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Paula Bennett now believes in education for solo parents

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, June 11th, 2014 - 70 comments
Categories: benefits, budget 2014, labour, national, paula bennett, welfare - Tags:

For the past five years the left has pilloried Paula Bennett for her hypocrisy.  She is something of a poster child for the National Party, someone to persuade the electorate that National is not full of rich white males wanting to increase their control of our society.  What better person to parade than someone who is female, part Maori, and allegedly someone who improved herself through her own efforts.

The claim of hypocrisy is made because Bennett was able to gain a University degree when she was a solo mum, which is fine, but one of the early things she did as Minister was to prevent other solo mums from doing the same after cuts were made to eligibility to the training incentive allowance, a payment which made education for solo parents easier to attain.  The hypocrisy was palpable as was the stupidity of the decision.  Why would you make it harder for solo parents improving themselves and trying to get themselves off the DPB?

This decision has opened her up to continuous attacks for climbing the state provided ladder and then pulling it up after her and then setting fire to it.  It has been part of a theme relied on by Labour to highlight the difference between the parties.

National is moving to dim the difference.  From the Beehive website:

Budget 2014 will make it much easier for sole parents to move off benefit and into full time study announced Steven Joyce, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment and Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Development.

The Government is investing between $18 and $24 million over four years to implement three policy changes that will align the student support system for sole parents with the benefit system.

It is estimated the changes will see around 3,000 more sole parents move into fulltime study over the next four years, adding to the 2,400 currently accessing mainstream student support.

From July 2015, sole parents taking up full-time study will receive at least the same level of accommodation support from the student support system as they do with the benefit system.  Currently they may receive up to $165 less per week.

The change is cynical.  It does not return the situation to what it was when National gained office but they can say now that they are improving things.  No doubt they will say that the country could not afford this policy back then but this did not stop National from giving large tax cuts to the already wealthy at the time.

And suddenly Paula is a champion for solo parents receiving education to better themselves.

It makes sense to invest in education for more sole parents.  We know that a sole parent with no qualifications spends on average around 17 years on a benefit at a cost of $230,000 over their lifetime.  That’s compared to a sole parent with a tertiary qualification spending seven and a half years less on benefit, costing $88,000 less over a lifetime.”

If this is the case then why has Paula actively disrupted efforts by solo parents to better themselves during the past five years.  Could it be that National’s internal polling shows that issues relating to poverty and inequality are becoming critically important and they realise that they are especially vulnerable on these issues?

70 comments on “Paula Bennett now believes in education for solo parents”

  1. Ant 1

    They are pretty cynical. The symbolic “just enough to look good” play seems to be working for them with the electorate, which is kind of sad considering it just glosses over real problems that need attention.

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      “Just enough to look good” only works if their cronies in the MSM write it up that way. Bit like Joyce and his 3 new ICT Grad Schools funded to the tune of $28m … over 4 years … including $11m contingency … so actually about $750,000 for each grad school each year … which hardly pays the rent and power bills … but makes for really cheap headlines to feed the ‘rock star’ narrative that the Tory MSM is so crazy about?

  2. just saying 2

    Tertiary education incurs many extra expenses. Those beneficiaries with good support will be able to make use of this, those who are without the extras, those most hard-up will be far less likely to be able to benefit from the policy.

    Same old, same old.

    • weka 2.1

      I agree, this from Bennett is typical obfuscation

      “It makes sense to invest in education for more sole parents. We know that a sole parent with no qualifications spends on average around 17 years on a benefit at a cost of $230,000 over their lifetime. That’s compared to a sole parent with a tertiary qualification spending seven and a half years less on benefit, costing $88,000 less over a lifetime.”

      That takes no account of the other barriers to education. The problems can only be solved by looking at the whole picture.

    • KJT 2.2

      Take it away, then give a quarter of it back 4 years later, just before the election. National all over.

  3. Awww 3

    She might just mean a change to accommodation supplement(???)
    Right now if you are a single parent on a benefit you get a higher amount of AS than if you were on student allowance.

    However you are still subject to a FT work test on a benefit. Understandably the minions have caused trouble attempting to implement this.

  4. Mary 4

    This speech by Bennett epitomises so much of what she’s about. Jenny Shipley used to perform the same way. Bennett talks as if what the government is doing will make people’s lives better, but what she’s really saying is that government will do nothing and that if people’s lives don’t improve it’s their fault.

    This performance should be compulsory viewing in every politics/sociology/media studies course in the country, even if only to show the ability of one human being to talk so much shit in a limited space of time. It’s hard going getting through all of it but it does make you stronger.

    • ffloyd 4.1

      Couldn’t do it. What a load of bullocks! What’s with the swearing? Who was her audience? Might have misheard but I thought I heard her say ‘invasive’ corrected to ‘innovative’ at one stage. Couldn’t bring myself to go back to check. She has obviously been getting tutoring from key, her “political crush” as she once called him. Lot of verbal garbage about nothing. What was she trying to say? Had to stop listening halfway through.

      • Mary 4.1.1

        It’s hard going, I know, but you’ll be richer for the experience. Think of it as being similar to a anti-nazi activist reading Mein Kampf.

        • Once was Tim 4.1.1.1

          Except that its just hard to warm to feral men or women at times … especially ones that belong to the feral nouveau riche wing of the Natzi parties (growing in number it seems).
          Btw …. I did “sorta” sit through “sorta” three “sorta” quarters of the 1st link, “sorta” skipping through most of the “sorta” repeating herself, and “sorta” repeating the pre-programmed “sorta” mantra, but it just “sorta” became too “sorta painful Eh? ^^^^ ???? squeek!

        • leah 4.1.1.2

          Oh MY GOD.

          • Mary 4.1.1.2.1

            Precisely, and your reaction says that what she does and what it means deserves total deconstruction, critique and attack. It’s easy to dismiss Bennett’s performance as a bit of sick humour, but exposing what her performance stands for is more important than we think. (It’s similar also, I think, to shining truth on to the Key phenomenon – but I digress.)

    • Richard Christie 4.2

      ughh, kinda Ricky Gervais in drag, yeah?

  5. dave 5

    National won’t look at the
    Big picture its to unpleasant for there rose coloured glasses

  6. Molly 6

    Had a unusual knock on the door a few weeks ago, apparently my house had been selected for a survey on – Adult Education. Given that I live rurally – this seemed to be a fairly inefficient method of choosing survey respondents. (I do live in the worst house in a fairly well-heeled area though).

    I asked who the survey was for – NZ government – and it was being conducted to find out what people thought of education on offer for adults. I asked how they were choosing survey respondents, and they said a random selection of every eleven houses, and then a series of questions to get to eligibility. It was completely voluntary – though when I declined I was told that I would receive a $50 koha – and had a very interesting and assertive survey man spend up to ten minutes trying to persuade me to participate. I asked how they would apply this data and conclusions, and they said it would be provided to the government to do with what they will.

    I suggested that a random selection of voluntary (paid) respondents in a high decile area, gives a very flawed view of adult education, and given that the government has access to those very details would prefer that they use their wider stats from their statistical department to help draft policy rather than random questions to people who may never have considered the role of adult education. And given the constant changes that have happened over the past five years to our educational system, I did not want to participate in something that may or may not be used to make it worse.

    I’m guessing those who did participate – indicated a change was necessary. Good on them.

    • bad12 6.1

      Feel free not to answer my little question Molly, but, do you live in a safe National held electorate, safe Labour one, or one that is marginal,

      i am just trying to get an idea of who, i would suggest a private organization being paid from the tax base, are the target of such questions,

      The worry here is this may be a ”novel” means of having the taxpayer cough up the coin to provide the present Government the answers to far more political questions than simply those surrounding adult education,

      What better means of checking out the pulse of the party base,(if the questions are being asked in only National strongholds), than have particular points of past or intended future policy canvassed by other than that which is obviously the political Party,(clever sods if so),

      i cannot really be at all grumpy about the changes intended by Paula, i am pretty sure i heard Her on NationalRadio the other day saying that all that was being done was ensuring that those beneficiaries studying were no worse off financially than those who were not,(the one member of the whanau at present doing so will be chuffed), and of course, ”no worse off” when considered further would make the intricacies of the current Ministers mind as a study in the vein of a comics short guide to madness of interest to those who thrive upon the dissection of such things…

    • Treetop 6.2

      I was staying with a relative when they were selected for the study. I went to the door to check it out to make sure they were not being scammed.

      9,000 participants from NZ are required and it is an international study of 150,000 participants.

      In the area (provincial) I stayed in, every fifth house was selected. When it came to who was eligible there was a gap in the first initial of the christian name and the surname was the same. It had to be the right christian name initial.

      I think the programme used was from Germany.

      A $50 note was given at the end of the survey, I thought that the survey payment would need to be deposited. The survey took over two hours.

      I like your suggestion of who the participants should be.

      • Molly 6.2.1

        Different survey I suspect, this one was from NZ, and the selection criteria went down to a random number that was applied to the adults in the household not the initials of the christian names.

        • Treetop 6.2.1.1

          The questions were on education and employment during the adult years and some general background was asked for e.g. school qualifications.

          • greywarbler 6.2.1.1.1

            And the money. When I was doing surveys of a marketing type, we didn’t offer money. People were asked and one might try to coax them but no money. They weren’t supposed to take longer than say 20 minutes though.

  7. fisiani 7

    As you can see there is a “rolling maul” of good news coming from the government. This rolling maul will continue to spread the good news for the 100 days. The people know that the country is heading in the right direction and the investments in getting people off a lifetime of benefits is plain to see. National is spending money on getting solo mums a decent education and thus a better paid job. Labour is offering cheap cookery classes to the middle class.
    National is building 4 lane highways.
    Labour wants trucks banned from the fast lane.
    90 day chance to prove yourself has been a raging success.
    Labour fought it tooth and nail.
    National are winning hearts and minds and votes across every portfolio.
    Manufactured goods on the rise, terms of trade best in decades, primary produce growing. House price rises slowing. Wages up 3.2%
    This is what the Brighter Future looks like. It will only get better with JK at the helm.

  8. Treetop 8

    I want to see a grah since National became government in 2008 of how many receiving the sole parent benefit are doing tertiary study.

    Will those who take up the study offer be reclassified so the sole parent stats decrease?

    How many sole parents were in teriary education under the last two terms of the Labour government?

  9. xtasy 9

    Hah, I suppose the drive to pressure more sick and disabled into part time work is “saving” WINZ and MSD money, so they can throw back a few morsels to sole parents wishing to study to get better chances to return to work.

    This is just another election year carrot, and by looking closer at it, it does not look that great at all.

    While the media may allow Paula to “window dress” her policies and her own “efforts”, the cold fist of welfare reform is hammering down in other areas. I hear of thousands now being re-assessed, gradually that is, and doctors now finding a high number of them “fit” to do at least 15 or so hours of work a week, persons who were NEVER BEFORE seriously considered to be so for years:

    ‘WORK ABILITY ASSESSMENTS DONE FOR WORK AND INCOME – PARTLY FOLLOWING ACC’s APPROACH: A REVEALING FACT STUDY’

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/16092-work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-%E2%80%93-partly-following-acc%E2%80%99s-approach-a-revealing-fact-study/

    Also essential material to study is found here:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15463-designated-doctors-%e2%80%93-used-by-work-and-income-some-also-used-by-acc/

    Wait until after the election, if the Nats win and get their third term, they will drive all this further, and more ruthlessly as they have done so far. Sadly too few are aware of what is happening, and the silent majority is too busy working and looking after themselves. Beneficiaries have a bad reputation, thanks for many years of bashing and stigmatising, and we can thank the NatACT governments, even the last Labour government, and the oh so “helpful” media for it.

    Stuff you, Paula Bennett, go to fricking hell, where you belong, “my dear”!

    • bad12 9.1

      X, in this life you can only feel stigmatized if you have the slightest belief that the portrayal of those that dish such, for want of a better word, shit out has a shred of veracity…

    • Treetop 9.2

      A bit like leaky homes, when you go to the Supreme Court the smile gets wiped off the Auckland City Council.

      At some point I have minimum two years of litigation against ACC and the DHB and that will be my 15 hours a week, even though I am not being forced to be assessed or trained. I always pulled my weight when I was able to.

      Yes, this is one reason why the government has to change. If using coat tailing does it, then it has to be done.

      • Tracey 9.2.1

        look how long it took til someone could afford to take such a crucial issue to the sc.

        In a proper system such a question as built date vs limitation should be able to be sent straight to the sc, at taxpayers cost for a judicial interpretation.

        • Treetop 9.2.1.1

          And now the fight for the compensation to be paid.

          The best of luck to them.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.2

          The entire justice system needs to be funded by the government because if some one can’t afford to go to court then we don’t have a justice system, we have a system catering to the rich only.

    • greywarbler 9.3

      xtasy
      I had a suspicion that the medical man Mansel Aylward would be the Brit who was driving people with ME to despair over there with a regime based on the idea that one can become habitually idle after recuperating from illness, and then apathetic and all that is needed is some exercise and cognitive work.

      And indeed it is him over here now and he is peddling his psychological approach everywhere. Brits seem to specialise in allowing certain fervent medical believers, where there is room to insert their prejudices, and an opportunity to save money, to take over the discourse on illness.

  10. geoff 10

    2014 – The year of token socialism from the National party.

    No principles, no morality, no brains, just greed and hunger for power.

    • KJT 10.1

      Just goes to prove that the left is winning the idealogical battle. National has to pretend to be more left wing to keep in power. So they can continue the great NZ, asset strip!

      • geoff 10.1.1

        here’s how i see it….(very broadly)
        In the 70’s and 80’s it became unacceptable to be publicly sexist.
        In the 80’s and 90’s it became unacceptable to be publicly racist.
        In the 90’s and 00’s it became unacceptable to be publicly homophobic.

        Now that, publicly, at least everyone is considered equal (i know i know, there’s still a looong way to go) on those terms, now the target of equality is focusing on economic equality.

        I think it all started in the counter-culture of the 1960’s. Powerful stuff.

    • greywarbler 10.2

      geoff (contd)
      And baubles, and status objects, and comfort, and expensive stylish things, and the latest machinery and technology and everything new except where something is desirably old or rare, which is covered by the category of expensive stylish things.

    • Tiger Mountain 10.3

      There can be a fine line between people reinventing themselves, genuine epiphanies and opportunism.

      When that person is a politician however the change in belief is highly likely to be about–vote for me! With tory politicians the opportun-o-meter rapidly hits 100%.

      Pullyer Benefit did not take long to shed her animal skin prints and leave her West Auckland 9 vote majority behind in her rush to grasp a new electorate. This woman seems to detest beneficiaries and gleefully went along with Paula Rebstocks ‘war on the poor’.

  11. greywarbler 11

    Education is amazing. Paula was bound to learn something one day. All you have to do is to be keen to know new things, and conquer (or conk her) understanding of the material.
    Like Manuel – she can learn – to allow others to learn.

  12. Tracey 12

    Mickey

    What is the comparisson between what paula tooketh away and what she now proposes to giveth back?

  13. NZJester 13

    Nationals new plan seams to be to take most of Labors popular policies and put in a half assed versions of them so they can claim in debates that they are already doing something about them and that those Labour policies are no longer of any importance.
    I just hope Labour is able to point out how these policies put in place by National do not go far enough and are likely to be pulled again as part of a deal with coalitions partners if National wins the election.
    They are trying to claim they are moving to the left to attract votes from left of center with these policies while in the back rooms doing secret deals with the far right. You can bet all these left like policies are being offered up to the extreme right as things they will remove again if those coalition partners wish.

  14. Tracey 14

    Was this in the budget? Am assuming it was otherwise where is the money coming from? If it was in the budget the opposition, and media must have known it was coming.

  15. greywarbler 15

    Nick Smith in Nelson has got some more publicity puckering his lips to a toddler he is holding in his arms while his young attractive blonde mother looks on. Helping teenage mothers with further education has suddenly been found to be a Good Thing. (Was running well with good results since 1994 and possibly before that.)

    Inspiring Kiwi: Susan Baragwanath
    For many Kiwi teens, an unplanned pregnancy can signal the end of formal education. Our Air NZ Holidays Inspiring Kiwi this week is a woman who challenged that discrimination head-on, when she established He Huarahi Tamariki, a school in Wellington for young parents. http://www.hht.school.nz/
    Susan Baragwanath’s school opened in 1994, and moved to several different locations including a disused tavern, before finally constructing a purpose-built premises complete with adjacent daycare facility.

    He Huarahi has helped hundreds of parents over the years – mainly women – to gain their secondary school qualifications while simultaneously supporting them as mothers. One such woman is Helen Woolner, who is currently an MA student at Victoria University majoring in chemistry. TV1 item undated.

    At the end of 2004, after 37 years of teaching, Baragwanath retired from He Huarahi Tamariki.Having built a new school complex in 2003, she left an institution with abundant assets, no debt, $50,000 in a scholarship fund, and $100,000 in the bank.And she can say, “My former students, who had been consigned to the rubbish heap, are now in the New Zealand police, social workers, teachers, nurses, electricians, car mechanics, university students, or working in jobs with prospects.

    http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Susan-Baragwanath/6473423

  16. dimebag russell 16

    paula bennet doesn’t give a hoot about lurning to reed. all she wants to do is grandstand while she hands out patronage. this woman is a fraud and she will go in september. It will be very interesting to watch these tory party hacks who make it back into parliament dealing with being in opposition. Bennet for one wont be able to hack it. I’ll lay money on that.

    • greywarbler 16.1

      I think that Poorer Benefit will be back in parliament. She is a quick learner and we have noticed how good she is at a chameleon act. She is now a model of a perfect major National, and may be disassembled so she can be studied and reverse engineered so they can get more like her.

  17. RedBaronCV 17

    Wow Paula at her most underwhelming. The quick read I had in the MSM suggests this policy is coming in in 2016 – so plenty of time to decide that it won’t be done. Secondly, look at the numbers,
    there used to be around 100,000 single parents on a benefit. So we currently have 2% studying (2000) and it is intended to add another (3000) making 95000 who are not going to have the chance of further study.The whole policy is just in the margin of error not a sea change.
    Lipstick on the pig – those polls must be showing a zero female vote.

  18. felix 18

    Hey! Paula was never a bogan beneficiary!

    She’s a well dressed professional North Shore Girl™ and always has been, mkay?

  19. Mr Oh Well 19

    A letter to Paula Bent It, Parata-Fritata and Keys Fees.

    Dear Paula and co, so you stole my Skoda, forgot that you stole it, then for some reason rummaged around in your man bags giving me back my fluffy dice. I bet you can’t even recall why you gave me back my fluffy dice. Except for some latent subconscious nagging in the back of your tiny widigitless mind that maybe, just maybe you did or were part of some evil empire that steals from people, and you kinda feel a teeny weenie bit guilty (only cause its election year). Your kind of an inverse Robin Hood a Paula Hood et al who steals from the poor, then patronizes them by giving less back than what she stole from them in the first place.

    Bugger off Paula et al, I want my Skoda back (ok its only a Skoda but its better off than not owning one), oh and my fluffy dice. Oh, and stop pretending to be my mate. Everyone use to have been entitled (rich, poor, unemployed) to a good low cost, low debt eduction.

    How come they gave you a Free, yes that right folks free Eisenhower Scholarship to the states, why? (Rhetorical question people)

    Amazing, how people forget, we had an education/university system that use to be relatively cheap and easy to access (for all, even the unemployed). People were not in debt. I wonder where oh where is the money all bleeding to and what the effects of high student loans and who benefits by them.

    Its amazing how under Nationals mind control policies student debt and headlines such as the below are the new normal, you would a thunk, that with that over the years, with all these education, social, and government cuts we would be a super efficient society. Yet still we plunge deeper and deeper into the abyss. Huummmmmmm,

    • Student loans face timebomb, says Labour http://m.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-26705164
    • $1tn student debt crisis crushes home-buying dream http://m.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-26893131
    • Total student loan debt sits at more than $13 billion, and is projected to hit $14b by next year. http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/opinion/9809500/Student-loan-plan-likely-to-miss-target

    You know bloody well even after getting there nice new shinny degree, certificate or whatever, the chances of getting a well paid job in the exact area they studied are, well, not very high. Particularly when you have been poorly educated in the first place.

    So why are students, the poor and middle class funding our chums at the top, just how did this happen again, I forgot, I or did I?
    Recent asset sales: $100 million a year more flowing offshore every year (could have went to the education/university sectors) https://www.greens.org.nz/koa-why
    Student loans

    Isn’t it odd, that we were averaging about $20 billion of debt per year between 1933-2008 (see https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/2010-tax-cut/).

    This was through WWII and 16 world recessions and never getting above $30 billion.
    http://www.stocktradingtogo.com/2008/07/18/timeline-of-all-recessions-and-world-crises-since-great-depression/ (17 world recessions)

    Now we are spiking toward $60 Billion with National? (see below for the reasons0
    https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/2010-tax-cut/

    A few reasons why our debt skyrocketed from 2008 onwards…
    1. The Global Financial Crisis, which reduced corporate turnover and export receipts, thereby lowering the company tax take;

    1. Two tax cuts (2009 and 2010) reduced government revenue, thereby necessitatingborrowing more from offshore to make up the difference. In essence, we borrowed from other peoples’ saving to put more money in our (mostly top incomer earners) pockets.
      Using Parliament Library information, the Greens have estimated that this involvedborrowing an extra couple of billion each year.
    2. National could have kept Debt down by investing in job creation. Key’s cycleway project was promised to create 4,500 new jobs – it failed spectacularly.

    Gee National, I wonder what we could have spent that 1 billion dollar yearly tax cut on, education and universities?

    Watch the Documentary: Who Gets The Best Jobs (BBC).

    Bascially, its the top tier families children. Its getting worse in the UK and sure as night will follow day, it will get worse here to.

    Who Gets the Best Jobs – BBC Documentary 2011

    “Britain is a less equal society than at any time since World War One. In Who Gets the Best Jobs, Richard Bilton investigates access to the professions – and finds that the best jobs are being snapped up by an increasingly small gene pool of privileged, well-connected families.

    Getting a good degree matters more than ever – and those from low income families can no longer easily work their way up from the bottom without the qualifications, contacts and social skills that their more fortunate counterparts make full use of.  Show less

    Britain is a less equal society than at any time since World War One. In Who Gets the Best Jobs, Richard Bilton investigates access to the professions – and finds that the best jobs are being snapped up by an increasingly small gene…

    Yeah, go National, you maybe winners in the PR space where as people have stated that you are getting major PR for sweet FA, but really, can you sleep at night?”

    • greywarbler 19.1

      Basically the neo libs have broken the society they started work on, and have no intention to rebuild it for the people who need it. They are just looting the notable artifacts and structures like Natis stealing art works and treasures to take them away and gloat over them. And we know what Natis thought about the ‘ordinary’ people who weren’t considered art works or up to standard.

  20. hellonearthis 20

    Will Nationals next trick be to reduce GST to the level is was before they increased it, after they had said they would increase GST.
    What a cunning plan, to get elected then cut great scheme only to reinstate them when a close election looms.

  21. Mr Oh Well 21

    Oh, the bit about
    Isn’t it odd, that we were averaging about $20 billion of debt per year between 1933-2008 (see https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/2010-tax-cut/).

    The 1933 should read 1993…

    So this statement

    This was through WWII and 16 world recessions and never getting above $30 billion.
    http://www.stocktradingtogo.com/2008/07/18/timeline-of-all-recessions-and-world-crises-since-great-depression/ (17 world recessions)

    Now we are spiking toward $60 Billion with National? (see below for the reasons0
    https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/2010-tax-cut/

    Is complete crap.

    Sorry.

  22. Draco T Bastard 22

    Changing Education Paradigms
    By Sir Ken Robinson

  23. logie97 23

    … was beginning to wonder where the Petulent Bean had got to.
    Currently MP for Waitakere but obviously keen to relocate to Hobsonville.
    Of course she has sorted all the problems of the West out. I remember the
    huge fanfare when she eyeballed some hoonish behaving girls in the
    West City centre, and all her followers thought that was just the ticket.
    “Good on ya Paula,” was the call. “You show them you mean business
    in their own manner. That should learn ’em!”

    Yeah right.

    Westie – who’s a Westie? Not my patch or problem anymore.

  24. NzJackson 24

    Nationals time is up

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    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    3 days ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    3 days ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    3 days ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    3 days ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    3 days ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    4 days ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    4 days ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    4 days ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    4 days ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    4 days ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    4 days ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    4 days ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    4 days ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    4 days ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    5 days ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    5 days ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    5 days ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Swimmable Rivers tour – Ōkahukura/Lucas Creek
    When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Wellington business relief package needs flexibility
    The Government’s Wellington business support package is welcome news but needs to be implemented so that all affected businesses get the help they need, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. “Wellington businesses will be pleased that the Government ...
    6 days ago
  • EQC’s staff cuts show disregard for quake victims
    The Earthquake Commission’s stubborn insistence on slashing its workforce and its operational funding by nearly half shows callous disregard for victims of the Kaikoura earthquake and the thousands of Cantabrians still waiting to resolve claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan ...
    6 days ago
  • Maori Land Court job losses must be delayed
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must request that pending job losses at the Māori Land Court are put on hold until the Māori land reform process is resolved and the risk of losing centuries of collective institutional knowledge is ...
    6 days ago
  • Financial support needed for urgent earthquake strengthening
    The Government must provide urgent support to residents for important earthquake strengthening work so that it happens quickly, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  "I support the call from Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to bring forward work to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour welcomes equal pay
    Labour has long appreciated the value of women’s work and welcomes the Government’s decision to address pay equity for women, say’s Labour’s associate Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Sue Moroney. ...
    1 week ago
  • Surgeons’ letter a damning indictment
    A letter from Waikato Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeons claiming that hospital managers are stopping them from making follow-up checks on patients is a damning indictment of the health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s terrifying that one woman’s elective ...
    1 week ago
  • Out of touch Nats continue state house sell-off
    The Government should be focused on building houses for families to buy and more state houses for families in need, not flogging them off, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National’s state house sell-off does nothing to help people ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce drags feet while Capital businesses suffer
     Wellington businesses affected by the earthquake are continuing to struggle while the Government drags its feet on getting a business assistance package up and running, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  “Steven Joyce needs to front up with an assistance ...
    1 week ago
  • Health and Safety Act fails to reduce work fatalities
    After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • What is the point of education?
    The proposed Education (Update) Bill is the Government’s statement about what the point of education is, and what it means to people. This week we had a day of Select Committee hearings in Auckland on the Bill. It’s a huge ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Earthquake exposes training shortfall
    Kaikoura’s earthquakes have exposed the Government’s under investment in critical building and construction skills training, says Labour’s Building and Construction spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Government needs to urgently ramp up the training of Kiwis in construction and engineering in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More cops needed to get P off our streets
    National’s cuts to Police funding and drug enforcement officers has seen a surge in cheap P on our streets, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s calling the shots? Bye bye surplus
    I would love to know who is calling the shots in the National government’s cabinet when it comes to deciding how best to spend taxpayers’ money.  On the evidence of the last few weeks, it definitely isn’t Finance Minister Bill ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent rethink needed on workplace safety
      An urgent rethink is needed on the Government’s new workplace safety laws with the number of deaths this year already at the same level as at the same time in the 2015 calendar year, says Labour’s Associate Workplace Safety ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rubble and rubbish: spending time in post-quake Kaikōura
    I visited Kaikoura over the weekend – basically to see how the community was coping with all the rubbish and rubble created by last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and to see my brother Rob. I may have mentioned before that ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to pull the plug on state house sell-off
    The collapse of the planned sell-off of state houses in Horowhenua is an opportunity for the Government to call time on its troubled state house sell off policy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury sounds warning bell – but National’s not listening
    Today's long term fiscal outlook issued by The Treasury is a welcome wake-up call on the need to dramatically improve and diversify our economy and properly plan for the future, Grant Robertson, Labour’s Finance Spokesperson says. “Through our Future of Work ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Don’t believe the hype – debt has skyrocketed under National
    The reckless dangling of tax cuts by the National Government is all the more irresponsible when it is put alongside the failure to pay down debt or put money aside for future superannuation costs, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our kids deserve better
    We don’t know how many children are affected by having learning support needs. I do know that far too many children are not getting the support they deserve for conditions like autism, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. When these conditions are not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Talk of tax cuts is plain crazy
      John Key’s talk of tax cuts when the Government has $63 billion of debt, superannuation costs are rising by $1 billion a year and the cost of meeting another natural disaster, is just plain crazy, says Labour Leader Andrew ...
    2 weeks ago