Laura Norda strikes again

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, February 8th, 2024 - 78 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, crime, national, paul goldsmith, same old national - Tags:

I found yesterday’s post Cabinet press conference quite jarring.

Clearly National was still smarting about criticism about the way it was handling Treaty issues.

So it did what National Governments have done since time immemorial, it played the law and order card.

It did this by announcing that legal aid would no longer be available for the preparation of cultural reports provided on sentencing and that the Government would scrap Labour’s goal of reducing the prison muster by 30%.

Former National Prime Minister called prisons a moral and fiscal failure. It is a shame that this Government does not think the same.

The policies show the extent of National’s thinking. A cut here, a reversal there and no idea of how to improve things.

And the justifications are jarring. Expense is the alleged rational for not funding cultural reports. The cost of cultural reports last year was in the vicinity of $7.5 million or enough to pay for 50 extra prisoners to be incarcerated for a year. You can do the maths of the cost of imprisoning 3,000 people a year and this does not include the capital cost of building new prisons.

Goldsmith also announced that the Government would introduce changes to the Sentencing Act to cap possible discounts at 40%. This is American culture war attack “activist judges” quality populism.

And the problem is capping sentence discounts will increase the number of trials as defendants decide to roll the dice with a defended hearing rather than receive a very modest discount. And restorative justice, something that can be remarkably effective, will be adversely affected and less popular.

These reforms display a meanness of spirit and the pursuit of vengance rather than justice. And I guarantee they will be a moral and fiscal failure.

78 comments on “Laura Norda strikes again ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I used to work in the High Court back in the day. In my experience, all sentencing was accompanied by a probation report which appeared to cover most of issues to do with the offender background etc that contributed to offending.

    If the cultural reports add little more to that, then, I would definitely question the rationale and expense of them, especially if it is essentially duplication of what already happens.

    A better option may be to ask those who write the probation reports to consult where necessary on cultural aspects to ensure the reports cover all the bases.

    • Macro 1.1

      I worked as a Probation officer and as a Child Welfare Officer some years back now. A large part of the work involved the preparation of reports on the offender appearing before the court. However, they did not necessarily involve extensive cultural backgrounding. This cancellation is an abomination, and the height of stupidity. As Micky points out above, the cost of $7.5m is a tiny fraction of the cost of keeping 3000 extra people in custody when they might well be better served and their offending remediated in the community.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2

      I like your idea (@5) of "rap around support for [prisoners] when they return to the community" – works well in some wealthy countries that are closing prisons, and they also have the wherewithal to provide disadvantaged citizens with rap-around support to decrease the likelihood of criminal offending in the first place.

      The countries closing their prisons [25 Feb 2018]
      Sinclair says he wanted to take a look at countries with prison systems that "worked".

      "Ones where they had actually managed to reduce their prison populations in recent years and others where they have never had particularly high prison populations in the first place."

      He visited the Netherlands which has four times the population of New Zealand but the same prison population.

      "They've managed to get their prison population down, in fact they are closing prisons."

      He says Ireland has also managed to reduce its prison population.

      CATCH 22: The Unattainable Basic Necessities of Reintegration
      [2 Nov 2023]
      To break the cycle of reoffending, we must improve the support provided to individuals upon their release.

      I used to work in the High Court back in the day.

      If "back in the day" was more than 20 years ago, then much has changed since then.

      What are cultural sentencing reports and why does National want to scrap them? [13 Nov 2023]
      They are named after section 27 of the Sentencing Act 2002. Section 27 allows an offender to ask the court to hear any people they choose to speak about their personal, family, whānau, community, and cultural background. It is an expansion of its predecessor, section 16 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985.

      Māori face significant harm from axing govt funding of background reports [7 Feb 2024]
      For decades, governments have created a justice system that ignores drivers of crime and instead puts people in prisons with inadequate rehabilitation support. The whole point of being able to request a background report is so a judge can better understand some of the reasons that may have led to an offence happening.

      They can cover things like substance abuse, personality disorders, neurodivergence, learning difficulties, brain injuries, poverty, and trauma – including family violence and sexual violence.

      Right now, 60% of Māori in prison have been a victim of family violence – that's 2,400 people. Reducing the prison population can go hand-in-hand with reducing reoffending through using more suitable community based sentences that have better rehabilitative outcome.

      Being ‘tough on crime’ is easy, but it doesn't work [21 Sept 2023]
      As someone who works in the criminal justice sector, the recent policy proposals by major political parties make we wonder whether politicians are more concerned about appearing hard on crime than they are with reducing criminal offending.

      This long-standing punitive approach to crime withstands the plethora of evidence and research that disproves its effectiveness for reducing re-offending. On the contrary, criminal justice experts and statisticians have consistently said harsher sentencing increases recidivism.

  2. Ad 2

    The National Party policy to scrap the target of lowering the number of prisoners in Corrections is to me the most reprehensible action.

    All honour to the previous government's Minister Little for working so hard to set people free into being useful Kiwis again.

    • adam 2.1

      Well said Ad.

      Acknowledging our high recidivist rate, and then doing something about it – was a moment of courage, and in my opinion the high point of the last government.

      This action by the government reeks of childish machismo.

    • Andrew Little must have achieved much that annoyed the right. His Fair Work Bill that has been scrapped, the work he and Kelvin Davis did to turn around our prison numbers and recidivism has all been scrapped or reversed, as part of Nact ideology and austerity drive. They have meanness in the marrow of their long bones.

    • tsmithfield 2.3

      Ad, I am all for prison populations reducing. But for the right reasons.

      What I don't want is something akin to reducing hospital waiting lists by changing the criteria for hospital treatment rather than developing effective interventions to reduce the need to go to hospital in the first place.

      • Ad 2.3.1

        What you are talking about is recidivism and reintegration.

        Plenty of longstanding trusts and charities have been doing just that for decades. As well as Corrections and MSD and NZDF and some of the major corporates.

        The really good thing about a super-low unemployment rate of 3-3.5% was that major construction companies were motivated to partner with Corrections to hire and train people straight out of jail. Which they did 2017-2024.

        Unemployment going over 4% is good for no-one. Including those in jail.

      • Craig H 2.3.2

        Surely the difference in effects between a 3 year sentence or a 5 year sentence is negligible in terms of reducing recividism and total amount of crime. One just costs more than the other.

        Criminals don't get released from prison and commit crime undetected at a regular frequency, they get released from prison and if they commit more crime, it's a sudden burst of activity before the police catch up with them. A longer sentence doesn't stop that or reduce the incidence of it over a criminal's lifetime. Very long sentences or the death penalty (which I abhor) might have an impact on that, but I don't think either of those would sit right with the public other than for the most serious offences.

  3. Mike the Lefty 3

    On the TV news at six item on this yesterday it was hinted that this policy is being emphasised now because the government is looking very weak following the storm of protests that erupted over Waitangi weekend.

    Want to get something out there that makes the redneck faithful feel good about themselves and simultaneously pay back Maori for the all the insults they inflicted on them over the last few days.

    You know, I bet if it were non-Maori filling up most of the prison space there wouldn't be quite the same urgency by the NACTZ.

    Filling up prisons and building new ones will not prevent crime. Crime is prevented by having a sufficiently large well-equipped, well organized police force, and National's confusion about what plans they have for police numbers don't suggest that they have any plan to make it so.

    Prisons have a poor record for rehabilitation, they have a good record for being gang mustering grounds for new recruits.

    Typical of the NACTZ to revert to failed Victorian England policies.

    • Kay 3.1

      Crime is also prevented by secure affordable housing, not being in dire poverty, not going hungry, and basically having some hope for the future. Return someone from jail back to that same environment and what do they think will happen?

      Being incarcerated also creates institutionalisation, and the inability to function in the world again, thus it's easier to go back.

  4. Peter 4

    An old patron of the arts can spend years and hundreds thousands (or more?) furnishing cultural reports and whatever else proving he's a good bloke with prospects and deserves the rub of the green.

    Some 18 year old from Mangere?

    The Goldsmith announcement is just another dash from the 'lock-em up throw away the key' bible.

    • Mike the Lefty 4.1

      Goldsmith is one of those dreary dull National journeymen with a long and totally undistinguished career in parliament hoping to do something that will make people notice that he has been there.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    I actually think we need a whole new approach to prisons.

    I think the focus needs to either be on public safety or rehabilitation. So, people who come out of prison should be a lot better than they went in.

    The first thing I would do away with is the concept of varying sentence lenghts.

    People who are so bad they are never likely to reform, and likely to be a continuing menance to the community should basically be locked away forever, unless there is some dramatic change in their nature that justifies the second step of my idea.

    The second point is that I think other prisoners should be sent to a facility where the whole focus is on rehabilitation. That is, dealing with factors that contribute to their behaviour. For instance, dealing with drug addiction, critical education gaps, trade skills, counselling etc. Plus, rap around support for when they return to the community. That would include mentoring support in the community, ongoing counselling, and job opportunities.

    When prisoners have reached an adequate standard in this program, they can be released back into the community.

    There would be a degree of transfer between both types of prison. So, people who play up in the softer prison can be sent back to the harder level. And those who show motivation at the harder level can be transferred to the softer level.

    I think this approach would ensure that there is sufficient time to actually correct issues in people's lives, rather than arbitrary release before issues have been sorted.

    • Nic the NZer 5.1

      You just wanted to put some thoughts up to demonstrate how show how bonkers peoples ideas for prison reform could get?

      • tsmithfield 5.1.1

        So, rather than just ridiculing my idea, how about some comments to show why my idea wouldn't work, or be superior to what we currently have.

        Imprisoning people the way we do now obviously doesn't work. But catch and release doesn't seem to work either. So, what is it you don't like about the model I have proposed.

        • Res Publica 5.1.1.1

          People who are so bad they are never likely to reform, and likely to be a continuing menance to the community should basically be locked away forever, unless there is some dramatic change in their nature that justifies the second step of my idea.

          And who decides which type of criminal is which?

          I think the main flaws with your idea are that there's no objective way to judge or measure human nature. It will all be up to the interpretation of lawyers, judges, and juries.

          An, of course, any justice system involves human beings is going to be fallible.

          You will inevitably end up with "good" criminals being lumped in with the "bad" ones due do having a bad lawyer, or bad luck with a jury. Or "bad" criminals being able to wriggle into the easier prison by hiring an expensive enough lawyer.

          So basically the same problem as exists with the current system.

          TLDR; Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

          • mac1 5.1.1.1.1

            "Quis iūdicat ipsos iūdices?"

            I think here the national government is trying to influence the judges' decisions by altering the input for their consideration and by altering the judge's ability to discount sentences. It is also playing diversionary politics by feeding the public lion some easy meat at the games.

            They, and the public who agree with their moves here, have already judged the judges.

            • Res Publica 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh, I totally agree! The government's definitely trying to put its thumb on the scales to please the redneck, "sensible" sentencing mob.

              But it's also totally legit: from a constitutional perspective, judicial independence has always existed alongside, and been limited by the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty.

          • tsmithfield 5.1.1.1.2

            I think the main flaws with your idea are that there's no objective way to judge or measure human nature. It will all be up to the interpretation of lawyers, judges, and juries.

            You have just described almost any justice system.

            You will inevitably end up with "good" criminals being lumped in with the "bad" ones due do having a bad lawyer, or bad luck with a jury.

            But I think we can all think of examples that would easily meet the criteria: Brendon Tarrant for example. And, our parole system does something similar to what I have suggested now when it comes to considering whether serious criminals are safe to release into the community on parole. So, my idea is not without precedent.

            But, I did cover that point when I said:

            There would be a degree of transfer between both types of prison. So, people who play up in the softer prison can be sent back to the harder level. And those who show motivation at the harder level can be transferred to the softer level.

            I am not claiming what I have suggested would be perfect. I just think it would be a lot better than what we have now.

            • Incognito 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Did you try to invent the NZ version of the Godwin rule to score a point?

              FYI, four psychiatric and psychological reports were prepared for the court case of the worst offender in NZ history who was found guilty of 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder, and a charge of committing a terrorist act.

              • tsmithfield

                The type of offenders I am talking about are often on long non-parole sentences anyway. So, not a lot would change in that respect except the criteria would widen a bit.

                I am not saying that those in the high security prison can't move to the lower security rehabilition prison. It would be like it is now in many ways. They would need to convince a parole board they are suitable for this transition.

                • Incognito

                  Why did you argue from the extreme case then?

                  You make some vague generalisations as if all prisoners serving the same prison term are somehow similar in their resistance or openness to rehabilitation aka one size fits all. This, BTW, is one of the same criticisms put up against removing voting rights of prisoners who serve a sentence of three years or longer.

                  To paraphrase and parody Rumsfeld, there are good good people, bad good people, good bad people, and bad bad people, and we’ll never be able to tell without reasonable doubt who’s what.

                  • tsmithfield

                    But people are paid for making those sorts of distinctions now. So, what I am proposing isn't all that much different to the status quo in many ways in that respect.

                    If what I proposed was a non-porus bifurcation between the two groups, then you would have a stronger point. But I made it clear that that isn't what I was proposing. There would need to be fluidity to allow for those who may have been misclassified, or who show motivation to change to be moved to the rehabilitation group, and vice-versa.

                    • Incognito

                      Properly resource the Judiciary and let them do their job without eroding their integrity and independence by removing their sound judgment and discretionary tools.

                      But that’s not what you’re saying at all; it sounded more and more like some hallucination from an AI bot.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "a non-porus bifurcation"

                      Great wordsmithing, tsmithfield!

                    • tsmithfield

                      But that’s not what you’re saying at all; it sounded more and more like some hallucination from an AI bot.

                      What I am really wanting to see is conditions where those who are released from prison come out better than when they went in. I am sure most of us would agree that the current system is very poor at achieving that outcome.

                      So, the key things I am wanting to see with my idea is an environment in prison where those who are motivated to improve their lives are not distracted by those who have no interest in doing that.

                      And, I would like to see that those who are motivated to change, have sufficient time and support to do so.

                      So, any model that meets those objectives I would probably be happy with.

                      So, for that group, I don't really see prison as punishment. But rather, an opportunity for the intensive input they need.

                      The downfall with this type of intervention is that when people return to the community, they often quickly fall back into their old ways.

                      That is where effective community support on the outside is vital to ensure that changes stick.

            • Res Publica 5.1.1.1.2.2

              I am not claiming what I have suggested would be perfect. I just think it would be a lot better than what we have now.

              You would have to try incredibly hard to do worse. And, as I pointed out to Nic earlier, you've had least had the courage to articulate an idea and engage with a debate about it. Which is one better than I've done.

              My 2 cents worth is that the need for cultural (and other) reports are symptomatic of the law being woefully inadequate to the task of ensuring just and proportionate sentencing. Especially in the light of pressure from the (in)sensible sentencing crowd and their ilk.

              It'd be much more sensible to fix the root inequities in the justice system rather than cover it up with a fig leaf of impact reports after the fact.

              • tsmithfield

                Under the model I am proposing, prisoners who are most motivated to change and take advantage of all the supports offered would get out first. Hence, the prisoners would have a strong motivation to make changes, rather than just enduring their lag.

                Notice, I have just used public safety and rehabilitation as reasons for imprisonment, not punishment.

                I think it is important that people spend enough time in the rehabilitation side of the system to make changes that last. Hence, focussing on the time needed for this to take effect rather than arbitrary sentences.

        • Nic the NZer 5.1.1.2

          Oops, my mistake. I mean I had assumed your suggestion of splitting criminals into a good kind and a bad kind was so obviously flawed you could not possibly have been serious. I therefore assigned your idea to the bad category where it can remain indefinitely for the protection of society. But if your serious then do carry on with your proposal and we will all have a good laugh when some political party says, running justice like a baseball game is one thing, but your proposal is completely bonkers.

          • Res Publica 5.1.1.2.1

            I'd be intrigued to see your obviously brilliant, well researched, and comprehensive plans for prison reform Nic.

            At least the OP has been willing to articulate something other than scorn and lazy sarcasm.

            So put up, or shut up.

            • Nic the NZer 5.1.1.2.1.1

              In my extensive research, reject every judicial reform proposal which has ever been proposed by the ACT party at least since John Banks was leader of the party. This simple proposal has, as far as research goes, a 100% track record of weeding out reforms which have been found later to undermine the NZ justice system.

              However, as you pointed out yourself, tsmithfields proposals (if they mean anything) would not succeed and assume you can make prima facia judgements of the future of people convicted.

              • Res Publica

                In my extensive research, reject every judicial reform proposal which has ever been proposed by the ACT party at least since John Banks was leader of the party

                OK, that we can definitely agree on…

                I also happen to think that tmsithfield's proposition is unworkable and untenable. But we should at least give them the courtesy of engaging with it on its merits.

    • Muttonbird 5.2

      It's curious the way you suggest all manner of expensive interventions. An entire new layer of corrections infrastructure in the form new promotion/relegation facility complete with addiction services, counselling, education, and skills training, plus wrap around services after that.

      Yet you balk at the very first intervention, a cultural report.

      Could it be your opposition is to the word cultural?

      • tsmithfield 5.2.1

        As I said earlier, probation reports already cover a lot of this, and could be augmented if the detail is sufficient in respect to culture.

        I just don't see the need for a duplication.

        • Macro 5.2.1.1

          and could be augmented if the detail is sufficient in respect to culture.

          Why do you think cultural reports were considered necessary in the first place? Could it possibly be that firstly, probation officers are inundated with work, secondly, the need to carry out an extensive background checks on every individual would require additional time and resources, and thirdly, someone with the necessary skills to do a fulsome cultural report is not necessarily the skills of a Probation Officer.

          Take for example a chap I know well. R came to our attention on Sunday evenings at our Sunday evening open kitchens. Open to anyone who wishes to drop in and have a chat and some hot food. R was shy and didn't engage in conversation with anyone – but he was obviously hungry. I learnt from others that he was recently released from prison, and it was obvious he was traumatised. He was sleeping rough and took to sleeping at the back of the church. Accomodation through WINZ wasn't really an option. He couldn't be around others – even others like himself. R made himself useful cleaning up the grounds around the buildings – particularly after a Sat evening when the patrons from the pub across the road would drop their empty cans and bottles etc on the church grounds. As a sort of casual verger it was decided that the best solution for R was for him to have his own insulated hut with a good bed, and a place for some garden tools to care for a garden. He had worked in the garden at the prison and that had been his happy time.

          R stayed in the little shed for 3 years over the lockdown and beyond. His mum (who had been on the streets when he was born) lived close by, and they were able to establish a relationship, which had not been possible before.

          R has now moved on to better things. Prison was a traumatic and devastating experience for him. If only some sort of intervention had been available to him before that, maybe his life, and those around him, would have been far more enriched.

    • Craig H 5.3

      I think a properly funded rehabilitative approach is essential as is proper support at release. The public don't like it because it goes against their sense of retribution as the most important aspect of criminal sentencing, but that's counterproductive to reduction of offending over time.

      I'm not a fan of removing all proportionality from sentencing – indefinite sentences should remain reserved for the most serious offending, not handed out liberally. Longer sentences with more liberal parole would be a potential compromise, although no doubt that would be attacked as soft on crime as parole often is.

    • SPC 5.4

      Tier 1 Incoming – counselling and education gaps.

      Long term stays – the issue is activity roles in the system (kitchen, gardening, maintenance, library etc).

      Tier 2 Outgoing – trade skills and work release (earn money for rental bonds).

      Tier 3A – complete sentence as bracelet home work release, or in community housing (while looking for accommodation)

      Tier 3B – those into community housing on release to receive help with trade skills, finding work (iwi related maybe).

  6. Descendant Of Smith 6

    "rap around support"

    Music soothes the savage beast. Potential export earning as well.

    • Robert Guyton 6.1

      Music may soothe the savage beast, but is best known for soothing the savage breast 🙂

      • Descendant Of Smith 6.1.1

        I'd argue the other way.

        best and colloquially known for "soothing the savage beast", less known by far that the original phrase was "soothing the savage breast"

        • Robert Guyton 6.1.1.1

          You could be right, DoS and I didn't mean to criticise you at all. I do think though, because I've thought about this, that "breast" is the true meaning 🙂 The reason I think that is because it makes more sense and while it seems to be true that milking cows are soothed by some music, they are rarely described as savage, and to the best of my knowledge, beasts that can be; tigers, honey bears, wolverines etc. aren't on record anywhere showing a de-escalation of their anger in response to music.

          Otoh, the breasts, or rather, hearts, of savage humans, are reached and affected by music, especially Baroque, according to research and experience, and such music is regularly used in situations where calming is required; institutions for the mentally ill, for example.

          I know I'm doubling-down, making a mountain out of a mole-hill, but when a question comes down to seeking help from Google and the mess of potage that can throw up, I try to plumb the depths (or shallows) of my brain and see what's lurking there 🙂 So, breast, for me!

          • Descendant Of Smith 6.1.1.1.1

            Didn't take it personally, was aware of both and in fact when I originally responded and tossed up which version to use I erred on the side of common usage.

            I'm just happy that others take a similar interest in English usage.

            On the other hand – people who say "without further adieu" instead of ado drive me batty.

  7. Incognito 7

    The RW Law & Order agenda, or weapon rather, never is about Justice & Fairness. It is RW ideology trumping morality & ethics.

    The whole Justice Cluster (Crown Law Office, Department of Corrections, Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police, Serious Fraud Office) has been asked to find savings of 6.5%.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/507659/the-public-service-agencies-asked-to-cut-spending

    It’s obvious who will bear the brunt of this and the Coalition Government knows it too and couldn’t care less. Arguably, it is deliberate and pre-determined. This should be seen together with their other attacks on the integrity and independence of the NZ Judiciary. A Randian bunch of Neo-Authoritarians is running amok in the Beehive.

  8. Michael 8

    Interesting to see Goldsmith deride s27 reports as a "cottage industry". It pales into insignificance compared to the medicolegal assessment industry that began to flourish under the Bolger-Shipley government and is responsible for brutal disentitlement of thousands of ACC claimants and sickness/invalid beneficiaries. No changes there of course.

    • aj 8.1

      "cottage industry"

      'Trams' instead of 'Light rail'

      All all about deriding the process. 3 Waters = 'stealing the assets'

      etc

  9. newsense 9

    Should be asking them too, hammering them to rule out private prisons and PP in the justice system, because of the shareholder value issue.

    Government for: tobacco companies, greedy landlords, racists and private prisons.

    This is an evil government.

  10. newsense 10

    Not sure if that’s gone weird in the editing above:

    Should be asking them too, hammering them to rule out private prisons and PP in the justice system, because of the shareholder value issue.

    Government for: tobacco companies, greedy landlords, racists and private prisons.

    This is an evil government.

    We should be asking them questions about the kind of government wants to cut childcare, social workers, welfare, public transport and housing and to only increase the prison population. If they aren’t increasing the workforce with that they are surely committing any number of actionable human rights abuses?

  11. Wei 11

    The priority of any criminal justice system must surely be public safety above and beyond all else. If the rehabilitation of the prisoner can be achieved at the same time, that's a good thing, but it should not be the priority.

    Now some will say if you rehabilitate the prisoner, you will get less crime. However I think a strong deterrence will likely reduce future crime and lessen the likelihood of people getting in trouble and requiring 'rehabilitation' in the first place.

    The productive citizenry pays taxes, and they expect their women and children to walk the streets safely. I've just come back from Brisbane, and their city centre with 24-hour public swimming pools and little if any aggro is vastly different from what we have in Queen St Auckland. It's a national disgrace.

    In the end the major human rights issue in this country is law and order or its lack thereof.

    • Incognito 11.1

      The productive citizenry pays taxes, and they expect their women and children to walk the streets safely.

      Thanks for this gem of RW stereotyping. Those law-abiding citizens will take their tax cuts to their lovely warm & dry homes with white picket fences and a schnoodle, after taking their well-behaved and well-adjusted children to the movies topped with a nice ice-cream.

      BTW, removing prisoner voting rights is a breach of their human rights and it’s got nothing to do with public safety. It’s a National disgrace.

      You can jump in the lake (24/7)!

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.1

        I thought Wei's stereotyping began with "productive citizenry" being male, defined as they are, by having a wife.

      • Wei 11.1.2

        What on earth has 'right wing' got to do with it? Left wing does not mean soft on crime.

        As for those middle class people whom you seem to detest, if they all disappeared we would have no people to run the hospitals, the schools, build infrastructure, etc. In other words disappear the productive citizenry and the country turns into a shithole.

        Whereas if the criminally inclined disappeared, we would lose nothing as a society, indeed society would be improved.

        • Incognito 11.1.2.1

          Your reading comprehension and cognitive ability for reasoned argument have left you with pathetic RW stereotypes, slogans, and absolutisms.

          You haven’t dealt with the Mod note for you and your time here is running out fast.

          • tsmithfield 11.1.2.1.1

            Here is a Wiki link for you on that one. From the article:

            Crime rates in Singapore are some of the lowest in the world, with petty crimes such as pickpocketing and street theft rarely occurring, and violent crime being extremely rare.[1] Penalties for drug offences such as trafficking in Singapore are severe, and include the death penalty.[2]

            So, certainly in Singapore, anyway, there appears to be an association between severe punishments and low crime rates.

            Of course, correlation is not causation, and the two factors (severe punishment and low crime rates) may be coincidental. Or perhaps there is already a strong social attitude against crime which supports government laws to punish crime when it does occur.

    • SPC 11.2

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate

      https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/crime-rate-by-country

      Our rate of incarceration is higher than China, but our crime rate is lower.

      But given we do not make human rights a trade concern, no mind.

    • Craig H 11.3

      Longer sentences don't reduce crime so don't improve public safety, just the perception of it.

    • Michael P 11.4

      Rehabilitation has to be the priority. Remember, the vast majority of those currently in prison have to be released at some stage.

  12. Ad 12

    We are a nasty, punitive little country ranking just below the United States in jailed-per-capita.

    https://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector-policy/key-initiatives/key-initiatives-archive/hapaitia-te-oranga-tangata/#:~:text=Around%2056.5%25%20of%20people%20with,years%20following%20release%20from%20prison.

    We've just had the most dramatic fall in prison numbers in multiple decades. We can show we can really change things for good.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/04-10-2022/our-prisons-are-breeding-grounds-for-crime-what-needs-to-change

    If Luxon really wants a more productive society requiring lower state subsidy per person, then he needs to get people out of being subsidised $120,000 per year in jail, and back out living useful lives within New Zealand. Equal Justice have done thinking for him.

    https://www.equaljusticeproject.co.nz/articles/a-critical-analysis-of-the-reintegration-of-prisoners-back-into-aotearoa-new-zealand-society2021

  13. SPC 13

    If the purpose is to reduce crime

    1.decriminalise possession of marijuana, E etc

    2.allow low THC marijuana to be sold

    3.require Insurance companies to establish a property recovery company – and enable that group to use GPS to track stolen property and recover it (from the thief or person who bought the stolen goods). This would develop research into ways to tag property to prevent theft (from the personal to the building site).

    4.reduce the number of outlets with high value (smokes because of tax) on the property.

    5.reduce the number of liquor and gambling outlets in poor neighbourhoods

    6.intervene in the debt spiral to prevent people becoming desperate – rather than people to profit from this.

    7.mitigate the final phase of that dilemma – unaffordable rent but the need for an address and phone for ID – for Income Support or bank account (allow agents to act for these people).

    Having an unequal society and making crime too easy is simply stupid. It is like a form of entrapment. It is like saying the poor have children who are born bad or the problem is welfare.

    When there is a government that is determined to make landlords richer and have fewer owning property, there is a class war. And crime and punishment is just one front of that war.

    • Wei 13.1

      My parents were dirt poor and yet they did not resort to alcoholism or gambling. In the end people are responsible for their own actions, particularly in regard to alcohol and smoking.

      I have just returned from a trip to mainland China where alcohol is sold like water, in convenience stores, vending machines, supermarkets, at any small eatery (it's great to have a beer with spicy food). Hard liquor even can be purchased off the streets. Age restrictions are nominal and rarely enforced. Yet there are few social problems arising from such a lax policy.

      The more something is made verboten the more issues you will have it. In that sense legalising cannabis could be a good thing. But if people use it as an excuse to commit crime, then crack down ruthlessly on the crime. Freedom can and must co-exist with harsh punishments.

      • Robert Guyton 13.1.1

        "crack down ruthlessly on the crime"

        Show no pity, no matter what the circumstances.

        Heart o' gold, you!

      • Drowsy M. Kram 13.1.2

        I have just returned from a trip to mainland China where alcohol is sold like water… Yet there are few social problems arising from such a lax policy.

        Apparent alcohol-related social problems may be negligible, but health problems arising from using addictive substances are statistically unavoidable – buyer beware.

        Alcohol consumption and risks of more than 200 diseases in Chinese men [8 June 2023]
        Overall, the present study demonstrated substantial hazards of alcohol consumption with a wide range of disease outcomes among Chinese men. The findings reinforce the need to lower population mean levels of alcohol consumption as a public health priority in China.

        It's great that the freedom (particularly the freedom of men) to purchase alcohol has increased in China – hope it doesn't negatively impact transplantation procedures.

        "A drop received in need will be repaid with a whole river." Gānbēi smiley

        • Wei 13.1.2.1

          Alcohol, like smoking has always been a health problem and always will be. That's nothing new. The question is whether other people's individual choices affect others.

          [Silly question.

          Anyway, you continue ignoring moderation. Therefore, take a month off for ongoing diversions and wasting Moderator time. When you come back you’ll go straight into Pre-Moderation again because you cannot be trusted and need supervision here – Incognito]

  14. Wei 14

    Evidence that harsh penalties work:

    Central Narcotics Bureau of Singapore | Drug Report (cnb.gov.sg)

    That does not mean I support the death penalty, not because it is not a deterrent, but because I would not want to like in a society that hangs people any more than one that chops the heads off people.

    However, the argument that death, or long periods of imprisonment do not have a deterrent effect fly in the face of the reality of human nature.

    However, agree an overemphasis on deterrence only can end up with the situation where certain members of society are offered up as some form of human sacrifice for the apparent well-being of the whole – that would of course be immoral. Even one person suffering unjustly for the ‘good’ of the whole of society is unacceptable.

    However, harshness that rehabilitates is something that we should consider. Not molly coddling crims, but rather putting through challenging circumstances where they have a chance of coming out the other end as productive citizens. Rehabilitation can go hand in hand with deterrence.

    • Incognito 14.1

      I assume this was meant to be in response to my comment @ 13.1.1. If so, I called out your commenting behaviour and had no intention of asking for info on Singapore as such.

      In any case, you have diverted again from the OP, which you started @ 11, and your RW ‘mission creep’ is blatant and deliberate.

      A quick & dirty Google search on “prison term deterrence research” suggests that you have cherry-picked Singapore to confirm your belief. It appears that reality is more complex and your claim is not necessarily backed by the large body of research on this topic.

      It’s a little moot anyway, as the OP didn’t discuss plans by the Coalition Government to increase prison sentences.

      I suggest you do some research while your serving your sentence – you may actually learn something that might change your mind.

  15. cathyo 15

    "And the justifications are jarring. Expense is the alleged rational for not funding cultural reports. "

    Expense is a good rationale for capital punishment

Leave a Comment

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 hour ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 hour ago
  • Then why did she do it?
    Earlier in the month, Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry. She repeated her lies in Parliament. But today, she stood up and pretended to apologise for "causing confusion" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 hour ago
  • Is Applying “Tough Love” To A “Fragile” Nation The Right Answer?
    The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer: How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a workforce ...
    2 hours ago
  • The limits to realism.
    Realism is a school of thought in the field of international relations (IR). It provides a theoretical framework for analysing the behaviour of States in the world political system. Like other theories (which in the IR literature include idealism, liberalism, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 hours ago
  • UNSOCIAL MEDIA – Following the Trolls
    From TODAY FM archives — Wilhelmina Shrimpton and Simon Morrow take a deep dive into trolling and cyberbullying. From the high profile to the general public, Kiwis across all walks of life are being targeted, and some are paying the ultimate price. So what drives us to troll, who is ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    3 hours ago
  • Govt prescribes stiff medicine for some beneficiaries while easing access to drugs containing pseudo...
    Buzz from the Beehive One of two new announcements on the government’s official website  – given plenty of publicity by the mainstream media over the past 24 hours – has been pitched as the first steps in a “reset” of the welfare system.  Stiff medicine for beneficiaries, in effect. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 hours ago
  • We’re not as fragile or as lazy as Luxon says
    Luxon says his government is one that is “prepared to make those hard decisions”. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has adopted the language of Ruth Richardson before her 1991 ‘Mother of All Budgets’ in arguing for benefit sanctions to bolster the Government finances, which ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 hours ago
  • Talking over the Silence.
    Please open the doorNothing is different, we've been here beforePacing these hallsTrying to talk over the silenceIf I was to describe what I do, or at least the way it sometimes feels, then talking over the silence wouldn’t be a bad way to do so.Not that there aren’t other voices ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 hours ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: National needs to go further
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – In today’s State of the Nation speech Christopher Luxon talked repeatedly about getting young people off welfare. It seems that National has devised a traffic light system which will use increasing levels of sanctions – welfare deductions – when beneficiaries fail to meet their ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    8 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National spreading panic about the economy
    It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is… Then how come ...
    10 hours ago
  • Deep in the Uncanny Valley of AI
    Hi,Before we get started, some very big fun Webworm news. I am launching a new journalism fund called Big Worm Farm!A really great thing that’s happened with Webworm over the last four years is that it’s grown. That’s great for a few reasons.Firstly — it means the work here gets ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    11 hours ago
  • Introducing: Big Worm Farm
    Hi,I’m excited to tell you about Big Worm Farm.Put simply, the main aim of Big Worm Farm is to support investigative journalists from around the world to be able to devote dedicated time to research and report on a specific story, to be published on Webworm.The stories will capture the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    11 hours ago
  • Why Massey is broke
    The Tertiary Education Commission has named the two universities it says are at high risk financially. They are Massey and Victoria. The Commission appeared before Parliament’s Education Select Committee yesterday and offered a revealing and rare insight into the complex world of university economics. Its Briefing to the Incoming Minister ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    13 hours ago
  • You keep Luxin' when you oughta be thruthin'
    Christopher Luxon’s campaign to win last year's election continued yesterday with a speech.Channelling possibly Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he was all, I'm not going to dress it up, I'm going to level with you guys: the state of the nation is fragile.The thing he’s maybe missing is that it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 day ago
  • The PM spoke of the need for tough choices – and then opted to beat a retreat when gays and Gaza a...
    Buzz from the Beehive The PM’s State of the Nation speech – according to a Newshub headline – was a ‘buffet of buzzwords’ and full of ‘nonsense’. Fair to say, the quoted words were attributed to Opposition politicians, who were unlikely to say the speech was visionary and inspiring: PM ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 day ago
  • Keynesian Wisdom.
    When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 day ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Puffing policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. Brian Easton writes – In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • Is 2.8% per year population growth too much?
    TL;DR: The Government is reviewing migration settings that produced 2.8% population growth last year and is looking at a longer-term strategy of matching population growth to the ‘absorbtive capacity’ of Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure.Our population grew last year at its fastest rate since 1947, when large numbers of troops returning from World ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Tough Choices & Tough Love.
    I've been trying to hurt youI've been holding you tightI've been learning to love youAm I doing it right?How are you still breathingWith my hands all over your heart?How do we start healingIf we can't keep out the dark?Yesterday the Prime Minister delivered his State of the Nation, for no ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    1 day ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    2 days ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    4 days ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    4 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    5 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    5 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    5 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    6 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by SueEllen Campbell Until recently, Antarctica’s ice has seemed surprisingly stable. In contrast to the far north, the southern continent’s massive ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves (ice that floats on the ocean), and seasonal ice appeared to be reliably frozen: Enough snow fell ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s Persistent Rail Issues
    Over the last few weeks in our weekly roundup we’ve commented on the frequent delays and cancellations that have occurred on the rail network this year since the rail network went back into full operation on the 22-Jan – with Kiwirail proclaiming they had ‘successfully delivered summer holiday infrastructure upgrades ...
    1 week ago

  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Step Closer for European Union Free Trade Agreement
    New Zealand has moved closer to ratifying the New Zealand – European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), with the First Reading of legislation to bring the Agreement into force being held in Parliament today.   “Almost a decade after preparatory talks first began on an FTA with the European Union, I’m pleased to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-02-20T04:55:03+00:00