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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    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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