Briefing Papers: And so this is Christmas…

Written By: - Date published: 6:10 am, December 23rd, 2016 - 107 comments
Categories: class war, human rights, quality of life, welfare - Tags: , , ,

This year we have re-posted (with permission) some content from The Briefing Papers. Here’s another, by Alicia Sudden:

And so this is Christmas…

Christmas time comes with many certainties in New Zealand. There won’t be any snow. Every mall becomes home to a Santa Claus. There will be a variety of fake and real Christmas trees in workplaces and homes, decorated with lights that take too long to untangle and tinsel that has seen better days. Now another certainty at this time every year is that more and more people are reliant on charitable aid and foodbanks in order to make ends meet.

Most families experience tough financial struggles during the festive season. However, these decisions range in intensity. Some families make choices about how many presents they can give, or where to go on holiday. Others are forced to choose whether there will be any Christmas lunch at all.

Every December we are reminded in the media of the burgeoning number of people who line up at a foodbank for extra help over Christmas, and the charities that work hard to feed those in need yet lack the resources to provide for everyone. This grants us a glimpse at the true level of poverty and inequality in New Zealand.

This year the struggles are likely to be worse due to the additional supplies already generously provided to quake-stricken families in Kaikoura and surrounding regions. Last year we saw headlines like ‘Unprecedented demand at City Mission’ and ‘Rise in families seeking help for Christmas stress’. This year is set to continue along this line, with the Salvation Army predicting a 5.6% increase in demand from last year.

Yet this brief annual window excludes the elephant in the room: that this poverty is a consequence of our welfare system failing to provide the support it was intended to. …

Read on for the full piece on The Briefing Papers. It concludes:

I encourage you to give generously this year so we can offer some solace, as fellow citizens, to those who do not have the resources we do. But we must also remember to consider and address the causes, not just the symptoms. We have unprecedented levels of child poverty and inequality in New Zealand, a society that has enough resources to provide for everyone.

You can support your local foodbanks and homeless shelters, or if you want to make a donation online, some links are available below:

http://christmasstar.co.nz

http://www.aucklandcitymission.org.nz

http://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/christmasappeal

https://www.lifewise.org.nz

107 comments on “Briefing Papers: And so this is Christmas…”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    News reports tell us the NZ economy is in great shape.

    RNZ 19 Dec 2017

    But if there is increasing poverty & hardship, and significant wealth & income inequalities, then there is something wrong with our economy.

    And there must be something wrong with the way economists and commentators are assessing the economy.

    From the Briefing Papers article:

    Without the state absorbing economic shocks, the burden falls to individuals and families. O’Brien (2013) describes this as the “individualization of poverty”. The wider acceptance of the financial difficulties that come as a consequence of this exposure to market fluctuations is fostered through the predominance of individualism in modern western societies. The collective conscience that spurned the provision of a welfare state, a minimum wage, public health care, and social housing has been replaced by a business mentality, with the Government focused primarily on reducing short-term fiscal spending.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      And there must be something wrong with the way economists and commentators are assessing the economy.

      QFT

      Economics has become little more than a justification of capitalism over the last few decades despite the fact that all the evidence shows that capitalism simply doesn’t work.

  2. Ad 2

    The “got to incentivise them to work” is a crock. Good wages, income security, lowered income inequality, and ridding New Zealand of high levels of poverty, all demand realistic benefit levels.

    http://briefingpapers.co.nz/2015/03/doing-something-about-low-incomes-wages-and-benefits/

    To get a measure of how far down benefit levels now are, lifting the equivalent of the DPB by 25% would provide a replacement income no higher than the 1991 levels. You would need to lift it by 45% to get it back to 1990 levels.

    You would need to lift the unemployment benefit by almost 60% to get back to the 1990 level.

    • aerobubble 2.1

      Welfare is good economics. More equal societies fire better economically. Instead of being wiped out by a event, people hangon to savings, family, community standing, in a more equal society. Govt dont need to find new ways to redistribute wealth so consumers can consumer keeping execs in jobs. However a society with misplaced incentives that disportionately dole out rewards to obviously already overpaid execs while wages stagnate, is also a society that rewards govt workers with bonuses for moving off benefitaries from welfare, in such a society its inevitable eventually a letter slandering a welfare receiver of owing thousands of dollars is pushed over the edge. No investigation, no bullying happen, no fraud by a public servent, no cylture of impunity that may be imbedded. Putting staff and benefitaries lives on the line from other mad or abusive individuals, whether in ashburtn or this week in the news. Seymor should resign for his slandering hotel welfare, like winz would have put up a family in a hotel unless they have jumped through every hoop, come up totally clean, never had any ecuse to be rejected for alledged leaving every home wreaked as Seymour declared.

      National aint good managers of the econoy, and loath good govt as their backers want govt failures to push their neolib idealism more.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        National aint good managers of the econoy, and loath good govt as their backers want govt failures to push their neolib idealism more.

        National’s sole purpose in life is to distribute communal assets to the rich.

        • David C 2.1.1.1

          Draco.
          How much a year makes someone “rich” in your book?

        • aerobubble 2.1.1.2

          Conservative parties role is to break apart stagnating industries and keep the wealth escalator going, that churns newer younger companies and displaces old tired companies. Unfortuately Conservative parties were co-opted by neolibs to fuel the financial sector profit at all costs, not just communal, but pollution, enviroment, freedom, liberty, etc. The left went along with this too, and still play the black and white while Trump peddled gray all the way to the whitehouse.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1

            Conservative parties role is to break apart stagnating industries and keep the wealth escalator going, that churns newer younger companies and displaces old tired companies.

            One wonders why they always protect the old industries then and always have. Perhaps it’s because they’ve got shares in them.

            • aerobubble 2.1.1.2.1.1

              No,not quite, a class of Thatcher came to power who see all profit as good and it does worry about consequences, and since they are so bright and dont have to govern, as markets will all the cleanup, they could take jobs on boards after they leave office. Oxymoronically,guven how they are supposed hired for their government experience.

              But its worse, cheap middle east fuelled an expansuon of a zombie financial horde of shallow leave it to the market, pocket the growth as a product of their brillance. With shallow media, shallow left took hold in opposition that would go all soft and neolib in govt.

              Our economies, global, local are at odds with the needs of the people, the real economy. Unaffordable homes, nasty naff expensive food, health used to fuel advances only the rich can afford and will use to add to the gapping gap iinequality. Those born into wealth live 150 years while those not survive until 50.

  3. NZJester 3

    This National government has given out record amounts of welfare, just not to those who need it, however. They have given it out in corporate welfare to the greedy who stuff their bank accounts with the money and take it out of circulation from the economy slowly causing it to stagnate.

  4. Fisiani 4

    The Grinch is alive and well. The economy is booming. Employment is at a record high and people are happy. Enjoy the Christmas and Summer break. Life will get even better in 2017.

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Spare a thought this Christmas for those who’s medical doctors will no longer support them by signing a disability allowance form.

    The wording is written i to be to the letter technically correct. However it implies that a registered health practitioner be constantly monitoring (as in 24/7) the medical condition of the applicant.

    This is NOT how the legislation has been interpreted in the past. Obviously if you get additional $ for transport the doctor doesn’t watch you do that. Neither do have you needed to be hooked up to a monitoring system 24/7. What was required in the past was a periodic checking in with the registered health practitioner to adjust medication etc, etc.

    “The Disability Allowance is available for reimbursement of additional costs arising from a Disability where the following criteria is met:
    1. The person has a disability which is likely to continue for not less than 6 months; AND
    2. The disability has resulted in a reduction of the person’s independent function to the extent that:
    * The person requires ongoing support to undertake the normal functions of life; OR
    * The person requires ongoing supervision or treatment by a registered health professional.”

    Wondering how people don’t have enough to pay for prescriptions? This is how it’s happening. Our welfare system works with “full and complete” information. It fails abysmally when critical pieces of data are omitted.

    Who will help these people?

    Remember I, Daniel Blake?

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Increasing poverty – the REAL effect of National’s policies.

  7. Ethica 7

    There are some excellent papers on that Briefing Papers site.

  8. fisiani 8

    You guys must have missed Bill English’s Christmas greeting.

    As 2016 comes to an end and we head into next year, I’m looking forward to leading a Government that ensures the benefits of our strong economic growth are widely shared.

    We’ll be building on some of the good progress we’ve made this year:

    New Zealand now has the fourth-fastest growing economy in the developed world and 144,000 jobs have been created over the past year.
    Average annual wages are up $12,000, or 25 per cent, since 2008 – double the rate of inflation.
    We achieved a government surplus of $1.8 billion this year, giving us choices in the future.
    As well as getting the books in order, we increased benefits for families with children by $25 a week this year – the first government in 43 years to increase benefits beyond inflation.
    Paid parental leave was increased to 18 weeks and we also extended its eligibility.
    Our Comprehensive Housing Plan is delivering results – the number of new homes being built over the past year surpassed 30,000 for the first time in 11 years, and is double the number of homes built five years ago. In Auckland it’s almost tripled.
    As part of our Comprehensive Housing Plan this year we launched a $1 billion housing infrastructure fund and increased eligibility for our HomeStart grants, with more than 15,000 people being helped into their first home.

    Next year our focus will remain on achieving the best results for all New Zealanders, including the most vulnerable. We’ll also be building the roads, public transport, schools and homes needed to support a strong economy and growing population.

  9. adam 9

    Just an observation.

    • NZJester 9.1

      The National Party shares two-thirds of their name with them also.
      Let us not forget their actual party name translated to English was the “National Socialist Party”.

  10. And now for something completely different.

  11. peterh 11

    Talking about Elephants, what happened to our free elephant, and the pandas, were they a big dream like the flag

  12. Fisiani 12

    The Left are all doom and gloom. They really think the country is in a bad way. Get out and talk to the real people who think this country is wonderful. We have a PM who will really work hard for the poorest and most disadvantaged whilst people just get their jollies carping on about the few exceptions that will be fixed soon. You do not know how lucky we are

  13. Kay 13

    For a disabled NZer on long term Invalids benefit I’ve been lucky so far, but not for much longer. I’m imminently going to lose my private rental of 20 years (I know, a real fluke to have one for this long) due to it being sold. But the reality of finding another? Strike 1- beneficiary. The brilliant vilification campaign has succeeded in tarring all of us and I’m pretty confident it’ll cancel out all my glowing references and perfect credit rating and regular secure income. Strike 2- disabled. So I’m screwed before I even start with the private market, and don’t get me started on the competition that wasn’t there when I last had to look for a flat. Qualifying for Council and HNZ housing means nothing either when so many others do as well, and half the stock has been sold off and the sell-offs continue.

    My stress levels are so far through the roof as they would be for anyone. But severe stress and chronic illness do not mix. My primary illness is deteriorating and today an unrelated complaint that had been cured suddenly reappeared and several hours at a hospital acute clinic, what will be several return visits and medications, for something more than likely triggered by severe stress- how much has that unecessarily cost the hard working taxpayer??? I suspect way more than what I get given a week.

    For the record, for certain persons who think we have a pretty cushy life- and remember that chronic illness involves serious ongoing medical expenses- I get the grand sum of $383.23/week. That includes maximum disability and whatever % of accom supplement I’m allowed. in 1996 I was getting $300/week. My rent then was only $10/week less (yes I”ve been bloody lucky I know). So in 20 years, I have had an increase of $83/week. For the last 3 years it’s been exactly 0c, and the year before that was 57c/week. I think everyone knows full well how much power, telcos, transport, food, GST, medical costs, pretty much everything has increased in that time? Could you live on that? Do you really think that increase over 20 years is acceptable?

    I used to be very glad I lived in a country that had a safety net but then that country -not just the politicians but many of it’s citizens- turned on me, and I honestly believe they want me dead.

    OK, rant done. It’s been an awful day and I was stupid enough to read this thread knowing full well what certain commenters would say. So to them- I just hope it happens to you.

    • Fisiani 13.1

      You seem to be educated and literate. Given that you could compose this post I wonder if you could double your income by getting a job. Many disabled people do manage to work. I wish you well and hope you can find a way to improve your lot. I am not in any way being critical of you.

      • Carolyn_nth 13.1.1

        @@

      • garibaldi 13.1.2

        You are what is wrong with this country fisiani. Your whole bloody attitude is demeaning to us as a society.

        • David C 13.1.2.1

          You think there is something wrong with someone wishing that they can improve their lives?

          That is really a fucked up mind you have.

          • Carolyn_nth 13.1.2.1.1

            He’s making Kay the problem, rather than understanding how difficult the system is making her life. Telling someone who is disabled, has a chronic illness, without easy access to an affordable place to live, to get a job is plain callous.

            Even if she is up to working (which is highly questionable), what sort of job would she get? And for what sort of pay? And also considering people with jobs cannot afford to pay rent and bills.

          • Draco T Bastard 13.1.2.1.2

            Wrong. The way you put it is what’s fucked up as it results in people screwing over other people to become rich.

            People should seek to improve society and improve their lives that way intead.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.3

        What a thoroughly vile person you are Fisiani.

        • fisiani 13.1.3.1

          I knew that someone would totally misrepresent me. I Have spent my life assisting people with disability. That is my life and you call me vile for pointing out a possible solution. I despair. I am constructive and you wallow again in poverty porn. Who is vile?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.3.1.1

            He’s making Kay the problem, rather than understanding how difficult the system is making her life. Telling someone who is disabled, has a chronic illness, without easy access to an affordable place to live, to get a job is plain callous.

            If only scum like you got what you deserve more often, Fisiani.

            • fisiani 13.1.3.1.1.1

              I NEVER told Kay to get a job! Do you and Carolyn struggle with reading? Stop wallowing in poverty porn. Stop writing people off. That is the fundamental issue that made me stop voting Labour.
              Labour wants a constituency of poor to feel grateful to Labour and keep labour in power. National wants to abolish poverty and help people to get back on their feet.

    • Carolyn_nth 13.2

      It is a cruel society NZ has become. I have had first hand experience with the medical system – I know about costs for people who don’t have insurance, even though many of us assumed our taxes would cover the necessities.

      I also have first hand experience with the rental situation. It is not easy even for the healthy, able-bodied, and and paid employees.

      All these things must heap stress onto an already stressful situation.

    • Karen 13.3

      I am so sorry Kay. You are in an awful situation and I am sure the stress is not helping your medical problems. I just wanted to let you know that there are still people in this country who want to get a better deal for people like you and hopefully they will eventually be in a position to do so.

      I hope you find somewhere decent to live soon.

    • DH 13.4

      A long shot Kay … what area are you in or looking at? I may know of a place in Northland (west) that could be coming available.

  14. Red Hand 14

    I hope you find another place to live and feel secure.
    Fisiani possibly has a disorder affecting his or her grasp of reality, such as Delusional Disorder. I would not wish that on anyone.

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/292991-overview

    • ropata 14.1

      Fisi seems to be a reasonably functional human, apart from his lack of a conscience. Probably some cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias in the mix, to bolster his narrative of “she’ll be right”

  15. Maybe fizpop was just trying to be understanding – but with understanding like that it seems fizpop would have the chronically ill – as the rest of us- looking just like this :

  16. fisiani 16

    Children’s commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft says he was “shaken” by the 2016 child poverty monitor, the first to be issued since he took the advocacy role.
    Produced by the University of Otago, the annual monitor, released today, shows child poverty rates are STABLE, WITH A SLIGHT DECREASE.

    i.e. there is less poverty.

    It seems that some people who post here get some perverse self-righteous satisfaction from poverty porn.

  17. Ethica 17

    That’s the government line – just go and find a job. Where are those jobs which are disability friendly – which are part time and supportive of a worker who might not be able to work at top speed all the time and who might need regular time off to rest or go to appointments. Which are tolerant of disabled people who might need physical changes made to the work place such as ramps and accessible toilets, quiet environments or instructions in plain language. Which aren’t a long expensive bus trip away from home? Any such jobs also have a lot of non-disabled people after them so the chances of people with disabilities getting them are remote. They might get a try out for 90 days and are then fired. Then they have to go back to Work and Income and start the whole complicated process of getting back on Jobseeker allowance for about $200 a week. I suggest those people who ‘suggest’ that disabled people go and get a job go and see I Daniel Blake, instead.

    And by the way there is no longer a Sickness Benefit so if you are having chemotherapy or a bout of depression you will also be considered a Jobseeker and have to keep applying for jobs or get you benefit cut, even if you are too sick to get out of bed.

  18. Kay 18

    Oh dear, I did go off on a bit of a rant earlier.Without directly engaging with a certain individual because he is a lost cause- I have a bachelor’s degree & vocational diploma, never been able to work full time and had to stop altogether 9 years ago. The nature of my disability makes me totally unemployable, that’s reality and there is nothing I can do to change that short of a cure which isn’t likely.

    My mother gets Super and got a $10/week increase this year. My living expenses have increased just as much as hers and I have way higher medical costs. So why is it ok that super is linked to wage rates but benefits to the (alleged )CPI,i.e. rigged so they don’t have to increase them?

    Are those of you who will begrudge us the ability to pay the bills because of your ideology or just plain nastiness happy for much more than that to be spent on our hopital bills or the ever expanding prison system because that’s what happens.

    And Labour lost my vote after 1999.I’ve yet to see any evidence they’re interested in getting it back. Not everyone on this site is a Labour supporter.

    • ropata 18.1

      +1000 thank you for sharing your story Kay. I hope you have a nice Christmas.

    • Carolyn_nth 18.2

      Kay, I agree that benefits should be getting much higher increases, like the super. You should also be getting medical costs paid. The country can afford to pay living incomes to all, and to care for all in need. It just needs the political will.

      In today’s context, also, there just aren’t the jobs available for all – at least, not for a high number to be working full time, – and with an increasing number working part time, even when they want more hours.

      It just needs the political will, and the support of collective/community values – rather than individualistic, competitive, each-person-out-for-themselves values.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. People need to know such things.

  19. Happy Christmas , everyone !!!

    Its gonna be a real blast changing the govt this year !!!

    • Carolyn_nth 19.1

      As Toby Manhire tweeted,

      All I’m saying is everyone should really try to enjoy this Christmas

      which was a comment added to his retweet of Donald J Trump’s tweet, which said:

      The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes

  20. millsy 20

    Trying to get Fisi to accept that those on benefits need more financial support is like bashing your head against a brick wall.

    • Fisiani 20.1

      Beneficiaries have been given the biggest ever rise and almost certainly will get another big rise in the Budget. The issue is that I know that being on a benefit is the health equivalent of smoking 20 a day. If it is possible to get off a benefit the health and wealth advantages are huge. I , like the PM am a huge fan of social investment. I would be happy for the government to spend $10,000 to assist someone to get off the tyranny of a benefit. I advocate a hand up rather than just a hand out. I want people to have dignity

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1

        Wanting it doesn’t mean a damn thing: in your dreams the shite party you shill for could get unemployment down to 2007 levels.

        Working families living in cars give the lie to your assertions about health and wealth.

        You are scum.

      • DH 20.1.2

        F*ck you’re offensive Fisiani !!!!

        You speak as if you know something about beneficiaries when your words say you don’t know a goddamned thing about them. Your ignorance and presumptive arrogance is breathtaking.

        ” I know that being on a benefit is the health equivalent of smoking 20 a day”

        Sure you ‘know’ that, in your own little fantasy world you know everything.

        For your own benefit; The polite thing to do would have been to first ask Kay if she was capable of working before presuming she needed to get a job. You don’t know her, you don’t know shit, and you have the audacity to try and lecture her!

        ” I want people to have dignity”

        Yet here you are constantly trying to take it away from people.

        • Fisiani 20.1.2.1

          I wish you would spend a few minutes on the internet. Type in “the health benefits of work”. Then you would apologise

          • DH 20.1.2.1.1

            So a few minutes on the internet is the extent of your knowledge huh fisiani. Well at least you’re admitting it here, about time we had some confirmation of what pretty much everyone here had already figured out.

            • Fisiani 20.1.2.1.1.1

              The hysteria of the Leftis beyond parody. I grew up in a place where everyone voted Labour. It seemed normal. It was in the 20th century but we live in the 21st and the need for Labour is gone. I expect budget 2017 to be the greatest help for the poorest in NZ history. It will be so amazing that many will agree that there is no longer a need forLabour.

              • DH

                Take a good look at this guy mods.

                He’s not trying to debate with anyone. He just diverts & distracts & tries to goad people with smug, patronising, pap.

                Why is he even using this site, he’s clearly not here to participate or engage in any kind of social discourse.

              • ropata

                haha good one.

                Bling’s next budget will be “the greatest help for the poorest in NZ history. It will be so amazing” only if he fully implements a combination of Green & Opportunity Party policies to smash inequality and stop the wealthy from pillaging the poor/working class. Only then will your fantasy of sending the LP to oblivion be a possibility

          • Ds 20.1.2.1.2

            Especially healthy for those that are killed at work eh!

  21. Fisiani 21

    This entire post proves my point that Labour is a dinosaur that died in the 20th century but does not realise it yet. Today we read of 3.5% growth and record Christmas spending and other evidence of good times. Watch for budget 2017. South Auckland will rejoice. Politics is different now and the old cliches of the Left no longer hold sway. No matter. I wish you all a merry Christmas and a joyful New Year

    • Kay 21.1

      Hi Fisiani, Merry Christmas, good cheer and all that.

      Glad you’re enjoying your ongoing delusion about beneficiaries having their biggest pay rise ever. Miss the bit I wrote about getting exactly 0 cents increase for the last 3 years, and all of 57c/week increase before then? Oh I’m sure you read it but I’m yet to decide if you really don’t believe it, or if you think by regurgitating Natz talking points often enough then you’ll actually believe it, because those of us on the receiving end don’t. Or perhaps I have had an increase in the last few years and didn’t get the memo? If so, then I”m sure it must be some sort of buearucratic stuff-up and you’ll be more than happy to get your mates to sort it out for me, with back dated payments of course…

      btw, I’ve never smoked even one cigarette in my entire life, even when they were really cheap, disgusting habit. So am I still doing myself just as much damage by daring to need financial assistance from the state? Actually, the very heavy duty medication I need to keep me alive and take twice a day every day for the last 30 years and for the rest of my life will probably kill me before my actual illness does. So maybe I should stop taking that to improve my well being? hey, it’ll save Pharmac some money in the process so that’s a win all around!

      Fisi, why on earth I am trying to reason with you, or anyone else does, is a mystery. You’re just plain nasty. But read this and ponder on it- I literally woke up with my illness one morning and there was nothing on earth I could’ve done to prevent it. One of those random bad luck things that can affect anyone and anytime, including nasty right wingers and rabid Labour voters. It doesn’t discriminate. And it could happen to you, so I hope you have your health insurance all paid up because you’ll never be able to get any again (although serious conditions like these are mostly treated via the public system which you lot are running down so you’re potentially screwing yourselves); have your employment insurance paid up because you won’t have a welfare net to fall back on- you don’t believe in it, remember- and be prepare to lose your job and not be able to get another. Not just because your condition makes holding down a job impossible, but because of the rife discrimination out there.

      Have an enjoyable festive season fisi, because an awful lot of your compatriats won’t be.

      • Macro 21.2.1

        Fisi I’ve posted the above famous speech because you really really need to watch and listen to it. And when you have watched it please please stop thinking that just because a country registers x% gdp that that somehow magically means that the economy is functioning well. Because it doesn’t. Not even the creator of GDP thought that it did. Useful idiots like your self however fall into the trap of believing in numbers and they realy have no relationship whatsoever to reality.

        “We will find neither national purpose nor personal satisfaction in a mere continuation of economic progress, in an endless amassing of worldly goods. We cannot measure national spirit by the Dow Jones Average, nor national achievement by the Gross National Product. For the Gross National Product includes air pollution, and ambulances to clear our highways from carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people who break them. The Gross National Product includes the destruction of the redwoods and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm and missles and nuclear warheads…. It includes… the broadcasting of television programs which glorify violence to sell goods to our children.

        “And if the Gross National Product includes all this, there is much that it does not comprehend. It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry, or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials… the Gross National Product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile….”

  22. ropata 22

    A corrective to Fisiani’s lies
    Bernard Hickey: Get real! Work rate drives wages

    It seems to make no sense. How can an economy be growing strongly at 3.5 per cent-plus and not be heating up wage inflation or lowering unemployment?

    The simple answer is that almost all that jobs growth over the last two years was soaked up by net migration of 131,188 and an increase of 28,200 in the number of people over the age of 65 who are working.

    “Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything,” Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote in 1994. “A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker,” he said then.

    On this measure, New Zealand’s record is awful, and especially since 2012. Real GDP per hour worked has basically flat-lined over the last four years.

    We have managed to grow by importing more workers and working more hours per person. Our record is almost as bad over the last 45 years. We have been the second worst country in the OECD for real GDP per hour worked over that period. Worse than Italy, Portugal and France – all of whom are now seen as basket-case, stagnant economies.

    John Key resigned because he knew that his fake economy was going to crack at the seams in 2017. Even true believers like Fisi must be worried about that.

  23. Happy Christmas , all !!!

    Heres a present for fizpop, bm , alwyn , red, david c, and his bother sam c …

    Our WORLD RENOWNED NEW FINANCE MINSTER !

    Hope you enjoy it , guys !

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    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    19 hours ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    2 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    1 week ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    1 week ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    1 week ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    1 week ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes in Hamilton
    Labour will build 200 affordable KiwiBuild houses and state houses on unused government-owned land as the first steps in our plan to fix Hamilton’s housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “We will build new houses to replace ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Mental Health waiting times a growing concern
    There is new evidence that the Mental Health system is under increasing strain with waiting times for young people to be seen by mental health and addiction services lengthening says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “Following yesterday’s seat of ...
    3 weeks ago