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NRT: John Key’s New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, September 9th, 2011 - 72 comments
Categories: public services, scoundrels, welfare - Tags:

John Key’s New Zealand

From the Herald, an example of just what National’s cuts mean for people in need:

A young mother and her baby facing a cold night with nowhere to stay in Gisborne turned to a real estate agency for rescue, after three social service agencies were unable to help.The plight of the 20-year-old woman and her four-month-old baby has highlighted the lack of emergency housing in the Gisborne area.


But Work and Income staff at the Gisborne office said they could only offer her an appointment eight days away. The Work and Income regional director has since issued an apology for this.

People who go to WINZ needing help should get it. Instead, this woman was told to fuck off, thanks to service cuts and a deliberate policy of limiting costs by imposing bureaucratic barriers to access.

This isn’t good enough, and the people responsible, the government, should be held accountable for it at the election.


72 comments on “NRT: John Key’s New Zealand”

  1. tc 1

    More of that brighter future competing with the RWC for coverage….3 guesses who’s gunna win.

  2. Policy Parrot 2

    What the hell is the point of Work and Income if they don’t give people like this help?
    An apology from the Regional Director is not enough, I demand that they immediately resign their position – for failure to uphold its Mission Statement: “Work and Income provides financial assistance and employment services throughout New Zealand and offers a single point of contact for New Zealanders”

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    This isn’t good enough, and the people responsible, the government, should be held accountable for it at the election.

    Personally I think that those responsible, the government, should have charges of criminal negligence laid against them.

    • insider 3.1

      This woman shares some of the blame. She voluntarily left her friend’s house without anywhere to go, when she was apparantly still welcome. How could she expect to be just put in a house straight off? Waiting 8 days for an appointment is unreasonable but did she really have to make herself homeless?

      What kind of entitlement mentality is it that thinks you can just roll up at a govt office and get a home that day.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Better question: Why is there a housing shortage?

        • insider

          I blame the Greens. Can;t build anything because of them.

          But seriously, she wasn’t in a situation of shortage. She had a place to stay but chose to leave it. Does the state have to provide a pool of empty houses for every 20yo with child that just might turn up? How many places should they keep empty just in case in Gisborne Draco?

          She appears to have moved from Auckland with no support. And you expect every agency to fall all over her just cause she turns up.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Does the state have to provide a pool of empty houses for every 20yo with child that just might turn up?

            How many people living in poverty and on the streets does there need to be before we accept that the market is failing – again?

            I’d rather supply a few empty apartments to ensure that everyone is well housed than break people to make a profit the way that the political-right seem to want to do.

            She appears to have moved from Auckland with no support.

            The community is there to ensure that she has the support that she needs.

      • bbfloyd 3.1.2

        sigh…. you didn’t really read the article did you?

      • Deadly_NZ 3.1.3

        8 days unreasonable ? Levin can be upto 2 weeks and then your 9.00am appointment that you are on time for, you sit and wait for another hour or so before you are seen, And the more the NACTS gut the system, the worse it gets!!

  4. johnm 4

    Walking along Courtenay Place Wellington about two weeks ago I was upset to see a young man begging while squatting down at the side of the footpath. James(not real name) told me he couldn’t get a youth unemployment benefit, about $167 a week, because WINZ said he couldn’t be available for work because he has no fixed address to live at! Places he’d applied to live at he said wanted a bond which he’d managed to get off Winz ok but he’d had to jump through so many hoops and time delays before getting the UB that his prospective accommodation had declined to bother with him further and withdrawn the rooms. He couldn’t go back home for family breakup reasons. It seemed to me WINZ were almost saying go back home. So, he’s begging and staying in the night shelter which he told me costs $10 a night! He pays for that and food from begging! He told me he was applying for a job at McDonalds which he desperately hoped to get. Imagine if he couldn’t beg enough he’d have to sleep rough! This young man could easily be trapped into this existence for years because of the deliberate difficulty made for him to get benefits he’s entitled to. I have seen other young men begging in Wellington as well. This is socially divisive inequality in action Jonkey doesn’t have a problem collecting his self awarded tax cuts or throwing away a billion bucks to South Canterbury. This young man is part of our future will he develop mental illness on the streets? will he turn to petty crime and cost us a fortune housing him in Prison? All because his basic civil rights are not respected: He is entitled to the UB stop f*cking him around!

    • Frank 4.1

      So what’s his real name so WINZ can sort it out?

      Or do you lot just want to moan and wail and generally throw stones instead of being part of the solution? Do you honestly think that WINZ heirarchy want people to miss out on their entitlments?

      Stop being so obstructive, negative and naive. Provide the guy’s name and if there has been an error they will fix it.

      • aerobubble 4.1.1

        You forget the only reason we have welfare was so we create a class of small minded
        people who would moan a lot about how their taxes pay for it.

        Obviously people fall through the cracks, and well meaning passersbys should be
        phoning the dob the cheat welfare line up about this individual (who clearly must
        be on a benefit, that’s what my taxes pay for! don’t I pay enough already!) who
        is begging to top up his dole payment (which is obvious not enough as who
        would have lost all shame to beg but a benefit fraudster).

      • prism 4.1.2

        @Frank – Stop being so negative about complaints and naive in refusing to believe that there is a structural miserliness and distaste from the top for the people WINZ is supposed to be helping. And provide the guy’s name? Like Paula Bennett did when broadcasting a beneficiary’s details all over the media? The young guy has to make these decisions himself. He says he has been refused. He probably finds more kindness and concern on the kerb than from cold people like yourself with your impatience with others who describe unattractive truths.

        Do you honestly think that WINZ heirarchy want people to miss out on their entitlments?


        • Frank

          WINZ aren’t the Minister – regardless of what you want to believe.

          Provide details in confidence and they will be dealt with in confidence.

          “Do you honestly think that WINZ heirarchy want people to miss out on their entitlments?

          You’re an idiot.

          • muzza

            @ Frank, like all institutions there are levels which you know probably know nothing about, there are also people who work at the front face of WINZ who are unhelpful, obstructive and in some cases down right neglectful. I know because I help people who have to deal with WINZ on a regular basis, that get dicked around.

            You come accross like a heartless individual, and certainly an ignorant one too.

            Of course there are people at all levels of WINZ who are NOT there to help, wakey wakey idiot!

      • rosy 4.1.3

        Some at WINZ don’t want to sort it out, and I guess that is a directive from the top. Just like this case

        …The Hamilton mum, who also cares for her 24-year-old nephew, works two part-time jobs – as a Red Badge security guard and a Novotel room maid – while studying to become an emergency medical technician.

        The family spent that week scrambling: visiting friends, sneaking a shower and eating where and whenever they could. In the days before the fire, takeaways were the food of choice.

        The family’s power bill had got on top of them and, $900 in arrears, they began using tealight candles despite knowing it was dangerous.

        Their luck ran out on Tuesday night, when fire destroyed the 101-year-old Nawton villa they rented, leaving them with just the pyjamas they were wearing.

        In an effort to pay the bill, Ms Harris-Wright had got an emergency grant from Work and Income New Zealand (Winz) a month ago to pay two-thirds of her $730 bill.

        But the bills kept coming and Ms Harris-Wright had visited the Dinsdale Winz branch office several times, trying to bring forward her appointment, which had been scheduled for Wednesday morning.

        But by then she did not need only a grant for power – she needed a house, clothes, food – “everything”.

        Already desperate to find somewhere to sleep on Wednesday night, Ms Harris-Wright said she was horrified by the “cold and clinical” reaction of Winz staff who told her to go away, sit down with her family and “write a report”.

        Sometime soon there will be enough of these stories that even the most heartless will be able to join the dots and realise the social safety net has disappeared.

    • pollywog 4.2

      Will he turn to petty crime and cost us a fortune housing him in Prison?

      If he’s got any sense he will. Only why go petty ? Go large and make it worth doing the time if he gets caught.

      If breeding for business is a legitimate source of income then surely going to jail is the soft option for guys who need fed, housed and educated ?

      welcome to the bright future…

      • aerobubble 4.2.1

        A while back this criminal, who spent his time in and out of courts, decided to
        represent himself, a lawyer was shocked how good he was. It must have been
        such a relief that this criminal did not become a lawyer. The surprise surely
        is we need criminals to keep rightwing politicians happy as larry whining
        on about crime not paying, etc. So its a win-win, criminals smart enough
        to be lawyers don’t pay high lawyers fees, and rightwing politicians get
        voted into power for running down the system that criminalizes its

      • bbfloyd 4.2.2

        don’t forget the healthy, non smoking environment……my word, how fit and healthy they will be when they get out for their brief visits to the outside world…

    • ron 4.3

      His story is a really common one.In my job I daily deal with young people who approach W&I, want to work but have no home and no ioncome. They get short shrift oif they have no address and the W&I case managers let them walk out the door to sleep on the street.

      • aerobubble 4.3.1

        Seems someone should set up a charity, build a workhouse where ther are
        bunks to the ceiling, and where the youth can go, sign up to all WINZ
        benefits and pay an exorbinant fee to the local gangster landlord who
        has all the judges and police in their pocket.

    • bbfloyd 4.4

      i sympathise with your thoughts on this johnm…. but you have simply hit the tip of an iceburg… if, for whatever reason, you find yourself without accommodation, at whatever age,, you don’t qualify for a benefit…. it has been the case for as long as i can remember…..

      it is self defeating, and in fact, helps to accelerate the downward spiral….

      if you came up to auckland, you have to get used to seeing beggars on nearly every street… the inner city parks are full of people sleeping rough….

      homelessness in new zealand is the worst i have ever known it…. the carnage of the nineties pales in comparison to what is still a developing pattern…… to be sure, this will get much worse, and will probably require a change of government to before any effective measures are taken to counter..

      it’s heartbreaking to watch so many youngsters being abandoned to commence yet another waste of a life……

      and still we have the ignorant blaming these children and youth for their situation…. it makes me ashamed to think that people in my country could still be that small…

      • aerobubble 4.4.1

        Build leaky homes for a decade or more, then watch while the landed gentry profiteer
        off inflated housing prices, its a win-win for the speculator classes.

  5. insider 5

    john, there have been people begging on Wellington streets for quite a few years. This is not a John Key phenomenon.

    • Ianupnorth 5.1

      Insider, there are beggars in most cities; there is a lack of a safety net for those who fall through the cracks, e.g. discharged from mental health facilities or prison. I know in my town the latter are a big issue, nobody wants to assist them.

      • Bob Stanforth 5.1.1

        Actually Ian, there are agencies that do want to work with them, and actively so. Take Auckland for example. AKL City Mission, and Lifewise are just two who do. On any given night there are around 100 people who sleep rough on the streets of AKL city, and that figure has not budged at all in the last 10 years. Why?

        Because some people want to. Because some are frightened of agencies. Because some have mental health issues. ACM & Lifewise do a great job of helping those that actually want help, but some of their ‘customers’ actually just want a feed, some clean clothes and blankets, and then are happy to go back on the street. And that will always be the case.

        And yes, before anyone falls over, this righty is involved in significant charity work, particularly helping the homeless and homeless agencies. Ive slept rough, I know these people, and I also know that for quite a few, its a choice. Not all, but quite a few.

        Blaming the government of the day changes and means nothing. And is actually a display of ignorance of the issue. Again, not directed at you Ian. 🙂

        • aerobubble

          if you been through WINZ you can see why people don’t trust authority and agencies.
          Its about being in control of ones life, if that means living on the streets then that
          means controlling ones life so be it.

    • johnm 5.2

      Hi insider. Yes Labour introduced the snakes and ladders and jump through the hoops system before you can get a benefit. The idea is to discourage young people from becoming dependent,but it hasn’t worked for James: he can’t retreat to Mum and Dad for support and a breather(As most can), he is because of that a special case for assistance.

    • kriswgtn 5.3

      Its a Paula Bennett outcome

      Well Done

  6. Frank 6

    oh and by the way…regarding your main blog – you people just believe everything you read in the media right?!

    It’s the whole truth right there yeah?!

    Grow up, seriously, you know full well how the media love to misrepresent important facts to make things look worse than they actually are.

    Take it from me personally – if you ever think someone has missed out on their full and correct entilments from WINZ, send the person’s details (full name/date of birth) to info@msd.govt.nz

    They WILL look at it urgently and they WILL sort it out.

    • ron 6.1

      I’m sut you seem to be working with a different W&I to the one I deal with every day. For many of my clients – unless a social worker who knows the system goes in with them and sits beside them hassling the Case Manager then those clients simply don’t get their entitlements. It happens every day – especially to young people without parental support.

      • Frank 6.1.1

        Well now you know where to send specific details (info@msd.govt.nz) to ensure things are done properly…or you are actually just repeating the same old tired myths.

        • McFlock

          Actually, I found in the 1990s that the quickest place to go for the quickest resolution to a bullshit decision was the local opposition MP’s office. The only time I saw WINZ staff go out of their way to be helpful – to the point of panicking. 🙂

          I’m not sure I’ve ever voted Labour, but I am slightly saddened by 2 things: he’s retiring, and his dancing technique.

          • Deadly_NZ

            And it works. I had winz tell my then 8 month Pregnant Partner to ‘catch the shuttle’ So I went and saw the local labour man. apologies were forth coming, but this should NEVER happen.

          • The Baron

            Sounds like your over a decade old anecdote is perfectly relevant to this situation then. Thanks!

            • McFlock

              The way national are going, we’ll have to recycle similar lifestyle tips from the 19th century: to make ends meet, have your 10 year old pull his weight, literally, in a mine…

        • rosy

          Pity the newbies on benefits might not know this stuff… (you’ve got to be in the system to understand the system) and that people who have been around it for a while may not have access to things like email, given their payments are 20% lower than a living wage.

          And a general comment….Yes there are people in the system that break the rules, there are people who choose to sleep rough, there are people who are willfully ignorant. But don’t let your knowledge of such people blind you to the circumstances of people who really don’t know their rights and really didn’t intend to be, or want to remain in adverse situations and have no idea how to hurry things along so they can get out of them.

        • aerobubble

          getting people into the system is not the same as treating them well once
          in the system.

  7. Pauline 7

    johnm. why didn’t YOU offer to go with this young man to WINZ and assist as his advocate?

    from my experience, it makes no difference WHO is in office when dealing with WINZ. They are not exactly customer focused.

    Instead of whining about the current govt & John Key, put your money where your MOUTH is and help this guy out. Unless, of course, it’s jusy another bullshit leftie tear-jerking story with little substance!

    MAN UP!

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Did it ever occur to you that he shouldn’t need to? That WINZ should be doing their job without having their hand held by the general public?

      • Frank 7.1.1

        So you admit you have no desire to assist, you expect perfection from public service where none exists anywhere else, and you just want to come on here and lay blame.

        You must be a really nice caring person…oh, wait I just noticed your chosen handle is “Draco T bastard”…The “T” stands for “Troll” obviously.

        • aerobubble

          Welfare is part of a platform of policies to support our countries commitment to
          Human rights of citizens. When welfare fails it means that someone’s human
          rights are being broken. Its unfortuate that as a nation look out at the
          abuses of other nations human rights rather than the poverty, dispossession,
          isolation and exploition of so many in NZ. Not that a perfect system could
          catch everyone, there will always been some who just hate authority so
          much they would rather sleep rough and beg. capitalism will always
          exploit and its a cost on society that we need to pay to have the benefits
          of a capitalist system.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Of course I have a desire to assist – it’s why I pay taxes. I therefore want the people who are employed through those taxes to work competently (Not perfection, just competence) to supply the services that they are employed to supply. Of course, this government is going around cutting staff levels and funding so it’s entirely possible that the WINZ office was just over-worked and under-funded – probably as a result of the really stupid tax cuts and policies of this government.

          • Frank

            Which brings me back to my original point:

            You say you want competence, not perfection…. and yet whenyou are spoon-fed a media-spun story of incompetence, you are quite happy to ignorantly accept it as gospel and run your mean-spirited mouth off decrying criminal prosecutions for state employees !!!

            • Draco T Bastard

              Not the employees – the government that set the conditions (cutting staff levels, funding and putting in place policies that require even more work and hoops for people to get the help that they need) that caused the problem.

            • Deadly_NZ

              Jezuz Frank are you mentally deficient? Why should he, or anyone else have to go and argue with a tax paid servant (it’s our money that pay their wages) who cant be bothered, or has been ordered to be so obstructive. But if you think like that then maybe YOU should put your money where your mouth is and get off your Trolling Arse and go and help him your self.

        • prism

          @Frank – You are a prize jerk. Does it come naturally, inherited, or did you pick it up as you grew up?

          • Frank

            I’m a prize jerk simply because I disagree with the ill-informed ignorant mouth-foaming rants on this blog?

            because I don’t just sycophantically nod with my mouth open drooling on the floor at yet another unsubstantiated media beat-up that doesn’t name names so can say whatever they want and the department can’t respond WITH BALANCE due to privacy constraints??

            because I ask you to be part of the solution and not perpetuate the problem??

            I see.

            • Draco T Bastard

              More shunned by ‘heartless’ Work and Income

              More people have come forward with tales of being turned away from Work and Income after a homeless young mother and her 4-month-old baby were shut out by the organisation.

              Not just a media beatup then.

              • McFlock

                lol – when the left suggest media bias (e.g. polls), govt apologists accuse us of paranoia. But on the few occasions that the shoe is even approaching being on the other foot there never seems to be a shortage of whinging.

    • prism 7.2

      @Pauline – Do you go round the streets looking for people to help? Is that why you are so hot about someone else not putting their life on hold to do so? Even if you do this hands-on support work, everyone cannot manage it, so benefit advocates are usually available for this reason.
      And did you know that CAPITALS are equivalent to shouting.

    • Adele 7.3

      Teenaa koe, Pauline

      I used to run a team of beneficiary advocates. The unemployed, and solo parents are not the only people that suffer at the incompetence of WINZ. The elderly also suffered in countless small ways. We cannot blame the staff at WINZ as it is a structural nightmare to negotiate. The staff turnover was huge, and the training was inadequate to cope with the complexity surrounding entitlements etc.

      When Christine Rankin was at the helm, she initiated a policy of not informing beneficiaries of their full entitlements, which from my understanding, is a policy that still pervades today, albeit unofficially. The benefit is a legal right and provided you meet the critieria you are entitled to receive it.

      The beneficiary advocates took most decisions made by WINZ to review and more often than not they received a successful outcome in favour of the beneficiary. The most effective advocates were those who had previously been on a benefit – they were even more effective than lawyers in this arena.

  8. vto 8

    Key and his disciples said, prior to the last election, that there would be no cuts to frontline services.

    Was that a lie?

    • aerobubble 8.1

      Emergency PM caught in lie.

      First clarify the context, shrink the context down to say frontline staff at the
      chippy he was just coming out of.

      Second, demand the journalist read their notes back because that was not
      what they meant.

      Third, use the exercise to push the current policy on say fish quotas that
      are also a hot issue so the questioner gets a reward for being both
      hardarse and aquiesent.

      Fourth, forget the other 50,000 frontline staff, on top of the exist 50,000
      staff you already got rid of.


  9. Peter Rabbit 9

    This situation has been a problem since when I was working for Work and Income in the early 2000’s and has nothing to do with this Governments changes.

    During the time I was with Work and Income a waiting period of 8 days was not unusual and at one point the national average was 15 days.

    While each office was supposed to have “emergency appointments” these were supplied on a first in first served basis and limited x2 30 minute time slots per staff member per day. The rest of the time it was expected that you were to be interviewing your case load (around 450 people/staff member in my office).

    Most of these emergency appointments were snapped up by 0900 (as they could be filled via either the 0800 number or by walk ins) which meant after that time a person’s only hope to being seen that day was to stay in the office and hope somebody else would fail to attend their scheduled appointment. Most though were simply not prepared to wait (potentially hours).

    John B: “All because his basic civil rights are not respected: He is entitled to the UB stop f*cking him around!”

    The story that you share is not unusual or surprising however the policy introduced by Labour went far beyond just encouraging applicants from applying but to the point of telling lies to them. Applicants were told that they were unable to apply for benefit until they had participated a “Job Seeker’s Seminar”. First because the seminar was only held once a day and was limited to about 10-15 people there was typically a backlog of 3-5 days to get on.

    There was no such legal requirement for people having to attend this course but it was another way the department could use to try and minimise applicants or delay them.

    Pauline: “They are not exactly customer focused.”
    The frontline staff that I encountered during my time at Work and Income were extremely customer focused. Unfortunately the rope, hurdles and policy they have to jump through to try and help people and so much of a hindrance that it can certainly come across that way though.

    The back end staff and management however are typically long term staff members who typically lack any basic sort of people or organisational management skills and have only obtained their positions through their length of service within the department and most should be sacked.

    The Benefit system itself is way to complicated (though I believe is recent years there have been attempts to simplify it) however it should be reduced to a single “assistance benefit” with tops up depending on individuals needs (eg accommodation, children, medical costs etc). Everybody you speak to accepts that this is the right thing to happen however everybody equally puts this in the “too hard” category, however it needs to happen.

    But a few things the anybody dealing with them should remember:
    1) They can only comply as much as the legislation allows them
    2) The Work and Income website contains excellent reference material and outlines fairly well what people are entitled to
    3) If you are having problems Citizen Advice will most likely be able to put you in contact with a benificiary advocate (Some case managers will see it as confrontational however most now the local guys/gals and see it as just working with somebody else for the best possible outcome for a person).
    4) If you are unhappy with a decision follow Review of Decision Process. Its potentially long and drawn out, causes a hell of a lot of work for the Case Manager which means they try to avoid it like the plague. Just a note if you get to the 2nd review cycle chances are you’re wasting your time unless you think the decision has been made for personal reasons.

    • prism 9.1

      @Peter R – Thanks for a good run-down on the situation at WINZ for staff and their clients.
      But this business of not having an address, they should be working with clients to settle that quickly as a first step. Simple, clean, boarding house would be good.

    • Ms M 9.2

      PeterRabbit long waits for appointments may have been the case a decade ago and no doubt in 2000, very much a hangover from National policies of the latter 90s; but prior to this government’s term, Work and Income, or at least the offices’ I’ve dealt with were all accessible with appointments granted within days of appointments being sought.

  10. johnm 10

    Hi everyone
    I have just called James and he met another person with a freehold house who has given him a room to live in and is happy to wait for payment until James gets to receiving actual money from WINZ. He sounded a lot more cheerful than when I met him on the street. Kiwi caring does make a difference; if James were in London ,such an anonymous city, I can guarantee that would not have happened.

  11. Tombstone 11

    How did we manage to achieve full employment all those years ago as opposed to now where job creation it would seem is the stuff of rocket science rather than straight forward logical thinking? The mind boggles!

  12. randal 12

    tombstone the answer is simple. the world economy required expansion for a certain period then went exuberant.
    now we all got a bad hangover and nasty feelings about everything.

  13. randal 13

    And national say they can fix it but they cant. what they are doing is transferring wealth to themselves while they ride out the winds of economic change. economic parasites. who knows what wil happen after that.

  14. Deadly_NZ 14

    We had a labour government… As soon as the NACTS came in they diverted all spare $$$ to their rich mates and cut services and jobs. Nothing new here, same happened under Shitly and Bluger and now we have Shonky doing the same thing. It’s like Labour gets everytrhing running pay’s the bills etc and the NACTS are like a spoilt 18 year old with an unlimited credit card and NO responsibility!!!

    • marsman 14.1

      Exactly! NO responsibilty and behaving like a spoilt brat that’s Shonky. What a bad host, what an arsehole ! :- http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5592922/Gillard-bemoans-rugby-ribbing-from-Key. Pretty much what he does in Parliament when the Opposition asks questions which the people of NZ deserve answers to.

      • rosy 14.1.1

        Yep, absolutely cringe-worthy. The arrogant creep.

        • Colonial Viper

          He’s personally much richer than Gillard, so she can go get screwed as far as he’s concerned, Australian PM or not.

      • Luxated 14.1.2

        What a disgrace, how unprofessional can you get. Obviously a silly little tournament is more important to him than the mission of the forum to “… enhance the economic and social well-being of the people of the South Pacific by fostering cooperation between governments and between international agencies…”, glad we know where his priorities lie.

  15. Jum 15

    9 September 2011 at 2:16 pm said: ‘But seriously, she wasn’t in a situation of shortage. She had a place to stay but chose to leave it. Does the state have to provide a pool of empty houses for every 20yo with child that just might turn up? How many places should they keep empty just in case in Gisborne Draco?

    She appears to have moved from Auckland with no support. And you expect every agency to fall all over her just cause she turns up.’ )

    FOR your information insider:

    By Sophie Rishworth of the Gisborne Herald
    2:13 PM Thursday Sep 8, 2011

    ‘The new mum approached Bronwyn Kay Agency to find accommodation after falling out with a cousin she was staying with.’

    A Mother thinking about what is best for her baby… Now it’s a crime for moving out? Sounds just like the many other DPB women and some men forced to leave home and marriage because of danger to themselves and their children.

    And stop calling a four month old baby a child just to make it sound less disgraceful.

  16. prism 16

    “Does the state have to provide a pool of empty houses for every 20yo with child that just might turn up? “

    Every parent young or old should automatically be given the assistance they need to the level of their need and beyond, on a temporary basis. Then time made available quickly to sort out long-term options to assist them to manage their situation and prevent the need becoming urgent again.

    This response of treating parents particularly mothers as third-rate citizens if they land up in need or strife is wrong, inhuman, callous and life-denying. Their behaviour may be foolish and irresponsible at times, but we need to remember that young people are often operating with an approach inbred from the experiences learned as children from their own parents.

    We have all been children and should be bound to pass on as good, or better, care and concern for the new generations of children and their parents as we experienced.

    • prism 16.1

      Concerning the comment finding fault with “20yo with child” its source was from insider
      9 September 2011 at 2:16 pm this thread. I like to be able to relate replies to an original comment and didn’t note it properly myself.

  17. It would seem to be a breach of the Social Security Act 1964. National is about to repeal their asses off!

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      Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to rein in Housing NZ and sort out the mess that’s been created by the organisation’s misuse of methamphetamine testing procedures, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.   ...
    1 day ago
  • A charge on plastic bags – debunking some myths
    The launch of my Members’ Bill last week, which would introduce a 15 cent charge on single-use plastic bags at the check-out, has generated a lot of comment on mainstream and social media. From The Paul Henry Show at the ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • National’s $1trillion property sandcastle
    The National government's failure to fix the housing crisis has seen the ballooning and unsustainable property market touch the $1 trillion mark, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. "Labour wants an economy that creates high wage work that is based ...
    3 days ago
  • Government failure on housing crisis drives Reserve Bank to add tools
    If the Government was delivering a comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis, it is unlikely that the Reserve Bank would be continuing to pursue debt to income limits for lending for housing, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    4 days ago
  • International embarrassment for NZ likely over National’s failure to protect Maui dolphin
    New Zealanders who care about Maui dolphin should prepare to feel embarrassed: the Government is about to be put to shame on the international stage for its lack of action to protect Maui’s dolphin. The International Whaling Commissions’ 66th Biennial ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    6 days ago
  • Why don’t we spend $1b to keep people out of jail, rather than spending it on keeping them in?
    Earlier this week, Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced the government’s ‘solution’ to our burgeoning prison population. It seems that most, if not all, of Bill English’s hard-won surplus is going to disappear into another round of prison-building.  That must be ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 week ago
  • PKE Ship Sent Packing – Not Too Soon
    It is appropriate that the palm kernel expeller (PKE) ship off Tauranga has been sent packing. For weeks I have been saying this ship needed to be sent away, but it seems as if MPI has been trying to find ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    1 week ago
  • Do you #LoveSnow?
    I was a lucky kid. When I was about five or six my mum and auntie took me up to Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu and taught me to ski. As a young kid I thought there was no bigger ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Awa Kairangi/Hutt River – Swimmable?
    On Thursday night I hosted a great swimmable rivers meeting organised by the local Greens in Heretaunga (Hutt Valley). It was great to see about 70 people attend and engage in the topic. We were welcomed by Te Atiawa representative ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    1 week ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    1 week ago
  • Barry Coates on his first weeks in Parliament
    Week one in Parliament has been quite an occasion. I would like to share the experience. I had given up on the prospect of getting into Parliament before the election and had been enjoying the diverse work I was doing ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    1 week ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    1 week ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    1 week ago
  • Vote Sooty Shearwater/Tītī for Bird of the Year
    Sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) are amazing and deserve your vote in Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition.  They make one of the longest known bird migrations, flying an annual round trip of 64,000 kms across the entire Pacific ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    1 week ago
  • Energy use going in the wrong direction
    New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    1 week ago
  • Junior Doctors go on Strike
    Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours.  The Green Party supports their cause, and particularly their claims to reduce the number of days worked from up to ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening our relationship with the Rātana movement
    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 weeks ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago