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Three more years

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, September 21st, 2014 - 138 comments
Categories: election 2014, labour, national - Tags: , , , ,

This election result is not the end of the world for me.

I don’t have kids. I don’t have to worry about whether their school will be closed, or privatised, whether they have shoes to wear or a lunch to take to school every morning. I don’t have to find the money for “voluntary donations” which are needed to cover the basic costs of their education, or desperately search for flexible work which fits around daycare, if I can even find daycare.

I don’t have any chronic illnesses. I don’t have to worry about fighting tooth and nail to access the support I need just to manage my condition. I don’t have to worry about being bullied into “seeking work” when it’s impossible for me, and the jobs aren’t there. I don’t have to wonder how I’m going to pay for all the prescriptions I need.

I have a well-paid job with a great employer. I don’t have to worry about being fired on a 90 day trial, paid less than a living wage, or having to argue just for the right to a rest break in the middle of my shift.

I don’t have trouble paying the bills. I don’t have to worry about the price of power now that our power companies are increasingly privatised and being run for profit over service.

I don’t work in a high-risk job. I don’t have to worry about dealing with ACC over workplace injuries while my negligent boss gets to fly away to his next role without any consequences.

I’m a homeowner. I don’t have to worry about living in a damp, drafty house which makes me sick, or trying to put together enough to buy my first home when the mortgage is going to take 50% of my take-home pay.

I’ve never been a victim of sexual or domestic violence. I don’t have to worry about whether the local refuge is going to be able to keep its doors open, or

I don’t live in Christchurch. I don’t have to worry about soaring rents, living in a tent in someone’s back yard, or waiting four years just to get a basic insurance claim settled.

I’m not a public servant, or a striking worker. I don’t have to worry about my name and personal information appearing online and in the media when a Cabinet Minister decides they don’t like what I have to say.

So I may not suffer much under three more years of National in government. Because I am incredibly lucky. To quote people who aren’t as lucky as me:


The campaign for 2017 begins now, because we have to do better for everyone.

138 comments on “Three more years”

  1. Jeremy Clack 1

    [Stephanie: Sorry – deleted as identical to a comment left by a banned account.]

    • Molly 1.1

      I too, live in South Auckland, and wonder how people find value in playing “spot the house that doesn’t have a SKY dish”.

      You do not get to define how people spend their money, and despite what you are implying – you know nothing about the dwellings underneath or the people in them.

      Whether the household is supported by employed people or not, or overcrowded and unhealthy because the rent is unaffordable and the landlord is negligent. Not to mention – SKY dishes are somewhat like mono – once you get one, you can never get rid of it. The dish stays – even if the customer stops the service or moves on.

      I agree with Stephanie for the most part. But her grasp of what happens to those in positions of impotence will mean that she will be affected negatively by the changes indicated by our re-elected government.

      And despite what you think, you will too.

      Inaction on climate change, changes to the RMA, continued dismissal of human rights will impact on your country – whether or not it impacts on you directly. Stop looking at SKY dishes with some kind of peverse “reverse envy” and start looking at people’s faces.

      • Gonzo 1.1.1

        I knew a family in a state home who had Sky simply because they never took their children out anywhere – couldn’t afford to, better to stick them in front of a television instead of out to the zoo, movies, bus rides etc. Parents had no time to spend, either. Imagine having your five year old walk home alone and cook two minute noodles for dinner every night because you had to finish work at 11pm only to wake up again at 6am for another day.

        Yeah. Fuck everyone with that stupid Sky dish argument.

      • Hayden 1.1.2

        Furthermore, many people can’t get terrestrial Freeview (e.g., half of Karori) so require a satellite dish to watch TV at all (or cable, obviously).

  2. Karen 2

    Thank you Stephanie. I am in a similar situation to you in that I am in a position that will allow me to avoid the worst of what is coming. I am in despair for what this result will mean for so many other New Zealanders. I just don’t know what would be the best way to fight back yet.

  3. Steve 3

    “People will die”. Jesus don’t be so dramatic, this isn’t Syria.

    • People die when they can’t afford to heat their homes in winter. People die when they don’t have enough food to eat. People die when they can’t access medical care for chronic illnesses. There’s nothing at all dramatic about saying so.

      • weka 3.1.1

        People also die when they take their own lives because they’ve tried too long to change their situations but ultimately have no agency to do so.

        • cogito

          People are at times driven to take their own lives because of how they get treated by govt agencies that give financial incentives for staff to turn vulnerable people’s lives into absolute hell. I know this first-hand because I found my wife lying unresponsive the same day that she received a bullying letter from a govt agency led by a disgraced bullying minister. Fortunately I got her to hospital just in time, but we are still living with the effects. The perpetrators should have been held to account, but no chance.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        I don’t recall any news stories where people’s deaths have been attributed substantially or solely to those things.

      • Rick 3.1.3

        And how do they die. Pensioners commit suicide, New Zealand got the highest rate in the world now, and increasing. The Ashburton killings are well known, a man pushed over the edge by “tough” WINZ staff determined to get him nothing more than minimum. It is not fair to the WINZ staff either. The entire New Zealand system is focused on “how can I screw you for one more”. We need a change, I get stories about pensioners, they pay the rent, the utilities, and the doctor, what remains is $5 specials at fastfood outlets. Their health go down and they die. A pensioner get her pension docked as the husband has saved money in a Kiwi saver scheme overseas. That’s enough to live on, the might bureaucrats have decided. It is like they were thinking, “the quicker you die, the less expense.”

    • infused 3.2

      reckon. this is your problem

    • ally 3.3

      hey steve, not being dramatic but i am starting to get very worried about the effects this will have on my life, and in some ways i am very lucky. i’m very lucky to have a loving and supportive family, partner and group of friends who go above and beyond to care for me. however the people who love me cannot afford to pay for me to see a psychiatrist or to get an education. they cannot stop others from discriminating against me or harassing me.

      at the beginning of the year, after struggling with chronic, severe, untreated depression for around 5 years, i overdosed on zopiclone and a bottle of wine. i went to hospital, and i have no memory of it but i had to be observed for around 12 hours. despite this, despite the fact that i’m young, maori, a woman, queer, none of these things actually helped me get any medical care. finally after i had made a pretty good attempt at killing myself, i got to wait for 3 months to see a psychiatrist who was government funded.

      in those three months i was too ill to do anything, i basically sat around trying not to kill myself. it just makes me so angry, because yes i am entitled to medical care. i am entitled to not die because i am too ill to work. i am really intelligent, i have so many skills and talents, i could be contributing so much to the world. but instead i’m doing my best to remember to eat and get out of bed. there is no safety net for the vulnerable. i can die for all they care.

      in a lot of ways i am very lucky, but this is horrifying. if i’m struggling this much, how much worse off are other people. my heart bleeds for the children in poverty who will have to struggle and fight tooth and nail for the chance to reach anywhere near their potential. people are going to die, and i might just be one of them.

      • Annie 3.3.1

        When I started reading your comment, I thought it was my daughter commenting. I have an inkling of what you have been through. I am shocked you didn’t get referred to the CAT team. Not that I would recommend in-patient care, but if it keeps you alive until you are in a better place, then it is still the best option. Very best wishes to you.

    • Booker 3.4

      Heart disease, diabetes, lifestyle-related cancers, plus delays in diagnosis of any of these – pretty sure all of those kill actually, and will all get worse as far as statistics to date show. Not dramatic, accurate.

      • Rick 3.4.1

        They do kill, and maybe that is the secret agenda of the WINZ, the earlier people die the more money the government saves. I am serious. Such problems are promoted by poverty living, and that is what beneficiaries do, living in poverty.

    • Claris Moses 3.5

      People died in WINZ Ashburton because our government didnt care enough about a man who had asked for help.

      • Rick 3.5.1

        As an x-journalist, I dug up this story, and it was very ugly. Unmasked, this is what happened. A man returns home because he is dying, not long left to live. He asks for help, not to have to live on then streets. He meets what on the blogs has described as a “tough” dragon at WINZ who is determine not to let him have anything more than the absolute minimum she can get away with. We know the result. Really, he is dying, all he wanted was a dry bed and some food for his last days, and you can say he achieved that, what does he care that it is a prison cell. The “dragon” paid the ultimate price, and that is not fair either. We need to change the system so we can weed such “dragons” out of the system before it goes off the rails. We need a customer satisfaction system where clients evaluate the performance of WINZ staff, and those who do not measure up are removed. We need to see the policies in WINZ changed so people are taken care of.

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    I’m fortunate like you Stephanie -loss won’t cripple my life.
    I thought a lot last night and (triggered by a Guardian article) even in the face of the relentless undermining and negativity to their views and with little open mainstream support nearly half the voters managed to think independently enough to go against the tide and stagger down to the polls to vote against the hard right.

  5. sabine 5

    same here,

    no children
    no debts what so ever
    a small business that is paying me a minimum wage,
    i don’t own a house which gives me a lo of flexibility should i need to change my circumstances

    i feel sorry for all the others that are not so lucky.

    • anker 5.1

      I am lucky too. But I fear for my young step children (who I love dearly), one of whom is particularly vulnerable.

      And I feel disgust that the 49% of NZ think its o.k. to pay people a rats arsed wage. Not to mention child poverty etc, etc.

  6. Ben 6

    If you include those who voted NZF, Conservative, Act, over 60% of New Zealanders do not give a toss about those too weak to fend for themselves without some assistance.

    I do not actually believe it. I believe that there were many like me who were not convinced that Cunliffe and Labour had a coherent strategy for dealing with the social problems faced by NZ.

    Labour made the same mistake that the British LP made in the 1980s of thinking that a lurch to the left would win elections. If Labour can convince thousands like me that it has a coherent strategy for dealing with health, education and poverty, and ditch the peripheral issues it will romp home.

    When I read comments about people dying because of this result I despair. The writers have learned nothing.

    • I strongly disagree that there was a “lurch to the left” – Labour presented strong, but fairly moderate policies. Who do you think “has learned nothing”? The person who tweeted that is very, very familiar with the situation for poor and chronically ill people in New Zealand – she lives it.

      • SDCLFC 6.1.1

        Perception is reality. The customer is right and it is telling Labour they are to far left. Whether that it’s empirical or not it can’t be ignored. This is a rejection of the Labour party at large and it’s support far more than the individual candidates.

        • Paul

          …. and because National have controlled the narrative through MSM, manipulative PR, blogs and easily the largest budget they have by far the upperhand in determining our “perceptions of reality”.

          • SDCLFC

            Tired old rhetoric of it’s the mainstream media blah blah blah. How is it that complete polar opposites of opinion, the far left and far right, think it exactly the same on this one issue. This was not the fault of the mainstream media, they did their job. The party leadership did not do their job.

            • framu

              ” This was not the fault of the mainstream media, they did their job. ”

              sorry – thats to narrow a view that leads to a black and white analysis. Its not an either or scenario. Yes the labour party fucked things up, but thats not the only factor

              The MSMs job re: politics, is meant to be holding politicians to account and informing the public on policy – They didnt do this, instead we got years of ignorant poll/popularity based reporting, outright fabrication and a blatant propaganda campaign that deliberately treated the framing john key applied to anything as a gospel truth.

              Christ – half the time the headline would be “some shit the PM said” without the slightest bit of fact checking, other times the headline contradicted the content and the rest of the time it was a manufactured issue. The media tactics outlined in Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent” applies here all to readily

              so yes – the media do have a hell of a lot to answer for

              but so does the labour party – it is their inability to do the job their party membership asked them to do that has hurt everyone who voted labour/greens/IM.
              Im (insert sear word) sick of this attitude they have where they think they are the party and that their opinion of their leader is the most important factor.

              So they dont like their leader? Big fucking deal, The party put the leader there. Shut your trap, do your job and get with the program. If you dont like what the party have chosen then leave. DO NOT TALK TO THE MEDIA ABOUT IT.
              Grow up and act like proffessional adults who are paid quite a substantial sum of money to do the job.

              I have to work with and for people i dont really like from time to time, for far less money than a back bencher gets – so what? I still do the job to the best of my ability and save the griping for private

              The caucus isnt the party and the sooner they realise this the sooner they can sort their shit out

              [/rant ends]

              (but in some ways i do wonder if forming a coalition this time would have been a bit of a one term dissapointment – if things are going pear shaped in the next 3 years i want the nats to own it)

        • Foreign Waka

          @SDCLFC – OK, so lets get this cleared up then. Labor has to be move more to the right to be voted for? Is this a joke or serious?
          If someone does not like the social policies that help all people as oppose to the rewarding of the “deserving rich” – then by all means vote for the far right if you must. But don’t tell people with other convictions to change like a camelion to suit the political persuasion of the right. It could be easily mistaken for fascism.

          • SDCLFC

            They need to listen to what the electorate is telling them which is that they don’t like politics at the extremities.
            The policies might be centre-left but the rabble-rousing rhetoric is far-left hence the perception.
            The worst thing is that they only way back will see good policies like CGT and Housing come under pressure to survive because they’ve been rejected so absolutely.
            Labour can still be the party for the left but it’s got to look more like a party for the middle and that means putting some distance between groups such as the unions.
            Labour won’t be returning to power otherwise and Labour in power is the best deal those far-left groups are gonna get.

            • Foreign Waka

              You need to understand that Political Parties are not facebook buddies from the ET channel. Rubble Rousing Rhetoric? Are we in a totalitarian state and no one told me?
              Secondly, everybody has a choice to vote for the party that, for the most part represents them. It will never be 100%.
              Thirdly, NZ labor Party is already quite in the middle. You seem to feel strongly about Unions, which are diminished in this country. Labor is inherently a party that speaks for working people and as such Unions are part of the picture.
              Lastly, if you want to vote other than Labor, its OK. We are still a democracy and people are allowed to vote who they like.

              • SDCLFC

                Again, I’m not arguing that Labour are not in the middle. But it’s pretty silly to deny that last night was not a popularity contest and that by not being in government Labour have some influence.
                I don’t understand what you’re trying to say re totalitarian state. I can only guess you were searching for catchphrases.
                To reiterate I was trying to posit what Labour needs to do to return to power. 25% and all that.

                • Foreign Waka

                  With totalitarian state I was referring to your “Rubble Rousing Rhetoric” – that argument was used in totalitarian states of the former Euro Eastern Block (History and all that).
                  I think for labor to win they have to start completely afresh. There is no coherent policy translation to its constituency and no vision about the future that is supported by ALL. This leads to backstabbing and positioning by caucus members. Popularity? i think they need to like themselves first. I have to say that I don’t understand this as there are very talented people and yet all they can see is the mememememe.

                  • SDCLFC

                    Still not sure what Barney Rubble has to do with it.
                    On your last point yes but there’s an obvious problem to that. How to choose which direction to go in. I say, go in the direction that the electorate is telling Labour to go.
                    They believe Labour’s message is to left for them so lets listen to that.
                    How about this.
                    Regardless of what we think of National we should be able to get some agreement on this
                    From right to the centre National goes, A, ideals and philosophy; B, practice, action and policy; C, message (as perceived by the public)
                    Labour’s message is left (as perceived which is reality), policy towards the centre and actions non-existent because no one’s voting for them.
                    Given that it’s the party that wants them pulled left, I want to see Labour’s caucus, those good people who were voted for by at least some parts of moderate New Zealand, steer a course towards a more centrist message, trusting that they will deliver policies further left of their message as National have done on the right.

                    • Foreign Waka

                      I do agree with moderate, reasonable, equitable and just (as oppose to lawful). However, parties do exist to express their philosophical and resulting political persuasion. So for labor, traditional identified with the working wage earner it is important that they stay with this demographic. Workers, who through their contribution towards profits of their employer, do need a recognition of that contribution by setting wages that are reasonable in relation to their bosses. This would mean that some form of cooperation needs to exist. To facilitate this the middle man was the Union. Unfortunately, some have colluded with the same people who are suppose to agree to inflation and effort (contribution to profit) sharing. This is largely an Anglo Saxon problem, Mainland Europe has had a different approach that has lead to a better outcome. Most likely because of the war years and the decades thereafter.
                      Coming back to labor, they need to recognize what population demographic they want to represent. Once the idea(l) is formulated, people will be able to choose whether they agree.
                      The ideas of a just and equitable workforce was not just invented 5 minutes ago. In fact I belief that because labor has forgotten all the basic principals and has tried to appease those who muted to change to the right it has lost its way and the electorate.

        • Puddleglum

          “telling Labour they are to far left”

          What definition of ‘left’ are you using here?

          I can see very little in the economic policies that Labour took to the electorate this time that marks them as ‘too far to the left’.

          A CGT, raising the age of super, repealing the 90 day fire at will option (that was not present under the Clark government which, presumably was not found to be ‘too far to the left’), research and development tax credits, raising the minimum wage (which Key proudly claims doing every year), etc.. None of these are particularly ‘left’ let alone ‘too far to the left’.

      • Daveinireland 6.1.2

        But a vote for Labour doesn’t get you just Labour policy, it gets you Labour/Green/NZF/IMP policy. People took one look at that and turned away.

    • JanM 6.2

      Ben, the information was all there – people like you just didn’t want to listen.

    • weka 6.3

      “If you include those who voted NZF, Conservative, Act, over 60% of New Zealanders do not give a toss about those too weak to fend for themselves without some assistance.”

      I think we need to be careful here to not entrench a meme that NZ is now selfish. It’s not 60% of NZers, it’s 60% of people that voted. Big difference. As many people didn’t vote as voted for Key. When all the numbers are in we can come up with some percentages.

  7. cogito 7

    The last six years have hurt our family a lot. We managed to survive – but only just. We were hoping for a change of focus and a little hope, but we’ve got more of the same. We’ll struggle through as we have no other option. People in other countries have to deal with far worse, so we are thankful for what we have.

    Key is not out of the woods yet – his track record of lies, untruths and abuses of power will dog him through this term. Whatever people think of Hager and Dotcom, they need to be given full credit for showing up the dark underside of Key and his party.

    I am particularly sorry for Laila Harre – I would have loved to have seen her in parliament. I hope that she keeps fighting for change.

  8. Pete 8

    Denial: The numbers will change as the big booths come in, just wait and see.

    Anger: Fuck Key, fuck the voters, fuck the non voters, fuck the ABCs, fuck Cunliffe, fuck Dotcom, fuck the media, fuck those who are too left, fuck those who are not left enough.

    Bargaining: Get rid of the threshold and the coat-tail rule. Carry on with the inquiry into dirty politics. Maybe Key is getting tired of politics. Was the election rigged? The Greens should pick up a seat on specials.

    Depression: We’re never going to change anything. The voters won’t change their minds. 3 more years of profiteering, disregard for the environment and growing inequality.

    Acceptance: The only thing we have the power to change is ourselves. What do we learn from this? What can we do differently? Who is responsible and can they adapt, or do they need to go?

    • weka 8.1

      Pays to bear in mind too that people move through those at different rates and they’re not always linear or sequential or one at a time.

      • Pete 8.1.1

        That’s true and people will move through this process at different paces, but I think we are in a grieving process and the intensity will vary from person to person.

    • Anne 8.2

      Acceptance: The only thing we have the power to change is ourselves. What do we learn from this? What can we do differently? Who is responsible and can they adapt, or do they need to go?

      1. Labour did nothing wrong – at least not under Cunliffe.
      2. Nobody needs to learn anything apart from the Nat-lites in Labour. Labour had the right policies – policies that would have strengthened this country in every sense.
      3. There was no other way to run the campaign other than the way it was run by Labour and the Greens.
      4. Who is responsible? Well, that’s the $64,000 question but here’s a few reasons for starters.

      a) it was the dirtiest, filthiest campaign run by John Key and his disparate band of slimy henchmen and women. Some at least need to go to gaol for a period of time and chief among them is Cameron Slater and… Kathy Odgers? Key is also a crook. Like Richard Nixon… let’s hope he will be forced to fall on his sword in due course.

      b) a complicit media whose overall conduct should ultimately cost some of them their jobs at the least. They aided and abetted unethical and probably unlawful activity (knowing it to be so) and ran a campaign of misinformation and dirty politics. The Herald stands out as one of the worst offenders.

      Read “Dirty Politics”. All the answers are there!

      • Potato 8.2.1

        “4. Who is responsible? Well, that’s the $64,000 question but here’s a few reasons for starters.”

        No, I think the Nats party donations from their rich friends were much more than that 😉

      • Once was Pete 8.2.2

        After reading your comment, which essentially says Labour is perfect and has nothing to learn, it comes as no surprise that such arrogant tripe was roundly rejected by the country last night.
        It might suck, but much of what Josie Pagani has had to say here and elsewhere is quite accurate. No party can win in NZ with out taking the middle, and Labour has been far too narrowly focussed, and has been perceived to care more about its own insular agendas than it is in listening to the wider electorate. This lesson should have been learned in 2008 and 2011.
        It is also incredibly arrogant to take the line that Labour (and its allies) are the only ones who care about such things as child poverty, the environment etc, etc. Wake up. The rest of the electorate has heard what Labour has had to say and hasn’t liked it.
        The wider electorate has also had a look at Labours values and found them to come up short as well. The prime example being the preparedness to align with a bunch of crazies (IMP). So running a Vote Positive campaign and having your candidates engage in antisemitism is not a good look. In other words Labour is seen to be just as bad as the rest.
        I say these things having been a staunch Labour voter most of my life(but not recently). This left/right dichotomy is yesterdays story. People today are far more interested in particular issues, and they see no one has a hold on all the good policies or good ideas. Time also to curb the union involvement in Labour. This is the elephant in the room. Any group that contributes such large amounts of money and controls 20% of the voting represent a very narrow constituency.

        • Anne

          Who said Labour was perfect! Not me! I have frequently criticised Labour on this site for what I believe are strategy blunders etc. and I haven’t been afraid to name names on occasion either. All I said was I didn’t think either they or the Greens could have run their campaigns any differently and that is correct. That they may have made a few mistakes in the process is inevitable. They are only human. So did the other side make mistakes? It’s just that the media always choose to ignore their blunders.

          Don’t vent your spleen at me mate. All I’ve done is (mildly) disagree with you on a few points. Haven’t read Dirty Politics have you.

          • Pete

            For clarity’s sake, Once was Pete and I are not the same person. I have decided to change my handle (but not my icon) because there are multiple different Petes that comment here from time to time. This will be my last comment under this handle.

            • Anne

              My humble apologies Pete. I should have picked that up. Your gravators are a similar colour. It didn’t sound at all like you either. 😳

        • Foreign Waka

          Sorry, don’t belief that you were a labor voter. Unions are part of the idea of decent pay for a decent days work.
          I am a green voter and not really interested in Unions. However, I still see their necessity to keep those who are after excessive profits on their toes. Somebody has to, and its not any political party.
          National has promised more changes to the labor laws, wont be for the best and it seems the propaganda has worked.

          • Once was Pete

            I am now 69 and up until two elections ago I voted Labour at every election without a miss. I am the son of a staunchly labour family. This is the problem with many commenters here – too angry, too bitter and too focussed on narrow agendas to be able to digest comment and respond appropriately. I didn’t say unions had no place, but that they had too large a say in Labour party matters and that this needs to be reformed otherwise it is almost impossible to recapture the middle. It is no longer 1951!

            • Stephanie Rodgers

              Exactly how much of a say do you think unions have in Labour Party matters, OWP? And how do you think this was reflected in their policy and approach in the election?

              Because it’s very easy to say “I hate this and I hate that” but if your entire argument is based on talkback radio talking points and not the actual reality of the situation you might sound a bit silly.

            • lprent

              It hasn’t been 1951 since 1951.

              Labour hasn’t been dominated by unions since I started being heavily involved in the party. Since that was 1991, the year that New Labour split off 23 years ago (40 years after 1951 and when you were a toddler), I suspect that you may be a teeny bit out of date.

              Are you sure that you aren’t just a silly Nat in makeup? You appear to be singing from their mythbook.

      • SDCLFC 8.2.3

        I hope the Labour hierarchy are not thinking that way because next election it will be 20%.
        The electorate have spoken, Labour need to listen.

      • Murray Olsen 8.2.4

        Anne, that comment sounds almost as cult-like as those of the Key worshippers. The only parts I can agree with are when you start talking about NAct in (a) and (b).

        • Anne

          You are welcome to your opinion Murray Olsen but I think you may be reading more in to what I said than was intended. I’m no cult-like Labour person. In fact, I have frequently been very critical of them both on a face to face basis with Labour MPs as well as on this site.

          There was nothing fundamentally wrong with Labour’s campaign just as there was nothing wrong with the Green’s campaign. Outside factors beyond their control played a huge role in their defeat and as time goes on… that will become more and more apparent.

          The biggest gripe I have with Labour is the fact they didn’t take up the offer to work with the Greens on campaign strategy. Had they done so, then together they might have been able to combat the political and media forces lined up against them.

  9. JanM 9

    I’m lucky too -more or less retired and living out in the wops in an unfashionable part of the country. If all else fails I have a campervan and a wealthy, National-voting son (don’t confess that too often- you get those when they do degrees in marketing and the like – get brainwashed)
    Apart from the obvious concern for the disinherited citizens who will spend another 3 years struggling to survive on crumbs from the rich man’s table, my big concern is the awful damage continuing to be inflicted on our education system by a government who has a vested interest in not having a well educated populace

  10. Disturbed 10

    When the PM got up to speak last night not a word of mention was said for those hurting and taking the load of the current recession, as the Australian PM Tony Abbott did on the night he was elected.

    Tony Abbott gave a special mention to those in Australia who had carried the country during the recession, but our PM said nothing.

    This next three years will be so cruel for many as the last crippling six years has been, and we are so gutted that the PM couldn’t have showed humility when he has been responsible for the harm many have suffered.

    To know John Key’s continued borrowing of $300 million every week adding to our debt will climb yet another $30 billion during the next three years.

    The total debt of 120 billion then will immeasurably damage our grandchildren.

    It will be a crippling effect that will paralyse their future for many years.

    The “rock star economy” is only a couple of words that will dissolve in any meaning in the months ahead, as our export returns diminish and the belt tightening continues further to hurt the less fortunate.

    Add the corruption allegations and we have a bleak year ahead.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      To know John Key’s continued borrowing of $300 million every week adding to our debt will climb yet another $30 billion during the next three years.

      The total debt of 120 billion then will immeasurably damage our grandchildren.

      It will be a crippling effect that will paralyse their future for many years.

      ABSOLUTELY FALSE. You are buying into a *very* incorrect idea of money and debt. As long as this debt is denominated in NZ$, our Reserve Bank has an unlimited ability to pay it off.

  11. Lanthanide 11

    What strikes me now is the media commentators saying it was “a surprising result”.

    Well, if we were to believe all the polls, then this result is not a surprise.

    This tells us that the media don’t believe their own polls, but they have no qualms peddling them at us, trying to get us to believe them.

    They don’t get to have it both ways – saying National could govern alone, then when they do, saying it’s a surprise.

  12. KJS0ne 12

    Labour needs to clean house, the Robertson faction will be clamoring for this leadership challenge and Cunliffe needs to put them in their place. All MPs need to get in behind and stop sabotaging Cunliffe. Cunliffe for his part needs to win over a majority of caucus and then institute a Clark-era no tolerance for disloyalty.

    Labour needs to be united, and a leader who won all but one of the debates is the man to do it.

    As a union member Cunliffe has my vote for sure. I applaud his decision to seek a reconfirmation, I only hope the majority of Labour members, Union members and MPs agree that he is the best choice to lead us forward to Government in 2017.

    • anker 12.1

      Yes I am concerned to see that a lot of Labour MPs that are left are to the right.

      I want Cunliffe to stay desperately. If others do too, join Labour and vote for him

  13. Yoyo 13

    Bit over-hysterical here. Detracts people from the left’s cause when we exaggerate (I use that word politely – exaggerate is an understatement reading the posts above).

  14. JRT 14

    Woke up this morning and shed a few tears for those people who are going to find the savaging we are going to get from this government too much to bear. People who are in a situation that makes them unable to improve their lot must be despairing- like chronically ill single people and middle aged single people who cannot get employment. They don’t have enough money to live on as it is, and they are going to have to deal with an increasingly hostile WINZ. 25% of beneficiaries are going to be pushed off benefits- what is going to happen to those people?

    Like others on this thread I am fine- freehold house, both my kids are young adults and in well paid professions.

    • cogito 14.1

      “I am fine”

      Unfortunately life is unpredictable – you can be fine one day, and not fine the next…. and then the reality of this government comes as a big shock.

      • JRT 14.1.1

        Yes indeed, some of those people who vote for National will be dealt a blow at some stage and might regret their part in dismantling the safety net NZ has enjoyed for many years. Too late though by then.

        • Camryn

          That’s the issue though… National isn’t dismantling the safety net. They’re making it stronger and more sustainable by helping people out of it if they can. Those who can’t move out still have it. Arguably, it is the left that are the greatest long-term risk to our social welfare consensus because it always seems to want to cast the net wide (just in case anyone be missed) without thinking about how thin it’s being spread or, indeed, if there’s any strain being placed on the net makers i.e. taxpayers.

          • Murray Olsen

            Funny how those on benefits feel as if they’re treated like shit. The way to make welfare sustainable is by having plenty of well paid jobs. Then people get off benefits all by themselves, surprisingly enough. That also means there is more money around to help those who are not in a position to work.

            The reforms Paula Benefat pushes through are nothing but sadistic porn for the mouth breathing followers of Whalespew and the like.

    • rich the other 14.2

      Interesting isn’t it , the amount of people posting on this topic that say they are fine .
      isn’t that why National won again , it’s a affliction enjoyed by many , people see a future with National , even beneficiaries .

      • weka 14.2.1

        You’re not paying attention. People commenting here are saying they’re fine but they’re concerned for those who are not. That’s what differentiates them from National voters.

      • marty mars 14.2.2

        I think that is a pretty good point about why the gnats won – those of us who aren’t fine in the areas outlined in the post wanted change but minorities are minorities especially when majorities are fine (whether true or illusory).

      • karol 14.2.3

        And the people who didn’t vote? How many are beneficiaries who have just given up on government. That’s the Lusk plan.

  15. Jan 15

    Good heavens JanM – that is the first part of my name, we live in an unfashionable part of the country, are semi-retired, live in a caravan and have a Tory son who I have been fending off texts of gloating all morning – and I have such grave misgivings for the future when I see another son being slowly crippled by muscular dystrophy trying to live on a tiny benefit, while his wife is forced into three or four cleaning jobs per day trying to keep them going, at the insistence of WInz as she can’t be the caregiver he needs

    • JanM 15.1

      Hello Jan – luckily my Nat son is not crowing Not to me anyway) – does your little Nat not have any feelings for his brother or does he just willfully misunderstand? My Nat son has a brother who’s a high school teacher. He struggles with living a tenuous life as a reliever with a young family. Mysteriously, this is his fault for choosing such a poorly paid career – wow!

  16. Yoyo 16

    Don’t blame National for WINZ. Blame those who take what they don’t need from the state meaning we have to put additional barriers up for the deserving because otherwise the undeserving will swamp us and there will be no money for hospitals. Everyone wants to give deserving more, but we can’t without the undeserving taking the piss. So many people are in hard circumstances of their own making and they’re completely and utterly screwing those in hard circumstances that aren’t their fault. Shame on the bludgers for causing this.

    • weka 16.1

      Fuck right off with your ignorant, judgemental, compassionless twaddle.

      • Yoyo 16.1.1

        Which bit did you feel was incorrect – just so I can get some idea of your perspective which is difficult to determine from your comment above.

        • weka

          Pretty much all of it. I’m tempted to spell it out, but I know when you reply with more of your ignorant, judgemental, compassionless twaddle I will feel obliged to tell you to fuck right off again and today of all days I can’t be bothered with the people who are just down right nasty in their thinking and their voting.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            +1 Weka.

            Yoyo’s callous, low-life attitude is immune to facts and utterly motivated by hate.

            Like the ratfuckers, they won’t stop util someone stops them.

        • Murray Olsen

          All of it. Every last bit is crap.

    • Ref Yoyo 16.

      You’re a hypocrite – among other things. The barriers are not there to stop the ‘undeserving’ from rorting the system – they’re the result of a calculated policy to make it harder for genuine claimants to get entitlements.

      There are fraudsters – but they’re a tiny minority of those included in the catch all of ‘benefit fraud.’ Most of those labelled as ‘cheats and bludgers’ – and all the other mean-mouthed epithets the Right come up with to demonise the poor – are people who have failed to pay back a loan or who fail to disclose a ‘marriage type relationship’ or other household income. Hardly the work of vicious malefactors.

      When do we ever hear the Right use that ugly term ‘bludger’ about tax dodgers?

      Why – with all the evidence that there is to back it up – do we never hear the Right and its poodle media refer to ‘tax cheats’?

      Why is the hoarding behaviour of the obscenely rich seen as something to be admired and emulated – instead of what it actually is, evidence of a deeply pathological personality type – people who, through the power that hoarding of wealth grants them, create and normalise a pathological economic system that enables them to hoard even more.

      Given all the contradictions and the manifest injustices – just how do the forelock tuggers sell it to themselves?

    • Foreign Waka 16.3

      @ Yoyo – OMG, you should start doing some volunteer work to actually understand what is going on in the real world out there. And to top it off, some classes in history – world history that is. You might (and the jury is out on this one given your comments) just learn a bit about others and more importantly – about yourself.

      • Yoyo 16.3.1

        Lol. Living in Clendon (just down the road from where the Kahuis used to live), being in the South Auckland health system and volunteering in South Auckland schools not sufficient for you?

        Fact is, if you increased benefits by 1/3, 1/3 more people would be on them and the country would go broke.

    • The vast majority of benefit fraud is committed by WINZ employees, not beneficiaries.

      Your statements are not just horrifically bigoted and judgemental towards vulnerable people, they’re illogical. How is it an “additional barrier” to your mythical “undeserving” to set benefits at poverty levels? How is it an “additional barrier” to label people with lifelong illnesses as “jobseekers” and force them to prove that their permanent, chronic conditions haven’t magically disappeared? How is it an “additional barrier” to make beneficiaries see half a dozen different case managers who don’t know them or their history?

      All of those things, in fact, create additional work and additional cost, pose no “barrier” to fraud, and if there isn’t enough money for hospitals (which people need when they can’t eat properly and can’t dress warmly and can’t heat their homes) maybe it has something to do with the huge amount of bureaucracy which you think is justified because of some imaginary army of bludging zombies.

    • Molly 16.5

      Reading this reminds me of some of the benefits that are legitimately “claimed” by some business owners.

      Does anyone have statistics on small or solely operated business owners who pay themselves a minimum wage and by doing so:
      1. Are liable only for the minimum charge from IRD for any child support payments?
      2. Have children who are then eligible for full student allowance and accommodation supplements when attending tertiary education?

      Also, they are able to claim a good percentage of their utilities and housing costs if their business is based at home.

      I have first hand knowledge of a business owner supporting one child at the lowest rate, after buying a business that within three years of owning allowed him to draw down enough to purchase a family home of $700,000 without a deposit.

      Electricity, vehicles, building of storage units on the property all included in the business.

      I’m not saying that this should not be the case – but it galls me that people who are on benefits and don’t have the vehicle of business ownership to squeeze every last drop out of what is available are continually cited to be those that bring the country to its knees.

      What brings this country to its knees if more complex, and should not be laid at the doorstep of those with the least options.

  17. SDCLFC 17

    Firstly I don’t want to debunk child poverty in this country and how significant the impacts is on those who it afflicts, but can someone answer me this.
    Your taxes do more to support my four children than mine and my partners income. Does this put me in an income bracket making my 4 children part of the 250,000?
    If so then why do I still feel middle class?
    I don’t doubt that there is some horrible poverty out there but I think that when moderate New Zealand hears 250,000, they do some simple arithmetic and say I don’t believe you, your padding the numbers.
    How is 250,000 child poor calculated?

    • JanM 17.1

      The worst of the problems arise because the unemployed can not access ‘working for families’ which means, in most cases that they can’t afford even the basics of life

      • SDCLFC 17.1.1

        Really? The worst of the problems? Not because they don’t have jobs in the first place? I somehow doubt that not getting the in work tax credit is cause of the worst of the problem and is a great example of a message that moderate New Zealand can easily recognise as not true. It’s jobs, the economy, jobs and then the economy again.

  18. Wayne 18


    The reality is that New Zealand is not the bleak place you seem to think it is.

    To begin with defining poverty simply by a percentage does not tell the story. It automatically means all beneficiaries including those whose sole income is the Super are living in poverty. But that is simply not true. Many people in these situations are doing OK, not flash, but OK.

    Lots of people on the centre-right want to see progress in giving a helping hand up, but they don’t see increasing benefits as the answer. More of getting people into work is seen as the best approach, with targeted approaches for specific problems.

    Also, as the author of the 90 day trial period, get over it. I chose 90 days because it was the shortest period in the OECD, and I provided remedies if people were discriminated on the basis of race, age or sex. I did this to give the policy sustainability. And the policy has not been generally abused.

    Now I knew Labour would oppose it in 2011 after one term in opposition. But I was a bit surprised at the vehement opposition in 2014, but I would be amazed if it is opposed by Labour in 2017. If they do that, it will be indicative of wanting to stay in opposition for a fourth term – i.e. not recognizing why increasing numbers of people are voting for the Nats. After all the Nat vote has gone up in each of the elections from 2008, to 2011 and now 2014. And that is really unparalleled.

    And if the economy does OK in the next three years, and the Nats are seen to be moderate, then the Nats will get four terms. That is the implication of last nights result.

    • karol 18.1

      You clearly don’t live in West or South Auckland.

      Poverty, and its impact, is there for many of us to see.

      • Yoyo 18.1.1

        I lived in Clendon Manurewa for many, many years and quite recently. I have worked in healthcare and volunteered in schools. Unfortunately, there is often poverty of spirit (can’t be bothered getting the kids free glasses from the free service, drinking rather than buying groceries, not using the free swimming pools and libraries etc. etc) rather than genuine poverty. Also a lot of people drinking while pregnant dooming the next generation with FAS. Actually go live there and you start to see what it is like. So unfortunately, those responsible for their own poverty take resources from those who have no choice but to be poor and need help. It’s sad, but they just don’t realise the consequences of their actions an the genuinely needy (and in a number of cases actually think they ARE needy themselves). Throwing money at those who don’t do their best for their kids will solve nothing whatsoever -there is always a greater priority than your children no matter how much money the state provides. Brand new four bedroom brick and tiles with ensuites in that area in a number of parts and many of them trashed in five seconds. No need for your kid to be cold if you were lucky enough to get one of the new houses – insulated to the gills with double glazing, but still many of them were poor, poor, poor of spirit and consequently poor.

        • Lanthanide

          Thanks, this is the sort of insight that rarely gets air-time. It’s usually at the extremes – everyone’s a bludger, or no one is a bludger.

        • Ant

          I lived there too and you are describing a minority of a minority who act that way, often because they are the kids of others who have fallen through the cracks and been squashed by poverty. When was the last time you actually went to the pools? They are packed throughout summer with all sorts – and as if you can tell who is using or not using the pools anyway…

          I’m calling bullshit on that spiel.

          This deserving/undeserving poor bullshit grinds my gears.

          • Ant

            Fed the troll.

          • Molly

            +100 with the bullshit.

            Went to the pools a lot last year, and also was fortunate enough to be part of the thriving positive community at Manurewa Marae. (Rising transport costs have put the kibosh on that this year)

        • Foreign Waka

          Your frustration about a couple of people amongst hundreds has crushed your spirit. Perhaps it is not the poor who are poor? It takes considerable guts and strength to not get judgmental and have an easy “one size fits all” approach. Think of all the teachers, caregivers who feel the same way but battle on.

      • SDCLFC 18.1.2

        I don’t doubt that karol, but Labour’s message is obviously not giving a true reflection of the situation, otherwise it would not have been so resoundingly rejected.
        In sales and retailing I often hear people talking about how stupid the customer is and that they buy what they’re told to.
        I’ve never bought into that and believe it’s the customer who holds all the power.
        The electorate is the customer and they’re not buying what Labour is selling.
        If there really was 250,000 kids in actual poverty, rather than statistical poverty, then the electorate would see it and respond.
        Labour can still be a party for social equality etc but it’s need to be wrapped in a package that moderate New Zealand wants to pick-up off the shelf and take home with them.
        Labour has not owned the narrative one poverty and welfare ffor some time

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Campbell Live, doco makers, UNICEF (for fuck’s sake), The Lancet, childrens’ charities, The Salvation Army etc. etc. have been rubbing your face in this for years.

          What part of that list is “Labour selling”?

          You aren’t listening.

      • Rick 18.1.3

        You don’t need to live in West Auckland, if you are a pensioner who paid for your benefit of Super all your life, you liver in poverty anywhere in New Zealand.

        • weka

          What do you mean? Lots of people on Super aren’t living in poverty.

        • Naki man

          What a load of bollocks, I know lots of pensioners and none of them live in poverty. Anyone who works for fifty years and hasn’t learned how to budget and save isn’t going to suddenly learn a new skill when they get the pension.

          • Foreign waka

            Glad that you live in a well to do area. Maybe you should investigate further. It maybe an eyeopener. Firstly, women often were raising the kids and miss out on income and promotions leaving them with very little savings (I am not talking about the 10% well off). Secondly, people pay tax on an individual basis but once you hit retirement one partner becomes the left foot of the other. The share of income just shows that.
            Besides, a couple (2 adults!) have to survive on $ 564.00. If you compare this to a minimum rate for 40 hours work and you will get $ 7.05 per hour. This is BY ANY STANDARD POVERTY AT ITS FINEST! And it really shows what grubby little country NZ has become when even this is seen as “sufficient” and OK. Why not have them taking Euthanasia and get it done and over with. It would sit very comfortable with the attitudes by what I read.

          • Rick

            I *AM* a pensioner, and I am talking of own and personal experience. You pay the rent, mine is flatting on an below average cost, you pay the utilities, you pay the doctor, and then you live on $5 special at fast-food outlets, buy nearly out of date food, no fridge, no drink, $10 for clothes at the opshop, it is the food, healthy living that just has to go. Your health goes down, and you die as soon as possible so you are not a burden on the state. Cunning state plan isn’t it. Everyone is not living in poverty, true, many had luck in the speculation wave in housing, made lots of tax free money, other like me lost three generations saving in a secret court decision called family court, and beancounters posing as investors finished the rest off in 2008.

    • weka 18.2

      “To begin with defining poverty simply by a percentage does not tell the story. It automatically means all beneficiaries including those whose sole income is the Super are living in poverty. But that is simply not true. Many people in these situations are doing OK, not flash, but OK.”

      Wayne, leaving Super aside for a minute, WINZ benefits are intentionally set below the poverty level, even those benefits aimed at people not ‘work-ready’. That’s why we have supplementary benefits like Accommodation Supplement, Disability Allowance, Temporary Additional Support etc. This is the way that the benefit systems is structured. The problem is that successive govts have fiddled with and fucked with the system so that access to supplementary benefits is made more difficult, and all those benefits now have caps so irrespective of circumstances it’s impossible for many to get enough to live one. Impossible, by the maths of the formula that WINZ uses.

      So people can go on about how we define poverty blah blah, but until that situation with the benefit structure is changed, there will always be people in poverty.

      “Many people in these situations are doing OK, not flash, but OK.”

      Depends on what you mean by OK. Who do you think get’s to define okayness?

      “More of getting people into work is seen as the best approach, with targeted approaches for specific problems.”

      Anyone that says this is just plain ignorant. If you think that getting beneficiaries into work will solve poverty, what about the people that can’t work? Why aren’t you factoring them into your thinking?

      Obviously decreasing unemployment will help many people. But you have to pay them a living wage if you want to get them out of poverty. You have to give them job stability (not cycling in and out of casual work or on and off the dole). You have to give them decent work conditions (did you read the comment today from the man who does heavy manual labour and doens’t get smoko breaks?).

      • SDCLFC 18.2.1

        I can tell you I’m doing OK, not great but OK, with your taxes supporting my 4 children and mortgage while I study.
        We all have food and clothes, transport and a warm house.
        I get that many might not, but there is more to the narrative of poverty than just income and Labour are not owning that.
        It is the economy, always will be the economy, and Labour would do better to appeal to those voters who vote on the economy by acknowledging the progress the economy made under it’s last two finance ministries.
        Now that’s pretty controversial but nobody (that counts) is campaigning for a flat tax and the 4th Labour Government was the Government that, in Lange’s own words, broke-up economic entitlement.
        Labour have a track-record of economic progression.
        Selling that to the moderate electorate, rather than fighting internal battles of 30 years ago, would enable them to advance social equality.
        It’s what the electorate is saying they want.

      • Skinny 18.2.2

        This probably sums up why 50% of those enrolled on the Maori roll didn’t bother;

        We spent the whole day cruising the mainly poorest suburbs of our region calling out on the mega phone please ensure you vote. There was this uneasy eerie feeling as not many adults were outside. The few we saw looked blankly at us. I was starting to realise these people have lost all hope. Many had no intention of voting at all. Tragically it was a prewarning of what was about to unfold later that night.

    • It’s interesting that your first point, while allegedly rebutting my post, is about “percentages” – which I never mentioned.

      It seems like I’m talking about real, solid things happening to real New Zealanders, and you want to pretend the issue is one of problem definition.

      90 day trials have seen experienced workers treated like trash, young workers fired for getting sick or injured on the job, and generated no job growth. I’m certainly not going to get over the fact that you decided to screw the workers of New Zealand just so it’s easier for bad bosses to exploit people.

    • Lindsey 18.4

      You might want to think for a nanosecond about the effect on a young person to be fired on day 70 or 80 with no reason and no recourse. This happened to a friend’s daughter and it was weeks before she could even leave the house. She had no idea what she had “done wrong” or how to fix whatever her ex-boss thought was lacking. It taught her fear and mis-trust, she now second-guesses everything she does. It will take her a long time to be the happy and confident young lady she was before she went to work for someone who decided that was how he was going to respond to his bad day.

    • RedBaronCV 18.5

      Assuming that you are the usual Wayne that posts on here please try to remember that for a very large part of your adult life the taxpayer has paid your not insignificant wages. You appear to have used those wages to make life miserable for those taxpayers who are not “just like you” so clearly we need to reduce your benefits to zero.
      If you are so self sufficent how about giving up any government income that you do not need and using only your earned income?

      And if anybody else on here wants to refer to beneficiary drinking habits please acquaint yourself with the size of the alcohol bills that our current bunch of elected right wing representatives have run up and posted on their expenses.

    • Puddleglum 18.6


      You state:

      defining poverty simply by a percentage does not tell the story. It automatically means all beneficiaries including those whose sole income is the Super are living in poverty.

      Relative poverty is usually defined as being Household Income of less than 60% of the median income. Surely you are aware that New Zealand Superannuation rates are calculated in such a way that rates are above that 60% level? That’s why New Zealand has pretty much eliminated poverty amongst the over 65s.

      And it would be very easy to ensure that beneficiaries in totowere not “automatically” classified as in poverty by ensuring that benefit rates exceeded 60% of the median household income.

      That is, there’s actually nothing at all ‘automatic’ about beneficiaries being classified as in poverty. Moving the benefits up, of course, has no effect on the position of the ‘median’ income.

      Surely you are also aware that there are multiple measures of poverty and degrees of hardship?

      I’ve heard this myth about ‘percentage’ definitions of poverty before but I’m surprised that it is repeated by a recent ex-Cabinet Minister.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 18.6.1

        Why the surprise? Cabinet Ministers are more likely to ratfuck the information source than absorb the information.

      • Foreign waka 18.6.2

        I disagree. $ 564.00 for 2 adults is an equivalent of $ 7.05 per hour if this would be translated to a wage. In other words, it is not enough to live on and too much to die with. Try to go to the doctor or have your teeth looked at.

  19. Roger Calnan 19

    The problem with this emotive presentation of the ‘facts’ is that it is nowhere close to what is happening out there in reality.

    There are around 800,000 under 18s in New Zealand (allegedly) – yet the left claim 270,000 – 300,000 of those are in poverty.

    If this was the case, then everywhere you looked you would see this poverty, as it means 40% of the country is in poverty.

    Instead, all we get are articles in the MSM about how its not fair because people with lots of children don’t get enough benefit money from the government to afford a house deposit, and then when it gets analysed, it turns out the family were Labour party members roped in for the article.

    The government this year is scheduled to spend $27 billion on welfare and social security – that is not a government that is leaving people behind and letting them go hungry. Trying to claim that it is makes you look flat.

    Stop kidding yourselves with this rubbish, and you might have a chance of gaining ground at the next election.

    • weka 19.1

      I think the figure is 250,000, which divided by 800,000 is 31%. I thought they were talking about 25% of NZ children living below the poverty line, so let’s say it’s somewhere in that range.

      btw, 25% below the poverty line doesn’t mean all are in the same situation, some will be far worse off, others closer to ok.

      The reason you can’t see poverty everywhere is that it’s concentrated in some areas and sparse in others. It can also be invisible from the outside (what does hunger look like?). And then there are the people who are willfully blind.

    • Foreign Waka 19.2

      I think you mislead with your figures, Welfare includes Retirees and those people have paid tax all their lives only to find themselves with too little to live on and too much to die. Many take their lives. This is the one group that does not make loud noises but is ever increasing. And with it poverty measured in % of the population.
      Any increase in Welfare spending will go to Christchurch to help with those exorbitant rental costs.
      Social Welfare has actually only slightly increased between 2009 and 2013: 10.4 Bil vs 10.7 Bil.
      Considering that unemployment went up and there are more retirees it can only mean one thing: they get less and less.
      You do the maths – on an ordinary persons kitchen table please.

    • Deb 19.3

      Roger, just because you can’t see poverty doesn’t mean it’s not happening. You don’t know how people live behind closed doors, and honestly, a lot of people are too proud to say they’re struggling or to ask for help. Where children are involved, it’s the teachers who see first hand what is in a child’s lunchbox. So perhaps talk to a teacher or school principal for their perspective on poverty. With the cost of living being so high, something has to give in a household, and it’s either groceries or bills. One week the bills might get paid, leaving very little for groceries, people go hungry but the power stays on. The next week groceries are bought instead, everyone is fed but the bills don’t get paid and the household goes backwards. It is a vicious cycle. I, for one, am just treading water, despite many sacrifices and my best efforts to get ahead. Unless you’ve been in a situation yourself you really don’t know what it’s like.

  20. Rick 20

    It is 8:00 in the morning here in China, and I try to find anything in Chinese papers about the New Zealand election. Nothing. New Zealand has been wiped off the map. No interest. The two stories that came out were about how New Zealand customs confiscated the personal savings of a Chinese traveler at Auckland airport, something that will be seen as a criminal offense in China, a story on “tainted” dairy imports from New Zealand and tightened regulation against New Zealand dairy. Had the “Dirty Politics” happened in China, and the mass wiretapping, it would have been closed to a revolution, maybe riots on the streets. Chinese just do not accept snoopers, but they are painfully aware that New Zealand is a US willing and active agent snooping on them and their business. Yesterday I visited a major wholesale market, to look for New Zealand products. All baby formula from New Zealand was gone. New Zealand Zespri is being replaced by a European equivalent yellow fruit, and New Zealand wine is sharing shelf with South American Wine at 20% of the price for the same quality. No doubt, New Zealand is going downhill, and it is reflected in our trade balance.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      That’s what happens when you get too close and cosy with the Americans, and neglect your other strategic relationships in the Pacific.

  21. aerobubble 21

    Wow. Dotcom won.

    He set out to destroy John Key and he did.

    Its day one of dirty John.

    Second great thing that happen.

    Cunliffe did not become PM.

    It was like a game, the premier match, of a
    sports code. The fog came in yet they played on.
    Nobody knows why the winner won, or even what sports
    code they were playing by, they’d had all forgotten.

    Its the fog that won it.

    Nobody speaks truth to power through a fog.

    It was some new kind of coup, by media this time.

    Key said that NZ had voted for stay the course.

    Yet, only a few hours before, the media panels had been
    confounded by how bizarre the election has been.

    Really John? Stay the course, or couldn’t see the course
    for the fog? Did the golf ball find its way into the hole,
    or was it put there by media fairies?

    Cunliffe can’t see either. Resign with your integrity
    in tacked, gift your list place to a worthy new list MP.

    On Hager. Did it again! Incumbent party returns to office.

    Nice call Boag, announcing Hagers return so as not to shock people.

    When has Boag ever said anything that wasn’t spun first.

    Its day one of dirty John.

    Feel mugged? First housing, now at the ballot box.

    When we paid too much for milk Fonterra locked the price in,
    to maintain its consumers habits for buying milk.

    We can avoid buying milk, so it matters that we keep buying it.

    Avoid housing, food, healthcare, social engagement, energy? No.

    Rent seekers can keep ramping those prices up leaving more with
    no wiggle room after a hard days work.

    Spectacular victory. For whom? Dirty John? How come?

    Can you name one significant policy Dirty John has?

    Return Collins to cabinet ASAP.

    Payback double.

    Dirty John.

    • Treetop 21.1

      The only thing which has worked for dirty John is the policies that the Clark government introduced from 1999 – 2008.

      • aerobubble 21.1.1

        Yes. And Labour did such a wonderful job of distancing themselves from her legacy. Why was it so hard to tell Key that he has run up debt, raised taxes, increased the burden of the tax system on lower to middle Kiwis.

        Labour doesn’t want to win, in fact they seem just want to play at each being leader.

        Labour need to find a winner who got National voters to switch back to Labour and make them leader.

        Oh, Nash. A entirely new face who talks to National voters, unlike any of the creepy lazy Caucus.

  22. Treetop 22

    I think the whole country are about to wake up and realise that the country is broke, both in spirit and financially, similar to in 1984.

    Key privatised the energy assets just to get the books in the black. With the dividend reduced and the forecast to farmers being reduced the government and the farmers will be forced to borrow.

    What upsets me most about the election result is being concerned about the deceitful politics which will continue.

    • aerobubble 22.1

      Its assumed that Kiwis returning to NZ will be like their former returnees of past time, monied up. But there has been a GFC, losing a job, a house, it does not follow they will come home wealthy.

      Couple that with Auckland housing crisis, that is forcing skilled workers to pay more for rent, for rates, for homes. It will only harm any rebound in the economy when skilled workers are needed. Why build a business in NZ when the economy isn’t mugging your employees income in Australia.

      Then there is the debt question. NZ has not suffered the GFC market failure due to China Dragon Babies boom, and housing log demand. Couple that with the reestablishing the depleted EQC funds, insurance costs rises….

      Key has done nothing, and has even been returned on the platform he won’t do anything for the next three years.

      Dirty Key won his dirty election.

  23. Delia 23

    On election night people said what they were having for tea on a social media page which is left wing. I have had illness over the years where I could not work and than had long periods when I could. I am married and have an adult family. What shocked me was what they were eating. Person after person said sausage, mince, some veggies I wanted the kids to have the meat,one said weetbix, one said nothing. Some writing here can close their minds and say there is no hardship out there, but there is. Some are on benefits and some are on low wage jobs. People cannot manage when they have an income little more than the 1980’s and that is the reality for many in NZ and it is not just a few. As far as I can see the National landslide yesterday was a vote for social inequality, either because like some writers here you think hardship does not exist or you are a voter who actually does not care.

  24. SHG 24

    “I don’t live in Christchurch.”

    The people who do voted National.

  25. Sable 25

    My wife and I are well established with property in Wellington and elsewhere. We are not suffering as many are. I care about the plight of others but if people wont act in their own self interest then there is little my comments or voting are going to do to change anything.

  26. Kiwisaver 26

    What is acting in your own self-interest?
    A new Paknsave is opening soon near me. There are 180+ jobs, and well over 1000 applied. Because of our low-wages many will only earn $15 an hour or $600 gross pw, which will be just enough to make them working poor. So yes, many will work overtime or get another job if they can.
    I know many University grad’s working retail because there just aren’t the jobs for them. How can young ones save for their own home when wages are so low? And don’t forget these people pay Paye tax, unlike people who buy and sell homes and rent them for a living.
    So self-interest? For many it’s just about working to survive.

  27. Annie 27

    One thing I think we on the left need to do, is start engaging with and supporting each other. And stop bothering to engage with the people whose world view is so right wing it will never change. It is a waste of energy.

    Labour need to remember that we are now in an MMP environment, and instead of Kelvin Davis etc attacking IMP, and dissing the Greens that I have heard from some Labour MPs, keep focussed on the enemy that is neoliberalism and the right.

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