Rorts

Written By: - Date published: 2:14 pm, July 23rd, 2012 - 59 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Ethics, welfare - Tags: , ,

Two headlines almost side by side in The Herald this morning.

Bennett increases pursuit of welfare ‘rorts’

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says more work is under way to detect beneficiary households, where multiple members are being paid the accommodation supplement. She said it was not unlawful or considered to be fraud by Work and Income but she believed most New Zealanders would see it as “a rort”. …

Ms Bennett said that she was also considering a system whereby people who were given grants for food could be given a food parcel instead.

and…

Trillions disappear offshore to tax havens

A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary US$21 trillion ($26 trillion) of wealth offshore – as much as US and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network.

The detailed analysis in the report, compiled using data from a range of sources including the Bank of International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund, suggests that for many developing countries the cumulative value of the capital that has flowed out of their economies since the 1970s would be more than enough to pay off their debts to the rest of the world. …

The sheer size of the cash pile sitting out of reach of tax authorities suggests standard measures of inequality radically underestimate the true gap between rich and poor.

According to Henry’s calculations, US$9.8 trillion of assets is owned by only 92,000 people, or 0.001 per cent of the world’s population – a tiny class of the mega-rich who have more in common with each other than those at the bottom of the income scale in their own societies. “These estimates reveal a staggering failure: inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people,” said John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. “People on the street have no illusions about how unfair the situation has become.” …

A spokeswoman for UK Uncut said: “People like [Topshop owner] Philip Green use public services – they need the streets to be cleaned, people need public transport to get to their shops – but they don’t want to pay for it.”

Discuss.

[Bunji: The story-breaking articles at the Guardian are worth a read too]

59 comments on “Rorts”

  1. felix 1

    “She said it was not unlawful or considered to be fraud”

    So what’s she intending to do when she “detects” such households?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1

      Publish their names and addresses of course.

    • David H 1.2

      Go visit, look in the cupboards, if there’;s more than 4 cans of beans call in the Benefit police to trump up a fraud charge?

    • Murray Olsen 1.3

      She intends to make new aspirational opportunities available to them. Or maybe push for the building of enough state houses so that landlords no longer get paid out their government reward for overcharging?

  2. Carol 2

    Ms Bennett said that she was also considering a system whereby people who were given grants for food could be given a food parcel instead.

    Food parcels could be delivered to people in need instead of grants, which cost about $63 million a year, and possibly with recipes in them because many people did not know cooking basics.

    Aunty Paula representing the Nanny State.

    • prism 2.1

      Good morning, good morning, good morning. Here are some tips for beneficiaries.
      Now we all know how important breakfast is especially for kiddies. Pour your milk on your weetbix and any that is left over can be fed to the fowls which make lovely pets for the children.
      Just watch that friends’ dogs don’t chase and frighten or kill them. They
      don’t like it and won’t lay any eggs then.

    • xtasy 2.2

      Well, maybe that is another business idea that National has up their sleeves?

      Food parcel distribution to the client’s doorstep, year right!

      Once every WINZ client will be forced to accept a payment card, and once WINZ may have established their own “poor people’s bank”, the transactions will become very cost effective and easy.

      Maybe Paula is going to set her new hubby up for starting a distribution business, delivering food parcels to all beneficiaries on payment days?

      For a small fee, direct debited from the payment card and client account, this will become the standard feeding operation of the poor – nationwide. It will ensure no waste on alcohol, cigarettes, expensive movie tickets, fast food and gambling at the casino. The operation will be outsourced by MSD to a smart business operator, like perhaps Paula Bennett’s hubbie.

      Next step will be standardised uniforms for every beneficiary, just give us your sizes, we will deliver. Put a yellow star with ‘WINZ’ on the chest so we can quickly identify you as one of our “valued” clients in queue for a job.

      • fender 2.2.1

        Following on from that will be Camp Winz, cheap mass housing (tents/cabins/holding pens/razor wire), incredibly cheap once the introductory communal shower and the earthmover are paid for.

        [lprent: Godwin’s law comments. Kind of boring. ]

        • fender 2.2.1.1

          “Godwins Law” pop-psych catch-phrase.. equally boring.

          Most boring (and destructive): demonising Minister for social development.

          As Godwins suggests I’ve lost another arguement.

          • Majella 2.2.1.1.1

            Not sure Godwin’s applies here. Have you read any extracts of “The Report from Iron Mountain”? Many claim it debunked as a ‘hoax’ – but it seems less and less absurd as the entire global economy heads to hell…

  3. framu 3

    considering that when applying for a benefit/accommodation supplement you need to provide

    a copy of your lease*
    amount of flatemates and their names*
    and some figures around how much rent you pay in order to get an accommodation supplement*

    then this is just utter dog whistly BS

    * thats what it was like back in the 90s – so im guessing its tougher now

    • xtasy 3.1

      framu: Yes, you are basically correct.

      WINZ will not pay any accomodation supplement until it has evidence how much rent a client pays.

      If a person is flatting, they will ask for a copy of the lease or a separate agreement (flatting agreement) stating how much of the rent or board the single person pays. The lease should make clear what share a flatmate pays, and also a separate agreement between flatmates sharing the lease should make that clear. Generally: If there is no proof of rent or board payable, WINZ pays NO accommodation supplement.

      I honestly don’t know what Bennett is on about.

      The rule is WINZ only pays accommodation supplements on the actual rental share a flattie pays.

      If a flat is shared by more than declared, and if the rent share per flatmate is lowered, then a client has the responsibility to notify WINZ of the change of circumstances. That can and usually will lead to an adjustment.

      So what would declaring false information represent? To my understanding “fraud” or at least failing to comply with client responsibilities (or both). But according to what Bennett was quoted saying, that is not so. Let me guess, maybe she does not have a clue about the law and the Social Security Act. In any case, that should mean, she is in the wrong job!

    • David H 3.2

      Oh yes it’s tougher now. they want to know everything right down to the colour of the patch on your undies. And if you need a emergency food (or other grant) then there is NO appointments so you have to go and sit in the office ALL day until someone will have 5 mins free to make you do your little dance and jump through the hoops. I know, I just had to do it to beg for fuel, to get my partner to hospital in the early morning. But in the end it all depends on who you get. In my local WINZ there are some really helpful people (but I do notice that they are the ones that all of a sudden vanish to be replaced with a ‘prick/prickess’) Which is why I am not saying where I am.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Well, we can be sure that neither Paula Bennett nor this government will target the rorts done by the rich and costing the government billions. They’ll just let them keep getting away with it or legalise it.

    • Majella 4.1

      That’s right. When Bill English was RORTING (rooting, more like) the MP “benefits” system – in particular the accommodaiton allowance (!), it wasn’t the Minister of Social Engineering taht dobbed him in, was it?

  5. Tigger 5

    I wish they’d been so proactive on investigating their own MPs, we wouldn’t have paid out all that rort accommodation allowance to Blinglish et al.

    • mike e 5.1

      Two or three Winz staff are being prosecuted for having access to private files at winz .
      Paula bennitto releases private information to the press and nothing is done.
      Crony ism!!

  6. captain hook 6

    I wonder long she would last on a diet of two minute noodles and canned spaghetti?

  7. AmaKiwi 7

     
    One purpose for a casino is to launder money.
    You take $25,000 of (cash) drug money into the casino, buy chips, pretend to do a bit of betting, cash in your chips, and direct the casino to wire the money to a secret bank account in Venuatu, Panama, Gibralter, or whatever tax havens your prefer. 
    You have three lieutenants, each of you laundering $25,000 three times a week and in one year you have moved $15,600,000 out of NZ.  Your competitors (in the drug trade) are doing the same.  And you thought the only purpose for a casino was to scam money from gambling addicts.
     
    P.S.  Labour is originally responsible for our NZ casinos.  It was the Lange government.  
     
     

  8. vto 8

    Regarding that uber-rich group …….

    in my opinion those that perpetuate the system that allows this to happen are disgusting pigs of people. You judge a society by how it treats its poor.

    As such, John Key and his entire government, each and every MP personally, are disgusting pigs of people. Oink

    oink
    oink
    oink

    And in fact that is unfair to our pig population, who are the most wonderful of animals.

    • TT 8.1

      +1
      Tories aren’t people; they’re worthless pieces of shit. Pond scum has more value, and a greater right to life. Tories are a cancer that needs to be cut out of our society.

  9. freedom 9

    Both examples given by the Minister in that article place only one thing in the spotlight, the failure of the system to properly follow their own criteria for qualification of the supplement.

    Won’t stop the rabid right from baying for blood though.
    (p.s. who else had no idea the Minister was Maori ?)

  10. weka 10

     

    In response to questions at a workshop session at the National Party conference in Auckland during the weekend, she said it was possible for six people to be sharing a house and all getting the accommodation supplement, and that the total could be well in excess of the total rent.
     

    I’m struggling to see how that is even possible. Leaving aside Housing NZ tenants (because I don’t understand how that works), I’m pretty sure that WINZ’s AS formula specifically prevents what Bennett is saying. I’ve run a few different hypothetical figures through the calculation and I can’t get anywhere near a figure where the total AS paid into a household would even cover the rent let alone exceed it (that’s assuming everyone is declaring, which is what she is saying, and is assuming no-one is getting TAS or SpB).
     
    Can anyone else see how that might work?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Its good of you to spend time on this, but I suspect its another Tory irrelevancy designed to please unthinking supporters.

      They are also tacitly accepting multiple families having to share one house.

    • xtasy 10.2

      Truth is: It is just another mean spirited “sound bite” offered by Bennett for the equally dumb and ignorant mass media out there, who employ mostly greasy, career focused, over groomed and attention seeking journos who have studied little else than “journalism” at journalism school, then had to prostitute themselves for a graduate work experience without pay and finally get hired by commercial media pre-occupied with selling advertising and otherwise dumbing down the public.

      Research and investigative journalism have been abolished, as it is too low for reaching cost benefit ratios.

      Such “bites” appeal to the red neck support base, so they will scream “hooray”, at last they deal to those lazy “bludgers”!

      You are right: The way WINZ actually works, assesses, processed and grants accommodation supplements, the relity is: It NEVER covers the actual amount of rent payable, which must be paid for by part of the base benefit rate or a temporary additional support component, which is also capped.

      So many have to juggle paying for rent, electricity, water and food every week. Hence there has been a huge increase in demand for special needs grants (also “cracked down” on), and naturally for food parcels from food banks.

      In the early 1990s Ruth Richardson and Jenny Shipley came up with the idea: Put in a vege garden, which is good for supplementing your food requirements and some exercise! I suppose that will be re discovered by Bennett next.

      • freedom 10.2.1

        The absurdist hilarity of the vege garden fiasco is that most getting paid an Accommodation Supplement live in a rented property and many many landlords do not encourage or even allow tenants to operate a garden. Then there is the bugbear of rationality, that growing number who live sans land to garden on.

    • framu 10.3

      “I’m struggling to see how that is even possible”

      thats because its not possible

      http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/a-z-benefits/accommodation-supplement.html

      i suggest people email dear audrey the above link and ask why she didnt think it wise to do some research

    • mike e 10.4

      Has anyone noticed its no longer called winz but
      now ‘work and income’ the NZ bit is missing does that mean its going to be sold off as well.

      • Majella 10.4.1

        Mike e – would you buy shares in a revitalized govt. corporation called ‘Welfare Distribution (2012) Ltd’?
        The returns could be enormous – JK/BE ‘ Heres your budget, here’s your KPIs, everything you manage to NOT give away, is YOURS!’ (10% consultancy fees apply, please direct to Cayman Islands accountS, as detailed on your invoice)’

    • Mike 10.5

      She’s full of shit and is outright lying. The only way they could do that is if fraud was occurring (i.e they were lying to winz about their share of the rent) because the amount you receive for the accommodation supplement is always less than what you pay in rent. So for example if the 6 people are paying $80 a week each in rent for a $480 house then they will receive less than $480 total accommodation supplement.

      What she doesn’t mention is that someone making $700 a week can still claim an accommodation supplement (they get around $10 I think).

      • xtasy 10.5.1

        What bloody well gets me, that the damned stupid and even biased mainstream media, like I think in this case the “NZ National Herald” again, publish her shit and untrue, ignorant comments, as if they present some “authority” of sorts, coming from “Her Highness” our “Minister”!

        It is all crap and nonsense, as you say, and the law is already clear on all this.

        Bennett though, I am starting to realise more and more, she does not even know her own ministry, the departments within it, and she does NOT understand the legal meaning of the provisions of the Social Security Act!

        Having such an idiot run the ministry is a total failure and irresponsibility of any government.

        And she dares to put this unjustified, unfounded talk about “rorts” into circulation, while we have an explosion of rents and housing costs right now in most of Auckland.

        1 bedroom flats now go for over $ 300, even around $ 350 a week, 2 bedroom flats are that and more, some now $ 400 or more a week, and 3 or 4 bedroom homes are asking for rents that used to be charged for luxury apartments on Tamaki Drive.

        This lot is a totally mean spirited, incompetent, ignorant, self serving and social conscience and responsibility lacking bunch of governing bastards, they should be facing a scorched earth treatment by the populace, which though is sadly resigned to desperate servitude, and too frightened to stand up and speak out. NZ is LOST like this!

  11. tracey 11

    She is just feeding the oft repeated myth that many beneficiaries are committing fraud. Labour spent time and money doing the same thing in 2007 and found tiny instances of fraud, and a bunch of fraud by employees.

    But this govt doesnt let facts get in the way of populist myth making.

  12. tracey 12

    Oh dear, all the nat supporters who villified the greens using their leaders budget to fund people for the petition now have to take a deep breath and villify their leader for using the leaders fund to poll nzers

    • felix 12.1

      Details?

      • rosy 12.1.1

        Just another case of doing whatever the you feel like

        Prime Minister John Key has used taxpayer funding provided through Parliament to ask voters which political party they vote for, potentially providing canvassing data for the National Party.

        The survey asks for voters views on a range of topics, but also asks which party they always, or usually, support.

        It has sparked questions from the Opposition about whether the rules covering taxpayer-funded mailouts from Parliament should be reviewed.

        The letter, which has landed in mailboxes across the Wellington region, has three inserts; a letter from Key, a summary of the budget, and a questionnaire for voters to fill out and send back Freepost to Key at Parliament.

        All three inserts carry the parliamentary crest, and a spokeswoman for Key confirmed they were paid for out of the taxpayer-funded ”leader’s budget”.

        Asking people who they voted for… from the party in power… that’s a bit cheeky isn’t it?

  13. xtasy 13

    So the New Zealand Herald has done it yet again! Spreading lies to the public:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10822157

    I followed this up and phoned them. After being put through to the PA of the Editor, I explained the truth and that their editorial was wrong and misleading, relying on a lying minister that is incompetent and should not be in her job.

    After a minute of listening I was supposedly to be put on hold, but I was put through to the answer phone of the editor, hence I left a further message there, after which I was cut off.

    There has been no return call, there has been no response, there has been no correction of the misinforming, not fact based “editorial” today, and instead, it seems they have now deleted me as “commenter” to their articles under the “opinion” heading.

    That proves now for sure, the NZ Herald is misinforming the public, telling lies, supporting a rotten, also misinforming, manipulating government and has no true value as a mass media that is supposed to “cater” to the wider public and “inform” them.

    Such crappy media should be nationalised and the editors sacked for good, never to work in their jobs again!

    • xtasy 13.1

      Correction: Re-ckecking my user profile on the NZ Herald website, it appears to only have been inaccessible temporarily, maybe for technical reasons? Yet one should expect them to publish comments pointing out their mistakes, or they should publish a correction of wrong published info. I see none of that happening.

      • xtasy 13.1.1

        The Herald has NOT published comments I made under my NZ Herald user name since I raise this matter!!!

    • xtasy 13.2

      The NZ Herald is not interested in the truth about beneficiaries and seems to stubbornly stick to their “editorial”, which followed the wrong report about supposed “accommodation supplement rorts” early in the week.

      Having informed their editor and one journalist, who have been repeating the wrong information that Paula Bennett has been spreading about beneficiaries sharing their accommodation and being able to claim more in the way of supplements than the actual rent, what the actual true facts re granting and entitlement to that benefit component is, they are simply ignoring all this and continue publishing misleading and wrong information:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10822157

      See my comments above about the truth about accommodation supplements.

      If journalists and editors write stuff, one would think they would first of all check whether info they refer to is true. That is not done though, so mainstream media becomes complicit in misleading the public, which is absolutely appalling and should be exposed. Accountability does not seem to exist.

      I have been informed that an MP is going to follow up the matter and challenge mischievous PB.

      • Mike 13.2.1

        I have long thought the Herald is dodgy. They won’t publish my letters anymore because of an email argument I had with the editor of ‘letters to the editor’.

        The email conversation went like this:

        My initial letter to the herald regarding Time Warner and The Hobbit.

        Sir

        I find it extraordinary that one media corporation, namely Time Warner has enough power not only to get millions in concessions from our government, but to be able to actually force a law change in our country. 1.4 million New Zealanders recently asked for a law change through referendum and were ignored. But one American corporation which exists only to maximise profit for its foreign owners requests a law change and our Prime Minister pushes through a new law in less than a day! This shows John Key’s true colours, always profit before people just like in his days working on the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Those criticizing the actors and CTU should remember that for centuries our ancestors have fought and sometimes sacrificed their lives fighting for the human rights we enjoy today. However small a particular right may be, to flippantly suggest that someone should give up that right to a foreign corporation is hugely disrespectful to those ancestors. Wake up New Zealand. Your government clearly views the profiteering demands of a foreign corporation as more important than those of the New Zealand people. We must be a laughing stock in Hollywood.

        Reply from Kevin Hart, Letters Editor:-

        Dear reader. John Key never worked for the Federal Reserve. If you wish your letter to be considered for publication, you might amend it so it is factually correct. Regards.
        Kevin Hart.
        NZ Herald.

        My reply back to Kevin Hart

        Hi Kevin

        Below taken from wiki and from John Key’s own website. My understanding is that the New York Fed is the main branch of the United States Federal Reserve. (A privately owned run for profit central bank) I have amended the letter to reflect. Hope that suits

        regards
        Mike

        “In 1995, he joined Merrill Lynch as head of Asian foreign exchange in Singapore. That same year he was promoted to Merrill’s global head of foreign exchange, based in London, where he may have earned around US$2.25 million a year including bonuses, which is about NZ$5 million at 2001 exchange rates. Some co-workers called him “the smiling assassin” for maintaining his usual cheerfulness while sacking dozens (some say hundreds) of staff after heavy losses from the 1998 Russian financial crisis.[4][8] He was a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2001.[9]”

        Kevin’s reply back to me
        Mike. The Federal Reserve is the US equivalent of our Reserve Bank. To repeat, John Key had had nothing to do with it. Regards.
        Kevin Hart.
        NZ Herald.

        My reply back again to Kevin

        Hi Kevin

        Thank you for your reply. Being a journalist, your research skills are no doubt a good deal better than mine; so I’d be grateful if you could point me in the right direction in the hope I can get the correct information now and in the future? I’m trying to find a summary of John Key’s work history prior to him becoming an MP in NZ. The links below are some of the sources I have used to gather my information. But they all state Key’s involvement with the New York Federal Reserve, an organisation you’re telling me that “John Key had had nothing to do with”

        So I’m confused, as the sources I’ve listed would appear to be reliable, including an article from your own New Zealand Herald. I would really appreciate your help in finding the true facts regarding this matter, which I’m assuming you must get from a non-mainstream, non-widely regarded, perhaps even non-even heard of, secret journalist source?

        thanks in advance and regards
        Mike

        http://www.newyorkfed.org/fxc/members/members_past.html
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10412660
        http://www.ny.frb.org/fxc/members/members_past.html
        http://www.johnkey.co.nz/pages/bio.html
        http://www.national.org.nz/bio.aspx?id=28
        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article5119885.ece
        http://www.nyse.com/press/1253528968415.html
        http://www.thecommonwealth.org/YearbookInternal/172036/head_of_government/

        Received no further correspondence and they will no longer publish my letters.

        • felix 13.2.1.1

          Ha!

        • Murray Olsen 13.2.1.2

          Call me cynical, but I doubt if fact checking was the reason they didn’t publish your letter. Without incorrect statements and blatant falsehoods, they wouldn’t have a newspaper. The used car classifieds are probably the most honest part of their rag.

        • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.3

          The Federal Reserve is the US equivalent of our Reserve Bank. To repeat, John Key had had nothing to do with it. Regards.

          The NZ Herald is completely incompetent. FBNY is a key part of the Federal Reserve System of the United States. When people talk about “the Fed” they are talking about the Federal Reserve System as a whole.

        • xtasy 13.2.1.4

          Come on, the dictator in a de facto dictatorship always is right and has the last word!? Do you dare to doubt this and risk your health and well being? Last warning!

  14. xtasy 14

    The following link proves once and for all, how accommodation supplement is caculated by WINZ:

    http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures/income_support/extra_help/accommodation_supplement/accommodation_supplement-90.htm

    So there is a threshold set at $ 130 which is deducted from the total rent paid, and only 70 per cent of the amount above that is granted as total accommodation supplement, which again cannot go about the maximum allowed in the relevant region.

    My past experience is that it ends up to cover about half of the actual rent paid.

    So the applied policy already is so designed to force people into “affordable” accommodation, often being shared accommodation (e.g. in a shared flatting arrangement).

    Naturally every individual in such a shared flat will only get accommodation supplement paid according to the individual’s share of the total rent.

    Bennett is LYING, same as Phil Heatley, Minister for Housing, was LYING to journalists, when he appeared on The Nation today.

    I could not believe him telling the viewers that Housing NZ tenants can take in boarders who get the accommodation supplement, so they can take advantage of cheap Housing NZ rents AND make a gain by earning extra through the supplement.

    All Housing NZ tenants I know have stipulated in their agreement that they are NOT allowed to sublet to boarders or flatmates!

    But NO mainstream media bothers to check this, and they even mislead the public by spreading the lies of ministers!

    • blue leopard 14.1

      @ xtasy

      I have been wondering how this rort could occur for exactly the reasons you write. Thought one had to let WINZ know how many flatmates one had when applying for an accommo supplement. Had thought something must have changed. Glad you mentioned it.

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    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    2 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    4 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

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