Deadly “social bonds”?

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 am, June 16th, 2015 - 56 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, welfare - Tags: ,

The Nats want to turn over social problems to the private sector for profit. This account from the UK should give them pause:

Welfare cuts deaths: 60,000 demand Tories reveal how many people died after being found ‘fit for work

The government is refusing to release the figures despite a watchdog ruling. Now campaigners are asking – what has Iain Duncan Smith got to hide?

Tens of thousands of people are calling on the Tories to reveal how many benefits claimants died after being found fit for work.

The government is refusing to release the figures despite being ordered to by a watchdog. A searing ruling by the Information Commissioner said chiefs had acted unreasonably after not publishing any figures for 3 years. But instead of giving in, the Department for Work and Pensions is fighting its own watchdog to get the decision overturned. Furious benefits campaigners now want to know what the government is trying to hide.

Ms Zolobajluk worked for the Citizens’ Advice Bureau for 7 years while the Tories were introducing their welfare reforms. The changes saw some people told to find work despite having chronic illnesses – some of whom died before getting their benefits back.

Watch this space.

56 comments on “Deadly “social bonds”? ”

  1. Steve Withers 1

    The problem with this model is the provider and the government have every incentive to lie and there is little transparency.

    Meanwhile, governments sell this flawed model on the basis there is more transparency…which proves to be a lie.

    A bare-faced lie as it turns out.

    How can we trust them? They have a track record of lying by omission and lying by commission.

    GCSB law anyone?

  2. freedom 2

    Two quick questions, & apologies if I have missed any previous comment on this matter.

    We are still in the first year of this term of Government. Can anyone point to a single policy statement or press release or soiled napkin left on a table top prior to last year’s election, which suggests that National wanted to introduce such a major shift in how it delivers these critical social services?

    Aren’t little details like that the sort of thing the media used to make inquires about?

    • Kiwiri 2.1

      Good point.

      I do think that National ran a blank cheque/open cheque campaign that voters collectively, as a small enough majority, signed up to. It was a campaign that was effectively – trust me (National), thrust you.

    • Bastables 2.2

      The discussion of Social bonds pilots/ROI ( registrations of interest) were occurring in 2012-13 with Treasury per’s involved.

      They’ve had a Think tank/policy groups staffed with UK/SA imports and sundry NZ real estate agents joining the team within MOH for several years.

      Here’s Sarah Holden asking for more recruits in 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4BnTIpVjBc&list=PLpEii3SYCu7dVjriyW78PPXZxgIaRYrrt&index=1

      • freedom 2.2.1

        So if a person was not directly involved in policy development or was not looking for employment relating to policy development, they wouldn’t have had a clue.

        Not exactly informing the voters then is it?

        • Bastables 2.2.1.1

          That’s sort of the whole point of investigative Journalism, the signs were pretty evident. Especially with the involvement of Delliote ect. ny one Journo with any contacts should have picked up on it. Instead we get lines fed by #dirtypolitics.

          • freedom 2.2.1.1.1

            what a crazy dream we share Bastables imagining a media actively informing the populace of issues that directly affect the society they inhabit

            and did you hear they are increasing the chocolate ration to twenty grams a week? Good news brother.

      • greywarshark 2.2.2

        Ms Holden is coming out with all the buzzwords – wanting people to have a good experience with the health service, wanting it to be the best it can possibly be.
        What a lot of hoo-hah.

        She did mention that it costs the country $14 billion or $40B, either are huge. She did mention that there the needs are always growing and that there is a growing older population. This refrain about having ‘the best’ of anything is a spurious goal, ultimately deliberately misleading, when a person can’t even get into the system.

        Having adequate, well-planned and devised systems and services and machinery so that more people receive the assistance that appropriate for their needs and age would be the goal to aim at I would have thought. That means that 90 year olds would not receive blood transfusions, their need would be care and nursing as they died. Little children would receive ear care which would enable them to match their age cohort as they move through their life stages of learning and growing. And simple housing with thermal lined curtains at the windows, and warm mats on the floor and polar and knitted blankets. Friends of the hospital groups of women and men who could make warm things curtains etc for the obvious needy patients would be more help than meeting standards expected by middle class officials.

    • Chooky 2.3

      where was the Herald on this?….they were quick to vilify and crucify David Cunliffe

      ….where was Morning Report?

      …real investigative journalists would have been scouting the horizons for trouble…particularly looking at what Treasury was up to

      ….and why was Labour on the back foot?…they should have been proactively warning voters what Nact was up to …and using it in their campaign for votes….surely they had an inkling of this?…surely they were not indifferent to these mooted policies?

    • Gosman 2.4

      Even when they do campaign specificially on a particular policy (e.g. Partial sell down in the State’s stake in selected SOE’s or National Standards) the left claims they don’t have a mandate. What policies do you think National could legitimately implement given they have won three elections in a row?

      • Stuart Munro 2.4.1

        Resignation would receive popular assent – as would surrender of stolen assets.

    • Grace Miller 2.5

      Not our MSM puppets!

      Armstrong, Young and O’Sullivan at the rag ‘the Herald’, laughingly referred to as a serious newspaper by the deluded all cheerlead Dunnokeyo and his band of robbers every chance they get.

      See Armstrong’s piece today about ‘king’ John, the fawning toady! It is, ostensibly, a criticism of Key’s handling of questions to Nick Smith. It ended up saying ‘… if Little could not make life difficult for Key on this most intractable of problems, he might as well pack his bags and go home for good. …’

      So, even when he’s trying to criticise his beloved US puppet, he manages to have a swipe at Little/Labour.

      Remember how they crucified Cunliffe for not remembering an 11-year old letter and its contents? These fuckheads can’t remember which lie they’ve told who, and they get a free pass from the lying press in NZ.

      • Tracey 2.5.1

        I am almost 100% sure that the part you quoted WAS NOT there when I rea dit a few hours ago. The last sentence read

        “Key’s reply could not be read as a vote of confidence in Smith. But the exchange revealed something else — that Little is capable of getting the better of Key.”

        And I thought it was quite an upbeat comment about Little. The sentence you now see as the last, was not there.

        Audrey Young’s piece is pure fawning…

  3. Al66 3

    Tories doing what tories do – deny, deny, deny – then admit, but deny any responsibility and blame the victim or the opposition

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Now campaigners are asking – what has Iain Duncan Smith got to hide?

    Murder by the looks of things.

  5. Mike the Savage One 5

    This is indeed very “interesting” and extremely worrying, what is going on in the UK. We know they reported back in 2012 that in 2011 alone an estimated 10,600 persons died within 6 weeks of their ESA claims ending. That may have been for various reasons, but the perverted part of it is, that ATOS under contract with the DWP, were responsible for assessing very sick and impaired persons for their supposed “fitness” to work.

    There have been countless stories of persons lying in hospital beds, found “fit for work”, and also of persons committing suicide, as they could after wrong assessments not cope with the work expectations, the fear and stress caused by a totally perverted “work capability assessment” regime:
    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/10/04/10600-sick-disabled-people-died-last-year-within-six-weeks-of-their-claim-ending/

    Another 2 good sources for what really goes on there are these:
    http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2014/08/31/more-or-less-on-the-esa-deaths-more-stupidity-less-accuracy/
    http://dpac.uk.net/2015/06/10484/

    So the DWP does not want to come forward with the figures. It sounds like they do have figures on premature deaths and suicides there, but we may not be so lucky to get any such information from Work and Income, as such information is kept in individual client files, as an OIA request recently confirmed. That gives MSD and WINZ the ideal opportunity to claim they cannot provide such figures on beneficiaries dying while on health related benefits, as it would require too much time and effort to collate such information, or search for it, from thousands of individual client files. Also once a “client” is referred to a contracted provider, then WINZ do not keep a record on the well-being of such a person, an OIA confirmed.

    Section 18 (f) of the New Zealand Official Information Act 1982 gives state service agencies the ideal, convenient opportunity to refuse such information.

    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/mental-health-and-sole-parent-employment-services-msd-withholds-o-i-a-information-that-may-prove-their-trials-a-failure/

    The UK have had ATOS and still have this Work Capability Assessment (WCA), changed repeatedly, but still a nasty “test” for assessing sick, injured and disabled for work ability. ATOS has gone, but now the new provider is Maximus, working under the same system.

    Here in New Zealand no such one “test” does exist for WINZ beneficiaries (not yet), but that leaves WINZ and their “designated doctors” and “work ability assessors” a lot of discretion, as to how to assess persons “fit” for “suitable” work.

    This “social bonds” idea will simply add another dimension to the already fee paid contracted services, as yet another incentive, to participating providers and then also “investors”, to make some gains or profit on the backs of the mentally ill “guinea pigs”.

    It is disgraceful, just disgraceful, scandalous!

    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/the-discredited-indefensible-work-capability-assessment-wca-in-the-uk-and-what-its-demise-must-mean-for-nz-welfare-reforms-part-1/

    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/the-discredited-indefensible-work-capability-assessment-wca-in-the-uk-and-what-its-demise-must-mean-for-nz-welfare-reforms-part-2/

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    FYI Work and Income already has the ability to overrule doctors (and frequently do) on who is fit for work – it is written into the Social Securities Act.

  7. Foreign waka 7

    This is so disgusting, words are failing. Astounding that the opposition seem to be blase about it. It really shows that those in power are only keen to have the snout in the trough and the taxpayer has the fund their extravagance. At what point is enough enough?

  8. The Chairman 8

    What is the risk factor of having employment experts in GP offices?

    What is the risk factor of forcing those considered to have “entrenched” mental health issues into the workplace?

    • The Chairman 8.1

      For example, a Taranaki dairy farmer with “anger problems” broke the tails of 46 cows.

      Ashburton Work and Income.

      • Ergo Robertina 8.1.1

        The cow tail case was also in Ashburton.
        I oppose schemes to force people with entrenched mental health problems into the employment market, but my concerns are not in respect of animal welfare.
        There are different shades of ”entrenched mental health issues”; people whose issues tend to keep them out of the workforce tend to be sensitive souls who would not hurt an animal.
        In fact, an ”entrenched mental health issue” makes people eminently suitable for some roles; like the psychopath mercenary doctors hired by ACC hires to do claimants over.

        • The Chairman 8.1.1.1

          If the guy with anger problems was working with people and not cows the situation may have been a hell of a lot worse.

          The point is, a number of people with entrenched mental health issues are not only a risk to themselves, but can also be a risk to others.

          • Ergo Robertina 8.1.1.1.1

            What are you implying? That mental health issues might have been the factor in keeping this angry guy from working with people instead of animals?
            You really think the Ashburton farmer was the kind of person who didn’t participate or participate fully in the workforce because of mental health issues?
            Your lack of understanding is evident.

            • The Chairman 8.1.1.1.1.1

              It was rather clear.

              A number of people with entrenched mental health issues are not only a risk to themselves, but can also be a risk to others. Meaning other people or animals as such was the case.

              • Ergo Robertina

                Oh, you’ve made it clear alright – your reactionary bigotry and lack of understanding.
                To serve your misinformed little agenda, you’ve bizarrely conflated the case of an Ashburton farmer thug with people whose ”mental health issues” you believe should exclude them from jobs.

                • The Chairman

                  Excuse me? Have you been drinking?

                  Anger issues are a mental health problem.

                  Mental health problems do exclude a number from working. And in some instances, rightly so.

                  A number can potentially be a danger to themselves and others while putting work place safety at risk .

                  It’s not bigotry or a lack of understanding, it’s a reality.

                • Foreign waka

                  Are you for real? Have you ever worked with a person that is agitated all the time? I would take the employer to court because this will not provide a safe working environment for me.

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    Did you read the whole thread?
                    I oppose moves to compel people with mental health issues into the workforce, while opposing discrimination against people with mental health conditions.
                    It’s pretty simple, really.

              • KJT

                A number of people without mental health issues are a risk to themselves and others. Maybe we should stop working with people.

          • Mike the Savage One 8.1.1.1.2

            Well, there are some risks, but they seem to be rather for the WINZ client, the mental health sufferer, than anybody else, I think. What was mentioned by Director for Welfare Reform, Sandra Kirikiri, in an interview on Radio NZ’s ‘Nine to Noon’ on 15 April last year gave some reason to be concerned about. But as they tend to “learn” as they go along (WINZ), they may by now have addressed this:

            “WINZ expands scheme to support unemployed with illness issues”
            http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2592666/winz-expands-scheme-to-support-unemployed-with-illness-issues

            An abbreviated transcript from the interview (from about 15 min 20 sec. onwards) can be interpreted like this:
            “Sandra Kirikiri then incredibly commented, that Work and Income do not discuss this (risk) with an employer! It was not their place to do that, she asserted. “If the client wants to disclose that that’s ok”, she continued. “What we’re trying to do is, to make sure, that from our knowledge of the employer, that it would be a good environment for the client”. Kathryn asked: “They don’t have to declare any medical condition?” And Sandra said, “no”, then continuing with an example where they had sent a short list of partly long very term unemployed people to an employer, and where the employer picked the ones they wanted, which included some that Work and Income had considered hard to refer. But “they’re the best people”, she added. An employer does not have a “pre conceived idea”, she said, and the employer takes the people on the basis of the short list and the interview, “and these guys are going, great!” Sandra said that the clients really want to prove themselves, when an employer gives them that “little bit of faith”. She said though, they do not need to do that (tell employers about the conditions of the clients). Sometimes the client wants them to talk to the employer, with them, she conceded, and they were happy to do that. But they were actually not doing that as a first instance.”

            See also:
            http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-d/

            So for WINZ to not declare a medical condition to a prospective employer, that is irresponsible, I would have thought. But they seem to leave this up to the client, or the provider and the client to sort out.

            • KJT 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Someone’s medical condition is absolutely no business of an employer’s unless it makes them unfit for the job.

              • Mike the Savage One

                Yes and yes, and there will be many employers expecting persons to fill out forms, or simply answer verbal questions, when applying for a job, stating their medical conditions, which may impact on their ability to perform the work.

                To not disclose a condition that may impact on the ability to perform work safely, can have negative legal consequences if something goes wrong, and if this is found out later. But an applicant must reasonably be able to assess whether a condition could impact on the ability to perform work duties.

                So there could be some space for discretion, but when we talk about many mental health condition, they can definitely interfere with work performance.

                The most horrible example was the recent intentional crashing of an airplane by a mentally ill German pilot in the French Alps.

                In view of that, it may pay to go on the safe side, I would think.

                • KJT

                  As against the hundreds of pilots who seemed otherwise healthy who have crashed with unexpected heart attacks.

                  The proximate cause of several crashes, or potential crashes, lately is locked cockpits due to the overreaction to, also rare, terrorist attacks.

              • Foreign waka

                That may be so, but god forbid you have a schizophrenic on medication deciding to stop…or a person with bipolar having a episode. Have you ever been in a situation like that? I have (it was a nightmare!) and I am not agreeing one bit with being made a guinea pig in the adventures of the experimental “researchers” – no thanks.

                • KJT

                  You had better stop flying then. And going to the Doctor, sitting in a bus or driving on Auckland motorways..

                  As at least one in four people have had, or will have, some form of mental illness some time in their lives, there are a hell of a lot of pilots who are living with a mental illness, safely flying every day.
                  As there are people in other professions.

                  Even if that crash was due to mental illness, debatable, as it seems to be more from a sense of entitlement and narcissism.
                  Almost all crashes caused by the pilots are caused by, supposedly, sane people.
                  Statistically, you are safer with a nutty pilot.

                  Someone with schizophrenia or untreated Bi-polar which affected their flying, would never last through flight school. and they would be unfit for a flying job anyway.
                  Did you know however, that one of the engineers who designed the Auckland flyovers was suffering from schizophrenia. A very decent talented guy.

  9. Mike the Savage One 9

    The libertarians and free market advocates are already working full power and over-time, to promote this innovative approach called “social impact bonds”.

    Eric Crampton has managed to get airtime on Radio New Zealand’s ‘Nights’ program some time ago, I noticed, and tonight he was quite favourable of SIBs, when chatting away with Bryan Crump until about 09 pm. Eric Crampton has also been a frequent post writer on Sciblogs, and he is associated with the New Zealand Initiative. He is a firm believer in the laissez faire approach and having markets solve problems.

    Here is what this “economist” (originally from the US, as far as I know) had to say:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/nights/audio/201758682/right-thinking

    This morning Kathryn Ryan had a man from the UK on her show, promoting the SIB idea:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201758573/social-bonds-can-private-investment-in-welfare-work

    RNZ summary of that interview:
    “The Government says social bonds – which are set to be trialled in the mental health sector here – are an innovative way to pay for social services that deliver results while critics say they are a massive experiment. The idea behind social bonds is for the private sector to invest in particular outcomes such as improved employment rates or reduced reoffending by people coming out of prison. If the agreed outcome is not reached, the investor doesn’t get paid, thus – the Government says – there is a very big incentive to make the programme work. Paul Riley is the executive director of Key Assets UK – part of a global company which specialises in placing foster children in homes and other social and family services.”

    Where is the MSM giving air-time to critics, I ask? It seems that RNZ is now firmly “in line” with what the masters in government expect. Time for the opposition to step up, that is if they do stand by their words and care! If this continues, the public will become lulled into thinking, all this is just ok, like anything else that has been going on under John Key and his government.

  10. The Chairman 10

    How would placing those known to have “entrenched” mental health issues into the workplace impact on employers responsibility to provide a safe workplace?

    • Mike the Savage One 10.1

      Perhaps a first aid kit and a 111 quick dial, should things really go wrong.

      But I think your concerns are probably directed towards the wrong party. If offered genuine support, and a proper, secure work place, with decent pay, and an understanding management and fellow workers, some persons may indeed manage and benefit from open employment.

      Going by the UK experiences, and also in some other places in the world, where sick and disabled have been placed into employment, this is rather more often attempted at low cost, with least efforts, and with at least implied pressures on the candidates. Jobs may not be what they seem, they are likely to be part time, marginal and precarious, also low paid, so causing more health hazards than benefits.

      So most would rather be in danger of self harm, I think, which is why all this is so high risk and dangerous.

      This idea of paying generous fees, of paying bonuses or dividends, that is an incentive for the “investor” and provider, rather than the “commodity” mental health suffering beneficiary. The costs the government faces are the incentives they offer for those contractors, not so much the person “supported”.

      The idea they follow though is, to get people off benefits, so they cost less in future, nothing more or less. That is the idea, but in practice it does not necessarily work like that, given unstable employment, and uncertain socio-economic conditions for too many, even the “fit” and healthy.

      I feel all this is also missing an opportunity for those who may wish to do some work, but will not manage on the competitive open job market. What about creating jobs that persons with mental health and other conditions can do, without the expectations and pressures that come with open employment on the market? There seems to be no consideration for such schemes.

      • The Chairman 10.1.1

        No doubt, with the proper care and support some may benefit. However, workplaces as such are few and far between.

        Moreover, a number may go postal. And when it comes out their potential to nut out was previously known, that may come back to bite employers and their branding if customers or other employees are maimed or killed.

        Current unemployment numbers suggests finding suitable and willing employers in general employment opportunities will be extremely difficult. Therefore, it’s only logical to assume investors will have something different and yet to be announced in mind.

        • Mike the Savage One 10.1.1.1

          I think you are having a too prejudicial view of persons with mental health issues. There are some few persons who may fit your risk profile, but most would hardly be noticed as being all that different to other persons, until perhaps they have a serious break down of sorts.

          We are more likely to suffer from a random road rage incident (by any angry driver), or be hit by a car, than be attacked or seriously harmed by a person with mental health conditions. And actually many people have periods of mental illness at some times in their lives, but recover afterwards, and live somewhat normal lives again.

          But I agree re employment, that the government should create jobs that would possibly be more suitable to persons with such and other illness, at least to try out before going back into open employment. There will be many that will struggle in many demanding, stressful “ordinary” jobs, especially those with certain mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. It seems though, as if the government is not interested in creating jobs in more stable, secure environments, as many labour laws have under National also been changed to make it easier to hire and fire, and to allow less secure, more precarious and even dangerous work.

          • The Chairman 10.1.1.1.1

            Currently, we may have more chance of being hit by a car, but with more people with entrenched mental heath issues being pushed to work , thus under more pressure, the chance of a number of them nutting out is likely to increase.

            Moreover, it’s rather common for those with mental heath issues to be on meds that can negatively impact upon their work performance, potentially putting them and others in the workplace at risk.

  11. Smilin 11

    Why have a Democracy the markets greater yeah right
    People dont need confidence in their govt
    “Dont ask what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country”
    Get rid of CAPITALIST govt for one that serves the the majority of the people not those who who have the majority of the money

  12. vto 12

    I genuinely do not see where the incentive/profit kicks in when you make an investment and are looking for the return……..

    Is it that you get a return when the specific person you have invested in returns to work?

    Or is it that you get a return when the specific person has been satisfactorily provided with a warm house and sufficient of life’s basic provisions while they are out of work?

    Whats the story? Sorry it is surely described somewhere – pointer anyone?

  13. Gosman 13

    If you don’t think people with a mental disorder should be encouraged and supported back to a position where they can contribute to society then argue that case. I think many voters disagree with you around this but best of luck pushing your case.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      encouraged and supported

      That’s what this is, is it? Encouragement and support? You fucking liar.

    • Tracey 13.2

      Can you post the detail of the policy so we can see exactly what “many voters” are agreeing with in your view?

      Can you explain the business model that will lend money to a venture targeting those with mental illnesses of the type making them difficult to employ and only getting “profit” if they successfully get those people into employment? Also please define “success”, under this model.

      TIA

  14. Kay 14

    I’m very curious as to where they are going to find these “employers”. As a general rule, most employers out there- both in the public and private sector- are pretty discriminatory towards people with a variety of disabilities, mental and physical, but especially mental illness, even if they’re the best qualified and suited for the job. If it comes up on the application or at the interview you can usually forget about about getting the job (although impossible to prove discrimination unless you’re told in writing).
    By definition, people with disabilities who have been on long term welfare have pretty major conditions to make their ability to work full-time, if at all impossible.

    And one time,( and I know it existed 10 years ago but no idea if it’s still in existence) there was a scheme through State Services Commission that placed people with disabilities into jobs in the public sector. The catch was the govt paid full wages for the 1st year and 1/2 wages for the 2nd. The idea was that the person would be kept on after that, some did but often the job vanished once the subsidy dried up. So they only took us on in the first place because their budgets weren’t overly affected. Since govt depts have been wound down I doubt that type of scheme is there any more.

    So back to employers- are the MSD/their contractors going to have to bribe any employers to give their clients jobs? Because I honestly don’t see how that will happen otherwise. Even admitting upfront that one suffers from depression is a pretty big turn-off for an employer (=unreliable). Say schizophrenia or Bipolar, no matter how controlled then forget it. Of course, one can not say anything, but what happens if the job is obtained and the subsequent stress of trying to be a “super employee” (a common phenomenon for disabled people in the workplace in order to keep their jobs) causes a relapse? Back in hospital then having to fight to get back into the benefit system? This whole thing is terrifying.

    • Tracey 14.1

      There is also the added stress of work testing people on a regular basis who are most likely unemployable.

      My brother-in-law with Cerebral Palsy (which is not a mental illness) got work tested three times during Ruth Dyson’s reign despite no cure fo rhis condition being developed in that time. The stress it caused his mother and the false expectation it built in him that he would get a job was hard on the family.

    • Mike the Savage One 14.2

      Kay, you raise valid concerns.

      That is what they put the persons with mental health conditions in, a situation where they face endless barriers, not so much in their motivation, but by having basically rather discriminating employers, fellow staff and in some cases unsympathetic customers to deal with.

      Where is the government’s drive to hold employers and members of society to account, to offer fair participation for disabled? I hear and see rather little of such efforts.

      The government is dangling a carrot in the way of fees to providers and “dividend” for social impact bond investors in front of those parties, but leaving the “clients” in a risk territory, where they may be desperate and full of hope, but very vulnerable, should things turn sour in the effort to get and keep a job.

      So some state subsidised employment schemes for such persons makes more sense, where jobs are not open to competitive market pressures, but where persons can at least contribute somehow, in their time, space and within their capability, also being respected for their honest effort.

      It is in short, a major, rather dangerous social experiment, with some of the most vulnerable in society.

      And re Gosman, I have no comment to make to persons like that, always just trying to play the troll here.

      • Kay 14.2.1

        Mike, it’s really just a continuation of the theme that everyone on a benefit is responsible for their situation, ie it’s their fault and having gainful employment is the answer (and alleged cure) to everything, don’t you think? In short, a variation on beneficiary bashing dressed up to pretend they give a shit.

        So the fact that there are so many actively discriminating employers and work colleages out there doesn’t come into it. After all, they’re in gainful employment and not a welfare statistic that needs to be got rid of, right? (Boy, my cynicism level is through the roof today…)

        As for trolls- well karma is a great thing. I’ve seen serious mental illness take hold of some very deserving people over the years. What goes around and all that.

        • Mike the Savage One 14.2.1.1

          Yes, I do more or less agree with your assessment of this idea and intended approach by the government. It is all about sophisticated “beneficiary bashing”, and I remember well how Judith Collins (then opposition spokesperson on welfare) did in 2007 and 2008 repeatedly go on about doctors signing off people as “sick”, to go on the sickness benefit, while they were according to one or two doctors she spoke with, not really that sick. There was NO proof for doctors doing this, and little proof of them being pressured to do so. It was pre election propaganda.

          They do really think that there are too many “malingerers”, and hence we have a rather hard-line, nasty WINZ Principal Health Advisor, who likens benefit dependence to “drug dependence”.

          So it is beneficiary bashing in that sense, a drive to pressurise those on benefits for health reasons and disability, to “prove” they really are sick and disabled. The “hatchet doctors” they use are collaborating, and the rest is all about cost cutting, as there is no proof of additional health spending and so for treatment and rehabilitation (as the last Budget showed yet again).

          “Wrap around services” and “supports” means only “more intensive case management” (pressurising and harassing), nothing else.

        • Foreign waka 14.2.1.2

          I appreciate your point of view and employment of disabled people should not even be an issue. Talking about mental illness is a different issue altogether. To put both into the same sentence can be offensive for a i.e. paraplegic – how many people are talking laud and as if the person is a child speaks for itself.
          It is equally dishonest to everybody inclusive the patient to pretend that mental illness is something one can overcome just by kindness. I am not saying that people should be locked up but in most cases they need a structured environment, stress free and supportive with assistance for issues such as hygiene (depending on type and severity of illness). Being in a upswing for a bipolar affected person whilst having job interviews will have some surprises for the employer in store.
          To be honest, I would test the law to its fullest extend if WINZ would not disclose that a person has a health condition that can potentially endanger the person and/or everybody around them.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • A tougher line on “proactive release”?

    The Official Information Act has always been a battle between requesters seeking information, and governments seeking to control it. Information is power, so Ministers and government agencies want to manage what is released and when, for their own convenience, and legality and democracy be damned. Their most recent tactic for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 hours ago
  • 'Let's build a motorway costing $100 million per km, before emissions costs'

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:Transport and Energy Minister Simeon Brown is accelerating plans to spend at least $10 billion through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to extend State Highway One as a four-lane ‘Expressway’ from Warkworth to Whangarei ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    8 hours ago
  • Lester's Prescription – Positive Bleeding.

    I live my life (woo-ooh-ooh)With no control in my destinyYea-yeah, yea-yeah (woo-ooh-ooh)I can bleed when I want to bleedSo come on, come on (woo-ooh-ooh)You can bleed when you want to bleedYea-yeah, come on (woo-ooh-ooh)Everybody bleed when they want to bleedCome on and bleedGovernments face tough challenges. Selling unpopular decisions to ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    9 hours ago
  • Casey Costello gaslights Labour in the House

    Please note:To skip directly to the- parliamentary footage in the video, scroll to 1:21 To skip to audio please click on the headphone icon on the left hand side of the screenThis video / audio section is under development. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    10 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on a textbook case of spending waste by the Luxon government

    Given the crackdown on wasteful government spending, it behooves me to point to a high profile example of spending by the Luxon government that looks like a big, fat waste of time and money. I’m talking about the deployment of NZDF personnel to support the US-led coalition in the Red ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    12 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 24

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:40 am on Wednesday, July 24 are:Deep Dive: Chipping away at the housing crisis, including my comments RNZ/Newsroom’s The DetailNews: Government softens on asset sales, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    13 hours ago
  • LXR Takaanini

    As I reported about the city centre, Auckland’s rail network is also going through a difficult and disruptive period which is rapidly approaching a culmination, this will result in a significant upgrade to the whole network. Hallelujah. Also like the city centre this is an upgrade predicated on the City ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    13 hours ago
  • Four kilograms of pain

    Today, a 4 kilogram report will be delivered to Parliament. We know this is what the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care weighs, because our Prime Minister told us so.Some reporter had blindsided him by asking a question about something done by ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    13 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 24

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 24, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Beehive: Transport Minister Simeon Brown announced plans to use PPPs to fund, build and run a four-lane expressway between Auckland ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    14 hours ago
  • Luxon gets caught out

    NewstalkZB host Mike Hosking, who can usually be relied on to give Prime Minister Christopher Luxon an easy run, did not do so yesterday when he interviewed him about the HealthNZ deficit. Luxon is trying to use a deficit reported last year by HealthNZ as yet another example of the ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    16 hours ago
  • A worrying sign

    Back in January a StatsNZ employee gave a speech at Rātana on behalf of tangata whenua in which he insulted and criticised the government. The speech clearly violated the principle of a neutral public service, and StatsNZ started an investigation. Part of that was getting an external consultant to examine ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Are we fine with 47.9% home-ownership by 2048?

    Renting for life: Shared ownership initiatives are unlikely to slow the slide in home ownership by much. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:A Deloitte report for Westpac has projected Aotearoa’s home-ownership rate will ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Let's Win This

    You're broken down and tiredOf living life on a merry go roundAnd you can't find the fighterBut I see it in you so we gonna walk it outAnd move mountainsWe gonna walk it outAnd move mountainsAnd I'll rise upI'll rise like the dayI'll rise upI'll rise unafraidI'll rise upAnd I'll ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Waimahara: The Singing Spirit of Water

    There’s been a change in Myers Park. Down the steps from St. Kevin’s Arcade, past the grassy slopes, the children’s playground, the benches and that goat statue, there has been a transformation. The underpass for Mayoral Drive has gone from a barren, grey, concrete tunnel, to a place that thrums ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Tuesday, July 23 are:Deep Dive: Penlink: where tolling rhetoric meets reality BusinessDesk-$$$’s Oliver LewisScoop: Te Pūkenga plans for regional polytechs leak out ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 23, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Health: Shane Reti announced the Board of Te Whatu Ora- Health New Zealand was being replaced with Commissioner Lester Levy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • HealthNZ and Luxon at cross purposes over budget blowout

    Health NZ warned the Government at the end of March that it was running over Budget. But the reasons it gave were very different to those offered by the Prime Minister yesterday. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon blamed the “botched merger” of the 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) to create Health ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • 2500-3000 more healthcare staff expected to be fired, as Shane Reti blames Labour for a budget defic...

    Long ReadKey Summary: Although National increased the health budget by $1.4 billion in May, they used an old funding model to project health system costs, and never bothered to update their pre-election numbers. They were told during the Health Select Committees earlier in the year their budget amount was deficient, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Might Kamala Harris be about to get a 'stardust' moment like Jacinda Ardern?

    As a momentous, historic weekend in US politics unfolded, analysts and commentators grasped for precedents and comparisons to help explain the significance and power of the choice Joe Biden had made. The 46th president had swept the Democratic party’s primaries but just over 100 days from the election had chosen ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Solutions Interview: Steven Hail on MMT & ecological economics

    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    2 days ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    3 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    6 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    6 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    6 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    7 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but important read. IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the Greens had egg on their faces. At the time, Christopher Luxon said ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Government moves to ensure flood protection for Wairoa

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  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

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  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

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  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

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  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

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  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

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  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

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    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
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