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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    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    4 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    4 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    4 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    6 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    6 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    7 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    7 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 week ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    1 week ago

  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    47 mins ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

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