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Protest @ WINZ today!

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, February 22nd, 2011 - 88 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, employment, notices, poverty, unemployment, welfare - Tags:

From Sue Bradford:

Aucklanders – the fight back against the worst recommendations in the Rebstock report starts now. Join us – Auckland Against Poverty – in a picket, 2pm today outside Work & Income, Sel Peacock Dr, Henderson.

Sorry for the late notice. I will write more about this after the protest, but for now, the NZ Herald predicts a Bombshell on way for beneficiaries.

Update 7.15pm: I wasn’t going to post anything this evening as I’m rushing around trying to get footage and photos of everything that happened today. The events at the protest have unfortunately very much distracted me from the real issues in the WWG report, on which I have a half written post at home. So first, a brief demo report, and tomorrow I’ll write about the WWG report.

The protest marched from the Henderson WINZ office up to Paul Bennett’s office, where two men climbed a ladder and displayed a banner from the roof. While there was nothing unlawful about their actions (they hadn’t been trespassed), it probably wasn’t unlawful for the police to arrest them when they came down. When they decided to come down, a bunch of protesters surrounded them to protect them from the police. The police shoved through – they actually shoved through Liam & I to get to them, even though we were on the edge pretty much out of the action. While all this was going on, the police started blocking anyone who was filming or taking photographs. I looked up and saw that John Darroch had been detained for taking photos. I walked up with Liam in my arms to challenge them for detaining him. All I did was ask the police officer detaining John if he was arresting him. The cop said he didn’t know but he had been instructed to detain him. I told him it was unlawful for him to detain John if he wasn’t arresting him. Then another cop walked up and starting shoving me. I didn’t fight back at all as both my arms were around Liam in a protective hold. Despite that I got shoved really hard all the way around the back – they had no regard for Liam whatsoever. I was really scared, but Liam & John & I are all ok. While I didn’t fight, I did try to stop them getting me around the back of the building as I was terrified that if they got us around there they would take Liam off me and delete all of John’s photos showing what happened. The police formed a line preventing anyone from getting to us. They had police intentionally blocking anyone with a camera.

The police then had the nerve to tell me I was mistreating my child and they would be referring me to CYFS. Fortunately the photos show everything that happened, and it looks like someone else may have filmed the whole thing through the fence next door, and it was witnessed by many people including Sue Bradford and a senior social worker who has given us his details in case CYFS do show up.

I’m not putting photos up yet as we need to make an action plan and work out how to deal with the whole thing.

I will note that had the police actually arrested John I would not have challenged them – I would have met them at the police station with our lawyer. However I get annoyed at unlawful detentions such as this. Likewise, if the police had trespassed us or asked us to leave the property, we would have. If they’d even tried to push us off the property rather than around the back of the building, I would have co-operated. However I was not going to go round the back with the police where no one could see whatever would happen.

As I understand it, 5 people were arrested, including the two men who climbed on the roof. The police released all without charge. When we were waiting outside the police station, I had two officers walk up to me and ask me for my details as they wanted to refer a complaint to CYFS. I told them if they arrested me I would give them my details but otherwise I had no obligation to. The police officer decided he wouldn’t arrest me, but that they would identify me from the photos and refer me to CYFS. I told them that was fine, as we have plenty of evidence of what really happened. Also, all our photos from earlier that day show Liam was happy and enjoying the radical cheerleaders and all the attention from many different people.

Here are some photos from John Darroch’s Flickr stream, but they don’t include what happened with me.

88 comments on “Protest @ WINZ today!”

  1. Maude 1

    Hi, I am new to this site. I clicked on the news article and as far as I can see the recommendation is for those on benefits to actively seek work? What is wrong with that? What would you prefer they do?

    • Blighty 1.1

      I think you should try reading the next post (/bashing-benes-no-solution-to-joblessness/) about why this is a silly policy.

      The fact is beneficiaries already want to work but the jobs are gone – just adding more work-testing and other pressure won’t create jobs for them to go into, but it will waste taxpayer money, and it will help drive down wages.

    • Kaplan 1.2

      Because it’s like getting hospital waiting lists to drop by just telling everyone to go and get better, rather than actually doing anything about it.
      In that case there needs to be a doctor/surgeon to fix the problem.
      With the unemployment benefit, there needs to be a job for the person to go to.

    • rocky 1.3

      First of all, what jobs exactly are you saying beneficiaries should be seeking?

    • lprent 1.4

      The question is what sanctions are applied to them if there isn’t any work to be had. Since there aren’t jobs out there at present many of them will be unable to get work. You can see this if you look at such things as the steadily rising number of long-term unemployed. They’d work if they could find work..

      Do they dropped from the benefit? Can we send them your address so they can starve on your front lawn?

      From the link.

      And it gets worse: the number of people unemployed for longer than a year was just 2,400 in the middle of 2008 (only 1 in a 1000 workers!). It is a staggering, and heartbreaking, 15,000 today. That’s a 500% increase in two and a half years. That’s John Key’s record on employment.

      • Dilbert 1.4.1

        Sorry Lprent but I can’t help think that your statement is overly emotive.

        The current work test model for those currently receiving the Unemployment benefit (and other work tested benefits) is that they must a) be actively looking for work and b) accept any offers of employment that they receive.

        Now actively seeking work can be as simple as looking though the local papers that you receive or via the public library and keeping a record of any jobs that you applied for, contact employment angencies once a week and asking about any potential job opportunities or visiting the local WINZ office and checking out their work board and having a staff member record your visit (or simply having one of them stamp a hand written note confirming you had come in).

        Actively seeking work doesn’t depend on the number of jobs in the community but rather simply ensures that those who should be looking for work continue to do so. Where is the problem with that?

        • Colonial Viper 1.4.1.1

          Sorry Lprent but I can’t help think that your statement is overly emotive.

          Yeah its time to get emotive. Key and his Ministers are going to feel the anger from a lot of people this year. He and you can’t possibly think that the NATs are going to make these changes and that people are going to not take it personally and just let it happen. New Zealand Unleashed, my friend.

          Actively seeking work doesn’t depend on the number of jobs in the community but rather simply ensures that those who should be looking for work continue to do so. Where is the problem with that?

          1) Constant rejection demoralises people and lowers their self worth.
          2) How many unemployed are going to be able to afford to buy Wed and Sat papers, as well as have access to the internet, etc?
          3) What is the point of sending people on hopeless wild goose chases? Who does that help? The jobs are not there, they are in Australia. The smarter ones will realise what bullshit this all is of course.

          NZ lost 700 jobs per week in the Dec quarter. Australia gained a thousand jobs a day last year. Do the math on how successfully a Labor Govt manages the economy compared to a National Govt.

          • Lanthanide 1.4.1.1.1

            “1) Constant rejection demoralises people and lowers their self worth.”
            Yip, as I’ve said before, my dad was made redundant from a company he’d worked at for 25 years or so. He applied for many similar jobs and has a few interviews for which he’d be completely capable of performing, but because he is over 60 (in excellent health) no one was interested in hiring. Eventually he just gave up.

            • Dilbert 1.4.1.1.1.1

              Unfortunately for those who become unemployed between the ages of 45-60 they’re effectively screwed. Numerous studies have demonstrated that this group are typically the first to be fired/downsized and the last to be re-hired.

              Interestingly the same studies generally showed that this group are one of the most dependable re attendance, generally have a well developed work ethic, and the issues around technology etc are pure myths. Personally if I was hiring today I would be looking very strongly at this group.

            • lprent 1.4.1.1.1.2

              Same happened with my father, but he’d moved around companies to maintain adaptive skill levels. Was unable to get a job at anything because of his age. Eventually setup a home business in a completely unrelated area with my mother and did pretty well at that. It was rather ridiculous as in his areas of expertise he was and still is one of the most skilled people I know of (and I have rather high standards).

              Frankly reading some of the dorkish comments around here from our right residents you get the distinct impression that they spend all of their time talking and never bother to listen to anyone. But that is the nature of right in my opinion – massively out of touch with reality – prefer myths instead.

              • Dilbert

                Based on your last paragraph Lprent I think that perhaps your own political views may be blinkering your opinion slightly, where as what I have found is that statement can equally be applied to both the left and right.

                • lprent

                  I actually don’t have any particular political views on this subject.

                  What I’m pointing out is two practical issues with the proposed policies based on my families experiences over many economic downturns.

                  1. That to try and push people off the welfare system into work presupposes that work is available. At present it largely isn’t so. This especially applies to mothers with pre-school kids. But also applies to may people who live in areas where there is no work (I haven’t noticed WINZ ever being willing to relocate people). And to the more elderly in the workforce.

                    In all likelihood this type of proposal will wind up as being the simple stupid harassment by WINZ that I saw them using on my sister who was on the DPB for a few years in the early 90’s. It is afterall the reason that my niece wrote this post and will presumably be heading to that demo.

                  2. That the only penultimate sanction where people are unable to find work is to withdraw benefits. My question is that of my grandfather who was unemployable through much of the 1930’s – where do we go to starve?

                  I really can’t understand why people are too squeamish to look at the ultimate consequences of the policy decisions that are being made. If these issues are not raised and dealt with during the policy discussion then what you will find is that they happen by default over time.

            • Vicky32 1.4.1.1.1.3

              I am a wee bit younger than your dad, (but not by much!) and I’ve applied for 700+ jobs in the last 2 years. I have had 100+ interviews. I have been told quite often that my age is against me. I don’t know how I would feel if I were a woman on the DPB with a 2 year old child, who had just heard that when her child turns 3 she’s going to have to get on the job-seekers merry-go-round, while at the same time, trying to find affordable child care…The 9-3 jobs tended to be captured by the married ladies, back in my DPB years… as they were the ones who knew people!
              Deb

              • Roflcopter

                If you’ve been told that your age is against you, then nail the dumb-fucks, coz that’s illegal.

                • M

                  It might be illegal but they still do it and if a person were to take a case the employer would just say that there more suitable candidates for the job.

                  The same applies where women are asked if they have children and what the child care arrangements are or if they don’t have children are they planning to have some. You might challenge an employer at an interview about asking such a question but you will miss out on the job.

                • Vicky32

                  I did try, but the law won’t protect people applying for a job, only those who already have one, or so the HRC woman told me…

          • Dilbert 1.4.1.1.2

            CV, I suspect that you are going to be horribly wrong in your belief that the majority of NZ’ers are going to get worked up about changes to the benefit system. I personally think most will in fact welcome the changes to what is perceived by many as an overly bloated system that allows bludgers to sit on their bums doing nothing or simply breding for cash.

            While you (I presume) and I have a different perception of the reality of the welfare system and what its purpose/goals should be I suspect that we are in the minority.

            However as for your points against actively job seeking I would disagree.
            1) Constant rejection demoralises people and lowers their self worth.
            During the time I spent working with unemployed people at Work and Income not one person complain or demonstrated signs that contacting people about jobs was demoralizing. What was key was setting appropriate expectations and goals with I found as a general rule the Work and Income staff were excellent at.

            For some their goal of active job seeking would be to simply review the local free rag that was delivered each delivery day and apply for any appropriate roles, for others it may be a specific number of jobs each between each review period.

            2) How many unemployed are going to be able to afford to buy Wed and Sat papers, as well as have access to the internet, etc?

            No person was ever told that had to go out and spend money on a paid news paper. Goals were set to a level appropriate to a persons resources however even in rural areas like where I was based most people are able to access news papers and internet via local libraries at least once a fortnight.

            3) What is the point of sending people on hopeless wild goose chases? Who does that help? The jobs are not there, they are in Australia. The smarter ones will realise what bullshit this all is of course.

            What I found at Work and Income that exercise provided many points including:
            a) Trying to obtain a job (sometimes it happens )
            b) Get people out into their community and talking to people. Not only for many did it lead to later job opportunities via word of mouth, but for some of those living alone it was one of the few occasions that they did actually intereact with others.
            c) Provide people experience in the job aquiring process (interviewing, cv preparation etc etc).

            While its easy to make Labour = Good vs National = Bad comments you should remember that this problem has generated over the last 30 years by many successive governments both Labour and National. Neither of them have developed a decisive policy on how to do this and I don’t believe either of them ever will because they lack the political will to take the steps that are required to really fix the social situation within this country.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1.1.2.1

              I personally think most will in fact welcome the changes to what is perceived by many as an overly bloated system that allows bludgers to sit on their bums doing nothing or simply breding for cash.

              Well, their perception is actually wrong, most people on benefits actually want to work, but it is bloated and it’s bloated because of all the hoops put in place to keep people off benefits.

              You obviously haven’t for worked there for awhile and it’s not political will but believing in an economic theory that doesn’t work.

            • Colonial Viper 1.4.1.1.2.2

              Dilbert, anything over 2% unemployment is a social disaster in the making. I wish that we could get Governments Red and Blue to recognise that.

              Not sure about the rest of your experiences, but when you have 2500 people applying for 150 mostly minimum wage paying supermarket jobs, you know that something is really wrong.

              As for the welfare system being “bloated”, I guess that the less taxes the rich pay, the less social services we can afford as a country. Key’s own personal tax cuts would have paid for home help for 500 elderly people a week, for instance, old people who have had that help cut.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sorry that’s 50 elderly people a week, we don’t pay home help that poorly thank goodness.

            • M 1.4.1.1.2.3

              ‘CV, I suspect that you are going to be horribly wrong in your belief that the majority of NZ’ers are going to get worked up about changes to the benefit system. I personally think most will in fact welcome the changes to what is perceived by many as an overly bloated system that allows bludgers to sit on their bums doing nothing or simply breding for cash.’

              I for one will get worked up about the changes in the benefit system because it’s arrogance beyond measure to decide who is deserving of a benefit. Hell, people actually getting a subsistence benefit now to be arse shagged even more just so judgemental arseholes can get a frisson of excitement – spare me.

              As has been written many times on this blog people will go for jobs if there are jobs available. As for the hoary old myth that the DPB encourages women to breed is crap, most women in that situation know that another child places even more strain on finances and that welfare payments don’t exactly allow them to be out on the tiles like many people believe.

              Perhaps if the benefit bashers saw the value of the training incentive allowance for women to re-skill for a decent paying job and allowed her children to be settled into school before putting the screws on then we would see the welfare rolls drop. There will always be some women who cannot leave the DPB as they may have special needs children or may be disabled themselves.

              I know someone who works for WINZ and he just rolls his eyes when he hears all this rhetoric because he is not afraid to say that there are not many jobs around and that the best thing mothers can do for their children is to be there for them – I suppose this makes him a heretic.

              • B

                Yup Ive had to go in a few times lately and been told by more than one winz worker that they dont know how they will be able to find jobs for all the sole parents – its just more paperwork and hassle for them but wont make a difference as most sole parents who can find suitable jobs already have them!

          • Tigger 1.4.1.1.3

            Agreed CV. There aren’t jobs for these people – so they’re being simply used as scapegoats. Enough of playing nice. These aren’t stats. They’re not ‘cautionary tales’. They’re not pawns for politicians to use. They’re people.

          • the sprout 1.4.1.1.4

            agreed CV, well past time to start shoving hard against this government’s bullshit

        • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1.2

          Now actively seeking work can be as simple as looking though the local papers that you receive or via the public library and keeping a record of any jobs that you applied for, contact employment angencies once a week and asking about any potential job opportunities or visiting the local WINZ office and checking out their work board and having a staff member record your visit (or simply having one of them stamp a hand written note confirming you had come in).

          What you describe is reasonable and nearly everyone on the UB will be doing that anyway. What is asked for is having a record of applying for 5 jobs per day (case manager dependent believe it or not – more reasonable case managers only ask for 1 or 2 per day) and if you don’t have that record your benefit gets cut. Now, considering that there just isn’t that many jobs out there it is, quite simply, impossible to apply for that many jobs per day.

          Where is the problem with that?

          The way that they’re going about it is causing more unnecessary work at WINZ, causing more unnecessary work for employers as they now have to go through even more people who just aren’t suitable (the applicants knew they were unsuitable but applied anyway because they have to) and causing even more rejection. Throw in the fear of having you benefit cut and the stress and added depression is going to add to the suicide rate as well.

          As for having to take a job if it’s offered? Well, my nephew had to go on the UB (he’s a builder so doesn’t have permanent work) and got told that he should take a job offer that paid $20+GST/hour. He proved that he would be losing money taking that job and WINZ merely offered to subsidise his fuel (still wouldn’t have covered costs) which would have been an indirect subsidy to Fletchers (Who, I’m sure, doesn’t actually need one). Thankfully he managed to pull in a contract that paid $63/hour instead but if he hadn’t he had the choice of paying to go work for Fletchers (Actually a sub-contractor of a sub-contractor – massive inefficiency/dead weight loss in the building industry in Auckland) or not having any income.

        • Bob 1.4.1.3

          And what would those OFFERS of employment be ?
          The people that i know who are looking for work dont get offers because no one is keen to take anyone on . How many rejections do YOU think is acceptable ?
          Thats right . actively seeking work is a bonus when you cant afford , petrol , food , rent ,clothing , schoolfees , doctors , dentists , reg and warrants to name but a few essentials .

      • The Baron 1.4.2

        Great way of greeting a new commenter too, Lynn – especially when they appear to be asking a pretty unbiased “please help me understand” question.

        Christ some of you lot are jerks.

        • lprent 1.4.2.1

          Seems like valid question to me bearing in mind what they were asking. I answered looking at the end result of the implications of their question, while furnishing a link to the information that they appeared to be missing. What more do you want? That I be nice to them? I’m seldom nice.

          But anyway I prefer to make ‘newbies’* aware that I’m around early rather having to ban them later.

          *BTW: Haven’t checked yet as I’m otherwise occupied, but many people who claim to be ‘newbies’ usually aren’t once I have a look at their history. And I’m always suspicious of ‘newbies’ who manage to get the first comment on a post – it isn’t a usual newbie behavior..

          • The Baron 1.4.2.1.1

            I don’t care for nice, though I do expect you to be civil to new participants – particularly in your role of managing the site and encouraging open discussion.

            You however seem to be a jerk, and proud of it. A jerk who aggressively berated her question and now are threatening to ban her too.

            Fine, indulge in conspiracy theories about how new they are (while evidently not wondering what the point of that would be). But if wrong, will you apologise to your commenter for the way you responded? Or will you go back to “tough tit, I’m not nice”, or maybe “my site, my rules”.

            Save your bile for people who deserve it (like me, usually).

            • lprent 1.4.2.1.1.1

              …and now are threatening to ban her too.

              Where exactly did you get that from? Everyone here can be banned. He/she is no different to anyone else.

              …will you apologise to your commenter for the way you responded?

              No. If you were observant you’d have noticed that I usually respond in some form to most new commentators within a short period after their first comment. Frequently when someone starts with habits that that they have picked up on other sites (like statements couched as leading ‘questions’) they will get a quite sarcastic response. It is what I do because it encourages people to read for the site ‘style’ before they write.

              …indulge in conspiracy theories about how new they are…

              When it comes to behavior on this site, I’m always deeply suspicious of behaviors that I have seen before. One of those behaviors is a ‘newbie’ doing the first comment on a post running a line that is the obvious spin for a political party. I have tracked too many one shot newbies to some pretty interesting IP locations in the past. Because we leave the site almost completely open to new commentators, we also watch them for behavior. Are you suggesting that we should change our policies? (and I guess you know the answer to that)

              Now if you can get off your high horse – what exactly did you find to be a issue with my comment? All I pointed out was there is the issue of what ultimate sanctions would be applied to people who were unable (or unwilling) to find work? In the end result there is only one that is available – withdrawing the benefits. If that happens then people will be made homeless and quite possibly starve.

              Dilbert pointed out (very indirectly and without stating it) that this is the current end sanction used. What is your view on that? Can we send them your address as well?

          • Pete 1.4.2.1.2

            But anyway I prefer to make ‘newbies’* aware that I’m around early rather having to ban them later.

            Does that mean you don’t want or expect anyone new to be able to hang around?

            It seems very strange to be organising a protest before the report has been released.

            • lprent 1.4.2.1.2.1

              Educating commentators is preferable to having to moderate and ban them. It is preferable to do it earlier than later.

              The most common reason for people to get an early ban from this site is because they see that no-one else is using a particular behavior and start using it. Of course what they usually fail to realize is that people don’t use those behaviors because we don’t like them and they’re identified in the policy as an offense against the site. Most of the commentators won’t respond in the expected ways because we don’t like people continuing flamewars. They will either make comment to draw it to our attention or ignore it trusting that it will be stomped on eventually. A recent example was kultur who is still learning the do’s and don’ts of this sites rules.

              It is generally preferable that people get to interact with someone who can deal with them and who will draw their attention to their behavioral flaws – ie a moderator. Frequently that is me. I usually use exactly the same tactic that they used, but enhance and accentuate it. In this case Maude ‘asked’ a leading question that was designed to elicit a specific response. I asked a even more leading question based on their question that was designed to elicit a specific response.

              Both were valid questions, but effectively they limited and tried to frame the discussion – which is what Maude’s question appeared to be designed to do* and what I reacted to. I also suspect that TR’s reaction was more in response to my re-framing of the debate into a question that he didn’t want to deal with than with the question of responses to a ‘newbie’.

              * That is part of the reason I’m suspicious of origin – now I’ve finished on the ChCh earthquake updates I’ll have a closer look at ‘Maude’. The technique used was more in the line that IrishBill would use than a unsophisticated newbie.

            • Colonial Viper 1.4.2.1.2.2

              It seems very strange to be organising a protest before the report has been released.

              Almost as strange as the PM making food bank and bene bashing comments just before a major welfare reform report is released. Heh.

    • neoleftie 1.5

      I think we all agree in the concept of individual responsibility and for underemployed or unemployed to have or get a ‘skill set’ that gives them a better chance at finding work but if the private or public sector doesn’t provide adequate numbers of jobs then surely you cant blame or punish those who cant find jobs and must rely on the state safety net. Not everyone has the ability or opportunity to climb the modern success ladder.

      • Colonial Viper 1.5.1

        Its hypocrisy for the NATs to have cut night classes and tightened criteria for adult students wanting to go to uni at a time of high unemployment. They are wasting the human resources of this country and essentially telling people that they will not be valued here and to leave.

        • neoleftie 1.5.1.1

          Basically if you’re not of the elite class or have the ability to become one then you are nothing but a means to there ends and since they control and create their own means we are still nothing to the elites. i hear the drums in the distance sounding.

  2. TightyRighty 2

    So a protest outside normal lunch ours can only mean only bene’s are protesting. What a surprise, if they are motivated enough to protest against a reduction in their handouts, maybe they could be motivated enough to find a job. But no, just yell and shout and do nothing really. So predictable, so stupid.

    • Todd 2.1

      Is that the best argument you can come up with TightyRighty, that people who oppose Nationals slash and burn policies are stupid? I mean honestly, what a completely pathetic argument. Haven’t you been following, the unemployed are trying but there are no jobs. National has failed that campaign promise and many more besides.

      Has the fervent fascism drivel spouted by the “loyal” media coalesced on your skull into a thick impenetrable helmet that not even a sledge hammer could break? Have the eyes been plucked from your skull by a lecherous propaganda mind fuck machine? Have your ears been blocked by so much bigoted rubbish that not even a bulldozer could dig you out?

      When you have no argument, dismissing dissenting opinion by saying it is stupid and ineffectual is really just naïve of the real groundswell against Nationals mismanagement and corruption.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Clever scheme isn’t it Tighty? Keep people poor, hungry and busy so that they leave the NAT’s alone to do more damage.

      No mate, a tide of anger is turning against the Government. Its not just those in Bahrain and Libya who watched Mubarak fall you know.

    • neoleftie 2.3

      oh please ive been unemployed and underemployed and have a swag of letters after my name, motivated and organised but during those time took ages to find a job of any caliber. Well congrats on being a success story and having the opportunity to critique those without or havent shared your success.

    • Akldnut 2.4

      TR you dick – I’ll be there, I just have to organise some cover at work – not just benes at all.

    • bbfloyd 2.5

      “so predictable, so stupid”, another freudian slip.

      • Carol 2.5.1

        I was there today. It’s not a work day for me. I work weekends, and am semi-retired. Not all non-beneficaries work 9-5, Monday to Friday.

  3. Chris73 3

    Seems odd to announce a protest before we even know what the recomendations (and thats all they are at this stage) are…

    • lprent 3.1

      Umm you mean that you’d prefer that the government releases the legislation and then passes it through the house under urgency without taking it to select committee? They have done it a number of times this term with various legislation – for instance most of the auckland super shitty acts passed like that.

      Since that has happened, all ‘recommendations’ are opposed before release because there may be no time afterwards.

      I can see that you’re really not really into the principles of NACT democracy…..

      • Chris73 3.1.1

        Seriously? Don’t you think its more efficient to organise a protest against something when you know the specifics of what it is you’re protesting against?

        So I don’t have a problem with lawful protest just the timing of it

        And for the record some of the recommendations I agree with and some I don’t like making mothers look for work after 14 weeks of giving and making 16-18 year olds live with an adults not such good ideas but making payments based on mkaing kids go to school is a good one

        • Chris73 3.1.1.1

          Umm after 14 weeks of giving birth and making 16-18 year olds live with adult supervision

        • lprent 3.1.1.2

          It is more efficient yes. Unless of course the legislation is shoved through under urgency and without public scrutiny. That is th NACT way. Their supporters like you seem to prefer not to discuss abuse of the process*.

          But the recomendations have been well signalled. The tenor is unmistakeable. Why not start at attacking them. After all the NACT politicians are already busy pushing many of them. Or you suggesting that we should wait for our ‘betters’ like your subservient example?

          * like those police who were abusing their powers at that protest. Once I find out who the arsehole was who was pushing around my family members and threatening them they will learn to regret it.

          • Chris73 3.1.1.2.1

            Or just an excuse to have a protest?

            • lprent 3.1.1.2.1.1

              By your definition of when it is acceptable to have a protest, I suspect that you’ve just decided that the reasons for most protests are just excuses. As far as I can see your idea is that a protest should only be done after a fait accompli – which seems incredibly inefficient.

              For instance the 40k odd people that marched up Queen Street (including myself) against mining in the schedule 4 conservation estate were merely protesting against a proposal.

              But I suspect that you’re merely using the argument of a dickhead. Sounds like a rationale that Whale would come up with.

              • Chris73

                Not at all (though I support mining in schedule 4 areas)

                The protest against mining in schedule 4 areas is different to protesting against the welfare reforms because (I’m guessing) you lot were against any mining in schedule 4 land whatsoever (so almost a single issue) whereas with the reforms you didn’t know what was going to be released (there might have been some suggestions you actually agree with) but you decided to protest against it anyway

                • lprent

                  Ummm for a starter, I didn’t protest yesterday. I had a heart attack a bit over a week ago, and it is enough of an effort to go down to work and to sit down and code.

                  But we’ve been having John Key and Paula Bennett going and giving hints of what they expect to see in it for weeks. Which since they have had the report for weeks it is a pretty good indicator of its contents. Especially since their emphasis would be on what they considered to be its good points – which were pretty damning themselves, the contents of the report were always going to be worse.

                  I see that Danyl has posted on the actual report, so I’d guess that it has actually been released. Of course his terminology assigns it to the same type of thinking as the rationale at on the Auschwitz gate. I’ll get around to having a look at it this evening after work.

                  BTW: I’m not against mining. I’m just against most mining in NZ because it is not cost-effective if you look at the actual all in costs (including the cleanup and environmental costs) compared to the alternate uses of the land. But I only have a earth sciences degree so what would I know eh?

                  • Chris73

                    But I only have a earth sciences degree so what would I know eh?

                    Good for you however I’m sure the govt has access to a lot more resources and experts to consider this matter as well

                    • lprent

                      Yes they do. However it seems characteristic of this government is that they have a deaf ear for opinions that they don’t want to hear. They ignore contrary opinions informed and uninformed alike. At least until you manage to get some significant protest against their cast iron opinions.

                      Which kind of brings us back to the original point again. To make them listen to any form of common or informed opinion you have to protest early so they have time to correct their mindless decisions that are usually formed from their simplistic prejudices (or rather usually from their polling of their simplistic supporters) rather than using their brains.

  4. Carol 4

    Thanks for notification of this. I went down and added my number to the demo. Of course, on this terrible day, this demo will get little or no media coverage. But there will be plenty of time (and need), for other demos like it in the future. [I’m so sorry for all the people in Christchurch]

    It was a small, largely good natured and spirited demo (I should imagine it was well short of 100 people). 6 people were arrested (5 adults and one baby).

    Sue Bradford led the demo with a megaphone. Some people stood up and made statements, and the radical cheerleaders did some entertaining performances, reworking various songs and raps.

    We walked up to Paula Bennett’s office, where a couple of guys had already climbed onto the roof, with a red banner. On the banner was a quote from John Key – the one in which he said if welfare benefits were cancelled no-one would starve to death.

    There were chants, e.g.:

    “He is rich,
    He is rude,
    We don’t like his attitude”.

    And, “Blame the system, not the victims.”

    Locals will have had their attention drawn to the issue. A lot of traffic went past, with many tooting their horns in support. The police helped to get people’s attention by having several marked cars there, including a couple parked on the road with their multi-coloured roof lights constantly flashing

    When the guys came down off the roof many people huddled around them, and there were tussles between protesters and the police. The police arrested the guys from the roof, plus 3 adults, including a woman carrying a very young baby.

    • Akldnut 4.1

      There were aproximately 60 protestors (me included) and about a dozen “Boys in Blue”
      There were a few of TV cameramen, about a 1/2 dozen private cameras and 1 Policeman taking pictures.

      A good show thats going to be completely sidestepped due to the christchurch eartquake happenings. (Just seen a few pictures of injured Kiwisbeing rescued – absolutely heart renedring)

      I left early, had to go back to work – Rocky was the only one I saw there with a baby.

      • Carol 4.1.1

        I don’t know which cameras were from TV news, but one guy with a video cameraman was being critical of the protesters during the tussle, with comments about the protesteres hurting themselves. A woman carrying a video camera was complaining to someone afterwards about having people “push the camera away”, being jostled etc. She didn’t seem happy with the protesters either. Made me what what sort of coverage the demo would have got on a slow news day.

      • lprent 4.1.2

        Horrible2A (as he is currently designated (at least by me)) 😈 A big boy who enjoys having his gruncle tormenting him….

      • toad 4.1.3

        Yeah, Rocky was one of those arrested – with baby in arms. Presume that’s why we don’t have an update from her yet, but thanks for yours, Carol and Akldnut. Coppers OTT, as usual. The two guys on the roof were arrested, presumably for just being there. I guess the others were arrested for “obstructing” their arrests.

        Had meant to come here earlier to report, but got caught up with Christchurch earthquake stuff.

        • lprent 4.1.3.1

          Thanks for the update.

          Looks like Liam gets his first experience of the police *sigh*. It is unlikely that rocky did anything that actually warranted an arrest. The experience with the police is that they really don’t have a clue about the current state of the legalities. Hopefully they’ll actually carry a charge through so to court rather than doing their usual and eventually dropping it. Then at least there will be some more case law about what the police are able to do.

          Rocky is amassing some significant case law on her side about the limits to protest. Mostly on appeal to the High Court. Perhaps the police should get her to teach at Porirua 😈

          I wish the police would start to learn the frigging law rather than what they’d want it to be.

          • lprent 4.1.3.1.1

            Not arrested. Just cops overstepping way over the mark.

            I’m irate. My sister is going to be really annoyed. I think that some police are about to have a really really hard time. Especially threatening to use social services against my great nephew. I feel like tearing some police a new arsehole.

            • Carol 4.1.3.1.1.1

              So, the cops just wanted to show their muscle? Did they release the others without charge too?

              • lprent

                Not sure. I was somewhat wound up….

                • Carol

                  Yes, I understand. I hope Rocky and baby are OK.

                  • lprent

                    Yes. But police threatening to get cyfs to separate her from Liam because she is protesting at paula bennetts office means that some police are going to live a personal nightmare for the next few years.

                    • Carol

                      Oh. That’s really sick of the police. Glad they’re OK. Her speech was about how mothers & children would be badly affected by the Nat welfare changes – showed concern and caring for children, and not an unsuitability for parenting.

                    • the sprout

                      sounds like police were completely OTT and now they’ve bought themselves a well deserved shit fight they weren’t counting on.
                      good job.

                    • M

                      The threat of CYFS I believe sets a new low standard – there was absolutely no problem until the police started to get heavy.

                      Guess that’s what it takes for some to feel like real men.

                    • the sprout

                      sounds like a pretty extreme, highly undesirable and eminently prosecutable abuse of power to me.

                      i wonder what the minister responsible for CYFS would have to say about using CYFS as a weapon to discourage political protest?

                    • lprent []

                      She may an interested party in several ways. For instance it was her electorate office that was being protested.

        • toad 4.1.3.2

          As Rocky says, “detained”. Not “arrested”.

          My question is what right do the cops have to do that?

          Nothing I can see in the Summary Offences Act or any other legislation that gives them that power.

          I know you have tested them in that way in the courts before Rocky. Maybe time to do it again!

          I’ve been there too with numerous court cases against the cops over the years. Problem is that they don’t learn, and still follow the dictum:

          My job is to protect the privilege and property of the rich and powerful.

          They need to learn some lessons from the experience of the security forces in the Middle East overt he last couple of weeks.

          • lprent 4.1.3.2.1

            From memory, they can detain if they feel that people are in immediate danger. Of course I suspect that the law makers probably didn’t anticipate that the police would create the circumstances to cause that danger.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      As my boyfriend said when I read out your post to him “Well good on them. We shouldn’t focus on the urgent at the expense of the important – that’s how Bob Parker got elected after all”.

  5. SPC 5

    W and I, or is that E and S, cannot adequately work test the extra number of people.

    They cannot cope with the complexity of work testing people who can only accept jobs if there are child care places available – and if available are not free between 3 and 5. Thus anyone with children of this age will effectively get less for part-time work than someone with children over 5 in primary school.

    There is also financing the travel of women on the DPB to interviews – or is to reduce their support for their children that week and of course temporary casual childcare that day.

  6. Carol 6

    TV3 has just shown a clip of the demo with the guys up on the roof.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    A recipe for a vicious society

    You don’t need a clique of overpaid insane “consultants” to recognise that the key to getting people off benefits isn’t repeatedly kicking them in the face with a steel-capped boot, but providing jobs. The number of people on the unemployment benefit fell over the 2000’s as we reached full employment. So did the number of people on the DPB (which is mostly a short-term benefit). As for the sickness benefit, here’s a suggestion: give people the treatment they need so they can work again. But that would cost money; steelcapped boots are cheaper.

    The report seems to be no more nor less than what I expected – a complete attack on the most vulnerable in society.

  8. HC 8

    To Sue Bradford – I am appalled about the treatment you received from the cops! That sounds like harassment, them talking about reporting you to CYFS!

    I do with regret notice that some here do show understanding or even support for the welfare changes that are proposed. Again those ones seem to be people that do not really understand the Social Security Act 1964, the regulations and processes already in place.

    People that are not sick and unemployed do have to actively look for work already and must regularly prove this to their Case Managers. Otherwise their benefits will be cut or stopped. With the few jobs available at present it is absurd to advise job seekers to look harder. I know that WINZ already expects job seekers to make at least 5 applications or enquiries per day!

    So how often are they meant to knock on doors, phone employers, send email or postal applications to the limited number of employers that may at times have some vacancies?

    The real issue is about the planned changes to work test Sickness and Invalid Beneficiaries and Solo Parents. While some will think it is fair that a solo mother or father can start looking for at least part time work once the youngest child is 3 years old, it is absolutely bizarre to expect sick and disabled to look for work. Some Sickness Beneficiaries may be able to work a few hours a week, but often that is not the case.

    Then it is planned to introduce one “job seeker” benefit for ALL, which is going to lead to a total chaos and confusion. Pressure is likely to be put on sick and disabled to look for work, which will in many cases actually have more adverse effects than the working group and government think.

    Creating a new “crown entity” “at arms lenght” also sounds idiotic, because that means that the government more or less “out sources” the responsibilities to an organisation similar to a business like organisation like for instance a “crown research institute” run like a company and business.

    That could lead to rights of beneficiaries or “job seekers” being reduced, because grievances may no longer be dealt with by review authorities and the likes. It sounds like the future beneficiaries will be turned into a large pool of “clients” that are treated like those registered with an employment agency.

    What will be most certain is, that doctors and specialists will get a lot busier with having to be consulted more regularly to prove how sick a person is or is not. Designated doctors are already being used more than ever before, in order to throw people off the Invalid’s Benefit onto the Sickness Benefit, so they can be “work tested”.

    The basic truth is that the government wants to save costs on welfare, and they have targeted the sick and disabled as the core group to implement this (besides the solo parents).

    While the government gives tax cuts benefitting the rich and big earners, it has in return already increased GST that mostly impacts on low income earners – and now it plans to reduce benefits for sick and disabled!

    It is clear as a crystal what is happening. We have a re-distribution of wealth from the bottom to the top. That is what National and ACT stand for, and hence all this is just another means to look after the interests of their strongest, most powerful supporters and lobby groups.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    The other major thrust of welfare reform is to put downward pressure on wages. Desperate people will “work”, aka slave, for any amount when WINZ are standing on them, and people in jobs will hang onto them grimly, oh and then there is 90 day fire at will just in case any one decides to fight back and organise.

    Re the protest: ‘the filth’ have certainly not changed their culture in regards to their political enforcement role and basic sexist bullying, with a dash of revenge and spite for the Bradfords.
    On the latter, no one doubts your courage Sue but you have nothing to prove on that count, so please consider delegating front line duties to younger people. It would be truly awful for some young blue belly to have the satisfaction of injuring you.

  10. Linaka 10

    Well I see most people do not see the implications of this 2011 welfare bill, yes I aggree there should work testing and help for the unemployed who some dont have the skills ,as for the sick and invalids thats another thing people dont understand, I have a spinal problem, which is harmed by any activity, I was on the invalids benefit, in chronic pain, unable to hold a pen sometimes and permanently weak, winz send me to their work accessor doctor who said I have arthritis, this directly conflicts with my specalists opinion, my hands are curled, and this Winz doc say Im cured and that I will be put on the sickness soon this bill will mean more hospital visits with paraplegia a real possiblity for me. and countless others, who are genuinely ill.

    My point is dont believe that document, and read between the lines , individual case managers change the rules to suit themselves and do not make sound judgements on all their clients, In essence they cannot be trusted, my sickness benefit was a direct result of their system, guilty no leg to stand on I cannot agrue with this decision as the medical committee decide my fate without even consulting my doctor or my specailists, this welfare reform has some good points however it is unlikely to help, and the very sick will be forced into something that will directly cause more pain and death.

    • HC 10.1

      Linaka: You are being treated completely unfairly, unreasonably and against legal principles! I know exactly what you are talking about! You have apparently sent to have a so-called second opinion done on your health condition. It appears that this “designated doctor” (working on a kind of “service contract” for WINZ, having to work along their guidelines and paid for it by them) made a completely unreasonable decision. Did you present reports and evidence about your condition from your own doctor or specialist? As I understand it you took the matter to an appeal and to be heard by what is called a Medical Appeal Board. That Board is under the Act also appointed by WINZ staff, and I know for a fact that they do appoint medical and rehab professionals of their preference and that follow their goals and guidelines. Obviously they upheld the decision by WINZ, which will have been made based on a so-called Regional Health Advisor recommendation, which again would be based on the designated doctor’s report and assessment, and later on the decision by the Medicla Appeal Board. This body is often acting against principles of natural justice, is biased and also operates under the statute that has flawed legal provisions. There is no further appeal, which again is against natural justice and the rule of law. You may be able to get more information about this! What you should seriously consider is getting all your paperwork from and to them, the assessments, reports, your submissions and so forth together and talk to a lawyer. There is a chance of addressing this issue by way of Judicial Review, for which civil legal aid can be made available. It is not easy, but this is a chance of exposing the total bias, the unreasonableness, the breaches of legal principles of natural justice, the Human Rights Act and the NZ Bill of Rights Act. A High Court may upon application (see Judicature Act 1982, s 4 and so forth) find their decision being invalid due to being against the law or at least patently unreasonable (which is more or less the same). Do not simply accept this!!!

    • HC 10.2

      Linaka –

      Also check some more info that was some time ago published via ‘Indymedia’, which I know some now find full of trolls and no more interesting, but which is still also used by activists and supporters as a forum.

      Under the following link there is some discussion and information re this issue you have described here:
      http://www.indymedia.org.nz/article/79215/lively-protest-beneficiary-rights-waitak

      I am not sure whether ‘The Standard’ minds this or not, but on page 2 of their website there is more info of interest under the topic “Lively Protest for Beneficiary Rights at Waitakere WINZ”!

      Best wishes!

      • lprent 10.2.1

        The rule runs something like this..

        We like linking – people can evaluate the sources themselves. We don’t like excessive quoting, and especially excessive quotes without links. Worst of all is unattributed quoting where people make it appear to be from themselves. I tend to ban when we see that type of plagiarism – it is easy enough to check on google.

        The ideal is a comment where people say what they think about something. A short relevant quote enough to interest people in hitting the link.

  11. Linaka 11

    To HC– That decision about my sickness benefit was made over a year ago but thank you for understanding the predictament that I am now in , I was told after 3 months that I could have a review, however the stress made my illness spiral, and I was totally insensed, I went to my GP and he says that he cannot agrue with another doctor medical assessment, so I he put me on sickness, he put me sown for 12 months sickness, when I took this to winz they say OH we dont take any notice of that and will send out 3 monthy ones? So now I have more visits to the GP and I have to pay for this too

    However even my GP did not know ,nor did I the full implications of this winz assessment, when I asked for a copy of the winz doctors report, I realised that he baised his medical opinion without any medicial records, and told me he did not need them, I went 42 times to my GP with various symptoms, some life threatening. The only information Winz doctor got was what I gave him, did I forget something that day, I was doped up for the journey of 200k away from my home to even see him, I was foggy, he also said the lumps in my muscles, dont hurt, wrong they do?? and no understanding that I am in alot of pain.
    Example if I say walk around a supermarket for 5 mins then cramps start in my toes, and if I dont rest them, It will move to knees the thighs, the pain is intolerable, and yet if I rest it will abate, so to a point I can control things, few people understand chronic pain. Even doctors. I cant hold things for long and am holding everything with my thumb and forefinger, prolonged using of my hands will result in cramp.

    One part of this whole attack from winz, and I mean attack, was, I was forced to sign a privacy statement, and they told me what to write, (I was very upset and crying, because I was so worried about losing my house and losing the extra money cant afford to go Gp when I want to) she made me sign the form, to get all my medicial records, my GP and Receptionist have had no contact with winz, they did not even get asked for any records.

    I asked winz to explain why I was being reviewed ?case manager said that my condition had changed, what? told them my conditon has not changed, case manager said they had, after more months and I was always polite, I was told the medicial people that looked at my case said you are to be put on sickness, by then I lost the will to fight, recently they laid the blaim back to my GP who stated that the blood clot conditon had resolved but I was never on the invalids for that conditon, I was on for Failed back Syndrome,IBS, leg injury and now I have Fibromyalgia as well.

    I was not complaining about me, Just wanted to say its a degrading experience winz control peoples lives I just wanted to make the world in general understand that Winz or whatever the label they call themselves, are not be trusted, by my example.

    Its too late to ask for review, and only I live in fear that me and for others like me, are not believed and winz make you feel that you are a bug for them to swat. Thanks anyway

  12. Linaka 12

    Err quick question has anyone noticed that the welfare bill has page 8 and page 10 missing, and where can I get them from? Sorry about the long whinge before I get so frustrated lol.???

    • HC 12.1

      Linaka –

      Grim indeed! This is exactly the problem how they get away with their conduct. They simply more or less intimidate people like you by not telling you about your rights. If they did not inform you about your right to a review, then you may have a case to argue.

      They failed in their responsibility, because under valid law you must be advised about every opportunity how to seek redress or a remedy if you do not agree with a decision. The 3-month rule is the standard but can be extended due to such scenarios.

      ALWAYS ask for reports, always ensure that you supply all relevant doc’s (particularly ones supporting your case) are presented. Give them no excuses.

      They breached the rules anyway, as a designated doctor must also access the information or an opinion from your own GP or specialist. He cannot simply make a presumptious assessment on his own in the 10 or 15 minutes he would see you. He MUST have insight in your medical history. His decision that he does not need it is negligent, yes utterly irresponsible and unprofessional. He is one of the totally biased ones!

      But Medical Appeal Board Hearings (appeal option) are often a farce anyway.

      Front up to your doctor and specialist and remind them of their Code of Ethics (of the NZ Medical Profession). The WINZ doctor breached it!

      Consider sueing the WINZ doctor for not seeking specialist advice, which is absolutely essential in such a case.

      I threatened a dentist once with legal action, due to not drilling out all the rot out of a decaying tooth that he claimed had been filled properly. The new dentist gave me his assessment that that other dentist obviously did not do his job. Due to fear of being disciplined or derigestered, he was happy to sign a cheque covering my further needed treatment!

      Do not take any more shit! Get someone to write a claim to that doctor and threaten with negligence, breach of his code and so forth, and he may start worrying about his registration!

      For the recommendation of the WWG see:
      http://ips.ac.nz/WelfareWorkingGroup/Index.html

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    4 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    5 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

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