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Poverty Watch 14

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 1st, 2012 - 27 comments
Categories: national, poverty - Tags: ,

Welcome to Poverty watch, a weekly update on the National government’s lack of response to the urgent and growing issue of poverty in NZ. A lot of background issues and links are set out in Poverty Watch one two and three.

On Thursday Bryan Bruce’s excellent Inside Child Poverty documentary was re-run on TV3 (as recommended by the Child Poverty Action Group). This documentary, as you will recall, first screened four days before the last election, and created quite a stir. The National government, immediately after the election, were so embarrassed by the screening that they immediately vowed to address the issues raised and end child poverty in NZ. Ha ha – just kidding. The National government, immediately after the election, were so embarrassed by the screening that they immediately initiated steps to make sure that showing such a programme during an election campaign can’t happen again. All part of their abiding commitment to free speech and democracy. Just ask ECAN. But I digress.

In other poverty related news Sam Kuha ended his 30 day hunger strike for child poverty, and met with Paula Bennett for the view from Planet Key:

Ms Bennett acknowledged times were hard for many Northlanders but told him she could not keep handing out money. Instead she had to try to fix the causes, in particular some young parents’ poor parenting skills.

There and I thought the cause of poverty was not enough money, not enough jobs, and a government that doesn’t give a damn. (Am I grumpy this morning or what?) The same beneficiary bashing attitude underlies the Nats’ legislative agenda.  The Child Poverty Action Group tells it like it is:

Social Security Bill – Poorly researched and ideological

Thursday, 29 November 2012, 3:57 pm
Press Release: Auckland Action Against Poverty

Auckland Action Against Poverty will present their submission on the Social Security Amendment Bill to the Select Committee tomorrow morning at 10.35am, says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Sarah Thompson.

“We will be letting the Committee know that we think this Bill is poorly researched and ideologically driven, and will go down in history as a cynical, invasive, petty, dishonest, illogical, authoritarian and counter-productive piece of welfare recession.

“This Bill will change the aim of state welfare from a safety net to a tool of behaviour coercion.

“Those in need of state assistance are going to be asked to jump through hoops that others are not and control over their lives will be taken away from them.

“Only the noble poor – those deemed morally worthy of our help – will be given help – and they better not make mistakes. … “The welfare system will become an interfering, invasive Nanny State with a big stick – for no gain. Punishment is not the way to change behaviour.

“We will be letting the Select Committee know that what we need is Decent Job Creation, a living wage, recognition that care work is real work, a raise in the benefit payment rate and the full reinstatement of the Training Incentive allowance, not this counterproductive piece of welare recession”.

Want to help the CPAG? Here’s how.

One last snippet. Yet another group of doctors, this time the Paediatric Society, make a call for action:

Poverty and the adverse impact it has on children’s health was among the subjects discussed at the Paediatric Society’s annual conference, which wrapped up in Palmerston North yesterday.

An estimated one in five children in New Zealand live in poverty. A raft of preventable diseases, including rheumatic fever, skin infections and respiratory illnesses are reported at much higher rates in low socio-economic areas. …

Prof Asher urged her colleagues to talk to their local MPs, Ministry of Health staff, service groups, schools and anyone else they could share their knowledge with. She gave numerous statistics comparing New Zealand’s record on child health with other OECD countries, the correlation between poverty and several diseases and between government policy and rates of poverty.

Co-convener and housing spokesperson for CPAG Alan Johnson spoke about New Zealand’s shortage of affordable housing and the economic and government factors that had driven it. Poverty in New Zealand was not because of a scarcity of resources he said, but because of how those resources were distributed. Poverty existed because society allowed it to.

Never fear, the Nats are hard at work redistributing resources. Upwards.

Poverty Watch always ends with the following list, the National government’s response to rising poverty in NZ:

• National has not yet set any target for reducing poverty
• ?

27 comments on “Poverty Watch 14”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    Has someone pointed out to Bennett that one reason for poverty is right under her nose – that is Work and Income failing to assess clients and provide them with their full and complete entitlement under the Social Securities Act?

    Sounds like this is a strong contributing factor in poverty, particularly in Sam’s case. Why was he missing out on the $100 extra each week that he was recently found to be entitled to receive? How long had this been going on and how many thousands of dollars did it amount to?

    Most importantly how many others who live in “poverty” are in the same situation and being short changed by the government?

    • Mary 1.1

      Yes, people are underpaid as a matter of course. But this doesn’t mean that if people did in fact receive their full entitlement that we can say everything would be fixed because if that were the case then the logical conclusion would be that basic benefits are adequate and that’s simply wrong. It’s a bit more complex than that. Basic benefit rates haven’t increased in real terms since the cuts in 1991, and the shift towards a greater reliance on the add-on extra benefits just to get by have changed the landscape considerably. People missing out on what they’re entitled to is one problem, but the adequacy of basic benefit rates including the way the benefit system in general is now structured is a separate issue.

  2. prism 2

    Report on conversation of Sam Kuha with Poorer Benefit. (Incidentally he exemplifies the fighting spirit that took the Maori Battalion to war, demanding recognition of worth as people with rights that should be respected.)

    Regarding his being refused a food grant, she told him policies were not always carried out on the ground as written.

    This is actually true and has been long observed and noted in social policy studies. Therefore the desire to deliver what has been agreed by government should lead immediately to an advocate who can be appealed to SEPARATE from Winz. It shouldn’t be just shrugged off apologetically or not, by the Minister. She has admitted the truth, that she can’t ensure that departmental management will ensure that people are treated fairly and correctly.

    If not remedied by NACTs I am sure that Labour will act immediately when in power to fill this gap in their own past adminstration.

  3. David H 3

    And then there was this little gem that was quickly hidden.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8021687/Child-abuse-funds-blown-on-hype

    “Paula Bennett’s action plan to rescue vulnerable children has been dismissed as “an exercise in window dressing” with almost $400,000 spent on consultants. ”

    Could this be the final screw up that she allowed to get away with? And then you can tell her to ‘Zip’
    it!

    But then again

    • xtasy 3.1

      Monies spent for the “window dressing” exercise – under the Minister of “bursting zips” (I wonder how many of her dresses have “burst” at the seams, given the evident results of her generous nutrition):

      “WHO GOT WHAT?

      Sandra Alofivae: South Auckland barrister – $30,000 for “meeting facilitation” over five months

      Norm Hewitt: $20,000 for “meeting facilitation” over five months

      Powerhouse people: recruitment consultants – $57,533 for policy analysis, submissions support and “action plan” advice

      Audio Transcription and Secretarial Services: transcription – $420

      Barnardos: “facilitation” – $10,000 over four months

      Careering Options: Recruitment agency – $52,074 for “project management” between November and April

      Cognizant Technology Solutions: Database support – $1980

      David Balham: Communications adviser – $9500 for an “engagement strategy”

      JacksonStone and Partners: Recruitment consultants – $159,870 for an “engagement manager”

      Kylie van Delden: Policy adviser – $7913 over two months

      Lee-Anne Duncan: Freelance copywriter – $16,905 over two months

      Saatchi & Saatchi: Advertising firm – $8775 over one month.”

      …As quoted from the relevant stuff.co article – from today, as I suppose!

      Now, who of those recipients may perhaps also be some good old “friend(s)” of hers or her colleagues ???

    • prism 3.2

      David H
      “$400,000 spent on consultants”. I don’t want to hear that. Too much information. It’s depressing and no wonder that so many NZs are topping themselves. I was looking at a 2005 Listener and then the suicides, or was it the murders, (all the same to the dead) exceeded the deaths from car accidents.

      This double book-keeping of neo lib economists has got us nearly blindfolded. Salaries and staff must be kept to a budget but there is a honey jar that can be dipped into for these bloody consultants. I know they offer special abilities and experience but are being used to replace workers on normal pay packets, and it justs has an effect to skew and screw the effective running of government and adjunct agencies.

  4. Mary 4

    It was found that Sam Kuha had been missing out on about $100 a week. I just hope that Bennett and her mob made sure he was paid the arrears that were owed to him.

    There are countless people on benefits who are routinely underpaid, and this is on top of an inadequate basic benefit to start with. Heaven help us if this is how we treat our most vulnerable.

    • xtasy 4.1

      There are endless such cases, where clients do not get paid what they are actually entitled to. Bennett’s comment that policies were not always carried out on the ground as written is a ridiculous comment for her to make.

      As a matter of fact MSD and WINZ do not mind that this happens, indeed they even expect that their front-line staff apply criteria in a way, so that costs are saved. They used to reward case managers with bonuses when they made decisions that saved WINZ costs. I am unsure whether that is still the case, but it was years ago applied in such a manner.

      Bennett would know full well that this kind of stuff happens, just unfortunately WINZ got caught out, because Sam Kuha is a principled and determined person, so he took the actions that we all know now.

      That exposed what hard line staff at WINZ apply, and this is just one example.

      Sam’s belief that this has been “fixed now” means nothing much, as that maybe what he was told, but I bet you, that all will carry on as usual.

      A few years back I met a man who suffered a brain trauma during and after a hit and run accident, where he was knocked off his bike. He was in hospital and rehab for months, with multiple fractures.

      After he was allowed back home, with only little improvement to regain his memory and brain functions, I learned that he was only paid the base benefit rate as an invalid. When I phoned the case manager to raise this, given he had housing-, disability-related and other costs, they guy rudely just said, “well, he did not apply for that”.

      We learned recently, where a dismissed worker was told over the phone by WINZ staff, that she had to first use up her redundancy pay, before she would qualify for a benefit. That was wrong, but she found out later.

      If all beneficiaries would claim and get what they deserve, then this would increase costs, and the government will turn around and find ways to “recover” them, possibly by cutting some entitlements for all beneficiaries.

      When any person applies for a benefit, they should inform themselves well, by seeing an advocate or at least looking up info via the internet or so. Then ask as many questions as possible, to cover everything that may be worth claiming for. Staff will generally only answer to questions asked, and if they are not asked about an entitlement, they will usually not happily and willingly tell you.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 4.2

      Absolutely, and I agree with Xtasy as that has been my experience and many other people I know of.

      We need a blogger/advocate to check with Sam that arrears have been paid. This fungus needs some sun.

  5. xtasy 5

    AAAP and some others delivered very good submissions to the Social Services Committee that heard submitters yesterday in Auckland.

    It was so noticeable, how the National MPs present were always trying to ask questions that were nothing but attempts to “compromise” statements made by submitters.

    What I found SHOCKING was that there was virtually NO MEDIA present. Also reading stories in the media, there is NO mention of the select committee hearings on the proposed, very radical and draconian welfare reforms, so as to imply, there is nothing of relevance to report on.

    So all this goes unreported, and it proves yet again, “poverty” is not “news-worthy”, unless it involves abuse by parents, crime, perverse sexual behaviour and the likes.

    I am totally appalled by this.

    For your information, the MPs present were: Sam Loto Iiga as chairperson, Melissa Lee, Jackie Blue Alfred Ngaro and Mike Sabin for National, Jacinda Ardern, Su’a William Sio, Rajen Prasad for Labour, Jan Logie for the Greens and Asenati Lole Taylor for NZ First.

    But we can all guess, they will all have made their minds up already and vote accordingly on the Social Security (Benefit Category and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, putting probably most into the law in unchanged wording.

    What a bloody disaster. So where is David Shearer on this, being the author of the “sickness beneficiary roofpainter” fairytale?

    • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1

      Yes, where is Shearer? For that matter what is his position on all of this?

      It would seem to me that anybody interested in addressing poverty in this country should first check the availability and acessability of benefits for all those in need of welfare including low income earners making any modification or current shortcomings of the SSA of paramount importance.

      • xtasy 5.1.1

        At least Jacinda has heard the soundings and wrote this:

        http://www.labour.org.nz/news/welfare-reforms-given-big-thumbs-down

        So I hope, I so DESPERATELY hope, that she sticks to the gun, stands up and takes Bennett to the cleaners, when the next 2nd reading will be in Parliament.

        Indeed I expect her to make more use of the media and hammer Bennett, Key and consorts, for the full and broad attack on the poorest and weakest in society.

        Or is it that the “media office” at Labour may not allow her to fire all available ammunition?

        I tend to have that sickish feeling down in my tummy.

        Jacinda, wake up, take a stand, show some principles and do not care about who is “leader” of Labour. Do your job, the more of this, the better. It can only be a start!

        • karol 5.1.1.1

          Agreed xtasy.  This should have been a major news item.  Instead we get….. Tamihere, Hobbits, Rugby….

          I saw the AAAP submission yesterday, and that they had fronted to hearing/panel.  They are doing a great job. 

      • Mary 5.1.2

        I was quite taken with Shearer’s speech at the time but now the dust has settled I realised I was swept away with what looked at that time to be Labour rediscovering its roots. What a fool I was – I’m hugely embarrassed about being so susceptible to something so weak and superficial. Shearer is and has always been and always will be no friend of the poor. For that reason, how ever nice a chap he may be, he needs to go.

  6. lefty 6

    CPAG (Child Poverty Action Group) and AAAP (Auckland Action Against Poverty) are different organisations. This post makes it appear they are the same.

    The submissions referred to were from AAAP.

    They are both very good organisations with one focusing on poverty through the lenses of Child Poverty and the other more of an activist group dealing with broader poverty issues

    Both are valiantly trying to provide a voice for the voiceless i.e. the one third of eligible voters who don’t bother turning up at the polls because they know the mainstream political parties and media don’t give a stuff about them and their children.

  7. xtasy 7

    On a submision criticising also the proposed stop of benefit benefit payments for persons against whom a warrant for arrest was issued, Mike Sabin asked a question along the lines like: What if your home was burgled, and the responsible persons being at large are still being able to draw the benefit, would you not find this unfair.

    The submitter stated that the whole process that is proposed is illegal, as MSD is not a law enforcement agency, as there were serious legal issues involved, and finally said: A person must be innocent until proved guilty.

    That though is not what the bill proposes. It treats clients and persons who may face a warrant as being guilty for the fact a warrant has been issued, even if that may be under wrong information, due to admin mistakes or whatever. Most warrants would likely be for failure to keep up with fine payments, or other minor obligations not being met. So why have WINZ become part of the police?

    The intention is clear, and Northland MP for National, Mike Sabin, as a former cop, will certainly have his “staunch” biased views on all this. There was much silence from other Nat MPs on other aspects the submitter raised. They rather appeared “gob smacked” by the information and competent knowledge the person presented, as one who had been affected by failures, mistakes and bias by WINZ staff and a commissioned designated doctor that was involved.

    • karol 7.1

      Thanks for the reports of the submissions, xtasy. A good answer on not being a law enforcement agency, innocent til proven guilty, etc.

      This:

      What if your home was burgled, and the responsible persons being at large are still being able to draw the benefit, would you not find this unfair.

      So shows he/they are first thinking of him/themselves.  They should be thinking more about the lives of those struggling on low incomes. But it seems it’s just all about those already comfortably off, trying to gate themselves away from the struggling poor.

  8. lefty 8

    Put bluntly what Sabin seems to be saying is if a person is accused of burglary they should have the means of support for themselves and their family removed and pushed out onto the streets to starve.

    Not a nice man.

    • xtasy 8.1

      If you follow that member’s track record in question time, and particularly the ones he asked to “the Minister” (Bennett), then you get a crystal clear picture of what that copper is about!

    • AsleepWhileWalking 8.2

      The key word there is “accused”. If the legislation passes beneficiaries are the only group of people who have their income stopped as soon as an arrest warrant is issued, despite not being found guilty of any crime.

      There are a number of white collar criminals I’d be far more concerned with if I were in the business of writing legislation.

      This legislation is really a slight variation of the benefit cheats being punished more severely than tax avoidance.

  9. xtasy 9

    Now I intruduce you to another “poverty loving” man, who happens to be my MP, damn it, but well, there were idiots enough to vote for him:

    http://www.nationalmps.co.nz/NationalCaucus/NationalMPs/PesetaSamLotuIiga/tabid/143/Default.aspx

    Auckland Grammar, Auckland Uni and Commerce and Law, then a truly “public service career”, and most notably, “later” he moved to “England” and started a career at guess where: “Bankers Trust as a financial analyst”! He also moved to Sydney to work for Macquarie Bank”. Hey dudes, is this not a fitting and similar resume to Hone Key?

    He chairs the Social Services Committee, and I wonder what qualifies the man for that job!

    Are people so dumb and ignorant not to get the message? Well, given the shit msm media we have, most would have NO clue about all this, aye!?

    Fuck what am I doing here, I could be earning mega bucks with my insight and knowledge, could I not?

  10. karol 10

    AAAP really do have their s*it together.  An excellent bit of positive action coming up outside Onehunga WINZ office from Dec 10-12.

     Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) is running what is known as an “impact” outside the office from December 10 to 12.

    Spokeswoman Sarah Thompson says experienced advocates from around the northern region will set up trestle tables and chairs and assess the needs and current assistance being given to local beneficiaries and low-paid workers.

    AAAP expects to find many who are not receiving additional support that beneficiaries are often not informed of, she says. …

    On December 11, a political rally will be held at lunchtime featuring speakers from Labour, the Greens and the Mana Party.

    • prism 10.1

      karol
      Smarts from non government experienced people checking on the poorhouse government approach.

  11. I feel like vomiting, counting down the days till I get to leave to the airport. I dislike John Key more than Ronald Reagan or even George W. Bush, his welfare policies are pure evil.

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    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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

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