web analytics

I am Metiria

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 am, July 19th, 2017 - 75 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, greens, poverty, Revolution, Social issues, vision, welfare - Tags: , , , , ,

I’m old enough to remember that in the mid 1980s people weren’t blamed for being on a benefit. On the contrary, there was overt sympathy for people on the dole because the Labour government was busy experimenting on the economy and the alarming increase in numbers of unemployed being created by lay-offs was seen as either out of individuals’ control, or a good thing that we needed to tighten our belts for until the new goodies trickled down.

But then it changed. I don’t remember when exactly but by the time National came into power in 1990 the stage was set for the benefit cuts that signalled a massive change to the culture of NZ and the end of compassionate social welfare.

Until now.

I spent some time last night reading #IamMetiria stories on twitter. This hashtag arose from Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei’s speaking truth to power last weekend about the realities of life on a benefit. These stories aren’t new to me personally, I’ve got enough of my own experiences and those of people I know to draw on. But they are still moving and shocking.

I am struck by the sheer amount of wasted talent, creativity, time, effort and emotional energy that’s being sucked out of NZ by this brutal clusterfuck of a system.

There’s something potent about seeing the stories said out loud in this way. We’ve not seen this before and it lays bare the extent and nature of the problem. It’s not just the usual media reports of how many people are unemployed or on DPB/SLA. It’s how many New Zealanders have passed through this system over the past 30 years and had really shitty, often devastating experiences.

None of this is new to the wider culture. It’s not like it hasn’t been written and talked about for some time. I remember a few years ago when stories started being reported by the mainstream media. Like the woman who was legally blind but WINZ wouldn’t believe her.  Some of those stories were of middle class people who were shocked at the treatment they were getting, while the rest of us were sitting there nodding and going yep, this is what it’s been like for a very long time, no-one has been listening.

It was good that the MSM finally paid attention then but there was no momentum. Now it seems like a volcano awakening. It’s important that these stories are kept visible. I think even many compassionate lefties probably don’t truly understand just how bad this has been. For so long no-one wanted to talk about this. This is the first time I can remember in more than 20 years that it’s been socially sanctioned to stand up and talk about life on a benefit and what it means.

These are stories of many kinds. Some are stories of people who like Turei found a way out of the poverty trap. They struggled while they were there and now they express gratitude and solidarity. Some are the stories of people still in the thick of it. Too ill or cold or hungry to function properly. Some of them are from women who have chosen not to eat so their kids could. There are lots of stories about ill people being treated badly, and mental health issues are significant. And stories not speaking out for fear of repercussions. There are also many stories of mistakes made by the department and people losing their income, and of the mind-blowing, banal stupidity of the hoops that people have to jump through.

And running throughout all the stories is the thread of humiliation and stress and grief and disbelief that NZ could be treating people this badly.

If you are able to, please go and read #IamMetiria. Understand what is being said and be willing to act. This is a watershed moment. Whatever happens in September, there’s no putting this genie back in the bottle. Metiria Turei broke the spell and now the flood gates are open.

There are things that need to happen next. One is getting out the vote. Making sure that as many people as possible who have had these experiences are enrolled and then voting on or before September 23rd.

This is momentum. We wanted this and here’s an opportunity. It’s not enough to just criticise National (or Labour). We have to act and make things happen. Go to meetings, send emails, encourage people to think about the issues, talk politics. Be upset and depressed and scared, but then move on to support and proactive, creative responses. Get angry. Vote. Tell the stories of people who are struggling as real human beings, change the narrative.

Whatever happens in September we need to build a movement and this is the first time I can remember when we had a real chance at one. It’s not this single twitter stream, nor is it solely about beneficiaries. It’s what’s behind this tip of the iceberg, the fact that NZ is allowed to care again, and that we now have part of the political class ready and willing to act.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

Moderator note: the site Policy says:

We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views. But this site run for reasonably rational debate between dissenting viewpoints and we intend to keep it operating that way.

What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.

 

75 comments on “I am Metiria”

  1. Stunned Mullet 1

    I must be getting old but all I see is the human race hastagging itself into absurdity.

    • It’s not “getting old” that makes you comment about hashtags while ignoring the content of the feed. Have a think about what else it might be.

      • esoteric pineapples 1.1.1

        Good comment Psycho Milt – your comment made me think about what was wrong about Stunned Mullet’s comment. Essentially it was a disguised attempt to belittle the argument.

      • Stunned Mullet 1.1.2

        Your comment has made me hide in my safe space.

        [if you troll this thread expect some time off – weka]

    • CLEANGREEN 1.2

      100% SM I see it the same.

  2. james 2

    Bit of irony with the photo for that this is the exact opposite of what she did.

    • gsays 2.1

      Please be more eloquent James.
      Which she are you referring to and explain the difference you are eluding to.
      Please.

      • Psycho Milt 2.1.1

        He’s saying that Metiria Turei not telling WINZ about flatmates is the opposite of “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes.” He should try reading the linked Twitter feed and see if there’s a shred of human empathy in him at all.

        • gsays 2.1.1.1

          Don’t think so PM, your explanation does not refer to the photo of Helen Kelly.

          • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.1.1

            The “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes” photo is attached to this post on the Standard home page, but isn’t in the body of the post here – I’m assuming it’s the photo on the home page James is referring to.

        • roy cartland 2.1.1.2

          If that’s the case, he’s being a twerp disingenuous. She did speak the truth when she outed herself, at great risk.

  3. Tautoko Mangō Mata 3

    People are beginning to talk about the indignities that they have been forced to suffer and the nasty attitudes which have been engendered in organisations that are meant to been supporting people in their need. These attitudes have come from the top,
    We need a change of attitude and it will come from a change of government.

  4. jcuknz 4

    Me too TMM except for your last words as I have no faith that the alternative will be/do much different. We need to encourage the existing MPs to do the right thing not bring in a bunch of novices.

    I think,remember, it was there in the 80’s and was the source of arguments I had with my wife who at one stage called me a communist because of my anger at the heartlessness of some letters to the editor at the time. The self assurance of the ignorant as to what it is like.

    • Me too TMM except for your last words as I have no faith that the alternative will be/do much different. We need to encourage the existing MPs to do the right thing not bring in a bunch of novices.
      You need those that haven’t been captured by the system to change the system. National are not only captured by it but are leaders in preventing it’s change.

  5. Anne 5

    Thank-you weka for a splendid post. Your opening gambit says it all in a nutshell:

    For me, the lasting effect was the absolute determination on the part of WINZ (known then as Income Support) – and related sections of the establishment – not to believe a word I said. It was as if my past, my qualifications, my long and loyal service to the Public Service no longer counted for anything. I became a beneficiary in the 1990s and it turned me instantly into a morally bankrupt, lazy, bludging liar.

    I was placed under surveillance. They rang me cold on a couple of occasions to see if they could “catch me out” . When you reported to them in person they looked down their noses and spoke to you as if you were a village idiot. My case officer was a woman in her 30s who wore ultra short skirts and dangly ear-rings. No. It wasn’t Christine Rankin, just some ignorant bimbo trying to copy her.

    The memory of those days can still reduce me to tears.

  6. Personally I don’t do iamwhatever – remember the iamcv rubbish – I was embarassed for people over that.

    However, these stories are important. I can’t say that they are gamechangers – I can’t get there. i am enjoying the change in momentum that this has created

    And these stories are us. Kia kaha.

    • Xanthe 6.1

      #IamCV

    • McFlock 6.2

      personally I found the IamCV thing a useful self-identifier for likely nutbars.

      • weka 6.2.1

        Which time? Wasn’t there one back in the day, something about the conflict with Clare Curran, when CV was still an actual left winger?

        Also the rawshark one.

        • McFlock 6.2.1.1

          there was one with the handles over the curran thing, but didn’t some folk do it last/this year as well after he tumbled head-first into the abyss?

          • weka 6.2.1.1.1

            Yes I was sidestepping the more recent one (plus saw some of his tweets on the GP welfare package and extremely grateful he’s not commenting her).

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    Will all those criticising Metiria who have either paid someone under the table or been paid under the table please put your hands up

    • Cinny 7.1

      Don’t forget to make sure you declare any such earnings to winz or ird

    • It would be easier to ask for those that haven’t.

      Paying under the table and doing cash jobs are some of the little corruptions that are endemic to NZ culture.

    • Jilly Bee 7.3

      Absolutely EP – guilty as charged. An interesting read from Fran O’Sullivan’s opinion piece in the Herald today pretty much backs up what you said. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11892317

    • Red 7.4

      This is a fallacy of an arguement, she is not joe citizen but a mp and a lawyer thus is held to a much higher ethics threshold than joe private citizen , I agree at time of fraudulent activity she was not any of above but training to be a lawyer thus I assume very aware of the implication of been caught at the time The life she choose to take means her actions of 20 years ago do have a bearing on her current position which many would argue is untenable

      • Drowsy M. Kram 7.4.1

        Are you one of the many? Maybe not as many as you think, and fewer every day.

      • Carolyn_nth 7.4.2

        But the reality of the benefit system is that many are cheating to get by and/or to try t get themselves out of a dire situation.

        The welfare situation is also very gendered. One of the people posting in the #IamMetira discussion yesterday, referred to research she done, and I think publsihed about on our welfare system. She the welfare system is especially harsh on women, and especially solo mothers. She plans to write on this in future.

        But a Stuff article today picks up that current, and has interviewed some solo mothers struggling on benefits.

        Other beneficiaries said it was common to lie to Work and Income, because sometimes that was the difference between their children having lunch for school or not.

        This was especially common in Auckland, where the cost of living often eats up more than the benefit can provide.

        Auckland mums said life on the sole parent support benefit – previously called the domestic purposes benefit – could mean going without power for days on end, in the middle of winter.

        It could also mean begging, borrowing or stealing to get by.

        The fact that some were committing fraud to get by on a benefit was not surprising to hear, she said.

        “I completely understand, with the way they treat us we need support. It’s very easy to commit fraud in their eyes. They don’t treat us like a human.”

        West Auckland mum Neta Hadfield agreed that the thresholds were too restrictive and said she often felt like a prisoner to the system.

        It’s very easy for people in a comfortable position to point the finger at people breaking the law.

        But, in contrast with some of the rule breaking in Fran O’Sullivan’s article, some break the law out of greed, not like Turei and other solo mothers, out of necessity.

        i.e

        But thousands of tradies, cleaners, lawn mowers, street market vege sellers, dairy and chipperie owners – among others – each year avoid the tax fiend through doing cash jobs.

        Then there are the offshore-owned companies – many of them multinational blue chips

      • Nice to be so judgemental when you live comfortably, “Red”, and free of want. Oh wait, are you going to come back and tell us you’re poor, on the bones of your arse, scrimping, making do without, blah blah blah? Are you?!

        Well if you do try run that BS past us, don’t forget to tell us where you lost your empathy along the way.

        The only thing “untenable” is a welfare system that forces people to bend /break the rules.

        Which is not the case for $7 billion of tax-dodgers, who live comfortably and aren’t forced into desperation.

        #iammetiria

        #thewellfedwellpaidmoralistscangogetfucked

      • Delia 7.4.4

        Pardon her for keeping her daughter feed. In trivial NZ political events this is surely the most trivial. Waiting for WINZ to tell us the thousands that Metiria owes.

  8. … ” But then it changed. I don’t remember when exactly but by the time National came into power in 1990 the stage was set for the benefit cuts that signalled a massive change to the culture of NZ and the end of compassionate social welfare ” …

    Because of HIM

    http://liberation.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451d75d69e2010536ce1acb970c-320wi

    ( And HIM )

    http://img.scoop.co.nz/stories/images/1201/16a19b1ddfeb275957b6.jpeg

    And because of HER
    http://www.rrnz.co.nz/images/Ruth2.jpg

    ( And HER )

    https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/4/h/g/7/n/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620×349.14he32.png/1430437610671.jpg

    And THIS

    The ‘mother of all budgets’ – National Party – Te Ara Encyclopedia of …
    https://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/33885/the-mother-of-all-budgets

    And THAT

    https://isonztest.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/defeat-employment-contracts-bill.jpg?w=756&h=660

    ( Oh … and THAT ALSO . )

    Defeat the Bill! The struggle against the Employment Contracts Bill, 1991
    https://iso.org.nz/…/defeat-the-bill-the-struggle-against-the-employment-contracts-bill…

    • Siobhan 8.1

      I would be interested to know if things improved under Helen Clarks 5th Labour Government.
      Anecdotally I don’t think so, but I would love to hear otherwise.
      And I was disheartened to hear Andrew Little state very strongly that there was no intention to increase basic benefit levels. The power subsidy is a small life saver, as is some more houses for those in chronic need….but that doesn’t include the majority of people on benifits, to get on those waiting lists is as likely as a small win on lotto.

      • weka 8.1.1

        Clark removed the needs-based hardship grant Special Benefit and replaced with Temporary Additional Support, which is capped and creates more paperwork and hoop jumping for beneficiaries as well as WINZ.

        She also created Working For Families, which excluded beneficiaries that aren’t working.

        Within WINZ things are generally better under a Labour government in the sense that they try and get their staff to be human. But they also did a lot of stupid shit in Clark’s years like using temp staff.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          Yep, if we truly want change then we need to vote Green.

          Labour are still wedded to being ‘centrist’ rather than doing what’s right.

        • CLEANGREEN 8.1.1.2

          yes agreed Weka,

          Also remember that labour boldly bought back the rail company that John Key had a hand in stealing for his enrichment of $40 Million dollars as a broker for the deal to sell to Wisconson rail/Fay/Richwhite.

          Labour was very good to work with.

          We met with Michael Cullen several times in Napier, to request he assist and labour buy the company.

          labour are a good solid base Party on which to build a joint policy with a coalition with Green/NZ first where possible. YES PLEASE!!!!!!

          • Xanthe 8.1.1.2.1

            Eeeeek was it not a labour govt that sold the railways!

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Nope, it was National:

              In 1982, the Railways Department was corporatised into a new entity at the same time land transport was deregulated. The Railways Department became the New Zealand Railways Corporation.

              Privatised in 1993, in 1995 the new owners adopted the name Tranz Rail.

          • weka 8.1.1.2.2

            Labour do some good things. Benefits is one of their core weaknesses.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 8.1.1.3

          Let’s never forget just how much the change from Special Benefit to Temporary Additional Support (TAS) has damaged our community.

          When you hear people saying they can’t afford medications, yep…bloody TAS.
          The business case for TAS doesn’t stack up. It runs people into the ground.

      • Delia 8.1.2

        Under Steve Maharey it did and he got more into work to without insulting anyone along the way. Labour currently avoid talking about beneficiaries and hope we do not notice, we do Labour.

    • jcuknz 8.2

      To 8.
      Once again Sir Roger Douglas gets the blame when the problem was the guy who wanted time for a cuppa and stopped the introduction of the welfare policies which should have gone with the restructuring. The damage was done and by the time he started ACT was an impossible hurdle to overcome.It is fair to blame the Alliance for that stupidity and it continues today in the Greens.

      The climate that National inherited in 1990 was well established by the mean self satisfied and un-charitable folk of both the left and right …afraid somebody would get something they don’t have … hence the pernicious abatement set up we have today which penalises anybody trying to get off the benefit by means of work.

  9. Cinny 9

    Elderly brainwashed by years of bene bashing propaganda, cold, hungry and manipulated into being too ashamed to ask for help, suffering and dying #IamMetiria

  10. tuppence shrewsbury 10

    I am struck by the sheer amount of wasted talent, creativity, time, effort and emotional energy that’s being sucked out of NZ by this brutal clusterfuck of a system.

    Why will no one will these amazing people for jobs that pay well and negate the need for welfare?

    • weka 10.1

      The low wages issue and poor work conditions is a big part of this picture too. Not because people don’t want to work but because the system is making it so hard when the do

      Some people can’t work. They still need help.

    • Because out government operates on the assumption that there needs to be ~6% unemployment and that the welfare payments need to be low so as to encourage people into work. It’s a false assumption based upon a fundamental misunderstanding of human psychology.

      We used to operate on the assumption of full employment – back when the PM knew, and was friends with, all of the unemployed.

    • Zorr 10.3

      Because employers want people with 10 years experience willing to accept minimal wages/salary for entry-level/grad positions and are completely unwilling to invest in employee training or anything like that.

        • s y d 10.3.1.1

          c’mon, the ‘welfare’ system and ‘beneficiary’ are essential tools – DO NOT rock the boat, or you will be there too.
          This is the threat.
          Take that away and whats to stop a kiwifruit picker/cleaner/caregiver/fastfood operative/warehouse intern/hammer hand telling the boss/manager/labour hire parasite to take their below minimum wage slavery and stick it?

      • tuppence shrewsbury 10.3.2

        Really? i’m an employer and I want nothing of the sort. I don’t even require relevant tertiary qualifications. I look for aptitude and attitude first, the rest is ancillary and can be taught on the job. Employers who expect that tend to pay minimum wage and then wonder why customers hate them. I also pay a minimum of 60k a year. So I don’t hire layabouts or idiots

        My above comment was sarcasm, if these people were that amazing, they wouldn’t be on a benefit. If they displayed the right attitude towards working, they’d be employed.

        I mean anyone that creative and possessing enough energy for that much effort would be able to get a job.

        • Bill 10.3.2.1

          Well, assuming that all creativity ought to be monetised and that that process is deserving of energy, then maybe.

          Personally I think it’s a crying shame that so many visually creative people wind up beached in the advertising industry. But hey.

        • Zorr 10.3.2.2

          Do you work to upskill your employees with relevant external qualifications so that, if they wish to, they can move on to another job with a different employer later in their careers? Or is what you teach them all “on the job” learning with nothing to show for it other than that they continue to be employed?

          You may be one of the better employers but that would make you somewhat of an exception and not the rule as the average NZ employer is significantly worse.

          I have been on the benefit many times, for extended periods, for several reasons. Every single time, that period on the benefit has counted as a black mark when attempting to find employment rather than an understandable consequence of the way our job market is geared. Without 100% employment, there will always be unemployed, regardless of merit and, often, it’s a first come first served system where those with experience get the job.

          I am currently finishing an Honours and will likely do my PhD *precisely* because of this. I don’t trust any employers to be willing to utilize my skills without a stupid piece of paper to shove under their noses to show that I’m worth investing in and every single role I see advertised requires a minimum of 5 years experience for a job where they only want Masters and PhD qualified people. It’s goddamned insane.

          • tuppence shrewsbury 10.3.2.2.1

            Yes. I do. I’d rather take the chance and train them, even if they do leave. Because the alternative is I don’t train them and they stay.

            Employers don’t trust a piece of paper, they trust the person. This waa waa attitude my generation shows just because they spent a but load of cash getting educated to no good purpose is disappointing. You’d think these highly educated people wouldn’t miss the point. But there you go

            And what jobs are you applying for? someone with as many gaps on there cv as you admit too isn’t exactly up for a 200k a year job. so unless you are doing science, medical or research, whats the point in applying?

            It’s not about experience either. i’ve just appointed a person who is 26, no relevant qualifications, over someone who is in their late 40’s plenty of qualifications and relevant experience.

            the job pays the same regardless of the person filling it. But the 40 year old waltzed into the interview seemed to think that they knew everything. So attitude box was left unchecked, whereas the 26 year old wanted to learn, grow and adapt. so she got the position. experience and qualifications aren’t worth shit if you aren’t a good candidate. but that’ll be lost on most people, too much inflated self worth

  11. mary_a 11

    I’m pleased this issue is being exposed through discussion. I don’t do social media, so I don’t know what’s been said there. But I do know of friends who have been treated really badly at WINZ, through unnecessary intimidation practices, causing one to leave the offices in tears. A very sick, bullying and threatening culture indeed.

    So I stand with those “I am Meteria” folk. I think they are very brave putting their personal situation out there on social media, despite the chance of official “preying eyes” taking notes.

    My one and only experience with WINZ was six years ago when I applied for national superannuation. The woman I saw was like a robot, officious with cold, soulless, glaring eyes. Quite scary. No pleasantries such as hello, good morning, my name is …..?, good bye, have a good day. Nothing like that, despite me greeting her and using customary pleasant formalities, which were ignored. Just told to put my documents “there”, pointing to her desk. Couldn’t wait to get out of there quick enough! Not something I’d like to experience again, even though it was nowhere near a bad bullying time I know far too many good decent Kiwi folk have to endure.

    Our social welfare culture reflects the government of the day and that about says it all!

    Let’s keep the discussion going.

    • weka 11.1

      mary, you can follow the #IamMetira thread without having a login/account. Just click on the link in the post.

  12. CLEANGREEN 12

    100% MARY A

  13. Ad 13

    I have no idea what dealing with WINZ is like, thank goodness.
    I hope Metiria’s gambit does more than simply shift votes around the hard left. I don’t think it will do more, but good luck to her.

    I would prefer that the government concentrated less on doling out supplements, and concentrated on getting our unemployment rate below 3%, and cut seasonal work immigration, to start forcing wages up through competition for workers.

    • s y d 13.1

      amen to less supplements and better wages.

      • garibaldi 13.1.1

        Ad says he would prefer the govt concentrated on getting our unemployment rate below 3%.
        Sounds a good idea but this low wage economy demands a high unemployment rate and cheap immigrant labour. This,, of course accelerates all our social problems. We must get rid of neoliberalism to fix this abomination in what used to be a fair minded Country before we lost our way post 1984.
        I doubt that tinkering around with the status quo will fix the problem.

        • Ad 13.1.1.1

          We already had unemployment around 4% for parts of the Clark government.
          It can be done.

      • weka 13.1.2

        “amen to less supplements and better wages.”

        Except for the people who can’t work. We’ll just keep throwing them on the scrapheap. Any policy that doesn’t take those people into account is not social security but economic management of stock units. Might be more enlightened management, but it’s still not willing to treat people as humans.

        • Keepcalmcarryon 13.1.2.1

          When a family could rely on one income, not two, there was less need for welfare from others. Eg: not everybody had to be an income generating unit or be scrapped when one partner made good money and cost of living was low. Now both partners have to be making good money to afford shelter and food, any loss of income could precipitate financial collapse, hence need more welfare if one physically can’t work.
          There is a lot of truth to the fixing wages argument. It’s plain shit that workers have to rely on what the government gives us back (working for families) to get by in this country.

          • weka 13.1.2.1.1

            I totally support better wages. It was the less supplements bit I was objecting to.

            Single people don’t have partners to support them not matter how good the wages are. We still need welfare and supplementary benefits.

    • jcuknz 13.2

      Sorry AD but are you happy to pay $10 kg for apples…. higher wages=higher prices.
      higher wages do give an increase discretion on what it is spent on … but better off, I think only maybe.
      I married on$15 week and retired on much much more…. I was better off mainly because of what I had done with my wife in building the family home together. Saving on interest to a bank or rent.
      WINZ reflects the governments attitude which encourages the tough unreasonable stance. Plus with bludgers spoiling the pitch for the genuine one has to have some sympathy for the front line staff who deal with the public.

      • ropata 13.2.1

        The real bludgers in NZ are not beneficiaries they are the white collar capitalists extracting rentier incomes from their fellow Kiwis. Spurred on by governments obsessed with inflating the housing bubble and giving tax breaks to property “investors”. Bankers and real estate agents are happy to sit by and soak up the profits from other people’s labour. The system is fucked because the government is a tool of corporations and social services are an inconvenient cost

  14. Gordon Campbell on The Greens and the sorts of things Metiria is drawing attention to:

    “It is a very relevant example. Because the Greens here are currently being criticized by the commentariat for not making the same kind of pragmatic choices that sunk the Democrats. If only the Greens hadn’t ‘boxed themselves in’ by ruling out working with National. If only they would trade off their ‘hard left’ social justice agenda for some nice environmental gains that everyone could agree on, assuming these wouldn’t be too ‘extreme’ for agri-business to tolerate. If only the Greens acted like every other pragmatic bunch of political chancers in Parliament. What a golden future could be theirs! Real power, a seat at the Cabinet table. What’s wrong with the Greens that they can’t see that etc etc?”
    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2017/07/19/gordon-campbell-on-the-greens-room-for-political-pragmatism/

  15. savenz 15

    The tweets are heartbreaking and illuminating.
    Particularly liked

    I claimed $32K worth of housing allowance I didn’t need nor was I entitled to #IAmMetiria… oh wait, shit no I’m not, I’m @pmbillenglish

    Having to haul someone into WINZ while on an oxygen machine bi-weekly just prove they’re sick/dying….#IAmMetiria

    The kids that tell me “I’m not hungry, miss” because they’ve already internalised the shame of being poor. #IamMetiria

    Mum’s 4 lounge walls are covered with ours family certificates from school through to university
    She calls them her masterpieces #IamMetiria

    Waited with a child who has wet pants (no toilets in winz) & if you leave you could miss the appointment that was an hour ago #IamMetiria

  16. Keepcalmcarryon 16

    I have sympathy for those at the wrong end of any of our givernment agencies.
    I am fairly cynical about our politicians though. Good on Ms Turei for her honesty. I suspect There is reasoning to this admission: either she was going to be sprung, wanted the high ground on Paula Benefit or it’s a play for some of the missing million.

    • weka 16.1

      Also, the Greens have spent a fair amount of time in the past year talking directly with poor people. I see the policy and announcement as being good strategy to get the issues on the table for discussion. Bold, risky, but the right thing to do morally and strategically.

      The unspoken messaging about PB was brilliant.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    1 hour ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    19 hours ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    23 hours ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    1 day ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    1 day ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    1 day ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    5 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    5 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    6 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago