Open mike 21/06/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 21st, 2016 - 143 comments
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143 comments on “Open mike 21/06/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

    New Zealand’s middle class.

    ‘Chris Trotter: The middle class have become selfish survivalists.

    What has happened to the New Zealand middle class? Why has the social strata that encompasses our best educated, most highly skilled, most entrepreneurial and financially literate citizens failed so miserably to respond to our nation’s needs?
    When did the middle class relinquish the moral and civic leadership upon which its claims to social pre-eminence rested? How, and by whom, has the middle class been superseded?………………

    ……Separated from its former working class allies; dictated to by an international ruling class it cannot control; the New Zealand middle class is, today, almost entirely absorbed with its own survival. House prices, retirement plans, and the fecklessness of the lower orders are the obsessions du jour. The besetting conundrum: how to ensure their children enjoy a middle class existence without relinquishing their own in the process?
    The generous and collaborative middle class, which won New Zealand international acclaim for its progressive economic, social and political reforms, has largely ceased to exist. Without allies, and without hope, its selfish successor squabbles fractiously on a dwindling sand hill, fatally encumbered by the shabby detritus of its own illusory superiority.’

    Brilliant article,
    Read all of it.

    • tc 1.1

      Arent the middle class disappearing across the globe due to the neoliberal policies which favour the wealthy and powerful screwing everyone else.

      So the middle either gets itself up or slides down as there’s effectively no middle ground to habitate over time.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        Thomas Piketty Believes There’s Still Time to Save the Middle Class

      • Paul 1.1.2

        Neoliberals Managing the Decline of the Middle Class

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3

        Arent the middle class disappearing across the globe due to the neoliberal policies which favour the wealthy and powerful screwing everyone else.

        Yep. The rich are taking it all and turning the rest of us into impoverished serfs.

        • Colonial Viper

          The 0.1% are finding that the bottom 90% have little left to steal. So now they are turning their thieving schemes on to the top 10% and the top 5%. Their homes, retirement savings, pension schemes, jobs.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And, of course, more state assets with government guaranteed profits from taxes that they themselves don’t pay.

      • katipo 1.1.4

        Oh look we are number 1…
        1. New Zealand: New Zealand’s economy could have grown by 44 percent between 1990 and 2010, but the country did only achieve 28 percent growth due to inequality. Hence, it lost 15.5 percentage points — more than any other country. This is particularly surprising, given that New Zealand was once considered a paradise of equality

    • Repateet 1.2

      What is it about a middle class and generations which where brought up being taught about the importance of telling the truth and punished, (often physically) for not, that sees them now accept and expect dishonesty and downright lies from our most senior politicians?

      What consequences are there for they way they are raising their own children and grandchildren?

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Humanity’s storm is coming. No one will be able to escape from what they have done.

    • Redelusion 1.3

      Thanks Paul

    • Olwyn 1.4

      That is a brilliant, insightful article by Trotter – thanks Paul, for putting it up. These two bits are most telling, “Up until 1981, New Zealand society remained the co-creation of its working and middle classes,” and “The economic, cultural and political elites who had accepted the terms of the post-war social-democratic settlement were replaced by those who understood, and were fiercely loyal to, the policies of the new order.”

      The two quotes put together explain the tricky situation in which political parties of the left now find themselves, while the latter by itself explains Key’s popularity. Key’s commitment to the new order keeps punishment at bay for the middle class, while demanding punishment for the working class and the poor as evidence of his commitment. Which makes it very difficult for the working class and the middle class to be allies – the championing of one means the punishment of the other. And this is where it gets tricky for parties of the left – they need the support of a mixture of working class and middle class voters if they are to gain office in a bona fide fashion.

      • Colonial Viper 1.4.1

        The working class and under class are the least likely in society to vote.

        Electoral logic has told Labour and Greens to not bother focussing on getting those votes.

        So the working class and under class vote less and less. Many here have said how shite life as a beneficiary was under Labour. That’s not by accident. Labour have chosen which class they back.

        • Olwyn

          That’s why the push has to come from the grass roots. One can only hope that New Zealanders will eventually take heart from the places where this seems to be starting to happen, like the UK and the US. According to my friends in Australia, even Shorten is making some left-leaning moves now. But all I am saying is that there really is a dilemma involved, it is not just about careerists comfortably ensconcing themselves, and a way past it needs to be be found.

        • swordfish

          The New Zealand Election Study (NZES) suggests that in 2011 – for the first time since reliable data was first collected in 1963 – National gained more working-class votes than Labour.

          Even in the 70s, a time when Muldoon is widely alleged to have made deep inroads into the blue-collar vote, Labour had, in fact, easily won the working-class constituency (Muldoon’s success was actually grounded much more in middle and lower middle class support).

          It’s not that National were the beneficiaries of a significant wkg-class swing in 2011, though. In fact, their share of the wkg-class vote actually fell slightly (down 1 point on 2008). Rather, Labour suffered a huge 6 point fall in their blue-collar share – with (as you’ve implied) a good deal of it heading towards Non-Voting. Thus, National slipping slightly with workers and their families, while Labour – in total freefall – sails past them on the way down.

          • Macro

            As I’ve been saying all along and repeated only yesterday to bill murray. Labour will not improve its position significantly until it shows the non-voters that they can have confidence again in Labour actually doing something for them.

  2. Paul 2

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.


    Ex-Middlemore kitchen staff say Compass owes them thousands

    Ten staff who worked for decades in Middlemore Hospital’s kitchen before the Compass Group took over the operation say they are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by the company.
    Compass is one of the world’s biggest catering companies, and supplies nearly half of all public hospital meals in New Zealand.
    The company has been the focus of protests in recent months about the quality of the food that it has supplied to hospitals in Otago and Southland.

    • tc 2.1

      One of many juicy outsourced arrangements struck in health under Ryall and watched over by some rather toxic managers they’ve installed around the system.

      Waiakto’s upper level has been flushed in its Chiefs image since he joined and my what a lovely upstanding fellow Dr Murray is.

  3. Paul 3

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.
    Cruel, uncaring.
    ‘We feel targeted because we’re black’

  4. Paul 4

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

    Yet there are people who still care and who are unselfish.
    Te Puea marae represents the best of New Zealand.

    • Yep there are lessons here for us all – if you allow people to empower themselves miracles can happen – if you suppress and treat people as lower and lesser you create more problems as well as more injustice and misery.

  5. Jenny 5

    I sometimes think that the influence of The Standard is more far reaching than even the authors know.


    Widely condemned by both “Left”* and “Right”.

    First appearing eight days ago. It took the establishment media a while to work out their attack angle. “She is taking our batches”. As if Wealthy or upper Middle Class would be really hard done by if they couldn’t keep a spare holiday home empty for 11 months of the year, while families live in garages and cars.

    Yes, according to the media, batch owners are the real victims here.

    But that is a side issue. Crone, admitting that she has a batch herself.

    *(That is if you consider a neo-liberal Rodgergnome “Left”, so right wing he once lost Labour’s safest of safe seats)

    • Sacha 5.1

      Adding the equivalent of one week’s capital gain to the annual rates bill will change nothing for speculative investors. It amounts to a 2% tax.

      Still, it *looks* like they’re doing something, I guess, and it gives Ms Crone’s chum Paula Bennett an out for central govt doing nothing to address demand-side pressures.

  6. Hone on facebook

    “Geez … all the flak I’m coppin’ from John Key and Andrew Little and Kelvin, and all we did was put out a short statement! It’s a little bit cheeky but what the hell. Anyway, here it is. Read and enjoy folks.”

    and then into the ‘get the band back together’ stuff

    I’m hoping Hone plays a smart game with this – it can be done and we’ll just have to wait and see. I really hope he doesn’t do a Jon Snow and get all worked up, change the plans and just run in swinging his sword. There will be a time for that but now is the time to build the forces so the real King of the North is actually back.

  7. btw – YAY thanks for fixing the comment thing for me – I so appreciate it – big hugs!!!

  8. Jenny 8

    Rushing to fill the breach

    Mayoral candidate Phil Goff said extra rates on empty properties would not make a big impact on the housing problem and could be unnecessarily complicated.

    He said some people had properties that were not permanently occupied for legitimate reasons – like baches, or the estates of people who have died – and it could take an army of bureaucrats to work out which ones need to be charged extra.

    Sez he who lives in a millionaire rural property in Clevedon.

    In my opinion Goff’s line of attack is specious and unsubstantiated,

    33 thousand empty homes in Auckland is not a small number, compared to the number of homeless families in Auckland, it is actually more.

    And Crone’s idea of using water usage to locate these properties is thinking outside the box, requiring very little extra paper work.

    • Paul 8.1

      Goff was part of Roger Douglas’s coup d’état
      Never forget that.
      He is a neoliberal through and through.

    • ianmac 8.2

      Easily fixed. Leave a tap running some of the time in a semi furnished house.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      He said some people had properties that were not permanently occupied for legitimate reasons – like baches

      I wouldn’t consider baches to be a legitimate reason.

    • Lanthanide 8.4

      And Crone’s idea of using water usage to locate these properties is thinking outside the box, requiring very little extra paper work.

      Yes, but it’s also very trivially avoided: just leave the taps running.

      It actually incentivises people to pour perfectly fine drinking water down the drain, because it’s cheaper than paying the increased rates.

      Targeting vacant houses is a mugs game anyway. Target the land-bankers.

      I’ve previously suggested ramping up the annual rates dramatically on land that is not built on (or actively under development, eg in the process of having plans drawn up for housing or subdividing further etc).

      • McFlock 8.4.1

        Leaving the taps on would just have an almost identical meter reading month to month. No seasonal variation or general noise.

        • ianmac

          Easily fixed. Pop out each month and alter the water flow. Two taps this month. Half a tap next month. Sure that an electronic unit could be developed to make water use variable.

          • McFlock

            yeah, but then you’re beginning to get into a fair amount of effort to try to fake only a single metric that might be used in addition to other things like public reports, contact mail addresses, and comparing with historic water usage on the property.

            All for the sake of committing fraud each and every time they claim cheaper rates for having an occupied dwelling.

            • Lanthanide

              but then you’re beginning to get into a fair amount of effort to try to fake only a single metric that might be used in addition to other things like public reports, contact mail addresses, and comparing with historic water usage on the property.

              But the whole point of using water usage is that it was supposed to be a quick and inexpensive measure. As soon as you start collating other information and trying to make judgements from it, it’s no longer quick and inexpensive. Also you’re much more likely to reach the wrong conclusions in some cases.

              • Cricklewood

                For a couple of hundred dollars you can buy a pretty clever irrigation timer that seasonally adjusts water usage add a rain sensor and youre away. Usage will be variable and all you need to do is screw it to an outside tap and send the water down the drain.
                Classic case of someone open their mouth without considering how easy it would be to circumvent and then looking like an idiot to people with a modicum of common sense.

              • McFlock

                And it is a quick and inexpensive measure for a large chunk of the problem.

                The more effort and expense people are prepared to go to, the smaller the number who will do it.

                And sooner or later you have the simple equation of the penalty for failure in whatever dodge they come up wit vs the trouble of just renting out the damned house.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.4.2

        Leaving the taps running in Auckland will quickly have you running up several hundred dollars in water bills every month.

        • Lanthanide

          And if that’s cheaper than the increased rates that you would otherwise pay, then it’s worth it.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It won’t be.

            It seems that they’re only talking about 2% increase in rates or about $100 per year compared to several hundred dollars per month for the water.

            If they want to do something about this then the amount is going to have to be several thousand dollars per year. Essentially, multiples of the rates bill as it would have to be more than the untaxed capital gains.

            • Lanthanide

              Not sure where you’re getting this 2% number from:

              Auckland bach owners who do not use their places frequently would be hit with a massive rate hike under a policy proposed by a mayoral candidate.

              National Party-aligned Auckland Future mayoral candidate Vic Crone is proposing measures to help solve the city’s housing shortage that target unoccupied properties. Buildings sitting empty for more than six months may be in line for rates increases of up to fifty percent.

              Emphasis mine.


      • Jenny 8.4.3

        Is there no low the Right wouldn’t contemplate to protect their privilege?

        Easy fix for any scum who chooses to waste water to hide their keeping houses empty while families live in cars.

        Lock em up and throw away the key.

    • Jenny 8.5

      In an unsubstantiated knee jerk reaction in defence of the privileges of the well off, mayoral hopeful and long time parliamentary trougher Phill Goff says that it is legitimate for properties like, baches to remain unoccupied while families live in cars.

      News Flash Phill,

      If it is connected to town supply. It is not a bach it is an extra home.

  9. Pat 9

    Not enough housing, not enough builders, poor workmanship and design, dodgy imported materials and nobody responsible…….think again.$file/ENG.SCA.0002.RED.pdf

    • mauī 9.1

      Thought you were talking about Auckland for a second!

    • vto 9.2

      Yep. NZ will have poor buildings for decades to come… thanks to the standards applied to buildings going up right now today…

      bureaucracy left right and centre aint changing nothing except adding to costs as the local authority ticks boxes ….

      Frankly, I lay the blame squarely with the builders…

      • Pat 9.2.1

        then you would be blaming the wrong party

        • vto

          no I wouldn’t

          • Pat

            then it is obvious you havn’t read the linked submission

            • vto

              and its obvious you haven’t built any buildings the last decades

              … useless one-liners ……

              I understand the myriad and interwoven issues dontcha worry about that. The reason for pointing the finger mostly at the builders is that they are the ones putting the buildings together, and are the last line of construction. They know when they put together a detail that will likely leak, or fail under weight of time, but they still proceed to do so…. of course they ladle the fingers of blame thick and fast and all over the place… as they do… better than any other finger-pointers on the planet….

              Our business and associations take us deep into the world of building design, consenting and construction.. as deep as you can go… and this is the conclusion we come to

              Builders, as a whole industry and as individuals, need to lift their game…. they are letting the country down

              and in Chch you can add greed and ripoffs to that

              builders like to call a spade a spade – so there’s a spade for them

              • Pat

                “and its obvious you haven’t built any buildings the last decades”

                and that would be a wrong assumption

                “I understand the myriad and interwoven issues dontcha worry about that. The reason for pointing the finger mostly at the builders is that they are the ones putting the buildings together, and are the last line of construction. They know when they put together a detail that will likely leak, or fail under weight of time, but they still proceed to do so…. of course they ladle the fingers of blame thick and fast and all over the place… as they do… better than any other finger-pointers on the planet….”

                that statement demonstrates exactly how moronic blaming “the end of the chain” is…

                The problems are systemic and what we witness now is the foretold result of three decades of perverse incentives, self regulation and the dumbing down of ALL sectors of the construction industry and education/training organizations that support them.

                As with everything it starts at the beginning…not the end.

                • vto

                  I understand and agree almost completely with that… but I think you miss it with you last sentence…

                  It also starts, or ends, at the end…
                  If the detail is assessed as likely to leak or fail, then don’t build it… but they so very often do …. “it was on the drawings” goes the first finger of blame,.

                  as I said – the last line of defence and first line of actual construction. They need to stand up. They are not standing up.

                  I know all the other systemic stuff but that doesn’t abrogate their responsibility when banging the bare steel nail into the waterfront deck

                  • Pat

                    “as I said – the last line of defence and first line of actual construction. They need to stand up. They are not standing up.”

                    Why would they?….producer statements, limited liability companies,a dearth of training, products and services provided from without at below local cost and no oversight, regulatory system without the ability to oversee or dispute/correct and finally no penalty even when it all turns to crap.

                    so the guy on the end of the nail gun is going to resolve that?…..right.

                    • s y d

                      yeah, I’m with Pat.
                      It’s way past the point that the guy getting $25/hr should be hung out to dry and blamed for all the BS.
                      Thats like blaming the Pike river miners for the mine setup.
                      There are good builders, there are good buildings, but housing has become another commodity and management process has corrupted the craft.

                  • DH

                    You’re missing the point vto, and really making pat’s point too

                    The document was largely discussing how bureaucracy has lost its industry skills, experience and knowledge. Expecting a builder to identify flaws in structural design is part of the problem. A builder is neither an engineer nor an architect, it’s not their skillset or job to critique bodgy plans or bad stock.

                    • vto

                      Again, I understand and agree mostly with pat’s point, especially as it relates to failed industry due to neoliberal policy settings…

                      but do not agree with letting the builders off the hook so easily. . .

                      the time when leaky buildings were being built is a good example. It was combo of design (internal gutters were popular), poor regulatory setup (thanks neoliberalists), and frankly shoddy crap workmanship. The poorly designed internal gutters, vetted by the regulations, should still have worked better than they have…. in fact many have worked fine and don’t need repair. You will find that the ones that have failed were the ones built with crap workmanship…

                      … as for the view don’t blame the guy on $25/hour… I am actually not – I am blaming the person who owns the building business and employs the nail-gunner at $25/hour while charging him out at $55/hour.

                      The building sector, comprising the builders, needs to stand up and take responsibility to a far greater extent than they are currently.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Building co. owners aren’t about to drive themselves out of business and lose all their custom by second guessing what their clients ask them to do, let alone reporting their clients to regulatory authorities.

                    • Cricklewood

                      … as for the view don’t blame the guy on $25/hour… I am actually not – I am blaming the person who owns the building business and employs the nail-gunner at $25/hour while charging him out at $55/hour.

                      Pretty much what you have to charge if you have a small team of 4-5 builders and don’t want to go broke fast. Factor in the non chargable stuff like estimating, office admin, downtime, vehicles, leave and a whole heap of other costs and you are only left with a very small amount of that $55. Pretty much the 5%-10% you make on materials is your profit.

                      For the little guys it’s a whole stack of risk for very little reward and it’s seriously scary how many have inadequate insurance…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Basically I don’t think the Left understand how tight most small businesses are doing it at the moment. Yes, 10% of small businesses are making a killing but for 90% its week to week hoping enough custom will come in the door and enough invoices will be paid for you to make payroll and pay your own mortgage.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The reason for pointing the finger mostly at the builders is that they are the ones putting the buildings together, and are the last line of construction.

                And they’re employees or, most common in Auckland, contractors which don’t have in income if the refuse to do it the way that the managers tell them to.

                They know when they put together a detail that will likely leak, or fail under weight of time

                Well, after talking to my nephew who’s been in the construction industry for more than 20 years, that may not actually be true. Apparently, many builders simply don’t know how to build good houses any more.

                • vto

                  “Apparently, many builders simply don’t know how to build good houses any more”

                  is what we see

                  the amount of shoddy workmanship around Chch post-eq is frightening…

                  caveat emptor unfortunately

                  • Pat

                    the standard in ChCh is appalling I agree ( i assume its no better in Auckland from reports I’ve heard)…..but the causes won’t be remedied by jumping on the guy that doesn’t know how to use a tape or hammer or care that his workmanship is crap.

                    if you sack all the incompetents the problems still remain and even less gets done.

                  • Pat

                    “… as for the view don’t blame the guy on $25/hour… I am actually not – I am blaming the person who owns the building business and employs the nail-gunner at $25/hour while charging him out at $55/hour.”

                    The problem is the vast majority of building business owners (particularly group home) are little more than salesmen/managers who have no construction experience and due to the systems outlined in the link there is nothing to keep them to any sort of standard…it is a downward spiral and we now have a situation where even so called experienced LBPs lack basic skills and knowledge and those charged with inspecting their plans/work are no longer industry experienced as they used to be…..the complete loss of knowledge in the entire industry is frightening to behold.

      • Cricklewood 9.2.2

        You should be blaming this piss poor excuse we now have for a training system that spits out ‘qualified’ builders in less than 18 months.
        We desperately need to go back to an hours based system ideally 6-8000 before final qualification.

        Not to mention the myriad of other issues. Sheeting it home to the guy at the bottom scraping by on fuck all is way to simplistic.

  10. Ad 10

    From a dissenting opinion on Police search powers, here’s what a U.S. Supreme Court justice sounds like who has real experience with those in the hands of the Police.

    “For generations, black and brown parents have given their children ‘the talk’ — instructing them never to run down the street; always keep your hands where they can be seen; do not even think of talking back to a stranger— all out of fear of how an officer with a gun will react to them.”

    And later:

    “By legitimizing the conduct that produces this double consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.

    We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated.” They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but.”

    I’ve never heard a Supreme Court judge provide such plainspoken opinion about the Police like this. I wonder if Maori experience of the New Zealand Police is also like this. After going through the Teina Pora case, Justice Sotomayor’s words ring out strong here.

    • andrew murray 10.1

      I find it really depressing that this comment, the subject of which is so integral to free citizenship, can’t raise a single comment in reply.
      What does that say ?

      • Rosie 10.1.1

        Doesn’t mean that readers of TS haven’t read Ad’s comment. Sometimes really gritty, well researched or fascinating comments go by without any comment. I don’t think it’s any indication of the quality of the comment.

        Also, readers may have particular areas of interest and may not feel compelled to react to each and every subject raised, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t care.

        The content of Ad’s comment is covered in the documentary series “The System”, an expose of the U.S justice system. A real eye opener. Here’s the link to the series if you’re interested:

  11. left for dead 11

    JUST TESTING……..Good morning everyone.

  12. Nick 12

    I listened to Andrew Little this morning on RNZ and I got a bit confused as to his position on the soldiers remaining. He seemed to have 50 cents each way. I would prefer he just said bring them home and provide a clear distinction to ShonKey. Maybe I misheard him.

    • TC 12.1

      AL doesnt need to risk taking a position shonky and his msm shills can take advantage of.

      Playing the ‘I will let you know when I get there’ card is the way through many of these issues.

      This then plays on nacts deception and lying practices which shield the reality in favour of spin and bs which most seem to be understanding alot more now.

    • Jenny Kirk 12.2

      Yes – you did mishear him, Nick.
      He said quite clearly that the Iraqui troops were useless, that the NZ troops were doing a good job trying to train them (it sounds an impossible task) and that other country’s troops were the ones making a difference against ISIS – not Iraqui troops. He didn’t like NZ Troops being there on that mission. He’d said so right from the start. He thinks when ISIS is defeated Iraq will go into civil disorder and that is the time the NZ troops will be needed, in a peacekeeping role for the UN which is what NZ troops are very good at.
      Edit – he also said something about if it was him he wouldn’t be extending their current mission which ShonKey has done.

    • Sacha 12.3

      Here’s the interview:

      I heard more of his usual lawyerish, naunced waffling. Little needs training to make a clear statement then shut his mouth. Eg: “As Prime Minister, I would bring our troops back home.”

      Voters are looking for a clear policy choice and confidence that it will be delivered. Waffle kills both of those.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.3.1

        Voters are looking for a clear policy choice and confidence that it will be delivered. Waffle kills both of those.


        • Anne

          I have to agree. Long winded responses have been a millstone around Labour’s neck for decades. Many of us have all but lost our voices trying to tell them.

          On the other hand we have managed to convince them that announcing policy planks several A4 size pages long is not a good idea. Took 20 years but we made it.

      • John shears 12.3.2

        The Herald seems to have heard what I heard Andrew Little say re troops in Middle East.
        Betcha someone will pick that article to bits and turn it on its head,
        DTB,TC ,Nick????

  13. not a tax cheat 13

    New research suggests welfare fraudsters are facing a tougher time than tax evaders, despite tax evasion costing taxpayers three times more.

    A study by Victoria University shows tax discrepancies cost the Government $1.24 billion in 2014, while welfare fraud cost the Government $30.6 million.

    However, tax evaders are far less likely to be investigated, prosecuted or imprisoned, and far more likely to have debts written off.

    • s y d 13.1

      The language is the clue:

      Welfare Fraudster “a person who engages in fraud : cheat”


      Tax evader “to escape from by trickery or cleverness”

      I get the feeling that this is all part the unthinking acceptance of ‘bludgerism’ and blaming the bottom.

      Imagine an after match function, where the people who bring nothing are given a free pass, but woe betide anyone taking more than one mallowpuff.

    • Rosie 13.2

      Victoria did a similar study awhile back – don’t know if is the same or an updated one, as part of ongoing analysis.

      This is interesting. Tax evasion:

      “The Government lost about $1,240,000,000 in tax discrepancies in 2014
      – About 0.01% of taxpayers are investigated each year
      – About 60-80 people are prosecuted for tax evasion each year
      – It costs about $2.86 to recover $100 of evaded tax”

      Vs welfare fraud:

      “The Government lost about $30,553,600 in welfare fraud in 2014
      – About 5% of beneficiaries are investigated each year
      – About 800-1000 people are prosecuted for welfare fraud each year
      – It costs about $17 to recover every $100 of fraudulently obtained welfare payments”

      There’s a big discrepancy between prosecution rates and recovery costs, that is, it’s less costly to recover evaded tax but they prosecute only 60 – 80 tax evaders yet they prosecute more welfare fraudsters, 800 – 1000 even though the recovery cost is far greater. Looks fairly biased doesn’t it.

      Wellingtonians would have seen billboards on the motorway and in Thorndon illustrating this bias. The billboards have the face of a man on one side and the words “tax evasion, $229,000. Fine.” The other side also has a man’s face and the words “welfare fraud, $70,000, jail.”

      They are professionally manufactured signs on advertising hoardings. Don’t know who put them there.

  14. b waghorn 14

    In today’s Rural News there is a regular segment called “The Hound”

    This is what he says at the end of an attack piece on Rachel Stewart

    ” an ex train driving, lesbian ,farm hating falconer”

    This sort of shit has to stop in a national publication.

    The hounds email is hound@rural

    Oh and he calls Eugenie Sage a farmer hater and suggests that she is likely to get the primary sector portfolio if a labour green government is elected.

    I can’t find the hound online I guess they’re to cunning to make this rubbish too publicly available.

    If I had a mutt this nasty It would be getting put down .

    • vto 14.1

      Here mr waghorn

      Although the piece you mention is not up yet, the other articles exhibit the same ignorant bigotry.

      It is a strange thing that those who claim to – call things as they see them – call a spade a spade – talk bluntly – those types of people can never handle the same thing done back to them…

      … if you call a spade a spade to a person who claims to call a spade a spade, they typically react with spluttering bluster and bullshit..

      there aint too many spades in the world you see

    • Rosie 14.2

      That is nasty, and also discriminatory. What has anyone’s sexuality got to do with anything? The writer sounds like they are spitting out the words, lesbian, like someone from the 1950’s.

      Now speaking of mutt’s being put down. What would you, b wags, as a rural worker make of my friend’s comment to me the other day, when discussing animal death, saying her ex husband killed the puppies his work dogs had, with a blow to the head with a mallet?

      My friend lived on the farm for 30 years. Calls her husband a good kind compassionate farmer. I would think otherwise. I’d call him a wanker actually. In fact he’s just the kind of person I would report had I witnessed such brutality. Is this a common practice? When I asked why weren’t the female dogs speyed she said it affected their work performance.

      I also have spoken with a woman, and ex vet nurse, who runs an animal sanctuary. She rescues mis treated farm dogs but can’t re home them because they were never socialised around humans and are too dangerous to be domestic pets.

      A few weeks ago I helped round up some sheep that got loose on the development. The farmer dog’s had their ribs showing and were cowering in the back of the work truck, looking dejected and frightened.

      Why is it that people spend $1000’s each year on ridiculously pampered house dogs and put them in stupid little jackets, offending the dog’s sense of dignity, when it appears that it’s completely acceptable at the other end of the scale to abuse a dog because it’s a work animal?

      • Gangnam Style 14.2.1

        That’s what made me laugh (bitterly) about the whole ‘Kiwi Values’ thing, farm dogs/working dogs are a great example of animal cruelty in NZ, it’s a brutal world for those wonderful loyal dogs.

        You also got that misoginist/homophobe remark, isn’t that the kinda thing we have extended the troops stay overseas to protect NZ from (so said Gerry!).

        We live in a country full of horrible ironies.

      • Richardrawshark 14.2.2

        I experienced things on a farm Rosie no kid should ever witness at that age, sheep home killed throats cut, pups killed on the fencepost with a blow to the head exactly as you describe, dogs fed 2 tux triangle biscuits every couple days, work harder when they are hungry is their excuse.

        In the 70’s and 80’s when I grew up things were like that and worse, these guys were handed this down from their fathers, and their fathers before them.

        Times were different, there is no excuse now however, it’s just down to a lack of education and lack of farmers telling other farmers there dogs look bad, and not ignoring mal treatment.

        I have two dogs, love them to bits they live inside with me, well fed and looked after, cycles can be broken it just takes education, dog handling, health and training education.

        • Rosie

          Sorry you had to witness such violence and cruelty at a young age. That’s unbelievably awful. Really bad for a child, for anyone, but especially a child.

          When I was a kid in the 70’s and teen in the 80’s we lived in a small coastal/semi rural town. We rented grazing for our horses on farms and luckily I didn’t see any animal violence, despite spending so much time there, but I knew something was wrong. I was always creeped out by some of the gnarlier farm men. God knows what they got up to. I did see their dogs though, the state of them was bad. And that’s what I saw the other day on the back of the truck and the same kind of agro creepy bloke. It was shortly after my friend told me about the puppies on her farm and it made me wonder what’s changed.

          I agree these methods of animal handling are passed down.

          Great that you’re taking good care of your dog buddies. Bet they look after you in turn. Humans and animals are capable of having strong and loyal friendships eh.

      • b waghorn 14.2.3

        That’s a hell of leap but seen as you asked.
        yes I’ve tapped some pups on the head it was years ago and i hated it , Iv’e also tapped somewhere around 4000 possums on the head .
        There are bad people in all walks of life farmers are no different, I personally am very careful to avoid miss mates , and spaying dogs does not affect performance in fact it means your bitch is not out of action for up to 6 weeks a year and spayed bitches eat less.
        Most retired farm dogs work in teams and meet many other dogs so would be fine as pets but they wont be house trained .

        A well timed hammer to the head of a young animal would be as humane as any other method of killing . deaths never nice

        • Rosie

          Thanks for that B wags. I’m glad you clarified the spaying situation. I thought it sounded like an iffy excuse.

          Possums, god forgive me for being a hypocrite, I have slightly less sorrow about.

          Just wish there was a humane way of breeding them out of existence.

    • framu 15.1

      i dont think thats any sort of useful comparison – unless your doing some framing

  15. save nz 16

    Another thing our government is good at. And the next minute the same experts are wondering why Kiwis buy property as an investment and why Kiwis have so little savings.

    The real victim is the banks because how can they be expected to have savers insurance with their paltry profits unlike all the other OECD banks. sarc.

    National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      When you loan someone money you’re taking the risk that you’re not going to get it back.

      That’s why interest is paid on the loan – to cover the risk. Your bank deposit is a loan to the bank. If the bank loses, so should you.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Dude, WTF. Your idea that “interest” covers “risk” is idealistic bullshit from another era.

        Also the idea that if a bank folds savers should consequently lose their monies is daft. It’s the kind of thing which set in motion what used to be called ‘bank panics’ and in more recent decades ‘bank runs’.

        Its also completely unnecessary FFS, why is it that savers should take on the risks assumed by shitty bank management when deposit returns are sweet F.A.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Risk is the entire basis of capitalism according to the RWNJs and economists. If you don’t like the risks then don’t put your money in the bank.

          If we’re going to have a capitalist economy then the rules actually need to be capitalist

  16. AsleepWhileWalking 17

    Sanders supporters fighting back anyway they can:

    As the days and weeks go by, it has become increasingly apparent that many Bernie Sanders supporters will simply never, ever endorse or vote for Hillary Clinton. If anything, the coronation of Hillary was so replete with scheming and dirty tricks, more than a few Bernie supporters who may have been open to a Clinton candidacy a few months ago, now consider themselves diehard Bernie or Busters.

    Philadelphia: Cheri Honkala, the leader of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, announced that her group was organizing the world’s largest “fart-in” to be held on July 28 at the Wells Fargo Center during Hillary Clinton’s anticipated acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination.

    “We will be holding a massive bean supper for Bernie Sanders delegates on American Street in my Kensington neighborhood on the afternoon of July 28,” she said. “We are setting up a Clintonville there, modeled on the Hoovervilles of the 1930s where the poor and unemployed built shanty towns. The Sanders delegates, their bellies full of beans, will be able to return to the Wells Fargo Center and greet the rhetorical flatulence of Hillary Clinton with the real thing.”

    Honkala said she would issue an invitation to Sanders to join the bean supper, which she is calling Beans for Hillary. She has asked donors to send cans of beans to 1301-W Porter Street, Philadelphia, Pa., 19148.

    Chris Hedges, an author and activist who is an ordained Presbyterian minister, will open the Beans for Hillary meal with a nondenominational prayer.

    “I am happy to bless a meal that will be put to such effective political use,” Hedges said.

  17. Interesting that we have had 38 Prime Ministers to date. Hope soon the other Treaty partner gets a look in, you know for fairness and those sort of lofty ideals.

    • Richardrawshark 18.1

      and what’s that supposed to mean, Maori have just as much chance of reaching the top as anyone else, join a political party.

      There is nothing in the treaty that says you get to be PM for a term, cus your Maori’s, that really would be racist.

      • marty mars 18.1.1

        So you think we’ve had equal opportunity for both Treaty partners since 1840 – lol

        • Richardrawshark


          Your not very good at this, you make things up and then say people mean that, then make a joke of it.

          Maori have had a shocking deal, but there is nothing in the treaty that says one has to be PM, so what rule specifically regarding the running of the Nation in our treaty do you think has been broken there. in specific.

          Plus you post just a blatantly provocative statement like a trap and sat back and waited for someone to reply to it you could have an argument with so fire away.

          • marty mars

            Why haven’t there been any Māori PM’s then?

            • Richardrawshark

              You know the heredity of all our past PM’s Marty? Because I don’t and it would be a bold claim to make in NZ.

              • Try answering the question – what do you think are the reasons?

                • Richardrawshark

                  White population was larger than the Maori & Polynesian population when I grew up, I would say the political parties refused to allow a maori to lead them as the whites were so damn racist.

                  But that was back then, Now, Winstons in with a chance, Hone leads a party, Tolleysd in there, Bennett claims Maori ancestry, would you not agree, things are not perfect but progress has been made?

                  • weka

                    I think the problem is where you said “Maori have just as much chance of reaching the top as anyone else,”. To me that is incompatible with the reality of racism. Māori haven’t had just as much chance as anyone else, that’s the point.

                    • Richardrawshark

                      I got the mediteranean brown., i’m also Albanian, Albania is near Turkey but you know I see Maori getting respect for being Maori, tell someone your Albanian and you spend the afternoon talking to a customs clerk, oversea’s they follow you around the shops, in Greece they hate us, I got a knife to my throat and a group of young greeks crowded around and without any doubt the answer to the question, are you Albanian? would mean my life or death, lucky for me I look Albanian but have a kiwi accent and a NZ passport i was lucky.

                      So what I am saying is racism is all over, I’ve experienced it, you don’t have to be Maori to be brown nor too feel the sting of racist attitudes.

                      Marty grills me like he thinks i’m some out of touch white man? No?

                    • weka

                      Yes racism is in many places and many situations. That doesn’t change the fact that Māori don’t have as much chance as anyone else though.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Richardrawshark, with a knife held to your throat I suspect you understand what real racism (and real fear) is like. Not comfy abstractions to do with other people not getting six figure salaries often enough.

                    • Richardrawshark

                      “haven’t”, do you think that applies today?

                      Would Maori representation currently be close to proportional? In terms of Parliament representatives? MP’s?

                      -CV, Albanians don’t get 6 figure salaries. They don’t even let you park their cars(Makines). Cough..

                      We often refer in racism to times past as if racism is as strong as it was then, and is still occurring as such, we need to keep current and keep focused on removing barriers. Also based on my regional area, my perception may be skewed, as this is a forestry town and Maori here in the main are doing good.

                    • weka

                      @CV, that’s interesting, I’ll remember that next time you are arguing that Labour don’t have enough Asian MPs.

                      @Richard, complex question, and it depends on what one believes about the treaty. Do I think that there is still institutional racism that disadvantages Māori from positions of power? Yes. Do I think that there are NZers who would actively work and vote against Māori MP becoming leader of a political party where they could become PM if that MP were overtly political and proactive about the treaty? Yes. Do Māori have to deal with personal prejudice regularly? Yes. Things aren’t the same as they were but that doesn’t mean those institutional and personal racists don’t exist.

                  • The whole point of putting the link was to show historically and photographicly the situation – the photos tell the story and that story has continued to the present. The inequality is outrageous and I wanted my post to show that. Oh well, what a pity, nevermind…

                    • Richardrawshark

                      Can’t we do it with less hostility, anger breeds anger, hate breeds hate. sarcasm breeds sarcasm.

                      I fully support your goals Marty, I disagree with your blunt methods, at times.

                      Also IMHO the most effective human rights activists who have made the biggest inroads at removing racial barriers and attitudes did it with the most peaceful actions.

                      lastly in my fist post I did ask

                      “and what’s that supposed to mean, ”

                      it was my first line, first words, you could have just answered me because your reasons were valid and I was missing the point you we’re making.

                    • No one asked you to comment on what I wrote – I’d have preferred if you didnt.

            • Richardrawshark

              Answer my question now.

            • Colonial Viper

              “Why haven’t there been any Māori PM’s then?”

              Coz they fucked Winston over.

              There’s been a Maori Acting PM iirc.

      • mauī 18.1.2

        What’s the Māori prison population like compared to pakeha Richard? What’s the Māori rate of poverty in comparison? What are the Māori health statistics in comparison? If you know the answers to some of those questions, then you’ll know it doesn’t mean they have a higher chance of becoming PM than people of european descent.

        • Richardrawshark

          maybe opportunity.. is a better word, but they have less chance there to, I agree with you Maui, your dead right, the reply to Marty was more about his provocative post than him being wrong completely.

          Plus I didn’t get the part he made it sound like it was a treaty obligation that we elect a Maori PM?

          In so much if we want to tackle inequality we should be focusing on targets that would have greater outcomes for more people than pleasing a single person for a token of equality that in reality would mean little but a simple race achievement.

          • mauī

            It’s an example that shows who still holds the power. A couple of hundred years ago 500 or so chiefs from around the country signed this dude’s document. Since then Māori have barely been represented on local councils and have only had a fraction more representation in Parliament. I think those chiefs/leaders would have hoped for a lot more say on how they could govern their people, the areas they lived in and on the sharing of power with pakeha. But it hasn’t happened,

            • Richardrawshark

              Winston could be the first, Obama in America, times are changing Maui, racism and homophobia are nothing compared to when I grew up, and our offspring won’t even recognize it when they get to our age. I hope.

            • Richardrawshark

              “It’s an example that shows who still holds the power”

              why I failed to see the symbolism of that tonight is beyond me, of course that is true.

              All good.

  18. Chooky 19

    ‘Chancellor Merkel has given up German sovereignty – right-wing party leader’

    “This week, the United Kingdom will vote on whether the nation should leave the European Union – the discussion coming on heels of intensifying displeasure with the way Brussels handles the waves of immigrants and financial troubles besieging Europe. Right-wing parties are on the rise all across the European Union, and even in Germany the support for the AFD – the right-wing Alternative for Germany party – is rapidly growing despite resistance from political establishment. What started as an anti-euro movement is now branded as “anti-immigrant” and “anti-Islam” – but what’s behind these accusations and what’s behind its growing popularity? We ask the leader of the AFD; Dr. Frauke Petry is on Sophie&Co today…

    • Richardrawshark 19.1

      FFS I don’t like the way this is heading, I have Muslim relatives in Brussels and English relatives in the UK, and Muslim Relatives in Italy and of course Albania. Good proper Muslims. Unlike my atheist self.

      Mum just came back, the catch up news has not been good, My sister in the UK has an English husband and child she is returning to raise her son here as things are getting real bad over there.

      Apparently I wouldn’t recognize the North East, Newcastle or Sunderland now, totally different demographic without sounding racist.

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    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    3 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    4 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    4 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    6 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    6 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    6 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    7 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    7 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    1 week ago