web analytics

Note to John Key and David Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, May 28th, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: capitalism, child welfare, david shearer, education, hone harawira, john key, labour, mana-party, maori party, national, poverty, wages - Tags:

Dear John and David,

It is ultimately the government’s responsibility to ensure parents and their families to get sufficient income (from jobs and/or benefits) so that they can afford to feed their children.

 

PS: There is already Hone Harawira’s Bill that all parties should get behind – Maori Party especially should take note.

feed-the-kids

89 comments on “Note to John Key and David Shearer”

  1. Yep.

    Key is vulnerable on the issue and I am sure that National’s polling confirms this. Why else would they announce the anti child porn law change at the same time than to show they are concerned for the kids.

    As was discussed yesterday by r0b it is time for the left to get its own narrative going on issues. Mimicking National’s is not going to cut it.

  2. Elizabeth Bourchier 2

    Labour should be unequivocal and loud in its support of the disadvantaged.
    And in support of a strong left of centre agenda.

    Labour’s poll stagnation is not because of its leftish stances. It is because it puts its case weakly and apologetically and adds in a few “but”s and”maybe”s. The public can’t stand politicians that don’t back themselves.
    Robertson’s shilly shally on the power market change proposals, by stating that we will not intervene like that again, is an example if this.
    Shearers equivocation on the food for hungry children issue was poorly advised.

    • rosy 2.1

      Shearer – 9/9/12

      ”If kids turn up to school not having eaten breakfast, without shoes, or sick because their house is cold and damp, it’s obvious they won’t get the best start,” Shearer said.

      ”I hear people argue that this is the responsibility of parents. We can debate that endlessly but it won’t change this reality: tomorrow morning kids will still turn up to school hungry. And a hungry kid is a distracted kid who can disrupt an entire classroom.

      Shearer – 17/5/13

      Labour leader David Shearer said providing breakfast to children was ultimately a parent’s responsibility and any programme must be targeted.”

      I would support anything that would enable kids to go with full stomachs,’’ as long as it was not rolled out to all schools, he said.

      It’s the tone, isn’t it? What changed between the two statements, I wonder.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        good work rosy – how can his position change over that short period of time – there is much more going on here – perhaps he angling for Minister of Finance in the new Grand coalition between the gnats and labour after the next election

        • rosy 2.1.1.1

          I’d be interested to see a timeline of new appointees, e.g. strategists, and Labour party events over this timeframe. One of those statements is not Shearer speaking for himself.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Uh I thought Shearer’s performance was supposed to be improving over this 6 month period.

        • Murray Olsen 2.1.1.2

          A grand coalition between Shearer’s Labour and NAct wouldn’t surprise me at all. National know Shearer’s Labour is no threat to business as usual, and I’d put money on someone like Goff or Mallard preferring to work with NAct rather than those Mana/Green radicals. It’d be the official end of the Labour Party, but overdue by 30 years anyway. We need to be building something quickly. We’ll need it sooner rather than later.

    • David H 2.2

      What’s needed is someone like Cunliffe, who can explain all the complicated shit in layman’s terms and then tell you how he’s going to fix it and with no doubletalk!

      What is lacking in Labour and is one of the reasons i will not vote for them is is the ability to lay out policy in a clear and concise way.
      They have not mentioned what they will do about these draconian and Dickinson measures that are being put in place. No mention of repealing, no mention of raising the benefit back to the pre Richardson hammering. The 800,000 still have no reason to vote, no one gives a rats arse about them, they are just pawns in a game that is being played by the rich and powerful,so why should they vote?

      Our assets are being sold, and if the Nats get in again, then you will see the fire sale of the treasures of NZ to the 1%

      • David H 2.2.1

        That should read

        What is lacking in Labour and is one of the reasons i will not vote for them is is the inability to lay out policy in a clear and concise way.

  3. Ad 3

    Why is John Key beginning to sound more like Michael Joseph Savage than David Shearer?

    And Key is of course smart enough to suck the Mana Party oxygen, squash its bill, and deliver most of its policy gains anyway without resorting to parliament at all.

    Anyone who thinks thhis election is more likely to be won by Labour than National has not heard how hard Key is fighting; he sees the campaign as already started.

    • Agreed Ad.

      And I bet in the background there are some National Ministers chewing their fingers off at the thought that they may be (in their words) helping deadbeat parents shirk their responsibilities.

      But if this is what has to be sacrificed so that National can keep selling off the state’s silver to their mates then they will no doubt live with it.

  4. BM 4

    Why is it never the parent, parents fault.
    I’d say 99% of these kids that are missing out are because of bad choices made by their parent/parents.
    Giving extra money to the parent won’t help, if a kid turns up to school hungry, filthy and riddled with parasites then there’s something not quite right at home.
    It would be better to remove the child from the situation and place the child within a foster home until the parent can demonstrate the ability to look after his/her children.

    This feed the kids bollocks is just another band-aid, ambulance at the bottom of the cliff scenario.Fix the home life and then they’d be no need to “feed the kids”

    • Elizabeth Bourchier 4.1

      250,000 hungry children are a measure of the failed economic policies of Bill English and the Scrooge antics of Paula Bennett.
      Excellent parents working multiple low wage shift jobs will have no argument with the kids being fed in school.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.2

      Why do you think that whose “fault” it is in the slightest bit relevant, other than to stroke your sick vigilantism?

      How would you “fix” the “home life”.

      • BM 4.2.1

        Like I said, remove the child from the home and place it within state care.
        The child is not returned until the parent can demonstrate they have the skill and ability to look after and provide a healthy safe environment for the child.

        We have a very generous welfare system in NZ especially for people that have children.

        How would I fix the home life.
        By a providing courses to educate the parents, eg budgeting, parent skills, etc.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.2.1.1

          Three questions:

          1. How do you plan to fund this massive expansion of Nanny State intervention?
          2. Have you heard of “The Stolen Generation”?
          3. Why are you advocating failed policies that have made the problem worse everywhere else racist trash have implemented them?

          • BM 4.2.1.1.1

            So all the hungry abused kids are Maori?
            Racist much.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.2.1.1.1.1

              I think that’s the usual dog whistle that accompanies the war on the poor in New Zealand, yes.

              So attacks on beneficiaries double as attacks on Maori, pandering to racist memes. You cry crocodile tears for the children while demonising the parents every chance you get, and of course as soon as the children grow up a bit you turn on them too.

              • Monty

                But sadly the reality is that Maori are terribly over represented in all such statistics. That is not to say that Pacific, NZ European Asian and African kids are not represented, no doubt they are.

                • tracey

                  agreed, but seperating the kids from their families as BM proposes (he hasn’t outlined his programme and criteria yet) but has said it will be for 3 months only isnt the issue no matter what ethnicity the children are. Their stomachs are empty regardless of their ethnicity.ma.

              • Murray Olsen

                +1 OAK
                When the kids grow up they hit them with the War on Drugs.

        • BLiP 4.2.1.2

          We have a very generous welfare system in NZ especially for people that have children.

          Lets define terms, shall we? It might help you understand what seems to be an issue beyond your grasp. Start with your definition of “generous” and provide a comparison of New Zealand’s welfare system with that of, say, Australia. kthxbai.

    • So BM let’s presume there are 30,000 kids in this situation. These are all back of the envelope calculations but to take them all into care you will need 300 social workers at (total cost) $30 mil a year, 30,000 new caregivers at $10k a year would be $300 mil, legal bills (Judges and lawyers) would probably be a further $100 mil so all up this exercise could cost you and me $430 million.

      That is per taxpayer about $200 bucks a year. It will cause the most intense level of misery you could imagine.

      Or we could be charitable and make sure that a hungry kid gets enough to eat so they can at least learn. This would cost a lot less.

      What do you prefer?

      • BM 4.3.1

        I disagree.
        Also if the kids are removed from the home, during that time Mum or Dad no longer receive child support for those particular children.

        Surprised a lefty would be so concerned about tax payers money especially when it involves hungry abused kids.
        Might cost a bit of money up front but within a short period of time child poverty would be fixed and the ongoing savings would be immense.
        .

        I’d like to see some sort of nation wide network of state run foster houses modeled on a similar system to the IHC setup as well as some sort of Marae based foster system.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.3.1.1

          Surprised a Righty would make feeble attempts to perpetuate a false frame about that party that reduces public debt every time it comes to power? Not really; they lack the imagination to say anything new, so they parrot these lies long past their use-by date.

          But it is interesting to watch them trip over their own dicks when they do try and think for themselves. Food in schools is far and away a cheaper investment than forcing your victims families apart, and food in schools will do some good, rather than remake New Zealand as a Dickensian Hell.

          • BM 4.3.1.1.1

            I’m sure those kids would be gutted to be removed from an environment where Mum/Dads always wasted, strange people turning up at all hours to get on the piss and drugs
            No food in the house, getting told to shut up and fuck off all the time.

            Yeah, a place where kids feel safe and get looked after would be a Dickensian Hell compared to their home life.

            Out of interest are you an ex pom?

            • BLiP 4.3.1.1.1.1

              ^^^ DNFTT

            • marty mars 4.3.1.1.1.2

              Well at least you are getting to your real point bm instead of pretending to care about the kids.

              • BM

                Yeah, I’m struggling with these leftys complaining about cost, one gets the feeling it’s more about massaging ones ego than actually fixing anything.
                Facts are most of these kids are the ones that go and commit crime, spend time in prison, drop out of school and end up on the bene at huge, huge cost to NZ.

                I can see Marae with houses on site where the kids are placed, the elders can then look after and teach the young ones how to behave, the kids can also help out around the Marae giving them structure and purpose.

                What I am thinking would end the generational welfare cycle and cut crime to practically zero.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  I can see a concentration camp. There’s a guy who opens and closes the gate. It’s BM.

                  • BM

                    Fuck,you’re silly old git
                    You’re in NZ now bud, we don’t do things they way they used to in ol’ Blighty.
                    I realize it may be tough for you to understand especially with the level of colonialist superiority you tend to display, but not everything is like or should be like England.

            • rosy 4.3.1.1.1.3

              “I’m sure those kids would be gutted to be removed from an environment where Mum/Dads always wasted, strange people turning up at all hours to get on the piss and drugs. No food in the house, getting told to shut up and fuck off all the time.”

              You would be surprised then bm, to find that kids will fight with all they’ve got to remain with the only people they’ve ever bonded with no matter how neglected they are. Especially if siblings are involved. Best to try and sort the environment they know that take them away.

              • BM

                Once the environment is sorted, then they can go back.
                For the majority I’d say 3 months max would be how long the kids would stay within the foster home setup.
                I think for the system to work, it has to be a combination of carrot and stick, most of the approaches I see tend to be all carrot, people getting rewarded for being crap parents is no good.
                People have to realize the consequences of their actions otherwise they never learn.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  You’ve been advised of the consequences of your actions and it hasn’t taught you jack shit: you’re still pushing failed policies that not only fail, they exacerbate.

                  On the other hand, show one real world example where family separation policies have produced a good result. One. Put up or shut up.

                  • BM

                    IHC, which is why I mentioned them.

                    Go back to England, pal.
                    I’m sure you’d be a lot more happier.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Bzzt. IHC is a false analogy.

                      And drop the facile conceit that you have a clue about my whakapapa.

                    • tracey

                      IHC???

                      hardly comparing carrots with carrots. Do you mean like Parklands and similar have been very sucessful?

                • tracey

                  What is your three months based on? Gosh 3 months to resolve drug and alcohol dependency and become fabulous parents. This programme of yours MB, should be rolled out immediately. Can you post the research and outline of how the programme works for us?

        • tracey 4.3.1.2

          You disagree but you cannot even as gusesswork contradict the figures put to you. You also have no evidence to back your assertion that “within a short period of time child poverty would be fixed.”

          WHAT do you base it on. What is your experience with IHC that you propose it as a model.

          Wouldn’t it be better to feed the kids at school to enhance their learning (education is power) and work with the parents (with your parenting/budgetting programmes – which are in place already btw) and then provide 100% employment and a living wage?

    • tracey 4.4

      You probably have your statistic the wrong way round and only about 1% of parents are making bad choices. Do you know how many children are actually going to school without breakfast each day, and why BM? or are you guessing?

      Yes, foster homes for the 99%, that you claim, that will be a simple fix. More over simplistic thinking will not solve this problem short or long term.

    • tracey 4.5

      Someone who works with and around families in this situation seems to disagree with you BM, at least in part.

      “The root of this problem is when people get power bills or things like that which are higher than expected and they need to choose, food, or pay the bills.” principal of Hora Hora School in Whangarei, Pat Newman.

      I suppose if we put the kids in a foster home the power bill would be lower aye BM?

    • BM – so you think that $350 a week in wages has nothing to do with it?

      Take out rent…

      Take out electricity…

      Hmmm, not much left, is there?

      “Fix the home life and then they’d be no need to “feed the kids””

      Or, fix wages in this country?

  5. just saying 5

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/dont-be-fooled-iain-duncan-smiths-attack-on-pensioners-is–really-an-attack-on-all-of-us-8591518.html

    A dangerous trap for the left imo. Owen Jones (above) shows why it is essential for the provision of any kind of decent welfare and public services for the poorest, that all such provision be universally available.
    The Bristish Tories are talking about cutting the pensions of wealthy pensioners. To the hardest-pressed, this may seem reasonable and fair. But as the elites increasingly use their growing share of the pie on private healthcare, private education, private income insurance, private protection services, and private pensions, etc. they are barely engaged in the world that most of us occupy, and less and less affected by its disintegration.

    The universal basis of social security is this: “Everyone pays in, everyone gets something back.” It should be seen as inextricably linked with citizenship: that all of us have access to certain rights, whoever we are. On technical grounds, universalism works: it is the most efficient, cheap, easily understandable and simple way of administering the welfare state. Take a look at a Scandinavian country like Sweden. The wealthiest pay one of the highest tax rates in the world – nearly 57 per cent – and get the same excellent cradle-to-grave benefits as everybody else. Sweden, of course, is one of the most equal, best-functioning societies on earth, as nations with universal welfare states tend to be.

    But what the assault on universalism really means is the further destruction of Britain’s already-collapsing social cohesion. The Tory strategy since coming to power has involved the most shameless attempt to turn large sections of the electorate against each other since the Second World War. If you’re a low-paid worker suffering cuts to your pay packet and tax credits then you are encouraged to be enraged that the less deserving unemployed “scrounger” is not being mugged sufficiently. Stripping the welfare state of its universalism will breed a middle-class that is furious about paying large chunks of tax, getting nothing back and subsidising the supposedly less deserving. It will accelerate the demonisation of the British poor.

    • A very good point, just saying.

      Universal provision is the cornerstone of a collectivist approach. Without that, it’s all divide and conquer.

      Too many people see social security as a ‘handout’ rather than as the right and privilege of citizenship. In the former case, it becomes seen as nothing more than state charity and, hence, its recipients become seen as ‘bludgers’, ‘skivers’, etc. (who, therefore, can be said to ‘suffer’ from ‘dependency’) rather than as equal citizens.

      In terms of feeding schoolchildren, the state compulsorily institutionalises children for the best part of ten years or more of their waking lives and yet provides absolutely no nutrition during the hours that it requires children be compulsorily detained. Instead, it expects parents to provide that nutrition and then blames those who don’t. It’s hypocrisy given that, during the school day, the school has a duty of care (though, technically, teachers are no longer in loco parentis) yet is not feeding the children at all.

      By BM’s analysis, the children should be taken out of the care of the state because of its neglect of them.

      School lunches, at a minimum, should be universally provided for all detained children as a matter of basic decency and responsibility.

      The state should not have the right to detain children without also the responsibility to provide for them. It is morally deficient to demand one (the ‘right’) without accepting the other (the ‘responsibility’).

      • tracey 5.1.1

        I don’t get the apparent indignation of many who live nice comfortable lives at helping (with others and not alone) the vulnerable amongst us. This group never get as hot under the collar or as vengeful against those who use their wealth to avoid that which they can afford to pay; know they should pay. Why so much dislike for a group of which about 96% (I am guessing) are genuinely living within or at their means, not drinking, not smoking, going without for their kids, and still struggling?

        When did we decide as a nation that the poorest amongst us have to be like the slums of India before we feel any compassion for them?

        • McFlock 5.1.1.1

          It seems to me to be an issue of “finding reasons to not do” rather than any genuine limit of compassion. Themselves, their friends and family members they like will always be “deserving poor”, but anyone they don’t know or like is “undeserving poor”.

          I’ve never been the most sensitive guy in the world, but it’s always seemed to me that saying “the parents should do it” or “they’re homeless because of their own life choices” is merely assigning blame in order to avoid discussing how to solve the problem. However, it also seems to me that some people think that assigning blame brings the discussion to an end.

      • just saying 5.1.2

        Thanks for making explicit, the link between my comment and the subject at hand. Sometimes what’s obvious in your own head…
        Anyway, there is nothing stopping the state from providing tasty, healthy meals to every school pupil. In the process, some hassle, anxiety, and expense would be lifted from the shoulders of every parent or caregiver.
        And new jobs would be created -win-win-win.

  6. HG 6

    “It is ultimately the government’s responsibility to ensure parents and their families to get sufficient income (from jobs and/or benefits) so that they can afford to feed their children.”

    No its not. Responsibility ultimately lies with parents.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1

      No, HG, responsibility lies with you, and me, and everyone else who is in a position to help, for we will bear the costs of not doing so.

      Why is blame such a huge part of your response to this? What use is it? Do you honestly believe that people will respond positively to your disdain?

    • bad12 6.2

      Yes we can all sit here in comfort effetely tapping out our small snippets of chagrin, blaming either the Government or parents for the fact that there are far too many malnourished children turning up at our schools,

      On this i agree with the Slippery little Shyster we have as Prime Minister of this country, while we debate ”responsibility” those kids will still be turning up at school having had no breakfast and having brought with them no lunch either,

      It then becomes mere stupidity to continue such a circular argument surrounding ”responsibility”, the imperative in any sane society would be to first ensure that ALL children have access to both breakfast and lunch at school and fools wishing to debate ”responsibility” can then chatter away to their hearts content,

      There are good parents and bad parents who for whatever reasons struggle to provide the necessary diet to their children, identifying on an individual basis the causes of why this continues to occur would ultimately cost the State more in dollar terms than it would to simply provide a comprehensive food in schools program,

      In a country where one supermarket chain admits to dumping 30,000 tonnes of perfectly edible food to landfills annually it is an obscenity to think that daily 100,000 kids are going to school without breakfast or lunch…

      • tracey 6.2.1

        Agree. Those choosing to make the discussion about whose fault it is are merely refusing to aid suffering children. They can disguise it however they like but it comes from a place of judgment and revenge. We must punish these bad people before we consider anything else, or at least alongside anything else, because punishment is known to produce huge and immediate change for the good!

    • tracey 6.3

      Which is why some steal, to get the income to assist their families. But that is, of course, wrong too. If some people here do not see a connection between wages and work opportunities and lack of food and hygiene in homes then I feel for them. Of course there are bad parents receiving welfare. Just as there are bad parents earning over $100,000 a year. Both result in consequences, mostly in the criminal area which costs us all money but only one gets focused on for berating.

      I’d like to see ante natal classes as focused on parenting skills as on caring for the baby as such, and freely available even if run at a “loss”. getting children off to a good start begins in the womb. parents don’t magically know how to be parents, they know most of what they do from a book or their own experiences. If your own experience is awful and you are semi literate….

  7. It is interesting to watch National squirm on this issue.

    Make no mistake the tories would rather gnaw their hands off than hand out charity to poor people’s kids but they face this terrible dilemma. The pressure on the Maori Party to support Hone’s feed the kids bill must be huge. If the MP vote against it then I think they can kiss their future goodbye. But if they buckle then National could lose a vote opposing a measure designed to give hungry kids a feed.

    Crosby Textor could not fix the adverse PR up and the nats would be shown to be the penny pinching mean spirited bunch of doofuses we know that they are.

    So this is why through gritted teeth they are trying to get a package together.

    This afternoon’s announcement should be interesting.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1

      I hope someone asks whether the “private” part of the funding will be tax deductible.

      Not that it shouldn’t be, just that it effectively means the government is funding the whole package.

      • DavidW 7.1.1

        If you think that having something as “tax deductable” means that the Government is paying for it all then a) I have a bridge in central Auckland for sale, are you interested? and b) great choice of nickname!

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1.1.1

          Um, yes, on reflection I may have been suffering from a caffeine deficit when I made that comment.

      • tracey 7.1.2

        33% of any charitable donation is rebated, so it is a “loss” by a revenue collecting government. However the corollary is that without that carrot the other 66% would never have been donated.

    • DavidW 7.2

      Count a few “tories” among your close confidants do you Micky? Aware of how miserable and uncharitable they are? God you come across as a bitter and disillusioned sad person with comments like the one above.

      While we all know you practice at the low end of town, why do you feel you have to take it out on the clients you wish you had but who instead choose someone with talent and optimism to be their legal advisor. A glance in the mirror some time wouldn’t go astray.

      [lprent: 4 educational week ban for going well over the bounds of pointless abuse. FFS your abuse didn’t even reference the content of the comment you were replying to.

      Incidentally, if you want to start down that path then eventually you will find out that I tend (metaphorically) to rip your bloody scrotum from your quaking body before I stuff up your nose so you can find out how much of a complete noisome fuckwit you appear to be to others. It is an artform perfected over decades… Oh and then ban you permanently. ]

      • prism 7.2.1

        DavidW
        Personal attacks on commenters denigrating them and not just discussing their arguments is not what commenters here want to read. And what you write is diminished in value when accompanying that approach.

        [lprent: Yeah that was what I noticed as well. I couldn’t see from the comment what in the hell he was referring to in MS’s comment nor why. When I went back to see what he was responding to, it became clear that there appeared to be no relationship between the two comments. I tolerate abuse when it is related to a point, where a conversation spins off into silliness (basically if I landed on each instance of those, then people would never learn to simply walk away and would start using moderation as a weapon of argument), or simply someone having bad comment day. But this was just a straight personal attack for no obvious reason. ]

        • DavidW 7.2.1.1

          Apologies if you are offended prism. Savage’s bile had to be mopped up somehow but obviously my methods are contrary to your delicate sensibilities. I will try and do better next time.

          • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1.1

            You expert at fighting bile with bile. In fact, I can hear it seething away in your gall bladder from here.

          • mickysavage 7.2.1.1.2

            Wow don’t hold back DavidW. You mean this Government cares deeply about people on benefits and they would never ever think of implementing policies that would make beneficiaries lives harder just for political advantage?

            And for your information I actually practice in the better part of town. You tend to get a way better class of people out west.

          • Murray Olsen 7.2.1.1.3

            Tories may sometimes be charitable, but they’re miserable with it. The fact that they see one part of society helping another as charity and think they have a god given right to decide who’s worthy of that charity is one of the most nauseatingly miserable behaviours I’ve ever come across. The fact that you think any of us might want to be like you at your “better end of town” possibly beats it, but is at least a close second.

        • prism 7.2.1.2

          DavidW
          I actually don’t have very fine sensibilities and are known to use some ‘robust’ language. But you were making snide comments about Mickey’s real life and that’s a dangerous drop in standards. I have just dipped my toe in greasyfish’s blog today and have had to put strong antibacterial ointment on it and wrap it in bandages. Far too much vicious attack on people, that’s what I was moaning about to you, really it is more piranha than whale.

          And don’t get irritated with Mickey if you think he is “a bitter and disillusioned ” person. I think many of us here feel like that, we just keep writing hopefully about a good democracy and how it could be brought about and what it might develop into, despite constant depradations by neo lib talebans (which would include knocking down a statue to Michael Savage).

          So here is an interesting comment to amuse you and which you can sneer at, smartarse.

  8. amirite 8

    Just maybe – not all children turning to school hungry have parents who are deadbeats or can’t manage their money. Because by the time the rent, the power bill, the petrol bill, any unexpected medical and/or school expense has been paid, and the food bank can’t help for lack of donations – there’s not much left, if anything at all?

    • tracey 8.1

      and how many of those parents go for full days without food to ensure the kids get two or three meals? It’s too easy to bag the vulnerable and lump them all together.

  9. Molly 9

    “If you think that having something as “tax deductable” means that the Government is paying for it all then…”

    No. But doesn’t it depend on whether they are allowed to claim for the full retail value, as opposed to cost? You would assume that a company providing a service to the government to allow them to get out of a tough political spot, would be negotiating hard on this.

    Then the tax rebate for that “retail priced donation” – along with the actual cost of providing the goods, drops the private layout considerably.

    A win in terms of “public good” advertising for the company at a relatively low price.

  10. prism 10

    And More! A last minute attempt to stop charter schools passing through the legal system like a turd is being made. It will not be heeded. The government has all the facts already about its lack of efficacy not to mention the moral hazard pitfalls that go with the charter schools like cats have fleas.

    I was quite surprised at the Principal of Horahora primary school, Pat Newman, saying on Radionz this morning that he was in two minds about extending food help across low decile schools, and that the real problem was understanding how NZ had ended up in this bad situation. This I am sure has already been researched or stats provided with background by the Child Poverty Action Group but he didn’t mention them.

    Also he talked about targeting children and quietly giving them food assistance, lunch boxes etc. Sounds very hit and miss and charity-driven. I would think there would be less stigma for all to have some good stuff provided. But it must be better than rice bubbles, corn flakes, cocopops sugar loops or some other quickly processed sugar rush muck with the milk giving it a semblance of real nourishing brain food.

    Child Poverty Action Group http://www.cpag.org.nz/about-us/
    CPAG works to produce evidence about the causes and effects of poverty on children and their families. It looks carefully at how Government policies affect children. CPAG publishes reports, makes submissions and conducts small-scale research projects to achieve its goals.

    CPAG is an independent, registered charity. It is funded entirely by grants from charitable trusts and donations from the public. CPAG does not accept funding from the proceeds of gambling.

    I had a quick look at Google under Pat Newman’s name and teacher unions and got showered with spit from greasyfish. What an ugly site, driven by a sick, hating mind gloating at finding an outlet and standing amongst people of a similar destructive persuasion. Spewing out provocative and inflammatory and degrading criticisms. With lots of active character assassination opportunities.

    If anyone wants a taste of this tainted thinking and blogging here’s some examples. I used a phrase from the site – for ‘A new low for obnoxious Northland principal Pat Newman’
    there were six mentions on google under greasyfish from October 2011 to April 2012.
    and
    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2011/09/nothing-less-than-a-scandal/
    contains the expression –
    ‘Northland bully principal Pat Newman’ (who was also a Labour candidate in the 2011 election.)

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    It’s Government’s responsbility that anyone who wants permanent full time employment on a living wage be given the chance to prove themselves in that employment.

    You agree with that don’t you Righties? Get the bludgers off the dole working full time?

    • BM 11.1

      Working for the bene, yep I’m big on that, couple of days a week of work would be good start.

      More public service jobs, big no to that one.

      • tracey 11.1.1

        Bm, when did NZ last have 100% employment, and what do you think about the high level of unemployment over the last few eyars, given you see people working as the solution (and it is) but not enough jobs. AAnd don’t preach “seek” website to me. Most beneficiaires are not accountants or engineers.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.2

        Working for the bene, yep I’m big on that

        If it’s real work then it’s gotta pay a real living wage. No cheap slave labour here for you mate.

  12. And the announcement is out and it is pretty small. $9.5 million over 5 years to expand Kickstart and a further sum to Kids Can.

    The main announcement is less than $2 million a year and will not threaten the surplus. This is the same amount as the Government is spending on saving Wanganui Collegiate this year.

    Pitiful really.

  13. ghostrider888 13

    Heres the Food In Schools Announcement.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10886696

    Shearer- “millions (9.5) on food in schools, while government expends 40M on Private Schools”. Yep.

  14. tracey 14

    More money to kickstart is a good start (even though many here will not agree because they don’t believe that more money is the answer). It’s just sad to see a government that campaigned beside a “poor” family in 2008 and highlighted the importance of kids actually rates them so low.

    Where would Mr Key be without state housing and widow’s pensions… probably not PM… DAMN WELFARE!!!!

  15. xtasy 15

    Sanitarium Weet Bix and Fonterra milk subsidised by Key’s government at shoe string budget expenditure, wow!

    Kids, the breakfast will be ready, but bring your own plates, bowls and spoons, please, if you can afford it.

    Parents, spend a bit more on Sanitarium and Fonterra products (price increases to be announced shortly), as the money will need to come from somewhere. Your kids will learn what is a “good brand” too, “free” education about corporate identity, market brand value and good-will – at schools to be served.

    Leave those from better circles alone, as they surely deserve their past tax cuts.

    That is the message. Thank you Johnny, you are mighty “smart”, and so “kind”.

    • prism 15.1

      Don’t knock it xtasy – it mightn’t be bacon and eggs and there might be some brand loyalty hoped for but hey it’s a start. Some firms might like to provide muesli bars too. The rolledoats in them would provide a strong tummy lining, and with a drink of milk, and even a quarter apple now that might be achievable.

      • xtasy 15.1.1

        What about vege gardens to be established as part of school grounds, to be used and maintained as part of biology and associated subjects that are taught, encouraging schools and kids to grow own food for real meals and so forth? It could be used also to prepare meals at school, like proper lunches, by volunteer parents or others.

        Many do not even know how to prepare proper meals, let along grow things, these days. Just another idea, I thought.

        Yeah, it is a start, what the government has offered today, but Hone’s bill appeals a bit more, I’d think.

    • Don't worry be happy 15.2

      What about Sanatorium paying tax if anyone is going to talk about ‘bludgers’? And let’s back date that, say, since they started operating an industry and turning a handsome profit?

      And how about Fonterra’s busy little corporate ‘farmers’ with their clever tax lawyers that mean that the tax take from dairy ‘farmers’ was the same as that paid by old age pensioners….Let’s sort out those ‘bludgers’ too!

      Then how about we ring-fence this new, shiny, much improved tax revenue (fair go we all pay tax why should they get away with paying zip?) and spend it on those kids so often labelled the ‘education tail’ the one that so elegantly matches the % of children living in poverty…without enough food or enough money to live in a warm home or be taken to a GP for the common childhood illnesses that rob children of their ability to perform in school (glue ear, strep throat)

      Tell Sanitarium and Fonterra where to put their ‘charity’ and make them cough up what they owe.

  16. tracey 16

    “School Principal of Lincoln Heights Auckland, Debbie Waikato says:

    “The KickStart Breakfast Programme has made a big difference at our school. Staff have noticed those children who attend breakfast club regularly are absent less, happier, more settled in class and switched on to their learning”

    As long as the milk is delivered and distributed with no messages or free guest spots for the supplier then it ought to be, on its face, regarded as at least partially altruistic. IF it’s about brand awareness for them and not charity, then let them live with their own consciences and keep them and their spokespeople out of the school.

  17. karol 17

    Reading through the comments above – I did ponder on whether to locate ultimate responsibility for feeding children with the government, or with the whole of society.

    The government certainly needs to make it possible for everyone to get a “living wage”/income But in a democracy, we all have a role to play to work together and put pressure on the government when necessary.

    For those who say the ultimate responsibility for feeding children is with their parents. Actually, I think that’s an attitude that developed with industrial capitalism. Before that, the extended family and community in European countries and most other places, took more responsibility for the children in their community. Many cultures still do.

  18. peterlepaysan 18

    Industrialisation wrecked familial, neighbourly and kinship groupings based on pastoral, nomadic, agricultural and hunting relationships.

    We are reduced to “consumers” “suppliers” “data” by politicians and economists, and assorted spin doctors.

    Governments and economists do not have “poverty” “hunger” “need” on their radar.

    It is extremely doubtful whether either labour or national care about people, they only care about economic maundering to justify their despicable actions or inactions.

    After all we voters are not people, we are merely data to be manipulated.

    Shonkey is in a hard place.

    He does not give a toss about the poor and struggling (how many tax breaks did he give them?)

    Ignoring hungry brats is not a good look.

    This a cynical (and unhealthy) ploy by the nats to block Mana and other parties from pursuing this policy.

  19. AmaKiwi 19

    “Be good to your children. They will choose your retirement home.”

    Conservatives have many names for their philosophy: individualism, individual rights, etc. They all boil down to one flaw: denial that we are all part of one community, one family. Any child who grows up malnourished, undereducated, using drugs, a criminal . . . is MY child. My life, my family, my community, my country, are the poorer for it. Eventually I will pay the price.

    No, John Key, your wealth cannot protect you, your children, your grandchildren from a dysfunctional society in a devastated environment.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    3 hours ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    4 hours ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    5 hours ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    21 hours ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    4 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    4 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    5 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    5 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    1 week ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    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 does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Some cheap soundbites i thought up while reading about the underwhelming Conservative manifesto
    Tory manifesto: big on austerity, low on promise, non-existent on delivery. The Tories: the party so big on ambition they couldn't be arsed writing a manifesto. MLK: "I have a dream!"BJ: "I'll just have a nap." Labour: Broadband!Tories: Narrow minds! Labour have hope, dreams and ambition. The Tories will save ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles vaccination required to travel to islands and Phillipines
    The Ministry of Health has announced that “people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji” are now on the list of national priorities for MMR vaccination. Given the outbreaks of measles in Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji, the Ministry of Health is ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Giving the finger to Beijing
    Hong Kong has been protesting for six months for, demanding democracy, human rights, and an end to police violence. Today, they went to the polls in district council elections - a low-level of government with virtually no power, similar to community boards in New Zealand. But while the positions themselves ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia’s national strike
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On Friday 22nd of November a curfew came into effect and troops were deployed on the streets, here in Bogota. It was the first time since September 1977 that a curfew had been imposed on the city. The decision was a cynical pre-planned ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National supports slavery
    Meanwhile, while the government is planning to restore voting rights to prisoners, National is promising to turn our prisons into US-style slave-labour camps:The Opposition is proposing compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more. [...] On Sunday, National Party Leader Simon Bridges ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Erasing the infamy
    Last year, the Supreme Court confirmed that National's prisoner voting ban - a law so shoddily passed that it brought Parliament into disrepute - breached the Bill of Rights Act. This year, the Waitangi Tribunal added that it also breached the Treaty of Waitangi. And now, the government has finally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Trade unions that never fight the sex industry bosses
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the second part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis
    Dalmeet Singh Chawla In 2008, psychologists proposed that when humans are shown an unfamiliar face, they judge it on two main dimensions: trustworthiness and physical strength. These form the basis of first impressions, which may help people make important social decisions, from who to vote for to how long a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership
    Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next phase of Pike River recovery underway in time for Christmas
    The next phase of the Pike River Re-entry project is underway, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little says. “Fresh air will be pumped into the Pike River Mine drift this week, following acceptance of the plan for re-entry beyond the 170m barrier by New Zealand’s independent health and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Insurance contracts to become easier to understand and fairer for consumers
    New Zealand consumers will have greater certainty about their insurance cover when they need to make claims as a result of proposed government changes. “Insurance is vitally important in supporting consumers and businesses to be financially resilient when unexpected events happen,” Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • A new opportunity for Ngāpuhi collective and regional negotiations
    The Crown is providing an opportunity for the hapu of Ngāpuhi to rebuild its framework from the ground up for collective negotiations to deal with its historical Treaty claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The Crown is also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Referendums Framework Bill passes third reading
    A Bill enabling referendums to be held with the 2020 General Election has passed its third reading. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Act is important for upholding the integrity of New Zealand’s electoral process. “The Government has committed to holding a referendum on legalising recreational cannabis at the next ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Referendums website and initial cannabis Bill launched
    The first release of public information on the two referendums to be held at next year’s General Election was made today with an informative new Government website going live. Additionally, the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been released, showing the strict controls on cannabis that will apply if ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to ban foreign donations
    The Government is taking action to protect New Zealand from foreign interference in our elections by banning foreign donations to political parties and candidates, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Legislation will be introduced to Parliament this afternoon and passed under urgency. “There’s no need for anyone other than New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Governments and tech converge to strengthen joint response to online terror events
    Governments and tech companies are holding a two-day workshop, hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol. The workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications. Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cancer Control Agency to drive improved care
    The new independent Cancer Control Agency has formally opened today, delivering on the Government’s plan to improve cancer care in New Zealand.         Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Health David Clark marked the occasion by announcing the membership of the Advisory Council that will be supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting small business to prosper
    Small businesses who deal with government departments are set to be paid faster and have improved cash flow as a result, under a new strategy released today. The Government is backing recommendations from the Small Business Council (SBC) and has agreed to implement three initiatives immediately to support business and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bill has biggest education changes in decades
    The Education and Training Bill 2019, introduced in Parliament today, proposes the biggest education changes in decades and is an important step towards improving success for all our learners, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “The Bill’s rewrite of education legislation is long overdue. Indeed one Education Act, parts of which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bali Democracy Forum to focus on democracy and inclusivity
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December. “The Forum is a valuable opportunity for Asia-Pacific countries to share experiences and best practice in building home-grown democracy and fostering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago