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Re-run: Benefits, wages and anger

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 am, December 29th, 2009 - 44 comments
Categories: benefits, capitalism - Tags:

The recent furore about benefit levels has brought a lot of comments along the lines of “I don’t get it why should they?” out of the woodwork along with a lot of hardluck stories from low wage earners such as this one from Phoenix on Colin Espiner’s blog:

I am 6 months pregnant with my first child. 6 weeks into my pregnancy, my prick of a boss decided to make me redundant, forcing me into a position paying $5 an hour less than my normal rate of pay, I had to move to Chch from Auckland to keep my job, and whats more, he replaced me with someone else about 2 weeks after I had moved! (changed the name of the position of course, but it is the same blinkin job)

I have a partner, he got a job paying $38k a year (before tax), I now earn a pathetic $30k a year, and because of our two incomes, we are not eledgible for any government help.

I felt like I had to stay employed with this company as it would be very difficult to find a job when you are pregnant, especially at the moment with the recession and the lack of jobs out there.

What annoys me here, is I am battling to stay afloat, will be taking the least amount of maternity leave owing so we dont lose any income, and will have to put my child into child care to go back to work while these ladies earn a heck of a lot more than I do for sitting on the benefit.

Perhaps I should have a couple more kids and pretend I am single, to get more money?? Oh yeah, and I did 3 polytech courses, and have already paid back my student loan. No freebies there either….

Apart from the fact Phoenix would clearly have a strong case for a personal grievance which should include reinstatement and maternity leave (join your union!), this comment and the hundreds like it are a constant reminder of how low wages are in New Zealand.

The dark irony is that by calling for beneficiaries to have their entitlements cut, these low paid workers are effectively asking to have more pressure put on them to work harder for less because if they don’t there will be more people lined up to do their job for less. In fact in the 1990’s a constant refrain from bosses during negotiations was “if you don’t like the wages there’s hundreds of people who will.”

What astounds me is that so many people with these hard luck stories are willing to attack other people at the bottom of the pile rather than the people and policies that are oppressing them both.

I guess it shows how effective the New Right’s individualist agenda has been in that rather than see themselves as part of society these people see themselves only as individuals in competition with other individuals.

And while I’m at it there’s a second strain of comment that has come through during this debacle – the one where the commenter talks about how proud they are they are toughing it out and working for SFA. There’s a name for that kind of person and apparently there’s one born every minute.

44 comments on “Re-run: Benefits, wages and anger”

  1. “…the commenter talks about how proud they are they are toughing it out and working for SFA. There’s a name for that kind of person and apparently there’s one born every minute.

    People who take pride in working, being self-reliant and contributing are fools? It’s called having a work ethic. But that’s OK. Just so long as someone else has one you don’t need to. Your brand of morality explains why the welfare system is systematically abused.

    • felix 1.1

      Geez Lindsay if you’re going to make shit up and attribute it to someone else it’s probably best not to quote what they actually said or you’ll just look like a moron as well as a liar.

    • BLiP 1.2

      Where’s the morality in sneering at those in receipt of a benefit?

    • roger nome 1.3

      and swoosh – there goes he point, at stratosphere level over lindsay’s head. to bring it down to our level, the people that don’t have the politcal analysis to realise when they’re being systemically shafted are suckers. i mean, good on them for working hard, and making an honest living. you may be a good person, but you’re still a sucker.

  2. Ms X 2

    Well I dont think that $272 for a sole parent and $158 for a single person under 25 (sickness or unemployment benefits) is much. Frankly, I’m amazed anyone can survive on those levels. The supplements, Family Tax credits etc are add-ons and a lot of people not on benefit are entitled to one or more of those. I’m one of them. if we could separate fact from fiction just long enough for these people who are apparently prepared to forego their dignity, independence and chances of earning more for a “freebie” each week, they might have some surprises. Unhappily, the readily accessible facts of levels of benefits are never as good as a good headline-hitting whinge.

  3. The fruits of fucking up at school coming to fruitition here chaps, cry me a river and use contraception instead of whinging.

    • Roger 3.1

      As Phoenix mentioned about her education and qualifications, “Oh yeah, and I did 3 polytech courses, and have already paid back my student loan. No freebies there either”. Is this fucking up at school?

    • roger nome 3.2

      JR you punative idiot – how about i kneecap you and call it the fruits of your nasty rhetoric? bet you’d enjoy that.

  4. swimmer 4

    It’s just more beneficiary bashing. Those people should be grateful that they have jobs and get on with their lives and stop whinging about the people who are in the unfortunate position of having to live off a benefit.

  5. Anne 5

    It would be interesting to know how many of the beneficiary bashers who made comments on Espinor’s original blog (28 July 2009) have since been made redundant and are currently on a benefit.

  6. lenore 6

    I also don’t get it. Someone on a benefit has no connections, doesn’t have mummy and daddy to bail them out, give them the connections to the right job … oh and pay for them to go to uni while putting their money in a family trust so that it doesn’t get touched like the average worker paying taxes. I live in a suburb where the self employed get working for families tax credits to pay for their cleaner and where people know how to use the system legally to pay less. That is the way of the world and why the rich get richer etc. If I was phoenix, I would be more pissed off about how there are a few wealthy people out there who manage to worm themselves out of paying their share, rather than a few poor buggers who manage to cling onto staying on a benefit where lets face it, you are treated like shit.

  7. jcuknz 7

    It is a typical case of attacking others becuase you think they are getting more than you. But the basic point here is that a couple shouldn’t let the woman get pregnant if they cannot afford to have the child and maintain the standard of living they wish to have. Quite apart from arguments about the world has too many people already and bringing another life into the world is immoral.

    • BLiP 7.1

      Compulsory contraception until you are rich enough to have children?

      • Zorr 7.1.1

        One rule for the rich. Another rule for everyone else.

        Where have you been Blip? 😛

        • BLiP 7.1.1.1

          Heh! No doubt I’m still suffering a little culture shock. See, I’ve just got back from Planet Humanity – a strange and mysterious place where the members of society extend financial support to its weakest members yet withhold the right to pour scorn upon them, a place where providing as far as possible for the equitable distribution of health, education, and opportunity to children is dispensed by the state where required yet the recipient caregivers are still granted the respect due to those growing the future. Crazy, eh?

      • jcuknz 7.1.2

        Blip …. That does make sense, although I’m not sure that it should be complusory but rather intelligent choice. I have supported the concept of a responsible society for many decades now but mankind is swamping the world and to me it is preferable that the solution is by self discipline rather than by war and famine.

        So it is ‘not until you are rich’ but rather until the world population has stabilised at a sensible level to be self supporting in terms of its resources. There is nowhere else for mankind to go for all of NASA’s efforts.

        • prism 7.1.2.1

          jcuknz – These people are being people, following the human behaviour traits and you blame them? This is what people tend to do in a society that doesn’t have strict controls like China, they have sex and have babies. It’s traditional in more ways than one. Families where children have just come along without much attempt at birth control, tend to follow the same approach as their parents. It is quite an effort to control conception, and society often makes it quite hard also by putting various barriers in the way.

  8. jcuknz 8

    Zorr …. it has always been and always will be different if you are rich. But richness can come from satisfaction with what one has, contentment with what one has achieved in life.
    They choose for her to get pregnant, one way or another, an obvious lack of self discipline and appreciation of what it involves. Her rather stupid slagging off at her employer gains her nothing in my view. Why should the employer carry the bag for the couple’s lack of common sense. If the country wants another child then it should be our collective responsibility through state aid … but of course really the world doesn’t need yet another mouth to feed.

    • felix 8.1

      I totally get your point about overpopulation, and also about intelligent choices being far and away the most ideal means to tackle the problem.

      However the ability to make such choices presupposes a level of education and awareness which we as a society have failed to extend to the vast majority of the population, preferring instead to adorn ourselves with wasteful trinkets and casual luxuries.

      Where is the moral authority now to decide the fate of the mass?

    • Roger 8.2

      How is two full time workers deciding at a reasonable age to start a family a lack of self discipline and appreciation of what is involved. Are you saying that having your job taken away in dubious circumstances is a normal consideration of what is involved?

    • roger nome 8.3

      grinchnz: nz is not overpopulated – in fact if it were left to the rich we would b experiencing depopulation – and a higher ratio of retired people to working age people. anyhow – i don’t think the child should pay for their parents’ mistakes – none of us choose to be born in to poverty. so get off your high horse and come down to reality – where most of us live. that’s why we choose to live in a society that has a welfare state. i hear somalia doesn’t have much of a welfare state. perhaps you could move to that free-market paridise if you don’t like the way we do things in new zealand?

      • jcuknz 8.3.1

        It is possible that NZ is not overpopulated at the moment but just as with greenhouse gases what we do affects the world and what the world is doing affects us, so we should be doing something, perhaps like China with a one child family for a start, and ignore the foolish religious concepts that this violates..

        It is the parents decision, often becuase of ignorance, as to how a child is born.
        Th responsible parent ensures that they have enough to not only feed the child but raise it with some expectations. Otherwise the child and the parents are victims of the blind drive of nature to procreate. Nature does seem to be driving us to starvation and extinction and mankind fortunately has the brain, somewhat lacking in this forum I suspect, to do something about it. That the ‘rich’ are having small families merely illustrates that they have the brains to make their money and keep it, and in turn give their children a start in life.

        As I see it the problem in countries such as Roger Nome wishes to consign me is that without a welfare system the only hope for parents to enjoy their reitrement is to have plenty of children to look after them. If they were assured of an adequate superanuation they wouldnt need to have so many children. and they and the world would be a better place with a better future.

  9. jcuknz 9

    I would suggest that you lefties lift your heads out of the class war and get a glimpse of what is going on in the world with the mad march of capitalism, which you reflect with your desires and comments. For the responsible society [ Dr Bill Sutch] to work the people must act in a responsible way on a personal, national, and world level.

    • Roger 9.1

      In regards to acting responsibly, this case above shows that Phoenix has been acting responsibly. She was made redundant AFTER she was pregnant. If she works full time, a loss of $5 per hour down to $30,000pa suggests that when she was pregnant, she was earning $40,400pa, living happily in Auckland, and a partner on $38,000pa. She had 3 tertiary courses paid off so she is responsible with her money. Rather than telling us lefties to lift our heads out of the class war, you should join our ranks since it appears that dickhead bosses like the one above are the ones acting irresponsibly. On a personal level they do so by making people redundant through legally dubious avenues, on a national level through political parties that bash beneficiaries and help unscrupulous employers by eroding workers rights, and banks that evade tax, and a world level by outsourcing labour to places where workers can be exploited.

      • jcuknz 9.1.1

        If you but knew it I have been in your ranks for decades serving on staff committee etc at times, likely ever since I read Dr S’s book which made so much sense, but that was fifty years ago and while I still believe in a responsible society I have come to see that for it to work one must have a responsible populace to support it.otherwise it will not get off the ground. The left are largely dreamers trying the share out the cake before it is cooked. It didn’t work in the village society and it still doesn’t in our modern industrial world. The crops have to be harvested before food can be made.

        From what I learnt when I was on the dole for a short time I believe that the beneficiaries have to fight for every cent they get and the departments job was to try and see through the lurks and fiddles the bene’s tried to put over them … a form of warfare with a lack of responsibility on both sides. That was around 20 years ago when I was made redundant shortly before retirement age, I hope things are better now. Shipley and Richardson not running things now.

    • prism 9.2

      I think Dr Bill Sutch had more heart and humanity than you do jcuknz.

  10. prism 10

    This is having a work ethic? Have you any ethics at all – how would you know? People being worked into the ground and never able to improve their lot because they are only receiving survival wages, that is a recipe for a handy underclass to exploit. Especially if they accept the propaganda that they are superior to those out of work – working even for peanuts is heroic! Reminds me of an old story where pre-legal prostitution they in this city had a pecking order, the inside girls looked down on the street girls. In the end it is just a small degree of difference – they are exploiting themselves.

    George Orwell wrote about this problem in Down and Out in Paris and London after he was working in Paris as a plongeur – a low-paid kitchen hand working long hours in poor conditions for minimal pay. He made an interesting comment – that it was the sort of work that women would normally be given except they didn’t have the stamina for this job. It is interesting that this pregnant woman is trying to do paid work as well, she cannot prepare for her baby’s birth, and is not being paid the high wages that some women have as a reason for not relinquishing work at this time. She should be able to get assistance from a government that had any idea of how to support citizens and give parents and babies a good start in life.

    One of the ploys Orwell and his companions used as a survival technique after losing their jobs was to get out of a boarding house without paying rent due by lowering a suitcase out of the window so they could leave with the weemingly intending to return. Being on the edge can drive you into criminality so easily. Nothing superior and wonderful in being poor whether you are working or not.

    • prism 10.1

      Just remembered another bit from Orwells Down & Out – he said about working as a plongeur that there was a sort of pride in the men who did the job. It was such hard work and it sorted out the stayers and the others and they felt a pride in being such hardworking beasts who could survive in that work environment.
      Of course it was written in 1933 and was about the conditions of the Great Depression. That’s the period they made the film They Shoot Horses Don’t They – referring I think to when horses were worn out with work they got shot, and people going into marathon dance competitions for money often danced till they dropped like worn-out horses.

    • jcuknz 10.2

      Just to prove my heart and humanity PRISM I would tell you that I am glad to live in a country where prostitution is a legitimate and legal form of emplyment rather than as in the States and similar uncivilised countries where the women are hounded by police and crims with nobody to help them better themselves with the talents they were born with. Everybody ‘exploits’/ uses the skills they were born with/ learnt to earn their living. You demonstrate a rather limited concept of life and humanity with that comment..

      • prism 10.2.1

        Didn’t say that prostitution shouldn’t be legal. Its a hard business though, dealing with the public is always tiring, retail assistant, taxi driving for instance, but prostitution involves selling yourself for short periods and you would have to watch that you didn’t sell yourself short, and that there was something of you left over when you could live your own life and wanting to make your own emotional partnership. That applies to girls or rent boys I think they call them. If they can find the other talents that they were born with, and everybody has many just not realised, and then exploit those instead they are likely to be much better off in the long run.
        That’s the reality and can’t be denied. The truth can’t be glossed over by a veneer of superiority and liberal talk jcuknz.

  11. randal 11

    this person phoenix, if it is a real person and not just a figment of espiners imagination
    (has he been interviewing his own typewriter again) sounds just like a paula bennet impersonator.
    they will probably stand for national at the next election.

  12. prism 12

    It is possible that phoenix can rise out of the ashes, but when I looked on the IRD information online I find that it is short on direct answers. What is the income level for in-work tax benefit?? The top amount they will pay is stated but not the top amount that you can earn. Anyway mothers to be should be getting a maternal benefit – don’t they have one in Australia? They do in lots of other go-ahead countries. But of course we treat human pregnancy as a sort of farming activity.
    Then there are about three other benefits which you have to wade through details about. One has an abatement at about $36,000.
    You have to enter your info and the site will calculate it. IN the old days, there used to be pages of tax tables where you found out exact details by running along two columns, like you do with a road distance chart. Seeing is believing and understanding, not the doling out of information through a fog of words is needed.

  13. JD 13

    I sometines wonder if you’re a real person Randel as its hard to fathom how anyone could be so stupid.

  14. Jum 14

    – Did Phoenix vote for National in the last election? If so, serves her right; she obviously approves of that sort of treatment. NActM talked about the 90day probation bill. Surely everyone would know that’s NAct speak for ‘the employer has all the advantages’. Surely everyone knows what National and Act stand for. Many NZers voted for National against a female Prime Minister and now are suffering for their misogyny.

    Let’s see if by 2011 these now-suffering people have learned any lessons from voting for the National/Act/Maori/United Future parties that believe in cheap, desperate labour and growing the privatisation pie for the corporates.

    – Even an Act supporter I know admitted that the reason Working for Families existed was because employers were getting away with paying pittances for all these ‘hardworking’ New Zealanders the far right political parties are exploiting.

    Do I sound bitter – of course. New Zealanders are and have been selfishly inclined since the Douglas 80s and Richardson 90s. Clark tried to turn the tide but this country of men folk who hate strong women ruined a return to some form of civilized future for NZ. Now it’s all about privatisation and mining and brutish lives for animals and people, not necessarily in that order.

    • prism 14.1

      capcha – if
      jum What you say could all be right. But Labour now has a chance to rethink its priorities and get man and womanpower into action.
      The trouble with Helen was that she was omnipresent and appeared authoritarian without understandable explanation. If we as a country could have a two-term limit on Prime Ministers we would stop this concreting in of someone who is losing vision and value and allow for fresh and experienced replacements to come forward, without having to chuck out a whole government just to get the required change of leadership.

      • felix 14.1.1

        …omnipresent and appeared authoritarian without understandable explanation.

        I think Jum offered a pretty simple explanation actually.

  15. prism 15

    felix Do you mean jum saying that NZ hate strong women?

    • felix 15.1

      I think it’s more of a case of a small, vocal, and creepy minority of NZ men who hate strong women, and that their sentiment has been given a voice by the National and Act party, their bloggers, and their PR people in quite a strategic manner (at the higher levels) resulting in mindless repetition by the like of the drones who post here and elsewhere.

      I don’t recall regular people talking about Clark being “authoritarian” or “omniscient” for the past decade but reading the blogosphere and the newspapers you’d think that that was the generally held perception of her.

      It’s a top-down meme, not a bottom-up one. They chose a few years ago to attack Clark on her strengths rather than her weaknesses. As Karl Rove says, if you attack their strengths and do it right they have nothing left. Or something like that.

  16. Olwyn 16

    Well said Felix

  17. Sanctuary 17

    felix, whilst i agree with what you say, it should be remembered that it still important for the National party to keep up it’s laundered attacks on her. If these were to stop then the danger would be she would be seen as possibly our greatest PM since Fraser. That in turn would diminish the stature of the John Key. The formidable shadow of Helen Clark willl terrify the National party for a while yet.

    Oh yes and the righties are petrified she’ll end up the first President of the Republic of New Zealand, and with good reason IMHO. She would be a fantastic president after she finishes her stint as secretary general of the UN, around ten-fifteen years from now…

  18. prism 18

    Helen Clark was good but should not be canonised and criticism of her performance is as relevant as for other politicians. Don’t be paranoid, the Nats nicknamed her Helengrad which was unfair and unreasonable but leader worship should not get in the way of reasonable analysis.

    • prism 18.1

      capcha interests
      Why is a simple comment I made at 11 am/ish still awaiting moderation? And why, there’s no bad language or anything offensive in it. Just fair comment.

  19. al zhiemer 19

    Rodger ,Somalia has a welfare system,it’s called piracy and it pays a whole lot more than bennets benefit.

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  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    5 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    6 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    6 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    6 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    7 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    2 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
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