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Open mike 03/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, January 3rd, 2015 - 157 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeThe Authors of the Standard are now in holiday mode. Posting will be less regular and dependant on individual author enthusiasm. Open mike will continue every day and prepare yourself for some year in review posts and some recycling of old stuff. And as R0b has said be nice to each other.

Open mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

157 comments on “Open mike 03/01/2015 ”

  1. Ad 1

    6 hour Monopoly session with nephews yesterday.
    I’m on dessert tonight so it’s Meringues with caramel.
    And cycling everywhere.
    I could get used to holidays.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    <a href="New Years resolution: Battle against inequality and fictionalization

    Thus it is urgent for industrial policy, which is finally becoming fashionable again, to not simply throw support to certain firms and sectors, such as IT or ‘life sciences’, but ask companies within these and other sectors to be part of the reform that is needed. Instead we are witnessing the opposite: sycophant governments bending backwards to unquestioningly please the ‘growth’ requests of big business, and a widespread attack on workers rights.

    Marianna Mazzucato

    With National in charge we are getting the latter. Lots of crony capitalism and nothing to actually develop our economy and society.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Ending Poverty:
    Jobs, Not Welfare (pdf)

    The CEA and JFK
    The War on Poverty got its start under President Kennedy, with
    his CEA playing a significant role. The CEA’s primary beliefs:
    *poverty is not inextricably linked to unemployment,
    *unemployment can be sufficiently reduced through
    aggregate fiscal policies, however
    *millions have to be maintained as an unemployed buffer
    stock to keep inflation in check.
    These views still hold sway among economists (on right and

    You’ll find that that is the position of National and Act and probably a large part of Labour as well. They control inflation by keeping wages low through high unemployment. This is what gives the lie to National’s rhetoric about jobs while they attack beneficiaries. They don’t want more jobs but they do want more people in deprivation.

    • @ draco..

      “..This is what gives the lie to National’s rhetoric about jobs while they attack beneficiaries. They don’t want more jobs but they do want more people in deprivation..”

      ..+ 1..

      ..u cd almost excuse that permanent-pool of unemployed as economic-tool/priority..

      ..if those people for whom it is designed they not have jobs..

      ..if those people wd still have the right to sufficient income to live on..

      ..a realistic universal basic income..

      ..and not be in grinding-poverty..

      ..as they are victims of circumstances not of their making..

      ..and/but it is when this deeply-cynical economic-tool is accompanied by/justified by demonising those unemployed..as lazy bludgers..

      ..as at fault..

      ..as all of national and many in labour do..

      ..that is just puke-inducing..

      ..and if this economic-tool is to be continued to be used..

      ..then a universal basic income is/must be a priority for any incoming progressive govt..

      ..that is only fair..

      ..and not to do so is untenable..

      ..and deeply fucken cruel..

      • vto 3.1.1

        so true so true ….

        National Party supporters simply keep their heads in the sand and the blinkers on their eyes so as not to have to consider the reality of their attitudes to their fellow citizens…
        ..their fellow citizens that they keep on wages less than it costs to live ffs …. simple meanness and cruelty

        to repeat – it costs less to pay the minimum wage than it does to keep a slave

        fine people these National Party supporters, so fine …/sarc.

        • BassGuy

          Have you got a source (or just the figures) on that bit about it costing less to pay minimum wage than to keep a slave?

          I’m quite interested in that, having never had a job that pays as much as minimum wage (I’m around 40 years old and have a Bachelor of Science) when you calculate hours worked/wages paid.

    • Pete George 3.2

      This is what gives the lie to National’s rhetoric about jobs while they attack beneficiaries. They don’t want more jobs but they do want more people in deprivation.

      That’s nonsense.

      National (like Clark’s Labour government) have taken measures to assist and encourage people on benefits to get into employment.

      More jobs means less social welfare expenditure (so potentially more for those who need it), more tax take for Government, more money for more people and generally better wellbeing for those capable of being in paid work.

      That any New Zealand Government (or party) would “want more people in deprivation” is a nonsense claim. I’ve never seen it backed up with any sensible reason or evidence.

      • mickysavage 3.2.1

        National (like Clark’s Labour government) have taken measures to assist and encourage people on benefits to get into employment.

        List them.

        • The Al1en

          “Greens think they are telling ‘the truth’ about AGW ”

          And while you’re at it, pg, list precisely and unequivocally the things the greens have got mistaken in regards to ‘the truth’ about AGW

          You didn’t get around to it yesterday.

        • tc

          Along with the measures that have increased hardship and reduced opportunity please for balance.

        • Pete George

          National will reduce the number of people on welfare by 25 per cent by 2017.

          Our welfare reforms are focused on getting people off a benefit and back to work. For most beneficiaries, work is the best way to improve their life prospects, raise children out of poverty, and reduce burden on taxpayers.

          Our sharp work focus is seeing 1600 people going off welfare and into work each week and 30,000 fewer children now living in benefit-dependent households.

          National will:

          Set a target to reduce the number of people on welfare by 25 per cent – 75,000 – by 2017:
          – Offering incentive payments for beneficiaries who stay in work for a set period of time.
          – Making first-time Work and Income assessments more comprehensive so people get the right support from the start.
          – Offering more childcare support by expanding our Flexible Childcare pilot.
          – Continuing to build a stronger economy and creating more opportunities for jobs.

          Reduce the number of young people on a benefit by 40 per cent by 2017:
          – Exploring a trial where iwi administer welfare payments to young people, similar to the Youth Service.
          – Helping young people get driver’s licenses.
          – Expanding the successful $3k to Christchurch scheme to other regions that need energetic and motivated workers.
          – Investigating a regional Work Skills scheme to get young people on a benefit working in the community.

          Provide more intensive management of 18- and 19-year-olds on a benefit by extending the Youth Service Approach. Helping young beneficiaries into work reduces their risk of long-term welfare dependency.

          Provide more individualised support to people on welfare by:
          – Providing a full assessment when people first go on a benefit.
          – Individually supporting people based on the length of time they are likely to be on a benefit.
          – Providing more flexible childcare support.
          – Helping sole parents take up tertiary education.
          – Reducing barriers to employment, including by helping beneficiaries get a driver’s licence so they can get off a benefit and into work.
          – Increasing the use of external providers working with beneficiaries.

          Trial alternative welfare-to-work-approaches.


          I know someone well who has worked in the “external providers working with beneficiaries” field. A number of different initiatives have been tried and are being tried.

          Note the targets to move significant numbers of people from welfare to employment.

          You should know what Labour did.

          Why would any government want to increase the number of people ‘in deprivation’? Apart from the social/moral issues it would be bad for business and bad for growth so it just doesn’t make sense.

          • mickysavage

            That is all about reducing beneficiary numbers and nothing about actually creating jobs. My question should have been less brief, what is National doing to create jobs?

            • Pete George

              Their main aim is to improve economic conditions conducive to businesses growing and creating jobs. This includes reducing business tax levels.

              It’s valid to argue as to whether it’s the best approach but to suggest they aren’t trying or deliberately want people to be poor is nonsense.

              Greg do you think National want more people ‘in deprivation’? Id so why do you think they would want that when it doesn’t make economic or business sense?

              • Of course having a lot of people living in poverty makes economic/business sense to short-term capitalist thinkers. Larger pool of desperate labour = drives wages and work conditions down = short-term profit.

                This has been explained many times before, Pete, so your hand-wringing is utterly insincere. 🙄

                • Pete George

                  Even if that were to happen deliberately (no evidence it does) it wouldn’t work for long. Hence it would fail.

                  • Yes, and when short-term capitalism has failed in the past we called it The Great Depression and the Global Financial Crisis.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Did you miss the change in government policy from full employment to a rate of unemployment? It happened under the 4th Labour Government and National has continued it and usually works to make it worse.

                    And all those things you list that National are doing is making it worse for people on welfare but isn’t doing anything for the economy to produce jobs. The government could produce jobs, thousands of them simply by acting to reduce fossil fuel use. Instead they do the opposite.

                  • McFlock

                    Ever hear of the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment? Very big amongst tories. Estimated as 4.5% in budget 2014.

                    Here’s the thing: if a rate of 4.5% means that wages keep parity with, but don’t accelerate, inflation because of better worker negotiating positions, according to that theory how can inflation be kept in check while speculators loot the property market and global food prices increase?

                • Stifflittlefinger

                  No matter how many people are in the deprived pool you are never going to compete with China. India etc for low paid jobs so your argument is nonsense.

              • Skinny

                I would say the answer is yes to your question. Key is on record telling a business group “wages are too high in New Zealand” therefore the argument is a low wage economy equals inequality and a widening gap between the rich & poor.

              • Foreign Waka

                This is a laissez faire statement in its true form. You are not impartial nor objective, otherwise you would recognize that the biggest issue facing all economies is the increasing automation, migration from countries with major problems such as global warming or war in all its forms. We can anticipate in our lifetime a big shift that also has the danger of civil unrest in its wake.
                If those who actually say that a person can live on a benefit would be paid the same – I like to see this with politicians and everything else is performance pay – it would be quickly changed. I think I can safely bet on that.

          • vto

            You just proved tc’s point about you below.

            Also “Why would any government want to increase the number of people ‘in deprivation’? ”
            wake up fulla and read some history on various actions of governments doing such things …. you really are quite ignorant and naïve about people and governments. Again, wake up and do some history (though you will likely assume that people in nice green NZ are somehow different from people elsewhere in place and history, and that nothing like that could happen here in nice NZ, even though it has already)

            You are naïve pg, you ignore history and facts

            • phillip ure

              @ vto..

              ..he is not ‘naive’..

              ..he knows exactly what he is doing..

              ..he dissembles and he spins and disrupts..

              ..he is a fucken rightwing tr*ll..

              ..end of story..

              • my current bedside reading is the oxford dictionary of quotations..

                ..this from last nite..

                “..politics has always been the systematic organisation of hatreds..”

                • Pete George

                  “..politics has always been the systematic organisation of hatreds..”

                  That might describe a few blogs but it’s not a fair reflection of politics and Parliament in New Zealand.

                    • Pete George

                      Funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. Proving hatred.

                    • you are too fucken boring to ‘hate’..

                      ..you haven’t even got that going for ya..

                      ..passionless fucken pete..

                      ..it’s kinda like i don’t like blow-flies flying/buzzing around my head..

                      ..but i don’t ‘hate’ them..

                      ..i just wish they wd go away..

                      ..and do their buzzing/annoying-sounds somewhere else..

                      ..they also are ‘boring’..

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Well, it certainly describes you blog, Kiwiblog and whaleoil. The latter two being fundamental actors in the Dirty Politics carried out by National. Thus we can safely say that it does describe politics in NZ.

              • vto

                Yes many people say such. I struggle to make such a determination and tend to the naïve and ignorant position. PG posts lack required intellect to be so clever ….

                • oh yeah..he is also as thick as a fucken brick..

                  ..(and as dull as fucken dishwater..the little grey man..)

                  ..as has never come within coo-ee of an original idea/thought..

                  ..he works/operates from a more base/instinctual-level..

                  ..called the ‘nag and pick’..or the ‘pick and nag’..

                  ..along with ignoring every question/challenge..

                  ..unless it is to use that as a platform for even more of his nag/pick bullshit..

                  ..he is as opaque as a clear sheet of glass..

          • Barfly

            “Why would any government want to increase the number of people ‘in deprivation’? ”

            Well Pete that’s pretty simple really….

            When you are a government for the 1% your reason for existence is to increase the wealth of the 1%…

            Now increasing the wealth of the 1% in simple dollar terms is not enough it is absolutely the goal of the current government to increase the comparative wealth of the 1%…

            Increasing the number of people ‘in deprivation’ helps this government achieve their most treasured goal

            • Pete George

              There’s no evidence supporting your ludicrous claims.

              Even if making the 1% richer was National’s aim (it’s a populist accusation backed by nothing of substance) then the richer the 99% were the richer the 1% could get.

              Why do National get more than 1% of the vote?

              • vto

                “There’s no evidence supporting your ludicrous claims.”
                …. Yes there is Pete George, there is significant evidence all around you. The 1% have got hugely more wealthy than the poorest. That is fact and evidence – stop being dishonest and ignoring this.

                “Even if making the 1% richer was National’s aim (it’s a populist accusation backed by nothing of substance) then the richer the 99% were the richer the 1% could get. ”
                …. gobbledygook

                “Why do National get more than 1% of the vote?”
                …. why do bad governments get voted in from time to time all through history Pete George? Ask yourself. Read some history.

                Failed response Pte George.

                • Pete George

                  “The 1% have got hugely more wealthy than the poorest.”

                  A small number of people do get obscenely rich. That doesn’t prove that National and Labour governments have wanted them to get rich at the expense of everyone else.

                  • mickysavage

                    So are you now agreeing with to that the very wealthy have become obscenely wealthy? Two comments up you were describing his claim as “ludicrous”.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Yeah, it actually does. In fact, I can recall the 4th Labour Government saying that was their goal when they cut taxes on the rich. National says the same thing although they tend to couch in terms of boosting the economy. The line usually goes something like:

                    We’ll cut the taxes on the rich so that they will invest more.

                    Of course, all the happens is that the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and investment decreases. The last time National cut taxes on the rich and increased taxes on the poor.

                    The evidence is fully in favour of governments acting to make the rich richer while increasing deprivation for everyone else.

                  • miravox

                    The MPs in this National government ARE the 1% Pete.


                    Accumulating wealth is what they do, and they have the power to legislated to ensure their wealth is prioritised.

                    When they legislate for a wealth tax of some sort you may have an argument that they don’t want to get rich at the expense of others. So far all they’ve done is reduce their own income tax and upped GST which affects lower incomes the most. As for the casualised and reserve pools of labour, they’ve increased in size and their relative incomes have gone backwards. Exactly the opposite to the top wealth holders.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Pete George – it seems you are denying the oligarchic tendencies of our power elite when it is obvious for all to see. Riches for them, austerity for everyone else.

                    Why would you support such a system of rule by trying to conceal it?

              • Barfly

                “Even if making the 1% richer was National’s aim (it’s a populist accusation backed by nothing of substance) then the richer the 99% were the richer the 1% could get.”

                Pete try reading …and comprehending what is written

                “Now increasing the wealth of the 1% in simple dollar terms is not enough it is absolutely the goal of the current government to increase the comparative wealth of the 1%…

                Increasing the number of people ‘in deprivation’ helps this government achieve their most treasured goal”

                Comparative wealth Pete…the rich are even richer when the poor are poorer

                • Pete George

                  “it is absolutely the goal of the current government to increase the comparative wealth of the 1%”

                  Where’s your evidence?

                  Pushing deprivation to achieve an increase in ‘comparative’ wealth sounds very stupid. Why would anyone want to do that?

                  • The Al1en

                    Where’s your evidence?

                    “Greens think they are telling ‘the truth’ about AGW ”

                    List precisely and unequivocally the things the greens have got mistaken in regards to ‘the truth’ about AGW, as you claimed yesterday.

                  • miravox

                    Oh here you go Pete – a primer Just a couple of minutes out of your busy day.

                    You can move on to Stiglitz or Picketty or Klein if you want to quote more than Key, English and Dunne – any time you like.

                  • Barfly

                    Congratulations on actually managing to read the comment and comprehend its meaning this time Pete.

                    Evidence you say Pete?

                    Do you not follow the news Pete?

                    Or is it that comprehension of what is presented escapes you?

                    Did you miss the Working Welfare Group report?

                    Did you miss the “kill smoko break labour laws”

                    Did you miss the GST rise?

                    Did you miss the tax cuts for the rich?

                    Did you miss the part privatizations of the power companies? (come on tell me they were bought by mum an dad investors I dare you)

                    Did you miss Nationals 2011 election campaign (lets blame beneficiaries aka as the “look there’s a squirrel” technique for electioneering)_

                    Did you miss the introduction of additional punitive measures against beneficiaries?

                    Did you miss the CPAG reports?…a few years worth of misses there Pete

                    Did you miss ?

                    Warner Bros. payments and law changes?

                    Rio Tinto payments?

                    SCF Bailout?

                    Sky City laws for sale?

                    Cutting funding for beneficiary advocacy services, rape crises centres?

                    Aw stuff it I could go on for ages but your mind isn’t so much as closed as it is welded shut. Now what will you do Pete.
                    Let me guess…… pick one or 2 to disagree with ignore the others dissemble ,obfuscate and misdirect?

              • Foreign Waka

                Because money buys everything…

              • Tracey

                you havent heard of advertising, marketing and hot buttons have you? oh and lies and deception.

          • Tracey

            a post was done here on an OIA request about that claim three days before the election.

            poverty of details

            it gets behind the words which some seem to just accept cos someone writ them un a noospepper.

      • vto 3.2.2

        Far right governments the world over have led to a situation where inequality has grown dramatically, in fact grown to a level where society itself is put at risk….

        Do you think this is not intentional? Do you think it is a bit of an accident?

        Do you understand how group-think and mob-mentality works?

        • Pete George

          National is by no measure a ‘far right government’.

          Inequality has not grown dramatically, in fact under the Clark and Key Governments it has barely grown and the most used measure shows it has been pretty much flatlining under National.

          • vto

            Nope. Neoliberal policies such as those pursued vigorously by National and Peter Dunne and Labour before that, though less so, have led to dramatically increased levels of inequality, threatening the very fabric of society – exactly like it has done throughout history.

            And National is a “far right” government – races to war instigatde by the world’s greatest warmonger the US, enacts draconian legislation to spy on everyone, gives tax breaks to the richest and increases taxes on the poorest, brings in boot camps, lampoons the poor for making “bad life decisions”, continues to aggregate power to government despite its call for smaller government, provides continuous taxpayer support for the largest domestic and foreign businesses in the land …… the list is endless PG, wake up and smell the roses….

            … you struggle to see past you own mind’s brainwaves that everything should be just fine and dandy because that is the way you see the world PG.

            • Pete George

              Quite a few exaggerations there, some fairly extreme. New Zealand hasn’t exactly been racing to war lately. When did we last race to war?

              “increases taxes on the poorest”

              What taxes have been increased to the poorest that haven’t been balanced by tax decreases or benefit increases?

              I don’t think everything is fine and dandy. But extreme accusations and extreme alternatives aren’t likely to make anything any better. There’s never been a magic fixit wand in government.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                You don’t understand the scale of suffering which is building up amongst the bottom 50% in NZ, and around the western world now. The fact you do not acknowledge that all of National’s tax changes are designed to benefit the top 5% and increasingly fuck everyone else makes you immediately suspect.

                The only reason that you can be so calm and so cool about things is that you are too far away from the families who are actually suffering day to day, struggling to live decent lives in a society that no longer makes any room for them.

                If you don’t want things to become really extreme over the next 20 years, you would be doing far more than being an apologist for the status quo.

                • Lanthanide

                  “The only reason that you can be so calm and so cool about things is that you are too far away from the families who are actually suffering day to day, struggling to live decent lives in a society that no longer makes any room for them.”

                  And/or, he just shrugs his shoulders and says “it’s always been that way”.

              • Lanthanide

                “What taxes have been increased to the poorest that haven’t been balanced by tax decreases or benefit increases?”

                The recent GST hike was not actually balanced by tax decreases or benefit increases for those on the lowest wages.

                Claiming something is balanced is not actually the same as it being balanced.

              • Descendant Of Sssmith

                The reduction in taxes for those working and with large amounts of income from interest and investments has enabled the well off to have more disposable income.

                The removal of sales taxes and death duties and stamp duty and so on has enabled the wealthy to have more disposable income. These taxes have minimal impact on poor people but the removal of them means that the reduction in tax revenue removes services and assistance they may have had in the past eg free education, housing for life, jobs in government departments for those who had disabilities etc.

                These things have in no way been offset by reductions in taxes..

                This increase in disposable income, and consequently in assets, has not only enabled the well off to accumulate capital it has meant a massive investment in housing and rental properties and a transfer of poor peoples disposable income to rent or to high mortgages with banks.

                The proportion of rent a beneficiary pays today from their benefit is significantly higher than 20 or 30 years ago.

                This increase in rental has in no way been offset by increases in benefit rates.

                And when you look at the direct impact of reduced tax rates for those on benefit in particular there is no increase in income when tax cuts are made. Benefits are paid at a net rate with the PAYE adjustments to IRD reduced.

                So the effect of tax reductions on beneficiaries is always a nil increase in income but a saving to government in PAYE.

                It goes without saying that beneficiaries are easily amongst the poorest in this country.

                It has been a deliberate decision by successive governments to deny beneficiaries the benefit of tax cuts. There is no reason the gross benefit rate could not have remained the same and beneficiaries had equity of advantage for those cuts.

                The refusal to pay WFF assistance for children on an equal basis to children of beneficiaries vs the children of workers and the self-employed (who may be very wealthy but have no or low taxable income).

                The removal of the $20-00 per week on benefits and the increasing of the youth rate to age 25.

                These are all deliberate conscious policies to keep the poorest people in our society poor.

                Often couched in the language of incentivising the motivation to go to work by maintaining a gap between wages and benefits.

                Read any of the speeches by successive ministers and the Hansard accounts and you’ll see the deliberateness in this.

                An accident or unplanned consequence it is not.

          • Draco T Bastard

            National is by no measure a ‘far right government’.

            Yes they are. Almost everything that they do is far right. They do a few little things here and there to try and hide the fact that they’re such extremists.


            1. The new employment laws that take power from the workers while increasing the power of the employers
            2. Subsidies to massive multi-nationals that didn’t need them
            3. Building more roads for their part owners the Trucking Lobby and the fossil fuel industry
            4. The shear bloody cronyism
            5. The list goes on and on

            You’re in denial of these things because they go against you beliefs. Either that or you’re a paid up carpetbagger.

            • Tracey

              it depends on your yardstick. if pete has hitler in the 30s in his head as far right, then Key is more left, like Stalin.

      • tc 3.2.3

        Because you filter out or simply ignore inconvenient facts that don’t fit your reasonable sounding themes which get pulled apart here.

        You get labour did it also line in then waffle on with the usual bs we hear from NACT.

        They get judged on their actions, you cherry pick those and go for the policy lines as ‘proof’ they want to reduce poverty, nice work though Petey as always.

      • tricle up 3.2.4

        It does matter there the money goes it moves quicker in lower social groups and still attracts compounding tax as it flows thought the system. Hoarders and barracuda s found higher up the ladder are of no use to anyone and are semi stagnant pool where there tax is offset on the other hand .Pete should be dragged by his nose through the rubbish.Burdened with high debts just to please..

      • Murray Rawshark 3.2.5

        Aw PG, I think you meant to post the following:

        This is nonsense, as usual:

        National (like Clark’s Labour government) have taken measures to assist and encourage people on benefits to get into employment.

        More jobs means less social welfare expenditure (so potentially more for those who need it), more tax take for Government, more money for more people and generally better wellbeing for those capable of being in paid work.

        That any New Zealand Government (or party) would “want more people in deprivation” is a nonsense claim. I’ve never seen it backed up with any sensible reason or evidence.

        The main purpose of the measures taken to encourage people on benefits to get employment is to make their lives hell. Neither party gives a damn about unemployment, except that it can be used to keep wages down. WFF was a great example, and was used to unburden employers even more of their duty to pay a living wage.

        • The Al1en

          Whether WFF “was used to unburden employers even more of their duty to pay a living wage” as you say, how does that sit with this nugget “the main purpose of the measures taken to encourage people on benefits to get employment is to make their lives hell.” ? That’s quite a contradiction.

          Doesn’t WFF, and the wages, increase household income way above and beyond that of dole levels?
          Hardly seem like making people’s lives a living hell to me.

          • Murray Rawshark

            Have a think at who the people are that WINZ calls in and makes jump through hoops and your apparent contradiction may resolve itself.

            • The Al1en

              People like me, you mean? On a benefit before getting a 20 hour per week part time job, thus qualifying for wff in work tax credits, which allowed me to remove myself from the winz system altogether, more than doubling the amount of income coming into the household when reliant on a benefit?
              I’ve never jumped through hoops for an entitlement, though of course I have had to satisfy eligibility criteria and play by the rules, same as everyone else.

              Your answer, one sided as it is, still doesn’t explain how WFF and the improvements for the recipients is making life hell for anyone.

              Do you want to rephrase or amend the original statement?
              Or have another go with your current theme, even though it’s doesn’t make sense in the context you originally set down? Clearly it’s not correct.

              ” measures taken to encourage people on benefits to get employment is to make their lives hell”

              • Murray Rawshark

                I’m happy with what I wrote. You’re happy with the way WINZ treats beneficiaries. We’re both happy. What a great world we live in.

                • The Al1en

                  Apart from that’s not what you’ve written that’s been contested. To clarify, for simplicity, you’ve said all initiatives to get beneficiaries into work are tools to beat them with, to make their lives hell and that clearly isn’t true.

                  What are your opinions on apprenticeships and/or on the job training offered to the under 25s? The sort of schemes put forward by labour, the greens and correct me if I’m wrong, but also fringe parties like mana to combat youth unemployment. Are these just to make lives hell or improve them?

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    People can see what I wrote. As for your schemes, what’s the point of them when official policy is for around 4.5% unemployment? We need employment creation, and for a start that could be done by shortening the working week and giving more people jobs immediately. Hourly rates would have to go up, but we already know that.

                    • The Al1en

                      “People can see what I wrote. ”

                      Sure, but it’s still wrong. As long as they aren’t being ultra for the sake of it, they’ll see it for what it is.

                      Forgetting your obfuscation and trotting out the nats economic modelling about relying on 4.5% unemployment, especially as the point clearly states the left wing parties policies to reduce youth unemployment, wouldn’t “shortening the working week and giving more people jobs immediately” by your standards, be making life hell for the beneficiaries? What’s the difference between getting a p/t job (if available) and wff credits, like me, or going back to school or getting an apprenticeship or on the job training?

                      “The main purpose of the measures taken to encourage people on benefits to get employment is to make their lives hell.”

  4. Barfly 4

    “National is by no measure a ‘far right government’”


    Well I guess it depends on definitions doesn’t it Pete?

    There aren’t paramilitaries cruising the streets bashing minorities….there aren’t death squads operating……

    But there has been great diminution of individual rights ..

    Massive increase in mass surveillance

    Demonisation of minorities (that’s the beneficiaries and Muslims for you Pete)

    Control and use of the mass media in attacking minorities and supporting the current kleptocratic regime.

    Laws passed to disenfranchise workers and their unions.

    Theft of public assets by “privatization”

    Hell Pete I could go on for a very long time listing the symptomology of this “far right” government but it wouldn’t make any difference to you Pete . You are a blind worshipper of the GodKey trolling and dissembling here to inflate your own sense of self-importance

  5. Chooky 5

    Just to stir the pot …a statement from Bomber Bradbury with which I TOTALLY AGREE

    … “I didn’t calculate Internet-MANA would also have to fight the Labour Party and NZ First as well as National, ACT and the Conservatives”….

    ‘Final thoughts on 2014’

    By Martyn Bradbury / December 31, 2014

    “The chances of the Left winning the 2014 election was akin to taking on the National Party Death Star with a second hand X-Wing fighter we’d borrowed from Kim Dotcom”

    – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/12/31/final-thoughts-on-2014/#sthash.XTov6y5f.dpuf

  6. Chooky 6

    What is ISIS?….How did it arise?….How the fuck did we get into this mess?…Some answers and food for thought from two experts…make of it what you will :

    “Chris Hedges and Loretta Napoleoni”: “The Islamic State and the Crisis in US Foreign Policy”



  7. weka 7

    There once was a trole, Petty George,

    Who on attention did frequently gorge;

    The standard was set,

    Let us not forget,

    This is how the Beige Hole is forged.

    • The Al1en 7.1


      Not because it isn’t amusing, more because now pu is going to have to have five or six goes at it.

      • weka 7.1.1

        roflnui. I thought of that afterward. Can’t be any worse than teh situation* we’re already in though 😛

        *the Beige Hole. Will now have to find a rhyme for Rhinocrates 😕

      • Tracey 7.1.2

        nice reverse psychology there. pu would hate you to be right.

        i hope what i did just there doesnt make his head explode

        • The Al1en

          You’re welcome 😆
          Though now you’ve written that he’ll probably do one to prove otherwise. 😉

          I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
          End of the day it’s only 12 frosty pig ignorance, a lot of swearing and poor ill thought out insults and slurs wrapped up in a writing style deliberately meant to be obtuse to hide the funked out thought processes.

    • Clemgeopin 7.2

      Georgie Porgie spinner of yarns,

      Kisses Nats keister
      Like Crosby Textor!
      When queried in-depth,
      Responds with more-baits!

  8. saveNZ 8

    Obama imposes new sanctions against North Korea in response to Sony hack.

    First there is Corporate Welfare – NOW is there CORPORATE WARFARE?

  9. Good article by John Minto

    The New Zealand honours system should be taken out of the hands of politicians and vested in an independent body which is above cheap party politics, community abuse or cynical philanthropy which purchases awards.


    I totally agree with John especially about gattung and mccully

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1


      I mean the audacity of the old boys club is becoming breathtaking now.

      • Sacha 9.1.1

        Part of the price for him agreeing to leave suddenly?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          well its very interesting, isn’t it, especially when one knows how much he actually wanted to stay on.

          • Sacha

            Yes, interested to see what actually comes out about dicey dealings around Southern DHB.

          • Tracey

            cushy job at simpson grierson, and a golden handshake… or shower if they are economising

            • Sacha

              nice new tie, and a cover-up

            • Tautoko Mangō Mata

              Does anyone else find it an interesting coincidence that Simpson Grierson dropped Dotcom as a client as they were about to employ Tony Ryall?

              “Paul Davison, QC, has been representing Dotcom during attempts by United States authorities to extradite him to face trial on what is alleged be a conspiracy to commit the biggest-ever breach of copyright.

              Simpson Grierson partner William Akel has also been acting on the case and fellow partner Tracey Walker was representing Dotcom in a lawsuit he is facing from Hollywood studios.

              The firm – one of the biggest in New Zealand which will soon employ former health minister Tony Ryall as head of public policy – were recorded as solicitors for Dotcom in both cases.

              But the Megaupload founder’s US lawyer, Ira Rothken, has tweeted that both Davison and Simpson Grierson are stepping down from Dotcom’s legal team.”

              Was the reason because Ryall would have had a conflict of interest or was Ryall inserted to force Davison to stand down from the Dotcom trial?

              • Sacha

                Didn’t Dotcom just run out of cash? Corporate lawyers aren’t really known for their charitable natures.

              • Murray Rawshark

                The ability to offer Simpson Grierson lucrative contracts, from both NAct and Hollywood, is not to be underestimated. It’ll be interesting to see if they get any new clients in the near future.

            • greywarshark


    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Oh, and then there’s this:

      A politician in Northern Ireland who reportedly blamed Hurricane Katrina on gay people and said Aids was the result of the “filthy practice of sodomy” has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year honours list.

      An incredibly good example of why we should drop the British honours system – again.

    • tc 9.3

      Seems running JK’s favourite posh nosh joint, chucking dosh at the national party whilst slagging off the likes of cunliffe makes one eligible so this hardly surprises me.

      If teresa is the benchmark then that makes the likes of hotchin, alan hawkins and anyone who wipes out share values and cons punters up for an honour.

      Expect the entire shonky cabinet over time.

  10. Atiawa 10

    There is no denying that NZ has a low wage economy, yet less than 10% of private sector salary & wage earners understand that belonging to a union and bargaining collectively is the only way of securing reasonable and regular pay increases and improved terms and conditions of employment.
    My understanding is that in the days of compulsory unionism the percentage of workers who belonged to a union hovered around the 50%-+ mark and I’m not sure why that was given the compulsion factor and award structure for wage setting, albeit professionals and self employed were non-union as is the case today – with a couple of exceptions-.
    What I don’t understand is why the numbers of workers who belong to unions is so low now given a low wage economy, increasing work hours and attacks on employment law legislation.
    Is it fear? Is it access to a union? Is it the cost of belonging? Is it about individualism? Is it something else?

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      A combination of all of the above, unions having been slow to react and adapt to changing societal circumstances, and Labour wasting numerous opportunities to strengthen the hand of unions through to 2008.

      • Atiawa 10.1.1

        Are you therefore suggesting that low union membership is the fault of unions and the government that supposedly protects the best interests of working people?
        If its not too late to retrieve, what should unions be doing over the next three years? Lets face it Labour in opposition is unable to affect legislative change.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Are you therefore suggesting that low union membership is the fault of unions and the government that supposedly protects the best interests of working people?

          Yes. Ken Douglas and the CTU should have fucked over the Employment Contracts Act when they had a chance to run a general strike and bring the entire nation to a halt.

          If its not too late to retrieve, what should unions be doing over the next three years?

          In the 1970s and 1980s unions should have been diversifying themselves into large and small co-operative industrial and financial institutions. Both for profit, and not for profit ones.

          Today they are much worse placed to do this, but they do need to be growing their own assets and setting up elements of a parallel economy.

          Lets face it Labour in opposition is unable to affect legislative change.

          The Labour caucus and general membership need to be working on a far reaching legislative, regulatory and operational agenda, a vision of how to transition NZ to a non-speculative, low carbon, real economy inside of 25 years.

          • Atiawa

            Working people overwhelmingly elected the 1990 National government who then promptly brought into being the ECA 1991. Blaming Douglas for not calling a general strike along with your other responses is not the answer, although there is merit in your final statement.
            Thanks for your thoughts.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              I will reframe your comment slightly: in 1990 working people overwhelmingly ditched a horrifically failed and right wing Labour Government.

              vis a vis they “overwhelmingly elected the 1990 National Government.”

              • Atiawa

                Fair point, but I don’t recall too many workers prepared to down tools post 1990 and compulsory unionism & the award system. What was the electorate’s expectations of a National government? A return to Muldoonism or a continuation of the same?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  You can’t have a narrative where Labour was utterly dumped by voters in 1990, then try and tell us that those same voters wanted National to continue along the same lines as the government that they had just dismissed at the ballot box.

                  Also in 1990 it would have been absurd to have discussed a ‘return to Muldoonism’ without the man himself.

                  • Atiawa

                    You make it sound like a surprise was sprung on the unsuspecting working classes by National in 1991 (ECA etc). Bolger and his senior cabinet members were clear prior to ’90 that unions would not continue to operate under the same rules. Muldoon as PM, had earlier fought off the abolishment of compulsory unionism by the likes of Bolger.
                    Maybe we thought things couldn’t get worse. Maybe we bought into the trickle-down. Perhaps Labours sweeping ’80’s work place reform in the public sector forced society and working people into a changed mind set, i.e. look after # one.
                    Is there hope for the union movement?
                    I appreciate your argument’s.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Also worth noting that all through these years, Labour’s membership was collapsing. Many people decided to vote for neither Labour nor National, and simply walked away from their life long Labour allegiance.

          • Skinny

            Your bang on there the 2 big Unions sat on there hands instead of fighting tooth & nail.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              over the decades capitalists have become expert at splitting and weakening the leadership of workers unions. You see this all the time amongst the old US unions. They will sell out the pay, rights, conditions and pensions of younger and newer workers as long as that for older established workers like themselves are protected.

              • Atiawa

                Very true but at the enterprise level when the competition is non unionised, grand-parenting terms & conditions may be the only alternative to total demise.
                We can’t change history, we can learn from it. However my interest is the present and the future and a focus on what can be done not what can’t be. The Employment Relations Act 2000 retains some interesting and not used tools available to unions.

                • greywarshark

                  @ Atiawa
                  Perhaps you or some other informed and interested commenter can make a post about these tools not used, and explain them. It would be good to know how to implement them.

                  • Atiawa

                    I shall be happy to discuss later in the month greywarshark.
                    Thanks for your interest.

              • greywarshark

                @ Colonial Rawshark
                Cheers for 2015. Hope you had/ are having a good break from work if not entirely from TS.

                They will sell out the pay, rights, conditions and pensions of younger and newer workers as long as that for older established workers like themselves are protected.
                That is basically the attitude in NZ of the older pensioned community, happy in their privilege of certainty of payment that is adjusted upwards each year to inflation proof.

                Compare that to the working people, many have falling wages, ie they are not matching annually what is low inflation, plus they are not being paid fairly for the extra hours they work to keep up or stay in the job. Worse they are expected to work on an hourly basis, but somehow they are expected to work beyond these for no extra.

                The elders don’t care. I am an old age pensioner (superannuitant, sounds so much more classy) and see this all the time. There is generally no concern in my age group, apart from some tut tutting about some relative or individual they know or learn about from the media.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  And a Happy New Year to you GW.

                  Sadly, I know retired people sitting on stacks of money and assets who would rather cut off a limb than let the undeserving (i.e. everyone else, including family members) have the benefits of any of it.

            • Sacha

              And wasn’t Ken Douglas well-rewarded subsequently for his betrayal.

            • Foreign Waka

              Not that I am saying that NZ Unions are like that but some 25 or so years ago a big strike in Australia’s docks was to be said brought on by an agreement between union officials and bosses based on the fact that the workload decreased dramatically and wages need not to be paid when workers are on strike.

          • Murray Rawshark

            “Yes. Ken Douglas and the CTU should have fucked over the Employment Contracts Act when they had a chance to run a general strike and bring the entire nation to a halt.”

            Ken Douglas and Bill Andersen were of the 1951 generation, that believed it was important to keep a union movement in being, and not to ever risk it. Unfortunately, they came to see the union movement as being the buildings owned, the assets, the links with Labour, in fact anything except an active means of class struggle. Their arteries were blocked, they depended on compulsory unionism rather than shop floor militancy, and they had forgotten how to fight.

            The Engineers were even worse, helping employers with such rubbish as The Nissan Way. They have now given us Andrew Little and his support for squirrel power.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      It’s because people have bought into the lies told by the RWJNs.

      • Atiawa 10.2.1

        So Andrew Little will be public enemy # 1?

        • greywarshark

          @ Atiawa
          I don’t think so. People fear that Andrew Little will fail to do as much as he possibly can for workers, also the top people in the Cabinet etc,, as they had spent so long away from the coalface that Pike River happened. And they have to learn how to be wage worker supporters again, not hanker after the baubles etc.

          I think Andrew Little is well regarded everywhere, but time will tell how effective he is. I think overall Helen Clark was well regarded for her time, but unsatisfactory for serving the needs of the labour majority at the end of her time.

          Will Andrew Little be able to cope with 2015 and on, plus bring back some of the good things that NZ had, plus a real enterprise economy for workers not a working economy for the capitalists? Two different states of mind and being!

  11. Colonial Rawshark 11

    A Russian perspective on the dominance of the USD system of world economic assets…and the real reason why Putin left Brisbane G20 early

    we don’t hear alternative perspectives like this in the west…some great comments:

    ‘western leaders are like hamsters in a wheel, unable to go anywhere’

    ‘there is no point in addressing the puppets, you have to talk to the puppeteers’

    • Olwyn 11.1

      What an interesting, forthright talk! Khazine is alive to the fact that since 2008 the promises from the neo-liberal team have run out, and only the threats remain.He is also mindful of the difficulties involved in disentangling yourself from neo-liberalism’s tentacles, even in a resource-rich country. I particularly liked his comment on Russian IMF supporters: But what can they offer? The destruction of the education, medicine and pension system? The banking system?

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        The promises of neoliberalism ran out before 2008. The GFC was the result of neoliberalism and the fact that it can not hold to it’s promises.

        • Olwyn

          I agree. But before 2008 they were still able to lure politicians, who in turn lured populations, with promises that were not going to be kept.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Yep. But now the BS stinks so much it no amount of garnish or condiments can disguise it.

            • greywarshark

              I believe the acuity of the nose dies down after a time, so that smells are not so discernable until the nose can reset itself in fresh air.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                I suspect that a bunch of our political and economic leaders simply dab Vicks vapour rub on the top lip before giving media interviews.

    • Chooky 11.2

      @ CR re Russian critical review of Western economic theory…..interesting …thanks for the link…makes Abbott et al look like babies and full of crap

  12. Sacha 12

    Sony hack reveals Big Hollywood’s latest plans to control flow of copyrighted material online:

  13. Philip Ferguson 13

    As we enter the New Year, a couple of reminders abut the this being as good as it gets under capitalism (could be time for some serious change, then!):

    What happened in the finance sector – why market mechanisms failed: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/what-happened-in-the-finance-sector-why-market-mechanisms-failed/

    As good as it gets under capitalism: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/as-good-as-it-gets-under-capitalism/


  14. rawshark-yeshe 14

    This must be the blueprint ACT and Nats used … scam after scam after scam in charter schools by Wall Street and business buddies …

    Awful stories of how money was leached from education system funds …


    • Tracey 14.1

      wow. just wow. i guess like all start ups, charter school businesses have a high failure rate. great link. thanks

      • rawshark-yeshe 14.1.1

        @tracey — and thx for all the fun last year .. let’s have a great 2015 with even more wry and subtle humour !

    • marty mars 14.2

      Great link. Just terrible how greedy and manipulative some people are and the children are the ones to suffer and miss out. No shame these people, no shame.

  15. “..Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users..

    ..You might be surprised who’s on the list..”



    rush liimbaugh..!..who knew..?

    ..off his tits..all the time..

    • Murray Rawshark 15.1

      Rush Limbaugh may not be the best possible example if you wish to convince lefties of the merits of your case 🙂

      • phillip ure 15.1.1

        i thought it hilarious that he was off his nut doing all of those radio etc shows..

        ..all those on-air rants..all those interviews..

        ..he should be called rush ‘stoner’ limbaugh..

        • Murray Rawshark

          I’ve read more than a few times that he loves his pill popping, and his rants make about as much sense as those of your stalker, so who knows?

  16. Pat O'Dea 16

    As President Obama tries to fast-track the “Corporate friendly” TPP Agreement with the help of the newly Republican dominated Congress, he faces resistance to the TPPA in the US Congress from independent and Democratic Party Senators.

    Is Push for Corporate-Friendly Trade Deal Top 2015 Priority for White House?

    Led by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the White House push to gain support for the TTP—which would lower trade barriers and codify reams of corporate-friendly rules between the U.S. and twelve Pacific rim nations—will likely be a top policy priority in the months ahead. Though administration efforts in 2014 to gain executive “trade promotion authority” (aka “fast track”) failed in Congress, the White House seems hopeful that a new Republican-controlled Congress will be more willing to give away their right to review or amend the content of the deal before it receives a single up-or-down vote….

    Progressives in Congress, however, may not be so easy to convince and some, like Sen. Bernie Sanders, have indicated they will do everything in their power to block passage of the TPP.

    “The TPP is a treaty that has been written behind closed doors by the corporate world,” said Sanders in a statement earlier this week. “Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not….
    In a joint letter (pdf) sent to Froman’s office prior to the Christmas holiday, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) outlined their opposition to TPP based on the likely negative impact it could have on the stability and fairness of financial markets both in the U.S. and abroad.

    “We are concerned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could make it harder for Congress and regulatory agencies to prevent future financial crises,” the senators wrote. Based on what is known about leaked portions of the draft agreement, the senators cited specific concerns regarding how the TPP would govern investor vs. state disputes, market access rules and capital controls—all of which contributed to the collapse of the U.S. financial system and global economic crisis in 2008.

    To be specific about his opposition, Sanders listed ten key objections to the agreement….

    According to Stan Sorscher, a labor organizer and president of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, what Obama has told workers and the American people, in essence, is “Trust me. These deals will be great.” But in his op-ed for Common Dreams on Wednesday, Sorscher explores how the secrecy of the negotiations is a key indicator of how toxic the final deals will likely be. He writes:

    Let’s consider… He is negotiating these deals in secret. He [recently] spoke in a room of 100 top CEOs, defending their interests. The precise language is being written under the guidance of legions of corporate lobbyists, who advise the US Trade Representative. Congress and a few non-business specialists have very limited access, but almost no influence and they are sworn not to reveal what they see.

    If a deal is finished, advocates for these failing trade policies want an expedited Congressional approval process, with no time to explain the terms of the deal, no realistic public hearings or political engagement to educate the public and no opportunity to modify the deal. Putting the deal on a “Fast Track” to railroad it through doesn’t inspire trust.

    Leaks to date show that these new deals follow the NAFTA template in their basic features — expanded corporate rights; special corporate-friendly tribunals to settle disputes without accountability to any national government; the interests of global investors will take priority over public interests; global businesses will be free to seek the lowest wages and weakest civil society protections around the world.

  17. The Fairy Godmother 17

    On of the major problems in our economy is subsidies to big business including childcare companies. Take for an example a one parent family earning $15 per hour 40 hours per week work with two children a one year old and a three year old which go to full time child care. The child care the children go to if they have 80% qualified teachers would recieve $659 from the ministry of education per week.

    On top of this they would receive $258.7 per week from winz http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/brochures/help-with-childcare-costs.html#Payments4.

    So at $917 per week the child care company would be receiving over $300 more dollars per week from the government in childcare subsides than the parent earns by working. I don’t understand why the family could not have a choice in how this money is spent. Surely many would prefer it if they recieved this money to care for their children. A parent caring for their young children is surely time much better spent than slaving away in a minimum wage job.

    And on top of this the family would be entiltled to $157 work and income tax credits which would nearly put them at the living wage. http://www.ird.govt.nz/calculators/tool-name/tools-c/calculator-wfftc-estimate-2015.html?id=righttabs.

    I think their is something really wrong in the way we as a society are saying that children are better off in the care of companies which we pay handsomely while we do not ensure their families have enough to live on. Also many childcare companies are profit driven and aspire to the minimum standards which keeps the funding coming to in contrast to parents who aspire for the very best for their children.

  18. dave 18

    with the debate surrounding the future of vector share holding aect it isn’t hard
    to make the connection between the confiscation of a private
    property right the public share holding of the aect and a Cyprus style bail in
    national is considering the confiscation of private property for a
    bail in.
    how long before they have bail in of your bank account (open bank
    resolution policy ) home equity as well even fonterra is co op just
    like vector

    i think a campaign focused of the precedence of new Zealand’s first
    bail in could do a lot of damage if the narrative could be changed to
    a bail in (government seizes private property right aect assets in bail in of Auckland)
    new Zealand ruling national government walks all over private property
    rights your house and and bank account are next ,John key bill English
    hide new Zealand’s dire finical position

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    4 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
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  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
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  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
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    4 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
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    5 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
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  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
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  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
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  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
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    5 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
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    6 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
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  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
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    7 days ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
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  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
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  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
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  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
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  • Speech to APEC business event
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  • Pukemiro School to close
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