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Bennett’s fantasy world breaks down

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, September 24th, 2012 - 45 comments
Categories: benefits, class war - Tags:

Paula Bennett on Q+A: “I don’t think that every child actually needs to be in early-childhood education” says Bennett. There will be cases where parents can do just as good or better job for their child (especially if they’re not working anyway) Yet, her policy is to take away half the incomes of parents and children on benefits who don’t go to ECE. The gap between Bennett’s spin and what she is actually doing has never before been so clearly revealed.

Nicky Hager, who was a panellist said that Bennett sounded like she was in the wrong party, she talked the talk of reducing inequality but only had the punitive tools of the Right to work with. Hager insightfully pointed out that National has no poverty policy But he was wrong on where Bennett ought to be. She’s Nat to the core, she’s just using the language of caring to mask a punitive (and as ex-National minister Paul East reminded us immediately), cost-saving/tax-cut-for-the-rich-creating agenda.

Eventually, when your rhetoric is a million miles in the opposite direction to your actions, it causes you trouble. That’s what National, and Bennett in particular, has run into with the ‘compulsory ECE or we cut your meager income in half’ policy. Forcing one class of child to go to ECE, when you yourself admit that ECE isn’t the best option in every situation, is not caring – it’s not even logical. Budgeting to cut over 2,000 families’ benefits in half because they don’t satisfy the government’s demands on how they raise their kids isn’t kind and caring to those kinds, it’s massively cruel to those children – and the adults, for that matter.

What’s worse – Bennett has admitted she doesn’t even have the resources to check all the families that will be subject to these requirements. That means enforcement will be arbitrary – the heart of injustice. And it tells you, also, that all this talk about ‘helping families’ and ‘getting in behind them’ is bullshit. If they don’t even have the resources to test all the families’ compliance, they certainly don’t have the resources to offer geniune help – only the stick of making children and parents who are already living in poverty even poorer.

45 comments on “Bennett’s fantasy world breaks down”

  1. Carol 1

    She’s Nat to the core, she’s just using the language of caring to mask a punitive (and as ex-National minister Paul East reminded us immediately), cost-saving/tax-cut-for-the-rich-creating agenda.

    Yes. I thought her lines about caring for the children and struggling with the need to get interventionist and tough rang quite false. I guess Hager couldn’t really call her the “l” word without having solid evidence of it. But, identifying her contradictory statements points in that direction.

    I also wanted the interviewer to ask her for details of the sound evidence Bennett said she had based her decisions on.

    • Dr Terry 1.1

      Probably her “evidence” is what flows from the mouth and mind of the Great Master (need I name him?)

  2. The language of caring is a carefully weighted attempt to have the best of both worlds.  

    The dog whistle is being blown for all that it is worth.  At the same time the pseudo compassionate language is designed to reach out to the left and swinging voters and is an attempt to persuade them that this Government is different.  It is not a bunch of bene bashing buffoons.  It is a party of compassionate conservatives whose bashing is incidental to its desire to make things better for them.

    The attempt falls apart when you realise that these proposals do nothing, absolutely nothing, to address poverty.

    But that was never National’s intention. 

  3. ak 3

    So yet again government-by-talkback-soundbite hits reality.

    And even the combined blitzkreig of Teacher-bash, Benny bash, Maori bash and lefty blogger-bash hasn’t wanked that sad old poll up this time.

    So what now Mr Joyce?

    Put the lot on the Conservatives in one final toss?

    Make our day.

    • Tom Gould 3.1

      Even more galling is that the brain dead media report both contradictory positions from Bennett and the other Tories in complete isolation from each other ensuring they indeed get the best of both worlds. It must be deliberate editorial policy, There’s no other explanation.

  4. vto 4

    Do families not on welfare and who don’t send their kids to early childhood education get slapped with something similar? They could similarly get punished by having their taxes increased by 50%.

    Why not the same approach?

  5. Dylan 5

    And what about the well-off, middle-class parents who take their school age kids out of school **to go skiing**?

    My mates who are (badly paid) ski instructors see this all the time when they give lessons, and if they ask why the kids aren’t in school they get complaints made against them to their employer or, when they ask the kids themselves, they get told things like “I was sick for three days this week, so Mum thought I might as well be off today and tomorrow too”, or “It’s only one day, and Dad couldn’t get any other day off”.

    As one said “put an enforcement officer at the bottom of the lifts, and you’d get hundreds of ‘kids off school’ per day”.

    A trivial example, perhaps, but it certain counters the lie that only the poor behave badly.

    These are well-off people who keep their kids off school for fun.

    • fabregas4 5.1

      Most folk at my school are pretty good at getting their kids to school but this happens far too often and annoyingly most by parents who then feign concern when their child doesn’t then meet their expectations. A week off for the Gold Coast Theme Parks a week at the snow a week for a tangi add a week actually sick and 10% of the school year is lost. I would love a dollar for every time I’ve heard “but they learn so much” at Dreamworld!

    • weka 5.2

      I know people who consider school to be part of their child’s education, not its entirety. I don’t think all kids have to be at school all the time. For some kids school is too hard and I’m not talking about the learning (eg making some kids sit still at a desk all day and focus on academics stresses them).

      Taking time off school to go to a tangi or funeral is normal.

      btw I think you will find that in towns that have ski fields, the local kids go skiing with knowledge of their school and not just on weekends. It’s how we train world class athletes. 

      • Tazirev 5.2.1

        So its ok to have kids skip school if the town has a rugby field, snooker parlour, swimming pool etc

        • weka 5.2.1.1

          If the child is keeping up with their school work/learning, I don’t see the problem with taking time off from schools occasionally.

          As for rugby and swimming, like with skiing, schools already support children in those areas. Not sure about snooker, but I’m sure the case could be made for the right child.

    • tracey 5.3

      or a week in fiji swimming…

    • tracey 5.4

      So weka this wld be the same for beneficiaries, so its a non issue not needed policy

  6. In my considered opinion – fightback against this ‘WAR ON THE POOR’ should focus on the immediate review and abolition of long-term dependency on CORPORATE WELFARE.

    I’ll say it again.

    Potentially there a billion$ of public monies – taxes and rates – at both central and local government level which could be freed up for the public majority by ‘CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS AND CONSULTANTS’.

    Social welfare -= not corporate welfare!

    Take back public monies from the private greedy and give it back to the public needy!

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1111/S00095/wheres-nationals-corporate-welfare-reform.htm

    I’m unclear why no political party appears to be taking up this demand?

    Seems to be a ‘no-brainer’ to me!

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • Wychbych 6.1

      Our Council (Kapiti Coast) has spent $24 million (yes, $24 million) on consultants in the last four years.

      We have emphatically said NO to water meters being introduced, our mayor and her minions have ignored the people and they’re being installed (badly, it’s been reported) as we speak.

      I wonder at the links between these ‘consultants’ and our Council members. Just another sign of corporate fatcats getting the cream of other people’s labours.

      • Glg 6.1.1

        And now the Australilans are selling the data mined from the smart meters. bet that wasn’t listed as a selling point.

      • muzza 6.1.2

        In what way did the locals emphatically say NO?

        Remember that when these ideas come down, the current administration are only passing on the orders they have been given, and if they get voted out because of it next time around, then the next lot will continue on the same direction.

        • wychbych 6.1.2.1

          A record number of submissions against the installation of water meters.

          We raised a petition with the requisite number of signatures to ask for a referendum, and were ignored.

          The water meters were brought before the decision (apparently) was made, and have been installed as a fait accompli. Be assured they will be paying next vote!

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Bennett has attracted the most derogatory monikers in years for a minister (ahead just, of even the Prime Mincer, er Minister). Brawla, Pullya Benefit, Puller Benefit, Paula Benefat, Paula Benefit, etc. For good reason too. Bag features Bennett is not liked.

    She personally and National were well and truly exposed again on Q&A. It is acknowleged by many (citizens themselves and educationalists, academics and some businesses) that life long learning is now necessary to enable people to adapt and maintain an income during rapid societal change.

    So what do the Natz do? Slash ACE which was an entry point for some adults, do 10 one nighters on a subject before committing to 3 years tertiary. Gone. Slash and burn education opportunities for beneficiaries and other adults via the student loan criteria. Standard readers probably know the cuts chapter and verse so what…

    So, more of us need to demonstrate the courage of Sam Kuha in Kaikohe who is on hunger strike fer crissakes because WINZ have bailed on assisting him. How low do we have to go before more people get organised, Sam rode his mobility scooter down to smash WINZ front windows with a hammer and hates dealing with them anyway “it takes away my Wairua” he told the Northern Advocate newspaper.

  8. xtasy 8

    Well, what an embarrassing appearance of Bennett on Q+A.

    It proves that she is just the useful “puppet” and “mercenary” that National wanted to lead and front this truly ideological attack on welfare dependent in NZ.

    Bennett’s partly almost apologetic explanations, her bending and justifying all these punitive measures and sanctions show, that this is all going to be introduced to serve ideological purposes, and to also given WINZ staff some “tools” to hammer down on selected clients, who may for whatever reason cause them “difficulties”, which surely will include any behaviour, that may challenge WINZ’s policies.

    Reading through this mad, complex bill over last week, I asked myself again and again, how the hell would they implement and enforce all these new measures?

    It became clear to me, that it would never be possible to make the whole set of new provisions and measures work by applying them to all clients across the board. They are only going to pick on a per centage of clients, who come to their attention.

    WINZ and MSD would probably have to double their staff numbers to apply sanctions and checks on all, which would totally defeat the purpose of these poorly thought out “reforms”, which will hardly help anyone dependent on WINZ.

    Hence also some new sections that will provide for more outsourcing of “services”. That though will mean, that MSD pays service providers for delivering their “support”. Naturally they will try to get the “most competitive” (cheapest) providers, which would also spell a disaster for clients, as the service will most likely be very poor or non existent.

    So let us see what the National Day of Action will bring on 05 October (Henderson, West Auckland, outside the Mall on Great South Rd at 12 midday, I heard), and let us see how Bennett will handle the picking apart of this shoddy, insane, mean spirited piece of legislation.

    • Richard Down South 8.1

      “WINZ and MSD would probably have to double their staff numbers to apply sanctions and checks on all, which would totally defeat the purpose of these poorly thought out “reforms”, which will hardly help anyone dependent on WINZ.”

      Well that’s one way to create jobs i guess lol

      • Carol 8.1.1

        Well, no, RDS.

        Paula said in the qu & a interview, that they won’t be able to check up that all beneficiaries are complying, so they will just kinda do some random checks. This, then leaves it all open to the selection decisions and whims of WINZ staff – UGLY!

        http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/interview-social-development-minister-paula-bennett-5099729

        SHANE Can I just stop you there? Can you explain or break it down what you mean by vulnerable? So are you saying that not all children of beneficiaries will be subjected to these obligations?

        PAULA There is an expectation that they will be, but we won’t be testing that many of them, so we will only be looking for compliance for a certain population of that. The Cabinet papers say that we’ll be looking at around 20,000 to 25,000 children in a year, and we’ve got, you know, 220,000 children on benefits, so that’s a very very small subset of that.

        SHANE So just so that I’ve got it clear, we’re just talking about a certain section of these kids?

        PAULA That will be tested on whether or not they’re complying. The others – we expect them to, but we won’t be checking up to see if they have.

        SHANE What’s the point of these obligations if some don’t have to meet them?

        PAULA Well, it’s the same with work testing, to be honest. We have a work-test obligation across, you know, most of those that are on benefit. However, we do not test everyone to check that they’re complying. We don’t have the resources, and, in fact, some of them will comply without us checking on them and we don’t need to, so we take a subset. In this case, we’re going to take a subset of who we consider to be most vulnerable.

        • Dr Terry 8.1.1.1

          We can expect to see selected “scapegoats” for all the rest, and these scapegoats will be treated with venom (by Government and, tragically, the general public).

  9. bennett shows, by the distance between what she says she thinks and what she does, that she is the most dangerous of the useless ministers of this government. She always seems like an order-taker rather than an order-giver to me.

  10. North 10

    For Key and the darkly greedy ideologues of National/Act Bennett performs the same role politically as the judas sheep, once maybe still used at the freezing works, performed aughterwise.

    The judas sheep looking and sounding like a sheep was used by the meat companies to encourage all the other sheep to follow it up the race to their slaughter.

    Bennett with her over-vaunted status as a former beneficiary is used by Key et al to persuade the public that National/Act really knows what it is doing re welfare and that their way, no matter how pejorative and cruel, is the best and only way – thus deserving of their vote.

    Bennett really is a despicable one.

    • North 10.1

      For “aughterwise” read “slaughterwise”.

    • Chris 10.2

      I totally agree.pb is nothing but a mouthpiece and dog whistle for the little trader and she is PROUD to be so.He plays her like a double bass.I can’t wait for her to be ousted so I can say “the dream is over’ and watch her sink into oblivion.I don’t think any of her mates will be around to catch her when she falls and I don’t think she has the smarts to make anything of herself without the machine behind her driving her every thought and movement.

  11. Mary 11

    Interesting to see on that hideous advertisement for Countdown supermarket how the family are facing redundancy so talk about taking the youngest child out of daycare to reduce costs. They’ll have to add a scene where they lose half their benefit (but still get by because Countdown is so cheap, no doubt).

  12. Carol 12

    And today, Gordon Campbell is up to his usual high standard with his article analysing the arbitrariness of Bennett’s reforms and her related statistics:

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/09/24/gordon-campbell-on-paula-bennetts-yawning-credibility-gap/

    So much then, for using the reforms as a means to catch the vulnerable children in this country who are at risk. In effect….Bennett’s entire edifice of “welfare reform” turns out to little more than WINZ picking on a few of its most troublesome clients and dealing with them arbitrarily, as and when its already stretched resources will allow. What does the government’s silent partner (aka the Maori Party) have to say about this, given that those targeted by WINZ are disproportionately likely to be from among the tangata whenua?

    At the end of the day, cutting benefits to families by 50% among whoever – and for whatever reason – will only put those vulnerable children further at risk and punish them for the sins of their parents.

    Still….if you remain willing to believe anything that Bennett has to say on the subject of welfare reform then she has some big, big savings coming your way, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer. A whole $1.6 billion, she promised, less than a week ago.

    Maybe you could use that money to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Gareth Morgan as well:

      The facts show that most people on benefits return to work and get on with their lives. Long term benefit dependency is not the norm. National’s reactionary populism is a giant step backwards in policy sophistication and is depressing. Lowest common denominator thinking is one step from chaos. Can’t these finance sector cowboys-turned-politicians see that the growth in income and wealth disparities that New Zealand has experienced since the financial deregulation of the mid-1980s is the villain of the piece? At least as much as the economic downturn is.

      Emphasis mine.

  13. You have to look behind the bullshit to see what workfare is all about.
    Its not a ‘policy’ fraught with contradictions, but a survival mechanism of capitalism facing extinction.
    Welfare only works when it is profitable. This works when growth creates full employment and state provision reproduces wage workers more cheaply than than private provision.
    When profits fall due to the inherent decline of capitalism, taxes on profits that do not raise profits are a drain on profits. The cost of reproducing workers who are not needed is a dead loss.
    Thus for 30 years we have had the mantra, state out of business.
    We are in the last throes of the destruction of the welfare state.
    The logic behind the current ‘reforms’ were clear 40 years ago with the end of the post-war boom. The whole point is to force workers to fight over jobs to drive down wages and conditions in the competitive race to the bottom.
    But none of this will stop the decline of capitalism, the only question is do we want to go down with it.
    If we don’t want to go down with it we have to build an alternative. We can do that by rejecting the logic of capitalism as production for private profit, and decide to produce collectively to meet out social needs. 
    Fortunately for us capitalism can only survive by exploiting our labour. We have to find ways of refusing to sell our labour on their terms and use it collectively as our survival mechanism.
    For the working class to live, capitalism must die.
     
     

  14. BernyD 14

    Hows this ,
    All us GoodCivilisedPeople that have been around the block drive at 100km/hr so our kids’ll have a good example and not kill themselves on the road.

    What’s Bennets example?
    It’s ok to ignore starving people until they die , go crazy, goto prison
    What speed is she driving @ and how many lives are @ risk?

    PS If your teenagers’ are driving a car with slimed down direction tyres i’d like to point out some fatcs
    (as I think they are falling off the road in my area) …

    When you accelerate they spin and spin and spin ……
    They have less contact area on the road.
    They have less grip.
    They drive like a skate board on ice the second it’s damp
    They cost you 2km/litre in gas
    Why the hell would ya pay $200 for that M8!
    Do yourselves a favour and tell them to get some rocktreads M8!
    Those things stick like glue M8!.

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  • Why those bubbles are so important
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
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    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
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    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
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    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
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    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
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    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
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    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
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    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
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    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
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    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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    2 weeks ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
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    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago