Supported autonomy

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, August 31st, 2016 - 31 comments
Categories: human rights, Social issues - Tags: , , , ,

The following is a cross-post from Philip Patston.

Philip is a social entrepreneur, diversity specialist, and managing director of Diversity New Zealand. He blogs about his life, work and existential crises as well as sociopolitical issues. 

Autonomy is often used to mean independence. Though their dictionary definitions are similar and they are synonyms of each other, I like to talk about autonomy in a slighty different way.

For me, autonomy is having the choice over when I am independent and when I am dependent. It’s similar to the notion of interdependence, except the latter, interdependence, suggests an ongoing process of co-operation or collaboration. Perhaps autonomy could include the choice of interdependence as well, but for now I want to focus on the aspect of choice.

Many disability services have, at their core, a desired outcome of independence. Functioning on one’s own, without the help of others, is considered success. Dependence on others, by comparison, is seen as undesirable, costly and, hence, unsuccessful in the wonderful world of disability service provision. In the even more amazing worlds of case management and needs assessment however, dependence could be synonymous with abject failure — or worse: disaster!

This obsession to make disabled people independent has always seemed absurd to me. No one is completely independent, after all — we depend on builders for houses; lawyers and police for protection (sometimes one from the other); artists to adorn our walls — and so the list goes on. And while cleaning the house is a relatively simple chore, many choose — and still others actually need — to pay others to do it for them.

So if someone, on account of their unique function, can’t — or at least finds it difficult to — get dressed in the morning, why is so much emphasis placed on finding ways for them to do it themselves, independently, no matter the time or effort spent?

When I began to live “independently” at around 20 years of age, I did so with no support, apart from a flatmate who was as — or more — often out than at home. I’d start my day spending an hour abluting and getting dressed, including donning the most horrendously style-destroying footwear — grey sneakers with velcro straps — because I couldn’t tie laces. Then I’d have breakfast, only to have to begin the tortuous task of washing dishes, usually from the day — or more — before.

By about 11am I’d stop for a cigarette, all the while relishing the anticipation of cleaning the house — be it vaccuuming, dusting, cleaning the floors or, god forbid, the frigging toilet. By the time 1 or 2pm came around, I was physically knackered, often in pain and more or less good for nothing for the rest of the day.

But I was being independent.

I can’t remember how long it was that it took me to unbrainwash myself — longer than it should have, given I tend towards masochism as one of my learning edges. But I finally managed to process the cognitive dissonance slowly creeping into my consciousness: if “independence” meant doing nothing more than menial chores in unfashionable shoes, well, I didn’t want to be independent.

So I threw myself into the wonderful world of needs assessment and disability support services (WWNADSS), learning very quickly the two cardinal rules of getting one’s needs met: 1. never say you can do something but it’s difficult; and 2. never say you can do something but it’s difficult. Because something being difficult meant there could be an assistive device, designed to make things easier (ergo increasing independence), but actually badly designed, as unfashionable as velcroed shoes and more than likely useless and more time consuming.

Thus I learnt the valuable lesson of black and white ability — not the competence to change ethnicity but rather that, in the WWNADSS, there were only two answers: 1. I can; and 2. I can’t. Later I learnt a third answer, the dismal future speculation: if I keep doing this one thing now, it’s highly likely to fuck me up so badly that, in 5-10 years’ time, I’ll be unable to do 3 things. Ergo more, perhaps unnecessary dependence now will equate to less independence henceforth. Net result, more independence. Success! Great rule that, folks, learn it.

I exaggerate in jest — this was the 1980s and things are slightly less black and white these days (though its legacy lingers). I write this off the back of a lecture I did with case management students at AUT University yesterday. My point was that they reframe their role, from being the champion of independence, to being a facilitator of supported autonomy. In other words, guiding people to choose where and when in their lives they want to be independent and where and when they want to be dependent. It may seem an obvious change in understanding, but the old independence imperative is still surprisingly prominent in the WWNADSS as well as case management.

Who knows, had I not realised the impact of its potentially paralysing grip on my life, independence could have stopped me writing this post as I look back on a successful 22 years’ professional career. I could still be washing the dishes.

31 comments on “Supported autonomy ”

  1. Bill 1

    Nice piece. But having problems with the concept of “supported autonomy”. It strikes me as a bit of a contradiction.

    If I’m autonomous, I’m empowered. And being empowered, or having full agency, I don’t need to be supported in the usual implied sense of that word. Being autonomous, I call the shots and others may participate in that at my discretion.

    That’s at odds with “supported” and its implication that I’m relatively powerless and somewhat dependent on the agenda and timetable of some benevolent cavalry riding out of the sunset.

    Maybe that all seems a bit pernickety. Anyway. I guess all I’m saying is that I could and do absolutely support autonomy, but that the idea of “supported autonomy” just hurts my head a bit…I can’t help but envisage some paternalistic Custer riding down on me and me pulling back on that bow. 😉

    • weka 1.1

      When you’re physically dependent on someone for basic survival eg you wouldn’t eat if someone didn’t ‘support’ you, it looks different. For people that are dependent in various ways (myself included), the need for support is implicit (hence the argument against independence), so the question becomes what is the culture that that support is happening in and who is determining how that support happens?

      I can be autonomous but without support I don’t have the actual agency to call the shots.

      Also, the post is written in the context of state support which is largely focusses on independence. Some of that is from a well intentioned place, some of it from a cost cutting place. The push to independence is the neoliberal update on the patronising Custer approach of the past 😉 We need to move past both.

      btw, this stuff that Philip is naming is why I have huge concerns about the idea that under a UBI health and disability income currently adminstered by WINZ could be handed to Health and all would be good. Health comes with its own set of control culture.

      • Bill 1.1.1

        We’re all physically dependent on one other to some degree or other for our basic survival. So yeah, independence is a crock and everyone relies on support.

        The point I was trying to make isn’t at variance with anything you’ve written in your comment…I’ll try again.

        “Supported autonomy” as a stand alone phrase implies (to me at least) that the supporter, or the one doing the supporting, gets to, or has got to, set the limits on the autonomy (that being the contradiction) and it is they who then offer or impose whatever “support” they deem suitable or necessary – as opposed to the person who is seeking autonomy setting those limits and determining the required level of support .

        In other words I’m seeing the term as implying a degree of paternalism. That’s all. It’s just my interpretation of a phrase.

        As for the piece itself – I agree with what’s being said and note that Philip Patson talks about facilitating supported autonomy. That qualifier makes all the difference to my way of thinking.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          “Supported autonomy” as a stand alone phrase implies (to me at least) that the supporter, or the one doing the supporting, gets to, or has got to, set the limits on the autonomy (that being the contradiction) and it is they who then offer or impose whatever “support” they deem suitable or necessary – as opposed to the person who is seeking autonomy setting those limits and determining the required level of support .

          Nope.

          The idea would be that the person needing support get that support when they ask for it. That support allows that person to then operate independently at all other times. The support is there to help them do that because otherwise they simply wouldn’t have the time/physical capability to operate even that independently.

          • Bill 1.1.1.1.1

            I know what the idea is Draco. I also know what the term implies (for me).

            So let’s try – “autonomy” is always “supported” in one way or another. If it wasn’t, we’d be looking at independence based around notions of individualism and a likely quick exit from this world.

            So maybe the author could just have used the term ” autonomy” without the redundant “supported” since it can imply a faux or incomplete state of autonomy that’s been determined by some other.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        btw, this stuff that Philip is naming is why I have huge concerns about the idea that under a UBI health and disability income currently adminstered by WINZ could be handed to Health and all would be good.

        Why would it be put under health?

        IMO, it’s still under Social Development.

        That said, the top down ‘control culture’ that is endemic to capitalism needs to be changed anyway.

        • weka 1.1.2.1

          “Why would it be put under health?”

          I guess because people see the supplementary benefits related to health and disabilty as being health/disability issues instead of income ones. Plus people are desperate to get rid of WINZ. But I don’t really know, you’d have to ask the people who’ve made those arguments.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.1

            WINZ is one part of MSD, social support is another despite it being done at WINZ. Get rid of WINZ and the social support part would still exist.

            • weka 1.1.2.1.1.1

              I guess it depends on whether you see it as income issue or a social support issue. I see it as an income one myself. People with disabilities that prevent them from being able to work will not benefit from a UBI unless their unique function is taken into account. This is true of people raising kids on their own too, which makes it more obvious that it’s not a Health issue.

              The issue isn’t that those people need social support, they just need access to income that is equitable. If the point of income is to ensure that people have their needs met, and if one of the points of a UBI is to ensure that access without all the patronising and controlling bullshit that goes on at WINZ, then it follows that people with disabilities shouldn’t have to endure more of that bullshit after the introduction of a UBI just because they have a disability. So treat it as income, not social support. (there may or may not be social support needs as well for individuals or groups).

              • Draco T Bastard

                Social support could be provided either with money and thus allowing the person to choose how they got that support or through directly through the Ministry. Either way, it has to be determined if they’re entitled to that extra support. Of course, once it has been determined then they should get it permanently without having to continually justify it as happens now.

                It’s still social support and not work which is what WINZ focusses upon.

                • weka

                  WINZ is also there to provide income access to people who can’t work. Always has been. MSD don’t do that. If WINZ is to be disbanded completely, then it requires thought on what should happen to the income management of people that need that.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    WINZ is part of MSD as the large Coat of Arms up in the corner shows.

                    It’s not so much that WINZ will be disbanded as that it will be changed. IMO, It will no longer have work focus that it has now.

        • Sirenia 1.1.2.2

          A UBI could be under a whole new UBI Ministry. Perhaps a Ministry of autonomy and wellbeing!

      • Which is a totally reasonable concern and does need to be seriously addressed within any UBI proposal, preferrably in close co-operation with people who actually rely on the current forms of state assistance to live their lives.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Ergo more, perhaps unnecessary dependence now will equate to less indendependence henceforth.

    I think this has got an error in it?

    Shouldn’t it say:
    more, perhaps unnecessary dependence now, will equate to less dependence henceforth

    • weka 2.1

      Not sure Lanth. I took it to mean that the system’s impostion of values (‘independence’) actually causes harm to people.

      eg the ‘independence’ ethic says if you let people be too dependent they won’t become independent, and because independence is the most important thing we have to stop that irrespective of the consequences eg they get harmed in the process. It’s very similar to the neoliberal ‘welfare is an addiction’ meme. Ideology trumping real life and fucking people up in the process.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        I thought it meant that

        if I try to be more independent now this will be a stretch and could cause me, over time, to lose the ability to do some things I can do now and thus my dependence will be increased in the future. So being more independent now will likely contribute to increased dependence in the future – therefore being more dependent now could mean more independence later.

  3. adam 3

    Two things cutting over each other in this post weka. First is the desire to be a autonomous individual which drives much of the modern thought process, and in this case a classical example of it’s failings. Secondly an acknowledgement that mutual aid, would benefit people more than some sort of esoteric desire to be self released.

    I’m not sure I agree with the authors terminology, as it seems confused at times. It’s like he does not want to use the words mutual aid, as that would expose the solid left basis of his argument. Many disabled organisations and support networks use the methodology of mutual aid, because it works. Especially in the face of power, when you have very little, or no power.

    It has this extra bonus – of making those involved feel empowered.

    • weka 3.1

      Can you explaing what mutual aid is adam, I’m not familiar with the term or concept.

      • adam 3.1.1

        Good summation from Moya K. Mason

        “Kropotkin’s most famous book, Mutual Aid, maintains that cooperation within a species has been an historical factor in the development of social institutions, and in fact, that the avoidance of competition greatly increases the chances of survival and raises the quality of life. He contended that mutual aid is a factor that is both biological and voluntary in nature, and is an enabler of progressive evolution. Without it, life as we know it could not exist. This can be also seen in the animal kingdom. Horses and deer unite to protect each from their foe, wolves and lions gather to hunt, while bees and ants work together in many different ways. Kropotkin said that mutual support is an established fact within the feathered world, with eagles, pelicans, vultures, sparrows, and other fowl, collectively searching for and sharing food. Some species of birds even gather together at the end of the day to sleep. ”

        For more http://www.moyak.com/papers/peter-kropotkin.html

        Or this definition

        Mutual Aid.

        Mutual Aid is a term used to signify the concept of voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit. It can take place between individuals and groups. The term comes from the book “Mutual Aid : A Factor of Evolution” published in October 1902 by Peter Kropotkin. In it, Kropotkin tried to show that cooperation is as important as competition in the processes of evolution and social organisation. Mutual Aid is therefore an important principle of egalitarian communal living forms and non-heirarchical community life. See also “Fields, factories and workshops“.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          Interesting, and I like what they are saying. I don’t see that as being incompatible with supported autonomy though. I’m also not sure how you could have a working concept of mutual aid without supported autonomy, especially given the imperative of reciprocity. Some people are dependent. We shouldn’t shy away from that, or see it as a problem.

          Can you share some examples of disability organisations that use mutual concepts?

  4. Kay 4

    Interesting post.
    I’m a firm believer in as much independence as possible, and the option of asking for help if it’s needed. But that means practical assistance has to actually exist somewhere in order for that choice to exist.

    When your very much a disability has been decreed overnight not to be a disability by the DHB for purposes of home help?
    When you’re under 65?
    When you have no dependents?
    When the alleged “disability allowance” doesn’t even cover your medication costs yet alone any home help or medical treatment?
    When ACC is out of the equation?

    “Choice” is supposedly what we, the public want. Oh that’s right, only if we can pay for it ourselves?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      “Choice” is supposedly what we, the public want. Oh that’s right, only if we can pay for it ourselves?

      The whole point of the pricing mechanism is to price people out of getting products/services on the market and thus decreasing demand for those products/services and thus ensuring that demand doesn’t go above available resources. This is why many things should be a government service that’s freely available to all. Health and support services are obviously included in that as ‘the market’ will obviously preclude those who need such services to not be able to get them.

  5. Let me add a little context. The reason I couple the words “supported” and “autonomy”, agreeably oxymoronic, is because I am looking at the role of case managers or needs assessors in terms of the system they represent, not the outcome of the person with whom they work.

    Personally, I’m quite able to be autonomous without support. I know what I need, what I’m eligible for and how these eventuate into an outcome. But many don’t.

    My model is a challenge to those working in the system to support people – in particularly those coming to terms with serious, chronic injury or parents of newly born babies with support needs – to make informed choices about independence and dependence.

    I’m deliberately redefining autonomy as the ability to make the choice. For those new to our systems, or those brainwashed into independence because of the system’s bias, support to do this is necessary. Once they are autonomous (choosing the aspects of life in which they will be independent or dependent), they’ll no longer need support.

    • weka 5.1

      Interesting. I think I really misunderstood the post then. Are you using ‘support’ to mean something quite specific, eg the support to know one is entitled to assistance and how to access it? Rather than support also being the assistance itself (eg income or physical assistance).

  6. The New Student 6

    Everyone wants to be the master of their own destiny. Call their own shots. And so we should. Yet it seems to be the first thing we attempt to deny of each other. Strange.

  7. Bill 7

    And in related news…

    “A new service will be trialled next year to help beneficiaries with diagnosed mental health conditions become independent and find work.

    The two year trial is expected to cost $3.2 million and will be available in the Auckland, Waikato, Central, Canterbury and Southern regions.

    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says Work to Wellness will be a contracted service and will help around 1000 people a year.

    She says it will provide coaching and mentoring, job search services and assistance to help people into work.

    Beneficiaries will be able to opt-in through Work and Income, a referral from their GP or self-referring direct to the provider.”

    https://nz.news.yahoo.com/top-stories/a/32498892/beneficiaries-will-be-helped-to-find-work/?cmp=st#page1

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    Muriel Newman writes – The Coalition Government says it is moving with speed to deliver campaign promises and reverse the damage done by Labour. One of their key commitments is to “defend the principle that New Zealanders are equal before the law.” To achieve this, they have pledged they “will not advance ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    23 hours ago
  • An impermanent public service is a guarantee of very little else but failure
    Chris Trotter writes –  The absence of anything resembling a fightback from the public servants currently losing their jobs is interesting. State-sector workers’ collective fatalism in the face of Coalition cutbacks indicates a surprisingly broad acceptance of impermanence in the workplace. Fifty years ago, lay-offs in the thousands ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • What happens after the war – Mariupol
    Mariupol, on the Azov Sea coast, was one of the first cities to suffer almost complete destruction after the start of the Ukraine War started in late February 2022. We remember the scenes of absolute destruction of the houses and city structures. The deaths of innocent civilians – many of ...
    1 day ago
  • Babies and benefits – no good news
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – Ten years ago, I wrote the following in a Listener column: Every year around one in five new-born babies will be reliant on their caregivers benefit by Christmas. This pattern has persisted from at least 1993. For Maori the number jumps to over one in three.  ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • Should the RBNZ be looking through climate inflation?
    Climate change is expected to generate more and more extreme events, delivering a sort of structural shock to inflation that central banks will have to react to as if they were short-term cyclical issues. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāMy pick of the six newsey things to know from Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix of the news links
    The top six news links I’ve seen elsewhere in the last 24 hours, as of 9:16 am on Thursday, April 18 are:Housing: Tauranga residents living in boats, vans RNZ Checkpoint Louise TernouthHousing: Waikato councillor says wastewater plant issues could hold up Sleepyhead building a massive company town Waikato Times Stephen ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the public sector carnage, and misogyny as terrorism
    It’s a simple deal. We pay taxes in order to finance the social services we want and need. The carnage now occurring across the public sector though, is breaking that contract. Over 3,000 jobs have been lost so far. Many are in crucial areas like Education where the impact of ...
    1 day ago
  • Meeting the Master Baiters
    Hi,A friend had their 40th over the weekend and decided to theme it after Curb Your Enthusiasm fashion icon Susie Greene. Captured in my tiny kitchen before I left the house, I ending up evoking a mix of old lesbian and Hillary Clinton — both unintentional.Me vs Hillary ClintonIf you’re ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • How extreme was the Earth's temperature in 2023
    This is a re-post from Andrew Dessler at the Climate Brink blog In 2023, the Earth reached temperature levels unprecedented in modern times. Given that, it’s reasonable to ask: What’s going on? There’s been lots of discussions by scientists about whether this is just the normal progression of global warming or if something ...
    1 day ago
  • Backbone, revisited
    The schools are on holiday and the sun is shining in the seaside village and all day long I have been seeing bunches of bikes; Mums, Dads, teens and toddlers chattering, laughing, happy, having a bloody great time together. Cheers, AT, for the bits of lane you’ve added lately around the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Ministers are not above the law
    Today in our National-led authoritarian nightmare: Shane Jones thinks Ministers should be above the law: New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is accusing the Waitangi Tribunal of over-stepping its mandate by subpoenaing a minister for its urgent hearing on the Oranga Tamariki claim. The tribunal is looking into the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What’s the outfit you can hear going down the gurgler? Probably it’s David Parker’s Oceans Sec...
    Buzz from the Beehive Point  of Order first heard of the Oceans Secretariat in June 2021, when David Parker (remember him?) announced a multi-agency approach to protecting New Zealand’s marine ecosystems and fisheries. Parker (holding the Environment, and Oceans and Fisheries portfolios) broke the news at the annual Forest & ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Will politicians let democracy die in the darkness?
    Bryce Edwards writes  – Politicians across the political spectrum are implicated in the New Zealand media’s failing health. Either through neglect or incompetent interventions, successive governments have failed to regulate, foster, and allow a healthy Fourth Estate that can adequately hold politicians and the powerful to account. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Matt Doocey doubles down on trans “healthcare”
    Citizen Science writes –  Last week saw two significant developments in the debate over the treatment of trans-identifying children and young people – the release in Britain of the final report of Dr Hilary Cass’s review into gender healthcare, and here in New Zealand, the news that the ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • A TikTok Prime Minister.
    One night while sleeping in my bed I had a beautiful dreamThat all the people of the world got together on the same wavelengthAnd began helping one anotherNow in this dream, universal love was the theme of the dayPeace and understanding and it happened this wayAfter such an eventful day ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Texas Lessons
    This is a guest post by Oscar Simms who is a housing activist, volunteer for the Coalition for More Homes, and was the Labour Party candidate for Auckland Central at the last election. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix of the news links at 6:06 am
    The top six news links I’ve seen elsewhere in the last 24 hours as of 6:06 am on Wednesday, April 17 are:Must read: Secrecy shrouds which projects might be fast-tracked RNZ Farah HancockScoop: Revealed: Luxon has seven staffers working on social media content - partly paid for by taxpayer Newshub ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Fighting poverty on the holiday highway
    Turning what Labour called the “holiday highway” into a four-lane expressway from Auckland to Whangarei could bring at least an economic benefit of nearly two billion a year for Northland each year. And it could help bring an end to poverty in one of New Zealand’s most deprived regions. The ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's six-stack of substacks at 6:26 pm
    Tonight’s six-stack includes: launching his substack with a bunch of his previous documentaries, including this 1992 interview with Dame Whina Cooper. and here crew give climate activists plenty to do, including this call to submit against the Fast Track Approvals bill. writes brilliantly here on his substack ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Is the science settled?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Apposite Quotations.
    How Long Is Long Enough? Gaza under Israeli bombardment, July 2014. This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • What’s a life worth now?
    You're in the mall when you hear it: some kind of popping sound in the distance, kids with fireworks, maybe. But then a moment of eerie stillness is followed by more of the fireworks sound and there’s also screaming and shrieking and now here come people running for their lives.Does ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Howling at the Moon
    Karl du Fresne writes –  There’s a crisis in the news media and the media are blaming it on everyone except themselves. Culpability is being deflected elsewhere – mainly to the hapless Minister of Communications, Melissa Lee, and the big social media platforms that are accused of hoovering ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Newshub is Dead.
    I don’t normally send out two newsletters in a day but I figured I’d say something about… the news. If two newsletters is a bit much then maybe just skip one, I don’t want to overload people. Alternatively if you’d be interested in sometimes receiving multiple, smaller updates from me, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Seymour is chuffed about cutting early-learning red tape – but we hear, too, that Jones has loose...
    Buzz from the Beehive David Seymour and Winston Peters today signalled that at least two ministers of the Crown might be in Wellington today. Seymour (as Associate Minister of Education) announced the removal of more red tape, this time to make it easier for new early learning services to be ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Will politicians let democracy die in the darkness?
    Politicians across the political spectrum are implicated in the New Zealand media’s failing health. Either through neglect or incompetent interventions, successive governments have failed to regulate, foster, and allow a healthy Fourth Estate that can adequately hold politicians and the powerful to account. Our political system is suffering from the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Was Hawkesby entirely wrong?
    David Farrar  writes –  The Broadcasting Standards Authority ruled: Comments by radio host Kate Hawkesby suggesting Māori and Pacific patients were being prioritised for surgery due to their ethnicity were misleading and discriminatory, the Broadcasting Standards Authority has found. It is a fact such patients are prioritised. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • PRC shadow looms as the Solomons head for election
    PRC and its proxies in Solomons have been preparing for these elections for a long time. A lot of money, effort and intelligence have gone into ensuring an outcome that won’t compromise Beijing’s plans. Cleo Paskall writes – On April 17th the Solomon Islands, a country of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Criminal ecocide
    We are in the middle of a climate crisis. Last year was (again) the hottest year on record. NOAA has just announced another global coral bleaching event. Floods are threatening UK food security. So naturally, Shane Jones wants to make it easier to mine coal: Resources Minister Shane Jones ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Is saving one minute of a politician's time worth nearly $1 billion?
    Is speeding up the trip to and from Wellington airport by 12 minutes worth spending up more than $10 billion? Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items that stood out to me in the last day to 8:26 am today are:The Lead: Transport Minister Simeon Brown announced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Long Tunnel or Long Con?
    Yesterday it was revealed that Transport Minister had asked Waka Kotahi to look at the options for a long tunnel through Wellington. State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the ...
    3 days ago
  • Smoke And Mirrors.
    You're a fraud, and you know itBut it's too good to throw it all awayAnyone would do the sameYou've got 'em goingAnd you're careful not to show itSometimes you even fool yourself a bitIt's like magicBut it's always been a smoke and mirrors gameAnyone would do the sameForty six billion ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • What is Mexico doing about climate change?
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The June general election in Mexico could mark a turning point in ensuring that the country’s climate policies better reflect the desire of its citizens to address the climate crisis, with both leading presidential candidates expressing support for renewable energy. Mexico is the ...
    3 days ago
  • State of humanity, 2024
    2024, it feels, keeps presenting us with ever more challenges, ever more dismay.Do you give up yet? It seems to ask.No? How about this? Or this?How about this?When I say 2024 I really mean the state of humanity in 2024.Saturday night, we watched Civil War because that is one terrifying cliff we've ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s Wellington tunnel vision aims to ease the way to the airport (but zealous promoters of cycl...
    Buzz from the Beehive A pet project and governmental tunnel vision jump out from the latest batch of ministerial announcements. The government is keen to assure us of its concern for the wellbeing of our pets. It will be introducing pet bonds in a change to the Residential Tenancies Act ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • The case for cultural connectedness
    A recent report generated from a Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) survey of 1,224 rangatahi Māori aged 11-12 found: Cultural connectedness was associated with fewer depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms and better quality of life. That sounds cut and dry. But further into the report the following appears: Cultural connectedness is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Useful context on public sector job cuts
    David Farrar writes –    The Herald reports: From the gory details of job-cuts news, you’d think the public service was being eviscerated.   While the media’s view of the cuts is incomplete, it’s also true that departments have been leaking the particulars faster than a Wellington ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On When Racism Comes Disguised As Anti-racism
    Remember the good old days, back when New Zealand had a PM who could think and speak calmly and intelligently in whole sentences without blustering? Even while Iran’s drones and missiles were still being launched, Helen Clark was live on TVNZ expertly summing up the latest crisis in the Middle ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt ignored economic analysis of smokefree reversal
    Costello did not pass on analysis of the benefits of the smokefree reforms to Cabinet, emphasising instead the extra tax revenues of repealing them. Photo: Hagen Hopkins, Getty Images TL;DR: The six news items that stood out to me at 7:26 am today are:The Lead: Casey Costello never passed on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • True Blue.
    True loveYou're the one I'm dreaming ofYour heart fits me like a gloveAnd I'm gonna be true blueBaby, I love youI’ve written about the job cuts in our news media last week. The impact on individuals, and the loss to Aotearoa of voices covering our news from different angles.That by ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Who is running New Zealand’s foreign policy?
    While commentators, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark, are noting a subtle shift in New Zealand’s foreign policy, which now places more emphasis on the United States, many have missed a key element of the shift. What National said before the election is not what the government is doing now. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #15
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, April 7, 2024 thru Sat, April 13, 2024. Story of the week Our story of the week is about adults in the room setting terms and conditions of ...
    5 days ago
  • Feline Friends and Fragile Fauna The Complexities of Cats in New Zealand’s Conservation Efforts

    Cats, with their independent spirit and beguiling purrs, have captured the hearts of humans for millennia. In New Zealand, felines are no exception, boasting the highest national cat ownership rate globally [definition cat nz cat foundation]. An estimated 1.134 million pet cats grace Kiwi households, compared to 683,000 dogs ...

    5 days ago
  • Or is that just they want us to think?
    Nice guy, that Peter Williams. Amiable, a calm air of no-nonsense capability, a winning smile. Everything you look for in a TV presenter and newsreader.I used to see him sometimes when I went to TVNZ to be a talking head or a panellist and we would yarn. Nice guy, that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Did global warming stop in 1998?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from our Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Did global warming stop in ...
    6 days ago
  • Arguing over a moot point.
    I have been following recent debates in the corporate and social media about whether it is a good idea for NZ to join what is known as “AUKUS Pillar Two.” AUKUS is the Australian-UK-US nuclear submarine building agreement in which … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • No Longer Trusted: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Turning Point: What has turned me away from the mainstream news media is the very strong message that its been sending out for the last few years.” “And what message might that be?” “That the people who own it, the people who run it, and the people who provide its content, really don’t ...
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates at 10% anyone?
    No – nothing about that in PM Luxon’s nine-point plan to improve the lives of New Zealanders. But beyond our shores Jamie Dimon, the long-serving head of global bank J.P. Morgan Chase, reckons that the chances of a goldilocks soft landing for the economy are “a lot lower” than the ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Sad tales from the left
    Michael Bassett writes –  Have you noticed the odd way in which the media are handling the government’s crackdown on surplus employees in the Public Service? Very few reporters mention the crazy way in which State Service numbers rocketed ahead by more than 16,000 during Labour’s six years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago

  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
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    1 week ago
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