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Open mike 16/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 16th, 2013 - 53 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…


53 comments on “Open mike 16/01/2013”

  1. Skinny 1

    Listening to National radio this morning & hearing the medium house price in Auckland is $535.000 shows we are in crisis with affordable housing. To hear Housing New Zealand ( a Government entity) is referring renters paying up to 80% of their income to charitable agencies such as the Sallies for financial assistance  is a bloody disgrace! 

    Meanwhile house prices are rising at increasingly alarming rates while the job market continues to stagnate. 

    Government intervention to cool this unacceptable situation and to ‘create employment in the house building sector’ should be a priority one would think.

    It’s a contradiction that National would have people believe that property investors will invest in power shares when the returns on property investment are booming again. This was highlighted to me recently whilst in Whangarei on holiday. I got speaking to an old guy in Whangarei who buys in what you could categorize as the first home buyers market. He buys & sells making on average 20% to 30% profit. Happy to gloat it’s setup so he avoids tax? 

    With a recent survey showing 70% support for Labour’s 100.000 new affordable homes policy, the question remains what is National going to do if anything?  

    • coronial typer 1.1

      Shearer did a good job this morning on National Radio stating Labour’s proposed solutions. Quick question: when Annette King goes to run at the Mayoralty, who will be Housing Spokesperson? It’s Labour’s best policy so far leading up to 2014. It’s going to need a solid political unit to break the mean cycle of property capitalism (particularly in Auckland).

      At the moment Housing and Building are in MBIE. Shearer acknowledged this morning that working clsoely with Councils particularly Auckland is going to be critical to achieving the housing policy goal. Maybe it’s time to wrap DIA’s Local Government functions into MBIE and start to remake cities holistically, including with housing.

      • xtasy 1.1.1

        coronial typer: So what the hell did Shearer propose then?

        You say he was on National Radio, but who did he propose to take over housing, what else did he offer but repeating, they would talk with councils???

        I am sorry, you delivered no real information, which leaves us again with: An empty handed, vaguely talking, nothing offering David Shearer, on housing and much else.

    • millsy 1.2

      Major Roberts’ crocodile tears disguises the fact that he was on the working group that recommended the changes to the state housing that we are seeing the concequences of.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        You assume he had any actual power on the working group.

      • xtasy 1.2.2

        The Sallies are a weird bunch.

        I accept that they often make good submissions on proposed laws and so, they are outspoken on social failures, on shortcomings of the government, but then again, they are also “players” in the game, when it comes to getting some government hand-outs to run welfare and in future housing.

        I am afraid, you cannot expect all that much of real change and ideas from an organisation with religious values, which is caring of course, but also depends on the purse strings of donors, sponsors, and also the government.

        The same applies to numerous “advocacy groups”, who, as I found out, actually get money from MSD to “deliver” their “services”.

        So no bloody wonder the advocates are not all that strongly outspoken against welfare and other reforms. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, right?

        What is this country all about, either you have private operators and business run the show, or you have the government have its tentacles all over the place, thus keeping control of things.

        NZ is screwed like this, and no matter how sincere and outspoken critics here are, all this is huff and puff into the air, right?!

  2. KhandallaViper 2

    Albert Einstein said that “Doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result” is a definition of Insanity.

    What is different between the election winning plan employed by the Labour strategy team under Phil from the one under Shearer?

  3. ad 3

    Gosh it would have been great if Mallard and Robertson, the guys who ran Labour’s campaign last time, actually apologised for performing worse than the New Zealand cricket team. The’ve performed badly for about as long as each other.

    Not sure when or if Shearer will do a reshuffle of responsibility, but I would have thought a basic Key Peformance indicator for the lot of whoever backs him would be: win the election.

    • Another Viper 3.1

      B*ll*x to an Apology, AD!
      We just want to see a sign from Shearer that he realised he had been conned by Trevir n Robertson and used by Phil and Annette.
      When we see that sign then we will believe that there is a real change afoot.
      Otherswise it is worse than it was under Phil.
      Change David, please change your team.

  4. bad12 4

    You highlight 3 major issues there, if as a country we made the avoidance of tax just as criminal as the evasion of it and had the staff in the States revenue collection agency to actually force the collection of the estimated 7 billion dollars annually either avoided or evaded there would be more than enough revenue for the Government to fix what is becoming an increasingly ugly societal problem,

    When tenants are forced to pay 50%+ of their income to put a roof over their heads an economic drag is created in the local economy, such money simply being a tax upon that persons production passing through the hands of the landlord class to the banks which hold the mortgage over the property and so denying the local economy the use of such money in what would be best described as the normal course of economic activity,

    While i understand Labour’s proposed ‘fix’ to such a crisis of affordability where ‘most’ of what is presently being constructed, (especially in Auckland), are far larger than ‘needed’ icons of over-consumption which pushes the price of buying a home into the realm of fantasy for the lower bands of income earners, Labour propose to build far more modest housing (2 bedrooms plus garage can be built for $120,000 +land), i still feel Labour fail to grasp the fundamental problem in the rental market,

    Landlords locked into a mortgage are not going to suddenly drop the price of their rental stock because a Government builds houses for sale at a lesser cost to the purchaser, those unable to access such Government largesse will still be trapped in the market for private rentals paying 50%+ of their income in rent,

    Having said that, i will not be overly critical of Labour’s plan to build 100,000 of these low cost houses for sale while Labour still wrestles with it’s policy on the numbers of State owned rental houses it intends to build,

    Needless to say,even the present Labour Party policy is a damn sight more than what National have signaled as it’s intention which is to as usual do nothing except provide empty rhetoric…

    • bad12 4.1

      Ooops, forgot to hit the reply tab, the above relates to comment (1) above…

    • just saying 4.2

      Two years ago, I looked into building a 70sq metre, two bedroom house minus the section, (without a garage). The lowest quote was about $150,000.
      That was with the cheapest cladding, and without floorings, curtains, wall coverings etc.

      I would hope Labour’s policy would involve the use of reasonably lasting materials, rather than making the cheapest buildings it is possible to create under the current regs.

      • bad12 4.2.1

        They have built a number of re-locatable houses in Christchurch without garages for $100,000,(from memory they are sitting in a corner of Hagley Park),

        The savings are to be found in the number of houses any organization is contracted to construct, for example, contract X company to build 2000 houses across Auckland using 4 or 5 different plans and the cost per house drops considerably,

        Come to an agreement with the likes of the Auckland City Council,(as the Government), over such issues as having a single resource consent to build the 2000 houses and another considerable saving is made,

        Standardize such things as the bathroom units in all the houses built and contract 1 plumbing agency to supply and install all the bathroom units in all the houses built and more savings on cost occur….

        • just saying

          Yes, those sorts of savings (maybe $80k per house all up?) are not to be sniffed-at. I hope the many people who will take advantage of them, who would have been able to afford a house at the going rates, are suitably appreciative. (Equivalent to a gift of about five years of beneficiary income without having to go near a WINZ office!) However, I suspect they will still be advocating cutting back the meagre benefits and services to those who are genuinely in need, and feeling self righteous and superior.

          But if Labour is prepared to build or buy the same numbers of state houses, I will bite my tongue about the whole middle-class welfare thing.

          • bad12

            Yeah same, after the little discussion had here on the Standard with Labour’s Annette King last week i am holding off on my major criticism of Labour’s housing policy,(of by and for the middle class), until such time as Labour’s policy on the number of HousingNZ properties it intends to build is released,

            It’s a work in progress according to Annette, but come election year if satisfactory numbers are not forthcoming i for one will be hollering as loudly as i can,

            What worries me vis a vis the Labour housing policy and where the ‘land’ to build all these ‘for sale’ properties is to come from is that it will simply be a continuation of Nationals policy of bowling over State Houses and building upon the land for the children of the middle class who created the problem in the first place by piling into ‘rental investments’ …

  5. xtasy 5

    Paula Bennett –

    and the National led government appear to have committed themselves to bring in “work capacity testing”, which according to the new major welfare reforms presently before Parliament are increasingly going to be outsourced, that have been designed by highly questionable “experts” previously on the payroll of controversial giant private insurer Unum Insurance .

    A professor and “Sir” Mansel Aylward, as former ‘Chief Medical Officer’ for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in the UK, played a key role in the development of the UK’s medical assessment for incapacity (the All Work Test), the Personal Capability Assessment and the Pathways to Work initiative for vocational rehabilitation.

    Application of these “tests” by equally controversial private assessors ‘ATOS Healthcare’ led to many seriously disabled, injured and sick being declared “fit for work”, and over much of 2011 alone, up to about 1100 deaths (incl. suicides) by affected people not able to cope with unreasonable, unacceptable expectations and pressures, have been the shocking result.

    Persons are thrown off benefits in the UK, or shifted onto lower paid benefits, as a consequence of the “reforms” there, being considered “fit for work”, while many are not and thus appeal decisions.

    See the following links for details, what is involved:








    Ko Awatea has been set up as the ‘Health System Innovation Centre’ for the Counties Manukau DHB, which is again proving to be instrumental in the increasing outsourcing and “privatisation” of healthcare in NZ. Professor Aylward was involved in appointing key personnel working for a panel they set up to work out health reforms here. He also appears to be advising Counties Manukau DHB in other areas.

    ACC has already used a version of the above mentioned “All Work Test”, which assisted the “exit strategy” used by them to get rid of high-cost, complex claimants, who have in their thousands been shifted onto WINZ benefits, accounting for some increase in numbers on invalid’s and sickness beneficiary numbers.

    Now WINZ clients with incapacities are facing an on-slaught of a similar kind as in the UK, so that under the new system, most sickness beneficiaries will end up as “job seekers” and previous invalid’s beneficiaries (long term and permanent sick and disabled) will be moved onto the “living support payment” benefit (facing harsher criterias overall).

    So, many readers may not feel affected, think they may “never” fall seriously ill and lose ability to work, and may thus pay little attention. But hey, accidents happen, sickness and injury can hit us all any time, and many disabled have no choice due to their conditions.

    Be alert, aware and take action, to stop this bloody madness.


    • just saying 5.1

      I have grave concerns about the changes pushing many disabled people beyond their ability to cope, to suicide, as has happened in Britain. For those whose lives are already so difficult, and financial circumstances so precarious, this kind of assault is particularly damaging.

      The policy’s accompanying rhetoric villifying the disabled, has seen numbers of hate crimes against them in Britain skyrocket also.

      • bad12 5.1.1

        Who-ever wrote Shearers bene-bashing roof-painter speech must just luuuurve the proposed changes,

        The fact is that such changes not only ‘screw’ the individuals targeted but also tighten the screws on the local economy as the real intention is to shift beneficiaries from higher rates of benefit payments to lower ones,

        Incidently, the model was mooted by the last Labour Government, although the punitive nature of what National now intend to accomplish may not have been…

        • Olwyn

          I am going to re-post the Monbiot article that I posted yesterday, because I think it offers a very good conceptualisation of what is actually going on, behind the endless squeezing of beneficiaries, the inflated house prices and the increasing precariousness of paid work. His thesis, in a nut shell, is that neoliberalism is not a failed economic policy (in which case it would be abandoned) but a successful mode of conquest.


          The unfortunate thing is that under the conditions of conquest, the elites tend to side with the conquerors, while the middle class side with the elites, and the powerless get mercilessly screwed. For local elites it means a career trajectory in the upper echelons, and for the middle class a chance to clip the ticket as the wealth travels upward and outward. For the poor it means disaster, especially since the poor of the Western world lost their historical province during their post-war period when they were elevated to faux middle class.

          There is always some leeway, however, between total acquiescence and punishable disobedience, and I would like to see Labour making much more daring use of that leeway, toward the protection of local citizens. Australia has done a better job of it than us because Bob Hawke was more cautious in its implementation, and did not naively cry, “Yippee! Now we are going to be the Switzerland of the South Pacific.”

          • bad12

            Yeah of course which is why they have the likes of Shearer slagging off a sickness beneficiary, (whom i presume was actually fictional),

            For those on the lower end of the economy the prospects are to be used as a tool to enrich the 1% via low wages and employment insecurity,

            Meanwhile the middle class becomes as you say a ‘ticket clipper’ taxing the wages of the poor via the demand for rental accommodation which a compliant series of Governments has refused to address thus securing their retirement savings while also being directly subsidized by such things as the ‘accommodation supplement’ which they gladly pass on to the 1% via the mortgage…

  6. xtasy 6

    Lest we forget – Dr David Bratt –

    The Principal Health Advisor for the Ministry of Social Development and Work and Income, who has an incredible bias and compares benefit dependence to drug dependence, he has already been preparing AND implementing the new, more rigorous, relentless “hatchet” approach in medical assessments for sickness and invalid’s beneficiaries since he took up his role in 2007.

    He (with others) was TRAINING the WINZ designated doctors in sessions all over NZ since 2008, to ensure they make the decisions in the way MSD and WINZ “expect”!

    He appears to have felt intensely encouraged to get bolder with his personally biased views being integrated into “presentations” and speeches he presented at major GP conferences, meetings of health professionals in general, health profession trainers and the likes, especially since National has been leading the government, and since ‘Future Focus’ was brought in under Paula Bennett and her adored “master” PM, John Key.

    Just have a look at some of these “presentations” full of pseudo medical scientific claims and findings, and his personal bias:

    (‘Ready, Steady, Crook, Are we killing our patients with kindness?’ is that one called, from 2010)

    (‘Benefit Sunshine’, the one from also about 2010, which was also presented at the Welfare Working Group Forum)

    (‘Medical Certificates are Clinical Instruments too’, which appears to be his most recent PDF style presentation from 2012)

    In another PowerPoint one called “Pressure, No Pressure”, which he prepared for GPs, so they can “deal with” “pushy patients” is also still available via online search, and can be downloaded easily.

    He has been reported on in NZ Doctor magazine, once on 01 August 2012, comparing benefit dependence with drug dependence, and searching his name and the name of that publication in association via Google, Yahoo or any other engine will bring about that article to read.

    Strangely that man “gets away” with this blatant, blunt approach, which tells us a lot about the philosophy, “mission” and “spirit” that his employer, the MSD leadership, follow and adhere to.

    So we are already there, using practically “NAZI” style labeling, stigmatizing, blaming and so forth, what will the next round of reforms and new “work capacity assessments” under the ‘Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill’ bring for sick and disabled on benefits?

    I predict it will be a life of constant fear, worry, despair and hopelessness, for those powerless and not able to defend themselves. Action is therefore needed to stop all this attack on sick and disabled in NZ right now.

    See also this for additional info:


    • beatie 6.1

      Dr David Bratt was appointed under Labour. Winz Regional Health Advisors are another Labour initiative. Their main function appears to be removing as many ‘clients’ as possible from Invalid to Sickness benefit. They may, or may not be health professionals. I have rheumatoid arthritis, am on IB and work part-time, however a Bratt trained GP told me ‘if I can drive, I can work’ and ‘I should be repaying the cost (to society) of a recent joint replacement.’ My condition is incurable and getting worse, I dread the coming ‘reforms’, particularly as they are likely to be accompanied by demonising the disabled as has happened in Britain.

      • just saying 6.1.1

        Hi Beattie.
        What you describe is a disgrace. I’m aware that it was Labour that began this nasty mode of taking resources from those those who need them most, to give them to the wealthy “reforms”. I will talk to my local MP about this and will take along information about their lethal effects in Britain. I wish I could do more. Any ideas anyone?
        Kia kaha. You are not alone.

      • rosy 6.1.2

        beatie – I know how you feel.

        My question to the GP would be “when is Pharmac going to start adding including improved work opportunity in the benefit side of the cost-benefit analysis of the heavily restricted RA drugs that every other developed country has been handing out for over decade to patients who are not improving on standard meds?” AFAIK Pharmac only includes direct health system related costs and benefits, which means NZers have really poor access to the new standard treatments that will probably improve quality of life and work ability.

        Also, you, or someone close to you, paid tax in advance for that joint replacement. Tell the of GP to F* right off. S/he has no understanding at all of of the impact of RA that is not effectively controlled (which yours isn’t, if it’s getting worse).

      • xtasy 6.1.3

        Hi beatie

        I am sorry to hear about your struggles. Yes, you are right, the system with Principal Health Advisor Dr Bratt, more quiet and less “prominent” Principal Disability Advisor Anne Hawker, was designed and introduced under the last Labour led government.

        Bear in mind though, with most policy and measures that governments introduce, it is usually upon the “suggestion” of policy developers in such government departments and ministries, like MSD and Work and Income. Hence governments ask for ideas and get presented what “internal” “specialists” have usually already worked on and thought out.

        Then governments pick what fits into their agenda.

        Indeed, most RHAs and RDAs are not necessarily appropriately qualified. Some are nurses (not necessarily registered), some rehab and other professionals. Few, if any, are proper, all-round, high calibre “experts”.

        They are there to look at what they usually get presented in the way of reports and certificates from client’s own doctors, specialists or else, or from the “designated doctors” (who now are largely quite biased, as the conditions WINZ expects them to work under, necessitate this).

        One good example of a RDA that is qualified and experienced in some “health” and “rehab” field is the one for the Southern Region, a Tanya Rissman. She is accidentally also “acting” RHA, as they appear to have had difficulty hiring one.

        Her experience and qualifications are in teaching and counselling, and she worked “with” psychologists, social workers and other “health experts”, for instance when running “Antics Ltd”, a kind of consultation and social service delivery agency, that appears to have run out of business long ago (probably due to funding issues).

        She is considered to have skills in teaching kids with learning difficulties, in social work and working with others, but is hardly a GP, a surgeon, a psychologist let alone psychiatrist. Yet WINZ and MSD have kept her for years, to make recommendations (usually signed at the dotted line by case managers) about sickness and invalid’s beneficiaries, or applicants.

        To get an impression of where she comes from, look at page 39 of this interesting publication:


        You can also google her name, and a bit more will show, but with most RHAs and RDAs, they are very “secretive” characters, of whom not much can be found at all, last of all the register of the Medical Council or Nurses Council!

  7. Jackal 7

    I know its the time of year when political debate dies down, but surely we can have a bit more in-depth reporting than the current yawn inducing articles that are passing for journalism in the MSM these days. I mean endless stories about Paul Holmes are one thing, but the totally uncritical analysis in our main newspaper about what National has been up to is another thing entirely. A quad bike accident is simply not front-page news people, and unless the media start to hold John Key’s government to account for their woeful performance, New Zealand will continue to go backwards under the neoliberal agenda.

    • tc 7.1

      ‘unless the media start to hold John Key’s government to account for their woeful performance, New Zealand will continue to go backwards under the neoliberal agenda..’

      don’t hold your breath, the MSM are part of the game positioned cleverly to look like ‘independants’ when they are actually assisting in in the swindle of public assets, the illusion of choice as Goerge Carlin would have said (RIP George), youtube george it’s worth it.

      Holmes, Woodham, Hyde, pretty much all TVNZ and the similarly vacuous TV3, campbell has his moments but he’s easily isolated. Then there’s that whole land of red neck radio rantville.

      Love live TS.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 7.1.1

        Speaking of quiet time of year I notice this survey went up on MSD website on the 7th Jan.


        Doesn’t say how long it’s up for.

        I was looking for SB stats for another post and remembered this one when I saw this.

        • just saying

          Many thanks DoS.
          If anyone has five minutes to spare, please consider filling out the survey.

          Does anyone know which opposition members are on the select committee?

          • beatie

            Yes, I did that survey. Very therapeutic, despite the loaded questions. BTW thanks for your kind response.

          • xtasy

            Opposition members are:

            Jacinda Ardern, Rajen Prasad, Su’a William Sio (all Labour), Jan Logie (Greens) and Asenati Lole Taylor (NZ First).

            See also:

            Given recent media comments by the one for NZ First, I am wondering, whether she really can be counted to belong to “the opposition”!?

            The others I have mixed feelings about, but Jan Logie I have had some positive experiences with, she is just busy with many other spokesperson responsibilities also, so that limits her focus on welfare a bit.

        • xtasy


          I did it TWICE by the way, as the system is so set up, that they seem to allow numerous participants make repeated contributions from the same computer!?

          So much for “representativeness” of any survey. I did not do this out of malice, but rather just to try it, and the messages sent were more or less the same.

          Yes, I most strongly recommend everybody does participate, and give MSD the answers they would least expect, that is, to tell them, hey, this will not work without involving and fairly asking the affected about how to “assist” sick and disabled into some possibly suitable work (where it may be possible).

          Also, express staunchly your reservations, reject the outsourcing of work capacity assessments, the privatisation of welfare, the involvement of hatchet doctors, i.e. criticise the the assessments as they are done already by internal WiNZ advisors. Insist that the client’s own doctor, support persons, advocates and the clients themselves must be included and listened to before “helping” people (those who may be able) back into work.

          Also challenge the role of employers, who are generally very biased and discriminatory, not seriously giving disabled and incapacitated sick any fair chance for dignified, paid employment. Incentives should be given to willing clients and employers to trial work, without sanctions if it does not work out for acceptable health or other reasons.

          Expectation should be brought across, that whatever they do will totally comply with natural justice, the Human Rights Act, the Bill of Rights Act, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Disabled, and so forth. I also stated they should primarily involve the affected clients AND their support organisations, leave assessments on work capacity to primarily the client’s own doctors, and to otherwise only seek further recommendations on truly independent medical experts or rehab professionals.

          They should get rid of the totally biased and unreasonable Dr DAvid Bratt, they should refrain from training “designated doctors” and actually pro-creatively assist those back into work, who are genuinely able to do some work.

          I strongly suggest that ALL that are concerned do the same. State the objections, justified concerns, that sickness beneficiaries should not be automatically grouped together with “job seekers” and the likes.

          Rather than leave the survey over to ones that will have a bias against beneficiaries, that support the draconian measures planned, and that may thus “serve” the interests of MSD (who will largely have advised the government on what changes can and should be made!) and naturally this present government, it is a MUST to offer more truthful, objective, experience based and legally backed up information, views and suggestions.

          That way more of us will be heard. Whether they will listen to us is another story of course. At least, you will have done your best and raised your voices.

          • Mary

            Talk about loaded questions! “There is considerable evidence that work is good for wellbeing and unemployment is not. What do you think is the best way to assist disabled people or people with a health condition or mental health condition get into and stay in work?” Every question is pretty much the same.

            I wonder what the big disability groups like CCS and IHC have to say about it? They should be all over this.

            • rosy

              My loaded answer was ‘flexible employment conditions withing a proper employment contract’ Every answer pretty much the same.

            • xtasy

              They are obviously NOT, as they are likely to also depend (at least partly) on “public funds” from, guess whom? THE MINISTRY!

        • Colonial Weka

          Is there a way to hide the fact that we are all linking from The Standard when we go to that survey? Is cutting and pasting the URL enough?

          • xtasy

            Just go straight to the MSD website, put in survey or welfare in the search box, and bingo, you have it, without any cross linkeage!

  8. There is a scathing report for our ex PM Helen Clark from the UN, this is on TV3 website,
    sorry can’t link.

    • Enough is Enough 8.1

      Ignore that MSM bias report.

      Helen is doing a fantastic job. She has been praised for the efforts she has made and the initives she has implemented by every international leader she has come into contact with.

      She turned this county into the greatest place on earth. It is a wee bit more difficult to do that to the billions of starving people in this world. But she is getting there.

      • Chris 8.1.1

        When did the board of UNDP become MSM? It’s essentially a report from her employers that the department she runs is doing nothing for poverty.

        • Enough is Enough

          Are you saying that Helen Clark is doing a poor job? What an idiot

          • Chris

            No I’m saying the report which has come from the board of UNDP says the department she runs is not doing anything for poverty (I’m just going to repeat myself since you can’t read apparently) I have no idea whether she has been doing a good job or not.

            I agree with Olwyn below it is likely that she has been following what the board has instructed but they have now decided that it has not been effective.

            What is far more ridiculous is to determine that the board of the UNDP is MSM and decide she is making a huge difference to poverty when the department she works for has just announced that they are not making any real difference.

        • Olwyn

          There is a lack of context to the report, which seems to come from the UNDP board itself. Helen Clark is not someone who is known for doing things by halves, so I am guessing that they may be in the process of changing their priorities, and that whoever wrote the article has drawn a long bow to suggest that this amounts to criticism of Helen Clark. After all, many of her decisions would surely accord with the board’s priorities.

    • Also on TV3 site another headline “Civil servants beware of NZ’ – British paper.
      after two brits head home after short stints in top jobs for the nact key led govt
      Sorry can’t link.

      • xtasy 8.2.1

        Yes, this is it:


        Well, I cannot blame them to caution Brits coming here to take jobs, as I have been experiencing a fair bit of “bizarre” conduct in NZ government departments and private companies, when it comes to working with migrants.

        The “tall poppy syndrome” is still extremely strong, it is often a network environment, where “old mates” stick together, and new ones have to cross the walk of fire, before they may be accepted.

        If accepting a senior position, I am sure, there will be an immense challenge for any migrant CEO, manager or whatever, to convince and be accepted. In some cases it happens, in others it goes very wrong.

        But I do not miss Grossman, for sure. Yet I am totally convinced, there is more to her swift resignation, than what Bennett tells the public. Cultural differences exist, but are just part of the whole mixture of challenges to deal with.

    • Anne 8.3

      There is a scathing report for our ex PM Helen Clark from the UN…

      It transpires it covered the period prior to Helen Clark taking charge.

  9. uke 9

    The article “Exposure of sex-for-fees web site underscores UK student poverty” discusses the growth of prositution among UK students struggling to meet rising fees and living costs:


    ‘The Independent reported recently on a web site offering students up to £15,000 a year to have sex with its clients. A reporter used a concealed camera to record a meeting with an “assessor” from SponsorAScholar.co.uk, Mark Lancaster. He explained that the level of remuneration students received depended on the sexual acts they agreed to engage in with their “sponsor.” The student was told they would have to undergo a “practical assessment” in order to qualify…. New research shows that the number of students engaged in sex work, including lap dancing, pole dancing, escorting and prostitution, has doubled over the last year, reaching 6 percent of the total.’

    I wonder if any similar sites operate in NZ – where tertiary students are also loaded with huge debts – and if any similar research into student prositution has been undertaken.

  10. vto 10

    New Zealand is a wealthy country by any measure. It can certainly grow enough food for everyone and enough resources to build a good roof over each head, before even starting on other matters such as a doctor for every so many souls.

    So why can’t we do that?

    Why can’t we New Zealanders adequately provide for all of us? What is stopping it? What has caused this bizarre and obscenely rude situation?

    Does anyone know?

  11. millsy 11

    Neo-liberalism, red-neckism with a dash of god-bothering.

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    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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    1 week ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    1 week ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    2 weeks ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago