Removing Beneficiary rights retrospectively

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, November 17th, 2015 - 308 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, benefits, Politics, welfare - Tags:

Radio New Zealand broke a story recently about how beneficiaries had been underpaid because WINZ had wrongly calculated when a stand down period ended. Instead of paying a benefit from the day the stand down period ended it paid the benefit from the day after.

The net loss each time is not huge, at least not huge to someone not having to survive on a benefit.  But for most beneficiaries the amount is significant.  And the cumulative effect of a number of beneficiaries being owed money over a long period of time means that it could cost the Government a considerable sum to correct.

This is a statutory entitlement however and should be paid.  Our country is in a bad way if the Government cannot be expected to stick to the law.  The bill could be in the millions but the Government takes $70 billion each year in different sorts of tax and I am sure it could find a way to deal with the problem.

The relevant statutory provision appears to be very clear.  It states:

If a stand down period applies under this section, benefits commence as follows:
(a)  benefits except those described in paragraph (b) commence on the later of—
(i) the day on which the stand down period ends …

It is not as if unclear law has resulted in an unexpected decision.  The law appears clear and the administrative practice was clearly wrong.

Already some beneficiaries have applied to have their entitlement paid to them. From Radio New Zealand:

Beneficiaries who were underpaid by a day’s worth of benefit are now getting their money, some receiving hundreds of dollars in back pay.

Work and Income has paid most benefits a day late for almost 20 years and is trying to pass legislation to wipe the debt.

But beneficiaries are claiming back the extra day’s pay and, in some cases, getting it.

Benefits are meant to start the same day a stand-down period ends, usually a couple of weeks after someone first applies.

RNZ reported in September that since 1998, the government had been starting payments the day after stand-down.

Since then, advocates have been helping people claim the extra day’s pay, sending out hundreds of review forms, which are forwarded on to Work and Income.

Aaron Tily, who lives in Ashburton, has just received $93.

“Quite relieved, because it took quite a bit of time,” he said.

“My family was thinking it might have been a bit of a scam, and I was starting to think that as well.”
The Facebook group set up to get people claiming the extra day now has more than 4500 members.

Those members have been posting about how much money has arrived in their account, which in some cases amounts to hundreds of dollars.

Beneficiary advocate Kay Brereton said the payouts so far ranged from $40 to $300, depending on how many times people had been on and off the benefit.

“This is what we want to encourage, is people to get off the benefit and have jobs and just use the benefit when they need to, and don’t have a job.

“It’s these people that have been disadvantaged, and it’s these people who are being back paid, so it’s fantastic.”

But there is talk about the Government passing retrospective legislation to take this entitlement away.

The possibility was first reported in this Radio New Zealand article posted on September 16, 2015.  Andrea Vance yesterday tweeted that the Government intends introducing retrospective legislation to remove the right to seek the shortfall.

If this is true it will be a clear breach of settled constitutional principles.  The use of retrospective legislation can only be justified in limited urgent situations.  Owing money to poor people because the Government has been misapplying the law is not one of them.

If you want to see a clear statement of the principle this one from the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee should suffice:

Legislation should not affect existing rights and should not criminalise or punish conduct that was not punishable at the time it was committed.

It will be interesting to see what the Government actually comes up.  It seems a forlorn hope but the rights of beneficiaries to receive what they are entitled to by law will be respected.

Update: The bill has been introduced AND has retrospective effect AND is to be debated under urgency. Banana republic stuff.

308 comments on “Removing Beneficiary rights retrospectively”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    We could apply this principle to anything. Tax cuts and corporate welfare, for example, and John Banks and Jason Ede had better watch out.

  2. Tracey 2

    Perhaps they can introduce legislation under urgency to make flouting OIAs a criminal offence with a minimum of 3 months in jail. Retrospectively. What with transparency being pM promise from 2008 and a cornerstone of democracy.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      Nah, make the maximum sentence two years 😈

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        +1

        But National will never legislate to criminalise themselves. Instead, they’ll legislate to make their immoral actions legal.

        • Daniel Cale 2.2.1.1

          Like Labour’s retrospective legislation about the pledge card eh!

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1

            The use of retrospective legislation can only be justified in limited urgent situations.

            That particular re-interpretation of the legislation after 14 years of common law understating would actually have caused major constitutional problems and so was justified.

            • Daniel Cale 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Nonsense. The pledge card expenditure was questioned before the ruling. Labour was well known for its largesse with taxpayers money when it came to electioneering (bus shelter advertising, direct mail campaigns, desk calendar distributed by Helen Clark’s office). Why didn’t Labour just pay the money back? Helen Clark bankrupted labour morally, now they are being bankrupted financially.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The pledge card expenditure was questioned before the ruling.

                But hadn’t been questioned in the 14 years beforehand. Rather important that as it meant that, as every single party had used it that way, it was understood to be legal, ie, a common understanding of the law.

                Labour was well known for its largesse with taxpayers money when it came to electioneering (bus shelter advertising, direct mail campaigns, desk calendar distributed by Helen Clark’s office).

                No they’re not else they would have been in court about it. National, on the other hand never gets pulled up for their corruption by you RWNJs.

                Why didn’t Labour just pay the money back?

                They did. I know that National didn’t pay the GST that they owed.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_New_Zealand_election_funding_controversy

                PS. I won’t engage in this further. If you want my responses to all your other queries about it I suggest you search this site. They’re all there.

                • Daniel Cale

                  “But hadn’t been questioned in the 14 years beforehand. ”
                  Not the pledge card. That was questioned from the outset.

                  “No they’re not else they would have been in court about it. ”
                  Ha! They legislated before that could happen! Not only that, but of the $1.17m misspent, Labour’s share was 768k, National’s only $11k. This demonstrates just what Labour had to cover up.

                  “They did. ”
                  Reluctantly, and only in response to huge pressure.
                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10400914

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Not the pledge card. That was questioned from the outset.

                    No it wasn’t else the AG would have ruled an election earlier.

                    Ha! They legislated before that could happen!

                    Nope. As I said, this sort of spending had been done by every single party for 14 years hence the need for the retrospective legislation.

                    Reluctantly, and only in response to huge pressure.

                    And National didn’t pay the GST at all and for the same reason – they thought that they were in the right.

              • mickysavage

                Gee Daniel. Labour paid all the money back. I remember because I chipped some in. The legislation was required to finalise the issue but no doubt you will have some tinfoil hat wearing explanation for how it was going to lead to world domination by gingers.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    So, will Labour vote for or against National’s bene bashing legislation?

    Earlier this year, Labour voted for National’s social welfare amendments. Will they change their tune now?

    • Leftie 3.1

      It’s always Labour’s fault isnt it CV? (who, ironically, is a Labour Party member).
      Ever think of holding the current National government to account ? It would be a refreshing change if you did.

      • Karen 3.1.1

        +1 Leftie.

        • savenz 3.1.1.1

          If Labour wants to win they might have to listen to what supporters like CV are saying.

          There is the missing 15% of lost votes last election – and Labours share of votes are dropping each election the more they ignore what supporters are telling them.

          Labour have supporters who hold ALL their decisions to account. If Labour are saying they want to end poverty but then voting for the Nats social welfare amendments then supporters are obviously outraged.

          If they say they don’t want TPP but will probably keep it anyway and say they are concerned with some parts of it, but now only concerned with property.

          Labour needs to grow a brain and stop agreeing with the Natz on policy or only having minor differences.

          Nobody is complaining about the Natz on this website, because they would never in a million years vote for National. They complain about Labour because they care about Labour policy (or lack of it).

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            The points you make seem obvious to me, but like yourself, I am finding myself having to spell it out to dyed in the wool Labour supporters.

          • Leftie 3.1.1.1.2

            @Savenz

            CV is no Labour supporter, and Labour bashing at every opportunity and the one sided Labour hating rants are unproductive and do not solve any problems. What it does is give support to National.

            • Tracey 3.1.1.1.2.1

              I think you over estimate the influence of TS o the undecided and non voteling voters

            • savenz 3.1.1.1.2.2

              @ Leftie All I’m saying is if a reasonable amount of people who vote Labour or used to vote Labour agree with CV’s gripes about Labour or they disagree with Labour on deal breaker issues – and maybe Labour should start taking notice.

              Labour needs to stop fighting with it’s own voters. How can you win that way? Also Labour supporters are much smarter so fobbing them off like the Natz do for their voters does not get Labour as far. I’m thinking that voters seem to be smarter than the politicians who seem to think that you push a few buttons on policy, throw money and bribes in the mix, have no real plan apart from sticking it to the public and voila you get votes. Did not work for Northland for the Natz and did not work for Labour last election.

              Voters don’t want to vote National, but are finding that Labour policy and voting is too like the Natz to vote for Labour either. How is that sending people to National – the main gripe of supporters is that Labour are too like National!

              Labour having a few points of difference on welfare, warfare and security and extremely corporate friendly on taxation (don’t bother paying tax in NZ, we love corporate tax crumbs, and losses and taxpayers should give the corporates welfare, immigration is fantastic and 59,000 migrants won’t lower wages, increase housing prices and put a strain of social welfare and health services – NZ is the land of plenty! TPP is a poor deal and a dangerous deal but we’ll sign anyway cos Obama needs his legacy and poor corporates already avoiding tax and being given hand outs need more opportunity from the public purse and benefits.

              Unfortunately there may be too may MPs hanging Wellington and need to get out of the beehive and into reality.

      • weka 3.1.2

        CV’s gripes about the Labour party aside, his point is a good one. Why is Labour voting for legislation that punishes and hurts a section of society who are struggling? Genuine question for Labour supporters.

        • Chris 3.1.2.1

          Yes, and is a question nobody from Labour has had the guts to front on since before 2008, and probably well before then. Labour’s never had a real position since saying around the time of the 1991 benefit cuts it’d restore benefits to pre-1991 levels and then quickly reneging on that. The rest is history.

        • Karen 3.1.2.2

          What reforms are you talking about?

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.2.1

            Social Security Amendment Bill.

          • Chris 3.1.2.2.2

            The Social Security (Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery) Amendment Act 2014. It did a range of things. It gave the crown the ability to criminalise partners of benefit fraud even though that partner had no knowledge of the offending. Another big one was that it removed an existing ability for Work and Income to decide not to recover debt from beneficiaries even if it’s unfair to recover it. It also gave the government the power to make regulations that set recovery rates of debt beneficiaries owe Work and Income in stone according to the type of debt it is, regardless of a beneficiary’s ability to repay. Labour voted for all of these things. This is what Labour does to beneficiaries when in opposition, and was on top of a whole range of other things it did between 1999 and 2008 when in government, including the Social Security Amendment Act 2007. That was a particularly nasty one. Labour supporters who care about the poor need to be familiar with what Labour has done if they really want to know what the party they support stands for.

            • McFlock 3.1.2.2.2.1

              It gave the crown the ability to criminalise partners of benefit fraud even though that partner had no knowledge of the offending.

              According to Sue Moroney, that’s why they supported it:

              I will, though, just say for context that the reason the Labour members became convinced during the Social Services Committee hearing to support this bill is that we did have representations from many women’s organisations when they came before the select committee. They told us they had witnessed and were concerned about situations in which women—mainly—who were sole parents were put in a position by their partners of committing welfare fraud. They felt that it was unfair that it was the woman alone, when the partner was complicit in it as well, who actually suffered the consequences of being discovered to be fraudulent in that way.

              • weka

                how could a partner be complicit if they had no knowledge of the offending?

                • McFlock

                  It seems the complaint was because there was a significant gap between “complicit beyond a reasonable doubt” and “genuinely have no knowledge of the offending”, and that gap included “having power over the person whose name is on the paperwork”.

                • Chris

                  The test is recklessness as to knowledge of the offending. So there needs to be a determination that the other partner ought to have known. But I agree, it’s quite outrageous. Labour in the House said nothing about the insidiousness of criminalising people for something they don’t know about, and instead went on to say that it was unfairly targeting beneficiaries when the same doesn’t apply to tax fraud, which is true bit misses the point. A wild goose chase really. And Borrows kept spouting on about the need to claw the money back from spouses who benefited from the fraud. Well, if that were the case, why didn’t they just stop at that instead of adding the criminalisation element to a situation where the partner (often alleged partner) hasn’t got a clue what’s going on? Nasty draconian shit. And Labour supported it.

                  • Smilin

                    Maybe WINZ should have to take their allegations in one big bundle of fraud to the SFO since its so big and messy to get clarity
                    After all it runs into millions according to the govt
                    And the police could have their resources to deal with fraud increased along the lines with the present panic over Dirty Politics and maybe things might look a bit more realistic
                    Bloody fascist govt they know its their privileged party retaining the right to be a pack self righteous bastards because they collect the tax to pay the benefits and their arrogant attitude to have social welfare to be rid of as has been their policy since their inception as a party
                    Its socialism thats the problem if we could only get rid of that we would be able to be the totalitarian rulers we should be because we control all the money thats right folks god bless america

                • Chris

                  The partner doesn’t have to be complicit, merely be regarded as having “ought to know”. Yes, it doesn’t make sense.

                  • McFlock

                    Well, that’s not without precedent: company directors, for example.

                    • weka

                      You’d think that company directors would be expected to have considerably higher oversight of their colleagues’ actions than in a marriage. It’s not hard to think of situations where people have separate finances, or where the nature of the relationship precludes information sharing at that level.

                    • McFlock

                      Not one where we would be “partners”, in my experience.

                      Debt or liabilities from before the relationship, yeah, but secret income during the relationship?

                    • Chris

                      Yes, I know. But I think the difference can be seen in what’s required to avoid the criminalisation. One operates within the realm of business/finance/company law etc therefore requires a certain type of behaviour to avoid criminalisation, for example by conducting business responsibly. The other operates within the realm of personal relationships, whatever the nature of those relationships might be. Within the former you know you’re aware of your responsibilities around dealing with other people’s money and act accordingly. The latter necessarily requires choices such as either dobbing your girlfriend/boyfriend in or leaving the relationship in order to avoid doing what it is that brings the criminalisation. For the criminal law to operate fairly people need to be given a fair opportunity to know what to do to act lawfully. A recklessness test as to knowledge may work when it involves responsibilities of company directors. But I don’t think it can work when responsibilities have been created around knowledge of the financial circumstances of someone a person has some form of romantic connection with.

                    • weka

                      Not one where we would be “partners”, in my experience.

                      Debt or liabilities from before the relationship, yeah, but secret income during the relationship?

                      If you can’t see the other person’s bank account and you don’t read their mail how would you know?

                    • weka

                      “For the criminal law to operate fairly people need to be given a fair opportunity to know what to do to act lawfully.”

                      I’m guessing it’s in the 200 pages that beneficiaries have to sign to get a benefit now. Are partners required to sign that?

                    • McFlock

                      @Chris: It’s not a reasonable course of action to continue to live off the proceeds of fraud when you know the source of those funds, and then expect to avoid liability for it. Even if it’s your spouse fraudulently obtaining those funds.

                      @weka: Why wouldn’t my partner have access to my bank account, and I theirs, even if we hadn’t sorted out a joint account for some reason? Hell, some folk I’m just good friends with know my PIN.

                      edit: 200pages?

                    • weka

                      “@weka: Why wouldn’t my partner have access to my bank account, and I theirs, even if we hadn’t sorted out a joint account for some reason? Hell, some folk I’m just good friends with know my PIN.”

                      Well, we’re not talking about you. We’re talking about what people in general do. I know people that are in relationships that have separate bank accounts and I doubt they give each other their login details. Not sure how that works for reading mail, but it wouldn’t be too hard to hide WINZ letters from a partner if the partner didn’t open one’s mail.

                    • Chris

                      “@Chris: It’s not a reasonable course of action to continue to live off the proceeds of fraud when you know the source of those funds, and then expect to avoid liability for it. Even if it’s your spouse fraudulently obtaining those funds.”

                      Sure, but you’re assuming the legislative change Labour supported is restricted to that scenario. It isn’t and goes much further.

                    • weka

                      yeah I really think you might have missed the point here McFlock.

              • Chris

                Yes, so why spread the net wider into territory where the partner doesn’t know? Only two possibilities: Labour’s either nasty or stupid. Regardless of anything, though, Labour still supported it, and Labour supporters need to know that.

                • Kiwiri

                  Thank you. Very much appreciated.
                  This matter deserves a post of its own again.

                • Tracey

                  And have they followed up to tell us how many partners have now been charged under this new provision?

                  • Chris

                    Work and Income now have pamphlets in their offices saying so. The trouble is that the way they apply the test of what constitutes a relationship in the nature of marriage in practice doesn’t reflect the law. And even if they did that doesn’t address the unprincipled policy underpinning criminalisation of those in this particular group / particular circumstances.

                    edit – just saw you’re asking about numbers. Answer is I don’t know. MSD’s statistical report does get into that level of detail but whether they lump it all in under “relationship fraud” or not I don’t know. Will have a look. It’s a relatively new change though so whether the numbers have filtered through or not might be a different story.

            • Karen 3.1.2.2.2.2

              Yep, I have just read the speeches in the final reading of the bill (now I know which one you are referring to) and I agree that the Labour Party should not have voted for it. Others can read it here:

              http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/50HansD_20140417_00000016/social-security-fraud-measures-and-debt-recovery-amendment

              The justifications for supporting it are spurious and seem based on not being seen, in election year, as supporting benefit fraud. Do I agree with this? Certainly not.

              However, I also have got tired of the constant stream of Labour Party bashing by some on the left, especially when it is coupled with a total lack of criticism of the right. Also, if you are referring to something in the past it would be useful to provide some kind of link, or at least a bit of information.

              • Colonial Viper

                I bash what deserves to be bashed.

                And as I said above, National are only doing exactly what is expected of them, by their core supporters. Why should I be upset with that? Labour on the other hand…

                • Leftie

                  So CV, you think National doesnt deserve bashing? just because National is the way it is that’s justification in your mind to let National off scot free? That’s a one sided twisted way of looking at it, don’t you think?

                  • Chris

                    I think it’s clear CV deplores what National do and what they stand for as most on this site do. But that doesn’t make Labour and what they say and stand for immune from criticism. It’s in fact the left’s failure during the Clark years (and I include myself in this group) to stand up to Labour for what they did to our social welfare system. To constantly show hostility towards those who take a stand against Labour for continually failing to deliver on basic Labour principles the party claim they haven’t abandoned is akin to saying what Labour’s doing is okay.

                    • Leftie

                      @Chris

                      It’s clear that CV deplores the Labour party, the National government get a free pass.

                    • greywarshark

                      Nothing is clear to you Leftie. You will always be left behind on the orientation trip because you are holding your map upside down.

                    • Chris

                      As I said earlier, criticising both isn’t mutually exclusive. If you have a look over CV’s comments on this site you’ll see he’s criticised National near countless times. And it’s not a matter of being even-handed.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Chris and GW I think you get my position exactly.

                      The Labour caucus gets many millions of dollars of funding per year to hold the National Government to account and to Oppose them on most every issue of substance. They do not get those monies in order to fall in line and vote for fucking National Party policies while only minorly disputing the trivial shit around the edges.

                    • Tracey

                      Leftie use the seafch function. You will soon discover that CV has taken on many a rwnj on this site.

                • McFlock

                  Don’t go mistaking yourself for a “core” Labour supporter, now…

                • Kiwiri

                  The further that Labour drifts from its core values,
                  the more it will hate those that speak them.

                  – adapted from George Orwell –

                  All the best, CV, and may your voice be heard.
                  You speak for many who have been turned off, turned away and turned down.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    This is why I am picking a high likelihood of a lower Labour result in 2017 than in 2014.

                    Our Labour Party has looked at the mass movements behind Syriza, Podemos, UK Labour, and they still do not have a clue, apparently believing that a Blairite Third Way neoliberal light is the way to go in order to appear like a ‘credible government in waiting.’

                  • Colonial Viper

                    And my thanks, Kiwiri.

                    • mickysavage

                      Labour just voted against the bill’s introduction. They have spoken against it as has the Greens. The right’s justification, that it was a legislative mistake, does not make sense as the legislation is clear. Parliament’s intent is in the words of the act as passed.

                    • tracey

                      That it wasn’t thought to be a foregone conclusion Mickey is part of the problem? But voting against is a start to rebuilding the trust

                    • KK

                      Tracey, that’s the biggest cop-out I’ve heard in a while. “Sure, I know I was utterly wrong, but it turns out somehow I was right all along.”

                      You’ve spent a day undermining the left and sewing disunity when the left’s fire should have been on the government. There are too many people doing this every day and it is dragging down the left. I don’t know why those of us who actually campaign to change things for the better and change the government are so tolerant of this self-indulgent crap.

                    • tracey

                      Good God KK, TS and those who comment aren’t here at your behest. You don’t actually get to be tolerant or not of posts here.

                      You seem so blindly supportive of the LP that you presume only you are working for change. Take a deep breath and go knock on a few doors. The LP supporter who thnks they are the only ones on the Left worthy of, or making, a change is bewildering. Take of the blinkers KK, you are not the matyr you are painting yourself.

                    • KK

                      Not asking for martyrdom at all Tracey. I’m asking you to show some vague self-awareness. You claim to be a leftist, but you spend all day attacking the left, and you get it wrong. I’m asking you to check your behaviour against your purported values.

                    • weka

                      “Labour just voted against the bill’s introduction. They have spoken against it as has the Greens. The right’s justification, that it was a legislative mistake, does not make sense as the legislation is clear. Parliament’s intent is in the words of the act as passed.”

                      Thanks micky. I thought Tolley was being a disingenuous arse making out that the legislation was wrong rather than the policy.

                    • weka

                      “You claim to be a leftist, but you spend all day attacking the left, and you get it wrong.”

                      Ok, that’s weird. While there are some here who are reasonably rapid against Labour, I wouldn’t characterise Tracey in that way at all. Have you read her posts?

                    • tracey

                      KK

                      I am NOT CV, in case you think we are one person with two handles (which you seem to).

                      I just object to people trying to bully others in a passive (and overtly) aggressive way, intofollowing their way of thinking and to toe their particular blindly obedient and unquestioning line.

                      Weka

                      Thanks

                      I began to wonder who was writing posts as me, like I didn’t make a post about Honest John lying again today or the other day exposing Honest John’s back door tactics to smear the Opposition.

                • KK

                  Will you apologise now that it’s been shown Labour didn’t deserve a bash and you were – yet again – attacking Labour unfairly and without basis?

                  • tracey

                    Many doubted how Labour would vote before the event based on recent support of anti beneficiary legislation. THAT was CV’s point.

                    Hopefully this signals a change for Labour from the Shearer (guy on the roof) bashing of beneficiaries and the vote in support of National’s last bene bashing initiative.

                    • KK

                      You’re still talking about Shearer? Jesus H Christ. We’ve had two leaders since then. Why don’t you read Andrew Little instead? He spoke in his conference speech about ensuring we don’t leave people out of work on the scrapheap and Labour under him has worked hard to amend this legislation then opposed it when they couldn’t get movement. We actually have to organise and campaign and try to win government here. Spending your days sniping at Labour is only undermining the left.

                    • tracey

                      Jesus H Crist, when trust goes it takes more than words to bring it back. It’s not dyed in the wool Labour people who will always vote for labour no matter what, that the LP needs back KK. If you can’t see that…

                      Little has also said he is both happy and unhappy with TPP, so which is it? Is Labour going to withdraw if it is ratified or not?

                      Where does LIttle stand on coaltion with the Greens KK?

                    • KK

                      Those who doubted should perhaps have waited to see what happened rather than jumping straight into deranged attacks on Labour based on something a guy who was in charge two leaders and three years ago once said. You guys work yourselves up into a state and spew bile against Labour all over social media and you’re just wrong so much of the time. If you want to have any credibility you should perhaps hold your fire until you know the facts, or maybe even get involved in doing something positive to change the government.. you know, the National-led government.. rather than spending so much energy attacking and undermining Labour all the time.

                      As for the TPP, it’s a nice change of topic, but why don’t you read Andrew Little’s speeches and public statements rather than asking me? It’s all there in the public domain. He hasn’t said Labour will withdraw, and neither have the Greens. What he has said is that Labour will not be bound by anything that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty and will defy the TPP if necessary.

                    • tracey

                      I have read him, that is what has confused me. he wants a bob each way and that is a nonsense.

                      I do hope Labour itself has a thicker skin and is less blinkered than you KK.

                      “You guys work yourselves up into a state and spew bile against Labour all over social media and you’re just wrong so much of the time. If you want to have any credibility you should perhaps hold your fire until you know the facts, or maybe even get involved in doing something positive to change the government.. you know, the National-led government.. rather than spending so much energy attacking and undermining Labour all the time.”

                      To be honest the one wokring themselves up into a lather and creating fantasy notions of what is being written here is you KK.

                      Blindly supporting the Labour Party, as you seem to suggest, in an unquestioning way isn’t the only answer, no matte how much you punch the ground and kick your legs to make it so.

                      You are sounding like Mr Nash with a dash of Ms Pagani.

                    • KK

                      Here’s an idea. Don’t read the media filter and then complain it’s all too hard. Read his actual unmediated words. Here’s his conference speech. CTRL-F and type ‘TPP’:
                      View at Medium.com

                      I’ve never said you have to blindly support the Labour Party. But I think all of us on the left need to take responsibility for our behaviour and question whether what we are doing is actually helping the cause or whether we’re just dividing and squabbling and making things harder. I think if you look at your behaviour today you’ll see you’re doing the latter. I’d encourage you to get involved in actually changing things for the better, and that means focusing on National a bit more, and being a bit less willing to smear shit all over Labour at every opportunity – like today, for example, where you were utterly wrong.

                    • Das

                      tracey:

                      “Little has also said he is both happy and unhappy with TPP, so which is it?”

                      Related to that kind of happy and unhappy combo/mix was what someone raised about the 90-day law.

                      Little/Labour wants to keep that law and make it fairer, it seems. Make it fairer means repeal it, right?
                      Even someone like Helen Kelly had to query that.
                      Speaking of which, has anyone asked yet whether Helen was attacking Labour, being unhelpful in building up Labour’s support, etc?

                    • tracey

                      Ahhhh see now I know you haven’t read this site recently and only came here with your Nash/Pagani-esque rant. Cos that speech was posted here, and I read it and commented. So, I wondered that we hadn’t seen you here for some many months… and here you are… in all your blinkered arrogance.

                      “I think if you look at your behaviour today you’ll see you’re doing the latter. ”

                      Physician heal thyself

                      Have a good evening

                    • weka

                      yeah, I thought that accusation was off given we had a post and discussion about Little’s speech at the time.

                    • Karen

                      The Bill CV was evidently referring to was April 2014 not earlier this year as he claimed, so it wasn’t under Little’s leadership either as he also claimed.

                      I am not at all surprised that the Labour Party opposed this latest piece of legislation and am astounded anybody would have thought otherwise.

                    • tracey

                      KK wrote

                      “I’d’d encourage you to get involved in actually changing things for the better, and that means focusing on National a bit more, and being a bit less willing to smear shit all over Labour at every opportunity –”

                      Do you mean like this

                      Something Smells, Honest John

                      Or this

                      Groser flips the bird to the Judiciary and NZ Laws

                      or this

                      Making the Opposition the Enemy –

                      That’s just from the last 5 days.

                      KK wrote

                      ” If you want to have any credibility you should perhaps hold your fire until you know the facts, or maybe even get involved in doing something positive to change the government.. you know, the National-led government.. rather than spending so much energy attacking and undermining Labour all the time.”

                      🙄

                  • Chris

                    No way. Up until now there’s been no indication that Labour would’ve voted against it. There’s been no indication from Labour since they reneged on reinstating benefit rates back to pre-1991 levels, back in 1991/92, that they’ve had any intention of supporting a welfare benefits policy that reflects traditional Labour values and every indication that they wouldn’t. Today was just a start. Still no guarantees of anything. Way too soon to know. And it’s a sad indictment on the left that we’ve sunk to a point where there’s even a question over whether the so-called main party of the left will oppose right-wing attacks on welfare provision. That’s how bad things have got.

                    • mickysavage

                      But the party has stood up. You should watch the speeches from Sepuloni, King and Dyson. Their stance has been very clear. From what has been said in Parliament it appears they have engaged with the Government to improve things but these discussions have failed.

                      The evidence from their performance today suggests that the lack of trust shown here is misplaced.

                    • Chris

                      No MS, it’s merely the start of a possible rebuilding of trust. I’m not bagging Labour for what they did today. I’m simply saying that this was an easy thing to oppose. It doesn’t follow that Labour’s going to all of a sudden abandon its stance towards beneficiaries and start standing up for a caring and compassionate welfare system as we expect from a left-wing political party. Sure, good on Labour today, but let’s just watch this space before we launch into saying that criticism or lack of trust in Labour up until now has been misplaced. We haven’t seen enough evidence of change to allow us to believe that. I hope, though, that in time we can believe that.

                    • tracey

                      mickey

                      Trust doesn’t return from one move in the right direction. It takes time and requires the new direction to be consistent. That’s how humans work on the lost trust front.

                      Little has sent some confused messages, no matter what KK says. I am still not clear on WHAT Labour will do about the TPP in the event they think our sovereignty is threatened? What does that mean? Wait til we are sued, then withdraw? Can you shed light on that?

                      Do you think Labour will prefer the Greens to NZF in the lead up to 2017 election?

        • Leftie 3.1.2.3

          @Weka

          Ask the Labour party.

          • Chris 3.1.2.3.1

            That’s part of the trouble. Labour’s done something here that it’s unable to explain. Sue Moroney’s speech makes very little sense, if any, when compared to the far heavy-handed provisions Labour helped support into legislation.

            • Leftie 3.1.2.3.1.1

              @Chris

              If Moroney’s speech is confusing to you, ask her to explain it. Why don’t you email her?
              What “far heavy-handed provisions” are you referring to? BTW, CV and yourself included, spend more time bashing Labour than criticizing the current National government, who deserve it so much more.

          • weka 3.1.2.3.2

            “Ask the Labour party.”

            I’d rather ask the Labour party supporters who are giving CV shit for what appears to be a reasonable point.

            • KK 3.1.2.3.2.1

              So it turns out it wasn’t a reasonable point. Labour voted against it, as they always said they were going to if National didn’t fix that law. Yet again, CV is smearing shit all over Labour without any basis in fact. Why can’t people see this?

              • tracey

                It WAS a reasonable question to raise given Shearer’s “guy on the roof with the bad back” and the later support of anti bene legislation by Labour’s caucus.

                Why can’t you see that his doubts and that of others was brought on by Labour’s recent behaviour toward beneficiaries in the legislature and by Shearer to appear populist?

                • KK

                  Again, you’re still talking about Shearer. We’re two guys on now. Get out of the past and join the people who are actually trying to make things better. Un-fcking-believable.

                  • tracey

                    You seem to be demanding blind and unquestioning support… look at where that kind of thinking has got us? A well supported (blindly and unquestioningly) of the National Government. I hope Labour cantake questioning better than you can.

                    Will Little go into coalition with the Greens and will he say so pre election KK?

                    Or, will he attack the Greens and state he prefers NZF (a conservative party)?

                    Labour isn’t the only way to support a visison of social compassion/equaltiy in NZ, that you think it is, says more about you than me.

                    • KK

                      I never said uncritical support. Of course those of us on the left should maintain a position of critical support. But what I see from the likes of you and CV is uncritical opposition to Labour. You attack as a default, you spend your energy attacking Labour rather than National, and you attack in the most aggressive terms without any evidence to back up your claims, and you get it wrong. You can’t look at your behaviour today, or CV’s any day, and tell me that you’re helping progress the chances of the left. If anything you undermine and cause division, which weakens the left and strengthens the National-led government. I suggest you look really hard at your behaviour today and ask yourself whether you’re actually helping anyone here or just being self-indulgent.

                      Again, you should ask Little what he’s going to do about coalitions. Or you could look at his public statements, where he’s said he is building a respectful relationship with the Greens and will announce clearly before the election what Labour’s preferred governing arrangements will look like. Actually, why not do some research, any research, rather than speculating wildly on the internet in an uninformed fashion and then demanding answers from other people?

                    • weka

                      I have been looking. And waiting a long time. Little has made some encouraging noises but nothing else.

                    • KK

                      Weka, mate, we’re two years out from the election. He’s said he’s building constructive relationships with the Greens and that he’ll signal clearly before the election which parties Labour will go with. I think that’s pretty reasonable at this stage of the electoral cycle.

                      I repeat: This isn’t Shearer, it isn’t Cunliffe, Labour is under new management. Give it a bloody chance.

                    • weka

                      Sure, and I’m cautiously optimistic. But given Labour’s history of relationship with the GP, and it’s history of how it places itself in an MMP environment, it’s a big thing to take on faith. Plus, it’s not jsut down to Little and there appear to be plenty of people in Labour who still don’t get it.

                      I also think the activist base is going to need to know much sooner than the election campaign. If stronger signals were given I think people would be much more supportive. Little is playing his cards close to his chest, and I can see the strategy in that given dirty politics and the MSM. But it does create a problem for the activists and politicos.

                    • Tracey

                      If that is what you see from me, you havent seen much.

                      As I say, for me it is about Deeds. This has been 1. A good start.

              • weka

                “So it turns out it wasn’t a reasonable point. Labour voted against it, as they always said they were going to if National didn’t fix that law. Yet again, CV is smearing shit all over Labour without any basis in fact. Why can’t people see this?”

                He asked two questions, which was reasonable.

                I had no idea which way Labour would vote. Looks like almost no-one else did either. In that vacuum we can consider Labour’s history, which is what a number of people here have done.

                btw, can you please link to something about Labour’s vote on this Bill? I had a look in Scoop and Labour’s site and I can’t find anything.

                • KK

                  It wasn’t just a reasonable look at Labour’s history though was it? It was the usual despairing, hysterical gnashing and wailing that you get from the likes of CV.

                  I heard several reports about this on the radio over the last couple of days. The Herald has a story here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11546801

                  And here’s Stuff:
                  http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/74133991/retrospective-law-change-to-minimise-backpay-owed-to-beneficiaries

                  While the journalists don’t mention anything about which way opposition parties will vote (clearly the parties were still in negotiations) it’s pretty clear Labour was standing up for the rights of beneficiaries. I got this with a thirty second google search.

                  • weka

                    I was talking about CV’s original comment,

                    3
                    17 November 2015 at 12:30 pm

                    So, will Labour vote for or against National’s bene bashing legislation?

                    Earlier this year, Labour voted for National’s social welfare amendments. Will they change their tune now?

                    I can think of a number of standaristas that might have asked that. They’re reasonable questions. You can read the rest of the thread for my views on CV’s general behaviour.

                    Thanks for the links. In both Little comes across as thoughtful and yes caring about beneficiaries. That’s not been in doubt (to me at least), as we already knew days before the vote that Labour were trying to negotiate the 6 week deal. But there is this history, which has been documented in this thread, which made it reasonable for people to query what Labour would do on the vote.

                    Likewise, I just read something about the Greens abstaining on the returning Christmas Island detainees legislation, which leaves me with questions about why they are abstaining instead of voting against. These are normal things for people to be thinking about.

                    Needless to say, if people hadn’t had such a go at CV this thread would have gone differently and there would have been more even handed look at what Labour are doing re beneficiaries. Better IMO to take such things to Open Mike and hash them out there (if people are sick of what he is going, then deal with it there). Or wait until he puts up another post.

                    Labour’s vote today is entirely consistent with their history. They will support beneficiaries at times, and at other times they won’t. My own feeling is that Little doesn’t hold the prejudices that Shearer did, is aware of the problems that were caused by that, and is treading more carefully. I think he will do better by beneficiaries than we’ve seen in quite some time. But it’s still ok to question what they are doing. And we don’t actually know what Labour will do once in govt, because beneficiaries are a taboo subject apart from isolated issues like this one.

                    • tracey

                      Yup, CV posed a reasonable question and linked to history. They have turned a new page by voting against this… rebuilding trust takes words not deeds. This was a deed.

                      BUT as a former Labour voter I am not just going to take Little or KK’s word that a permanent corner has been turned. I will look to an accumulation of deeds.

                    • weka

                      I think the beneficiary issues are a touchstone in regards to that. If they get this right (and by right I don’t mean doing what I think they should, but doing something reasonably consistent in regards to where Labour should stand), then I think I’d be more trusting of them in general.

                    • Tracey

                      Ditto.

                      KK treating me as the enemy is an odd way to go about changing hearts and minds imo.

                    • Chris

                      “But it’s still ok to question what they are doing. And we don’t actually know what Labour will do once in govt, because beneficiaries are a taboo subject apart from isolated issues like this one.”

                      Precisely. In fact, history tells us nothing’s changed. But that’s no reason not to be hopeful. Hope, at the moment, is all we have.

                  • Chris

                    “While the journalists don’t mention anything about which way opposition parties will vote (clearly the parties were still in negotiations) it’s pretty clear Labour was standing up for the rights of beneficiaries.”

                    That’s just bullshit. You can’t tell from what Labour says what the heck they’ll do. They came across as hugely critical of the government’s Social Security (Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery) Amendment Bill and then bloody well voted for it. That’s part of the fucking problem at the moment. They’re all over the place. Labour opposed probably everything the nats did to beneficiaries during the 1990s then turned around in 1999 and did a whole bunch of things themselves they’d jumped up and down about.

      • Chris 3.1.3

        “Ever think of holding the current National government to account ? It would be a refreshing change if you did.”

        Criticising both National and Labour over their treatment towards beneficiaries aren’t mutually exclusive. Until Labour fronts up and apologises for nasty legislative attacks on beneficiaries throughout the 1999 to 2008 period and for the support they gave the current government with the latest social security amendment National will be given a free ride with its agenda of systematically dismantling social welfare . There is not one suggestion anywhere that has emerged into anything that shows Labour’s current position on welfare has changed. It’s up to us to keep the pressure on Labour to abandon its own war on the poor. It would be a refreshing change if Labour supporters started taking notice of what their party’s treatment of the poorest in New Zealand really looks like instead of giving tacit support to something they in fact say they oppose.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3.1

          +1

        • Leftie 3.1.3.2

          @Chris you do not seem to be attacking National at all.

          You speak of it not being mutually exclusive, so why haven’t you put the call out that it is up to us to keep the pressure on NATIONAL to abandon its own war on the poor?
          Why have you singled out and targeted Labour without any mention of the National government, who are the ones implementing it’s punishing legislation regardless of the opposition?

          • Tracey 3.1.3.2.1

            Why havent you called Labour out for its history on welfare bashing, or do you agree?

            • Leftie 3.1.3.2.1.1

              @Tracey

              Will it change what the National government are doing now?

              • Chris

                It might if it means Labour stops supporting National to pass anti-poor legislation. There’s only one war on the poor.

                • Leftie

                  @Chris

                  “There’s only one war on the poor” yeah and the key National government are leading the charge.

                  You know damn well it won’t make one bit of difference, not with National. What about all the other legislation Labour has not supported over the last 7 years that has included some very draconian welfare changes that National has rammed through anyway?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Labour under Little has so far
                    – Voted for spying
                    – Voted for bene bashing
                    – Says the TPP meets four out of five bottom lines

                    • Leftie

                      @CV

                      Labour has also not supported a number of National’s legislation including bene bashing, and has yet to make a decision on the TPPA.

                      ” Labour forces terror bill changes ”
                      Concessions include limits on surveillance and stricter oversight, but Greens and NZ First hold out for more.
                      Labour has forced three significant concessions from the Government in exchange for supporting urgent counter-terrorism law changes, but the softening of controversial surveillance powers has not been enough to bring all parties onside.

                      The Green Party and New Zealand First said they could not support the legislation in its current form, despite a raft of changes which further restrict spy agencies’ ability to monitor suspected terrorists.

                      National’s coalition partners, United Future and Act, who had expressed reservations about warrantless surveillance, said the amendments meant they would not oppose the bill passing into law next week.

                      Prime Minister John Key said the Government would accept the changes recommended by a select committee and he was “pleased” that Labour had come on board.

                      The Labour leader, Andrew Little, said the rushed process was “appalling” and “sloppy” but the concessions had “balanced what was previously a very unbalanced piece of legislation”.

                      The changes Labour secured in the select committee were significant.

                      Intrusive new surveillance powers will be permitted only in relation to terrorist activity, not the Security Intelligence Service’s wider activities. Emergency, warrantless surveillance of suspects will be limited to 24 hours instead of 48 and subject to stricter oversight and more frequent reporting. And suspects who have their passports cancelled for three years will be able to appeal and apply to get them back.

                      Mr Little was asked if Labour had softened its stance on security, given it had opposed changes to the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) last year.

                      He said the counter-terrorism bill was different because it had a sunset clause.

                      That expiry date for the interim legislation was brought forward by the committee to 2017, which means a full review of intelligence and security legislation will have to be completed in this parliamentary term.

                      New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said his party would not support the bill unless further changes were made at the committee stage.

                      He was uncomfortable with the speed at which it was being passed into law and wanted reassurances spy agencies would be “restrained” in their use of visual surveillance.

                      The Green Party said it would vote no because the Government had not made the case for the changes.

                      Co-leader Russel Norman said: “Unwarranted surveillance is still unwarranted surveillance even if it’s only for 24 hours.”

                      Speaking on TV3’s Firstline this morning, Mr Little said that on balance, the party thought it should support the bill.

                      But he again criticised National’s rushed process, saying Labour “fought for an hour in Parliament” for a delay to the introduction of the new legislation.

                      “People should always be sceptical when there are demands and plans for extra powers by security agencies that intrude on rights and freedoms, and when that happens there should be a decent amount of time for every citizen to have their say if they want to have it,” he said.

                      “We’re certainly saying the process is important, we don’t ever want to see a repeat of it again, and I can promise you under the next Labour Government we would never allow legislation like this to be processed in this sort of way. But on this occasion we had to deal with the substance of the bill.”

                      <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11367828

                  • Chris

                    Yip, leadin’ the charge is right. And Labour’s right behind ’em. See any criticism of National in there?

                    • Leftie

                      @Chris

                      Overshadowed by your dig at Labour. Point out a political party that’s perfect.

                      Which do you consider the worst evil, National or Labour?

                    • Chris

                      I feel compelled to conclude, leftie, that you have no analysis of any of the issues that pop up here on TS. What’s your view about the topic of this post?

              • Tracey

                It makes a difference to what replaces it. Bene bashing with a smile isnt much of a change fro bene bashing with a sneer for the vulnerable amongst us.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.4

        It’s always Labour’s fault isnt it CV? (who, ironically, is a Labour Party member).
        Ever think of holding the current National government to account ? It would be a refreshing change if you did.

        The NATs are doing exactly what they are supposed to.

        Labour is not.

        That’s why I bitch about Labour.

        • Leftie 3.1.4.1

          So CV it that an excuse to let the Nats off the hook?

          • Kiwiri 3.1.4.1.1

            gnats will be gnats, but why hasn’t Labour been Labour?

            • McFlock 3.1.4.1.1.1

              Because it got hijacked in 1984 and didn’t move as far back to the left afterwards as it had previously jumped to the right.

              It’s not like there haven’t been left wing alternatives since then.

              I wonder how many people will still be complaining about new recipe cadbury’s chocolate or milo in thirty years time but still be stuffing it down their throats.

              • Tracey

                Mmmmmmmmm chocolate

                • McFlock

                  lol

                  Whittakers all the way for me. Although I expected more of a turkish delight vibe from their jelly tip, rather than just chocolate and jam.

                  • tracey

                    yeah I was disappointed with that too. I am really a peanut slab girl. My mum would buy us one eevry now and then as a treat… when they were 10c and came in a little white paper bag!

        • Korero Pono 3.1.4.2

          CV + 100

          Leftie if you were a true “leftie” you would know what CV is saying. Labour is no more left than National, they are just more of the same, except in disguise – just another bunch of neo-liberalists foisting their BS on unsuspecting voters (or, in the case of those who have woken up to Labour, non-voters). Labour keeps losing because they cannot get their traditional support base to vote for them so instead of trying to gain back these votes, Labour have become a parody of National to try and gain the middle, and we all know that ain’t working for them, it is simple really.

          • Leftie 3.1.4.2.1

            @Korero Pono

            Sigh.

            Thanks to CV and those like him, the focus has been turned completely away from the National government. You know this is not about the Labour party don’t you? it’s about the current NATIONAL GOVERNMENT intending to introduce “retrospective legislation to remove the right to seek the shortfall.”

            What does that tell you?

            • Korero Pono 3.1.4.2.1.1

              It tells me that National are doing what National have always done. I get what you are saying re diverting attention from National to Labour. However, I think the point that CV is making is that Labour are just as complicit in a lot of dealings that have dealt a blow to the left – Labour is more light blue and chasing the blue vote, Labour have and continue to adopt neo-liberal agendas, while ignoring those on the margins.

              Labour last I heard support the TPP, what does that tell you?

              • Leftie

                @Korero Pono

                Labour is not the current government, focus should be on National, who are, and while everyone is having a Labour hatefest, the real culprits, the key National government walk away untouched.

                Labour hasn’t come out with a decision on the TPPA yet. So what does that tell you about what you heard?

                • Korero Pono

                  @ Leftie you are right Labour are not in Government, have you asked yourself the question Why?

                  When Labour were in Government (seems a lifetime ago) how did they turn the tide on inequality and poverty?

                  As to the TPP – Labour state that they “will not support the TPP if it undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty” (http://campaign.labour.org.nz/our_position_on_the_tpp), yet still sit on the fence with a ‘decision’ despite evidence to show that the TPP WILL undermine “New Zealand’s sovereignty” (http://itsourfuture.org.nz/key-issues-emerging-from-analysis-of-the-tppa-text/), (http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/73912264/tppa-debate-we-need-a-free-trade-of-opinions), (http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/11/07/exclusive-open-letter-from-jane-kelsey-to-labour-party-conference/)

                  I can’t help but be disappointed that Labour are sitting on the fence on this issue.

                  • Leftie

                    @Korero Pono

                    NZ politics is cyclic, ever asked yourself why National was in opposition for 9 years while Labour were in power?
                    I do not think inequality and poverty were at such horrendous levels that they are now under the current National government.

                    Shouldn’t you be having a go at National over the TPPA? Labour like the rest of us have no say in it, we should be putting pressure on National not ratify it, uselessly blaming Labour for not having made a decision on it at this time is a wasted exercise.

                    • weka

                      “I do not think inequality and poverty were at such horrendous levels that they are now under the current National government.”

                      Thus the saying that National stabs poor people in the front and Labour stabs them in the back. It’s precisely because we have expectations of Labour to be on the side of poor people that they get criticised for the times when they fail that. Their history with regards to beneficiaries is not good.

                    • Korero Pono

                      My apologies for deviating from the topic (TPP) –

                      Re poverty and inequality (which does tie into the topic) – Labour did little during their time in Government to address the issue, let us not forget that Labour introduced the changes in 1984, which were the forerunner of the level of inequality and poverty we see today. Of course the National Government cemented these changes with harsher measures aimed at attacking beneficiaries. Labour did not address this when back in Government. When Working for Families were introduced (by Labour), it disadvantaged those on the lowest incomes, in particular beneficiaries. Naturally I have to ask, what have Labour actually done to help those who are most affected by poverty and inequality, given they have done little, if anything to change the tide of poverty and inequality, it is only logical that I ask what will they do in future?

                      Re the TPP – Like many thousands of people, every time we write about, go to protests, we ARE opposing National. However, what is noticeable and and sadly lacking is any concrete opposition from Labour (the opposition that is not the opposition on TPP). While Labour have ‘no say’ on whether TPP is signed, they certainly could add their voice to the opposition – not the current weak argument re their pathetic and movable ‘bottom lines’. Labour have not shown any guts on this issue and have ignored the overwhelming evidence that shows that their bottom lines have already been breached. If Labour took a stance on this they may win some of us back.

                  • Kiwiri

                    Labour won’t be sitting on the fence forever and, when they/we get off their/our sore bottoms, they/we know which side they/we are going to be.

                    4 out of 5 bottom lines already met.

            • Pat 3.1.4.2.1.2

              isn’t the point that is being made (and appears to be being missed) is what is the point of replacing National if you are simply replacing it with more of the same?…and to a degree its a valid argument.

              • weka

                I think yes and no. I don’t think National and Labour are the same. National have taken bene bashing to a whole new level that I don’t think we would have seen under Labour. But you are right that the difference is not large enough and so why bother voting Labour? (although I can see plenty of reasons to vote on the left despite Labour’s failings).

                • Kiwiri

                  Simply replacing it with more the same but with Labour, you get a bit of anaesthetic? Or ‘euthanised’ (politically assisted termination)?

      • Tracey 3.1.5

        Do you think LP will vote against Leftie?

    • Kay 3.2

      They’ll vote for it. Labour despise us as much as National, always have.

      And don’t bother trying to contact Carmel Sepuloni (Labour’s alleged Welfare Spokesperson) about it, even though she was the one who originally went running to RNZ to break this story in what was really an attempt to score political points, not advocate for beneficiaries or-heaven forbid- hold the govt to account. She never replies to her emails.

      • Mike the Savage One 3.2.1

        “She never replies to her emails.”

        Thanks for letting us know! I have been skeptical of her sincerity for some time, and her lack of action in the House (Parliament) has been evident. Scoring a few points is really what she is about, and I do not trust her much at all.

        She is either so indifferent – or useless, she did not even raise the fact upon a question she put to the Associate Minister of Social Security, Jo Goodhew, that the Associate Minister misled the House:

        Open mike 26/09/2015

        Labour must already have their own bills in the pipeline to include some more “tweaked” measures based on UK “research” to justify the “work is healthy” approach. Fact is, most proposed policy ideas actually come from the top drawers of top level “experts” and administrators within the Ministries and departments, such as MSD and WINZ, and the government of the day chooses what it sees as a priority, and it may just have some minor changes made to it. They like to look at overseas also for ideas, particularly the UK, US and Australia. As for those top level professionals employed for policy research and formation, you can bet they are more leaning towards the right of centre, than the left of centre:

        https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/msd-are-planning-to-widen-the-scope-for-who-can-sign-work-capacity-medical-certificates/

        https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/msd-and-dr-david-bratt-present-misleading-evidence-claiming-worklessness-causes-poor-health/

      • mickysavage 3.2.2

        Kay

        I have always found Carmel very receptive. Maybe you should try again. Do you live in Kelston?

        • Kay 3.2.2.1

          MS, no I’m not an Aucklander. I have made 2 attempts to contact her via her parliament email address to discuss this particular situation after her original interview on Morning Report. I wasn’t entirely complimentary about her performance (although not rude in my email) but at the very least I expect an acknowledgement from an MPs office that said email has been recieved. Don’t they know about auto replies? I subsequently emailed Andrew Little along the same lines and pointing out the sad lack of communication from some of his MPs and a reply was received saying it was being forwards to Carmel for her consideration! (That was over a week ago and still no acknowledgment from her office, funny that.) Back in the snail mail days, even a very unfavourable letter to an MP would always result in an acknowledgement letter from their office, and usually followed by a standard 2 line response/spin letter even if they had no intention of following it up. It’s called manners.

          And even if I were critical about Labour’s policies and attitudes towards beneficiaries, and I wanted to know exactly where they stood, and enlighten them as to where so many of their votes went after the 1999 election (it was ours they mostly lost), and what they might to to get our support back, surely if an MP can’t cope with that them they’re obviously not very thick skinned and shouldn’t be in the job.

          I have had it confirmed from other sources that Ms Sepuoli isn’t too keen on replying to emails about welfare policy. As was the entire Labour Party when, prior to the last election I spent several months emailing all over the place just trying to find out the policy (specifically to do with benefits) and noone ever replied!!

          • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.2.1.1

            “As was the entire Labour Party when, prior to the last election I spent several months emailing all over the place just trying to find out the policy (specifically to do with benefits) and noone ever replied!!”

            I did likewise to both Labour and the Greens about a specific issue…I wanted a definite statement….nothing until a few days before the election when both got a bit of airtime on the subject….too late by then.

            Both Labour and the Greens need to up their game on disability and beneficiary issues.

            Specific and definite bottom line policies, please.

            • Korero Pono 3.2.2.1.1.1

              Rosemary, have you ever thought that both Labour and Greens don’t get specific about disability and benefit issues because it might frighten off potential voters (you know, those middle class voters that everyone thinks are all important) whilst ignoring the disenfranchised/beneficiary and poor (the very ones who need someone in parliament speaking up for them).

              • Kay

                KP- that’s EXACTLY why they don’t. When is the last time you ever heard any politician or party utter the words “increase benefit rates”? (Don’t count that stunt pulled at the last budget that is suppose to be the cure for child poverty). The Greens used to but not a peep out of them these days either. They’re the party that most of us went to after Labour’s betrayal because for a time they did speak up for us, and now many I know are now feeling betrayed by them. At this rate I’ll be joining the missing million at the next election, something I never thought I’d have to do.

                The sad thing is that all these “middle class voters” personally know disabled people (it’s a very small country) and they’d all have some family connection to someone on a benefit, if they haven’t actually needed one themselves in the past.

                • Korero Pono

                  The problem is, if you do become one of the missing million, you are effectively voting for National (sorry I know that hurts but it is true). Re the average jo citizen, the right and the left (think David Shearer) have been very effective in their crusade against beneficiaries (media have lapped it up).

                  It is a pity the left have become fractured (although Labour can barely carry that label anymore). The ‘left’ need to learn to work together and strategically – otherwise the only hope for the missing million is a progressive party that will capture those missing voters.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  “The sad thing is that all these “middle class voters” personally know disabled people (it’s a very small country) and they’d all have some family connection to someone on a benefit, if they haven’t actually needed one themselves in the past.”

                  And right there…nail on the head Kay.

                  My partner and I travel in our not very flash wee Bus. Wheelchair emerges from the rear (cue trumpets…we’re unable to be discrete!) and those who are not totally repulsed by obvious disability will say gidday or wander over for a chat…because..their wife, daughter, nephew, cousin, friend’s husband, boss’ son has a disability/cancer/ MS/diabetes/ME or even an injury that sees them permanently on ACC. They know that jobs are insecure and the cost of living just goes up and up.

                  The “middle classes’ (who are they anyway?) know about this shit…really they do…they get how hard it is, they get how unfair the disparity between ACC and the rest, they get how plain fucking tough it is to get your kid with special needs through school. They too have been made redundant or live under constant threat of restructuring. And if they don’t understand that ‘there but for the grace of the deity’….then MAKE them understand.

                  So…Labour and the Greens need to get out there and LISTEN to people….be BOLD, and clearly state the case on behalf of the less fortunate…

              • Chris

                That’s no doubt precisely what’s happening. But competing with National for the title of who can be the meanest to the poor and disabled ain’t no strategy. Labour needs to oppose National by putting up a clear alternative based on care and compassion for those “who can’t quite cut it”. I think Labour would be pleasantly surprised by the response it’d get. What Labour’s currently doing surely isn’t working.

      • KK 3.2.3

        Labour voted against it.

    • KK 3.3

      Labour voted against it. They’ve signalled for some time that they would. Yet again CV attacks Labour without any basis in fact, just to have a crack. You’re becoming obvious bro.

      • tracey 3.3.1

        given Shearer’s “guy on the roof with the bad back” and the later support of anti bene legislation by Labour’s caucus some peope had doubts.

        Why can’t you see that his doubts and that of others was brought on by Labour’s recent behaviour toward beneficiaries in the legislature and by Shearer to appear populist?

        Will Labour withdraw from the TPP if elected in 2017 KK?

        • KK 3.3.1.1

          Again, you are still talking about Shearer. He was two leaders ago. He got rolled. Cunliffe lost and got rolled. We have someone new now. You can stop obsessing about three years and two leaders ago and actually work to change things for the better rather than spreading nonsense on blogs.

          Even the Greens haven’t committed to withdrawing from the TPP. No one has because it’s very hard and complex and would come at a massive political cost. What Labour has said is it won’t be bound by the TPP where it undermines sovereignty. They’ve said they’ll have the fight with overseas interests if need be.

          • tracey 3.3.1.1.1

            I’m not obsessing KK, you seem to be the one demanding blind and unquestioning support…

            So, Little both supports TPP and doesn’t. He thinks he can pick and choose the provisions? Only the naive or stupid believe that.

            • KK 3.3.1.1.1.1

              He’s said clearly what the provisions are – the ban on New Zealand’s ability to restrict overseas speculators from buying up our land and housing. If you can find any other provisions that clearly undermine our sovereignty then why don’t you let us all know? You could even email the Labour Party and let them know.

              • tracey

                Last time I emailed Labour about the TPP, I got passed on to Phil Goff, who fudged. That was posted here.

                The entire agreement undermines our sovereignty. Are you saying Little will, say, wait til a big corporate sues us, and then signal he is withdrawing NZ from the agreement (with effect six month later)? If that is his intention, can you post me where he has stated that?

                “the ban on New Zealand’s ability to restrict overseas speculators from buying up our land and housing”

                Right, so does that mean upon becoming PM he will withdraw us from the TPP because of this provision?

                Which parts of the TPP do you think are good for NZ, and why KK?

      • Leftie 3.3.2

        Agree with your comments KK.

  4. Mike the Savage One 4

    The government and their Ministry of Social Development’s department Work and Income do have a dim view of the law as it stands.

    I have seen ample evidence, which has now apparently also been shared with the Ombudsmen, of the MSD doing all to delay the release of potentially sensitive, revealing information under the Official Information Act. This includes information on welfare reforms, on advice received, on supposed “evidence” used, on communications between their Principal Health Advisor and external advisors, on trials to get mentally ill and others into work, and so forth.

    There seems to be a repetitive breaching of the provisions of the OIA, and complainants are forced to go and complain to the Ombudsman to get withheld information, which can take well over two years to be processed and decided on. The Ombudsmen Office continues to be underfunded and overworked, and nobody in government gives a crap about complaints about that.

    So with this new report, where the government plans to bring in retrospective law changes, so it does not have to deliver back pay of benefits, I am not at all surprised about it.

    And we have another highly suspicious matter that remains unresolved. A trial of Russell John Tully, accused of murdering two Ashburton WINZ staff members, is being delayed beyond all reason. It was initially set to start in May this year, and has repeatedly been delayed for undisclosed reasons. Now, is it due to MSD and the government scared of some information coming to the attention of the public, so they rather delay justice as long as they can, or are there other reasons? We can only speculate, but it is highly unusual for a murder case to be delayed so long, now it was already 14 months or more since the man was arrested and charged:

    “Winz murder accused Russell John Tully’s trial delayed”

    “A trial for the man who allegedly shot two Ashburton Work and Income employees dead has been delayed until next year.

    Russell John Tully’s three-week trial had been set to start on Monday but Justice Cameron Mander decided after hearing legal submissions at the Christchurch High Court that it could not go ahead yet.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/74104452/Winz-murder-accused-Russell-John-Tullys-trial-delayed

    It appears Tully insists on defending himself, or he is unable to get legal representation (under legal aid), as he is represented only by a “friend of the court”.

    They say: Justice delayed is justice denied, here we have one more example of it.

    Given the many other stories I regularly hear, I have NO faith in MSD and certainly not in this government, when it comes to sincerely upholding the law, and following the law. They are swift to “hang” publicly those that breach WINZ obligations and rules, and also charge alleged “fraudsters”, but are following different standards when it comes to their own conduct.

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.1

      @Mike the Savage One

      You may already realise this…but under the Misery Of Health, one may be “eligible” but one has, in fact, NO “entitlement”.

      http://www.health.govt.nz/new-zealand-health-system/eligibility-publicly-funded-health-services?mega=NZ%20health%20system&title=Eligibility%20for%20public%20health%20services

      “Being eligible gives a person a right to be considered for publicly funded health or disability services (ie, free or subsidised). It is not an entitlement to receive any particular service. Individuals need to meet certain clinical and other assessment criteria to receive many services.”

      You are more familiar with Miserly of Social Development legislation….do they actually use the word “entitled”?

      • Mike the Savage One 4.1.1

        Yes, they still have the word “entitled” in the Social Security Act, at least for some benefits, but it comes with endless conditions and obligations now, it makes a mockery of the word “entitled”. Here is one example, but one where they are not quite as harsh with yet:

        “40B Supported living payment: on ground of sickness, injury, disability, or total blindness: eligibility and ineligibility
        (1) A person is entitled to the supported living payment under this section if he or she satisfies the criteria in subsections (1A) and (1B), and—
        (aa) [Repealed]
        (a) the person is totally blind; or
        (b) the person is permanently and severely restricted in his or her capacity for work because of sickness, or because of injury or disability arising (in either case) from accident or existing from birth.
        (1A) An applicant for the supported living payment under this section must be aged at least 16 years.
        (1B) An applicant for the supported living payment under this section must meet the residential requirements in section 74AA.
        (2) A person is permanently restricted in his or her capacity for work if the chief executive is satisfied that—
        (a) the restricting sickness, injury, or disability is expected to continue for at least the period set out in regulations made under this Act for the purposes of this section; or
        (b) the person is not expected to live for the period set out in those regulations, because the person’s sickness, injury, or disability is terminal.
        (3) A person is severely restricted in his or her capacity for work if the chief executive is satisfied that the person is incapable of regularly working 15 or more hours a week in open employment. …”

        I am sure the next reforms are on their way. And there was supposed to be a “rewrite” of the Act due this year, to be completed by September, I wonder why we have not heard about that yet.

        The Social Security Act is a “project” permanently “under restructuring”, I fear.

  5. Detrie 5

    It’s always been easier to take away money (and rights) from the ‘underdeserving poor’ than say take on wealthy companies or millionaires who can easily put up a fight and afford a top tax lawyer or innovative accountant. Such is the way of the world when the wealthy class make the rules. http://bit.ly/taxavoidancenz

  6. Vaughan Little 6

    there are deep cultural problems at winz, and I strongly suspect that they come from upstream. the government acting.in bad faith by changing legislation to accommodate their negligence would fit that picture.

    I used to come away from my winz meetings so angry when I was on the dole. to me it’s clear: our society is a democracy which means we believe in the inherent dignity of each individual. a government that believes that will make sure that it will treat its staff well and that its staff will treat the public well. it’s that simple. but I’ve spent stints on the dole under both Labour and national governments and winz was truly horrific both times. there just isn’t the respect. there were conscientious staff, buy the problem was systemic – knowing for instance that staff had the ability to cut your means to stay off the streets and feed yourself. nobody should have that power. not ever.

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.1

      “…under both Labour and national governments and winz was truly horrific both times. there just isn’t the respect. ”

      My disabled partner just graduated from the Supported Living Payment to National Superannuation.

      On checking in at the WINZ counter we were directed to wait, not in the general seating area, but a separate and special seating area for “Senior Services”.

      We declined, and sat where we had always sat.

      “This was good enough last week…..”

      • Expat 6.1.1

        Rosemary, there was a difference between lab and Nat, there were the lowest number of beneficiaries under Lab (because most people had a job and so did their spouse) and during there rein of nine years there wasn’t a single media beneficiary bash episode in that time, under consecutive Nat govt’s, beneficiaries have been blamed and demonised for creating the economic down turn, and under all Nat govt’s since Muldoon have the highest rates of unemployment in NZ history, that’s their policy, to keep wages low.

        • Leftie 6.1.1.1

          @Expat
          +100

        • tracey 6.1.1.2

          other than when Ruth Dyson decided to make everyone on disability benefits reapply and udergo another job assessment process, just in case their, say, cerebal palsy had been cured and the news hadn’t reached her office.

          Can you post the unemployment figures for the 9 years of the last Labour Government? I t would make for an interesting comparisson to this lot.

      • tracey 6.1.2

        It’s a form of apartheid Rosemary. Once you hit 65 you are a “normal ” persona nd not a bludger, you get a pay rise and a dedicated area,

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    I/S is reporting that the government has just gone into urgency to pass this legislation to legalise the stealing from the poor.

    The other major bill they’re passing under all-stages urgency is a bill to steal from the poor. For 18 years, WINZ deliberately underpaid beneficiaries, robbing them of a day every time they signed up for a benefit. And then when they were caught, the government’s solution is not to pay people what they are owed, but to legislate retrospectively to legalise this theft. It is unfair, and it is unjust, to rob from the poorest New Zealanders. But isn’t it so very, very National? And isn’t it so very, very National to bring Parliament into disrepute by committing such theft under the cloak of urgency?

    [Added missing bit – MS]

  8. Rosemary McDonald 8

    “If you want to see a clear statement of the principle this one from the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee should suffice:

    Legislation should not affect existing rights and should not criminalise or punish conduct that was not punishable at the time it was committed.”

    hahahahahahaha

    http://pundit.co.nz/content/i-think-national-just-broke-our-constitution

    and
    http://publicaddress.net/onpoint/what-andrew-geddis-said-but-shorter-and-with/

    First they came for the disabled….

    • tracey 8.1

      shaking head…

      when there is a surplus to manufacture, the needs of the vulnerable are disposable

  9. greywarshark 9

    I think some of you so called Labour supporters would still be squabbling over protocol and who is allowed to state the obvious rather than the wishful thinking, even when the liquefaction was rising and then immersed you all.

    You just want someone you can trust and follow – there should be some suitable cult for you aspirationals.

  10. Chris 10

    I’m not confused by Moroney’s speech. I know that it makes no sense. I say that because there are heavy-handed provisions such as criminalising partners of those who’ve committed fraud who were not aware that the fraud was being committed, yet they’re criminalised nonetheless. Moroney justifies Labour’s support for the Bill by referring to situations where where both partners are knowingly colluding to commit the fraud. So why does Labour support criminalising those partners who do not know the fraud has been committed? If you think Moroney’s speech makes sense it would be good to hear why you believe this is the case.

    • Kiwiri 10.1

      Moroney’s speech did not and still does not make sense.

      Labour caucus voting for that was a big disappointment.

      But my family said then – be loyal, let Labour get into power first and then they will do the right (correct) thing, there is not much choice (can’t support National anyway and need to support the largest opposition party to ensure there is change), blah blah blah.

      • Leftie 10.1.1

        @Kiwiri

        Wasn’t it disappointing that National put out that legislation in the first place?

        • Kiwiri 10.1.1.1

          Yeah, so very disappointing that National put out that legislation in the first place, although not uncharacteristic of them.

          Yes dear. Labour had absolutely no choice and so quickly followed up by voting to support that bill. We must be immensely grateful that Labour did not put out that legislation in the first place.

          • Leftie 10.1.1.1.1

            @Kiwiri

            So National being characteristically National makes it alright then?

            • Chris 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Surely being critical of the Bill shows criticism of what National has done because it’s National that introduced it. And so doesn’t being critical of Labour for supporting it simply reflect a deeper analysis of that criticism rather than support for National?

              • Leftie

                @Chris

                That’s bullshit. keep handing out those free passes to National. What about all the other legislation Labour has not supported over the last 7 years that has included some very draconian welfare changes that National has rammed through anyway?

                • weka

                  what you are suggesting is that it doesn’t matter if Labour votes for any National legislation because National has the numbers to pass it anyway. That’s daft.

                  • Leftie

                    Are you denying that that doesn’t happen?

                    • weka

                      I think it matters who Labour votes irrespective of whether their vote has the power to stop a piece of legislation. Parliament, politics, governance are more than just a numbers game and who has the biggest stick.

                      The reason it matters is because it defines who Labour is. This is why previous votes on welfare have left many people less than impressed. It also builds political movement even if the vote is lost. It signals to the media and anyone else paying attention that Labour have values (or not) that they stand by. Do you really think none of those things matter?

            • Kiwiri 10.1.1.1.1.2

              So it is alright for Labour to be uncharacteristically Labour?

              • Leftie

                @Kiwiri

                Who said they are? Some people have said they have been this way a long time.

                • Kiwiri

                  Yes dear.

                  The further that Labour drifts from its core values,
                  the more it will hate those that speak them.

                  – adapted from George Orwell –

                  All the best, CV, and may your voice be heard.
                  You speak for many who have been turned off, turned away and turned down.

                  • Leftie

                    @Kiwiri

                    Yawn… yes dear.

                    CV speaks for himself, and maybe doesn’t speak for as many as you may like to think.

                    • Chris

                      “CV speaks for himself, and maybe doesn’t speak for as many as you may like to think.”

                      We will never know that until Labour tries to sort its shit out. At the moment Labour’s shit scared of even finding that out. Therein lies the problem because it never will find that out, certainly not properly, unless its prepare to face its past head on. And what are the chances of that at the moment?

        • Korero Pono 10.1.1.2

          It was VERY disappointing (but not surprising) that National introduced the legislation in the ‘first place’. It was even more disappointing that Labour supported it!

    • McFlock 10.2

      So you’re living with a partner on a limited combined income. They are committing fraud against an organisation that pays directly into your bank account.

      Odds that you have no idea about your own finances: low, but possible.
      Odds that you have some idea but choose not to look: higher.
      Odds that you are actually the one pressuring your partner to do all the paperwork in her name? Maybe not so high as the middle one, but happens often enough for multiple submissions to the select committee.

      edit: odds that any post about the latest abuse by national will be derailed by self-loathing labourites: a practical certainty.

      • Chris 10.2.1

        There’s a much bigger category which is two people who either aren’t in a relationship or truly believe they’re not in a relationship (so there can be no intent to defraud) but who Work and Income decide that they are in a relationship so prosecute (usually) the woman, set up a debt, then start recovering it, then decide to prosecute the (usually) boyfriend (or whatever description you want to use) who, because there’s no relationship either hasn’t got a clue about the other person’s finances or believed (correctly or not) there was no relationship therefore had no concerns about their (usually) girlfriend’s (or whatever description you want to use) receipt of a benefit, but they’re criminalised nonetheless.

        • McFlock 10.2.1.1

          Much bigger? Really?
          Was that submitted to the select committee?

          • Chris 10.2.1.1.1

            Yes, http://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/50SCSS_EVI_00DBHOH_BILL12009_1_A369219/e6af930d5c877cf792cc6d99e6e50c35819b4e93

            See also some of the other submissions, especially those discussing effects on personal relationships, including increased violence towards women.

            • McFlock 10.2.1.1.1.1

              No, that’s I believe two hypotheticals and one case that might have had a different outcome.

              You made a claim that the hypotheticals are a much bigger problem that the one put forward by womens’ groups?

            • Chris 10.2.1.1.1.2

              I’m assuming that the scenarios you say are hypothetical come from the community group’s experience of dealing with cases that involve these kinds of scenarios. Even if they’re not they’re far from outrageous and have a very strong ring of reality to them. The examples of relationships and how relationships develop, during my youth anyway, seem very real and fairly commonplace. I’m sure nothing’s changed. It’s a tad unreasonable to expect a community group to keep hard evidence of anything that up until that time hadn’t ever been an issue and then dispute the points made because of the examples being merely “hypothetical”. Importantly there was nothing unreal in the scenarios put forward in which unfairness would emerge as a result of the law changes.

              • McFlock

                You said one problem was “much bigger” than the other.
                Feel free to support that assertion.

                • weka

                  Why does size matter?

                  • McFlock

                    I didn’t bring it up.
                    Someone asked why Labour supported a bill sometime last year. I quoted Moroney’s explanation (after fifteen seconds of googling). Chris seems to think something else is a much bigger category. Ask Chris why size matters.

                    • Chris

                      Your assessment of those who’d be affected was extremely narrow from the beginning being based on an assumption that it’d only be two people who were clearly in a relationship and that both knew there was no entitlement to the benefit:

                      “So you’re living with a partner on a limited combined income. They are committing fraud against an organisation that pays directly into your bank account.”

                      My point was that the law change affected a much larger group. You asked whether the argument that that larger group would be captured was presented to the Select Committee and I said yes with a link to the submission. I don’t know what else you want.

                    • McFlock

                      No, I asked for evidence that the problem you brought up was much larger than the problem Moroney mentioned. You claim one group to be much larger than the other. Do you have any evidence to support that claim?

      • Leftie 10.2.2

        @McFlock

        Don’t understand it myself. National do something vile and heinous and gets a free pass from those who say they are from the left, but who waste no time in blaming and viciously attacking Labour for National’s own wrongdoings.

        • McFlock 10.2.2.1

          Personally I have much greater concerns about cutting the benefits of wanted criminals so their families go hungry. Smacks of damning unto the seventh generation.

          But my main perspective is that there’s not that many issues I specifically get all het up about (cyclists and tobacco control notwithstanding). Kneejerk rants about how evil Labour is because they’re not left enough in every possible way are about as enjoyable as tories going “Labour did it too”. It bores me. Every single time people start to explore an issue and really pull it apart we have some self-appointed Cassandra come forth to recite doom and gloom because the Labour caucus collectively does not share every single obscure tenet Cassandra holds.

          Well I’m sorry, that’s not how political parties work. They’re a loose compromise of membership beliefs (many of which will be idiotic or selfish and hypocritical) and the beliefs of the leadership and staff who keep it running from day to day (many of whome will be venal, stupid or greedy).

          You find or build a party that you can live with, because no party will ever be everything you want.

          If a particular party isn’t anywhere close to what you want, find one that is and support it. If a party is everything you want and follows your every policy suggestion, congratulations you’re a dictator and you’ve overthrown democracy. But remaining a member while gnashing your teeth for years on end seems to me to be more about self-gratification than anything else.

          • Karen 10.2.2.1.1

            + 100 McFlock. It bores me too.

            • weka 10.2.2.1.1.1

              reread CV’s comment and pretend that someone else wrote it. There’s nothing wrong with it.

              Boring is also people continually having a go at CV every time he mentions Labour now irrespective of the content of the comment. By all means have a go at him when he’s bashing Labour, but he didn’t do that in this comment.

              (and for the record, I get sick of CVs incessant negativity too when it gets out of hand).

          • weka 10.2.2.1.2

            I think that’s a little unfair. If you look at CV’s comment in its own right (outside of the context of his commenting history), it’s actually a pertinent point. Plenty of other people in this thread expressing concern about Labour’s position on beneficiaries (which is fucked and I say that not as someone who wants a perfect party, I’m a pragmatic voter, but as someone who can see the gradual build up up of bigotry over decades that Labour at times supports).

            • McFlock 10.2.2.1.2.1

              yeah, but at least you speak up for the greens when they do good things.

              It’s not just CV – there’s a few commenters where Labour could in one fell swoop create an industry that eliminates unemployment and knocks a quarter off atmospheric carbon, and after the announcement the Labour leader walks across Cook Strait to personally deliver the good news to the south, and all those commenters would say is “Andrew Little can’t swim, what a loser”.

              Blah. I’m off home. Tired and grumpy 🙂

              • Colonial Viper

                I’d be happy with Labour voting against National’s bullshit beneficiary bashing and spying legislation, sticking with consistent opposition of the TPP, and lifting benefits and wages up off poverty levels.

              • weka

                Fair enough McFlock.

          • Leftie 10.2.2.1.3

            @McFlock on both of your comments

            +100

          • tracey 10.2.2.1.4

            chuckle @ self appointed Cassandra

    • Leftie 10.3

      @Chris,

      I am saying, if you want clarification ask Moroney. The National government were going to pass punishing legislation regardless, like they have done with everything else. So while you are busy bashing Labour, who are not the current government, there is no mention of putting pressure on the National government to end their war against the poor, which is where it really belongs.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        Your blindness is remarkable.

        Labour voted for National’s bene bashing legislation, it is they who joined National’s “war against the poor.”

        • b waghorn 10.3.1.1

          http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/289935/labour-proposes-benefit-back-pay-process
          Since the nats will ram this through anyway is labour trying for a 6 week grace period OK with you?

          • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.1.1

            Labour proposing legislation which is a bit softer and mildly more considerate than National’s?

            What’s there not to like.

          • weka 10.3.1.1.2

            RNZ are using Lindsay Mitchell as a Welfare commentator. wtf?

            http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/284368/give-beneficiaries-their-money-greens

          • Chris 10.3.1.1.3

            That’s the proper way to do things. The issue goes back to 1998. Many people will be well and truly out of the benefit system, will have passed away or won’t be interested. Government for these reasons ought to have known that the financial risk is way lower than they made out. The issue has always have been about retrospective legislation and the thin edge of the wedge that this represents when it involves the poor. Retrospective legislation with no reprieve is a big deal and needs to be avoided every time it’s possible to avoid. And this is one of those times. Personally, I’d have a lead in time of six months, with a bit of publicity.

        • te reo putake 10.3.1.2

          CV, you are a member of the Labour party. it’s not ‘they’, it’s “we’. As long as you are a member, you are equally responsible for what it does. It’s hypocritical to pretend otherwise. On the upside, how cool is it that the party will tolerate having a member whose every public utterance is an attack on all it stands for.

          Broad church, broad shoulders.

          • weka 10.3.1.2.1

            no individual party member is equally responsible for what the party does as a whole. That implies that there are no power differentials, but there plainly are.

            CV doesn’t attack all that Labour stands for (or if he does, his point is proven), but I take your point about the party being tolerant. They also tolerate Pagani.

            • te reo putake 10.3.1.2.1.1

              Actually, the Labour party is democratic and that’s one of CV’s difficulties. Nobody inside the party supports his positions. He can’t get any traction outside of his branch. Presumably they only get a quorum there because of the echoes in the empty room.

              He’s a spittle flecked loner. That’s obviously frustrating as heck, but he hasn’t got the guts to set up his own party, because, well, it’d be embarrassing. Despite all his whinging, he’s achieved nothing within Labour so he is reduced to putting the boot into some lovely, genuine and hard working members who will carry on regardless. He’s a coward, weka, without the spine to go it alone.

              Can you think of any other organisation that would put up with someone like that? it’s amazing that the LP is so tolerant (and your point about Josie is well made). All he has is his feeble attacks here; he doesn’t make a difference to how the party runs. The LP has been going for nearly a century and it’s seen off far worse internal parasites.

              • weka

                Nice character assassination there TRP.

                “Actually, the Labour party is democratic”

                To a degree but you neatly sidestepped my point about equal responsibility. Labour most definitely has power structures that mean that some people have more power than others.

                “Nobody inside the party supports his positions. He can’t get any traction outside of his branch. Presumably they only get a quorum there because of the echoes in the empty room.”

                So which is it, nobody inside the party supports him, or his branch does? Can’t be both.

                “Despite all his whinging, he’s achieved nothing within Labour so he is reduced to putting the boot into some lovely, genuine and hard working members who will carry on regardless.”

                I haven’t seen him do this. He’s been harsh about some MPs, but I’ve not seen him have a go at individual members. Can you please link?

                “He’s a coward”

                That’s not been my experience of him.

                “without the spine to go it alone.”

                That’s daft and a set up. Obviously no-one here is in a position to set up their own political party, for reasons outside our control, so that makes CV cowardly? Your logic is failing.

                As I’ve said, I find the times he becomes relentlessly negative hard going, but he’s not always like that. I don’t know what other parties would do with such a critic in their ranks, but I’m not convinced that this is altruism on Labour’s part. It may be that the party has a low capacity to deal with such things (the Pagain example).

                I think what you might be arguing is that Labour is no longer a left wing party and so CV should leave. I agree. In the meantime perhaps CV’s criticism will be a small prompt for Labour to be more honest.

                • Kiwiri

                  CV is like the moral conscience that calls out. But the Labour Party has gone a long way off. Labour’s policies and voting record in the past few decades have increasingly drifted from the “principles and objectives of democratic socialism” (in the words of its constitution).

                • weka, when CV attacks the party, he attacks the members. Including himself, ironically. Call it self loathing, if you want. Whether he likes it or not he supports everything Labour does by being a member. That’s how it works. If you pay the subs, you are supporting the party. So, by extension, if the LP wass ‘bene bashing’ as he claims, by staying a member, CV also supports ‘bene bashing’.

                  The LP has thousands of members who work hard to achieve good things for Kiwis. They’re amazing people who sell the raffles, stand out in the pissing rain carrying signs, leaflet their neighbours and do the hard yards. Those are the people of Labour. They’re the ones who have dragged the party back to the left in the last twenty years. They’re the heart and soul of the party.

                  CV works hard to make sure that progress doesn’t happen. That’s sad, but the rest of us will carry on regardless.

                  And whether you like the language or not, his behaviour is spineless and craven. Revelling in Labour’s setbacks, as he does, is not the behaviour of a genuine member. He should fuck off. Obviously.

                  Infantile leftists have been around for ever. Lenin even wrote a cracking book about their logical failings. And CV ain’t John A Lee. He’s just a saddo who can’t get past the fact that he’s not relelvant. Listen to meeeee! Care, someone!!!

                  But, as I noted, it’s to the immense credit of the party that we continue to tolerate even the nastiest of members. And we get to use his money to do good work. That’s the bit that makes me smile 😉

                  • weka

                    “Whether he likes it or not he supports everything Labour does by being a member. That’s how it works. If you pay the subs, you are supporting the party. So, by extension, if the LP wass ‘bene bashing’ as he claims, by staying a member, CV also supports ‘bene bashing’.”

                    I don’t see how. Being a member = supporting a party, sure. Being a member = supporting everything that party does, no. If that were true there would be no room for dissent, which is dangerous both politically of the left and for any organisation. If we are instead arguing about how dissent is done, that’s another matter.

                    Most of your comments on CV here have been about character assassination. To my mind that’s not far from the sin that CV is committing. It’s not about language so much as intent. If you can’t find ways of addressing the problem with CV’s actions without rendering him a nothing then that’s a problem in itself.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    But, as I noted, it’s to the immense credit of the party that we continue to tolerate even the nastiest of members. And we get to use his money to do good work. That’s the bit that makes me smile.

                    And this is how Labour treats its members – as cash cows and delivery mules.

                    Good on ya TRP, your shitty self serving condescension is a hallmark of present day Labour and is now noted for all to see.

                    • tracey

                      Hope those shoulders are broad CV? You and I far from agree on much stuff here, and i too have commented that you seem very harsh on the LP in more recent times (stepped up a notch it seeems to me) but I hope you cans ee that I stand by your right to speak your mind, without people trying to shut your voice down, make personal attacks or by passive or overt means.

                      kia kaha

              • Chris

                “Nobody inside the party supports his positions.”

                So you’re quite happy that Labour has abandoned its traditional roots? That introducing anti-poor legislation when in government is a good thing, something that Labour now stands for? And that supporting equally nasty anti-poor government legislation is pretty cool, too?

                This is all on top of a pile of other silly things Labour continues to do in all sorts other areas. If nobody inside Labour supports his positions then clearly Labour ain’t no part of the left no more. But we already knew that, of course.

                • McFlock

                  Labour will always carry with it its union roots alongside the fourth Labour government. It has vestiges of both sides, and always will.

                  Join the Greens or whichever socialist party hasn’t self-destructed yet.

                  People have had thirty years to deal with that. Let it go. Grieving is a process, but some people seem to take much longer than others.

                  • weka

                    There’s nowhere else to go McFlock. It’s not grief, it’s push back. I don’t think Labour will ever be a left wing party again but that doesn’t mean the pressure shouldn’t be applied to get them to be as left of centre as they can possibly managed.

                    • McFlock

                      Really? How’s that ‘application of pressure’ working out?

                      Go join Mana or something. The Greens, maybe.

                    • weka

                      I think it’s working as well as it can. Without activists and people protesting I think we would be in a far worse situation. Or do you think that Labour would figure the right thing to do all by themselves without the broader left?

                      I’m already a GP member. The Greens can’t form a govt on their own, unfortunately.

                  • Chris

                    Okay, so you’re saying we should just accept where Labour’s gone without saying anything? We should just “let it go” and stop complaining? The same could be said about National or ACT. Don’t bother criticising them because that’s just who they are. FFS. The logical extension of what you say is that we should say nothing about any party because they are what they are.

                    • McFlock

                      🙄
                      Not at all.

                      Maybe there is some middle ground between current behaviour and complete silence that you’ve possibly overlooked? Maybe give credit where credit is relevant, criticism where criticism is relevant, and try not to make every conversation about your ex who works in the office next door.

                    • weka

                      He’s one person McFlock.

                    • McFlock

                      “We”.

                    • Das

                      One person? Doubt it.

                      For a better picture, how about someone set up a straw poll online and put up a post here online to point out the link?

                    • weka

                      @McFlock, “We”?

                      Das, what are you talking about?

                    • McFlock

                      Chris used the plural personal pronoun. Hence referring to a group, not just one.

                  • tracey

                    What are your views on Ms Pagani and say, Mr Nash?

                    • McFlock

                      Dunno much about nash.
                      Pagani and one or two other media-ordained “voices of the left” are annoying jerks who seem to get off on the attention, but then I tend to not watch/listen to the shows they appear on anyway, so I don’t know whether daily exposure would be moderately fun or simply monotonous to the point of infuriating.

              • Leftie

                @te reo putake
                +1000

              • Ad

                You need to pull back from your keyboard before you write such stuff TRP.
                Your rage is caustic. Be kind to yourself.

              • tracey

                Wow TRP. Do you really believe you speak for the make up of the entire LP with enough certainty to know that no other member has similar views to CV, or have those who do, left the party?

                What is your view on Ms Pagani’s comments, in a much broader media than CV reaches and how it reflects on the LP and does everyone in the party share her derisive veiws of actvivists on the left?

                • Sorry about the slow reply, Tracey, been offline all day.

                  Josie is a goose. I know her, I have genuine respect for her work ethic and self belief, but like all Blairites, her philosophy has passed its use by date.

                  Most members have spotted that the party is in good shape, has the most united caucus in 7 years and the most left wing leader in a generation. And they realise we’re in a good place to lead the next government. If there are members who think that isn’t good enough, they are definitely in a minority. And within that minority, there may be a a tiny, deluded percentage who think the best think to do is constantly attack the party from within and in public. Happily, the rest of the party just roll their eyes and get on with the job at hand.

                  MMP allows for a variety of political philosophies to be represented in Parliament. If Labour isn’t the party for you, find one that is. It really is that simple. And, obviously, I’m not just talking about Josie there.

            • Chris 10.3.1.2.1.2

              Pagani’s on slater’s phone contact list. FFS.

          • Chris 10.3.1.2.2

            “As long as you are a member, you are equally responsible for what it does. It’s hypocritical to pretend otherwise.”

            Isn’t that inconsistent with the broad church, broad shoulders stuff? If you’re responsible for what the party you’re a member of does how can you not agree with it, in the spirit of “broad church, broad shoulders?

            Labour should welcome all member’s thoughts on how they’re doing, not try to tell them they’re being hypocritical. For that matter Labour and all Labour supporters whether members or not should welcome all thoughts from not only Labour but the wider left as well. It’s bloody high time they did.

            • weka 10.3.1.2.2.1

              I’m guessing it’s more of a problem with behaviour than thoughts. I agree with you about needing all voices from the left.

            • Kiwiri 10.3.1.2.2.2

              Within the framework of a ‘broad church’, will that include a Church of Neoliberal/Financial/Corporate Satan?

        • Leftie 10.3.1.3

          And your hate blinds you CV.

  11. sabine 11

    i think we need a Post that is named, “Labour did it too, has done it previously and most likely will do it again.
    And we expect that National does it, has done it and most likely will do it again, but that is ok cause National.”
    .

    This whole thread is just a load of horse manure.

    Disclaimer, I once received a benefit while working part time, i had to pay back parts of said benefit cause WINZ mis-calculated, i guess i will not get back what ever I paid back to much.
    And that for me is the crux of the matter, that some people actually had to repay money to Winz, cause the case managers there seem to mis-calculate often, and they will threaten you with collection immediately and are generally just unpleasant. So the people that had to re-pay money to Winz in the past due to mis-calculations should be getting the amount of that one day that they refunded back. As clearly they never got the money in the first place. Simple as that, Or is Winz now a profit center?

    But that does not matter, cause Labour n shit.

    Also not every beneficiary is forever one the benefit, some are really just on it while they are unemployed, under employed or sick. Others, because they lost a partner. And many of those that were on the benefit, or are now on the benefit (maybe it should be made clear which benefit as it appears that some benefits are more equal then others) have worked and paid taxes. As such their benefit is not a gift from the Tax payer but a service they effectively have paid for.
    And all of our beneficiaries in this Country btw pay GST, so they are also Taxpayer.

    But lets not talk about this.

    Remember Labour did it too, will do it again, and most likely has done it in the past.
    And because we expect it from National its just ok, or something, or it hurts less, or something. Let’s all vote National, cause Labour did it too.

    Crikey, and we wonder why the fuck we can’t have nice things.

    • weka 11.1

      “And we expect that National does it, has done it and most likely will do it again, but that is ok cause National.”

      Just so we are really clear, CV didn’t say that. He also didn’t suggest voting National. Anyone who suggests that he did is either deliberatly misrepresenting his comment, or has comprehension problems.

      • sabine 11.1.1

        So this thread is about CV?

        it is not about beneficiaries that have been screwed over by Winz for almost 20 years? by both governments? National under Shipley and now Key, Labour under Clark with a. Winston and b. the Greens as coalition partners?
        But that is not important. Nor is it important that the ‘Current’ National Government is trying to steal from people that were entitled to that payment, or is trying to steal from people that had to repay parts of their benefits cause Winz miscalculated. It is not important that all the workers that lost their jobs just recently in the great Fonterra Job axing might have missed out of 1 day payment.

        But that is not important, the only thing that is important is that CV is not happy with Labour.

        And for what its worth Weka you are suggesting that absolutely everyone that took offence at what amounts to daily Mantras of CV’s unhappiness with Labour is ‘deliberately misrepresenting’ his comment/s or has “comprehension problems”.

        that is very generous of you.

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          Looks to me that you’re the one making it all about CV.

          I don’t know why you find that list of things unimportant. I find them important and I’d wager that pretty much everyone in this thread does too.

          And for what its worth Weka you are suggesting that absolutely everyone that took offence at what amounts to daily Mantras of CV’s unhappiness with Labour is ‘deliberately misrepresenting’ his comment/s or has “comprehension problems”.

          Please don’t make up shit about what I’ve said. I was very specific about what I said was CV being misrepresented and that didn’t include all criticisms of CV. I’ve got my own criticisms of him. I just don’t see how it helps to misrepresent his comment, unless people are doing that to undermine him, which is a shitty thing to do. Argue the facts.

          • sabine 11.1.1.1.1

            People are being screwed over. They have been screwed over since 1998.
            that would be under Shipley, Helen Clark in coalition with NZF, Greens and now under Key. Maybe it really just was miscalculation by Winz Staff…who knows. But effectively they are being screwed out of money.
            That is the topic of the thread.
            Everything else is just waste of bandwidth.

            • weka 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, the topic is the legislation being passed currently by National. And you yourself are putting that in a decades long context, rightly so. So is CV.

              • weka

                btw, the Green Party have never been part of a Labour coalition government. They’ve voted for Labour legislation and they’ve offered support on Confidence and Supply, but they’ve not been part of the coalition.

                • sabine

                  Coaliton, and support.

                  Are you saying that Peter Dunne is not part of this current government?
                  Are you saying that the Maori Party is not part of this current government?

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Labour_Government_of_New_Zealand
                  The fourth National government, in power since 1990, was widely unpopular by 1999, with much of the public antagonised by a series of free-market economic reforms, and was bedevilled by weakness and instability. In the general election of that year, the Labour Party led by Helen Clark defeated National easily, becoming the largest single party in the House of Representatives. Labour formed a minority coalition government with the left-leaning Alliance, supported by the Green Party.

                  • weka

                    you appear to not understand the difference between a coalition and support from outside a coalition. In the example that you give of the fifth Labour Govt, the Alliance were in the coalition, the GP weren’t.

              • sabine

                The difference is that I don’t just blame one party. I also don’t expect just one party to fuck up without mentioning the party that is going to do the fucking up and the screwing over.

                bored now.

                • weka

                  Sure, all I am saying is that if you are going to criticise CV at least have he decency to not misrepesent what he is saying. There’s is plenty to go on without doing that.

                  • Karen

                    Weka, I often agree with CV, and share many of his frustrations. However, this time I believe he was using a post about a current National Party bill to do some Labour Party bashing. In the last few months he has been doing a lot of that.

                    I get why he is disappointed about Labour, but his first post on this thread at 3 was about Labour supporting a National Party anti beneficiary policy that he claimed was earlier this year. No more information than that and it was some time later Chris said he was referring to a bill passed in April 2014. There were reasons Labour did eventually vote with the government and , while I don’t agree with their decision, I don’t think it is valid to use a post about the National Party to do exactly what they do i.e. blame Labour.

                    This is a terrible government doing serious damage to NZ and spending all your time attacking the opposition is not going to change this state of affairs. I say this as a financial supporter of both Labour and the Green Parties who has, and will continue, to criticise them sometimes, but not relentlessly, as I believe this is counter productive.

                    • weka

                      Fair enough Karen. What I’m getting is that irrespective of the validity of an individual post* people are sick of CV’s behaviour. It’s valid to call him out on that. I just think that will work better if the focus is on what is not liked about what he is doing (as you have just explained) rather than the character assassinations and misrepresentations that have gone on in this thread. That brings down the whole place IMO.

                      *my own perspective is that every time National do this shit, I want to know if Labour will reverse it. Unfortunately I don’t see any evidence that they will most of the time. Hence I thought CV’s original comment was pertinent, and something any of us could have raised (and others in this thread did). But I accept that enough people are now so thoroughly fed up with what he is doing that the the useful point will most likely be lost.

                    • tracey

                      I agreew with all that you wrote.

                      Did you think Labour would/should vote for the 2014 beneficiary legislation?

                    • Leftie

                      @Karen

                      +100

  12. greywarshark 12

    I have been disappointed in the type of hostile comment about CVs comments which Leftie, Karen, Clemgeopin and also McFlock (and one or two others) have shown. I think it is important that Left support robust discussion about Labour and its thinking and direction. I have been watching CV and the whole blog for years now and I am aware of the differing currents in this political discourse.

    CV knows what he is talking about, and doesn’t throw ideas around widely, as Sabine tends to do. CV has done the hard yards standing against a prominent Nat (Bill English I think) in an unwinnable seat for Labour. He wants to see Labour reverse its position of glad-handing the middle classes, putting them at the front in its considerations. That is where Labour has been for decades, including the last Helen Clark government, and he knows the time has run out to just hope for organic change, or a latent wisdom to flower.

    He is watching what Labour is doing, rather than hanging on what Labour is saying. He finds it disturbing that so little solid Left material and commitment is being heard and made to assist the large number of people struggling in declining conditions.

    CV seems to get ambushed and attacked when he doesn’t follow the positive line that has been decided on by Karen, Leftie and others. And Leftie could just as well be a rightie in that he attacks CV in a way that is almost tr.lling. We have been warned that the Right will try to disrupt the Left discourse, and Leftie openly attacks CV every step of the way. CV is not to be allowed to have an opinion if it differs from what has been decided as ‘the standard’ conformity as decided by Leftie and others.

    It seems an attack against the man, and an attempt to muzzle him. And Leftie is gathering partners from people who present themselves as Left in attacking CV. Yet in their desire to shut him down, they are adopting totalitarian ways, a censorship against the undesired truth. It hurts when CV keeps pointing out the facts of TPP limp wristedness etc.

    I don’t think this behaviour honours the Left, the blog, the need for clear sightedness,
    or the quality of future Left political direction which seems as slow to turn as a 12 storey cruise ship at sea. I think at present we are all ‘at sea’ and need to alter our course.

    • KK 12.1

      CV clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Witness today’s episode.

    • McFlock 12.2

      He’s allowed to express his opinion.
      And I’m allowed to express my opinion.

      • greywarshark 12.2.1

        Yes McFlock but I don’t expect you to be attacked and ridiculed every time you pass an opinion by others. CV is being personally attacked and picked on every time he puts something up. I think that people who are into contention might do better to go and take up aikido or karate and work off those aggressive impulses ritually.

        • Karen 12.2.1.1

          I certainly have never personally attacked CV and in fact have agreed with him many times . Please read my posts again.

          • weka 12.2.1.1.1

            +1. I thought your comments here have been entirely reasonable Karen.

            btw, I think this conversation would be better happening in Open Mike.

        • Leftie 12.2.1.2

          You have personally attacked those, including myself for expressing opinions that disagree with CV greywarshark.
          You have even accused me of being a rightie stooge, which I am not. You are trying to stop people from expressing their views in defence of your mate CV.

    • Leftie 12.3

      What’s this personal attack you have made because I and others do not agree with CV?
      For a start greywarshark, I am not gathering anyone in expressing my opinions, and no one is trying to shut down CV because we disagree with him. Are you trying to shut down others from having their say?
      Haven’t we all got a right to express our opinions even though it doesn’t match yours or CV’s views?

      • greywarshark 12.3.1

        Actually Leftie I think it is you who are trying to shut down others from having their say just by counting the number of times you crop up disagreeing and putting down CV
        whose opinions are interesting and based on thought. While yours appear to be based on a strong feeling of superiority without a strong background of evidence.

        • Leftie 12.3.1.1

          Bullshit greywarshark, are you looking for a scapegoat and are therefore being selective? And what was that you were saying about personal attacks? Not only are you being hypocritical, it appears not everyone shares your opinion. I am not the only one to disagree with CV and given an article that he has posted today, that I haven’t as yet commented on, it’s pretty clear what’s been eating at him. Suggest you take your blinkers off.

          • greywarshark 12.3.1.1.1

            I suggest you keep on doing what you are doing now Leftie. Soon there will be a way found to store excess energy from people into batteries which can charge your car, skateboard or other appliance. You can get into a righteous fit and be Green and Red at the same time, and get loco-motion round town all day..

  13. Korero Pono 13

    Just want to say that successive Governments have been undermining beneficiaries for years, both Labour and National. I discovered an interesting piece of legislation introduced by Labour (bless their souls), in which students transferring to student hardship would be eligible for a transfer grant in certain circumstances. (http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/map/income-support/extra-help/student-allowance-transfer-grant/introduction.html). However, this is overshadowed by other legislation that stipulates that beneficiaries/students have to pay back food assistance if they are on a stand-down week? It is the first I have heard of it and frankly it makes no sense.

    Add that to, if there is a delay in processing transfer grants/student hardship any extra assistance given during that stand down period is recoverable, including food and is either deducted from the transfer grant if you are entitled or recovered from your benefit at a minimum of $4 per week. Meanwhile if you are already on a benefit and have an unexpected cost then you are most likely to get a non-recoverable grant for food, whilst someone on a stand-down (with absolutely no money) has to repay. How does this even make sense? And who were the clowns that approved this? Does anyone know?

    See http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/map/legislation/welfare-programmes/special-needs-grants-programme/clause-17-benefit-non-entitlement-periods-and-stan.html and follow through each of the sections of the act to see how those with no income are treated. Was this a piece of legislation that Labour supported (it appears to have come into effect in April 2015)?

    • Tracey 13.1

      Yup…. bashing the vulnerable with a sneer on your face or a smile dont make much difference to the vulnerable. I think some folks here have short memories. Ask the disabled communities about some of what Ms Dyson presided over

    • weka 13.2

      Don’t know about now, but back in the day there was a 6 week wait for student allowance. Technically you weren’t supposed to get the dole during that time because at the 6 week mark you got paid 6 weeks worth of student allowance. Therefore if you were on the dole for that time you were double dipping. I don’t know why there was a 6 week wait, and it was ridiculous to expect students to live on nothing for that time (maybe it was a hangover from the days when students went straight from home to uni), but then there was this huge chunk of money all of a sudden.

      I don’t remember, but I can see that all of that would apply to SNGs etc too.

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