Wage subsidy a half-hearted gesture

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 am, September 8th, 2010 - 58 comments
Categories: business, jobs, spin, wages - Tags: ,

The unions, business, and Phil Goff have all gritted their teeth and called the Nats’ $15 million wage subsidy scheme for small businesses affected by the Christchurch earthquake ‘a start’. The problem is, it’s likely to be the end. If the government had any intention of doing more, it would have done it. This scheme will leave workers and employers severely out of pocket, killing businesses and jobs.

There are about 77,000 workers (5% of our workforce) unable to work due to the quake. To ask their employers to continue paying their wages unaided would be a death sentence for many recession-weakened firms.

The Nats’ response is a $350 a week subsidy to firms employing 20 or fewer staff. It will only be for the staff who would work if the business was open, not workers who can’t get to work due to their personal circumstances. The bill is expected to be $15 million (how the Herald got $100 million is anyone’s guess, it can’t possibly be that much)

First off, the quantum of the payment is inadequate. $350 a week is less the minimum full-time wage. It’s less than half the median wage of $750 a week. Employers are ‘asked’ to cover the difference, which will be over $400 a week for half of workers. That will be enough to send firms to the wall. Or they’ll have to stop paying, leaving families to get by on a pittance while trying to rebuild after a major disaster (let’s hope they have home insurance, because the government’s not going to help if they don’t).

Second, most workers are excluded from the scheme. The bulk of worker are employed by larger firms with over 20 employers. Those firms, if shut by the quake, are suffering exactly the same problems as smaller ones and more families are dependent on the incomes.

Third, limiting the scheme only to workers who would be able to work if the business were open but not those who can’t get to work because of their personal circumstances is an unfair and illogical distinction. Expecting those who can’t get to work to rely on emergency WINZ grants when WINZ itself is severely affected is callous.

Fourth, no word on how the self-employed or contractors are affected. I’m especially worried about the workers who are employed as ‘contractors’, they are always the ones who get screwed.

When South Canterbury Finance collapsed not one of the mostly wealthy people, who had put money into a company knowing it was risky but greedy for the interest rates, lost a cent. The government could easily afford to extend the same generosity to those who have suffered in this earthquake through no fault of their own. To fund it, it could delay the tax cuts for the rich by as little as a year or even just six months.

I saw some video of what the RNZ reporter described as John Key’s ‘roadshow’. They went to one of the emergency centres where the number of homeless families is growing as aftershocks make more and more homes unstable.

As a photo-op, Key pretended to read a book to a little girl. He didn’t tell her parents ‘the government will stand behind your family and make sure you’re not out of pocket – we’ll cover your wages and your uninsured losses’. He didn’t say ‘we’re announcing a program to get you into a home as soon as possible and, until then, we’re calling on people with big houses and spare rooms to accommodate you’. No, he pretended to read a book.

The book was titled ‘The Suspicion of Innocence’. That seemed poignant.

58 comments on “Wage subsidy a half-hearted gesture”

  1. Peter Martin 1

    To be fair, it may well be that an as yet unknown number of businesses have insurance that covers this.
    But I agree, $350 per week before tax, is very much a token.

  2. Tigger 2

    Who on earth decided Key should read a book in the midst of a disaster scenario? Bush and 9/11 killed that warm fuzzy forever. Plus did no one see the Scary Movie where Leslie Nielsen lampooned it perfectly?

  3. joe bloggs 3

    Phil who?

    No Christchurch photo ops for the Leader of the Opposition given Kohn Key’s all over this like a rash.

    No wonder Phil’s gritting his teeth.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      You’re a poor soul if you judge the performance of our government on who gets the photo ops.

  4. more_ben 4

    National is being more Labour than Labour on this and everything else. And still the Standard is unable to give any credit at all. What would Labour have done differently?

    • Bright Red 4.1

      Marty’s told you what he would have done differently, in this post and yesterday’s.

      He’s not responsible for Labour’s policy.

  5. Roflcopter 5

    This is a subsidy on top of the ability for workers, who would not normally be eligible, to go to WINZ for assistance.

    Jeez, solidarity across parties at the top levels of parliament to deal with all of this, and more whining out of you lot. Talk about out of touch.

    • Agree wholeheartedly; I’m waiting for someone from The Standard to suggest that the PM shuld pay this all out of his personal wealth …

    • Bright Red 5.2

      do you think that it’s ok the SCF investors get 100% bailout and the workers and families of Chch don’t?

      captcha: losss

      • joe bloggs 5.2.1

        that’s a question better directed at Michael Cullen who introduced the scheme in the first place. Perhaps you remember Helen Clark introducing it at Labour’s election campaign launch in ’08?

        John Armstrong comments on the scapegoating the Govt has received over the SCF bailout. Read and learn:

        http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/124473/govt-scapegoated-over-scf-payout

        • Loota 5.2.1.1

          Nice try at misdirection Joe, Cullen introduced the scheme to protect ma and pa investors, Bill and John used it to signed SCF on and ran it in a way that big financial speculators got a $1700M dollar payout.

          Workers? Oh guess you can have the drippings off the manor table ($15M)

          • clandestino 5.2.1.1.1

            That’s patent BS I have close family who invested in SCF along with 30,000 other people. The guarantee may upset people in hindsight given the state of the book keeping, but let’s not go all ‘9-11 Truther’ on this

      • Roflcopter 5.2.2

        No I don’t, but tell me how your incessant whining here is in step with the thoughts and coordinated response by all the political parties in this time of crisis? You keep making shit up as you go along.

        captcha: inabilitys – to which you have plenty

  6. Bill 6

    What’s the story with accumulated stat days? It’s not a solution I particularly like, but my question isn’t to do with the taking of them, but the scenario if the employer is unable to pay them.

    And then there is the annual leave option….and awarding it in advance if need be. Again. Not a particularly desirable solution. And again, the question of whether small employers can pay it.

    Of course, employers could expand the criteria surrounding sick leave and that would at least allow for holidays to be preserved for genuine breaks.

    Or how about large solvent businesses follow the rhetoric of Johnny Boy on day one when he said he was there to express solidarity, and lend to the smaller businesses at zero % interest and on a repayment time scale determined by the seriousness of the impact suffered by the smaller more vulnerable businesses…or minimally, make sure they pay their bills in very timely fashion…or extend the time they will allow affected smaller businesses to pay their bills to them…or throw up their hands, claim they can do nothing and depend on the tax payer to bail out their whole sorry system of exploitation while rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of an increased market share coming off the back of other’s misfortune?

    The latter option.

  7. Kevyn 7

    How does this government’s worker compensation plan compare with Labour’s response to the Manawatu floods?

    The only aspect of Labour’s reponse to the Manawatu flood that I have detailed knowledge of is that they promised that the government would fund the repairs to roads and bridges but that not one cent ever appeared in the government’s budgets for that purpose. Transfund/NZTA annual reports show that the funds for the flood repairs were simply deducted from the amount allocated to Manawatu for highway improvements in Transfunds 10-year State Highway forecast. That’s a total contrast to the old politically independent Main Highways Board’s decision to share the burden of repairing roads and bridges after the Murchison and Hawke’s Bay quakes equitably accross the whole country.

  8. randal 8

    what about Joe Waitress.
    $600 a week.
    anybody know any waitresses who make 600 a weeK.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    I suspect that whatever the government offered would be criticised as not being enough.

    Newsflash. The government can’t solve everything. The $350 contribution is available immediately and is a heck of a lot better than what many would get on the dole. I suspect that Winz will also be stepping in with assistance where necessary, and people may also find they qualify for more family support than what they did previously. Banks are also offering mortgage holidays for affected people.

    So it is likely that many will find the various initiatives enough for them to get through.

    Also, as the recovery kicks in there will be no excuse for anyone who has working arms and legs to be unemployed. So, I suspect those displaced from their current jobs will soon find other jobs helping with various aspects of the clean-up and rebuilding.

    • Vicky32 9.1

      “Also, as the recovery kicks in there will be no excuse for anyone who has working arms and legs to be unemployed. So, I suspect those displaced from their current jobs will soon find other jobs helping with various aspects of the clean-up and rebuilding.”
      What recovery are you banging on about tsmithfield? If you’re right, I shall be turning cartwheels with joy, as I am fed up with being unemployed – and with waiting for this “recovery”!
      And how do you expect secretaries and receptionists to suddenly turn into builders and labourers?
      Deb

      • Lanthanide 9.1.1

        “And how do you expect secretaries and receptionists to suddenly turn into builders and labourers?”
        Pick up a shovel or paintbrush, obviously. Everything is magically easy in tsmithfield’s world. A job is a job is a job is a job.

        • Loota 9.1.1.1

          Look, during the Great Leap Forwards scientists and lecturers successfully became farmers. And given that the Right actually likes their peasantry, I’m sure this could be a model.

        • Vicky32 9.1.1.2

          To quote Bugs Bunny, it is to laugh… In his world obviously, workers aren’t office workers with no building expertise, over 60, or under 155 cm…
          Deb

      • tsmithfield 9.1.2

        Debbie: “What recovery are you banging on about tsmithfield?”

        What I mean is the recovery from the earthquake. There is a big mess to clean up in case you have just come from Mars.

        Vicky: “To quote Bugs Bunny, it is to laugh… In his world obviously, workers aren’t office workers with no building expertise, over 60, or under 155 cm…”

        What experience does it take to get on the end of a shovel?

        • Marty G 9.1.2.1

          The demolition crews don’t want any casual people. You have to have site safe certification. there was a video on it on stuff on tuesday.

        • Puddleglum 9.1.2.2

          I’ve worked in a few menial/labouring jobs and they all required a whole series of ‘knacks’ that you don’t master overnight.

          I remember once trying to shift a 44 gal drum full of cooking oil and couldn’t budge it. Spent about twenty minutes moving it a couple of yards. Some young, little guy (even smaller than me) who was an ‘old hand’ took a running jump at it, leapt on, grabbing it with his full body around the rim, started to tip it and then braced himself with his legs on the ground as it fell, (If I’d have tried it I would have become a well-oiled pancake.) He then rolled it to where it had to be, looked at me with the kind of look that only working men can give each other, spat on the ground and went back to his job.

          It’s the same on building sites – easy to mess up, whether you’re digging a ditch, stacking bricks, wheeling a wheelbarrow full of cement or whatever. There’s a way to dig, for example, that means you keep a good speed going but won’t end up with a crook back after an hour and have to be given some patsy work. And since my last experience I guess a lot more machinery gets used for the jobs I used to do.

          The jobs are called ‘unskilled’ but that’s only because nobody offers a course in them. I probably couldn’t count the number of times I’ve been embarrassed with my lack of skill at such work. What’s worse is that I’ve often felt I’ve been more hindrance than help as others have had to waste their time cleaning up after me.

  10. This scheme will leave workers and employers severely out of pocket, killing businesses and jobs.

    There are about 77,000 workers (5% of our workforce) unable to work due to the quake. To ask their employers to continue paying their wages unaided would be a death sentence for many recession-weakened firms.

    You appear to assume that employers have an option of not paying their employees. I’d be very interested to know the legal basis underpinning this implicit claim. They have employment contracts, they get paid. That’s pretty much the deal.

    captcha: staffs

    • Loota 10.1

      I hear bankruptcy or receivership is pretty good at interfering with the paying of wages.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        In a bankruptcy/receivership situation, the employees would ordinarily have the prospect of the dole. The current package offered by the government is considerably better than the dole. For instance, it is available immediately (no stand down). And in the case of a family where both partners lose their jobs, then their would be two lots of $350 coming into the family.

        • Marty G 10.1.1.1

          I’m sure that will be of great comfort, $700 a week before tax is below the poverty line for a family with kids. – take off tax and accommodation, and what’s left?

          meanwhile, people who gambled on SCF walk away with millions, including their interest.

          • Roflcopter 10.1.1.1.1

            Go ask WINZ what you get on top of that… I dare you to. Then come back and say it is nothing so we can all laugh at you.

            • Marty G 10.1.1.1.1.1

              no, you provide evidence that WINZ is providing top-ups to this grant, which is being paid through WINZ.

              my plan would leave no employer or employee out of pocket over wages for work that can’t be done because of the quake. Does the Nats’ plan match that?

              • Roflcopter

                It’s already been announced that WINZ will be coming to the party for those affected, ON TOP of the $350.

                I have friends down in ChCh, who were in fulltime work but are now going to be out for a long time because their place of work is shattered, who have already been in contact with WINZ.

                They get no standdown on entitlements, can get WFF where they couldn’t before, their bank has holidayed their mortgage with no penalty or catch-up required. He also can get an emergency dole-type payment, AND the $350 as well… he is so grateful for what has been put forward as a solution, where before he was already living in rather tight times… but I guess it’s ok for you to spout off from your pedestal.

              • smhead

                no marty your plan would see a big fat blank cheque being paid to everybody no matter what their need. nice use of taxpayers money there, so generous of you. the bill for the cleanup will be in the billions already, let’s spend it wisely. sorry marty after nine years of labour the government can’t afford to write blank cheques.

                • Loota

                  no marty your plan would see a big fat blank cheque being paid to everybody no matter what their need

                  Fully consistent with Bill and John’s bail out of South Canterbury Finance.

                  What, you got a problem with that now?

                  sorry marty after nine years of labour the government can’t afford to write blank cheques.

                  Well didn’t Bill and John prove you oh-so-wrong.

                  OK it wasn’t a blank cheque exaclty but the one for SCF did have ten digits for the dollar value.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Wasn’t it just the other day that those comm1e bastards at the IMF were saying that the NZ govt was in a good position to be able to write cheques? Bloody Michael Cullen!!

                • Pascal's bookie

                  So I assume then that the government is in fact checking to see that the employers who are being subsidised under this scheme are not also insured?

                • Marty G

                  my plan funds workers wages for quake closed businesses by canning the tax cuts for the richest kiwis for one year. with plenty left over.

                  • smhead

                    marty every one of your economic plans involves canning tax cuts. in fact it could be said that you only ever invent economic plans as an excuse to can tax cuts and sop the rich who already pay too much tax. eat the rich yes that’s a good plan. not.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      …in fact it could be said that you only ever invent economic plans as an excuse to can tax cuts…

                      Anything can be said, some things are too stupid to be worth saying though.

                      Take a look at these graphs:

                      http://www.presimetrics.com/blog/?p=92

                      It is simply not the case that shrinking the state produces economic benefits. What counts is whether or not the state is doing the things that the state should be doing, and whether or not it is doing so efficiently. Part of this is whether or not it is collecting enough taxes.

                      The right have become singularly focussed on shrinking the size of the state over the last couple of decades. They can’t win support to actually cut back on the things the state does, so they focus on cutting taxes. This is simply unserious. You can’t cut taxes without cutting the spending, and the pitiful spending cuts they manage never pay for the tax cuts they want.

                      The argument they have, for what it is worth, is that ‘smaller govt is better’. This is axiomatic and just assumed to be true. It’s obvious question begging, and doesn’t seem to find much support when you look at what happens empirically.

                      So instead we hear tired rhetoric like eat the rich yes that’s a good plan. not. and moronic projection like you only ever invent economic plans as an excuse to can tax cuts, when it’s obvious to anyone who pays attention that it is the right that views the level of taxation and the size of the state as ideological targets.

        • Roflcopter 10.1.1.2

          Dude, you’re killing Graeme’s whining with facts. Stick to making stuff up like he does.

          • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.2.1

            What ts is doing is painting this policy, which I agree is good, as some sort of payout to employees. It’s not. It’s a subsidy to relieve some pressure off small employers. The fact that those businesses are not being given the ‘moral hazard speech’ about their lack of insurance is an interesting political fact.

            And Graeme is usually right. That’s like pretty much an internet fact.

    • Marty G 10.2

      It’s the govt who are ‘asking’ the employers to pay the difference between the $350 and ordinary wages… which means employers aren’t compelled to pay. I assume they know the law.
      Presumably, employers can argue force majeure.

      also, the argument is that’s not fair or possible for the employers to expect them to stump up with the cash when they have no cash flow.

  11. clandestino 11

    I don’t quite understand what more the government can do in this situation. $350 a week does not seem like chips to me (if the reports I’ve heard here and on the radio about mortgage holidays are true). Does it occur to anyone that could be a disincentive to finding work quickly in coming days/weeks when it’s around?
    The biggest problem is going to be insurance. Possibly 10k homes uninsured, at say 300k, that’s a shiteload. Does the taxpayer pick up the tab? Remember, EQC contributions come out of the premiums paid by those who took out insurance, and needs to be rationed for future disasters too.

    Coupled with the issue of subsidising select businesses, moral hazard much?

    • Vicky32 11.1

      “Does it occur to anyone that could be a disincentive to finding work quickly in coming days/weeks when it’s around?”
      I hear Bugs Bunny again… Would a temporary $350.00 a week be a disincentive to you? No of course not, so why assume that of other people? You’re being ridiculous.
      Deb

  12. infused 12

    Income protection insurance… it’s actually not that expensive. For the people that don’t have house insurance…. that’s just fucking crazy. I’m sorry, but really. Why should the tax payer pick up the tab here?

    • clandestino 12.1

      And what message does it send to those who have always played it safe and prepared for the worst, sensibly?
      If we all pick up the tab for the uninsured…what’s the point in having insurance, you’re getting shat on. I just can’t believe it’s not mandatory like bike helmets or seatbelts.

      • Loota 12.1.1

        Yeah I agree, better to let those people and their families rot and to bring down the value of the neighbourhoods around their rubble.

        Why should the tax payer pick up the tab here?

        well the taxpayer happily picked up the tab for SCF speculators, I guess you are saying that those homeless families and their children are less deserving than those big shots.

      • Puddleglum 12.1.2

        So many things for ‘sensible people’ to insure for, aren’t there. I won’t repeat myself here, but you’ve just proved my point that there’s no end to what ‘sensible people’ like yourself and infused believe those with little money should fork out for. Now it’s ‘income protection’ insurance!

        I pay the whole caboodle (health, life for me and my wife, car, contents, house, mortgage protection, income protection for me), i.e., the kind of cover you’d both be proud of me ‘self-providing’. Guess how much it costs me per fortnight? You want a cleaner or a labourer to fork out that lot from their wages just because people like you never understood the notion of ‘enlightened self-interest’?

  13. M 13

    Maybe Johnny was at the wrong meeting and is taking direct action towards improving the literacy of young new Zealanders.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    2 hours ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    9 hours ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    10 hours ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    12 hours ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    16 hours ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.