Guest Post: Tracey – Blinglish single handedly reduces teenage pregnancies

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, August 5th, 2014 - 42 comments
Categories: benefits, bill english, national, paula bennett, welfare - Tags:

Below is a post from Tracey, showing the result of her OIA requests in response to a published comment from Bill English.  English’s quoted statement is a bit odd.  Is he claiming to have found a way to reduce the numbers of single NZ women giving birth?  Or is it about single women on benefits? It looks like the endless cycle of OIAs and responses will wind the clock down til election day.

– karol

Blinglish single handedly reduces teenage pregnancies – by Tracey

On or about 8 June 2014 Mr English attended a data forum. He made the following reported statements

We’re now starting to adopt an investment approach. Where you would say we invest now for income later, we’re saying we invest now for cost reduction later, such as in our sole parents under 20,” English said, referring to how the Government had reduced the number of single mothers under the age of 20 by 2,600 or 40% over the last three years, thus reducing future liabilities by hundreds of millions of dollars.

How does he know the Government has directly impacted the reduction in single mothers under 20 by 2600 through their policies? I decided to ask him directly as well as the Department of Statistics and the Minister and Ministry of Social Development.

On 2 July 2014 I sought the following information from them all;

Please provide detail (no names of course) of where the 2600 single mothers under the age of 20 have gone to enable the minister to state the govt has reduced the number of single mums under 20 by 2600 since 2011. Please include (but not be limited to) a breakdown of

How many in full time work and when
How many in part time work and when
How many in casual work and when
How many adopted their child
How many moved into tertiary or high school study, and how many of those received government assistance including but not limited to student loan and or allowance
How many have moved from the dpb to another benefit, and state what benefit

How many formed a partnership or marriage and rely on their partners income
What was the number of under 20 single mums on benefits for each year from 2002 to date

Please be specific, in relation to the 2600, including references to numbers, how the govt has reduced these numbers.

Given Mr English was so bold in his statement we could assume that the underlying facts were already available to him or his Ministry prior to making the statement?

All sent automated responses.

The MSD wrote on 3 July 2014;

Thank you for your email received 2 July 2014, under the Official Information Act 1982. Your request has been forwarded to the appropriate officials at National office to respond. You may expect a response to be sent to you as soon as possible.

The Department of Statistics were the first to respond in detail on 11 July 2014 and advised me that it was not their area and they had forwarded my request to MSD.

On 17 July 2014 Mr English responded that he got the information from Paula Bennett and she got it from the Ministry for Social Development. He explained he only got it in summary form and did not have the depth of data I requested, so he forwarded my request to MSD.

On 21 July 2014, Ms Bennett’s Private Secretary had received Mr English’s request to transfer to MSD on 17 July 2014 and that MSD would now deal with it.

On 30 July 2014 the MSD sent a response. It should be noted that 30 July 2014 was the 20th working day since I made my request. The Act states a recipient has 20 working days within which they must respond.

Their response requested an extension until 3 September 2014. This means the MSD requires two months to respond to a request for information underpinning a statement they sent to their Minister, who forwarded it to the Minister for Finance and who used it to trumpet the successes of his Government’s policies. It seems odd to me that MSD would be able to prepare a summary for Ms Bennett to give to Mr English to use publically without having material on which to base the summary and which could be forwarded to me? I am essentially asking for the facts that lie beneath the statement.

Why the delay?

The Ministry requires further time to consult with other parties on the release of the information you have requested. These other parties may be affected by the release of the information you have requested and I need to provide them with an opportunity to identify any prejudice which might arise from its release before I make a final decision.

General Manager Ministerial and Executive Services

I have been advised I can complain to the Ombudsmen. My experience is the Ombudsmen will have barely acknowledged my referral before 3 September 2014. I will lodge my objection with them for what it’s worth.

I am interested in how “other parties” could be affected by the release of the information. I have specifically stated that I accept I cannot have the single mother’s names. Who would these other parties be? In what ways could these other parties be prejudiced by the release of the information?

 

 

42 comments on “Guest Post: Tracey – Blinglish single handedly reduces teenage pregnancies”

  1. ianmac 1

    What seems to have happened is that English has made political statements and has been stunned that you Tracey would question the validity. His/their reaction defer, obscure, and delay until the issue gets lost in the Election hooha. In the real world most people would be angry at this dishonesty.
    I seem to remember either Bennett or English quoting those stats in the House recently. (I don’t know how to find the speech but I think it was in Question Time.)
    Well done Tracey.

      • ianmac 1.1.1

        Thanks OAB.
        Borrows, Chester: Estimates Debate — In Committee 01 July 2014.
        What we know is that when we started this policy there were 4,300 solo mums under 20 receiving that benefit. Now, 2 years later, we know that there are 2,600 of those mothers. They are still having their babies, so it is not the circumstance of pregnancy or a lack of relationship that finds them on a benefit. What we do know is that this Government is doing a heck of a lot for those people who otherwise could easily make up the statistics of children living in poverty that the previous speaker was speaking about.”
        They have apparently reduced the benefit payout. But started that other controlled benefit.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1

          Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Government is concerned about those parents who do not qualify for paid parental leave, and in particular the most vulnerable of that group, who are young parents of young children. In fact, I think figures used in this House indicate that as a result of the very good work done by the Minister for Social Development and others, the number of sole parents under the age of 20 has in the last 5 years dropped from 4,300 to 2,600.

          Note his form of words: “figures used in this House”. Is he fully aware they’re dodgy much?

      • ianmac 1.1.2

        I did find a quote under Borrows but it is in moderation???

  2. Good article Tracey – Thank you for documenting that – it shows how they work the system and when you get to the nub – they’re just making it up as they go along.

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Perhaps someone can also ask about all these ‘beneficiaries’ having babies that Bertha Bennett is so fond of repeatedly mentioning? It’s a powerful dog whistle, but are there actually so many they literally threaten the viability of social security?

  4. tricledrown 4

    That was after a jump of solo parents on benefits in the first three years under National from historic lows under Labour of 83,000 receiving the DPB up to 114,00 under National in their first term.

    • karol 4.1

      Was that part of the impact of the Nats stopping study allowances for single parents?

    • Tracey 4.2

      are you saying numbers jumped due to GFC and then began falling 3 years ago as we recovered?

  5. Crocodill 5

    I’ve discovered the true factual answer:

    Bill randomly visits young women in “at risk” areas of the country, and the impact of his radioactive charm is so strong the poor girls are immediately sterilised. On a quiet day it’s possible to hear the pop of ovaries as they implode.

    Not just a girl thing either. Recent research released from MSD indicates males suffer an order of magnitude reduction in sperm count when proximity to Billy Boy is less than 300m.

    • ianmac 5.1

      Maybe Catholic lad English is visiting and supplying the young ones with a new-fangled device that the Pope forbids called a shhh, a condom.

  6. BLiP 6

    Nice work, Tracey. The story of how the bureaucrats are obfuscating this is probably more important – in some respects – than Blinglish being caught in yet another lie.

  7. john 7

    Radio NZ headline “Steep drop in teen pregnancy rates”

    “The Salvation Army’s State of the Nation report showed the overall pregnancy rate among 15 to 19-year-olds in 2012 had dropped 29 percent on the previous five years, from 59 per thousand to 41.

    The number of abortions had fallen by 40 percent in that age group, from 4097 in 2008 to 2489 five years later, while live births decreased 23 percent from 5185 to 3768.”

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/235957/steep-drop-in-teen-pregnancy-rates

    That took me 30 seconds on to find with google.

    yet your attitude is that it’s fine to waste the taxpayer thousands of dollars with your ridiculous requests, all in the aid of hopefully scoring a little and pretty much irrelevant political brownie points that only the converted care about.

    • Tracey 7.1

      funny that bill english, bennett and msd couldnt just google it john? Maybe its because it doesnt answer the questions.

      Could you post your source for my request costing taxpayers “thousands “?

      I see you decided not to sack gerry, nick, and the other buffoons. Birds of a feather aye

      • john 7.1.1

        So you’re interested in wasting more time.

        You are making out repeated requests for lists of detailed statistics on thousands of people, to various very highly paid officials, as well as asking for an ombudsman investigation into your complaints.

        If you can’t work out you attempt at petty point scoring will come at a significant waste to the taxpayer, then you’re on another planet.

        You happily and deliberately waste taxpayers money. It will be difficult to blame others for the same thing without looking like a hypocrite.

        • MrSmith 7.1.1.1

          Holding people to account john is the only way we can keep then in check, transparency and the light of day tends to keep people honest.

          But you seem to be a believer john, someone that just sits back or bends over and believes whatever is being dished out should be taken as the gospel.

          Cost should never be an issue in the search for truth and justice.

          • john 7.1.1.1.1

            It’s about “truth and justice” – yeah right – that’s sooo believable.

            Anybody that has a life can see it’s about people who need to get one, trying to score petty and irrelevant political points.

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 7.1.1.2

          Oh bugger off.

          WINZ produces information on a regular basis giving benefit numbers by age, ethnicity, gender, location, benefit type, benefit cancellations and so on.

          I used to go into the local office and get this information in the 80’s. The staff used to give me the local numbers pretty much instantly off the reports they got.

          That information is used today to create these:

          https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/benefit/index.html#SoleParentSupportSPS4

          It’s not difficult for the data to be obtained so something else must be causing the delays.

          Some reduction in sole parent numbers (by benefit) is also due to changes in government policy eg sole parents with children over 14 are now on Job Seeker benefit as are those who have subsequent children while on benefit.

          You can no longer simply look at the old DPB numbers and compare those to the current Sole Parent Support numbers.

          The fact sheets don’t have those details so in the absence of that info you have to ask.

          The question about movement onto student loans and allowances is also valid. The removal of TIA and the introduction of worktesting has likely reduced the likelihood of staying on a sole parent benefit and going onto a student loan/allowance combination. Previously you could study and stay on DPB because you got additional help with study costs and you could do your study without being hassled to look for work at the same time. It seem logical that some people would have simply changed one for of assistance for another – particularly those studying with youngest child 14 and over.

          Other disabled and unwell sole parents, who have always been unwell and would likely always have qualified, will have now opted to go onto Invalids Benefit / Supported Living Payment. There was no need to do so before as it made no difference.

          So yeah where they have gone is now much more important than it was previously because it’s not just about going into work when you look at any reduction/ increase. Study ones too will be interesting as that may present a jump in numbers in the future as study finishes.

          You also seem to miss the point that Bill English must have had some information to make that claim so a report presumably had already been prepared (whether for him or another Minister).

          It’s not difficult to hand over that report and would take little effort.

        • Tracey 7.1.1.3

          so you have no evidence of how much my complaint will cost despite asserting your simple google search answered it?

    • weka 7.2

      John, please show how your figures relate to the claim by English that the National govt’s policies reduced the numbers of solo parents under 20 by 40% over the three years he is referring to. There are three things there. One is whether your figures actually match the claims. Another is how the timeframes relate. And the last is how National govt policy had an effect on those numbers.

      Here’s the full quote from RNZ,

      “Updated at 1:18 pm on 12 February 2014

      Greater access to long-term contraceptives could explain a steep drop in the teen pregnancy rate, according to Family Planning.

      The Salvation Army’s State of the Nation report showed the overall pregnancy rate among 15 to 19-year-olds in 2012 had dropped 29 percent on the previous five years, from 59 per thousand to 41.

      The number of abortions had fallen by 40 percent in that age group, from 4097 in 2008 to 2489 five years later, while live births decreased 23 percent from 5185 to 3768.

      Family Planning executive director Jackie Edmond said a wider range of contraceptives with low failure rates was available.

      “Generally, young women are on the pill but with the introduction and the subsidization of implants, we’ve given them another really significant option,” she said.

      “Young women in that age group are taking up that form of contraception quite readily.”

      However, that did not fully explain the drop as contraceptive implants were only subsidized in New Zealand three years ago, Ms Edmond said.”

      • miravox 7.2.1

        It’s great that young women can get the contraception advice and devices more readily. I applaud any effort to make contraceptive information and devices freely available to any teens who want them.

        “However, that did not fully explain the drop “

        Wouldn’t part of the decrease would also be explained by the trend of lower fertility rates for all women under 40? (2.19 in 2008; 2.03 in 2012 according to Statistics NZ).

        John seems to be equating every ‘missing’ teen birth is a to a single mother with one child, reducing “single mothers under the age of 20 by 2,600” doesn’t match changes in births, which is half that figure. In 2008 there were 5,209 births to under 19 year-olds and in 2012 there were 3,886 (Stats NZ). Moreover, a teen parent is not necessarily a sole parent. NAct may not have had successful ‘investments’ in 2,600 young women at all.

        Tracey is right… what has happend in terms of teen parenting (apart from the natural movement of teens in to 20+ year-old age groups combinded with the trend of decreasing fertility rates – accelerated in the 15-19 year-old age group)? If there is anything outside of the trend for later pregnancies, and improved access to contraception for young people (I’m assuming young men have better access to contraception as well) it’s important to know which of the investment approaches may have made a difference, and also how young families are faring with the changes in ‘investment’ in them.

        On a related point, it would be nice to see in NAct doing something to reduce pregancies in under 14 year-olds if they’re claiming they can single-handedly claim success for lowered fertility rates for teens (It’s difficult to see a trend here on the low numbers – the rate bounces around between 0.1-0.3). But they’d have to do an awful lot more about social conditions and child abuse rather than implanting 10-14 year-old girls.

      • Tracey 7.2.2

        so unless Mr English, Ms Bennett and MSD supplied extra contraception, John’s quote doesn’t help?

  8. john 8

    For the last few years the govt has certainly been putting more public health nurses into schools to educate teenagers about how to get and use contraception – I know – I have a family member who was employed because they needed more people to do that work (as well as the drive to increase levels of preschool vaccinations).

    Teenage pregnancy has remained at the same very high levels – the third highest in the world – for the last three decades. It’s only been in the last few years that it’s finally started to come down.

    This is good news.

    The desperate attempt to try to prove that….

    a/ the good news is not real, and
    b/ if it is, the govt can’t be given any credit for it.

    …..is a waste of taxpayer money to try to score pathetic, petty, and irrelevant political points.

    • BLiP 8.1

      a/ the good news is not real, and
      b/ if it is, the govt can’t be given any credit for it.

      ^^^Strawman.

      No one is saying its not good news, or that its not real, and nor is anyone saying the government cannot be given credit for it. What is being said is that Bill English, as usual, is unable to provide the data to back up his claim. One would expect that if it was ever the intention of National Ltd™ to reduce the number of unplanned or otherwise unwanted pregnancies it would have an accurate, easy to access, publicly available measurement system in place to guage the success, or not, of its policies. Holding Bill English to account for his statements is hardly petty. He is, after all, the Minister of Finance who delivered the forecast budget surplus . . . oh, hang on! Bit of a pattern of mendacity, hmmm? Exposing more of that is not pathetic nor a waste of money.

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        Thanks BLiP, I worry about the level of comprehension amongst National supporters. IF National has done this, they must be applying it across many age brackets and can exponentially reduce single mums on benefits? That would be good news.

  9. Sacha 9

    “other parties” you say?

    National, Act, United Brylcreem..

  10. felix 10

    He can do some pretty amazing things, this English. Just the other day he rebuilt Christchurch too, according to him.

  11. Descendant Of Sssmith 11

    Social media / texting etc seems to be having a good impact amongst the young people I know.

    Word gets around pretty quickly amongst the young women about who the impregnating dads are who bugger off once they have had their way and who has got STD’s and so on.

    The information gets disseminated much wider than word of mouth used to.

    That’s likely making a difference as well.

  12. Tracey 12

    Thank you for your correspondence received on 4 August 2014 about the Ministry of Social Development. Your correspondence has been allocated reference number: 386022.

    As you may be aware, we receive a large number of enquiries from the public. These can be by telephone, email, online, in person as well as in writing. All of them first have to be appropriately assessed. Your complaint is currently at the initial assessment stage. A brief outline of our complaint handling process is set out in Appendix A. We will work through the complaint you have made and the facts you have given us and contact you again.

    Change of circumstances/new information In the meantime, please contact us if the circumstances relating to your complaint change or you believe that your complaint should be dealt with on an urgent basis. If you have new or additional information, you can send it to us by email or post (details below), and we will add this to your complaint.

    Contacting us You can contact us by email at: info@ombudsman.parliament.nz. Alternately, you can telephone us on freephone 0800 802 602 or write to our postal address. If you do contact us or send us additional information, please ensure that you provide the complaint reference number at the top of this letter.

    What our role is and what we expect from you In Appendix B we have outlined what the Ombudsmen do and what their responsibilities are. It also outlines our expectations of you when dealing with the Office. Please read this through carefully.

    Yours sincerely

    Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata

    Phone 04 473 9533 0800 802 602| Fax 04 471 2254

    Email info@ombudsman.parliament.nz | http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz

    PO Box 10152, Level 14, SolNet House, 70 The Terrace, Wellington

    • weka 12.1

      Thanks Tracey. Did English’s office give you a copy of the summary he refers to? Might be worth getting an OIA requested copy, just to see what it actually was.

      • Tracey 12.1.1

        good idea. Will ask for it now.

      • Tracey 12.1.2

        Weka

        I sent this to english with a copy of his first reply from 17 July, outlined in the main post

        ” my email address>

        Aug 8 (8 days ago)

        to Bill English

        Please urgently provide the full summary form provided to you by ms bennett from which you quoted. ”

        Given they referred to the summary on 17 July, youd think they could get their hands on it pretty quickly… But it seems not.

        ” ———- Forwarded message ———-From: “B English (MIN)” B.English@ministers.govt.nz Date: 15/08/2014 11:14 AM Subject: RE: OIA REQUEST To: me> Cc:

        ▼ Hide quoted text

        Dear Tracey

        On behalf of Hon Bill English, Minister of Finance, thank you for your further request for information.

        Your request was received in this office on 8 August 2014 and will be responded to under the provisions of the Official Information Act.

        Yours sincerely

        Katy Greco-Ainslie

        Private Secretary to Hon Bill English

        Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Finance; MP for Clutha-Southland “

        • weka 12.1.2.1

          Typical. Try telling them you are a friend of Cam’s and they’ll send it right over 😉

          • Tracey 12.1.2.1.1

            crazy shit. They told me had a summary but need more than seven days to get it to me?

  13. Barfly 13

    Err folks English didn’t claim a reduction of 2600 that’s Bernard Hickey getting it wrong in his article

    From the Hickey article
    ” English said, referring to how the Government had reduced the number of single mothers under the age of 20 by 2,600 or 40% over the last three years,”
    From OAB’s post
    “Hon BILL ENGLISH………..the number of sole parents under the age of 20 has in the last 5 years dropped from 4,300 to 2,600”

    BY 2600 versus TO 2600 Tracey you may wish to file a replacement request seeking information on the “1700” you may also want to ask for a breakdown by age as I believe Weka is least partially correct in his post
    “Greater access to long-term contraceptives could explain a steep drop in the teen pregnancy rate, according to Family Planning.
    “The Salvation Army’s State of the Nation report showed the overall pregnancy rate among 15 to 19-year-olds in 2012 had dropped 29 percent on the previous five years, from 59 per thousand to 41.
    The number of abortions had fallen by 40 percent in that age group, from 4097 in 2008 to 2489 five years later, while live births decreased 23 percent from 5185 to 3768”

    I don’t think the governments harassment of solo mums is responsible for the entire 1700 reduction though it would be good to know the answers to your questions..

    • Tracey 13.1

      thanks barfly

      None of the ministries have seen fit to correct the statement, not that that means much

  14. Tracey 14

    here is the final released response to my OIA on Bill English’s statement.

    I am awaiting the Finance Ministry’s release of the summary document Blinglish was given by paula (h/t Weka)

    /wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Ministry-of-Social-development-dated-22-August-2014.pdf

  15. Tracey 15

    in part it seems national is claiming it is implementing a dating/marriage service if it is saying its policy has resulted in moving many of these women into relationships and thereby off this benefit?

  16. Tracey 16

    More on OIA’s

    ” Judith Collins’ office processed an Official Information Act request in just two days to release an email embarrassing then Serious Fraud Office head Adam Feeley in 2011.

    The revelation comes as ripples from the Dirty Politics saga widened during the weekend after a series of bombshells including:

    ■ Collins stepped down as Justice Minister after an email handed to the prime minister’s office raised questions about her involvement in what leaked emails appear to suggest was a campaign by Right-wing blogger Cameron Slater and others to undermine Feeley while he was SFO boss.

    ■ Prime Minister John Key confirmed there would be an inquiry into Collins’s actions in relation to Feeley, with details of the inquiry to be announced today.

    ■ Senior staff in the PM’s office were summoned on Friday by Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn to a closed-door inquiry to give evidence under oath about declassified information allegedly supplied to Slater which proved embarrassing to Opposition leader at the time Phil Goff.

    ■ Slater lodged a Privacy Act complaint over Key releasing his email. ”

    Also telling of a Bully

    “On October 17 Collins disclosed Feeley had emailed her an apology, but she expected him to travel to Wellington to deliver it in person.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Who Will Be Fed Next To The Hungry Gods Of Politics?
    Before Jacingrant There Was Gracinda: Grant Robertson and his 2014 running mate, Jacinda Ardern. She stood at his side: loyal and obliging, as she had ever been. The media dubbed this duo “Gracinda” – a sort of political “Brangelina”. The other young people who worked alongside Robertson were also ambitious ...
    3 hours ago
  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    2 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.