Government cuts emergency dental loans for beneficiaries

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 5th, 2015 - 38 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, benefits, class war, national, Politics, same old national, welfare - Tags:

One aspect of our health system that I think is handled very poorly is the provision of dental assistance.  If you break a leg and are under severe pain you can be seen quickly and be assisted with competent medical treatment.  If you are suffering from severe tooth ache you are pretty well on your own unless you can afford treatment.

This is not so bad for the middle class.  We grit our teeth and pay the bill.  But the provision of adequate dental treatment for beneficiaries is problematic in the extreme.  And it appears that there is a deliberate policy of the Government to make this situation worse.

From Radio New Zealand:

Work and Income’s decision to stop loans for emergency dental work could send beneficiaries to loan sharks, an advocate says.

Work and Income gives $300 special needs grants for emergency dental treatment for beneficiaries and those on low incomes. If that was not enough to cover the work, the agency until recently gave small advances on benefits.

An Official Information Act request has revealed Work and Income is no longer providing beneficiaries with an advance.

Beneficiaries advocate Kay Brereton said the need for dental work had not gone away.

“It’s worrying that there’s people out there whose health is getting worse. There’s got to be a lot of people out there who are living with pain and eating on one side of their mouth. That’s the kind of thing that I’ve encountered, before they [WINZ] said that we don’t do this anymore.”

In the 2010/11 financial year, Work and Income loaned $9,398,451 to beneficiaries for emergency dental work. Over the past year that figure was slashed to $45,100, official documents showed.

Get that?  In 2010/11 loans to beneficiaries for emergency dental work totalled $9.3 million.  Over the past year the figure is 0.5% of that.

This all fits in with the right wing narrative that beneficiaries are bludgers on society and totally unworthy.  According to the right they spend hard earned money on such luxuries as beer and cigarettes although why you should stop payments for emergency dental treatment to address such excessive spending is beyond me.

It is not all persons reliant on state support that meet with the right’s opprobrium.  The recent birth of a baby girl into a family who are the best paid beneficiaries of any western state was met with acclaim rather than budget cuts.  If only the poorest amongst us were treated with the same respect.

Update: Seems to have been an error – OIA chaos in the Ministry of Social Development

38 comments on “Government cuts emergency dental loans for beneficiaries”

  1. Clemgeopin 1

    In actual reality the biggest beneficiaries in the country are the wealthy, the corporates and the big business.

    This government is working hard for the wealthy, the privileged and their friends, while making life harder for the poor, the workers and the needy families.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      +1

      All governments for the last 30 years have been working for the rich and against the people of NZ.

  2. shorts 2

    FFS and who will hold the govt to account over this?

    This man perhaps?

    “Mr Robertson makes it clear there are several ways he will be different from his predecessor, David Parker.

    He wants to cut down on the number of policies and focus on a few and he wants to humanise Labour’s economic policy. That will mean less talk about poverty….”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11442658

  3. freedom 3

    (repeat post from OM)
    Yup, to put it into perspective, last year the country spent more on global jaunts for Jim Bolger and his wife than what was spent on the emergency dental health of some of its most vulnerable citizens.

    Yeah but why worry eh? It’s not like decisions to ignore critical dental emergencies ever lead to other health and well being issues whose social costs will most likely dwarf the costs of the emergency dental treatment being denied, all because of pressure to scrape the runway for the spruce goose surplus.

    That dental services are not part of the country’s core health service has always been something I have a fundamental difficulty with. But as many have commented over the years, logic and government are not exactly bedfellows. Let’s face it, they’re barely living in the same house anymore.

    • weka 3.1

      Important points. Given the connections between oral health and general health, one can only assume that the philopsophy here is that the long term health of all NZers is no longer the responsibility of the government, and so expect cuts to the health system in the future. Either that or they are so incompetent that they can’t connect up welfare policy with health policy. Or they’re concerned with lining their pockets now and later be damned. Take your pick.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Abscesses kill. But I guess it makes more sense, on some far away planet, to have an advanced, life threatening abscess treated in a hospital for a far higher cost than would be the case if dentists were accessible on the basis of need.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          yep, and there is probably a degree of sending the problem to another dept to worry about and pay for, so the budget balances this year. It’s also an issue for bigger picture health care eg there is a correlation between poor oral health and heart disease, so the flow on costs are big and long term as well as acute.

          • miravox 3.1.1.1.1

            Alternative headline “Government increases hospital admissions”

            • freedom 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Not to mention added pressure on the quality of life of the person/s with the dental issues and the people they might live with. Pain and discomfort are not generally conducive to happy home environments. Especially homes which might already be under financial stress and the extended life issues that can bring.

              Forcing people without means to get deep in debt or live in pain says a lot about the people who have encouraged the decision to restrict funds.

              One important aspect to keep in the forefront of this discussion is the money denied to people needing urgent dental treatment falls under a recoverable payment criteria, so would have been repaid. These were not extra funds, they were not handouts, they were advances against a person’s existing benefit.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Not to mention added pressure on the quality of life of the person/s with the dental issues and the people they might live with. Pain and discomfort are not generally conducive to happy home environments. Especially homes which might already be under financial stress and the extended life issues that can bring.

                And the one that even this government should recognise is the lowered productivity that such added stress causes.

                Of course, this government does seem to be trying to increase productivity by lowering wages.

    • Grace Miller 3.2

      I received a $300 emergency dental benefit for work late last year. The problem is getting beneficiaries to challenge each and every decision made by their case officers. I had to push.

      I am lucky to be assertive, (read gobby tart when ire is raised by government depts) and to challenge my case officer (whichever one I get when I make an appointment) every time they try to weasel out of supplying what they are bound to by law.

      Challenge every decision. Every time. It’s the only way to hold MSD to account. Also, I ask to see the relevant piece of legislation that enables them to make that particular decision. I spend a bit of time talking to their legal team. 😉 If it isn’t in the legislation, and is merely the ‘policy’ of that branch, challenge it. Their ‘interpretation’ has been found to be wrong so many times, it’s hard to challenge them when you’re starving and under immense pressure. Yet this is the only solution I’ve found that works. I’ve had hapless case officers recant, back down, and sign off my requests for assistance because I asked if it was the law or policy. Policy? Challenge it.

      • freedom 3.2.1

        Any welfare advocacy group in the country will attest to dealing with an increasing number of situations exactly like the one Grace describes. A client asking to be shown some form of authorization which over-rides the legislation, or a directive which stipulates exactly why they are refusing to supply the money the legislation allocates, usually gets WINZ to do the right thing. Which only proves it’s a ‘preferred policy’ decision, dictated from the Ministry and not a legally supported decision relating to the legislation.

        One piece of advice for clients is to openly record every meeting they have with a WINZ officer. Most modern phones have a voice recorder which makes this very simple. It certainly alters the environment’s power imbalance. Also ask for photocopies of every piece of paper involved, be it something they show you or something you sign and get the case worker to sign and date those photocopies.

        The WINZ offices go-to response these days, (according to staff who bravely admit direct pressure from higher up ) is to simply refuse to allocate the legislation’s budgeted allowances. They don’t say no straight away of course. First they grill you, on every detail of your life and proving that detail is getting very important. It is not unheard of for WINZ offices to demand copies of the last two month’s supermarket receipts before approving a legislated for Allowance.

        This form of questioning is to be expected if you are asking for extra help such as a recoverable Special Needs Grant for instance, which will of course be paid back as it is recovered directly from your benefit payments at the source. But that’s the thing you see, these dental stories, and the food grants etc, are meant to be non-recoverable allowances, funds that each beneficiary is legally entitled to request. Funds the budget figures allow for. It is a terrible word, loaded and unhelpful, but the funds being requested are in fact legally allocated “entitlements”.

        Monty Python made jokes about never expecting the Spanish Inquisition,
        they’ve obviously never needed WINZ.

  4. Disabled Liberation Aotearoa NZ DLANZ 4

    Disgusting….Pretty Rich National led Coalitions…cutting beneficiaries access to dental treatment, while Ministers go on big taxi trips, or pocket Xmas bonuses? Top Down greed has been the cause of much misery among the population of Aotearoa.

    Regards
    Doug Hay
    Cotdinator DLANZ

  5. Kay 5

    Annette King was providing the usual Opposition criticism in this story. But given Labour’s own track record towards beneficiaries, would this situation be reversed should they become government? Sadly, I doubt it.

    • Chris 5.1

      Sickening to hear King’s and Labour’s total hypocrisy yet again towards social security and beneficiaries. Labour destroyed a ton of welfare provision when the government last, and even in opposition supported the last government anti-beneficiary anti-social welfare Bill. Labour cannot be trusted when it comes to social security. Just a pity current Labour die-hards refuse to acknowledge it. Co-offenders.

      • Michael 5.1.1

        The NZ Labour Party, like its UK equivalent, realises there are no votes to be obtained by adopting humane welfare policies. So it no longer bothers. It is no coincidence that potential voters, notably those in Scotland but also in NZ in recent elections, have deserted the Labour brand in droves. In tactical terms, this may not matter to the NZLP, as it could attain office by restricting its message to a few fickle middle-class voters when they grow weary of Brand Key. This target market is either indifferent to the plight of beneficiaries, especially those suffering from sickness or disability, or is actively hostile toward them. Taking account of these, rather unsavoury, background matters and amplifying them is almost certainly part of the NZLP’s political strategy in 2015.

        • linda 5.1.1.1

          that’s right a million people wont vote so people who do are voting in there interests democracy requires participation not apathy or indifference to work. Scotland 85 percent vote and there going to vote in there interests

  6. Bill 6

    So, hang on.

    The grant is $300 in a twelve month period. That’s still there, right? So…a filling – basically.

    Now, how the fuck are they justifying not giving the loan to make up the extra costs? And why are they doing it? It’s not as though it’s a cost to the public purse as it’s all claimed back out of future payments.

    Maybe dentists have got cheaper?

    • NZSage 6.1

      My partner has recently been quoted $8,500 for two root canals and two crowns. We have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.

      We are fortunate enough to be in position to make a choice on our priorities, I suspect the vast majority of NZ’rs would have no choice other than pain, suffering and rotting teeth. We live in a very uncaring society thanks to these tories.

      See Paula Bennetts’ image above? http://d3lgc28rsiigal.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Paula%2BBennett%2Bsay-cheese-e1323480172174.jpg?62e881

      Nice smile you have there Paula , bet those set of gnashers didn’t come cheap eh?

      • les 6.1.1

        go to Thailand and get the work done,way cheaper including airfare.

        • NZSage 6.1.1.1

          Les,

          Yes it’s something we’re seriously considering.

          • weka 6.1.1.1.1

            Might pay to get a few quotes as well. One of the consumer watch dogs did an undercover test on dentists and found a large range of recommendations and prices quoted for the same person.

            • Molly 6.1.1.1.1.1

              True.

              Decided against a root canal that was quoted at $2,500, and asked for an extraction after researching the problems that root canals can cause.

              The receptionist then rang and asked why I was not going ahead with the root canal. Not wanting to get into a discussion about root canals and general health, I cited only the cost of the procedure.

              The next day, she rang back with a “discounted” cost of $900.

              Still looking for a regular trustworthy and competent dentist.

              • weka

                Even knowing too many dentists do this shit, your story is shocking.

                The price of a basic 15 min check, no clean, no X-ray, is so high that the whole thing looks like a rort

  7. coaster 7

    they probably have better access to dental care than children down here in greymouth, we have free dental care for our kids because there isnt any dental care.

  8. ropata 8

    Health and education for 250 000 underprivileged kids are a cost to be minimised.
    Tax breaks for 250 wealthy business titans are an investment to be maximised

  9. hoom 9

    As a person who has had to make use of these emergency dental loans (& paid back ASAP once I could), I am utterly appalled.

    In the situation where you need emergency dental loans you really really really need them.

    I actually only got one of my root canals from then Crowned recently after 10yrs (yay that The Peoples Center dentist!)

  10. McFlock 10

    So, under a national government, tens of thousands of people become more lazy and “make poor life choices” to just sit on the dole, but their teeth magically stop needing expensive treatment.

    Gotta love planet key /sarc

  11. NZJester 11

    I’m glad I got in before they made it harder. I not to long ago while between work had a piece of tooth break off from one of mine in the back, but was lucky it did not expose anything so I was not in pain. I had to pay for the initial visit to the dentist myself leaving me very short of cash so I ate cheap 3 minute noodles for a few days till I cold afford some real food. I got the bad news at that visit that another tooth was very likely to end up the same way at any time and needed work on it as soon as possible, as well as a few others needed some work done on them to. After waiting a week for a booked appointment I luckily got approved by them for a loan plus the $300 you do not have to pay back to complete the rest of the dental work of putting a number of fillings in my teeth over a few visits. Without that loan there is no way I would have been work ready to start a job if I was offered one.

  12. Sable 12

    Disgusting. Look at the fat freaks sitting on their malignant asses in the Beehive. No expense spared for these wastrels….Government in NZ is a bad joke we all have to pay for…..

  13. gsays 13

    grim article.
    all i can say is this is very mean spirited.

    the money gets paid back.

    talking to a e.d. nurse, she notices the amount of chronically ill people with poor dental health.
    they all say the same sort of thing, ive got kids … i cant afford it.

    very mean spirited.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    We grit our teeth and pay the bill. But the provision of adequate dental treatment for beneficiaries is problematic in the extreme.

    Not just beneficiaries. The working poor can’t afford dental either.

    According to the right they spend hard earned money on such luxuries as beer and cigarettes although why you should stop payments for emergency dental treatment to address such excessive spending is beyond me.

    Gotta cut spending on the poor so as to increase spending on the rich in terms of corporate welfare and tax cuts so that they can spend it on booze and ciggies.

  15. adam 15

    So what will tip some of you social democrats towards us who want a revolution? Does this government need to kill people openly? Or are you OK with the silent death sentences they hand out on a regular basis?

    I truly believe we live in a time whereby a non-violent revolution is possible. We won the cultural wars with the minimum of violence. We can win this revolution too. It is simple, just stop paying your debt – or if that truly frightens you – take on no more debt, and make no more credit.

    Don’t repay your loan, mortgage and other debts. Don’t get credit, a loan or a mortgage – Just stop. Because every time you pay debt, or get a loan you just create more wealth for the rich. By playing this game of debt, as wealth creation, you become the backbone to this filthy, rotten, system.

    The choice is yours really – just sit and moan. Sit and watch families and people suffer. Or do what God asks of you, and liberate the poor and downtrodden from their misery.

    • weka 15.1

      Do you have kids adam?

    • Charles 15.2

      “Don’t get credit, a loan or a mortgage – Just stop.”

      This would work for people who are healthy, employed in a fairly secure inflation adjusted career (with children or not), and who have a personal disposition to “bring down the system” i.e. of a particular personality and of a particular upbringing – perhaps 2-3% of the population. Wouldn’t work for generationally “poor” people etc etc. But it’s a good idea, and better than simply moaning. I also believe the system can be weakened without immediately resorting to overt violence.

  16. NickS 16

    Those fuckwits, what the fuck am I meant to do if my teeth play up this year like I’m expecting them to fo? I’ll likely be unable to work until my sleep apnea that’s likely driving the current depressive episode* is sorted. And there’s nothing like chronic pain to make you even more depressed T_T

    Also, it’s not like us beneficiaries get the $300 for free, we have to pay it back and yet somehow it’s seen as “cost-cutting” to get rid of it. When in reality the cost is only the interest a government agency pays, which while a fair amount, is nothing compared to the relief it brings to people suffering from tooth pain. But hey, don’tcha know, people so totes choose to be poor, because shit so totes never goes wrong and we so don’t have any housing and employment issues and associated costs.

    *sigh* Fuck. This. Government.
    _______________________________________________________
    *should have lifted by now, but while most depression symptoms are minimised, missing nortriptyline is not a good idea and motivation remains firmly fuckzored.

  17. esoteric pineapples 17

    You can die when you don’t get immediate dental work for an abscess. One of the primary causes of death in the old days was getting an abscess because the blood poisoning was so close to the brain. Especially when it was in the upper jaw.

    This happened to me recently. I either had to have the tooth pulled out or get a root canal. I put off the root canal for a few weeks till I had the money and was taking antibiotics which saw the abscess go down. Then when I ran out of them it suddenly inflamed so I had a huge balloon on the side of my mouth. I got some more antibiotics just in time and managed to hang in there until my root canal appointment.

    The low paid, like myself, are actually in some ways more vulnerable than beneficiaries because we earn just above what is the limit for getting government assistance.

    People go on about the cost of going to the doctor but that’s doable because usually there is just the consultation fee and maybe a prescription. But when you go to the dentists you are immediately hit with a bill for $150 or more. This is why I think any left leaning government needs to look at greater assistance for dental care for adults, even if it is just a loan that is available to everyone.

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    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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