Bill’s bigoted drug reckons vs the evidence

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 am, February 28th, 2017 - 175 comments
Categories: bill english, drugs, im/migration, jobs, useless - Tags: , , , ,

It didn’t take Bill English long to revert to type – Bill English says employers are regularly telling him that Kiwis can’t pass drug tests. Some folks he knows are telling him stuff and he’s basing immigration policy on it? That’s some Trump-level reasoning right there.

Speaking at his weekly media conference English said two or three business owners a week told him about the difficulty in getting Kiwi workers who apply for jobs to pass a drug test.

Two or three a week! Conclusive proof in Bill’s mind that “young male” Kiwi are “pretty damned hopeless”.

The facts say otherwise. From 2014 – Minister claims low drug result as victory

Drug testing of beneficiaries is turning up an extremely low number of results showing drug use

Of the 8,001 beneficiaries sent for jobs requiring drug testing, only 22 tested positive to drug use or refused to take tests.

That number again – 22 out of 8,001. From 2016 – Few beneficiaries hit by drug testing

Beneficiaries with work obligations are now required to take and pass a drug test when asked to as part of a job application, with sanctions applied to their benefits for failing the tests.

Last year, there were 31,791 referrals for drug testable positions nationwide and just 55 sanctions for failing a drug test, according to Ministry of Social Development (MSD) figures.

That’s a vanishingly small percentage.

Whangarei Citizens Advice Bureau co-ordinator Moea Armstrong said the low number of beneficiaries failing drug tests proved most people were “really desperately keen” for a job and not doing drugs.

She thought most people led drug-free lifestyles and beneficiaries couldn’t afford to do drugs anyway.

“There’s not enough even for ciggies these days, let alone anything else.”

She said the country had nearly full employment in the 1970s.

“To me, that shows that when there is work available, people want to work,” she said. “It’s the system that is not providing the jobs because it suits people to have a whole pile of unemployed people to keep the wages down.”

Gary Reid, of Whanganui People’s Centre Advocacy Service, agreed a lack of jobs was the main thing keeping people from working.

Bill English is full of shit and it’s time that more media called him on it.

175 comments on “Bill’s bigoted drug reckons vs the evidence”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Clumsy dog whistling won’t save English.

    • yep – he is cracking and showing what a useless bum he is – first the housing rubbish and now this – whatever will he come up with next.

      • michelle 1.1.1

        he (Billy ) will come up with what ever he has to because he so desperately wants to be PM and we are now seeing the real Bill a true nasty bastard

  2. gsays 2

    on rnz this am, boss of drug detection agency says the rate of failure is static.

    get nick smith on to this.
    he can lower the standards and problem does not exist.
    perhaps we can get him to do his magic and increase ncea results too.

  3. Craig H 3

    While I don’t believe failing drug tests is nearly as widespread as the PM said, not all unemployed are beneficiaries and not all jobless are unemployed, and many job applicants currently have a job, so the beneficiary pass/fail rate doesn’t tell us much.

    • left_forward 3.1

      Your minimisation of what the beneficiary pass / fail rate is telling us is not convincing in the context of these low wage, temporary fruit picking jobs.
      How often would a person with a permanent job apply for one of these jobs?
      Even if, as you seem to be suggesting, a significant number did, why would they be more likely than an unemployed person to be a ‘drug abuser’?

      • Craig H 3.1.1

        Don’t know about being an abuser, but beneficiaries aren’t usually in a financial position to regularly indulge in drugs.

        Also, I disagree with the premise of drug testing for usage, as it only matters if someone turns up to work under the influence.

    • Jobless are by definition unemployed, I think what you mean is that not all jobless people are on Jobseeker support, a statement that is more true than ever under this government’s punitive policies.

      The pass-fail rate for beneficiaries actually tells the Government exactly what they want to know, as the government appears to be more concerned with getting people off welfare payments than they do with actually improving the conditions of their lives, so they know that only those 55 people are on drugs and that the “problem” is so negligible that the drug-testing isn’t even cost-effective.

      I say “problem” in scare-quotes because beneficiaries on drugs are probably not paying cash for it, and it’s entirely possible that growing or using drugs is one of the things that makes their life enjoyable. If that is causing a legitimate problem in their lives, we shouldn’t kick them off benefits for using drugs, we should pay for them to get therapy so they can get out of a self-destructive situation. And if all it’s doing is improving their mood, we should actually be strongly considering butting out of people’s private lives and continuing to pay them their benefit, because not everyone on drugs is a bad employee. The amount of alcohol abusers I’ve seen among people in workplaces who come into work and kill it like a boss while hungover is… impressive to me as someone who will never master that skill, and those are people who actually DO need therapy for their private lives. Then there’s there’s the people who just party hard but look much the same while you see them drinking. Etheir way, I don’t see how things are any different if their drug of choice isn’t alcohol- if it’s not causing them problems in their life, it’s nobody’s business what drugs they’re using.

      The best policy answer to practically any reason why people on benefits aren’t moving into employment is either: “target assistance better,” or “spend more resources to provide more/better assistance than we currently do.” The reality of the situation is that most people who fall out of Jobseeker support are doing so because there’s no genuine attempt to help them become self-sufficient. It’s possible some of those people resort to crime, but that’s not because the people were wrong, it’s because the system failed them.

      • Tophat 3.2.1

        Thanks Matthew Whitehead, great post. +many 1s

      • Craig H 3.2.2

        I was referring to the totally BS definition of ‘unemployed’ as used by Stats NZ – people can be jobless without counting as ‘unemployed’.

        • Oh, where they “stop looking for work”? Yeah, that’s bullshit. If someone has stopped looking for work for reasons other than “I’m doing unpaid work instead and am happy being supported by my partner,” then yeah, they’re fucking unemployed, they’ve just been completely failed by the system and have given up. That’s not something the government gets to exclude from their stats because they don’t like it, it’s a legit problem and negative social indicator.

  4. It’s not bigotry or a dog-whistle, it’s a straightforward play to National’s most important constituency: employers.

    English and his cabinet are as aware as we are that their stated reasons for issuing so many work visas to unskilled workers are bullshit, but they can hardly state the real reason: employers of unskilled workers, particularly but not only the employers who immigrated from Third World countries, know that workers from Third World countries here on employer-dependent visas are highly exploitable and will accept far worse pay and conditions than NZ-born workers. If you’re an arsehole, and a hell of a lot of Nat voters are, why would you want NZ workers? English needs to keep his arsehole constituency happy, and if that means he has to lie with a straight face, he’s had plenty of training in how to do that.

    • Cinny 4.1

      PM, totally agree.

    • Brendon Harre 4.2


    • halfcrown 4.3

      You have got it in one Pal.

    • Stephen Doyle 4.4

      That’s the evidence my son sees. He used to be a truck driver, immigrants were quite happy to do long (illegally long) hours for less that the minimum wage. Owners happy to oblige.

      • Bill 4.4.1

        quite happy …or desperate and disempowered enough?

      • infused 4.4.2

        You’re so full of shit. If they were doing it for lower the the min wage, provide some evidence or stfu.

        • In Vino

          ” lower than” I think you meant… Please write clearly.
          Your demand of providing evidence is dumb. Who can do it here? It will appear in a court case one day with any luck, but you and your ilk will try to bury any evidence anyway. You are Confused, not Infused.

        • McFlock

          Are you suggesting that if we went to look at ERA or employment court decisions over the last few years there wouldn’t be a case of an immigrant being found to have actually worked for, say, net payment from the employer (nominal wage minus various charges back to employer) of, say, less than $10 per hour? Or just that they weren’t driving trucks?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.5


  5. philj 5

    The pm diminishes the scant respect that used to be attributed to the office of Prime Minister. By this trash talking of Kiwi youth he betrays New Zealanders for the failings of his government. And then blames the victim! Very rich manure there Bill. Yes Bill, import more cheap labour for your business mates to keep Kiwi wages down. Its known as neoliberal standard practice. This is a punitive and irresponsible government with an agenda to drive the low paid workers down and the cost of their housing up.

    • aerobubble 5.1

      We like to provide security. Business can access global insurance, retail space is abundant, industrial land no problem, water, power, finance all eagerly provided by government. Free trade. Kid rocks up for a job interview, for a part time, seasonal, low paid job, high rents, costly health cover (compared to income), now gets slated by the PM as potential druggie. Insecurity for citizens, lavish abundance for corrupt, polluting, drug adled ceos, ceos over paid, pushing for further cost shifting onto employees, fees, charges. Winz prosecutes an orde of magnitue more and than is the business sector. Its called elitism and globally people are fedup with laws, rules, being different for some. That kid could go down and have a swim but no big corp shat in it.

  6. bwaghorn 6
    soper is keeping the hate alive towards tenants as well . covering all bases these clowns.
    ”Many of them are hardly ideal tenants though having been blacklisted in the private sector, evicted from state houses, have criminal records and are violent to their families.”

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      You missed the next sentence the old bastard wrote, which was the scariest:

      “…And that’s the conundrum, when does the state stop taking responsibility for them..?”

      So in other words, when does the state blame the poor for their condition, declare them undeserving, and let them starve?

      When Barry? When?

    • michelle 6.2

      the trickle down is not happening because gnats are inteferring with the labour market when it suits them and then crying wolf when it doesn’t
      Billy has been bumbling and stumbling his way through the political arena so far but I believe his days are numbered

  7. Brutus Iscariot 7

    Don’t overlook the impact of the government’s failed drug policy – persecute cannabis so that P becomes cheaper – oh and we won’t tackle that (too hard), but we will send a smiling cop to write on a notepad after you get burgled by a P addict.

  8. Cinny 8

    It’s cheaper for the employers to hire immigrants especially when those immigrants have to pay the employer for accommodation.

    The cost of accommodation is taken out of their wages. They then charge immigrants per head for accommodation rather than per dwelling, Making for cheap labour, and the islanders won’t speak out against their employer when their rights are being abused.

    To keep the sham going, the outgoing PM finds a way to blame the poor and justify the exploitation of immigrant workers.

    Why are the media not covering this situation, come to Motueka and find out for yourselves, it’s all true.

    • s y d 8.1

      this is happening everywhere is NZ – in packhouses, orchards, taxis, takeaways, building sites.
      We’ve exported our manufacturing work, now we’re ‘exporting’ our service/low skill work overseas, but basing the overseas worker in NZ.

      • AB 8.1.1

        Nice insight syd – and it is quite logical from the business owner’s perspective. Because actually outsourcing work to other countries is hard to do, can result in catastrophic loss of quality and is really only an option for big organisations. High immigration allows smaller players to do what amounts to ‘domestic outsourcing’.
        And it’s really smart because you get a sort of vertical integration of the exploitation process:
        – bring people here and charge them for an overpriced education on the promise of future residency (money goes into our bogus private tertiary education sector)
        – hire them at low wages (get good, often over-qualified, desperate, and very hard workers on the cheap to increase profit margins. So you do get the boat and the bach)
        – increase the total pool of unemployment (further downward pressure on wages, great)
        – create many desperate renters who will cover the mortgages on your investment properties (wow it’s getting better)
        – externalise the social costs onto the taxpayers while your accountant finds ways to let you avoid paying your tax – thereby avoiding all personal responsibility for your actions. (right-wing wet-dream territory right there)

        What’s not to like if you are on the winning side of every single one of those equations?

        • Draco T Bastard


        • Sam

          And what about the people in poor foreign countries? Sure immigration benefits wealthy people here but it also benefits oppressed people in poor countries who come here for a better life – you don’t seem to care about those people.

    • michelle 8.2

      the mainstream media are no good we cant rely on them they look after themselves and there masters they do as they are told or they will be gone by lunch time. Only dick head hoskings is allowed to abuse his role and advocate for the gnats while being paid by our taxes this is called free advertising and lobbying on our state TV channel

    • Siobhan 8.3

      Then you have folk in the Labour Party, like Anna Lorck, who tell us that these workers are GOOD for our employment situation

      “The rest of New Zealand could learn a lot from the success of Labour’s world-class Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme in Hawke’s Bay.

      The great results we are achieving in the region through growing more long-term better paying jobs for locals, underpinned by the RSEs, should be heralded as a shining example for other industries to follow.”

      (no mention here, ofcourse, that you get $35.00 a bin, same rate as in the 90’s.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.3.1

        Completely agree. Anyone who represents a party with the word ‘Labour’ in the name should be talking about the problem of low, low wages that we have, not celebrating policies guaranteed to perpetuate crap pay.

  9. Carolyn_nth 9

    55 sanctions for failing a drug test? Was that 55 people, or did some people fail more than once?

  10. Carolyn_nth 10

    NatWatch: Some folks he knows are telling him stuff and he’s basing immigration policy on it? That’s some Trump-level reasoning right there.

    Actually, Bling is just repeating a line John Key spun last year.

    Chloe King on twitter just drew attention to this piece by her last September, as reprinted on the Standard:

    Chloe King – John Key, I am a low waged worker, and neither “lazy” nor “drug addled”

    Prime Minister John Key is making international headlines for all the wrong reasons again. In a recent Radio New Zealand interview he shamed low waged workers, calling them, “drug addicts” and describing them as being “lazy.”

    RNZ article on it, September last year:

    Speaking on Morning Report today, Mr Key admitted high immigration was putting a strain on the country’s infrastructure, but the government would continue to bring in large numbers to fill jobs.

    He said this was partly because many employers could not get New Zealanders to work due to problems with drugs or work ethic.

    “But go and ask the employers, and they will say some of these people won’t pass a drug test, some of these people won’t turn up for work, some of these people will claim they have health issues later on. So it’s not to say there aren’t great people who transition from Work and Income to work, they do, but it’s equally true that they’re also living in the wrong place, or they just can’t muster what is required to actually work.”

    • Karen 10.1

      This is a longstanding tactic of the right – try to demonise the victims of your inhumane policies in order to reduce concern from the general public. Justify leaving state houses empty by falsely claiming they are unfit to live in due to p contamination, suggest all homeless people are dysfunctional, claim anyone who can’t get a job is lazy or a drug user – this is deliberate and I wish journalists would not only start asking for hard evidence of any of these claims instead of accepting anecdotes clearly designed to obfuscate.

      I’d also like some evidence that using recreational drugs outside of working hours impairs the abilities of workers on the job any more than alcohol does. If you are addicted to p or an alcoholic then there could be a problem, but otherwise?

      • Karen 10.1.1

        Russell Brown has written a good post:

        Interesting to follow his link to the drug testing company Julie Christie is involved in – testing for p contamination in houses is one of the things they do. Julie has some close links with the National Party.

      • LilaR 10.1.2

        “I’d also like some evidence that using recreational drugs outside of working hours impairs the abilities of workers on the job any more than alcohol does.”
        The ubiquitous Nigel Latta should look into this – it would make a lot more sense than blowing things up.

  11. Ad 11

    This kind of anecdotalism really bunches my pants.

    This Thursday night the Fabians are hosting the Salvation Army researcher who put out the alternative State of the Nation report. I don’t have to agree that their stuff is the only stuff worth measuring, but at least it’s based on facts.

    What we have in Bill English is a low-grade politician, who should know a whole lot better than to do this because he comes from the world of the public service, where you have to give advice based on facts.

    It’s the shallow state.

    The shallow state thrives on anectdotalism, and it’s the opposite of a true public service. It actively eschews experience, knowledge, relationships, insight, craft, special skills, tradition, and shared values. It celebrates its disdain of those things.

    What it feeds is the ability to simply sway people who don’t want their lifecourse structured by reality. They don’t have to dig for actual truth; they can skim the media for anything that makes them feel better about themselves. English then gets to feed and ripple such crowds. To such people, knowledge is not a useful tool but a cunning barrier elites have created to keep power from the average man and woman. The same is true for experience, skills, and know-how. Such things require time and determination and study, and often challenge our systems of belief. Truth is hard; shallowness is easy.

    This kind of thing is the slippery slope to both the Orewa Speech and of course to Donald Trump. We’re at a bit of risk when an entity as small as the Salvation Army has to marshall the facts about our country into something cohesive, and the best our Prime Minister can do is start reaching for the tired tropes of the shallow state.

    • AB 11.1

      “To such people, knowledge is not a useful tool but a cunning barrier elites have created to keep power from the average man and woman.”
      This is overthinking it – most people have no formal notion of an ‘elite’ at all – if they did why would so many vote for National which is self-evidently the party of the business and financial elite?
      Rather, I think a lot of people have internalised ideas about how society functions (and needs to function) that essentially support established power. This is the body of ‘common-sense’ that they draw on. Both fact-based and emotion-based challenges to those ideas are dismissed as “political correctness”, or “bleeding heart”, or latterly I have noticed as “virtue signalling”.
      In other words I don’t think most people are suspicious and resentful of elites at all – they barely recognise them and many support political ideologies that are highly favourable to elites.

  12. Psych nurse 12

    It,s like saying all politicians fiddle their housing supplements when we all know there was only one. About 1%, a greater figure than those testing positive to drugs.
    Conversely sickness beneficiaries are not tested, a huge number of the people I see in my profession are users of illicit drugs, waged and beneficiaries.
    Our society blames the user for their problems but lauds the wealthy who finance the importation and manufacture of drugs, you don’t do that on a benefit.

  13. Whispering Kate 13

    How many MP’s would pass the 12 hour check for alcohol, prescription drugs or worst of all recreational drugs in their systems before they are present at the Beehive ready for work. They wouldn’t pass the lunch hour check for question time or the dinner check for late time sessions either.

    How many of our questionable laws are passed with MP’s impaired making the decisions on our behalf. What wankers the lot are.

  14. Sabine 14

    The only way to really change this is by changing our Drug laws, how we enforce these laws, and why. Above all the Why.

    Bill English is just so devoid of a moral compass that he does not mind coming across as a bigot, but what else is new?

    However, if really we want to tackle use, possession, retail and in some cases addiction we need to change the law.
    Until then, Bill English is allowed to not only blow a dog whistle, heck he can literally blow the horn and it would not matter.

    Time to go the way of Colorado, California, the Netherlands or better even Portugal.
    Maybe then the drug testing industry would actually devise tests that check for impairment rather then past use.

    • rhinocrates 14.1

      Bill English is just so devoid of a moral compass that he does not mind coming across as a bigot, but what else is new?

      I know some Christians who actually behave as Christians and they are very fine people that I admire.

      I don’t know Blinglish, but I have stepped in some. Dante describes a special circle in Hell for hypocrites – it’s one of the very lowest ones, for those who show malice of spirit, as opposed to those who commit sins of passion or against the self. He should read The Divine Comedy and answer a quiz afterwards. As a ‘good’ Catholic Christian, he should have no trouble with it…

    • Just get more Drug councillors to immigrate here.-god you lot do go on.

      • The decrypter 14.2.1

        And while I’m at it –pay the “P state house assessors people” to gain accurate information re druggies, and also the smattering of dirt in the odd water way. Bundle it I say.

        • Cinny

          and accurate testing, cause that’s another money making scam that relies on blaming the poor, rather than being able to fully access the situation (accurate data) and offer solutions.

          The ingredients for P are manufactured cheaply in China, those that profit off it at the top of the chain are making enormous amounts of money, I’m not talking the gangs they are just fish, i’m talking sharks. The ones with so much wealth that they have the means and power to control, the money to pay others (possibly the lawmakers and upholders) to turn a blind eye, and the more users, the more profit.

          The less addiction services and help, the more who continue to use, and more profit for the pushers, viscous circle. So who are the pushers that are perpetuating this problem? Could it be the outgoing government?

          Sitting in Parliament, their red cheeks glowing, speech slurring, aggressiveness showing, it’s all good, perfectly legal to have a drink, relaxes me while creating laws for the country. Check out how many donations we received from asian communities, maybe some of them have factories in China.

          Just a different perspective.

  15. rhinocrates 15

    And some of them are Mexicans!

  16. Cinder 16

    Bill English, what a cockwomble…
    So much for “evidence based policy” and “compassionate conservatism”.

    He is appealing to people like this…

    Want to bet that this goon doesn’t have an employment contract for the potential employee? And boy, in the advertisement he comes across as such an even tempered guy to work for!!!
    20 hours a week, (at the minimum wage I bet), starting at what hour of the day? And you may need to travel how far to start work for an ephemeral and probably ever shifting promise of more hours.
    All for a grumpy old bastard who probably inherited the land from his father who was gifted stolen maori land. And then you will find he has structured his own tax affairs so he is paying less tax than you while sitting on more capital than you will ever accrue…
    But don’t forget the real problem are low riding pants and backwards caps – Which I think was a thing circa 1998…

    The same goes for the building and construction industry – Work long hours on low wages for an arsehole of a boss while he enjoys a business structure that allows him to receive GST rebates on his car, phone, computer, probably his home and also for any renovations of 2nd or 3rd properties he will flick off in 2 years and 1 day for untaxed gain equal to a couple of years pay for you.

    And they wonder why they struggle to find staff for such stellar, ethical and compassionate employers.

    My friends and I think National are probably spouting this sewerage for the following reasons.
    1: Internal polling shows National are getting a kicking from NZF in the provinces. Can’t turn off the immigration tap or the smoke and mirrors economy they have built will evaporate, so better put the boot into “bludgers” who are an easy target and any concerns they raise in the media sink without trace as they are non-people.
    2: Plan to introduce mandatory drug testing to receive benefits of any sort but the pension.
    3: Revise the Employment Contracts Act so you can discriminate for any old reason you like, such as “they was funny looking”, “Probably had maori blood” “Asked me about holiday pay”

    • bwaghorn 16.1

      this post is having a crack at english (rightly so) for using reckons instead of facts , and you use it as a vehicle to use a whole ship load of reckons to poor hate on a farmer because he uses a bit of humour in his ad? odd

      • Cinder 16.1.1

        Yes, yes I do.

        And I do so because this farmer is spouting BS just like English’s “reckons” and is using coded language just like the double dipper.
        You can call it “humour”, but I call it discrimination and a closed mind regarding peoples appearance and their commensurate skills, knowledge, work ethic and ability.

        They way you dress has little to do with your ability to perform the job, trying to frame it as “your baggy jeans will get caught in the drivetrain” is just more smoke and mirrors.

        Also, I did not write this post – the author did.
        May want to check the rest of the internet to see how threads often zig and zag (just like a National party politician when asked a hard question.

        • bwaghorn


        • weka

          Yeah, although tbf, I think the people applying for the job that are what he is looking for will get a different message from the coded language. Something like, it’s a serious job and you need a classical work ethic. Given the context I don’t have too much of a problem with that.

          He’s probably had people applying for the job that are just really unsuitable. Often employers end up blaming employees but they themselves lack the right screening skills. I can see why he would do it this way and I think his coding is quite different than English’s. There should actually be discrimination in that job hiring process, and by that I don’t mean discrimination against classes of people, but discrimination in choosing these people over those because of suitability. Whereas the PM of NZ is dog whistling because he actively wants to enforce prejudice against classes of people (or he’s using that to distract from how shit his govt is on water, take your pick).

      • AB 16.1.2

        I don’t see it as humour – though it might be funny if you are not in a position where this guy can exert any power over you.
        I see it as a pretty degrading set of anticipatory insults directed at people who might turn up looking for work. I would totally hate having to be reliant on someone like this for a living (and so would you probably)
        And I’ll forgive Cinder his ‘reckons’ because (s)he’s obviously in the thick of it and that can make you pretty angry.

        • weka

          I thought the best bits of Cinder’s critique were around whether the farmer was using an employment agreement or not. I don’t think one can judge what kind of employer or person he is from that article (I can interpret it another way, see above). To know if he’s a bastard, you’d have to know the detail.

          +1 about the reckons and anger though.

        • bwaghorn

          aaagh i seeee only lefties are allowed to hate ,

          • AB

            OK – so you are suggesting some sort of equivalence between Bill English’s evidence-free ‘hating’ on Kiwi workers and Cinder’s also evidence-free ‘hating’ on a farmer who posted an insulting advertisement that obliquely suggested quite a few Kiwi workers are sort of sloppy (wear their pants half down) and lazy (look at their phones all the time).
            You are simply failing to distinguish between provocation and response – and also failing to distinguish between who has power to bring their ‘hating’ into effect, and who doesn’t.

          • Cinder

            You can call it hate, but I think you are suffering from poor reading comprehension skills (that is a skill sadly lacking in lot of New Zealanders)

            1: The author of this piece points out it is an appeal to employers who will agree with his BS. I point to an example of just such an employer (South Canterbury farmer, hardly likely to be a Labour voter is he?)
            2: In my reply to you I actually agreed that I had provided a fact free “reckon” about an employer, But “whoosh”…
            3: Here is some evidence (that you will probably disagree with) that, unlike Billy Boy, backs up my claims.




            And lets not forget that a farmer of his age probably enjoyed large subsidies for his exports until the eighties and is still being subsidized by not being included in the emissions trading scheme.

            I have been entrusted with recruiting, training and mentoring staff in my work – Strangely I believe in following NZ employment laws, empowering them to further their career and setting an example for my staff in the workplace which they would seek to emulate.

            Unlike a lot of other employers in this country, who see their workers as an exploitable and disposable asset while setting an example of exploiting tax loopholes, enriching themselves from the public purse and making greed an end unto itself.

            And yes i am angry, it has been a couple of days where we have seen the PM putting the boot into people without a voice, encouraging a view of people caught in poverty that is contrary to the evidence and basically sh!tting on people then running away when questioned about it. What a big man, what a fine example…

            • bwaghorn

              you really are thick , you don’t know that guy ,he may be a shit , he may be awsome, if he’s had help in the past from family or government it was probably above board . fools like you are the reason why people hate the left, get out of your bubble and meet some humans

              • Cinder

                So, Billy Boy can make some pretty sweeping assertions a large segment of the population who lack a voice, are over represented in our suicide statistics, not present any evidence and you stay quiet.

                I can make assertions about someone who is part of a large segment of the population and CAN present evidence of crimes and wrongdoings committed by such people and I am thick?

                Maybe you just didn’t want to read the articles – 3/4’s of farmers investigated breaching employment law 2 years ago, that’s a much larger amount than the 0.17 percent of beneficiaries sanctioned for drugs over 3 years.

                You do realise that you are having some pretty bloody big “reckons” here yourself right? And coming across as quite the bully to boot…

                “Probably above board” – Gee, we just don’t know do we, but if you would care to read some of those links I posted, statistically the chances are not so good.

                “fools like you are the reason why people hate the left” – It does seem you know quite bit about hate, but not much about my political beliefs. It does however show that you are guilty of just as many reckons as me.

                “get out of your bubble and meet some humans” – Want to keep having some reckons? Because according to you it is some sort of terrible terrible crime….

                I can make some reckons about you too, such as your “won’t be happy until NZ has slums” comment indicates to me that it is you who is living in a bubble, perhaps one in Remuera, Tinakori or Cromwell

                I do have to wonder if you are a right wing troll? I mean, there are much bigger prats lurking on this blog and you decide to pick on me? Is it going to descend into a game of “citation needed”?

                And as I said, you have remained utterly silent about English’s claims…
                And don’t forget – It was you who started reckoning about me.

                • bwaghorn

                  he hee im a rwtroll and wekas labour voter , do pay attention , you have just proved my whole point that you are an idiot who likes to grand stand

                  • Cinder

                    Sorry Waghorn, you and Weka are both getting in ahead of me regarding replies.

                    If YOU had paid any attention, you would notice I am posting on The Standard for the first time this week.
                    I read The Standard for content, not for the comments. So, yes I am unaware of any political flags you may have waved in the past.

                    Great way to welcome people onto a blog by the way – Being called idiot idiot over and over again by someone who does not actually answer questions is an AWESOME introduction.

                    Um, what was your point? I will repeat what I said in my first reply to you “Yes, Yes I did make a lot of reckons about the farmer”. Happy now? Because it was said in reply to you the first time and you didn’t seem to be happy with it!

                    • bwaghorn

                      my point is you came to this post about english and used it to spill hate on farmers , {i happen to be one. only a shepherd ] if you had of put it on om i may have been less rude , but i cant be fucked with shiny shoed dicks weakening the left by hating on farmer s ,just because they live in a little pool of bile.
                      i dont need to read your links to know some farmers are shit employers i’ve worked for three of them. and one of the worst followed the employment laws to letter,so he would have been classed as good in you little paper shuffling world.

              • weka

                “I can make assertions about someone who is part of a large segment of the population and CAN present evidence of crimes and wrongdoings committed by such people and I am thick?”

                No, I think you are bigoted. Assigning negative traits to all people in a group and a specific person in that group based on no evidence but instead on perceived shared values or behaviours or traits, is by definition bigotry. It’s what underlies English’s dog whistling.

                “Maybe you just didn’t want to read the articles – 3/4’s of farmers investigated breaching employment law 2 years ago, that’s a much larger amount than the 0.17 percent of beneficiaries sanctioned for drugs over 3 years.”

                As far as I can tell you want to do what English is doing only with better stats. My problem is with the bigotry not just the stats. Because it legitimises all sorts of other bene-bashing if we think that what can be said statistically about a group means all people in that group are damned.

                So sure, have a go at farmers as a group over employment law within their industry, and I’ll join you. But start bashing individual farmers simply because they are farmers and I’ll point out the harm and the hypocrisy.

                As b points out, you are way off on your characterisation of both him and me. Take some time to get to know people eh?

            • weka

              “I have been entrusted with recruiting, training and mentoring staff in my work – Strangely I believe in following NZ employment laws, empowering them to further their career and setting an example for my staff in the workplace which they would seek to emulate.”

              I know lots of people without employment agreements or adequate work protection. Employment law in NZ sucks and enforcement even more so. I also know people who employ others under those laws and who treat them relatively well but are still working along that line of law and what is ok. These are not bad people, they’re just working the rules to the extent they can to make their small businesses work and trying to be good to the people that work for them. I also know people that treat their staff badly.

              There is nothing in that original article to say where the farmer falls on that line.

              Not all farmers vote on the right either.

              • Cinder

                Wait, you know people without employment contracts?
                And you have not gone to MBIE and the Labour Inspectorate?

                Because “they’re just working the rules to the extent they can to make their small businesses work”.

                Nice to know Labour supporters are such keen supporters of workers rights.

                • weka

                  No, that’s not why I haven’t gone to MBIE etc. Have you approached them about the farmer yet?

                  What makes you think I’m a Labour supporter?

                  Nice side step of the issues I raised in response to yours though.

                  • Cinder

                    Hiya Weka, more than happy to engage with you. It was not an intentional sidestep – I was actually more engaged / enraged by Mr B and his accusations or being the Labour whipping boy for right wingers..

                    First off, I have already acknowledged I was having quite a few reckons with regard to the farmer. But as I point out later with the evidence, the odd’s for him are not great.

                    I have not gone to MBIE regarding the farmer as I do not have any evidence about him in particular and I DO realise that it was full of reckons.

                    However, I don’t really believe in taking the high road when you have someone like English sh!tting on you (I am currently unemployed). English did this on a national stage, denigrating people to a populace whom I believe have few critical faculties and I have almost no faith in. And then a cute old farmer pops up (also on the national stage), everyone goes “Awwww, ain’t he funny”. Totally missing the subtext….

                    I would prefer to ask “If I am a drug taking loser with no future according to you, then what do we make of another section of the population who seem to exploiting employees, stealing land and dodging their tax obligations?”

                    And the reason I do so is that we have strong evidence to back up my assertions and he does not – I am beyond caring about individuals caught up in the fight as the National Party have shown they don’t give a hoot about who their sh!t sticks to. They play to win and at the moment few other parties seem to have got their “mongrel” on

                    Sorry for making a reckon regarding your political allegiance, but given your near constant presence on this blog I guessed you had skin in the game.

                    I do agree that one does need to “positively” discriminate with regard to employees though. I have had 100’s of people employ for jobs I was recruiting for simply because it sounded cool or they wanted a foot in the door. But my experience shows things can often go a little sideways by judging people on their appearance and interview skills. Had one staff member who looked like choirboy, spoke well but was as sharp as a spoon…

                    Oh, regarding the anger – Yep, fully admit it, But read my first post, Monday seemed a lot like the beginning of “Hate Week” against beneficiaries with Double Dipper’s various claims.


                    [lprent: FYI: weka is an author and moderator. Mostly leaning green.

                    FYI: It pays to read what people actually say rather than guessing. You have to have read quite a lot of what people write to be able to guess well. Impatient trolls prefer to guess and try to lay tags on others as one of their rather daft behaviours. That is what other commenters are reacting to when you do that. While it is an assumption, after reading a million or so comments, it is a very safe assumption.

                    People debating tend to read and respond to what they read – not what they think others are saying. Write carefully.

                    And read the about and policy so I can stop noticing you. ]

                    • weka

                      I read your first comment here and was impressed 🙂 (and hope that micky follows up on that).

                      This site has nothing to do with the NZ Labour Party. Read the About and the Policy. It’s a particular bugbear of Lynns (Lprent) who runs the site, for good historical reasons, and he’s apt to moderate hard if he sees people assuming that any of us are here due to Labour.

                      Both b and I live in rural communities. While as a staunch defender of nature I have some pretty strong politics around farming, and farmers as a group (and I disagree with b reasonable often on farmers’ responsibilities), I draw the line at them being classed as evil because they are my neighbours, friends, and community, and for the reasons I outlined in my comment about bigotry.

                      As someone belonging to a class of people that routinely experiences both the kind of bigotry you are expressing as well as institutional violence from that, I’ve had my life ruined too often to accept the position that it’s ok to demonise individuals because of their perceived class. (I am a beneficiary with a disability btw). You might feel justified in choosing to not care about individual farmers and see them as expendable for the good of the political cause but I can tell you that that is exactly how people who have practiced bigotry against me justify their actions too.

                      As I said, hold farmers accountable as a group, and I’m right there will you. I like what you are saying about the workers’ rights, and I think bringing that to light about the farming sector would be great. So it’s more about how you’ve gone about it in this thread.

                      It’s true you are new here, but it’s a sink or swim kind of place. I think you will hold your own ok, and that you will bring useful and refreshing new perspectives to the place. Just bear in mind that many in the comments do know each other, and it’s like you’ve just walked into the local pub and started slinging mud at a couple of locals without checking first if they should even be targets.

                      Your anger seems righteous to me, I think it’s just not precisely enough aimed.

                      edit, I see Lynn has already moderated but is giving you a chance 🙂

                    • weka

                      I also add, that once you get the hang of the place, I think there is potential for you to put up a Guest Post. It’s a good way to sort one’s thinking out too 😉 You may or may not want to do that given what you have going on in real life, there is a degree of scrutiny that goes with having a post up as opposed to commenting. If you are on a benefit I would suggest some caution in approaching that.

                    • Cinder

                      Righto, my truly sincere apologies to Weka and especially B Waghorn.

                      I really should have put on my thinking cap before instigating this crap with a poorly arranged attacked on an innocent party (who like I am saying of myself doesn’t really have voice in this or a right of reply)

                      Also, my apologies to L Prent for having to intervene and (probably) once again explain the alignment of this blog.

                      I guess the really sad thing is that we are all in agreement about Bill English’s comments and here are berating each other and guessing at political leanings…

                      Also, I honestly don’t tend to read the comments on this blog. I do read the postings but pass on the comments section as they tend to degenerate into the sort of things which I started. Oh the irony!!!

                      Also, L Prent, I don’t know if you are close to Micky Savage but if he wishes to contact me regarding my posting from the other day you have my express permission to do so.

                      Once again, my apologies to you all.

                    • weka

                      No worries Cinder 🙂 I hope you stick around.

    • AB 16.2

      Totally – another entitled, old white guy looking down his nose at his economic and social inferiors. Expects them to unquestioningly enable his own enrichment and be grateful for the privilege. Core National supporter.
      How long till the (metaphorical) pitchforks come out in response to these guys?

    • William 16.3

      You and your friends are smart people.

      The cynicism makes me want to slit my wrists.

  17. Philj 17

    But, but says Bill, ‘ I have received anecdotal evidence…’ Goodness sake Bill, anecdote is not evidence. What do you take us for?

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    Evidence is something that National (and almost every other form of conservative) has to deny as it ALWAYS proves them wrong.

  19. emergency mike 19

    A few days ago National was getting savaged for their stupid unswimmable swimmable rivers policy. Low and behold, English starts droning on about the damn druggies based on what he’s ‘heard’.

    It’s all so boringly familiar.

  20. Andrew 20

    “Of the 8,001 beneficiaries sent for jobs requiring drug testing, only 22 tested positive to drug use or refused to take tests.”

    From the article:

    “Figures for the first 12 weeks of the scheme, released through the Official Information Act, does not show how many of the 8,001 people referred for jobs requiring drug testing were tested”

    As there are no figures on just how many were actually tested then we cant make assumptions. For example, if there were only 500 tested and 22 failed, then that is about a 4.5% failure rate.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      If only you’d read the next section of the OP

      31,791 referrals for drug testable positions nationwide and just 55 sanctions

      55 / 31,791 = 0.17% = Bill English is lying, but then “lying bigot” is a tautology.

      • Andrew 20.1.1

        Once again, that says, “drug testable positions”. It doesn’t say how many were actually tested. I know many people who work in a “drug testable position” and very few of them have actually been tested.

        There is absolutely no way you can come up with a reliable figure like: 0.17%.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Oh, I think you can draw broad brush conclusions from it. If ten percent of testable positions actually lead to tests, for example, we know the failure rate is 1.7%.

          We do not need the exact figures to see that Bill English just invented a piss-poor excuse for eight long years of failure.

    • McFlock 20.2

      But that relies on only 500 people being tested from 8000 referrals: only 6.25% followup from referral? What’s even the point of a referral then?

      How do you justify this scurrilous aspersion being cast upon the efficiency of the testing programme? lol

      • Andrew 20.2.1

        He he, it didn’t say 8000 referrals, it said, “jobs requiring drug testing”. I agree with what you say, but there could be many reasons why the employer didn’t require the applicant to undergo a drug test. Until we actually know the complete figures, those bandied about in the above post and in the news are meaningless.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Nope, not meaningless: we know a lot more than we would without them, like, for example, we can draw the tentative conclusions that Bill English is lying, and Paula has a dogwhistle.

        • McFlock

          So the jobs that required drug testing didn’t require drug testing?

          Talk about meaningless.

  21. Sacha 21

    Great diversion from discussing job creation and migration levels – and look how well we’ve swallowed the bait.

  22. Cinny 22

    Here’s a thought, maybe the mystery ‘druggies’ are actually taking prescription medicine, rather than recreational drugs, maybe they are embarrassed about that because it could be medication for depression or other mental illness.

    Please employ me i take medication everyday because of a mental illness, ummm let’s cross that person off the list of applicants. It’s hard enough for some without going through the humiliation of announcing it to any prospective employer, easier to avoid a drug test.

    Just another angle. And how are we really supposed to know, are there any stat’s for this? Will be easier to sell the druggies narrative if there is a lack of stats.

    Either way it appears to be going down like a cup of cold sick on the talkback channels.

    • weka 22.1

      yeah, nah, Blinglish just made that shit up. Because if it was real, he’d be talking about those issues, which drugs, how you can get false positives, which meds will turn up etc (as well as whether a positive test for cannabis smoked last week means anything). But he’s not, he just wanted a quick, bigoted sound bite distraction from the fuckups/corporate raiding his govt is doing that were getting a bit much attention.

      There are plenty of stats.

      • marty mars 22.1.1

        It is suspicious that he is doing a trump blatant lie that can be easily checked. He could have the serious shakes…

        • emergency mike

          He’s just following Trump’s post-fact lead. Just make shit up, others can contradict you with facts later, but the dogs he’s whistling won’t care. They’ll just nod their heads and believe it anyway since it fits with the bigotry they’ve been given by people like English their whole lives.

    • HDCAFriendlyTroll 22.2

      Far more people die from prescription drugs that all illicit drugs combined. And since it appears a requirement on this site that statements intended to be statements of fact are backed up here’s some backing up:

      • Psych nurse 22.2.1

        The drug that kills most “Paracetamol” you can buy enough to kill yourself at your supermarket for a couple of dollars. Liver and kidney failure is not pleasant. But commerce must be able to turn a profit.

        • adam

          Of course, medical cannabis is not an option in this corporate world, so it’s paracetamol and hard opiates.

  23. HDCAFriendlyTroll 23

    “That number again – 22 out of 8,001. From 2016 – Few beneficiaries hit by drug testing”

    Yeah, well our entire drug laws are based around the same faulty reasoning.

    Some idiot or usually idiots kill themselves abusing some new drug and it’s all woo-woo-woo (ambulance siren) we gotta ban it and make it illegal before more people die. Never mind that by far the majority of people who use the new drug either just try it the once or just use it responsibly.

    • emergency mike 23.1

      Meanwhile a drug called alcohol kills ~15 kiwis per week. That’s just the social price of the freedom to booze apparently. Accidents, a kaleidoscope of diseases, violence and rape – all the scary things that weed was supposed to cause but doesn’t, alcohol does everyday. But heaven forbid that someone who smoked a joint last week should be allowed to get a job, despite a lack of any evidence that it’s any kind of safety concern.

      It’s pure culturally trained moralizing. Some people just don’t approve of the way some other people choose to live their lives.

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 23.1.1

        I regard alcohol as a very powerful drug. In fact I would go so far as to put it the same category as class A drugs like heroin. Its just that we use it highly diluted, it’s very difficult to consume a lethal amount (unlike say heroin) and we have social structures in place like the friendly neighbourhood pub to help ensure that it’s used responsibility. And while the deaths from alcohol abuse is high it’s nothing compared to the harm caused if it was prohibited.

        • emergency mike

          I wasn’t suggesting alcohol should be banned. Just commenting on the double standard. Smoke a joint last week and you be rejected for employment. Get pissed af on Friday night and you’re a good sort.

          • HDCAFriendlyTroll

            I know you weren’t and neither was I. My argument is that if alcohol, given that it’s a dangerous drug, would cause more harm if it was prohibited, then surely by prohibiting a less harmful drug like marijuana, more harm is caused than if it were legalized and regulated.

            Here’s a chart of drug harm:


            As you can see alcohol is right at the top. As far as I know the chart takes into account that fact that alcohol is legal. A word of caution: the chart is about drug harm not how dangerous a particular drug is. However in a lot of cases, if not all, the reason a drug is dangerous is because it is illegal and unregulated and users never quite know what they’re buying.

            • McFlock

              but if prohibition of a drug causes more harm than it prevents, by your logic that drug should be permitted.

  24. McFlock 24

    So now double-dipton is doubling-down: apparently employers regularly tell him how prospective employees can’t pass drug tests.

    Two points:

    maybe they’re simply telling him how many kiwis tell them to “fuck off” when ordered to piss into a cup; and

    if they’re correct, maybe they should adjust their hiring practises so a piss-test isn’t the last line of defense between them and an unsafe worker. Haven’t they heard about false negatives or watered-down piss?

    • inspider 24.1

      Head of large employment agency AWF (used to be Allied Work Force so deals with a lot of trade and labouring staff around the country) says 20 to 40 % of their potential candidates can’t pass D&A Test requirements

      My anecdote is seeing new people walk off the site when the testing van turns up, or just walking away from induction when told testing is mandatory

      • weka 24.1.1

        Can you please do a cut and paste of the relevant bit (your link isn’t right and they have a pay wall)?

        • inspider

          Here you go

          New Zealand’s largest contract labour firm, AWF Madison, is one such business. Its chief executive Simon Bennett says although Mr English’s comments were bold, he would not disagree with them.
          “We have structural problems in the employment market and there is no doubt we have difficulties with youth unemployment. There are a number of factors for why they are not finding pathways into work.
          “Certainly, some drug use does preclude some people from getting entry level roles.”
          In the December quarter of last year, Statistics NZ revealed the unemployment rate of people ages 20-24 was 9.3%.
          Mr Bennett says the problem of not being able to pass a drug test is “reasonably significant,” adding that of every 10 people AWF looks to bring on board, on average between two to four of them can’t pass the test.

          Read more:

          • BM

            Interesting backs up what English was saying, combine that in with the generally poor work ethic of young people and I can see why we need to bring in unskilled immigrants.

            Short of boot camping the young pricks for six months or so I’m struggling to see a solution.

            Employers having to wet nurse the slack bastards isn’t an option either.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Interesting backs up what English was saying

              No it doesn’t.

              You’re talking about a small sample of a large group so not statistically significant and with an average of 2 to 4 indicates that he’s lying just as much as Blinglish.

              And what right does a private company have to test prospective employees?

              I suspect that it’s none because employers should have no such control over people and what they do in their personal time.

              But hey, authoritarians are always trying to tell other people how to live their lives.

              • BM

                Health and Safety.
                Got a problem take it up with the unions.

                Also, Employers get a 10% discount on work ACC premiums if their staff are clean.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Health and Safety.

                  They’re actually finding people guilty of something that hasn’t even happened.

                  Being under the influence is a problem but they’re not actually testing for that. if they suspect that someone’s under the influence of drugs then they should call in the police and get them to test them.

                  Employers should not have the right to unilaterally test their employees for drugs and then take punitive action without just cause.

                • McFlock

                  Also, Employers get a 10% discount on work ACC premiums if their staff are clean.


                  So suddenly clarity appears, carried aloft by the wafting scent of what’s really in it for the employer: poorly targeted government fiscal incentives.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              55 druggies don’t want Bill English’s mates’ jobs. Nor doe anyone else with an ounce of self-respect.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            some drug use does preclude some people

            That’s a statement everyone can agree on 🙄

            reasonably significant

            [peer-reviewed citation needed]

            The evidence suggests that functional alcoholics and other drug users find other forms of employment.

            I suppose it’s equally possible that 55 people don’t want Bill English’s mates shit jobs.

      • McFlock 24.1.2

        See, that’s really interesting. Because someone on the dole can’t just walk away from a job they were referred to by the govt. They lose their only source of income.

        So it seems fair to suggest that the 20%-40% the awf guy was talking about were already employed/highly employable, and could just walk away without any problems.

        It certainly doesn’t mesh with the actual winz test data.

      • Psycho Milt 24.1.3

        My anecdote is seeing new people walk off the site when the testing van turns up, or just walking away from induction when told testing is mandatory

        Given that drug testing provides completely useless information like “had a joint within the last month,” I’m surprised the rate of incidents your anecdote describes is so low. Workplace drug testing is a scam on a par with the state housing “contamination” testing one.

  25. Groundhog 25

    “Drug testing of beneficiaries is turning up an extremely low number of results showing drug use”

    What does that have to do with Bill English’s comments? Not all of the people applying for jobs will be beneficiaries. Some may already have jobs. Some may be new school leavers, others just out of tertiary study. I’m not aware there is any data kept on how many job applicants fail drug tests, so repeating what some employers tell him is a perfectly reasonable response.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 25.1

      It’s a perfectly reasonable response for a bloke at the pub, and a giant leap for a Tory.

      • weka 25.1.1

        And such an incredibly self-serving response for a PM.

        • Groundhog

          Not at all. It simply reflects what he has been told. I hear similar remarks from employers often. Having some healthy competition in the labour market for young kiwi’s is a good thing, and should help them in the long run.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            The Prime Minister’s responsibility is to parrot what he has been told. Yes it is.

            Here is some music that will be better for you in the long run.

            • Groundhog

              The PM’s responsibility is to run the country. Sometimes that means saying things you won’t agree with. But then with your leader at around 7% in the polls, he must be saying things virtually no-one agrees with!

              • Draco T Bastard

                The PM’s responsibility is to run the country. Sometimes that means saying things you won’t agree with.

                True but that doesn’t mean that they should lie.

                Bill English and the rest of National are lying.

                • Groundhog

                  About what? Certainly not about drug use being a problem. English is simply repeating what he is being told by employers. And they’ll know far more than you will.

                  • McFlock

                    And yet what they say doesn’t seem to match the available data.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    English is simply repeating what he is being told by employers.

                    And yet he has access to official stats and those stats don’t macth what he’s being told. As I’m sure he’s aware of that that means that he’s lying.

                    And they’ll know far more than you will.

                    No they won’t.

                    That’s the amazing thing about public stats – they’re known by everyone.

                    Which means that the employers are lying as well.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Rejoice! Bill English has provided us with an estimate of the value of incumbency: 31%.

                • Groundhog

                  Rejoice…the entire Labour Party popularity in the latest RM is 26%. I wonder why no-one’s written a blog here about that?

                  [lprent: Banned until after one month after the election. And from now on you will be banned under any name for violating the policy on trying to tell us what to write. ]

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Labour August 2016: 25.5%
                    Labour September 2016: 33%

                    Pretending that RM polls are credible is the sort of thing I’d expect from you, not an author at The Standard.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Given that English was at 0% (or possible less than that) prior to incumbency, Little should come in at at least 38% when he becomes PM. I expect it’ll go higher than that when the legislative program kicks in.

                      Nice to see you getting banned again, Maninthemiddle. You bring nothing to the table but pwned arguments and bullshit, and now you’ve moved up to full martyr status 😆

                    • lprent

                      They used to be relevant because they can out every 2 weeks. Their jumpiness evened out if you took it over a few polls.

                      Now that they seem to put them out every 4-6 weeks, they are pretty useless. You don’t know where they are in their statistical range and don’t have enough of them to pick up a trend.

  26. Greg 26

    National have only lies left the country is in a mess 9 years on that’s all he can do now they proble beleave there own lies

    Great leader took and last life boat off ss national leavening the mugginess to take the blame

  27. millsy 27

    If only employers were this zealous about fatigue.

  28. Bearded Git 28

    Bill English’s position on drug testing of young lazy good-for-nothing Kiwis has just been taken apart in 5 minutes by John Campbell in Checkpoint.

    Embarrassing Bill. Your employee mates may be slavishly backing you up but the facts show these claims to be rubbish.

    And it never made any sense as a justification for immigration.

    • Groundhog 28.1

      See Inspider’s comment above.

      I’d suggest the head of the country’s largest contract labour firm would know more that a failed journalist.

      • Carolyn_nth 28.1.1

        What makes you think Benedict Collins, who did the RNZ Report, is a failed journalist?

        He just found the facts and reported on them, as a good journalist should.

        • Groundhog

          I was referring to John Campbell…as per the post I was responding to. Keep up.

      • Draco T Bastard 28.1.2

        I suspect that he’s lying just as much as Blinglish.

        • The decrypter

          Oh no ,is Mr English trying to break the Key lying record?

          • NZJester

            Your dreaming The decrypter if you think Bliglish will take out the Kiwi record from Key. That record is so high that it might stand for another 100 years.
            Mind you when it comes to that sort of thing, though, The NZ record pales in comparison to that set by the US Republican party and that their current leader is on a path to pass their whole Obama term record of lying in under a year.

          • Groundhog

            Little is already proving to be very adept at ‘bending’ the truth.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 28.1.3

        You’d value the words of vested interests over those of impartial observers,

        That says something about you, and nothing else whatsoever. Who cares what you “would” say, other than an insomniac looking for a cure.

        • Groundhog

          I value the words of those actually impacted (employers) than those with a vested interest in making a story to sell media.

  29. NZJester 29

    Those business owners telling him that are obviously lying to help keep their slice of the pie as large as possible while only giving trimmings of the crust and none of the real filling to the workers. They can force the non-kiwi workers to take some shit employment contract deals if they want to stay here and they know it. A piece of bargaining leverage they don’t have over Kiwi workers. Some of the seasonal employers even get to keep a lot more money from overseas workers by charging per head rents for accommodation while stuffing a number of them into a single building, another thing they can’t do with most kiwi workers. The real data shows who is telling the truth and that is not the employers whispering in his ear who make more money by keeping the status quo.

  30. Richard@Downsouth 31

    I wonder how many MP’s would test positive for a drug test… more than 1 I’m sure

  31. adam 32

    You know what gives me the shits. How many of you accept it’s ok to drug test people for a job. Why don’t we just get back to throwing them in a cage, and then employers can pick the slaves they want for the day. Can’t personally see the difference, it’s just another way to beat up working people.

    For English and co. it’s a double hit, pick on teenagers as well.

    • You know what gives me the shits. How many of you accept it’s ok to drug test people for a job.

      Fuckin’ A. In the absence of a test for current impairment, it’s a scam. All the MPs and employers peddling it should be forced to submit to one every day and sacked if it reveals they’ve consumed alcohol in the last 24 hours.

  32. William 33

    It is very disappointing to hear this coming from Bill English but I suppose I should not be surprised.

    He will know very well how badly people are treated and how rife exploitation is in the dairy industry, for instance. He will be aware of many past injustices.

    Sadly, English, has personally met people who have been convicted of employment crimes and proudly shaken their hands while giving them a warm smile. I know this because I have a photograph of English shaking the hand of an Indonesian who was convicted for crimes relating to migrant employment (before the passing of the recent anti-trafficking law) I hoped that the photograph was taken before that man was convicted and that Bill was unaware of what the man was doing but now I am not so sure.

    Probably much like David Bennett he has been in and out of the Indonesian embassy to privately discuss these issues with Indonesian diplomats in full knowledge that people were routinely being exploited. It’s not even an embarrassing secret to these people, they actually think it is OK. He has probably met other corrupt little units that practice “track two” diplomacy in their own interest as well, people who perhaps even write glowing articles in International newspapers promoting their business partner without disclosing the nature of their relationships….

    That people can knowingly cover up such crimes for profit is the absolute worst indictment on New Zealand leaders and business people. They know that many examples of exploitation, some of which they investigated and covered up, are on a par with what happened during the “historical” slave trade.

    That people on the left including people who work for unions – outrageous! – are trying to frame this as a racism issue is extraordinary. Iain Lees-Galloway is referring to the 100k+ temporary migrants who are routinely exploited, not the middle-class Chinese resident who comes here to buy a house. I have no opinion on the later. Freely emigrating is the business of the person who chooses to do so. I am not aware of any campaigners on this issue who are motivated by anti-immigrant sentiment. They are all motivated by the suffering and exploitation of persons.

    Many on the right are aware of the complexities of the issue (really, not that complex) but are happy to let idiots on the left cloud these shocking crimes through virtue singnaling accusations of racism. They don’t give a toss. If they did they would read about the issue and understand its basic nature before mouthing off publicly to yet again to show their superiority to some imaginary old white dude – right on, people! Idiots.

    Iain is absolutely champing at the bit over this issue. His head looks like it is about to flip open and he is grinding his teeth to dust, and self-serving scum like Paula Bennett are pointing and laughing at him; pointing and laughing at him while knowing that he speaks the truth, and that people have been routinely raped, denied wages for years of work, starved, and even murdered.

    The revolution will never come when people’s hearts are as cold and heads as soft as they evidently are today but if it did I would have no hesitation in seeing these people shot.

    I never thought I would live to see the day slavery became a legitimate “left-right” issue.

    I am disgusted by my countrymen.

    If you are not disgusted by the reported suffering, well, there’s no hope for us.

    • reason 33.1

      Although I agree with your sentiments William …….. I feel you are being a touch harsh with the Blame .

      The amount of lies and myths ….. past and present …. that we are brought up with and surrounded by ………. results in the true picture never being seen by most.

      Reporters like Amy Goodman or Allan Nairn , who tell us the truth about Indonesia are rarely heard in our media.

      Documentary makers like Joshua Oppenheimer show us the Indonesia that exists today ….. “It’s as Though I’m in Germany 40 Years After the Holocaust, but the Nazis Are Still in Power” …..

      “The Belgian company made the women workers spray a weedkiller with no protective clothing, and the mist would get into their lungs and then into their bloodstream and then into their livers and kill them in their 40s.” …… “when they complained to the company about it as part of their efforts to start organizing a union, the company hired Pancasila Youth, the paramilitary group in The Act of Killing, to attack them. ” ….

      ” What happens when, in a sense, a genocide, at least in one fundamental important way, never ends, because the perpetrators remain in power and continue to keep everyone afraid.”

      Yet our NZ mfat website under National states …. “New Zealand enjoys a strong relationship with Indonesia” …. “we’re natural partners.”

      We in NZ do not openly endorse or support slavery …. despite our Governments strong alliances……

      Bill English sees nothing wrong with exploiting exploitation ….to lower both conditions and opinions of NZ workers.

      He’s a fraud following up from a con man …

      Most of the time our media goes along with the con …..

  33. William 34

    Pretty soon we’ll have the argument run that the unemployed are not workers because they don’t have jobs, and are therefore lazy and probably on drugs and not morally entitled to support of any kind.

    It is the sort of thing that the excellent film “I, Daniel Blake” is about.

    The people who knowingly participate in such cynical exercises will burn in hell I am sure of it.

  34. Sanctuary 35

    It seems to me that common sense tells us that a large section of the bottom end of the workforce is probably unemployable in it’s current state, due to criminal convictions, low educational achievement, social dysfunction, drug abuse etc. etc. We can argue until the cows acome home about the size of the section of the workforce but none of us – literate, reasonably well educated, digitally aware as we are – have any real clue as to the reality of the quality of the workforce on the frontline of pruning gangs, fruit pickers, seasonal workers, etc etc.

    But it seems to me the question we need to ask is how did we end up here, where employers want to import grateful, (much) less than minimum wage workers willing to work 70-80 hours a week and live in austere barracks with no security of employment or prospects or rights and a local workforce that is unreliable, has bad work habits, and is often illiterate and pot smoking? Lets be real here – many of the menial workforce come from an underclass that Bill English is – yet again – blaming for their own plight and declaring undeserving of support, yet they are victims of his fanatical belief in neoliberal ideology.

    Neoliberalism has been a disaster that has failed to deliver. It has simply resulted in privatisation, higher costs for everything and shattered, asset stripped communities struggling with rising inequality and a permanent underclass. The neolibs are looking for enemies to blame and new victims to mask their incompetence. The poor, activists and environmentalists are the enemy. The victim is the environment, which is to be ever more ruthlessly pillaged to prop up their neoliberal capitalist vision.

    Like all bigoted conservatives Bill English is pretty good at judging and blaming, but complete shit at fixing and helping the problems his own fanatical adherence to a failed economic theory has produced. He has been in power for nine years. We need to hear from Bill English a government plan to reverse forty years of poverty in a newly minted underclass that doesn’t involve washing your hands of responsibility and replacing them with a new migrant coolie class, or he can fuck off and we’ll get a government that will come up with a better plan.

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    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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. ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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, ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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. ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    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 ...
    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 - ...
    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 ...
    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 ...
    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 ...
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    1 week ago