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Parliament votes to give disabled people the right to a good life

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, October 24th, 2019 - 23 comments
Categories: death with dignity, disability, Social issues - Tags: , ,

Only that didn’t happen. Instead, the New Zealand Parliament is going to let the voting public decide next year if we should have the right to kill ourselves if we are terminally ill.

I’m theoretically in favour of right to die legislation and state support for humane methods. There are compelling reasons for empowering individuals to have choice and agency in how they manage personal suffering. But it’s backwards to have such legislation, or even public debate about it, without first looking at how to give disabled people and the elderly the right to live a good life.

There is the clear issue of the risk to vulnerable people being directly or indirectly coerced into dying early. Further, a society that actively ignores the well-being of disabled people as well as their voices in public discourse is a society that has no moral mandate to claim it can protect vulnerable people when the need arises.

The social theory of disability gives us the model that disability doesn’t arise from health conditions or physical/mental impairment, but instead is created by how society organises and structures itself. Impairment is what happens in our bodies and minds, but disability is constructed with external barriers specific to that impairment. Someone who relies on a wheelchair for mobility becomes disabled when they need to access a building that has stairs but no ramp. Society built that disability into the building when it decided what human functions were important. 

As we become aware of this dynamic we then tend to try to remedy it by adding on mitigations. I see this a lot in online discussions about transitioning society from a car culture to a walk/bike/public transport culture. Such discussions are invariably driven by able-bodied people who tack on examples of bikes disabled people can use instead of addressing the poorly designed public space at source. That some disabled people can use certain tech does sweet fuck all for the ones that can’t.

When I look at these spaces I see the full range of abilities that humans have (including the ones invisible to me) and how to design them by centering disabled people rather than trying to add their needs on afterwards.

If you centre disabled people you end  up with a design for everyone. Old school, I first learned this from tramping, as a child, later as a fit young person, and in family groups that included elderly people. You put the slowest person at the head of the line. This doesn’t stop fast people from ranging ahead, it means that the whole group looks after everyone as a matter of course.

If the perspectives of disabled people aren’t centred in the euthanasia debate, then the discussion itself is a failure. An election campaign where disabled people will now have to fight to be heard, because of the barriers put in the way by society, is the social theory of disability writ large. This is badly designed process from a society that doesn’t yet understand that valuing all abilities helps us all. I’m already hearing the voices that will be lost in the cacophony of the election campaign, as well as those that won’t even be in the room.

Given how wealthy and resourced we are as a country,  we’re actually pretty shit at ensuring well-being for disabled people. We knowingly and intentionally leave people with disabilities to live in long term poverty. There’s a woman I follow on twitter who for a long time couldn’t shower at home because she rented and there was no housing available for her with an accessible shower. I see people in Wellington talking about not being able to go out at night because there is no public transport for people in wheelchairs.

We lock autistic people up in closed rooms at schools or in psych units because we won’t look after them properly, either from ignorance or bloody-mindedness. There’s a case in the news this week of elder abuse and neglect in a rest home and the Health and Disability Commissioner being unable to do much about it. The Ministry of Health has been trying to surreptitiously decrease disability support funding. They cut homehelp to elderly people some years ago, under National but I don’t think Labour have reinstated it.

Those examples are off the top of my head, without having to think too hard about it because the stories are legion. It’s politically one of the most difficult issues we face because even on the left, where we are supposed hold the moral high ground on well-being, we are still not getting it.

Rather than pushing on with euthanasia legislation, and rather than resiling from the need to confront how to die well, a step in the right direction would be a national conversation about what well-being is for disabled people, a conversation that centres those people and lets them lead the way.

23 comments on “Parliament votes to give disabled people the right to a good life”

  1. Sabine 1

    you can't have the discussion about one and exclude the other. sorry but that does not work that way. I would also like to consider that not every disability is equal, that some of the abled people today may get diagnosed with a terminal illness tomorrow, that some disabilities allow for a good and ‘productive” ( this is of course in the eye of the beholder) lives that last long, and some disabilities kill you of slowly one loss of a bodily function after another. This needs to be acknowledged. . 

    Death is part of life, and for some the right to organize their death to their desires is part of a good life. 

    I repost this here as it is literally all that in the nutshell of a live lived. 

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/paralympic-champion-marieke-vervoort-ends-life-by-euthanasia/

    But she said at the time that sport had given her a reason to keep living.

     

    “I’m still enjoying every little moment. When the moment comes when I have more bad days than good days, then I have my euthanasia papers, but the time is not there yet,” she told a news conference during the 2016 Paralympic Games………………..

    “It gives a feeling of rest to people,” she said then.

    “If I hadn’t gotten those (euthanasia) papers I think I would already have committed suicide because it’s very hard to live with so much pain and suffering and this unsureness.

    “I know when it’s enough for me, I have those papers.”

    bold added by me.

     

    • weka 1.1

      People with terminal illnesses are part of the group 'disabled people'.

      I'm not excluding anything, I'm saying that to have a discussion about euthanasia there is an ethical imperative to have a discussion about the wellbeing of disabled people first. And to centre disabled people in that (which includes the terminally ill).

      If we start with the right to die legislation before we've even had the conversation about well-being, then it's arse about face and will lead to an increase in harm to disabled people. If we want to take that risk, we should be more honest about it and the trade off.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        Honestly what is it with people and their fear of death. We all have to die at some stage in our life.

        So no, make death part of our lives again, pain, suffering, grief, funeral and all and maybe then we start giving a little bit more care to those that life – all of them not just some.. 

        I put the article there Weka because this women lived what for me is an abstract concept, living in a body that is slowly decaying/dying. Every day, and giving her the right – the legal right – to plan her own death for when it gets too much for her actually gave her an immense boost to her living quality. How can you simply say that this boost of autonomy, of bodily control, of fulfilment of ones own destiny is not helpful in the discussion about well being of disabled/otherabled/terminally ill/healthy people? 

        You can not discuss illness, terminal illness, without death. They go hand in hand and are best mates. 

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          "How can you simply say that this boost of autonomy, of bodily control, of fulfilment of ones own destiny is not helpful in the discussion about well being of disabled/otherabled/terminally ill/healthy people?"

          I haven't said that at all. It's clear that you have failed to understand the post and my own position on euthanasia. Seems like rather than finding out what I meant and then seeing how that fits with your own ideas,  you want to use the post to push your own agenda /shrug.
           

           

          • Sabine 1.1.1.1.1

            wow.

            thanks. I feel well and truly put in my place. Thanks. 

            • weka 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I'm grumpy at having to read comments that are clearly misrepresenting what I am saying. It's fine for you to talk about your ideas about euthanasia here, but you cross a line when you do that by getting my ideas so wrong.

        • katipo 1.1.1.2

          "Honestly what is it with people and their fear of death."

          More like "what is it with people who would rather support medical medical assisted suicide than addressing pain, suffering, death and grief?"  

  2. The right to achieve as good a life as possible doing things in society as we can, and also the right to choose as good a death as possible, deciding on when we feel we can't do more in the world and receiving loving acceptance, release and liberation.    A pairing of ideas which would raise our society to one we could be proud of, instead of just making do.

     

  3. gsays 3

    Thanks weka, thought provoking post. Great to be able to discuss this without having the religious slur bandied about. Not that I have a problem with the spiritual opposition.

    We are clamouring for this 'right' to end our (and others) life, without considering practicing living.

    It is fairly repugnant to push this on to health professionals. Perhaps lawyers would be a more appropriate place for euthanasia to occur.

    A related observation: where I work we have 10 foot double glazed doors. A reasonably regular client in a wheelchair commented that if the access was easier, she and others would visit nor often. I have empathy for this point of view so relayed the message to the boss.

    His reply was that we are compliant and the extra cost of self-opening ddoors wasn't with it.

    So all legal, a bit unsound morally and money is a factor, similar to some situations around euthanasia.

    • McFlock 3.1

      Your observation illustrates the social theory of disability quite nicely.

      But there's also the other factor, where your boss made the call – do you think it was based on prior research, pitting the cost of the door against some basic figures of e.g. the money your regular client brings in, or whether the proportion of mobility-impaired clients roughly matches the prevalence of mobility impairment in the local population?

      Or did his operating assumptions and blindness to the needs of others make him under-estimate the number of clients and potential clients he was turning away because of this barrier?

      It's one of those situations where removing the social problem makes life better for the powerful, as well as the more vulnerable.

  4. Ad 4

    If the most vulnerable in our society (the really poor, the permanently disabled, the really old) came out to say that they were keenly in support of this bill, that would be a strong signal to me. 

  5. Ad 5

    If the weakest, poorest, oldest and the most disabled in NZ all wanted this bill and said so before the referendum, it would give me food for thought on my vote.

    Sure hope the public cope with the 2 referenda and voting on the day.

    • patricia bremner 5.1

      Ad,  do you remember having to declare any infirmities that could catch your employer out?

      When I declared my scoliosis,  one leg shorter than the other and the possibility of post polio syndrome,  my then Principal said,  "I have never met anyone less disabled in my life!!"

      What he failed to realise was my old age could come sooner and I could have side effects.  

      I often wonder if people who have their DNA analysed feel threatened by possibilities,  and it is rather like  opening Pandora's box.

      Those who live "Half glass full" lives as against the "Half empty glass" crowd view Euthanasia through that lens I think .

  6. gsays 6

    Edit Reply to McFlock.
    From where I sit, I would say it is the latter. "Or did his operating assumptions and blindness to the needs of others make him under-estimate the number of clients and potential clients he was turning away because of this barrier?"

    It was one of our customer's points – more of us would come if it were easier. 

    Plus it is easier to say no when you don't have to say yes.

    It speaks to part of the reservation around euthanasia, there are forces or influences at play impacting on one's right to choose.

  7. cleangreen 7

    yesThank you Weka, We are supportive of your stand here.

    Weka said; quote; "If we start with the right to die legislation before we've even had the conversation about well-being, then it's arse about face and will lead to an increase in harm to disabled people."

    Yes 100%.

    I got poisoned on a job site that almost killed me.

    But 28 yrs later at 75 I am still hanging onto life with hope, for a better life.

    But many doctors would have ruled me out by now if I had not taken care of my health and recovery.

    Today I am medically diagnosed as "Disabled" but i choose to hang onto life for my family as they need me here still including my 8yr old grandson.

    I sent a request for some financial assistance for continual treatment of my disability last week.

    The request went to the Disability Minister and am waiting for a reply.

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.1

      "…am waiting for a reply."

      Please, Cleangreen, don't hold your breath.

       

    • A 7.2

      You will be waiting a long time because the correct process is to make an application like everyone else.  Still, it's good to show the minister some of the reality which they seem to disconnect from soon after voted in.

      Sorry to hear you were poisoned…for a moment I thought you were someone I knew who has spent an absolute fortune on treatment to claw back some recovery over a twenty year period.  He is remarkably functional now but it came at a huge price – he was forced to make a decision on whether to pay for treatment or live in housing.  Had he chosen to not be homeless he would be dead for sure.

      Such is our system.

      The fact is many disabled are reluctant to get behind euthanasia because their basic needs aren't being met by the system (and for anyone who is about to shout, "the state doesn't owe you a living!" the system ensures that some cannot get out unless they win the lottery or inherit because of the specific way disabilities are penalised) 

      Yeah, arse backwards is right.

       

  8. …. '' If you centre disabled people you end  up with a design for everyone. Old school, I first learned this from tramping, as a child, later as a fit young person, and in family groups that included elderly people. You put the slowest person at the head of the line. This doesn’t stop fast people from ranging ahead, it means that the whole group looks after everyone as a matter of course '' …

    Good on ya.

    Bush safety 101.

    You never go faster than the slowest person can handle and they are always at the front . In that way the group acts as a unit and reaches their destination safely.

  9. Lucy 9

    As someone who has ended up in a wheelchair at 58 I can tell you not only are cities not set up for mobility impaired they actively discourage participation by us. Doors are not big enough to fit a wheelchair through, in most disabled toilets it is not possible to enter without another person manipulating the chair. Most doors are too heavy to push whilst in a chair, many automatic doors have a cycle too short if you are in a chair or using a walker. There are times when I would consider euthanasia but mainly because the minimums of our legislation ensures that I am excluded from so many human endeavors and left in such levels of pain. I do not believe that pain is an inevitable cost of chronic illness but most of the drugs that could help are not available until I am dying. And I do not believe that a chronic illness means I am no longer of use to society.

    • Rosemary McDonald 9.1

      Thanks Lucy.

      Re access issues.  My man was speaking to a real estate agent the other day who actually got 'it' when he asked how steep the ramp was into this house the agent had listed.  Peter nearly fell out of his wheelchair with shock…so tired if always having to explain that "It's got a ramp!" does not accessible make.🙄😥

  10. cleangreen 10

    yes Thanks folks I just responded to Joe Carolan on TDB as he had a good article on his workers at the Auckland sky-city fire.

    Here’s my story from journey to my disability.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/10/25/fire-in-the-sky-smoke-in-the-city/#comment-479752

    Good subject Joe;

    My story as a Bell Canada Construction site worker during 1992.
    You said it all there, so let me explain.

    “The carpark I arrived into was already heavy with particles and toxins.”

    In 1992 I worked in a building under construction in Toronto called the CBC ‘Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’ opposite the Toronto sky tower and sky dome.

    For six months while working in that CBC building “(without any central air) system working yet” the Construction company “Eastern Construction” said the central air system could not be used as it was because the ‘electronics and the computers’ were not installed.

    So 400 workers faced every day high levels of VOC’s from dangerous two pot epoxy’s and other paints and flooring adhesives and particulates and solvents, at least 40 workers fell sick (me included).

    Since the day my whole systems crashed; including Immune/nervous system/skeletal/muscular and neurological systems had already been damaged to this very day.

    Specialists found the toxins stored in my “adipose tissues” commonly known as fat tissues.

    I had to pay to get a piece of fat taken from my body and sent to a Texas laboratory called “accuchem laboratories” for a GCMS analysis and they found heavy toxins deposited in my body and they found the same in air sample in the building so your workers need a GCMS analysis of their tissues.

    Blood tests are not useful we found and toxicologists there said it was not accurate as the toxins leave the blood systems shortly after exposure where fat/adipose tissue storage is ‘static’ and takes far longer if ever to leave the body.

    After 27yrs later I am still sick medically.

    So please get those workers out now as they are now storing the toxins inside their bodies fat tissues as we speak as we all though we were safe every time we left the CBC building but the damage was already there even though we felt better out of the building the damage was never to leave us healthy again since 1992.

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    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    10 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    12 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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