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War on the poor: flexible super

Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, August 27th, 2013 - 94 comments
Categories: activism, benefits, jobs, john key, national, peter dunne, slippery, unemployment, united future, wages - Tags: , ,

While much of the MSM is focusing on the very important and energising Labour leadership election, the Key-Dunne government has slipped out a discussion paper on Dunne’s proposal for flexible superannuation.  Make no mistake, this is a U-Turn for Key, while he hides behind it being a Dunne and flexible initiative and good for low income people.

Investigation of Mr Dunne’s proposal was part of his confidence and supply agreement with National at the last election.

The proposal allows people to choose to take a reduced rate of NZ Super from the age of 60, or an increased rate if they defer taking up superannuation until they reach 70.

“Flexi Super lets people choose for themselves when they want to take up superannuation without being told by the government when they should or should not retire,” Mr Dunne said.

While this seems good for many low paid workers, especially Maori and Pasifika people who have relatively short lifespans.

RNZ, Nine-to-Noon did a series of interviews on it this morning.

http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20130827-0910-superannuation-048.mp3

First up, Michael Littlewood from Auckland University says that it isn’t that simple.  He says the discussion document is a relative sideshow to the wider issues with super.  Littlewood says Dunne’s proposal is superficially attractive.  It will increase the costs to the country, and decide who can get it earlier will be difficult.  The current superannuation is one of the simplest and most effective in the developed world. Dunne’s proposal just creates unnecessary complications and confusions.

Anne Martin from Age Concern talks next in the slot, saying their concern is the amount of the pension which is currently inadequate.

Sue Bradford was the final person interviewed in this slot. It is an excellent and clear interview in which Bradford explains why Auckland Action Against Poverty will oppose this initiative.  She says it cannot be seen as separate from the wider welfare system, which needs a complete overhaul. She describes it as (16 mins 30),

another step, another step in the dreadful  war on the poor that’s been happening in Aotearoa for many years now, because for people in those groups, for whatever years of life are left – for people, they will be spent in grinding poverty rather than having the chance – I mean – Anne was saying that the  super at the moment is not high enough.  it’s 350 something dollars a week.  That’s still a lot more than people get on welfare and to think that you might be on a lot less than that for the rest of your life on this new form of pension is actually grinding people into enduring poverty for the rest of their lives.

She gave examples of 60+ year olds, still caring for family members, who are being harassed by WINZ to seek for work, even though their chances of getting jobs are pretty poor. She said many would opt to go on a retirement pension, which looks to be a better option for them in the short term, but would mean, in practice, living the rest of their years in poverty.  The government will aim to drive down the rate of the pension for those receiving it at an earlier date.

Bradford argued for universal benefits and that Dunne’s plan would be more beneficial for those on higher incomes, who have options to work til they are 70.  Under Dunne’s proposal, those who defer collecting their super until they 70 years old, will get a bigger pension.

94 comments on “War on the poor: flexible super”

  1. Bill 1

    I’m a bit ignorant on all of this as I always assumed that by the time retirement came around for me, there would be no such thing as a state pension.

    So, excusing my degree of ignorance, can somebody enlighten me as to whether the level of ‘super’ is related in any way to a person’s wage when they were working? (If it is, then those on lower wages will be compelled to ‘work on’ in spite of their lower paid job potentially ‘taking it out of them’ to a far greater degree than those in better paid co-ordinator type jobs.

    And further than that, is there anybody out there seriously believing that pension funds, currently invested in oil futures and gawd knows what, aren’t going to crash and burn in the not too distant?

    Is it not high time to move beyond the question of retirement monies and question the viability and desirability of ‘working for life’? And then, possibly discuss how we shift into a situation whereby we deal with potential financial precariousity while moving to part-time or short term stints of working as a way to top up a universal income for the sake of consuming whatever luxuries we may desire?

    • karol 1.1

      NZ superannuation is a universal benefit, with everyone entitled to the same basic amount, although, there are some differences: e.g. based on relationship status, whether getting overseas pension.
      It’s simplicity, in being universal, is one of the positives.

      This is unlike my UK state pension, which is based on the amount I paid into it while working there. Also, my UK pension will be deducted from my NZ super when I qualify for it.

      How much you get depends on your current circumstances, such as:
      whether you are single, married or in a relationship
      your living situation if you are single (eg live alone, live with dependent children, share accommodation with others)
      whether your partner is included in your New Zealand Superannuation payments or not
      any overseas benefit or pension you may get.

      Payments from accident insurance or Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) may affect your pension. If you get these payments you’ll need to talk to us.

      Payment of New Zealand Superannuation is made directly to your bank account every two weeks.

      Bradford’s main point is a good one: superannuation revisions need to be part of a whole wider restructuring of all social security.

      And I would go for a universal income also, and agree with your point about moving away from “working for life”. I’m all for more part time work.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        I’m all for more part time work.

        Yep, a high level Universal Income so that people don’t drop into poverty while encouraging people to do part time work as well as learning/R&D/Arts.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          as well as learning/R&D/Arts/activism/advocacy/volunteering

          Just sayin’ 🙂

      • Molly 1.1.2

        Worth a look if you are debating the merits of a shorter working week: 21 hours – from the New Economics Foundation.

        ” The vision

        Moving towards much shorter hours of paid work offers a new route out of the multiple crises we face today. Many of us are consuming well beyond our economic means and well beyond the limits of the natural environment, yet in ways that fail to improve our well-being – and meanwhile many others suffer poverty and hunger. Continuing economic growth in high-income countries will make it impossible to achieve urgent carbon reduction targets. Widening inequalities, a failing global economy, critically depleted natural resources and accelerating climate change pose grave threats to the future of human civilisation.

        A ‘normal’ working week of 21 hours could help to address a range of urgent, interlinked problems: overwork, unemployment, over-consumption, high carbon emissions, low well-being, entrenched inequalities, and the lack of time to live sustainably, to care for each other, and simply to enjoy life.

    • just saying 1.2

      This is what I understand -every person becomes eligible for National Super when they turn 65 (I believe spouses of those 65 and over become eligible according to means test). Rates vary only according to whether or not the superannuitant is living alone.
      WINZ top-ups are means-tested.

      I’m not expecting there to be super when I get there either, but I do care about the possibility that it will changed to the detriment (as always) of the least well-off for those who do, or will get it.

      • Mary 1.2.1

        Yes, that’s my understanding too. What’s interesting is that while the legislation hasn’t changed Work and Income has started a policy-based attack on superannuitants in areas such as residency, reciprocal agreements with other countries and rules around asset testing for residential care subsidies. We’re not necessarily hearing too much about it because it doesn’t involve legislative change – yet – but it’s a full-on assault nonetheless and is causing a lot of older people a lot of stress and financial suffering. No group is immune from what this government is doing to its citizens.

    • Bill 1.3

      Thanks Karol and js for taking the time to explain 🙂

  2. Winston Smith 2

    So basically the left is against choice, nice one

    • karol 2.1

      Is it a real choice, when it’s a choice between living in grinding poverty or living in even more grinding poverty for some? – while for others it’s a choice of a high or even higher income in the final decades of life.

    • weka 2.2

      “So basically the left is against choice, nice one”

      Where did you see a consensus from the left on this issue Winston? A link would be good.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      A Universal Income and the removal of the state pension. All the support you’d ever need for the choices that you make as to whether to work or retire or learn or R&D or art or whatever you choose. Compared to the choice that the right give – work for someone else or be in dire poverty with working for someone else still leaving the plurality of people in poverty.

      This government and the political-right always put in place policies that restrict peoples choices. We especially see this in their welfare reforms.

    • Foreign Waka 2.4

      A couple receives $ 549.88 currently per week, a single person half – after tax. The average income of two adults is about $ 1,000.00 to give you some measure.
      The expenditure in retirement is now reduced to live within the means reduces life to paying Rent, Utility, Food, Clothing, Transport and if you are lucky 10 seconds with your doctor once a year. Dentist is a pipe dream. Any reduction further will mean not just that one is poor but certain poverty , and this means REAL poverty. So really the “choice” that is being offered is nothing else then Mr Dunn’s price to have an income that is far far far higher. Looks like he knows that very well.
      http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Households/HouseholdEconomicSurvey_HOTPYeJun10/Commentary.aspx

      Today’s statistic on suicides states that by far the largest group are elderly men, with women not far behind. With the bleakness that awaits you after having worked at low wages it is no surprise.

  3. weka 3

    “And further than that, is there anybody out there seriously believing that pension funds, currently invested in oil futures and gawd knows what, aren’t going to crash and burn in the not too distant?”

    Most people believe that superannuation is safe. Ditto Kiwisaver.

    Myself, I think we have no idea when everything is going to fall over.

    • Bill 3.1

      The operative word being ‘when’ as opposed to ‘if’.

      • weka 3.1.1

        True. But also operative is “we don’t know when” (cf to “not too distant”), IMO.

        Boy who cried wolf syndrome. I bet there is a relationship between how often we say it’s urgent/happening now/happening soon, then it not happening, and people’s disbelief.

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          sheesh – ‘not too distant’ can be anything from a week or two to some decades, ie – it’s just not very specific and relies on the reader’s own perspective/belief/interpretation. And that’s a quite deliberate fudge on my part.

          • weka 3.1.1.1.1

            Ah, ok. In teotwawki crowd, not too distant would mean anything from a year to five or ten years. I think it’s possible (but less likely) that it’s decades away. There’s a big difference between this decade and maybe not in my lifetime for people that are struggling to believe it’s true. I suppose what I was getting at was that in order to have that conversation (about UBI and the fragility of the future), do we need people to believe about the fragility of the future. It would be good to have a post sometime on the UBI, so we can really focus the discussion beyond the general theory.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      The other thing about the “pension fund” craze of the 90’s and 00’s is that they provided capital for the investment banks to squander and cheat investors out of.

      Workers pension funds, worth hundreds of millions, or billion of dollars, blown on “AAA” rated subprime mortgage bonds etc.

      All the while the money men running the show pay themselves obscene bonuses using other people’s money.

      Even NZ farmers and city councils are losing their savings due to bullshit derivative products sold by NZ banks.

  4. weka 4

    Has anyone suggested what the lower amount should be? Surely that is a huge factor in this debate.

    And what about the demographics? I’d expect that the people most likely to be choosing earlier retirement are the group more likely to be dying earlier, eg Maori, Pacific Islanders, the underclasses ie people who as a class are already on lower incomes and living with the long term consequences of that. Hardly seems fair.

    • McFlock 4.1

      here

      Mr Dunne’s proposal would allow people to access superannuation between 60 and 70 years of age, and adjust the level lower by 6% for every year before 65, and raise it by 10% for every year over. That means if someone took the pension at 60, they would get 73% of the rate, while someone taking it at 70 would receive 160%.

      Basically, if you can afford to put it off for a few years and still live an average lifespan, you get loads more than someone who gets pressured into taking the pension early because WINZ still harass them like they’re a high school dropout.

      • weka 4.1.1

        Right, so $350/wk becomes $255/wk.

        People with other sources of income might be fine with that I guess (looking at you Mr Dunne).

        • Foreign Waka 4.1.1.1

          Current Pension for couples it is $549.88 or $274.94 per person. Single person $357.42.
          It would mean that a partner going into earlier retirement will get $ 200.00.
          Considering that the parliamentarians have voted themselves whooping increases all around, one wonders what kind of people they are. Perhaps this was the wrong question, is should be – are they actually human?

  5. Sanctuary 5

    I don’t get this proposed change from Dunne.

    If I were a Maori, I could retire at 60, still die on average at 67, and get less money for those seven years? So if the average Pakeha male lives until 74, then he gets nine years at the full amount? How does that add up? It doesn’t seem make any sense.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      It’s not supposed to make sense, it’s supposed to save the government money so that taxes can be cut for the rich.

    • McFlock 5.2

      If the Pakeha male put off the pension until 70, he would get 6.2 equivalent-full-pension-years (EFPY).
      The Maori male gets 7 years of pension @73%, so only gets 5.1 EFPYs.

      Less money and a shorter life.

      • weka 5.2.1

        I seem to remember Tariana Turia suggesting that Maori get to retire earlier (on the full rate).

        • McFlock 5.2.1.1

          Not a completely silly idea.

          Although it could be taken to extremes – earlier eligibility for smokers/highBMI for example. Enough of a discount to make it rewarding, but tilted on average in the House’s favour 🙂

          I think it might be safer in the long run just to address the causes of inequality.

          • weka 5.2.1.1.1

            True, but I’m guessing it would take more than a generation for the life expectancies to change.

            • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Not with a bit of commitment. And without that commitment, I suspect that the tories would find some way of using the idea to stiff people when it comes to pensions – use the earlier payments as an excuse to cut them across the board because of a cost “blowout”.

    • alwyn 5.3

      Quite apart from the fact that your numbers for life expectancy aren’t right there is a very simple reason for the fact that you get the pension for less years if you die younger.
      It’s the fact that you don’t have any living costs after you are dead and don’t ned an income.
      The purpose of the pension is to ensure that the elderly, who can no longer provide for themselves, should not live out their lives in a state of penury.
      Incidentally every one collecting NZ Super should hold their hands up to the heavens and say “Thank you Mr Muldoon” for bringing the scheme in.

      • weka 5.3.1

        “Quite apart from the fact that your numbers for life expectancy aren’t right there is a very simple reason for the fact that you get the pension for less years if you die younger.”

        Yeah, but you do get that there are whole classes of people that die younger due to socio-economic reasons?

        • alwyn 5.3.1.1

          Of course I get that. I suspect, although I don’t have the figures or analysis to hand, that your race is not the predominant factor in you life expectancy.
          I would expect that the major factors determining your life expectancy are, in order, whether you smoke, your sex, and your general cardio-vascular fitness. I don’t think that race, per se, would be that significant.
          However I can only repeat that the purpose of a pension isn’t to give everyone the same size pot of money. It was to provide an income to keep them out of penury during their old age. When you die your need ends.
          I’m also a believer in John Mortimer’s views of course when he said
          “There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward”
          Incidentally the NZ Statistics Department say that a Maori male aged 60 can expect another 20.6 years to live and a non-maori 23.3 years.

          • McFlock 5.3.1.1.1

            Incidentally, that just means that the Maori male receives 15 EFPY, the non-maori male receives 21.28 EFPY. In half the time.

            The direct determinant might not be ethnicity, but Maori/Polynesians are seriously overrepresented in almost all the determinants of early mortality, post-infancy included.

            That might be an amazing coincidence, but the key point here is that Dunne’s policy guarantees those who can already afford to hold off on the pension a lifestyle twice as munificent as for those who need to take the crumbs as soon as possible. First-class and working-class pension carriages.

            • alwyn 5.3.1.1.1.1

              I suppose I could equally claim that all non-maori would retire at 60 and that all maori would retire at 70. Then I suppose you would agree that Maori were going to get a much higher rate of super during their retirement years would you and that is quite unfair?
              The thing Dunne is proposing is that people should be given the choice as to when they retire. He isn’t saying that all Maori must retire at 60 and all non-Maori must slog on till they are 70, which is what your claim implies.
              Incidentally do you say that woman are treated much more generously now than men, in that on average the collect superannuation for longer? They also are likely to get more per week as there are more widows living alone, and getting about $360/week than men. Men are far more likely to be still living with their wife and only getting abou $275/week.

              • McFlock

                that flip in the demogs simply means that the NMNP male would get 17 EFPYs and the Maori male would get 16.9. Great. You almost give them the same income, rather than spending a third more on non-Maori “to keep them out of penury during their old age” than on Maori (many of whom are already in penury prior to their pension years, anywhay. Those that make it, of course).

                But of course who is more likely to be in a position to hold off on getting the pension until 70? Who would have that security, who is more likely to be working paper-pushing higher income jobs?

                It’s like the rest-home workers arguing gender discrimination – if it is impartially targeted at particular economic groups, then if those groups are heavily weighted to particular demographic groups then the outcomes are the same as if the discrimination were explicit and intentional. Tralah, we have discovered the structural discrimination inherent in the system.

  6. Wayne 6

    Hi Karol, A few points. Dunne is probably going too far when he goes down to 60 and up to 70. Because of acturial calculations flexibility should probably be only a couple of years either side. By the way I presume Labour is pushing for 67? I think it would hard to seriously suggest Super should be significantly increased.

    Mind you if Labour really does go Left, max tax rates might be 50% for incomes over say $200,000 which would mean more money for all sorts of benefit increases. Incidentially I have been thinking of Chris Trotters view that David Cunliffe will abandon all aspects of the “neoliberal experiment”. I presume that would mean all employees on awards, max tax rates of 50%, CGT, pulling out of TPP negotiations, closing down all the casinos, buying back various ex SOE’s, including Contact, increasing benefits, 10,000 extra sate houses (but no schemes for first home buyers), a true state TV company, buy local, no new irrigation, pulling out of “five eyes” etc, etc.

    Actually no real need for Labour, just let the Greens get on with it. However, I do appreciate most Labour voters won’t vote Green, but on the above prescription they might as well do so.

    • framu 6.1

      engaging in a bit of smear tactics there wayne?

      the straw man cometh

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2

      Raise the double standard, Dr. Mapp. National abandoned the “neo-liberal experiment” when you sold gambling legislation to party donors, and legalised mass surveillance.

      Where is your “small government”?

      As for your your wild policy predictions, they seem about as sincere as your crocodile tears for the NZLP.

      You normally give good comment. Disappointing.

    • Tracey 6.3

      why do national supporters always assume the only way forward (either by national or Labour) is to repeat earlier mistakes.

      I will wait to find out what each candidate actually stands for and what they then actually do.

      I wont make excuses for any of them if they retreat from those positions.

  7. just saying 7

    Have I got this right? I see this as a way for superannuitants who are able to stay in the paid worforce beyond 65, to avoid losing some of their super to secondary tax. Just wait a few years, working, as they would be anyway, and they get the lot at the lower tax rate.

  8. Wayne 8

    framu, why is that smear tactics, I was trying to think through what going “Left” would really mean in terms of policy. Perhaps the one unfair bit was suggesting there would be no policies for first home buyers, that all housing spending would go to state rentals.

    Now it is actually my view that David Cunliffe is not nearly as left as some here (Karol for instance) would like to beleive. Sure he will change some things, but it is simply not possible to end the “neoliberal Experiment”. The world has changed too much, and all modern economies are much more free than they were 30 years ago. If DC does become PM (preferably in 2017!) hopefully he would look at what more could be done to stimulate innovation.

    • McFlock 8.1

      Resistance is futile, eh?

      Thanks for your concern.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.2

      “trying to think”

      Keep trying.

      I’d like to see next year’s Labour/Green government “stimulate innovation” by nationalising charter schools without compensation, taking back the property the National Party sold to the 2.5%, passing whatever gambling legislation they damn well please with no regard to what National Party clients think, reestablishing genuine privacy and information security from eg: the National Party’s US clients, abolishing vandalism National’s Standards, and taking steps to reduce inequality.

      The world hasn’t changed that much, Dr. Mapp. The systemic problems exposed in 2008 still exist.

    • karol 8.3

      Wayne, I have made no claims about Cunliffe being very left wing. Just the opposite. It is Key and the MSM that are talking up Cunliffe taking the party to the left. Key was also saying Robertson would also take the party to the left. that’s all scaremongering and spin.

      In my post on Cunliffe getting my electorate vote, I described him as moderate and nowhere near as left as I am. This morning I made this comment:

      I make no claims for Cunliffe leading a brand new direction for Labour. I have said in other comments, he is the best of the current crop of Labour MPs to lead them right now. If he wins the leadership, I don’t propose to give Cunliffe or any other opposition leader or MP a free ride. Democracy means continually holding our politicians to account.

      I am not in favour of Labour’s current policy of raising the retirement age to 67. I am more for Bradford’s idea of looking at superannuation in the context as a wholesale review of social security.

      I do favour raising taxes for those on higher incomes. But that’s not something Cunliffe has committed to.

      The rest of your above comment about Cunliffe taking Labour left on a range of issues is a diversion from the topic of this post, and just looks likes more rightwing spin re-Cunliffe.

    • framu 8.4

      ” I presume that would mean all employees on awards, max tax rates of 50%, CGT, pulling out of TPP negotiations, closing down all the casinos, buying back various ex SOE’s, including Contact, increasing benefits, 10,000 extra sate houses (but no schemes for first home buyers), a true state TV company, buy local, no new irrigation, pulling out of “five eyes” etc, etc.

      Actually no real need for Labour, just let the Greens get on with it. However, I do appreciate most Labour voters won’t vote Green, but on the above prescription they might as well do so.”

      thats the smear wayne, stop being cute

      now, there might be a few grains of truth in there – but in your first comment you pulling together all the worst things you can think of, ignoring any kind of political and economic reality, track record etc then trying and make a extra attack at the greens – all prefaced with “i presume”

      shit mate – you werent that far from chucking watermelon or communist in there are you

      then your follow up is “Sure he will change some things” – so it looks like you dont even believe what you wrote in the first place

      for someone whos meant to be experienced at this kind of politics and policy stuff i dont for the life of me know why your using an argument style that is more at home on talkback

    • Draco T Bastard 8.5

      but it is simply not possible to end the “neoliberal Experiment”.

      Yes it is. The only thing stopping us from doing so is the politicians belief that we can’t.

      at what more could be done to stimulate innovation.

      Well, the first thing to do would be to drop the neo-liberal experiment as has obviously failed to provide the innovation that it promised. The second thing would be to re-write the IP laws so that people aren’t penalised for being innovative. And the third thing would be to stop giving so much wealth to the few and make it available to the majority so that more people actually have access to the resources they need to be innovative.

      The one thing we can’t afford is the rich.

  9. Matthew 9

    Is this policy part of Dunne’s deal over the GCSB bill?

    • bad12 9.1

      Apparently Dunne’s ‘policy’ is part of the coalition agreement Slippery and Dunne signed up to after the 2011 election,

      i would suggest that Slippery the Prime Minister has simply released this as a distraction, there’s a number of things going on here, not the least the PM having to have Dunne win the Ohariu electorate in November 2014 against a backdrop of an increasingly hostile populace for Dunne,

      So this seems in that vein to be a quick quick the patient has gone into cardiac arrest situation where Dunne is allowed the oxygen to plug His ‘plan’ and attempt to lift His flagging fortunes which in turn would lift those of Slippery the PM…

  10. Tracey 10

    Is Todd Mclay receiving full pay at the moment?

  11. Sable 11

    Yes I read the little weasel’s proposal regarding super in the Tory Times this morning. Blatant social engineering that benefits the well heeled at the expense of the poor.

    • johnm 11.1

      Hi Sable
      Agree 100% ” the little weasel”
      Problem he’s done an infinite amount more damage than any honest little real weasel could ever do! 🙁

  12. bad12 12

    As a Labourer all my working life,(not all of it was worked, there has been plenty of forced downtime), i find Dunne’s wee options for retirement ‘interesting’,

    Labourer’s you will find, those who engage in the real physical labour in our economy are pretty much past their use by date by the time they hit 50, because of the hard physical nature of such work you will find that bone and muscle dysfunction become dramatically apparent in Labourers from age 50 onward,

    i do not propose to discuss this in terms of ‘Universal incomes’ or ‘full reviews of the benefit system’ as these two issues are not at present ‘on the table’ as a proposition being currently discussed by the serving politicians,

    i would prefer to look at this proposal not in comparison to any particular wishlist but simply the proposal itself,

    Dunne’s proposal of a 6% decrease in the payment of the pension for every year earlier than 65 at which a recipient chose to take that pension doesn’t do it for me, however, a 3% reduction in the payment per year of early up take would and i would happily sign up under a condition of 3% to be able to enter the ranks of the truly retired 5 years early,

    i assume Dunne’s proposal leaves in place the ‘living alone allowance’ and would involve a legislated change to the age at which a retiree could take up a gold card,

    i do not find Dunne’s original proposal all that heinous unlike the proposer Himself and it will be interesting to see whether this proposal grows any legs or is simply a convenient political distraction getting Dunne’s name into the media in an attempt to shore up His election chances…

    • Sable 12.1

      Well said Bad12. I’m sure there are plenty of tradespeople, builders also spring to mind who are physically past the demands of the job by the time they hit 50. I would wonder what form this policy would take as on the surface its highly discriminatory.

      I think too you are right its Dunne trying to shore up his tarnished image.

      • Greywarbler 12.1.1

        For sure, but it’s not a bee with honey and a sting, look again and it’s a wasp and nothing good will come from that.

      • bad12 12.1.2

        If there is anything ‘wrong’ with the current pension system i would suggest that allowing people to continue working while accessing National Superannuation is in fact ‘it’,

        i have no actual numbers of the number of people that actually do this, but, every person able to retire and collecting that pension while working is simply denying employment to a younger person in the economy,

        Am i proposing a solution to this, Lolz, no way, i like the skin i am in and to propose interfering in the payment of National Superannuation would be an open invitation to have myself flayed to within an inch of my miserable little life,

        However, if i were to make such a proposal it would center around not being able to work while collecting a pension and the housing costs of a pensioner being 25% of their total household income…

    • Wayne 12.2

      I am inclined to agree. 6% is just too much of a reduction and will put some people into poverty.

      It is generally agreed that NS is pretty reasonable when it is the only income you have. Not great, but OK. The majority of my aunts and uncles are in this situation. They get some help (small) from their children and do OK.

      Most were manual workers. They may have wanted the NS earlier, but it would have been much harder for them if say their income was reduced by 25% (accepting NS at 60).

      I appreciate actuarially that 6% might be right, but if so then the flexibility should not be more than 2 years.

      It also seems unfair that delay boosts income by 10% per year. Again actuarially correct, but it probably will favour healthy people in higher income jobs.

      So too big a deviation from age 65 will undermine the social contract that underpins NS. A dangerous thing to do.

      • Foreign Waka 12.2.2

        What kind of income are you guys on and are you all just a step away from retirement? If a person in their 40’s with an average income of 38k and renting wants to to keep their family afloat and save for retirement (hahahahaha) the living costs are far higher than some of you state here. Housing costs 25% – yeah right. There is POVERTY written all over it.

  13. Greywarbler 13

    What about a reduced rate and allowing for part time employment with no secondary tax or diminishment until 65, then the full rate with some diminishment of say 10 cents in the net $ (after tax on earnings) thereafter.

    That means that some people will be able to keep earning and afford a good lifestyle, and some will improve on just super, and the others will get sufficient to live on and be able to apply for extra help when needed.

    Also that superannuitants can get their full entitlement plus a bonus if they take on shared jobs where they work with up to four young ones to gain work experience. The olders helping the young ones get job training, experience and then a real job, a great idea surely. Also volunteer work of approved kind, with social welfare outcomes.be counted as special work and receives a bonus also.

    There is no reason why some old people should be doing nothing for the community while being given their living out of community funds. If they want to avoid such a system let them try to save enough in a private unguaranteed-by-government system from which they can receive payments, annuities etc. tax free. And see if they can live on that! Even with low inflation it probably wouldn’t stretch to buy more than the basics and a pair of support stockings per week.

  14. To be any sort of left, Labour should dump its proposal to increase the pension eligibility age.
    Maori and those who have to retire early for health reasons should have the pension at least 60 and indexed to their health parity status.
    The age of eligibility of the rest should be reduced to 60, and those in poor health etc also reduced downwards from 60, by one year per year.
    And by the way pay it at the ‘living wage’.
    Bring back Muldoon’s income tax rates that made the rich pips squeak.
    Tax loopholes should be closed, dodgy deals and crony favours stopped, tax havens closed down, CGT raised to 100% over say 10 years.
    All of this will clear out the financial parasites, land speculators, rent farmers and other non-productive parasites.
    This will create a sovereign wealth fund which we can use to try a bit of ‘socialism’.
    Of course the ruling class will try to pre-empt this by spying, media vomit, and a police state.
    It’s backdown or showdown.

    • Wayne 14.1

      Red rattler

      While this might be your socialist dream (but not one you will get from David Cunliffe), in the real world this would be completely unaffordable.

      It wasn’t affordable when Rob Muldoon was in power when the proportion of older NZer’s was much smaller and he had 66% tax rates.

      So it guess it is backdown (by you).

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 14.1.1

        So you don’t think Cunliffe is the raving leftist bogeyman your leader asserts, Dr. Mapp?

        Not even his sycophants can sustain his lies eh 😉

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        in the real world this would be completely unaffordable.

        No, in the real world it’s affordable, on Planet Key it isn’t.

  15. feijoa 15

    I meet many people in my job as a health provider, and I would say the people who struggle to work up to 65 are those doing manual work – the builders / labourers / plumbers / construction / forestry / etc
    Those I meet who work well past the age of 65 seem to be accountants, lawyers, who “keep on a few clients”
    Can’t see that that’s fair

  16. Binders full of women 16

    Was it a Labour MP (de Cleene? Prebble?) or was it a National MP? who challenged someone to find a better superannuation scheme in the world? I can’t remember- doesn’t matter. But the answer is nice to remember. There isn’t a better system… some get more, some get it earlier or later, some are more but asset tested. But nowhere has a universal entitlement, at 65 years, at x% of the average wage.

  17. Descendant Of Sssmith 17

    First thing you could do if cost was an issue would be to stop allowing underage partners to be included.

    Second thing you could do would be to increase benefit rates so that those who are unable provide. to work as they get older have more income than the current benefits provide. You could even remove the age discrimination and pay all people the same rates.

    This would have the simultaneous effect of lifting all beneficiaries incomes, circulating more money in local economies and putting pressure on wages to go up thereby lifting lots of peoples incomes.

    Third thing you could to is increase taxes on people like me to help pay for it.

    Fourth thing you could do is to then allow people to earn the equivalent of super from other sources (thereby ensuring that you still have a reasonable income, can part-work and part-retire if you so wish) and still get it with no super at all if you choose to work full-time or close to it. We pay super for your retirement so you get it when you retire.

    • Greywarbler 17.1

      Add to 4th thing DoSS, medical rates that keep pharmacy costs and GP costs down even if these older people are still working full time. So they would be getting some advantage and it would be practical for the government as it helps them to keep working and earning and paying tax.

      Also bad12 there is no reason why an age benefit should not be paid even if earning, but it would be helpful rather than income provision, so enough to help with transport costs and medical costs so that people would not be able to yell that they aren’t getting anything if the main benefit was decreased as a result of income.

      Underage partners – there could be good arguments for allowing the married rate when one partner turns 65.

  18. millsy 18

    One only need go to places like the USA, where retirees live on the street, or work in burger joints and department stores, and employers (including the government) are busy looking for ways of getting out of honouring pension obligations, to see why changing NS would be a bad idea.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 18.1

      Ours did used to be income tested however so going back to an income test isn’t getting out of honouring obligations. Just keep it simple.

      • bad12 18.1.1

        Yes perhaps the ‘income test’ is the best means of being able to lower the age of retirement, it would seem reasonably fair,(except to those who scream entitlement as they demand recipients of other Government benefits be continually ‘restructured’),

        An abatement rate attached to an age of eligibility of 60, so part time workers, especially taking into account the negative effects upon some who give up working, would receive a part-payment of their super while those who chose to work on full time would receive a severely rebated payment,

        Interestingly Slippery the Prime Minister in today’s Herald online makes the point that we as a country are spending less now on Superannuation than we were as a % of GDP back in the 70’s, He may as usual be talking from within the realm of a heavily flushing toilet bowl, but, is quoted in the same article dissing the Treasury over ‘it’s claims on the affordability of Superannuation payments in the future,

        The superannuation question is of relevance to those currently engaged in the Labour Party leadership contest as Labour seem to still have as policy the raising of the age of entitlement to 67, a policy i would suggest that saw Labour ‘flat-lining’ in the 2011 election campaign as many found this particular ‘major plank’ of Labour’s 2011 economic strategy abhorrent,

        Such policy as what Phill Goff went into the 2011 election campaign trumpeting is part of the reason why i ‘see’ Labour having become a Party of, for, and by the New Zealand middle class,such policy simply assumes that ‘everyone’ has been able to stash away a good little nest egg via their ‘Kiwi-saver’ and such policy seems to assume that those nearing retirement are all likely to have a rental investment or two with which to provide for them in their retirement,

        My opinion is that Labour need to revisit it’s policy on superannuation and get far far smarter with the approach to it or find that 2011 repeats as far as elections go with the ‘registered but did not vote bloc’ again staying on the sidelines…

        • karol 18.1.1.1

          Some good points, bad.

          I would like to see a wider reform of social security on the agenda for the next Labour led government

          • bad12 18.1.1.1.1

            Karol, that’s definitely a ‘me too’, but, when i look at the candidates in the current election race i find that all 3 seem to have stuck to ‘the vows of silence’ which Labour seemed to have taken at some point in the distant past,

            Issues of ‘welfare’ as well as the dire lack of ‘State Housing’ certainly havn’t been to the fore so far in this particular campaign,

            I have to believe that Labour can be ‘swayed’ on both these issues by the Green and Mana Party’s in post-election coalition negotiations,

            Metiria Turei being the Minister of Social Development would be a good point at where the discussions might begin…

            • Tracey 18.1.1.1.1.1

              will adern relinquish it bad?

              • bad12

                Lolz Tracey, Labour will not willingly ‘relinquish’ any of the Ministry’s to the Green Party except maybe Conservation and Climate Change,

                Of course, if the Green Party are in a position where to form a Government Labour must have their vote then the ‘game’ changes,

                My advice to the Green Party is to be seriously working on the Nitty Gritty of the coalition agreement and what the Green Party expects to gain across ALL Ministy’s for the Green Party to support a Labour Government after November 2014,

                Could i see Labour after November 2014 attempting to treat the Greens as lapdogs as the current Government treats the abysmal weak at the knees Maori Party, unfortunately Yes i could…

                • Tracey

                  God I hope you are wrong.

                  • bad12

                    Lolz Tracey, ‘it’ isn’t all that bad, David Cunliffe as leader of Labour would be a far better fit to build a strong coalition with the Green Party and Mana as well,(especially if the latter Party gains the 3 MP’s i am hopeful of in 2014),

                    A lot of what a Cunliffe lead Labour will enact in office the Green Party will be quite happy with,( us more radical lot here on the Standard will always be demanding the ideal),

                    What i personally will not resile from is the changing of Working for Families into a universal benefit for all children no matter if the parents of these kids work or not, and, a serious State House building program especially in the cities of Auckland and Christchurch where while beneficiaries are well catered for as HousingNZ tenants the lowest paid workers in the workforce are ‘trapped’, currently ineligible for a HousingNZ property, paying 40%+ of their miserable wage levels renting from the private sector,

                    That’s 2 pieces of Social Justice that as a Green Party member i see as my bottom line, hardly bank or coalition breaking stuff…

                    • Tracey

                      I can see the difficulty with releasing policy early because it immediately gets attacked and dissected BUT so far only the Greens appear to have a plan for how to attack poverty for children. Like it or not it is a plan. Everyone else is just paying lip service and claiming to want to end it.

                      Like you I remain a Green supporter and it will take some convincing to move me from this position.

                      Sadly Labour seem intent of “converting” National voters which means national lite if Labour leads our next government.

                    • bad12

                      Oh parts of Labour fully recognize that disallowing the children of beneficiaries inclusion in Working for Families was wrong,(including Annette King at the 2011 election),

                      It will not then, in my opinion, take much leverage from the Green Party to get a David Cunliffe lead Labour to agree to make that benefit universal in nature, a far far harder ask would be if either of the other two contenders were to win selection,

                      What makes the non-inclusion by Labour of ALL children an ugly look is at the time Working for Families was being introduced the money was there to do so,

                      The cost of including ALL children in a universal benefit???, approx 500 million dollars,

                      Labour instead chose to lower the business tax rate, the cost??? approx 400 and something million dollars,

                      Yes, Labour seems to be hell bent upon fighting with National over that 2-3% of the middle class vote in order to be able to govern,

                      This could be a reflection of the fickle nature of the 800,000 ‘registered but did not vote bloc’

                      If Labour continue as they have been it then behoves both the Mana and Green Party’s to become ‘more’ activist in areas of the wider electorate where they can see the ‘left’ vote growing,

                      The larger the Party vote grows for both Green/Mana the more Labour will have to concede to them in coalition agreements…

        • Greywarbler 18.1.1.2

          bad12
          Labour talking about 67 going to 70 for OAP to me smacks of their past purist appproach to policy of the dedicated utopian mixed with authoritarian. This is right, it will make everything right, and we will do it whether it hurts the people or truly serves the purpose, because we are right. Finding a system that manages the situation is what is needed, not a Treasury-like heaping of austerity and poverty.

          One thing could be to try to rein in expenditure with progressive claw backs for working pensioners till they receive just a basic. At the same time bring down what GPs can charge, and have government clinics if necessary, as some GPs are charging Gold Card holders (community cards) $40 a time. And prescriptions are now $5 an item (note not for just the prescription sheet, but each medicine on it).

          Putting more money into services like home help would be wiser for real assistance, but I hear in Nelson they are getting rid of District Nurses, but I can’t believe it. Also getting rid of the the practice of setting high salaries and expenses and FFS incentives! for CEOs, but instead putting jobs out for tender as Alan Gibbs I think suggested for the workers. It would actually be a good idea for these top job holders. And worrying that the best or right persons might not then be obtainable would have no credence, as the ones we have are often making a muck of it anyway. You can’t lose with my suggestion.

          And cutting down the very expensive last years of care by allowing the legal option of managed demise so that people who are ready to die can choose to go, and plan their end of life celebration before they get hopelessly beyond thought or celebration.

  19. Ron 19

    Interested in comments on Pensions
    Can someone please comment on the scheme that New Zealand used to have which if I remember correctly was Old Age Pension at 60 but means tested. and National Superannuation at 65 not means tested.
    You could possibly look at moving these ages up a bit say 65 & 70 but it seems that the idea of a pension for those that need it with no other source of income and a full pension for those that work longer but when you get it is set at a good level with no discrimination regardless of your income status. We seem to spend a great deal of money on tracking peoples savings/earnings or whatever when a truly universal Superannuation would get rid of all that.
    It seems a simpler system than what Dunne is suggesting.

    • bad12 19.1

      Ron, not wanting to be rude, but mostly finding that rude is my natural state, can i say Google is your friend,

      Perhaps you would like to find the time to undertake a little research and then post a comment here on what you ask other’s to find for you,

      We could then debate your conclusions if any…

      • Ron 19.1.1

        Don’t mind rudeness but I was not asking for people to search Google which would not give anything that would be useful. I was more interested in people that had been receiving super around that time if still alive, or alternatively what the general consensus would be on the two tier superannuation of early but means tested or later and no means test as an alternative to what Dunne was suggesting which I consider not really helpful at all.

        • bad12 19.1.1.1

          Yes we somewhat agree on that, i would lower the age of eligibility for the pension to 60 and ‘income test’ it up to 65 or 70 or somewhere between those 2 ages,

          From 70 onward i would suggest the full pension be paid without resorting to an income test, that is of course speaking off the top of my mind without seriously considering whether that would burden the Government with a large cash shortfall,

          Such a shortfall might of course be covered by moving the age of the full un-income tested pension out to 72,(or said in a whisper,temporarily adjusting the tax system to take into account both such a shortfall and the ‘bulge’ in coming retirements of the ‘baby-boomers)…

          • Greywarbler 19.1.1.1.1

            bad12
            There was a radio interview that touched on trusts and eligibility for government care this a.m. on 9toNoon. There will be more onerous or less relaxed investigation of people’s assets, depending on one’s point of view. This should limit the costs to the government for some of these extremely long-living people who are said to be developing into an expensive bulge for those supporting them and planning for their need of specialised services.

            There is considerable government work on seeing that trusts don’t skew incomes so much and put pressure on government coffers. The understandings on how to operate trusts have been wrong, but appeared reasonable because the Welfare Dept didn’t take the law into account and operated on a historical method which has now been revised.

            This has resulted in some very unhappy situations for people who thought that they had made prudent and advantageous decisions on the disposition of their assets.

            • bad12 19.1.1.1.1.1

              A bit different going after the people on the basis of ‘assets’ tho depending on what is actually proposed as ‘assets’,

              Being totally ‘Cloth Cap’ and having 30 years of Neo-Liberalism, and dare i say Neo-Socialism scarring my psyche i still refuse to remove that ‘Cloth Cap’ i look at everything based upon Need, and those comparative Needs weighed against each other when we consider the Class Society that we as a nation are fast redeveloping,

              If a recipient of the full pension, and no matter what age it is paid at it should start at the full amount, has assets that are generating an income i would leave their assets alone and abate the full pension based upon the income received,

              Some may have assets that they receive no income from where the asset, or the thought of the inheritance of, induces the wider family to take more care of their elderly relatives which is an ascribing by me of a mercenary attitude which may or may not be present in family relationships,

              i am sure tho that those who would propose setting the level of pension payments against the value of assets the recipient held no matter whether or not they accrued any income from those assets would have some quarters practically salivating in a lip licking fantasy of forced asset sales from the elderly, after all it would be that class of people most likely to be able to pick like vultures through such forced asset sales for their personal enrichment…

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    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 mins ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago