Is this our brighter future?

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, November 3rd, 2015 - 44 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class war, Economy, national, national/act government, paula bennett, same old national, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Key blighted future
A series of stories in this morning’s media suggests that the brighter future we were promised by National is only happening for the few.

Radio New Zealand has reported that the police are dealing with 100 mental health patients a day and the time required to deal with them is increasing.

The latest police annual report shows officers are dealing with three times as many people suffering from mental distress, and eight times as many people who are suicidal, as they were in the late 1990s.

This year alone police have handled 4300 repeat mental health calls and tens of thousands more one-off calls.

Callouts were taking an average of five-and-a-half hours to resolve. The previous year that figure was two-and-a-half hours.

And there was this report suggesting that the number of beneficiaries telling WINZ that they are being subject to domestic violence has increased by 50%.  Given that many beneficiaries would be afraid to acknowledge they were even in a relationship this figure is heartbreaking.

And every day I see more and more homeless on the streets and this occurs while the Minister figures out more and more innovative ways to bash the poor for political gain.

But it is not all doom and gloom for everyone.  The Australian banks are making record profits and I am sure that their shareholders are happy.

From stuff:

All four major Australian-owned banks have continued record runs of profitability, with a combined haul of $4.59 billion.

The staggering figure represents more than $1000 for every person in New Zealand, but an expert says the scale of the business justifies the rewards.

The expert is Massey banking expert David Tripe.  It is a shame the media did not go to someone suffering from mental health issues or someone in an abusive relationship or someone without a home for comment so that balance could be provided.

 

Despite government claims that the crime rate is reducing and the number of beneficiaries is decreasing you get the strong feeling that the gaps in the welfare safety net are widening and that the flow of money from the poor and the rich continues unabated.

Is this really our brighter future?

44 comments on “Is this our brighter future? ”

  1. Tracey 1

    I thought Ms King spoke very well this morning.

    I note the Banks?Media found someone to say that they don’t expect the banks to sustain that level of profits.

    Given the profit goes overseas and isn’t taxed here,w hat is the potential loss in tax revenue?

    • tracey 1.1

      28% company tax on declared profit.

      On 4,000,000,000 =

      $1,120,000,000

      but instead Australia gets that?

      • alwyn 1.1.1

        According to the Stuff article that was linked to in this post I see it says
        “The big banks have highlighted other ways they contribute to the economy, including paying about $1.5b of tax.”
        I would appear that the answer to your question “but instead Australia gets that?” would have to be NO. New Zealand gets it.
        Where did you get the idea that an Australian owned bank doesn’t have to pay tax on their profits from subsidiaries in New Zealand?

  2. maui 2

    🙁 I’m sure the police are doing their best, but police turning up with tasers and guns to deal with people acting out of character is not the right mix.

    • Tracey 2.1

      The people I heard and the things I have read have absolutely nOT blamed the police. They see the increased police invovlement as a side-effect of insufficient resourcing and support in other areas.

      We also need to consider that there is some evidence that mental illness underpins some domestic violence perpetrators too, so it behooves us to resource this area for a multitude of reasons.

      • maui 2.1.1

        Yeah funding may well be more of an issue now, but as far as I know has mental health support ever been properly funded?

        I would like the police to work with specialist psychiatric response teams that can help volatile patients, rather than have the police deal with those people, who will inevitably treat them as criminals first.

        • tracey 2.1.1.1

          According to King it was a priorty in health funding under the last Labour Government but was removed from the Priority list by this Government. I don’t know if that is accurate cos I haven’t checked her claims.

    • John Shears 2.2

      @Maui, So you think the Police should either say no it is not our problem and not attend such incidents or arrive in plain clothes with no protection and see what happens.
      You must be dreaming or is it the electric puha

      • maui 2.2.1

        No, I say above that its more suited to people who understand mental health to attend. Something like a psychiatric response team, if a certain name calls up with a history of mental health then they can be dispatched instead. Or even a pyschiatric nurse attached to the police unit that can be sent out if the callout matches certain criteria.

        The police are deaing with 100 mental health patients a day with I would imagine very little training in dealing with these people. Recipe for disaster.

  3. savenz 3

    Well Labour are not helping themselves by looking like they care if you read some disturbing comments from Nash about his view on what the most pressing issues are. According to him responding to criticism…

    no – that’s far left nutbags like Ure. Living under a rock. Be careful, occasionally the ground that a rock rests on collapses…

    (mentally ill homeless it that who he is referring too?)

    (I just wanted to once again confirm that there still exists a far-left fringe who are so divorced from political reality…. VOTERS???)

    You don’t pay my salary and I am not your servant. I am very proud to serve those Kiwis who are aspirational for the future and who love our country with the passion I do. If you think I represent your brand of whinging negativity, then you are sorely mistaken. Because I don’t and I never ever will.

    If Labour actually gives a damn maybe they should actually look at the messages they are giving out there to voters, because Nash should be censored for making this sort of public comment – even the Nats would probably censor their candidate for approach). King and others can do a great job, but if a selection of their MP’s are spouting this… it negates the positive work other Labour MP’s are doing.

    Basically a lot of voters a knocking their head against the wall on this one. They hate the Nats and their mythical ‘brighter future’ but does Labour MP’s Like Nash offer a ‘brighter future’ either for the majority of Kiwi’s?

    Labour MP’s can ignore or ask people to shut up about this issue or actually do something about it. There are people like me and others, who are trying to get a change in attitude to a past version of Labour that used to win elections. To do that Labour needs to be more in tune with the hopes and dreams of the average person who appear to be dismissed in Nash’ s rants as not being important to Labour.

    I personally do not think that Nash’s comments are electable for most people. He had luck to get into Napier no matter what he says, not ability and he still has not ever bothered to put forward a single policy that he thinks is important or respond to people who said they emailed him and are still waiting….

    • tracey 3.1

      It’s as though Mr nash agrees with Mr Key, anyone who disagrees is just a rent-a-mob or etremist or activist or conspiracy theorist and so doesn’t matter or represent any other kiwis?

    • Lara 3.2

      We need to let go of Labour.

      They’re not left. Haven’t been since 1984.

      Greens or Mana. Those are our choices. And pretty damn good ones I think.

  4. Mike the Savage One 4

    Yes, the “Brighter Future” has been created by National for the ones that they favour, for the upper middle class and upper class, and the Nats have worked hard to mellow the “centre” middle class, aspiring for better income and living standards, no matter whether those further below may also benefit or not. And apart from that it has endless been divide and rule, by bringing in more “diversification”, “self responsibility” and by playing off one social group against the other. But as we know you only need barely half the voter support to get away with all this. See the following for a bit of an overview over the last few years:

    Tax cuts favouring the better off:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1204/S00343/nationals-tax-cuts-at-heart-of-budget-crisis.htm
    “New figures from the Parliamentary Library show the National Government’s tax cuts to the top 10 percent of income earners are costing $700 million-$800 million a year while it pleads poverty and cuts services, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.”

    One of the first things the Nats did when getting into government was to abolish rules to stop junk food in schools:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/1392206/Schools-healthy-food-rule-scrapped
    Quote (Anne Tolley):
    “It was up to parents and students to make decisions about healthy food, Mrs Tolley said.
    “It’s not teachers’ responsibility to act as food police.” “If we want to start changing behaviour, that’s got to start happening at home.””

    Then they made deals with Hollywood studios, telling the unions to take a hike:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8353188/Hobbit-deal-laid-bare-in-emails
    “In a September 28, 2010 email to Chris Finlayson, the Minister for Culture and Heritage, Jackson said the union was ”jeopardizing the livelihood, not only of NZ actors, but also of crew, post-production workers, and industry support personnel – hundreds, if not thousands of jobs will be lost”.”

    There were also the bail-outs of corporate finance companies:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/4859373/A-history-of-bailouts
    “This morning’s $500 million taxpayer bailout of AMI comes amid revelations that the bill for failed South Canterbury Finance has jumped $300m, from $900m to $1.2 billion. It also comes hard on the heels of the collapse of another South Island insurer, Western Pacific, a Queenstown-based company with an estimated $30m exposure to the two Christchurch earthquakes. Taxpayers were forced to pick up the tab for South Canterbury after it collapsed into receivership in August last year.”

    National brought in legal aid reforms making it impossible for many to access justice, but that is another way also of silencing critics taking government to court:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3555045/Government-announces-legal-aid-reforms
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/10285613/Legal-aid-funding-limits-creating-justice-gap
    Quote: “Legal aid funding limits creating ‘justice gap’ ”
    “People’s right to a fair trial is being compromised by a crisis in the legal aid system, say lawyers and academics. University of Canterbury dean of law Chris Gallavin says the growing “justice gap” represents “the most significant challenge to the integrity of the justice system that New Zealand has ever faced”.

    During the past four years, a third of funding for court legal aid has been cut, dropping from $157 million in 2010 to $102m in 2014. Cost-saving changes included restricting legal aid to only those earning less than minimum wage, cutting preparation time for lawyers, and charging 8 per cent interest on legal aid debts.”

    Frances Joychild shared her concerns and experiences earlier this year:
    http://eveningreport.nz/2015/03/24/frances-joychild-qc-on-the-fading-star-of-the-rule-of-law/
    ‘Frances Joychild QC on the fading star of the Rule of Law’

    “Over the past three years I have wondered increasingly if I am in a nightmare and have woken in Charles Dickens England. On a daily basis I clear my email and phone messages or answer the phone to at least one person in dire and desperate need of legal assistance, often with an extraordinary legal problem and always having found no-one to help them.”

    We had numerous employment law changes taking rights away from workers:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9115487/Employment-law-changes-unfair
    “National secretary Richard Wagstaff said: “By giving employers more power the Government is setting up a more troubled and litigious industrial relations environment and workers will end up paying the price with lower wages.””

    “The bill tightens laws around striking. And it allows employers to opt out of collective bargaining if negotiations have stalled. It also gives the ability to opt out of multi-employer collective agreements and removes a “30-day rule” which automatically extends conditions of the collective to new workers for the first month.

    Also contentious are proposals to amend Part 6A, a provision that protects vulnerable workers, such as caterers, hospital porters or cleaners. The clause compels companies taking over contracts to employ existing employees. The new law will exempt firms with fewer than 20 workers.”

    Then we had partnership or charter schools brought in to “diversify” our education system:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/72809990/Education-Minister-overrules-ministrys-advice-on-charter-school-report
    “A report by consultancy firm, Martin Jenkins, was commissioned by the Government to look at whether three of the first five charter schools set up in 2014 were delivering anything new. The chair of the Partnership Schools Authorisation Board, Catherine Isaac, wrote to Education Minister Hekia Parata in November last year concerned that the board hadn’t been consulted about the report and recommended changes to the scope of it.”

    “But on March 18 Parata overruled the ministry and its intentions to supplement the independent report with information about student achievement.”

    Kiwisaver has been changed, so employers and the government now contribute less, and now the scheme is also being undermined by allowing savers to take out money for getting early starter homes by using savings for deposits:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4968780/KiwiSaver-changes-raise-fear
    “But Labour finance spokesman David Cunliffe said the Government had talked up the 2011 Budget as a boost to savings and investments. “Unfortunately for all Kiwis, the rhetoric doesn’t match reality.”

    National had already weakened incentives to save with KiwiSaver by cutting employer contributions from 4 per cent to 2 per cent and reducing the default contribution rate from 4 per cent to 2 per cent.

    “For National to have any credibility on savings, Mr English will have to announce other savings measures in Budget 2011, such as indexing savings tax for inflation or a lower rate of tax for savings income,” Mr Cunliffe said.”

    Then they bashed the poor beneficiaries, who were told to stop being too sick to work, and they even tell doctors now to send their patients back to work, even though they may still be sick or significantly disabled:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9037689/Doctors-told-to-prescribe-work-ethic
    ” Documents released under the Official Information Act reveal the development of the new work capacity assessment tool, including suggestions of rewarding doctors who get their patients off the benefit.

    The Government estimates 28,000 to 44,000 people will come off benefits by 2017 because of the reforms, saving up to $1.6 billion.

    In a speech at the Conference for General Practice last month, ministry principal health adviser David Bratt said that it was important GPs talk to their unemployed patients about working. This included asking people “what they wanted to do for the rest of their life”. ”

    As we learned recently this also affected those with terminal cancer:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/top/286914/jobseeker-benefit-for-cancer-patients-'ludicrous

    And the most recent move is to bring in social impact bonds for mentally ill:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/272400/voucher-system-sparks-fears-of-privatisation
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/275153/social-bond-system-to-target-mental-health

    There could be heaps more to present here, e.g. what the Nats did to continue neglecting the environment, what they did not want to do to address child poverty, income inequality and so much more. We know about payments to a Saudi sheep farmer, we know about the Sky City deals, we know about many half truths and lies told to the public, but as so much fades away again, Teflon Key gets away with almost anything, the shower urinating PM most seem to love so much. Welcome to the ‘Brighter Future’ for some, but not for many!

  5. Tanz 5

    The trouble is, all politicians are of the rich few. No one can fathom homlesseness without being homeless themselves. Kiwis are now competing with immigrants en masse for houses, jobs and education. NZ born Kiwis are being shunted aside. Foreign investors have been allowed to savage Auckland’s housing market for the young and for first time buyers and for anyone else without half a million already in the bank. The gap will ever grow. Low wages, low benefits, large salaries for those at the top. Does it ever end!! Such largesse…

  6. Mike the Savage One 6

    As the government seems to have a firm hold on providers, at least through holding the purse strings, we find little honest criticism of the state of mental health care in New Zealand. Do not bite the hand that feeds you seems to be the motto, same as for many working in the wider disability sector.

    And with Bill English expecting “more bang for bucks”, we can imagine what the real situation is in mental health care. From much anecdotal evidence I know how appallingly lacking much community mental health care is in Auckland, where it tends to be the bottom of the cliff ambulance kind of approach far too often. But at least here we have one article in the Otago Daily Times that reported on the true state of mental health service funding in NZ. There have been some improvements, but mental health is still the poor cousing in health care, it seems:

    ‘Plea for mental health lift’

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/318203/plea-mental-health-lift

    “More needs to be done to turn around the ”poor cousin” view many people hold about mental health, Prof Annette Beautrais says. ”

    “Mental health services were the ”poor cousin” of the health sector and ”under-resourced massively”, Prof Beautrais said earlier this week at the meeting, held in the Dunningham Suite at the Dunedin Central Library. ”

    And social workers and other service providers are also struggling to provide services, in a growing population, with fewer available resources (that is at least per capita):

    ‘Survey: “increasingly fragmented, under-resourced and over-worked community sector”‘

    https://nzfvc.org.nz/news/survey-increasingly-fragmented-under-resourced-and-over-worked-community-sector
    “311 organisations completed the survey, which found an “increasingly fragmented, under-resourced and over-worked community sector.”

    Of course the police are another bottom of the cliff service, ill equipped to deal with the fall-out of a failed, under resourced health system, that according to our government is so “great”.

  7. Bill 7

    About a week ago I read that NZ has the second highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD. Another article from stuff notes that reported suicides in NZ have hit a new high. Assuming patterns follow those of overseas, it seems to an issue for men more than it is for women. This article on the UK addresses the fact that about 3/4 of suicides are by men.

    There are other linked articles from the main Guardian one provided touching on the links between mental health, the lack of services, male culture, social expectations, economic pressure, suicide rates etc.

    • tracey 7.1

      Andthis plays into the report this morning about police having to dealw ith mental health issues in increasing numbers.

      We have to get serious about out mental health services in all their different forms, from schools to workplace support to welfare agencies. It is multi facetted and needs to be prioritised accordingly. As I posted the other day there is also some link between violence and underlying mental health issues.

      It mUST be in the top 3 priorities of any Government’s Health programme

      • savenz 7.1.1

        Government need to start caring a bit more about policy and welfare of children. Apparently traits like empathy and so forth are formed in the first 2 or 3 years of a babies/toddlers life.

        Plunket is not even run by the government. No wonder we have such high abuse. Government just pops up around 3 years old.

        And with Paula Rebstock trying to work out how the banks and other corporates can offshore more profits by investing in ‘social’ bonds and profiting even more off the tax payer and vulnerable people.

        Step 1, create vulnerable people.
        Step 2, create consultants to solve the problem by giving more money to corporates likes banks and Serco types.
        Step 3, give to banks and other corporates to solve the vulnerable people crisis.
        Step 4, make sure crisis is increasing to drive more profits.
        Step 5, under all circumstances blame the parents for not being able to care for their kids and try to drive more parents under by stopping benefits, removing state houses, increasing power and costs of daily living, just make sure wages are kept as low as possible, increase job insecurity and zero hour contracts, increase immigration to drive up costs of housing and lower wages for those with jobs, increase corporate welfare to create the above ‘jobs’ against high value jobs increases, (just cut those jobs).

        • savenz 7.1.1.1

          Forgot Step 6, Waste police time by them having to deal with people who should be helped by social services which has been decimated and broken. In addition have police doing political work like prosecuting Hager and Dotcom, rather than prosecuting real criminals who are raping, murdering, and so forth.

          i.e. Turn the police into side show.

    • maui 7.2

      It’s also worth noting that men are more likely to follow through than women. So the stats are probably skewed a bit. Might be something to do with men being generally more risk taking. A better measure would be to see what groups are most at risk at having suicidal thoughts.

      Generally as a society we don’t deal with this topic at all well. No one really likes their dark side exposed to the light. I think for the wider community to accept people with mental illness also means they have to accept that they might have some of the madness in themselves.

      • Bill 7.2.1

        erm – just an observation. But suicide isn’t necessarily down to mental illness. I don’t know if you meant to imply that with your comment, but it’s how it came across to me reading it.

  8. Mike the Savage One 8

    New Zealand shows up in various reports, some seem to be questionable “feel good reports” with little significance, e.g. one is conducted on “social ranking” or “social progress ranking”. Here is one of many conflicts we can find, when looking more closely at the real situation, and various conflicting reports:

    ‘Top social ranking for NZ not matched in health’, NZ Doctor magazine, 04 April 2014:

    http://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/news/2014/april-2014/04/top-social-ranking-for-nz-not-matched-in-health.aspx

    (try Google or Bing to search for that article if the link does not work)

    “However, among the 132 countries compared, it is ranked 28th for nutrition and basic health care and 35th for health and wellbeing.

    A relatively high death rate for women in childbirth and high obesity and suicide rates contributed to the health-related rankings.”

    “Otago University professor of health policy Robin Gauld says scorecards such as the Social Progress Index are based on a limited number of measures.”

    “For example, the index does not take into account research Professor Gauld published in 2011 showing New Zealand’s health system scored low on health equity (New Zealand Doctor, 27 July 2011).”

    “A World Health Organization report on health system performance in 2000 ranked New Zealand 36th.”

    That means there are many nations (I bet many in Europe) who seem to be doing a lot better in health care.

    Here is also an article on an OECD report, showing needs for improvement:

    ‘OECD report: NZ needs more housing for poor, less obesity’
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/69234769/OECD-report-NZ-needs-more-housing-for-poor-less-obesity

    “New Zealand needs more housing for the poor, and less fat on the hips of the average Kiwi, according to a report from the OECD.

    The country should also look at road tolls in the form of “congestion charging” to help fix traffic jams in the big cities.”

    “In its latest report on New Zealand, the OECD’s key recommendations included raising the supply of social housing for low income households. The government should also increase targeted housing subsidies for the poor not in local or central government provided housing.

    The government was taking steps to ease shortages of affordable and social housing but needed to go further to make significant headway in rolling back the large burden of housing costs on poor households in recent decades, the report says.”

    “The OECD also says New Zealand needs a “comprehensive” approach to reducing obesity, including personal actions, and factors that encourage exercise.

    “Obesity, cigarette smoking and poor access to health care have contributed to bad health outcomes for some groups,” the report says.

    The high levels of obesity and smoking were key risks for higher death rates among Maori, Pacific Islanders and the poor.”

    “While “well being is high” there was still a “considerable” income gap with the top half of the OECD.

    But bottlenecks in housing, city roads and other infrastructure, inequalities in living standards and rising environmental pressures all posed risks for sustaining growth, the report says.”

    I see repeated mention on need for better and more affordable housing, which is important for health, and that is where this government is failing badly. So there is no surprise then to see more homeless, which are often also mentally ill, who then come to the attention of the police, especially since Councils like in Auckland have in effect brought in measures to ban “aggressive” begging and so forth.

    Indeed for a fair few it is rather a “blighted future” than anything “bright” to be proud about. But thinks look great on the heights in Parnell, particularly on the poolside in St Stephens Ave, where our shower urinating PM entertains himself, his family and occasional guests, like gossip blogger Rachel Glucina, that “shining example” of successful “humanity” here in Auckland.

    • Rosemary McDonald 8.1

      Come on Mike The Savage One!

      Its not all doom and gloom because Our Leader and Those Who Would Rule are all over this mental health problem.

      They’ll just contract out the whole sorry lot of them to “community providers”, who will not only provide top notch care and support…but they’ll manage to make a profit out of it.

      http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/social-bonds-new-zealand-pilot/social-bonds-progress-date

      • tracey 8.1.1

        They’ve replaced contracting out by adbication… NGO’s who will keep doiong more and more on less and less. The oppositie to Serco who do less and less for more and more

        • Once was Tim 8.1.1.1

          It’s called ‘wrap-around’ services (/sarc)
          (They’re all desperate of course to be wrapped around with underfunded symbolic gestures – it makes Natzi pollies feel good)

      • Mike the Savage One 8.1.2

        At least some of these contracted services trialed already appear to have been an abject failure, despite of all boasting and promises by the likes of former Minister Paula “Beneshit” and present Social Security Minister Anne “Folley”:

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11514141

        “A full midpoint evaluation of the programmes, which began in September 2013 and will run until next June, has been delayed until later this year.”

        “”At the 12-month evaluation point in September 2014, the impact monitoring showed no detectable impact on off-benefit outcomes or earnings outcomes for the Mental Health Employment Service contracted trial compared to internal Work and Income services,” the report said.

        A 3 per cent lift in off-benefit outcomes for sole parents was noted, compared with a control group, but this was not statistically significant.”

        No wonder that MSD did not provide some crucial figures before, when responding rather selectively to an OIA request:
        https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/mental-health-and-sole-parent-employment-services-msd-withholds-o-i-a-information-that-may-prove-their-trials-a-failure/

        And another OIA response is well overdue (4 months since MSD confirming receipt), seeking an update on figures, so once again, the Ombudsman has found yet another complaint added to their work load. Smoke and mirrors, shrouds and blankets over the truth, that is what we get, all done to hide the truth from the public.

        Add the misinformation about supposed “evidence”, and it will all fall to pieces eventually, and who knows, they won’t tell us about any fatalities and other “collateral damage”, I bet:
        https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/msd-and-dr-david-bratt-present-misleading-evidence-claiming-worklessness-causes-poor-health/

        Meanwhile a Mr Tully is sitting in his cell, for alleged double murder, for 14 months now, not being given a trial that is more than overdue. So much for human rights in New Zealand, it is a disgrace what we have, but who cares, all that matters is a RWC win by the All Blacks, a victory parade through Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, a knighthood for Sir Richie, and a most important selection process for who will take over as coach from Steve Hansen.

        • Rosemary McDonald 8.1.2.1

          “At least some of these contracted services trialed already appear to have been an abject failure, despite of all boasting and promises by the likes of former Minister Paula “Beneshit” and present Social Security Minister Anne “Folley”:”

          I see, on the not too distant horizon, a time where we’ll see cars with two ‘security personnel’ cruising the streets ‘re directing’ the mentally ill back to their provider run social housing flat. These security personnel will ‘encourage’ the ‘clients’ to take their medications and and shit, shower and shave at the appropriate times and in the appropriate places.

          Security Personnel are cheaper per hour than trained mental health workers.

          http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/2470

          There could be real employment opportunities for those recently released from prison…with possibly the same result as happened here…

          http://i.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/canterbury/8712453/Abuse-claims-at-seriously-dysfunctional-care-home

          But…all will be well, because these are the people who rate low on the community’s concern radar…keep them out of sight.

  9. Murray Simmonds 9

    To add to the mess that this country is rapidly walking into:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201777156/business-commentator-rod-oram

    he was responding to an earlier report:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201777147/solar-energy-'biggest-challenge'-to-electricity-pricing-says-ea

    The gist of all this is that in order to protect their monopoly positions the electricity suppliers will have to continue hiking up charges to consumers as more and more people move off grid to invest in solar power.

    in short, an utterly disgusting protectionist racket that the electricity suppliers are running to look after themselves and their shareholders.

    Talk about corporate welfare serving corporate greed. This is really over the top.

    • tracey 9.1

      Stuart Nash has been working on a way to lower consumer electricty costs since July. he is aiming for $300 to $500 per year.

      • weka 9.1.1

        And if he weren’t such a power-mongering, silo-mentality arse he’d be working with other parties who are working on this too (eg the Greens).

      • Naki man 9.1.2

        “Stuart Nash has been working on a way to lower consumer electricty costs since July. he is aiming for $300 to $500 per year”

        If people really wanted to save $300 to $500 per year on electricity all they have to do is take Aunty Helens advise. Why wait for the government to fix your problems.

  10. someone 10

    “..the number of beneficiaries telling WINZ that they are being subject to domestic violence has increased by 50%. Given that many beneficiaries would be afraid to acknowledge they were even in a relationship this figure is heartbreaking.”

    DV occurs in many different living situtaions, not only in relationships in the nature of marriage.

    • arkie 10.1

      Here’s the WINZ Relationship Status checklist.

      Whether people are single or a couple affects eligibility for benefits and the payment rate.

      What we mean by being in a relationship
      When we look at what benefits you can get, we consider you to be in a relationship if you are:
      married
      in a civil union with someone of the same or opposite sex, or
      in a de facto relationship with someone of the same or opposite sex.

      There also needs to be a degree of companionship in which 2 people:
      are committed to each other for the foreseeable future, and
      are financially dependent on each other.

      To give you a better idea of what we mean by this, think about whether:
      you live together at the same address most of the time
      you live separately but stay overnight at each other’s place a few nights a week
      you share responsibilities, eg bringing up children (if any)
      you socialise and holiday together
      you share money, bank accounts or credit cards
      you share household bills.
      you have a sexual relationship
      people think of you as a couple
      you give each other emotional support and companionship
      your partner would be willing to support you financially if you couldn’t support yourself.

      If you’re unsure about whether we would consider you to be in a relationship, contact us

      What happens if you don’t tell us
      It’s against the law to not tell us if your relationship status has changed. This could result in you and your partner getting a fine, having a debt you both have to pay back, being prosecuted or imprisoned.

      • Mike the Savage One 10.1.1

        WINZ case manager: “Have you had sex?”, “How often have you had sexual activities?”, “How do you feel for each other?”, “Do you go shopping together, or do you shop for both of you?” …

        And the questions may go on, going further into the private sphere, I suppose.

        I mean, when they write or say: “If you’re unsure about whether we would consider you to be in a relationship, contact us” – it should be time they change the benefit system and pay individuals the same amounts, and abolish the couple rates, for defacto couples and whatever living arrangements there may be.

        And a universal basic income could save hundreds of millions of admin costs anyway, but that is not what they want to do, I suppose.

        • Sabine 10.1.1.1

          very funny story once a long time ago. My other half, unemployed at the time, needed to go to Winz, and I needed to come with him being his other half.
          So we went there, long story short, he could not get any benefits cause I literally earned a 1.25 before tax to much on a weekly base.
          So I asked the Lady, if he were single/divorced would he be getting some sort of help? Like any help? What so ever? And this silly women said :Why Yes, if he were single he would get all his benefits.

          So I stood there in the Ponsnobby Office of Winz, asked three people to come and bear Witness and loudly proclaimed :Hubby I divorce you.l I divorce You. I divorce You. – I almost shouted it, as I wanted to make sure that the Winz girl heard me. The faces in that office – priceless.

          The WINZ Girl looked at me like I was a raging banshee, but by then I guess I was, after weeks of not earning enough to pay all the bills and still feed us ,pretty much over it. She said you can’t do this, and I told her, I just did. He is all yours, no point him coming to my house without a benefit or help, as I can’t manage for both of us and keep a job. I was in tears, shaking and then I ran out.
          Silence…….half an hour later, dear Hubby came out of the office and told me that he got …..an accommodation benefit.

          So yes, like in the US, if hardship befalls you and your family, it is best to divorce, separate or otherwise interrupt your family circumstances to assure that the unemployed or sick partner gets the benefits that he/she has paid taxes for.

          • arkie 10.1.1.1.1

            IME it’s routine to lie about your relationship status to receive WINZ assistance, a young relation of mine was in the unfortunate situation of both her and her partner being out of work, when they individually sought the benefit she was told that due to the fact that she shared a room with her partner in her dive flat in WGTN that they would only receive one benefit to share.

            • Sabine 10.1.1.1.1.1

              yep, as I said, when in a relationship and unemployed it is best to ‘seperate’. Sadly this has been happening in the US for many many years now, that when a partner gets sick often the only way is to split and leave so that the sick partner can get medicaid.

              But hey, in NZ its all just to prevent abuse (even tho that both have paid taxes as individuals, and not as a couple) and you know, if they are good decent people they would not go on the benefit at all, but get a job, one of the many that is advertised on seek or somewhere (insert sarcasm tag).

              I would like to know if it is actually legal to refuse a benefit to someone in a relationship, as they have paid taxes as individuals and thus should be receiving benefits based on their tax contribution, not their love life. But then I am not a lawyer.

  11. Keith 11

    Classic National/Key, The “Brighter Future” that made it look just like that future was aimed at you and I never said everyone or even most people or even quite a few, rather probably the few!

    On the face of it the stats are truely impressive are they not? Whilst slashing tax for the upper earners and government budgets National have achieved massively lower (dare I say unbelievable) rates of reported crime on a axed police budget, ever decreasing beneficiares because, well, its ever harder to stay on one, less people on hospital waiting lists because you simply drop off after a certain time as if you never existed, a “surplus” based on creative accounting and on it goes. However the dodgy way in which they arrive at these miracle figures in such a systemic way is starting to come unstuck, just like any good Ponzi scheme does in the end!

    Queue more lies!

  12. Tiger Mountain 12

    expert, academic David Tripe, is a well known bank industry stooge, recall him saying Kiwibank would “never” get off the ground, heh

    First Union are dealing with members stressed to the max with being performance managed to sell ‘products’ to people who clearly cannot afford them, to keep their jobs, I talk to counter staff about a thumping great mortgage just to support them if I have time now and then

    Micky sure is correct about the beggars and the dazed and confused on the streets too, there has to be a tipping point soon

  13. Mike Bond 13

    At the best of time life is not easy. We do have a choice in life though and that is to see the good and positive in any situation, or look at the negatives and dwell on that. We are very quick to point out any negative stats and choose to ignore the positive. I strongly feel that we need a stronger opposition party to keep National honest. The current bunch at Labour, seems to be a hive of negativity and doom and gloom. It lost them the previous three elections and if they do not change the way they operate, we will have a National government for a long time to come. So did National give us a better and brighter future? Well depends on how you want to look at it. I for one have a great life and it is no thanks to National or Labour or any politician. You live within the law of the country and make a life for yourself. Hard work and perseverance has always paid off.

  14. Treetop 14

    The question why needs to be asked about the increase of domestic violence, inadequate mental health resources and gluttonous profit by banks?

    Who is the most affected also needs to be answered?

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