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Looking tough, wasting money

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, December 23rd, 2009 - 55 comments
Categories: unemployment, welfare - Tags:

So Paula Bennett wants to force people on the dole to reapply after a year. At best, it’s a waste of money by adding more bureaucracy. At worst, it will leave people who are already in poverty destitute for weeks.

You can lose your dole already if you don’t meet the conditions. In particular, if you don’t apply for jobs you can lose the benefit. So, what is canceling someone’s dole and forcing them to reapply going to add to that? Nothing. If you don’t meet the conditions for getting the dole, you shouldn’t be getting it already. If you do meet the conditions for getting the dole, then you should continue to get it even if you are forced to reapply after a year. Under Bennett’s policy, the change in people getting the dole should be zero. Which doesn’t seem worth forcing the ministry to process thousands more dole applications a year.

It’s not a cheap process, approving a dole application. It takes at least three face to face meetings to get on the dole. The cost per application to the taxpayer will be in the order of hundreds of dollars. And it will all be for nought.

The other problem is that it can take weeks to get on the dole. If your dole is automatically canceled after a year and they then have to reapply and go through the meetings and stuff, you could be left without an income for a month or more. There’s a nice little kick in the guts for a person who is genuinely entitled to the dole, a month of destitution.

Let’s not forget we’re talking about a tiny amount of people. 6654 people out of 60,000 on the dole have been getting it for more than a year. Rather than expending effort and public money in a redundant attempt to look tough by targeting a few thousand people who are already subject to checks to ensure they are entitled to get the dole, Bennett should be working on creating work opportunities for the quarter of a million Kiwis who don’t have work but desperately want it.

But, as we well know by now, Key’s ministers aren’t interested in delivering policies that really matter. All they’re interested in is parading around, talking tough. Meanwhile, hundreds more Kiwis join the ranks of the unemployed every week.

55 comments on “Looking tough, wasting money”

  1. ieuan 1

    Firstly 11% (6635 out of 60,000) is hardly a ‘tiny’ amount, it’s a significant amount.

    Secondly a time limit on the dole might motivate people to look a bit harder for a job and that can’t be a bad thing.

    Our social welfare system should be a safety net and not a life style.

    • Chess Player 1.1

      I agree re the ‘safety net’ concept.

      Time for some tough love for some of these wasters. The folks that are genuinely down on their luck in the short term get a bad name from being lumped in the same bucket as these losers.

      • IrishBill 1.1.1

        Yeah because all those people out of work for years during the great depression were lazy and in the 90’s a whole lot of Kiwis just decided they didn’t want to work any more.

      • lprent 1.1.2

        So how does diverting resources from finding those short-termers work to making long-term unemployed help? Your statement makes no sense.

        Alternatively, much of the long-term unemployment is structural and related to

        • Location – if you live in an area with limited number of jobs – Northland and the area from Opotiki to Gisbourne come to mind.
        • Lack of employable skills
        • Incapacity of some kind – frequently mental illness

        Wouldn’t this money be better spent dealing with these issues? Of course that would cost more than making a pointless bureaucratic change and would require that Paula thinks – so it may be placed in the too hard basket.

        She is doing the third one. The growth in sickness benefits has been quite remarkable under her tenure. But that could have more to do with making the unemployment benefits numbers look better.

        • Chess Player 1.1.2.1

          If the problem is Location – move

          If the problem is Lack of employable skills – get some – there are massive resources pumped into training and education these days, and you don’t have to pay interest on the loans

          The problem is really that these people refuse to consider that they themselves have more control over their own destiny than they would like to admit – their sense of entitlement heavily outweighs their sense of responsibility.

          Not helped by folks such as yourself who keep making excuses for them. If you want to pay for people to stay on the dole for 25 years just because they won’t make some effort themselves, that should be your choice – but not forced on the rest of us, who do make an effort and take the necessary steps to deal with life,, whatever it throws at them.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.1

            What if the lack of employable skills is also a result of mental illness?
            What if people aren’t getting a better education because they can’t afford to? Yes, you can get student loans that don’t have any interest – but you can’t actually pay a mortgage or raise the kids on a student loan. They know exactly how much control they have over their own life – SFA. They quite often don’t have the resources available to them to do anything. Poverty be-gets poverty.

            You will always get people who will abuse the system, ie, Double Dipton. This doesn’t mean that you then go out on a pogrom on everybody using the system.

            • Chess Player 1.1.2.1.1.1

              “but you can’t actually pay a mortgage or raise the kids on a student loan.”

              So, some choices have to be made…..

              “Poverty be-gets poverty.”

              Only if you accept that that is the case…..

              • Draco T Bastard

                So, someone who wants to further themselves and has family and a home should just throw them away?

      • Pascal's bookie 1.1.3

        “I agree re the ‘safety net’ concept.”

        Glad to hear it. Safety nets are good.

        You know what makes a safety net suck? A bunch of things.

        Too much rigidity for one thing. Having people sized holes in it is another thing. Positioning it too close to the ground is yet another thing.

        All of these things make the safety net suck. If you are in favour of these things in a safety net, you are not really in favour of safety nets. If these things make the safety net cheaper, it is a false economy.

    • Bright Red 1.2

      Don’t know where you live, ieuan, but round these parts $200 a week doesn’t buy a ‘lifestyle’.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    All they’re interested in is parading around, talking tough.

    And, the most important point, lowering wages which such a policy will do as well.

  3. BC 3

    There is only so much motivation one can have without the skills to find and in turn gain employment. I would say that the majority of the 6635 out 60,000 who have been on the unemployment benefit for over a year are people who have fallen through the cracks of society.

    They would lack a number of simple skills that employers look for consequently making them unemployable. The self styled “solo mum westie” Bennett should be channelling the money towards up skilling and job schemes.

    Interesting how this story has followed yesterdays about the so called “dole families” collecting thousands p/week.

    Just shows that this is an orchestrated attempt to score dirty political points by targeting those most vulnerable and without a voice. Repugnant.

  4. Pete 4

    I hardly think that motivation is a factor for the majority of people looking for work (Ieuan). The reality is that UB is a paltry amount, and the stigma attached to receiving tax-payer funded support is not particularly great.

    While some will always abuse the system, we shouldn’t repond by being overly punitive to families and individuals who rely on this support to get by until a job can be sourced. Without understanding the fundamental reasons why people have been long-term beneficiaries we fail to recognise how we can prevent more of the same in the long-term.

    While I agree in principle that checks should be done, I’m also a bit confused in thinking that this already occurs, at least for people on UB.

    The major concern I have with this proposal is that people on an Invalid’s Benefit are likely to have to meet compulsary part-time work obligations. Isn’t the whole purpose of the Invalid’s Benefit that it supports people who are unable to work due to a long-term or unlikely to change medical condition or disability?

    If, and it’s a big if, the changes proposed recognise individual circumstances and are based on quantified and qualified evidence that they will reduce the ‘abuse’ without unduly impacting the needy then that’s fine, but it’s bound to be a lame work-around rushed through at the last minute without consideration for anything but what can be reported to the knee-jerk crowd on talkback et al.

    …then the MSM will report how well the government is faring in the latest horse-race polls *yawn*.

  5. prism 5

    Eddie makes good points. These ‘wasters’ probably on existence wages when they have work, are put through hoops already. They often have many problems which they need help with. In some cases having the responsibility of being a parent, and also finding a job that gives them time to do the basic parenting on their often existence wages, a happy life is nearly impossible. People in this situation who manage to cope well usually are those who have the help and backing of their family.
    Talking about unemployed people’s lifestyles as if they are having a great time is an error. Going to WINZ and getting some snotty person talking down to you with the attitudes of earlier comments here is a sort of purgatory and doesn’t help in getting a job.

  6. burt 6

    lprent

    Location if you live in an area with limited number of jobs Northland and the area from Opotiki to Gisbourne come to mind.

    Well then you move. Or did I miss the handout of the tokens that entitle me to live where I want supported by the govt when I can’t support myself ?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      You may not have noticed burt but it costs to move. People who are @ less than subsistence level can’t afford to.

      • prism 6.1.1

        burt what are you talking about? The govt, either Nat or Labour already brought out a list of places where there are no jobs where they will not pay out unemployment benefit.

  7. tc 7

    This and other announcements about privatisation, SuperShity, Education, Tax reform etc are all timed to give the righteous right that fellgood about voting for NACT factor over the break.

    I don’t have an issue with Basher Bennett’s intent as long as the dole isn’t cut off as it’s such a piddly amount really and as usual the crooked/lazy few taint the genuine/deserving masses…..growing under this do nothing gov’t.

    As long as she’s annoying those who NACT traditionally despise….thumbs up from the party as she’s got a nice limo/office/package now and would you like some powers to abuse with that Ms Bennett……yes please Mr Key Sir, thank you.

    Her naivity an inexperience will see her lose her seat as she ‘represents’ the west not remuera……watch out and see if she moves up the list like Worth was.

  8. Press Release. 23.12.09.

    Prime Minister John Key announced plans today to cancel Paula Bennett after a year.

    Key said he was concerned about the benefit revelations. Though most Ministers needed their benefits and did not abuse the system, the Government would crack down on those who looked like a grinch at Xmas, because everyone knows that Snoopy rules the festive season.

    Other changes under consideration by the Government are understood to include work-testing for Deputy Prime Ministers whose youngest child has turned six, compulsory budgetary advice for ministers from coalition partners who claim frequent grants for overseas travel, and part-time work obligations for some old mates who know where the bodies are buried.

    The Prime Minister will shortly be taking a seasonal break from his fulltime position on the beach at Waikiki to spend a couple of weeks enjoying his new hobby of running New Zealand.

    • prism 8.1

      And after his break Key could go apple picking on contract. That’s real work. Or for a change he could pack them and see if he could keep up with the fast ones – view, pick with one hand toss to other, place in position in carton all in a flash then repeat, 50 average to a carton and hundreds? of cartons a day. You know you have done a day’s work there, not just jawed and feinted over and over when faced with important decisions.

  9. randal 9

    this argument is meat and drink to the wannabees from the gnats.
    they love nothing better than a fallacy of compostion to smear and besmirch everybody and anybody who does not have a job.
    this government is supposedly the government of business.
    why arent they creating new business and supplying new jobs.
    thats their job.
    why cant they do that?

  10. Olwyn 10

    There is something low and unpleasant about inviting people to act like pigeons, and rush to peck at the one who is bleeding, and sad about how readily some respond to this ghastly invite. Grab your pitchforks and go for the dole bludger, so you won’t notice when Rodney Hyde privatises the water, etc. And if you do notice, you won’t complain because otherwise you too will look like a povo. One thing everyone should have learned from nine years of Labour is that if people are employable they generally prefer to work. I also wonder at these suggestions being flung around at Christmas – so much for Good King Wenceslas.

  11. BLiP 11

    What? After yesterday? Yet more Christmas cheer and beneficence for the beloved underclass from our Basher Bennett and the government?

    Thanks National Ltd® – I’m lovin’ it. Y’all have a lovely Christmas too. Eat lots of cake.

  12. burt 12

    Draco

    You may not have noticed burt but it costs to move.

    Yep, getting the swimming pool shifted is pretty expensive. Also adds wear and tear to the new tyres you just put on the 2 year old car.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      /facepalm

      Really, there’s no point in engaging you at all but I’ll try.

      Not every body is going to abuse the system.

    • prism 12.2

      burt you are green with envy. Give up trying to be a good hard working person, the odds are against you. Give up your job and go for the unemployment and live the easy life! You’ll notice how just trying to repair things runs up large GST payments, getting new things is probably better because the financial system has don’t pay for ………months, no interest for…..years etc. If you can just keep running, your momentum might carry you along and you won’t sink in the ordure.

  13. gitmo 13

    Why is there so much outrage asking people to reapply for the dole in return for receiving it over an extended period ?

    Surely it’s more outrageous that rorters like that family in Christchurch are continuing to be paid after 25 years when there’s very likely to be far more needy and deserving families in need ?

  14. ak 14

    No, what’s “outrageous”, git-for-brains, is a poll-driven tory administration dredging through files and releasing selected private details of a few individuals in a blatant attempt to garner pre-holiday season popularity by tarnishing the most unfortunate sector of society – at a time when examples of the most privileged sector having got away with literally millions of taxpayer funds are rampant; and ignored.

    What’s outrageous to the point of nausea is the sight of lazy press hacks who dare to profess the status of independent commentary, not only accepting this filthy, divisive propaganda without the slightest investigation or question, but repeating the breaches of privacy and disseminating it verbatim to the gormless cheer of rabid airheads such as yourself. Merry Christmas.

    • gitmo 14.1

      I thought the papers have been going after the frauds in the finance sector quite strongly – it’s a pity we don’t have regulation to take them to the cleaners ?

      But well done on your pointless little rant have you now finished fisting yourself up the shitter ?

  15. burt 15

    ak

    I’m happy to pay for that new fence around your pool, with the amount you drink it would be a shame if you staggered and fell into it while running around in circles defending your right to rort my taxes. I have no need for a fence as I don’t have a pool, I’m just a tax payer and I don’t deserve to have that level of luxury.

  16. Roger 16

    What a surprise, our vacuous Minister of Social Development and Employment gets out her bennie bashing stick in a populist move that will achieve nothing positive. I suspect that, as per usual, a crisis is being created where one doesn’t exist. But lets assume for a second that there is a problem that needs solving. If this new measure is to catch the people who are unemployed for over 12 months because they are not putting effort into their search, then looking at the conditions required to gain the unemployment benefit would be better. For example, if a person with drug/alcohol addiction is put into a rehab programme and doesn’t attend, they are cut off.

    If it is to catch out the abusers such as the Harris family, change the rules involving what is abhorrent about their claims. eg, a benefit recipient should be forced to sell any properties other than their residential address and live off the proceeds of that before even being able to have their claim looked into. Another option would be to investigate and weed these people out.

    If they are too dangerous to visit or investigate, a Machaeavellian approach would be to feign incompetence and ‘accidentally’ forget to pay his benefit one week, get the police down to the WINZ office before he comes storming in and when he makes threats, arrest him. Then investigate while he’s behind bars.

    This idea of making genuine people who are near unemployable reapply for the benefit after 12 months is really just a nuisance that will achieve nothing.

    • prism 16.1

      I don’t like the name Roger any more, but you put a shine on it again with your smart invention for drawing the real thieving bennies out of their hides.

      • Roger 16.1.1

        I know what you mean. It is hard being a guy named Roger who is interested in politics considering the reputation of previous ones.

  17. tc 17

    What papers do you read Gitmo ?

    I haven’t seen any of this ‘going after’ you mention and ak summed it up describing them as “lazy press hacks who dare to profess the status of independent commentary..” I have mates in Oz that are professionl journos and they piss themselves at what we have as a 4th estate and are jealous of all the juicy material they’d thrive on being swept under the ‘don’t criticise the govt’ carpet.

    Gaynor had a go and got hammered..but he’s a commentator….the blokes on TV business are sycophants chosen for looks and nodding agreement to anything.

    Your point about regulation’s a good one and a weakness in NZ where the cowboys like Hotchin will lay low and do it all again……Rebstock and Diplock lacked the tools/resources and probably ability.

    I was very critical of labor not regulating that industry……but then controlling business isn’t a labor strength…..it’s a weakness. TVNZ heels at NACT’s heels whereas it was a badly behaved SOE with Labor in charge…….daddy’s home so lets behave now.

    • gitmo 17.1

      You might be right – I tend to look out for stories about the “filthy few financiers” in the papers so may have overestimated the amount of coverage – I certainly enjoyed the piece on one of them being roughed up and asked to leave one of the eateries in Auckland.

      I think the job they’ve done on Hotchin on TV and in the media ain’t too bad and would be amazed if anyone ever invested with him again in NZ but it’s extraordinary how often these turds turn up again and the grey rinse brigade happily show them their life savings. … as for TVNZ I don’t think most of them give a toss who’s in power as long as the pay packet’s full – pack of rorters and gits.

  18. Sam 18

    This government really ran out of ideas after 2 months didn’t it?

  19. randal 19

    yes sam.
    they ran out of constructive ideas but the destructive ideas they have are just gathering force.
    they supposed to be the business party but when are they going to announce some new jobs.
    oh umm I forgot.
    2024, one year before brashs master plan takes effect.
    ho ho ho.

  20. The Chairman 20

    I can see the private prison operators rubbing their hands in anticipation of the increase in crime.

  21. The Chairman 21

    It’s a totally different tune up town.

    Is Christchurch’s City Council chief ex ecutive worth $470,400??

    An annual performance review, conducted by councillors in private last week, voted 10 to two to approve the increase.

    Only Councillors Yani Johanson and Sally Buck opposed the move.

    His pay has jumped $99,575 over the past two years.

    The package does not include undisclosed reimbursements for home telephone and personal professional fees.

    More here: http://tinyurl.com/yzwqajx

  22. tc 22

    Is Christchurch’s City Council chief executive worth $470,400?? indeed or recycling Rick Ellis at about 900k and then there’s the massive packages shelled out to a grumpy scotsman to sit atop a telco, a kanuck to mark time fronting the milk co-op, a power hungry smarmy lad to stride the NZX etc etc.

    Distribution of wealth….there’s only so much that can go around and the ruling class ensure they get as much as they possibly can regardless of climate…..year upon year upon year.

    It used to be said in the 80’s how can someone be worth 250k p.a objectively when all they really do is sit atop a machine and if they’re smart they don’t tinker too much(ralston), or too little(Gattung) and break the facade.

    This is how the rich keep getting richer….control and exploitation of markets/people pure and simple.

    Merry xmas

    • gitmo 22.1

      How about the rich that get poorer and the poor that get richer ?

      • Draco T Bastard 22.1.1

        Doesn’t happen in the real world, at least, not to a significant enough degree to be noticeable.

        • gitmo 22.1.1.1

          Bullshit it’s been happening for centuries and will continue to do so…… just doesn’t fit with your warped view of the world

          • Draco T Bastard 22.1.1.1.1

            Reality disagrees with you.

            Yes, it’s an assertion but it’s one that’s already been backed up by research linked to on this site.

            • rainman 22.1.1.1.1.1

              gitmo, there are 1000 billionaires, and 5 billion people making do on less than $10/day. This is a structural artefact of capitalism. There is some movement within these groups but the overall picture remains.

  23. Rex Widerstrom 23

    I’m nodding in agreement right up to the penultimate sentence, Eddie.

    All they’re interested in is parading around, talking tough.

    Actually I think it’s worse than that. There are some Ministers who’re doing an excellent job in their portfolios. Tim Groser and Chris Finlayson come immediately to mind. Rather than parade round talking tough, there are Ministers who are interested in quietly getting on with nailing down some achievements.

    But there’s a group that’s clearly out of their depth. And not just having a problem finding their feet but who’ve clearly been elevated to well beyond their level of competence. Head and shoulders above (below?) the others in this group is Paula Bennett, but there’s also Anne Tolley and Kate Wilkinson.

    Yet Key seems happy to float above the messes they’re making, presumably because it’s a good look to have women appearing on telly for the National brand, even if they’re woefully incompetent.

    Note I’m not suggesting all, or most, women are woefully incompetent politicians (there’s sufficient evidence to refute that on both Labour’s and National’s back bench right now, let alone if we look back at history).

    Merely that perhaps when gender equality (or any other sort of “equality”) becomes more important than competence, this is the result (Melissa Lee being a further example, if any were needed).

    There should be one factor and one factor only governing candidate selection and list ranking: the best person for the job. That it it not is nowhere better evidenced than in National’s current Cabinet.

    In short, if the only competent people National can attract happen to be middle aged white males then I for one would be more than happy to see a Cabinet composed entirely of such, rather than having diversity at the expense of competence.

    • prism 23.1

      I agree about the women politicians in Nat govt. Picking out what seem like soft subjects and giving them to the girls is not a good way of setting up to run the country.
      Social welfare is a big cost and needs to be run well, also education etc. neds somebody who hasn’t learned all they know by rote from their parents and teachers using tried and true old curriculums (ae) and certainties.

      • Bill 23.1.1

        Not looked at this closely, but if it is the case that Act policy is to be the pull on the National led government…allowing ostensibly right wing policy to be sold as moderate policy, then why would competent ministers be wanted in cabinet?

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    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    6 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    7 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
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    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
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    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
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    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
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    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    7 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Growing and modernising the NZ economy
    A new programme to build and upgrade roads, rail, schools and hospitals will prepare the New Zealand economy for the future, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “The $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme uses our capacity to boost growth by making targeted investments around the country, supporting businesses and local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 mins ago
  • Future proofing New Zealand’s rail
    Minister for State Owned Enterprises Winston Peters says the funding of four major rail projects under the New Zealand Upgrade Programme is yet another step in the right direction for New Zealand’s long-term rail infrastructure. “This Government has a bold vision for rail. We said we would address the appalling ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 mins ago
  • Delivering infrastructure for a modern NZ
    Roads, rail, schools and hospitals will be built and upgraded across the country under the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in New Zealand – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 mins ago
  • $1.55m support for Hawke’s Bay three waters services review
    The Government is pleased to announce a $1.55 million funding contribution to assist Hawke’s Bay investigate voluntary changes to the region’s three waters service delivery arrangements. “Over the last 18 months, the five Hawke’s Bay councils have been collaborating to identify opportunities for greater coordination in three waters service delivery across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Minister welcomes report of nation’s household plastic rubbish, recycling practices
    A new report on New Zealand’s plastic rubbish and recycling practices is being welcomed by the Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.  “The report by WasteMINZ provides a valuable insight into what’s ending up in household rubbish and recycling bins around the country. It highlights the value of much ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government considers retirement income policy review recommendations
    The Government is now considering the recommendations of the Retirement Commissioner’s review into New Zealand’s retirement income policies. “The review raises a number of important issues in relation to New Zealanders’ wellbeing and financial independence in retirement, particularly for vulnerable people,” the Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • PM announces election date as September 19
    The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday 19 September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
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