Poverty Watch 23

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, March 16th, 2013 - 31 comments
Categories: national, poverty - Tags:

Just a brief Poverty Watch today, before we start on the report from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner next week.

It’s very (very!) encouraging to see the number of perceptive, committed, compassionate young people that we have in NZ. The Net and other technology have given them tools to organise, and get their voices heard, that previous generations never had. And they’re making use of the opportunities! One inspiring organisation is Generation Zero, which has an environmental focus. Another is the P3 Foundation, which addresses poverty:

P3 Foundation is a youth-led, New Zealand based charity that inspires and empowers young people to eradicate extreme poverty in the Asia-Pacific.

Our organisation is made up of 130 young, passionate and committed volunteers who are driven by a collective desire to see the end of poverty within this generation. …

Why Are We Doing This?

1.4 billion people throughout the world are currently living in extreme poverty.

This means that they have less than NZD 2.25 per day to cover all essential living costs.

Those who live in these conditions do not have access to the most basic of needs: health care, clean water, food, peace, education – and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. At P3 we believe that this is unacceptable and that as a society, we are morally obligated to take a stand and do something to change this.

We also believe that it is in the best interests of each and every one of us to promote economic and social developments so that together, we can create a better world for everyone who is a part of it. After all, every person deserves the chance the follow their dreams.

P3 are thinking outside NZ, and thinking big! If only we had governments that were up to challenge. Check out the P3 web site for a list of projects, and information about volunteering. Thank you P3.


Here’s the standard footnote. Poverty (and inequality) were falling (albeit too slowly) under the last Labour government.   Now they are on the rise again, in fact a Waikato University professor says that poverty is our biggest growth industry.

Before the last election Labour called for a cross party working group on poverty. Key turned the offer down.  Report after report after report has condemned the rate of poverty in this country, and called on the government to act. Meanwhile 40,000 kids are fed by charities and up to 80,000 are going to school hungry. National has responded with complete denial of the issues, saying that the government is already doing enough to help families feed their kids. Organisations working with the poor say that Key is in poverty ‘la la land’.

The Nats refuse to even measure the problem (though they certainly believe in measurement and goals when it suits them to bash beneficiaries). In a 2012 summary of the government’s targets and goals John Armstrong wrote: “Glaringly absent is a target for reducing child poverty”…

The costs of child poverty are in the range of $6-8 Billion per year, but the Nats refuse to spend the $2 Billion that would be needed to really make a difference. Even in purely economic terms National’s attitude makes no sense.

31 comments on “Poverty Watch 23”

  1. rosy 1

    Interesting about the international focus of P3 (albeit a focus on our neighbours). Their focus doesn’t fit with the stereotypical preferences for individual concerns of the atomised young adults of today.

    Research in the UK shows this individual, disconnected outlook is exemplified in a lack of regard for the welfare state (despite high unemployment among this group), the NHS and social cohesion generally.

    Another view was put forward that young people have a “new cosmopolitanism”. A spokesperson for the Adam Smith Organisation argued that the lack of respect for national institutions and social cohesion was an effect of a more cosmopolitan outlook, rather than individualistic behaviour:

    One man who might be said to epitomise Britain’s individualistic new generation is Sam Bowman, the 24-year-old research director of the free-market Adam Smith Institute, who sees the shift as one caused by a new cosmopolitanism, brought on by the internet. “People our age are much more cosmopolitan,” he says. “A 23- or 24-year-old Londoner is more likely to be concerned about Mumbai than Newcastle – we’re much less interested in national boundaries: the internet lets you speak to people who you share interests with, wherever they live. Geographical unity is fine, but I think most people prefer the unity and friendship that comes from shared interests. We get to do that now.”

    Bowman theorises this “cosmopolitan outreach” could serve as a replacement for an emotional connection to the state. Borrowing a phrase from the economist Daniel Klein, he says: “The NHS has been described as ‘the People’s Romance’: virtuous not because it’s the best, but because we’re all involved – it’s unifying. In another generation, that role might have belonged to the army. It makes sense in this modern world that people are becoming less interested in these national institutions.”

    I’ve thought for a long time that there were a lot of intelligent, committed young people out there. It seems P3 might be an example of a trend for a wider outlook than the traditional leftist concerns about poverty and the need and social institutions. At a guess this lack of concern for disadvantaged social groups at home, with whom the educated middle classes have virtually no connection, is transferred to the more exotic poverty and injustices elsewhere. How these concerns can be harnessed in terms of national, as well as international concerns might be more important for the left than hand-wringing about a so-called selfish generation.

    It’s clear that the business and middle classes have more in common with similar groups across borders than with the working classes in their own countries, but maybe this sort of initiative shows that young people are concerned about the problems of inequality. They just might not see it in their own backyard.

    • Rogue Trooper 1.1

      Generation Zero. Yes! represented in our local Environment Center portfolio
      this international focus on poverty by the young? diversion and distraction based in self-interested feel-good idealism. (p*ssing in the wind comes to mind; what real effect does middle-class disadvantage tourism really have on global trends).

      THINK GLOBAL, yet, ACT LOCAL

      • locus 1.1.1

        I think labelling an age group allows us and them thinking. Having said that, if young people in wealthy nations are not sympathetic to the plight of poor at home because they compare with the disadvantages of poor in less developed places, what can we do to get them to realise that judging one lot as more deserving ignores the fundamental cause of poverty everywhere.

    • xtasy 1.2

      rosy – I share your concerns, and I read the same article in the Guardian, about the “self generation”. Yes, it is scary what is happening, and it is happening all over the western, developed world, where the younger generations have fallen for the divide and rule, the individualistic approach, for self fulfilment before collective thinking, rather wanting to live out narcissistic dreams or aspirations than seriously see the bigger picture that they and we all belong to.

      I have observed this for years now, and it is very evident here in NZ, same as in other countries. There is a lack of interest in matters affecting society as a whole, there is too much selective thinking, division, me first thinking and the likes. Indeed, there is a lack of social skills and understanding.

      This I believe is the result of the neo liberal, capitalist approach that so many governments adopted since the mid to late 1980s, the privatisation agenda, the marginalisation of social groups not coping with competitive lifestyles and thinking. It is the divide and rule that has also taken a hold in the media, which under private enterprise took over a large share of the whole media since the late 1980s.

      Most young people know nothing else, they have sucked it up like with their mother’s milk.

      So capitalism has penetrated their brains, rules their world views, and libertarian ideas, ultimately to promote self promotion, self aggrandisement, self fulfilment, before anything else, that is what is now the mindset of the “normal” or majority young generation.

      So this P3 foundation agenda seems a bit out of the ordinary and odd to me. If that is what the supporters do, then it is good of course, but I ask, how many of the young people are behind this? Are they not rather on the margin of society? I would hope not, but I fear they are.

      It smells too much of this exoticism that also some older lefties adhered to, believing it would be easy to change the world by starting overseas, in poor, under developed countries. But to be genuine, one should never forget home for a start, yes perhaps start to learn and apply ideas AT HOME. That though is not happening, and we get heaps of “blame games” instead.

      • rosy 1.2.1

        “Most young people know nothing else, they have sucked it up like with their mother’s milk.”

        Yes xtasy, Thatcher’s/Roger’s children for sure. I think some cannot understand how life can grind people down in a country like Britain or New Zealand – an attitude of ‘the disadvantaged have heaps of help and it’s their fault if they can’t use it.’ It’s partly, I think the very fact that the young and privileged haven’t yet seen what the school of hard knocks can do to a person, especially if that school starts before the disadvantaged kids are even born.

        Maybe with overseas disadvantage they can see the lack of government and charitable intervention in the lives of the poor and disadvantaged so it makes more sense to the privileged young. It’s not that they are unconcerned, it’s that we need to know how that concern can be harnessed for the good of the disadvantaged locally. I think the Greens get a lot of kids because that concern can be harnessed for environmental causes rather than people causes.

        “what real effect does middle-class disadvantage tourism really have on global trends”

        Agree with this too, RT – I have huge problems with mass tourism in the 3rd world where the backpackers want an ‘authentic’ experience of gritty poverty – how colourful – when really they’re just exploiting the poor for the profit of others before going back to their own privileged lives. Of course I realise there are some genuine people out there that go and do their best to improve the lot of others, but they’re a tiny proportion of these tourists, imo.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    And now more poor people become homeless due to greed.

    In December, he and business partner Ryan Weir set up the business which advertises properties with a price indication, then invites tenants to make a tender for the rent amount.

    The property goes to the highest bidder who is also considered the best-quality tenant.

    “Especially younger professionals in a flatting situation, they’re quite happy in most cases to pay an extra $50 each a week – it adds up to an extra $200 for a property.”

    Comes back to the government having to build more state houses and residences I suppose. Enough to bring rentals prices back to realistic levels.

    • locus 2.1

      Vienna’s has a long-standing system of state rent control, which still allows private investors to earn a 5% return – not bad considering the bank interest rate is around 2%. In fact 60% of rental properties are privately owned.

      The rental control rules enable more than 80% of Viennese to live in affordable well-mintained well-insulated rental properties. Moreover children are entitled to inherit rental leases from their parents.

      • locus 2.1.1

        Vienna…. not Vienna’s

        why do you spot typos only after posting….

        • Anne 2.1.1.1

          Because once you’ve typed up the comment you want it out of the way so you hit submit forgetting there is currently no edit function. Then you discover the typos, spelling mistakes and think of much better ways to put something but you can’t do a damm thing about it. Life is so hard. 🙁

      • karol 2.1.2

        That sounds like a great policy and outcome.

        • xtasy 2.1.2.1

          This is NORMAL in Austria and Germany by the way!

          I still cannot get it, why there are no caps applied in NZ on rental increases per year. OK, they have the 60 day notice period for rent increases and the 3 month period for not allowing another rent increase after one earlier one, but there is NO cap on how much rents can be increased.

          The same applies to property developments, and we have “land bankers” here, that intentionally sit on sections and will not sell them, until “the market” gives them prime gains to be made, tax free that is.

          How disgusting the situation is in NZ, but does any damned ordinary tenant, resident and voter ever bother to bloody care and change this? We even have Phil Twyford wanting to force another million of residents into the Auckland city area, to justify some policies that Len Brown wants to implement. This is totally insane, and in Europe they would have a REVOLT at hands with such agendas.

      • prism 2.1.3

        locus
        Vienna’s sedate housing system wouldn’t do us impatient aggressive NZs. See prospect and milk it is our slogan. Sell it, make a pile, buy a BMW or a garden shed on wheels. Have ostentatious capital expenditures. Complain at having to pay higher tax on over $100,000. All de rigueur for at least some of us.

        I heard a great little item on the Italian Swiss family that makes violins from old spruce trees in some mountains there. Some trees in the area are 1000 years old. We would be wanting to clearfell them. They grow slowly so the wood is strong and the grain fine.

    • millsy 2.2

      I have always maintained that it is rents we should be up in arms about, not the cost of milk.

      All this tender system is doing is crowding those on low incomes out of the rental market, and into campgrounds and boarding houses. Hardly safe places to be for single people, let alone those with children.

      We are crying out for a state housing building program. Seems to me to be the cleanest way to allievate the housing shortage and make housing affordable.

      Speaking of housing afforablilty, I am waiting for the government to explain how it is going to force land owners to build houses for sale on the bountiful rural land that surrounds our urban areas (or force them to sell to someone who will).

      • Rogue Trooper 2.2.1

        according to Dick Quax on the Auckland Unitary Plan-“going to run out of consented land to build on by May or June and the NIMBYs are gonna resist densification (being dense themselves i ‘spose)

      • locus 2.2.2

        depends how many influential nat voters will make a killing if the rural land is rezoned versus how many people care about the unplanned sprawl of cities. Much wiser but much harder to come up with careful and detailed planning for doubling density within existing city boundaries.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.3

      You bet me to it. Just spotted this in the Nerald and found it pretty horrifying.

      Housing is no longer a right (probably hasn’t been since 1994 here in NZ), it’s something to reward the highest bidder.

      What else isn’t a right? Water? Decent food?

      • karol 2.3.1

        It’s pretty appalling. How is it some people are so attached to the “market will decide” dogma, that they fail to see the callous inhumanity of such practices as renting accommodation to the highest bidders – especially at a time of a shortage of affordable accommodation?

        • locus 2.3.1.1

          a short walk down the road to barbarism. Let access to scarce essential resources be contested and the richest or most powerful people will be the winners and the weakest and poorest will be hungry and living in shanties or ghettos. The mythical Market won’t come to the rescue because the poor haven’t the resources to fund housing projects and the rich will actively seek to prevent housing for poor being built at state expense either on selfish ideological grounds or because it might depress profits from their rental properties.

  3. redbaiterbaiter 3

    Here’s a relevant piece of news:

    http://www.otago.ac.nz/wellington/news/otago043362.html

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/130590/food-cutbacks-to-pay-for-power-appal-greens

    A study by the University of Otago, Wellington just published in the New Zealand Medical Journal finds that households with children that use prepayment meters to pay for electricity experience greater levels of economic hardship.

  4. Mary 4

    “Those who live in these conditions do not have access to the most basic of needs:”

    Access to needs? I thought it was more about meeting needs, not having access to them. Who wants access to needs?

  5. xtasy 5

    Poverty is bad, but it does never mean poverty in spirit, strenght and intelligence and more, so we must wake up and acknowledge that others in other countries are also doing all to improve and succeed, but the competitive idiocy must be contained not to be market driven (only):

    Much is happening world wide, and Key went to one of the most exciting and interesting parts on the planet, but he never go the message. Others do. Enjoy just this one clip.

  6. Really happy to see P3 get mentioned on the Standard – I’ve been a regular reader for years, and it’s great to see P3’s name come up. I was a founding member and am now a trustee.

    In reply to some of the comments, I would like to stress that we are very concerned not to fall into poverty tourism or ego stroking. It’s not about us. While we do tell our volunteers’ stories in some marketing, we do our best to ensure that our overseas development partners benefit from our fundraising and/or volunteers’ presence. I learned a huge amount through the youth organisations that I volunteered for in my teens and early 20s, and still learn much through P3 – but that’s only a side benefit. In interviewing potential volunteers, I want to see genuine passion and compassion, not self interest.

    I couldn’t possibly summarise our development policies here, but when we select overseas development partners one of the key factors for us is the level of ownership that the people on the ground have over the project. We aren’t interested in imposing external solutions. In short, we constantly test and revise our development philosophy and policy.

    On international versus New Zealand poverty: When we founded P3, we wanted to explore the linkages between poverty here and poverty overseas. We hoped to show that both were symptoms of underlying economic problems, and help mobilise young New Zealanders to face both. However, we were (in sum) a small group of University of Auckland graduates from privileged upper middle class backgrounds, with very little experience or expertise in New Zealand poverty. We became very concerned that we just didn’t have the knowledge or skills to target poverty here, and were concerned to avoid being privileged upper middle class saviours, sweeping in with naive, arrogant solutions – especially when there are a lot of extremely good organisations with the expertise, experience and standing that we lack.

    We remain, however, keen to explore how we can help to break down the disconnection between poverty here and poverty overseas that many people have.

    We currently have 135 volunteers nationwide. I understand that Generation Zero has similar numbers. The UN Youth has somewhere over 1,000 members, and other groups like JustSpeak, the Global Poverty Project, Enactus and others are also pulling in large numbers of young New Zealanders. I definitely don’t believe the story that young people are ethically or politically disengaged.

    I hope this helps address a few of the concerns some of you have about what we do.

    • lprent 6.1

      Don’t have to convince me. My partner Lyn Collie shot a promo documentary about P3 in India late last year. Looks like an interesting organisation.

      It did rather amuse me seeing Anthony pick up on P3 independently.

    • r0b 6.2

      Thanks for stopping by David. Kudos to you, the founders, and all members. If you ever have anything that you want to “advertise” let us know…

    • rosy 6.3

      Thanks for commenting David. I’m blown away by some of the young talent in NZ… how to harness it in NZ is a problem and your explanation for focusing on absolute poverty overseas is understandable and pretty much what I expected. Seeing the economic deprivation is easy enough and incredibly important – knowing how social exclusion and family deprivation works in countries with so-called relative poverty maybe requires more immersion in the lives of people. Getting alongside the people who are actively working with this stuff could be a possibility for engaging in local poverty issues?

      It probably takes a little longer to come to terms with social exclusion and family deprivation as the things that keep the poor and dispossessed from the services that have been set up to improve health and well-being. It’s not simply a lack of will or ‘choice’ – the narrative of the successful – that keeps people poor in developed countries.

      In the meantime, I reckon P3 is a brilliant initiative. Best of luck with it all.

  7. David 7

    Thanks Rob, Rosy – really appreciate the support!

    Rosy – We are definitely exploring partnerships as you suggest, though realistically probably won’t be able to show anything public until early 2014.

    Thanks again.

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    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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