.1

              My best mate is a lawyer… and after a lifetime of friendship I’ve come to learn that under that mean flinty exterior beats the heart of a… total basterd.

              Well actually his best advice to me was to regard lawyers as a form of insurance policy. Most people enter into business or relationships with a happy rosy optimism about the future that is rarely born out in reality. It’s basic to a lawyer’s training to look for all the worst possible outcomes in any situation and form adequate strategies to mitigate the fallout ahead of time.

              If you wait until the proverbial hits the centrifugal air redistributor…it’s usually an expensive and bitter making exercise. Lawyers love this kind of client because it keeps them in very latest model Beemers.

              In other words a little planning with a good lawyer (and on the two occasions I’ve needed to I went for the most expensive because they were the best value) goes a long way.

            • Lanthanide 11.1.1.1.1.2

              We have “make your own will” kits that don’t cost too much money.

              Why can’t we have “make your own legally binding separation agreement” kits that don’t cost too much money?

              I don’t see any reason why that couldn’t be done, except the lawyers have created a legal system where if you can show someone didn’t have independent legal counsel when they entered into a contract it is therefore able to be challenged in court. But I don’t see why this necessarily needs to be the case.

        • prism 11.1.1.2

          DTB – Again well said. just digressing on the similarities of builders and lawyers. Lawyers can build a house of cards that when it collapses is as painful as a collapsed building might be. Then a builder having made a faulty physical structure straying from the honourable standards of his/her profession/guild can cause lengthy legal wrangles and appointments in another building possibly ending up in yet another one. Bleak House.sounds a good name for the whole tragedy.

    • Blue 11.2

      “a smart boy could make good leaving school at 15” Two points – smart people don’t leave school at 15. All they can expect is a ‘job’ not a career and jobs don’t last, careers do. Secondly “a good living” is what the howling from the left is always about, fair enough I agree we need better paying jobs, but looking backward (as is your way) to a day when unskilled labouring jobs were plentiful, is hardly going to make an iota of difference to these jobs miraculously appearing in the current job market. These jobs do not exist, or if they do they are a very small proportion of the overall catchment. Most here won’t agree with me but this is what my Grandfather told me (he was a coal miner, who died at 60 from his 45 years of this work) stay in school, study, don’t make excuses, show people respect. Its not a guarantee, of course, but it wouldn’t hurt your chances.

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        All most graduates get these days is a $13/hr job at Burger King and the benefit of a $35,000 student loan.

        This bull shit offshored economy is not creating jobs for labourers, neither for tradesmen, neither for graduates, neither for experienced managers.

        Its not a guarantee, of course, but it wouldn’t hurt your chances.

        Hope doesn’t pay the rent, buddy boy.

      • rosy 11.2.2

        “smart people don’t leave school at 15”
        I glad you had a wise grandfather and at least some semblance of a supportive family.
        Some don’t have that. When you have 2 bad choices you take the one that will break an inevitable decline in well-being and sometimes that is leaving school. I did. And have 2 bits of official paper to say I’m not stupid. I know a few people who did not get on at school, left early, took up a trade, trained, and now have careers, not jobs, in industries where qualified staff are in demand – in Australia.

        • prism 11.2.2.1

          Blue – Making statements such as

          I agree we need better paying jobs, but looking backward (as is your way) to a day when unskilled labouring jobs were plentiful, is hardly going to make an iota of difference to these jobs miraculously appearing in the current job market.

          means that you don’t believe that we have any control over the direction of society and economics at all. You just lie back and accept what is thrown at you. Also people here are not just talking about unskilled jobs like labouring. (Actually labouring requires fitness and determination and enough knowledge not to be caught in a collapsing trench.) You just accept that current policies are set in stone because the moneyed people have manipulated the system to suit themselves and that’s how it is.

          Well we do need people who make things and know how to work the raw materials of our physical life. We would see more of this taking place in NZ if the twisted economics of influential academics appealing to the minds of the rich hadn’t brought in the free market idea based on an idea by Ricardo I think. It was an idea and appears to make common sense to the type of mind who could see it was good business to trade in slaves.

  12. Treetop 12

    Key “They could be students having a year off.” Rebecca Wrights article in the above link (more on the same topic).

    They could also be street kids or kids at home being emotionally, sexually or physically abused. Key is starting to paint a rosy picture whenever the ghastly stuff is put to him in the stats. On Q & A last Sunday he jumped to the group who were doing well at school when Guyon was talking about the ones not doing well.

    • Blue 12.1

      “They could also be street kids or kids at home being emotionally, sexually or physically abused” Anything is possible if you preface a statement with “could…be”. Its equally, or more, likely they are not, never were, or never will be “street kids” or “at home being emotionally, sexually or physically abused”. I mean with your hysteria in mind, they “could be” anything that suits whatever point you were failing to make. Maybe they’re Tortoises?

      • Treetop 12.1.1

        It is the responsibility of the Key government to ease the plight of the group of children I worry about the most (street kids, emotionally, sexually and physically abused at home) and when Key needs to answer what he is going to do for them I want to hear an answer, not hear him rave about the children who are doing well.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          It seems that Blue and Key have attitudes in common when it comes to the vulnerable children you point out i.e. those children don’t exist in their world.

          • Treetop 12.1.1.1.1

            Key and Blue need to get it that 16 – 17 year olds on the IYB have been seen/assessed by a psychologist (IYB requirement). Most people get it that a 16 – 17 year old is likely to be abused in some form at home or neglected in order to apply for the IYB.

  13. randal 13

    red logix is right and Helen Clark did see it coming but the “little people” wanted to prove how smart they were by getting rid of her. wait till their kids get a smart card.

    • prism 13.1

      @ randal – Labour had nine years to see it coming whatever ‘it’ was. You can’t keep re-electing people who are living in the golden glow of past achievements, making a few changes but not tackling what should have been real issues that their enlightened, intelligent minds should have found inimical. (Isn’t that an interesting word, had to check it, means an unfavourable attitude. Annatolley – look how clever the old education system made pupils. Leave our kids alone!)

      In the end Labour seemed to be concentrated on trying to keep the others out because they would be worse.

      • Reality Bytes 13.1.1

        “You can’t keep re-electing people who…”

        Yeah you can, all it takes is a majority.

  14. orac 14

    I think this issue (for me) sums up pretty much all that is wrong with Labour and their focus – really, who cares if a government minister and the Pm said somethign a few months ago and now thier current position is out of sync slightly with that – really – does it matter – the general public just do not give a shit about this sort of nonsense.

    yes it is important to the beltway and folk that have a direct interest in politics, but to the average punter – it just doesn’t matter.

    It just reinforces the line that labour are always complaining about something and nitpicking.

    What I think they should have done is come out with a really cool policy and said something along the lines of “we support the additional support given to these at risk and vulnerable youngsters. What we intend to do however is (insert policy here).

    Trevv/Phil – lay off the bullshit and petty politics and instead sell a vision.

    PLEASE!!!!

    [lprent: FYI: You’ll find that you don’t go into auto-moderation if you reuse the same handle/e-mail. It also saves me from the effort from releasing it (eventually I give up on repeat offenders and auto-spam them instead). ]

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      The point, orac, is that you can’t trust anything they say, ever.

      John Key promised he wouldn’t put GST up. They did. Bennet said she had no interest in special grocery cards, now it’s policy.

      John Key said they will only sell 49% of SoE. The outcome of this promise is yet to be observed.

      Get the point?

  15. randal 15

    sell a vision. you need some magic mushrooms. they are free.

  16. Jum 16

    Bennett went to America for some education last year. Who with? What for?

  17. randal 17

    prism.
    find a madhattter.
    the national party is full of them.
    I think they retail at a sharp discount to the market.

  18. randal 18

    Jum.
    for a session of deep hypnosis and a brt implant.

  19. randal 19

    or was that a blt eggplant?

  20. HC 20

    What do we expect from John Key? Does anybody remember the interview with Stephen Sackur on the BBC’s Hardtalk program? John Key is constantly choosing interpretations and figures that are far from the truth, and that suit him and National better than the actual data.

    Paula Bennett does visibly get stressed out when confronted or bombarded with opposition questions during Parliament’s Question Time. So she sometimes muddles up figures or gets unstuck. Her honesty about the unemployment figures for youth being rather 58 k is a sign of this. She is not the brightest and despite her hypocrisy in many matters still sometimes sticks to the truth.

    That is how this “conflict” between her and the PM happened.

    But as she is also the PM’s poodle, she will very soon get in line again, because she knows that she only has her job because of Don Key having picked her.

    Don’t bite the hand that feeds you may apply here.

    She is in danger though to fail to deliver in critical moments like this week, so Don Key may at some time get sick of her and dump her. I have a feeling that if National gets back into goverment, then we may soon after suddenly have a very different Minister of Social Development.

  21. gnomic 21

    Jum asked why Paula Bennett got a free trip to the USA last year. Well the answer of course is to receive instruction in how to screw over the undeserving losers, aka teh people of the benny. As the Leader has said, “If you can work, you must work.” The next step, Arbeit macht Frei. The Rebstock Regime. All part of Shonkey’s secret agenda, the work he has been sent back here to accomplish, the final smashing of the NZ state to allow the triumph of corporatist globalism. The race to the bottom which includes abolishing welfare.

    Bennett herself is a nasty piece of work. Had any minister in NZ history disclosed personal information about citizens who challenged decisions by her department? A new low. There was Muldoon of course and the Moyle affair, but I think even the Nats abhor the late lily lover nowadays. Except for Shonkey of course, Muldoon is his hero.

    See material below about the working holiday in the USA.

    Paula Bennett has accepted a six-week leaders fellowship which will take her to the United States (NZPA)

    Tue, 09 Mar 2010 10:37a.m.
    Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has accepted a six-week leaders fellowship which will take her to the United States towards the end of the year.

    The Eisenhower Fellowship for the Women’s Leadership Programme 2010 was awarded to 20 women around the world identified as outstanding leaders and Ms Bennett has chosen to study successful US examples of the social corporate responsibility model.

    An individually tailored programme will grant her access to leading business people, high level politicians and successful community leaders.

    Ms Bennett said she believed New Zealand had much to learn from the way the US harnessed the innovations and entrepreneurship of corporate leaders to work with communities and government to create gains for the social sector.

    “I want to identify what works and bring those ideas home,” she said.

    The fellowship nomination was supported by Prime Minister John Key, who was pleased with the placement.

    Former Eisenhower fellow and chairwoman of the New Zealand nominating committee, Susan Baragwanath, won a placement in 1994 and said her experience inspired her decision to open a special school, He Huarahi Tamariki, in Wellington on her return.

    The programme starts in October and Ms Bennett will be the 17th New Zealander since its inception in 1953 to be a part of it.

    http://waitakerenews.blogspot.com/2010/11/stop-press-paula-bennett-is-visiting.html

    Glorified holiday for Bennett

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  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
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    1 hour ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
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    1 hour ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
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    2 hours ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
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    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
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    7 hours ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
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    20 hours ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    21 hours ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
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    1 day ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
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    1 day ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
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    2 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
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    2 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
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    2 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
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    2 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
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    3 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
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    3 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
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    3 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
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    4 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
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    5 days ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
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    7 days ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
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    7 days ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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    1 week ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    1 week ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
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    1 week ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
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    1 week ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
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    2 weeks ago