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Four personal stories

Written By: - Date published: 10:24 am, June 23rd, 2016 - 38 comments
Categories: class war, human rights, national, quality of life - Tags: , , , ,

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

In The Spinoff by “Iain Stevens”:

You Shouldn’t Dream Here: On the tragic Auckland most of us never see

In a deeply personal essay, youth worker Iain Stevens [not real name] tells of the small joys and savage pains of his work with some of our community’s most damaged families.

I wondered what it was going to take to break my heart.

I’ve been a youth advocate for just on four years. Moving all around West Auckland, inner to outer, New Lynn to Helensville, I’m deeply involved with kids and families who have fallen apart but have nowhere to go, so they have to stay in the place where the pain began.

I’ve met no one bad yet. Busted-up and angry, suspicious and self-sabotaging, yes. But no one truly bad. The kids have trauma like soldiers have trauma. Exactly like soldiers: some of our streets are trenches, some of our interventions are weapons, some of our ideas are dangerous. The ones used in the past certainly were. Older workers talk about the way things have changed, how families are actually listened to now. I wonder how families survived the paternalism of the “old days”, when the state came down like a hammer.

And there are wastelands just next door, within earshot if you want to listen. All over the country there are big screens pulsing colours and energy into rooms that have neither. I can understand why you would want to get out of it, to remove yourself from these places for a while, at least in your mind. It’s hard to dream while staring at chipboard floors and walls grey-green with mould down to the skirting boards. Back and front yards just fences and grass, overgrown or perfunctorily mown, the edges tatty. Dead cars and broken furniture. The underlying smell of fried things.

You shouldn’t dream here; these places are not made for fantasy, they’re places that should be changed. Being comfortable with this type of environment will kill you; the mould will get in your lungs, the damp will give you eczema. Or maybe someone will explode with pent-up impotent rage and attack anyone within range. You should escape from it. People like me should help you leave. …

In The Wireless by “Rua”:

What it’s like to be 17 and homeless

Rua [not real name], 17, sleeps on the streets of Auckland’s CBD. He moved up from Wellington recently to start afresh.

I was born in born in Wellington but I got a head injury from my auntie, so I went to CYFs after that.

My foster dad would abuse me sometimes, I used to go to school with black eyes and stuff. He didn’t like me because they were white and I was the only brown kid in the family. I just lost it – I tried to kill him with a shotgun. So my foster family sent me back to my biological mum. They’d just had enough of me and sent me off: ‘See you later.’

My average day is probably sleep all day, wake up, have a cone of dope or have a joint, then just go hustle – go to New World supermarket, an internet cafe, or go buy another bag of pot or synnies. It’s like dope, but it’s got worse chemicals. They call it ‘bag life’ around here.

I’m trying to keep off the street, eh. I’m sleeping on the street, but I’m sleeping at my bro’s house at the moment, too – a friend. He lives on Anzac Ave; I sleep on his floor. Sometimes he sleeps on the street so more people can sleep at his place. I’m on a youth benefit, $175. I need an address to get it, so I’m paying $100 a week of rent in Wellington for a place I don’t even use. Then $25 goes onto my card for food. Then there’s $50 left.

I don’t want help, I just want to do it by myself. I’ve never accepted help before. ACC try to help me but I just say nah. I want to do it my own way. I’ll get there eventually, just when I’m ready.

No one [in my family] knows I’m on the streets. I try to keep that hidden. The youngest kids you see on the street are 13. I’ve been thinking about being a social worker, eh. Or working at a residence. A youth justice residence. You know, I’d tell them, ‘Stop all this try-to-be-gangsta shit, being on drugs all the time.’ I’d get them around, chuck them a feed, then I’d probably stand up and tell them my life story.

In The Bay of Plenty Times by Richard Moore:

Mismanaged NZ is no paradise

After moving to New Zealand 12 years ago I heard a lot from locals about what a great place it was to raise kids.

But, as I took my children to school, I saw huge numbers of kids heading to class without shoes – in the middle of winter. That was a shock. Couldn’t their parents afford shoes, I wondered? To add to the picture many of the children didn’t have raincoats, others didn’t even have jumpers. I didn’t think about it then, but now I would expect many of the kids didn’t have lunches and hadn’t had food for breakfast.

Nowadays when people say to me that New Zealand is the best country in the world to raise children I ask them why they think that? They cannot say exactly why, I guess most just parrot the myth of this paradise for children.

Then I ask them if this is the best place to raise kids – why are there more than 270,000 children living in poverty right now?

Ummm.

Why do so many children go to school without being fed?

Ummm.

Why does a Kiwi kid die about every five weeks at the hands of parents or caregivers?

Ummm.

Is it true police are called to domestic violence incidents every seven minutes?

Ummm.

And can a United Nations’ report possibly be true when it states that one in four NZ girls are sexually assaulted before they are 15?

Ummm.

That doesn’t sound like a child paradise to me.

Any one of those issues should have this country hanging its head in shame, let alone all of them.

But most Kiwis will avert their eyes from the issues as they are too unpleasant to deal with.

Some of the homeless are living in cars at the moment. Picture yourself in your car. Imagine how cold you would be overnight in winter. Think of how vulnerable you would feel in that situation.

And many of these people are working. They work and yet cannot get, or afford, a house. How disgraceful is that? In fact, it isn’t disgraceful – it is an outrage and New Zealand needs to pull its head out of the sand and have a good long look at itself. …

In The Spinoff (again) by Caitlin McGee:

I reported from South Sudan and Sierra Leone. What I’ve returned to in New Zealand still shocks me

As I wound up my life in the Middle East after five years with Al Jazeera English and eight years abroad, I turned towards New Zealand, knowing how lucky I was. As one colleague once said to me: “You Kiwis won the birthplace lottery”. My home was the first to give women the vote more than a century ago; social security was invented in Kurow in the 1930s; and we said no to the United States: we would not let their nuclear ships come to our shores.

My, how things have changed.

This is not an attempt to pretend that New Zealand has slipped so far down that it is in anyway comparable to the hardship playing out in the majority of the world. It is a peaceful, stable, democratic society with press freedom. But we are slipping. I am not only disappointed in what I’ve seen in the six months since I returned, I am angry.

To not be able to swim in our rivers because they are so dirty would’ve been unthinkable to me 10 years ago. In March, the Waikato River Authority said it could take up to 100 years for the Waikato and Waipa rivers to be restored to clean and healthy levels. I’ve seen first-hand waterways that run off the Waikato River blanketed in a creeping toxic algae, festering like a black drain, lifeless. …

Above ground, New Zealand’s reported rate of intimate partner violence is the highest in the developed world. Our incarceration rate is also one of the highest in the developed world and more than half of the men behind bars are Māori.  …

According to Infometrics analysis the health system has been under-funded by $1.7 billion since 2010, leaving it unable to keep up with inflation and population growth.  …

Then there’s housing and homelessness. New Zealand has one of the fastest growing rates of income inequality in the OECD and it’s on show in our biggest city. In Auckland, families with at least one working parent are living in vans and cars, with marae and charitable trusts stepping in to fill the breach left by social services. How galling it must be for those parents trying to find a warm place for their children to sleep to then see the Prime Minister’s son in all his privileged glory, posing with a Lambourghini and helicopter in his music video.

John Key has long wanted New Zealand to be seen as the Switzerland of the Pacific. The Panama Papers showed we are, but not in the way he envisioned.

I know I am lucky. I may have not lived through injustice and hardship but I know what it looks like. And I am seeing more and more of it in the last place I expected: home.

Please check the original sources, each and every one of these stories is worth reading and contemplating in full.

38 comments on “Four personal stories ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    Particularly revealing are the accounts from New Zealanders returning in disbelief at what has changed, and those of foreigners shocked that the great New Zealand social paradise is now just a myth.

  2. save nz 2

    Good post. It is scary stuff – the governments answer to everything seems to be to add more people, pretend there is no problem with poverty and violence and to try to suck more money out of the locals in hidden taxes to pay for more infrastructure such as road tolls or to price them out of town so a more deserving foreign student, absentee investor or low paid worker can take their place – not sure that’s working as part of their decade long economic strategy. Beat their chest every day on housing, but fail to build any, just get a few consented, and those being built are laughably expensive and out of reach of people on local wages without equity. Not even having a debate on how low our wages are so that the government is subsiding them anyway. All while selling state houses. What a joke!!

    It is pretty clear worldwide neoliberal policies are failing but as we have the chairman of the IDU as well as our PM, the scale is far more dramatic in NZ. The problem is, that people know they are being ripped off, but not sure how to put their finger on it, and that too is dangerous especially when people do not have an honest media, do not allow people avenue to discuss reasonable solutions and just keep on going with their decade long policy – which is not working!

    What needs to be done, needs to be done very carefully because if the government keeps going with current strategy or do a massive reversal of strategy too quickly then there are going to be other problems occurring. They have created a knife edge situation.

  3. This is all down to too few jobs, poor opportunity and low low wages for people.
    Houses are now brought on how much you can get as leverage then rented out at excorberent prices. If you rely on only your wage then forget it. Wages are so pathetically low in relation to cost of living it’s not funny.
    Food is priced to support all the middleman clipping the ticket, same with power. They are all priced to support nice fat profits for greedy corporations that feed their shareholders with dividends made from others misery.
    Our standard of living is going down, down, down.
    It amuses me how CEOs attract huge salaries and we are fed the line that the reason for this is to attract the right person for the job. Yet that theory never applies to workers. It seems their wages don’t need to be based on attracting and the right people.
    More representation on these issues is desperately and urgently needed if we want an equal society.

    • What you have said is so very true.

      The situation NZ finds itself in, through rotten mismanagement by our elected representatives is despicable.
      We were sold the lie that MMP would be good for democracy , but that has not turned out to be so.
      When we have a couple of very minor parties waging the tail , like the two buffoons, Dunne and that other little nasty fellow from ACT sucking up to the National Government, then how can this situation be democratic in any way ?

      And this has allowed Key and his Henchmen do what they have done, which is very great harm to New Zealander’s way of life.
      The income levels are now so out of touch with the every day life, we are paying international prices for every day living, but our incomes are far from international, we are being screwed.
      That is , apart from the greedy elite at the top, the ones being well looked after by Key and his Henchmen.
      I just hope that there really is karma, and it comes back to bite those who have created this situation, and there are many off them.

      • The New Student 3.1.1

        Yes, rotten mismanagement all over the place, not just within Govt.

  4. Greg 4

    John Key’s far right ideology and the free market is a success, just for some should see the end of of it right. Its a lie he is anywhere near center right. Then we hear how the wonderful FTA is going to raise wages, and improve our cost over living, sometime in the near future, is this like some Amerikanism manifest destiny.
    Its a lie increased exports raise workers wage, in fact the opposite happens, and prices increase in the supermarket, so where does it improve our standard of living, for stuff the 99% cant afford.

    Then theirs the constant calls to raise our expected retirement age, while theirs high youth unemployment,, why not just the age for women, they are living much longer than men,

  5. Alicia G 5

    While a couple of those stories have merit, I’m not exactly sure how the “17 and homeless” story serves the purpose you were hoping it might. I’m sorry, but the predicament the young fella finds himself in has more to do with his poor personal choices than any lack of government action.

    Won’t accept help from govt agencies and instead hustles.

    • Gangnam Style 5.1

      Says more about yourself than you probably realise Alicia G. Good luck for the future “Rua”, I found your story the most moving, hope life treats you more fair in the future than it has in the past, kia kaha.

    • joe90 5.2

      poor personal choices than any lack of government action.

      Yeah, he just needs to line himself up for more of the government action that saw him go to school with black eyes and stuff.
      /

    • b waghorn 5.3

      Yeah useless little shit imagine choosing to be hit in the head by his aunty and abused by his uncle, youff of today

      Sacrc / just in case your to thick to get that I was taking the piss out of you ya moron

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.4

      Perhaps you can help me understand it, Alicia. Why it is that so many more people start to make bad choices whenever the National Party forms a government.

      Can you account for it, or are you just mindlessly repeating right wing hate speech like a gullible fool?

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.5

      Just how clueless can one person be??

      The judgmental, unhelpful and ignorant attitude shown right here in this comment demonstrates a lot of the problem we have in NZ right now.

    • Kelly-Ned 5.6

      Really? You did read the story didn’t you?
      Subjected to abuse at the hand of his Mum.
      Put into CYF care and ill treated by them.
      ACC not effective in providing support.
      Being on the street becomes safer.
      Perfectly logical to me.
      Let down by family and system.

    • The New Student 5.7

      Indeed. How dare this young man chance his arm at independence.

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    “John Key has long wanted New Zealand to be seen as the Switzerland of the Pacific. The Panama Papers showed we are, but not in the way he envisioned.”

    I think that is exactly how he envisioned it.

  7. john 7

    Where to start:
    Story 1
    Sounds like a D- story from a secondary school creative writing class.
    Story 2
    Self inflicted, and inconsistent bull. A homeless person with $100/week place to sleep that doesn’t use it but has an internet account and can afford drugs…..really???
    Story 3
    Another bull dust story. There are plenty of benefits from the tax payer for parents to get shoes and rain coats for kids. If parents wont take care of THEIR kids then why is it the taxpayer’s/workers fault? We can’t be in their house forcing them to use the benefits to get THEIR kids shoes!!!!
    Story 4
    So outlandish as to be farcical, Sudan – NZ comparisons…really???
    Sudan where children have to walk miles to get polluted drinking water.
    Also seem to remember the Waiwhetu stream in Lower Hutt…..Once considered one of the most polluted waterways in the southern hemisphere…..Labour/Greens defunded the clean up and refused to complete the work the council began….took a National Govt. to finish it.

    • Gangnam Style 7.1

      “You know nothing John…”

      • john 7.1.1

        actually….I do. Unlike these stories, I have seen actual poor people.
        Trust me none of them were over weight. None of them gave up on a place to sleep, food or clothes. and NONE of them lived in New Zealand!!!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1

          Can you account for the fact that so many more people start to make bad choices under National, John?

          The bad choices brigade were only ~3% of the population in 2007. Now they’re 6%, and have been joined by a legion or two of homeless people.

          Is the National Party a bad choices factory or something?

          PS: If you can’t account for it, I hope you don’t mind me regarding you as hateful trash.

          • john 7.1.1.1.1

            Sure…..when idiots choose to count adults that live with their parents as homeless.
            ie you bull s**t the numbers.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1.1.1

              That isn’t an account, John.

              ~3% unemployment in 2007 has doubled. According to you that’s because the people you hate are subhuman, or something.

              Your drivel doesn’t stand up to serious analysis, John. That’s because you’re a dupe or a liar.

              Which is it, John?

              • john

                neither….the account is obvious or are your reading skills deficient?
                They have added numbers to the account like adults living with their parents counted as homeless. This increases the numbers so they an make it look like they have an increasing problem.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Meanwhile, on Earth, I am citing official unemployment statistics.

                  According to your hateful rhetoric, the reason for the increase in unemployment since 2007 is that the unemployed made worse choices.

                  That’s why I think you’re scum.

        • Gangnam Style 7.1.1.2

          Nice story bro, those Koru Lounges are nice & comfy, free food there too! Why do right wingers like to spend their days reading left wing blogs, self flagellation maybe?

    • Macro 7.2

      Also seem to remember the Waiwhetu stream in Lower Hutt…..Once considered one of the most polluted waterways in the southern hemisphere…..Labour/Greens defunded the clean up and refused to complete the work the council began….took a National Govt. to finish it.

      Bullshit
      http://www.gwrc.govt.nz/Waiwhetu-Stream-clean-up-trial-starts-next-week

      Waiwhetu Stream clean-up trial starts next week
      Posted on 12 February 2008 by

      The first stage of the works to clean-up the Waiwhetu Stream will start in the week beginning Monday 18 February. This is the beginning of the project to remove the contaminated sediment from the stream bed and other works which will protect the local residents from devastating floods such as the one that swept through the community in 2004.

      The clean up of toxic sites is a long and involved process – it doesn’t happen overnight and it requires planning and preparation so as not to endanger the people caring out the work nor damage other sites in the process. The work was begun by the Greater regional council and the completion of the work was carried out with Govt funding under a MOU with the support from the Green Party. In fact all of the toxic sites being cleaned up are being done as a result of that memorandum – although progress has slowed considerably over recent years because of lack of funding from National budgets. A recent Insight programme gives more information on toxic sight clean ups if you want to learn more.

      • john 7.2.1

        And labour STOPPED funding it and the council couldn’t afford the whole project until the change of govt. in 2008.

    • Kelly-Ned 7.3

      Real John.
      Only John’s (ie. Key) close friends would possibly agree with you

  8. nukefacts 8

    John, don’t you get it mate? What will it take for you to open your uncaring, blinkered eyes?

    She affords drugs through prostitution and was abused repeatedly by caregivers & relatives. These are all VERY strongly correlated to homelessness. Similarly, veteran soldiers who have seen conflicts are homeless too. Some people suffer from society and need help or this is what happens.

    There’s real poverty in NZ, it’s getting worse, and it’s blighting lives right now. What the current government is doing doesn’t work and they just don’t care for the poor and underprivileged.

    And unfortunately people like you add to the problem because you live in your bubble and refuse to see the reality all around you, and you decry and denigrate anyone that draws this to your attention.

    • john 8.1

      All around me. I don’t live in an affluent suburb, I am not in a high paying job, and I don’t see ANY poor people, especially those that are not as a result of their own laziness, or stupidity…WHY should taxpayers/ workers pay toward people who WON’T help themselves and take responsibility for their own lives and the lives of their families.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.1.1

        Yep, I’ve noticed that often times the worst for beating up on the most vulnerable, are those just one or two rungs above them. But not always, the very well-off do it too.

        • Pat 8.1.1.1

          has a lot to do with an inability to look any further than the immediately apparent and a complete lack of imagination.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1.1

            The grossly engorged amygdala* might be a factor too. Far from stunting imagination, it’s possible that this condition results in deviant and morbid antisocial behaviour, which is a pretty good explanation for the National Party.

            *Kanai et al 2011.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.2

        Why oh why are there so many more of these people under National? Your pathetic whinging won’t help, John.

        It’s all very well you being duped by low-life trash into the shit you believe. Why should anyone excuse the prejudice you’ve been spoon-fed?

        Come on, John, what’s your defence? Are you a cretin or a sociopath?

        • john 8.1.2.1

          I’m not whining, I’m getting on with it.
          The rest of you including these pathetic contrived stories are the whiners that want someone else to do and pay for the things they should be doing for themselves.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.2.1.1

            Why have so many more people started to make bad choices, John? Eight years of National makes more people choose to be unemployed or homeless?

            Nah, you have something wrong with you. You are the problem, John: your crippled emotions deserve our charity, but not our indulgence.

            • Stuart Munro 8.1.2.1.1.1

              In fairness, eight years of National are causing many people to kill themselves. When social dysfunction is great people will stop playing the rigged game – only to find that not playing also doesn’t work.

      • framu 8.1.3

        “especially those that are not as a result of their own laziness, or stupidity”

        and how do you even know this john?

        are you digging through their rubbish and spying on them? getting to know them? or just judging by appearance?

  9. mauī 9

    Powerful stories that are food for thought. Hopefully they open a few more eyes.

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    Sometimes you see your friends making the case so well on social media you think: just copy and share.On acceptance and decency, from Michèle A’CourtA notable thing about anti-trans people is they way they talk about transgender women and men as though they are strangers “over there” when in fact ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: More Labour sabotage
    Not that long ago, things were looking pretty good for climate change policy in Aotearoa. We finally had an ETS, and while it was full of pork and subsidies, it was delivering high and ever-rising carbon prices, sending a clear message to polluters to clean up or shut down. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Is bundling restricting electricity competition?
    Comparing (and switching) electricity providers has become easier, but bundling power up with broadband and/or gas makes it more challenging. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā TL;DR: The new Consumer Advocacy Council set up as a result of the Labour Government’s Electricity Price Review in 2019 has called on either ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Westland Milk puts heat on competitors as global dairy demand  remains softer for longer
    Hokitika-based Westland Milk Products  has  put the heat on dairy giant Fonterra with  a $120m profit turnaround in 2022, driven by record sales. Westland paid its suppliers a 10c premium above the forecast Fonterra price per kilo, contributing $535m to the West Coast and Canterbury economies. The dairy ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    3 days ago
  • BRYCE EDWARDS’ Political Roundup:  The Beehive’s revolving door and corporate mateship
    * Bryce Edwards writes – New Zealanders are uncomfortable with the high level of influence corporate lobbyists have in New Zealand politics, and demands are growing for greater regulation. A recent poll shows 62 per cent of the public support having a two-year cooling off period between ministers leaving public ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: The Beehive’s revolving door and corporate mateship
    New Zealanders are uncomfortable with the high level of influence corporate lobbyists have in New Zealand politics, and demands are growing for greater regulation. A recent poll shows 62 per cent of the public support having a two-year cooling off period between ministers leaving public office and becoming lobbyists and ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • A miracle pill for our transport ills
    This is a guest post by accessibility and sustainable transport advocate Tim Adriaansen It originally appeared here.   A friend calls you and asks for your help. They tell you that while out and about nearby, they slipped over and landed arms-first. Now their wrist is swollen, hurting like ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • The Surprising Power of Floating Wind Turbines
    Floating offshore wind turbines offer incredible opportunities to capture powerful winds far out at sea. By unlocking this wind energy potential, they could be a key weapon in our arsenal in the fight against climate change. But how developed are these climate fighting clean energy giants? And why do I ...
    3 days ago
  • The next Maori challenge
    Over the past two or three weeks, a procession of Maori iwi and hapu in a series of little-noticed appearances before two Select Committees have been asking for more say for Maori over resource management decisions along the co-governance lines of Three Waters. Their submissions and appearances run counter ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Secret “war-crime” warrants by International Criminal Court is mischief-making
    The decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue war crimes arrest warrants for the Russian President and the Russia Children Ombudsman may have been welcomed by the ideologically committed but otherwise seems to have been greeted with widespread cynicism (see Situation in Ukraine: ICC judges issue arrest warrants ...
    3 days ago
  • How to answer Drunk Uncle Kevin's Climate Crisis reckons
    Let’s say you’re clasping your drink at a wedding, or a 40th, or a King’s Birthday Weekend family reunion and Drunk Uncle Kevin has just got going.He’s in an expansive frame of mind because we’re finally rid of that silly girl. But he wants to ask an honest question about ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • National’s Luxon may be glum about his poll ratings but has he found a winner in promising to rai...
    National Party leader Christopher Luxon may  be feeling glum about his poll ratings, but  he could be tapping  into  a rich political vein in  describing the current state of education as “alarming”. Luxon said educational achievement has been declining,  with a recent NCEA pilot exposing just how far it has ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: More Labour foot-dragging
    Yesterday the IPCC released the final part of its Sixth Assessment Report, warning us that we have very little time left in which to act to prevent catastrophic climate change, but pointing out that it is a problem that we can solve, with existing technology, and that anything we do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Te Pāti Māori Are Revolutionaries – Not Reformists.
    Way Beyond Reform: Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer have no more interest in remaining permanent members of “New Zealand’s” House of Representatives than did Lenin and Trotsky in remaining permanent members of Tsar Nicolas II’s “democratically-elected” Duma. Like the Bolsheviks, Te Pāti Māori is a party of revolutionaries – not reformists.THE CROWN ...
    4 days ago
  • When does history become “ancient”, on Tinetti’s watch as Minister of Education – and what o...
    Buzz from the Beehive Auckland was wiped off the map, when Education Minister Jan Tinetti delivered her speech of welcome as host of the inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers “here in Tāmaki Makaurau”. But – fair to say – a reference was made later in the speech to a ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Climate Catastrophe, but first rugby.
    Morning mate, how you going?Well, I was watching the news last night and they announced this scientific report on Climate Change. But before they got to it they had a story about the new All Blacks coach.Sounds like important news. It’s a bit of a worry really.Yeah, they were talking ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • What the US and European bank rescues mean for us
    Always a bailout: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the Government would fully guarantee all savers in all smaller US banks if needed. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: No wonder an entire generation of investors are used to ‘buying the dip’ and ‘holding on for dear life’. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Who will drain Wellington’s lobbying swamp?
    Wealthy vested interests have an oversized influence on political decisions in New Zealand. Partly that’s due to their use of corporate lobbyists. Fortunately, the influence lobbyists can have on decisions made by politicians is currently under scrutiny in Guyon Espiner’s in-depth series published by RNZ. Two of Espiner’s research exposés ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • It’s Raining Congestion
    Yesterday afternoon it rained and traffic around the region ground to a halt, once again highlighting why it is so important that our city gets on with improving the alternatives to driving. For additional irony, this happened on the same day the IPCC synthesis report landed, putting the focus on ...
    4 days ago
  • Checking The Left: The Dreadful Logic Of Fascism.
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    4 days ago
  • Good Friends and Terrible Food
    Hi,From an incredibly rainy day in Los Angeles, I just wanted to check in. I guess this is the day Trump may or may not end up in cuffs? I’m attempting a somewhat slower, less frenzied week. I’ve had Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s new record on non-stop, and it’s been a ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • At a glance – What evidence is there for the hockey stick?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • Carry right on up there, Corporal Espiner
    RNZ has been shining their torch into corners where lobbyists lurk and asking such questions as: Do we like the look of this?and Is this as democratic as it could be?These are most certainly questions worth asking, and every bit as valid as, say:Are we shortchanged democratically by the way ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • This smells
    RNZ has continued its look at the role of lobbyists by taking a closer look at the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff Andrew Kirton. He used to work for liquor companies, opposing (among other things) a container refund scheme which would have required them to take responsibility for their own ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Major issues on the table in Mahuta’s  talks in Beijing with China’s new Foreign Minister
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has left for Beijing for the first ministerial visit to China since 2019. Mahuta is  to  meet China’s new foreign minister Qin Gang  where she  might have to call on all the  diplomatic skills  at  her  command. Almost certainly she  will  face  questions  on what  role ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    5 days ago
  • Inside TOP's Teal Card and political strategy
    TL;DR: The Opportunities Party’s Leader Raf Manji is hopeful the party’s new Teal Card, a type of Gold card for under 30s, will be popular with students, and not just in his Ilam electorate where students make up more than a quarter of the voters and where Manji is confident ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Make Your Empties Go Another Round.
    When I was a kid New Zealand was actually pretty green. We didn’t really have plastic. The fruit and veges came in a cardboard box, the meat was wrapped in paper, milk came in a glass bottle, and even rubbish sacks were made of paper. Today if you sit down ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how similar Vladimir Putin is to George W. Bush
    Looking back through the names of our Police Ministers down the years, the job has either been done by once or future party Bigfoots – Syd Holland, Richard Prebble, Juduth Collins, Chris Hipkins – or by far lesser lights like Keith Allen, Frank Gill, Ben Couch, Allen McCready, Clem Simich, ...
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Te Pāti Māori’s uncompromising threat to the status quo
    Chris Trotter writes – The Crown is a fickle friend. Any political movement deemed to be colourful but inconsequential is generally permitted to go about its business unmolested. The Crown’s media, RNZ and TVNZ, may even “celebrate” its existence (presumably as proof of Democracy’s broad-minded acceptance of diversity). ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Shining a bright light on lobbyists in politics
    Four out of the five people who have held the top role of Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff since 2017 have been lobbyists. That’s a fact that should worry anyone who believes vested interests shouldn’t have a place at the centre of decision making. Chris Hipkins’ newly appointed Chief of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Auckland Council Draft Budget – an unnecessary backwards step
    Feedback on Auckland Council’s draft 2023/24 budget closes on March 28th. You can read the consultation document here, and provide feedback here. Auckland Council is currently consulting on what is one of its most important ever Annual Plans – the ‘budget’ of what it will spend money on between July ...
    5 days ago
  • Talking’ Posey Parker Blues
    by Molten Moira from Motueka If you want to be a woman let me tell you what to do Get a piece of paper and a biro tooWrite down your new identification And boom! You’re now a woman of this nationSpelled W O M A Na real trans woman that isAs opposed ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • More Māori words make it into the OED, and polytech boss (with rules on words like “students”) ...
    Buzz from the Beehive   New Zealand Education Minister Jan Tinetti is hosting the inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers for three days from today, welcoming Education Ministers and senior officials from 18 Pacific Island countries and territories, and from Australia. Here’s hoping they have brought translators with them – or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Social intercourse with haters and Nazis: an etiquette guide
    Let’s say you’ve come all the way from His Majesty’s United Kingdom to share with the folk of Australia and New Zealand your antipathy towards certain other human beings. And let’s say you call yourself a women’s rights activist.And let’s say 99 out of 100 people who listen to you ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • The Greens, Labour, and coalition enforcement
    James Shaw gave the Green party's annual "state of the planet" address over the weekend, in which he expressed frustration with Labour for not doing enough on climate change. His solution is to elect more Green MPs, so they have more power within any government arrangement, and can hold Labour ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • This sounds familiar…
    RNZ this morning has the first story another investigative series by Guyon Espiner, this time into political lobbying. The first story focuses on lobbying by government agencies, specifically transpower, Pharmac, and assorted universities, and how they use lobbyists to manipulate public opinion and gather intelligence on the Ministers who oversee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Letter to the NZ Herald: NCEA pseudoscience – “Mauri is present in all matter”
    Nick Matzke writes –   Dear NZ Herald, I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland. I teach evolutionary biology, but I also have long experience in science education and (especially) political attempts to insert pseudoscience into science curricula in ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • So what would be the point of a Green vote again?
    James Shaw has again said the Greens would be better ‘in the tent’ with Labour than out, despite Labour’s policy bonfire last week torching much of what the Government was doing to reduce emissions. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTL;DR: The Green Party has never been more popular than in some ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Gas stoves pose health risks. Are gas furnaces and other appliances safe to use?
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Sarah Wesseler Poor air quality is a long-standing problem in Los Angeles, where the first major outbreak of smog during World War II was so intense that some residents thought the city had been attacked by chemical weapons. Cars were eventually discovered ...
    6 days ago
  • Genetic Heritage and Co Governance
    Yesterday I was reading an excellent newsletter from David Slack, and I started writing a comment “Sounds like some excellent genetic heritage…” and then I stopped.There was something about the phrase genetic heritage that stopped me in tracks. Is that a phrase I want to be saying? It’s kind of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Radical Uncertainty
    Brian Easton writes – Two senior economists challenge some of the foundations of current economics. It is easy to criticise economic science by misrepresenting it, by selective quotations, and by ignoring that it progresses, like all sciences, by improving and abandoning old theories. The critics may go ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s Middle East strategy, 20 years after the Iraq War
    This week marks the twentieth anniversary of the Iraq War. While it strongly opposed the US-led invasion, New Zealand’s then Labour-led government led by Prime Minister Helen Clark did deploy military engineers to try to help rebuild Iraq in mid-2003. With violence soaring, their 12-month deployment ended without being renewed ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • The motorways are finished
    After seventy years, Auckland’s motorway network is finally finished. In July 1953 the first section of motorway in Auckland was opened between Ellerslie-Panmure Highway and Mt Wellington Highway. The final stage opens to traffic this week with the completion of the motorway part of the Northern Corridor Improvements project. Aucklanders ...
    6 days ago
  • Kicking National’s tyres
    National’s appointment of Todd McClay as Agriculture spokesperson clearly signals that the party is in trouble with the farming vote. McClay was not an obvious choice, but he does have a record as a political scrapper. The party needs that because sources say it has been shedding farming votes ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • As long as there is cricket, the world is somehow okay.
    Rays of white light come flooding into my lounge, into my face from over the top of my neighbour’s hedge. I have to look away as the window of the conservatory is awash in light, as if you were driving towards the sun after a rain shower and suddenly blinded. ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • So much of what was there remains
    The columnists in Private Eye take pen names, so I have not the least idea who any of them are. But I greatly appreciate their expert insight, especially MD, who writes the medical column, offering informed and often damning critique of the UK health system and the politicians who keep ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #11
    A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Mar 12, 2023 thru Sat, Mar 18, 2023. Story of the Week Guest post: What 13,500 citations reveal about the IPCC’s climate science report   IPCC WG1 AR6 SPM Report Cover - Changing ...
    7 days ago
  • Financial capability services are being bucked up, but Stuart Nash shouldn’t have to see if they c...
    Buzz from the Beehive  The building of financial capability was brought into our considerations when Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced she had dipped into the government’s coffers for $3 million for “providers” to help people and families access community-based Building Financial Capability services. That wording suggests some ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Things that make you go Hmmmm.
    Do you ever come across something that makes you go Hmmmm?You mean like the song?No, I wasn’t thinking of the song, but I am now - thanks for that. I was thinking of things you read or hear that make you stop and go Hmmmm.Yeah, I know what you mean, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The hoon for the week that was to March 19
    By the end of the week, the dramas over Stuart Nash overshadowed Hipkins’ policy bonfire. File photo: Lynn GrieveasonTLDR: This week’s news in geopolitics and the political economy covered on The Kākā included:PM Chris Hipkins’ announcement of the rest of a policy bonfire to save a combined $1.7 billion, but ...
    The KakaBy Peter Bale
    1 week ago
  • Saving Stuart Nash: Explaining Chris Hipkins' unexpected political calculation
    When word went out that Prime Minister Chris Hipkins would be making an announcement about Stuart Nash on the tiles at parliament at 2:45pm yesterday, the assumption was that it was over. That we had reached tipping point for Nash’s time as minister. But by 3pm - when, coincidentally, the ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Radical Uncertainty
    Two senior economists challenge some of the foundations of current economics. It is easy to criticise economic science by misrepresenting it, by selective quotations, and by ignoring that it progresses, like all sciences, by improving and abandoning old theories. The critics may go on to attack physics by citing Newton.So ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Jump onto the weekly hoon on Riverside at 5pm
    Photo by Walker Fenton on UnsplashIt’s that time of the week again when and I co-host our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kaka for an hour at 5 pm. Jump on this link on Riverside (we’ve moved from Zoom) for our chat about the week’s news with ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Dream of Florian Neame: Accepted
    In a nice bit of news, my 2550-word deindustrial science-fiction piece, The Dream of Florian Neame, has been accepted for publication at New Maps Magazine (https://www.new-maps.com/). I have published there before, of course, with Of Tin and Tintagel coming out last year. While I still await the ...
    1 week ago

  • Crown apology to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has delivered the Crown apology to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua for its historic breaches of Te Tiriti of Waitangi today. The ceremony was held at Queen Elizabeth Park in Masterton, hosted by Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua, with several hundred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs meets with Chinese counterpart
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta has concluded her visit to China, the first by a New Zealand Foreign Minister since 2018. The Minister met her counterpart, newly appointed State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qin Gang, who also hosted a working dinner. This was the first engagement between the two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government delivering world-class satellite positioning services
    World-class satellite positioning services that will support much safer search and rescue, boost precision farming, and help safety on construction sites through greater accuracy are a significant step closer today, says Land Information Minister Damien O’Connor. Damien O’Connor marked the start of construction on New Zealand’s first uplink centre for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Christopher John Dellabarca of Wellington, Dr Katie Jane Elkin of Wellington, Caroline Mary Hickman of Napier, Ngaroma Tahana of Rotorua, Tania Rose Williams Blyth of Hamilton and Nicola Jan Wills of Wellington as District Court Judges.  Chris Dellabarca Mr Dellabarca commenced his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New project set to supercharge ocean economy in Nelson Tasman
    A new Government-backed project will help ocean-related businesses in the Nelson Tasman region to accelerate their growth and boost jobs. “The Nelson Tasman region is home to more than 400 blue economy businesses, accounting for more than 30 percent of New Zealand’s economic activity in fishing, aquaculture, and seafood processing,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National’s education policy: where’s the funding?
    After three years of COVID-19 disruptions schools are finally settling down and National want to throw that all in the air with major disruption to learning and underinvestment.  “National’s education policy lacks the very thing teachers, parents and students need after a tough couple of years, certainty and stability,” Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Free programme to help older entrepreneurs and inventors
    People aged over 50 with innovative business ideas will now be able to receive support to advance their ideas to the next stage of development, Minister for Seniors Ginny Andersen said today. “Seniors have some great entrepreneurial ideas, and this programme will give them the support to take that next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government target increased to keep powering up the Māori economy
    A cross government target for relevant government procurement contracts for goods and services to be awarded to Māori businesses annually will increase to 8%, after the initial 5% target was exceeded. The progressive procurement policy was introduced in 2020 to increase supplier diversity, starting with Māori businesses, for the estimated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Continued progress on reducing poverty in challenging times
    77,000 fewer children living in low income households on the after-housing-costs primary measure since Labour took office Eight of the nine child poverty measures have seen a statistically significant reduction since 2018. All nine have reduced 28,700 fewer children experiencing material hardship since 2018 Measures taken by the Government during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at Fiji Investment and Trade Business Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Kamikamica; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Tēnā koutou katoa, ni sa bula vinaka saka, namaste. Deputy Prime Minister, a very warm welcome to Aotearoa. I trust you have been enjoying your time here and thank you for joining us here today. To all delegates who have travelled to be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government investments boost and diversify local economies in lower South Island
    $2.9 million convertible loan for Scapegrace Distillery to meet growing national and international demand $4.5m underwrite to support Silverlight Studios’ project to establish a film studio in Wanaka Gore’s James Cumming Community Centre and Library to be official opened tomorrow with support of $3m from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government future-proofs EV charging
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has today launched the first national EV (electric vehicle) charging strategy, Charging Our Future, which includes plans to provide EV charging stations in almost every town in New Zealand. “Our vision is for Aotearoa New Zealand to have world-class EV charging infrastructure that is accessible, affordable, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • World-leading family harm prevention campaign supports young NZers
    Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan has today launched the Love Better campaign in a world-leading approach to family harm prevention. Love Better will initially support young people through their experience of break-ups, developing positive and life-long attitudes to dealing with hurt. “Over 1,200 young kiwis told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • First Chief Clinical Advisor welcomed into Coroners Court
    Hon Rino Tirikatene, Minister for Courts, welcomes the Ministry of Justice’s appointment of Dr Garry Clearwater as New Zealand’s first Chief Clinical Advisor working with the Coroners Court. “This appointment is significant for the Coroners Court and New Zealand’s wider coronial system.” Minister Tirikatene said. Through Budget 2022, the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for affected properties post Cyclone and floods
    The Government via the Cyclone Taskforce is working with local government and insurance companies to build a picture of high-risk areas following Cyclone Gabrielle and January floods. “The Taskforce, led by Sir Brian Roche, has been working with insurance companies to undertake an assessment of high-risk areas so we can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New appointment to Māori Land Court bench
    E te huia kaimanawa, ko Ngāpuhi e whakahari ana i tau aupikinga ki te tihi o te maunga. Ko te Ao Māori hoki e whakanui ana i a koe te whakaihu waka o te reo Māori i roto i te Ao Ture. (To the prized treasure, it is Ngāpuhi who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government focus on jobs sees record number of New Zealanders move from Benefits into work
    113,400 exits into work in the year to June 2022 Young people are moving off Benefit faster than after the Global Financial Crisis Two reports released today by the Ministry of Social Development show the Government’s investment in the COVID-19 response helped drive record numbers of people off Benefits and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vertical farming partnership has upward momentum
    The Government’s priority to keep New Zealand at the cutting edge of food production and lift our sustainability credentials continues by backing the next steps of a hi-tech vertical farming venture that uses up to 95 per cent less water, is climate resilient, and pesticide-free. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor visited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Conference of Pacific Education Ministers – Keynote Address
    E nga mana, e nga iwi, e nga reo, e nga hau e wha, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou kātoa. Warm Pacific greetings to all. It is an honour to host the inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers here in Tāmaki Makaurau. Aotearoa is delighted to be hosting you ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New $13m renal unit supports Taranaki patients
    The new renal unit at Taranaki Base Hospital has been officially opened by the Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall this afternoon. Te Huhi Raupō received around $13 million in government funding as part of Project Maunga Stage 2, the redevelopment of the Taranaki Base Hospital campus. “It’s an honour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Second Poseidon aircraft on home soil
    Defence Minister Andrew Little has marked the arrival of the country’s second P-8A Poseidon aircraft alongside personnel at the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s Base at Ohakea today. “With two of the four P-8A Poseidons now on home soil this marks another significant milestone in the Government’s historic investment in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further humanitarian aid for Türkiye and Syria
    Aotearoa New Zealand will provide further humanitarian support to those seriously affected by last month’s deadly earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. “The 6 February earthquakes have had devastating consequences, with almost 18 million people affected. More than 53,000 people have died and tens of thousands more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Community voice to help shape immigration policy
    Migrant communities across New Zealand are represented in the new Migrant Community Reference Group that will help shape immigration policy going forward, Immigration Minister Michael Wood announced today.  “Since becoming Minister, a reoccurring message I have heard from migrants is the feeling their voice has often been missing around policy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State Highway 3 project to deliver safer journeys, better travel connections for Taranaki
    Construction has begun on major works that will deliver significant safety improvements on State Highway 3 from Waitara to Bell Block, Associate Minister of Transport Kiri Allan announced today. “This is an important route for communities, freight and visitors to Taranaki but too many people have lost their lives or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Ginny Andersen appointed as Minister of Police
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