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Let the bashing begin

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, August 17th, 2009 - 61 comments
Categories: benefits - Tags:

I see Paula Bennett has been busy dog-whistling on beneficiaries, firstly by releasing figures showing 307 beneficiaries receive more than $1000 a week and then by claiming she “suspects” special needs grants are being abused.

Given the hatefest her potentially unlawful release of Natasha Fuller and Jennifer Johnson’s income details caused last time there’s no way she can claim she doesn’t know what she’s doing here and frankly it disgusts me.

And for those of you who don’t think this is a dogwhistle, consider what the nature of this story would have been if the figure she’d decided to release was the number of people who were not receiving their full entitlements and how much that was costing them.

I’d be willing to bet that figure would be far in excess of the money being paid to the top 307. But that wouldn’t soften the ground for attacks on benefit levels (and subsequently wages) would it?

Far better to use a big, unqualified, figure attached to a small number of beneficiaries to make it easier to attack all the others.

As an aside, I see that only about half are on the DPB, I suspect most of the rest have serious health issues that need funding but that’s not mentioned. I guess it’s harder to get a hate on for the chronically ill.

61 comments on “Let the bashing begin”

  1. lprent 1

    So she found 300 people out of 100,000 odd. I suspect that all of those cases will be justified. However she will now scapegoat some of those for political reasons.

    It is easier than doing work for Paula I suspect

    • So Bored 1.1

      One suspects that she is not the person doing the thinking here….(click to Nats strategy room) “now if we create a smokescreen doing some beneficiary bashing this week, get Paula to front it, the left will concentrate on her whilst Tony privatises health, no one will notice and voila, the polls will show us as thoroughly good blokes…..”

      • Tigger 1.1.1

        Any other reasons they need a smokescreen this week? I mean, it’s clearly a bomb lobbed as distraction, but for what else…?

        P.S. Paula, this is creepy and jackbooted and beneath you.

        • So Bored 1.1.1.1

          Some other orchestrated litany of lies (great line from Justice Mahon, still love it).

  2. Irish Bill, I have some sympathy with your position on this.
    I really think descending into bashing beneficiaries is a wrong move for the country.
    However, it is going to be a hard job defending a family with 10 kids who have been on the bennie for 15 years and are receiving 1200 a week. I am sure most kiwis will be raising an eyebrow to that one, including the overwhelming majority of beneficairies who are genuinely doing it tough. I am sure any family of that size would struggle to support itself on 1200 per week but that is not really the point is it.
    Anneette King asked how many were getting over a thousand a week and rather foolishly gave Bennett an opening. This will see righteous indignation and screeching from the right wing blogs and die in a ditch defense of the system by the left.

    I can undersdtand ;long term beneficiaries being a bit tardy with the birth control in much the same way it has happened in my family, BUT 10 times!

    • lprent 2.1

      bb: The problem is that there are probably totally legitimate reasons for it.

      For instance, they could be fostering orphan kids from the whanau. They could have kids with disabilities. They could be grandparents bringing up the kids of their children who are dead, imprisoned or mentally incapable of bringing up their own kids.

      Sure WINZ needs to look at it..

      But did Paula need to be such an arse-hole to help the jerk-off beneficiary bashers.

      I’m sure that it is politically helpful to give every fool in the country some lines to play on talkback. But it hardly helps the issue does it?

    • Richard 2.2

      bb: I am sure any family of that size would struggle to support itself on 1200 per week but that is not really the point is it.

      Actually no, that is precisely the point. These are likely to be families with large numbers of children Alternatively, some could be a small families with children who have high-cost special needs. Perhaps some are even individuals with very high special needs costs. In any case, if these families happen to have no reasonable source of income then they are going to be on a large benefit, because they have large costs.

      Now, of course, maybe in some cases the parents have some responsibility for their predicament. Or in some cases you could probably say it was the pope’s fault. But in case it is not the fault of the children.

      People on benefits with large unavoidable costs are going to receive large benefits, it’s as simple as that.

      The only “humane” alternative is to euthanize the disabled and poor (the inhuman alternative, of course, being to let them starve to death).

  3. Concerned Of Tawa 3

    Time for a WINZ Platinum Community Services Card to reward these high earners.

    Invite only. Preferred address Orakei, Auckland ($2,000,000 state homes a stones throw from those rich pricks in Paritai Drive)

    Concierge Service for those awkward times when your $60,000 Chrysler 300 gets impounded (despite your gang connections) Just phone WINZ Platinum Card Services.

    But wait theres more!
    No need to pay $1000’s per year for Southern Cross Ultra-Care 400 to get dental treatment, WINZ Platinum Card rewards your decades of lack of effort with $300 per year dental treatment (non-recoverable from your “income” of course)

    And of course Fag-buys. Go on you’ve earned it.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      Beneficiary bashing frenzy: Exhibit A. Thanks for validating my argument CoT.

      • Swampy 3.1.1

        The problem is that in times of government, Labour bends over backwards to foster a pro-welfare, pro-beneficiary culture. When elected in 1999, WINZ was instructed to extend every possible largesse to their client base to ensure they were getting everything possible that they could be entitled to. Case managers were instructed to hand out the forms for sickness and invalid beneficiaries just in case someone who might qualify has missed out. Doctors were bombarded with these forms by their patients just in case they might be eligible etc.

        About mid-term Labour took a political hit over this policy and brought in the Jobs Jolt as a political reaction to the negative headlines they were getting over some of the welfare issues.

        So it’s no surprise, there is political mileage and plenty of it to be made by a newly elected National government against Labour’s welfare policies.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.2

      The National Party already has the platinum card, they just didn’t tell the voters. First to receive their card was Bill and Mary English with their eight Kids, Bill is just trying to keep the family together aye..

      To get the card you have to be nominated by the prime minister, John said that given it was to keep Bills family together, he was kinda relaxed about it.

  4. Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 4

    I am the NZ manager for a company & earn the same as these ‘breeeders’.
    Pretty disgusting really.

    With an ever shrinking pot of money diluted over more beneficiaries (WFF etc)these issues need to be addressed. Having 10 kids on tick should not be on, why should I pay for some wahine who cannot keep her legs closed?

    [he’s NZ manager for Racial Prejudice Inc]

    • Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 4.1

      Sorry IB – I am a productive in NZ, unlike these ‘breeders’ & yourself.

      IrishBill: and now you’re banned from here for life so you can spend even more time being productive. Goodbye.

      • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1

        You could always go Galt, Peter. No-one’s stopping you.

        It’s a free country mate, the answer to your gripes lies within your power. So stop your whinging.

      • starboard 4.1.2

        banned for life for speaking up…the truth hurts doesnt it dumb arses…go the good stuff Bennett…the chequebook’s now closing …and before you ban me as well…I aint comin back to the strandard…it gives me gas when I read it.

        [lprent: you are already banned under a different alias.
        You give comments that a cretin would be proud of.
        Stay away]

  5. Seti 5

    Ahem…, so who wanted the info again?

    captcha: cycles – on ya bike

    • Good point, PB cannot be blamed for this info, it was requested by question for written answer in Parliament. She is required to answer of course.

      • Rex Widerstrom 5.1.1

        Seems that if there’s a foot anywhere near a loaded gun, someone in Labour can be relied upon to pull the trigger.

        Then again, perhaps it was a full moon when they lodged the question…

        It’s all very well squawking “Croby Textor, Crosby Textor!” when the Nats trot out some polished turd but there’s no virtue in a complete lack of strategy and tactics either.

        And no, having Phil Goff try to look like Bush Lite by standing him in a paddock doesn’t count as a strategy.

  6. IrishBill 6

    Barnsley, I agree that having the tax payer fork out for people to have 10 children is not ideal but what other options are there? Taking people’s kids off them and having the state pay through CYFS while also breaking up a family? Cutting the funding at a certain point so kids suffer? Forced sterilisation (as I’ve seen some of the loony right seriously advocate!)?

    Frankly apart from continued eduction I can’t see a better way of doing this and I don’t think National can either. They’re just throwing out the red meat.

    • Agreed there is actually no solution to that sort of scenario, but hey we just don’t know, one of those 10 kids might be a future world leader, olympic athlete, all black etc, heck they might even grow up and develop a cure for cancer. Unless we are going to give the state power to decide just who can breed, (terrifying thought!) I don’t know the answer.

      Once again though I will state, that every low income earner in this country is entitled to the supplements that make up the bulk of those amounts. The “main benefit” is only a small part of what those people receive.

      • Boris Klarkov 6.1.1

        but hey we just don’t know, one of those 10 kids might be a future world leader,..

        Nope, they’ll all grow up to be the next generation of Labour-voting beneficiarycriminals that decent New Zealand has to support.

        [lprent: you just activated my anti-trolling instincts.
        Just looked through your previous comments.
        Consider yourself banned permanently as you haven’t contributed anything substantive to debate.
        All you do is rant using concepts and ideas that were old when I was young.
        If you can’t use your brains rather than a set of antique lines from the cold war, then do it elsewhere. ]

    • Swampy 6.2

      The sisterhood wants the DPB paid to teenage mothers who they say can bring up their children better than adoptive parents. What a dumb idea that was.

  7. Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 7

    [lprent: banned – see here ]

  8. Good shit. The benefit should not extend to 10 children, fuck that.

  9. Maggie 9

    When Bennett was chosen as Social Development Minister I thought she was a good choice, particularly when you consider Judith Collins was the alternative. Bennett was rough around the edges and feisty, but at least had some understanding of what it can be like on a benefit.

    Shortly after she was elected Bennett said in an interview: “You won’t have me bagging the solo Mums”. So what happened to that, Paula?

    When she “outed” two solos for having the cheek to oppose government policy Bennett claimed to have been shocked by the reaction of some members of the public.

    “I think it has been an absolutely horrific debate,’ the minister said. (NZ Herald)

    So why stir up an “absolutely horrific debate” for a second time? The first time she could claim she didn’t realise what she was doing, but when she does it for a second time…..

    Peter Johns’ racist reaction will be mild by comparison with what is coming.

    Thanks, Paula.

  10. ben 10

    Didn’t Labour ask the question? Isn’t Bennett required by law to answer? How can this be her dogwhistle?

  11. vto 11

    Perfectly legitimate issue for consideration I would have thought, especially when people are on the dole for 15 years and have 10 kids. Sheesh, what’s up with that? First up appearance is ‘bludger’. Wonder if the actual equates with the appearance…

    But anyway, labelling anyone who questions aspects of the welfare system a bene-basher is the same as labelling anyone who questions aspects of the special treatment for Maori system a racist.

    Perhaps someone could explain how Kiwis should, in this modern day, ask questions of the system which concern them without being abused and ridiculed? IB, its your post – do you have any ideas?

  12. Maggie 12

    Bennett was required to answer the question. What she wasn’t required to do is release the answer to the media. She chose to do that even though she must have known what the reaction would be.

    These are just a few examples from two blog sites. Attractive, aren’t they?

    1. Facial Tats are another road to the long term bene cruise, the fuck-knuckles (excuse my Swahili) know this, and can use the cultural card, even though it is a gang sign tattooed on their face, if anyone hassles them too much, and KNOW that eventually WINZ will just pay them to stay away.

    The funny thing about it all is that up the Coast those same people are invariably Maori separatists. When you point out that the Government they hate also provides them with a living they really pull out all their baldhead shit. I’ve been threatened a couple of times for pointing that out.
    Luckily a lifetime of bludging also makes them slow.
    3. Somebody out there must be able to find out the name of this couple.
    PLEASE, get their names out there in the public, by any means possible. We have to bring these parasites in for all the scorn, shame, derision and contempt they deserve.
    They are probably also in a state house, which would further increase their parasitical take, as well as god knows how many other blank cheques they take from WINZ over a year.
    We have to make being on a benefit the ultimate shame, where you are too embarrassed to show your face in public.
    1. Its gota stop..NO PARASITE should be able to sponge for 15 years off the backs of hard working taxpayers. This is one of the big reasons National was voted in..to fix this sort of shit.
    Go for it PB..knock ‘em hard whore , hehe.. times up buddy xx

    2. Maybe they shouldn’t have so many fucken kids? This is fucken retarded. 10 children? jesus fuck. Cut that mans balls off, he’s lost the right to bear children.
    3. Good to see Bennet is continuing a cleanout of hopeless bludgers
    Breeding seems an option to working

    • singularian 12.1

      Ever been to the East Coast Maggie? I read the same comment ( the first one you quote) over a DPF’s. Are you saying it’s not factual? Or do you just not like the truth when it is unpalatable to your political thinking?

      catchpa – true (ha ha)

      • Maggie 12.1.1

        Yes, singularian, I’ve been to the East Coast.

        And, no, I don’t consider a comment like: “Luckily a life time of bludging also makes them slow”, to be factual, just ignorant.

        But thanks for asking.

    • Swampy 12.2

      Every intelligent person knows there are massive social disadvantages associated with welfare, that is why we talk about the negative consequences of a welfare lifestyle etc. People should not be on benefits for long periods unless they are somehow incapable of working. I live in a community where there is a high proportion of welfare dependency. People still make the same dumb decisions – they may not have children but they might have 10 cats instead, and somehow be blind to the fact that it costs money to keep them.

      There is and will alway be, as long as the welfare system exists, people who are abusing it, who will just take the money as if it was their right. There will always be mothers who hook up with deadbeat fathers who leave as soon as they get pregnant

  13. Brett 13

    This type of welfare abuse could be easily stopped.Just have one of the conditions of receiving the dpb is that you must be on Mirena or some other long term contraceptive.

    • IrishBill 13.1

      Good idea Brett. Then if they fail to do that we can sterilise them permanently and/or send them to work camps.

  14. rave 14

    Even if we added up the benefits of a few who stay at home having lots of kids (good to see that such domestic work is paid) it would amount to petty cash for the Rogernomes who sold off the silver and absconded to Geneva or London.
    Its also petty cash for the Rogerman himself living high on the jetsetter benefit he claims after scrapping NZs public assets.

  15. Maggie 15

    I have also e-mailed those examples to Paula Bennett. Hope she enjoys them.

  16. IB, I don’t have an answer that would be palateable. Some suggestions dredged from the darker recesses of my mind are the gut reaction. But I will not be voicing them as others are already doing so.
    Maybe a cap on the number of children we can be funded for or even capping the amount at the start and then if you decide to have more kids you know going in that we will not provide extra funding. It is hard to convince that this particular example is not a breeding programme to secure more money. But none of us know yet whether they were blessed with multiple births. It could be triplets and twins.

    On a personal note i am bitterly disappointed that the debate has gone in this direction. We do need to make fundamental changes to the way social welfare is managed in this country, and taking the debate in this direction will only see an over reaction from all sides.
    I would like to see it start with a programme to foster a sense of pride and a strong work ethic in the children. With the best will in the world it is hard to imagine the ten children in this particualr house witnessing pride and a work ethic at home.
    It is almost to the point where we write of an entire generation of parents and put all our efforts into the youngsters.

    As a twice seperated father of a few I have had to bare the shame of my ex wives spending some time on the DPB and it is not the holiday that many seem to imagine. Both of them transited through the system fairly quickly and now work but the memory of the strain it put on all of us still lingers.
    There will without a doubt be a few bennies taking the piss because we find that in all walks of life. From MP’s to cops, doctors, meat workers et al. Every sector has rule breakers, it would be a shame if the debate allowed all people on a benefit to be labelled as cheaters and troughers.

    • ak 16.1

      Good comment Barn, a pity the media hasn’t the time nor inclination to go deeper into the issue and/or at least consult more voices of experience.

      For instance, just off the top of my swede, a “bludger” on the IB not only has to be certified by a doc, but to get the max accom supplement of $225 would have to be paying at least $450/wk-odd in rent. Also, all the other “add-ons” have to be scrupulously backed with receipts, doc certs etc and justification – so are simply reimbursements or pre-payments for necessary, proven costs.

      So the only “pay” the client receives (as in discretionary dough for food, clothing power balance of rent etc) is the basic benefit plus family assistance payments – the levels of which have been assessed many times over by independent academic research as woefully inadequate to cover what kiwis consider an acceptable standard of living.

      But sadly, shallow, ill-informed hatemongering always sold more papers and garnered more votes: the irony being of course, that the depression and frustration it inflicts on victims actually costs the taxpayer more in the long run.

  17. Rave, those are all good points and not many would disagree. Sadly though it is the rump in the middle that are paying for these people and just playing the “but these ones have done it as well” card does not make it okay and will not diminish the anger levels felt by the many who have not done a runner to geneva.

    • vto 17.1

      Yes Geneva. I wonder what goes through their minds when they think about NZ and how they are regarded here? No wonder their main residence is on an island off the coast of the North Island.

  18. JohnDee 18

    Nice to see that the likes of Brett are again assuming the “breeders” are the ones making these statistics significant. No thought that like last time these statistics were used to justify a pathetic excuse of a cabinet minister tries to dig herself oyut of a deep hole of her own making.
    Last time this information was made public and then some investigation took place, it was found to be that a significant number of the supposed parasites were looking after extended families or other people children, usually with significant handicaps or health issues.
    I have over the years assisted some people with WINZ and can assure the Brett’s of this world that money is not given out lightly.
    As another poster said, it would be interesting to know, how many are not receiving what they are entitled to.

  19. So we become a nazi state? Controlled breeding? Ignoring outdated as they may be, religious beliefs on contraception? Forced abortion (gee the pro-lifers would love that one wouldnt they)

    Yes the system needs work, but the options are very limited as far as stopping people having children, nothing is palatable.

    This all started with a campaign for the reinstatement of something that WOULD help people get OFF benefits, TIA. Educating parents so they have less reliance on the state, and set an example for their kids of what can be achieved, so the children do not end up “in the system” too.

    We can’t just sit back and rant about beneficiaries without coming up with ways to actually break the cycle. TIA was one of those ways as has been proven by much research, even by the MSD themselves.

  20. Ianmac 20

    Easy to make judgements in this case against beneficiaries. They are getting heaps of Taxpayers money. Must be bludgers!
    Now look. There is a young man traipsing around in a mobility scooter. Bet he had the state pay for it or flogged off his Granny. “Hey you! Get off your backside you lazy bugger! I earn my money and you could too if you got of your arse! Whats that? Muscular distrophy? Bullshit. You’re just a lazy shit and thank God we now have a Government who will wipe you scum off the street. Now get out of my way!”

  21. Reddy 21

    When you apply for the DPB you should be entitled to claim for only the children you have at that time. If you have any more children after that they are your responsibility- the state shouldn’t bail you out twice.

    I am female and a leftie but yet I have always thought the conditions for the DPB were too lax. The DPB was never set up so that women were able to make a career out of having children – those women who do so are a minority but they do exist and the left does itself no favours by ignoring them. The children who come out of these situations are disadvantaged and are going to struggle. I honestly don’t think we do anyone any favours by subsidising this sort of lifestyle.

    Benefit bashing would be less of an issue and society would feel much better about beneficiaries if the people who abuse the system were stopped.

    • Pascal's bookie 21.1

      The state is bailing the kids out, not the parents.

      These are tough calls, but foar me it comes down to a simple matrix.

      There are people that need and deserve our assistance, (where our equals society).

      In order to give them that assistance we need to set up system.

      That system will potentially be prone to abuse, (where abuse is defined as people benefiting from it in ways that it was not intended).*

      Given that, we need to choose whether it is worse to:

      1) Have the system fail to support genuine cases, with less abuse* or

      2) Have the system work as intended, at the cost of more abuse*.

      This same matrix works for tax purposes also, and people pay accountants good money to make the system ‘work’ for them, all quite legally, with same net effect on their fellow taxpayers as ‘breeders’, but with much less opprobrium.

      *nb: we don’t know if any of these “OMG >$1000” cases are abuse in this sense. That’s what makes it a tough call. Whatever rule we set up, humans will find themselves in a situation to make those rules seems perverse.

      • jcuknz 21.1.1

        You are so right Pascal and in that lies the dilema. If the family has ten kids, over time, but the benefit is only paid for say the two when the father lost his job, that means eight kids with no support. And as I remember family benefit was money in the mothers pocket to look after the children. But these days it is all wrapped up as one package to provide ammunition for the benebludgers, or reported as such anyway. I too wonder if $1200 is generous to support twelve.
        But it is really about time people get wise and appreciate that the world doesn’t need the population it has got and even less the likely increase in future years.

        Government control is abhorent to me [ I recently read The Bear and the Dragon by Tom Clancy and he uses a Chinese solution to unauthorised birth as a key feature to the story ] but just as I am disgusted by benebashers, I am also saddened by the irresponsible ‘breeders’.

        An aside … I am reminded of the couple in the UK whose children were removed as they arrived so the parents simpye kept on having another … the only form of protest they could think of at the removals.

        The only solution, and this is long term, is education for couples to have, preferably less than, two children. So they do it as responsible citizens without government intervention.

  22. Adrian 22

    Two points, this country was developed, farmed and factoried by big families, Maori and Pakeha, 8-10 kids was not unusual. Second, lets see Bennet release the numbers of how many wealthy parents are sucking on the Govt tit while keeping kids in private schools and taking big overseas trips courtesy of the family trust fund.

    • vto 22.1

      “lets see Bennet release the numbers of how many wealthy parents are sucking on the Govt tit while keeping kids in private schools and taking big overseas trips ”

      Thats the one Adrian. Thanks to Helen Clark for that.

    • jcuknz 22.2

      The world is a different place now in the 21st century from conditions in the twentieth when New Zealand was being developed. Large families was a way of wearing out the woman and getting slave labour on the farm, both morally bankrupt practices. Large families are the result of irresponsible parential behaviour in today’s world. Those rich families pay more taxes than the rest of us, unless they are avoiding it, so I don’t begrudge them.

  23. So Reddy, what would you have them do with those children? Forced abortion or adoption? Even contraception fails at times.

    You state the children that come out of those situations are disadvantaged and going to struggle, so your answer is to disadvantage them further?

  24. felix 24

    Perhaps there should be some sort of training allowance to provide an incentive for people on benefits to up-skill and transition back into the workforce.

    Imagine how much money we would save over the long term by paying a little bit of extra money now for training.

    • Now there’s a novel idea Felix!!

    • something like this maybe.

      *prays link works* – never done that before!

      • In The Know 24.2.1

        Great link there, Just Another Student.

        No matter what side of the fence you sit on on the issue of TIA, or the Minister’s comments, robust research such as given in that link just adds credence and validity to the reality of what has been a worthwhile and proven method of giving sole parents, invalid beneficiaries and widows one less hurdle to jump to becoming self sufficient, independent members of society and giving them a path to successfully upskilling and getting a job or even a CAREER!!

        Go to http://www.handup.co.nz to learn more and perhaps join the lobby group. The more support there is to get the Minister to change her mind, the better.

        Bring back the TIA or an affordable alternative.

  25. But Seriously! 25

    When the rights of the taxpayer are being balanced against the needs of the beneficiary, then I am all for it. It’s our taxes, and our money that is going to support these people, and I would expect that ANY government would take every step to ensure that state welfare is being fairly allocated to the deserving, and that the working class is in the unusual position of having the earning potential of their labour being respected by the government of the day! More power to Paula Bennett, long live acountable, responsible government! 58% of the country agree with me!

    • Ah, but wouldn’t truth and full explanations surrounding the ‘facts’ be even better instead of generalised comments that creates misinformation? When that happens, no matter who is in government, will I pat them on the back for being ‘accountable and responsible’ … so far I haven’t seen it from the current government.

      Also, remember that every family in NZ, if you are earn under the abatement threshold, has the right to access the FAMILY TAX CREDIT and ACCOMMODATION ALLOWANCE. Only those IN WORK can get the IN WORK TAX CREDIT. These allowances means that families on low and middle incomes, with children are generally much better off than a family receiving a benefit plus Tax Credit, etc.

  26. The question that Ms Bennett has chosen to use as fodder to RE-FUEL the benefit debate is but one of a series of Written Questions for Answers put to the Minister late last month. The questions asked were designed, I think, to show that Ms Bennett’s original comments made in Parliament were spurilous and needed further clarification.

    Unfortunately, the Minister has chosen to use her answer to one question to show she was justified in turning the issue from the TIA to benefit payments, allowances and entitlements.

    Makes me wonder why she did this and what is National trying to cover up by using this issue as a smokescreen – perhaps the newly released Health report or maybe the report of a high-profile political figure who is facing court for his wife bashing etc!!! Not sure if you guys have seen the story.

  27. Frank Macskasy 27

    “One couple with 10 kids getting over $1200 per week and both parents unemployed for 15 years, what the hell is that about. Im sorry but thats wrong!…”

    That was one response from another Forum. I replied, “Perhaps they should be executed?”

    Seriously, New Zealanders know absolutely NOTHING about these families. For all we know, they may be children adopted from other, dysfunction families and have no where to go.

    This sort of beneficiary bashing occurred back in 1999, under the previous National government (some things never change) when ACT welfare spokesperson, Muriel Newman claimed that a family were recieving $1230.90 a week in welfare benefits.

    What she didn’t tell the public was that the couple had taken on TEN children no one else wanted, including at least one with a disability.

    The $1230.90 was made up of:

    * $260.94 ‘community wage’
    * $524 family support
    * $76 accomodation allowance
    * $198.96 disability allowance
    * $171 special benefit

    Looking at it another way, $1230.90 divided between twelve people is $102.58/wk, which has to pay for food, clothing, medical expenses, housing, etc. Newman claimed the couple were “not working”.

    Pardon?! Looking after ten children isn’t “work”???

    If the same children were institutionalised, the costs would be much, much greater. We would then be paying for buildings, staff, and a bureacracy to manage such institutions – commonly referred to as orphanages.

    And then there would inevitably follow the million dollars lawsuits, as the children in these institutions were inevitably abused, and compensated later, when they disclose the abuse they suffered. This is a history New Zealand (and other countries) has already lived though.

    Once again, Paula Bennett is making people ‘jump’ with her bullshit nonsense. She reminds me of Jenny Shipley anbd her ill-fated “Code of Social Responsibility” booklet.

    Perhaps New Zealanders should be asking questions rather than reacting like Bennett’s own Pavlov’s dogs. The canine-like salivating by some is embarrasing.

  28. BLiP 28

    I’d be more impressed if every WINZ office in the country was required to look at the 100 beneficiaries receiving the least amount and investigate whether or not they are receiving their full entitlement.

  29. deemac 29

    when do we get the figure for the amount of tax evaded – sorry, “avoided” – by the super-rich? bet that’d pay for a few kids in poor families to eat regularly

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    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    10 hours ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    11 hours ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    11 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    13 hours ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    1 day ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 day ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial 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... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    1 day ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    2 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    3 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    5 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    5 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    5 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    6 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    7 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    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... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago

  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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    5 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
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  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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    6 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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  • Advance payments to support contractors
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    7 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
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  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    2 weeks ago