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Know your Nat: Judith Collins

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, April 30th, 2008 - 45 comments
Categories: families, same old national - Tags: , ,

If National were the Government, Judith Collins would be Social Services Minister. That should be enough to send shudders down the spine of anyone who is worried about ensuring there is a safety net for the most vulnerable members of our society. Collins is rabidly anti the welfare state and a nasty piece of work. Whereas her predecessor as National’s Welfare spokesperson, Katherine Rich said ‘I’m not your DPB-bashing sort of person most of the people I meet on the DPB are pretty motivated people who have the same dreams and aspirations as the rest of us. Beneficiary bashing is a most unsatisfactory practice. It doesn’t really take you anywhere’, Collins agrees with Key who spoke of women ‘breeding for a business’

Collins’ latest attack on our most vulnerable citizens, ‘Labour gives up on long-term jobless‘, claims 60,000 people have been getting benefits for being ‘jobless’ for more than ten years. She’s being deceptive and she knows it. Yes, 60,000 people, 2.3% of adults, have been getting benefits for 10 or more years. But 38,000 of them are invalids that is, they have an ongoing physical or mental disability that prevents them from being part of the workforce. Of the rest, 16,000 are parents raising kids on the DPB, that’s not a task that’s over within a couple of years. 5,000 have a long-term sickness. Only 1,000 are on the unemployment benefit, and less than 300 have been on the unemployment benefit for the whole 10 years [data here].

What Collins doesn’t want you to know, because it wrecks her anti-welfare state argument, is that the number of long-term beneficiaries is decreasing rapidly (down 20% since December 2003).


A day after a report reveals that the only children left living in poverty in New Zealand are in beneficiary households and the Minister says we should aim to eliminate child poverty, all National can come up with is more hollow beneficiary bashing. Pathetic.

45 comments on “Know your Nat: Judith Collins ”

  1. roger nome 1

    “A day after a report reveals that the only children left living in poverty in New Zealand in beneficiary households and the Minister says we should aim to eliminate child poverty, all National can come up with is more hollow beneficiary bashing. Pathetic.”

    When I point these things out at kiwiblog all I get is the totally irrational slogan “welfare causes poverty”. Of course no facts are ever presented in support of the argument, it’s merely backed up with more welfare dependency rhetoric.

    Following this I usually direct them to some OECD research papers, showing that lack of welfare/income inequality creates a poverty trap, with low levels of social mobility.

    See the graph on page 46 of the following report:

    http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/27/28/38335410.pdf

  2. mike 2

    Youre not talking about the underclass that dear leader said didn’t exist are you?

  3. r0b 3

    Youre not talking about the underclass that dear leader said didn’t exist are you

    Interesting Mike, would you mind pointing me to the quote where HC makes such a claim? Thanks.

  4. roger nome 4

    Mike:

    Yes, an underclass exists, but is shrinking with Labour’s policies (working for families, increasing minimum wage, cheaper doctors visits, cheaper day care and lower unemployment).

    Yes, the problem will be made worse by cutting benefits (what Collins seems to want).

  5. Ben R 5

    It’s great that unemployment has dropped & overall long term beneficiaries is decreasing, but the DPB figures are surprising.

    16,000 are parents raising kids on the DPB” for over 10 years? Surely they’re abusing that benefit? It seems they’re using it as a long term way to fund having a large family, something others don’t have the luxury of doing.

    Also between 2003 and 2008 those receiving an invalid’s benefit numbers have increased by 14,000, while sickness beneficiaries have increased by about 8,000. When I was duty solicitor it surprised me the number of people who seemed able bodied enough to commit various offences, but who were on invalid’s or sickness benefits. Why has the number on these gone up so much?

  6. Daveo 6

    Ben R – if you think life on the DPB is a luxury you truly have no idea.

  7. mike 7

    “Yes, an underclass exists, but is shrinking with Labour’s policies”

    More likely that as real after tax incomes continue to fall under Cullens watch (bracket creep/inflation) the underclass is absorbing more of the middle class. Soon we will all be dependant on the state and Labour will be happy campers.

  8. r0b 8

    Why has the number on these gone up so much?

    I’m not an expert, but my understanding is that it is partly to do with NZ’s growing population and ageing demographic. I recall also reading somewhere that there was an increase in the number of obesity related issues appearing in these benefits. Someone better informed than I may have more to say on this…

  9. Steve Pierson 9

    Ben R. You really have to look deeper into the figures. you can’t just assume that because some has been on a benefit for a long time that they are abusing it. You have no evidence that they are having larger families than others.

    Bare in mind that only 16% of DPB beneficaires have been on benefits longer than ten years. Also, those figures are for people now on the DPB who have been continously on any benefit for 10 years – many of them would have previously been on the invalid’s benefit and were moved to DPB when they had kids.

    the number of invalid’s and sickness beneficiaries are increasing because our population is aging – you have more people that are still of working age but are more likely to have developed a health condition that means they can no longer work.

  10. r0b 10

    So mike – re your post of 4:26, do you have a source for that claim please?

  11. roger nome 11

    Ben R:

    “When I was duty solicitor it surprised me the number of people who seemed able bodied enough to commit various offences, but who were on invalid’s or sickness benefits”

    Would you also be surprised to find out that there’s a correlation between criminality and various mental illnesses?

    “16,000 are parents raising kids on the DPB’ for over 10 years? Surely they’re abusing that benefit? It seems they’re using it as a long term way to fund having a large family, something others don’t have the luxury of doing.”

    So you want kids to be growing up in poverty with all the associated consequences – i.e. increased likelihood of behavioral, educational and criminal problems and the subsequent poverty trap. Or didn’t you look at the link that I supplied?

    Mike:

    “More likely that as real after tax incomes continue to fall under Cullens watch (bracket creep/inflation) the underclass is absorbing more of the middle class.”

    “median personal income” in New Zealand rose at an average rate of 1.4% during the decade of 1991-2001 (roughly National’s time in power) and 3.26% during the period of 2001-2006 (roughly Labour’s time in power so far).

    http://rogernome.blogspot.com/2007/10/median-personal-income-over-time.html

  12. Pete 12

    Ben R –

    Due to recognition of a number of conditions and illnesses, previously not considered factors in determining whether someone qualifies, the number of people on invalid’s benefit has risen. This is in line with international research, you can do an internet search for this if you care enough to.

    Mike –

    It’s always preferable to debate the facts, not the political rhetoric devised to garner support. Robust debate is better than finger pointing, especially when it’s off on such a tangent. Just a thought

  13. James Kearney 13

    Disgraceful behaviour from Judith Collins but sadly expected. National’s ‘New Zealand Sucks’ campaign strikes again.

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    Soon we will all be dependant on the state and Labour will be happy campers.

    Na Pete, mike has it all wrapped up. y’see, when we’re all on benefits, we’ll all vote Labour, according to the RWNJ lobby. The money from benefits will come from… underpants! Step one – we collect underpants; enact step two, and step three is profit. An author from The Standard covered it on a post a few months back. Or wait – was that John Key’s productivity/tax cut schtick?

  15. roger nome 16

    Ben R-

    “Due to recognition of a number of conditions and illnesses, previously not considered factors in determining whether someone qualifies, the number of people on invalid’s benefit has risen. This is in line with international research, you can do an internet search for this if you care enough to.”

    I’ll take your word on that. But why is it a bad thing to provide a basic minimum quality of life for those who are unable to fend for themselves? From memory this spending accounts for about 2-4% of government spending. Now you can say that it isn’t worth it, but my instinct is the most New Zealander’s would think you cold-hearted.

  16. higherstandard 17

    To quote Collin’s

    “If you don’t collect the data, if you don’t know who these people are, how can you help them? Is Labour giving up?”

    “With low unemployment, the time was never better to start targeting those long term beneficiaries and helping them into paid work or training.”

    Just how is that “Hollow beneficiary bashing” ?

  17. Ben R 18

    “Would you also be surprised to find out that there’s a correlation between criminality and various mental illnesses?”

    No, and certainly in some cases people did have serious mental illnesses, while others needed drug/alcohol counselling. I just am curious as to why the number has increased so much over the past 5 years. It may well be that an ageing population explains part of it, I concede that I have just skimmed over it.

    “So you want kids to be growing up in poverty with all the associated consequences – i.e. increased likelihood of behavioral, educational and criminal problems and the subsequent poverty trap. Or didn’t you look at the link that I supplied?”

    Interesting report (will try to read more of it later), I’d actually read some of Herb Gintis’ stuff before in a book called “Origins of Wealth”. I know that growing up in poverty has many unfortunate consequences. I’m not saying scrap the DPB. I’m saying that once on it, people should try to use contraception so they don’t stay on it indefinitely. I thought it was introduced to support vulnarable people who already had dependent children.

  18. Lyn 19

    Ben R – let’s say you were a cleaner by trade with three children under five. Your marriage dissolves and you become sole parent for most of the time. Your parents live in another country, and your partner is effectively not able to help you financially.

    After five years all the children are in school, but the money that you would get from going back to commercial cleaning is very similar to what it would cost for childcare to cover the evenings when you’d have to be in paid work and so you don’t go back to work.

    After 10 years the youngest is still in primary school and the oldest still isn’t old enough to legally babysit, and in any case you want the best for your kids so even when the oldest hits 14 you try and encourage them to keep going to afterschool sports rather than babysitting their siblings. Like a good friend of mine you head to polytech with the government’s blessing and study part-time around your children’s schedules, knowing that when the time comes you’ll be better placed to get work.

    After 14 years all the kids are legally able to be left unattended, but they benefit from supervision and care from a parent who isn’t exhausted and has the time to cook meals from scratch and maintain a reasonable relationship with them. After 15 years the youngest has got their first NCEA and doesn’t look like they’ll be ending up in trouble and you finally are able to breathe a sigh of relief after keeping it together alone all these years and get a day-job to help your oldest pay their university fees.

    This is not to say that all those on the DPB are in a similar position, but merely to sketch out a possible timeline in which 10 years on the DPB is a responsible and reasonable thing to do and which doesn’t involve promiscuity or bludging. One of the reasons we have this benefit is because the state recognises that making more citizens is a really important job, and there are inevitably reasons why a sole parent might not be able to work and parent at the same time.

  19. Policy Parrot 20

    I’ve previously posted over on NewZblog about what I think Judith Collins as a Minister would be like.

    Dawns raids for beneficiaries – to be dragged out and put to work on chain gains digging ditches, picking up rubbish, and cleaning up graffiti.

    Surely this type of work would be more appropriate to those sentenced to periodic detention – which, I’m sure Collins wouldn’t object to.

    Essentially, she is equating beneficiaries – many of whom through misfortune struggle to survive on a state-funded stipend, with small time criminals.

  20. randal 21

    nah she just loves beating up on people who cant fight back…typical of tory women…dominance for pleasure, extortion for profit.

  21. higherstandard 22

    And what’s typical of the women on the political left then Randal ?

  22. Hillary 23

    Lyn, I agree with you re a possible scenario for being on the the DPB long term, except about keeping kids in afterschool activities. On the pittance that the DPB is paid at, I suspect sole parents would be lucky to be able to afford them.

    Shame on people who are so grudging about supporting sole parents. What about the much larger slice of Government spending that goes on paying a universal entitlemnet of Government Super – including to Bob Jones and other millionaires over the age of 65? I bet Judith Collins doesn’t have a problem with that.

  23. Lyn 24

    Agreed – my friend has one child and good family support so that made it much easier for her.

  24. stargazer 25

    well i saw ms collins at the launch of the “left behind” report on wednesday night. i can’t believe she sat through that presentation and was so unmoved as to respond in this way. the main point of the presentation was that it wasn’t enough just to get beneficiaries into work. improving child poverty means increasing the level of the benefit. it seems that none of that sunk in at all.

  25. Dave 26

    Firstly most of the 38,000 invalids should be on the sickness bnefit, and some on the dole, like the friend of mine who got a highpaying job after two years on the invalids benefit studying for a PhD. If invalids are so invalid, why are there so many being transferred FROM invalids to unemployment and then back to sickness?

    I know for a fact that if you are on a benfit for 10 years you are shunted onto the sickness benefit if at all possible. Thats why less than 300 have been on a benefit for 10 years.

    Bare in mind that only 16% of DPB beneficaires have been on benefits longer than ten years. And the rest that have been on a thedpb benefit longer than 10 years had breaks when their cycle was started again. If you keep up this rhetoric I`ll set Lindsay Mitchell onto you to sort you out.

  26. Draco TB 27

    we will all be dependant on the state

    We’re all dependent upon the state and society anyway so what’s your point?

  27. Draco TB 28

    I know for a fact that if you are on a benfit for 10 years you are shunted onto the sickness benefit if at all possible.

    Got proof?

  28. Felix 29

    I know for a fact that he fucks pigs.

  29. Ben R 30

    “One of the reasons we have this benefit is because the state recognises that making more citizens is a really important job, and there are inevitably reasons why a sole parent might not be able to work and parent at the same time.”

    Yes, I think most people support it for that reason. But, once receiving it don’t you think there’s some responsibility to use contraception so you don’t stay on it indefinitely? Many people delay having children until their 30’s because they can’t afford them. I think it irks them that others have several while receiving a benefit.

  30. Hillary 31

    Ben R, where is the evidence that people on the dpb are having furter children while they are on it, and are not using contraception?

    There are no doubt some people who rip off the welfare system, just as there are some people who rip off the tax system or cheat the share market by insider trading or rip off their employees by not paying them properly or not providing them with a safe work environment.

    Not sure what Felix was adding with his comment about pigs. Atleast Robinsod is funny when he is being obnoxious.

  31. Lyn 32

    Ben R – the example I gave was an indication of how a person could be on the DPB for 10 years, never have sex in that time, never get pregnant and still qualify for the benefit. I’m always wary of arguments about people getting pregnant in order to get more money because it’s so complex. Mostly I’d ask – how many of them are there actually? Why do they think this way? What real opportunities do they perceive they have? What real opportunities do they actually have? How much control do they have in real terms over their contraception? It’s impossible to know these things and the assumptions are just tarring everyone with that bludger brush.

  32. Steve Pierson 33

    Ben R. Can you see how small those numbers are?

    Even if (IF) there are some people abusing the system the numbers using it are very small, the cost is small, and any absue must be even smaller. And the DPB makes sure that children have some money to support them to give them a chance in life. It also allows women in desperate circumstances the opportuntiy to leave abusive relationships.

    Because some mythical abuse of the system that you just assume exists you want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. That’s just dumb.

  33. Ben R 34

    Lyn,

    I agree it’s more complex than people simply getting pregnant on purpose. You mention that they may not have much control in real terms over using contraception. That’s part of my point, as a corollary of expecting people to use contraception it should be more easily accessible. Getting contraception can be embarrassing.

    As for how many, I have no idea. I do know though that if you work in family law (or with social workers) you will see many people on the dpb who keep having children. Like you say, I doubt it’s motivated by money & they often have few opportunities.

    Steve,

    Where have I suggested scrapping the DPB? If you read what I said above, you’ll see I agree that it is necessary for women who are financially vulnerable. I’m suggesting that once on the DPB people should try to use contraception so they don’t have to stay on it indefinitely.

  34. Ari 35

    Ben R- if we want people on the DPB to be using contraception more regularly, we should be making it easier for them to get access to it, and making sure that everyone gets good sexual education that covers using many different types of contraception. This is clearly a case where carrot is far more likely to be effective than stick, especially any “stick” policies regarding welfare tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater by denying welfare to people who really need it if they’re to have a positive effect on society.

  35. Ben R 36

    Ari,

    I agree.

  36. Lyn 37

    Ben R – I’d say that contraception isn’t just embarrassing – it’s expensive. It can require a visit to the doctor and even a box of 12 condoms from the chemist can cost over $10. From my days as a beneficiary I remember when that was a lot of money.

    As you and Ari agree, education is very probably the key – the world over, women are less fertile the more educated they are. Education is empowering, it opens up choices and probably makes women better able to access contraception and (dare I say it) discern men who are likely to knock them up and leave. It does – after all – take two.

  37. Takes two Lyn, but men do all the paying. Ask Judith C about the child support deadbeat dad club.

  38. When I was duty solicitor it surprised me the number of people who seemed able bodied enough to commit various offences, but who were on invalid’s or sickness benefits.

    Doesn’t surprise me any. Back when I was a munter, I knew a cunt who parlayed a minor injury on his job with the railways into a sickness benefit. He was a fucking scary prick and if I’d been his doctor I probably would have signed the papers too. Presumably he wasn’t the only one to think of it.

  39. AncientGeek 40

    Lyn: Well there is always celibacy – the ultimate contraception technique. Of course there isn’t a lot of fun in that.

    Seriously though. I remember living with my little sister when she was on the DPB with two small kids. Having my income around was a great help with the shared expenses. Even so, she had to scratch around to try and make basic expenses meet. Minor luxuries were definitely for the uncles domain.

  40. Lyn 41

    AG – I reckon – and this is just me – that ideally as a society we should be paying out enough for someone on the DPB to raise kids who can participate fully in things like afterschool activities and camps and painting class or whatever and thus imagine a future where interesting things happen – and there should be at least a teeny bit of money in that for happy things for mum like a sex-life without fear of accidental conception. Parenting is really really important.

  41. AncientGeek 42

    I completely agree. From what I saw living on the DPB was no lap of luxury. I’d describe it at that time as being very close to the edge. Watching my sister agonizing between buying the kids shoes or getting safer tires wasn’t any fun. I’d hate to see someone do it without having a supportive family.

    In the end what the critics of the DPB seem to deliberately misunderstand is that it is paid to help bring up the children. For some reason they seem to think that it is done for the parents benefit.

  42. Lyn 43

    AG – that sounds really pretty painful. Agreed on all counts.

  43. Sa Paulo 44

    Gosh the woman is truly terrifying isn’t she? Judy that is.

    As for contraception you can get it free from Family planning yeh? And you can get anonymous private apointments and that kind of stuff?

    If you add up Judith Collins, Allan Peachey and the others who have sidled into this front beach you are looking at benefit cuts, vindictive and irational anti-welfarism, a return to bulk funding and attempts to crush the ppta and inject managerialism back into high schools. And if you have a long memory on John Key (the proposed finance minister of an incredibly right wing Brash party) you are looking at individual contracts, asset sales and ham fisted foreign policy. Particularly something as important as Iraq.

    This is not the friendly National party even with bovver Bill in the 2IC.

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    Sorry for the late notice on this one, but I only just heard myself, in common with most of the human race. A small asteroid, somewhere between the size of a truck and the size of a house in dimensions, will hurtle past the Earth tonight, dipping closer to ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • This is not what accountability looks like
    When someone commits trespass, assault with a weapon, and kidnapping, you'd expect them to be prosecuted, right? But apparently the rules are different if you wear a blue uniform: A police investigation has found officers in Northland trespassed on a man's property, then unlawfully pepper sprayed him and arrested ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Cycling: head injuries ignored because of entrenched macho culture
    Howard Hurst, University of Central Lancashire and Jack Hardwicke, University of Winchester Competitive road cycling is a demanding and unique sport. One where crashing is inevitable – especially at the professional level. While the risk of head injury is relatively low in cycling – approximately 5-13% – compared to contact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The coming US shitshow
    Today President Trump once again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the US election. Coincidentally, The Atlantic has a long article on exactly what that means, from voter suppression by armed thugs in the name of "ballot security", to refusing to allow the vote ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A moral void
    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    6 days ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    6 days ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    6 days ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    6 days ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    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 How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    7 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The Looming Fight.
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    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    1 week ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
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    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    1 week ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
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    1 week ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 weeks ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Pasifika churches gain from PGF funding
    Pasifika churches around the country will receive a total of nearly $10 million in government funding for renovations and improvements which will improve facilities for the communities they serve and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio have announced. The funding will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Job numbers up in August
    New data from Stats NZ today shows a rise of more than 9,000 filled jobs from July – driven mostly by the education and training sector, Grant Robertson says. Filled jobs were up 9,147 to 2.2 million in August 2020 compared with July – with 7,409 of those in education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori development receives funding
    Māori development projects across the country will receive a total of $18.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund that will create infrastructure and permanent jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “These projects will support economic development in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Waikato and Southland to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units
    From today, owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings can apply for financial support to fix their homes, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing financial hardship over earthquake strengthening costs. “We understand how complicated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
    Whanganui will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment in a local food-processing company which will help the company increase production and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. Kii Tahi Ltd, which is owned by South Taranaki iwi Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi, will receive a Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Town halls and war memorials in PGF renovation programme
    Town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country will be renovated thanks to grants totalling just under $12.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says more than 1000 jobs are expected to be created during the renovation programme. “Town halls, other ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Early help for whānau who need extra support
    The Government is investing in a new, whānau-centred early intervention prototype designed to strengthen families and improve the safety and wellbeing of children. The new programme, Ngā Tini Whetū, is a collaboration between Oranga Tamariki, Te Puni Kōkiri, ACC and the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (WOCA) and was announced today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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