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This gives me heart

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 am, July 30th, 2013 - 61 comments
Categories: welfare - Tags:

The Herald is reporting that more that 51% of Kiwis are in favour of giving beneficiaries with kid the Working for Families tax credit.

That’s right, just over half of New Zealanders polled wanted to give beneficiaries more money despite twenty years of active demonisation of beneficiaries by the right.

There’s a lesson for Labour here – “middle New Zealand” isn’t a synonym for bigot (despite the best endeavors of the right to make it so). If you want to win them over be strong and progressive. It’s the right thing to do.

61 comments on “This gives me heart ”

  1. infused 1

    Why work at all.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Simple … because I enjoy it for the most part. It’s the same for most people, although I’m struck at how it is that it’s usually the RWNJ’s who hate their jobs and imagine that everyone else feels the same.

    • IrishBill 1.2

      Do you mean why work at all when you can troll the Standard all day? I see you’re living the dream.

    • Colonial Viper 1.3

      Why work at all.

      Because you can earn more than twice as much working on the median wage.

      For your dim witted brain: that’s a 100% pay increase compared to the benefit.

    • lprent 1.4

      I like working. Speaking of which, time to decamp there.

      I like going after the kids stop trying to commit suicide on the roads and the traffic dies down a bit. Usually head to work to arrive by 10, and leave between 18 and 20.

      Ummm binned a comment by “Patrick Gower’s penis”. Funny. Off topic in the post and it doesn’t pass my idiot test.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.5

      @infused – That’s really insulting to all the MEDICALLY CERTIFIED disabled persons who cannot work the 20 hours a week because of their disability or perhaps at all (ie anyone on Supported Living/IB), but happen to have children who are effectively penalised financially because they are in the care of a severely disabled parent.

      Working is fun most of the time and it provides self worth, a sense of accomplishment and valuable social interaction + routine, and is shown to prevent long term illness such as depression and heart disease.

      Work and Income’s reputation proceeds them.

      Why the hell would ANYONE not work if they could rather than be stuck dealing with those guys?

    • NACTs mates have taken this option. Parasites.

  2. King Kong 2

    Yet the party that is strongest in pushing the rights of beneficiaries rarely polls over 1%. Go figure.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      And yet the party that is strongest in pushing the kind of neo-liberal politics you subscribe to also rarely polls over one percent and has its only MP in court.

      • King Kong 2.1.1

        Well if we are going tit for tat, your MP ended up in court and was also convicted.

        Was this the same kind of poll that told us 85% of people surveyed wanted to retain the right to beat their children?

        What kind of lesson should political parties take from that?

        • Sable 2.1.1.1

          I think there is a difference between the occasional smack and beating up your children as you put it. The old law needed amending but for most parents its gone too far. And that of course is the problem with NZ politics, it oscillates between extremes rather than seeking to find a reasonable and fair middle ground. The current mistreatment of the unemployed and poor is yet another obvious example.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.2

          Well if we are going tit for tat, your MP ended up in court and was also convicted.

          ACT MPs have no problem landing in court, and usually through performing self service, not a public service 😉

        • RedBaronCV 2.1.1.3

          Here we go again. It was 85% of the bugger all who voted which still equals bugger all, over half of whom were confused by the question and possibly didn’t vote on the right side.
          and then there was Colin Craig’s march on Queen street that attracted more take off artists than the genuinely committed.

      • Sable 2.1.2

        Keys and co are blatantly neo-liberal, not just ACT. National has paid more than once to have Richard Epstein from the Chicago school come over and share his economic “wisdom”.

  3. vto 3

    Irishbill “There’s a lesson for Labour here – “middle New Zealand” isn’t a synonym for bigot (despite the best endeavors of the right to make it so). If you want to win them over be strong and progressive.”

    That is something that I rail against constantly – the idea that “middle” and especially “white” New Zealand is somehow inherently bigoted in all sorts of spheres and incapable of understanding other realms.

    It amazes me how often on here this stereotype is dropped into conversation and accepted as if it is some kind of reality. It indicates a blindness that is common to both the far right and the far left.

    And yes the lesson for Labour is to stand up, say what you believe in in a forthright manner, and don’t back down.

    • felix 3.1

      And yes the lesson for Labour is to stand up, say what you believe in in a forthright manner, and don’t back down.”

      I’m sure they will, just as soon as the focus groups tell them what it is they believe in.

  4. Sable 4

    Its nice to see people care about the poor, I was one of them as a small child so I know how hard it is. The cold hard fact remains however, that until Keys is ousted its no more than statistics.

  5. fambo 5

    My heart feels a bit happier upon hearing this, as if warmed by a glimmer of hope

  6. Tamati 6

    I don’t believe it for a second. There is nothing Kiwis love more than bashing benificiaries.

  7. So, if I’ve got this straight:

    In the 80s and 90s, Labour and National govts wrecked the national awards and arbitration systems and did their best to limit union membership.

    Pay and conditions suffered accordingly. Labour’s response in the 2000s was not to actually do anything about this, but instead to introduce a ridiculous system of taxing people and then giving some of the tax back again as tax credits.

    It then had to introduce a further “In-Work” tax credit in an attempt to make working for poor wages and conditions look preferable to drawing a benefit and not answering to a boss.

    Now, fully half the population apparently thinks a suitable further measure would be to make the “In-Work” tax credit a “Nah, Fuck It, We Don’t Care Whether You’re Working Or Not” tax credit, on the basis that… er, what? That nobody can figure out what the real problem is here? That they’re not too thick to see what the actual problem is but don’t see any chance of doing anything about it? That they’ve just given up and say yes to whatever a survey company asks them? Who can say?

    • BM 7.1

      Agree, no one in there right mind would think giving a beneficiary a WORKING for families tax credit would be a good idea.

      As it is, I despise WFF with a passion and probably one of the main reasons I’d never vote Labour again.

      • Sable 7.1.1

        I see you still haven’t had your rabies shot.

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.2

        Presumably you won’t be voting National, ACT or the Maori Party either, as they all support WFF as part of this dismal Government. The Greens and NZF are also out for you, as well. Not sure about the Conservatives. Hmmm, not many options left for you, BM.

        • BM 7.1.2.1

          National can’t can it even if they wanted to, it would be electoral suicide.

          Far too many people are now reliant on WFF and without it couldn’t pay their bills.
          Which was why Clark introduced it, get as many people sucking on the public tit as possible, PM for life was her aim.
          How could any sane person vote for a party that would do that.

          Looking back 2008 was such an important election another term of Clark and the country would’ve been completely boned.

          • vto 7.1.2.1.1

            WFF is a subsidy to business actually BM. It is a subsidy to business in that the taxpayer, instead of the business, pays the workers enough to actually live on.

            Do you see that?

            Business bludges off the taxpayer and the worker. It is about time they paid their way. So if you are sick and tired of bludgers, as I am, then aim your venom at the right target.

            • srylands 7.1.2.1.1.1

              “WFF is a subsidy to business”

              Isn’t it a transfer payment to low income families with children? I think it was one of Labour’s best policies.

              The alternatave problem – dialling up wages through regulaion will reduce employment. It is not a subsidy to business unless you consider that low skilled workers are producing a higher output than they are being paid for. Not sure you can back that up. In competitive labour and product markets you woudl expect to see wages being bid up if that were the case.

              The reason NZ workers get paid less than Australian workers is because on average thet are about 30% less productive.

              http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/tprp/08-03

              So until we can solbve the productivity problem WFF plays an important role in making society more equitable. (Yes I know you want more, so don’t shout at me to tell me.)

              • vto

                srylands, your view is stemming from an inherent philosophical position, namely the free market right wing neoliberal privatsisation etc position. You seem to regard labour as a commodity like undies and paint. It is not. Until this point is passed the conversation is mute.

                • srylands

                  No I am simply saying that if wages were regulated upwards to exceed the marginal output of labour in a given business, that business goes bust.

                  • vto

                    Yes I understand how that premise works, being completely and utterly reliant on doing business myself to survive and thrive (the fertiliser kind). Unfortunately, that premise on which everything you have said in your above two posts is based is similarly based entirely on the type of regulation you imply is anathema.

                    The regulation and other structure around business and employment in NZ requires amendment on a very hefty scale to ensure that businesses can afford to pay workers a wage that can be decently lived on. Otherwise we become animals and beasts tearing at each other in our rush to be individually best and competitive…and it is society itself that decays…. as it is……

                    Such adjustments to current regulations and structure include income tax, GST, other forms of money-making currently exempt from tax (capital gain for example), it includes minimum wage, living wage, a maximum wage?, it includes operational regulatory requirements around various sectors, it includes free trade arrangement which are anything but free, it includes business subsidies and write-offs, it includes personal subsidies like WFF, it includes all sorts of things that make up the regulatory balance which currently allows business to pay minimum wage and make a profit today.

                    This will involve some adjustment in society, sort of like rogernomics did only in reverse. It will involve such adjustments as perhaps the cost of goods and services rising to accommodate increased wages, the cost of directors and managers reducing, the profit to owners reducing, the tax burden being borne by people other than wage and salary earners, you know like farmers who shove all their money-making into tax-free capital and don’t pay their share.

                    I’m sure you get the picture…. Society is crippled at the moment. It is weak and inefficient. It pushes people out to the very edge with its inability to pay liveable wages.

                    It is imbued with some major and fundamental flaws and the fact that business cannot afford to pay people a wage they can live on highlights this. IN GREAT BIG SHINY LIGHTS

                    • vto

                      srylands, forgot to add one other major element to that equation just posted….

                      New Zealand is a rich country. We are well rich enough to provide every single person in our islands with a decent home and provision. We are rich man, rich. Surely you can see that reality.

                      Which leads to … the problem around some sectors in society missing out is due entirely to the current regulatory, structural, operational system we have in place. That is all that needs changing.

                      Imagine the place if everyone had such decent housing and provision……..

                      It is just the structure of distribution we exist in that is causing the current problem, that is all mate, that is all.

                      end

                    • Arfamo

                      +1

                      “Since 1980, average labor productivity in the US has increased 2% per year yet average worker pay has remained stagnant and the average number of hours worked has not decreased. The great promise that increased productivity would lead to increased wealth and leisure time seems to not have come true for the majority of workers. Increased productivity has led to increased profits instead of higher wages. Increased labor productivity has also led to increased levels of unemployment. Fewer workers are needed to produce the same amount of goods and services.”

                      http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/01/increasing-labor-productivity-mixed-blessing/

                      Productivity arguments are based on increasing profits for businesses, owners and shareholders. Governments are not businesses. Governments have responsibilities to provide for the welfare and reasonable prosperity of all their citizens and residents. If that means regulating businesses, and businesses reducing their expectations of excessive profits, executive salaries, & excessive returns to shareholders, hey I say do it.

                  • KJT

                    So Srylands. What you are saying is that the rest of us should subsidise your business if it doesn’t make enough to cover the true costs of the resources, including labour, it uses. Why should we?

                    What happened to inefficient businesses being allowed to fail to make room for better users of those resources.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That was the idea behind true capitalism (“creative destruction”). These days the crony capitalists just want tax payer handouts and subsidies.

                    • srylands

                      Thanks for your replies. I appreciate the time you have taken to set out your views. However I can’t understand what system and operational changes will lift wages significantly.

                      You can’t excape the starting point that NZ’s GDP per capita is $US 29,730. That is the number you have to play with. You can dial up all the regulatory chnages you want, but unless you increase that number you are very limied in what you can achieve. If you regulate to lift wages and reduce returns on capital, at teh margin capital will leave NZ. If you keep going deeper, so will the capital flight accelerate. The NZD will crash. People may have higher nominal wages but they will find that their “living wage” buys less than ever before.

                      I was in Argentina last year and you see the effect of these policies there. The Government is very committed to maintaining employment and wages through heavy handed regulation of just about everything. It looks exactly like what vto is arguing for in his post. I have studies Argentina’s economy for the last 10 years, and the Government just chases its tail. The workers get hugher and higher wages. Capital drifts out of the country. The Peso devalues. The higher wages buy less. Workers demand higher wages. Rinse and repeat.

                      So I would like to know how you would make teh redistributional ans structural changes you are advocating while avoiding the problems that have been experienced by every government that has tried this policy presctiption. Or point me to one example of a country that has made it work.

                      I think your views of the world are totally loopy, but I appreciate you hold them sincerely.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You can’t excape the starting point that NZ’s GDP per capita is $US 29,730. That is the number you have to play with. You can dial up all the regulatory chnages you want, but unless you increase that number you are very limied in what you can achieve.

                      You can’t keep pushing the paradigm of growth in a world which is patently unable to keep growing.

                      By the way, we can start by sorting out the $1B of tax evasion going on annually, as well as the $2B to $3B in excess corporate profits being taken out of communities annually.

                    • srylands

                      “By the way, we can start by sorting out the $1B of tax evasion going on annually, as well as the $2B to $3B in excess corporate profits being taken out of communities annually.

                      That won’t increase GDP.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So? GDP is an unimportant and misleading measure.

                    • srylands

                      “So? GDP is an unimportant and misleading measure.”

                      I agree GDP is an insufficient measure of well being.

                      But… take a look at this league table of GDP per capita.

                      Generally… I would suggest that the contries in the top half of the table – and this is a gneralisation – are better places to live than the countries towards the bottom half of the table

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

                    • vto

                      So you don’t think USD29,370 per each and every person is enough to provide for a house and provisions? Rubbishy.

                      Anyway, my main point is that your main point here highlights the folly of your overall point. You say capital will move away and that is correct. Where will it move to, all else being equal? It will move to where the labour is cheaper won’t it…

                      … such a system will therefore constantly drive every component of the process down in this manner. This system treats labour as a commodity input and hence it drives down down down to the lowest possible. Way down below where it is a liveable wage. In fact, that doesn’t even come into it. Does it. You have said so yourself.

                      This is its flaw. It treats people as a tradeable commodity. This is wrong. Completely and utterly.

                      This is why I said at the start just up there that your philosophical outlook is backsidedown and this conversation is mute. This point needs to be passed before any further discussion can be had.

                    • Arfamo

                      +1 vto. That’s the thing that bugs me. Big Capital movements just exploit economies to the point where the owners just drive labour costs down, then leave the mess behind and move to the next exploitable country. Governments and newly impoverished sectors of their societies are then left to try and rebuild from the detritus. International Capital doesn’t care. The neo-liberal economic paradigms are just bad. Basically they’re avaricious and destructive of societies once they’ve become all that governments follow.

                    • srylands

                      “You say capital will move away and that is correct. Where will it move to, all else being equal? It will move to where the labour is cheaper won’t it…”

                      Stop right there.

                      Capital will mobve to where it will make a return. Switzeerland has a capital account surplus of 13% of GDP. You think it has cheap labour?

                    • Arfamo

                      Switzeerland has a capital account surplus of 13% of GDP.

                      It’s probably somehow due to their prohibition on foreign ownership of housing :).

                    • vto

                      That is why I said “all else being equal” i.e. the only variable remaining or applicable is the labour cost. The swiss example involves all sorts of other factors and this distorts this most basic and important of debates – labour and capital. This is the crux.

                      It must be thought about in this manner and once the big picture established then other factors, less important than people, can be brought in, such as the availability of watch winders and yodel oil.

                    • vto

                      oh, and the mountain vault storage of most of europes africas asias and Americas gold

                    • vto

                      Oh no don’t leave now srylands. We are just getting to the very heart of the entire capital-labour split. There used to be another chap here gosman would do this same thing – walk away. I will check back later.

              • Murray Olsen

                Funny that many employers in Australia don’t share your contempt of Kiwi workers. They seem to find them very productive. Could it possibly be that Kiwi bosses just don’t know how to get the best out of their work set ups and depend on largesse from government?

          • Psycho Milt 7.1.2.1.2

            Far too many people are now reliant on WFF and without it couldn’t pay their bills.

            Well, yes. As vto points out, it’s a subsidy to employers to cover the fact that unskilled/semi-skilled work doesn’t pay enough to live on any more. Thrusting these people into penury would indeed be electoral suicide for National – I note they’ve no better solution to offer, though.

            Which was why Clark introduced it, get as many people sucking on the public tit as possible…

            People who aren’t nutbar conspiracy theorists favour a rather less dramatic explanation – that Labour felt this was a way of dealing with the problem of wages not being enough to live on, without having to fight a war with business and see National roll back the gains as soon as they were back in govt.

            • lprent 7.1.2.1.2.1

              …that Labour felt this was a way of dealing with the problem of wages not being enough to live on..

              Not quite correct. Should read “…wages not being enough to raise a family on…”. This was showing up rather strongly in a rapidly reducing birthrate heading towards collapse as potential parents looked at making choices between owning a house, training or retraining, and raising a family. The families were losing..

              Which were in turn making the forward projections about things like superannuation, healthcare for the aged, and the need for immigration with the extra costs involved look bleak.

              The birthrate recovered and stabilised.

              Of course the rapidly rising cost of housing was one of the major drivers. Unfortunately it is starting to drive this again now.. I’d expect to see birthrate reductions again over the next decade if it isn’t dealt with.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Not quite correct. Should read “…wages not being enough to raise a family on…”. This was showing up rather strongly in a rapidly reducing birthrate heading towards collapse as potential parents looked at making choices between owning a house, training or retraining, and raising a family. The families were losing..

                Ah, yes, the need for an ever increasing population to use up more and more of the limited resources that we have so that the government and business idiots people could point to an increasing GDP.

                • lprent

                  Yes that is also correct.

                  However abrupt crashes in population demographics are likely to be as damaging as abrupt rises if we look at the odd times in human history that they have happened. Apart from the usual debris that humans leave around, there is also that nasty consideration that humans tend to go apeshit in the breeding front as competition reduces, opportunity grows, and the whole population starts to get child goo obsessions.

                  Gradual increase and reductions are a whole lot safer.

                  Besides much of the resource problem is with *how* the resources are being used as much as the quantity extracted. Look at the per capita resource usage in the US compared to somewhere like samoa.

            • Rosetinted 7.1.2.1.2.2

              Psycho Milt
              When I was a young parent, employers worked from tax tables with special tax concessions for families. You had a tax code of say F for family and for one child tax would be reduced at the F1 rate, the next child would put you on the F2 rate. These reductions continued I think to four.

              There was also a small payment per week per child which one could spend or save and when new shoes or school books were required the family allowance amount was there to draw on. Also if one was buying a house, the allowance could be drawn as an advance payment and put in as a bulk amount towards the deposit on the house.

              There was no talk about whether employers were getting paying inadequate wages, they remained the same for all. and there was no return of tax to the parent because the tax was reduced at source as the employer made up the wages.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      In the 80s and 90s, Labour and National govts wrecked the national awards and arbitration systems and did their best to limit union membership.

      Pay and conditions suffered accordingly. Labour’s response in the 2000s was not to actually do anything about this, but instead to introduce a ridiculous system of taxing people and then giving some of the tax back again as tax credits.

      It then had to introduce a further “In-Work” tax credit in an attempt to make working for poor wages and conditions look preferable to drawing a benefit and not answering to a boss.

      Good summary, PMilt.

  8. Winston Smith 8

    “In a Herald-DigiPoll survey of 750 voters taken last month, 51 per cent said they agreed with the Child Poverty Action Group’s wish for the tax credits for parents to be extended to parents on welfare. Forty-one per cent disagreed with it.”

    A survey of 750 people? Nope but sorry people want National.

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  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    2 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    3 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    3 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
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    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    5 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    6 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    1 week ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    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 What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    1 week ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
    Media Statement For Immediate Release 10th September 2020 The income and wealth inequality lobby group, “Closing the Gap” thinks the Labour proposal a great start says Peter Malcolm, a spokesperson for the group. But they need to be aware of what many of the rich do and of what do ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
    Wage theft is a problem in New Zealand, with a widespread practice of forcing employees to work without pay, and regular cases of underpayment and exploitation. One reason why its such a widespread problem is impunity: rather than a crime, wage theft is merely a tort, dealt with by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
    My wife and I, through a combination of good luck and good management, have managed to retire in comfortable circumstances. We celebrate our good fortune by making relatively small but regular donations to a range of good causes – to rescue services like the rescue helicopters, St John’s Ambulance and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
    Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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