Spinning ‘social investment’

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, January 14th, 2017 - 54 comments
Categories: benefits, bill english, class war, socialism, spin, welfare - Tags: , , ,

Bill English likes to talk about “social investment”. Commentator Simon Wilson at The Spinoff is a big fan:

Social investment: the two uninspiring words upon which the entire election could hang

For several years now English has been driving a profound reform programme in the delivery of social services. It’s far from finished; in fact, even some of the ministers involved seem barely to understand it. But welfare reform is happening. And at its heart is a thoroughly 21st century idea: we’ve got the data, now to tell us where to spend the money.

Conservative governments worldwide are watching, fascinated, not least because social investment inverts the usual conservative approach to welfare. Which is to sit back, moan about bludgers and pick up the pieces when they have to. Social investment, as English told the conference, means “spending money now to save money later”. In National terms, it’s practically a revolution.

It works like this. Thanks to the Dunedin longitudinal study and other research, it’s now possible to say which kids are most likely to become criminals, which are most likely to be diabetic by the time they reach adulthood and which are most likely to produce another generation afflicted by the same poor prospects.

To put that in the language of social investment, we now know how much of a burden a child is likely to be on the taxpayer over the whole of their life. We also know, from a wealth of evidence-based research, which programmes are likely to help most in reducing that burden.

OK – stop right there. So much wrong. Let’s unpack.

The term “social investment” is an old one. Its use in Europe (especially Scandinavia) is almost synonymous with “social welfare”. Here for example is a 2015 European report (pdf):

The concept of social investment has gained ground on the EU-level, manifested among other things in the launching of the ‘Social investment package’ by the EU Commission in 2013 and subsequent engagement in the follow up of that initiative. In this context, the Nordic experience has no doubt played an important role and Sweden is an interesting case in point for discussing the social investment approach. We argue that Sweden has long tradition of social investment which has contributed to a number of positive outcomes, such as low poverty and high employment. [p4]

In Sweden, the origins of the social investment agenda can be traced back to the 1930s with the Great Depression and what came to be labelled the ‘Crisis of the Population Question’ (i.e. the falling birth rates). In the midst of these crises, Alva and Gunnar Myrdal developed an approach to social policy aimed at mitigating production and reproduction, which opened up for an investment perspective on social policy (Morel et al., 2012). [p7]

(For a similar take highlighting increased capacity to participate see also here.)

What Bill English means by the term “social investment” is something completely different, here summed up by a bunch of bankers:

KPMG say the government’s social investment approach is not only set to save the country $12 billion but is putting building blocks in place that will see “vulnerable” New Zealanders protected long-term by targeted expenditure.

Finance Minister Bill English has been updating interest groups recently on the social investment approach – using data and investment techniques to understand what makes the most difference to the lives of those on benefits and other forms of social support, so financial help can be targeted to specific needs rather than just blindly making payments.

English is co-opting the term to his own purpose, which is, as usual, spending less on social services.

But the English version isn’t a new idea either of course. It’s just “targeted welfare”. Here’s the summary from a UN report (pdf), Successful Targeting? – Reporting Efficiency and Costs in Targeted Poverty Alleviation Programmes:

Economic, moral and political reasons may underlie the choice between targeting and universal models of social provision. In the debate about universal versus targeted solutions for combating poverty and social exclusion, many have called for targeted interventions, arguing that they are an effective way to reach the poor while maintaining budgetary restraint. In the context of minimizing government spending—a position that gained influence with the Washington consensus in the late 1980s and 1990s—targeted social programmes became widely accepted.

One of the main arguments behind targeting is to concentrate the limited resources of social schemes for the poorest and most vulnerable. Targeted schemes are presented as more effective in bringing resources to the poor, while maintaining low levels of social spending. Thus, it is argued, targeting delivers two advantages: it makes poverty alleviation measures more effective, and it maintains or decreases social spending. At first glance, such arguments seem logical, and in recent decades it has become widely accepted that targeted social programmes are a more cost-efficient way to reduce poverty than is universal provision.

Therefore, in the name of cost efficiency, there has been a continuous shift from universal provision to targeted schemes, not only in the industrialized countries but also in the developing world. But are targeted social programmes aimed at poverty alleviation always the best solution? By examining the arguments for targeting in light of its outcomes, and examining the efficiency of targeting with regard to economic and non-economic costs—specifically in the context of international commitments on poverty reduction—this paper presents four main problems associated with the reported “evidence” of targeting in poverty reduction programmes: (i) targeting does not necessarily target the poor; (ii) it is often not cost effective; (iii) it needs strong institutions, which is not always the case in the countries where it is implemented; and (iv) it is not always politically sustainable.

So let’s not pretend that English’s “social investment” is new, or that the world is breathlessly watching this work of genius, because it isn’t and they aren’t.

Our original author, Wilson in The Spinoff, tried to give “social investment” a new twist and some credibility by linking it with the fantastic Dunedin Study. But English was banging this drum long before the latest Study results, and these results should not in any case be oversold – see ‘Future criminals revealed at age three’? Not so fast, says Dunedin Study head.

Then I’m afraid Wilson jumps the shark completely:

Already, English says, the results are striking. Eight years ago “the total long-term cost of all benefits was $78 billion. Now it’s $68 billion.”

It’s not exact, of course: this is statistical probability not individual destiny. It’s important to remember that.

Arrrgh!

The current reduced welfare costs are not the “result” of “social investment” (which has it’s pay-off over a generational time scale), they are the result of vicious manipulation of eligibility criteria and other beneficiary bashing tactics. And it is beyond belief that such a claim should be conflated with very recent results from the Dunedin Study (“statistical probability not individual destiny”).

At this point I have little faith in Wilson’s grasp of this particular topic, but let’s just look at his main point, the political implications:

Social investment presents a serious challenge to the centre-left – to the Greens as well as Labour. This is the National-led government doing nothing less than redefining the paradigm of the welfare state, not by undermining it but by making it more fit for purpose. That’s the left’s job, or it used to be. It used to be a central purpose of the left in government.

And yet it’s the right that now offers a systematic, determined and evidence-based effort to break inter-generational cycles of poverty, crime and ill-health. Welfare that is both more effective and more affordable. Who would be opposed to that?

Oh please. Of course no one is going to be opposed to targeting welfare spending where it will be most effective (here’s Labour advisor Rob Salmond writing in support). The difference is that the political left (which created social welfare) take a genuinely constructive approach, and the political right (which has always opposed welfare) is adopting some clever spin to justify reduced spending.

At some level Wilson understands this:

Despite the promise, despite the deep data analysis and the policies built on it, and despite English’s own determination, the government has done absurdly little to achieve its social-investment goals.

Many National MPs still indulge in victim blaming and beneficiary bullying. And what about all those stories of cruel indifference and bureaucratic blockheadedness in government agencies, uncovered last year by journalists like John Campbell at RNZ, Kirsty Johnston at the Herald and Mike Wesley-Smith at Newshub?

In a buoyant economy, why are working families living in cars and why aren’t all homes warm and dry? Why do illnesses like rheumatic fever persist? When will children no longer be such easy prey to the temptations of sugary fatty foods and why do we still have epidemic levels of domestic violence? Where is the utter blitz of support for low-decile schools and their communities? Why are our incarceration rates still the second highest in the developed world?

The list goes on and on, and the answer to every question on it is that National (and Act) are the wrong people to reform the welfare state. No matter how sincere Bill English may be, he and his colleagues are compromised by the deeper interests of their supporters, confused by what they are doing anyway and unwilling and/or unable to shake their old prejudices.

Exactly. So why did you buy in to the nonsense spin that forms the first half of your piece?


For other takes on why the English version of “social investment” should be treated with deep suspicion see Shamubeel Eaqub reported in Data-driven social welfare policy lacks humanity – economist, and Keith Ng in I’m a data nerd and a data cheerleader, but still I fear Bill English’s datatopia, and…

https://twitter.com/BMHayward/status/819266623903125504

https://twitter.com/BMHayward/status/819273787992514560

54 comments on “Spinning ‘social investment’ ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    “Social investment” is English’s cover for a return to the Victorian concept of provision of welfare via charitable organisation, who are free to discriminate between the deserving and undeserving poor.

    Bill English is a neoliberal religious wingnut, a deeply reactionary and toxic combination of ideology that has always loathed the socialist welfare state, with its refusal to make moral judgments, it’s universalism and the way it created uppity lesser sorts.

    • Thinkerr 1.1

      Now at a time when the world accepts that the neoliberalist ideology hasn’t worked…

      IMHO, neoliberalism is 21st century feudalism. We work in factories and offices instead of the fields.

  2. Pat 2

    There is a distinct whiff of eugenics about a lot of what has been written in support of this.While the argument for treatment at the top of the cliff has great appeal and saleability the trust in politicians, application and the necessary oversight leave a lot to be desired……eugenics’ past form doesn’t inspire confidence.

    • Pat 2.1

      “In August 1994, I was leaked documents that displayed how the Minister had approved the CHSC protocols that used exclusion criteria and that the protocols had been presented to doctors and the exclusion criteria enforced.

      What this meant was people who presented with end stage renal failure, and who required dialysis to stay alive, would be excluded from getting this life-saving treatment if they were deemed:

      * to be blind

      * to have an intellectual disability

      * had a history of mental illness

      * exhibited or expressed anti-social behaviour

      * had a history of imprisonment

      * had an unrelated health condition that may cause complications

      * were over the age of 65-years…

      The set of exclusion criteria continued on.”

      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/01/14/why-nzers-wouldnt-support-euthanasia-if-they-read-this-why-jenny-shipley-makes-me-never-want-euthanasia/

      “In his first term in parliament, English chaired a select committee into social services. He was made a parliamentary under-secretary in 1993, serving under the Minister of Health.[4][7]”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_English

        • richard rawshark 2.1.1.1

          But again, another piece that says this..

          In August 1994, I was leaked documents that displayed how the Minister had approved the CHSC protocols that used exclusion criteria and that the protocols had been presented to doctors and the exclusion criteria enforced.

          but I want to see the document that all these articles are eluding too, i’m sure you get what i’m saying Pat, no one can act on hear-say and eludations of a leaked document.., we want to see the governments stamp on it, then we know it’s real and we can perhaps figure out what to do about it.

          • Pat 2.1.1.1.1

            well i was surprised that no one had made the connection….but didn’t expect the first comment to so grossly misinterpret what was laid out.

            “I” have no document…however in 1994 the journalist Selwyn Manning was leaked documents which are quoted from in the linked articles, showing the then National Gov. MoH under Jenny Shipley approved the implementation of rationing of life critical health services on the basis outlined……Bill English was an under secretary to the MoH at the time.

            I now vaguely recall the event, however the point I was attempting to highlight is BE’s historical connection to real life outcomes of the type of policy being proposed for social investment strategies and how the real agenda of the National government hasn’t really changed at all since their openly hard right policy prescriptions of the 90s….a softer face is all.

            Voters would do well to remember (or take note if too young) the sort of BS that was being implemented back then, and would also be wise to recall that BE was in the thick of it….do leopards change their spots?

            • Pat 2.1.1.1.1.1

              n.b. the listed criteria for refusing treatment was accepted and approved gov policy at the time(until thrown out)….not some unsubstantiated theory.

            • richard rawshark 2.1.1.1.1.2

              I came back to NZ in 1998 so this is why i’m lost on what your eluding too Pat, I get it, it’s shocking if true, just having not been here i’m trying to fill in the gaps on what you said, we left NZ in 89 think it was 97-98 when I returned.

              The fact Natioanal has these agenda’s or types of far right bollocks idea’s is well know but catching them in the act with proof is harder than finding rocking horse poo.

              If this was true and there was proof..can you imagine the public outcry!

              It would be an election winner and national would find themselves at the Haig.. we all have rights you know.. international law is even stronger and eugenics like Nazi Germanies I was under the impressions were strictly forbidden.

      • richard rawshark 2.1.2

        You claim a secret agenda, and lay out the grounds stating you had a leaked document. I want to see it, If your going to make wild accusations like that! That sort of accusation would get them hung. literally! by a mob.

        You know it looks more like propaganda to me, and I think that’s worse.

        So show me some proof and we will go from there otherwise it’s just misinformation and panders to people who wear tin hats.

  3. mickysavage 3

    Thanks Rob. The bottom line is that less will be spent on social services. This is a budget cut with lots of buzz words and neat sounding concepts disguising what is happening.

    • Olwyn 3.1

      This is a budget cut with lots of buzz words and neat sounding concepts disguising what is happening.

      The “neat sounding concepts” used by this lot tend to be transplanted from a more benign framework to a malign one. Take “austerity” for example – a wartime and post-war restraint to which all were subjected via rationing. Post-2008 it became the umbrella word for inflicting privation on some while indulging others. The “social investment” notion is just the same. It might make sense if the machinery for producing measurable results was in place: real jobs paying actual living wages, conditions that allow people to make their living from cottage industries, etc. But they are not and will not be. It is another exercise in “How far can I squeeze the people who are surplus to requirements before they turn openly hostile and/or the middle class start getting uncomfortable enough to side with them?”

    • Chris 3.2

      Do you think Labour’s got the balls to criticise English and the nats in the same way the author has here? And to continue to through to the election? There was a lot of this sort of language in the social welfare area that Labour didn’t even try to expunge when Clark took over in 1999, and have still failed to do today. I wonder if Labour even embraces some of the concepts. It’s either that or many within Labour don’t understand the issue.

  4. EE 4

    This is the ultimate “Government picking winners and losers”. Will they start doing the same for corporate welfare policies?

  5. Nic the NZer 5

    This reminds of the story of the 1990s cuts to benefits. In order to make sure the govt wasn’t literally starving people they used a budget line for food from some nutritionists. There were 3 budgets, generous, typical and the bare minimum. Having envisaged a bare mimimum budget the nutritionists realised that no people existed who had the requisite skills to implement it on a day to day basis. But this didn’t prevent it becoming the base line for social welfare payments, or for it being squeezed further. Predictably dependence on food banks rose significantly soon after this.

    • NewsFlash 5.1

      You may also recall the same Govt striped $20 a week off pensioners to fund a tax cut for wealthy, that saw the largest net migration of over 65’s out of NZ, mainly to Aus, most have not returned.

      Right wing social policies don’t change, only the names of those policies.

      • Clump_AKA Sam 5.1.1

        And the government has continued to get too ups in that way. It’s just one technical way the government can keep borrowing.

      • Chris 5.1.2

        But that’s to be expected from uncaring right wing governments. It’s when governments we thought weren’t like that do the same kinds of nasty things that we need to start worrying. You may recall the very long list of war-on-the-poor legislation that Clark’s government introduced between 1999 and 2008.

        You’re dead correct when you say that right wing social policies don’t change, only the names of those policies, but I’d add that it’s not just the national party that’s responsible for those policies.

        If Labour doesn’t make a stand on issues affecting the very poorest then there’s no hope.

    • Thinkerr 5.2

      Not only that, they gave less than the nutritionists said. This shocking treatment of fellow human beings is displayed either on “Someone Elses Country” or “In a land of plenty”. Both should be on youtube.

      Meanwhile, the rest of the world thinks “Hunger Games” is a work of fiction…

    • korero pono 5.3

      @ Nick the NZer, not only did the Nats use the minimum food baseline, which they knew could never nutritionally sustain a family, the Nats then reduced that baseline by 20% and used that as a basis to set benefit rates. So I would say the Nats were literally starving people when they cut the benefits in 1991 (let’s not forget that Labour are also implicated because they did not reverse the disastrous cuts). The only reason people aren’t dying from starvation in the streets is because food banks sprung up all over the country and continue to prop up an inadequate welfare system. Meanwhile people on benefits, low incomes and reliant on charitable food aid are nutritionally compromised, still dying from preventable illnesses caused by inadequate nutrition but the reasons for those deaths are hidden.

  6. red-blooded 6

    When English and his mates chatter away about “social investment” we need to talk about social equity and social outcomes; the health of our society.

    I’m not averse to more funding targeted towards young children – great. But the Dunedin Study says that by the time you have the evidence about who isn’t getting enough support, you’re not going to make much difference with targeted investment. A better aim is to try to ensure that all children have security, all have play and stimulation, all have chances to develop their language and thinking functions and their emotional responses and social skills. That means investment in benefits and programmes like WFF, but it also means free (or very low cost) early childhood programmes, investment in libraries and playgrounds, public transport infrastructure, low cost broadband, good quality children’s TV, help for parents who are stressed or not coping, family violence intervention… Basically, a healthy and supportive social framework. It may save costs for things like prisons, but it’s not the cheap option; it’s just trying to use resources constructively, to give people better lives.

  7. trademark 7

    We should be very wary of ideology and budget cuts masquerading as data-driven policy making. Look at the money being spent (and cut), then follow it to see where it leads.

    Vague terms like “social investment” invite projection of what people (in this case, Simon), would like to imagine. But I can bet you the actual implementation will be very specific and in line with particular values inspired by a particular ideology…

  8. Dorothy Bulling 8

    So when he has the targeted spending in place, will he still totally underfund that spending, like he is underfunding hospital and medical services, education, and community services provided by organisations like Parkinsons NZ and Multiple Sclerosis NZ? Because that’s what he is doing right now.

  9. miravox 9

    The National party version of social investment seems very strong on identifying the ‘who’ – as in socio-ec/demographic factors that lead to poor outcomes, and very weak in identifying the ‘why’ people may have difficulties growing up that affect their adult lives.

    Expect more bashing in terms of single mothers, racism, poorly educated, poor areas and towns, and the simply poor.

    Labour can own this slogan (oh, how I hate slogans) by investing in the ‘whys’ – what individuals are dealing with personally, and the wider structural contexts of their lives that affect outcomes.

  10. Pat 10

    Not “social investment” but this disturbing piece (the subject of which i was unaware) has its origins in the same camp.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/01/14/why-nzers-wouldnt-support-euthanasia-if-they-read-this-why-jenny-shipley-makes-me-never-want-euthanasia/

  11. RedBaronCV 11

    This is the really scary bit . Reading the article below it looks seems pretty clear that at least one cohort of New Zealanders have already had their privacy totally undermined by a huge unconsented privacy invasion.
    I wondered if they had used that cohort because when they were at secondary school (despite parental consent being needed but not gained ) most secondary schools handed over their whole database to the health department so they could do some vaccinations. Looks like it might have been used for other things …

    21 year olds

    And the next bit – we are going to be encouraged to share our data?? Like if you use a community service say ‘ Rape Crisis” you have to hand your details over – . ..
    looks like old Bill is going to force us all to hand over details.

    And how is he proposing using this data to identify the potential tax dodger, tax haven user or over claimer on public expenses??

    A key challenge for Adams this year will be to work out how to negotiate more access to New Zealanders’ private information to further the social investment work by finding all at-risk individuals.

    In a speech last year, English floated the prospect of “testing notions of consent” – asking people how much information they were willing to share and have shared.

    “Our offer to the New Zealand public is this,” English said. “We will commit to delivering services that are better targeted and which will make a real difference, and we will stop spending on services that don’t work – if you will let us make better use of your data.”

    The work to negotiate privacy considerations is being led by the data futures partnership, chaired by Dame Diane Robertson, the former City Missioner at the Auckland City Mission

  12. Jan Rivers 12

    I think Wilson’s analysis is more explanatory than advocating.

    I’ve observed one of the problems with the social investment approach is that the government is seeking to use it to ‘renew the social licence”‘ However the data decisions were made in advance of considering the issues of social acceptability. It’s going to be hard to argue that social licence means anything when any engagement work is taking place after the substantive decisions have been ,made. Here are some documents that make this clear.

    2015 – nothing about social licence here in the Minister’s announcement that big data has been lauanched http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1609/S00493/english-social-investment-analytics-layer-launch.htm
    In 2016 Oh dear perhaps we need to consult on the ethical impacts of what we have done.
    http://datafutures.co.nz/our-work-2/engagement/ and here http://datafutures.co.nz/our-work-2/further-reading/

    I agree that Keith Ng’s piece published yesterday also in the Spinoff. http://thespinoff.co.nz/society/13-01-2017/im-a-data-nerd-and-a-data-cheerleader-but-still-i-fear-bill-englishs-datatopia/ is really useful. In brief It’s a dense read but basically its about the deadliness of using the data rather than an ethical framework or goals to identify what is desirable to be done. It’s speaks to the need for policy and not just outcomes and quotes Bill English as saying that policy is a commodity that a 12 year old can understand that would play well with the ‘anti-elitists’. He has a good response to this view.

    • DH 12.1

      I read your links & see what you mean Jan. They’ve already set the system up before asking us for a so-called social licence to use it. It’s a little hard to trust people who set out to deceive from the start.

      This is quite chilling;

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GVCpBrxF2o&feature=youtu.be

      They talk a lot about ‘anonymising’ the data when their own video reveals it’s not anonymous at all. ‘Sam’ could be any of us. It’s all rather Orwellian.

      • RedBaronCV 12.1.1

        That was a great summary Jan thanks. Gathering the data and mining it without putting an ethical and policy framework in place around what is acceptable to the country.

        Bill is dragging the data together and then they are going to tell us we have to accept contributing to it.

        His approach to the so called “investment angle” also sucks as far as I am concerned. Yes governments spend money but an awful lot of it is on outcomes or “policy consequences”.
        e.g Working for families payments reflect a too low wage structure and a too high cost structure for basics driven by 15% GST, privatised power etc etc. Change policy around unions, power delivery and tax the wealthy more would reduce those payments . But without a frame work of analysis and interpretation and focusing only on the outcome in isolation we may arrive at “do not have children”.

        • Jan Rivers 12.1.1.1

          Yes – that’s a good point. None of the downsides of the current arrangements should be too hard to explain by a progressive politics willing to address the issues. Starting with concepts like predistribution as a solution and the inevitability of poverty under the circumstances you describe shouldn’t be too hard.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        It’s a little hard to trust people who set out to deceive from the start.

        Lying and deceiving is pretty much par for the course for National. After all, very few people would vote for them if they said that they were going to oppress most people so as to enrich the already rich.

  13. ian 13

    Even the term ‘targeted welfare’ is a bit misleading. It makes it sound like National-to-the-rescue, when in actual fact it will simply be more begging and humiliating questioning down at Work and Income.

    “I see, so you are applying for a targeted grant for counselling for your children to help them come to terms with your inability to bond properly with them due to your being sexually abused as a child. We need you to fill out this 10-page form detailing your issues, and we need you to supply the relevant police complaint before we can process your application.”

    Just so long as we continue to protect employers from having to provide workers with a fair share of what they produce.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      +1

    • garibaldi 13.2

      What is happening to all these thousands of ‘unfortunates’ who are being cut loose from our welfare safety net? What is the goal of all this humiliation and degradation of people?
      When are the tax avoiders and cheats and Corporates going to be targeted? There’s billions of dollars to collect there cf a paltry millions from welfare ‘meanness’.
      Where are the Opposition outcries on where this is leading? Is Labour happy to fudge the issue? WFF is not the answer. Pitching low paid workers against benes is not the answer. Importing slaves , as we are doing now ,is not the answer.
      We need an overhaul of the system. English’s plan is not the overhaul we need – quite the opposite.

  14. dukeofurl 14

    Simon Wilson, recently laid off as editor of Metro, does seem to be writing a very long job application for beehive spin doctor. Sure beats the gig economy doing barely paid stuff for a ‘startup’ like Spinoff.

    • Once was and others etc 14.1

      Rather that than showing up on RNZ National (although there’s probably a little shuffle going on for a spot on Nine to Noon).
      I wonder when the book’s coming out: From Burma Road to Stardom

  15. Gosman 15

    Surely the left should be more interested in outcomes rather than how much money is spent. If you get better social outcomes from targeted social spending/investment why do you have a problem with that?

    • DH 15.1

      Who decides what is a ‘better social outcome’ Gosman? You? Unelected bureaucrats?

      One of the reports prepared for the Data Futures Partnership had this comment;

      “behaviour change has been called by some ‘the Holy Grail of health care’”

      The idea being to use big data to analyse people’s behaviour and change it if their lifestyle puts more of a burden on the health system.

      The extra stress of trolling this site might flag you for some attention from the thought-Police Gosman, stress is bad for your health and since that costs the taxpayer money we can’t have that can we.

      • Gosman 15.1.1

        Ummm… are you stating that you shouldn’t measure the effectiveness of State funded social programmes?

        • DH 15.1.1.1

          How can you measure something that hasn’t happened yet Gosman?

          • Gosman 15.1.1.1.1

            Social services are happening now. Do you not think it is a good idea to see if spending billions of dollars of taxpayer funds actually makes a difference or do you just base you decision to spend other people’s money on your ‘gut feeling’?

            • Clump_AKA Sam 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Possibly maybe that’s why it’s best to ask front line staff what will improve services instead of telling them what’s up

            • DH 15.1.1.1.1.2

              Err, it must make a difference Gosman. Its very existence is ipso facto a difference.

              Can you make your point please.

              • Gosman

                You seem reluctant to the idea of targeting social spending in such a way that it is most effective. To do this you need to measure outcomes from social programmes. What, if anything, is the problem with this?

                • DH

                  Ah, no Gosman. I asked you who decides what is a ‘better social outcome’. You’ve spent all your time since avoiding answering my question.

  16. Siobhan 16

    “we now know how much of a burden a child is likely to be on the taxpayer ‘.
    Hmmm.
    How about a study on which children are most likely to be a burden on the tax payer by avoiding paying tax. (oh yeah, thats right, sorry, tax MINIMIZATION, which is all perfectly legal you know).
    Or how about those who become a tax burden by requiring massive bailouts, subsidies or just generally draining the tax payers by running ‘For Profit’ social service companies?.
    Or those individuals and governments who have actually helped create and allow the tax havens in the first place??
    Are they not a burden? Should we not identify those individuals and spend money on providing them with things like ‘Moral and Social Responsibility’ classes?

    • Gosman 16.1

      When you state ‘For profit’ social services companies do you include private providers of services such as Clinical Psychologists, Social Workers, Therapists, and Lawyers? All these provide services to the State but are not classified as Public servants.

    • KJT 16.2

      The biggest burden on the taxpayer, is the children of the wealthy.

      They will grow up to consume the biggest share of our community provided resources.

      While their investments, rents and assets contribute little tax, and remove even more money from the community.

  17. greywarshark 17

    “we now know how much of a burden a child is likely to be on the taxpayer ‘.

    What, what? That’s like saying I’m sick of life. Children and caring for them and teaching them values and skills and how to be part of a mutally supporting community and planet is what life is about. All the rest is futile, fatuous confabulation. So stick any complaints about children being a burden in the place where the sun don’t shine.

  18. greywarshark 18

    Another take on the social investment approach which would be awesome if English just left out the commercial aspect and went with social investment and wonderful people just being people with all their skills and potential rising to excite and advance them and the world. Nice long sentence that one.

    I heard on Radionz an interesting interview with Maori worker in social entrepreneur mode with a hapu I think. She was pressing the government’s social investment button and seeing how it worked for them. It has long been pointed out that money spent at the right time yields huge advantages and savings in the long run. Like the old saying ‘ A stitch in time saves nine.’
    Thinking people know the truth of that, it has just been a problem getting it through those thick barriers in politicians and the wigglers to the top who have minds filled with propaganda, prejudice and dominated by rote learning.

    So listen to this. on whanau ora which i think is the one I heard this morning. She sounds positive and clued up and hopeful that they are achieving.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/summerreport/audio/201829948/whanaua-ora-engages-with-families

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...
    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    43 mins ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz
    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    6 hours ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again
    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister
    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    10 hours ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    13 hours ago
  • Come on Darleen.
    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    15 hours ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won
    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    17 hours ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16
    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    18 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    18 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16
    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    19 hours ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother
    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    22 hours ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?
    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 day ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)
    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 day ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.
    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1
    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor
    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15
    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    2 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Questions from God
    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    3 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    6 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    7 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    7 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki
    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-07-16T12:31:34+00:00