Key: poverty is your fault

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, February 17th, 2011 - 123 comments
Categories: class war, john key, scoundrels - Tags:

John Key says if you’re having trouble getting by on your income it’s due to your ‘lifestyle choices‘. Key has given himself at least $23,000 in tax cuts and had a $7,500 rise on our borrowed money. He has the worst economic record of any PM in 80 years: 86,000 more jobless Kiwis and falling incomes. And this bastard blames Kiwi families for their poverty.

I was going to do this as a satire. But I’m too fucken furious at the bastard.

PS. As one of our commenters put it, is buying your kids milk rather than the cheaper coca cola one of those ‘poor budgeting’ choices Key is talking about?

123 comments on “Key: poverty is your fault”

  1. Breathtakingly out of touch.

  2. Carol 2

    It was an appalling answer to a question by Key. I shouted at Key in anger… well I guess I actually shouted at the TV. The neighbours must have been worried about my health or sanity.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Ideally your neighbours would also be swearing at Key.

    • gobsmacked 2.2

      I shouted at Key, and then I shouted at the useless opposition, who just ignored his answer. Seriously – read the full exchange here:

      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/b/4/a/49HansQ_20110216_00000004-4-Vulnerable-Citizens-Number.htm

      This happens all the time. Key tells a porkie or makes a howler, and Labour just carry on with their prepared questions, unable to think on their feet.

      Then around 24 hours later, when everybody else has blogged and tweeted and ranted, they finally catch on, and put out a press release or post something on Red Alert. Big deal.

      It is deeply frustrating, and easy to fix – but only if they recognize the problem. There’s little sign that they do. So … nothing changes, and Key gets away with it again and again. It does my head in.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        You’re frakin on the money. Aren’t there any LAB attack dog MP’s who can scent blood. For gawds sakes!

        As campaign training all Labour MP’s must watch a full season of “Who’s Line is it Anyway!” :mrgreen:

        • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1

          I watched lots of whose line, but it hasn’t improved my witty repartee at all.

          • Vicky32 2.2.1.1.1

            It deffo wouldn’t if you watched the American version! They couldn’t find the **** with both hands, without script directions…
            Deb

            • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Actually the later seasons after Drew Carrey lightened up were a lot better. They also had some unique games like ‘3 headed broadway star’ where they would sing 1 word each in a song, some of those were exceptionally good.

              But yeah, mostly watched the english ones. Note that the first season of the english version wasn’t much better than the american.

        • M 2.2.1.2

          ‘As campaign training all Labour MP’s must watch a full season of “Who’s Line is it Anyway!” ‘

          Absolutely CV, those guys were the ultimate, Wayne in particular – his Prince take-off with Undharma the contortionist will always be my favourite – wonder if he’d be a gun for hire?

          Like Eddie, shitty smearing of people in very dire straits makes my blood boil too and I wonder what the hell is that old pit bull Mallard doing? He doesn’t seems to have trouble using his fists but could it be that he’s been to the political bs rebuttal vet for his neutering as he seems these days to be a mealy mouthed cipher. FFS’s sake Mallard press gang your political cojones into action!

          Anti-spam: knock, leave the battlers alone Key, you spiteful arsehole.

          • mcflock 2.2.1.2.1

            Actually, making the labour caucus do theatresports regularly might be a good idea. Thinking on your feet and dramatically changing direction are learned like any other skill.

            Having members do set roles, rather than sticking to the playbook, might be useful, too – one asks the question, then a point of order from the “bad cop” who drives the point home might be interesting.

            I think people are beginning to sense blue blood in the water – the trick is to hunt as a pack and to be prepared for the chase.

            • gobsmacked 2.2.1.2.1.1

              All they need to do is stand back and hand Key the shovel.

              1) Listen to what he says

              2) Then immediately ask, “Does he stand by his previous answer?”

              Then Key will dig deeper, or try and get out. Either way, he looks bad.

              But Labour MPs probably don’t even hear Key’s answers. They’re too busy making lots of noise, a tactic which no doubt makes them feel good, and in two long years, has not won them a single vote.

  3. MBG 3

    The poor have no choice but to make ‘poor’ choices. Don’t have enough money to make ‘rich’ choices.

  4. Rob 4

    Ironically a Court of Appeal decision came out yesterday confirming that disability support workers should be paid the minimum wage for overnight shifts.

    So guess what John? Your Govt continue to ignore sorting out this issue and my wife earns $34 for an overnight shift, and then have the arrogance to say we can’t get by because of lifestyle choices?

    November can’t come soon enough.

  5. Olwyn 5

    It is hard to tell how successful the old strategy of inciting hatred between those barely keeping their heads above water and those who are drowning will be this time around, but the left ought to be able to drive a truck through the gap between Key’s nice-guy persona and his callous indifference to the plight of the un-rich.

    • patriot_nz 5.1

      I don’t think it will work this time. I think he may be lucky to avoid being lynched. Really, really bad calculation on his part. He and his team must have missed the signs of the rage and anger building out there. If the comments section of the NZ Herald is anything to go by he just poured petrol on a tinder box full of repressed fury and then lit a match,

  6. Wyndham 6

    It’s the old political trick of blaming the victims for their plight.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Same scenario with how victims of sexual assault are viewed in some quarters: *of course* they chose to be drunk slappers and dressed like hoe’s so that’s what they deserve.

      • M 6.1.1

        Yes, that tired old chestnut – it’s her job to control his lust, when the truth is that men who act like this obviously would never have enough charm or attractive qualities to make a woman desitre them in the biblical way.

    • Deadly_NZ 6.2

      Then maybe we should all go to the police station and lay charges against JK and BE for theft and economic sabotage, just to give them something else to think about and the papers something else to report. And dont say the Police are too busy because this is not a traffic problem.

  7. Rharn 7

    Words fail.

  8. On the back of the BMW fiasco, this would be a great opportunity for Labour to really get stuck in to Key… pointed and vociferous condemnations not just from Goff, but a coordinated volley from a range of Labour MPs.

    Think this golden opportunity will be capitalised on by Labour?
    Yeah right….

    • kriswgtn 8.1

      Whenever I watch Parliament TV- Key is nowhere to b seen

      Is he ever there?

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        He was there yesterday. That’s how this thread came about. He really did stand up in parliament and say that poverty was a lifestyle choice.

        • pollywog 8.1.1.1

          I said something similar a couple of weeks ago, though i meant for some, ‘being poor’ is a lifestyle choice and a bloody good one too

          poverty as an option is not so good a choice and not one that’s usually made by lifestylers.

          usually it’s one made for them by others

        • kriswgtn 8.1.1.2

          oh must have missed it-Power was answering questions for Keyand to the fat cake sloth ( who prob was @ Bellamy’s eating (piggy noises) and not keeping his cool very well hahahahah.
          I watch p tv during the ads on the other channels.just whenever i do watch it hes never there

  9. r0b 9

    Comments in The Herald feedback make for interesting reading:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10706807

    • Jilly Bee 9.1

      I had a quick look through the comments in the Herald – interesting that the people who say they are struggling on the benefit put a fairly detailed budget, whereas those who ‘said’ they had been or are still on a benefit and were doing quite nicely thank you were very vague about their spending.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    An extract from the article:

    “Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left.”

    Absolutely accurate. Problem is, for some people, it doesn’t matter how much money taxpayers give them, they’ll just end up making bigger poor choices and still have no money left. Seems the answer is to teach people to make better choices, not necessarily give more money.

    • marsman 10.1

      Know any of those people who ‘make poor choices’ ?

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        Yes.

        • Bright Red 10.1.1.1

          better question: do you think that all people who need to use foodbanks are in that situation because they made bad choices, like Key says.

          Simply asking ‘do you know of one’ is not good enough. There’s always going to be one bad egg, real or imagined, that people like ts can use to damn everyone.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.1.1

            I don’t think it applies to everyone.

            However, I do think the root of much poverty is ultimately bad choices. Look at it another way, I have a friend who is a multi millionaire who still drives the Datsun 120Y he brought new in 1974. This typifies his lifestyle. The type of choices he made to get rich are still part of his life.

            On the other hand, people who are poor due to an inability to make good choices are likely to continue making bad choices no matter how much money they have. For instance, young people who reproduce when they don’t have the skills to raise a family. Or people who leave school without qualifications.

            Therefore, the answer is to teach these people to make good choices so they can start moving towards prosperity. When they have learnt how to make good choices, the state can invest in their futures. Until then, it is tipping money down the toilet.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1.1

              FFS ts, people make bad choices all the time – choices which hurt them (eg voting in National), but society has to recognise that we also give people a range of shit choices and then expect them to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

              Not good enough, as a society we have to improve what we offer our citizens, and improve how we help guide people towards better choices.

              Therefore, the answer is to teach these people to make good choices so they can start moving towards prosperity. When they have learnt how to make good choices, the state can invest in their futures.

              And before then, what? Let our citizens rot?

              Until then, it is tipping money down the toilet.

              Sorry mate, I didn’t see that you’d actually answered my question already. Thanks for your clarity.

              And what is the state going to do to help “teach these people to make good choices”? Cut down on ECE and close down night classes? National Govt hypocrite.

              For instance, young people who reproduce when they don’t have the skills to raise a family.

              Yeah you mean those with parenting skills like Paul Holmes and Hine Elder? Guess what its not your call to make or judge other peoples’ families, loser.

              • tsmithfield

                But there are fundamental choices available to all NZrs that are freely available and certainly aren’t shit choices. For instance, the right to an education. So what you say doesn’t follow.

                There are many individuals who, through no fault of their own, are almost programmed to make bad choices. For instance, a 10 year old in Christchurch several years ago, who had been arrested for the umpteenth time that year converting cars. Turns out his brothers (both in jail at the time) had been teaching him to break into houses etc from the age of four. I felt sorry for this boy, because, he really knew nothing else. He wasn’t even aware that better choices were available to him.
                Intervening in these types of situations and teaching these people how to make good choices is what we need to be doing.

                BTW, I never said that poor parenting was only the domain of the poor. I know very good poor parents, and very poor rich parents.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Intervening in these types of situations and teaching these people how to make good choices is what we need to be doing.

                  Good words but where was the Government help then ts? The special educational and social interventions, the night classes, the extra help with ECE? What is National doing to address the points you raise?

                  What I say doesn’t follow in your opinion, only because you don’t want to go where the trail leads. You talk about teaching people to make better decisions, what is the National Goverment’s responsibility there (apart from closing down classes and making university and ECE more expensive)?

                  Like I said: hypocrite.

                  fundamental choices available to all NZrs that are freely available

                  I just picked up on this line you used.

                  You really are full of it today. $5K p.a. to get through some mediocre bullshit course at uni, or an extra $25 pw to get access to ECE = “freely available”

                  You rewriting the dictionary or what.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “The special educational and social interventions, the night classes, the extra help with ECE? What is National doing to address the points you raise?”

                    If people are motivated enough they will find a way to enter into what ever field of tertiary education that interests them. So, I am not too worried about funding at this end. Where I think a lot more resources need to be directed is towards families of young children. This is because those young years are so formative to eventual outcomes.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If people are motivated enough they will find a way to enter into what ever field of tertiary education that interests them.

                      Even the titanic survivors deserved a lifeboat without having to swim a mile for it mate.

                      NZ doesn’t have to be a jungle where only the fittest few survive.

                    • tsmithfield

                      It would be wonderful if we had an infinite money supply to fund everything we want. Unfortunately we don’t. I would rather see more at the bottom than at the top. At the moment I think the pyramid is the wrong way up.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It would be wonderful if we had an infinite money supply to fund everything we want. Unfortunately we don’t.

                      What do they say in budgeting classes? Prioritise!

                      John Key Minister in charge of Ministerial Services says 7-series BMWs come first.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Yeah yeah yeah. Just like the previous government that did the same thing.

                      There is undoubtably huge amounts of wasted expenditure in the public service that can be trimmed. The cars are just a headline example of this. Money trimmed in the public service could be funneled back into early intervention, don’t you think.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You just have to watch that this “trimming” ends up cutting fat, not muscle. Who’s going to be left to deliver and monitor these interventions, otherwise?

                      (I should note that S&P rates our public service as amongst the leanest and meanest in the developed world already)

                      Also there is the question of increasing Govt revenues so we can do more in society. Land and capital gains do require taxes, those are huge sources of wealth that at the moment are completely outside the tax base.

                    • tsmithfield

                      The S & P comment shouldn’t be taken to mean that because we are better than many other countries there is no room for improvement.

                      By reducing expenditure on administrative aspects, we are effectively increasing revenue, aren’t we?

                    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

                      It would be wonderful if we had an infinite money supply to fund everything we want. Unfortunately we don’t.

                      It’s true – here in NZ we only have enough money for new ministerial BMWs. Can’t have everything, people.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      By reducing expenditure on administrative aspects, we are effectively increasing revenue, aren’t we?

                      I’m afraid this financial logic is as sound as the Christmas sales jingle “The More You Buy, the More You Save!”

                • Bright Red

                  It’s not those 80,000 workers’ fault that the jobs have gone and their government has failed to do anything about it.

                  It’s not the people’s fault that Key is more interested in giving himself tax cuts.

                  Key promised a brighter future, he has delivered, instead, more people to the foodbanks and blamed them for it.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Where the poor choice component is relevant is where those workers have geared themselves toward low/semi-skilled work when they might have had the ability to go much further. These type of jobs are diminishing due to such factors as increasing automation and outsourcing to overseas.

                    • felix

                      Where the poor choice component is relevant is where those workers have geared themselves toward low/semi-skilled work when they might have had the ability to go much further.

                      You mean to Australia? Cos there sure ain’t 80,000 high-skilled jobs vacant here Tim.

                      Speaking of which, this is pretty much a full time job for you these days isn’t it?

                    • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

                      These type of jobs are diminishing due to such factors as increasing automation and outsourcing to overseas.

                      You missed the last part of the sentence. It should read “these type of jobs are diminishing due to such factors as increasing automation and outsourcing to overseas and incompetent economic management by a lazy government.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “You mean to Australia? Cos there sure ain’t 80,000 high-skilled jobs vacant here”

                      You seem to think it is possible to go from unskilled/semiskilled to highly skilled in a gnats-breath. If people start training to become highly skilled now there may well be jobs for them by the time they have finished.

                      “Speaking of which, this is pretty much a full time job for you these days isn’t it?”

                      I type fast. 🙂

                    • felix

                      Faster than you think apparently Tim.

                      Even at a record wpm you’re still doing this all day.

                      Are you still pretending that this isn’t your job?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      These type of jobs are diminishing due to such factors as increasing automation and outsourcing to overseas.

                      TS says another thing on the money!

                      They are diminishing, and have been for years, just as our population has been growing for years.

                      So either we push for an ever growing economy (DTB has things to say about that) or we start thinking outside the box – wages high enough that people can have 4 day working weeks (meaning that more people can be employed), ways for people to get paid doing non-commercially oriented work for communities etc

                      Oh yeah and more worker owned enterprises, to stem the tide of corporates offshoring our best jobs.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “So either we push for an ever growing economy”

                      We are a small fish in a very big pool. There is no reason we can’t grow the economy considerably. A bit like how it is much easier to double market share from 1% to 2% than it is to go from 20% to 40%.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Do you think we can double the number of cows in NZ without additional destruction to waterways etc.?

                      I certainly think that if we are to grow the productive economy, medium and high tech manufacturing is the only feasible way forwards. But it will have to be combined with new ways of understanding what the economy is about. Not to provide maximum return on capital – but to provide maximum well paid jobs.

                      By the way, I don’t think its possible for every major country to export their way out of trouble. Note the Americans forcing down their own dollar to increase the competitiveness of their industries.

                      Us in the land of the free market, what do we do? Let our exporters wither on the vine of a high NZD.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Don’t worry. All is not lost.

                      The pollution problem will be sorted then we can keep adding cows until we have more of them than sheep.

                      “By the way, I don’t think its possible for every major country to export their way out of trouble. Note the Americans forcing down their own dollar to increase the competitiveness of their industries.”

                      Trying to. But not really succeeding. The point is that although they are printing more money, they are also importing their own inflation via commodities that cost more due to the low currency. This means that long-term yields are going up in the US due to anticipated inflation, making it a more attractive place to park money. Thus, the dollar hasn’t crashed like people have been expecting. Also, it looks like the Fed is getting cold feet about going any further than QE2. So, the USD might not fall much further. Have a look at a few charts on the USD and you will see what I mean.

                      “Us in the land of the free market, what do we do? Let our exporters wither on the vine of a high NZD.”

                      As mentioned above, we have been doing OK with the USD where it is, and where it might well stay close to. Also, we look good against the AUD, so exports to Australia should go up.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Its a nice thought, but unless this system is up and running on 1000 cow farms today, its obviously still in the prototyping stage and not able to resolve current issues let alone future ones.

                      This is not to say that this firm can’t be part of the answer of course, however its not a great idea to predicate a country’s economic structure on one particular future tech either.

                    • felix

                      So the 80,000 high skill jobs you mentioned earlier, the ones you said would be just around the corner if only the lazy poor would bother to train for them, will mostly involve milking cows.

                      Fuck you’re a moron Tim. Typical Nat though. No ideas, just excuses.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “So the 80,000 high skill jobs you mentioned earlier, the ones you said would be just around the corner if only the lazy poor would bother to train for them, will mostly involve milking cows.”

                      It was CV who made the first mention of our dairy industry, which I responded to. Anyway, you are being very condescending assuming that all dairy jobs are unskilled and limited to milking cows. There are a lot of highly skilled jobs associated with dairy. The Wetox technology I pointed to in my last post is just one example of this.

                      “Fuck you’re a moron Tim.”

                      Careful. You’re starting to throw your toys out of the cot again. Very entertaining when it happens though.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I should add that per $1M invested, dairy farming as an industry employs less than half the staff numbers (directs AND indirects) than std manufacturing.

                      e.g. A $5M dairy farm might have 15 direct employees, a $5M manufacturing business 100.

                    • tsmithfield

                      CV “I should add that per $1M invested, dairy farming as an industry employs less than half the staff numbers (directs AND indirects) than std manufacturing.
                      e.g. A $5M dairy farm might have 15 direct employees, a $5M manufacturing business 100.”

                      Enjoying this discussion with you here. 🙂

                      I see your point. However, its not just the dairy industry. Its the spin-off to all the industries that services dairy. For instance, my company earns $250000 to $500000 per year providing services to one of the major dairy companies. There is another cheese company we do very well from. If all the service industries that service diary it would equate to a huge number of jobs.

                      Long-run manufacturing is dying in NZ due to contracting out to countries such as China. More specialised things can still be made here, and things that are too expensive to freight competitively. For instance, kitchen joinery and the like.

                    • felix

                      Tim you’re a wriggly one, but it doesn’t matter who bought it up.

                      I know you hate this but I’m going to do a quick recap, and because you’re particularly wriggly today I’m not going to quote your exact phrasing which would only give you an excuse to lawyer your previous statements. I’ll just deal with the meaning which is obvious for all to see.

                      You said that sure, we’re 80,000 jobs short but it’s ok because we’ve mostly lost low skilled jobs.

                      You said the problem is that the poor low paid people who used to do these jobs just aren’t trained for better paying high skilled jobs.

                      When it was pointed out to you that there aren’t a heap of high skill jobs for them, you said it’s ok, they’re just around the corner and if people would just train for them then the jobs will be there soon.

                      And now you’re saying all we need is a lot more cows to milk. More than sheep.

                      Which by any calculation means that the vast majority of the new jobs will be literally milking cows.

                      Go on. Tell me you didn’t mean what I said you meant.

                  • tsmithfield

                    And you were the one who implied that dairy is basically limited to unskilled work. Which, clearly it isn’t as I pointed out.

                    So, an option for workers wanting to upskill could certainly be to aim for some of the more skilled aspects of dairy, such as research (e.g. Lincoln University), product development and marketing, project management, engineering, etc etc.

                    Anyway, I certainly believe that dairy is pivotal to NZs economic future. As is some of the other agricultural products we are good at producing such as apples, wine etc. Commodities are on a major tear at the moment. I expect hard commodities such as those that Australia produces are going to decline sometime over the medium term because China has been on a stimulus fueled construction boom that can’t go on forever.

                    However, with more and more mouths to feed in the world, the soft commodities such as food that we produce will become progressively more valuable and more lucrative as an export. That raises other issues such as how we will be able to afford our own food of course.

                    Other areas of the economy are unlikely to grow as fast, and some, such as long-run manufacturing, will probably continue to decline.

                    So, yes. I believe that agriculture generally (including dairy as a major component) is essential to our future prosperity. And there are plenty of skilled jobs available in that industry. Don’t assume they will all be unskilled.

                    And just a correction:

                    “You said that sure, we’re 80,000 jobs short but it’s ok because we’ve mostly lost low skilled jobs.”

                    I didn’t actually say that. That is called putting words in my mouth.

                    • felix

                      “And you were the one who implied that dairy is basically limited to unskilled work. Which, clearly it isn’t as I pointed out. “

                      No you didn’t, you just made up an anecdote.

                      You did nothing to dispute my assertion that:

                      When we’re talking about finding jobs for 80,000 people the yes, the vast majority of the opportunities in dairying are low skilled and low-paid.

                      All you’re suggesting is more of the same. Just like all Nats.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “When we’re talking about finding jobs for 80,000 people the yes, the vast majority of the opportunities in dairying are low skilled and low-paid.”

                      You are starting to show your ignorance, Felix.

                      Have you ever seen a modern milking facility? Its not like Grandma sitting down to milk Daisy anymore. Its highly automated, and computer controlled, and doesn’t require many people to do the unskilled stuff. Thats point of automating it.

                      I would say that most of the jobs in dairy require a high degree of skill. Even the basic farming of cows, especially if you want to be successful.

                      Even going beyond dairy, there’s not that many unskilled jobs now, even for factory workers on the floor. Most machines are highly complex, computer controlled and require quite a bit of nouse to set them up and run them.

                      My company is highly involved in automating factory systems, so I actually know what I’m talking about.

                    • felix

                      Yawn. I’ve spent a lot more time on the farm than you Tim.

                      Of course there are a small number of highly skilled jobs in agriculture. Who said there weren’t?

                      The fact is you were talking about retraining and employing the vast numbers of unemployed low skill workers and getting them high-paying high skill jobs.

                      The vast majority of agricultural work is low paid work Tim, and no-one’s buying the trickle down approach you’re selling.

                      “That is called putting words in my mouth.”

                      I told you I wasn’t quoting you but anyone can scroll up and read your comment in the context of your reply to Bright Red and see that as usual you’re trying to weasel your way out of some stupid position you’ve taken.

                      I don’t believe for a moment that you’re involved in the industry either. You wouldn’t have the time.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Although TS quite clearly outlines one of the issues of the modern economy – higher productivity year on year (from new tech/automation etc.) means fewer and fewer people are needed in the workforce.

                      So what do you do? Under this model, you need to keep growing the economy year on year. Or you will have a lot of surplus unemployed.

                      Or you need to find away for people to be employed for fewer hours in a kind of job sharing (but still make a decent wage) so that more people can have a job.

                      Or you create new kinds of work that people can make a living from. Community work, social work; work which helps society but isn’t aimed at growing financial capital.

                      What is happening now? None of the above, so we have high levels of unemployment in most sectors of most economies.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “I’ve spent a lot more time on the farm than you”

                      Sorry Felix, a farm visit then show and tell the next day at school doesn’t count. And this must be the level of your knowledge and experience because you said:

                      “Which by any calculation means that the vast majority of the new jobs will be literally milking cows.”

                      As I pointed out, most milking is automated, so relatively few jobs are actual milking.

                      “The vast majority of agricultural work is low paid work Tim, and no-one’s buying the trickle down approach you’re selling.”

                      This is a totally unsupported assertion. At least I have given examples of jobs in both dairy and support industries that are highly skilled.

                      “I told you I wasn’t quoting you but anyone can scroll up and read your comment in the context of your reply to Bright Red and see that as usual you’re trying to weasel your way out of some stupid position you’ve taken.”

                      Ha. In no way could you get your interpretation from what I said. In fact, I have been banned before for very similar behaviour. Pity there wasn’t a moderator on deck with the balls to do the same in this case.

            • mcflock 10.1.1.1.1.2

              “I have a friend who is a multi millionaire who still drives the Datsun 120Y he brought new in 1974. This typifies his lifestyle. The type of choices he made to get rich are still part of his life.”

              Funnily enough, I know of a multimillionaire who didn’t notice – or simply allowed it – when ministerial services spent $7mil replacing 3 year old luxury cars when they weren’t contractually required to. Just goes to show that lifestyle choices might not be as important in determining wealth as just plain luck and self-delusion.

        • bbfloyd 10.1.1.2

          well woopdedoo ts, so you know one wastrel…that, of course, gives you the right to generalise about beneficiaries in total.. are you too stupid to see how idiotic that approach is? no need to answer, i wouldn’t want to tax your intellectual facilities too heavily.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.2.1

            Where did I say it was only one? And I was only asking a question asked of me. I didn’t make any particular point about it. You read too much into a one word answer. Interpret tea-leaves as well?

            • felix 10.1.1.2.1.1

              How does that change bbfloyd’s point?

              What if you know 10? Or 50? Or 1000?

              You’re still making a massive, throbbing generalisation based on a tiny, flaccid anecdote.

              • tsmithfield

                Did you actually read what I just said?

                I wasn’t attempting to make any point when I answered that question earlier on. All I did was answer what was asked of me. I agree, its not particularly relevant, and I never said it was.

                • felix

                  Did you notice I was referring to bbfloyd’s point, not yours? The one you attempted to deflect by claiming the number he quoted might or might not be accurate?

                  Pay more attention, Tim. It’s not always about you.

                  • tsmithfield

                    His entire point was that I was generalising to all beneficiaries by answering “yes” to a question about whether I knew people who had suffered through making bad choices.

                    It is clear if you read the actual discussion relating to that above that I wasn’t. So the premise of bbfloyd’s argument, for what it is, was invalid. So, the conclusion he drew was also necessarily invalid.

        • Vicky32 10.1.1.3

          How well do you know them? Do you mean that you sometimes see them in the street, or do you actually know their circumstances?
          Deb

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Seems the answer is to teach people to make better choices, not necessarily give more money.

      Oh, in that case I’m real glad the NATs are doing just that. Expanding access to ECE, adult night courses, growing polytech and university reach into the community, expanding the availability of courses into prisons and marginalised communities.

      /sarcasm

      NATs are wreckers and haters. Yes there probably are two or three thousand hard core bludgers in the system but you are happy to stigmatise hundreds of thousands of other NZ’ers just to serve as a political diversion.

  11. marsman 11

    Now all we need is for John Key to take the media to a supermarket to show us how to shop, just like the vile Shipley did when she and Bill English had wrecked the economy.

  12. B 12

    I’m on a benefit(dpb) at the moment while studying full time. After rent (lower than average), travel to uni, power and phone I am left with exactly $80 per week to feed me & 2 children (half what I should be spending for basic nutrition according to annual food survey).

    Then there’s school stationery, compulsory fees, uniforms, doctors, clothing, rego, wof……all goes on the credit card.

    No matter how good at budgeting you are – a benefit will not cover the basics if you live in Auckland. Average rent in my area is $370 and going up – that’s $50 more than the entire DPB before addons.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      Congratulations for making it work. I don’t think I could.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        I know people on the DPB who make it through only because extended family members or parents top them up with an extra $100-$200 now and then. School uniforms, unexpected medical bills, etc. Going grovelling to WINZ on occasion helps too. Marginally, but at the cost of having your self esteem further trashed.

        Key and the rest of his merry band need to go. Now.

        And expecting big things of LAB once you get in. No frakin half hearted measures please.

        • B 12.1.1.1

          Very true – although WINZ have tightened up a lot on giving extra help this year thanks Paula Bennett.

          I’d love to see the TIA brought back if Labour gets in

        • Lanthanide 12.1.1.2

          I used to work at The Warehouse on the service desk. We’d get people in doing “winz quotes” where they’d grab a whole bunch of stuff, usually childrens clothes, and get a quote for it to take to winz, who would then approve the sale or not. They took huge amounts of time to process and usually comprised of at least 3 bags crammed full of clothes, often $200-300+ worth.

        • just saying 12.1.1.3

          This is the real story CV – not “choices”. The only ones I know making it work, with reasonable health, nutrition and basic living conditions, have help from others who care. Otherwise it’s sheer hell over the long term and makes those ‘survivor’ programmes look like a walk in the park.
          The lucky ones often have other major advantages too.
          And believe me, I’m glad for them. It’s the majority I worry about.

        • Vicky32 12.1.1.4

          When I was on the DPB, we would never have survived if not for my late brother, who helped with all sorts of things!
          I am so thankful for him and for everything he did for us, including being a male role model for my son. RIP Garth!
          Deb

      • B 12.1.2

        Cheers, requires creative use of student overdrafts & credit cards thats for sure!

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Notes towards a Special Theory of John Key

    Almost every time we see Key he’s the exact opposite of the person Labour tells us he is.

    Unless you watch question time in Parliament.

    John Key really is massively out of touch. He really doesn’t understand that when you don’t have enough money (ie, being in poverty) you can’t make viable choices.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Yep its all about choice. Either pay the power bill so the lights don’t go out, or buy $100 worth of groceries so the children have something to eat this weekend.

      See, these people in poverty have plenty of choices!

      Strange thing is, with all this stress and lack of control, poorer people get more sick, use the health system more for worse outcomes and burden society in many other ways. But apparently, National is OK with that choice too.

  14. Rob 14

    I can’t believe all those people in the Herald suggesting to make a veggie garden. Don’t they know it costs $300,000 to grow a pumpkin?

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      More to the point, you need:
      1. Land
      1a. Land that is actually suitable for growing (eg not already a lawn)
      2. Tools and fertilisers/pesticides
      3. A lot of time
      4. Experience, knowledge, or good luck

      1 and 1a are difficult, especially if you’re renting. #2 is a problem if you can’t afford food already. If you’re on the dole, you should theoretically have #3. If you have #4 as well as 1-3, then you probably already have a garden.

      • Mac1 14.1.1

        Good points, Lanthanide. There are other factors, too. If I may add to your numbering.
        5. Enough time to be living on the same property to see a crop to fruition.
        6. Build up impoverished soil into a good vege garden and yet have to walk away from it.

        Transient workers are much disadvantaged. Renters are disadvantaged. People who move frequently are disadvantaged.

      • Zorr 14.1.2

        Lanth, you couldn’t be more wrong about veggie gardening.

        For the cost involved it is actually a fairly positive undertaking and if you want to grow one, you can always just rip up a corner of lawn – dirt is dirt. You don’t have to own the land, just make sure you get permission from the landlord (I have done it and many friends of mine have too).

        As to the later points:
        2) You only need 1 spade, 1 fork and some seeds. And maybe not even the fork though it is a very useful tool.
        3) Lots of time? Only for the initial setup. As long as you invest small amounts of time at regular intervals it doesn’t take much at all.
        4) You only need a little of this to start with and usually you can ask around people who are more experienced and willing to share their knowledge.

        Only reason I am responding is because I see this answer to why people don’t grow their own veggies everywhere and the assumption you need fertilizers or pesticides is ridiculous.\

        • Lanthanide 14.1.2.1

          Depends how much food you’re talking about, doesn’t it? Enough to save you $5/week, or enough to save you $25/week?

          If you’re just talking about ripping up “a corner of the lawn”, then you’re probably not going to be saving huge amount of money from buying vegetables, simply because you aren’t actually growing huge amounts.

          Because you aren’t growing huge amounts, it doesn’t take a lot of time, and you may not need fertiliser or pesticides.

          As soon as you increase the density of your gardening, both fertilisers and pesticides become important – to support the amount of plants on your limited land, and to fend of disease that comes from intense growing (and to stop pests from wiping out you hard-won crop). More plants = more time spent tending them at all stages.

          I’ll also point out that gardening can be very fickle. A couple of days of very hot or very wet/cold weather can ruin all your plants, unless you know what to do to save them and are able to. Having a crappy spring/summer can significantly reduce your crop size.

        • Deadly_NZ 14.1.2.2

          Yep I have done it and have permission to rip up more lawn and it only cost about 30 bucks and a lot of hard work. Hey JK I got a tomato plant thats full of toms whats that worth??? 500k please. Oh and ask around on how to do it??? GOOGLE it.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    What would be good would be for councils around the country to make available land to communities for community gardens.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Agreed. And perhaps lend a gardens staffer for a couple of hours a week to help give people advice and show them how things can be done correctly.

    • Mac1 15.2

      Agreed, too, though see the points above that Lanthanide and I both make.

      I am a ‘co-owner’ of a community garden plot. The kaupapa of the gardens includes education, tool provision, a chance to develop a garden even if the ‘owner’ moves house, neighbourly advice and assistance. (I can’t do physical work as I’m recuperating, so others muck in.)

      It is totally a good idea. Not many poor have taken it up though. Most of us are ‘middle-class’, but with our stage two expansion, I hope that changes. At least, our excess produce goes to the local food kitchen for meals for the poor. There is still a great need for this, in Godzone.

      • arandar 15.2.1

        Tried to get such a thing set up in our town. Neighbours at all the available vacant sites didn’t want ‘those sorts of people’ hanging around. Kicked up big time – might be scoping out our homes for burgs. Gardens would probably get ripped off – people not doing the work, inputting, others pinching the produce. What about at local school? Ditto, plus what would happen in holiday time – who’s going to take responsibility? Who pays? Who benefits? Yadayada… So sad.

    • Deadly_NZ 15.3

      They used to do it in petone

  16. Sanctuary 16

    Grow a garden but also…
    Look for a job but also…
    Wait for the bus but also…
    look after your own kids but also…
    bake your own bread and cakes but also…
    Budget on power but also…
    shop around and buy in bulk but also…
    Walk to the shops and also…
    lie awake worrying all the time.

    “The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all of your time”. – Willem de Kooning

    • M 16.1

      Good one Sanctuary.

      Yes, those on benefits and low incomes do spend a lot of time trying to “balance” the books – in fact it becomes a sick kind of entertainment to see what you can swap around from week to week to get by or if you can do with a little less food, power and money for transport to afford money for school trips and modest activities for your kids.

  17. Richard 17

    I think Key is absolutley spot on with this comment and its good to see him (finally) representing the view of the people who put him in office.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Ah the school yard bully from a wealthy family who likes to pick on the weaker vulnerable kids who don’t have the money to hire Mai Chen to fight back 🙄

  18. Carol 18

    This is surely John Key’s “Let them eat cake” moment.

    • patriot_nz 18.1

      Yes, indeed Carol. The definitive moment in his political career. Politicians have for decades relied on NZers apathy to get away with selling us down the river. I think apathy may be replaced by action in the not too distant future.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Next:

    Key says people struggling on superannuation have made “poor lifestyle choices”. Should have saved more.

    But of course he won’t say any such thing. He needs those votes.

    I can (almost) respect a consistent right-wing ideologue, who preaches “self-reliance”, across all sectors of society (like, say, old people who made a “poor choice” to invest in finance companies. No bailout for you!).

    But Key’s target is highly selective, and purely political, therefore … worthy only of contempt.

  20. Mac1 20

    I am reading “Deer Hunting with Jesus” by Joe Bageant, subtitled “Dispatches from America’s class war.”

    He goes to the nub of this neo-conservative view of the world, ‘personal responsibility,’ which he says unfortunately the underclass have bought into.

    “What sort of personal responsibility is possible in this neo-conservative environment? A wage earner’s only asset is…. a day’s work for a day’s pay, the price of which he does not determine. So where does he get the wherewithal to improve his circumstances? He gets that wherewithal from the wages he earns. But in the new neocon environment, that wage does not support savings….higher education. It only allows the wage earner to survive from paycheck to paycheck, hoping he doesn’t lose his job, and feeling like a loser down inside. Another beer, please.” Page 31.

    And the point that Bageant makes is that not only the beneficiaries of the neo-con view, “a local network of moneyed families, bankers, developers, lawyers and business people in whose interests it is to have a cheap, unquestioning, and compliant labor force paying high rents and big medical bills” hold these self-serving views, but also the underclass buy into this , “held in bondage” through education, religion and generational reinforcement.

    He adds, “It’s going to be a tough fight for progressives.”

  21. Treetop 21

    Key is in denial about the Wongs.
    Key is in denial about the cost of dairy products and the health benefits of these.
    Key is in denial about long hosptial waiting times even for an urgent appointment/procedure.
    Key is in denial about what selling SOE shares will do.
    Key is in denial about how people need a job.

    Key cannot be trusted.

    Key choses not to investigate the Wongs after Preest has confirmed the Wongs are dishonest.
    Key choses not to remove GST from dairy or regulate dairy prices for NZers.
    Key choses not to pay hospital clinicians more.
    Key choses not to sell SOE shares.
    Key choses not to offer apprenticeships, or bring back the TIA, or offer a fully funded loan for new designs.

    Key is so out of touch with how hard the struggle has become for at least 50 % of the population in NZ

    • Treetop 21.1

      Key choses not to NOT sell SOE shares. Forgot a not.

      • Oscar 21.1.1

        Helen was right. It was all about trust.

        • Treetop 21.1.1.1

          At least Clark achieved and lasted 9 years. What has Key achieved?

          My 82 year old neighbour recently told me that 50 years ago it dawned on him that everyone is a Jekyll and Hyde. I agree but there are degrees.

          I want to see the auditor general look at the Wong case, no way would Clark have done what Key has done, buried his head in the sand like an ostrich.

  22. randal 22

    if bing bong says its true then ipso facto it must be true.

  23. bbfloyd 23

    bing bong? so jk’s missus prefers a water pipe to rolling joints then?

  24. NX 24

    worst economic record of any PM in 80 years: 86,000 more jobless Kiwis and falling incomes. And this bastard blames Kiwi families

    With posts like this sometimes I wonder if TheStandard.org.nz is part of the VRWC.

  25. Draco T Bastard 25

    Poor Choices? or just poor?

    Well, here is the news: Some people have unexpected bills, Mr Key. Some people’s cars break down, because cheap, old cars are all they can afford – seen a repair bill lately? Some people need dentistry – seen a dentist’s bill lately? Some people need to pay the rent, which they can’t afford even with an accommodation supplement – seen the news on Auckland rentals recently?

    I don’t think those are poor choices. I don’t think those are choices at all.

    People living in poverty aren’t poor because they choose to be but because we force them to be with our choices, our greed. We fail to pay people enough to live on and then wonder why they happen to be poor.

  26. Tel 26

    This Keystir comment is yet another pre-election divide and rule propaganda announcement.

    He’s getting busy creating or encouraging bitterness and resentment which will cause distrust amongst voters. It’s all aimed at creating abstention in voters in my opinion. Kiwi’s can be an apathetic bunch when it comes to voting and getting borderline voters to resign to the fact that there’s nothing anybody can do, (it’s a worldwide crisis blah blah blah) and if you can pump enough happy drugs in the form of the fucking Rugby into the populace, people might just turn a blind eye come voting day to the row of bank henchman about to strip mine the nation.

    The Nat’s are obviously hoping enough middle ground voters aspire to be a rich cunt just like the Keystir and they’re making hay forming and courting alliances and aspirations with Australia and banging the drum for asset sales claiming it’s in the interest of aspiring middle income NZ “mum’s and dad’s”. We’ve had the frivolous expenditure of BMW’s biffed at us and the blame foist on Labour, and noises of how that leaves very little money for expenditure in other areas like… oh yeah, welfare! As a side point I’ve heard no mention in the media how the running costs and resale value of the BMW deal over the contracted period will pan out. I’m no expert, but I suspect in the past that the gas guzzling Aussie pieces of junk our politicians have been cruising around in have massive devaluation, and running costs, so all we’re left with again, is conflicting propaganda.

    Since the election announcement we’ve had nothing but innuendo, slur and reasons to be suspicious of people we otherwise trust, and it sickens me to see the public played like this.

    There’s two things Keystir will never buy (or divide) and that’s poverty and my vote.

  27. Chris73 27

    “And that is true because the bulk of New Zealanders on a benefit do actually pay for food, their rent and other things. Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left.”

    How exactly is this a bad statement? He makes two points: Most beneficiaries pay for the things they need and some make poor choices

    Are you people suggesting that all beneficiaries, without exception, are saintly and never make poor choices? Never smoke, drink alcohol, gamble, take drugs, eat fast food, have sky or even worse not have a veggie garden?

    Personally, I think its refreshing to have a PM that says what he thinks and doesn’t use weasle words around potentially difficult questions

    • Deadly_NZ 27.1

      I’m on a sickness benefit

      I live in the Manawatu it’s Cheaper
      I have a vege garden
      I gave up smoking to expensive
      I drink Home made alcohol
      My prescription bill is enough thanks
      fast food?? Oh thats the quick meal.
      I have sky basic ( at half price for 6 months) and if you know the Manawatu it’s needed to actually watch the tv.
      I have a partner
      She is Pregnant
      We have a teen as well
      We have internet for school and sanity
      and yes we have to rob peter to pay paul too. I did not ask for this life but i was made redundant in the recession and now I have medical problems.
      All my bills are paid before the food not much left but at least, I can hope for something better because if key gets back in then we are screwed, as we cant afford to move.
      SO to all you RWNJ’s out there if you think I am bludging then Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on. I paid my taxes. and now the government wants to fuck me over again. Oh I am ever so grateful.

      • Colonial Viper 27.1.1

        Hold on in there mate, we’re gonna be working hard on your behalf in 2011 😉

      • M 27.1.2

        Deadly

        I echo CV’s sentiments – gonna get my flyers, don the black clothing and go out just before dark to drop some flyers tomorrow.

        Good on you for having the Internet for sanity – same here – as there are so many RWNJs or apathetic people around I come to TS for something real.

        I’ve always maintained: never trust a wo/man who doesn’t have at least one vice.

        You are not a bludger but someone that is experiencing hardship at this point in your life and I don’t begrudge you support at all and neither would any decent person.

        Key doesn’t have a heart – it’s just a swinging brick.

      • Rosy 27.1.3

        Keep the hope alive Deadly_NZ some people extrapolate all the worst they hear onto all people on benefits. Not all of us do… some of us understand only too well and we’ll be voting for you, not against you.

  28. kultur 28

    it seems to me that whether we like it or not – New Zealand as those of us old enough to remember – has GONE. Whether it has gone for good – is up to the voters this year. My belief is that Phil Goff and a rejuvenated Labour Party can bring it back to where it needs to be. I think everyone got fixated on the “big idea” and one big thing “that put us on the map” … now we’re all descending to reality – its just that Key and the Nats and their sycophants are still on planet finance fantasy. They want anyone below the middle income line to pay for their ideals, suck it up and take it up the ass.

    Phil Goff was involved in the Government that started this mess – he realises it and admits it – there is a lot of retained value in someone at the top who REMEMBERS. Prof Niall Fergusson in his doco “the ascent of money” makes the comment when examining the Quants – the nobel prize winning boffins / Maths geniuses who arrived at a pristine probability maths system for trading in “options” on the financial markets and then went totally tits-up and had to have a Govt bailout in the USA … he said and i quote – “they knew a lot about maths and economics … but they didnt know anything about history….” What goes up – does come down – its been happening for decades and centuries. Phil Goff REMEMBERS – and we need a PM who doesnt hide from or try to rewrite the past. And we DONT need a money man who participated in meaningless paper transactions that produced nothing of any real value – running this country. Give Key a free BMW and tell him to bugger off and dont come back again.

    Rugby World Cup – spare me – its just another opportunity for smile and wave and his sycophants to seek a temporary reprieve from growing public discontent. As for Poverty and disenfranchisement – Key doesnt give a shit about the middle class and they are becoming the new poor …

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    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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 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
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    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.
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    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
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    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…
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    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
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • 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
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
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    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.
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    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

  • 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
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
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  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
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