In praise of the welfare state

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, November 21st, 2008 - 48 comments
Categories: national/act government, welfare - Tags:

It’s very easy in our individualist, consumerist, capitalist society to say ‘if you’re poor, it’s your fault, don’t come looking to the rest of us for help’ – ‘it’s your fault for marrying an alcoholic, don’t expect us to pay to house your family’, ‘it’s your fault you got pregnant when you couldn’t afford to support the kid’. It’s a sentiment that we hear expressed all too often by the Right, who seem to think that if you’re in a tough situation that’s your problem and that anyone claiming a benefit is just a bludger. Hopefully, we will see a sea-change in that attitude over the coming years.

We now have two National ministers, one of them prime minister, who make a big deal over the fact they relied on the State to house and support them for significant periods of their lives*. Most of the rest have also benefited from the welfare state, if not from housing and benefits then from free education and health-care for themselves and their families. It would be hypocritical and callous in the extreme for these people who did so well thanks to our social safety-net to now start taking that net apart.

Is the welfare state perfect? No, of course there are always examples of abuse and things that could be improved. But that’s not an argument for throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Because some beneficiaries go on to great things, is that grounds to punish those who don’t with work-for-the-dole type policies? No, the welfare state is about ensuring that what our society believes is a minimum acceptable standard of living is available to all. If it can be a springboard for some to go on to great things, fantastic, but we can’t expect all beneficiaries to become ministers or even get into work. It is sufficient that most people are on benefits for short periods and very few try to abuse the system (as if living on $200 a week with nothing to do is a great life).

The experience of nine years under Labour has been that people are keen to get off benefits, if there are jobs to be had and support to get them into work. That’s why we’ve seen benefit numbers reduce 30% (100,000) in nine years.

We can but hope that the new Government will think twice before attacking benefits. Not just so future John Keys and Paula Bennetts get the opportunities they had but so every Kiwi who falls on hard times knows that the rest of us will be there, collectively, to break their fall.

*(in fact, there were former beneficiaries in the previous govt, they just didn’t make big deal out of it)

48 comments on “In praise of the welfare state ”

  1. Ben R 1

    “Because some beneficiaries go on to great things, is that grounds to punish those who don’t with work-for-the-dole type policies?”

    You’re saying that arranging work policies is punishing people, then on the other hand those on WINZ are:

    “(living on $200 a week with nothing to do is a great life).”

    How is having nothing to do good for someone? Can you see that offering some kind of work, or training might actually be a good thing?

  2. gingercrush 2

    The experience of nine years under Labour has been that people are keen to get off benefits, if there are jobs to be had and support to get them into work. That’s why we’ve seen benefit numbers reduce 30% (100,000) in nine years.

    It wasn’t people keen to get off benefits or support they got. There is hardly a difference in benefit policy from National’s 1990s to Labour’s government of 1999-2008. What saw the number of unemployed fall was good economic times and a shortage of jobs.

    Now that economic times have changed there will be a return to more people unemployed which is already evident.

    For most people the unemployed benefit is a transition. Something they need for a small period of time to assist them while they look for a new opportunity.

    But then there are the long-term groups of our society dependent on welfare. And its those people that need to be targetted. Long-term dependent welfare groups end up having children who will also be dependent on welfare etc etc. That simply isn’t good enough. And something that must change.

  3. work-for-the-dole is bad, it prevents unemployed workers finding proper work and undermines the low-pay workforce. my point is that few people stay on benefits for extended periods because proper employment is better.

    skills training is already common on benefits.

  4. fitzyp 4

    Heard of irony Ben?

  5. ginger. National’s policies do nothing to target long-term beneficiaries – they just have a hammer for DPB mums. By contrast, Labour did a lot of work targeting assistance at those people – it’s resource-intensive, these are the hard cases but it has worked, check out the stats on long term beneficiaries, either in our archives or at MSD.

  6. Ben R 6

    “fitzyp
    November 21, 2008 at 11:57 am
    Heard of irony Ben?”

    fitzyp, I realise the statement about getting $200 & nothing to do being great was ironic. That was my point – on the one hand saying that work for dole type policies are punishment, but on the other hand acknowledging these people have nothing to do.

    Sadly, I think some people are in a position where they’re almost unemployable. It’s one of the challenges most western countries face as less skilled jobs disapear through technology & globalisation.

  7. gingercrush 7

    In regards to the DPB, those receiving such a benefit will be obligated to find work or do some job training once their youngest reaches the age of six. That in my opinion is fair. And something that should be happening.

    In terms of National being nasty towards beneficiaries. National is saying that while the benefit is assistance. That shouldn’t be long term. Thus they target the DPB, those out of work for more than 12 months. One thing that surely the left can agree with is enshrining in legislation that benefits will rise to what the Consumer Price Index is. Thus, meaning benefits will rise in line with inflation. They also have policy which means those on benefits can earn at least 100 dollars before the benefit is abated. That too is fair.

    —-

    And what was Labour’s great plan in terms of benefits?

    Why a PC concept meaning we won’t call it the unemployed benefit etc etc. Rather it’ll be a focus to “individiual circumstances”. Really says it all. Won’t actually change the benefits in any way just call them differently.

    Their other plan was to within five years, allow workers to take up 10 hours of work on the minimum wage before benefits reduce.

    —-

    National’s plan tackles long-term beneficiaries. It is your right to oppose such thoughts. Really I wouldn’t expect anything less from the left. But you make such a big deal as to how National will cripple beneficiaries.

    Yes National will be tougher on beneficiaries. That plays to its voters who share such thoughts. But at the same time, they have set it up so that those on benefits will not be crippled. It isn’t the big nasty thing you’re making it out to be.

    And Labour’s policies play to the same-old, same-old. Great when the economy is on a high and benefit numbers are down. Not so great when the economy is failing and numbers go on benefits. Nobody has a problem with the numbers who use benefits in the short term. But reliance on them can never and should never be a good thing. Meanwhile, the Greens policy was to encourage social welfare dependency.

  8. Dave 8

    I have been on an unemployment benefit before, it was not pleasant at all, but the deal you sign to get on an UB you have to agree to take whatever work WINZ can find you. So the idea of a work for the dole scheme seems like a waste of time and effort, why not spend time on the people that continue to be unemployable? I’m talking about the people that will sabotage their own interviews to stay on the benefit.

    I think our welfare state is brilliantly executed in most areas, apart from Studylink, I have major issues with studylink and so do 99% of my student friends. Perhaps all our wonderful ministers should talk to the people who are receiving these services to see how they could be improved, a select committee in Wellington won’t know diddly squat about what is happening at the coal-face, so to speak 🙂

    I’m meaning case workers, work brokers, call centre workers, IT support and most of all beneficiaries. Wow, I think this is my longest post ever 🙂 this site is great

  9. Steve/anyone, are there any figures floating around of the numbers of people caught missusing the benefit for a given period?

    Would be interesting to see if abuse of the benefit is really as widespread as the right would have us believe.

  10. Ianmac 10

    Gingercrush: Long term beneficiaries are a very very tiny part of the population. They should not be the focus of policy.
    John Key was, he said, 7 and the youngest, when his mother went on the benefit and she was on it he said “for some time.”
    If Mrs Key had been around in 2009 she would be ineligible for the DPB because once your youngest child is 6 you would have to be in work. Therefore John Key would not have benefited.

  11. gingercrush 11

    Studylink is horrible. Worse outfit ever. Always stuffs up my student loans. Also when the hell are they going to give more than 150 dollars a week. Its been that way since the early 90s. And I’m not asking for an allowance. I never qualified for one and wouldn’t like the idea anyway. Hell I didn’t even need interest cut. But is it too much for the student loan weekly income to rise from 150 where its been stuck for years.

    Iammac – Wrong. One is expected to work 15 hours a week or be involved in employment training. That isn’t too much to ask. Also you can’t compare to that time. Its over with and gone. Things changed. When National cut benefits in the 90s Labour didn’t reverse them when they got in office.

    National’s plan tackles several issues. It isn’t the hard stance they use to have. Its overall fair and I think most New Zealanders will agree with it. Certainly there is a policy which compared to Labour has just the one in regards to working 10 hours. National has a similar plan to that only at 100 dollars.

  12. Dave 12

    Bingo GC 🙂 my student loan is at 26k, because most of the time I have taken the living costs on my student loan as it is easier than negotiating the minefield that is student allowance for a measly 20 odd bucks more 🙁

    means testing is rude and discriminatory, my parents just push over the threshold when one has a mortgage and the other is a student herself

  13. Would be interesting to see if abuse of the benefit is really as widespread as the right would have us believe.

    In the late 1990’s the National government ran a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to marginalise beneficiaries. The television ads talked about hundreds of thousands of cases of benefit fraud. These figures were later shown to be mostly based on administration errors and overpayments.

    Incidentally a lot of contemporary beneficiary bashing has it’s roots in that campaign. Before it ran the general perception of those on a benefit was far more tolerant…

  14. Ben R 14

    “If Mrs Key had been around in 2009 she would be ineligible for the DPB because once your youngest child is 6 you would have to be in work. Therefore John Key would not have benefited.”

    Well, there’s also the perverse incentive of having further children to stay on!

  15. Dave, if I remember correctly, while I was studying I knew of a number of people who’s parents incomes were tied up in trusts etc. and for some reason their incomes were registered at nil and therefore these rich little pricks were able to claim the $180 a week student allowance while the rest of us had to rack up huge loans while we borrowed an additional $150 a week!

  16. DeeDub 16

    The biggest problem with work for the dole OR training schemes is that they have severely financially disadvantaged beneficiaries in the past because the clients are almost never completely compensated for REAL costs of getting to the place of work/training and back. For people on megre incomes this can make a very real difference. Key is making noises about things being sorted on a ‘case-by-case’ basis but I don’t see how this can be applied in practice … oh yeah, and they’re going to administer these humungous changes with a cap on new staff??!!! Hah hah hah It’s in this governments’ interest to keep a scapegoat handy, and ‘bludging beneficiaries’ are an easy target even if they make up only a tiny percentage of the welfare budget.

  17. Lew 17

    Ben: Well, there’s also the perverse incentive of having further children to stay on!

    You’re sailing perilously close to the Perigo line of `bribing losers to breed’.

    L

  18. Ben R 18

    “Lew
    November 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm
    Ben: Well, there’s also the perverse incentive of having further children to stay on!

    You’re sailing perilously close to the Perigo line of `bribing losers to breed’.”

    Lew, putting Perigo’s inflammatory rhetoric to one side, do you agree that is a possible unintended incentive from that policy?

    Also, I would think the more serious problem is that as people become more educated the fewer children they tend to have. In that respect offering paid parental leave schemes is a good policy.

  19. TimeWarp 19

    Couple of different points I would like to make:

    The first is the nature of the social welfare safety net. It is implicit in a system like this that there will be some recipients of welfare that are unneeding and undeserving of it. In an imperfect world, that’s fundamental if the system is to catch all that are deserving. It’s impossible to draw the line exactly – and even if it were possible, it would be uneconomic to do so at the margins.

    Just as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice was allowed his pound of flesh – as long as it was no more, no less – and was unable to take the exact amount, welfare is by its nature going to benefit some people it shouldn’t. I absolutely believe the system should be developed and improved to target funding where and when it is needed, and in the appropriate quantity. But recognising it will never be perfect. Isolated failures in the system should not then, as they sometimes are, be held up as arguments for abandonment of programs – although they may need to be examined for a systemic pattern and then addressed appropriately.

    My other point is on the recent coverage of the Nia Glassie murder trial, and the disturbing reaction on talkback radio subsequently.

    Like most New Zealanders I am disgusted by how that little girl was treated. It angers me, as it angers many others in the community. However some of the angry people I have heard commenting on talkback recently really concern me with their response. I have heard so much vitriol combined with simplistic bandaid propositions, and attacks on the welfare and justice systems.

    The most blatant of these has been significant discussion on the value of the DPB, combined with comments on the lines of serial DPB mothers producing kids in order to fund a lifestyle based on welfare. This discussion is so disconnected with the reality of the case, but the anger generated is being chanelled in these directions.

    Lisa Kuka, it has been reported, was a working mother. I don’t know the nature of her work or how much time it took up. But the media reports are that most of the abuse, including the worst and the fatal atrocities, were conducted while Nia’s mother was at work. That doesn’t excuse some of her failings. But it does make a mockery of the subsequent attack on welfare mothers. Based on the same ‘logic’, applied against the actual circumstances, it could be vehemently argued that mothers should not be working and leaving their kids in the care of others. Let’s develop a blanket government policy along those lines, should we?

  20. Lew 20

    Ben: do you agree that is a possible unintended incentive from that policy?

    Not on the rational `hey, if I have another one I’ll get more!’ basis you seem to ascribe to it. It might happen, but the validity of your proposition rests on demonstrating intent.

    L

  21. Lew 21

    Ben: Also, I would think the more serious problem is that as people become more educated the fewer children they tend to have.

    Are you arguing an Idiocracy line here?

    L

  22. randal 22

    however many people need some state assistance there will always be a core of angry greedies who want to keep everything for themselves and gain psychological satisfaction from watching other people up against it.
    nactards are like that
    thats what makes them what they are!

  23. Ben R 23

    “Lew
    November 21, 2008 at 1:41 pm
    Ben: Also, I would think the more serious problem is that as people become more educated the fewer children they tend to have.

    Are you arguing an Idiocracy line here?”

    Sorry, just got back from watching the cricket over lunch.

    The ‘Idiocracy’ line, I haven’t actually watched the movie (I understand Fox tried to squash it).

    I think that the idiocracy line is too simplistic because there is considerable interplay between your heriditary DNA & how those genes get expressed depending on the environment you’re exposed to (from the pre-natal stage onwards) .

    That said, even assuming a 100% environmental view (which I think only maybe Leon Kamin accepts? Twin studies suggest a significant amount of personality & traits are heriditary) someone raised by more educated parents is likely to be at an advantage in terms of the stimulus they receive. For instance , better nutrition, being breast fed, exposed to wider vocabulary, attitudes about learning/education etc.

  24. Lew 24

    Ben: I see what you’re saying, but I can’t quite see why you’d float such an argument unless you had a point to make, and I can’t quite see why you’d shy away from making that point when invited to clarify it unless you had reservations about it.

    So what ARE you actually arguing, Ben?

    L

  25. Rex Widerstrom 25

    I’ve been on the dole. I’ve also got postgrad uni qualifications and a few tailored suits.

    Why is the latter relevant? Well, because last time I was on the dole I reached whatever was then the magic number and thus received a letter from WINZ (or DSW as was) advising me that in order to continue receiving the benefit I must attend a compulsory course. When I enquired what I would learn on this course, I was told it would be “how to write a CV, what to wear to an interview, that kind of thing”.

    There then ensued a lengthy battle of wills, because I wasn’t going to have my job search interrupted by some nonsensical “one size fits all” policy which assumes all unemployed are the same and have the same needs. I won. But I probably wasted as much time arguing with bureaucrats and writing angry letters as I would have wasted on the course, come to think of it.

    Not only is “work for the dole” actually an impediment to those who are genuinely seeking a job, as Steve points out, but even “skills training” can fall into that category. The answer, of course, is to see the unemployed and the poor as individuals with differing needs and have a range of solutions available – including a “do nothing and let them sort themselves out” option.

    Meanwhile, excuse this slightly off-topic diversion (but we are discussing the welfare state), you may wish to ponder this interview with Gerry Norman before making your next purchase from Harvey Norman. The highlight:

    “You could go out and give a million dollars to a charity tomorrow to help the homeless. You could argue that it is just wasted. They are not putting anything back into the community.

    “It might be a callous way of putting it but what are they doing? You are helping a whole heap of no-hopers to survive for no good reason. They are just a drag on the whole community.”

    However, like the point I’ve just made about the unemployed, let’s remember that business owners too are individuals and not go painting everyone with the same “red in tooth and claw” brush as Mr Harvey has chosen to paint himself.

  26. sunny 26

    Does anyone know how many of the National/ACT cabinet are mega rich? DonKey would be one obviously.. Steven ‘Rove’ Joyce, another… Carter? Others? Donkey is making a big deal about giving a part of his salary away (which certainly made Pill English’s eyes dart around wildly when the same suggestion was put to him, live, by Mark Sainsbury) Message to minders: work on Pill’s eyes. What they actually do with their squillions is less relevant than the degree to which they live totally different lives to the rest of us….

  27. monkey-boy 27

    Now you are talking sense. Are we turning a corner?

  28. Ben R 28

    “Lew
    November 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm
    Ben: I see what you’re saying, but I can’t quite see why you’d float such an argument unless you had a point to make, and I can’t quite see why you’d shy away from making that point when invited to clarify it unless you had reservations about it.

    So what ARE you actually arguing, Ben?”

    I was saying that the 6yr old cut off could have unintended consequences (although I don’t know if there is any research showing a correlation between WINZ benefits & birth rates. I think one of the rationales in the US for their welfare reform was to curb teen pregnancy, but I don’t think that happened).

    In terms of Perigo’s fairly crass comment & the idiocracy line, as I said above, it’s more complicated than that. In terms of the trend I referred to, which is that the more educated a person becomes the fewer children they tend to have, I think that’s been shown in many countries and applies across ethnicities. If people raised by smart parents tend to also do well academically, then if fewer of those people have children then in the long run you have fewer people able to go on and become engineers, physicians etc. (that is a very simplistic summary, and as I said above, as people learn more about epigenetics & genetics, the more complex the interplay between genes & environment seems to be. This is one reason why it’s hard to imagine human cloning working).

  29. Stephen 29

    There was still this though Rex:

    Earlier this year, Harvey Norman donated beds to a charity, Bridge Back to Life, that helps homeless men find rental accommodation.

    If he does that, while saying the other stuff…’meh!’

  30. Rex Widerstrom 30

    Stephen:

    Yes, and I did wonder if I’d be accused of lifting the quote I gave out of context. But consider this.

    Harvey Norman is a listed public company (on the ASX, not sure about the NZSE) which takes hard-nosed decisions about the commercial benefits of being seen as a good “corporate citizen”. As a result they make donations to charity. Good on ’em.

    Gerry Norman is a man with a personal wealth in the billions. He is not the company that bears his name and that of his former partner. He could, if he wished, make personal contributions and still have more wealth than most people could imagine.

    Yet he chooses not just to withhold his personal wealth but to start denigrating people who, perhaps, he sees as having some sort of moral claim on a small portion of it.

  31. Stephen 31

    Rex,

    Ah, I should’ve seen that distinction. Good point. There still appears to be room for giving on his part though, as it appears he simply doesn’t favour being the ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’. I would like to think that someone with that amount of money choses to give in a different way, say endowing university scholarships or funding museum refurbishments, as they aren’t ‘losing causes’ like the homeless because they ‘create real value’, I think.

  32. Rex Widerstrom 32

    The distinction was nicely blurred by the SMH journo and/or sub editors Stephen. They seemed to be going out of their way to ameliorate Harvey’s comments. Or they’re incompetent shills. Either way it’s understandable you missed it.

    I’ve never heard of Gerry Harvey supporting the less well off (amongst which I dont count grants to museums or art galleries, though I’ve never heard of him making those either, but would count scholarships). I could be wrong of course and he might be a self-effacing sort, though his remarks suggest otherwise.

    I suspect we’ll soon find out what he gives as he back-peddles away from a storm of outrage. Either that,or he’ll become the left’s new anti-capitalist poster boy 😀

  33. Stephen 33

    For every billionaire that doesn’t give, i’d say there are a dozen who do. Shit, Bill Gates more than pulls his weight.

    Would be interesting to see how this pans out in the ozzy media, but i’m not so interested that i’ll be looking – ah well maybe it’ll get big enough for Stuff to carry it.

  34. rave 34

    Oh for christ’s sake wake up.

    Charity is total shit. Charity returns to workers a tiny fraction of the wealth they generate for Gates and Co. These guys don’t earn profits, they exploit their bright techies and marketeers. So Gates keeps a few hundred starving children alive while he benefits from the system that created a history of poverty from slavery and wage slavery. Wow write home about it. Adopt an orphan. Make naughty poverty go away.

    Welfare doesnt trickle down it trickles up. The bosses’ welfare is 1000 times more than any trickle down on DPB etc. Falling for the bosses’ line on welfare means we all end up glorifying or attacking its meagre results for workers get victimised and overlook the huge trickle up worth today, globallly, trillions. Its called Keynomics.

    Same with crime. Look up people, not down. Home invasions are nothing to Afghan and Iraq invasions. Open your eyes, open your minds. Have a little mind invasion or mental storm.

  35. “the Right,.. seem to think that if you’re in a tough situation that’s your problem and that anyone claiming a benefit is just a bludger.”

    No, its when you are in a tough situation and you refuse to do anything to get yourself out of it and simultaneously demand other people give your the fruits of their labour all the while refusing tot own your own part in it in how you got to your own situation (and of course I get that sometimes people land in need through no fault of their own, but sometimes they don’t and lets be honest about that.)

  36. Ben R 36

    “So Gates keeps a few hundred starving children alive while he benefits from the system that created a history of poverty from slavery and wage slavery.”

    Rave, you seem to have a fairly utopian view of the past. Do you believe that poverty did not exist at some point in history? Do you believe that society was less violent and living standards were higher at some previous time in history.

    Please let me know when that was.

  37. rave 37

    Ben R

    No slavery existed before the capitalists reinvented it. Point was the capitalism came along and refined it for profit. Now we have a system that lives off wage slavery and its effects are obvious – rising global inequality and poverty, 28000 kids dying of preventable disease every day, and a collapsing finance sector bailed out by the ordinary people. Capitalism doesnt have the means to reverse these effects only worsen them.

    My point is that capitalism while it has created the possibility of great advances has outlived its usefulness and we should take its current crisis as a signal that it needs replacing. Instead of rewarding the rich for exploiting us we should be socialising the economy for the benefit of all.

    Does that give you a clear enough picture?

  38. higherstandard 38

    Rave I don’t know what fantasy land you live in

    “No slavery existed before the capitalists reinvented it. ”

    What ?

    Your suggestion of replacing our current system would be reasonable if your proposal wasn’t it’s replacement with communism which is frankly laughable – I suggest you read iprents post on the appeal of extremist parties like RAM to get a feel how the NZ public feels about these extreme politcal suggestions.

  39. Mr Shankly 39

    Rave surely you are writing in jest – I suggest you might want to take a trip back in time to pre european New Zealand.

    The biggest issue with the welfare state is it’s potential to create dependance – people need to feel and be rewarded for their own enterprise – otherwise we would all sit round and smoke dope and surf all day.

  40. RedLogix 40

    The biggest issue with the welfare state is it’s potential to create dependance – people need to feel and be rewarded for their own enterprise – otherwise we would all sit round and smoke dope and surf all day.

    Only a relative handful of genuine no-hopers (and hell they are fellow humans too) are really content to sit around and do nothing all day… especially on the few hundred a week that the dole is worth. Most people on benefits would love nothing better than to get off it and into a job that earned not only better cash, but some self-respect as well.

    The real problem they face is the so called poverty trap, the effect that by the time they pay tax, transport, child care and other sundry costs, plus lost opportunity to earn the odd cashie on the side… the nett difference in actual disposable income is not all that great. (It’s also worth noting in this context that a full time 40 hour week on the minimum wage is around $27,000 pa; yet this is not all that much lower than the median income in this country!!!)

  41. Mr Shankly 41

    If you include working for families and public servants – the welfare state is massive!

  42. Mr Shankly 42

    But RedLogix – if you are not rewarded would you start up a company, do overtime, extra shifts, invest, save or study?

  43. RedLogix 43

    I think you missed the point.

    Despite the fact that the effective differential between a benefit and a minimum wage income is not very high, that over the last five or so years when demand for labour has been exceedingly high… most people chose to work in a job rather than remain on a benefit. Even when their effective reward for doing so was not that great.

    Obviously people expect financial reward for their efforts; but human motivation has more layers and complexity than that. Work is a huge part of our identity, it is our badge of belonging to the world we live in, and a way of expressing part of who we are.

    In reality, even if one was paid quite well for it, most of us would quickly get sick of lying around doing nothing all day, or even doing some pastime we really enjoy. Many years ago I took a whole year off work to do what I love most… tramping. I spent the whole year in the Southern Alps, visiting as many valleys and ranges as I could. I had a great time and look back on that period with great nostalgia… but I also recall that in the last month I was getting sick of it. Sometimes it felt like I was trapped in a walking prison. In the end I couldn’t wait to get back home and back to work again.

    On the other hand I believe that some folk really could just surf forever. 🙂

  44. rave 44

    Higher Standard.

    Rave I don’t know what fantasy land you live in

    [the world where the bosses are being baled out by the wage-slaves]

    “No slavery existed before the capitalists reinvented it. ‘

    What ? [It should have read “No, …” it was a reply to an earlier comment.

    Your suggestion of replacing our current system would be reasonable if your proposal wasn’t it’s replacement with communism which is frankly laughable – I suggest you read iprents post on the appeal of extremist parties like RAM to get a feel how the NZ public feels about these extreme politcal suggestions.

    [Frankly laugh away. When this ‘system’ as Bush calls it, cannot be saved, what would you put in its place?The ‘extreme’ capitalism of Bush and Key where the few rich bastards get richer on the wealth created by the big majority? That’s extremism.
    What NZers think about this will change when they discover who’s being ripped off.
    What I call communism has nothing to do with the ex Soviet Union. I suggest you give your brain some work and widen your reading from iprent on tiny parties to Karl Marx on Wall Street.]

  45. marco 45

    We already have a work for the dole type service on Unemployment Benefit, its call JSS or Job Search Service.

    Under JSS everyone recieving Unemployment Benefit must sign and adhere to a Job Seeker Agreement. If they break that agreement then they do not recieve the benefit. It operates on a 3 strikes your out policy if you fail to meet your obligations first and second time you can complete an agreed task to have your benefit restarted. The third time is an automatic 13 week stand down.

    This is labours policy and it works because it does not allow people to stagnate on the dole.

    What is happening at the moment is Work and Income are finding that those on DPB, SB and IB want to work but lack the confidence or work skills to do so.

    The infrastructure is in place it was well built by the Labour government but Work and Income lack the teeth to get people to take the first step to independence. It has reduced most case managers to mere salesman.

    Nationals policy of getting DPB and SB recipients on, easy, confidence building courses will work for most but not all beneficiaries. The success of the policy will depend on the descretion the case manager has when dealing with clients and also how competant and well trained those case managers are.

  46. higherstandard 46

    OK then Rave

    Please enlighten us which state in the world at the moment or from the past do you propose we model ourselves on ?

  47. rave 47

    None HS, enlighten yourself and find your own model.

    How would you improve on a situation where the top 10% who control the banks and the big corporates have trashed millions of lives and now hold out their hand to those same millions to be rescued? Or is that OK with you?

    I would say that the problem arises because this wealthy, powerful elite expropriates the worlds resources, hoards them or wastes them, and threatens the existence of the planet.

    So it looks like the solution has to be one that replaces this system with a popular, democratically run system that conserves resources, equalises incomes and meets our basic needs.

    The welfare state is an attempt at a compromise but for every step towards equality, this elite manages to reverse the progress.

    What is your solution?

    Here’s a contribution that may get you thinking.

  48. Ag 48

    Welfare is not really charity. It’s just a tax we pay to prevent certain social problems, so that we have a society that most people actually want to live in.

    The work for the dole thing is a joke. We have structural unemployment because of the economic policies that our governments pursue. The idea that individuals are completely to blame for persistent unemployment other than in a few cases, is a pernicious lie, invented to shift blame on to the victims of state policy.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 hours ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    16 hours ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    16 hours ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    18 hours ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    22 hours ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    24 hours ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 day ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    3 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    5 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    7 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-06-14T21:31:43+00:00