Jobless, Homeless, Clueless

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, August 17th, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: Economy, housing, jobs - Tags:

In the last seven days a triple-conjunction of political portents has publicly demonstrated just how bankrupt of imagination and policy this current government truly is. The lack of direction and paucity of creative ideas is breath-taking. A “caretaker-government” would be a polite euphemism in this context.

JOBLESS

Unemployment  rose 19,000 during the June quarter to 159,000 – a rise from 6% to 6.8%. There are over quarter of a million jobless Kiwis (the unemployed plus those who have given up actively looking for a job) and another 100,000 who want more hours than they can get. The effects of the Recession are still being felt, and is taking its toll amongst workers and their families.

Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett’s response?

”No-one wants to see a jump in unemployment. And I think that we have got to put it in perspective – where it’s 7.1 per cent in December last year and now it’s 6.8…We’d sort of see it as an evening out now.”

This government’s response thus far to our growing unemployment? That would be… the cycleway.

Total number employed under this project: a staggering… 70.

Instead of addressing this worsening situation, this government has spent tax dollars on a “working group”, led by former Commerce Commission head Paula Rebstock.

It’s conclusion? “Most people on a benefit have little or no focus on paid work, with a growing number “locked into” the system for years. ”  And, according to Ms Rebstock, “we have concluded the current benefit system ignores the importance of paid work to the well-being of New Zealanders,”

When in doubt; when there’s nowhere left to turn; and when embarrassed by lengthening dole queues – reset  National Government Default Setting #1: blame it  on the “dole bludging beneficiaries and solo-mums”.

In the last twenty years, National has found iself taking office during two full-blown recessions; 1990 and 2008. Their knee-jerk reaction on both occasions was/is attack the beneficiaries. (Most of us remember the cruelty of Ruth Richardson’s “Mother of all budgets”.) True to form, this government attacks those New Zealanders who – until a couple of years ago – were employed in enterprises from Kaitaia to Bluff; earning money to feed their families; and not foreseeing that, because of events in Wall Street, they would soon be losing their jobs. I struggle to understand how workers in New Zealand were able to effect the collapse of Lehmann Bros on September 15, 2008, thereby sparking the worst recession since the Depression of the 1930s. And by causing that Recession, destroying their own jobs in some Lemming-like pursuit of a dole-funded Nirvana.

The Rebstock report is not a re-analysis of how social welfare works in this country. Instead it is little more than a none-too-subtle attempt at blaming beneficiaries for this current government’s laziness and ineptitude in addressing increasing growing  numbers of unemployed.

Remember that prior to the Recession, our unemployment rate was a mere 3.9%. And while no one is blaming National for the Recession that nearly doubled that figure over two years – they are responsible for their abysmal response to it.

Remember: we  have 357,000 people who are looking for work.

This government is sitting on it’s collective, well-padded backside; on equally well-padded ministerial seats; fiddling with dubious reports whilst our economy burns to the ground.

Which brings us to…

HOMELESS

Yet another government quango, established by Housing Minister Phil  Heatley, has complained that “22,000, or 32 per cent of Housing New Zealand tenants, had been in the same state houses for at least 10 years.” They were evidently portrayed as taking up room – room required by just over 10,000 people on Housing NZ’s waiting lists;

Current Housing NZ waiting list:

As at 31 July 2010 there were 10,153 people on the waiting list. Of this:

* 334 were A priority (severe housing need)
* 4,160 were B priority (significant housing need)
* 3,093 were C priority (moderate housing need)
* 2,566 were D priority (lower level housing need)

Ten thousand-plus people on a waiting list. What does the government do? What policy does it embark on? The following is a multi-choice option:

A. Build more houses?

B. Criticise New Zealanders for daring to  live long-term in their homes?

It is with considerable unease that I note that  Housing Minister Phil Heatley (who has his accommodation paid for by the taxpayer) said, “We want to ensure this significant asset is utilised to the best effect. We also want the system to be fairer and to work better for those families most in need.”

This government’s idea of “fairness” seems predicated on the suggestion that one family is booted out, to allow another to take up residence.

By no stretch of the imagination can such a policy be even remotely seen as imaginative or creative. Or fair.

It is an undeniable fact that there are many families in dire need of decent, affordable, accommodation. But rather than evicting families, and uprooting them from their communities (which in itself would create even more dire social problems), it strikes me that this government has alternatives it has not bothered to consider…

CLUELESS

Fact #1: we have 255,000 jobless fellow New Zealanders, looking for work and a further 100,000 needing more work.

Fact #2: we require several thousand new NZ Housing units (commonly referred to as “homes”) for people in need.

Fact #3: the economic recovery has been uneven, and has mainly benefited exports such as dairying and unprocessed logs. The rest of the economy has not picked up – evidenced by the sharp rise in unemployment. Indeed, ANZ New Zealand chief executive officer Jenny Fagg said that “the New Zealand economy has stabilised in a number of areas although the recovery is somewhat uneven at this early stage. There are signs of a lift in business conditions although growth remains subdued.”

Taken in conjunction, the three facts above would seem to point to an obvious conclusion.  The answer is not to bash beneficiaries for daring to accept tax-payer support in feeding themselves and their families. The answer is not to evict families from their state homes. Nor is the answer to guilt-trip solo-mothers or those with disabilities who haven’t a hope in hell in competing with 159,000 other unemployed people to scramble for non-existent jobs.

The answer is to utilise the resources we have and by doing so, give people the opportunity to find work.

In case I need to spell it out to this clueless government: build more bloody houses!

The flow-on effects of a crash building-programme to build five thousand new state houses would create thousands of new jobs – not just 70. There would be a demand for architects; builders; electricians; plasterers; roofers; drainlayers; glaziers; tilers; apprentices; and other tradespeople;  raw materials purchased from building retailers; additional staff at each retail outlet; transport operators; increased demand from the timber industry, creating new jobs in forestry; and support businesses every step of the way. Each tradesperson; truckie; forestry worker would take home a wage. That wage would be spent at local supermarkets, which would then have to hire one or two extra staff-members as well as  purchase more stock. Even the companies that rent out jumbo-bins to cart away the detritus from building sites would find their turn-over increasing. Or the local pie-shop that would sell food to nearby building-sites.  That is what flow-on is.

The government would recoup much of the outlay for the building programme by way of GST, PAYE, ACC,  and provisional tax receipts; rent collected from the new homes; and less spent on unemployment benefits.

This is the sort of bold initiative we require from a  government with any claim to having a vision.

Instead, we are seeing a cruel bullying and calculated persecution of those at the bottom of the heap.

If this is the best that  National can offer us, then it is simply not good enough. We deserve better than a caretaker government.

Frank Macskasy

24 comments on “Jobless, Homeless, Clueless”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Right time, right place for Phil Goff: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4032012/2700-applicants-for-150-jobs

    “2700 applicants for 150 jobs

    When a new supermarket opened today in Auckland it created 150 new jobs, but that was a small comfort for the 2550 people who applied for jobs there and missed out.

    Labour leader Phil Goff arrived in Wellington mid-morning today because he had been opening a New World supermarket in his Mt Roskill electorate.

    The owner operator told Mr Goff 2700 people had applied for the 150 positions created in the new store.

    “I had to ask the question – where is John Key’s recovery for the ordinary people in my electorate?” “

  2. tc 2

    The evidence is growing like a nasty infection and can’t be fobbed off or ignored anymore.

    Especially with such personas as Holmes whining about soft demand for his Olive oils (aww diddums)/Armstrong getting tetchy with his idols and the shonky tax cuts for the rich/GST rise about to hammer home.

    On top of unecessary manufactured increases in ACC/power prices/ETS etc due to comical handling by the likes of Smith/Browncoal.

    Time for the big guns like Basher/Trolley/Crusher to save the day….haven’t they all been quiet lately.

  3. Bill 3

    In the last seven days a triple-conjunction of political portents has publicly demonstrated just how bankrupt of imagination and policy this current government truly is. The lack of direction and paucity of creative ideas is breath-taking. A “caretaker-government’ would be a polite euphemism in this context.

    This is true.

    But only from the perspective of an expectation that government initiates policies that are somehow connected to or concerned with the well being of society. But this government isn’t coming from that perspective. And it’s displayed ample imagination in areas connected to pulling the wool over our eyes and in transferring wealth from the poorer to the richer and also in running down state provisioning in order to introduce profit driven private provisioning.

    And from being highly critical and even caustic of the ‘no show’ Labour Party, I’m starting to wonder whether silence on their part was a deliberate strategy designed to deny this government the opportunity of appearing reasonable.

    If Labour suggest a policy, all National need do is echo it. And if National get to be perceived as reasonable in relation to Labour, ie not much different, then they will get back in on the back of policies that they don’t have to think about or actually give a toss about.

    And if that happens and they are able to keep on rolling out their pro-corporate, anti-society and anti-state policies, then those core policies will, over time have a deleterious effect on the ‘feel good’ – “Look how moderate we are!” – pesky policies they have initiated as mere echo responses in their bid to hold on to power.

    So maybe Labour should say little or nothing. Which means that the government will be saying and doing nothing and probably continuing quite high in the polls. Until the election period when labour starts saying a lot and the government has no time to construct ‘echo chamber’ popularity.

    And then there is the possibility that I’m just way over thinking matters.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.1

      Labour’s job is to champion causes it believes in. If it is too chicken to talk about equality, fairness and human rights they are failing in their job. When was the last time these issues were part of the public discourse?

      You can’t just believe people will somehow self-educate in these matters and suddenly see the light the day before the election. Instead of advocating and taking the flak, Labour are so scared of being called PC they simply run away and hide in the corner whilst talkback radio, Laws, Hide at all spew out their views.

  4. Rex Widerstrom 4

    Building more homes is an obvious (to everyone but the government) solution. But it will take time.

    And Heatley is right – there are people living in state houses who don’t need them. Either because the size of their families have shrunk over the years as children have left home, or because their circumstances have changed, they’re now earning a good income and they’re paying market rents.

    Given the 10,000 people in need it becomes a question of balancing conflicting needs and rights and I’d argue those on the waiting list have a need which outweighs the right to keep a home you no longer need.

    I’m not sure what the relative proportions of housing stock in NZ are, but I know that in WA there is a sizeable problem of mostly elderly people living in 3 or 4 bedroom homes as singles or couples while one bedroom apartments remain unfilled. They understandably don’t want to move because they’ve lived in the same home for perhaps decades, but meanwhile mothers with children are sleeping in cars and garages.

    Yes, there need to be a long term solution (building more houses). But while the situation remains that anyone doesn’t have a roof over their head, a pragmatic reallocation of resources might be harsh, but it’s also necessary.

    • bbfloyd 4.1

      rex.. have you seen any figures on the number of people living thus?
      there was a concerted campaign in the ninties by housing nz to weed out just that kind of tenant. added to the thousands of houses sold in that period(mostly older 3_4 bedroom). how many do you think were left in oversized homes after that?
      add to that the fact that market rents are charged. and yes i know there are subsidies, but when you apply for them you have to supply all relevant info. such as, how many bedrooms,how many family members are residing there, and whether they are earning enough to qualify for subsidy.
      after all that, how many can there really be? considering that hnz won’t hesitate to downsize their tenants the minute they can. this has been standard practice for a little while now.

    • Frank Macskasy 4.2

      “Yes, there need to be a long term solution (building more houses). But while the situation remains that anyone doesn’t have a roof over their head, a pragmatic reallocation of resources might be harsh, but it’s also necessary.”

      Being evicted from your home is somewhat more than just “harsh”, Rex. It is downright abhorrent.

      I think we have the resources; the nous; the determination to do something more positive than simply “a pragmatic reallocation of resources”.

      It might not be quite so “pragmatic” if it was you or a family member who were evicted from their home.

      • Rex Widerstrom 4.2.1

        I’ve been evicted before Frank, so I kow what it’s like. In fact I’m effectively being evicted as we speak, since my lease ends in a fortnight and the lanlords are moving in themselves. So I do appreciate what it’s like to be uprooted… but if I was being moved so that a mother and kids could move out of their car and into my home (as long as I was getting housed too) I’d do so happily.

  5. Tanz 5

    The camera loves him though, and he it, or maybe not. Superficial? Yep, he comes across as a little bit plastic.

  6. Great post Frank! I can’t say I’m surprised at National’s actions, or the lack of them. The problems go back to the 1990’s and the inane policies to sell off well over 10,000 housing units and the even more inane policy to let anybody who wanted to, rent state houses; that is the reason there are many people renting state houses who shouldn’t qualify – those who have sufficient income to rent privately. National cannot turn around change the rules mid game. Those on income related rents pay the same for three, two or one bedroom homes, units or flats. Many two bedroomed units were sold; these are the type that many older tenants with grown-up children could downsize to, if they were available.

    Yes, Labour would be well advised to keep quiet about the state of the nation.

    http://peter-petterson.blogspot.com DOWN BY THE HUTTRIVER

    PETER

    • Frank Macskasy 6.1

      Thanks, Peter.

      It is becoming more apparent that the Emporer has No Clothes – and this Guvmint Has No Policies. When the gst increase hits, the middle class is going to have a real shock. Especially when gst-liable imposts such as rates, ACC, and other government charges are affected.

      Interesting comments about state housing.

      Regarding the Jobless, and WINZ benefits, the “Dominion Post” recently published this letter from me…

      “Welfare Minister Paula Bennet has announced the support package for parents to provide a ”home for life” for a child in care. Foster parents will recieve various packages including $130 p/w to assist in costs to foster a child. She is quite enthusiastic about the programme, saying,

      ” ‘We have more than 5000 children in Child Youth and Family custody and every one of those kids deserves a secure home. ‘There are over 2000 foster carers currently, many of who may be able to offer a child permanency, this package supports them to do that.”

      This is a great idea. Anything that gets children into caring, loving, supportive homes is definitely the right step to take.

      But one thing niggles me…

      This government has hardly been supportive of solo-mothers and beneficiaries. In fact, Bennet has been vociferous in her condemnation of people on welfare,

      [“If we don’t do something in MSD you know in the best of times, and you know in the mid 2000s we saw still sort of quarter of a million New Zealanders reliant on welfare.” – editted out.]

      So why would anyone want to foster a child; becoming a recipient of a WINZ benefit; and become a target for bene-bashing ignoramuses and politicians???”

  7. Frank Macskasy 7

    We can add another 100 unemployed to the growing numbers…

    “Jobs to go at Education Ministry: union ”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/4045553/Jobs-to-go-at-ministry

  8. When will babies be taken off mothers after birth?

  9. Deborah Kean 9

    @Rex Widerstrom : “And Heatley is right there are people living in state houses who don’t need them. Either because the size of their families have shrunk over the years as children have left home, or because their circumstances have changed, they’re now earning a good income and they’re paying market rents.”
    I am in that position – sort of! I was ready to move out from the State house where I’d raised my son when he left home – and then the company I worked for went under and I lost my job. Now, I can’t afford to move out! I’d happily give this house over to a family, but I can’t afford to rent privately on a single UB.
    People on UB are automatically barred from working for the Public service, we unemployed were informed at a ‘job hunting’ seminar. That was actually good news, as it explained why every application I’d make to any government department was never even acknowledged. (How many unemployed people are aware of that, that every time they apply for a government job, the HR person checks their benefit status and bins their application?)
    Yet I would be a better call centre person at HCNZ than the dimwits I talk to because I live in an uninsulated hell hole that needs constant repair.
    Deb

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      People on UB are automatically barred from working for the Public service, we unemployed were informed at a ‘job hunting’ seminar. That was actually good news, as it explained why every application I’d make to any government department was never even acknowledged. (How many unemployed people are aware of that, that every time they apply for a government job, the HR person checks their benefit status and bins their application?)

      I’m pretty sure that would be discrimination and against the law. Is there any proof of that?

      • Vicky32 9.1.1

        Proof? No, inasmuch as she said to about 40 of us, but none of us, being ‘long-term unemployed’ would be considered credible witnesses…
        Apparently, if anyone applies to any government department for any job, the receiever of the application immediately enters their name into the WINZ site and checks their benefit history, then excludes them on that basis…
        I am sure it is discrimination – but as I have discovered by going to the HRC about another instance of clear and obvious discrimiation, the HRC actually has no powers, unless the person discriminated against is already employed. So if you want to discriminate whilst hiring, knock yourself out!
        Deb

    • What do you mean people on the Unemployed Benefit are automatically excluded from the Public Service? Who said so?

      • Vicky32 9.2.1

        A WINZ employee conducting a compulsory job seminar that I attended in June. She informed us of that fact and advised us not to waste our time applying…
        Deb

  10. Deborah Kean 10

    “A home for life” – does she mean that kids will be forcibly adopted away from solo mothers who can’t afford to care for them, and then given to the middle-class married foster carers? That’s sick!
    I read on another thread (sadly comments were closed or I’d have made one) the assertion that solo mothers on benefits neglect their kids so the kids become criminals. What utter rubbish! Michael Moore (the NZ former PM, not the American doco maker) showed that most solo mothers on DPB are not teen never-marrieds, but 30 something former-married, so taking children away from “bennies” and giving them for a adoption to the middle class foster carers is a solution to a non-existent problem.

  11. There is no crisis in welfare. The National government is delivering the same old crap it did in vast quantities back in the 90’s.

  12. Visit my blog and see how I feel about things.

  13. The Jobless Claims report from last week will likely be revised. 9 state governments were closed for the holiday, so the reports are not accurate. Don’t get your hopes up.

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  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    7 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    7 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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