I wish it could be Xmas every day…

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, December 21st, 2012 - 27 comments
Categories: david parker, economy, employment, equality, labour, national/act government, poverty - Tags:

… then maybe more attention would be given to the increasing numbers of people struggling to get the necessities of life.  And then maybe people would be pressuring for solutions other than the short term band-aid of charitable giving.  I’m glad charities are doing some very caring work, and that many people are donating to them.

But as Anthony Robins has been posting about every week: our government is not doing anything to put an end to poverty or the social destructiveness of large income inequalities.

This morning the NZ Herald reported record levels of people queuing  for packages outside Auckland City Mission:

Fuelled by the highest rate of unemployment in 13 years, the queues snaking along the pavements outside the Auckland City Mission have nothing festive about them.

“I keep saying every year it’s unprecedented … but I’m almost beyond words when I look out there,” said missioner Diane Robertson. “This is nothing to celebrate.”

More than 100 people were lined up on Hobson St and round a corner into a neighbouring lot yesterday, some since 5am, to receive charity – Christmas food parcels and donated gifts for children.

The majority did not want to appear in the newspaper. “Maybe if I had won something or it was something lucky,” a woman said.

Ms Robertson said the mission’s clients were struggling with unemployment and entitlement cuts. “They’re losing options.”

And the continuing recession was adding people to the queue as those on low incomes fell into the same poverty cycle as beneficiaries.

“As an agency we really try to get people off benefits and employed – make life better than it’s been,” Ms Robertson said. “But right now we’re just alleviating poverty, because there’s no place to go.” …

A woman in the queue, who did not want to be named or photographed, said she had left her Papakura home at 4.30am to get some gifts for her children. Her sister had driven her into the city. She said this year had been particularly difficult.

“It’s been hard. Really hard.”

She was thankful for a bit of help to put on some kind of Christmas for her family, she said.

Another woman said it was her first time at the mission after hearing about it through a friend. Rising prices at the supermarket had been crushing, she said.

Maybe it’s time to revisit the ground breaking book The Spirit Level, which has been the focus of several Standard posts in the past.  It provides detailed evidence of the destructive impact on society of high levels of inequality. There was this post from Anthony Robins, Equality of Opportunity; and this one from Bunji that was the 6th part in a series: Digested Read – Spirit Level 6: Future Options.

Meanwhile, today we have learned that NZ went into a double dip recession in 2010.

New Zealand suffered a double dip recession in the wake of the global financial crisis, with the second leg coming in late 2010, new data has revealed

Statistics NZ today released gross domestic product figures for the September quarter showing the economy grew by 0.2 per cent, slightly below most economists’ picks.

Back then Bill English, John Key et al were trumpeting their policies as ones that would begin the economic revival to a brighter future. But as Labour MPs remind them today, those policies just benefited the well off at the expense of those on the lowest incomes.

Labour finance spokesman David Parker said the double dip recession came at the same time that National’s ‘tax-switch’, that raised GST, came into force.

“National has trumpeted its tax switch as a boost to the economy. But the truth is it kept growth negative and held the economy in recession,” he said.

“National’s tax switch was not only unequal and unfair, it choked off demand and the economy shrank.”

Finance Minister Bill English today said the economy remained on track for moderate growth over the next few years, “despite growth predictably easing a little in the September quarter”.

Annual growth – from the September quarter 2011 to the September quarter 2012 – came in at 2 per cent, after the revisions English said.

Brighter future: always on the way, never arrives for those on the lowest incomes.

27 comments on “I wish it could be Xmas every day…”

  1. xtasy 1

    Christmas is not celebrated much by me, due to the over-commercialisation of the event, and as I have too little time for the unfounded reasons stated by Christians for the event to be celebrated. Father Christmas hopefully gets proved nothing but fairytale nonsense to kids by even those parents trying to “sell” that story to the very little ones at first.

    Anyway, you posted another good comment story there, Karol, and I take note that your skills in writing pieces in this forum seem to be improving and achieving a very great standard day by day.

    I was grateful for an organisation providing me with a bit of a food parcel, and I will not name them for various reasons. It was a very nice gesture by someone there, who appreciates the difficulties I have recently experienced. So this is something I will not forget.

    But charity is only the last resort, emergency, and in some ways ‘bandaid” type of solution to poverty and the facts that benefits are for most impossible to live off in dignity these days. This was all started by the ruthless cuts that were made under Shipley and Richardson (her policies fittingly named “Ruthanasia”, given her first name is Ruth) in 1991 or so.

    Since then benefits have not been increased substantially, and as Mary points out in another thread, it was even under a Labour led government, that the much needed Special Benefit was being phased out. Only few still get it, those who received that benefit component without interruption since.

    Temporary Additional Support was the replacement, and it is capped. I learned through the experience of a mate, that he was totally unable to survive on his sickness benefit, as WINZ said to him: “That is all you are entitled to”. He was struggling to pay rent for a flat, not being able to pay utilities on time, and basically faced looking for alternative accommodation, which may have been years in a boarding house, had he not been able to get formidable support to finally get a Housing NZ home.

    That though has not improved his income at all, as the accommodation supplement is not paid to Housing NZ home renters. So he pays less rent but also gets less. He lives on borrowed time, as his home is in an area where Housing NZ want to sell properties. Consequently the day will come, where he will be shifted, like the ones are in Glen Innes.

    Many people have lost jobs this year, and so queues at food banks and the Mission are longer yet again.

    The government wants to bring in even more harsh benefit rules, so more will fall through the cracks, as they are already under NatACT’s regime. There will be more homeless, more depending on friends and families, more desperate, more prepared to commit crimes and to also engage in prostitution.

    Thank you John Key, Paula Bennett and gang, you are so “caring”, we will bear all this in mind over Christmas and the holiday season!

    • bad12 1.1

      Befor Shitly/Richardson came Mouldoon who added income tax to benefits where no tax was paid by beneficiaries befor,

      The Clark Labour Government then added the icing to the cake of poverty by not allowing benefit dependent families to be included in the Working for Families tax credit scheme claiming this would be a spur to them getting a job…

      • Murray Olsen 1.1.1

        Are you sure Muldoon introduced tax on benefits? As far as I can remember, it was Douglas, but I may be wrong. I remember protesting against it at the time, on the basis that it was stupid and inefficient, but can’t remember the exact year.

        • bad12 1.1.1.1

          Am pretty sure it was Mouldoon, it’s not a question to die in a ditch over and i am happy to be proved wrong,

          Have had a few digs with Google to try and tease the answer out of the ether, no joy there so i am obviously not asking the right question,

          Perhaps someone else can spread a little light on the subject…

          • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.1.1.1.1

            Well after Muldoon.

            Giving the partner half was a positive move and done first and that would have been around 85/86 but making taxable is really just a way of clawing some of any benefit paid back through the tax system once you get work if it is in the same tax year.

            It is also not widely known except to those actually on benefit that when tax cuts are given benefits remain the same. Instead of paying more net to those on benefit less paye is paid to IRd.

            It’s another area in which the poorest are disadvantaged. If benefits are to be taxable then they should also benefit from tax cuts when these are given at the bottom end.

            Look forward to Labour increasing benefits to make up for this disadvantage as well.

            NZ yearbooks may be useful in pinning down date.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.1.1.1.1.1

              1087 yearbook says benefits taxable from 01/10/1986.

              • Descendant Of Sssmith

                Should also add that Muldoon did not support Ruth Richardson’s benefit cuts and abstained from voting.

            • Mary 1.1.1.1.1.2

              I think the idea of taxing benefits was to allow any part-time income earned on top of a person’s main benefit to be taxed at the secondary rate, i.e. because the benefit is primary income – marking, of course, the very beginning of Labour’s ongoing assault on the poor. The next was Michael Cullen’s introduction of “standdown periods”. Who could’ve imagined how far Labour was prepared to go with those attacks? Unbelievable.

    • Mary 1.2

      Hi Xtasy. I think HNZ tenants do have a slight advantage over non-HNZ tenants because while HNZ rents are set at 25% of a person’s income, the accommodation supplement is paid as a 70% subsidy of the difference between a person’s rent and 25% of the person’s income up to stated maximums. I do agree with your general sentiment, though, which I think goes back to how basic benefit rates haven’t increased in real terms since the cuts in 1991. Labour promised to restore those pre-cut levels but reneged on that promise pretty quickly, just as they opposed the Nats trying to axe the special benefit in 1995 then turned around and did it themselves in 2004. Labour also opposed introducing income status into the tax system when Bill Birch did it in 1996 then adopted the idea itself but in a way 100 times worse with its Working for Families. I have never seen or heard one Labour MP ever facing up to that hypocrisy before, which must tell us something about where they’re planning to take social security, that is, of course, if we’re ever dumb enough to give them the chance. Unfortunately I think we are.

  2. bad12 2

    The village idiot from Dipton is of course talking with the same tongue as Slippery the Prime Minister has been using this week when He commented on TV3 that ”wages have begun to close the gap with Australia”,

    The language they both,(Slippery and English), talk is Bullshit mostly inherited from an ancient race of miserable two faced pricks called ‘Scum’,

    The Slippery little Shysters wages might have taken a jump toward parity with an Australian used car salesman but for the average low wage worker engaged in pushing the heavy wheels of capitalism the year has shown no gains, (the Reserve Bank saying that the spend on public servants was not as great as expected so that sector is obviously going backward),

    The village idiot from Dipton claims ‘modest growth’ and borrows most heavily of the language of that ancient civilization previously known as scum in doing so, what the village idiot calls ‘growth’ is in fact no such thing, the economy out-side of that of Christchurch has in fact for the year contracted by a massive 2%,

    The Christchurch earthquake rebuild may help the village idiot hide the Depression that is occurring in the wider New Zealand economy but the unemployment numbers won’t, by March 2013 i expect unemployment to be at 200,000 and on the move, (fast), toward 250,000,

    Meanwhile, Slippery and the village idiot from Dipton seem hellbent upon re-building Christchurch while keeping inflation inside the target band when it is my and other’s opinion that the Christchurch rebuild is in fact NOT ‘growth’ and therefor should not appear in the GDP figures as that….

    • @Bad12, the village idiot from Dipton comes from my neck of the woods, i came across
      him in a place i worked in at the time, i then thought to myself this idiot is running nz’s economy,
      it took all my strength not to say something to him.
      I am also struggling financially because of health issues and having to survive on a benefit,
      i have decided what is important is health costs,a roof over my head,electricity costs,car
      costs,(i need a car for medical visits and hospital visits), telecomunications are via skinny,
      which cost $4 pw, and $4pw for a t-stick, then food costs which are whatever is left
      usually $25-$30pw, Bills that followed me from not being able to work are down the bottom
      of the list, that is the reality, it’s called survival,there are only so many ways to spend
      $12.000 a year.
      Christmas time only emphasizes the fact that life in the hard lane of the benefit system
      is living below the poverty line,there are also others who on low incomes are following
      close behind.
      I have genuine sympathy for all of those who are struggling this christmas.

      • bad12 2.1.1

        Cheers vivaciousviper, yeah they took one look at Bill and thought we can’t let Him run the family farm into the ground,(and the rest is history),

        You have tho a great back yard as a consolation of sorts ae, i managed to spend part of my mis-spent youth in what was then the Borstal down there and later spent a couple of interesting and enjoyable years in Ohai,

        It’s not Wellington tho and this place always drags me back….

    • Brooklyn 2.2

      And anyway 2% is just population growth so we are only treading water even counting Chch.

  3. vto 3

    If it was merry xmas everyday then most all of us would all end up overweight I’m sure.

    And yes personally I am disappointed in these people in government. They have most definitely made things harder for those in the bottom half. Taxes are up, levies are up, car registrations are up, petrol tax is up, wages are frikkin stuck on ice, all whilst ……

    for the upper half
    Taxes are down, handouts are frequent, environment is up for grabs, assets are coming your way, and acceptance that you aren’t required in this society to think about helping those less fortunate is acceptable.

    Great year thanks John Key, you wanker and arsehole.

  4. Rodel 4

    by mistake I listened to a few seconds of Laws on radio retard (sorry ‘live’) today. …talking about overweight polynesians queuing up at Auckland city mission. He is so sick that man.
    New Zealand’s got talent but with Laws, Hide; oe or two others & they used to have Banks, radio retard hasn’t.

  5. fabregas4 5

    I wish that people would stop spelling Christmas Xmas. It’s not a big wish.

  6. rosy viper 6

    Arrgghhh, Karol. Now I have the song by Wizzard going around and round in my head 😉

    This whole process is like a slow moving car crash. Willful ignorance on behalf of the government since it’s first day in office. It’s not like it wasn’t warned back in 2008.

  7. Well National has single handedly destroyed the welfare system, raised taxes on the middle and lower class and made the country into a Pinochet style neo liberal paradise. Don’t dissent or the police will beat you up, just like the good old days of the waterfront strike.

  8. Descendant Of Sssmith 8

    No National haven’t done this single handedly. They have been aided and abetted by successive Labour governments. Parties such as Act, the business round table and so on.

    As I noted in another thread Muldoon wouldn’t vote for and spoke against Richardson’s benefit cuts.

    He was miles more left than the current Labour government in many areas.

    Things that were normal when I was 18 are now seen as extreme left positions.

    Communism was extreme left not a decent rate of benefit. An 8 hour working day, government work for young people and those with illness and disability, more GDP paid in wages than profit, control over banks, standardised pay rates so competition was based on quality of product and serviceratherthan who could pay the lowest wage and so on.

    It’s easy to forget how far to the right we have gone.

    • xtasy 8.1

      DOS: Yes, I remember well, the last few years of Muldoon’s life. He seemed to have gone through a process of internal change, not uncommon of ageing persons of whatever background. He ran his Radio Pacific weekly political “talk back slot” and at times sounded like a real old “socialist”.

      He had NO time for the new extreme right economic and social policies.

      Naturally he would have felt criticised by Richardson, Shipley and Bolger for his own failed policies, and he certainly got flak from the senior Labour politicians in the 1980s for that also.

      But his own party turning against him, that was a bit much for him, I suppose.

      Also did he work with the gangs at times, trying to get them sorted and into doing something more constructive, by creating work schemes and the likes, as far as I can remember.

      In his last years he was naturally still a grumpy old fellow, but he had mellowed a lot from his earlier years.

  9. Nick K 9

    Brighter future: always on the way, never arrives for those on the lowest incomes.

    Inequality and those on lowest incomes are different things.

    If those on lowest incomes could nevertheless lead a comfortable life, what would it matter if someone else had more money? And if those people can still lead comfortable lives, but they’re not multi-millionaires, so what?

    If the Left truly wanted to help those in need, you would focus on raising incomes from the bottom through economic growth, rather than trying to make the poor rich by making the rich poor.

    • felixviper 9.1

      “If those on lowest incomes could nevertheless lead a comfortable life, what would it matter if someone else had more money? And if those people can still lead comfortable lives, but they’re not multi-millionaires, so what?”

      If your auntie had balls she’d be your uncle, Nick, and people on low incomes are not living a comfortable life.

      Shit is fucked up Nick. People are really struggling. People can’t even afford to go to work, Nick. The wages are not enough to live in a house and eat food and buy clothes and electricity and water and go to work without government subsidies such as WFF. Have you thought about what that means? I mean really thought about it?

      People. Can’t. Afford. A. Job.

      And you can be fired at any time. And when you are, you can’t get the unemployment benefit for 13 weeks. 13 fucking weeks, Nick, because you’re expected to be saving money from the job that doesn’t pay enough to live on so you can provide for yourself and your family when you get fired.

      And all that’s if you’re one of the lucky ones who has a job at all.

      Comfortable life? Fuck off with your comfortable life Nick. Fuck right off.

  10. bad12 10

    Nick K, you seem a little thick but i am prepared to waste a few minutes of my day in what is probably a futile attempt to enlighten you,

    We have as a country been forced fed the myth of ‘economic growth’ for the past 30 odd years, meanwhile those very same people who have been spoon feeding us all with such crap along with ‘smart and knowledge economy’s’ have busied themselves trading away any chance of actual real and sustainable growth occurring by signing us up to a myriad of trade deals based upon nothing more than access for New Zealand dairy products,

    The trade off made has been at the expense of manufacturing in New Zealand where the cheaper economy’s have been given free access,

    Pray tell us Nick K, where can growth in the economy occur….

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.1

      The problem is mainly not that we haven’t had economic growth or productivity increases but that the workers on low incomes who have created that growth have not benefited from it.

      In fact that have not only not benefited they have deliberately via legislation and policy had their previous benefits eroded via lower wages, longer hours and lesser working conditions and job security.

      If the share of their productivity even returned to 50% of GDP in wages and 50% in profit we would see significant improvement in those at the bottom.

      It used to be that 70% of GDP went to the workers – 70% now goes to the owners.

      That’s quite a significant reversal in the last 30 years.

      It might be different if that change had actually resulted in innovative businesses that grew the economy in some way but it hasn’t. Most of the money in the business owners hands has been used to buy previously state owned businesses, to purchase properties and to store as cash / assets / transferred overseas.

      Lowering wages to increase profit doesn’t lift productivity unless you consider people having to work longer hours to earn the same amount of income. That’s a piss poor way to increase productivity and simply reflects the piss poor quality of managers and business owners in this country.

      If your way of increasing profit is simply to lower wages you’ve got a shit product or service and it’s an exceedingly lazy approach.

      Because we’ve gone down that road however we have little innovation in this country. Add to that the other lazy way of doing business by buying state assets.

      We could have had many more innovative businesses here if we had not taken these lazy approaches – we wouldn’t have tied up so much resource and effort in managing things the public sector was already managing for one thing.

    • Nick K 10.2

      Pray tell us Nick K, where can growth in the economy occur….

      I can’t answer that question because I am thick.

      • bad12 10.2.1

        I unreservedly apologize for the unfounded accusation inherent in alluding to your state of intelligence as ‘thick’,(even tho you have belatedly admitted to a state of thickness of mind broader than an obese elephants arse),

        In my opinion you are now an economic genius of world renown so answer the f**king question you thick b******d…

  11. SPC 11

    On the minimum wage? An increase from $13.50 to $13.75 is coming. Key will say it compensates people for the CPI change – but this excludes housing and also note for the fact that cheaper imported goods for the middle class that lower the CPI level are not in play for the poor. How many buy a cheaper car because of a high dollar?

    Those who pay pay rent (may have been a 10% hike in Auckland or Christchurch) and power (up 10% next year?) and food – don’t notice a 1% rise in costs.

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    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    6 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    7 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Police Association Annual Conference
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