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Nats in denial about education and poverty

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 am, September 11th, 2012 - 57 comments
Categories: class war, education, labour, national, poverty - Tags: , , ,

Shearer’s speech on Sunday has sparked the discussions that this country needed to have about education, about poverty, and about the sad link between them. With every statement the Nats show how deeply in denial they are about these issues:

Labour says New Zealand needs a Minister for Children, and will introduce one if it wins the 2014 election. Leader David Shearer says there needs to be a special focus on children to ensure they have the best start in life, but National says the current policies work and Labour’s proposals are unnecessary.

…”All of our portfolios are focused on how we can attend to our most vulnerable children,” says Education Minister Hekia Parata, “and the result action plan we released three weeks ago talked about an integrated approach.”

National used to talk about “the underclass” too – talk is all they ever do. National have had four years, during which poverty and inequality have increased (a Waikato University professor says that poverty is our biggest growth industry). Report after report after report has condemned the rate of poverty in this country, and called on the government to act.  In a recent summary of the government’s targets and goals John Armstrong wrote: “Glaringly absent is a target for reducing child poverty”…

National also says there’s no need for Labour’s $19 million proposal to provide a free daily meal to all decile one-to-three schools, as there are already mechanisms in place. “For the vast bulk of them we provide fruit in schools, there’s often a breakfast programme and more often than not some sort of emergency lunch,” says Prime Minister John Key.

Education Minister Hekia Parata told Radio New Zealand the government is already doing enough to help families feed their kids.

If the government is already doing enough then why are 40,000 kids are fed by charities and up to 80,000 going to school hungry?

Key in poverty ‘la la land’

Organisations working with the poor and opposition parties say Prime Minister John Key is in ”la la land” if he thinks fruit is enough to get a hungry child through a school day.

Key ‘out of touch’ over hungry kids: Turei

The Green Party is backing Labour’s proposal to provide free food to all kids at low-decile schools, and has slammed the government over its refusal to consider the idea.

… Metiria Turei says Mr Key is out of touch with the facts and “against every good idea to decrease child poverty”.

“Food in schools is needed. According to Kidscan, one in 11 kids in the four lowest deciles are demonstrably hungry at school, and a Ministry of Health survey found that 20.1 per cent of New Zealand households with school-age children did not have enough food for active and health living,” she said.

Before the last election Labour called for a cross party working group on poverty. Key turned the offer down. National is now deeply in denial and doesn’t think anything needs to be done. Labour is offering practical solutions. Your choice.

57 comments on “Nats in denial about education and poverty ”

  1. just saying 1

    I think you are too generous to the government Anthony. I don’t believe they are any less aware of the extent of poverty than the left of the house. The only ‘problem’ poverty presents to National is a public relations one. And their vicious victim-blaming strategy is working a treat.

    They simply don’t care. For many of them it’s not even just “acceptable collateral damage”. Poverty is a warning to workers everywhere, and a just punishment for any kind of failure or dissent. An effective tool of oppression.

  2. Carol 2

    National also says there’s no need for Labour’s $19 million proposal to provide a free daily meal to all decile one-to-three schools, as there are already mechanisms in place. “For the vast bulk of them we provide fruit in schools,

    Bomber refers to it as Key’s Let them eat fruit! response.

    John Key’s – ‘let them eat fruit’ isn’t much of a response to child poverty, but then again he isn’t much of a Prime Minister.

    • Steve Wrathall 2.1

      Why don’t one of these parents who send their children to school with no food come to this site and defend why other people should pay more tax in order to remove yet more responsibility from them? Wher are they all? I mean there’s so many of them aren’t there?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Why don’t some of the richies who earn 5x or 20x the median NZ income turn up here to defend why they wish to abdicate their responsibility to the rest of society and leave NZ children starving, often just one or two streets away from their own homes?

        Their reason being so self centred, that they don’t want to part with an extra 0.02c per dollar extra of income or asset tax to strengthen the fabric of this country.

      • marsman 2.1.2

        Steve Wrathall. Parents who are too poor to feed their children would not have a computer or be able to afford an internet connection. Perhaps like John Key you too live in a comfy la la land. Shame on you!

      • starlight 2.1.3

        To Steve,Could you please explain how you would spend $200-$300 per week on all household
        costs,ie rent,power,bills,petrol,food,insurance,phone.
        Then explain how you would spend $400-500 on the above.
        Then explain how you would spend $500 plus.
        Feel free to do a budget,so we can see where the money goes.

        • mike e 2.1.3.1

          +1 starlight these aloof callous cynics wouldn’t last a week let alone a couple of days put into those circumstances!
          They would be under the mental health act after a week!

      • Urban Raskal 2.1.4

        Steve, you’re seriously misguided. I’ve been reading your comments over the last couple of days and you obviously live in an insular environment away from the realities of the middle and lower classes and their current struggles.

        I’m a 25 year old qualified worker. I worked part-time during my studies to gain experience as I knew it was important to my future job chances. Out of my 4 year degree only around 5 of 30 got a industry job straight from uni. I was one of the lucky ones due to experience. But as a renter at the time and an attitude against living off the government, or my parents good will, I had to take a job quickly. In 2009 the job market was horrible for graduates and I was forced into taking a job with a lower pay to make my rent payments.

        But at least i’m in the industry I studied, better than the other 25 in my class.

        Over the first 2 years working I can say that after rent, water, power, internet, food, gas my expendable income was between 0 – 100 a week. Note: internet was needed for me to do freelance web work to supplement my pittance.
        I was far from living comfortably, but I have no children to feed, and I believe in eating healthy which is a considerably more expensive option.

        So pray tell me (a 25 year old, with a bachelors degree and 5 years work experience). If I could only afford to live with $100 income after expenses, without children and eat healthy. How do you expect a family earning the minimum wage to function in that environment?

        From reading your comments yesterday I conclude you are a most callous person unable to put yourself in someone elses shows.

        • prism 2.1.4.1

          Urban Raskal 2 1 4
          UR you have patiently given Steve some facts so he can gain background to what is being said on this site. After you donating your time to advance his knowledge, I hope he can absorb it and think about it and gain more understanding but I doubt it. It’s likely he’ll pick up some item that seems to reinforce his prejudices. He may be one of those that build their lives and personalities around taking a stand on the basis of one idea and slagging off other people who are considered lacking in the right attitude to life.

          • Urban Raskal 2.1.4.1.1

            I figured the obvious gripe would be a comment along the lines of “you had enough to afford internet”. But no doubt there is something else.

            If your reading Steve, I am not saying in my piece above that I was in a struggling situation. But having children, buying a house, dealing with emergency situations were out of my control and still are in a smaller sense.

            And you are expecting people earning atleast 25% less than me to be able to feed their kids nutritious food. All the while taking their taxes and spending large portions of them on consultants, bail outs and general tom-foolery.

            Either give them back some taxes so they can afford it or use some of that tax money to actually benefit the lowest areas of our society.

            • prism 2.1.4.1.1.1

              UR
              The problem with the down attitude on poor people is to overlook that they are under constant stress and are unhappy and that very little is going right for them. They also have very little money to comfort themselves with – the rich crafty financier can make sure that he is miserable in comfort. Not so the poor people.

              And they have to try and maintain a positive attitude and strong discipline of mind and behaviour yet perhaps feeling hopeless in the midst of this constant wave of difficulties and poverty. The term ‘death by a thousand cuts’ comes to mind. No wonder that the poor become less than ‘efficient and effective’ as Treasury and other economists would probably label their situation.

              • Urban Raskal

                Exactly, when any bump over $50 is going to break the bank or throw out your budget you tend to get pretty stuck in a rut. I would think that everyone can see the psychological impact that would have on a family.

                I’d think that providing a safety net of food for kids is not only in the interests of the children but society as a whole. Removing pressure here could have a positive impact on violent crime and family violence.

                This government seems to enjoy marginalizing people and I don’t see that being good for the well being of anyone. No one wants a pitchfork mob at their door, and long term that seems to get more and more likely if you follow this rhetoric.

        • tracey 2.1.4.2

          “you obviously live in an insular environment away from the realities of the middle and lower classes and their current struggles”

          Are you saying Steve is actually a member of cabinet???

  3. fabregas4 3

    I asked Parata whether she thought poverty affected learning her response (unsurprisingly) was long winded and waffling. Eventually she begrudgingly said yes. But then added “but it’s no excuse!”.

    I wasn’t able to ask a follow up question so I don’t know who she thought was using poverty as an excuse (usually she refers to lazy, teachers with low expectations in this sort of discussion) but equally it could have meant the kids themselves I guess.

    I really wanted to ask what her government planned to do about poverty then as it affects most of the struggling learners in any school – the very group she always refers too – sadly no opportunity to ask this either. Even more sad – I don’t think she actually cared.

    • Carol 3.1

      I’ve seen John Banks use that “poverty is not an excuse for education failure” line in general debates in the House recently. He claims it’s the line the “opposition” or Labour and the Greens use. Banks argument is that it is the schools that are causing the failure, hence the need for his charter schools.

  4. Matthew 4

    Key is full of shit. I work in a decile 1a High school, we get the breakfast program two days a week, but we get no free fruit (despite being in the biggest fruit-growing region in NZ) & certainly no ’emergency lunches’. Its two weetbix in the morning and a splash of milk, no extras.
    Most of my kids dont have computers at home or internet at home Steve. Also, a good amount of their parents do work but work minimum wage jobs, they pay tax, that have bills. I know some who get food one week & gas up the car the next… they cant do both in one week since the price of gas went through the roof. Power going up, rates going up, doctors costs, etc…. a 40 hour week at minimum wage less tax is barely 400 a week…..
    This isnt about removing responsibility, its about actually paying people enough money to cover their outgoings. Anyone who thinks poverty is a lifestyle choice has obviously never been in it.

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.1

      Excellent post Matthew!

    • tracey 4.2

      Steve and his ilk don’t want facts. They prefer to believe that the world they believe exists, is real and the same for everyone. Facts interfere with that enormously.

  5. Carol 5

    I see from the NZ First website that Paul Sahlberg, author of Finnish lessons is giving a talk in Wellington on Oct 2, hosted by PPTA. They don’t have any other details of location etc.

    http://nzfirst.org.nz/event/paul-sahlberg-author-finnish-lessons

    Aha! It’s at the NZPPTA conference:
    http://www.ppta.org.nz/index.php/annual-conference/2329-annualconf-programme-2012

    The 2012 conference will be held at the Brentwood Hotel, Kemp Street, Kilbirnie, Wellington from Tuesday 2 October to Thursday 4 October 2012.

  6. captain hook 6

    the nats are in denial about everything.
    especially about getting their arses kicked at the next election.

  7. Adrian 7

    Key or Parata claimed that they gave $300,000 to schools for fruit and food. What they didn’t say was that they also give $560,000 to elite private schools to buy sports equipment. Priorities, people, don’t forget the priorities.

    • mike e 7.1

      God that stinks wealthy people who can afford the best equipment while equally or better talented poor children can’t even get equipment or food!
      Grotesque.

    • Dv 7.2

      Re the 300k, it would be interesting to see that figure audited, and to see the ticket clipping (if any) on the way past.

      • tracey 7.2.1

        with 40,000 children in poverty that’s a one-off payment of $7.50 per child. how proud the nats must be. How much fodo the brokers for the asset sales get???

  8. prism 8

    Education is being presented to the public as a focus for attention away from the other yawning holes in our country’s performance leading to deterioration of everything those in the past worked for to achieve. When will New Zealand cease to bear anything but a faint resemblance to the country we had that remains in our memory?

    And education is being presented also as the answer to a future for our young people. In very poor countries it does open the doors to jobs and entrepreneurial activity often for just one child in the family to bring in some money for continued existence. In a ‘developed’ country like NZ more is needed. We have universal education which should flow into jobs and thriving, vital businesses. But where are they and where will they be when the next wave of educated young people emerge?

    Ours are closing down, moving away, or staying here and moving production elsewhere (e.g. Fisher and Paykel which may soon be owned by a Chinese shareholder). Steven Joyce talks airily about businesses of the future say in bioenergy. Sounds just like Roger whatname and his cohorts who were willing to manipulate the business environment so that it fell down, always with the cocky assertion that new more modern and efficient ones would take their place. And the idea that clever business people would save the country and boost its earnings.

    Well we know that the clever guys struggle in our environment trying to get, and keep going without any government support to match what other developed countries have. Many of our clever guys are just trained accountants, playing with other peoples real money and turning it into play money at the end. The clever guys don’t want the hard graft of starting, running, owning a business. They want to be successful like asset stripper Ron Brierley, to be financiers and gather in others hard earned savings like the finance company owners, then throw it to the winds, on a nice jet or yacht on an extremely fancy car, on all the baubles that man can think of, and occasionally woman.

    That’s why we don’t have much venture capital in this country. A casino culture is what we do have. It’s all going to happen on the next spin of the wheel, we are in the hands of fate and nothing we can do about it. What a despicable lot we have in NACT and Labour had better take a good shower, freshen themselves up, then get in to the policy gym and get sweaty with some real work on the right muscles, then go through that same process repeatedly until they are fit for their purpose.

  9. fnjckg 9

    social causation social drift
    choices and determinations
    loneliness and solitude
    social construction of meaning

    READ Thomas Szasz

    and btw, one of the highest authorities on mental health at the HBDHB assures me after many chats that i AM on the way…Left in charge

    …to them who hath understanding (Santa)
    -tuition
    -board
    -food
    -living allowance
    -primarily precis and oral examination (assessment, assessment, assessment) is unnecessary when u can cover the material in a summers’ pre-reading and sit wondering why u arewasting all this time cycling, pacing, and enduring vacant tutorials
    =One free servant (in this day and age i can be found) awaiting

    as, it would appear i have an auto-biographical memory as well as comprehension for any-thing i
    CHOOSE TO READ

    To The Trolls,
    i understand your desire and suffering
    -born to teens
    -typical bullshit kiwi male shot the gap to Oz
    -adopted
    -subsequent brothers to adopted parents followed
    -Father died when boys 9, 7, 3 ya
    -Authoratarian, emotionally, psychologically and physically abusive parenting (outcome of her own developmental deficits and insults)
    -Pedant teachers
    -the great NZ bully culture
    -biological inheritance of fathers predisposition to anasthetic (sensation seeking and all that)
    -biological inheritance of mothers ‘hysterical’ (old term) temperament
    -childhood social isolation
    -childhood labour
    -alcohol can come to grip one like heroin
    -nicotine one of the most addictive substances in the pharmacopeia
    -cannabis has been interesting, but work to be done

    Well we sure showed them did we. Not! (outcome. Hyper-vigilence and Acute cyclic emotional Intensity)

    Reading, and being read to + a little wairua = resilience

    There are at least 10 Benefits from gettin enough Sleep in a Therapeutic Milieu

    so on the same authority (see above) i have concurrence that much (almost all) is determined
    with a little freedom to choose following behind if u are courageous enough-it is the cowards that breed fear

    “Lets Dance” too Poppy for me (and it sure gets hot around hare)(poission recurrence)

    sacred.pearls.
    Done?

  10. captain hook 10

    we cant feed our kids and we cant keep our jobs.
    who elected this government?

  11. 50 more jobs lost at the port of timaru at the end of this month, so what do those
    families do? basher bennett will punish them again, more for the ‘poverty’ train.

  12. BLiP 12

    .

    Heh! National Ltd™ 2007 Press Release:

    National Party Leader John Key has announced the first initiative in what will be a National Food in Schools programme.

    “National is committed to providing practical solutions to the problems which Helen Clark says don’t exist,” says Mr Key.

    During his State of the Nation speech on Tuesday, Mr Key indicated National would seek to introduce a food in schools programme at our poorest schools in partnership with the business community . . .

    “. . . “We are going to put together the package while in Opposition. We are not waiting to be in Government, because all our kids deserve better.” [says King John The Clueless of Charmalot]

    Last year National Ltd™ spent $562,874 on sports funding for private schools, yet spent barely half that ($317,000) on support for organisations providing free food in low decile schools

  13. Basher bennett has just released more attacks on solo mums,their benefits will be
    slashed if they dont comply with her rulings,where the hell does she get off?
    this needs to be sent to the human rights office,surely there is someone in labour
    that can halt all her attacks on beneficiaries via the human rights commission and
    the un,surely she must be stopped,she has crossed the line with the privacy breach
    where she should have been dismissed as a politician,now a banal attack on mums
    and beneficiaries en’ mass, she is out of control.

    • Carol 13.1

      Well, some here predicted another Basher Benefit distraction following Shearer’s education speech-grabbing headlines:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7653313/Welfare-reforms-target-kids-education-health

      It’s all blame and punish parents for the abysmal way society has treated them, and avoid dealing with the wealthy rorters that dominate the system.

      NAct truly is the nasty party.

    • As David Slack just said on Facebook Paula has a standard press release that goes like this:

      “[Date] We will SLASH your benefit if you [insert maximum of one], you scum.” Issue weekly, as necessary.”

    • BLiP 13.3

      .

      Labour gets traction on child poverty: cue Basher Bennet dog-whistle, hey presto – headlines, concerned Editorials, unemployed = druggie TV “human interest”, rabid talkback-taliban blethering . . . oh, what was that about our kids living in poverty, must mean that spawn of criminals breeding for profit and leeching off the taxpayer. Fuck ’em.

    • Hayden 13.4

      Well, it’s easier than doing anything about jobs.

    • marsman 13.5

      ‘Paula Pop-Up Bene-Basher Bennett the Ugly Face of National Party Heartlessness’ on your screen weekly.

  14. Tab 14

    The Conservatives are gaining on National yay for Colin Craig, a Key with a moral code!!

    • Tracey 14.1

      Thanks TAB, I needed a belly laugh after a hard day…

      • Tab 14.1.1

        Was not a joke. Colin Craig has the heart and integrity that John Key does not. He is truly conservative and cares about what the electorate thinks, unlike the bendable Key.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          Do you think Colin Craig views homosexual activity as a sin against God, Tab?

          How about sex outside of marriage? Is that a sin against God?

          • Tab 14.1.1.1.1

            Yes to both questions Colonial Viper. Funny that Mr Craig has now had a bounce in the polls that even Labour has not. Course he does. Just because gay marriage is legislated into law, it does not make it morally right, because man is now manipulating and changing good law.

  15. mike e 15

    Next poverty will be against the law.

    • prism 15.1

      mike e 15
      I don’t like what you say, soothsayer. Begone with your tales of bad fortune going forward.
      Poverty or the ‘simple life’ did go through a time of popularity in the 70’s. Courtney Love’s parents brought her out here to live on a farm in our green land, though they kept their bank a/cs on the west coast just to be canny.

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      Next voting will be against the law. Oh yeah, they’re doing that too.

  16. Tracey 16

    Could someone in politics or the media please ask Ms Bennett how much enforcement of all her new sanctions will cost? Don’t let her announce another empty peace of nothingness without holding her to the costing. If she hasn’t done the costing why hasn’t she?

    Given the Nats aim to reduce the public service who will be following up parents to make sure they have their children in school? Consultants?

    • Dv 16.1

      No problem, all bene kids will be barcoded on the forehead for tracking in a central database.
      The kids will have an 0800 no to call is they are gong to absent or late.

  17. georgecom 17

    I have in mind a simple question for the people who support the Nat Government ‘get tough’ on beneficiaries stance. If the cause of hungry children is due to (along these lines) ‘lousy bludging parents who can’t be bothered getting jobs and use benefits as a lifestyle choice’:

    How many children do you think go without a meal in this country every day?
    How many of those children do you think come from families where the parents are ‘lousy bludgers’?

    Put a figure on your position. We can then debate the veracity of your figure before turning our minds to the matter of how to meet the needs of the ‘non lousy’ parents, who don’t ‘bludge’, who would like to work and do make an active contribution to society through a variety of means including bringing up their children and other social works.

  18. Tracey 18

    george don’t make sense, that’s contrary to the only plan this government has…

    Ms Bennett is going to scare everyone into agreeing with their diversionary tactics today by saying how much the current crop of beneficiaries will cost NZers… it appears 10% of beneficiaries are the unemployed. That suggests a large proportion of beneficiaries are ill or invalid. Isn’t that exactly what the welfare net is for?

    The ill, infirm, disabled, and those who from time to time find themselves without work?

    There is an awful lot of blather for the actual numbers.

    To show how even handed I am. I have a story.

    Mt brother-in-law was born physically and mentally disabled as a result of medical negligence in the 1950’s. His parents didn’t sue the hospital or the doctor, largely because they were in shock (not having been told their son would probably never walk or live beyond his teens, until ten days after he was born, as they were leaving the hospital). No ACC. So, they looked after him. No state assistance until after his father died and his widowed/retired mum sought some respite and utilised the state respite care system for ten days each year.

    She cared for him, in her home until she died at age 74.

    He lives in Christchurch (we live in Auckland). We searched long and hard for residential care in Christchurch because that is his home. He knows the transport routes and the libraries and hates Auckland(ers) :D. A good Canterbury man you might say.

    He didn’t want to come to us. After the second earthquake he came to us for 7 weeks for 2 reasons. He was disturbed by the constant aftershocks and it would free up a bed in his home for those needing respite care in the time of crisis.

    My point, and I do have one. Is that twice under the labour government he was fully re-tested to see if he was “capable” of working. He has had work in what we used to call “sheltered workshop” and once worked for Zip industries but was first to lose his place when the job losses began. I won’t go into how badly he was treated by fellow workers.

    So his mother was put through the worry twice under Labour, the worry that he would have to go to “work” and he wouldn’t be able to find a job, and would get depressed as he did during the zip layoff.

    To our knowledge there is no cure for what ails him… this would be known to anyone in WINZ, MOH and so on. The stress his mother was put through was awful to watch. She who had never asked for any support from the state which shielded the doctor who let the family down.

    SO, even when there are people, like my brother-in-law who can never work (he’s 55 now) at what we would call a “real job”, he gets periodically re-tested to ascertain his ability to work. Now surely with the millions spent on computer systems over the years a simple checked box beside names like his would remove him from future testing…

    Sorry if I strayed into compassion and common sense for a moment..

    Yes he is now state subsidised. BUT I can tell you from experience that his fellow residents on the whole ONLY have the allowance to live on. Yes, they have food, shelter and the bare necessities. BUT no extras, including extra clothes, day trips, holidays, books, film visits and so on. We contribute all of that for my brother-in-law and often for others too.

    Some might say well where are those other resident’s families and why aren’t they helping out? Well many may now be retired and on a pension, many may have low income jobs, many struggle to pay their own rents let alone boost their child in care.

    So, my brother-in-law is a beneficiary and IF he were left to his state care only his life would be quite bleak. Like many who find themselves in receipt of benefits I suspect, also battling with the mental impact of not being able to work or find work, or having worked and now being disabled.

    All of these people far outnumber the alleged bludgers and life-long rorters governments conjure up to win votes and divert from real issues.

    The Opposition needs to starting shouting long and hard when this welfare crap starts

    “where are the jobs”
    “what jobs?”
    SHOW ME THE JOBS

    and as for the rorter argument, accept that some people gip the system, like people who use the company shield to build and sell a house for profit, wind up the company and move tot he next and on and on, leaving a trail of poorly built houses in their wake and no one to sue… BUT we leave the shield because we want to encourage “entrepreneurs”. Like Mark Bryers and I deal with these guys on a daily basis in my job. Safely stowed away their money out of reach and wound up company after wound up company behind them. Where is the political will to fight this rort?

    In leaky homes alone, I estimate the cost to tax/ratepayers (because Councils have to pay the developers share which is usually at least 40% of the cost of repair, over $150m on claims made. That doesn’t count those who couldn’t sue council and there were no other viable parties.

    So don’t tell me about how important it is to weed out every rorter on a benefit. The numbers DO NOT STACK up.

    Ms Bennett’s figures today will not identify the number of “lazy bludgers” receiving benefits. That will be left for those without compassion or knowledge to conjure up. And conjure up they will.

    • georgecom 18.1

      Its not really about the Nats sas such Tracey, but more for those who see every effort to alleviate poverty as assisting ‘bludgers’ and ‘welfare lifestylers’. Its a challenge to them to, rather than resort to their simple catch phrases and prejudices, be specific about the issue. How many exactly. Some specificity puts their catch phrases and prejudices under some scrutiny. It allows us all to seperate fiction from some fact.

  19. An email I sent to Ms Bennett regarding her current so-called “welfare reforms”,

    To: “Paula.bennett@parliament.govt.nz”

    Kia ora Ms Bennett,

    Regarding your proposals to compel the unemployed, solo-mothers, etc, to undertake various obligations, or face having their welfare payments cut, I have some questions to put to you;

    * Will recipients of Working for Families – which some call a “welfare benefit – also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors? If not, why not?
    * Will superannuitants who are caring for children also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors? If not, why not?
    * Will children of all families, regardless of financial and/or employment circumstance also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors? If not, why not?

    If compulsory early childhood education and doctor’s visits for children of unemployed, solo-mums, and other welfare recipients is such a good idea that National is willing to enact legislation, and financially penalise parents for failing to carry out this policy – why are other parents also not being compelled to enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and medical clinics?

    Is there a basis upon which only the unemployed who have been made redundant from companies, government departments, and SOEs, are being targetted? What is that basis?

    If unemployed or low-income families are financially unable to enroll their children in Early Childhood Education, doctors, etc, what steps will National take to offer additional financial assistance?

    Do you still stand by your comment that you made on TVNZ’s Q+A on 29 April 2012, that, “there’s not a job for everyone that would want one right now, or else we wouldn’t have the unemployment figures that we do”.

    And lastly; is this propopsal – plus your other so-called “welfare reforms” – simply not an attack on the unemployed and solo-mothers to deflect attention away from your government’s inability to generate the 170,000 new jobs that Prime Minister John Key promised us at the last election?

    I await any possible answer you might be able to provide to these questions.

    Regards,
    -Frank Macskasy
    Blogger

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    9 hours ago
  • One way or another, we’re paying for this
    Back in July, when foreign polluters (and archaeological criminals) Rio Tinto announced they planned to close Tiwai Point, I was dancing on its grave. Why? Because the carbon subsidies alone were more than enough to fund alternative jobs - or even just to pay everyone dependent on it a reasonable ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • End of life – it isn’t so easy
    In a few weeks, New Zealanders will make a choice whether we implement into law the End of Life Choice Act 2019.  My scientific expertise includes developing and validating methods to predict future events of ill people including death. There is one section of the Act that concerns me deeply. Section ...
    SciBlogsBy John Pickering
    13 hours ago
  • Democracy Under Threat
    My wife and I are at an age when we have begun to think (and worry) about the kind of world we will leave behind for our children and, particularly, our grandchildren. We have experienced during our own lives, like others of our generation, our fair share of hard times ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    17 hours ago
  • Liam Hehir: Why it’s important to be open to relationships with people who vote differently
      There are few things written more deeply on the human heart than religion. Differences between us on the purpose and ultimate destiny of human existence have sometimes inspired great intolerance and even wars. But what would we make today of a Catholic who refused to countenance a meaningful relationship ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    18 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #39
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The Warming Climates of the Arctic and the Tropics Squeeze the Mid-latitudes, Where Most People Live Melting Arctic ice sends ...
    18 hours ago
  • Where in the world will the next epidemic start?
    Naomi Forrester-Soto, Keele University Viruses jumping from animals to humans have been the starting point of numerous outbreaks, from Ebola to Zika. Given the similarity of SARS-CoV-2 to coronaviruses found in bats, this probably marked the beginning of COVID-19 too. We know that viruses have passed from animals to humans ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Fiscal Maths with Paul “Goldie” Goldsmith
    Mr Thinks has asked me to come onto the blog today to outline a few concepts in fiscal mathematics. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #39
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 20, 2020 through Sat, Sep 26, 2020 Editor's Choice Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial A crack on the Amery Ice Shelf in ...
    2 days ago
  • National behind the times
    When Todd Muller resigned as leader of the National Party and allowed for Judith Collins to assume command, you could tell the blue “team” was desperate and in search of past glories. After all, Crusher is towards the end of her political career and from a bygone era where dirty ...
    3 days ago
  • Coronavirus: the road to vaccine roll-out is always bumpy, as 20th-century pandemics show
    Samantha Vanderslott, University of Oxford If you have been following the media coverage of the new vaccines in development for COVID-19, it will be clear that the stakes are high. Very few vaccine trials in history have attracted so much attention, perhaps since polio in the mid-20th century. A now ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • PREFU: The State of Government Accounts
    The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update’ (PREFU) tells us something about the future of the Public Sector but it requires careful analysis to assess how it is going. The 2020 PREFU is the most important economic statement during any election campaign. Unfortunately the commentariat tends to treat it briefly ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Predatory delay
    Farmers are whining again about being expected to clean up their act: Canterbury farmers want politicians to stop painting them as climate change villains, listen to their needs and allow them more time to boost environmental standards. [...] “The targets are necessary for the environment, but do we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Flight to nowhere sends the wrong message in climate crisis
    Qantas Airlines’ 7-hour “flight to nowhere”, that sold out in 10 minutes with prices from A$787 to A$3787, seemed like a sick joke to climate advocates. Apart from the waste of fuel and the pointless emissions, passengers would be able to see first-hand, from a plane just like those that ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: The cannabis referendum – a doctor’s perspective
    Cannabis is part of our culture: 80% of adults have tried it sometime. Intuition tells us that legalising cannabis will increase use – science suggests that is not likely. Our Dunedin and Christchurch studies show that cannabis use peaks in our 20s. Older people are less frequent users whether it ...
    4 days ago
  • First steps: Jerry DeSilva on the evolution of bipedalism
    Yesterday morning I got up (at the rather early and unaccustomed hour of 3.30am) to listen to a webinar by paleoanthropologist Dr Jeremy DeSilva¹. Titled “First Steps”, his presentation was about the origins of bipedalism in the human lineage. It was a fascinating session & I thought I’d turn my ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    4 days ago
  • True Believers In A False God.
    Down The Rabbit Hole: "Social psychologists have found that when fearful people contemplate potential misfortunes, they tend to feel helpless and pessimistic, but when angry people contemplate the same, they feel a sense of optimism and control. And one simple way to transmute fear into anger is to perceive an evil ...
    4 days ago
  • Majority Rule Requires Majorities That Are Real.
    Fifty Percent Plus One: New Zealand’s genuine-majority-delivering two-party system endured for five elections only (1938, 1943, 1946, 1949, 1951) a period of just 16 years. Very few New Zealanders alive today can boast of participating in an election which delivered a true majority to either Labour or National. Someone who ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour super exploitation
    This is the second in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation. Here he looks at Marini’s theory of labour super-exploitation and Capital ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Small asteroid to make near-miss of Earth in NZ skies tonight
    Sorry for the late notice on this one, but I only just heard myself, in common with most of the human race. A small asteroid, somewhere between the size of a truck and the size of a house in dimensions, will hurtle past the Earth tonight, dipping closer to ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    4 days ago
  • This is not what accountability looks like
    When someone commits trespass, assault with a weapon, and kidnapping, you'd expect them to be prosecuted, right? But apparently the rules are different if you wear a blue uniform: A police investigation has found officers in Northland trespassed on a man's property, then unlawfully pepper sprayed him and arrested ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Cycling: head injuries ignored because of entrenched macho culture
    Howard Hurst, University of Central Lancashire and Jack Hardwicke, University of Winchester Competitive road cycling is a demanding and unique sport. One where crashing is inevitable – especially at the professional level. While the risk of head injury is relatively low in cycling – approximately 5-13% – compared to contact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • The coming US shitshow
    Today President Trump once again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the US election. Coincidentally, The Atlantic has a long article on exactly what that means, from voter suppression by armed thugs in the name of "ballot security", to refusing to allow the vote ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A moral void
    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    4 days ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    5 days ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    5 days ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    5 days ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    6 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    7 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    7 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    1 week ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    1 week ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

  • Job numbers up in August
    New data from Stats NZ today shows a rise of more than 9,000 filled jobs from July – driven mostly by the education and training sector, Grant Robertson says. Filled jobs were up 9,147 to 2.2 million in August 2020 compared with July – with 7,409 of those in education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Māori development receives funding
    Māori development projects across the country will receive a total of $18.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund that will create infrastructure and permanent jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “These projects will support economic development in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Waikato and Southland to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units
    From today, owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings can apply for financial support to fix their homes, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing financial hardship over earthquake strengthening costs. “We understand how complicated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
    Whanganui will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment in a local food-processing company which will help the company increase production and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. Kii Tahi Ltd, which is owned by South Taranaki iwi Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi, will receive a Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Town halls and war memorials in PGF renovation programme
    Town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country will be renovated thanks to grants totalling just under $12.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says more than 1000 jobs are expected to be created during the renovation programme. “Town halls, other ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Early help for whānau who need extra support
    The Government is investing in a new, whānau-centred early intervention prototype designed to strengthen families and improve the safety and wellbeing of children. The new programme, Ngā Tini Whetū, is a collaboration between Oranga Tamariki, Te Puni Kōkiri, ACC and the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (WOCA) and was announced today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
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    4 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
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    4 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
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    4 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
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    4 days ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
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    4 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
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    5 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
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    5 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
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    5 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
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    6 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
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    7 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
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    7 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
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    7 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
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    7 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
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    1 week ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
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    1 week ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
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    2 weeks ago