Shameful poverty – why we must elect a Labour led government

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, August 31st, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: class war, health, housing, labour, national - Tags: , , , ,

Two excellent but very disturbing pieces in The Herald yesterday. Kirsty Johnston:

Damp, overcrowded homes bigger threat to kids than car crashes

Diseases linked to cold, damp, overcrowded homes are killing more New Zealand children than car crashes or drownings.

An average 20 children die and 30,000 are hospitalised every year from preventable, housing-related diseases like asthma, pneumonia and bronchiolitis, health statistics show.

Poor areas that have high deprivation and low incomes, lots of rental housing and fewer Europeans suffer the most – suburbs like Auckland’s Pt England and parts of Glen Eden.

Health data shows the hospitalisation numbers are climbing. Respiratory conditions in particular – like bronchiolitis and asthma – are causing more hospitalisations each year, with the most severe, such as a “third world” disease named bronchiectasis, irreparably damaging babies’ lungs.


Kirsty Johnston and Chris Knox:

Childhood diseases in the land of milk and poverty

More New Zealand children are killed by diseases linked to cold, damp, and overcrowded housing than in car crashes or drownings.

Disease casts a shadow over Parrs Park in West Auckland. It’s there in the data: the children are getting sick. And when the women open their doors, they’ll tell you.

Hospitalisations caused by poverty-related conditions have increased since 2000 – up to 43,000 last year. Respiratory diseases, in particular, are growing at much more severe rates.

Doctors argue the hospitalisations are a result of embedded child poverty levels combined with a relentless housing crisis.

“In New Zealand we have created a triple jeopardy for poor health,” says expert paediatrician Professor Innes Asher. “Poverty, unhealthy housing and inadequate basic health care puts health at risk, but when the three are combined…poor physical health is almost inevitable, as in Dickens’ times.”

“It’s deeply disappointing,” says Philippa Howden-Chapman, a professor of public health at the University of Otago. “There’s a real reluctance of landlords, who are providing a service, to maintain that service. It’s a reluctance I can only put down to the fact that most landlords aren’t concerned about depreciation but only capital gains.”

Howden-Chapman says with up to 800,000 uninsulated homes in New Zealand, she was staggered the government reduced such an important programme.

“It’s both a social and a moral argument – children end up with compromised health for their whole lives, and they die.” …

Plenty more data, personal anecdotes, and analysis in both of these pieces, everyone should read them in full.

This crisis in poverty, housing and health is a national disgrace. It is why we desperately need to elect a Labour led government in September.

48 comments on “Shameful poverty – why we must elect a Labour led government”

  1. UncookedSelachimorpha 1

    Excellent Post.

    The graph just needs “Delivering for New Zealand” splashed across the front.

  2. Dot 2

    and splashed on the website

  3. jcuknz 3

    Yes it is a national disgrace … that so many adults in NZ do not understand that having kids is expensive and don’t get pregnant when they are on low wages.
    It is not just a Pacifcia/Maori problem either.

    • Muttonbird 3.1

      Could your parents afford you? Not sure they did a good job, regardless.

    • Stuart Munro 3.2

      Part of the brighter future was supposed to be increased opportunity – but instead wages have been static and are not expected to rise for three years. Cost of living meanwhile is going through the roof, as privatized former public services gouge their customers instead of delivering the savings on which their sales were predicated.

    • It’s not the individuals but the system that we have that creates poverty. The system that you support.

      So, this is the inevitable result of your actions and beliefs. Time for you to start taking personal responsibility.

    • Lara 3.4

      Such a predictable response. And so sadly common in middle NZ today.

      Your statement has at least these three unacknowledged assumptions. I would like to think you’ll consider this, but I fear you will not.

      1. At the time of conception all prospective parents can see the future and know that their financial circumstances will not deteriorate.

      2. Every conception is the result of consensual intercourse.

      3. Contraception works 100% all of the time.

      Clearly, none of these assumptions are true.

      I don’t think you’ve thought your knee jerk attitude through very well.

      Do you think there should be a means test / income test before people are allowed to have children? What annual income do you think would be okay? The poor aren’t allowed to have kids?

  4. The Chairman 4

    “If elected the party would address unhealthy homes in its first 100 days, she said”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/health/news/article.cfm?c_id=204&objectid=11913852

    That doesn’t allow them (Labour) the necessary time to build more homes, thus take the heat out of an overheated rental market. Allowing landlords more scope to pass related WoF costs on.

    Couple that with the warning from insurance brokers of an expected massive 50% plus increase in the cost of insurance cover, rents are going to soar. Resulting in more dropping below the poverty line.

    Adding to that inflationary pressure will be a reduction in rental supply due to the work required not being feasible for some – or landlords inability to afford to stump up the initial outlay required. Removing a number of cheaper, lower end rentals from the market.

    Therefore, what is to become of those that are struggling to cover their rent now, let alone having to cope with new WoF related rent increases? More poverty? More overcrowding?

    The main barrier to warm, dry and safe homes is lack of funding. A $2000 grant is vastly insufficient in protecting against rent increases as the outlay to meet the criteria of a comprehensive Warrant of Fitness will be considerably more. But seeing as the health savings are substantial and the need is dire, Labour should be offering more.

    So while the intention is good, the wider ramifications hasn’t been well thought through.

    As for the Greens.

    “Davidson said the Green Party would bring in a comprehensive Warrant of Fitness for houses to make sure every property – not just rentals – were warm, dry and safe.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/health/news/article.cfm?c_id=204&objectid=11913852

    Genuine question. What happens to a household who own their own home but cant afford to meet the criteria a comprehensive Warrant of Fitness requires? Will they be forced out of their home? Fined?

    • tracey 4.1

      Their policy of Warrant of Fitness applies to Rental properties. The Press release quoted from states this, earlier than the statement you quoted;

      ““National’s repeated refusal to put in a mandatory rental warrant of fitness is putting further lives at risk.”

      And more in an earlier statement;

      https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/greens-will-fix-slum-rentals-exposed-renting-review

      • The Chairman 4.1.1

        Are you implying Davidson is incorrect? Or the policy has only now been extended to all homes?

        • tracey 4.1.1.1

          Neither, as I stated int he post you replied to, her quote was taken out of context. In full context she is clearly referring to rental homes.

          • The Chairman 4.1.1.1.1

            I don’t see how. It was a rather straight forward quote. Stating “not just rentals” was blatantly clear.

            Moreover, as you are referring to an older press release to substantiate your claim, how can you be sure it hasn’t been extended?

    • tracey 4.2

      And the cost of not addressing it, in terms of health implications and associated costs?

      • The Chairman 4.2.1

        The cost (thus taxpayer savings) is said to be substantial. Hence they should be offering more to offset costs being passed onto tenants.

    • Siobhan 4.3

      ” Removing a number of cheaper, lower end rentals from the market.”…actually I’m all for that.
      Landlords who buy cheap run down houses, (all of which probably have their rents/income artificially subsidised/propped by the taxpayer through Accommodation Allowance etc), are competing with first home buyers (ie renters).

      The less landlord owned houses, the more actual home owners.

      • The Chairman 4.3.1

        I can’t see too many of the people utilizing those homes due to their lower rent sharing your sentiment when they are forced out.

      • The Chairman 4.3.2

        As for your sentiment, Siobhan, sorry, I was in a rush before. Hence, didn’t have time to give it the attention it requires.

        So lets delve a little deeper into it now.

        Landlords who own and can’t afford to repair cheaper, lower end rentals are less likely to be well off. Therefore, reducing the value of their home (by requiring WoFs they’ll find difficult to attain) could result in tipping a number of them over and into financial hardship.

        Meanwhile, well off landlords, sensing blood in the water, will be looking to cash in on their downfall. Therefore, it would be safe to say landlords will still be competing with first home buyers.

        So we can expect to see the less well off landlords being squeezed out of the market, leaving the market to be dominated by the larger players. Who will then (with the cheaper competition largely removed) cash in on the higher rents.

        • Ad 4.3.2.1

          I agree with much of that.

          There will be some landlords who are well cashed up and will be able to buy.
          But there are some market factors mitigating against that.

          The market is already shifting. Those landlords who have strong equity ie over 75% in their properties will be able to survive most downturns. Those who have low equity – around 50% or less – will be the most vulnerable.

          Those landlords with low equity will likely sell as the market continues to decline.

          Those who have ready cash will be able to buy, but then, as the market comes down, so will owner-occupiers be able to consider buying.

          Banks and the Reserve Bank now require much higher deposits for investor buyers. So the pool of speculator-owners is going to dry up very fast.

          Under Labour, the biggest landlords are going to be social housing providers, either HNZ or community trusts. Their rents are able to be controlled.

          Also under Labour, the marketplace is going to be flooded with new houses. This will stabilise the market.

          Also under Labour, they will institute a 5-year Bright Line test, which means that the market for speculation will die.

          And under both Aussie and NZ Reserve Banks, our retail banks are being required to hold much higher deposits, and far lower percentages of risky loans. Again, investment properties will be far harder to fund.

          All you are describing is that small scale renters will quickly decrease, and that market change will be filled by the state and its proxy providers.

          If you think that’s a big task to take on, what is being described is weaning New Zealand off the idea of property investment as a whole. And onto assets and investments that will increase our productivity.

          • The Chairman 4.3.2.1.1

            “The market is already shifting. Those landlords who have strong equity ie over 75% in their properties will be able to survive most downturns. Those who have low equity – around 50% or less – will be the most vulnerable.”

            This will accelerate the shift, leading to a more consolidated market.

            “Banks and the Reserve Bank now require much higher deposits for investor buyers.”

            Yes, but that’s not a problem for those well cashed up or those utilizing equity accrued in other property.

            “Under Labour, the biggest landlords are going to be social housing providers, either HNZ or community trusts. Their rents are able to be controlled”.

            Through Income Related Rent (where the Government pays the difference between the rent tenants are able to pay and normal market rates). Meaning, housing providers will receive full market rents, albeit partly subsidised.

            And considering Labour’s connection to the Wellington model (http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/80673715/Wellington-City-looks-to-private-sector-to-head-off-its-own-affordability-crisis) it’s logical to assume this model may be adopted.

            “Also under Labour, the marketplace is going to be flooded with new houses.”

            It will take years to meet and exceed current housing demand, yet housing WoFs will be put in place within the first 100 days, according to Jacinda.

            A 5-year Bright Line test merely means investors would have to wait a little longer if they wanted to avoid the tax. Alternatively, investors would increase their turnover, flipping over more homes to offset the tax burden.

            Making investment properties far harder to fund merely locks out the smaller players .

            And constraining their ability to borrow isn’t going to lead to those smaller players investing in the far riskier productive sector.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.2

          Therefore, reducing the value of their home (by requiring WoFs they’ll find difficult to attain) could result in tipping a number of them over and into financial hardship.

          And we’re supposed to be concerned about this because?

          They’re the ones who decided to take the risk fully understanding that the government was going to have to step in and fix the housing.

          I suspect that they did that hoping that the government would give them a free upgrade.

          • The Chairman 4.3.2.2.1

            “And we’re supposed to be concerned about this because? “

            Poverty is a problem we are trying to reduce. Therefore, putting more into financial hardship is counterproductive when it comes to meeting that objective.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.2.1.1

              Poverty is a problem we are trying to reduce.

              True, we are. Propping up a housing bubble won’t do that. In fact, it does the opposite as we’ve already seen.

              Therefore, putting more into financial hardship is counterproductive when it comes to meeting that objective.

              We could offer to buy the place off of them and turn it into a state house that they can then live in. Removes their financial hardship, increases state housing and doesn’t reward immoral behaviour.

    • McFlock 4.4

      Are you suggesting that landlords aren’t already extracting the maximum possible amount from their tenants?

      • The Chairman 4.4.1

        A rather general question, which no doubt will have a mixed response.

        Here’s one for you.

        Are you suggesting that in an overheated market (where there is clearly scope) landlords won’t pass these new costs on?

        • tracey 4.4.1.1

          Isn’t the big problem that because landlords do not get good yields in places like Auckland, they have to be in it for the capital gain? And to recover the capital gain they have to sell and this is condemning people to short term rentals?

          Having just done the renting thing for the first time in 26 years I am astounded at the size of the bond, the advance rent, having to do the gardens/lawns and the extent of cleaning (including commercial carpet cleaning) I have to do when I leave. I am lucky, having sold in Auckland and moved South I have some spare. But holy crap for the poor bastards not in my position (and that is most of them).

        • McFlock 4.4.1.2

          If they want to rent out the place, and it’s already the lowest end of the market, any raised priced will lower their occupancy rate. Because capitalists ream as much money as they can before people walk away.

          • The Chairman 4.4.1.2.1

            “Any raised priced will lower their occupancy rate.”

            Being at the lower end of a overheated market, there will be plenty looking for the opportunity to secure a place with lower than market average rent.

            In general, if landlords weren’t passing costs on and extracting the maximum possible amount from their tenants, rent’s would be largely stagnant. Which, of course, they’re not.

            • McFlock 4.4.1.2.1.1

              “Passing costs” means increasing rents. If landlords are already “extracting the maximum”, they can’t raise the rents any higher – they’re already maximising their profits.

              Their profits are slightly less, is all.

              • The Chairman

                “Passing costs means increasing rents. If landlords are already “extracting the maximum”, they can’t raise the rents any higher”

                Yet, generally, rents are increasing. Which was my point. If landlords were absorbing costs, rents would be largely stagnant. Which, of course, they’re not.

                • McFlock

                  If landlords were “extracting the maximum”, rents would also be stagnant – unless tenants’ incomes were increasing.

                  • The Chairman

                    What’s increasing is the proportion of incomes going towards rents.

                    • McFlock

                      Fair call.

                      But price (as opposed to value) is a function of supply and demand, not production costs. Capitalists (successful ones) ask “what is the current going rate for properties like the one I’m considering?”, not “I’ll charge cost plus 5%”.

  5. Ad 5

    +100 Anthony

    • The Chairman 5.1

      Clearly Labour’s current stance on this matter has the potential to put more into financial hardship and lead to more overcrowding. Possibly driving more rentals underground, further robbing tenants of protection.

      So why are you so supportive?

      • tracey 5.1.1

        He is in pom-pom mode.

      • Ad 5.1.2

        I am supportive because the housing market is in catastrophic failure.

        Labour’s policy is that that they will subsidise every home owner with a grant
        of $2,000 to insulate their home:

        http://www.labour.org.nz/investing_in_warm_dry_homes

        If landlords can’t afford to bring their home sup to scratch, it will generally be because their yield on that property cannot be touched because they are mortgaged up to the top of their banking limit.

        For those, I would encourage them to sell that property to someone with the money to bring it up to a reasonable standard. That will be good for their risk, and good for others seeking to own a home.

        • The Chairman 5.1.2.1

          See my comments above. You’ll find all your points have been covered.

          To summarise, it will basically result in a transfer of wealth, putting a number of landlords into financial hardship and leaving tenants struggling to cover higher rents. Tipping more below the poverty line while forcing more to resort to overcrowding.

          • McFlock 5.1.2.1.1

            I think plantation owners had similar concern arguments when it was suggested that they might pay a fair wage rather than keeping their employees as slaves: people turfed out of their homes, the ruling elite driven to poverty, and other apocalyptic terrors.

            • The Chairman 5.1.2.1.1.1

              You clearly have the wrong end of the stick.

              I wasn’t suggesting the ruling elite will be driven to poverty. This will largely benefit the larger, more well off players. At the expense of struggling renters.

  6. Peter Bradley 6

    I don’t think NZ voters really care about poverty. Sure, there are lots of articles and media stories about people living in cars but there is little political will to really address the issues. Labour and Greens talk a good game about reducing poverty but in reality they will have little room to move should they become the next government because NZ has reduced its’ tax take significantly over the past 9 years.
    NZ’s treatment of the poor – in particular beneficiaries – was defined in the 1990’s with ruthless changes to the welfare system.
    Subsequently – Helen Clarks government introduced Working For Families tax credits but only for those deemed worthy and working enough hours to qualify. This deliberate omission by the last Labour government was presumably based on research into voter attitudes about who should receive help and who shouldn’t.
    Overall, I believe most NZ voters vehemently despise the poor and this was no better highlighted by the treatment of Metiria Turei – a brown, female from the wrong side of the tracks could not be forgiven her youthful transgressions under any circumstances. The reaction from white middle aged, middle class, male and female pundits was a unanimous foaming at the mouth rage that I have not seen expressed against anyone in politics ever – even Rachel Stewart got in on the act. It was disturbing but also revealing as it peeled back the thin veneer of egalitarianism we like to think is part of our culture. It clearly isn’t and never has been.
    It reminded me of 18th century Britain where the poor where deported to Australian prison colonies or hung for minor crimes. We have not changed as much as we’d like to think since then.

    • tracey 6.1

      Some interesting observations Peter, thanks for sharing. Your last sentence puts me in mind of this

      “… the sufferings of the poor are indeed less observed than their misdeeds; not indeed from any want of compassion, but because they are less known; and this is the reason why they are so often mentioned with abhorrence and so seldom with pity… They starve and freeze and rot among themselves, but they beg, steal and rob among their betters.” Hanoverian London, George

      • Michael 6.1.1

        Agree with you and Peter Bradley. Voters are mostly middle class these days and do not care about other people living in poverty. Neither does the Labour hierarchy, which is why “business as usual” will remain the order of the day on 24 September, regardless of which bunch of political actors score acccess to the taxpayer-funded troughs in the Beehive.
        The best outcome I can see for the poor is a strong Labour/Greens opposition in the next Parliament, holding NACT/Winston to account and, finally, developing progressive policies, such as Universal Basic Income and taxes on rents of various sorts, that actually address our country’s social and economic problems (in that order, too). Had Labour actually done any of this during the last nine years, it might be fit for government now. But it hasn’t, so it isn’t.

  7. This crisis in poverty, housing and health is a national disgrace. It is why we desperately need to elect a Labour led government in September.

    It is a disgrace but are Labour promising to go round and fix all those homes that are, essentially, worthless? If they fix them are they also going to nationalise them?

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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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