web analytics

Through the Looking Glass.

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, October 31st, 2016 - 15 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, discrimination, International, political alternatives, uk politics, unemployment, welfare - Tags: , ,

The culture being addressed will be familiar enough to many here in NZ who deal with Work and Income. Government strategies to address that culture? Well, that’s another story. This isn’t just happening half a world away. It might as well be happening in another universe – back on the sane side of some looking glass NZ has fallen through.

From last Friday’s Glasgow Herald.

In the words of Social Security Minister, Jeane Freeman …

“Creating a (social security) system that treats people with dignity, fairness and respect shouldn’t be a big ask. But given people’s experiences of the current system it absolutely is a big deal.”

…ministers are to turn their backs on talk of ‘welfare’, Ms Freeman said.

“It is important to us that this is a social security system. We are absolutely convinced that social security is an investment that we make individually and collectively for ourselves and each other. Neither you nor I know when we might need that help and support,”

“Rhetoric from some politicians and parts of our mainstream media has created the impression that people who need the support of the social security system are undeserving,” she said. “Where there are fraudulent behaviours, we need to spot them and deal with it. But that is very different from designing a system that presumes that everyone who comes into it is trying to pull a fast one,”

Before the end of the year, the Government aims to recruit 2000 volunteers to help advise it over the next four and a half years, as it sets up a social security system from scratch,…Volunteers will mainly be people who currently rely on benefits, but also workers with knowledge of the system, such as welfare rights advisors, and those with experience of payment systems and even ex-DWP* employees…

Meanwhile, back here in ‘godzone’?

Pants.

* equivalent to Work and Income.

15 comments on “Through the Looking Glass. ”

  1. Henry Filth 1

    Social welfare systems are usually a good example of systems designed by people who don’t use them.

    Clever people creating bad or second-rate systems out of ignorance.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Clever people creating bad or second-rate systems out of ignorance.

      I’m pretty sure you’ll find a whole heap of arrogance in there as well.

      • Henry Filth 1.1.1

        Mmmmmmmmmmmm, no, I’m not so sure.

        I’m pretty sure it’s ignorance. New Zealand has become such a class-sodden society that there is a real ignorance about what all those pretty flow-charts and interaction-diagrams actually mean for the real people who live in the real world.

        Theory and process take precedence. Sad. Very sad. But I doubt that you’ll find more than a smidgeon of actual malice or arrogance.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Arrogance != malice

          Arrogance

          offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.

          Bunch of people acting with an I know best attitude without truly understanding what’s happening in the real world.

        • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.1.2

          “But I doubt that you’ll find more than a smidgeon of actual malice or arrogance.”

          I’m not so sure about that.

          When it comes to accessing government funded disability supports (for those disabled NOT on ACC) one has to go through the NASC. (Needs Assessment and Service Coordination).

          After 17 years of assuming that the stunning level of ignorance and incompetence was down to simple lack of education and experience (and this was the reason that our needs had not been recognised nor any services coordinated) we asked for our file from our local NASC.

          Hmmm…Yes we found ignorance. And yes, we found indicators of lack of knowledge and experience of specific disabling impairments.

          But…we also found gross inaccuracies in record keeping, which when we challenged these and asked for an explanation, we were told that those ‘team members were no longer working there’. A quick phone call to the NASC confirmed that two of the ‘team members’ mentioned in our complaint where actually still working there. The manager lied. In an email. Then lied again. In an email.

          So…eventually a meeting with manager, advocate, and two high up bureaucrats from local DHB.

          The manager and his superiors from the DHB closed ranks and flatly refused to address ANY of our issues with their history of shit record keeping and gross inaccuracies.

          Flatly refused.

          We had to ‘move forward’, despite the fact that our being able to trust this government funded service was of paramount importance.

          Unsurprisingly to us (we have followed the welfare, NHS and disability support ‘reforms’ that have wracked the UK over the past decade) the lying manager and the hard faced and uncompromising bureaucrats were ALL recent migrants from Britain.

          Funny that.

      • Richard Rawshark 1.1.2

        Paula Bennet is not clever, but still she managed it.

      • Liberal Realist 1.1.3

        Clever people creating bad or second-rate systems out of ignorance.

        I’m pretty sure you’ll find a whole heap of arrogance in there as well.

        And clever people creating bad or second-rate systems by design.

  2. Venezia 2

    The Ken Loach movie “I, Daniel Blake” is highly recommended here. From what I have heard, it traverses very similar experiences to those dependent on Work and Income in NZ over the past 8 years.

  3. Siobhan 3

    I’m all for small victories and all that “The new social security powers will only account for 15 per cent of the total Scottish benefit bill, or £2.7 billion – with the bulk of spending still controlled at Westminster, including job seekers’ allowance and the employment and support allowance.”

    But how are the SNP planning on paying for it all?? Ah yes…”deepening spending cuts on councils, schools and student support.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/01/scottish-government-to-set-up-benefits-agency-to-streamline-welfare

    • Bill 3.1

      Are you being deliberately mis-leading or just idiotic there Siobhan? The point of the post is that the culture is being shovelled.

      That piece you linked was from just before the Holyrood elections (y’know politicking and all that?) and reports that unnamed opposition parties asked “how increased payments would be funded amid deepening spending cuts on councils, schools and student support.”

      I won’t go into all the swings and merry-go-rounds of undermining UK imposed austerity policies on a fixed budget.

      Given that at that point in time Labour were still the main opposition and Dugdale was reported as claiming that “Neil’s proposals fell short of her far more ambitious offer, which also included doubling maternity grants to £1,030, and giving care leavers full grants for further and higher education.”, I’m guessing the main opposition weren’t complaining and the Guardian was just stirring its usual shit on Scottish affairs.

      That you then ripped even that shoddy piece of reporting out of context and tried to give it extra wee false legs is less than impressive.

      btw. Labour (third party in Holyrood now) have signalled their appreciation over the fact that the SNP adopted an amendment around (I think carer allowances) that they’d proposed but had no hope in hell of pushing through using traditional parliamentary procedures – ie, bullshit numbers games.

      edit. Skulled from the comments below the article linked in the post.

      Gail Hughs – “Where does it come from in other countries? The UK spends 16.5% of GDP, or 37.5% of total government expenditure on social protection. The average of the 28 EU countries is 19.5% of GDP or 40.4% of government expenditure. The UK spends just 0.2% of GDP on unemployment, only Bulgaria of the EU-28 spends less at 0.1%. The EU average is 1.5%. On sickness and disability we match the EU-28 average at 2.8% of GDP. Our pensions cost us 8.5% of GDP, trailing behind the EU-28 average of 10.3%. How do those countries afford their social protection?”

      As an aside, and it is an aside because the post is about a shift in culture – I wonder what the percentage is in NZ?

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1

        “I wonder what the percentage is in NZ?”

        http://briefingpapers.co.nz/2016/05/recent-trends-in-public-spending/

        A clever person might be able to put Mr. Easton’s graphs up…

      • Siobhan 3.1.2

        It’s all opinion ain’t it Bill…even the Glasgow Herald has its agenda. There is no harm in presenting different points of view. In fact I find people who resort to personal abuse in political discourse are those most in need of confrontational opinions…so here’s one on the SNP, just for you, from Mr Jeremy Corbyn…who has his agenda too…

        Mr Corbyn said: “Just under a year ago I was elected leader of the Labour Party because people could see a need for change. That need for change isn’t going away – and neither am I.”
        He added: “It’s Labour’s commitment to making that difference that means that we’re not looking for an alliance with the SNP.
        “Let me make it clear. I will welcome support for all or any of our policies from any other political groups or parties … but I’m well aware that Labour and the SNP come from different traditions and have different goals.

        “I don’t see a party that welcomed (then Chancellor) George Osborne’s corporation tax cuts, relentlessly attacked local government and is committed to a benefit cap as reliable allies for a radical Labour government.
        “There are many people who have voted for, or even joined, the SNP who want to see many of the changes we want to implement.
        “I don’t think these people are always being served properly by the SNP.”

        • Bill 3.1.2.1

          If you’d been paying attention you’d have been aware that I’ve repeatedly pointed out that alliances (ie – coalitions) have no place in places with fixed term parliaments and that parties work through things on a case by case basis.

          The SNP tried to point this out during the last UK election while the media spun its lines about an SNP tail wagging the Labour dog in a Westminster coalition government.

          Corbyn’s more or less just speaking common sense but underpinning it with Scottish Labour speaking points – speaking points that have seen them lose their position as main opposition in Holyrood to the Tory Party.

          But again, the post was about dismantling a heinous social security culture that exists over here just as much as it does over there.

  4. Richard Rawshark 4

    Bill, I see no point in referring to the UK system as this lot ain’t interested in looking at anything anyone else suggests.

    They are following their idea’s come hell or death, there is no good outcome .

    Change the government. end of.

    • Bill 4.1

      Not aware of any such thing coming from opposition though. The SS Act here is a bloody shambles and the culture no better than in the UK.

      Government after government has made hollow promises to review and/or rewrite and nothing has ever happened.

      Like I wrote in the post – NZ is pants. Change the government and it’ll still be pants.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Relationship with Malaysia to be elevated to Strategic Partnership
    The relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Malaysia is to be elevated to the status of a Strategic Partnership, to open up opportunities for greater co-operation and connections in areas like regional security and economic development. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta met her Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah today during a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Call for New Zealanders to get on-board with rail safety
    With additional trains operating across the network, powered by the Government’s investment in rail, there is need for a renewed focus on rail safety, Transport Minister Michael Wood emphasised at the launch of Rail Safety Week 2022. “Over the last five years the Government has invested significantly to improve level ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Regional approach the focus at ASEAN and East Asia Summit talks
    The Foreign Minister has wrapped up a series of meetings with Indo-Pacific partners in Cambodia which reinforced the need for the region to work collectively to deal with security and economic challenges. Nanaia Mahuta travelled to Phnom Penh for a bilateral meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers and Aotearoa New Zealand, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • The beat goes on as Government renews support for musicians
    Extension of Aotearoa Touring Programme supporting domestic musicians The Programme has supported more than 1,700 shows and over 250 artists New Zealand Music Commission estimates that around 200,000 Kiwis have been able to attend shows as a result of the programme The Government is hitting a high note, with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to attend Guadalcanal Commemorations in the Solomon Islands
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare will depart tomorrow for Solomon Islands to attend events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal. While in Solomon Islands, Minister Henare will also meet with Solomon Islands Minister of National Security, Correctional Services and Police Anthony Veke to continue cooperation on security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New programme to provide insights into regenerative dairy farming 
    The Government is partnering with Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited and Ngāi Tūāhuriri on a whole-farm scale study in North Canterbury to validate the science of regenerative farming, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.   The programme aims to scientifically evaluate the financial, social and environmental differences between regenerative and conventional practices. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More women on public boards than ever before
    52.5% of people on public boards are women Greatest ever percentage of women Improved collection of ethnicity data “Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees is now 52.5 percent, the highest ever level. The facts prove that diverse boards bring a wider range of knowledge, expertise and skill. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Awards support Pacific women
    I am honoured to support the 2022 Women in Governance Awards, celebrating governance leaders, directors, change-makers, and rising stars in the community, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. For the second consecutive year, MPP is proudly sponsoring the Pacific Governance Leader category, recognising Pacific women in governance and presented to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt investment into Whakatāne regeneration reaches new milestones
    Today Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash turned the sod for the new Whakatāne Commercial Boat Harbour, cut the ribbon for the revitalised Whakatāne Wharf, and inspected work underway to develop the old Whakatāne Army Hall into a visitor centre, all of which are part of the $36.8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government determined to get a better deal for consumers
    New Zealanders are not getting a fair deal on some key residential building supplies and while the Government has already driven improvements in the sector, a Commerce Commission review finds that  changes are needed to make it more competitive. “New Zealand is facing the same global cost of living and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government exceeds Mana in Mahi target
    Mana in Mahi reaches a milestone surpassing 5,000 participants 75 per cent of participants who had been on a benefit for two or more years haven’t gone back onto a benefit 89 per cent who have a training pathway are working towards a qualification at NZQA level 3 or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government opens new research and innovation hub
    The Government has invested $7.7 million in a research innovation hub which was officially opened today by Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Dr Ayesha Verrall. The new facility named Te Pā Harakeke Flexible Labs comprises 560 square metres of new laboratory space for research staff and is based at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Unemployment remains low and wages rise despite volatile global environment
    Unemployment has remained near record lows thanks to the Government’s economic plan to support households and businesses through the challenging global environment, resulting in more people in work and wages rising. Stats NZ figures show the unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in the June quarter, with 96,000 people classed out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First ever climate adaptation plan lays foundations for resilient communities
    Action to address the risks identified in the 2020 climate change risk assessment, protecting lives, livelihoods, homes, businesses and infrastructure A joined up approach that will support community-based adaptation with national policies and legislation Providing all New Zealanders with information about local climate risks via a new online data ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New mental health and addiction services making a difference for Māori
    Māori with mental health and addiction challenges have easier access to care thanks to twenty-nine Kaupapa Māori primary mental health and addiction services across Aotearoa, Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare says. “Labour is the first government to take mental health seriously for all New Zealanders. We know that Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Data and Statistics Bill Passes its Third Reading
    A Bill which updates New Zealand’s statistics legislation for the 21st century has passed its third and final reading today, Minister of Statistics David Clark said. The Data and Statistics Act replaces the Statistics Act, which has been in effect since 1975. “In the last few decades, national data and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further moves to improve the lives of disabled people
    The Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill has passed its first reading in Parliament today, marking a significant milestone to improve the lives of disabled people. “The Bill aims to address accessibility barriers that prevent disabled people, tāngata whaikaha and their whānau, and others with accessibility needs from living independently,” said ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to the China Business Summit
    Kia ora koutou, da jia hao It’s great to be back at this year’s China Business Summit. I would first like to acknowledge Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, former Prime Minister Helen Clark, His Excellency Ambassador Wang Xiaolong, and parliamentary colleagues both current and former the Right Honourable Winston Peters, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further changes to CCCFA Regulations will improve safe access to credit
    Narrowing the expenses considered by lenders Relaxing the assumptions that lenders were required to make about credit cards and buy-now pay-later schemes. Helping make debt refinancing or debt consolidation more accessible if appropriate for borrowers The Government is clarifying the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance (CCCFA) Regulations, to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government prioritises firearm prohibition orders to reduce gun harm
    The Firearms Prohibition Order Legislation Bill will be passed through all remaining stages by the end of next week, Police Minister Chris Hipkins said. The Justice Select Committee has received public feedback and finalised its report more quickly than planned. It reported back to the House on Friday.  “The Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • National plan to protect kauri commences
    The Government has stepped up activity to protect kauri, with a National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) coming into effect today, Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor and Associate Environment Minister James Shaw said. “We have a duty to ensure this magnificent species endures for future generations and also for the health of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Support for Samoa’s Climate Change Plan and rebuild of Savalalo Market
     Prime Minister Ardern met with members of Samoa’s Cabinet in Apia, today, announcing the launch of a new climate change partnership and confirming support for the rebuild of the capital’s main market, on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Aotearoa New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Reconnecting with ASEAN and Malaysia
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for the Indo-Pacific region today for talks on security and economic issues at meetings of ASEAN and the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, and during bilateral engagements in Malaysia. “Engaging in person with our regional partners is a key part of our reconnecting strategy as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement to the 2022 Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
    United Nations Headquarters, New York City  Thank you, Mr President. Ngā mihi ki a koutou. I extend my warm congratulations to you and assure you of the full cooperation of the New Zealand delegation. I will get right to it. In spite of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the nuclear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 10,000 more permanent public homes added under the Labour Government
    A major milestone of 10,037 additional public homes has been achieved since Labour came into office, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods confirmed today. “It’s extremely satisfying and a testament to our commitment to providing a safety net for people who need public housing, that we have delivered these warm, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Sanctions on Russian armed forces and weapons manufacturers
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta has announced further sanctions on the armed forces and military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation. “President Putin and the Russian military are responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, which is a grave breach of fundamental international law,” Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government plan to boost health workers
    Easing the process for overseas nurses and provision of up to $10,000 in financial support for international nurses for NZ registration costs. Provide for the costs of reregistration for New Zealand nurses who want to return to work. Covering international doctors’ salaries during their six-week clinical induction courses and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Today marks one year since Government’s Dawn Raids apology
    A new  future between Pacific Aotearoa and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is the essence of a Dawn Raids Apology anniversary event in Auckland this month, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. One year ago, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Speech to China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa Tuia ngā waka, Tuia ngā wawata, Tuia ngā hou-kura Let us bind our connection, let us bind our vision, let us bind our shared aspiration for peace and prosperity. This year marks a significant milestone in the New Zealand – China relationship.   Fifty years ago – 1972 – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islands Language Week will close generational gap
    It’s Cook Islands Language week and the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio wants the community to focus on what it means to keep the language alive across the generations. “Our Cook Islands community in Aotearoa have decided to focus on the same theme as last years; ‘ Ātuitui’ia ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost of Living support payment to reach over 2 million New Zealanders
    From 1 August an estimated 2.1 million New Zealanders will be eligible to receive the first targeted Cost of Living Payment as part of the Government’s plan to help soften the impact of rising global inflationary pressures affecting New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. The payments will see eligible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s border fully open to visitors and students
    · New Zealand’s international border opens to all visitors, including from non-visa waiver countries, and international students from 11:59PM, 31 July 2022. · Cruise ships and recreational yachts able to arrive at New Zealand ports. This evening marks the final step in the Government’s reconnecting plan, with visitors from non-visa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government sets out plan to eliminate HIV transmission in New Zealand
    New Action Plan to eliminate HIV transmission released for consultation today $18 million Budget 2022 boost Key measures to achieve elimination include increasing prevention and testing, improving access to care and treatment and addressing stigma The Government has today released its plan to eliminate the transmission of HIV in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government support lifts income for beneficiaries
    A report released today shows Government support has lifted incomes for Beneficiaries by 40 percent over and above inflation since 2018. “This is the first time this data set has been collected, and it clearly shows Government action is having an impact,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “This Government made a commitment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Māori Housing: Urban development underway in Mt Wellington
    Thirty new warm, safe and affordable apartments to be delivered by Tauhara North No 2 Trust in Tāmaki Makaurau Delivered through Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga programme, jointly delivered by Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Allocation of the apartments will be prioritised to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Phil Twyford to attend Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty meeting
    Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Phil Twyford will lead Aotearoa New Zealand’s delegation to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the United Nations in New York next week. “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long history of advocating for a world free of nuclear weapons,” Phil Twyford said. “The NPT has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Construction Sector Accord – launch of Transformation Plan 2022-2025
      I am delighted to join you today for the launch of the Construction Sector Accord Transformation Plan 2022-2025. I would like to acknowledge my colleagues – the other Accord Ministers, the Accord governance and sector leadership, the CEOs of Government agencies, and leaders from the construction sector. The construction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Work underway to make Wairarapa roads safer
    Associate Minister of Transport Kieran McAnulty was joined this morning by the Mayors of Carterton and Masterton, local Iwi and members of the Wairarapa community to turn the first sod on a package of crucial safety improvements for State Highway 2 in Wairarapa. “The work to improve safety on this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Next steps taken to deliver Milford Opportunities Project
    The board to take the Milford Opportunities Project (MOP) forward has been announced by Minister of Conservation Poto Williams today.  “The Milford Opportunities Project is a once in a generation chance to reshape the gateway to Milford Sound Piopiotahi and redesign our transport infrastructure to benefit locals, visitors, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Construction Sector Transformation Plan to accelerate change in industry
    A new three year plan to transform the construction industry into a high-performing sector with increased productivity, diversity and innovation has been unveiled by the Minister for Building and Construction Dr Megan Woods and Accord Steering group this morning. As lead minister for the Construction Sector Accord, Dr Woods told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago