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The housing crisis and the diseases of poverty

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, August 15th, 2016 - 122 comments
Categories: class war, health, housing, national, poverty - Tags: , , , ,

One of the consequences of poor, overcrowded housing is an increase in the incidence of preventable “diseases of poverty”. This was highlighted as a national issue in the run up to the 2011 election with the Inside Child Poverty documentary:

Shock look at NZ’s child poverty

More than 100 New Zealand children who died last year would probably have survived had they lived in Japan, Sweden or the Czech Republic, a new documentary shows.

In Inside Child Poverty: A Special Report, set to air this week, Wellington documentary maker Bryan Bruce shows a Swedish doctor footage of sick, scab-ridden schoolchildren suffering from preventable diseases in Porirua and asks if he saw similar situations in his country. The doctor shakes his head: “In the 70s, maybe.”

Last year, more than 25,000 children were admitted to hospital for respiratory infections. Doctors routinely treat cases of rheumatic fever and scabies – diseases now rare in Europe. The reason behind these preventable diseases were appalling rates of child poverty that New Zealand could not afford to ignore, Mr Bruce said. …

Since then the housing crisis has worsened, with record numbers living in cars and garages. This can only be making matters even worse. For example, although significant interventions had been reducing the incidence of rheumatic fever, it is on the rise again:

Housing crisis linked to spike in Auckland rheumatic fever cases

The housing crisis is being blamed for a sudden rise of rheumatic fever cases in the Auckland region after years of decreasing rates.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service statistics show that overall numbers of cases are 36% higher for the first half of this year compared to the same period last year.

In the 0-19 year olds group there have been 33 cases to the end of June compared with 28 for the same time last year.

Medical Officer of Health Catherine Jackson says there could be a number of reasons for this including crowded housing and the prevention programme could have reached its maximum effectiveness and chance.

Dr David Jansen, clinical director of the National Hauora Coalition, says as a south Auckland GP he is seeing more families at the extreme end of homelessness and this could undo all the good prevention work that’s being done.

“I was really disappointed that we had a state agency that was actively putting families in harm’s way by referring them to completely substandard housing,” he says. …

It is likely that other diseases of poverty are also or will also increase as the housing crisis drags on under National.

122 comments on “The housing crisis and the diseases of poverty”

  1. Michelle 1

    We will not only see an increase in preventable diseases under National we will see more crime and social issues come to the fore we are already seeing it. Poverty related issues.

  2. The Chairman 2

    And last week Auckland councillors voted to reject an affordable homes quota being included in the Auckland Unitary Plan.

    Councillors voted 13 to seven against the quota.

    • jcuknz 2.1

      Since ‘affordable homes’ is a false target there is no point in having a quota and CV was correct in their assertion that many would start with apartments at much less.
      Cutting their cloth to suit their income and means. The true meaning of affordable rather than a financial standard of un-affordability for many or most.
      Dicken’s writing of 19/6d meaning a saving of 6d is rather out of our current world.
      [younger readers read 95 cents and 5cents in today’s world.]

      • The Chairman 2.1.1

        Since affordable homes are the objective, it would be a sham pushing the plan through without a target. Albeit, I concur the target being set as affordable is far too high compared to incomes.

        • Anne 2.1.1.1

          Penny Hulse voted against the inclusion of affordable homes because she said the target is unattainable. Well, why not change the ‘affordable’ criteria so that it IS attainable. To include no target for affordable accommodation – be it stand alone or an apartment capable of housing a family – seems, on the face of it, a tad irresponsible.

          But then again, I don’t know much about these things so the powers that be would say… go back to your hidey-hole cos you know nothing. Only us clever clogs know what we’re talking about. Still, common sense says…

          • The Chairman 2.1.1.1.1

            “Seems, on the face of it, a tad irresponsible”

            Disingenuous is how I would sum it up, Anne.

            Affordable housing is being touted as the objective, yet the Independent Hearing Panel predicted only 15% of new homes under the Unitary Plan will cost less than $800,000.

          • Chooky 2.1.1.1.2

            +100 Anne…re “Penny Hulse voted against the inclusion of affordable homes because she said the target is unattainable. ”

            …this is the whole point of the housing issue…affordable homes for the most poverty stricken

            …it should be the priority, instead the government sells off State Houses

      • Sure, you can fiddle with the definition of affordable, (and I think including apartments as affordable homes is absolutely reasonable, an apartment can be a home) but that’s no reason not to include a target.

      • North 2.1.3

        What unintelligible shit you write JunkNZ! I’ve read your crap comment several times and still can’t make any sense of it. What are you really trying to say?……that these lowly homeless mums/dads/kids just don’t/won’t understand the stuff about 6 pence. And that actually you don’t give a fuck but don’t have the balls to say so outright. What a dog! May Mr Micawber penetrate you brutally!

    • And last week Auckland councillors voted to reject an affordable homes quota being included in the Auckland Unitary Plan.

      That always sounds weird to me – what developer would trouble themselves to build unaffordable houses? I guess it’s shorthand for “affordable by people other than foreign property speculators and locals with more than house-worth of equity,” but wouldn’t it make more sense to deal with the property speculators problem rather than trying to build ultra-cheap houses?

      • The Chairman 2.2.1

        I concur local and foreign speculation requires to be curtailed. However, we also require more diversity, creating a better balance of the selection of homes on offer.

        • Chooky 2.2.1.1

          +100 The Chairman…that is the nub of it!

          ….and I do like the way the old State houses were intermixed in with wealthy suburbs…it added to the richness and egalitarian nature of New Zealand society

          …but of course jonkey is selling them off ( maybe he is ashamed of his roots?)…and the real estate is too valuable

  3. Chooky 4

    re “with record numbers living in cars and garages.”

    ….this makes me query the Greens policy and stand on penalties for not providing high quality rentals, which in itself sounds fine and rentiers making huge profits from many rentals should be held to account no doubt about it

    …however what about the ‘poor’ helping the poor? eg. if someone has a renovated garage or old cottage which could be rented for a small price but lacks insulation(because the owner can not afford it)…will they be barred from helping someone who is sleeping in a car or under a bridge

    …to me the Green stance on this lacks on the ground existential realism…in fact to be rude, it is middle class ignorance of the realities

    if I were sleeping under a bridge or in a car I would welcome the offer of a converted garage or draughty cottage for a small affordable price

    (btw that picture of a converted garage or sleepout doesnt look too bad to me….certainly better than sleeping on the street )

    • The Chairman 4.1

      “To me the Green stance on this lacks on the ground existential realism…in fact to be rude, it is middle class ignorance of the realities

      if I were sleeping under a bridge or in a car I would welcome the offer of a converted garage or draughty cottage for a small affordable price”

      Indeed. A concern is the Green’s stance will rob people of the opportunity of opting for a cheaper alternative.

      This is why the implementation (of a housing WOF) should be deferred until housing numbers have been increased. A warranted house is no good to someone staying in a car that can’t afford to rent it.

      • jcuknz 4.1.1

        When I was found a building which had previously been a stable with outside loo and just power and cold water I was very happy to take it …. I had been living in the darkroom of the firm I worked for at the time and the husband and wife had found better accommodation. In due course I moved on to share a flat with most mod-coms for the period …. so while I think the Greens have a point it is rather middle class paternalism. I fully understand and practiced ‘living in what was affordable to me at the time’.
        Latter I found the cash to buy an ex-school bus and converted it to live in a motor-camp …my first step to home ownership. Old camp bed to sleep on and newspaper over window bars for privacy for the first few nights.

        • Chooky 4.1.1.1

          +100 jcuknz…thanks for sharing that evocative description!….

          many New Zealanders find the space of making a house in a stable or a shearing shed or in something tin or in an empty warehouse …an exciting and enriching experience even although it doesn’t have all the mod cons and is not insulated

          …architecturally it is in keeping with our colonial heritage , modest and in tune with nature…it adds to the tapestry of life and should not be scorned or ridiculed

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      “The Greens” no more decide whether to prosecute than any other politician. Police and courts have a wide range of discretionary options.

      So your fears, which I’m sure are completely sincere, seem a little overstated. Meanwhile, the Greens’ housing policy is more than a single legislative change introducing fines for slumlords.

      • The Chairman 4.2.1

        “The Greens no more decide whether to prosecute than any other politician”

        Indeed. However, the Green’s Bill initially opens the door to prosecutions/fines while preventing failed properties from being tenanted, hence the concern remains.

        Which is something the Greens need to acknowledge and rectify.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1

          They could rectify it by, for example, ensuring “that the Housing New Zealand Corporation has resources to increase its rate of acquisition and building of state houses, as well as maintaining and upgrading existing houses.”

          Or they could “Legislate and advocate for the development of secure and affordable long-term rental accommodation.”

          It’s almost as though they’ll need an entire housing policy. Gosh.

          • The Chairman 4.2.1.1.1

            “They could rectify it by, for example, ensuring that the Housing New Zealand Corporation has resources to increase its rate of acquisition and building of state houses, as well as maintaining and upgrading existing houses”

            Indeed, but as I highlighted above, the implementation (of a housing WOF) should be deferred until housing numbers have been increased. One has to put the horse before the cart, thus it would be good to see their policy acknowledge this.

            • weka 4.2.1.1.1.1

              I think it’s a bit hard to quantify that because as far as I can tell the state of NZH housing that will be avalable and liveable in by the time the govt changes is a big unknown. It’s a clusterfuck, and I’m sure NACT will leave a bit mess. Short of deferring the WoF until a second term or longer, I think they’re wanting to attack the problem from multiple angles immediately, because of the urgency.

              The policy says there is a 2 year lead in time. They should be able to get other solutions in place in that time.

              I’m also mindful that they went and talked to the people most affected and that’s been part of the policy development.

              • The Chairman

                While it may be difficult to quantify before the election, their policy should have a target where they expect to see their wider policy have an impact. Thus, they should have their WOF plans deferred till then.

                2 years seems a little shortsighted for housing supply to meet current demand.

                As taxpayers are largely going to benefit (health savings etc…) more subsidies (and perhaps interest free loans) also need to be considered, reducing the fiscal burden on landlords, thus costs being passed on.

                • weka

                  So basically you are arguing that people with kids and illness living in cold, damp and /or mouldy houses should carry on living there indefinitely until a L/G govt can build more houses?

                  • The Chairman

                    Opposed to being evicted (the likely outcome of WOF’s being implemented before housing supply has been increased)?

                    Unfortunately, yes.

                    Additionally, those that can afford higher rents can afford to move on to better quality homes now. And others can consider shifting to a cheaper location.

                    • weka

                      Yeah well, the Greens went and talked to the people directly affected, so maybe they know what they are doing.

                  • The Chairman

                    On further thought, there may be a way to overcome the concern.

                    Seeing as the state would be the largest fiscal benefactor (health savings, improved education outcomes etc…) of better quality homes. And considering improvements required would generally be modest, why not get the Government to foot the bill? Allowing WOFs to be implemented now, without the concern.

    • DH 4.3

      Them’s good points Chooky, echoes my own thoughts on it. I’ve rented a crap house before and had no problems with it, we knew what we were doing & we chose cost over comfort. Wouldn’t do it with a family but when young & single, or other such circumstance – not a problem.

      Unless they create some sort of exemptions WOFs would remove a lot of properties from the market and make the housing situation even worse.

      There’s a lot of reasons why a rented property would fail the proposed WOF and not all of them are bad. We’ve become over-regulated and it’s the needy who tend to suffer the unintended consequences.

      • weka 4.3.1

        “Unless they create some sort of exemptions WOFs would remove a lot of properties from the market and make the housing situation even worse.”

        Only if you don’t do anything else about the housin situation. Fortunately the Greens have a range of polices. Look at them as a whole to get the picture.

        The WoF standard isn’t that high. I don’t think a huge number of homes will be taken off the rental market.

        “Wouldn’t do it with a family but when young & single, or other such circumstance – not a problem.”

        The problem is that people with young kids, or people who are unwell, aren’t getting a choice. They’re already living in substandard housing. The Wof aims to help those people.

        • DH 4.3.1.1

          Can’t see how WOFs would give them a choice either. There’s no question it would lead to increased rents, the slumlords forced to upgrade their properties will boot the poor families out and rent them to people who will pay more.

          The concept of a WOF might sound reasonable but only in isolation IMO.

          • weka 4.3.1.1.1

            “Can’t see how WOFs would give them a choice either.”

            Because they will live in better housing.

            “There’s no question it would lead to increased rents, the slumlords forced to upgrade their properties will boot the poor families out and rent them to people who will pay more.”

            Do you have any evidence for that assertion? Because the Greens did the legwork on this, which included talking to the people affected as well as landlords, and there was a trial scheme run in Dunedin. I’ll put that up as evidence backing my assertion that I think you are grossly overstating the problem and out of context.

            From memory, the Dunedin trial found that 1/3 of properties will pass, and that of the rest, most need minor or uncomplicated upgrades. Most landlords said they wouldn’t need to increase rents.

            • DH 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Thanks but you’re just being obtuse now, deliberately so I’d think.

              If you really believe that a WOF won’t remove some rental properties form the market then there’s little point in discussing with you any further.

              A percentage of rental properties are only available short term – due to change of owners, absentee owners, awaiting renovation or even demolition… and so on. If you’re only renting your proeprty out for a short term, and it requires work to make a WOF, it’s often not economic to do it. The cost of remedial work would often exceed the rental return. You’d just leave the house empty instead.

              It becomes basic economics – fewer house for rent equals less supply which creates increased demand which equals higher price

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                If the housing WoF were the only policy you’d have a point. It isn’t: your point is moot.

              • weka

                I’m not being obtuse, I think you are grossly overstating the case (plus what OAB said). How many houses do you think will shift from being rentals?

                • DH

                  A lot more than you seem to think. A WOF will affect every property from Stewart Island to Cape Reinga. You strike me as a city boy. You don’t appear to have any clue, or care about, what the state of housing is like in many of the poorer parts of NZ.

                  • Chooky

                    +100

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    🙄

                    You do lash out when you’re wrong.

                  • weka

                    “A lot more than you seem to think. A WOF will affect every property from Stewart Island to Cape Reinga.”

                    That’s not what I asked. I asked how many houses do you think will shift from being rentals under the wof scheme? If you can’t answer that, then I’ll assume that you’re just making shit up. It’s a pretty straight forward question.

                    “You strike me as a city boy. You don’t appear to have any clue, or care about, what the state of housing is like in many of the poorer parts of NZ.”

                    I don’t have a penis, and the last time I lived in a city was over 20 years ago. I currently rent a house that would fail the wof. I have friends that have been homeless, some of them long term and some of them especially vulnerable due to illness or having kids (all currently homed thankfully). I’ve lived in houses that fit the category that you are worried about (so far gone the landlord would flick it rather than do it up). I have friends that live in houses that would fail the wof, and some that live in houses that would pass. Just wanted to clear up some facts so you can inform your prejudices a bit better.

                    Unlike you I have read not just the Greens wof policy, but a range of their policies, housing and housing related. I think that there will be people who will have to move as a result of this policy. But on the evidence (as opposed to making shit up) I believe that the net result will end up more people permanently housed and in better housing than we have now, and that the worst off will be better taken care of than now.

                    As adam says elsewhere there is a moral bottom line here and it’s bloody weird seeing apparent lefties argue against improving housing especially given the worst housing is used by the most vulnerable people.

                    • DH

                      No-one here is arguing against improving housing, which is why I accused you of being deliberately obtuse.

                      The core argument against you is that a WOF should not be considered UNTIL AFTER the housing shortage has been addressed. And that is not what’s happening is it? The WOF is being heavily pushed right now, right while we’re in the middle of a severe housing shortage.

                      Implement your WOF today and you won’t be improving housing. You’ll be making it worse!

                      Your priorities are wrong and instead of showing you’re prepared to accept that might possibly be the case you jumped on your moral high horse.

                    • weka

                      “Implement your WOF today and you won’t be improving housing. You’ll be making it worse! ”

                      FFS, this is getting stupid. The Greens aren’t even in govt yet, their wof scheme has a 2 year lead in time, and they have a raft of other policies to improve housing in NZ that Labour are generally mostly supportive of.

                      I haven’t seen anything to suggest that the Greens want to implement the wof in isolation before other measures are in place. You just made that up. On the contrary, I’ve seen the Greens release multiple policies and doing their usual direct work over time this year, in regards to the whole spectrum of housing issues facing NZ.

                      Here’s what’s happening in the meantime,

                      http://harrychapman.nz/healthy-homes/wof-timeline/

                    • DH

                      Yeah it’s getting silly weka, we’re just going round in circles now so I’ll leave it there.

                      In retrospect I was in the wrong to associate it with just the Greens, mine is a more general criticism of the wof which has been pushed by all & sundry and is, IMO, very poorly thought out. But Chooky did focus on the Greens & I should have enunciated my own words better to encompass the broader picture.

                    • weka

                      Ok, thanks for clarifying, that does make more sense.

                • Pat

                  I suspect more than you think……the sudden appearance of a lot of older (non complying?) properties have recently appeared in our local market….the timing could be coincidental….or it may be an attempt to beat a correction…or elements of both.

                  • weka

                    “the sudden appearance of a lot of older (non complying?) properties have recently appeared in our local market”

                    The wof policy has been around for a few years.

                    • Pat

                      yes that proposal has been…..but this came in this year and is a watered down version.

                      https://tenancy.govt.nz/about-tenancy-services/news/law-changes-to-the-residential-tenancies-act/

                      “All residential rental homes in New Zealand will be required to have insulation to keep a home warm in winter and cool in summer. Social housing (where tenants pay an income related rent) must be insulated by 1 July 2016 and all other rental homes by July 2019.”

                      the timing is too coincidental…..the effect was very noticeable as I have been watching the bottom end of our local market fairly closely for my children….this type of property very rarely appeared in the last couple of years here and now suddenly around June (onwards) the market could be described as swamped

                    • weka

                      Why would they be selling now if they don’t have to insulate until 2019?

                      That bill has been in process for quite some time too (from last year?).

                    • Pat

                      “Why would they be selling now if they don’t have to insulate until 2019?”

                      believe its called anticipating the market……quit early before it becomes common knowledge and even more sellers enter and buyers either exit or price out additional costs…..and as said it may be combined with an anticipated market correction.

          • Chooky 4.3.1.1.2

            +100 DH….”There’s no question it would lead to increased rents, the slumlords forced to upgrade their properties will boot the poor families out and rent them to people who will pay more.”

        • The Chairman 4.3.1.2

          “The WoF standard isn’t that high. I don’t think a huge number of homes will be taken off the rental market.”

          It’s not only the loss of available rentals that is a concern, it’s also the upward pressure on rents reducing the overall pool of cheap rentals. Therefore, a housing WOF should be deferred until the increase in supply has had an impact.
          .
          “The problem is that people with young kids, or people who are unwell, aren’t getting a choice”.

          The quality of a rental home is largely reflected in its rental price. Therefore, people largely decide to reside in poorer quality homes generally due to their cheaper price.

          Improving the quality of a home in a heated market allows landlords far more scoop to increase rents, robbing those on lower incomes of those current cheaper alternatives.

          • adam 4.3.1.2.1

            Your argument seems to me The Chairman, just a thinly disguised defence of slum lords. The Greens policy to insulate home has always generated this response.

            But what is worrying from you argument, is a utter lack of understanding of what some laws should do, or how they should operate. And indeed the whole hierarchy of law.

            For example, the removal of the reasonable force defence from the crimes act in relation to beating children. The idea was never to go running around prosecuting parents – no matter how much frothing at the mouth the Tory cable claimed that was the intent. It was to remove a defence of beating one’s children then calling it reasonable. Also it was about creating a cultural shift – which was the most important aspect – this has not happened as it should – because of the alarmist Tory crap.

            The same is with the housing WOF – it’s not about punitive measures. It’s about improving the stock we have – it’s not about an instant fix. It’s about not leaving houses sub-standard because you can. It’s about a cultural shift to what is an acceptable house, particularly in a world fast moving to climate change. And most of all it’s about having a moral bottom line – rather than a amoral process which enables slumlords to actually exist.

            • weka 4.3.1.2.1.1

              Well put adam.

              Re the culture shift, the Dunedin study showed that most landlords thought the wof standards were reasonable. It’s not a radical proposal.

            • The Chairman 4.3.1.2.1.2

              I’m not opposed to improving the quality of the housing stock. It’s the manner in which it is being proposed that is the concern.

    • weka 4.4

      “…to me the Green stance on this lacks on the ground existential realism…in fact to be rude, it is middle class ignorance of the realities”

      I suggest that you follow the work of Green MP Marama Davidson, who is Māori and working class. Your politics on this issue are a form of bigotry in themselves. The Greens have a big online presence, there’s not need to not be informed about what they do. As OAB points out, look at the policies and actions as a whole.

      “if I were sleeping under a bridge or in a car I would welcome the offer of a converted garage or draughty cottage for a small affordable price”

      I lived in a semi-converted garage one summer when I was in my 20s. It regularly smelled of car fumes from the road outside. sometimes to the point where I would need to leave. You want to put young kids or babies into those kinds of situations?

      NZ can easily afford to house everyone well. If you think that the state should support poor people to live in substandard and dangerous housing because it’s better than other substandard and dangerous housing, then you should vote NACT.

      • Chooky 4.4.1

        sorry…still think the Greens are being middle class and precious and pompous ( more so as seeing the arguments put up here in defense of the Greens WOF policy)

        ….agree with the Chairman and others on this…it will reduce housing stock for ‘heart of gold’ cheap rentals eg $25- $50-$100 per week

        people who are not rack renters or unethical will be reluctant to help those living on the street or in cars or in petrol fumed garages ….because their extra house or cottage or caravan or garage or add- on room is not up to standard as regards insulation and they do not wish prying bureaucracy for a wtf WOF

        ….so nice one …back to sleeping in cars, under the bridge or sleeping rough in parks or in building foyers …( next step…maybe the homeless and renters should be given a WOF character and dress code and IQ test as to why they need really cheap rentals)…maybe they should be housed in nicely insulated WOF prison barracks?

        (btw…NZ because of its temperate climate has a tradition of sleeping in Maori whare, in draughty houses ,tin sheds, shearing sheds, mountain huts…and I would bet many family- owned, family lived- in houses in Northland or rural NZ would not come up to the Green wtf WOF code…)

        (btw I am sure you would love it if I voted Nact…but I won’t)

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.4.1.1

          While I’m convinced that you would have no clue as to the solutions to your panic, they do exist, I assure you. All the information you need can be found by reading Green Party housing policy.

          Seriously; perhaps it might help you calm down 🙄

        • weka 4.4.1.2

          I have to agree with OAB. You seem to have a lot of concerns coming out of your thinking but you don’t seem to be doing anything useful with them.

          I expect that there will remain a certain level of makeshift housing in NZ, and that people will still live in those and some will even pay rent. Some of that will be informal (i.e. under the radar of the state, no bond filing etc). For more formal tenancies, if a sitting tenant doesn’t complain about their house, how would the government or local council know to do anything about it?

          What is being targeted here is the investor culture where people are making a decent whack of money from substandard housing. Those tenants can complain, and because the Greens have a range of policies, those tenants will have more protection than they do now. Not absolute, but better. Will there be some people who have to move, or whose lives get disrupted by arsehole landlords? Yes, but I don’t see any evidence that this will be largescale. It’s virtually impossible to design legislation that doesn’t negatively affect a proportion of the people you are trying to help, but that doesn’t mean everyone should be held back.

          Meanwhile, out of your fear, you appear to be arguing that the most vulnerable people in the country should put up with their lot.

          I don’t expect any kind of reasoned analysis from you, but later I’ll drop some links that show the work that the Greens have been doing with low income people. You can still call it middle class wankery if you like 🙄

          • Chooky 4.4.1.2.1

            sorry not convinced that there won’t be a decrease in the most affordable rentals and rental housing …not good well thought through policy, as others have pointed out

            …and the “fear” is all yours…

            ( some old character houses that students used to live for example may even be destroyed …remember Cave Creek platform collapse and how DOC decided to destroy all old huts not up to scratch for health and safety reasons…really it was a pretext for user charges to be implemented …and it left trampers and hunters out in the cold when any shelter would have been preferable)

            • weka 4.4.1.2.1.1

              lol, that’s out and out fearmongering.

              But hey, let’s have substandard and dangerous housing because some people with an inability to look at policy holistically are convincing themselves there is a problem despite there being no evidence.

    • North 4.5

      You clearly don’t understand the reality of a garage for a family of six. I’ve witnessed that reality. My best mate did that for his nephew, his wife, two kids and two others. One toilet, one shower, seven, sometimes nine people. Yes it’s better than a car but it’s still bloody hard. It’s still poverty circumstances. It still makes family relationships ‘edgy’.

      What you say is simply a charter for the Brighter Future bastards to blame others in the face of their shocking failure and couldn’t give a fuck tones. Fucking John Key’s got three grand of water in his fucking swimming pool for Christ’s Sake !

      Reality is there’s already a huge number of people who look after nga whanaungatanga/aiga in the way you ‘suggest’. Lay off heaping imperatives on them and stop letting pigs like The Ponce Key and his Cabinet off the hook. Surprises me in you Chooky.

      • Chooky 4.5.1

        I suggest you read my arguments and those of others here properly!!!

        …i am not defending Key and I am not undermining the reality of those living in garages and how hard it is!!!…very far from it…!!!!

        …”Surprises me in you” North ! (suggest you don’t get swayed by Weka’s and AOB’s bullying)

        I am concerned that many tenants live in housing which does not meet the Greens WOF ….will end up worse off!….( their rents will rise).

        I am concerned that many , many houses in New Zealand will not meet the Green WOF ( whether lived in by owner families or rented for nominal rents )and they will be bought up by developers and destroyed

        I would like to point out to you that my grandparents lived in a rundown rural house , uninsulated and with only a cold water tap outside. They lived to be in their 80s and 90s….and in good health…there are many factors that contribute to ill health…stress is one of them and lack of a stable house with affordable rent

  4. AB 5

    They’re predominantly brown so hardly anyone is this appalling country cares.

    • BM 5.1

      This appalling country 🙄

      Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out.

      • Leftie 5.1.1

        Well, it’s certainly not a paradise with a brighter future for most BM.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        We’ll say the same to the rich when we put in place a 100% tax @ $100k and capital taxes.

        • TheExtremist 5.1.2.1

          100% tax at $100K?

          A) 100K is fuck all in this day and age. I live in Auckland and earn ~$120K (it varies due to commision payments) and it barely covers the nut

          B) If you instigated that watch the flight of skilled people overseas. Straight over to Australia

          • Anno1701 5.1.2.1.1

            B) If you instigated that watch the flight of skilled people overseas. Straight over to Australia”

            have you not been paying attention mate, we are not welcome in Australia

            They treat immigrants from basically ANYWHERE better than Kiwis…

            • TheExtremist 5.1.2.1.1.1

              If you’re a highly skilled surgeon wanting to move overseas after having your pay slashed and capped to 100K NZD then any country would be pleased to have you. Aussie, the UK, the States, Cananda etc etc.

              Aussie was just an example.

              • Anno1701

                If you’re a highly skilled surgeon wanting to move overseas after having your pay slashed and capped to 100K NZD then any country would be pleased to have you”

                “Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out.”

                • TheExtremist

                  I would have assumed we WOULDN’T want our highly skilled workers to leave. But you seem to be telling them to just fuck off.

                  Hope you don’t need any life saving surgery…

                  • Sabine

                    considering the current waiting lists of people needing surgery, non of us without private insurance and enough money to fly out of NZ for said surgery are going to live long enough to get surgery in NZ. So it does not matter if these surgeons are here in NZ or not. 🙂

      • AB 5.1.3

        “Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out”
        Oh just go away you one-dimensional mouthpiece for the indefensible. I’ve lived here 60 years and love it intensely enough to be appalled at what I see.

      • Anno1701 5.1.4

        “Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out.”

        CLASSIC low brow Kiwi response to criticism of “godzone green country”

        small minded parochialism at its finest …

  5. Jono 6

    Rheumatic fever killed my dad. He contracted it as a four year old during the depression and finally took him 70 years later after a lifetime of trouble from the leaky heart valve the disease caused. It makes me so, so angry that this third world disease of the poor is still with us, causing so much misery now and that it will continue to do so for the rest of many of these kids lives, and that it took my father way way to soon. It’s a bloody National disgrace.

    • Siobhan 6.1

      My Grandmother also. She lived her life thinking that what she suffered from was a disease of the past, best forgotten, and certainly never to be talked about. I think she would be totally bemused to find that such diseases are being allowed to flourish once again as an unfortunate by-product of our glorious housing market.

    • joe90 6.2

      Both my grandmother and MIL were afflicted with rheumatic fever as youngsters and struggled through most of their lives with heart problems to die at 59 and 60 years old respectively.

  6. stunned mullet 7

    Oh the irony.

    An author with an anti-vaccination history railing against preventable diseases of poverty.

    • joe90 7.1

      This author with an anti-vaccination history – do tell… ?

    • Are you confusing Anthony with someone else? I don’t recall any anti-vaxxer blather from him.

    • reason 7.3

      oh the irony …. a right wing troll attempting a derail on a thread about New Zealand and the 3rd world preventable diseases we let ‘market forces’ inflict on the poor and their children …….

      “Andrew Little: Does he agree with Nick Smith that the costs of modern insulation and heating standards are not worth the benefits—[Interruption] Listen, Nick—[Interruption]

      Mr SPEAKER: Order! If the member the Hon Dr Nick Smith continues to interject and cause disruption when the question is being asked, I will be asking him to leave. Would the member please start the question again.

      Andrew Little: Does he agree with Nick Smith that the costs of modern insulation and heating standards are not worth the benefits, given that the benefits are preventing Kiwi kids from getting sick and from dying?

      Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I agree with Nick Smith in the context of the statements he would have been making.  ” ……….

      ***************************************

      Tax haven john has sub prime answers …… because like our trolls he does not care about the children of the poor.

  7. Dave 8

    21 century nZ this government must go iits got go

  8. weka 9

    One of the really appalling things about this situation is that ill health from overcrowded housing, including significant public health issues, has been well known for a very long time. This is not something that couldn’t have been predicted or prevented. National and their partners are completely and utterly responsible for this.

    • Barfly 9.1

      Yes we know this, they know this…they don’t give a shit…and so what BM knows this, Fisiani knows this et cetera…so how do we rub this in this the face of the “average” NZ voter until they scream “FFS stop this crap!”

    • Justathought 9.2

      “National and their partners are completely and utterly responsible for this”.

      Are you sure? Both the incidence of rheumatic fever and the incidence of homelessness increased during Helen Clark’s long government, in the happy days of budget surpluses and higher taxation, and before the GFC and the quake brought new pressure to bear on government finances.

      The underlying causes for outbreaks are clearly more complex than governments of either the centre-left or centre-right have been able to fully identify and completely contain.

      • weka 9.2.1

        Labour did it too is hardly a convincing argument. You assert the two governments don’t understand. Or are you suggesting that there is no causitive correlation between overcrowding and illness?

        • Chris 9.2.1.1

          I agree that “Labour did it too” isn’t an argument to say it’s okay, but it is true that Labour’s atrocious record of benefit cuts and other changes to social security between 1999 and 2008 had a huge impact including giving Key and National the green light to continue down the same path. We know, for example, that Labour’s not opposed to voting with National to support war on the poor legislation like its most recent display in 2014. What’s worse, though, is that Labour’s at no time renounced its position or apologised or provided any assurance that it’s not going to do anything differently. If they had then maybe we could begin to think about whether we may be able to trust them but they haven’t so we can’t. Everyone thought 1999 was the end to the Richardson/Shipley razor gang approach but it wasn’t. Labour’s said nor done anything since its nasty 2007 amendment to suggest things will be different and has provided strong evidence in 2014 that it’ll be more of the same. This means we need to do two things: (1) talk very openly about how that at the moment Labour is not a friend of the poor; and (2) convince Labour that it needs to renounce its nasty approach to welfare displayed since 1999, apologise for it and be clear about what it will do if it becomes the government in 2017.

          • weka 9.2.1.1.1

            I have no problem holding the Labour party to account. Not sure to what extent the current one can be held accountable for Clark’s years. I agree they need to make a clear statement and then shift in attitude and policy direction re beneficiaries. I’m watching small incremental changes and wondering if much will happen before the election (the Greens appear to be breaking their freeze on not mentioning beneficiaries).

            • Chris 9.2.1.1.1.1

              I agree with all of that, Weka, hence my point about the Clark years. The importance of the history of that time is two-fold: Labour’s done nothing to suggest things will be different if in government in 2017; and (2) they’ve gone so far even as recently as 2014 to provide positive indication that indeed nothing will change if in government in 2017 (i.e. voting with the nats for anti-poor legislation). It’s these two things combined which make it even more of an imperative that Labour as our main opposition party display a shift in attitude and policy direction regarding beneficiaries.

              • weka

                Who was leader in 2014?

                One thing I’ve seen is Little say that Labour wants to support ALL NZers. That was in the context of beneficiaries. I took the subtext to be a rejection of Shearer’s painter on the roof fuck up, but that Labour don’t feel politically able to speak out directly yet. Whether that’s because of the bullshit from part of the public (voters) and the MSM, or whether it’s because of the internal left right split I don’t know. I also don’t know if or when Little’s statement will translate into anything useful. I’m not holding my breath but am open to being optimistic should the opportunity arise 😉

                The Greens have been similar. Don’t mention welfare unless it’s about the kids. I see that changing now. I also see quite a few stories in the MSM that are sympathetic to beneficiaries. I think something is changing in the culture. The middle classes getting to experience WINZ first hand, or hear about it more directly affecting people they care about, esp ill people, is part of that.

                • Chris

                  Every leader has said they want to support all New Zealanders – no leader has said anything markedly different so I don’t think that’s any indication. I hope something’s changing in the culture, too, but we get that feeling before every election or after every leadership change. Without anything more, perhaps like as you say “a clear statement and then shift in attitude and policy direction”, we cannot trust that anything will change. Recent history’s proved that. I am also open to being optimistic but, also like you, will not be holding my breath.

                  • weka

                    “Every leader has said they want to support all New Zealanders – no leader has said anything markedly different so I don’t think that’s any indication.”

                    It was something more specific than that, I’m trying to find a link (it was on the standard).

                  • weka

                    Little did this Q and A on ts 2 years ago, during the leadership campaign. This is the question I asked (unfortunately ts didn’t put all of the question in, which included direct bits about rolling back the Bennett reforms).

                    (5) Do you intend for Labour to develop policy specific to Work and Income beneficiaries? (as opposed to policy directed towards low income people in general). Do you recognise that many WINZ beneficiaries have vulnerabilities not being addressed by other Labour policy?

                    There’s a really sad irony that when workers lose their jobs – as far too many have under this government – they get sympathy. But as soon as they start receiving the unemployment benefit, they’re vilified.

                    New Zealanders are better than that. We know that when other members of our communities are having a rough time, we have a responsibility to help them get through. But we’ve got a nasty, narrow-minded government which keeps whipping up antipathy towards people who, for whatever reason, are relying on government support.

                    I care about every member of my community, whether they’re in work or not. And a government must be there for every person in its jurisdiction, whether they’re in work or not.

                    We also have to acknowledge that many people aren’t able to be in “normal” full-time, paid work, whether because of illness or injury or other important responsibilities like parenting. They shouldn’t be harassed and treated like second-class citizens just because they need a little extra support.

                    In the future world of work, people are going to move in and out of work a lot more, and we have to make sure that the income support system helps them do that as smoothly as possible. That will mean reviewing many of the systems we currently have. We really need to look at a universal basic income and stop stigmatizing those who find themselves out of work against their wishes and for reasons beyond their control.

                    Standard questions: Andrew Little

                    Myself, I believe Little was sincere in his answers.

                    Rest of my questions are here,

                    Questions for the candidates

                • Michael

                  “One thing I’ve seen is Little say that Labour wants to support ALL NZers.” Little’s reported statement is vacuous and cannot be relied upon as evidence that Labour has rediscovered its principles. Instead, judging from its actions, it is completely indifferent to the welfare of New Zealand’s most vulnerable people. In that respect, I suppose it is a bit better than NACT, which is actively hostile to this group of people (again, judging from its actions), but indifference is hardly a rallying cry for New Zealanders who don’t want to live in a neoliberal dystopia.

                  • Chris

                    “I suppose it is a bit better than NACT, which is actively hostile to this group of people (again, judging from its actions)…”

                    Which is my point entirely. The latest “action” from Labour was voting with National’s last lot of anti-poor legislation, so we have no choice but to be cynical. I also think that given the responsibility Labour has as an opposition party of the left the bar must be set higher which means they’re in fact not better than Nact at all. We must also acknowledge that a lot of what Labour did provided the platform for Key et al to get away with more than they would’ve hadn’t Labour done the spadework. Labour handed National the baton not only in 1990 but again in 2008.

                    That doesn’t mean we must give up hope. If Little is serious about what he says – and that what he says is what we hope it means – then that’s great. It’s not a matter of being right or wrong. It’s just that my take on recent history and on the evidence leads me to a cynical conclusion. It’s not inconsistent given such a conclusion that I want to be wrong.

      • Barfly 9.2.2

        Hmmm…lets complicate, obfuscate and distract….. poverty and piss poor housing have greatly increased during this last National led government this has lead to the obscenely high level of third world diseases that “Planet Key” espousers seek to distract us from. Shame on you

        • Leftie 9.2.2.1

          Well said Barfly, that’s exactly right, and Justathought is not the only one to complicate, obfuscate and distract, according to Chris above, what’s happening under the National government of the last 8 1/2 years, is all Labour’s fault.

    • Garibaldi 9.3

      If it hadn’t been for Venezuela none of this would have happened, eh Gosman ?

  9. Michael 10

    The relationship between poverty and poor-health has been studied exhaustively and a causal relationship clearly established. However, there’s no political will to do anything to fix the problem, even though the solutions are fairtly evident too. Why not? Because politicians know the middle classes don’t care about the poor any more, even though they are secretly terrified of joining their ranks if they lose purchasing power for any reason (such as displeasing a fatcat). And the middle of the middle class is where mainstream politicians limit their attention these days because this sliver of the electorate decides the outcome of MMP-style elections. As for doing the right thing – not so much in 2016 (the centenary of the Labour Party).

  10. Muttonbird 11

    Interesting.

    A year or so ago National’s court jester, David Farrar, was congratulating the government for the decrease in rheumatic fever over recent years. As one of a stable of poverty deniers associated with John Key and the National party he used the then decrease as a major plank in his argument that government policy is reducing poverty in New Zealand.

    Wonder what Farrar has to say about the current “spike” in poverty related illnesses. And increased homelessness among working families for that matter.

  11. Rae 12

    Left to the private market there will be no such thing as an affordable house built, there might, just might, be a smattering here and there of some less unaffordable, but I wouldn’t put money on it.
    And building lots of houses won’t do it either, you want to take a quick look at what is going on in Hamilton, houses springing up like mushrooms, another city taking shape between River Road and Horsham Downs Road ending at Kay Rd that connects the two. It’s phenomenal, and guess what is happening to house prices in Hamilton. There are already McMansions on pocket hanky sized sections selling for around the million mark.
    There is only one way that can be happening, for my money, and that is foreigners having carte blanche in our market. I do not believe our house prices would hitting such ridiculous heights if the market value of them relied only on the NZ economy. You will struggle to change my mind about that.
    There are three parts to a solution for the disaster unfolding before our eyes that I can see.
    1. Get foreigners out of the housing market.
    2. The state must build mass affordable housing as we have done in the past, and some of it could even be sold to tenants on a rent to buy basis, or something along that line.
    3. Change our tenancy laws to be better cater for the need for lifetime rentals for people, affordable, secure and decent standard, with long term leases, more like those in Germany, so that even tenants have some place to actually call “home”.

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    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    7 days ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    23 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    6 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    6 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    7 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
    "A pathway for Police in leadership with Iwi Māori, to achieve the aspirations of Māori whānau." Police launch of Te Huringa o Te Tai, Pipitea Marae,  Thorndon Quay, Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Hello everyone, warm greetings to you all. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis getting higher pay
    Working New Zealanders are getting more in their back pockets under the Coalition Government’s economic plan. Stats NZ data today shows average weekly ordinary time earnings are up by $83 since the Government took office. This shows that working New Zealanders are getting higher take-home pay, and that employers are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for schools to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact
    The Government is supporting schools to cut down their energy consumption and reduce environmental impacts, with a quarter of all schools having their lights replaced with LEDs, a sustainability contestable fund and a plan to improve the environmental sustainability of all schools in the future. Education Minister Chris Hipkins and ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s manaakitanga highlighted in China
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  • Climate change research boost
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  • Significant progress on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
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  • Learn how to stay safe on World Tsunami Awareness Day
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  • Formal recognition at last for paramedics’ frontline medical role
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  • Government improving protections for consumers and workers when businesses fail
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  • Outstanding public service recognised
    Six New Zealanders tonight received medals for their meritorious work in the frontline public service. The Public Service Medal, established by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is awarded annually. “For the second year this Government has recognised public servants who have made a real difference to the lives of New ...
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  • Global trade, business promotion focus of Shanghai meetings
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker heads to Shanghai today for the China International Import Expo and meetings focused on reforming the WTO. Over 90 New Zealand companies will be exhibiting at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE), which runs from 5-10 November. “China is one of New Zealand’s ...
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  • Drivers to get more time to gain full licence
    Drivers holding a current five-year learner or restricted car or motorbike licence, expiring between 1 December 2019 and 1 December 2021, will receive an automatic two-year extension, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Over 144,000 drivers’ time-limited licences are due to expire in the next two years; 67,000 ...
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