Key out of touch on food & poverty

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, February 20th, 2011 - 64 comments
Categories: brand key, class war, food, john key, poverty - Tags:

“Hunger and malnutrition are stalking New Zealand families. Hundreds of thousands are just one shock – whether an illness, or a large bill – from not being able to afford basic food. This is not good enough in our land of plenty.

The Sunday Star Times has an excellent piece on food insecurity in New Zealand:

Back in 1997, the country’s first National Nutrition Survey found almost 30% of our households experienced a degree of food insecurity. Last year, a smaller research project pushed that figure up to 40%.

82% of low income households stated the variety of food they ate was “often” or “sometimes” limited by a lack of money.

That’s a huge number of families, about 600,000, on the knife edge. An accompanying graphic to the article shows the reasons for people turning to foodbanks. Most of them appear to be one-offs or sudden price increases – ‘shocks’ in economic terms. When you’re already on the edge, it doesn’t take much to push you over. And this never-ending recession has brought more and more families to the edge.

Latest figures from the Salvation Army showed a 16% increase in demand across its network of 48 foodbanks last year. Auckland City Mission gave out 7752 food parcels – up from 4500 the year before – with staff estimating that, if current trends hold, 9000 parcels will be distributed this year.

Wellington’s Downtown Community Ministry is also on track for an increase, giving out 1350 food parcels between June and December, compared to 2700 for the entirety of the last financial year.

In Christchurch – partly as a result of job losses post-earthquake – the City Mission distributed 13,140 food parcels – a whopping 52% increase on the year before.

Multi-millionaire John Key doesn’t empathise. When he so famously lived in a state house, his mother would have been getting a generous widow’s benefit and a family benefit for him. His was a middle-class family temporarily down on its luck but able to fall into the pre-Ruthansia social welfare net and it probably with good savings to boot. No fear of malnutrition for young John. No spectre of the shame of having to turn to the foodbank for Mrs Key.

To Key, as with the elite in general, poverty is a moral failing. This was reflected in Key’s comment about people needing to turn to foodbanks – “some make poor choices and they don’t have money left”.

Explaining why some are wealthy and some poor in moral terms justifies the wealth divide – ‘I’m rich because I’m a good person, and those people must be bad because they are poor. Therefore, it’s right that a good person like me prospers and the bad people don’t.’

But sensible people recognise that a level of poverty is built into our economic system (especially under neoliberalism) and it is accident of birth or luck that largely determines where one ends up. As Christchurch City Mission head Michael Gorman puts it:

I consider myself to be very lucky and maybe Mr Key thinks he is as well. I was born into a family who loved me. That’s a good start. They knew how to parent me and could afford that I got regular and good quality food. Because of this I went to school able to take advantage of what education had to offer. I got enough sleep and food so I was able to learn. I was encouraged to learn by my family. I then got qualifications that enabled me to get a job and not just any job, but one that was meaningful. I learnt some social skills and I was lucky enough to remain healthy in both mind and body. I did nothing to deserve such luck. I could have had a family who lacked the skills and knowledge to support me and who lacked the energy and resources to make any change.

“All my advantages allowed me to have a menu of choices. I could choose anything from the very good to the very bad.

“Without my advantages, my only choice may have been between the bad and the awful.”

Anthony Hubbard adds:

Key, moreover, is wide open to the charge that he’s a plutocrat. He is the richest prime minister we’ve ever had. He lives in a mansion and holidays in a luxury pad in Hawaii. He hasn’t been to a foodbank, and his opinions about the people who have, hold little weight. Of course some can’t budget. But most beneficiaries bob along with their heads just above water, and every now and then a big bill sinks them. That, typically, is when they go to the foodbank.

Turning to the politics of poverty and Key’s elitist sentiments, we see that he has made a big mistake in revealing his true face. As the Herald editorial puts it, his comments were “callous, injudiciously plain-spoken or both”.

Remember, the same day that Key was booting those in desperate need of food he was defending the new limos and having a dinner with Julia Gillard cooked by Steve Logan of the exclusive Logan Brown restaurant on the taxpayer’s dime.

He may think of those in poverty as a small, unseen group but actually there are 350,000 people on working age benefits, 500,000 on the pension, 100,000 on the minimum wage, and another 250,000 on near-minimum wages.  And that 1.2 million isn’t a static group. Roughly 100,000 people go on and off benefits each year, for example. So, we’re talking about a hell of a lot of people who have very recent or present experience with living on the edge, knowing that, no matter how well they budget, one bad event could force them to the foodbank.

The Herald editorial gets the political risk:

“Being chauffeured in $200,000 cars while people struggle to buy groceries is a bad look.

The same goes for the “poor choices” crack. We’ve all come across beneficiaries whose spending was questionable but the vast majority are trapped in a poverty cycle not of their making and the PM’s dismissive comment was that of a man seriously out of touch.

In making it plain that he won’t stay in politics if he loses the election, Key has displayed an insouciance that may be admirably forthright but is politically risky.

The face he showed to the country this week was that of a man who didn’t give a stuff what people thought. It may be one that his colleagues and National supporters hope he will not be revealing too often.”

In other words, the Right doesn’t have any solutions for those on the edge, and it doesn’t geninuely care about them. But it can recognise a political risk when it sees one. And Key’s honesty has badly undercut ‘Brand Key’, National’s only hope of getting re-elected.

64 comments on “Key out of touch on food & poverty”

  1. Deadly_NZ 1

    And even the Granny Herald is saying he is out of touch too. It looks like the MSM can’t ignore his ‘Who Cares’ attitude. Here is the link to the editorial.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10707472

  2. Tigger 2

    How long before we see pics of Key handing out food parcels and telling the recipients he’ll try harder (which will be all spin since he’s got no intention of helping the poor)?

  3. Sookie 3

    There is a distressing amount of mean-spiritedness in this country, which goes hand in hand with stupidity. Witness the disgraceful item on Campbell Live this week, where people were writing in to call the people in the line for the Free Food shop ‘fat, lazy, ciggie puffing dole bludging scum’. The irony is that most of the bogans sending these text or emails were one redundancy/accident/defaulted payment away from being in the exact same position as the Free Food folk, and yet they’re too dumb to think ‘there but for the grace of God’. The Nats rely on these kind of people to vote for them regardless of their arrogance and obvious sinister plans for NZ. It’s good to see the useless media finally having a go at the Nats, but I despair anyway.

    • Olwyn 3.1

      I don’t know whether I am allowed to do this, but I am copying a letter in full from the Campbell Live Website because it hits so many nails on the head in a single stroke:

      “The people who have a disparaging word for people getting free food….need to get out of their Ivory Tower. I am an American and I can say this is one time I am ashamed to know that Kiwi’s think this way about the less fortunate. I am in your “High” tax bracket…and I am barely getting by. I don’t think most kiwi’s understand the EXORBITANT prices you pay here for the necessities. Water, Electric, Food, and Rent are off the chart for the AVG. kiwi salary much less below that. I am sickened that the people who can afford their food would think people WANT to wait in line for a hand out rather than having a good paying job to buy on their own!!!! Your govt. TAXES water, food, electricity, and FOR GOD’S SAKE EVEN BABY FOOD!!!!!!!….this means you can’t even live as an ANIMAL without paying 15%…. All the anger should be directed at the govt. that holds you down while your being brutally assaulted by MetroWater, Mercury Energy, Fonterra, the fish industry and Foodtown/Countdown. What are our tax dollars doing when the Commerce dept DOES NOTHING FOR THE PEOPLE and for example the Telco Minister who can’t seem to find his own ass with both hands. Why take money from these depts. and do some REAL GOOD with it. I am glad that the rich like spitting on the poor here…it makes me feel like I am back in the US….you should be proud your just like the 250 mil. idiot Americans…..(sarcasm)”

      The first point is, why the hell do we do so little to protect the population from the rapaciousness of the corporations? We are in the free market sure, but other countries also in the free market seem to go further in this respect than we do, and we do have a commerce commission.

      The second is this notion of “living like an animal” – as far as the “haves” are concerned, any minor departure from the “living like an animal” model by the “have-nots” is treated as an outrage, especially when the “have-nots’ in question are beneficiaries, for whom the country is unable or unwilling to provide meaningful work.

      People tend to treat the excesses of the corporations as being as inevitable as weather, while turning viciously on the person a little lower on the food chain. Hence the relation between the haves and the have-nots grows increasingly analogous to domestic abuse.

      [lprent: I couldn’t see how to link to it either. The page link is http://www.3news.co.nz/NZ-unsympathetic-for-those-lining-up-for-Free-Store/tabid/817/articleID/198442/Default.aspx ]

  4. kultur 4

    The Challenge to the Left in my opinion – is to see that what we are now facing is an Emperor clearly without clothes (National and Act and the Right Wing in all its forms) … and the Left should be the child in the crowd that innocently cries out – “but he’s got no clothes on…”. To my mind its now undeniably the best opportunity ever for Labour and Left to go back to first principles. Principles that gave us one of the highest standards of living in the world – in a managed and interventionist economic / political system.

    Media commentators who lionise Key are all well paid $100K plus individuals – so they cant identify with the average person or family – The bureaucrats who cheerfully advise Government in Treasury and various Departments and of course the corporates who ’roundtable’ to advise the government – are all represented by persons on easily $100K plus per annum in income. God knows some of the exalted beings sitting in advisory offices to the Government are probably spotty faced and barely post pubescent – not old enough to remember the sacrifices made by people in political struggle and numerous Wars to make New Zealand into the fine Nation it once was.

    So tell me – how can these people determine our futures and make decisions about our lives – and more to the point – why do we let them.

    Some parts of the left seem (emphasis seem – not established in fact) too busy sniping away as commentators – being dreadfully and elegantly ‘pragmatic’ – even being lauded by some of the right wing as “the serious thinkers of the left”.

    The left may not actually BE left to be the LEFT (if you get my convoluted thinking) – if it doesnt decide THIS TIME to support and influence Labour and the next Government under Phil Goffs PMship by getting them voted in and given a clear message – “we want to be who we once were. No more neo liberal nasty uncaring rubbish”.

    Leave pragmatism and political expediency and downright shallowness to Key and his cronies. Let-em and make-em wither on the vine in the political wilderness for decades to come – sipping their beverages reminiscing with Roger Douglas about how they “rescued” the Hobbit and jacksons next corporate jet and South Canterbury Finances rich investor base – oh and also milked the sad situation of the Pike River Miners and Canterbury earthquake for all it was worth.

    Are we all going to be dumb again – or can we see that the “EMPEROR” is actually buck naked with nothing to offer New Zealand apart from another Fire Sale.

    Vote Labour – Vote for Phil Goff – dont lets be purists and pragmatists – this is our last chance to bury these monsters once and for all. I reckon this time its a life and death mortal struggle between right and left … and about bloody time i think

    • just saying 4.1

      Voting Labour would just endorse its centrist to-hell-with -the-poor position. It’s been held for a long time. Labour’s rhetoric may have changed a little as far as the poor are concerned – but that’s all. It’s still a choice of more or slightly less “austerity” for the poor, and “don’t worry, you don’t have to postpone your next overseas hols”for the comfortably-off and up, between Nat and Lab at the polls this year.

      • kultur 4.1.1

        Understood JS … i held the same opinion during the Clark Era – but i dont think we can afford to be too undecided this time. My sense is that we are on a precipice – and the Lefts job is to heavily lobby and influence Labour.

        Goff has the makings of a great PM – we all have NO future with NACT

        Its not just about the poor – its also about middle NZ who are fast moving to becoming the new poor – most of which is masked at present by the availability of Finance Companies, revolving credit facilities and Credit Cards. So what do we all do – be ‘pragmatic’ and just say well “they’re all the same” or do we decide to start with a Labour that is open to influence.

        I sense that Goff has what it takes – i also sense that his colleagues will get in behind him – they would have to be stupid not to sense growing public anger.

    • Marty G 4.2

      “and the Left should be the child in the crowd that innocently cries out – “but he’s got no clothes on…”.”

      yes – and this is something for each of us to be doing individually with our family, friends, co-workers. undermining Key, showing that the emperor is naked.

      we build the arguments and the evidence in forums like The Standard, but we’ve got to do the donkey work too. We can’t just say ‘up to you, Goffice’

      • We can’t just say ‘up to you, Goffice’

        Yes, I’ve got a bet on the favourite in the 6.30 and if it just wanders out the stall and starts eating grass and taking a crap while the other contenders thunder past it, I’ll be sure and run out on the track and carry the bloody thing across the finish line on my back rather than shooting it.

        [Okay, I take your point. But I trust you take mine].

    • johm 4.3

      Well said Olwyn and Kultur These privatization, neo-liberal wreckers must be seen off this election, otherwise we will become more and more a divided nation between the haves and have nots,no longer the decent New Zealand I once new.

      • Rosy 4.3.1

        If Goff can harness the energy and passion he had in his opening speech in parliament and transfer that to a public forum then lab will do ok. If he can’t then the left is in trouble. That speech was so powerful to me that as I’m reading through comments about him and whether he has the ability to win, I simply can’t get it out of my head. It gives me hope.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    NACT are building a NZ with the exact opposite of resilient communities and resilient families.

    Not sure what to do about the mean streak in the rump of NZ society, it seems to run deep and angry.

    • Sookie 5.1

      The same mean streak is what causes poor, humble Americans to vote Republican, and as a consequence make their own lives even more miserable and turn that country into an absolute basket case of poverty, corruption and bigotry. Personally I think cuddly liberals have got to stop assuming that human beings are good natured and rational. We aren’t.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Also the liberals have been rubbish about making their case – too often assuming that “facts” and “common sense” will win the day. Well, not against the Republican spin machine, and not against a fearful and undereducated working class.

        • lefty 5.1.1.1

          Colonial Viper, you hit the nail on the head with the word ‘fearful’. Sometimes the poor turn on each other, or appear to embrace right wing ideas, because they are fearful and because it seems their only chance of surviving themselves is to do what the rich and powerful want them to do.

          Right wing parties thrive by creating fear and distrust among the population and rewarding those who ape their bullying and ignorance. This can be observed in many workplaces, in fact it is probably the most common management tool in use these days.

          The response of the left should not be to lose faith in the vulnerable, but to open up the possibility of not having to live in fear, by offering egalitarian economic and social policies and confronting the bullies.

          The main difference between Labour and National since the 1980’s has been Nationals proactive use of fear to drive their agenda, a tactic Labour mainly resists, rather than any major difference in the actual free market capitalist agenda.

          Nevertheless it is far more pleasant to live in a country not beset by fear.

          This is the only reason I will probably end up having to vote Labour unless a left party emerges, but it’s not really enough to free the vulnerable from their fear.

  6. I have a gripe about Pak’n Save. First their ads about keeping prices down. This does not apply with dairy as everything dairy has risen sharply and the container/packet size has shrunk.

    It is not easy to shop for one at Pak’n Save either and this probably applies to every other super market but other super markets do not brag about keeping prices down.

    In the last month Bennicks cage free eggs have disappeared (retail was $2.19 for 6 eggs) and Dairymaid 1 L of milk (retail $1. 60) has disappeared. As well some meat specials, there are consistently no smaller packets on the shelf made up). Potatoes are too expensive for even a 5 kg bag and a 10 kg bag on special does not keep over the summer.

    I am sick of all the mush on the shelves full of salt, fat, sugar or additives. Some cheap healthy products are ruined, e.g. Graigs Mixed Bean Salad 650 mg of sodium per 100 g serving in a 425 g tin.

    Some other food ads on the TV like the Mainland cheese one raise my eyebrows as aging cheese is compared to aging a red wine, this is told to a 10 year old. The ingredients required for “Food in a Minute” for some dishes is also beyond what 50 % of families can afford.

    For me it has come down to going back to preparing food from basic ingredients in order to remain as healthy as I can afford. I refuse to pay for the filler crap.

    • kriswgtn 6.1

      Pak n save are just a bunch rip offs just like woolworths

      the basic food that we buy has gone up far more than my tax cut.

      luky in that i get home kill- or else i wouldnt be able to afford meat

      i wanna know why is beef and lamb that is produced here- cheaper in fukin Australia?

      • Treetop 6.1.1

        I heard that applications for gun liciences have gone up quite a bit. Has anyone who hunts noticed it being busier out there at the weekend? Are farmers stock being targeted more?

        • Kevin Welsh 6.1.1.1

          No Treetop, I think a lot of smart people are getting prepared.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            I met a few people like this recently. They were very serious about converting their ‘lifestyle blocks” – some of which were a sizeable 10-20 ha into fully self sufficient sustainable farmlets. And they were well on the way too.

            But from what I heard it takes a huge amount of time and effort per week to actually make it work. Yep its hard work.

      • M 6.1.2

        Kris

        ‘Pak n save are just a bunch rip offs just like woolworths’

        I live in your neck of the woods and Slack and Slave are worse than Woolworths I reckon. Every Monday I go to both supermarkets and do a specials check before I finalise my shopping list. To get by on the meat front I’ll buy a $5 or $6 rump steak pack and cut it half as it’s generally the cheaper steak but buying value packs of meat requires some juggling.

        I finally went to Mr Fresh today and bought some passion fruit @ $12.99/kg and they sell for $26.99/kg at P & S and got talking to a fella in Mr Fresh. He told me to go to the Saturday morning market near Copperfield and to check out the really good specials on things like potatoes: $5 for 10 kg and $10 for 20 kg. I know a couple of other sole parents so will be asking if they want to go halves. My modest garden will be expanded as finances permit and I’m pleased my lemon and feijoas trees are starting to take off well – must add a passionfruit vine.

        Food is just so damned expensive that even my RW comfortably-off friends have started gardens.

        It takes time to try and live more cheaply all right.

    • Marty G 6.2

      interesting what you say about products disappearing. I was in a pak n save in a poorer suburb recently and there were no quality cuts of meat – just stuff for casseroles etc, no steaks for eating as themselves. That suggested to me that the prices going up and the incomes going down meant there simply was no market for them at all in this supermarket’s catchment.

      • infused 6.2.1

        Or you went later in the day when there were none there (or the weekend). They don’t cut after a certain time, and they don’t cut on Sundays pretty sure. Pack n Save meat is always the freshest as well, since they have a butcher there. Most other supermarkets do not. It’s bought down from Auckland.

        Pack n Save here is fine. We cook most stuff from the basics and I’ve got no trouble finding it. Luckily I don’t use much dairy… 1l milk will last a week, block of cheese probably 3-4. One of the good things about bodybuilding I guess.

  7. kriswgtn 7

    Key isnt the only one out of touch or spewing hate filled bile against poor people
    read this

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/news/4680088/Red-faced-over-extremist-Facebook-entry

  8. joe90 8

    With Keys comments, the Nacts attitudes, the UK benefit changes and an Arizona state legislators plans to make all welfare debit cards bright orange the war on beneficiaries has gone global.

    First-term Rep. Jeff Dial said his goal is not to stigmatize those who qualify for the aid, formally known as the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Instead, Dial told Capitol Media Services he wants to prevent fraud.
    “If that does concern people that they have a bright orange card, I hope they go get a better education or better jobs and stop using that card,” he said.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    What the Conservatives Want

    The way to understand the conservative moral system is to consider a strict father family. The father is The Decider, the ultimate moral authority in the family. His authority must not be challenged. His job is to protect the family, to support the family (by winning competitions in the marketplace), and to teach his kids right from wrong by disciplining them physically when they do wrong. The use of force is necessary and required. Only then will children develop the internal discipline to become moral beings. And only with such discipline will they be able to prosper. And what of people who are not prosperous? They don’t have discipline, and without discipline they cannot be moral, so they deserve their poverty. The good people are hence the prosperous people. Helping others takes away their discipline, and hence makes them both unable to prosper on their own and function morally.

    The market itself is seen in this way. The slogan, “Let the market decide” assumes the market itself is The Decider.

    Sounds about right and certainly makes sense of what John Key actually said.

  10. Pete 10

    I did come across a really good cookbook (PDF) published by the Ministry of Social Development when I was hunting around for recipes online once. Interestingly it recommends two glasses of milk (or other dairy servings) a day for adults and three for kids. For a family of two adults and two children, that’s between $25 and $34 on milk each week, depending on where it’s bought – about 10% of the unemployment benefit for a married or de facto couple with kids.

  11. QoT 11

    We’ve all come across beneficiaries whose spending was questionable in our own imaginations

    Fixed it for them. But I guess even when putting the boot into JK for being a heartless thug they couldn’t resist a dogwhistle to talkbackland.

  12. Tanz 12

    I never thought that Key really cared. Why would a multi-millionaire give a real toss about the poor? He will never ever be in that position again himself, and is padded from any financial woes at all, for the end of his days. But what gall he has, and such a heartless lack of empathy. Is this the beginning of the political end for Key? It’s almost as though he wants to bow out, win or lose. He is becoming loose-lipped and glib, but at least we are getting some honesty, even if its mean-streaked. Bill Gates at least has done some real good with his vast fortune, gving vast amounts away to charity, rather than hoarding it, etc.

    I believe that Key has fulfulled his goal of being PM, it’s not everything he imagined, and he is either getting bored with ir, or feeling guilty about the time spent away from his family. Something has changed, and the media for once, is picking up on it. About time. I would love to see the back of the plasticated, hollow, insubstantial and very glib Mr Key. Talk about no real character or warmth. Hope he’s enjoying that whiskey in the back of his sparkling new Beamer…shame!. And how many people suffered so that he could make his vast fortune, anyway? Always wondered that. But I guess, he’s one of many self-seeking money traders, or was. I prefer Bill English for the fact that he does not have an endless pit of money, and that he does not sit in palatial glory in tree-lined, swank Parnell. Kind of revolting, really.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      “Bill Gates at least has done some real good with his vast fortune, gving vast amounts away to charity, rather than hoarding it, etc.”

      Bill has actually pledged to leave only a few million in inheritance for his children. The rest is being spent through his foundation. He himself doesn’t live a particularly extravagant lifestyle.

      • Tanz 12.1.1

        And good for him. Thanks for the info, A richie who gives it away, substantially. Quite unusual. (That few million will be nice for his grandchildren though…will make a world of difference for them)…sometimes it’s all about who you’re born to!

        • infused 12.1.1.1

          His TED videos are quite good.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.2

          Although a rather large amount of his “giveaways” are to US corporates, pharma companies and white upper middle class uni researchers. He seems to favour expensive, high tech interventions to help poor countries, a lot of the time.

  13. Uncle Helen 13

    The top 10% of tax payers pay a disproportionate 78% of the total income tax take. We’re over-taxed a staggering 68%.

    Pay for your own lifestyle choices or starve.

    Next.

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      Clearly you don’t understand the purpose of a government. I suggest you go live in Somalia and re-think your position on taxation as a means to fund governance.

    • r0b 13.2

      The top 10% of tax payers pay a disproportionate 78% of the total income tax take

      A dodgy argument based on who knows what statistical manipulation (see “if Working for Families and other benefits are taken into account”).

      The richest 10% in NZ pay 44 per cent of all personal income tax. They also own almost 50% of the wealth.

      So I guess by your mind-numblingly stupid reasoning they are under-taxed by 6%.

      Pay your share for what you take out of the commons or we all starve.

      Next.

      • neoleftie 13.2.1

        “The richest 10% in NZ pay 44 per cent of all personal income tax”
        That just shows how much disproportionately wealthy the top 10% are if the pay that much in tax and still laugh at the rest of us.
        I had a boss / owner who once gave a 5cents / hours increase to a very hard working employee and laugh when the guy took it, as he had a family to support. Same Boss use to call us his ‘slaves’. After that i put myself throught vasity as a mature student and now do ok but will never ever sell out to any Tory inspire dream.

    • Graham 13.3

      You are a moron Uncle Helen.
      If the minimum wage was raised to $20 and heaps of money was thrown at education (which would help people to upskill and make better life choices), then perhaps greedy w**kers like yourself, who are being obscenely overpaid for your (probably) unethical job, may have to settle for a smaller salary. Maybe if it is reduced enough you will not be paying so much tax. Would this make you happy? I’m sure the other 90% wouldn’t shed a tear.
      You are a leech on society and deserve to be taxed hard!

    • Colonial Viper 13.4

      The wealthy pay more because they have benefitted the most from a fair minded civil society with good infrastructure and an educated hard working workforce, and because they can afford to do so while still enjoying all the luxuries of life.

      • QoT 13.4.1

        Not to mention that by helping to ensure other people have a basic standard of living and aren’t driven to crime and/or revolution by poverty, deprivation and alienation from society, the rich ensure they stay wealthy and on top.

        • Colonial Viper 13.4.1.1

          There is this thing amongst some that having more and more is never enough. Its like a switch in the brain which is fused. So some of the very rich take things to the extreme limit of wealth and inequality – even though it risks widespread poverty, mass dissatisfaction and revolution. And, as you say, them losing their place on top.

          So you’re right, it doesn’t make sense from that point of view either.

  14. Afewknowthetruth 14

    We’ve only seen the start. The decline in oil extraction that will occur over coming years (now that we are post peak oil), in combination with climate instability and unravelling of the Ponzi monetary system will see food prices double and double again. And unemployment will burgeoon.

    We are witnessing the beginning of the end for economic arrangements that have prevailed for several centuries.

    Most people ‘just don’t get it’ and think that changing the puppets on the stage will change the script.

    • neoleftie 14.1

      Those of us that care and have taken the time to think do ‘get it’ – we just need meaningful change in the marco eco system – maybe a hybrid ‘third’ or ‘new’ way approach with a dash of post-kenysian.
      Me personally i wish speculative investment to be governed by the state, regulated and controlled as part of the economic system. ‘Ponzi’ speculation outside any regulatory laws simple causes to much uncertainty and fluctuations in the system

    • Colonial Viper 14.2

      I’m not seeing the investment in public transport and localised infrastructure that we need in order to maintain a decent post-peak oil standard of living. We also have to get off our addiction to private debt as much as anything else.

      And yes too many people still don’t get it, which limits what central Government can do or say (if they in fact wanted to). Its very concerning.

      • neoleftie 14.2.1

        hmmmm surely some private debt is ok like housing, the issue is where the borrowed orginated from – we dont save enought as a nation to balance out the flow of oversea money flooding due to the high interest rates, that is another story…

        • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1

          Yes some private debt will always be useful esp for a large item like housing. However, the level of debt taken on should make sense when compared to the rental income that the house could conceivably bring in, in order to avoid the generation of a speculative debt fuelled asset bubble.

          e.g. where a house bought for $200K can sell for $250K a year later just because a bank is willing to lend out a $250K mortgage to the new owner. And that same house sells for $300K another year later because the bank is willing to lend out a new $300K mortgage. And then it sells for $400K a year after that because a bank is willing to lend out a $400K mortgage, etc.

          This kind of asset price bubble would be stopped in its tracks if mortgage repayments on a house were required to be fully or mostly covered by the likely rental value of the house.

    • johm 14.3

      Hi afewknowthetruth. Yes The World is in dire economic and social straits. The U$ is collapsing. The Euro zone is moving to austerity.The Middle east is in social turmoil. Thailand has had its red shirts who will return. the optimism which came with year on year growth has gone. there is a sense we reached the end of the party: we have too many people to feed and employ, energy gets more and more expensive along with food ,wages are stagnant,the rich vs others divide gets wider,Climate Change is increasing:we have used up Planet Earth and have no where else to expand to. It has taken 10,000 years to get here with the agricultural revolution and then the fossil energy revolution,now we are heading down the backslope and we have no plan on how to cooperate and cope with the great transition now underway!

  15. dad4justice 15

    A yes a class war is needed. The struggling kiwi living in poverty should smack the greedy gummint socialist scum! Simple really. Johnny got lots of new BMW motors. FFS!

  16. gnomic 16

    How many times do I have to explain this? Shonkey is a cowardly amoral weasel (CAW). He can’t give an opinion on anything until he has heard what the focus groups think and had his briefing from CT. Near as I can tell he’s not even all that bright. And what’s that with the mincing? He needs help. Too bad he apparently answers some need in the psyche of the everidge NooZilluner. And that’s a scary thought.

    As for Bill Gates leading a modest lifestyle – you are having a laugh – er please tell me you are joshing? Maybe you should inspect the plans and specs for his principal residence, not to mention the lesser homes I feel sure he must enjoy without having looked into the matter. And how odd it is that much of his philanthropy seems to accrue some benefit to the corporation he once directed. I thought maybe you were saying he doesn’t even have a super yacht but two seconds searching the web brings up this: – http://bink.nu/news/bill-gates-orders-super-yacht-in-the-netherlands.aspx

    • Lanthanide 16.1

      I didn’t say he lived a modest life, I said doesn’t live a “particularly extravagant lifestyle”, which is quite different.

      His home is really quite large and a lot bigger and more flashy than I expected. But he’s lived in it since 1995, and I haven’t seen any indication that he owns additional houses after that (probably 1 holiday home is to be expected at least, though).

      • Bright Red 16.1.1

        two holiday homes – one up North of Auckland (at the end of the Holiday Highway) in Omaha on ‘Success Court’, the other in Hawaii. Plus an office in Auckland, an apartment in Wellington and an apartment in London.

        It’s about $10 million worth of real estate in NZ alone, apparently.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.2

        I didn’t say he lived a modest life, I said doesn’t live a “particularly extravagant lifestyle”, which is quite different.

        Lanth all you are pointing out is that people don’t need that much to live in luxury. Which is what pisses me off when guys like Key award themselves $1K p.w. tax cuts. To do what the frak exactly with?

        These kinds of people don’t know the meaning of “enough luxury”. Its always about “more, more, more”. The third European car, the second boat, the fourth house, another holiday to the Northern hemisphere. While NZ kids go hungry and their parents end up hugely distressed trying to find $100 to buy food for the week.

        And the Born to Rule are willing to frak the rest of us over to get what they want.

  17. randal 17

    so what time does the great punkin arrive with the goody bag?

  18. O2B 18

    The arrogance of Key and his contempt of the less well-off astounds me.

    How can he say that these desperate people going to food banks to feed their families make poor choices yet only yesterday he bailed out SCF investors to the tune of $1.7 billion? What about those poor choices? Not only did he gave them their money back after a poor choice in investment, but he paid them interest as well.

    The blatant double-standards of this government and its carpet-bagging leader will leave a stain on our society. Key is fast becoming our worst Prime Minister in living memory.

    Captcha: elections. Go the left in November!

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    12 hours ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    17 hours ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    21 hours ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    1 day ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    2 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    2 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    7 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    7 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

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