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Bully Bennett

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, July 28th, 2009 - 71 comments
Categories: scoundrels - Tags:

Stunned. I’m simply stunned. After speaking out against Paula Bennett’s cuts to the Incentives Training Allowance two solo mothers have had their entire financial details publicly released by her.

This is a disgraceful act of bullying which must surely breach the privacy act but it fits with the pattern we’re seeing from National of digging dirt and attacking anyone that speaks out against them.

We saw it with the ongoing persecution of the Worth complainants across National’s client blogs and we got a taste of it back at the start when none other than deputy leader Bill English decided to try to smear the Standard. And the rumour is that National dug around Bruce Burgess’s background after he appeared in the Herald and fed the information they got back to the paper (let me be clear, I’m not excusing Goff’s people for making such a stupid choice of poster boy for their dole scheme).

The message is clear. Speak out against the Nat’s and they’ll do whatever it takes to drag you through the mud. Meanwhile they’re doing everything they can to deny the opposition any (supposedly public) information that might be used against them.

I haven’t seen this sort of suppression of dissent since Muldoon was in power.

71 comments on “Bully Bennett ”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    I disagree IB. What we are seeing is an orchestrated attempt by Labour to put up sacrificial lambs to score political points, and not presenting to the public all the relevant information. The Worth affair was a case in point, as was the Burgess case, and now the “examples” used by the Labour Party to attack Ms Bennett.

    If individuals are going to go public about how they’re being put in hardship by government policy, they should put all the relevant facts on the table.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      Tim, you seemed very concerned about the Cabinet Manual’s rules around privacy with regard to Worth. You felt that those rules tied the PM’s hands so that he couldn’t say why he had lost confidence the minister, because once that minister resigned he became a private citizen.

      How do you think the Privacy Act considerations in the Cabinet Manual play out in this case?

    • Craig Glen Eden 1.2

      Really Tim, so the fact that someone is a beneficiary gives the minister the right to make all their financial details public! Why Tim? Just because they point out the problem with a Government policy. So no right to privacy then if you speak out about the health systems? The health Minister can just blurt out your health details to what, pressure you or belittle you. Put your bloody brain in gear Tim, we have seen you cant be objective, but shit now you are trying to justify Minister Bullying? How much do the Nat’s pay you TIM

  2. IrishBill 2

    Tim, she has used the power of the state to attack two citizens. Where should that stop? You put your real name to public statements attacking Labour when you comment here. Does that mean when Labour gets back in power you’d support them releasing any information the state holds about you to discredit your arguments?

    • Tim Ellis 2.1

      IB, if I misrepresented my personal circumstances to put forward a case, and said something like: “This bl**dy Labour Government, they removed by entitlements for X, and now I only get Y”, when I had deliberately omitted that I had received Z as well, then yes, I would expect to get shouted down.

      • IrishBill 2.1.1

        We’re not talking about “shouting down” we’re talking about confidential information held by the state being used to score political points against an individual. Would you be happy to have your tax records released to the media after you complained about tax rates? How about your medical records if you complained about health care? I’m amazed at how comfortable you righties are with this.

        • Brett 2.1.1.1

          I think that you will find that most people will be highly pissed off with this.
          A beneficiary on the equivalent salary of around 47k and having a moan about how much money they receive is not going to be a vote winner.

          • Eddie 2.1.1.1.1

            A mother supporting several children and in training to get off the benefit. It would be interesting to see how much Key’s mum was getting and how much Bennett was getting and see if you’re so critical of them.

            • Tim Ellis 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The difference is, Eddie, National didn’t misrepresent Ms Bennett’s access to entitlements or Mr Key’s mother’s access to entitlements, or those of the family of Aroha Ireland, as examples to score political points against the government.

              There are many similarities between this and Mr Burgess, and the way Labour misrepresented Mr Burgess’ personal circumstances, and the way Labour misrepresented the position of Mrs Choudhary during the Worth situation to score political points.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1.1.2

              “National didn’t misrepresent Ms Bennett’s access to entitlements or Mr Key’s mother’s access to entitlements’

              And just how do you know that Tim? I think you are assuming that you know the full stories.

              Key made some political capital about his donations to charity, do you think it would be ok for Labour to have released Keys IRD info, just so we get the full picture?

            • snoozer 2.1.1.1.1.3

              Nice example, Pb!

              Tim, just how did these women misrepresent the facts?

              And where in the Cabinet manual is that a justifible ground for releasing personal information?

            • Tigger 2.1.1.1.1.4

              The Right love kicking the boot into anyone getting any sort of assistance from the government so no surprise re the lack of compassion there. And the entire National line is one of bullying (ie. know your place you poor losers) so this is part for the course.

              Couple of questions:

              Key did make capital about his charity donating so can IRD please release his tax records from last year? Clearly it’s okay for them not to get his permission or even tell him since it’s all in the aid of getting the full story…

              If National are so keen on the ‘truth’ why still no explanation of why Worth was run out of town?

  3. psychotherapist 3

    Who is designing, signing off, and running this ill conceived attack strategy?

    Whoever are in this particular loop of ineptitude need to be fired & replaced.

    A negative attack strategy doesn’t cut with the electorate any more, like the boy who cried wolf no-one really believes it any more.

    Sorry, the truth can be a bitch.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      I disagree, National’s negative attack strategy seems to be working quite well. This might be a step too far however.

  4. psychotherapist 4

    Anyway, good luck.

  5. Shaun 5

    IB, I think you will find that a majority of the public will agree with what Bennett has done. Why should the truth not be out there? These two mothers both receive taxpayer funded benefits and yet still have the audacity to complain. I would be more than happy to receive $715 a week, which is what Ms Fuller is receiving. It is a whole lote better than my paycheck. Good on Bennett!

    • Eddie 5.1

      Ms Fuller is a solo mum supporting several children and trying to do training to get off the benefit. It’s not a huge amount in those circumstances.

      • Shaun 5.1.1

        Eddie, there will be thousands of people out there who are far worse off than Ms Fuller. If she wants to go public on an issue of this nature then she should be expected to be outed for the sheer greed and arrogance she has shown.

        • snoozer 5.1.1.1

          So, a person’s privacy rights are now void if you decide they are ‘arrogant’ or ‘greedy’? Hmm, describes a fair few Tories I can think of, maybe their privacy is forfeit too?

  6. Doug 6

    If Labour wish to use beneficiaries as cannon fodder and outright lies are told by the welfare recipients they should loose the right to privacy.

  7. IrishBill 7

    It’s good to see you righties are happy for information privileged to the state to be used against individual citizens for political purposes.

    • Doug 7.1

      Why then do Labour use citizens for political purposes.

      • IrishBill 7.1.1

        You’re avoiding the issue. Are you happy for information privileged to the state to be used against individual citizens for political purposes?

        • Shaun 7.1.1.1

          In this case it seems to be perfectly justified. If there were cases where it were justified that the government should make information about your health records public then they should do so. If someone goes public saying that it took 12 months to get an op, when it only took 3 months, simply to score a political point about how shite the health system is, should the government stand back and say nothing?

          • Doug 7.1.1.1.1

            It is not privileged information when the individual comes out and releases the incorrect information they have put themselves in the public domain.

      • r0b 7.1.2

        Why then do Labour use citizens for political purposes.

        What, you mean like Aroha Ireland?

  8. I actually agree with IB on this one, it is not a good look for ther govt to be doing this. Equally it is a not a good look for whoever is constructing these attacks by labour.
    Are they so completely disconnected from the population that all they can offer up as examples is a long line of liars?
    Seriously, they must be able to find at least one case where somebody is not hiding income, assets or politcal affiliations.

  9. Mark M 9

    The benefits payable to these woman come from the public purse and as such are public information.

    • IrishBill 9.1

      Your use of public assets such as roads and libraries comes from the public purse as such should the government have the right to make where you go and the books you read public information. Hell, every time you go to the doctor you tap the public purse. Should the minister of health be able to release your medical records? Once again, I’m amazed at how comfortable you righties are with the power of the state being used against citizens.

      • Craig Glen Eden 9.1.1

        Well done IB its not that these people are comfortable with it ( A Individuals private State collected information being used without their permission to make a political argument) they simply are to thick to see that one, it is a breach of NZ Law and two, it is immoral. Bennett is a bully and a disgrace! No excuses for this she should resign.

  10. Mike 10

    Bizarre.
    Was it not earlier this year that Paula Benefit was complaining about her privacy being violated regarding the criminal son-in-law?

  11. Eddie 11

    Who says these women left out anything? I saw question time and the quantum of their benefits wasn’t mentioned, only that they are going to lose something.

    It seems quite clear to me that National has released this information, in gross disregard for their privacy, simply because the apparently large numbers will make them appear as bludgers.

    It’s a huge invasion of privacy. Especially when both Bennett and Key have claimed privacy as a shield for themselves in recent months.

  12. toad 12

    IB said: I haven’t seen this sort of suppression of dissent since Muldoon was in power.

    Nor me, IB – this is very scary indeed. I don’t use the term “fascism” lightly and am conscious of Godwin’s Law, but the State using confidential and personal information to attack dissenters publicly is on of its hallmarks.

    I wonder if nice Mr Key sanctioned this despicable infringement of individual privacy, or if it just another instance of “loose cannon” behaviour that Bennett appears to be increasingly indulging in..

    • Daveski 12.1

      I have some sympathy for the position of the women. The problem I have is Labour’s willingness to use individuals in their pursuit of debatable political points.

      The difficulty I have is that the information provided by Bennett is relevant to the debate.

      As soon as Labour identifies individuals and highlights their individual circumstances, privacy has already been breached.

      Helen definitely ran a much tighter ship.

      • r0b 12.1.1

        The problem I have is Labour’s willingness to use individuals in their pursuit of debatable political points.

        Aroha Ireland.

        • Daveski 12.1.1.1

          Fair cop.

          The problem I have with politicians is their willingness to use individuals in their pursuit of debatable political points.

          • r0b 12.1.1.1.1

            I might even agree with you there. Trouble is, it’s done because it works. People don’t relate to statistics. People relate to stories about people, especially people like them. This tactic will never go away.

            Though I’m a bit uncomfortable with it, a case can be made that it’s OK if the persons used as examples are participating willingly, informed adult consent. If they want to put themselves forward like that I guess its up to them.

            • IrishBill 12.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s also a tactic the media actively encourages. Journalists are always looking for individual cases to add human interest to their stories. The thing is they are there for colour not as political players and traditionally you leave them alone and attack the ideas or the political talent but National seems to have decided civilians are no longer off-limits.

            • BLiP 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Also indicative of media indolence and ignorance – far easier to interview someone and get spoon fed than the application of intellect and hard work to look beyond (let alone understand) the statistics, policy and tactics. Perhaps the daily-news media have a better excuse in relation to deadlines – I look forward with patient resignation to some sort of analysis from the columnists and the monthly media.

    • graham 12.2

      so toad were you out of the country when madeline satchel was attacked by mallard or not in new zealand when the sexual abused reffo was attacked by dailaze or again when helen attacked the timberlands staff member complained about stopping native loging do you want me to go on toad

  13. BLiP 13

    Its frightening that the John Key National Government Inc stoops to breaking the law when it comes to silencing dissent. Basher Bennett & Co have obviously learned from the Dubya/Rove School of Public Discourse – ignore the argument and use ad hominem tactics to tap into the envy/greed/fear emotions to deflect damage – and as a warning to others who might also wish to express their opposition to the government. The media scum that publishes the private details should be held accountable for facilitating this latest breach of public trust as well as Basher.

    I wonder what Bennett received from the state before she pulled up the ladder?

    Still, at least Basher, Crusher, Chopper, We’llmissya Lee, Folly-Acid Kate, Kaikaiwaiu Georgie, the Blond-Brigade and the rest of the National Party women are helping the retail sector with their after-hours shoe shopping sprees – does anyone know if the shoes they bought were New Zealand made?

  14. Maggie 14

    As a budget adviser I can obtain information from WINZ regarding a beneficiary client’s payments only if that client has signed a privacy waiver. Any information held by WINZ is covered by the Privacy Act.

    That people like Tim Ellis appear to have no problem with their government breaking the law to try to suppress dissent should come as no surprise.

  15. coolas 15

    What amazes me about the new Ministers: Bennett, Collins, Power and Tolley is their confidence. All have come out swinging at those who oppose them as if they’re born to rule and know it all.

    You see this all the time. People who have been elevated to positions they aren’t qualified to hold so often mask their incompetence by blaming others and attacking any critics.

    It’s a sad reflection on the depth of talent in National that these dip sticks are the best they have to offer.

  16. Zaphod Beeblebrox 16

    This is not an extended game of ‘Big Brother’. She has a responsibility to look after the most vulnerable New Zealanders.
    This stuff may play well in opposition, but in government you have a role not to whip up negtive stereotypes about easy to pick on individuals.

  17. IB

    And of course Labour would never try to bully any member of the public, huh?

  18. Ron 18

    Digusting.
    You can put any spin you like on it – she’s a bully. And the point about that bullying being a cover for her incompetance is well made.

    IB is quite right – where do you want to draw the line on this?
    I complain about the state of the roads in my area so my travel habits or residential address is made public? I comment on family law and my marriage details are made public? I talk about tax and my income details are made public?

    It’s the old attitude that somehow if you receive support from the state they own you – you have less rights than others.

    It’s a bloody slippery old slope.

  19. Tom Semmens 19

    National have a highly effective comms team that plays straight from the Karl Rove handbook. They don’t seem to care about things like ministerial responsibility or privacy.

    They’ve been bitten by the rage virus that is rampant in the United States Republican Party.

    But you know, if we really did a proper media, a media that didn’t spend its time talking up with banner headlines and multiple stories a proposal for some cycleways that might be approved before Christmas and will perhaps employ 120 people with the possibility of 160 more jobs sometime in the future, then they would be baying for answers from Bennett.

  20. outofbed 20

    She has broken the law and as a minister she has to go
    No ifs no buts

  21. Zaphod Beeblebrox 21

    Scooter Liddy comes to mind. Is he out of jail yet?

  22. outofbed 22

    I bet Bennet has already ordered CYP’s to go through these women’s records to see if there is anything juicy there?
    Oh and had a chat to Tony so that they can go through her health records in case there are STD’s or similiar
    And didn’t she once get Das Kapital out of the library?

  23. toad 23

    Ironically, Bennett’s release of these two women’s personal information may well end up funding their education anyway – through settlements for breaching the Privacy Act, which is compensatable.

    It also could be the beginning the the second National Minister’s demise, as outofbed suggest. Damn – I’d lose my bet that it was going to be Nick Smith,

  24. BLiP 24

    Yeah me too – I hate Folly-Acid Kate as the next to go.

  25. outofbed 25

    I was rather hoping it was the odious Smith myself
    But there is still time 🙂

  26. [Inappropriate Username] 26

    well bennet is not fit for the job as all can see .
    perhaps bennent should tell us all how much in $s she got when she was on the DPB at 17 years old, when she was living at home with mumy and dady.also This so called minister has in fact broken the law,and needs to be sacked no pc crap needed she has to go and take key with her. who said they can sell the roads jails schools and auckland to there greeded mates,the last thing we need is this lot to gut nz, its not think big this time its called think small.such a greeded lot that pays there fat cash boys $2000 a day but would give those under$39,000 a year a hard time. 6 WEEKS WAIT.well done mr key.lol

  27. Swimmer 27

    Bully Bennet – that fits. I think what she did is disgusting.

  28. randal 28

    yes the nats know how to bully allright.
    between hooton and slater and their nasty blogs like the opinions site on a popular auction site and the other creepy one in christchurch they try and get people all round.
    now they are in power their ability to snoop and pry is almost unlimited and they use the blogs to excite animosity in the community against individuals they have singled out.
    the only comparison is nazism now updated for instant persecution.
    its pathological and not nice and looks set to continue until they are voted out which hwill be at the next election.when the world sees what a dark force has been unleashed by this gathering of evil then they will begin to shun us with the same repugnance that is being generated now.

  29. Rawleighsman 29

    Bennett is a bully John Key is even worse for allowing her to bully and The Nz herald is complicit by publishing the information. Typical facist type response. Never mind defending the policy on its merits just attack the critics. Bully Bennett et al

  30. Luke H 30

    Bennett’s bold revelation is surely morally better than the alternative: slipping the information quietly to a journalist.

    I’m just flabbergasted that you can describe the publication of factual information as “digging dirt” and “do[ing] whatever it takes to drag you through the mud”.

    Ha!

  31. graham 31

    are you guys moderating this ? i thought abuse wasnt aloud acording to the policy of the blog or are we aloud to abuse torys

  32. ross 32

    This appeared in a recent Listener article:

    Viliami Haloholo, 23, was jailed in 2007 for four years for attacking a party-goer with a fence paling, leaving the victim with a broken jaw and a 10cm gash to his head. Haloholo was reportedly a member of the Thugs of Canal street gang. Bennett has worked hard to help Haloholo redeem himself, inviting him to live with Ana and his child at her house for six months before sentencing. In 2007 she wrote in support of him at sentencing, offering continuing accommodation and seeking to avoid a prison term. And in 2008 she wrote to the Parole Board offering to let Haloholo be paroled to her house again.

    “He has put his mistakes of the past behind him and I believe that with the support of his partner (my daughter), his family and myself, he will lead a good life and not ever be before the courts again,’ said Bennett in the 2008 letter The Parole Board did not share Bennett’s faith in Haloholo, turning down his parole bid. It said he was “an identified drug user’ in prison and had “numerous incident reports’ on his prison file, one just a month before the parole hearing. Bennett has always refused to talk publicly about Haloholo, apart from releasing a statement saying it was an error of judgment not to inform Key about the matter. Haloholo is due for release in 2011. Does she plan to renew her offer of a home for him next time he comes up for parole? She initially hedges. “At the moment all you know is what you’ve read in the papers. I actually think that I deserve you know, it’s not so much I deserve a level of privacy, I believe my family do. So I’m going to respect their privacy.’

    Hmmm, she has no respect for others’ privacy, but she is keen to protect that of her family. Why the double standard?

  33. ross 33

    > Bennett’s bold revelation is surely morally better than the alternative: slipping the information quietly to a journalist.

    How is it better? If a journalist provided us with the same information, don’t you think we’d know where it came from?

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    5 days ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    5 days ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    6 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    7 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    7 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    1 week ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    1 week ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

  • Job numbers up in August
    New data from Stats NZ today shows a rise of more than 9,000 filled jobs from July – driven mostly by the education and training sector, Grant Robertson says. Filled jobs were up 9,147 to 2.2 million in August 2020 compared with July – with 7,409 of those in education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Māori development receives funding
    Māori development projects across the country will receive a total of $18.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund that will create infrastructure and permanent jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “These projects will support economic development in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Waikato and Southland to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units
    From today, owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings can apply for financial support to fix their homes, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing financial hardship over earthquake strengthening costs. “We understand how complicated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
    Whanganui will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment in a local food-processing company which will help the company increase production and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. Kii Tahi Ltd, which is owned by South Taranaki iwi Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi, will receive a Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Town halls and war memorials in PGF renovation programme
    Town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country will be renovated thanks to grants totalling just under $12.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says more than 1000 jobs are expected to be created during the renovation programme. “Town halls, other ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Early help for whānau who need extra support
    The Government is investing in a new, whānau-centred early intervention prototype designed to strengthen families and improve the safety and wellbeing of children. The new programme, Ngā Tini Whetū, is a collaboration between Oranga Tamariki, Te Puni Kōkiri, ACC and the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (WOCA) and was announced today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
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