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Punitive, anti-beneficiary Bill- opposition needed!

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, March 20th, 2013 - 47 comments
Categories: act, benefits, child welfare, class war, education, greens, human rights, labour, nz first, paula bennett, welfare - Tags:

The Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill is up for its second reading in the House this afternoon.  It is first up on the provisional order paper for today (i.e. probably some time after 2pm, which would likely be after Question Time and the General Debate):

Parents are very unhappy with it, as reported in this Voxy article:

The Select Committee’s report on the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill recommends that children of beneficiaries aged 3-4 be compelled to attend an approved Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme for a yet-to-be-determined minimum time per week.

Yet according to the Committee’s report, an “overwhelming number” of submissions on the Bill expressed concern about the Social Obligations, which would force the preschool-aged children of beneficiaries to attend 15 hours’ ECE per week. …

“The Committee majority recommended that parents should be allowed to home educate their 5-year-olds under the Bill, but does not provide the same home-care option for 3-4-year-olds,” she says.

“This concession will do nothing to make parents happy with the Bill. They want the option to keep their preschool children at home. That’s all. They want to make the best decisions for their children. Many children simply are not ready to be left in a strange environment for any length of time at age 3.”

In addition, the Social Obligations targeting beneficiaries for compulsory health care will remain in the Bill under the Select Committee’s recommendations. “The New Zealand Law Society, in their submission, stated that these obligations were discriminatory because they treated a group of people differently based on employment status,” explains Mrs Smith. “We had hoped that the Select Committee might address that serious flaw in their majority report, but they did not.”

Mrs Smith says that the thousands of parents, grandparents, and young people who made submissions on the discriminatory and coercive Social Obligations will be unhappy and disappointed with the majority’s report.

The Report from the Select Committee, includes the minority reports from opposition parties.

Labour Party Minority Report Introduction (p.13):

Labour stands in strong opposition to this bill. Introducing reforms such as these at a time of high unemployment, and without removing barriers to employment such as the high cost of child care and inadequate training and education opportunities, will inevitably fail. We believe the framework for this bill is wrong. Rather than starting from the assumption that those who seek support from the state want to work, this bill assumes the opposite. It is focused on a sanction based regime, and moves away from service delivery that is focused on an individual’s circumstances and intensive case management.

Green Party Minority Report Introduction (p.16)

The Green Party opposes this bill. We believe the paternalistic approach represents a widening breach of our fundamental social contract which unjustifiably compromises the human rights of many beneficiaries. We believe the Government should focus on assisting those who are already desperate to work rather than spreading what are still scarce resources across a range of people who are not ready or able to work.

NZ First Minority Report Conclusion: (p.21)

New Zealand First supports the measures to protect the interest of children, but drastic reforms will be imposed on a vulnerable group in our society. We do not believe that these welfare reforms will lead to less people on the benefit.

At the moment we face a job market crisis, and with these drastic sanctions and dramatic reforms to be introduced in this bill, there is no indication that beneficiaries will end up in paid employment. This dog-whistle approach will feed the increasing poverty gap and develop a double standard New Zealand.

We support initiatives that will prove to decrease welfare dependency, but we are not convinced that this bill will in fact transpire the expected outcomes.

Yet it looks like NZ First will still not vote against the Bill.   The Home Education Foundation is asking people to phone or email NZ First MPs, Peter Dunne, John Banks, Brendan Horan and National MPs to urge them to vote against the Bill.

This Bill is a further step in Paula Bennett’s vicious, punitive, bennie-bashing campaign, promoted by Key, English and the rest of  NAct.

h/t xtasy and Barbara.

47 comments on “Punitive, anti-beneficiary Bill- opposition needed!”

  1. johnm 1

    I’m shocked and horrified at the fascist compelling of beneficiaries’ children aged 3-4 to attend ECE. A sort of punitive detention and separation from their parents. This compulsion is clearly discriminatory and contravenes the UN declaration of human rights.

    • karol 1.1

      Yes, and in the voxy article that I referred to, the Law Society submission is reported to have pointed out where the bill breaches the NZ Bill of Rights.

      Which includes Freedom from discrimination. Thjat clause refers to the definitions in the Human Rights Act (1993).

      the prohibited grounds of discrimination are—
      (a)sex, which includes pregnancy and childbirth:…

      disability, …

      employment status, which means—
      (i)being unemployed; or
      (ii)being a recipient of a benefit under the Social Security Act 1964 or an entitlement under the Accident Compensation Act 2001: …

      family status, which means—
      (i)having the responsibility for part-time care or full-time care of children or other dependants; or..

  2. johnm 2

    The UN declaration of Human Rights:

    Article 5.
    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
    The compulsion factor here is clearly “degrading treatment” .

    Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

    The compulsion factor contravenes article 1 “equal in dignity ” This is not so for these parents on the benefit.

    Compulsion contravenes the preamble: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, ”

    ” inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, ”

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

  3. johnm 3

    It is not law that working parents place their children aged 3-4 in ECE. Therefore to compel the same on benefit recipient parents contravenes the 1993 human rights avt of New Zealand:
    “Prohibited grounds of discrimination” :
    Section 1. k :
    “employment status, which means—

    (i) being unemployed; or

    (ii) being a recipient of a benefit under the Social Security Act 1964 or an entitlement under the Accident Compensation Act 2001:”

    You din’t have to go through all this to realise it stinks! 🙁

  4. muzza 4

    These are anti humanity bills which are targeting vulnerable groups, in the most evil of ways.

    Our governance structure has failed to protect the people if this country, therefore it is now defunct.

    Looking to the existing structure to defend people, sadly pointless!

    • One Tāne Huna 4.1

      Suggestions as to how to entrench more robust defences. On a postcard.

      • muzza 4.1.1

        Stop looking to put definitions around everything for a start, then get off your arse, realise that NZ is the people in it, not the bloody government people want to point to as *democracy*, and some vote of every three years..

        Where do you reckon NZ is going to be in 5-10 years on this track!

        I used 5-10, as any longer perid of time than that, I don’t reckon we will want to be here, if there is sign of a robust defense, it will be well and truly over!

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    What is particularly troubling with this nasty piece of legislation is the way any dissenting voice is overruled without consideration to the opposing argument. This has become a clear feature of the current National government that is creeping ever closer to dictatorship than democracy.

    • One Tāne Huna 5.1

      Well said.

      It’s shameful to read about Members of Parliament behaving like rubber stamps rather than exercising their duties to critical oversight.

  6. Populuxe1 6

    I am totally against legally compelling beneficiaries to do anything that doesn’t relate directly to their WINZ contract, which is definitely not to say I don’t think ECE is of great benefit to children.

  7. johnm 7

    Like Yankee Kee who got where he is by being a good looking tailors dummy, now the great Kiwi dumbed down public think it’s great to emulate this empty sack of sh@t. F@ck you gadget absorbed selfish money grubbing scum ! 🙁

  8. tracey 8

    Aparently the cost of implementing car park tax outweighs the intake… How much does this govt spend on chasing so called bludgers versus the number actuallybelieved to be defrauding winz?

  9. tracey 9

    Aparently the cost of implementing car park tax outweighs the intake… How much does this govt spend on chasing so called bludgers versus the number actuallybelieved to be defrauding winz? How much to actually enforce this edict about 3-4 year olds

    • karol 9.1

      I don’t know. But it’s a futile Bill, and fails to deal with the crucial issues like providing more jobs. Bennett et all have ignored many of the more positive suggestions raised in select committee, based on evidence from those working in the relevant areas.

      Bennett read her speech today, and it was a lack-lustre effort, showing little real conviction. I wonder who wrote it? She claimed to be all for helping beneficiaries to get into work – according to her, based on her own experience, one mundane job can be part of a gradual step up to better jobs – different times, “sweetie”, and many of the the enabling services have been ripped away by your government.

      Turei, on he other hand, delivered Jan Logie’s speech. Logie, for some unknown reason could not attend the reading, but prepared the speech. Turei read parts of it with conviction and seemed to add her own personal observations. It seems, under this law, one of the “ECE” places to which single parent beneficiaries may be required to send their children, is a woman down the road caring for other children in her home at the same time. Crazy or what? Where are the anti-“nanny state” righties now the choices are being removed from good parents who are in circumstances not of their making?

      Bennett claimed increased numbers of people going off benefits, and into work, and that her bill was meant to tackle the issue of long term dependencies on social security.

      Yet, the Roy Morgan poll out in the last week, shows that NZ now has record proportion of people “under-employed”. What sort of part time jobs are beneficiaries being pressured into? Ones with “prospects”?

      Bennett claimed Labour’s Minority Report contained lies, but didn’t elaborate.

      Ardern also delivered a speech, with conviction and not based on just reading a prepared version – she responded to specific points in Bennett’s speech, and attacked National’s use of bennie-bashing, especially by drip feeding parts of the Bill at moments when NAct was under fire on other issues.

      • xtasy 9.1.1

        Bennett was speaking like a broken record when she started to introduce the bill back into Parliament. Yes, she did not seem too passionate or convinced, rather caught in a trap, where there is no way out but continuing the commenced attack modus operandi, which was the start operandi of it all.

        Ardern could not do much wrong today, but she again disappointed me. It was follow up speakers like Phil Twyford and Sua William Sio and some others that delivered more convincing arguments and more passion against this crap that National is selling as “helping” people on benefits, which is a total perversion of the true intent.

        Metiria Turei did OK, but I was disappointed that Jan did not speak herself. But she will have good reasons for not being there. She has also so many spokesperson roles, it is too much to squeeze them all in with the so important welfare portfolio role.

        I do pity her at times.

        As for NZ First, I do not trust Asenati Lole Taylor. I think that news I read on AAAP’s website indicated that some info was dropped that she was rather supportive of the bill. But then again, it may have been misunderstood, or Winston may have blown the last whistle, saying, hey, do not go that way, this is NOT what we support (at least not in this form).

        So the votes were 61 to 60, the usual narrow vote, and I thank Maori MPs and Hone for joining the opposition on this. It is an abysmal piece of legislation, and many, endless issues will come out of it, when it becomes law.

        • karol 9.1.1.1

          Twyford started a bit lack lustre, but got more convincing as his speech went on. And he introduced some important details about the select committee submissions.

          Why did Ardern disapoint?

          I noted in the article on Stuff, she is reported as saying “he reforms did little more than respond to rhetoric,”. I think I’ve said this before about Ardern – she sometimes tends to use middle class bureaucratic kind of language, rather than that of everyday Kiwis.

          • xtasy 9.1.1.1.1

            karol: That is it, it disappoints me that she keeps repeating the same phrases, and it was also again, early in her speech, the criticism of Bennett, that she did not get people into work and did not reduce benefit numbers.

            There again, I felt, her rather “market driven” thinking came in, that benefit numbers must be reduced to show results. Only later did she try to go into details about the reforms, but she did not sufficiently raise the injustices and the nonsense of the whole agenda, as investment requires money to be put into health and rehab care, which is not at all being offered.

            Bennett could be taken to the cleaners, if Ardern had done her homework, and I myself sent her some of the stuff I published at least in part on TS here. But then again, who is some individual with a foreign name and some intense comments, as even Labour rather have corporate agencies deliver reports to them.

            So this shows the alienation again, between all major parties, the way they operate, and how they have lost contact with the base of the population. It will lead to them paying a high price for all this. You cannot overrule and dominate and lecture from the top too long, eventually the rot will show and set in, and nobody will believe and trust them. Labour is there now, and it is getting worse. I am waiting for the same disease to hit damned Key and Nats.

  10. …um…what was it that National had to say about Labour and Nanny State again?…..

  11. karol 11

    Paual Bennett has the astonishing preference to follow the advice in an NZ Herald editorial re- her policies, rather than follow expert advice – as stated in Question Time today:

    Metiria Turei: Why did the Minister then ignore the strong and persistent warnings from the Ministry of Health that her welfare reform sanctions for Well Child / Tāmariki Ora checks would cause “substantial negative impacts on families and to vulnerable children, including risks of increased maltreatment and neglect.”?

    Hon PAULA BENNETT: It would be fair to say that there is a range of advice that has come on as to whether or not sanctions within the benefit system are actually what is best for children. Certainly, what I have seen is that sanctions actually work and the advice I have got says exactly that. I could take you to the New Zealand Herald editorial of 13 September 2012, which I think wraps it up quite well. It said: “It would make the child suffer for the parent’s failing—but then the child is probably suffering anyway. A benefit cut would be preceded by three reminders to comply. Defiance to that degree would signal something seriously amiss.”

    Unbelievable!

  12. xtasy 12

    Much relief I got, after some initial concerns this morning, also expressed by Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) yesterday, that after all, NZ First has voted AGAINST this bill in its second reading phase this afternoon. I was already getting quite irritated reading AAAP’s comment on their website late last night, suggesting that they received information that NZ First supported the bill.

    That was at least qualified today in Parliament. Asenati Lole Taylor has in the past expressed some rather “dim” views of certain beneficiaries failing to live up to expectations, and while this may be justified in some individual cases, one should never assume that beneficiaries in general are not motivated, are drinking and drugging to just have “fun”, are irresponsible parents, or whatever.

    Again, one must ask very seriously, even if some may think this bill may in part make “sense”, what is the government doing to actually provide the support services and treatment for sole parents, for sick and disabled, to get “assisted” into a position that enables them to look for and perhaps take up work.

    I made references to the following before, that proves that National are selling us crap:

    Welfare reforms and health sector reforms: How the dots can be joined together –

    In 2007 and 2008 the National Party repeatedly fed the media with selected few stories about „GP bullying“ – by claimants of the sickness benefit. Work and Income’s Principal Health Advisor Dr Bratt seemed to grab that topic up quite willingly then. Now though it seems GPs get “bullied” (or rather “convinced to do”) what MSD and WINZ under the present government want them to do.

    Since National’s been in government, they’ve appointed and promote selected professional people into key jobs in the public health and welfare sectors. Most, if not all, appear to be resolute proponents for adopting a “firm” approach to health care and welfare. It can all be sourced back to similar moves made in the UK under the auspices of Professor Mansel Aylward, former UK DWP Chief Medical Officer, now consulting MSD and at least one NZ Health Board. He’s still in charge of a department at Cardiff University.

    These key persons are resolutely pushing ahead with an already decided agenda behind the scenes, by bringing in changes in training, recruiting, lobbying and influencing existing and prospective medical practitioners and other health professionals. The welfare reforms before Parliament are just part of the greater agenda. The Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act is largely only intended to deliver the “framework” for the UK system in welfare and work capacity assessments done by selected medical professionals, that is intended to be introduced.

    The Select Committee process with hearing submissions is likely to change little, like with other bills the NatACT government has hammered through already.

    Here are another abundance of sources for info that can enlighten readers:

    http://www.nzohna.org.nz/uploaded/Dr%20David%20Beaumont%20New%20Horizons%2013%209%202012.pdf
    (Presentation by Dr David Beaumont: ‘Welfare Reform in New Zealand – Relevance to the Workplace‘‚ as part of a forum called ‘New Horizons: Rebuilding Health and Safety on Solid Ground’; Christchurch 13 September 2012)

    http://www.fitforwork.co.nz/dr-david-beaumonts-message-to-doctors-conference-medical-certification-can-be-fraught-with-problems-for-gps
    (Presenting at the General Practice Conference and Medical Exhibition of 11-12 June 2011, Fit For Work Medical Director Dr David Beaumont emphasised the vital role of New Zealand GPs in “helping” their patients return to work)

    http://www.fitforwork.co.nz/david-beaumont-and-colleagues-presenting-on-health-benefits-of-work
    (“News” fr. “Fit For Work”, by Dr D. Beaumont, featuring Kevin Morris, Director, ACC, at a forum organised by AFOEM and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians; 12.05.2012)

    http://nz.linkedin.com/pub/david-beaumont/2a/780/943
    (Linked In page of Dr Beaumont, formerly also working for ‘Atos Origin Healthcare’ in the UK. He’s been promoting the UK style medical and work capacity tests for many years; he’s also been advising MSD here in NZ)

    http://www.wellnz.co.nz/about_us/press_release_details.asp?pressID=36&bhcp=1
    (On the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s release of a new position paper, entitled “Realising the health benefits of work.”, 25.05.2010; see the known persons involved!!!)

    http://www.healthworkforce.govt.nz/about-us/board-members
    (Dr Des Gorman, well known from his advisory role to ACC for many years, and for some highly controversial recommendations. He’s now also “boss” of ‘Health Work Force NZ’, set up to develop recruitment and training strategies for health sector employees in the NZ health sector)

    http://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/faculty/staffct/staff_details.aspx?staffID=64676F72303130
    (Dr Des Gorman, Associate Dean at the Medical School of Auckland Uni)

    http://wellsaid.co.nz/inside-acc/prof-des-gorman-delighted-to-join-acc-board/
    (now Dr Gorman is also sitting on the ACC Board, appointed by guess whom? Paula Rebstock! I am wondering, whether he is also still on the ‘National Health Board’)



    (2 older TV documentaries on ACC cases involving Dr Gorman, referring to “illness belief” and mental health as reasons for otherwise “physical” suffering)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6930331/Rebstock-appointment-to-welfare-reform-board-concerns (stuff.co.nz on the appointment of P. Rebstock as Welfare Board chairperson)

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-medical-professionals
    Paula Bennett’s speech to medical professionals, informing on the new welfare reforms, 26.09.12)

    Professor Mansel Aylward – 2 links with 2 views on his work and medical “research”:
    https://hcml.co.uk/?p=200
    http://downwithallthat.wordpress.com/category/dubious-academics-universities/cardiff-university/

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP%20CME/Friday/C1%201515%20Bratt-Hawker.pdf
    (and let us not forget our “dear” MSD and WINZ Principal Health Advisor, Dr David Bratt, who likes to compare benefit dependence with drug dependence

    • ghostrider888 12.1

      Excellent Work x.

    • karol 12.2

      Thanks, xtasy.

      Yes, either NZ First were always going to vote against it, or they listened to people today asking them to vote that way. In the end it was a close vote: passed by 61 for – 60 against.

      National, Banks and Dunne for

      Maori, NZF, Green, Labour, Horan, Harawira – against.

      Down to Dunne again.

      • xtasy 12.2.1

        You mean Peter “Dunny”, I suppose, who has embarrassed himself so much with his bizarre, idiotic taxation agendas, now desperate to cling onto government, as they are keeping the spread on his bread and his high living expenses covered. Oh-hairyoooh, needs a clean number 2 clipper cut or “shave” for cleansing.

  13. Lefty 13

    Two simple questions needs to be asked of Labour, The Greens, NZ First, Mana and the Maori Party.

    “Will you reverse the beneficiary bashing legislation introduced by the Key Government in its entirity?

    “Will you reverse the benefit cuts made by the Bolger Government?

    Any party that doesn’t give a resounding Yes to these questions is full of shit when it comes to defending beneficiaries.

    • bad12 13.1

      While i agree with the point you are making i think you might be being a bit one eyed, the lange government introduced income tax to welfare benefits, the Clark government refused beneficiary children access to working for families,

      Dare i suggest to you now that Labour’s answer is very likely to be no…

      • Bad12 – fair criticisms.

        • bad12 13.1.1.1

          Sadly Frank i would like to have been able to say to Lefty of course labour will answer with a resounding Yes, but alas contrary to many’s belief i am not entirely delusional,

          Perhaps the Labour Caucus could be given a compulsory reading from the Wikipedia on Norman Kirk’s Labour Government once a week…

          [lprent: see my note at /the-difference/#comment-606764 ]

  14. xtasy 14

    The hypocrisy about the NatACT government’s claims that they want to “help” sick and disabled back into some forms of work, which naturally will require some clear efforts and spending on health and rehab measures, becomes very clear, when for example looking at ‘Rising to the Challenge: The Mental Health and Addiction Service Development Plan 2012 – 2017’. Mental health conditions are the primary conditions that between about 30 to 40 per cent of sickness and invalid’s beneficiaries suffer from.

    That “plan” was introduced and presented by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne just before Christmas 2012, which ensured that it got very little, if any media and public scrutiny, and it has indeed gone very much under the radar, as no media and no other forums are discussing the contents of this very concerning plan.

    At first sight it may sound somewhat reasonable what is proposed, but looking at the plan in detail, it is NOT encouraging, yes indeed extremely frightening, what is planned. There have been some proposals and plans published, to which the Royal College of NZ General Practitioners and other professional organisations have presented some interesting submissions.

    In short: They (Ministry of Health and apparently also MSD) will expect mental health and addiction sufferers to more or less “help themselves” (see the highlighted chapter 6 on page 6, and under “Self management education”, and also at the bottom of page 27 of the ‘Rising to the Challenge’ plan). Funding is not available, apart from funds to be taken out of other health services, and then to be re-allocated (see highlighted on page 8 under headline ‘Implementing the Plan’, and Part 1 starting at page 10).

    There is a lot of talk about smart-sounding, catchy policy slogans, phrases with ambiguous meanings – about better use of resources, integrating infrastructure and services, “cementing” and building on gains, increased access, better performance and measuring output, effectiveness, efficiencies, ring-fencing of spending, KPIs, supporting and strengthening the workforce, BUT nothing much of sufficient substance that we can expect. Measures are listed according to “rationale”, “measuring progress” and “priority actions”.

    But the plan also clearly states, that it takes a different approach to the health care than the so-called “Blueprint II” documents or plan do. There is in this ‘Rising to the Challenge’ plan rather much talk and focus on “prioritised actions”. Those that will not improve, co-operate and cope, they are likely to face “sanctions” and so forth – that is as beneficiaries dependent on MSD.

    In any case the plan appears to provide aligned steps to “motivate” or perhaps rather “force” mentally ill and addicted into some forms of work, as chapter 2 on page 28 of the plan ‘Rising to the Challenge’ reveals under heading “Employment specialists”, who appear to be planned to be employed by DHBs.

    NO real extra help of substance, just more pressure and less benefit entitlements and security – that is what will be in store for most. Bennett and NatACT get the big stick out and wave it to sick and disabled on benefits – to ready themselves for some forms of work, while treatment will largely be delivered by insufficiently trained GPs prescribing endless dosages of neuro-pharmaceuticals (see ‘Rising to the Challenge’, page 25, under heading “Reinforce evidence-enforced prescribing”), and no resources will be set aside for improving proper health care!

    This is exposing the double standards and lies of the government we presently have. Peter Dunne is also proving himself as a two faced operator as supporter of the government and Associate Minister for Health. Many of these submitters, representing leading health professional organisations, all working more or less at the coal face in mental health and addiction diagnosis, treatment, care and support, were initially not even properly informed or consulted on the plan drafted up in vague, ambiguous and un-detailed language. Much talk is about KPIs – typical corporate business term for “key performance indicators”.

    The submissions speak for themselves. If you have any time to read this, it will reveal to you what will be in store for mental health and addiction sufferers, many of whom have no option but to live off WINZ benefits. Shameful, all this is. Yet the Ministry of health has not even listed mental health care as part of their priorities for this year, by the way!

    Attached are submissions on the National led government’s “Rising to the Challenge” Mental Health and Addiction Service Development Plan 2012-2017! There are also some links with access to other very useful information:

    http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/rising-challenge-mental-health-and-addiction-service-development-plan-2012-2017 (website with option for downloading);
    http://www.rnzcgp.org.nz/submissions;
    http://www.nzma.org.nz/sites/all/files/NZMA%20Submission%20on%20the%20Mental%20Health%20%26%20Addiction%20Service%20Development%20Plan%202012-2017.pdf;
    http://www.nzcmhn.org.nz/files/file/338/Rising%20to%20the%20Challenge%20Feedback%20form%204102012.pdf;

    http://www.psychology.org.nz/cms_show_download.php?id=1753
    (Please see particularly also the last chapter on page 3 – under ‘2. Building infrastructure for integration between primary and specialist services’, where the ‘New Zealand Psychological Society’ does in their submission on the ‘Rising to the Challenge’ plan raise their great concerns on letting GPs treat mental health and addiction patients!);

    http://www.nzno.org.nz/Portals/0/Files/Documents/Activities/Submissions/2012-11%20Mental%20health%20and%20Addiction%20Service%20Development%20Plan,%20%20NZNO%20FINAL.pdf;
    anzasw.org.nz/documents/0000/0000/0031/Submission_of_Blueprint__MHASP_Final.pdf.

    Some additional info of interest:
    http://www.rnzcgp.org.nz/developments-in-general-practice-training
    http://www.mcnz.org.nz/news-and-publications/
    http://www.nzma.org.nz/policies/advocacy/consultation-documents
    http://www.nzma.org.nz/sites/all/files/nzmastrategicplan.pdf

    http://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/2013/01/31/ex-atos-nurse-reveals-the-real-inside-story/

  15. karol 15

    Tuned in to 3rd Degree tonight for the first time:

    It sells itself as

    A New Kind of Current Affairs:

    3rd Degree brings a human face to the issues that matter to Kiwis, confronting the people who need to be confronted, probing the secrets that need to be uncovered, and celebrating New Zealanders who are living extraordinary lives.

    So, not looking at this Bill or anything significant in current political issues: a Kiwi guy unfairly kept in an Indonesian prison because of a $5,000 debt – unfair, but not the most pressing issue for a large number of Kiwis…. and now a losing sportsman….sheesh!

    This is not current affairs – it’s an infotainment magazine.

    • xtasy 15.1

      You are right, Karol, it is more “infotainment” selling as “current affairs” to largely younger generations who do in many cases not know what REAL current affairs used to look like. Admittedly there are a lot of young smart people, but I wish they would express their disapproval of such cheap shows we get.

      As for welfare not being reported on, I turned in and out of ‘Checkpoint’ on RNZ tonight, while watching TV news and Parliament, but I also missed any mention of the new bill being in Parliament for 2nd reading there tonight. It is a real, real worry, given the changes are so severe, and they will in the end affect so many, who are largely very unaware of what is happening.

      I will meet with a senior activist in the coming days, to discuss a few things, and to see what they are planning, and what else perhaps can be raised and done to increase public awareness and focus on this damning piece of policy that mercenary Paula Bandito is selling us.

      • karol 15.1.1

        The Tuhoe item on 3rd Degree is better.

        Stuff/Dom Post is about the only MSM platform that has an article on the Bill today.

        Doesn’t look in any depth at Bennett’s claims for less people going on to DPB.

        • bad12 15.1.1.1

          Seriously Karol??? what did you make of Tamiti Kruger’s assertion that He want’s to get all of Tuhoe off of welfare,

          i would suggest that if Tamiti had His way that the place would become a ghost town, Tariana Turia speaks this crap with the same forked tongue,

          Maori are on the bottom of the heap because first colonization put them there and second because the curse of silent racial oppression keeps them there…

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.1

            Last I heard, Maori corporate and business interests controlled about $35B in assets and trade. That’s a massive increase from just 10 years ago.

          • karol 15.1.1.1.2

            bad, I said the Tuhoe report was better – mainly because of the topic. I didn’t say it was great. It was a bit touristy, and superficial.

    • So far, Karol, your assessment seems on the ball.

      They haven’t touched on one single serious political issue. And god knows there are plenty to look into.

  16. risildowgtn 16

    Jacinda Arden delivered a very good speech. Bennett did not dribble much back………

    http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/17644

  17. Michael 17

    Middle NZ, and far too many rednecks, will probably applaud NACT’s beneficiary-bashing exercises. I suspect this is why Labour won’t pledge to reverse the changes: after all it set the direction back in 2007, with its disingenuous “work-focus” bill that provided for benefit cuts, in the form of “sanctions” if beneficiaries were unable to jump through all the “compliance” hoops whenever WINZ’ clerical staff cracked the whip. IIRC, it was none other than Rt Hon W Peters who got those provisions dropped from that Bill, although they are now back again in this one. Shame on National, shame on Labour, too (honourable exception for Jacinda Arden but note less than full-blooded support, and pledges, from caucus heavies).

  18. Introducing reforms such as these at a time of high unemployment, and without removing barriers to employment such as the high cost of child care and inadequate training and education opportunities, will inevitably fail.

    Good point. Rational thinking, excellent reason why this bill is badly timed. Doesn’t explain why Labour didn’t introduce reforms such as these when there was low unemployment and plenty of money for funding childcare, but still an excellent reason why it would be a bad idea to do it now.

    “This concession will do nothing to make parents happy with the Bill. They want the option to keep their preschool children at home. That’s all. They want to make the best decisions for their children. Many children simply are not ready to be left in a strange environment for any length of time at age 3.”

    Bad point. Irrational, emotive bollocks. A beneficiary’s kids are no less able to cope with professional childcare than anyone else’s. All this is saying is that the parents involved would rather not have WINZ hassling them about finding some income for themselves.

    “The New Zealand Law Society, in their submission, stated that these obligations were discriminatory because they treated a group of people differently based on employment status,” explains Mrs Smith. “We had hoped that the Select Committee might address that serious flaw in their majority report, but they did not.”

    Probably because the Select Committee was familiar with the proverb “He who pays the piper calls the tune.” Basically, the govt is free to make receipt of social welfare benefits contingent on whatever conditions it cares to name.

    • just saying 18.1

      Probably because the Select Committee was familiar with the proverb “He who pays the piper calls the tune.” Basically, the govt is free to make receipt of social welfare benefits contingent on whatever conditions it cares to name

      No, because it is unlawful to dsicriminate against persons based on their employment status. This means it contravenes our human rights legislation to force beneficiary parents to place their young children in care, if they don’t want to.

      Btw the state also provides the income of teachers, police, policy wonks……even WINZ employees. By your logic they should also be forced to put their children into care.

      • Psycho Milt 18.1.1

        No, because it is unlawful to dsicriminate against persons based on their employment status.

        A noble sentiment. But if I nip down to WINZ tomorrow morning and apply for my unemployment benefit, those guys are gonna discriminate the fuck out of me based on my employment status.

        Btw the state also provides the income of teachers, police, policy wonks……even WINZ employees. By your logic they should also be forced to put their children into care.

        By my logic, the govt is free to try and impose ridiculous and unreasonable conditions on those people’s employment. Which, as anyone involved in the state sector unions could tell you, it does.

        • just saying 18.1.1.1

          A noble sentiment.

          It’s not a sentiment it’s a fact written into our human rights legislation.
          Discrimination is unlawful. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but the fact is, it’s unlawful.

        • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.2

          And we’re the country who invented the 40 hour working week. How the mighty have fucked up.

          • xtasy 18.1.1.2.1

            That is why “the mighty” need to be thrown out of office, for good, and sent into jobs cleaning toilets to get a taste of minimum wage types of jobs that they see fit for the “underclass” to do. I am afraid that some Labour MPs may also need this treatment, as they should have fought this welfare reform BS tooth and nails, but they have NOT!

    • Colonial Viper 18.2

      Basically, the govt is free to make receipt of social welfare benefits contingent on whatever conditions it cares to name.

      No it’s not, morally and ethically.

      • xtasy 18.2.1

        Sadly in NZ the legal profession refrain from commenting on political matters. It should be considered by legal experts to do as in other countries, to speak out on serious legal issues in regards to poorly and inappropriately drafted legislation. Also should lawyers as advocates speak out on social issues, so that the poor and disadvantaged get their rights defended. Sadly this is NOT happening in NZ. Legal Aid is so restricted now, the poor and poorly informed have virtually NO means to defend themselves agains government dictate and abuse in whatever areas, particularly in welfare.

        That is also partly why the affected are so mute on these welfare reforms. They just have resigned to being powerless, voiceless and ignored all the time, and Labour during their last term did not do much to enable and empower the affected. The dictatorship in NZ Aotearoa is working “well” for the ones in charge.

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