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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    4 days ago
  • Mastering FLICC – A Cranky Uncle themed quiz
    By now, most of you will have heard about the FLICC taxonomy of science denial techniques and how you can train your skills in detecting them with the Cranky Uncle game. If you like to quickly check how good you are at this already, answer the 12 quiz questions in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Shane Jones has the zeal, sure enough, but is too busy with his mining duties (we suspect) to be ava...
    Buzz from the Beehive The hacks of the Parliamentary Press Gallery have been able to chip into a rich vein of material on the government’s official website over the past 24 hours. Among the nuggets is the speech by Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and a press statement to announce ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Cut the parliamentary term
    When Labour was in power, they wasted time, political capital, and scarce policy resources on trying to extend the parliamentary term to four years, in an effort to make themselves less accountable to us. It was unlikely to fly, the idea having previously lost two referendums by huge margins - ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • More terrible media ethics
    David Farrar writes – The Herald reports: When Whanau Ora chief executive John Tamihere was asked what his expectations for the Budget next Thursday were, he said: “All hope is lost.” Last year Whānau Ora was allocated $163.1 million in the Budget to last for the next four years ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Bringing our democracy into disrepute
    On Monday the government introduced its racist bill to eliminate Māori represntation in local government to the House. They rammed it through its first reading yesterday, and sent it to select committee. And the select committee has just opened submissions, giving us until Wednesday to comment on it. Such a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The censors who’ll save us from ourselves… yeah right!
    Nick Hanne writes – There’s a common malady suffered by bureaucracies the world over. They wish to save us from ourselves. Sadly, NZ officials are no less prone to exhibiting symptoms of this occupational condition. Observe, for instance, the reaction from certain public figures to the news ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • The case for commissioners to govern the capital city
    Peter Dunne writes – As the city of Tauranga prepares to elect a new Mayor and Council after three and a half years being run by government-appointed Commissioners, the case for replacing the Wellington City Council with Commissioners strengthens. The Wellington City Council has been dysfunctional for years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Thoughts about contemporary troubles.
    This will be s short post. It stems from observations I made elsewhere about what might be characterised as some macro and micro aspects of contemporary collective violence events. Here goes. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine and France and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Blurring The Lines Around Political Corruption
    It may be a relic of a previous era of egalitarianism, but many of us like to think that, in general, most New Zealanders are as honest as the day is long. We’re good like that, and smart as. If we’re not punching above our weight on the world stage, ...
    4 days ago
  • MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Bryce Edwards writes – Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • King Mike & Mike King.
    I built a time machine to see you againTo hear your phone callYour voice down the hallThe way we were back thenWe were dancing in the rainOur feet on the pavementYou said I was your second headI knew exactly what you meantIn the country of the blind, or so they ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The register published on Tuesday contains a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • How much climate reality can the global financial system take without collapsing?
    Microsoft’s transparency about its failure to meet its own net-zero goals is creditable, but the response to that failure is worrying. It is offering up a set of false solutions, heavily buttressed by baseless optimism. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 24-May-2024
    Another Friday, another Rāmere Roundup! Here are a few things that caught our eye this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, our new writer Connor Sharp roared into print with a future-focused take on the proposed Auckland Future Fund, and what it could invest in. On ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Earning The Huia Feather.
    Still Waiting: Māori land remains in the hands of Non-Māori. The broken promises of the Treaty remain broken. The mana of the tangata whenua languishes under racist neglect. The right to wear the huia feather remains as elusive as ever. Perhaps these three transformations are beyond the power of a ...
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, May 24
    Posters opposing the proposed Fast-Track Approvals legislation were pasted around Wellington last week. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: One of the architects of the RMA and a former National Cabinet Minister, Simon Upton, has criticised the Government’s Fast-Track Approvals bill as potentially disastrous for the environment, arguing just 1% ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to May 24
    There was less sharing of the joy this week than at the Chinese New Year celebrations in February. China’s ambassador to NZ (2nd from right above) has told Luxon that relations between China and New Zealand are now at a ‘critical juncture’ Photo: Getty / Xinhua News AgencyTL;DR: The podcast ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit
    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    5 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    5 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    6 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    6 days ago

  • Government to consult on regulation of shooting clubs and ranges
      The Government is consulting New Zealanders on a package of proposals for simple and effective regulation of shooting clubs and ranges, Associate Minister of Justice, Nicole McKee announced today.   “Clubs and ranges are not only important for people learning to operate firearms safely, to practice, and to compete, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Successful New Caledonia repatriation winds up, need for dialogue remains
    Over 300 people have been successfully flown out of New Caledonia in a joint Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) operation.   As of today, seven New Zealand government aircraft flights to Nouméa have assisted around 225 New Zealanders and 145 foreign nationals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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