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Petty politics as usual on poverty

Written By: - Date published: 2:33 pm, December 15th, 2011 - 37 comments
Categories: class war, david shearer, john key, poverty - Tags: ,

The problems of inequality, poverty, and particularly child poverty, finally got some attention during the election campaign. NZ has appalling stats on child poverty, and it is doing real damage to our society. This year 3 News ran a strong focus on the issue, culminating in an excellent documentary on Tuesday night. If you didn’t catch it you can watch it online here. It created quite a stir, especially the headline claim:

More than 100 New Zealand children who died last year would probably have survived had they lived in Japan, Sweden or the Czech Republic, a new documentary shows.

Before the election I asked – will we actually do anything as a result? The number of kids living in poverty was falling (at last) in the later years of the last Labour government, and it is rising again under National. The question is, how much do we care?

National’s position during the campaign was the usual nonsense about perpetuating a “welfare trap”. Pathetic. Welfare levels were at historic lows under the last Labour government. People want to work. There is no welfare trap, there’s a no-jobs trap. And it’s far cheaper to fix poverty than it is to keep paying the costs of doing nothing.

Post election the Nats (in response to the Maori Party) have agreed to set up a ministerial committee on poverty. It remains to be seen if this committee will actually do anything, or whether it’s just a political gimmick (like Key’s supposed interest in the “underclass” in 2008, never seen or heard of since). But the early signs aren’t good:

Key rejects Shearer’s call for cross party poverty group

Labour leader David Shearer’s wish to be included in a “ministerial poverty committee” is unlikely to come true. … “John Key has indicated he is finally prepared to address the issue of poverty and will set up a ministerial committee. I call on him to be brave and open that committee up to all political parties,” Mr Shearer said. …

However, when asked about the idea today, Mr Key did not seem keen. “I’m more than happy for David Shearer to be a part of the ministerial committee if he’s happy to give the Government confidence and supply,” he said.

Shearer has obviously relevant background and skills (as do others in the opposition parties). Key’s response is just petty politics as usual. It suggests to me that the Nats are perfectly “comfortable” with things as they are, and their committee will be nothing more than useless window dressing.

37 comments on “Petty politics as usual on poverty”

  1. dv 1

    Isn’t it pleasing to see the NATS have all the answers.

    • McFlock 1.1

      Unfortunately, the question they keep asking is “what can we do to fuck up the country?”

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        No, the question they ask is: How can we shift even more of the nations wealth to ourselves and our rich mates? They don’t really give a shit if they fuck up the country or not as it has no relevance to them.

  2. Carol 2

    I don’t think Key’s response was “petty politics”. The ministerial committee was a sop to the Maori Party as part of their confidence and supply deal. It seems to me that putting Bill English in charge of the committee indicates that Key and National don’t want to do anything that will really raise income levels (eg like providing more real, decently paid jobs).

    This is confirmed by Key not wanting the committee to be one open to all parties.

    How long before the Maori Party wakes up to the fact they are being played?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      How long before the Maori Party wakes up to the fact they are being played?

      Almost like Snow White, they’ll wake up when their Ministerial warrants expire.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      How long before the Maori Party wakes up to the fact they are being played?

      Probably about the time when people stop voting for them.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Glad to see the cries of “arrogance” and “hubris” in the MSM over Key’s dismissal of Shearer’s offer.

    Gotcha! 😛

  4. In Vino Veritas 4

    yup, David Shearer certainly does have the relevant background and skills. He had a nice house, a fairly hefty tax free USD salary from the UN and got to redistribute food and funds provided by others to the less fortunate in mainly war torn countries (or recently worn torn) like Liberia, Iraq, Rwanda, Lebanon and Afghanistan. They’re similar to NZ I suppose.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      IVV, I thought you supported the idea of people being renumerated adequately for the performance they give on the job.

      Sounds like you’re growing envious mate.

      • In Vino Veritas 4.1.1

        Just clearing up a few facts about David Shearer’s experience CV. On envy, look around some of the posts on this site and you’ll see it’s a recurring theme. I havent heard anyone here bleat that Shearer should have been paying for his taxes when plenty were railing against the NBR rich listers, many of whom are also not resident in NZ.

  5. insider 5

    SHearer can be part of a ministerial committee when he becomes a minister. He has to win an election first.

    Anthony is right it is petty politics – it’s petty to set up unrealistic outcomes and cry when you get the predictable answer. These cross party calls are done in nearly every parliament and get the same negative response from the govt.

    • Ari 5.1

      Poverty is such a broad issue that there’s room for consensus even between Labour and National to some degree. This isn’t like the National Party calling for a seat at the table when Labour’s discussing taxes, for a hypothetical.

      The only reason to deny opposition parties a seat when you could just invite them and then ignore them is that you don’t want to be embarassed in front of the media when you do NOTHING about poverty.

  6. In Vino Veritas 6

    Childrens commissioner, 12% of children living in “poverty” in 1998.

    http://www.occ.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/4923/poverty_report_chap3.pdf

    2005 Herald, 17% of children living in “poverty” based on 2001 figures.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10113242

    2010 Herald 15% of children living in “poverty” based on 2006/07 figures.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10650823

    It would appear that so called “poverty” wasn’t too much of an issue 1998 – 2007 wouldnt you say?

    • r0b 6.1

      It’s difficult to pick the trends out of the different measures, and the difference between when data was collected and when it was reported.  But here’s a summary for you:

      /children-in-poverty/ 

      Oh – and it isn’t “so called” poverty – it’s “children are dying of third world diseases” poverty.

    • McFlock 6.2

      Love it – your argument that poverty wasn’t so much of an issue is based on sources including a media report from the period – so it was, actually, an issue even then.

      And your poverty report link gives trend charts that clearly show an association between poverty and the degree of neoliberalism in the government of the day (with a policy-effect lag).

      Thanks for reminding us that the last time national was at the reigns child poverty hit one in three.

      Meanwhile, children die.

  7. Uturn 7

    So to sum up the argument: Poverty isn’t important to National because it existed when Labour were in power.

    So Shearer wants to make changes that will avoid repeating the past, but change is not allowed because the past doesn’t match with the change being proposed.

    Sweet jesus, where do these thinkers come from?

    However, at least Key – being a man of principle – will apply the same logic to this government: Labour did things in the past, so National cannot do anything different to Labour, because that would be change that is different to the past.

    Phew, we can all rest easy.

    • mik e 7.1

      National will give it a very small bandaid take away funding from one sector hand it out in another rob peter to pay paul. Do little or nothing highlight some very small percentage of bene’s ripping off the system and tell every body to get a job. How many jobs have this party created ZILCH.
      An Alcohol, Gambling, tobacco, fat carbo sugar tax would more than raise enough to wipe out poverty tax combined.this govt doesn’t want to do any thing about it otherwise they wouldn’t have any one to stigmatize!
      Divide and conquer is the only other policy outside borrow and hope

  8. Nick C 8

    The only one playing petty politics is Shearer. The thing that qualifies you to be on a ministerial committee isnt being experienced, having relevent skills or deeply caring about the issue. Shearer could have a PHD in Public Policy having written a thesis about poverty eradication and he wouldnt be qualified to be on the committee. If you dont agree; then please tell me why the opposition shouldnt be represented on every ministerial/cabinet committee? Im sure there are other issues that opposition members care about, and important, and opposition MPs have some relevent skills in.

    Having a mandate from the public, i.e. winning an election is what gives a mandate to make decisions involving government money. Given Labour just got its worst result since the 1920s he can hardly claim such a mandate.

    The good news for Shearer is that being in opposition allows him plenty of oppourtunity to critique government policy on child poverty and propose solutions which the government may choose to adopt.

    • mik e 8.1

      Narcissistic Child its a committee not cabinet

    • McFlock 8.2

      Nice – so shearer would be welcomed onto the committee apart from the fact that it’s a ministers only club. Who decided to make it a ministers only committee? Hint – the people who don’t give a shit about poverty.

      you know, if they let him onto the committee and they found a consensus or compromise position, Labour would have to stick with it when they get into government, too. As it is, all key et al are doing is proving that their “committee” is simply a “Yes, Minister” stalling tactic. Send it to committee for 3 years and explain you haven’t done anything because the committee haven’t reported back yet.

      Meanwhile, children die.

      • Puddleglum 8.2.1

        if they let him onto the committee and they found a consensus or compromise position, Labour would have to stick with it when they get into government, too

        This is my worry with a ‘cross party’ committee and consensus on child poverty.

        It is also my worry about Shearer. I have still not heard anything from him that indicates what political and economic analysis he has that would suggest solutions to such issues as child poverty.

        I fear that because of his lack of such an analysis he could sign up to a ‘consensus’ that will involve policies that will be entirely ineffective because they will largely be based either on ‘market’ initiatives, ‘coordinating agencies’ and other ineffectual efforts that would be amenable to National, ACT and UF.

        Labour, as you say, would then be locked into a compromise, but one that would not just be sub-optimal for children but completely ineffectual. That would not serve those children in poverty well – either now or for some undetermined time into the future.

        The only ‘good’ would be if Labour, the Greens, etc. actually held the line in favour of solutions that would have immediate effectiveness and simply embarrassed National into the ‘poverty’ of its prescriptions. But, in that scenario, once again I fear that Shearer, Labour, Greens, etc. would just come out looking like the barriers to saving the children.

        For me, it keeps coming back to the question of what Shearer (and Labour under Shearer) actually believe about our society, economy and political world and how it operates.

        Fine words are fine, but that’s all. And, it has to be restated that a career in ‘aid’ work does not necessarily mean that Shearer has any sense of a political and economic solution to child poverty. It is only what analysis he may have developed from those experiences that matters.

        To repeat, I still don’t know what that is. Even in broad terms.

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      If you dont agree; then please tell me why the opposition shouldnt be represented on every ministerial/cabinet committee?

      Hey custard for brains

      Because we are talking about this one issue and this one committee, not a sweeping generalisation across all other committees in Parliament.

      Really, when did the right wing get som obnoxiously 2 dimensional, stupid and simplistic? Its like they don’t want to deliver the best result for NZ children, rather they’d just crow about their own position and mandate to rule as they please.

      Yeah, frakin Tories.

      • Nick C 8.3.1

        All class – 2/3 of you go straight for the man not the ball. McFlock did slighly better but loses points for abusing pretty much everyone except me.

        mik e: I never said it was a cabinet committee. It is a ministerial committee. Shearer is niether a cabinet minister nor a minister.

        CV: Got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning did you? Yes Shearer is only asking to be on one committee, but surely you would accept these sorts of things have to be governed by rules, not just ad-hoc decision making based on what is politically expediant. Lets say Key lets Shearer on, and the next day Winston Peters and Russell Norman want to join. Should he let them on too? What if the next day Robertson declares that there is a health crisis in this country and wants to be put on the Health Cabinet Committee, let him on too? Heck why not just make Shearer co-PM and put the whole labour frontbench in cabinet.

        Even if we ignore this the decision can be justified on pragmatic grounds. Westminster government is a fundamentally adverserial political system: We have a government to make decisions and an opposition to hold the government to account and present an alternative vision for people to choose at the election. This fosters competition which leads to better political outcomes. Too much cooperation on policy blurs that clear distinction and possibly leads to a less competitve political environment.

        McFlock: If you can accept that National won the election then I dont see what your problem is. Let’s accept your bizzare characterisation that no one in cabinet cares about child poverty. The answer is still that they just won an election, therefore they get to make policy. Perhaps the New Zealand public also dont care about child poverty? Believe it or not Labour has to win an election before it gets to impliment policy.

        • McFlock 8.3.1.1

          lol.
            
          I’m not arguing that they shouldn’t have the power to be dicks, I’m saying that they shouldn’t choose to be dicks.
              
          If they genuinely believe that poverty is a bad thing, then the first thing they should be doing is looking for all perspectives on how to deal with it. Shearer has extensive experience in this area.
            
          If poverty is a structural, long term problem, then it needs a long term solution, not just the next <3 years. Unless the tories are assuming an eternity of 50.0x% election “wins”, then any long term solution will require the agreement of all parties likely to be in government in the foreseeable future. This would be achieved by engaging with the opposition parties. Which they have refused to do.
            
          Because the nacts are ruling out a long term consensus, they are ruling out a long term solution to a long term problem. This draws into doubt either A) their intelligence or B) their desire to end poverty in New Zealand. A third possibility is A+B

  9. marsman 9

    Having ‘gimme,gimme’ Bill English chairing the committee is a smarmy insult to people living in poverty.  

  10. hoom 10

    The Nats idea of ‘the poverty problem’ that needs to be addressed is that they think there isn’t enough of it around.
    Much like everything else I expect they’ll announce some ‘aspirational’ goals to have huge reductions in poverty but will implement a bunch of policy & funding cuts that does the opposite.

    • mik e 10.1

      from double dip man recession or ripoff of tax payer funding if benes can do without a few dollars shurely The Double dipper can stop wastage in govt spending since Blinglish has enough to convert to dairy we are subsidizing his home town business.

  11. illuminatedtiger 11

    May I just say that I’m *disgusted* that the Prime Minister would play politics over such a serious issue. Disgraceful.

    • mike 11.1

      His kids are just fine. And he got himself a mandate, don’ cha know?

      Besides, he’s set up a business-as-usual committee, I mean a team of powerpoint vituosos, I mean a paper-shuffling committee, a ministerial committee. So those poor people problems or whatever are dealt with just like that. So there’s no need for any investigative news media stories about it anymore. It’s a dead story. Move on. End of. K?

      And Shearer wants in on it? In an attempt to come to some cross party agreement on this ethical and moral issue that should be above politics? With his relevant and proven experience? Cheeky sod. He knows very well that John Key couldn’t say yes without it looking like the opposition party leader came up with a good idea to best fight child poverty, it might confuse his support base if the bloggers at The Standard have to admit that he made a wise and generous move, and also, his potential employers at Goldman Sachs might think he’s gone soft.

      That’s why, when he could have said something like “I’m confident my team are the best to handle it blah blah,” he didn’t. He said, “I’m more than happy for David Shearer to be a part of the ministerial committee if he’s happy to give the Government confidence and supply,” because that’s the kind of arrogant, fuck you comeback that reassures those listening that like to hear it, and are important to John Key, that hell yes playing the game is more important than some poor peoples issue that doesn’t affect rich people.

  12. Roy 12

    Key is a petty person. His reply was that of a smartass.

  13. johnm 13

    Neoliberal ideology says: Do not help the poor underclass for if you do they will breed even more requiring further help endlessly, they must understand the market signal: if you are poorish you should not breed preferably at all! However those that do will supply a very willing pool of desperate cheap labour! Therefore greater profits and productivity, refer Asia where they work their butts off for peanuts just to stay alive! However don’t expect our idealogues ever to say this publically :people would be outraged!

    You voted them in Kiwi suckers! Meanwhile they plunder the public wealth once held in trust for all New Zealanders. The Private sector has gone tits up so get your maulers on the sector that works OUR POWER COMPANIES!

  14. Roy 14

    Poor stupid ugly people shouldn’t breed! – Alan B’Stard.

  15. Dave 15

    Has anyone defined “poverty” here yet?
    I frequently visit countries where
    – There is NO welfare system
    – A great wage is NZ$10 per day
    – Obesity is never a problem
    – Children study at school because it’s a way to move into the real of the rich
    – Having two changes of clothes categorises you as being rich
    We need to get a sense of proportion in this county about what poverty really is and how we deal with it, as opposed to constantly talking about how poor some of our people are. In real terms, there is NO ONE in New Zealand who does not fit into the 5% of world population that control 90% of the world’s wealth!

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    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago