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Justice for the family carer claimants

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, March 8th, 2018 - 28 comments
Categories: david clark, discrimination, national, same old national, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

This is a subject which needs way more space and words than I can offer.  But I thought I should make a few comments about a campaign for justice that has been going on for too long and which needs to be resolved.

I hope the Government acts quickly to finalise is the long standing case involving families wanting to be paid for the extended care they provide for their disabled children.

The legal principle is quite simple but very compelling.  Why should the state pay strangers to look after kids with disabilities but not family members who are doing the same work?  Isn’t that discrimination on the grounds of family status?  Isn’t that discriminating against parents who are completely dedicated to the needs of their children?

Litigation concerning the claim has taken a long time to resolve.  It originated in the Human Rights Commission, then went to the High Court and the Court of Appeal.  A disgraceful attempt by National to stymie the claim failed and the matter has continued to be litigated.  It is now at the crazy stage where health ministry Bureaucrats are making strange assumptions about how long it should take to wipe your kid’s bum.

Andrew Geddis, who deserves a knighthood (unless he is a republican) for his contribution to public discussion of New Zealand jurisprudence, has followed the various cases for many years.

And in his own gentle way he has castigated the last Government for its mean fisted constitutionally offensive attempts to deal with the issue.

Spare me as I am going to have to rely heavily on his elegant summary of the situation.

It started here:

So in 2010, some family caregivers went off to the Human Rights Tribunal and challenged the MoH’s policies on the grounds that these discriminated against them on the basis of their family status; which in turn breaches their rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, 1990. They won, but the Government appealed the matter to first the High Court, and then the Court of Appeal … where the family members won again. And so, finally, the Government caved and recognised it was going to have to come up with some policy that would deal with the problem.

So far so good.  Clearly paying strangers but not family members for providing care for their kids with disabilities discriminated against family members on the basis of their status.  You would think that National, supposedly a family supportive party, would agree.

But no.  Instead of working out a deal with the families National decided to severely limit the ability of family members from receiving what they could otherwise legitimately expect.

And not only were they going to stop it but they decided to smash the law change through Parliament under urgency.  Without the slightest hint of a select committee process.  Again from Geddis:

As announced in the budget, that policy takes two forms. First, the Government passed legislation that gives a statutory underpinning to the “family care policy” setting out who will (and who won’t) be paid. This statutory underpinning is in section 70C, and will say:

[When the law kicks in], neither the Crown nor a DHB may pay a person for any support services that are, whether before, on, or after that commencement, provided to a family member of the person unless the payment is permitted by an applicable family care policy …

With this statutory provision in place, the Government will work out with DHBs over time just who will be eligible to be paid (and how much) under the family care policy. At the moment, it looks like only those relatives caring for persons aged 18 or more will be … and spouses looking after each other won’t be. Furthermore, the payment rate looks to be at the level of the minimum wage, which is less than externally contracted carers would get.

So, it’s a policy with a lot of gaps in it (caring for your kids or your spouse still is unpaid labour), and even those family members whom it covers don’t get the same pay rate as strangers coming in to care for their loved ones.

Attorney General Chris Finlayson thought it breached the Bill of Rights.  He released a rather rambling opinion which talked about the need for the Government to manage its finances and implying that discrimination was acceptable if the Government was going to meet financial imperatives.  Finlayson eventually concluded that the provision was discriminatory which it clearly was.  In fact it institutionalized the discrimination. I wonder why it took Finlayson so long to conclude this.

Geddis’s conclusion that he thought National had just broken the constitution seems very appropriate.  Thankfully it did not stop the families who are still fighting for justice.

This background article by Kirsty Johnston in the Herald is a must read.  After reading it if you still think there is nothing wrong with what is happening there is something wrong with you.

From the article:

Families fighting a 20-year battle to be paid for caring for their disabled loved ones are calling for the government to repeal the law protecting a “discriminatory” care policy.

Legislation enabling the policy, which excludes spouses and parents with younger children from payment, and limits family carers to the minimum wage, was rushed through under urgency by former Health Minister Tony Ryall in 2013.

Outrage ensued not only at the policy, but at the part of the legislation that barred legal challenges by saying families could not take discrimination claims against it to court.

In its pre-election manifesto, Labour said it would repeal the legislation – Part 4A of the NZ Public Health and Disability Act 2000 – and that it would ensure all family caregivers could “provide and be paid for assessed care for their disabled adult family member”.

However, those subject to the policy are fearful that promise may have been forgotten.

Seven families, known as the King plaintiffs, are taking a High Court compensation case against the Government and say even if they are paid for past wrongs, that won’t fix present-day problems.

“It’s not about the money any more,” said tetraplegic Peter Ray, whose wife Rosemary McDonald cares for him unpaid because of a ban on paying spouses. “The system is broken, and that needs to be brought out in the open.”

Geddis has again written about the subject and this gave him a chance to review what had happened in Parliament in 2013.  From his article:

Surely now the government would create a new policy that paid family carers on the same basis as non-family carers. Anything else would be discriminatory, and thus unlawful.

But that is not what happened. Instead, in 2013 the government did something the Court of Appeal subsequently described as “traditionally regarded as being contrary to sound constitutional law and convention”. That statement represents a triumph of judicial understatement.

For, in but a single day, the government introduced into Parliament and had enacted into law Part 4A of the Public Health and Disabilities Act. This law effectively permitted it to pay family carers something, but then stopped them from going back before the courts to complain if the government did so in a discriminatory fashion.

Note this legislation did not expressly say that the government could pay family carers in a discriminatory way. Had it done so, the government would have faced immediate political criticism for its decision to treat these ordinary Kiwis in that way.

Instead, the government was able to portray the law as generously giving payments to family carers. It was only later, when the actual details of those payments became apparent, that it became clear how discriminatory they were.

Only certain family members could get paid for their caring work. And they would be paid the bare minimum wage, a far lower rate than non-family carers.

But as the legislation now stopped family carers from returning to the courts to challenge the new policy, the government effectively was able to ignore the law prohibiting it from acting in a discriminatory way. A legal right not to be discriminated against is worth very little if you have no way to enforce it.

And if your feelings of disgust have not already peaked then this recent Radio New Zealand article about the treatment of one of the claimants will surely achieve this.  From Catherine Hutton at Radio New Zealand:

Diane Moody, who’s 76, has cared for her severely disabled son Shane Chamberlain for most of his 51 years.

Mrs Moody rejected an offer to pay her for 17 hours a week at the minimum wage and took the Ministry of Health to court, seeking the maximum of 40 hours a week.

Last month, the Court of Appeal ordered health officials reassess her application.

In the revised offer, her paid hours would be 37 a week.

But Mrs Moody said the needs assessment on which the offer is based is flawed, and she will continue to fight for 40 paid hours a week because she cares for her son full-time.

Please MOH.  Stop haggling.  Just agree to the 40 hours.  And backdate it.

There are other problems.  As a cost saving measure the person suffering from the disability has to be the employer of their caregiver.  Good luck with the HR and tax implications of that.  And National not only put in place a discriminatory policy but the roll out did not reach even National’s modest goals.  Again from Hutton’s article:

When it was introduced in October 2013, the government estimated the scheme would cost $172 million a year, with 1600 people eligible to receive it. No new money was allocated to run it. Yet in November 2015, just 225 people were receiving Funded Family Care. Only 63 of the 215 were receiving the full 40 hours a week of funding.

It is time for National’s odious law to be repealed and a just and fair resolution reached with the family caregivers.  Nothing else would be right.  David Clark has asked for options for reforming.  He should make this a priority.

28 comments on “Justice for the family carer claimants”

  1. Antoine 1

    Well you guys are in! Just do it!!

    A.

    • BM 1.1

      Agreed, Christ, it’s like they don’t realise they’re the fucking government.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Years of inept leadership and constitutional outrages and you guys expect Labour to solve all the problems instantly.

        What do you think about the outrageous legislation that took away the rights of family carers to not be discriminated against?

        • Antoine 1.1.1.1

          That is bad legislation!

          A.

        • BM 1.1.1.2

          I haven’t been following it as I’m not or know anyone who’s affected by this legislation.

          But the fact remains you guys are in government, you’ve got the power to change this if you don’t like it or don’t consider it fair.

          David Clark has asked for options for reforming. He should make this a priority.

          To me that reads like Labours can kicking and in no hurry to change the legislation, why do you think that is MS?

          • You_Fool 1.1.1.2.1

            It sounds to me as though the Lab/NZF govt (with Green support) has inherited a shit-can of a system which is going to take a non-negligible amount of time, money and effort to fix and as such some prioritisation needs to take place.

            It sounds to me that MS disagrees with the priority given on this particular issue.

            It also sounds to me as though the particular legislation needs to be repealed before any solutions can be enacted legally, and if it is going to be taken away then it is best to have something to replace it, as before there was the current status there was a void in which no one knew what could be done.

            Maybe if the NAct government didn’t try to screw over ordinary NZers for the sake of a few pennies then we wouldn’t be in this position….

    • adam 1.2

      And when the Tories roll back into to town they will repeal it. That a good way to get things done.

      Just another example of why the right need to take a good long hard look at themselves. When your elected to government your to look after all the people – even those who voted against you.

      Not play king of the castle.

      And people wonder why I say the right has no morals. Simple stupid stuff like this.

      • Antoine 1.2.1

        Id actually be surprised if the next Nat govt rolled this one back. Why bother?

        A.

        • Molly 1.2.1.1

          “Why bother?”
          1. Because they don’t actually care about people who can’t provide them with a profit.
          2. They have the revenge impulse of toddlers.
          3. A large proportion of them have a viscious streak that is not tempered by humanity.

          • Antoine 1.2.1.1.1

            It doesn’t seem to me like the sort of thing you repeal. There’s no votes in repealing it, no ideology I can see and very little money. The idea of a revenge motive is just silly.

            A.

            • You_Fool 1.2.1.1.1.1

              They will repeal it because it will cost money, and that is money not going to them or their mates so it is bad* money…

              *in the mind of a RWNJ

            • mickysavage 1.2.1.1.1.2

              It is an appalling constitutional outrage. Isn’t that a good reason to repeal it?

          • patricia bremner 1.2.1.1.2

            But the previous Labour Government procrastinated and passed bad law as well. Rosemary has put up that information many times. The last National Government made things worse.
            At least this Minister is taking advice from all submitters.
            Of course there needs to be degrees of care, but full time care should be 7 times 16 hours at day rates plus 8 x7 at night rates for a completely reliant person/child through to 8 hours a day for assistance and supervisory care.

            It is not rocket science, and yes that would be greater than a normal wage for some, but those carers need to be able to pay for cleaning gardening and hiring special equipment or vehicles for transport to and from Drs/ Hospitals/Day care for carer respite.

            It is not a normal life. Having worked for 3 years in the field, I can say they are always under stress, and many marriages break up, leaving one doing everything. I so admire them. I so want them paid fairly for what they do.

            Strangers try to be kind, but every change of helper is a trauma on top of difficulties. So family are often best. IMO.

  2. adam 2

    Thanks for the post Mickey.

    I can’t see a solution for this, except maybe ripping out and firing all the bureaucrats in the health system. Then starting again.

    The removal of the obtuse, and nasty in officaldome might just be the break this needs.

    Odious laws aside, a real problem is the ministry of health bureaucrats, who have no or very little medical training, making medical decisions.

    Time to have a clean out.

  3. Rosemary McDonald 3

    Kirsty Johnston has produced a wonderful piece of work…the only reporter Peter and I would trust with our story.

    I am using an incredibly unstable internet connection so I will be brief.

    1. patricia bremner is correct…Labour dicked around this issue since late 2001…Ruth Dyson acknowledging in a speech that with the Gummint’s exemption from having to comply with NZBORA and the HRA expiring in early 2002 they had better be some work done on Government’s discriminatory practices toot sweet…and the family carers issue was the case in point she referred to.

    2002.

    The Longest Fight indeed.

    I see no hint that this government is going to give us justice…or more importantly ensure that the MOH disability support system is fit for purpose, safe, and respectful.

    2. Labour promised in their 2017 manifesto they would repealed the Part 4A amendment to the PHDAct. They need to get a move on.

    Also…they really, really need, in order to gain a little bit of credibility and integrity , to order the Ministry of Health to reveal the redacted sections of the Regulatory Impact Statement…this shiny little turd…http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/informationreleases/ris/pdfs/ris-moh-fcc-may13.pdf….right now. Please.

    We did ask the Minister for Open Government…Claire Curran…and she seems to think she can’t tell the Ministry of Health to do anything…tail wags dog.

    Ho hum.

    SSDD.

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    Also…the Ministry of Health is the most dysfunctional of government agencies and their Disability Support Services sets new standards on how not to provide supports for the nation’s most vulnerable.

    The very LAST thing that Clark…or any other elected official should do over this issue is consult with the Ministry of Health.

    Ryall ended up looking like a total tool after consulting with the MOH over this….

    • mickysavage 4.1

      When I read health had counteroffered 37 hours instead of offering 40 to that poor woman I did not know whether to laugh or cry.

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        Cripes take the money and run i would say. Why dither over 3 hours. Who can win against tight-arse bureaucracts with management degrees etc. They have to go by the book, which says ‘Never give a sucker an even break’.

        • mickysavage 4.1.1.1

          The offer was so petty. And the marginal cost of the negotiation is really excessive.

          • greywarshark 4.1.1.1.1

            True, but then in reverse an onlooker might say if they dismiss 37 hours because they want 40, they apparently don’t need the money at all, and are just trying to gouge out every penny they can. So neither side comes out of this situation with a good look.

            • Rosemary McDonald 4.1.1.1.1.1

              One of the parties in this particular bun fight greywarshark had to make a stand on principle.

              The Ministry of Health Disability Support Services have no principles…so Ms. Moody had to step up.

              • greywarshark

                I’m talking about being practical where there is less and less for all except the better off in this country and even the world. Why fret about a few percentages. Fairness is relative. Give yourselves a break and enjoy it when you get a decent offer I suggest, unless you are all becoming masochistic in which case you can only be happy while you are unhappy. Which sounds a sorry state to be in.

                Just to recap in 2016 in NZ –
                40% of the people had 3% of the wealth in the country.
                50% of the people had 47% of the wealth.
                10% of the people had 50% of the wealth.

                https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/307458/10-percent-richest-kiwis-own-60-percent-of-nz%27s-wealth

                https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/new-zealands-net-wealth-passes-1-5-trillion

                Google –
                New Zealand’s household wealth on the rise, but inequality high | Stuff .
                https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/new-zealands-household-wealth-on-the-rise-but-inequality-hi…
                Nov 28, 2017 – The annual report analysing global wealth shows New Zealand adult wealth grew by 11.4 per cent in the year to March 2017, and total household wealth by … But New Zealand’s wealth inequality is almost four times that of Australia; 18 per cent of New Zealanders have a net worth below US$10,000, …

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  “Give yourselves a break and enjoy it when you get a decent offer I suggest, unless you are all becoming masochistic in which case you can only be happy when you are unhappy.”

                  My initial reaction to this statement greywarshark was “WTF???”

                  Upon reflection, and after some thought, my question to you regarding that statement is what exactly do you mean???

                  Assuming you are relatively ignorant and uninformed about disability issues in general and the protracted argument about the payment of family carers in particular, might I suggest that you invest some time in researching the topic. Especially before accusing those of us making a much needed stand against the malignant Ministry of Health Disability Support Services of being masochistic.

                  I suggest you begin by seeing where families who experience long term disability sit in the deprivation indexes…if putting issues into an economic context is where you are comfortable.

                  • greywarshark

                    I suggest that when disabled get something owed to them and get treated fairly then get on and enjoy it. This originally started when I said why not accept payment for 37 hours and not hold out for 40?

  5. The Fairy Godmother 5

    There seems to be a long standing universally accepted value that the only work that counts is work that is paid. Marilyn Waring had some really good work on this. This means caring work we do for others outside our families is valued. What we do for our own family is not. This happens with the care of children as well where the state pays big money to childcare companies to care for their children where it could be better utilisled in some cases by families caring for children at home

  6. Delia 6

    This whole business has been so hurtful to my family who have a disabled member, I cannot even discuss it. I am so disgusted and Andrew Little should sort it out properly. Both Labour and National ensured families were not paid for caring for family members. The process is so demeaning and complicated most of us avoid it. I hope the miserable Labour party reads this, because they were no better under Clark.

  7. Venezia 7

    I agree with Adam & Rosemary. A total clean out of bureaucrats in the Ministry of Health would be a good start. And consulting with the expertise of Andrew Geddis, other Constitutional law experts, The Child Poverty Action Group, as well as the family carers of disabled people is the least they can do.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Maori voice to help shape tertiary education
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced the members of Te Taumata Aronui, a group to work with Government on tertiary education policy from a Māori community and employer perspective. “Te Taumata Aronui is an opportunity for Māori and the Crown to work more closely on changes to the tertiary education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    34 mins ago
  • Courthouse redesign a model for the future
    The Government will invest $100 million on a new courthouse in Tauranga which will be a model for future courthouse design for New Zealand, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. The courthouse will be designed in partnership with iwi, the local community, the judiciary, the legal profession, court staff and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government enables early access to 5G spectrum
    The Government has given the go ahead to enable further development of 5G networks by making appropriate spectrum available. The Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has confirmed Cabinet approval for the allocation of short-term rights to an unused portion of 3.5 GHz spectrum. 3.5GHz is the first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
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