quality of life

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Reducing substance abuse – what actually works

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, March 18th, 2017 - 66 comments

If, instead of macho posturing (like the “War on P”), we wanted to actually tackle substance abuse, we would be looking at what actually works. Interesting case study in Iceland.

Can we even afford to be tenants in our own country?

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, February 25th, 2017 - 93 comments

Being tenants in our own country is starting to look like the good old days.

Just allow more shit – a metaphor for this government

Written By: - Date published: 4:21 pm, February 23rd, 2017 - 122 comments

So National’s great plan for swimmable rivers by 2040 is to allow twice as much shit in them and still call them “swimmable.”

Living wage rises to $20.20 an hour

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, February 21st, 2017 - 30 comments

The living wage rises, and an odd argument for abolishing the minimum wage.

Rocketwerkz – an enlightened employer

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 pm, February 20th, 2017 - 8 comments

We sometimes give employers a bit of a hard time on this blog, so it’s nice to occasionally celebrate a good one. Dunedin gaming company Rocketwerkz is in the headlines for all the right reasons.

More Multi-millionaires than ever!

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, January 16th, 2017 - 98 comments

In this glorious  ‘go ahead’, ‘get ahead’ land of opportunity…

Briefing Papers: And so this is Christmas…

Written By: - Date published: 6:10 am, December 23rd, 2016 - 107 comments

Alicia Sudden reflects on Christmas at The Briefing Papers: “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.”

Another postcard from the Brighter Future

Written By: - Date published: 2:42 pm, November 11th, 2016 - 13 comments

In the midst of the cataclysmic big stories, we should not lose sight of the small personal ones.

Nothing’s Going to Happen.

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, October 11th, 2016 - 104 comments

A wee reflection on our psychological fuck-edness.

Fortress NZ

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, September 16th, 2016 - 120 comments

TS regular Tony Veitch has some practical ideas as to how we insulate NZ from the ravages of neoliberalism and climate change. Readers may agree with some, none or all of the suggestions. However, whichever way you look at it, the time for hand wringing is over. It’s time for action.

Hollowing out the regions

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, August 28th, 2016 - 44 comments

The closure of 19 mostly rural Westpac branches is indicative of the ongoing hollowing out the regions. Neglecting Northland cost the Nats the last by election. Neglecting regional NZ as a whole might cost them the next general.

Bregman: Socialism is a great product

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, August 21st, 2016 - 147 comments

Extracts from a long piece by Rutger Bregman in The Guardian. Plenty to disagree with perhaps, but plenty to ponder too.

NZ in the international news again

Written By: - Date published: 3:35 pm, July 30th, 2016 - 59 comments

new-zealand-guardian-small

CYF massively underfunded

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, July 26th, 2016 - 28 comments

National pays electoral homage to our vulnerable children. They talk a big game about putting “the needs of our most vulnerable children and families at the centre of decisions”. Their actions tell a different story – of under-funding at CYF and falling numbers of social workers.

Helen Kelly – still speaking out

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, July 23rd, 2016 - 60 comments

“Pain debilitates you and makes you depressed and you can sort of let the depression seep over you, but if you can, get out and live your life.”

NZ wins nuclear war

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, July 21st, 2016 - 19 comments

Nothing like a good clickbait headline eh!

WINZ sends families to live in garages

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, July 21st, 2016 - 204 comments

The government is demolishing and selling state house while WINZ sends families to live in garages. This is New Zealand in the Eighth Year of the Brighter Future.

Another Lifeline cut

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, July 1st, 2016 - 45 comments

budget-quote
— Deborah Russell

Parental leave – did English know or care what he was vetoing?

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, June 30th, 2016 - 84 comments

Bill English didn’t know the cost of the parental leave bill that he vetoed on the grounds of cost, and he didn’t care enough about it to speak to the matter in Parliament last night.

Four personal stories

Written By: - Date published: 10:24 am, June 23rd, 2016 - 38 comments

From the “Brighter Future”, four personal stories published recently are all well worth reading.

Kiaora Matariki Puaka

Written By: - Date published: 4:20 pm, June 17th, 2016 - 27 comments

It’s been a hard week, and many of us could do with some kindness and good news. Let’s take a moment to remember Matariki. What would Standardistas and other politically progressive people like to see for the coming year?

Has NZ hit this milestone too?

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, June 6th, 2016 - 30 comments

For the first time in 130 years, more young adults (18 – 34) in America live with their parents than with a partner. How long before we pass the same milestone – or have we done so already?

The Mother Budget

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 pm, May 26th, 2016 - 86 comments

There are budgets and there are budgets. And for all the presence or absence of bright ideas, there’s a budget that threatens to subsume all others…

Paid parental leave bill progress towards anti-democratic veto

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, May 26th, 2016 - 48 comments

Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave passed its second reading last night – bravo to all those who supported it! The Nats’ threat to veto is profoundly anti-democratic, overriding the will of Parliament.

Petition to forgive emergency accommodation debt

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, May 20th, 2016 - 18 comments

A petition: “As Minister of Social Development we call upon Minister Anne Tolley to urgently forgive all debts incurred by people who have been forced to stay in Motels as emergency accommodation….”

Incoherent, unfair and unaccountable

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, May 20th, 2016 - 47 comments

That is how officials from the Ministry of Social Development described the emergency housing system to Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett – a year ago. What has Bennett done in the year since?

Glib words and false hope aren’t going to cut it

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, May 19th, 2016 - 151 comments

This is a massive market and moral failure. The problem isn’t going to go away, it’s going to get worse, and the media are going to stay on the case. Time for National to borrow some more Labour / Green policy thinking.

Labour would legalise medical cannabis

Written By: - Date published: 5:26 pm, May 18th, 2016 - 99 comments

On Stuff: “Little said cannabis products should be available to anyone suffering chronic pain or a terminal condition if their GP signed off on it.”

Little’s Healthy Homes Bill passes first reading

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, May 5th, 2016 - 22 comments

Last night Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill passed it’s first reading. Bravo to Andrew Little, Labour, The Greens, NZF, The Maori Party, and Peter Dunne, who voted in support.

The Divide (Spirit Level – The Movie)

Written By: - Date published: 11:18 am, April 13th, 2016 - 5 comments

Based on the breakthrough book The Spirit Level, just released film The Divide puts a human face on low wage hell. “Why aren’t we earning enough to live?”

House Tales.

Written By: - Date published: 3:01 pm, March 22nd, 2016 - 32 comments

If ‘home is where the heart is’ then what’s the story when everything’s heartless?

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