How to: Pick an Excuse for Not doing Anything About Poverty

Written By: - Date published: 11:08 am, December 12th, 2013 - 97 comments
Categories: benefits, capitalism, class war, cost of living, economy, Economy, employment, poverty, socialism, tax, uncategorized, welfare - Tags:

Right wing, excuses reasons, for not doing anything about children in poverty.

1. “It costs too much”.
2. “Taxation is theft”.
3. “They are not as poor as they are in (Insert a third world Nation with less than half our GDP, and a 10th of our resources per capita)”.
4. “The statistics are wrong”.
5. “It is not as many as they claim”.
6. “You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money”.
7. “I was in a poor persons house and they had “Chocolate biscuits, a colour TV, or, horrors, a bottle of beer”!!
8. “It’s all those solo mothers on the DPB breeding for a living”.
9. “I know a person who…………..”
10. “It is a choice they make”.
11. “It is people who make poor choices”.
12. “They shouldn’t have had kids they couldn’t afford”.
13. “Why should “I” pay for other peoples kids”.
14. “The centre will never vote for it”.
15. “We will do something if finances allow”.
16. “Giving them money made them poor”.
17. “Those socialists made them poor by giving them benefits”.
18. “I pay enough taxes”.
19. “There are no poor in New Zealand”.
20. “Not now, later!”

97 comments on “How to: Pick an Excuse for Not doing Anything About Poverty”

  1. scotty 1

    21. Not educated.

    Cos if everyone had a degree , the wages for lowly paid service jobs would increase overnight.

    • um..!.just as a bit of an historical-tidy-up..(just so we can get things/nationals’-inaction into some kind of perspective/context..)

      ..how about a listing of the excuses from labour/those who were there…

      ..for those nine long years of the clark govt/labour doing nothing about poverty..?

      ..that could be both useful and enlightening..

      ..eh..?

      ..and while we are there..cd anyone give us the date that labour renounced/denounced that poverty-neglect/inaction..?

      ..what’s that i hear you say..?..they haven’t yet..?

      ..they are..to date..a mea culpa-free zone..?

      ..that’s a bit of a worry..eh..?

      ..phillip ure..

      • phillip ure 1.1.1

        and of course..that decade of labours’/clarks’ inaction/stigmatising of the poorest..

        ..could not have prepared the ground better – for what then bennett wrought..

        ..eh..?

        ..phillip ure..

    • Francis 1.2

      Yep. Instead of having a minimum wage job, they’d have a minimum wage job and a huge student debt.

  2. Paul 2

    22. The money will trickle down…

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    23. I was poor too once, but after a bit of honest hard work I’m now a multi-millionaire.

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    Midday Report:
    Reserve Bank- Interest rates highly likely to rise in March, or thereabouts. Will continue to rise in the order of 2% over the next two years; rising consumer spending and construction activity. “Inflation pressures building” -Wheeler
    Here’s some ‘excuses’-
    Grocery price rises this year
    -Milk 67%
    -Butter 23%
    -Cheese 5%
    -Chicken 8%
    -Beef / Lamb around 4% (was distracted by the implications).

    The squeeze is tightening it’s grip, as those cups are applied to more udders.

    PS, encouraging quote heading your blog KJT

    • KJT 4.1

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desiderata

      I try to live up to it. Not always as successfully as I would like!

      I also like the seafaring version of Kipling.
      “If you can keep your head, when all about you are losing theirs” You don’t know what the fuck is going on!

      • Rogue Trooper 4.1.1

        helpful to have some guidance when all at sea. Minimises the frequency of ‘rants’, although, they relieve the boiler pressure . 😀 : aye aye , it’s a sailor’s life to be.

  5. Balanced View 5

    Until initiatives are put in place to restrict welfare abuse, the wider public will forever be reluctant to support the poor, especially when they are struggling themselves.
    I haven’t met anyone that isn’t prepared to help someone that is willing to help themselves, and this would include the right wingers you refer to in your unhelpful article.

    • KJT 5.1

      Yeah. Right!

    • KJT 5.2

      Welfare abuse.
      Less than 0.6%. And most of it was by WINZ staff, or someone who forgot to tell them a minor detail. A few mill a year.

      Tax dodging. By those who refuse to pay their fair share. No one knows, but definitely in the billions.

      No 24. ” There are thousands dishonestly ripping off the welfare system”.

      Complaining about a person who, mostly mistakenly, gets a few hundred more in welfare than their measly entitlements, often because of a WINZ staff mistake, compared to someone who rips us off for hundred of thousands by fudging their tax accounts.

      • phillip ure 5.2.1

        welfare rip=offs = $23 million per yr..

        ..tax-rip-offs by corporates/elites/1% = $2.5 billion per yr..

        (there is yr ending/solving-poverty-solution right there..)

        ..phillip ure..

        • Balanced View 5.2.1.1

          This is a separate argument. And one I agree with.
          But this should not be aligned at all to the poverty debate.

          • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1

            It’s relevant in that it illustrates how some people advocate the complete elimination of an already small rate of welfare offending, yet ignore a substantially larger rate of white-collar offending.

            But I guess that just as they believe in the “deserving poor”, they also believe in the “deserving criminal”.

          • Frank Macskasy 5.2.1.1.2

            “But this should not be aligned at all to the poverty debate.”

            Rubbish.

            It is INTRINSIC to the poverty “debate”. Though why anyone would be debating poverty rather than addressing it escapes me.

            It is intrinsic because the above are excuses employed by those with rightwing inclinations to choose not to address this growing problem.

            It is intrinsic because these are all cliches which give those who parrot them an excuse to do precisely nothing.

            Your ‘beef’, BV is that KJT has called you and others like you on these cliched excuses and you can’t handle it.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.2.2

        No 25. The wealthy in society must be given freedom to make money on their money and do whatever they want because we depend on them for our wellbeing

        …we depend on them because they have so much money because we give them the freedom to increase their wealth regardless of what effect that has on the rest of us.

    • Arfamo 5.3

      The problem is how do you define welfare abuse?

      Giving tax breaks to corporates, bailing out failed finance companies with taxpayer money, giving tax cuts to the wealthy, lowering real incomes in the face of cost increases as well as reducing job protections and conditions and effectively increasing taxes (with hidden levies and gst increases) on those who have the lowest incomes is basically abusing their welfare.

      • Rogue Trooper 5.3.1

        Key, Joyce and Bennett would say “it’s all semantics”.

        • Arfamo 5.3.1.1

          So – fine, I’m anti-semantic, and I don’t mind admitting it. 🙂

          • Rogue Trooper 5.3.1.1.1

            to the point. I experience a regular struggle to not loathe, despise and critique Tories, Conservatives and Libertarians, yet I overcome it. 😀

            • Arfamo 5.3.1.1.1.1

              Fair enough. Can I interest you in a tumbril or a guillotine? Just as a possible investment for the future. Get in now while they’re cheap. You can maybe onsell them or rent them out to disgruntled mobs at some point in the maybe not too distant future?

              • Rogue Trooper

                ‘tumbrel’; reluctantly, even Ellul had to reconcile his Christianity with revolutionary violence. Could need troopers to lead the horses. 😉

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.4

      @ Balanced View
      Until people realise the interconnected nature of our society where one person’s freedom can affect another’s freedom then we will continue to have people who don’t understand that there is a large chunk of people in this country who are not placed in a good position to create a ‘good life’ for themselves due to our enabling of licentious behaviour for a few in our society.

      Realising the interconnected nature of our circumstances leads to the realisation that helping people in poor circumstances lifts the quality of life of most people in society (apart from those who are creaming it as things are now)

      Whereas when ‘competition’ and ‘dog eat dog’ are the standard messages we receive and live by then there will continue to be only a few ‘dogs’ at the top and increasing numbers of people who are at the bottom of the heap ‘competing’ with one another and suffering for no reason other than the misguided and alienating attitudes we are fed and believe by those who are ‘winning’ as things stand and that are creating this state of inequity – because they benefit from it.

      So ‘Balanced View’, why do you mention welfare abuse and not have tax evasion foremost in your mind – because if everyone paid their fair share then there would be more money flowing to create jobs and less being hidden away doing jackshit apart from raising prices of everything via the futures market and there would not be a problem with joblessness nor welfare ‘costs’.

      • Balanced View 5.4.1

        I’m pointing out WHY a lot of people are reluctant to provide additional welfare, after all, that’s fundamentally what this article is about.
        I wasn’t discussing HOW to pay for it, or HOW to reduce poverty.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.4.1.1

          Yes Balanced View I did get what you were saying, and I am asking why you [and others] don’t focus on things that would actually serve people.

          • Balanced View 5.4.1.1.1

            Why the assumption that I don’t?
            In fact that is why I commented on this. Articles like this are inflammatory and tend to polarise opinions on both sides of the argument, making the solutions harder to achieve.

            • Colonial Viper 5.4.1.1.1.1

              Articles like this are inflammatory and tend to polarise opinions on both sides of the argument

              Fuck off, there is no “other side of the argument” relating to ensuring economic justice for all NZers.

              You either hold that as a value, or you don’t. And you don’t.

              • Balanced View

                Clearly there is an opposing view, or you wouldn’t be so angry all of the time 🙂
                If there’s no willingness to understand each other’s view in a sensible and pragmatic way, the gap between views will never be bridged.

                • McFlock

                  we understand your view.

                  You oppose the microscopic amount of welfare fraud, but seem to ignore tax evasion.

                  • Balanced View

                    Obviously you don’t understand my view, I don’t ignore tax evasion, executive salaries, monopolistic industries or any other facet of inequality.

                    • McFlock

                      You don’t seem to oppose them, though, especially compared to your comments on welfare fraud.

                    • Balanced View

                      Actually I don’t think I mentioned welfare fraud.
                      But anyway, Your mistake is thinking that a comment about wishing that some of the poor would make better decisions is somehow endorsing corporate tax avoidance. That is incorrect.

                    • McFlock

                      sorry, welfare “abuse”.

                      Fucking obnoxious, people getting their full legislated entitlements.

                      I never said you “endorse” tax evasion (not “avoidance, which is also shit, “evasion”). But you’re always so quick to raise the matter of welfare “abuse”/fraud, displaying a keenness that you don’t similarly show when white collar fraud comes up.

                      Anyway, I’m off to bed too.

                    • Balanced View

                      Ahh we’ll i do that as a lone voice on right leaning blogs like whale oil. No need to do it here, 40 others would beat me to it.
                      Goodnight Flocker.

                • Colonial Viper

                  If there’s no willingness to understand each other’s view in a sensible and pragmatic way, the gap between views will never be bridged.

                  And thus it shall be. So?

                  • Balanced View

                    And that CV, in my opinion is your problem. You’d rather have a “hung jury” in holding out for what you see is right, than compromise a little in order to make progress on the issue.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Huh? Are you an MP with a casting vote in Parliament?

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Balanced View
                      Oh well…I missed that conversation, however if you are still around Balanced View – I made no assumption re your not focussing on things that would actually serve people – you chose to write a comment to point out an issue regarding welfare abuse, however made no mention of the much more costly phenomenon of tax abuse.

                      To be frank I agree that what you wrote is probably how some people think and I was suggesting that instead of buying into this way of thinking it might be more helpful to look at what can be done to really improve things. Informing those who hold such views on what is really going on would be a good start.

                      It really isn’t reasonable at all to say ‘Until initiatives are put in place to restrict welfare abuse’

                      Where have you been in the last year [even]??

                      There are plenty of initiatives in place to restrict welfare abuse and if people are still thinking there aren’t or want more then it really seems like some type of obsessive-compulsive disorder going on in the way such people are thinking.

                      Here is an initiative that has been in place for decades. If you rip off the system for $20 such as work a few hours and not let Winz know and are caught you are expected to pay back the entire benefit you’ve received – not solely the $20. This is why the cited dollar ‘amounts’ of benefit fraud are so high. People aren’t physically ripping off the system as much as is stated- what is stated is the amount they have to pay back. This in itself is a huge deterrent from not declaring what one has earned.

                      When the amounts of dollars in tax fraud is cited I suspect [unclear – but think this is so] that the amounts cited – 1-6 Billion- is the amount being ripped off – unlike benefit fraud where the amounts are deceptively inflated – so the real costs to this country re tax fraud is even greater than that of welfare fraud than has recently come to light.

                      It was interesting to hear on parliament channel last week a Labour member (Andrew Little if I recall correctly – yet might be wrong!) explaining that benefit fraud has commonly been targeted because it is easier to discover – tax fraud is trickier to uncover. I emphasise the point that it is not because welfare fraud is more damaging or a greater problem that there has been a focus on it – simply [according to that speaker] that it is easier to uncover and ‘score points’ with. ‘Look we are doing something’.

                      Sadly this has the effect of making the general population believe that there is a huge problem with welfare recipients and creating very little awareness on how vast the problem is with tax abuse. A very false fixation has developed.

                      You and others can carry on explaining why welfare abuse is worth commenting on whenever poverty comes up -yet I hope what I write goes some way to helping you understand such explanations provide very little progress when poverty is being discussed or on what is causing the most damage to general wealth in this country. You would be better speaking with those of your friends who hold such views and informing them on how small the numbers really are.

                      [lprent: He picked up a ban in the post about Jason Ede and Cameron Slater.

                      He was trying the plausible deniability technique (“I didn’t actually state what it looked like”) whilst trying to tell us how to run our site – which is on the list of self-martyrdom offences.

                      Plausible deniability may be a good trick in political forums and debating. But it is bloody lethal when I look at it. I also look at why they feel the need to use it and I usually come up with the answer of “troll”. It is actually safer to say what you think here than it is to try to insinuate it.

                      You’ll notice that Balanced View always tries to insinuate a viewpoint than simply stating his own views? ]

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      guess your “Balanced View” balanced you off the pendulum.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Thanks for the explanation lprent – I had been reading that thread, however must have missed the banning of Balanced View.

                      Rogue Trooper LOL!

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      I only returned to read your comment and acknowledge the thought that went into it. (now I’m getting tired, gardening in the hot sun ….)

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Thanks Rogue Trooper 🙂

            • Arfamo 5.4.1.1.1.2

              The problem is BV telling us some people are reluctant to provide more welfare for whatever reason is stating the obvious. So unless you have some solutions to propose what is the point of commenting? If you don’t have any practical suggestions for how to reduce poverty why bother.

              • Balanced View

                Did you read the article? Why bother? My point exactly.

                • Arfamo

                  Yeah, I did. Before I replied to you. I wanted to see how many you ticked off.

                  I reckon yours are 1, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16 and 17.

                  • Balanced View

                    Excellent, then you’ll agree that the article by Karol was pointless.
                    Actually, I would in some part tick off all except 1,2,15,18,20

                    • Arfamo

                      Well, no, I think the article was on point. And you are the perfect illustration of the point. But you can’t see that. Do you see what I mean?

                    • McFlock

                      If you’re that predictable, then it seems some do understand your point of view.

                      Unfortunately, your point of view is a promontory overlooking a sea of despair and self-absorption. If you look to your left you’ll see a flower-laden path to a distant but sunny field where children play and lambs frolic to the sound of Beethoven’s Pastorale.

                  • McFlock

                    tory bingo 🙂

                    • Balanced View

                      Arfamo – so me pointing out reasons why some people are reluctant to help children in poverty is pointless, but an article pointing out reasons why some people are reluctant to help children in poverty was on point? Hmmmm

                    • Arfamo

                      Yes. Exactly. But I see that the significance of who these “some people” are escapes you, and it is late, very late. So I will bid you good night.

                    • Balanced View

                      Goodnight, thanks for the debate

            • Frank Macskasy 5.4.1.1.1.3

              “In fact that is why I commented on this. Articles like this are inflammatory and tend to polarise opinions on both sides of the argument,…”

              Oh, BV, you have such a blinkered view. I’d say opinjons are already polarised – especially on right wing websites where commentary on welfare beneficiaries can only be described as hate speech.

              The polarisation is there for anyone with the eyes to see and the neuron-connectivity to understand.

              KJT has taken many of the comments used in polarised comments and shown them up for what they are; mindless cliches to be parrotted ad nauseum, in lieu of actual thinking.

              You can’t for one moment tell us that you’ve never seen those remarks made on websites like Trademe, Whaleoil, Kiwiblog, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc…

              What is really troubling is that you’re more interested in KJT’s insight rather than what this whole issue is about; growing poverty and income inequality in this country.

              Wait, let me guess “throwing money at the problem, yada yada yada…”

        • Colonial Viper 5.4.1.2

          I’m pointing out WHY a lot of people are reluctant to provide additional welfare

          Social welfare for corporates and big investors is OK though, just so we are clear.

          • Balanced View 5.4.1.2.1

            Off topic here CV. Another issue entirely.

            • Colonial Viper 5.4.1.2.1.1

              Rubbish. The topic is social welfare. You begrudge a beneficiary getting an additional thirty dollars pw but suddenly have no comment when it comes to corporates getting millions in sweetheart deals, or big investors getting bailed out 100 cents on the dollar plus interest.

              • Balanced View

                Wrong and wrong

                • Colonial Viper

                  You have a problem with a $200,000M GDP country spending a measley extra $300M pa on welfare to lift NZers and their children out of poverty?

                  What the fuck is your problemo?

                  • Balanced View

                    No, I don’t think I ever said I have a problem with the cost. I’d happily pay 100 times that if it was going to people in genuine need.
                    But I do have a problem with it going to people that continue to make decisions that restricts their own ability to move out of a vulnerable position. Fix/prevent that and I’ll support it all the way.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Bull shit.

                      Anyways your support is neither requested nor required.

                    • infused

                      Nope, can’t have people accountable.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Fine. Provide 100,000 new decent paying full time jobs and make people fully accountable for performing in the roles, then.

                    • But I do have a problem with it going to people that continue to make decisions that restricts their own ability to move out of a vulnerable position.”

                      What is the percentage of those people you refer to?

                      If you can’t provide that data, then you position is untenable as it relies on prejudice, not reality.

                      The fact is that that sentiment of Un-deserving Poor vs Deserving Poor is one of the cliches used by those who have a resentment against the welfare system, and denigrate all recipients based on a stereotype rather than reality.

                      Let me frame it this way; if we had enough jobs (and jobs with decent hours and pay, not McJobs that keep people trapped in poverty) for everyone – how many Deserving Poor would be employed, leaving only Undeserving Poor left?

                      (I seriously doubt you can answer that question in any meaningful way that provides actual figures – but I thought it only fair to ask. Surprise me.)

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      so productive of excuses; Post’s objective achieved.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.4.2

        Balanced View is delusional: pays lip service to the Tory mantra of “poor choices” – a callous and utterly discredited meme that only a dupe or a liar would still trot out.

        Which is it BV: are you too fucking stupid to understand that “poor choices” are not the reason for poverty, or do you know that and lie about it like low-life trash? Where’s your personal responsibility for your mendacious drivel?

      • Lloyd 5.4.3

        Actually even the people who are creaming the top of the economy may well be better off in the long run if they give a little of the cream to the poorest in the economy. This can be by taxes or by benevolence.
        Social welfare prevents social instability. You can’t enjoy your excessive profits if a revolution occurs triggered by gross inequities.
        Even before such massive social upheavals inequities drive crime and even the super-rich are affected.
        Poverty is a reservoir for all those third world diseases we hear New Zealand shouldn’t have. The thing about infectious diseases is that they are infectious. Again even the mega-rich are more likely to get the diseases of poverty if they are rife in the poorest classes.
        When an economy is booming the richest get richer, as does everybody else. The best way to get an economy humming is to make sure the poorest in society have enough money to spend on all their basic needs, as the poor have to spend the money straight away, which gets the economy spinning.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.4.3.1

          I thoroughly agree with you Lloyd and find it odd that the wealthiest ( who are the ones benefiting the most from this system) are trashing the system by their insistence on not sharing and having it all!

  6. Balanced View 6

    I didn’t say dishonestly ripping off the system. It’s about taking actions to improve your position, or to reduce your dependence on others. Your stats don’t include that.

    • Rogue Trooper 6.1

      for a start, you equate poor with welfare recipient…, and that’s just for starters.

      • Balanced View 6.1.1

        Not necessarily, but including welfare yes.

        • Rogue Trooper 6.1.1.1

          Balanced View, or bay view? Furthermore, concerning “improving their position”, we live a comparatively unforgiving and risk-averse ‘market’ environment, wherein folk face many external barriers to “improvement” beyond their own efforts. Can be very difficult for people with episodes of “going off the tracks” in their history to re-enter the employment market, regardless of how extensive their CV, qualifications, experience and obvious talent.

          • Balanced View 6.1.1.1.1

            And I’m sympathetic to these people, and would have no problem in supporting them.
            However, I am less sympathetic to people that are struggling that choose to spend unwisely, or decide to have children etc.
            A lot of people like myself are concerned that increasing welfare support (however funded) encourages dependence and a sense of entitlement. I don’t believe that this is healthy for society.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re not their Mum, but out of their lives.

              A lot of people like myself are concerned that increasing welfare support (however funded) encourages dependence and a sense of entitlement.

              Then ensure that there are enough decent paying full time jobs to go around, instead of soap box moralising with your croc tears like a dick head.

              • Balanced View

                So you don’t believe that people should be allowed to express opinions on how others choose to spend their (or others) money?

                • Colonial Viper

                  What, you still want to be every poor person’s Mummy?

                  • McFlock

                    well, maybe their Big Brother.

                  • Balanced View

                    Not really, but did want to point out the hypocrisy of allowing the poor to make unhelpful decisions for society, but decrying corporates when they do the same

                    • Colonial Viper

                      but did want to point out the hypocrisy of allowing the poor to make unhelpful decisions for society,

                      So you decide to wail on the most powerless, under-represented, financially weak and victimised sections of NZ communities for the “unhelpful decisions” they make on behalf of our whole society?

                      What the hell are you smoking?

                    • Balanced View

                      We’ll your assumption that I ignore the contribution the wealthy have to this issue is incorrect.
                      And two wrongs don’t make a right. So your position of ignoring the issue I’ve raised is really no different than someone like Cameron Slater ignoring yours.

            • Frank Macskasy 6.1.1.1.1.2

              However, I am less sympathetic to people that are struggling that choose to spend unwisely, or decide to have children etc.

              BV, are you aware that the numbers on DPB are dropping, not increasing?

              And what does a worker with three kids do when the Global Financial Crisis made them redundant? Slit his children’s throats so that opponants of welfare can sleep easy knowing that their aren’t more families with kids going onto a benefit?

              So how does a worker look into the future to see if they’ll have a job, before deciding to have a family? How does one predict something like that?

              And why should workers with children who are made redundant, and happen to have children, be blamed for shenanigans on Wall Street and City of London? That’s 95,000 people here in NZ you’re trying to blame for events out of their control.

        • Rogue Trooper 6.1.1.2

          Personally, I’d love to be offered part-time employment to “improve my position” (I possess no money from Friday till the following ‘pay-day’), yet despite how wonderful the mainstream believe John Kirwan to be, experiences of mental-unwellness still attract more stigma than merely being on a benefit.

    • BM 6.2

      This.

      People being lazy useless pricks really chaffs peoples balls.

      • Arfamo 6.2.1

        Not enough. Key’s still the PM.

      • KJT 6.2.2

        Yes it does mine. Especially when they are in Parliament getting 300k a year.

        Or a Manager who just got a bonus after he lost the company owners 34 million and counting.

        Someone who is out of work because said Managers and politicians have ensured there are NF Jobs. Not so much!

      • Rogue Trooper 6.2.3

        and why’s that? Are they not happy in themselves such that they reference themselves to others.
        Of course, a literate chappie such as yourself would be aware of The Fundamental Attribution Error , correspondence bias-attribution effect; ” One of the root principles of social psychology” and regularly assess your own ramblings through such a filter?, or maybe not it appears.

      • People being lazy useless pricks really chaffs peoples balls.

        Posted by BM at 1.40pm. Shouldn’t you be at work, mate?

  7. Ake ake ake 7

    Sharp title.

    As an aside, should there be a post about –

    “How to: Pick an Excuse for Not Prosecuting a Company where 29 Lives Have Been Lost”

    • KJT 7.1

      I don’t think it is the company that should be in the gun so much as the regulators and politicians who allowed it.

      A large fine/compensation is appropriate for the company management, unless negligence is proven.

      Those with the real power should get jail terms.

      • Arfamo 7.1.1

        The problem I suspect is that the deficiencies in the regulatory departments are the result of the cost-cutting, corporate style way both national and labour administrations have governed their departments. No one could isolate which Ministers or Senior Executives were the most culpable in all probability.

        One of the things I remember most about the report into those departments is how the reviewers found that the DoL’s ordinary business plan risk assessments were mainly about managing the risks to their reputation, not the risks to workers.

  8. mike 9

    there are no children in poverty just totally neglectful parents. Sort this out and the problem goes away

    No 27? (KJT)

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    For Bill English to claim he and others in the National Party didn’t realise the law may have been broken in the Todd Barclay taping scandal is simply not credible, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister ...
    3 days ago
  • Government ignored advice on Pacific people’s superannuation
    The Government ignored advice from the Ministry of Pacific Peoples that raising the Superannuation age of eligibility would have a ‘disproportionately high impact’ on Pacific people, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Aupito William Sio.   “The Ministry for Pacific ...
    3 days ago
  • Bill English misleads Parliament on Police statement
    Bill English's attempt to restore his damaged credibility over the Todd Barclay affair has backfired after his claim to have "reported" Mr Barclay's actions to Police has proven not to be true, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. ...
    4 days ago
  • Keep it Public
    The Green Party strongly supports the Tertiary Education Unions call to #KeepitPublic Keep what public? Out quality tertiary education system that National is trying to open up to more private for-profit providers with a new law change. The (Tertiary Education ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    4 days ago
  • This ‘technical error’ is hurting big time
    Jonathan Coleman cannot resort to his ongoing litany that the Ministry of Health’s $38 million budget blunder is an error on paper only, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “He might keep saying it’s a ‘technical error’ but the reality ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour to invest in public transport for Greater Christchurch
    Labour will commit $100m in capital investment for public transport in Greater Christchurch, including commuter rail from Rolleston to the CBD, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “As the rebuild progresses, there are huge opportunities for Greater Christchurch, but ...
    4 days ago
  • Green Party will repeal solar tax
    It’s ridiculous for an electricity distribution monopoly to apply a charge on solar panels but worse than that, it’s harming our effort to tackle climate change. Hawke’s Bay lines company Unison last year announced a new solar charge for their ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    5 days ago
  • English fails the character test over Barclay
    Bill English is hoping this scandal will go away, but he is still dodging important questions over his role in covering up for Todd Barclay, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must apologise for Christchurch schools stuff-up
    The Ombudsman’s findings that the Ministry of Education botched the reorganisation of Christchurch schools after the 2011 earthquake are damning for an under-fire National Government, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “The Ombudsman has found the reorganisation of schools in ...
    5 days ago
  • Government’s multinational tax measures weak
    The Government’s proposals to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, by its own admission only recovering one third of the missing money, means hardworking Kiwis will bear more of the tax burden, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “The Government ...
    5 days ago
  • World Refugee Day – we can do our bit
    I’m really proud that yesterday, on World Refugee Day, the Greens launched an ambitious plan to increase the refugee quota to 5000 over the next six years. Of those places, 4,000 will be directly resettled by the government and another ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • PM’s leadership in question over Barclay affair
    The Prime Minister must belatedly show some leadership and compel Todd Barclay to front up to the Police, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Twice today Bill English has been found wanting in this matter. ...
    6 days ago
  • Another memory lapse by Coleman?
    The Minister of Health ‘couldn’t recall’ whether the Director General of Health Chai Chuah offered his resignation over the Budget funding fiasco involving the country’s District Health Boards, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “In the House today Jonathan Coleman ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English needs to come clean over Barclay
    Bill English needs to explain why he failed to be upfront with the public over the actions of Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay, following revelations that he knew about the secretly recorded conversations in the MP’s electorate office, says Labour Leader ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister, show some backbone and front up and debate
    Rather than accusing critics of his Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill of telling ‘lies’, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell should show some backbone and front up to a debate on the issue, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. “Te ...
    6 days ago
  • Equal pay for mental health workers
    Today, mental health workers are filing an equal pay claim through their unions. Mental health support workers do important and difficult work in our communities. But because the workforce is largely female, they are not paid enough. It’s wrong for ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Nats’ HAM-fisted housing crisis denial
    National’s decision to knowingly release a flawed Housing Affordability Measure that underestimates the cost of housing is the latest evidence of their housing crisis denial, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Pike footage builds compelling case for mine re-entry
    New footage of the Pike River Mine deep inside the operation, revealing no fire damage or signs of an inferno, provides a compelling reason to grant the families of Pike River’s victims their wish to re-enter the drift, says Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will get tough on slum boarding houses
    The next Labour-led Government will legislate a Warrant of Fitness based on tough minimum standards to clean out slum boarding houses, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s not acceptable for New Zealanders in the 21st Century to be living ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party tribute to Dame Nganeko Minhinnick
    Haere ngā mate ki tua o paerau; te moenga roa o ngā mātua tupuna. Haere, haere, haere. It was with a huge sense of loss that we learned of the death of Dame Nganeko Minhinnick yesterday. The Green Party acknowledges ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Urgent answers needed on DHB funding
      Jonathan Coleman must come clean and answer questions about what actual funding DHBs received in Budget 2017, says Labour Health Spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury puts Māori Land Service on red alert
    A damning Treasury report raises serious questions about the delivery of Te Ururoa Flavell’s proposed Māori Land Service, giving it a ‘red’ rating which indicates major issues with the project, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Treasury’s Interim Major Projects Monitoring ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Economy stalling after nine years of National’s complacency
    The second successive quarterly fall in per person growth shows the need for a fresh approach to give all New Zealanders a fair share in prosperity, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwi kids deserve much more
    All Kiwi kids deserve so much more than the impoverished picture painted by the shameful rankings provided by the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card, says Labour’s children spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Zone a precursor to a total nuclear weapon ban
    New Zealand’s nuclear-free zone, legislated by Parliament in 1987, is something we all take pride in. It’s important, however, that we don’t let it thwart its own ultimate purpose – a world free of nuclear weapons. That goal must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • English must confirm we still stand by our principles on UN resolution
    Bill English must tell New Zealand whether we remain in support of the UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “After Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee’s evasive answers to repeated questions on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori party drop the poi on Māori health
    The Māori Party have dropped the poi when it comes to supporting Ngati Whakaue and Māori interests in Bay of Plenty by allowing an iwi owned and operated service Te Hunga Manaaki to be brushed aside in favour of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in Whanganui River infrastructure
    Labour will work in partnership with the Whanganui Council to repair and redevelop the city’s Port precinct in advance of planned economic development and expansion. To enable Whanganui’s plans, Labour will commit $3m in matching funding for repairing the Whanganui ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parihaka: an apology
    An apology only works for healing if it is sincere and if it is accepted. We teach our children to apologise and to be genuine if they want to be forgiven. On Friday, June 9 at Parihaka, the Crown apologised ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Survey shows many international students plan to stay in NZ after study
    Most international students in New Zealand at PTEs (private training establishments) who have a plan for themselves after study intend to stay in New Zealand to work. This shows how low-level education has become a backdoor immigration route under National, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Councils step up as Nats drop the ball on housing crisis
    Phil Goff’s Mayoral Housing Taskforce is another positive example of councils stepping up where National has failed on housing, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    Labour will introduce moderate, sensible reforms to immigration to reduce the pressure on our cities, while ensuring we get the skilled workers our country needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealand is a country built on immigration. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inaction puts Māui dolphins at risk
    Conservation Minister Maggie Barry was at the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York last week, trying to convince the world that the New Zealand Government is doing a good job at protecting our marine environment.  Yet last week after ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • National unprepared as immigration runs four times faster than forecast
    National has been caught asleep at the wheel by record immigration that has outstripped Budget forecasts, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • First home buyers shouldn’t carry the can for National’s failed policies
    The introduction of tighter limits on lending to first home buyers would see them paying the price for the National Party’s failure to recognise or fix the housing crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Nine years of denial and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Motel bill blows out as Nats fail to deliver emergency housing
    Minister Amy Adams has admitted at select committee that National has now spent $22m on putting homeless families in motels as it fails to deliver the emergency housing places it promised, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister, how out of touch are you?
    What was going through Jonathan Coleman’s head in the Health Select Committee this morning when he claimed he was unaware that an estimated 533,000 people have missed out on a GP’s visit in the last 12 months due to cost, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Divided we fall
    I’m getting pretty sick of the politics of division in this country.  The latest example was yesterday’s comments from NZ First leader Winston Peters having a good go in the House at driving up fear and loathing towards people of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Electoral Amendment Bill to enhance democracy
    Democracy will be enhanced under Labour’s Private Member’s Bill which will have its First Reading today, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Police underfunded despite rise in crime
    As crime continues to rise dairy owners are scared for their lives and communities reel under a record increase in burglary numbers, it has now been revealed that Police received less than three quarters of their bid in this year’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Road pricing years off, public transport investment needed now
    With road pricing still years away, Labour will step up with investment in public transport to ease Auckland’s congestion woes, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Call to protect Easter Sunday in Auckland
    Auckland’s Labour MPs are backing the community to protect Easter Sunday by retaining current trading restrictions in the city, says Labour MPs Aupito William Sio and Michael Wood.  “The Government’s weak and confusing decision to delegate the decision over Easter ...
    3 weeks ago
  • $2.3 billion shortfall in health
    The funding needed for health to be restored to the level it was seven years ago to keep pace with cost pressures has widened to a massive $2.3 billion, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.  “We used to have a health ...
    3 weeks ago