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Pushed off the safety net

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, January 21st, 2013 - 75 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, International, poverty - Tags: , , ,

Welfare is supposed to provide a safety net for those in need. What happens to people when they are pushed off the net? They get desperate. This account from Australia describes a typical outcome:

Single mums turn to brothels and stripping

Some single mothers hit by recent Australian welfare cuts to parenting payments have turned to prostitution and strip clubs in order to keep a roof over their family’s head.

The payment cuts came in at the start of 2013 and affect 84,000 single parents, mostly mothers who received parenting payments. …

A spokeswoman from a Brisbane brothel told AAP there had been “influx” in applications from single mothers looking for work since the welfare changes came through. She said there had been about 20 applications. … A woman from a St Kilda brothel said she had also noticed a huge increase in single mothers seeking sex work. “It’s sad. They’re doing it to pay their rent,” …

Adelaide single mother Samantha Seymour said a woman she knew of affected by the payment cuts had spoken to a male staffer at Centrelink about her desperate situation. “She told him ‘What am I supposed to do? Turn to prostitution?’ and he replied ‘You have to do what you have to do,” Ms Seymour said.

Here in NZ, of course, the Nats have embarked on a similar cost-saving exercise, chucking people off welfare, and applauding themselves on the results. 12,000 people have been purged from benefit lists, including the unemployment benefit, at time when unemployment is still rising. The question of what then happens to these people has been raised again and again and again – with no answer from National. No doubt NZ will see reports of predictable consequences in due course.

75 comments on “Pushed off the safety net”

  1. pmofnz 1

    Another typical post from one on the left full of blatant innuendo trying to associate ‘those evil Nats’ with rather unsavoury outcomes.

    What is not mentioned is that here in New Zealand, such a possible outcome is legal employment, not a back street operation to be hidden.

    You may not like the outcome, but you’d might do well to be reminded that it was a Labour government that legalised the oldest profession in this country, making it just another job. And in these days of belt tightening, any job is to be valued.

    Try another tactic.

    • Peter 1.1

      Anthony’s main point isn’t to attack prostitution, it’s to point out the nastier edges of Australian policy, and how similar things can and will happen here with unemployment. Although of course, the sex industry works on the same rules of market logic as anything else – willing suppliers, willing buyers. I doubt in recessionary NZ there’s anywhere near as much market for that sort of thing as in Australia.

      We’re still better off though, simply by not criminalising the poor people who make that career choice. Thanks Tim Barnett.

      • Colonial Weka 1.1.1

        “Although of course, the sex industry works on the same rules of market logic as anything else – willing suppliers, willing buyers.”

        Actually, no. To make out that sex work is akin to washing dishes or working the supermarket check out is misleading and unethical. See my point above about sex work not being able to be done by any old person. Sex work requires a certain skill set that not all women/people have.

        • Peter 1.1.1.1

          Of course it requires a certain skill set. So do many highly personal jobs, counselling, care work, medical professions etc. Those jobs can’t generally be done by any old person either.

          Yeah, I don’t like it, not many do, but it is a socially necessary function. Most important thing is keeping the crime and harm out of it.

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1

            Not many people have conscientious objections or an innate abhorrence to working as a doctor, though. And if they were forced by necessity to do so, I suspect that it would also be ethically dicey.

          • Foreign Waka 1.1.1.1.2

            And that justifies that young mothers have to resort to this? What is going on in the minds of people like you? Is this a world of Dickensian reality? Good grief the things people accept so quickly and readily just to make sure they are not getting the shorter straw.
            Lets not forget they said after the war, we already have. These were the last resort “jobs” when no food was available and the kids needed to be fed.

        • geoff 1.1.1.2

          See my point above about sex work not being able to be done by any old person.

          Sex work requires a certain skill set that not all women/people have.

          Absolutely, 60+ yr old prostitutes are physically unable to perform the required tasks due to emaciated skill sets.

        • Fortran 1.1.1.3

          I understand that a prostitute gets above the minimum wage ?

      • Don't worry be happy 1.1.2

        Peter you live a very sheltered life. “Willing suppliers” what garbage.
        Many sex workers are addicts who prostitute themselves to get their next hit. In fact a lot of them would tell you that they have to be high to do the ‘work’.

    • One Tāne Huna 1.2

      Another typical comment from a lying wingnut.

      The Prostitution Reform Act started as a private member’s bill, and was passed by Parliament, not the “Labour government”. It was a “conscience” vote.

      • pmofnz 1.2.1

        No lies there. Hair splitting to the nth degree on your part. Labour was the government when the Act became law.

        • One Tāne Huna 1.2.1.1

          Which makes your first comment a lie. A lie intended to smear. Funnily enough just after you’d accused the OP author of “blatant innuendo trying to associate ‘those evil Nats’ with rather unsavoury outcomes.”

          So, not just a liar, but a hypocrite too. Truly the ethics of the gutter.

          We need better wingnuts.

        • RedLogix 1.2.1.2

          Stop digging pm.

          The correct thing to do when the facts are not in your favour is to say something like “oops, I forgot that, fair cop”. That way you present yourself as a mature and reasonable person, capable of admitting mistakes and correcting themselves.

          • pmofnz 1.2.1.2.1

            Fair cop?

            I’d call it rewriting history to suit your narrative.

            • McFlock 1.2.1.2.1.1

              so no nats voted for it then? Good to know.

              • One Tāne Huna

                Maurice Williamson isn’t a Nat? Who knew?

                Rodney Hide and Deborah Coddington must have been Labour MPs back then too.

                Or perhaps this pmofnz is as ignorant of NZ history as the real one.

            • One Tāne Huna 1.2.1.2.1.2

              What’s my narrative, exactly? Oh, yes, that your original comment is a lie.

              What was your response? To adjust and qualify your original comment.

              QED.

    • Colonial Weka 1.3

      AFAIK there are legal sex work options in Australia as well.

      Not all people can do all jobs. Sex work in particular is a job that should be done by people that want to do it and enjoy it, not by people forced into it by nasty, selfish neoliberal govt policy. Of course it is evil to expect any and all poor women to fuck or suck dick for a living if that’s the only recourse made available to them. What planet are you on?

      • QoT 1.3.1

        I agree, CW. I wish we could have a conversation about the lengths people are forced to due to punitive government policy without it immediately becoming ~OMG sex work!!!! It’s dirty and gross and no one ever WANTS to do it!!!!!!~

        See TRP’s comments below, for example.

        • Te Reo Putake 1.3.1.1

          Oooh, I make a comment about sex work on a post about sex work and QoT blows a foo foo valve. If you’re that out of touch with the subject or just don’t give a flying one about the victims of this industry, then that’s sad for you, but it’s not going to change my support for the workers as a result.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      What is not mentioned is that here in New Zealand, such a possible outcome is legal employment, not a back street operation to be hidden.

      It’s not that it’s legal but that it’s a job that they’re being forced to do by this government.

      • Olwyn 1.4.1

        In actual fact I seem to remember from when the law was made that it remained illegal to coerce people into sex work. Which is fair enough. People are not allowed to coerce others into having sex where no money changes hands either. But as RedLogix points out further down, it is hard to identify the point where coercion kicks in. Centre Link or WINZ would argue that their cutting someone’s benefit does not have a direct connection with the choices they make as a result of this, even where alternative choices are non-existent. If a WINZ worker openly told someone that they had to take a job in that field or lose their benefit, then that WINZ worker would be acting illegally, but they would mostly know better than to be so explicit.

        • Mary 1.4.1.1

          Yes, and Work and Income have a clear policy of not being to require anyone to enter the sex industry. However, what’s interesting is that it took a situation where a case manager did in fact take it upon themselves to say to a woman that “now prostitution is no longer illegal we can require to you to become a prostitute”. Work and Income really do employee the best people for the job.

    • Mary 1.5

      “… here in New Zealand, such a possible outcome is legal employment, not a back street operation to be hidden … it was a Labour government that legalised the oldest profession in this country, making it just another job. And in these days of belt tightening, any job is to be valued.”

      So do you think Work and Income should kick women off benefits (or men, for that matter) who refuse to accept employment in the prostitution industry?

      • pmofnz 1.5.1

        Why not?

        Beneficiaries should not be allowed to be picky on offered jobs.

        • The Al1en 1.5.1.1

          “Beneficiaries should not be allowed to be picky on offered jobs.”

          Yes, they should.

        • Colonial Viper 1.5.1.2

          Beneficiaries should not be allowed to be picky on offered jobs.

          People should be able to find work which is fulfilling and satisfying, and which pays a living wage.

        • Colonial Weka 1.5.1.3

          pmofnz, there’s a name for forcing women to have sex.

        • Foreign Waka 1.5.1.4

          Are you for real? Do you really say that a beneficiary is nothing else as a domesticated slave for all as long as the profession is “legal”? Whilst I agree that beneficiaries should be taking up a job when one is offered and within their skill set. But there is certainly a line in the sand as to what is ethically and morally acceptable. Or have these concepts been completely abandoned?

          • McFlock 1.5.1.4.1

            I actually don’t think beneficiaries should be obliged to take up a job.

            Most people want to work, and I think the nation would be better off if more people were in the jobs they were happy to be in, with good people to work with and a task that makes them feel fulfilled.

    • The Al1en 1.6

      “You may not like the outcome, but you’d might do well to be reminded that it was a Labour government that legalised the oldest profession in this country, making it just another job. And in these days of belt tightening, any job is to be valued.”

      You might not like the outcome, but fuck right off.
      When any job is to be valued, even if it means mothers selling sex – That just shows how rancid NZ is getting/gotten.
      An advocate for solo mums to become prostitutes or parade naked for coins and notes. Unless you’re a brothel owner or a punter with a mum fetish, that just makes you a weirdo tory cnut.

      If prostitution and the sex industry have to exist, then sure, regulate it to protect the workers, but as a viable career choice for our young women, I think we can do a lot better for them than that.

      • McFlock 1.6.1

        The thing is that some people might find such work preferable to a 9-5 cubicle farm. Fair enough to them, I say. And the pay can be outstanding, too.

        The problem is if people are not cool with such work, but see no other choice. They are forced into it, and doing work you’re not psychologically or morally suited to is a sure way to get problems down the road.

        • The Al1en 1.6.1.1

          No doubt for some it’s a great job, and if it’s legal, good luck to them them.
          As you write about being forced into it as a last resort, it’s a total fail of the state to provide a safety net.
          Though it shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing to say that Women deserve a better option, even if some are happy/content and make a living.
          Their right to do it, my right to wish they didn’t.
          But then I’m a dad to an al1en hybrid eleven year old daughter. I may have a skewed slant on it, which again if viewed as skewed shows how rancid and rotten our parents let the world get for us.

          I don’t like ‘tits on wheels’ down our high streets either.

          • McFlock 1.6.1.1.1

            I agree that people being forced into sex work by hardship is a sign of a state failing to provide a safety net.

            But at the same time I would regard it as a “fail” if people were forced into work that, e.g. has a higher probability of giving them PTSD if they’re not suited to it, like cleaning up crime scenes or whatever.

            Or one story my dad told me about an electrician who acquired a fear of electricity. Shook so much he was a genuine liability. If he needed to keep doing it to support his family, it could have killed him.

      • Foreign Waka 1.6.2

        1++++

    • Richard Down South 1.7

      maybe pmofnz would happily be an escort if they lost their current job

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    There is nothing illegal or imoral with being a sex worker in New Zealand

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      Not all sex work is legal and morality rather depends on each individuals point of view, so it is not the absolute you claim it to be. Sex work is dangerous, physically and mentally. It is the last choice for many; an act of desperation. As an industry it is highly exploitative, poorly regulated and, for the most part, not covered by the employment and safety legislation that protects most kiwi workers.

      • pmofnz 2.1.1

        “poorly regulated and, for the most part, not covered by the employment and safety legislation that protects most kiwi workers”

        Absolute lies. The profession is covered by normal employment laws.

        from Wikipedia:
        Employment disputes can be referred to the Labour Inspectorate and Mediation Service. There is an obligation on employers and employees to practise and promote safe sexual practices. The Ministry of Health has the responsibility for enforcement.

        • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.1

          lol do you live in fantasy land? Planet Key perhaps?

          Health and safety on street corners looks just fine to delusional wingnut.

          • pmofnz 2.1.1.1.1

            No H&S in the reference – just some locals getting their noses out of joint in a turf war because the out of town competition are obviously better at their game.

            • One Tāne Huna 2.1.1.1.1.1

              “No H&S” – yes, that’s my point – there is no health or safety on street corners, thus validating TRP’s statement that sex work is “for the most part, not covered by the employment and safety legislation that protects most kiwi workers.”

              Remember? That’s the point where you started blithering about “absolute lies”.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Thanks, OTH, spot on as usual. As this is an industry that has virtually no wage workers, employment law is largely irrelevant. As ‘contractors’ they are resonsible for their own H&S, paying their own tax, making their own ACC payments, employment protection insurance etc. The Prostitutes’ Collective does great work providing support, but largely, the industry is off the grid.

        • Richard Down South 2.1.1.2

          the mining industry isn’t correctly monitored… you expect the DOL to monitor sex workers?

    • end o times viper shorts 2.2

      that is true

      but there is something wrong with a state that relinquishes its responsibility to its citizens leaving them with few choices but to take work in the sex trade where they’d not consider it otherwise

    • RedLogix 2.3

      If I was forcing women into sex-work through some form of slavery; controlling their freedom to leave, withholding a passport, threats to the family or the like … you would have no difficulty identifying that the power imbalance and the lack of choice for these women was a problem.

      So what’s so different when economic circumstances create a power imbalance and a lack of choice?

      It’s not easy to determine exactly what degree of ‘agency’ is going on here. At one extreme you have obvious sex-slavery and exploitation while at the other end you clearly have other people definitely choosing sex as a profession in a way that they are quite happy with.

      In between there are a bunch of other possibilities of varying shades of exploitation. So while these women in Australia may not have someone physically standing over them when they make that call to the brothel enquiring about work …. hunger and no other better options is a harsh master as well.

    • Colonial Viper 2.4

      There is nothing illegal or imoral with being a sex worker in New Zealand

      So changing government policies to economically force women into sex work is OK?

      Just to save a few dollars of tax for the wealthy?

      I suppose they can then hand over those same extra dollars when they pay for a prostitute or for a lap dance?

    • Foreign Waka 2.5

      No there isn’t but forcing young mothers by otherwise cutting the benefit is – definitely!

  3. Bill 3

    Said it before, but I’ll repeat – I’m come across quite a few people lately who are not signing on because WINZ procedure is viewed as being too much of a bastard to deal with. Consequently they are living by ‘dumpster diving’ for food and sleeping on friend’s couches etc.

    Now, I’ve no doubt the food from the bins is of a reasonable quality and is probably shared around as some form of payment in return for a place to crash and access to hot water and whatever.

    But many bins are padlocked and many more will probably be padlocked in the future. And then there is the fact that the activity is illegal. And what happens to someone of no fixed abode with no income when they get busted?

    • infused 3.1

      They go on WINZ? Oh no, they are too much of ‘bastards’… I’ll eat from a dumpster. Give me a break.

      • One Tāne Huna 3.1.1

        More like they went to WINZ but have been driven to eating from dumpsters because WINZ put too many barriers up.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          There is nothing immoral or illegal about eating from dumpsters mate /sarc

          • One Tāne Huna 3.1.1.1.1

            Absolutely. Just between you and me, I do out-catering to the National Party: that’s where I get the food they throw at one another.

      • just saying 3.1.2

        Nah, I think you’ve had loads of breaks in your life already.

        What is your theory about the increasing numbers of people who have no paid work yet don’t seek their legal entitlements then infused?

        Maybe you’ve had so many breaks in your life that you just can’t imagine doing it tough.

        • McFlock 3.1.2.1

          It’s national’s brighter future: unemployed non-beneficiaries all eat manna from heaven, and they live in the cosy little cottages trolls build under bridges.

          They just whinge to get handouts from hard-working producers – secretly they all drive audis.

          lol – forgot the trololololl word would put me in moderation. Hans Christian Anderson would roll in his grave 🙂

          • One Tāne Huna 3.1.2.1.1

            Say goodbye to sub-pontal domestic misery with sly references to the three billy goats Gruff 😉

  4. karol 4

    I was talking to a young mother of a quite young child recently. She had to show WINZ that she was looking for work, but was having difficulty finding anything. Following someone’s suggestions she was looking for packing and/fruit picking jobs, but wasn’t having much success.

    There doesn’t seem to be a lot of options out there for some young single mothers under pressure from WINZ to find work. Many will end up taking jobs for low pay, that have pretty poor working conditions.

    • Colonial Weka 4.1

      ” Following someone’s suggestions she was looking for packing and/fruit picking jobs, but wasn’t having much success.”

      Probably because orchards are soliciting workers from overseas.

      • Kevin Welsh 4.1.1

        Correct.

        In the next few months here in Hawkes Bay the migrant worker population moving in will be huge, and it is almost exclusively from the Pacific islands.

        The employers like them because not only are they prepared to work long hours for minimum wage, they also get to gouge them on accomodation. What money is left over mainly heads back to family in the islands. They queue’s outside ATM’s on payday are rather large.

      • Fortran 4.1.2

        No as a one time packhouse worker New Zealanders were given priority selection.

        When they often did not turn up for a shift the packhouse managers had to look for other workers.

        Asian female students are excellent workers, who work hard and diligently.

        • fatty 4.1.2.1

          Asian female students are excellent workers, who work hard and diligently.

          That’s a very limited observation of Kiwi vs foreign workers, and it is often used to promote low wages and poor working conditions.
          That’s not to say that generally those points are untrue…but you fail to describe the reasons for this occurring…do you want to have a guess at the reasons why Fortran?…
          Clue: social capital, support networks, current needs vs future needs…also ask yourself why unskilled Kiwi workers are so valued overseas, but seen as lazy in NZ?

          • Fortran 4.1.2.1.1

            The packhouse workers in question were often still stoned still at 8 in the morning at the start of the shift.
            Mostly young males who Winz had put on to the job as they were claimed to be looking for work, and could not find it.
            It was not unusual that one or more after say two/three shifts would create a problem, often of a mechanical nature to the sudden stopping of the packing line, which creates chaos and danger to everybody on the line.
            Out they go back to the dole and Winz, as a physical danger to the rest of the workforce.

            • fatty 4.1.2.1.1.1

              OK…thanks for the story, but you missed my point…I questioned your statement that overseas workers are supposedly better workers, when Kiwi workers in Aussie have quite a good image.

              By the way, regarding your story, do you have some stats to prove that this is the norm?

              Or, if we are just using your story as an objective reality (lol), can you give us some context – Where was this factory? What was the wage? What length of time was the work contract?

    • fatty 4.2

      There doesn’t seem to be a lot of options out there for some young single mothers under pressure from WINZ to find work. Many will end up taking jobs for low pay, that have pretty poor working conditions.

      True…our gendered occupations leave young women as a highly vulnerable group.
      While young women are out performing young men in post-secondary education, for those who are not educationally inclined, moving from school to the workforce presents few opportunities.
      For men that are not educationally inclined, there are apprenticeships available in high paying work…for young women, this is not available to the same extent.
      You can take that exclusion of opportunity and multiply it if the young woman in not Pakeha.
      Historically, good wages have followed male dominated industry, so the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme must become more gender neutral.
      The Modern Apprenticeship Scheme, which was created by the last Labour Government has been a failure and has perpetuated the exclusion faced in the workforce, and exposed the holes in our safety net (our so called safety net is embarrassing enough, without the holes).

  5. outofworkkiwi 5

    Here’s a good article about the new punitive attitude of this government and Winz. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/07/nzwf-j12.html. Some quotes from it:

    “designed to cut costs by restricting access to benefits for tens of thousands of people.”

    “force single parent beneficiaries to look for work once their youngest child turns six.”

    “The Social Assistance (Future Focus) Bill will also require people on unemployment benefits to undergo a “comprehensive work test” every 12 months. Those unable to prove they have been looking for work will face sanctions, including having their benefits halved or cut off entirely.”

    “Paul Blair, a beneficiary advocate from the Rotorua People’s Advocacy Centre, told the New Zealand Herald in April that there was already “a nationwide campaign to kick [people] off the invalid’s benefit”. Blair said Work and Income regional health advisers were ringing doctors and “cross-examining” them about whether their patients were really incapable of working 15 hours a week.”

    My experience, they’re looking for any excuse to cut your benefit.(Any deemed infringement of your duty to conform) (Cut and ask questions later attitude).Then you have a lengthy painful effort ahead to get back on going through a “Review” process, as happened with me. 🙁 . I was cut off because I was out and didn’t answer phone calls from them with job possibilities, even though there was an answerphone which activated after only 6 rings, they didn’t leave messages! 🙁
    I’m complying and am genuinely looking for work but I’m running out of jobs to go for, NZ is only a small place after all, we can’t possibly employ everyone despite 160,000 of the youngest, fittest and brightest leaving elsewhere since Key came into power.

    Another good link here as to teenager’s situation:
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2011/08/nzwe-a26.html

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=30264

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/12/28/nzpv-d28.html

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      Cheers for the links, kiwi.

      By the way, how good is Paul Blair!? I’ve heard him a few times on the radio; always sharp and to the point, knowlegeable with good anecdotes backed up by solid facts. Bennett must hate him.

  6. outofworkkiwi 6

    Here are some more links as to the Australian situation:
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/01/05/pove-j05.html “Australian government cuts welfare payments to single parents”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/01/05/ints-j05.html ” Australian dole recipients struggle to survive”
    The end result will be to cement Inequality, deprivation and resentment more firmly into our societies, while the rich sectors of NZ and Australia are having their wealth protected in every way.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/10/pove-o16.html “Report details widespread poverty in Australia”

    • asp viper 6.1

      My God, how terrible it is in Australia……..and under a Labour/Greens govt too!!!!

      What would it be like under Righties???

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Welfare cuts driving truly vulnerable people into the arms of the grey and black economy.

    And don’t forget that too many brothels and strip clubs have ownership links to biker gangs and organised crime, local and international/asian.

    pmofnz you are a creepy little amoral shit.

  8. end o times viper shorts 8

    (cynical media hat on) there’s a great series of Campbell Live stories begging to be told here….

  9. outofworkkiwi 9

    “Proposed Work Tests Are Concerning”
    “One of New Zealand’s leading disability service and advocacy organisation CCS Disability Action is calling on the Government to abandon proposals for UK-style work ability assessments for the disabled.

    The invalid’s benefit is due to be replaced by the supported living payment as part of welfare reforms later this year.

    David Matthews, chief executive of CCS Disability Action, is concerned at the prospect of work assessments mirroring the UK system, which is carried out by contracted providers.

    “According to a speech by the Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, these tests will be based on the work of Professor Sir Mansel Aylward and the tests in the United Kingdom. ”

    Professor Sir Mansel Aylward Who the hell is this Pommie Toff!? Never heard of him before. Are we going to become dickensian like old blighty with the servants downstairs pulling their forelocks to the pampered Toffs? 🙁 What’s this country coming to!?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1301/S00016/proposed-work-tests-are-concerning.htm

    • GregJ 9.1

      Welsh born physician, Professor and Ex-Chief Medical Advisor to the UK Government Department of Work & Pensions between 1996-2005 – Cardiff University Bio here and College of Medicine entry here. – He helped develop the UK Medical Assessment for Incapacity (The “All Work Test”), the Personal Capability Assessment and the “Pathways to Work” initiative for Vocational Rehabilitation and he led the Medical Group on the UK Welfare Reform framework.

      He got a gong from Labour and then a Knighthood from the Tories (perhaps a Blairite “third wayer” now revealing his neo-liberal roots?).

      I think he was in NZ last year (2012) and there was an interview with him in The Listener.

  10. xtasy 10

    THIS is the speech Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Security, held on 26 Sept. last year, announcing a harsher regime for all sick and/or disabled on welfare benefits in NZ:

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-medical-professionals

    THIS is some interesting information that is available via the ACC Forum on Work and Income’s and MSDs “Principal Health Advisor” (in charge of Regional Health Advisors and also Regional Disability Advisors and Health and Disability Coordinators) – Dr David Bratt. He is “fan” of the UK based, staunchly pro-work-ability focused Professor Mansel Aylward, who last year “advised” Paula Bennett on how to bring in stricter work ability tests here in NZ:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/12615-dr-david-bratt/

    THIS is the kind of work capacity test (now in use by Department of Work and Pensions in the UK) that Paula Bennett is apparently looking of intruducing here also (at least in parts):

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@disabled/documents/digitalasset/dg_177366.pdf

    I offered these links before, but some appear to not have read the articles and information found through clicking these links.

    So the “safety net” will become less of a “safety net” in future, and since the introduction of Future Focus with a “relentless focus on work”, the process has already begun.

    Most certainly, some will end up “working” in prostitution, resort to perhaps drug dealing and to some criminal activities to make ends meet. Others will simply end up homeless or in other misery, and a walk through Auckland’s Queen Street will show you that there are now more homeless than I have ever seen before in this country.

    Bear all this in mind, when another election will come, please!

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    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    9 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    10 hours ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    11 hours ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    12 hours ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    12 hours ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    13 hours ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    24 hours ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 day ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 day ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    2 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    2 weeks ago