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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    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    6 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    28 mins ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago