Smirks & inversions

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, February 13th, 2014 - 41 comments
Categories: benefits, child abuse, child welfare, employment, housing, Metiria Turei, news, paula bennett, poverty, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

The Salvation Army’s latest State of the Nation Report: “Striking a Better Balance” (2014) has been the subject of some intense debate from the right and from the left. On the surface, it just appears to be a different interpretation, and hard to tell which is the correct interpretation.  It is necessary to go to the report itself to see where the spin is being applied.

The Salvation Army’s summary of the report, gives praise for some improvements,

In its annual report The Salvation Army gives the thumbs up to an improvement in Maori participation in early childhood education, a drop in infant mortality, reducing teenage pregnancy rates, a reduction in overall criminal offending, a drop in unemployment and a reduction in the per capita spend on gambling.

But the main focus of its conclusions is this:

But The Salvation Army remains deeply concerned at the lack of progress in reducing child poverty, family violence, the harmful use of alcohol, and the failure to address criminal re-offending and serious crime.

Metiria Turei questioned the Minister of Social Development on this yesterday in the House.  Turei asked the questions directly, seriously, without rhetorical embellishment.  She focused on the central cause for concern with respect to the lack of progress on child poverty.  Bennett, in contrast, was all contained smirks and diversions.

Turei said the Salvation Army assessment of D on child poverty.  Bennett said that must mean “Dotcom”, though this had no apparent connection with the poverty issue – just a dog whistle, a diversion.

Bennett largely focused on the aspects the Report praised, and denied and diverted from the main causes for concern as expressed in the Report.  She blamed the GFC, and inverted some of the points the Report raised so as to shift the focus from the government’s failings.

Jacinda Ardern also questioned Bennett on the D for child poverty, and the C- assessment for child abuse and neglect.  Bennett responded with the diversions and spin (eg on employment figures).

Bennett has provided a very skewed and inverted interpretation of the Salvation Army Report, shifting from the main concern with continuing child poverty and housing unaffordability to the secondary focus on improvements. Bennett uses the Report’s considered summary of community, parental, and government factors impacting on child poverty, as a smoke screen for the government failure to act decisively and sincerely on such deeply entrenched problems.

And today’s NZ Herald editorial repeats the Ministers inversions, diversions, and misrepresentations of the main emphasis in the Salvation Army report.

Here is the actual Salvation Army Report:

Some of the things it praises, like the drop in teenage pregnancies, are attributed to a collective community achievement. Government policies, such as getting tougher on solo mothers, are only credited with contributing a small part to a cultural change.

The Report mentions some of the levers that the government can use, pointing out that the choices made on which levers to pull indicate a government’s priorities.  The report also puts a significant stress on the moral and spiritual framework of society, in its damning critique of neoliberalism’s focus on small government, market forces and materialistic individualism.

The neo-liberal paradigm that has been so dominant in New Zealand politics is convincing us that a society is little more than a collection of markets, that citizens are only consumers, and that governments have only a residual role in mediating all of this. The Salvation Army does not accept this view of humanity or of community life. We believe that there is a spiritual and moral aspect to life that demands we individually have a clear spiritual and moral framework to our lives—not just a framework that sees achievement in personal economic benefit. Similarly, New Zealand’s strength and achievement as a nation is not found in economic indicators alone but in indicators that show the strength
of our concern to deliver care, compassion and social justice to everyone.

It is The Salvation Army’s hope that this year’s State of the Nation report gives insights into where, as a country, our ambition has been underwhelming and our imagination stunted.

The Report gives praise where it’s due, but identifies deep causes for concern about the country’s future, as indicated by lack of progress on child poverty and affordable housing: labelling these as “time bomb issues”.

It argues that governments will only change their priorities and policies if there is significant pressure from the public.  This only serves to reinforce just how much the government is stalling on acknowledging the need for real and fundamental changes in priorities.

Above all, we need to continue to exert community pressure, to circulate information about the real state of the nation in society, and highlight the smokescreens in the conservative media reports, for any real change to happen: change that will result in a more caring, collaborative and sustainable society.

 

 

 

 

41 comments on “Smirks & inversions”

  1. captain hook 1

    the tories cant lie straight in bed. they think the truth is for sale to the highest bidder as well.

    • Puckish Rogue 1.1

      Do you really have to bring KDC into this?

      • karol 1.1.1

        This post is not about the Dotcom diversion. Further comments diverting from the issues of the Salvation Army Report, and the issues it raised like child poverty, abuse, neglect and housing affordability, will be moved or deleted.

        [lprent: Or just banned for months. I’m starting to get irritated about diversions. ]

  2. Chooky 2

    the Salvation Army works at the grassroots…and tends to those most in need in New Zealand ….its report must be taken very seriously

    Greens party……Metiria Turei was on the ball

    ….but where was Labour’s spokesperson?…..who is Labour’s spokesperson?

    ….is Labour hammering this issue? ( the way Shane Jones is hammering the Aussie supermarket issue)…because they should be if they are to have credibility….This is a core Labour Party issue that the Salvation Army addresses

    • karol 2.1

      Labour’s spokesperson on children was Jacinda Ardern. As I reported in my post, she put a question to Bennett on the Report as well.

      Like Turei, Ardern also put out a press release on it.

      So did David Cunliffe:

      “The report shows signs of improvements in some social indicators but, while the top end of town and the privileged few continue to do well under the current Government, child poverty and the lack of affordable housing are ‘time-bomb’ issues for our country.

      “The report repeats calls for action to address these matters, as well as rising living costs and the number of families struggling to pay their bills.

      Then Cunliffe focues on Best Start.

      But the MSM, especially TV news, was too busy focusing on claims of Norman and Peters visiting Dotcom.

      • Chooky 2.1.1

        sorry karol…i missed that

        …..quite apart from the adequacy of Jacinda Adern’s reply, which seems pretty good

        …..imo Labour needs someone really ROUGH, TOUGH, CHARISMATIC and very HIGH PROFILE as a spokesperson for this issue…

        (scream, harangue the media , think outside the box, street theatre tactics…..co-opting expert witnesses at grassroots level eg church and welfare leaders, charity hospitals , teachers ….it needs to be a priority attack on this NACT govt)

        Social Welfare /Social Development ( concerned with poverty and those at the bottom of the heap) …. is core to the Labour Party policy and winnability in this General Election

        imo….. I think Adern looks too civilised, sweet and nice for this role….and she would be better as a spokesperson for the Arts or some such ( i wonder who xtasy thinks would be most suitable)

        • Chooky 2.1.1.1

          oops Adern is spokesperson for the Arts…maybe Nanaia Mahuta could take over speaking out for children in poverty

          ….at the moment it doesnt seem as if there is a clearcut Labour spokesperson on poverty, children, youth and families …..except David Cunliffe who announces policy…it is really important that the NZ voter can identify one Labour spokesperson on this imo…and they are very effective and look like they have been there and know what it is all about…and also can slug it out with Nact…take the initiative and take on the fight!

          • karol 2.1.1.1.1

            Ardern is spokesperson on children, and played a significant role in drafting the Best Start policy.

            • Chooky 2.1.1.1.1.1

              @karol…..urr umm …shows how much i know

              ….nevertheless speaking as an outsider ……Labour does not seem to have a single high profile equivalent of Metiria Turei or Sue Bradford to face off Bennett….. and to slug it out and swing the lead on issues of poverty,kids , beneficiaries , youth unemployment

              ….(those issues that Xstasy talks about)

              …..apart from David Cunliffe who is fully occupied being the leader

              • karol

                Yes. But consider this. A Labour-Green government would be likely to choose Turei as Minister for Child Poverty/Poverty, as she has been onto it, and with heart and a personal mission for quite a while. So then Ardern would drop that and step into arts, etc.

                Meanwhile Turei leads, and Ardern provides some support.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  You make a good point here Karol, yet Chooky’s point is good too and should be cause for concern for Labour

                  Because if Chooky’s general impression is shared by others – a lack of passion/power occurring in relation to this issue – then that can easily translate into a loss of votes.

                  I think luke-warm needs to be taken out of the Labour Party and passion and strength of conviction brought in.

                  A lot of people will only pick up on the type of impression they get and if Chooky’s impression is anything to go by, this is something that needs to be improved in the Labour party.

                  …just saying….

                  • Chooky

                    yes my feeling as an outsider is that Labour needs to have very high profile authentic, credible, gifted spokespeople on ALL their important key issues/policies/platforms

                    …a SINGLE spokesperson that the public can relate to…and be able to say this is the Labour Party spokesperson on this issue…this person is fighting for me on this issue and doing a good job and will make a good Minister

                    …Labour needs front spokespeople that can take the heat and who look the part…(this is partly why Winston is such a success)

                    ….to create good policy is a skill and a very important backroom skill ….but to be a good public spokesperson to swing the voters to your side and represent your Party is an even more important skill imo ( because many people dont read the policy detail so much as look at the Spokesperson and see if they can relate to that person…..and then say this person represents me and what I want and is doing a good job in fighting for me)

                    ….so policy makers to the back room and gifted spokespeople (strategists)to the fore…to sell and win voters for Labour!…it is a performance!

                • xtasy

                  Perhaps I better comment, as Chooky also referred to me:

                  Maybe that is what they will ultimately do to share responsibilities when (if) in government, but Chooky is right to point out that there is something lacking in Labour.

                  Sue Moroney is the new spokesperson for social security. There have been a fair few questions to Bennett during Question Time, some by opposition MPs (usually Greens) – but it seems more often so by government MPs (the latter trying to score points by letting Bennett show off supposedly “good” statistics). Yet Moroney has mostly not asked ANY supplementary questions, she just sits there and lets Bennett get away with too much. Today she asked one supplementary or two, after weeks of silence.

                  Jacinda Ardern has a range of responsibilities, and one is that for children. She seems to be more vocal and engaged than Moroney, while Moroney has the bulk of responsibility for MSD and WINZ and CYFS matters.

                  Labour also made clear, they want to campaign on their policies, and whatever negotiations will take place after the election, that is a matter to discuss then, who will get what ministerial position.

                  I had expected much, much more from Moroney, she has so far nothing but disappointed. That means Labour has a LOW profile when it comes to social security issues. And that suggests, that for them social security issues, including child poverty and child abuse, are not really top priorities, which is in my eyes a turn off for the many voters that are the poorest with no voice.

                  Besides of Moroney they have Louisa Wall as associate spokesperson for social security, but she plays only second fiddle, and also asks nothing really. She may be lacking some experience, but I would think she would be more “hitting” in the role, if allowed to, rather than Sue Moroney.

                  I am dismayed with Labour when it comes to welfare or social security matters, the only thing they ever raise is child poverty, that is “when” they do so (like the last 2 days).

                • xtasy

                  Perhaps I better comment, as Chooky also referred to me:

                  Labour and Greens will ultimately share responsibilities when (if) in government, but Chooky is right to point out that there is something lacking in Labour right now. My sad and worrying suspicion and impression is, that they do not really place a high priority on social security, apart from the slogan stuff about inequality and child poverty, which of course are important issues.

                  Sue Moroney is the new spokesperson for social security. There have been a fair few questions to Bennett during Question Time, some by opposition MPs (usually Greens) – but it seems more often so by government MPs (the latter trying to score points by letting Bennett show off supposedly “good” statistics). Yet Moroney has mostly not asked ANY supplementary questions, she just sits there and lets Bennett get away with too much. Today she asked one supplementary or two, after weeks of silence.

                  Jacinda Ardern has a range of responsibilities, and one is that for children. She seems to be more vocal and engaged than Moroney, while Moroney has the bulk of responsibility for MSD and WINZ and CYFS matters.

                  Labour made clear, they want to campaign on their policies, and whatever negotiations will take place after the election, that is a matter to discuss then, who will get what ministerial position.

                  I had expected much more from Moroney, but she has so far nothing but disappointed. That means Labour has a LOW profile when it comes to social security issues. And that suggests, that for them social welfare issues, except as the two mentioned above, are not really top priorities, which is in my eyes a turn off for the many voters that are the poorest with no voice.

                  Besides of Moroney they have Louisa Wall as associate spokesperson for social security, but she plays only second fiddle, and also asks nothing really. She may be lacking some experience, but I would think she would be more “hitting” in the role, if allowed to, rather than Sue Moroney.

                  I am dismayed with Labour when it comes to welfare or social security matters, the only thing they ever raise is child poverty and inequality, that is “when” they do so (like the last 2 days). There are many more issues in the welfare area, and they need to be addressed. Maybe they lack competence in medical and other areas (legal, human rights, industry training), or they simply cannot be bothered?!

                  P.S.: Sorry for the “double up”. The first attempt to post did not seem to work, now the incomplete first comment shows though. The second one (this one) is my “final” version though!

                  • karol

                    chooky and xtasy: yes I do agree with your assessment on Labour not making a strong enough case on social security issues – not just poverty, but on beneficiaries etc. Ardern does OK on child poverty, but she does not seem to have the srong commitment of Turei.

                    And I agree that Moroney is not taking as strong a leadership on social security as I would like.

                    This seems to be a pandering to the neoliberal MSM, and may not reflect the policies Labour are developing. Nevertheless, a major concern about the current Labour caucus and its electoral platform.

                    My party vote remains with the Greens.

                    • Chooky

                      thanks xtasy and karol

                      …imo as a former Labour voter who comes from a Labour voting family

                      …Labour is not cutting the mustard for its core voters …and the 800,000 who didn’t bother to vote last time

                      …Unless it has decided to relinquish this vote to Mana…and is happy/resigned to be a Social Democrat Party….it really has to do the following imo

                      1). decide that its priority issues are the traditional Labour ones of advocating for the poorest New Zealanders ..(children , beneficiaries, the disabled, low income earners, poor families etc)

                      2.) get someone(s) on its team ….either in Cabinet now ….but probably from the back benches …who is/are capable of raising the dust and being a charismatic spokesperson(s) for the poorest..and taking on Bennett and Key!….and shaming them!.

                      3.) probably such a spokesperson should be Maori or Polynesian or working class or have beneficiary experience….in order for them to have passion and credibility in this role as an advocate.

                      4) middle class MP policy makers can work behind the scenes in a supportive role and feed this advocate (s)

                      Do you have any ideas xtasy…. on who in the Labour Party could perform the spokesperson(s) roles ?

                      National seems to do very well in the area of picking spokespeople …maybe Labour needs to take the advice from outside experts in raising organisation profiles…getting the best people for the job!

                    • karol

                      Louisa Wall?

                    • xtasy

                      Chooky –

                      I am struggling to find a truly passionate one amongst Labour’s present MPs, to perhaps also be competent, convincing and committed enough. Besides of Louisa Wall, there maybe perhaps Moana Mackey – or Carol Beaumont, who could do a better job, but my suspicion is, whosoever is appointed to look after social security, the person(s) is/are kept on a leash, and do not have the freedom to speak and raise issues as they may like to. And what about Poto Williams, she seems to have NO role assigned as yet?

                      Labour do need to internally get SERIOUS on welfare matters, and put it along other issues at the top of their policy priorities, but I cannot see that happen at the moment. They certainly also need “fresh blood”, and that can only come in with the next elections.

                      The present lot: https://www.labour.org.nz/people

                    • Chooky

                      xtasy and karol…agree with everything you say

                      ….i think i would go with Poto Williams and Louisa Wall ( Nanaia Mahuta seems fully occupied with Treaty and Maori issues)

                      (i would swap Louisa Wall’s and Sue Morroney’s portfolios)

                      Poto Williams is very smart and a very good speaker and I think Louisa Wall is a real fighter ….so those two women should lead the charge imo

                      ( and everyone else should give them as much support as possible…and as much professional help as possible to have the maximum impact)

  3. captain hook 3

    The main thing for me was that the Salvation Army spokesperson said that it doesn’t matter matter how many bloody dollars you have if they wont buy anything.
    you know.
    like food and clothing and electricity and rent.

  4. JanM 4

    The Salvation Army report is truly impressive, especially in the way it names the policies and habits of mind that have brought about this potential disaster.
    It brings back echoes of the 1972 elections when the Norman Kirk government won office from a National Government that seemed almost ‘born to rule’. They had so lost their moral compass that some of the ‘mainstream’ churches were openly supporting Labour -to the point of ministers preaching the need for change from their pulpits. With The Salvation Army’s leadership, I wonder if any of them will find the courage to do this again – I would argue that the situation is worse this time than it was then.
    Despite a press that seems hell-bent on hiding or obfuscating, we might yet see a tidal turn – fingers crossed!

    • Bill 4.1

      I’m quietly hopeful that what you say transpires…that corporate media outlets lose credibility in the eyes of a large majority of the population. I believe it’s already happening, but if the churches and the mosques and whatever begin to speak about this stuff in sermons and what not and if congregations pick it up and run with it…they have huge potential in shaping and speeding a change in social discourse.

    • Chooky 4.2

      @ JanM+100

  5. tricledrown 5

    The Media back then wasn’t bought off .
    Campbell live and one or two commentaters on RNZ are all we have left in the Mainstream Media.
    Luckily Scoop the Standard etc are taking the fight on and holding the MSM to account.

    • JanM 5.1

      They may not have been bought off, tricledrown, in quite the same way but from one who had a partner in the press gallery around that time, let me tell you they were definitely right wing. Tom Scott is the only one that comes to mind who I would not have identified as a died-in-the-wool Nat, and can anyone remember Keith Hancox? -oh boy, – a right wing bovver boy who openly trumpeted his conservative agenda – well he soon showed what manner of man he was, didn’t he?

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    This only serves to reinforce just how much the government is stalling on acknowledging the need for real and fundamental changes in priorities.

    This government’s only priority is to enrich the already rich. Unfortunately, that has been the main priority of all our governments since the 4th Labour government.

    • The Real Matthew 6.1

      If that’s their priority Draco they are doing a pretty poor job

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Really?

        I would say that the increasing inequality over the last 30 years is proof that they’re doing quite well at it.

  7. Well I watched both of those videos and bennett is pretty formidable – her body language is to the point as her hand chops and slashes in answer to Turei, She seemed less bothered by Ardern. I have to say, she scares me – she”ll say and do what she wants to do and smile that fake smile the whole time.

    • karol 7.1

      Agreed. But Bennett is all front glossing over the slippery substance of her arguments – arguments with just enough content to pass at first glance.

      On the other hand, Turei was focused, sincere and persistent. She’s playing the long game.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      Formidable is the right word. She’s not ready to lead the National Party yet, but give her another couple of terms under her belt.

      • xtasy 7.2.1

        Paula Bennett’s new haircut and her now usual make up, plus her present way of dressing, does make her look very much alike Jenny Shipley in her years “in power”! Perhaps Shipley is her role model after all?

        I hated Shipley (as did so many others that suffered under her regime), and I HATE Bennett at least as much. Both have much in common.

        • Macro 7.2.1.1

          I hated Shipley (as did so many others that suffered under her regime), and I HATE Bennett at least as much. Both have much in common.

          You and me both …

        • felix 7.2.1.2

          “Paula Bennett’s new haircut and her now usual make up, plus her present way of dressing”

          Yeah I see she’s dropped the westie costume, which is all it ever was for her.

          Are her new marks going to fall for her new tory costume so readily?

          • David H 7.2.1.2.1

            I must admit that when I first started that video I almost died laughing at her ‘new’ look. Then I remembered that she reminded me of that ‘scarey old lady’ that lives in a dark, dank, house, and scares small children..

            But I do wish she would do het job properly, and look after those who need it (like she did) because some of the young people have made choices that will stay with them all their lives and they will need help, not hindrance.

      • fender 7.2.2

        “She’s not ready to lead the National Party yet, but give her another couple of terms under her belt.”

        Far-king-hell, as if there aren’t enough future problems facing mankind.

        • karol 7.2.2.1

          My thoughts, exactly, fender. And really, I do think Bennett is a far more polarising figure than the likes of Shipley. if she was made leader of the Nats, I can’t believe she would end up as PM – more of a Brash type leader.

          • fender 7.2.2.1.1

            Yes hopefully common sense would prevail resulting in Bennett never becoming PM, although I think she has an ability to disguise her contempt for certain groups with a shroud of “concern”. I can see her only getting better at this as time goes on. 🙁

  8. Ron 8

    I am worried at the way the Salvation report seems to down play crimes and almost seem to be acting as a mouth piece for National Governments Law & Order spokesperson.
    The figures in the report seem to indicate a decrease in sexual crimes for instance but a recent study published in The Lancet show that Sexual Assault in Australia and New Zealand is more than double the world average.
    The study reported that 7.2% of women aged 15 or older reported being sexually assaulted by someone other than an intimate partner at least once in their lives.
    However the study found that Australia and New Zealand has the third-highest rate, more than double the world average, with 16.4 per cent.
    However, the study’s authors have cautioned that the figures probably underestimate the true rate of sexual violence because in many areas women don’t report assaults because of underlying social or cultural stigma (Stuff web site Feb 13 2014)
    I find these figures at complete odds with the S.A. report and wonder just how the come up with the figures they used.

    • karol 8.1

      Ah, yes, thank you, Ron. I did notice that the Report seemed to accept some crime stats unquestioningly. I recall there has been some debate as to how such crimes are recorded.

      The report says it got it’s crime stats from here:

      Crime data is from Statistics New Zealand’s NZStat database and is based on the numbers of reported offences for the year ended 30 June. The offending rate is calculated from Statistics New Zealand’s estimates of the mean population for the corresponding year.

      The report notes serious crime is down: such offences described as “Recorded violent or sexual offences as a proportion of the population (per 10,000)

      But it also notes.

      Alongside every prisoner there are victims, and the real testimony to the success of our crime reduction and penal corrections policies should be the extent to which we have avoided or reduced the numbers of victims of serious crime. Recent progress in this regard is disappointing.

      And this:

      The decline in recorded crime has not been evenly distributed across the spectrum of offences. […]
      Offences that had slight increases in numbers included sexual offences and dangerous or negligent acts.

      There is, however, no information available to assess whether or not these declines are due to reduced rates of offending or to reduced rates of reporting and recording. The most recent survey of New Zealander’s experience of crime was undertaken in 2008 and reported in 2010.[18]
      This survey found that perhaps only 41% of crime is reported to Police, and that of this reported crime just 32% of this was recorded by the Police. In other words, perhaps as little as 13% of all crime actually makes Police statistics of recorded crime. [19] …Just 32% of assaults were reported to Police. [20]

      This 2008/09 report was similar in its methodology to one undertaken in 2005, andthe results of the survey show consistent levels and patterns of under reporting of crime. This may suggest that New Zealanders’ crime reporting behaviours are fairly constant, and by implication that official crime statistics such as numbers of recorded offences present a consistent if understated picture.

      However, as I recall, the Nats have changed the ways crime stats are recorded, the categories, etc.

      Family Violence Clearing House expressed some concern over the official crime stats.

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    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
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    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
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    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 mins ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    38 mins ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
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