Child support

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, July 9th, 2010 - 47 comments
Categories: families - Tags: , ,

Some topics always generate passionate debate – contentions issues relating to deeply held personal beliefs that cannot be shifted by reason. Abortion is one such topic, in the news again recently, and discussed in Julie’s post here at The Standard. Like the burden of bearing and raising a child, the burden of the anger that this debate generates falls mainly on women – mothers. Fathers get a pretty easy time of it on abortion. But where they take a turn in the front line is the issue of child support:

Absent dads owe billions in unpaid child support

Inland Revenue is owed more than $1.8 billion by parents who have shirked their financial responsibilities. Figures released to the Sunday Star-Times by Inland Revenue show that of the 176,500 people liable for child support, 121,500 are behind in their payments. Together they owe more than $560 million in unpaid child support and $1.2b in late payment penalties and interest. The top five defaulters alone have an outstanding bill of $5.7m.

“It’s a national disgrace,” said Bob McCoskrie, national director of lobby group Family First. “What it communicates is that people can go around and make children and then show next to no responsibility in terms of their well-being,” he said. “You have to pay up for the consequences of your choices. If we enforced the consequences, then maybe people would think more seriously about conceiving a child they have no intention of showing any responsibility for.

If that was all there was to the story I might find myself agreeing with Bob McCoskrie, and that would be a cold day in hell. So let’s read a little deeper:

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne is not ruling out changes to the system. “The problem is not child support itself. We actually collect 90% of the principal of child support [the money that goes directly to the child] that is owing. Where the debt problem arises is with unpaid penalties on that principal,” Dunne said.

That puts things in a slightly different light. 90% of the money due to kids is getting through. Of course we want it to be 100%, but 90 isn’t a bad start. On the basis of this article what these “absent dads” appear to be less keen on paying is penalties and interest – and that’s a lot easier to sympathise with.

So, no danger of agreeing with McCoskrie after all. There is no message “that people can go around and make children and then show next to no responsibility”. The overwhelming majority of obligations are being met and there is no case for trying to demonise absent dads in general. By all means pursue the remaining 10% of funding due to children with all vigour. Improve and automate the collection system and make sure that as near as possible to every cent gets through to the kids. Then you won’t need a punitive penalty system. Write off the existing penalty debts – they were never real. My guess is that there will be higher voluntary compliance with a system that is seen to be rigourous, open and fair, with all money collected going to children.

And as to the perception of responsibilities – punitively punishing absent fathers is trying to shut the gate after the horse has bolted. Much more effective to work for prevention – an advertising and information campaign. Educate us all on what the consequences are if fathers walk out on, or for whatever other reason cannot be with, their kids.

47 comments on “Child support”

  1. big bruv 1

    Yep, education would be a good start, of course the very best thing they could do would be to stop paying the DPB.

    • Tigger 1.1

      Really bb, wouldn’t the best thing be to ensure all those women have abortions – no kids means no reason for DPB at all?

    • kaplan 1.2

      Sure, because ensuring that young children starve is the best answer.
      Nice.

      • Lew 1.2.1

        Kaplan, they wouldn’t starve if their mothers cared enough about them to stay in abusive relationships or sell themselves to pay for food and lodging. Where’s their sense of responsibility and commitment?

        L

  2. Living the Dream 2

    Surely in terms of education it makes sense to well educate the boys/young men/men as to what the function of their sperm are. Also men need to have a far deeper understanding of how the female reproductive system operates and its interaction with sperm. They need scientific knowledge and not the many word of mouth tales that circulate. Men need to take greater responsibility as to where their sperm go due to the serious consequence-babies!

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      In sex ed in high school we pretty good information about everything important. I certainly learnt a lot, not sure about other fellow in my class though.

      But they didn’t mention child support at all. That really should go along with the safe sex message – if you don’t have safe sex and end up having to pay child support, it will cost you $ per week. *That*, along with STD risk, should help get the message through.

      • mouse 2.1.1

        Lanthanide… agreed… both sides of the balance sheet are not presented… not to mention, both sides of the balance sheet over time, not being presented… let alone comprehended.

    • mouse 2.2

      Personally, I agree with your views… unfortunately for young men though, there are times when their intellectual capacity is in-voluntarily delegated to the open mike.

  3. prism 3

    Together they owe more than $560 million in unpaid child support and $1.2b in late payment penalties and interest. The top five defaulters alone have an outstanding bill of $5.7m.

    Is most of this in late penalties plus interest? In business there is a process of writing of bad debts which can’t be recovered. In the USA they brand non-payers ‘deadbeat dads’ if they don’t or can’t pay their child support. But the state may set a larger payment due than can be afforded. He may have another family and is carrying out his responsibilities to them but has a low income with no discretionary funds for his previous liaison. If the dad gets into strife and has fines to pay, is an alcoholic or street drug addict then it is obvious there will be a problem.

    but see this –
    Revenue Minister Peter Dunne is not ruling out changes to the system. “The problem is not child support itself. We actually collect 90% of the principal of child support [the money that goes directly to the child] that is owing. Where the debt problem arises is with unpaid penalties on that principal,’ Dunne said.

    This topic is a favourite of right wingers (particularly men) who feel smug that they don’t have the problem and like beating others over the head. Some such would see no irony in their feeling superior though they may have built leaky homes and didn’t pay up or had businesses that went bust because of their lack of moral standards.

    • comedy 3.1

      If they owe 560 million out of 1.76 billion that is substantially more than 90% of the principal of child support.

      Is Dunne telling porkies or has the reporter got the numbers wrong ?

  4. joe90 4

    McCoskrie, see the name and this comes to mind. Revolting.

  5. Julie 5

    I suspect that in most cases where the absent parent is not paying child support (or, not paying all of it) it’s about either not being able to afford it (in which case that’s about how it is calculated) or a poor relationship with the other partner. I think it’s something like 5% of relationship breakdowns involving kids that end up at the Family Court for resolution. Perhaps it would be worth looking at some pro-active work around ensuring that when a romantic relationship between parents breaks up there is some support to build a sufficiently amicable parenting relationship that is good for the kids (and good for the adults too). I know some of this is available now through Relationship Services, but I’m sure they could do with more funding!

    • comedy 5.1

      I suspect a fair proportion is also where the father is absent after the date of fornication.

    • Lew 5.2

      Julie, surely you’re not suggesting that some (say – a couple of %) of those penalties and interest be diverted to funding programmes to prevent the need for child support liabilities and consequent defaults?

      Would never work. Much too sensible. Better to just stop paying the DPB. Sending women and children to the poor-house or putting them out on the streets and into abusive relationships will sure learn those dead-beat dads.

      L

      • burt 5.2.1

        Better to give all people the same free ride with tax payers money. No penalties or interest and as long as they like to pay it back – Winston Peters and his $158,000 make punishing non compliant fathers look like the state being self serving and a bully…. Oh, that’s right – MPs are special, fathers are just normal people.

        • Lew 5.2.1.1

          burt, don’t try to tar me with the “you defended Winston Peters” brush. You know better than that.

          L

        • burt 5.2.1.2

          Lew

          I wasn’t intending to paint you that way. More when we talk about punishment for misuse of tax payers money it always makes we wonder why we (the people) tolerate such harsh regimes for compliance when MPs just say sorry and pay it back when (or if) they feel like it.

        • QoT 5.2.1.3

          “free ride”

          Because children live on air.

          • burt 5.2.1.3.1

            My comment was about the cost of non compliance as imposed by parliament in the relevant tax legislation, contrasted to Winston’s non payment of $158,000. Its a disgrace non custodial parents need this sort of incentive, indeed children do not live on air.

            I wonder if Winston would have made paying his $158,000 a priority if he we was getting whacked with late payment penalties of $3,476 the first month, $3,545 the next, $3,616 the third month and so on.

            ( see IR website – late child support payments )

      • comedy 5.2.2

        I was under the impression it was funded via the taxpayer at present.

        http://www.relate.org.nz/OurServices/Aboutcounselling/EligibleforFreeCounselling.aspx

        • Lew 5.2.2.1

          Yes, but clearly not to the extent necessary.

          L

          • comedy 5.2.2.1.1

            You want to pay people to attend counselling ?

            • Lew 5.2.2.1.1.1

              Eh? I want relationship services funded to a level where they’re not struggling on a shoestring.

              L

              • comedy

                Lew according to their website.

                “Did you know that many couples are eligible for free relationship counselling? Relationship Services provides this counselling nationwide, the Family Court authorises and funds the counselling.

                You can ask for free couple counselling to help resolve issues before you get to the point of separation or divorce. You don’t have to take legal proceedings or appear in court to be eligible for the counselling. This support is available to couples who are married, who have had a civil union, or who are in de facto relationships. It is available for both heterosexual and same sex couples and it is not means tested.

                The free counselling is also available if you are separating and need some help to work out agreements about the care of your children. Counselling can provide a neutral and safe environment to discuss care arrangements for children. Counselling can help you to clarify issues, address communication problems, and make decisions about your relationship. Counselling may help you to avoid legal proceedings altogether. ”

                and according to their latest financials (these may now be out of date) from their website

                “The financial position at 30th June 2009 is sound, with liquid assets covering four months of operational costs. Our Reserve Fund now stands at $991,527. Donations and grants received of $456,221 were an important part of our income. We are extremely thankful to our donors for joining with Relationship Services to assist so many in the community.”

                • Lew

                  There’s a bit more to it than RS, comedy.

                  L

                  • comedy

                    RS ?

                    • Lew

                      elationship ervices.

                      L

                    • TightyRighty

                      i’ve never twigged that you can’t spell relationship without elationship. felix will probably consider this a “duh” moment.

                    • comedy

                      Really I thought that they’d be the key group that could deliver a programme to ‘prevent the need for child support liabilities and consequent defaults’ rather than the bottom of the cliff approach at IRD.

                      But you must have a better insight than me I suppose.

                    • felix

                      TR, I consider it a moment of clarity, and a brilliant one at that.

              • Lanthanide

                6 free sessions really is not much. It should be 10 or 12. Even 8 would be a lot more useful.

  6. tc 6

    These numbers are rubbery at best…..speaking from personal experience I was chased for 25k that I didn’t owe when I came back home years back as I had sole custody and responsibility in another country for my child.

    It didn’t stop DSW and IRD taking my ex’s word and paying her monies she didn’t merit and hassling me offshore and then getting very heavy and nasty when I moved home.

    It took years of persistance on my part to get the slate wiped clean ( I started 5years before I returned and it took 8 years all up) ……most folk wouldn’t bother as they never intend living here again whereas I had no choice so how much of the number is cases like mine I wonder.

    • Rex Widerstrom 6.1

      Yours is one of hundreds of similar cases I’ve heard of (including my own).

      I was told I owed north of $100,000, including years of penalties.

      I had to hire a lawyer to point out to them that it was clearly established in law that you couldn’t start charging penalties till you’d actually asked for the money. Oops #1.

      Then to point out that the children had not been in the care of the mother for most of that time and the mother never claimed they had. Oops #2.

      Long story short – they were out by 1000% but it cost me close to $6,000 to prove it. No apology, let alone costs, just a reduced bill.

      This is typical of the contempt with which non-custodial parents are treated who don’t get attacked by their ex (mine has been decent and honest the entire time)… you can imagine how bad it gets for those who are.

      So, quite frankly, Bob McCroskie can stick his characterisation of people “showing no responsibility for their children” right up his ill-informed arse.

  7. RedLogix 7

    I suspect that in most cases where the absent parent is not paying child support (or, not paying all of it) it’s about either not being able to afford it (in which case that’s about how it is calculated) or a poor relationship with the other partner.

    Absolutely. The vast majority of so-called ‘deadbeat dads’ are simply men who after a number of years of doing battle with the system simply give up on having any access to their children until they are old enough to make their own choices. And out of sheer frustration, weariness and thousands wasted on lawyers…they walk away and try to start new lives for themselves. And at that point, rightly or wrongly they figure if they are not able to have a meaningful relationship with their own children, then there is not a lot of motivation to keep on shelling out for them. (And besides it’s usually the cash wasted on lawyers that causes the late penalty fees to start piling up.)

    Another smaller group of men find themselves in the invidious position of being named the father when they have no especial reason to believe they are. Back in the 80’s, before ethical rules tightened, at least two major genetic studies, one from the US and the other in the UK, discovered that at least 12% of all babies born do NOT have the father that the mother claims it has. That’s true for all babies born, both in and out of wedlock.

    These days getting a genetic test done to settle the matter is usually almost impossible if the mother objects…. leaving the putative father in the lousy position of shelling out nearly 18 years of support for a child they have no meaningful relationship with.

    Adressing these two issues alone would see DPB support collections get very close to the desired 100%.

    • comedy 7.1

      “These days getting a genetic test done to settle the matter is usually almost impossible if the mother objects . leaving the putative father in the lousy position of shelling out nearly 18 years of support for a child they have no meaningful relationship with.”

      If this is the case wouldn’t the court find in favour of the putative father ?

      And if your second paragraph is true then what a shambles if this is the situation the 121,500 that are behind in their payments find themselves in.

      And no one’s yet commented on the odd discrepancies in the figures reported in the article…

      “Figures released to the Sunday Star-Times by Inland Revenue show that of the 176,500 people liable for child support, 121,500 are behind in their payments.

      Together they owe more than $560 million in unpaid child support and $1.2b in late payment penalties and interest.

      The top five defaulters alone have an outstanding bill of $5.7m.”

      Revenue Minister Peter Dunne is not ruling out changes to the system.

      “The problem is not child support itself. We actually collect 90% of the principal of child support [the money that goes directly to the child] that is owing. Where the debt problem arises is with unpaid penalties on that principal,” Dunne said.

      Those numbers don’t tie together at all.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        “Those numbers don’t tie together at all.”

        Maybe, maybe not. There’s no way to know what $ figure or % behind those 121,500 of the 176,500 listed are.

        Perhaps most of them are only behind by a couple of $100, out of the thousands they have paid thus far.

        Without knowing specific details of the amount each of those 121,500 owes, there is no way to say that Peter Dunne is completely wrong with his statement – he was talking about 90% of *money*, not 90% of fathers.

        • comedy 7.1.1.1

          560 million of 1.8 billion is not 90%.

          121,500 of 176,500 is not 90%.

          Or am I missing something ?

          • Lew 7.1.1.1.1

            You seem to be missing quite a lot.

            One of the points that you’re missing is that the $560m figure is the 10% left aside from the 90% of CS dues which are properly paid.

            Another is that the $1.8b is that figure + $1.2b in penalties and interest levied by IRD for nonpayment of that $560m.

            Another is that 121,500 people are behind in their payments, out of a total of 176,500, but there’s no suggestion that this (or their combined debt) constitutes 90% of anything.

            Really, I’m struggling to find anything that you’re not missing in all of this.

            L

            • comedy 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Goodo so that suggests that around 5.5 billion is going through IRD/CYFS for child support seems like a helleva lot too me.

              Are you really as a pompous a cock as you come across in your comments or do you just read that way, or perhaps you’re just trying to have a dig after our previous tete a tete further up?

              • Lew

                I just don’t suffer fools — or those who appear to be fools — very gladly. Sorry about that, it’s hard to switch off.

                L

                • comedy

                  Fair enough then you are obviously a pompous cock – a career in politics perhaps would suit.

                  • Lew

                    Hell no. How on earth would I survive in politics without the ability to suffer fools gladly?

                    L

                    • comedy

                      I was thinking of the pompous cock part of the equation ……… haven’t you seen the Ministers of the Crown in the debating chamber ?

                • lprent

                  I just don’t suffer fools — or those who appear to be fools — very gladly.

                  Ha!

                  I generally don’t tolerate them at all on the net.

  8. prism 8

    When forced to name a father or lose (I think) a considerable amount of the benefit, women may name the wrong one, one that they can bear to have a long term, though distant relationship with etc. The poor male gets stuck in this bureaucratic morass introduced by pursed-lip pollies when they are not the genetic father at all yet have the burden of debt placed on them. Now they can get blood tests/DNA but someone says the mother can object. I don’t understand how that can be, but the ways of government are strange.

    Pollies ideas of getting fathers to take responsibility and enforcing tighter regulations help to keep dysfuctional partners together or be in fractious contact. It could be a major cause of domestic violence. One Night out Drinking and the woman gets a baby and a father to her baby and a lack of respect for each other, even dislike. A great start for a child. If she finds another and better partner, then the previous father still ‘owns’ part of the child and has a disruptive effect on the marriage/partnership.

    Then there is the way of deciding the amount of child support payments which can make life impossible for the second family. So another family is under stress when a better calculation based on a fair budget would result in a reasonable contribution which would be affordable.

  9. tazidev 9

    Consider this then decide

    Husband had well paying job in finance industry for 15 years, wife stayed home for 12 years to look after 3 children.

    Husband made redundant due to restructure and paid a good amount in compensation from good employer, as he did not need to go to work he discovered wife had been having affair for some considerable time while children were at school and husband at work.

    Wife cleaned out considerable balance in joint bank account after 1 month and disappeared with lover leaving husband with children in marital home. Husband had to leave new job to look after children.

    Having no money and needing to buy food etc and pay mortgage went to WINZ and was told that there was a 6 month standown on benefits due to size of redundancy payout.

    Upon explaining that money had gone was told rules are rules.

    Husband scraped through providing basic necessities for 6 months with the support of friends, family, in laws and occasional employment but had to neglect some mortgage payments.

    After sitting out the 6 months, he applied again and found out that ex had been on DPB for 6 months and claiming for 3 children who were actually living with him and as she had provided WINZ with a false address that he lived at, he had not responded to their communications, he was given the news that based on annual salary including redundancy after 15 years he owed a horrendous amount of money. Imagine the penalties.

    When arguing his case he was told that he was a terrible parent and had left his family in the lurch and would feel the full force of the law!!

    This was followed by prolonged terrorist attack from IRD such as requesting his bank to empty his account and send balance to them leading up to strategic times such as the week before Christmas.

    IRD and Bank then joined forces to bankrupt him as according to his ex he was hiding money. No money was ever found as she had already taken it.

    After several years of fighting everything was dropped, no apologies and his ex got a slap with a wet bus ticket.

    PS. No refunds of penalties and interest either.

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    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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