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Should the sins of the father be visited upon the children?

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, August 13th, 2008 - 90 comments
Categories: benefits, national - Tags: ,

When the DPB was first proposed it had a very simple purpose, to allow mothers to leave abusive relationships, to allow them to protect their children from beatings, alcoholism and psychological abuse. It was intended to ensure that those children would have a real chance at a healthy and happy life. It did not, and could not, provide true equality to children raised in single parent households, but it could try. 
Since then the DPB has changed, it is not exclusively for the children of solo mums, or exclusively for the children of an abusive parent. It remains true, however, to its original goal: ensuring that children in single parent households have a real chance, that their disadvantage is minimised.

Children in households dependent on the DPB have three key sources of disadvantage: financial (the DPB is well below the average income of a household with children), parenting (two loving parents can provide more than one in many ways), and acceptance (many people will negatively judge a child of a home “on welfare”). The parents in these homes, by and large, try their level best to give their children the opportunities that most other kids have.
One of the options for children in two parent homes is a stay-at-home parent: a parent who focusses their energy on creating a supportive, stimulating, warm and loving home. Many families scrimp and save to achieve this, and many make other choices with both parents working to gain other advantages for their children. But two parent homes have that choice, their children of two parent homes have that option.
With a change in the DPB forcing the solo parent to work that option has been taken away from the children. One of the precious pieces of equality will be taken from some of our most vulnerable children.
The DPB, as it was first created and as it continues today, is decidedly New Testament where a child should not be punished for the sin of the parents. No child should be disadvantaged because one of their parents was violent, or left the other. No child should be disadvantaged by the breakdown of their parents’ relationship.
The changes proposed by National are decidedly Old Testament; the sins of the father will be visited upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
Anita.

90 comments on “Should the sins of the father be visited upon the children?”

  1. randal 1

    if the first paragraph is correct then what does it say about kiwi’s in general?

  2. infused 2

    Indeed… talk about fixing the problem at the wrong end.

    When my mother was on the DBP she had to work anyway, the money was not enough. I think it’s pathetic everyone’s crying foul over this.

  3. Matthew Pilott 3

    Of course you’re right infused, every mother is in the exact same situation. Let’s make policy based upon infused’s mother’s experience.

  4. Anita 4

    randal,

    I think it says a lot about NZ in the 1970s. Way back then very little was done about domestic violence, it was legal for a husband to rape his wife, few women worked and it was legal to discriminate against them in the workforce.

    A man could easily leave his wife and children – and she would have to take him to court to get any financial support for the children.

    Most women couldn’t financially afford to leave abusive relationships, and those would could often had to leave the children behind.

    The first Women’s Refuge was established in 1973 to address the immediate needs of women and children leaving abusive relationships.

    In 1974 the DPB was established to support their medium-long term survival.

    It does indeed say a lot about our society at the time that we tried to address this situation by supporting women leaving, rather than by dealing with domestic violence and rape.

  5. Disengaged 5

    How does a single parent either working or studying for 3 hours a day while the child is at school prevent that parent from providing a loving home for when the child returns?

  6. monkey-boy 6

    It is relevant that you have focussed on the worst behaviour of the small number of abusive men taht caused this laudable syteme to be established. But what of the freedom it provides for the worst behaviour of a small number of women who choose to rather have more children than face the prospect of getting back into the workplace. This can be achieved by variuous methods, but often is the result of a relationship that just didn’t owork out.
    Those examples raise their kids out of choice as single parents, but do not provide particualrly ‘nurturing’ environments as I might understand it.
    You might equally ask ‘Should the sins of the mother be visited upon their children’
    My first repsonse ot Key’s proposals on DPB was that it would simply lead to a ‘blip’ of new accidental pregnancys from those who definitely choose motherhood over otehr paid employment. However, it may be that a new system can be produced to provide better facilities and education for mothers wishing to return to work. You see beneficiary-bashing. I see alternative mind-set. You might not agree, but it is worthshile exploring it, all the same.

  7. Any parent who has self respect, would be jumping at the change to get back into the workforce, once their child has started school.

  8. Scribe 8

    I saw the title of this post and thought it might be about the evils of abortion.

    But no.

  9. Anita 9

    Disengaged,

    How does a single parent either working or studying for 3 hours a day while the child is at school prevent that parent from providing a loving home for when the child returns?

    There are three parts to the answer

    1) In households where one parent stays home while their children are in school that parent is usually really busy. Lots of fundamental household chores (cleaning, shopping, maintenance, cooking) so that they can focus on the kids once they come home. This is even more important in a single parent household as there’s no ability to share the chores between parents.

    Those parents are also often involved in the schools, helping with activities, supervising trips, and so on. All of huge benefit to their children, and something a child of a single parent household should expect and equal right to.

    I am somewhat disturbed by your implicit devaluing of the awesome value of the work of stay at home parents.

    2) You’re talking about the school term and perfectly healthy children. What do you expect to happen in the school holidays or when one of the children is sick?

    3) The policy is not 15 hours during school hours. It’s compelling 15 hours a week – if the only work available is supermarket checkout from 3-6 Mon-Fri, or 10-6:30 Saturday and Sunday what is supposed to happen to the children?

  10. Anita 10

    monkey-boy,

    I’ve never seen any evidence of women choosing to have more children so they can stay on the DPB but even if there was, this policy wouldn’t prevent it and it would disadvantage the children of other solo parents.

    I’m not arguing it’s beneficiary bashing (although that’s an easy argument to make), I’m arguing that it further disadvantages some of our most disadvantaged children.

  11. r0b 11

    Any parent who has self respect, would be jumping at the change to get back into the workforce, once their child has started school.

    If they anchor their concept of “self respect” in the need to work perhaps they would, but if they anchor their concept of “self respect” in the need to provide the best environment for their children, perhaps not.

    Read the third and fourth paragraphs of the post again. The proposal takes away choice and adds compulsion. How often do we hear the mantra that – “National is not a party of compulsion” – it’s a lie.

    Some DPB parents will choose to return to work as soon as possible, good for them. Some will delay it for their children, and perhaps go on to very productive careers later, good for them. Some perhaps will play the system to be lazy, but in my opinion the costs of trying to “fix” that small problem are too high, they break the system for everyone else.

    So once again, in short, National’s proposal takes away choice in a way that will punish some children. And for what, exactly?

  12. Greg 12

    Its not about punishing children. Its about ensuring tax payers money goes to people that deserve it. You seem to be saying that the policy would be fine – except for the possibility of a negative effect upon children (quite a valid notion). But yet again this is a case of the ‘abulance at the bottom of the cliff’ scenario, which seems to have become typical of left wing politics. You don’t look to fix the root of the problem, but the symptoms of it.

    Any parent that makes their children worse off if they have to work 15 hours a week is a bad parent. Giving them tax payers money does not change that. I’m not saying it would be easy, but why should single parents who work full time have to watch the counterparts, sitting on the benefit? To fix this problem we need to fix the problem of bad parents – not just put them on the DPB.

  13. monkey-boy 13

    I’ve never seen any evidence of women choosing to have more children so they can stay on the DPB but even if there was, this policy wouldn’t prevent it and it would disadvantage the children of other solo parents.

    Well I have, Anita, and thank you for agreeing with me about this process not preventing it. Where I differe perhaps is that I have worked in the UK under similar schemes (brought in by Labour UK) and as an adult educator, I found it realistically increased options for training in preparation for work.
    We are not barbarians, in NZ, abd there are no ‘barbarians at the gate’ waiting to take us back to some mythical hell-on-earth that must have existed before Labour got into power.
    The idea of promoting work to DPB mums can only work if it is enacted witihn the cultural mores of this society. I suggest it is a workable proposal, and instead of jumping up and down about the evils of the idea, ‘the left’ should be looking for ways to facilitate what could be a great opportunity to assist those who want, to advance themselves.
    Still no creches available? What a great premise upon which to promote them!
    Fell thorugh the cracks educationally?
    Great opposrtunity to advance qdult ed/literacy!
    legislation needed to protect part-timers?
    Well now it can be promoted under their system!
    You may not have staed ‘beneficiary bashing’ Anita, but with language like
    ” … DPB was first proposed it had a very simple purpose, to allow mothers to leave abusive relationships, to allow them to protect their children from beatings, alcoholism and psychological abuse.”
    I have to suggest it was you taht brought up the imagery first…

  14. Tim 14

    I disagree with National’s policy and I get tired of the vitriol hurled at “solo parents”, as if they are inferior to “dual parents”. I think there is something inherently sexist in that viewpoint too.

    The policy is aimed at solo parents. I am guessing most solo parents are women. Frequently women are solo parents because the father of the child will not support the child. Does National say anything about the fathers? No.

    All these ‘work for the dole’ schemes are designed to do is to create more competition for jobs, which drives down wages. The work available for many women is low paid and insecure. So now women will be forced to compete for poverty wage jobs.

    I would much rather be raised by a solo parent than a nuclear family of rednecks, Family First members or Christine Rankin worshippers. There will always be people who are shit parents, whether they’re on the DPB or not, but that isn’t a reason for discriminating against people on the DPB and shafting them and their children.

  15. nommopilot 15

    ” Any parent who has self respect, would be jumping at the change to get back into the workforce, once their child has started school.”

    besides which, there’s nothing in the current system to prevent a mother returning to work when her children reach school. Judith Collins has been very careful to try and say national are ‘encouraging’ mother’s to work but in fact their proposal includes no incentives, only compulsion.

    “However, it may be that a new system can be produced to provide better facilities and education for mothers wishing to return to work.”

    it may be, but it is difficult to see how national can achieve this without spending more money and employing a whole lot more bureaucrats.

  16. Anita 16

    monkey-boy,

    I totally agree we should be supporting solo parents who want to getting meaningful jobs. I totally agree about adult education, protection for part-time workers and so on.

    We could do all those things without forcing solo parents to work. We could set it up so those who want to can, and those who want to stay home to look after their children can do that, just as their equivalents in two parent households can.

    That would be an equitable solution, and probably a healthier and more effective one too.

  17. r0b 17

    Any parent that makes their children worse off if they have to work 15 hours a week is a bad parent.

    My nomination for the most arrogant and asinine statement on any NZ blog this week.

  18. Bill 18

    Since bringing up children is often a 24/7, on call, line of work, shouldn’t single parents get paid a wage? Comparative to market rates for jobs with similar conditions?

    Or does our society value a fast serving of McD’s more than it does the raising of children?

    Hmm. Far be it for me to suggest that the profit motive has determined that the work behind a burger is elevated above the work behind child rearing in our value system.

    Strange world. I’d have thought nothing could compare in terms of meaning to raising a child. I’m wrong?

    BTW. Divorce is not predicated on abuse. With no independent means available, many mothers were consigned to live their lives in loveless relationships. The DPB allowed for divorce to be an option. Full stop.

  19. Quoth the Raven 19

    How does a single parent either working or studying for 3 hours a day while the child is at school prevent that parent from providing a loving home for when the child returns?

    How many jobs are out there where you can work 3 hours a day during school hours?

  20. monkey-boy 20

    “We could do all those things without forcing solo parents to work. We could set it up so those who want to can, and those who want to stay home to look after their children can do that, just as their equivalents in two parent households can.”

    Now we get to the nub off the matter. It is no doubt a populist appeal that Key has used. But we have to explore what has made this such fertile ground for him to be able to do so.

    How do you envisage the ‘forcing’ to be enacted? Do you honestly think anyone is going to starve them and their children into submission?
    A platform of incentives and some kind of framework under which better accountability is seen as necessary by Key and co.
    The whole point of the election is after all to debate it. But if (and here’s the big one) the ‘majority agree, it is then a matter of working out the best way forward.

  21. Anita 21

    Greg,

    why should single parents who work full time have to watch the counterparts, sitting on the benefit?

    Why should I, working a long well paid week day have to watch people who earn minimum watch stocking supermarket shelves at night swan about in the afternoon sun?

    If a single parent who is working full time believes their children would be better off if they became a full time caregiver living on the smell of an oily rag they can go on the DPB. That is the point of the DPB, it gives single parents the chance to provide that level of care for children. It gives our most vulnerable children the chance of full time parental support if it’s right for them – which, IMHO, is a right not a luxury.

  22. relic 22

    Some of you want the state kept out of your lives but are quite happy for state intervention in other peoples. “Others’ inevitably less powerful and more vulnerable than your moralistic selves.

    Remember National’s “Dob in a dole bludger’ 90s TV ads, where curtain twitching informants were encouraged in every street? The Nats were not quite so keen on informants when it happened to them at a recent happy hour it seems.

    Let single parents get on with their lives for goodness sake.

  23. burt 23

    Anita

    No child should be disadvantaged by the breakdown of their parents’ relationship.

    It takes a village to raise a child. Giving solo parents sufficient resources to allow them to go it alone removes the incentive for finding alternate good role models and community/extended family support. Children raised in isolation, all be it with welfare assistance, are not necessarily better off.

    I was raised in a solo parent family, abuse father (who is dead now so I can talk freely about his ways) and I agree that without the DPB life would have been harder. But even in the 60’s & 70’s my mother worked 2-3 jobs and we struggled. Back then extended family ties were stronger because welfare was not so generous. Is allowing solo parents to stand more on their own two feet by providing more welfare a good or a bad thing for children?

  24. Disengaged 24

    Anita I am in no way devaluing the contribution that parents make. I am also aware of the challenges that single parents face as I was raised by one. However, I don’t see how encouraging people to study, or work, for three hours a day is going to be as disruptive as it is being painted. How do currently working single parents cope with a sick child or school holidays? They work around them or take time off. Job-sharing and family friendly work practices are also making thata lot easier to acheive.

    However, if working is simply not an option due to their circumstances what is to stop them from doing an Open Polytechnic course, or other distance learning study, for 15 hours a week? Their study can be fitted in around what time they have available and they can learn new skills which will help them find better employment when the time comes. Plus the child gets to see that studying and improving your self is rewarding.

    Granted it is not going to work in every case as in some circumstances the child is going to need more intensive monitoring, but that is why the MSD staff have discretion.

  25. Disengaged 25

    QTR: “How many jobs are out there where you can work 3 hours a day during school hours?”

    Relief receptionist, retail support, cleaning and office support to name a few.

  26. Matthew Pilott 26

    Al lot of comments seem to be saying that it is good for a parent to work if they can, so as not to rely on the state, contribute to the workforce, stand independently, and so on.

    It’s also mentioned that there are circumstances where this is not possible, or would be detrimental to the child.

    As it stands, a parent is able to work, if their circumstances allow it. WINZ do help people get into work, so there’s no problem there.

    What I see this being about, the crux of the issue, is whether there should be a compulsion, as National proposes. There would be two outcomes.

    One: some solo parents go into work when perhaps they would not have done so without compulsion (the free-riders).

    Two: some solo parents will go into work when they definitely would not have, because they genuinely can’t do so without it being to their child’s detriment.

    Irrespective of National’s plans, those parents who wish to work when they can, would do so, as they do at present.

    So: does the benefit from ‘one’ outweight the loss from ‘two’?

    I suggest no, it’s not worth it. Do others out there disagree, or think that those two outcomes aren’t a good explanation of the outcomes?

  27. Bill 27

    Given the amount of beneficiary bashing that has gone on under Labour; means testing for benefits (work diaries are still used in some offices); excluding the unemployed from wff; their intention to bring in ‘core benefits’; the removal of special benefit; an expectation imposed on DPB that they seek employment when their children reach a given age….I’m surprised there is much room left to manoeuvre for National.

    Wasn’t that a nice wee shot of Helen cutting the ribbon at ‘the home of the welfare state’? Anyone would think she thought the welfare system was an honourable institution to have in a civilised society.

    Unfortunately, Labour’s actions have displayed a mentality at odds with the above photo op.

  28. burt 28

    What do grandparents on GRI buy their grandkids for xmas when WFF has already given them iPods and cellphones worth hundreds of dollars.

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    Sweaters and socks, mostly.

  30. burt 30

    Mathew

    Makes it hard for grandparents to stay relavent in childrens lives (which is very important as they often have such wisdom and insight) when they can’t compete on a ‘consumer’ level because of generous welfare.

    Pay WFF to the grandparents – let them spend it on the best interets of the children – Tertiary education funding etc. This would stop the disentigration of the extended family that generous welfare causes.

    BTW: How were the Tararuas ? I wend to Ruapehu instead and wow – talk about stunning weather.

  31. Ben R 31

    “It was intended to ensure that those children would have a real chance at a healthy and happy life.”

    The trouble is where the person has poor parenting skills, gambling issues or drug and alcohol issues.

    Rather than giving cash, shouldn’t vouchers be provided for essential items such as food and baby care items?

  32. Matthew Pilott 32

    I think things will get interesting if the govt tried to give authority to grandparents over parents…!

    They were great – didn’t get much above 1100m, and there was a whole lot of snow. Coldest night I’ve had in a while. Turns out it might not have been the best weekend to be there (or the best, depending on what you’re after)… Central plateau must be well covered as well.

  33. r0b 33

    Makes it hard for grandparents to stay relavent in childrens lives (which is very important as they often have such wisdom and insight) when they can’t compete on a ‘consumer’ level because of generous welfare.

    What a strange, strange world you live in Burt.

  34. Peter 34

    Okay, let’s get real here:

    There are few or no jobs that allow you to work 3 hours a day, five days a week during school hours. I’m sorry, but that’s just a fact. And even if there were, if you look at travel cost and time it’s not worth it for $36 less tax (thank god at least for the rise in minimum eage or it would be even worse).

    Combine this system with the fabulous ‘3 months and you’re fired if you try to stick up for your rights/refuse to do overtime/refuse to come in on short notice/just ’cause we feel like it’ policy then it’s plain there’ll be one group that will suffer on this policy – the children. WTF do you think will beresults of unsupervised children in low income neighbourhoods with no parental guidance??? Oh well, I guess we can just contract out another company to build another prison (at least sometone gains from it all).

    Oh, but its not about the children is it? It’s about creating a cheap labour market and trying to look ‘tough on lazy scumbags’.

    So I guess if that’s the goal, the policy succeeds.

    What’s really odd is the never ending stream of embittered asses which are willing to jump through hoops and perform logical backflips to justify this as somehow positive for these people.

    I honestly don’t understand their motivation. Except I guess general bitterness and scape goating.

  35. r0b 35

    Peter has written what I would have liked to write, had I but more time today! Welcome aboard Hobbes Peter.

  36. burt 36

    rOb

    What a strange, strange world you live in Burt.

    No rOb, not strange just not locked into a “status quo good’ mentality like some Labour apologist muppets.

  37. Greg 37

    r0b – Maybe I can make my point in a different manner. A solo mother on the benefit is hardly the ideal situation for any child. The only way to change this, to increase the family income and therefore lift that childs prospects if for that mother to get a job (and hopefully a career). National is providing incentives (quite strong too) for this to happen.

  38. randal 38

    any mother who is alone with a dependent child obviously needs as much support as they can get. low grade threats from national about making people work when patently there is no work is typical rightwing whinge politics to make some sections of the middle class justified in their righteous wrath and anger…pooh pooh pooh. I must say I feel justified in using faux teen slang and say get a life and let other people get on with theirs. society provides plenty of incentives and peer group pressures without tory stickybeaks getting involved.

  39. r0b 39

    Burt: No rOb, not strange just not locked into a “status quo good’ mentality like some Labour apologist muppets.

    I’ve missed you too buddy!

    Greg: Maybe I can make my point in a different manner.

    You mean without stigmatising those that can’t achieve the impossible as “bad parents”? I think that would be an excellent idea.

    A solo mother on the benefit is hardly the ideal situation for any child.

    In terms of family income it may not be ideal. In terms of family structure (e.g. escaping an abusive partner) it may be by far the best option.

    The only way to change this, to increase the family income and therefore lift that childs prospects if for that mother to get a job (and hopefully a career).

    Nope, you’ve missed another way, a way that would raise the family income and let the mother/parent be a full time care giver. I wonder if you can work out what that other way is Greg?

  40. higherstandard 40

    Are you advocating income splitting for couples rOb

  41. r0b 41

    Are you advocating income splitting for couples rOb

    You might want to read the thread HS.

  42. higherstandard 42

    So how do you propose raising the family income and letting the mother/parent be a full time care giver.

    Is it the throw more money at welfare theory which has worked so well over the last thirty years or are you advocating something different?

  43. r0b 43

    Is it the throw more money at welfare theory which has worked so well over the last thirty years

    Yup, that one! Bravo HS, gold star for you. If the issue is increasing family incomes for the DPB well let’s increase the benefit rate. And work well it has too, who knows how many children raised with a decent chance at life, and over the last 9 years with benefit rates declining naturally.

    The only reason to force people into work (that will almost certainly damage their solo caregiving role) is some kind of punitive puritan moralistic nanny statism. If that’s your kick well fine good for you, but don’t try and window dress it as raising incomes. Be brave enough to call a spade a spade.

  44. higherstandard 44

    I thought the Nats were advocating the linking of the benefit to inflation ?

  45. r0b 45

    I don’t know, perhaps they are. If so good for them, but I’d like to see the base level raised as well. I think Labour has been far too timid in this area.

  46. yl 46

    I agree with the comment about the National Party being a party of choice.. this policy takes away choice.

    This policy is not about making bene’s give back for what they are receiving from the government. It is about a mother having to work 15 hours a week because she should be able to handle this because the children are at school. That is a load of bs… where are all of the employers lining up to higher mothers from 9-3, they do not exist, particularly for families in the country.

    By this same logic, a two parent family with a stay home mother, she should be out doing her 15 hours as well.

    We shouldnt be punishing our peers in society for falling on hard times. I reject this idea of someone going out of their way to have babies just to stay on a DPB. some provide some proof to prove me wrong please…

  47. higherstandard 47

    Once all the electioneering is out of the way I’d like all parties to get together on the best way to move forward with welfare.

    I think everyone supports (apart from nutters) welfare for those in need but I’m mindful of the comments of Pita Sharples and the like who think that welfare has had a negative effect on Maori overall.

    Personally I think there must be some way to balance giving those in genuine need more and helping people out of and away from welfare.

    Sadly I think there will be little change with either National or Labour in control of this area.

  48. r0b 48

    A comment I can agree with almost completely HS.

    With one minor point – “I think there will be little change with either National or Labour in control of this area” – as long as National keeps dog whistling red neck beneficiary bashing and making it politically difficult to move on the issue. If there was bipartisan agreement I hope and expect there would be quick progress on this.

  49. Anita 49

    burt,

    Makes it hard for grandparents to stay relavent in childrens lives (which is very important as they often have such wisdom and insight) when they can’t compete on a ‘consumer’ level because of generous welfare.

    Pay WFF to the grandparents

    I think that here, and earlier in the comments, you’re advocating reducing assistance to families to increase child poverty to make it easier for grandparents to buy love.

    I am pretty weirded out!

  50. Ben R 50

    “as long as National keeps dog whistling red neck beneficiary bashing and making it politically difficult to move on the issue.”

    Isn’t another point that some people seem to react with outrage and calls of ‘beneficiary bashing’ whenever this issue gets raised?

  51. burt 51

    Anita

    No that is not what I’m saying at all. Did you notice the comment about Tertiary education funds????

    The issue is the wise use of tax payers money in the best interest of the children. Not the day to day purchase of consumer goods as advocated by WFF advertising. Welfare should be about maintaining a minimum living standard – not providing an alternative to work. I appreciate work can be inconvienant for solo parents.

    I know all about child poverty and solo parenting hardship. I agree with the principles of the DPB. But the principles and the application and the way it’s used as a political poll device is shocking and wrong.

    Somebody mentioned earlier that we need to be sure the money gets to where it is needed, sometimes the parents are not the best people to decide that. Particularly if they do not always have the best interests of their children ahead of their own day to day desires such as alcohol, gambling or big screen TV’s.

  52. Anita 52

    hs,

    So how do you propose raising the family income and letting the mother/parent be a full time care giver.

    Well I would advocate valuing caring for dependant children (and other family members) and paying a real wage for it. This doesn’t just mean stay at home parents, it also means grandparents caring for grandchildren, people looking after disabled siblings, and children looking after elderly dependant parents – the whole works. So we value it, we recognise it as a vital activity, we pay for it.

    But that’s probably too radical for many people 🙂

    A far less radical solution is to provide significant tax relief to families (WFF anyone?), and raise the DPB to a level which is at least equivalent to that of a low wage one earner household. Plus ensure that the DPB is a right for all sole non-earning caregivers (grandparents looking after grandchildren and so on too).

    On top of that we should make sure that when the right solution for the family is for the parents to work that there is family friendly work for them. The choices to work full-time, or part-time, or not at all should be equally valued as they are all valid choices for a family raising children.

  53. Anita 53

    burt,

    You want to withhold WFF from families with immediate financial needs and give it to the grandparents. The grandparents might then hang on to it for later (e.g. tertiary education) or give use it immediately.

    But either way you don’t want the WFF money used for cellphones and things like that because that makes it harder for grandparents to stay relevant because they can’t compete when buying christmas presents.

    That really (really!) seems to be what you said.

  54. burt 54

    Anita

    Call it compete if you want to cast it that way, I think it’s more a mater of be involved, contribute and be active in the role of the extended family. I can see how you might want to read what I said that way – ignoring my comment that it was not what I was saying.

    Kids don’t place a lot of value on the time grandparents contribute to the family and on GRI grandparents have precious little else to give. Meanwhile parents get welfare to provide a lifestyle that is not essential, rather it’s feel good stuff.

    iPods are not an essential part of growing up, neither are big screen TV’s. Grandparents with sufficient funds to afford travel/incidental costs associated with spending time with grand kids is a lot more important that throwing cash at families so they vote for XYZ political party.

    It always stuns me how many beneficiaries can afford a big screen TV but can’t afford to pay for activities such as kids swimming lessons, bikes and stuff that is good for them rather than stuff that helps them fell that they are keeping up with their mates.

    Peoples expectations for lifestyle are loosly based on how they percieve others. If my neighbour has a big screen TV and Sky then why don’t I… The answer might be as simple as your neighbour works and you don’t – but that answer is pretty unpopular so in the interests of good polling we talk up welfare spending. Sad how easily people are bough by instant gratification.

    Oh, I’m not a grandparent either.

  55. burt 55

    Anita

    This doesn’t just mean stay at home parents, it also means grandparents caring for grandchildren, people looking after disabled siblings, and children looking after elderly dependant parents – the whole works. So we value it, we recognise it as a vital activity, we pay for it.

    But that’s probably too radical for many people

    That is more along the lines I was heading with pay WFF to grandparents – IE: Here is some money spend it on your grandchildren. The result being that grandparents are involved in the raising of the children and are funded to do so. Back to the idea I started with that it takes a village to raise a child.

  56. Anita 56

    burt,

    Call it compete if you want to cast it that way

    You said compete, I think that’s the point at which my jaw dropped and I thought you’d fallen off the rails 🙂

    Kids don’t place a lot of value on the time grandparents contribute to the family and on GRI grandparents have precious little else to give.

    That’s not true in all families or of all kids (I say defensively 🙂 )

    I reckon that the solution to it, where it does exist, is not to decreased the family income, or increase the size of the bribes that grandparents can afford. It’s to address the breakdown of the extended family, address the lack of value our society places on the elderly, and try to unravel some of the damage done to children by a consumerist society which values stuff before people.

  57. Rob 57

    I believe this is correct and if you sin and lie and try to deceive you will surely be caught out.

    In today’s paper Ruth Dyson claims she knows nothing about her Social Engineering speech, or where it came from. But on Monday her office said she rejected the speech and refused to deliver it.

    Both cannot be true.

    Either she knew nothing about it, or she rejected it. What will tomorrow’s “clarification’ have us believe?

    [lprent links? Don’t be so damn lazy!]

  58. Anita 58

    Rob,

    In today’s paper Ruth Dyson claims she knows nothing about her Social Engineering speech

    Reference?

  59. Ruth’s problem with the bottle is evident if you meet with her in her electorate office first thing on a Saturday morning.Ruth was such a laugh when she lived with all the other stamp lickers in Millerton on the West Coast.Ouch !!

    Feminists have destroyed the family unit and are responsible for the breakdown of the traditional family with their insidious social engineering policy.

  60. Rob 60

    Anita

    Dyson said yesterday that she did not deliver the speech and had “no idea” what the term “triples” referred to.
    Anita

    Just for you
    The speech should never have been posted on the Government’s website, she said.

    “It’s entirely my responsibility what goes out under my name, so it’s my fault that I didn’t know that a speech that I hadn’t given had been put on the website,” Dyson said.

    “I get speeches a lot that I don’t give. I don’t want to be too critical of people who draft my speeches, but I get a lot of speeches, in draft, that I never use. They have no relationship with what I say.”

    She “didn’t have a clue” what the speech notes meant nor what they were referring to.

    “I haven’t bothered asking because I’m not interested in it,” she said.

    Everyone went yeaa right we beileve you Ruth!!

    [lprent: Put a link in as well. Quotes (even if accurate) are often meaningless when partially quoted. The best way is to have the link to as close to the source as possible.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4651706a6479.html
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4653465a11.html
    That took 3 minutes to do. Personally I find people that don’t post links are usually trying to hide something, if only the minuscule skills. ]

  61. Ruth hasn’t a clue about parenting. She thinks a triple three shots of vodka and a song and dance will make all her past go away.

    Just look at CYFS who are nothing more than hard core feminists destroying children at random.Oh, by the way Ruth young Jadin tried to commit suicide last night !!!Remember him? I asked you to assist him months ago.

    [lprent: I seem to remember that she was a solo mother – sounds like parenting to me. ]

  62. Anita 62

    Rob,

    Yep, that’s what I’d read, which means your comment is completely wrong.

    She didn’t say she knew nothing about the speech; she said didn’t know what was meant by “triples” or about who wrote it.

    So it is entirely consistent that she rejected it.

    Why are you so consistently wildly inaccurate?

  63. Anita 63

    burt,

    That is more along the lines I was heading with pay WFF to grandparents – IE: Here is some money spend it on your grandchildren. The result being that grandparents are involved in the raising of the children and are funded to do so.

    Do you think we should just generally raise the GRI rate? Most elderly people, whether they’re directly grandparents or not, are involved in the raising of younger people. If the current rate prevents them participating in this important activity it sounds sensible to raise the rate.

    We should also, separately, provide reasonable assistance to grandparents who take on the primary care of their grandkids. The UCB really isn’t flexible enough right now.

  64. Tane 64

    Coming to this discussion late I can only reiterate what Bill said – raising a child is work. It requires labour, it fulfils a social function.

    That many seem to think work is only those things that people who own factories are willing to pay for doesn’t make it any less true.

    Ps. Matt – that sweaters and socks comment was the best I’ve seen in a while.

  65. burt 65

    Anita

    Firstly, I checked back and I did say ‘compete’ in the context of ‘consumer’. That word was badly chosen and the phrase was sloppy. It was a poorly worded way to make a point. I’ll try again.

    In my situation. If I send my children to my mothers place for a few days they are too expensive for her to ‘maintain’. They eat sh1t loads and they want to do stuff that costs money. My solution to that (as is the solution to my mother not having much money come birthdays and xmas) is to provide the cash required in these situations. I can do that and that’s cool. Grandmother gets to do what she wants to do without having the power disconnected, kids are (mostly) enriched by her influence and experience. Great.

    Low income families cannot afford to do that. So what happens is the role of the grandparents diminishes, particularly when they do not live in the immediate neighbourhood. This is what I was referring to with the word ‘relevant’. The kids want to stay home and watch the big screen TV rather than go to grand parents place and watch the 21″ 18 year old TV with no play station and only 4 channels. This is consumerism and where the concept of ‘compete’ was coming from.

    You cover this with.

    address the lack of value our society places on the elderly, and try to unravel some of the damage done to children by a consumerist society which values stuff before people.

    Do I think we should lift the GRI. Most definitely. People on GRI today were sold the ‘cradle to the grave’ deal that paying higher taxes now for current spending will be rewarded by them being supported to a reasonable standard in retirement. They are not, they are at best ‘getting by’. People who have accumulated assets over their life time have them to fall back on, to liquidate rather than pass on to their family when they die. This is not how it should be given the successive Labour govt’s that sold the cradle to the grave concept and given we have had a Labour govt for almost 9 years.

  66. r0b 66

    Firstly, I checked back and I did say ‘compete’ in the context of ‘consumer’. That word was badly chosen and the phrase was sloppy. It was a poorly worded way to make a point. I’ll try again.

    I flagged exactly the same concern as Anita (albeit much more briefly) in my comment of 1:35pm.

    You might want to actually think about such replies to your comments Burt, instead of reflexively writing them off (as you did on this occasion, Mr Grumpy Pants) as the rantings of Labour muppets.

  67. r0b 67

    Hmmm – tonight I’ve had two comments that contain no links at all that have been caught in moderation. I don’t think my IP address has been being naughty either. The moderation tools seem to be in overdrive!

    Anyway, time to head home (just another lazy socialist!) and get some dinner.

  68. burt 68

    Tane

    raising a child is work. It requires labour, it fulfils a social function.

    That is true. But who’s responsibility is it to fund that work? Who said the state should be the funder in this situation. The state should be the last resort unless we have totally adopted an approach where the best interests of the children are placed in the hands of the state, with the parents (or state nominated guardians) being the current service providers.

    I don’t see how we can expect any other outcome than rampant welfare abuse if the state acknowledges the effort of parenting as financially rewardable labour.

  69. burt 69

    rOb

    If you have used the word ‘ m – u – p – p – e – t’ that seems to get captured by the moderation trap.

  70. r0b 70

    Hey – good guess Burt! Thanks. Here is the moderated post, and I really am off now:

    Firstly, I checked back and I did say ‘compete’ in the context of ‘consumer’. That word was badly chosen and the phrase was sloppy. It was a poorly worded way to make a point. I’ll try again.

    I flagged exactly the same concern as Anita (albeit much more briefly) in my comment of 1:35pm.

    You might want to actually think about such replies to your comments Burt, instead of reflexively writing them off (as you did on this occasion, Mr Grumpy Pants) as the rantings of Labour m*u*ppets.

  71. burt 71

    rOb

    Anita made her own points to justify her reaction to what I wrote. You might have noticed as a result of that there was dialogue and I think both of us have made some interesting points.

    You didn’t do that, or even clarify what you were meaning by strange. However all that aside, I’ll think about it next time and also leave that offensive ‘M’ word out. The comment you refer to had that word and was also moderated.

  72. r0b 72

    You didn’t do that, or even clarify what you were meaning by strange.

    Sorry B, I was and am a bit short of time today, I shouldn’t have been commenting at all let alone writing epics!

  73. Anita 73

    burt,

    But who’s responsibility is it to fund that work? Who said the state should be the funder in this situation.

    In a society with relative equality of income distribution then leaving the funding up to the family would be mostly equitable.

    But in our society, with its wide division between haves and have nots, if we leave the financial obligation with the family then there is massive inequity – some children start off with a pretty huge disadvantage.

    So yes, I’m not entirely comfortable with entangling the state in the purses of our families, but it seems fairer than setting up some children to fail.

    To come back, for a moment, to the quote from Exodus I used in my post: is it fair that the disadvantage of poverty of a father should be inflicted on his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren?

  74. Anita, the Israelities in Exodus, with their strong solidarity, knew that good and evil affected whole families, not just individuals.

  75. burt 75

    Anita

    Is it fair – that’s an interesting question.

    Looking around us, the low level of GRI that is paid is making elderly people sell their assets (reverse mortgages etc) so wealth is not accumulated over generations. So current govt policies are saying that it’s OK and the way it should be.

    Are you asking in the wider sense? – because in a completely broad all encompassing context NO, It’s not fair. It’s also not a certainty that it will happen. There are many examples of people who have made significant economic progress in either direction. Starting from poverty and ending with wealth and vise a versa. So I don’t quiet see how DPB can be presented as one of the significant mitigations to stop poverty being perpetuated. I think there is an equally valid position that welfare creates an economic outpatient mentality where there is a livable safety net so why strive for more. But your position and the contra position are hopelessly generalised and pretty much just partisan talking points.

    The real issue is how people spend their money, what priorities they have, what values they have and how those priorities and values are supported or diminished by whatever mechanism we actually use.

  76. burt 76

    Anita

    So yes, I’m not entirely comfortable with entangling the state in the purses of our families, but it seems fairer than setting up some children to fail.

    Setting children up to fail – I don’t get that bit.

    Parents that don’t want the best for their children are few and far between. These people put their own interest before the children to the extent that that can murder their own. I don’t understand these people so I’ll exclude them in the context of what I’m saying. Poor parents don’t fail their children, a system that allows the same mistakes to be perpetuated fails the children. Student loans have possibly done more to break the low income poverty cycle than any other policy. Interest free loans (excluding the logical consequence of people borrowing to invest) is also possibly a big mitigation of the poverty trap.

    Entangling the state in the purses of families can only increase the likelihood of failure. Convenience of administration always diminishes flexibility. We simply cannot have a welfare value inspector checking every spending decision unless we provide some high tech voucher/card system with extensive audits. The only option we have is to carry the dead weight of welfare abuse. People will always work the system so targeted or means tested benefits provide a quagmire of bureaucracy and wastage, as we see today. Everybody gets less so that some people can profit from dishonesty.

    However I would support a universal allowance paid to every NZ citisen over the high school leaving age. With a universal child allowance paid to parents while children are under school leaving age. If everybody gets it then it’s not a political point scoring device come election time.

    Now what add ons would you sell me?

  77. Savage 77

    dad4justice
    August 13, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    “Anita, the Israelities in Exodus, with their strong solidarity, knew that good and evil affected whole families, not just individuals.”

    Whoa dude.

    Not that I have many prejudices but… I consider anyone who states that they are ‘pro-family’ is actually saying they are anti-gay, pro-life, gun-collecting, bible-bashing, ultra right, rabid and logic-free individuals.

    On the same note I really despise Christine Rankin. Sorry to go off topic but she sure is one power dressing haircut with an opinion and over-sized earrings to boot.

  78. Savage nutbar – book yourself in for a standard lobotomy.

    [lprent: Please restrain yourself – too many grumpy people around this morning. ]

  79. higherstandard 79

    Savage

    Whoa dude I don’t have many prejudices but I consider anyone who thinks that being pro-family is actually saying that they are anti-gay, pro-life, gun-collecting, bible-bashing, ultra right, rabid and logic-free – Is actually an anti-heterosexual, pro-abortion, religion hating, ultra left, tree hugging nutbar.

    Oh and apparently you are a misogynist to boot …

  80. “Ruth hasn’t a clue about parenting?” – dad4justice

    Am I not the only one who takes issue with that comment?

    [lprent: I was a bit flummoxed when I saw it. Ruth was a solo mother from what I remember. You usually have to be a parent and do parenting to raise kids?]

  81. Rob 81

    Anita

    You must be on magic Mushrooms or seriously politically deluded if you think a speech writer for Ruth Dyson would write that speech without knowing the current direction in which she wants to take her Social Engineering plans.

    Why is it you are prepared to accept barefaced lies from Helen & Heather Simpson if National did something like this and pulled it off their website within 2 hours of being questioned about it you would be all over it.

    The shame is they are fooling no one everyone can see through it for the lie that it is. Just look around some other blogs and listen to the Radio it has damaged Labour people dont like their Social Engineering and legalising their perversions for their mates

    [lprent: Anita has been asking you to provide references – ie links. Quotes (even if accurate) are often meaningless when partially quoted. The best way is to have the link to as close to the source as possible. The press releases like the ones you have been quoting from are almost always up in seek.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4651706a6479.html
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4653465a11.html
    That took 3 minutes to do.

    Personally I find people that don’t post links are usually trying to hide something, if only the minuscule skills. You could and should have done that many comments ago.

    I read both press releases and they are reasonably clear. They do not support your opinion. Speech writers do not make policy and often seem to only vaguely to be aware of it. If Dyson had actually said it, then it might have been interesting.

    Don’t insult other people as you did above just because you cannot support your own argument. ]

  82. cha 82

    And the Tories stay true to form with this policy

  83. Felix 83

    hs:

    There is a subtle but crucial difference between what Savage wrote (“anyone who states that they are ‘pro-family’ “) and what you responded to (“being pro-family”).

    I think Savage was referring to ProFamily™ which is a phrase that is often used to disguise the type of hatred and bigotry described.

    A bit like HardworkingKiwi™ or MainstreamNZ™ – they’re largely meaningless terms which could, if used literally, be applied to almost anyone. However they’re almost never actually used literally. They are used to exclude a secondary group from the definition, not to describe the primary group.

  84. Anita 84

    Rob,

    You must be on magic Mushrooms or seriously politically deluded if you think a speech writer for Ruth Dyson would write that speech without knowing the current direction in which she wants to take her Social Engineering plans.

    Firstly, as someone who has worked in the public Service, I am absolutely sure it is possible for a public servant to write a speech without knowing what the Minister thinks.

    Secondly, the point I made was that your comment was inaccurate (again). I made no comment on Dyson or the speech.

    Thirdly, the insult is unnecessary IMHO – I play a pretty clean game here, it would be polite to do the same in return.

    Finally, if I were to respond to your second paragraph it would be to ask for references (again) it looks grossly inaccurate (again).

  85. Anita 85

    burt,

    Awesome comments which deserve a proper reply when I get home this evening!

  86. Anita 86

    burt,

    Are you asking in the wider sense? – because in a completely broad all encompassing context NO, It’s not fair. It’s also not a certainty that it will happen. There are many examples of people who have made significant economic progress in either direction. Starting from poverty and ending with wealth and vise a versa. So I don’t quiet see how DPB can be presented as one of the significant mitigations to stop poverty being perpetuated.

    I reckon (based on no empirical evidence, any idea where I’d find some?) that children born of wealthy parents are more likely to end up wealthy than those born of middle-income parents. Similarly children of poor parents are more likely to end up poor than the children of middle-income parents.

    If that assumption is right then one can make a coherent argument that the DPB, by alleviating the poverty of single parent families (which is, on average, significantly worse than that of two parent families) significantly improves the chances of the children.

    Sadly the situation isn’t as simple as I just pretended 🙂 Intergenerational poverty is complicated by intergenerational poor educational achievement and illiteracy, poorer employment related networks, etc etc. So for many kinds of poverty addressing the other of the issues is just as important as addressing the financial stress.

    I think, however, that the DPB is probably a clearer case for financial support making a big difference all by itself. For a start many people on the DPB have relatively high educational achievements, they would have a relatively well paying job if they weren’t sole parenting. Secondly the direct financial disadvantage of a single parent household as compared to a two parent household should be directly addressed.

  87. Dear Anita, at least the velvet underground sisterhood has made us GOLD Medalist’s in child abuse and infanticide.

  88. r0b 88

    I reckon (based on no empirical evidence, any idea where I’d find some?) that children born of wealthy parents are more likely to end up wealthy than those born of middle-income parents.

    Anita, see this OECD data.

    There is a strong positive relation in a cross-section of twelve OECD countries between the extent of intergenerational earnings mobility and income inequality (Figure 3). In general, the countries with the most equal distribution of income at a given point in time exhibit the highest earnings mobility across generations.

    The extent to which income is transmitted varies across countries, although no society is perfectly mobile or immobile: for example, intergenerational earnings mobility is highest in the Nordic countries, Canada and Australia, while it is lowest in Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    Although no consensus exists on this issue, there seems to be a relation between cross-section income inequality and intergenerational earnings mobility. To promote equality of opportunity might then require reducing current income inequality.

    Or try “Moving from rags to riches is harder in more unequal countries”, or this brief article in the Guardian, and see this depressing stuff on income inequality in NZ.

  89. Anita 89

    burt,

    re: setting up children to fail

    Poverty sets children up to fail in a variety of ways, for example:

    1) Poverty leads to poor quality housing leads to health problems leads to poor educational outcomes leads to poorly paid jobs leads to poverty.

    2) Poverty leads to poor quality food leads to poor nutrition leads to poor health problems and poor educational outcomes …

    3) Poverty leads to financial stress preventing full integration into society leads to limited social networks leads to disadvantaged work seeking and access to support services.

    4) Poverty leads to financial stress preventing travel leads to disintegration of extended family networks leads to loss of effective role models …

    and so on.

    I’d totally buy your universal allowance idea. I’d also want policies and legislation to make more flexible employment available, acknowledgement of and space for the wide variety of families and family responsibilities that actually exist in our societies (let’s talk about some amazingly involved cousins, honorary aunts and so on), and access to free relevant supportive education for everyone. That’s just for starters 🙂

  90. john 90

    Just a lot of wank,as can be expected from a blog that isn’t in any way in breach of the vile EFA,insert tui here.Why don’t they just sort out the shambles known as the CSA,(how many billions are owed now?),or at least act on the intentions of the Act and start regarding the children first instead of just reclaiming DPB payments

    [lprent: Bad graffiti artist. ]

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    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    5 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    6 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    7 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago

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