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Lifeline funding cut

Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, August 2nd, 2017 - 58 comments
Categories: health, national - Tags: , ,

We have the highest rate of youth suicide in the “developed” world. The Nats just cut the funding to Lifeline – Government axes $800,000 Lifeline contract

In March this year, the Ministry of Health axed a decade-long $800,000 contract for Lifeline to provide suicide-prevention training to frontline workers.

The funding cut, which was revealed to the Herald through documents provided to Labour under the Official Information Act, “devastated” Lifeline – an organisation that has worked to prevent suicide in New Zealand for more than 50 years.

The funding was shifted to a “new preferred supplier” after several contractors pitched for the work last November, a ministry official said.

News of the terminated Lifeline contract comes just days after an international expert told an Auckland conference of mental health workers – and ministry officials – that training, particularly the programme run by Lifeline, was one of the most important suicide-prevention strategies worldwide.

In the Herald today – PM’s wife on board of organisation that won million-dollar suicide prevention contract

An organisation that recently won a million-dollar government contract has dismissed speculation that the presence of the Prime Minister’s wife on the board was a factor.

It may be completely innocent as all the interested parties claim. But it’s not a good look to be destroying Lifeline, an organisation doing world class work in an area of desperate need. You don’t easily replace that experience.

58 comments on “Lifeline funding cut”

  1. srylands 1

    And the contract with the new provider includes an increase of funding of 31.25% compared to the previous provider.

    Your post (and to be fair the story) is presenting this as a “cut” when it is an attempt to provide better services at higher volume.

    It is inconceivable that the experts that chose the new provider would have been influenced by anything other than value for money considerations.

    • McFlock 1.1

      Copy that.

      They gave it to the most aspirational bidder who happens to have no experience in the field, because corruption is inconceivable.

      • While I’m open to the possibility that there’s either corruption or simply undue influence from the Prime Minister’s spouse going on, shouldn’t we be pushing for some investigative journalism on the matter rather than simply jumping to conclusions? Especially as a pacific-centred approach in the field should be relatively welcome.

        I agree it is a little fishy however that this area is getting a significant funding increase in a period when the government is being increasingly close-fisted with NGOs.

        That said, I will go on the record as saying that assuming everything is above board, my preferred outcome would have been to split the new funding level between the existing service provider and the new one and then evaluate whether both are succeeding next year, preferably with at least the same level of funding for lifeline. There would seem to be more than enough work to justify multiple services in this area.

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          That’s the thing.

          I found Sryland’s rejection of corruption as “inconceivable” to be laughable, but the best case scenario is that they decided to completely change provider when the current provider seemed to be doing the job perfectly well.

          That doesn’t mean the job couldn’t be done better, but having at least one politically-highly-connected person on the board to me suggests the possibility that they got the job more because they were adept at filling in tenders with the right language.

          • AB 1.1.1.1.1

            Exactly – and who in their right mind would take the risk of a wholesale, one-hit change of provider in an area like this where the implications of provider failure are so truly awful?
            A pilot programme or split funding over a transition period would seem to be a minimal requirement for prudence. So if not corruption then incompetence.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              and who in their right mind would take the risk of a wholesale, one-hit change of provider in an area like this where the implications of provider failure are so truly awful?

              National.

              They may be psychopaths but that doesn’t mean that they’re not in their right mind.

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.1.1.2

            Well, just like it’s absolutely fair to reject out of hand assertions that there’s no way it could be corruption or improper influence, I think it’s also reasonable to point out that there is a certain level of hubris to assuming that Le Va couldn’t possibly have convinced the panel that they could do a better job than lifeline on their merits. (it also starts straying into potentially problematic racial territory as well given that this will be the first real spotlight on pacific mental health in quite some time) I know that’s not what you’re saying, but some people are and I think it’s reasonable to just stick to “this smells a little and deserves a real investigation,” either an official inquiry or simply sicking an investigative journalist on it.

            And if your suggestion is right, btw, it’s sorta hard to say that boards should ignore someone submitting a better application because they might simply have been walked through it by someone with institutional knowledge- you’re sort of expected to have basic knowledge of how to fill out a tender in the first place, and beyond that panels are supposed to consider the merits of each proposal not simply whether they use the right buzzwords, so it shouldn’t be that easy to persuade them if they’re truly independent experts. This is why I would really like to hear someone interview the panel on what their process was and why they chose to award the tender to Le Va, as then their reasons can be fact-checked and we can either have the evidence we need to say something untoward did in fact happen, or we can realise that they simply won the tender because they seemed to have an innovative approach that could help people, and then we can either move on to other political issues, or simply go back to trying to get some funding for Lifeline to salvage its training services so that they can keep doing highly necessary work while this new service gets set up.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.2.1

              or we can realise that they simply won the tender because they seemed to have an innovative approach that could help people

              If they’re going to win on that then I expect to see several peer-reviewed papers on that innovative approach.

              • While I agree with you with regards to what they did in this case- which is completely ditching Lifeline in favour of the new service, there’s absolutely room to experiment with parallel models and see how they do in practice so long as there’s no research already out there suggesting their model is a bad idea in principle. I think we should be willing to lead a bit, that’s what the whole “innovative” thing is supposed to mean.

                • Of course there’s room to experiment but you do that before you dump a working model for the new one. And then you use the same provider as well – saves on administration and stress for the people involved.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.2.2

              While you are correct, I do think that any wholesale change in any area, particularly when it involves abandoning established providers in favour of new entrants into the field, needs to be examined in the context of this government’s track record in issuing and supervising tenders for work.

              In that light, I’m reluctant to simply request further investigation – I think the need for change should be evident from the outset, otherwise I’m frankly bloody suspicious.

              As to writing tenders, it’s one thing to write a realistic tender about what can be offered by a provider. But in my experience the most difficult person to compete against for a job is someone who doesn’t really care and bullshits just enough to appear like a good employee who is realistically aspirational, when in fact they’re inexperienced and have no idea how much work the role entails.

              It’s not just about buzzwords, it’s about whether the new provider really can do more and provide better value than the experienced provider claimed to be capable of. That’s a damned big threshhold unless the existing provider was manifestly incompetent.

              • Yeah, it sounds like we’re on the same page here. Lifeline seemed to be performing very well from what people who have used the service have been saying, so it’s surprising that a completely novice operation would win a competitive tender against them. If it were just that fact, or just the fact that the PM’s wife is on their board, then this wouldn’t really smell fishy enough to be a story… but it does smell, and I hope to hear more facts about it in the future.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.3

            Not to mention the chief science advisor to the MSD is on the board of directors of The Wise Group, LeVa’s parent company.

            Cosy eh.

            That said, NZ is a small country population-wise, so these situations are bound to occur from time to time.

            So far as I’m concerned the health budget should be spent on public services, not private providers, so whether this is a crone appointment or not it’d be gone by lunchtime if I were PM.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.3.1

              So far as I’m concerned the health budget should be spent on public services, not private providers, so whether this is a crone appointment or not it’d be gone by lunchtime if I were PM.

              Fully agree that the health budget, and government services in general, should be spent fully in house. The research budget could, of course, be spent in house, in universities or private sector businesses.

        • greywarshark 1.1.1.2

          then evaluate whether both are succeeding next year, preferably with at least the same level of funding for lifeline.

          How do you evaluate ethically. If the object is stopping suicide, then the expected numbers will go up or down. So do you say ‘Oh dear, more people topped themselves – the new plan is not working?

          And partly it is talking to troubled people, distressed, lonely people. Does the organisation find out how many times they have called. It might be regularly twice a week. Would money be saved by limiting them to two? And what if the contact with someone else is what keeps them alive? Are they just an expensive ‘want’ rather than a ‘need’? Do you set them a code and give them so many allowed calls.

          The thing is that Lifeline trains its own people in accordance with its own culture, which I understand is to kindly, non judgmental, not offering advice or very much, being positive etc and trying to be not personal and confidential.

          This new outfit will presumably come under the new Social Investment budget and may be the reason why the new line was introduced by English. I don’t like pollies setting up government jobs for their own relatives. The Gnats are bad enough at selling off, leasing off, giving away bits of the country and its services to outfits like Serco, but unleashing their sanctimonious family members on suffering humanity is the last straw. Along with the desire for disclosure by agencies having government funding, this next would lead to knocks on the door from someone – I am not from government but private (so better) and I am here to help you and take over your life.

          This from the previous post 1/8/17 on this from Descendant of Sssmith makes concerning reading:

          Trying to bury bad news


          “In last year’s budget, the Nats awarded a $4.8m contract to an unknown organisation called PEDA without tender and against official advice. The people behind PEDA were apparently tied to Bill English via his wife. The full truth still hasn’t come out. Now, the Nats are up to the same trick with Parents Inc.

          Paula Bennett’s Ministry of Social Development will pay $2.4 million to Parents Inc for “parenting courses for the caregivers of vulnerable children”. This contract was untendered and previously unknown.”

          Parents Inc: it’s PEDA redux

    • Gabby 1.2

      Who are these experts?

    • Keepcalmcarryon 1.3

      Inconceivable I tell you.

  2. savenz 2

    Disgusting! But what we have come to expect from this crony government.

  3. zuszsa 3

    I would dearly love someone to do some investigating of The Wise Group (of which LaVa is a subsidary). As an organisation they seem to be hoovering up all sorts of government social sector contracts and IMHO something about them has a bit of a whiff.

  4. Venezia 4

    I thought the same. No names, no accountability. How can you find the information about who they are?

  5. You don’t easily replace that experience.

    I suspect that the new organisation fully expects all the Lifeline personnel to shift over to them – with the associated pay cut.

    After all, there’s absolutely no possibility that the new organisation has it’s own personnel already. Such a service isn’t something that a country is going to have competition in.

    • And thus the squeeze continues. =/

    • Crunchy 5.2

      “with the associated pay cut.”
      Got any evidence to back up that assertion?

      • Not ATM. IIRC, there was something about the change in blood-test providers in Auckland to a new firm. The new firm was dependent upon the existing personnel at lower wages to even start.

        • Crunchy 5.2.1.1

          Not at the moment, if I recall rightly, there was something…
          You have the gall to demand evidence, with statements like that?
          Little surprise that you have zero cred, and your ideology has zero cred.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1

            Did you note the word ‘suspect’ in my first comment?

            It’s a way to indicate that I’m not giving an absolute, this will happen. But there is form in NZ for such things:

            Ms Lawer acknowledged that under the law the small family-owned business had a right to make her redundant.

            But an agreement for a redundancy payment was in her original contract, and Ms Lawer said that should have been passed along as contracts changed hands. She has never received one.

            She wants either Jani-King or Phagura Limited to pay her out $6804, or the equivalent of 30 weeks’ wages.

            Despite pesky little things like laws.

        • DoublePlusGood 5.2.1.2

          Moving from Diagnostic Medlab to Labtests absolutely resulted in a whole pile of less experienced (and in a couple of personal instances, thoroughly incompetent) phlebotomists being hired by Labtests at terrible wages, to underbid the contract. There were all sorts of difficulties at the beginning where they clearly didn’t have a great results reporting system, causing problems for health professionals that needed the results.

  6. Crunchy 6

    I’m sure I read (was it here?) a complaint that massively increasing suicide numbers were the fault of the National Govt. So that same Govt a)increases funding massively and b) takes the contract away from an organisation that obviously hasn’t been doing a very good job.
    Hard to please some people…

    • Stuart Munro 6.1

      Yup – take the job away from the world leading experts and give it to a bunch of wannabes from Dipton without addressing the structural causes. Geneyis!

      And if Labour don’t strike it down on day one they’ll have substantially worse suicide figures in their first term for the plague rats of the MSM to whinge about to try to build a Gnat recovery.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1

        That depends: nationalising public services doesn’t mean withdrawing them, it just reduces the profit gouging.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      Either way it’s an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff the National Party shoves people over.

      By the time Mary English is wringing her hands in a counselling session, the damage has already been done.

      This is your right wing dogma though: people commit suicide because they made bad choices. Nothing to do with you at all.

    • takes the contract away from an organisation that obviously hasn’t been doing a very good job.

      Got anything to back up that assertion?

      • Crunchy 6.3.1

        You’re kidding, right?
        I could search for and link to countless comments on this site, official statistics, MSM reports etc referring to increasing suicide numbers. I’m not going to play your little game – I’m too busy providing well paid jobs and safe working conditions to a whole bunch of hard working people actually doing great things for NZ. Those good jobs and the camaraderie, satisfaction pastoral support if needed that help to keep people from topping themselves. Maybe you should do the same instead of trying to convince people that their lives are fucked because it’s someone else’s fault. FFS

        • greywarshark 6.3.1.1

          You’re kidding right Crunchy (is that the Clown – perhaps you don’t take the role of political policies for all in the country seriously).

          You appear to be affronted about people worrying about suicide numbers and wanting to keep preventative methods and agencies keeping them at the minimum.

          So satisfied you are in your little bubble providing well paid jobs you say,
          safe working conditions, to hard working people. You say they are actually doing great things for NZ, but what is not explained so we don’t know if its true. And I wonder whether you have done something original or just set up a business to carry out what government used to do and has now privatised.

          Whatever you are so self-satisfied you sail along a metre above the common ground we walk on. There are hundreds of thousands who can’t get enough jobs or hours to provide a living. It is not a luxury for them to get pastoral support to help with their problems, but government is reluctant to provide it and I guess you don’t want to see any of your taxes going for it.

          What’s more you don’t give a fuck about them, only thinking of us all with derision, so why don’t you stay away and enjoy your spare time with your mates in the bubble. You might learn some reality if you keep coming here and that would do your head in. Mr/Ms Smug – no bill to be paid for this advice, just pay your taxes please that have been legally calculated.

          • Crunchy 6.3.1.1.1

            If your comprehension skills were better you may have noticed that I’m supporting greater Govt funding to a new initiative where an established organisation is not performing well – based on statistics. If you don’t want attempts to keep people from suiciding to score political points you are a POS.
            I lead an organisation (started as a small business by others many years ago) that had an average H&S record, and more than a few disengaged staff. I’m proud that with my blue collar roots and self funded skills update I have decreased harm and increased earnings and job satisfaction for over 50 people.
            I pay PAYE & have no ability to minimise tax.
            The rest of your envious waffle doesn’t deserve response, but maybe you should get on the Labour Party list as you appear ad useful as most of them.

            • greywarshark 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Crunchy
              Statements of a pompous self-satisfied prick

              [people, dial back the abuse please – weka]

        • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.2

          I could search for and link to countless comments on this site, official statistics, MSM reports etc referring to increasing suicide numbers.

          That’s irrelevant. We need statistics to show that Lifeline was/is doing a bad job.

          I’m not going to play your little game

          You don’t like it that you got called out on your lie.

          • Crunchy 6.3.1.2.1

            Ok, you win. I’ll accept your assertion that suicide rates are dropping. Is it because lifeline have been doing such a great job, or is it because NZ is in great shape after 9 years of good Govt?

            • srylands 6.3.1.2.1.1

              You are wasting your time with reasoned argument here. It is worth trying for while to remind yourself that nothing has changed. Then move on.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.2.1.2

              I’ll accept your assertion that suicide rates are dropping. Is it because lifeline have been doing such a great job, or is it because NZ is in great shape after 9 years of good Govt?

              And that would be another lie (I didn’t assert that suicide rates are dropping) followed by a leading question. You really do use a lot of deceit when communicating don’t you?

              Just because some suicide rates are going up doesn’t necessitate that Lifeline are doing a poor job.

              After all, Lifeline only gets involved if the people thinking of committing suicide call them. So, what percentage of people commit suicide after calling Lifeline? Has that rate gone up, down or remained steady?

              The next part is education but there’s a pesky law that prevents any talk about suicide in the public space and so that’s a little difficult.

              You are, quite simply, lying scum.

          • Crunchy 6.3.1.2.2

            So do you assert that stastically proven increases in suicides are due to this Govt?

  7. Ad 7

    This kind of service should be treated the same as ambulances:
    a non-contested fully hospital-integrated service.

    In the inevitable service breakdowns as one provider changes for another, the damage is to actual people.
    Not worth it.

  8. Sacha 8

    Let’s not get carried away in this instance. The contract concerned was not for frontline suicide counselling itself – which Lifeline is still funded for – but to “provide suicide-prevention training to frontline workers”.

    Without more details we cannot compare what Le Va and Lifeline were offering, but there has always been a problem with Pakeha-led services resulting in worse results for Maori and Pasifika people.

    • weka 8.1

      +1

      Also an issue is how much Lifeline depend on that contract to function as an organisation.

      • Sacha 8.1.1

        That seems more likely to be a legit issue – this govt have screwed down admin funding for most organisations in favour of tagged service funding at the cheapest rate they can get – unless its a for-profit contractor, strangely.

    • Crunchy 8.2

      Hi Sacha
      So can you confirm that lifeline is still funded for their core activity?
      Does this mean that Govt funding is actually massively increased, and more targeted to increasingly vulnerable communities?
      Surely the author of this post isn’t bullshitting?

  9. esoteric pineapples 9

    Reading the comments on this from Martin Bradbury at The Daily Blog, it seems that Dr Mary English is very religious and has problems with abortion, gays and feminism. If this is true, then I would wonder if the company who won the contract has a similar perspective, wants to “cure” people of these issues and will be spinning this line when it counsels people.

    • Sabine 9.1

      just pray the suicidal thoughts away.

      Christians for Mammon! all hail the golden cow. Blessed be.

    • weka 9.2

      Mary English is also anti-abortion. I can’t confirm this with a link, but am pretty sure she was a senior figure in SPUC back in the day (pre-internet). There’s enough there to look at conflicts of interest.

  10. Sabine 10

    forced birther and anti mental healthcare.

    great.

  11. patricia bremner 11

    National. Underfund it.
    Say it is failing.
    Bring in your privatised model.
    Publicise losses
    Privatise profits.

    Happens all the time.

    Will be interesting to see what the Jacinda “circuit breaker” offers on mental health.

    I’m “positively certain” it will be better than the above. Cheers!!!!!

  12. SMILIN 12

    couldnt they get a grant from lotto, worthy cause just as important as health education and housing .
    i forgot they dont get anything either because of this neoliberal buy out of our sovereignty
    how long before we officially hear the nz govt is no longer credible in the UN and we are fully taken over either by the US or Australia ?

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    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    5 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
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