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Vulnerable Children: The big picture

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, September 18th, 2013 - 43 comments
Categories: activism, class war, greens, hone harawira, labour, mana, paula bennett, phil twyford, poverty, same old national, unemployment - Tags: ,

Yesterday Paula Bennett introduced the First Reading of the Vulnerable Children Bill.  There is no doubt action is needed to deal with New Zealand’s appalling record of violence against children.  However, as opposition MPs argue, it needs to take into account the bigger picture of poverty, social context, and state agencies such as WINZ being in need of vast improvement.

It was hard to take Bennett’s expressed concern for anyone that is vulnerable, let alone children, following her ongoing attacks on beneficiaries.

Yesterday Sue Bradford’s post (Beneficiary ‘impact’ demonstrates reality of Nats’ war on the poor: but will Labour under Cunliffe do any better?) reported on last week’s AAAP, Impact advocacy action in New Lynn. She describes the desperate conditions in which many low income people are living, and the ways in which WINZ is not coping with pressing needs.

I met a number of sole mums living in horrendous conditions – overcrowded, cold and hungry, washing clothes by hand in the middle of winter and bunking down with their babies and young children in cramped, pest-infested accommodation not fit for humans.  It is no wonder so many children – and their parents – suffer chronic major illness.

It is hard not to feel angry when you find Work and Income turning people down for desperately needed food, clothing or appliance grants; not informing people of their full entitlements; and leaving seriously ill or disabled people on worktested benefits.

Opposition parties will support the Bill to committee stage. As Green MP Jan Logie said in her First Reading speech, the Greens will be guided by the submissions in their decisions about whether to give any further support to the Bill. Logie argued that the Bill doesn’t look at the wider social environment, but focuses on individuals in isolation.  She said there is a need to resource families and make it as easy as possible to get help, while inequalities distance people with the least from the mainstream. Logie also pointed to the problems of social workers being overloaded with cases.

In a press release, Hone Harawira says that

“Government wants to up the reporting of child abuse, even though Child Youth and Family admit that they haven’t even got the resources to deal with their current caseload” said Harawira.

“They’re talking about vetting hundreds of thousands of government workers, which is going to cost millions in itself, without even knowing if it will actually help protect our kids. “

And they want to sack anyone accused of offending against children – no investigation, no trial, no appeal – that’s a recipe for persecution if ever I heard one, and no guarantee that kids will be better protected. “

And all of that simply reinforces the belief that government is happy to take the stick to poor families, but won’t help them by increasing the minimum wage, or investing in job creation, or backing a feed the kids programme in schools, or even letting them stay in their state houses.

“I don’t doubt that the Minister is sincere in wanting to protect vulnerable children, but it all rings hollow when her government’s only measures are all punitive.

Jacinda Ardern’s press release says that,

“We still have major concerns around the risk predictor model and will confirm our position on the Vulnerable Children’s Bill following public submissions and the select committee process.

“We also believe more work needs to be done on the wider issues of child well-being, including child poverty.

This makes similar points to those given in her speech at yesterday’s First Reading.

Phil Twyford’s speech was particularly significant.  He pointed out that the government speakers for the Bill were at pains to distance themselves from issues of poverty and inequality. Twyford argued that social context, poverty and income inequalities, while not specifically causing child abuse, were underlying risk factors.

Links between child abuse, poverty and inequality are shown in the UNICEF 2006 report on violence against children (pp.30-2). It explains that measures to counter violence against children should include the reduction of:

[…] social and economic inequalities. Governments should analyse the impact of public policies on the vulnerability of communities and their children to violence, and commit substantial investment to the implementation of social, housing, employment, and quality education policies and programmes. Priority should be given to approaches that focus on poverty and improving linkages, participation and social networks within and between different community groups, thereby fulfilling economic, social and cultural rights; …

Social and economic risk factors are also addressed in a submission to the UN, coordinated by UNICEF New Zealand.

The relationship between poverty and violence is associated with the increased stresses that arise out of poverty, with the social alienation that accompanies poverty, with reduced access to supportive services and with lack of information about personal rights and entitlements.

Addressing violence must include a focus on addressing socio-economic disadvantage.

Green MP Catherine Delahunty’s speech, in talking about vulnerable children in a “holistic way”, focused on our violent society.  She also pointed out the links between violence against children and domestic violence against women. She is critical that the Bill does not address the issue of poverty and extra vulnerabilities of many women and children trying to escape from an abusive partner/father.

Delahunty’s argument is supported by domestic violence statistics as reported by NZ Women’s Refuges.The UNICEF NZ submission to the UN, also reported on the link between “domestic (or partner) violence and violence to children”:

Violence to children is closely linked to interpersonal violence between adults.

There is a need to scrutinise the progress of this Bill carefully and critically, so that the government does not get away with separating vulnerable children from issues of poverty and income inequalities. Furthermore there needs to be on-going pressure to improve the capabilities of  agencies such as WINZ.

43 comments on “Vulnerable Children: The big picture”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    The person I really feel sorry for is James Parker. So much deprivation led him to the sorry situation he is in today. I am just glad someone is brave enough to speak out for him.

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    Prof. Sir Peter Gluckman’s recent report identified MSD as wanting evidence for their policies.

    No wonder the Tories are in denial.

  3. Ad 3

    Ardern and Twyford should stop dicking around and support this bill. Labour gets on the wrong side of this they will get minced by Bennett. Select Committees these days change very very little other than a brave little minority report. Time we put the precautionary approach into managing children.

    • karol 3.1

      It’s not just Ardern and Twyford that are giving conditional support to the Bill, but Harawira and the Greens.

      They all state clearly they think something needs to be done to protect vulnerable children, but they have concerns about the means of achieving it via the Bill. these need to be highlighted.

      Ardern is calling for a plan that gets cross party support – Bennett is rejecting that – she is the one that should be minced.

      From Ardern’s press release – linked to in my post.

      “Not only is Labour committed to establishing a Ministry for Children, a Children’s Minister and a greater role for the Children’s Commissioner, we also remain committed to a cross party approach to child wellbeing and protection.

      “While the Government has, so far, not accepted several offers from us to work with it on the Children’s Action Plan, submissions on the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children overwhelmingly supported a collaborative approach to policy in this area.

      “Accordingly I have written to Social Development Minister Paula Bennett today, outlining Labour’s intention to support work being done on the Plan, specifically around children’s teams.

      “We still have major concerns around the risk predictor model and will confirm our position on the Vulnerable Children’s Bill following public submissions and the select committee process.

      “We also believe more work needs to be done on the wider issues of child well-being, including child poverty.

    • Time we put the precautionary approach into managing children.

      Or, to put it another way, “Time to ditch the rule of law and the presumption of innocence.” It’s always that time if you’re an authoritarian, but hopefully not if you’re a Labour MP.

      As to poverty as a major risk factor for violence against children, yes it is and everyone knows it. But would you really want a National government coming up with policies based on the assumption that the poor are more likely to be child abusers? They wouldn’t be very pleasant policies, you can bet.

      I certainly agree that “Governments should analyse the impact of public policies on the vulnerability of communities and their children to violence…” In this country, that would result in some recognition that policies that have brought us to having large numbers of children exposed to the most serious risk factors for neglect and violence (those being: raised on a benefit; living with an unrelated male adult) are perhaps not in society’s best interest. Where that would lead us would probably also not greatly enthuse Sue Bradford.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.2.1

        @ Populuxe,

        You make an extremely good point here, however can you take a look at your conclusion?

        “Where that would lead us would probably also not greatly enthuse Sue Bradford.”

        There just hasn’t been enough emphasis on the people in our economic approaches. How humans respond and are effected have been categorically denied.

        Now your comment seems to suggest that if these effects, the impact of policies, were finally looked at, that draconian ambulance-at-the-bottom-of -the-cliff measures are the only response possible.

        You are presenting a no-improvement-possible scenario. “If the problem is looked at draconian measures will ensue; that would be no good, so lets all go back to shutting our eyes.”

        There is another option here. The impact of policies could be assessed and there could be a shift in the policies pursued toward policies that rate human factors as important.

        • Populuxe1 3.2.1.1

          Um, not me – I think you mean Psycho Milt

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.2.1.1.1

            Eek, yes I mean Psycho Milt, sorry Populuxe1, how absent-minded of me!

        • Psycho Milt 3.2.1.2

          I’m just saying be careful what you wish for. If we start to analyse what policies are putting children at risk of violence, we’ll need to figure out whether any public policies are encouraging the raising of children on a benefit and the presence of non-related adult males in their homes, and what could be done to discourage those things. I guess there are ‘positive’ things we could do, but most of the things that spring to mind fall more into your category of ‘Draconian.’ Personally, I don’t mind which category we go for, as long as we do something at least.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3.2.1.2.1

            @ Psycho Milt (got your name correct this time!)

            Yes, it is very good to keep an eye out for unintended consequences and reminding everyone of such is a good activity. I do believe that prior to this government, that part of the process regarding consequences was taken very seriously!

            Despite taking considering-the-consequences seriously, however, I do think that successive governments have focussed on quick-fix ambulance-at-the-bottom-of-the-hill type remedies, so-much-so that they have been blinded to more productive answers. (Perhaps this has been due to too much influence from certain sectors who pressure governments to keep wages and working conditions low.). Blinded, also to the way their wider policies may be creating high levels of unemployment.

            Short-term approaches such as how DPB recipients have been given a way harder time for way longer than a single unemployed person. (I have usually concluded that this must be to try and get them off a benefit so that their children don’t get to be ‘normalized’ to such.) And the draconian measures they take toward cutting assistance to those in relationships and on welfare.

            Sadly these above approaches leads to more likelihood of the type of poverty trap that leads to a cycle of dare-I-say-it ‘welfare dependancy’.

            While members of government continue to believe that people ‘stay’ on benefits because they are lazy or ‘wrong-minded’, and omit to realise it is due to some people having more obstacles than others and that their own policies are creating poverty traps, poor working conditions, lack of jobs and ever-increasing obstacles toward up-skilling, then I daresay we will continue along the track of draconian measures.

            • Greywarbler 3.2.1.2.1.1

              I think when one looks at how DPB beneficiaries were treated (I understand it has now been changed greatly), it is necessary to look at the moralistic, blaming and shaming attitudes that became prevalent when Jenny Shipley was PM.

              Just dealing with the job of assisting single/solo parents to be good child raisers, and to keep in the work force to some extent increasing as the children get older, is of little importance in its totality. The WINZ approach is based on the idea of DPB people being immoral, feckless, irresponsible leading to the judgmental model of old-fashioned cold charity.

          • miravox 3.2.1.2.2

            ” the presence of non-related adult males in their homes, and what could be done to discourage those things.”

            There’s a serious problem of making public policy so draconian, and so discriminatory that children may be in at least as much risk from being raised in violence due to the presence of a related adult male in their home because there is no means to leave.

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    Dear Poorlah, past behaviour is a correlated, though insufficient predictor of future behaviour. There FIFY!

    Individualistic approach- tick
    social work overburden- tick
    women abuse children- tick
    violent society- tick

    NB: It is predicted that 50% of the youth in some regions will be of Maori ethnicity in the coming decades

    However, I’m cool with this Bill (not the bs rhetoric necessary to pass it) and if it were not for Mercy, would seek the placement of a Child Harm Prevention Order on somebody I know quite well.
    Still, Mercy before Judgement, and don’t trust the Law Enforcement agencies. 😉

  5. Ad 5

    I can’t think of anything more weasly than setting up a Ministry for Children, or an upgraded Commissioner for Anything. Purest duck-shoving. Of course poverty is about everything, everything must be done. But that’s nothing to do with this bill in reality.

    Not a time to be weak about a basic protection measure. The progressives should get on board.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1

      Not a time for macho-wanker posturing that will achieve sweet fuck all, either, so what’s your excuse, chump?

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Let me introduce you to Common Accountabiolity Platforms. The last time Labour tried anything remotely as good as this was in the Growth and Innovation Framework – which was largely economic devleopment in focus. Common accountability means everyone’s at-risk components are at risk, everyone actually has to act toegther and sign off on single plans, no new bullshit weak-ass Departments or quangoes are formed, and everyone gets to put up common budget bids – that’s what sends a ripple up Treasury and the Minister of Finacne when it comes to the real resource share. That also means Ministers are forced to work together if they are going to get the resource at the Cabinet table, and everyone’s ass hangs out in front of the media for stuff-ups.

        And then they are commonly accountable for the results.

        “The Bill introduces a new requirement for certain Chief Executives to collectively develop, and report on a vulnerable children’s plan.

        That plan must set out how these agencies will work together towards collectively achieving the Government’s priorities for vulnerable children.

        Chief Executives will have to report annually on the plan and answer to the responsible Minister on whether, or the extent to which each agency has implemented the plan for these kids.

        The plan will be made public.

        Do not underestimate the power of this unprecedented move.

        Never before in this country have the Chief Executives of Health, Education, Police, and Justice had this specific accountability for vulnerable children.

        Now they will, alongside the Ministry of Social Development of course.”

        If Ardern or the Greens had come up with that scale of cold hard machinery I would be singing their praises. What they do not need to do is whine right now. They need to see the scale of it.

        • karol 5.1.1.1

          The opposition parties are supporting it in the first instance. It is the role of opposition parties to subject government policies to in depth scrutiny.

          That’s not whining, that’s democracy in action.

          This government’s past record shows a disregard for democracy and wide public scrutiny of the proposed laws.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.1.2

          Ad, sure, that’s what the government and opposition are doing, but I was talking about you.

          • Rogue Trooper 5.1.1.2.1

            lol (sorry Ad, yet I was really enjoying your explication and confirmation) Thank-you.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.1.3

          PS: you’re joking, right? How will “accountability” fix the economic pressures that cause the problem? Is it going to stop the National Party slashing wages and attacking beneficiaries?

          • Ad 5.1.1.3.1

            No but it will do its intended job of making children safer from deviants, dorks, and childhood-destroyers. I am sure you have a glorious silver bullet for solving poverty. So go right ahead. Meantime, there’s your explanation of what the bill actually does.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1.1.3.1.1

              Here’s how “accountability” will work in practice: when someone’s employment suffers because they’ve been held “accountable”, their lawyer will point out that violence against children is driven by inequality, not accountability, and the employment court will agree, and award compensation.

              Still at least they’re “getting tough on crime”, eh? Jesus wept.

            • karol 5.1.1.3.1.2

              In her speech at the First Reading, linked in my post, Ardern agrees on the importance of the overall plan. She says Labour supports it, but will aim to revise and develop the plan when in government. She agrees that it needs cross party support. however, she says she wants it links more to Labour’s plan to work to alleviate poverty. There needs to be a targeted plan for this.

  6. tricledrown 6

    Meanwhile in the UK the libdems have finally got their policy to feed every child at school up and running.
    Research has shown their is a 20% increase in learning.
    Mean while Blame the parents is the only policy Nact have.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Clegg trying to shore up the remnants of his social democratic credentials. Lib Dems have previously opposed Labour city councillors from introducing similar programmes.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.2

      “Research has shown their is a 20% increase in learning.”

      Ya hungry there, yourself, tricledown?

  7. ghostrider888 7

    Let me tell you a little secret from the other side, cos’ the people whose abusive behaviour arising from their need to beat small children, or use them, including their own children, for sexual gratification has not been observed , are very deceptive, to others and themselves.

    • Ad 7.1

      Agreed. This needs to turn into the GCSB for the protection of children.

    • miravox 7.2

      +1 ghost. Deceptive and others are wilfully ignorant. Too quick to explain away what is staring them in the face.

      Unless vulnerable children legislation is going to deal with deceptiveness – and it can’t -, it may make kids lives worse as possible whistleblower adults look for greater proof before dobbing or keep away so they can remain wilfully ignorant.

      I’m also not sure how the legislation would define vulnerable children. As others have said there’s context to this. Some legislation already conflicts with the puported aim of this govt to keep children safe. Not just social welfare stuff, but also housing, legal aid, relationship counselling, women’s refuges and access to drug and alcohol treatment, just for starters.

      • karol 7.2.1

        I was listening to RNZ when I was driving this afternoon. On the Panel (yeah, I know), they had a lawyer interviewed who had read the Vulnerable Children Bill. He said that there would be an escalation in admin under this Bill should it become law as it is. It would be up to teachers, health staff, social workers etc, to manage claims that a person wasn’t safe to be around children. It wild involve lots of meetings etc. It would be a very costly process.

        So, basically, it would be up to the professionals to decide which “children”, apparently under 18 years, who would be designated as vulnerable to abuse.

        Then there’s also the problem that people will be designated as unsafe to be around children, without the need for legal level of proof.

        • Ad 7.2.1.1

          Survey New Zealand’s landscape of sexual abuse, child violence, rapes and molestations that never go to trial, and of those that do the miniscule level of convictions, and ask the hard question: is it still not time to act on clear suspicion – and continue New Zealand’s violence record on a world leading scale … or is it time at least to start with every single relevant government department was jointly held accountable for their safety?

          This culture shows no signs of believing what children say happens to them, so something else has to happen.

          We still (currently) have an RMA and biosecurity Acts with precautionary approaches to the environment, but not a precautionary approach to the safety of children?

          It’s time we challenged that. This bill does.

          • miravox 7.2.1.1.1

            “We still (currently) have an RMA and biosecurity Acts with precautionary approaches to the environment, but not a precautionary approach to the safety of children?

            It’s time we challenged that. This bill does”

            This bill is the equivalent of arresting someone for bringing in an apple off a plane. If you want full the RMA and biosecurity precautionary equivalent you’ll be looking at UNICEF submissions the post has linked to.

            A GCSB equivalent won’t fix it either, unless you’re going to put hidden cameras in every private space.

        • miravox 7.2.1.2

          Thanks Karol,

          Seems to me they’re not dealing with the ordinariness of reckless, stressed and plain nasty adults, in shitty situations, who have access to kids every day and that’s what the submissions you’ve linked to highlight.

          However, the Children’s Action Plan is extensive and important in many ways. But – is the Risk Predictor Model the major concern for Labour? Jacinda’s press release needed to be clearer about the issues with this. It means nothing to most people, as written, and the model is probably is part of the equation – if the data is there to safely predict at risk children, then use it (but don’t rely on it).

          Where as the risk predictor model is simply a tool, other parts of the plan actually change the direction of child protection quite dramatically without addressing the causes or necessarily creating lasting solutions.

          The biggest problems is context of people’s lives. There’s not a lot to address social as well as financial problems – poor lives, poor housing and rundown neighbourhoods with vulnerable people squashed into them, also stressed lives and ignored lives (at any income level). Funding for addiction problems and leaving or repairing failing relationships safely need to be boosted, not reduced. Current government moves in these areas have increased the likelihood of vulnerable children, imo.

          The action plan also dishes out response plans to charities and purchasing services for them (see how well this has worked in aged care). It’s a massive ideological change in it’s own right that will bring in all sorts of people into children’s lives and this is where the panel discussion you mentioned is important. No wonder the government feels the need to bring in the vetting legislation first.

          • karol 7.2.1.2.1

            I understand many people are concerned about a risk predictor approach to potential perpetrators of child abuse. The concern is that it doesn’t require a legal level of proof, but a suspicion and judgment by social workers, teachers etc.

            This quote from the Harawira pres release is relevant:

            And they want to sack anyone accused of offending against children – no investigation, no trial, no appeal – that’s a recipe for persecution if ever I heard one, and no guarantee that kids will be better protected. “

            Yes, miravox, everyone agrees that something needs to be done, and that there is possibly potential in Bennett’s Bill, but there are also many concerns that need to be looked at.

            • miravox 7.2.1.2.1.1

              I’m not sure Hone and Jacinda are talking about the same thing.

              Hone’s issue seems more specific to vetting. Clearly there is overlap. The risk predictor model, if it’s the one I think Jacinda is talking about, is more likely to identify parents at risk of abusing children, I would have thought.

              Hone’s comment is, however a good example of explaining how he sees the vetting problem. And he’s right, can you imagine the effect if a perfectly innocent person had to go about their life with this label attached? Or on children if say, a parent was accused in malice? Now that’s how to make a vulnerable child and vulnerable adult.

              Jacinda’s otoh, simply says they have major concerns about the risk predictor model – based on what? She doesn’t say. I’m assuming it’s this page of the children’s action plan

              And what’s the counter? The government can just roll out this MSD page:

              Ministry of Social Development commissioned the University of Auckland’s to consider how predictive modelling could be used to target early intervention to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect, and improve outcomes for children and young people.

              The University of Auckland’s research developed a predictive risk model for children in a cohort who had contact with the benefit system before age two. These children accounted for 83% of all children in for whom findings of substantiated maltreatment were recorded by age 5.

              This research indicates that predicting risk modelling had a fair, approaching good, power in predicting which of the young children having contact with the benefit system would be the subject of substantiated maltreatment by age five. This is similar to the predictive strength of mammograms for detecting breast cancer in the general population

              Whose side will the public be on? ‘Oh, the model can identify a few adults that can be tagged as potential abusers… collateral damage,’ they may say.

              NB – note that the model was tested using beneficiaries data. The report says it may be difficult to increase it to cover the wider community due to data limitations (see page 33 of rprt. Link on the MSD page above) – more stigmatisation and gaps in the whole programme if this is the case. That’s a big problem, I reckon. I wonder if Jacinda thinks so too.

              • karol

                miravox, I think Hone’s point about the risk of false accusations and Ardern’s reference to the risk-predictor model are linked. If a child is considered at risk, then they must be considered to be at risk of abuse from someone.

                In her speech, linked to in my post, Ardern talks about the risk predictor model then later says their concerns about this will be dealt with more by Andrew Little in his speech. She talks about the concern around the proposed new civil orders for child harm prevention orders. (about 7 mins 50). Labour will be looking for evidence that such orders will protect children from harm. The concern is particularly that overseas, no such order can be issued where there has been no criminal conviction in place.

                Little’s speech deals with the problem of protecting children, while ensuring that innocent people are not accused of being potential abusers.

                Earlier reports on the risk predictor model being used in the bill, describe the use of a database to track about 30,00 children deemed to be at rish=k:

                NZ Herald, Oct 2012.

                Ms Bennett said she was confident that the plans set out by the paper – including a Vulnerable Kids Database of up to 30,000 children considered to be most at risk of maltreatment – would work, and results would be seen almost immediately.
                […]
                The database of about 30,000 “at risk” children is to be created and accessed by health, school and social workers without parental knowledge as part of a huge overhaul of laws tackling child cruelty.

                Teachers, doctors, community organisations, Child, Youth and Family workers and others will have access to the database and be able to add to individual children’s records. High-risk adults will also be added to the database so they can be tracked and an alert given if a child moves into their household.

                My bold. So the judgement about a child being potentially at risk from abuse, will be linked to judgement about adults judged to be at risk of abusing children.

  8. Murray Olsen 8

    I can’t help thinking that action by conservative governments on the issue of child abuse have a habit of squeezing the abuse into unforeseen directions. They never try to understand the factors behind it and aim for a society where it will be stamped out. Their first instinct is to go for a police state type solution, clamping a lid down on the problem. This usually leads to some “experts” being imported, much like the doctors advising WINZ and ACC on “benefit addiction”. The Kiwi child psychologists and social workers, or a significant number of them, are all too happy to listen to these experts and we see rubbish results such as the Peter Ellis case. I’ve seen any number of child welfare reports which bear no relation to anything that actually happened.

    I do not want to see the government giving itself more power to invade our lives. I don’t think it will help at all. In fact, I’d put money on it making the situation worse.

    The real answers are much harder and go against the neoliberal orthodoxy. They recognise that society exists and aim to help build a more inclusive version, one where people’s first reaction is to help their fellow citizens rather than to call the Armed Offenders’ Squad on them.

  9. Tanz 9

    good on Bennett, she’s right re this. Not all child abuse is about poverty. Ask our grandparents, when welfare barely existed.

    • miravox 9.1

      “Ask our grandparents, when welfare barely existed.”

      No, not all child abuse is about poverty, but if I could ask my grandparents they’d say it wasn’t all rosy back then, either. They were poor, itinerant and had kids sleeping in sugar sacks.

      But at least they kept the kids, many couldn’t when welfare barely existed. Throughout Pakeha NZ history there have definitely been plenty of neglected, abandoned and ill children “suffering from the inadequacies of their parents or environment”, as the government worded it, who the education and child welfare systems set aside resources for. Start here for the list of children’s homes, health camps, industrial schools, special schools etc. and think about what proportion of kids it took to fill them, given the population. We all know there have been some horrendous abuses that have come about in these institutions.

      My grandparents eventually got state housing and in my parents day state housing, full employment, and an egalitarian society, with good public health checks through the education system and Plunket appeared reasonably important for a healthy childhood – didn’t work to fix domestic violence and sexual abuse though. That would have needed the DPB, so my mother could leave with the kids instead of leaving us to ourselves (but that was a few years away). That was pretty standard where I come from. And of course, in the worst cases of the domestic child abuse and neglect the kids that came to the attention of the authorities were trucked off to the institutions and other places. Potentially for a bit more of the same.

  10. xtasy 10

    ‘The Vulnerable Children Bill’ – as discussed on ‘The Panel’ on Radio NZ National on Wednesday, 18 Sept. 2013, on audio here:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2569736/the-panel-with-jonathan-krebs-and-neil-miller-part-2

    Listen from 09 min and 45 sec. onwards, where Jim Mora discusses this with guests Gordon McLauchlan and Jonathan Krebs, and also legal expert Gary Gottlieb, commenting on this by phone.

    It is not a positive feedback the bill gets in its present form.

  11. lenore 11

    I would like to make a plea to the Labour and Green MPs in regard to the employee screening. Please ensure that there is an independent authority set up to screen employees and do not leave it in the hands of the police and their vetting system. there have already been cases of the police red flagging people unfairly and the vetting arm (which is within the Police) not questioning the cops. There needs to be an independent group to keep the checks and balances and not leave it up to the Police!

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    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    8 hours ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    10 hours ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 day ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 day ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    2 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    3 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    4 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    4 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    6 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago

  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
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    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
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    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
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    2 weeks ago