Welfare working group follows the formula

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, November 25th, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: benefits, class war - Tags: ,

I’m not going to waste a lot of time on the Welfare Working Group’s report. It follows the Brash-esque formula of mis-representing the issue as some massive problem and then presenting ‘solutions’ that have failed overseas. Like the Brash reports, it will be used by the Nats for bait and switch, making their actual cuts seem moderate by comparison.

The report harps on about 338,000 working age people getting benefits as if these are all fit, young people who just can’t be arsed getting a job.

Of course, we know the truth is different:

85,000 are invalids, meaning they have severe physical or mental disabilities

58,000 are sick and are required to have medical certificates to prove it (if people are getting certificates they shouldn’t be, that’s not a reason to get rid of the benefit, it’s a problem with GPs)

112,000 are raising young children alone

65,000 are unemployed and required to be looking for work to get their benefit. And we know that, if the jobs are out there, unemployment beneficiaries are more than willing to take them. Before the recession there were as few as 17,000 on the dole and 70% of them got it for less than a year as they transitioned from one job to another.

In fact, when there were jobs for nearly everyone there were just 1,700 long-term unemployed who had been on the dole for over 4 years. If there are any bludgers they are a subset of those 1,700. Hardly worth turning the lives of 338,000 people and their families upside down over.

A good proportion (I think its 50% from memory) of beneficiaries actually work a bit as well, and take a reduced benefit as a result. The marginal tax rate for beneficiaries is enormous, at least 80.5% due to benefit abatement and income tax for people getting over $80 a week from work income, but they still want to work.

And let’s not forget that our society manages to support, via the benefit system, 12% of the working age population and their families by expending less than $5 billion on those benefits. That’s less than the income of the wealthiest 13,000 New Zealanders.

So, having misconstrued the problem, the Welfare Working Group presents all kinds of extreme solutions:

work for the dole (where’s the work going to come from?)

time limited benefits (what happens to families who can’t find work during the recession?)

individual unemployment insurance (shifts the cost on to low-income workers, who are most likely to lose their jobs)

forcing solo mums to look for work even earlier (who will look after the kids?)

Surprisingly, a universal minimum income is also among the proposals. And that’s the one good idea there is.

As with Brash’s reports before it, this paper will be dumped in the bin without being read and be used by National to make its next round of benefit cut backs appear moderate. That’s all this expensive game is really about. The suckers are those, on both sides, who think that the paper is anything other than a neoliberal fantasy.

33 comments on “Welfare working group follows the formula”

  1. M 1

    ‘time limited benefits (what happens to families who can’t find work during the recession?)’

    Drug dealing and prostitution?

    Will we now become Mexicans with cellphones touting for business on street corners?

    Anti-spam: Ship – yeah, ship of NACT fools.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I’m still trying to figure out how to stop otherwise intelligent nice ordinary income earning people for voting for a Tory party which is only out to burn them. Illogical but that is what has been happening.

      • Vicky32 1.1.1

        When they get burned it will be too late – worse, some of them are past masters at rationalisation – or they blame themselves, which is the really sad part.
        Deb

    • RobertM 1.2

      They seem intelligent and useful occupations – sex work, drug selling and street entrepenuers and those available for casual employment in the film and bar industry. Far more so than half the jobs in outer roa. Here half the jobs are padded and created. I’m sure the nation would be more productive and happier if only half the present jobs were done. Getting out of bed to go to work uses energy and fuel, space and paper. What a waste.
      Any human society of intelligence would realise that l8 year old solo mothers should be having vigorous sex all the time to keep fit, enjoy and relax. In many respects there offsprings should be looked after by their grandmothers or great grandmothers or other grandmothers. People like Coddington, Newman and Rankin would be far more useful if they spent their time looking after their grandchildren. Even recreational cougar sex would be far more healthy than their embittered right wing spiels- which just reflects that it was too hard climbing the food chain for these girls and they should have just stuck to something respectable like recreational sex. And I mean it.
      Rebstock is beyond contempt barking the Act, talkback line. And just how likely is a Macjob to take you up the food chain and housing market if your an adult. Such jobss are for the under 25s , teenagers, students etc to earn dress, booze and cosmetic money.
      The likes of Rebstock are pathetic barking the male fuddy duddy line. She calls herself a feminist.

      • Vicky32 1.2.1

        “Any human society of intelligence would realise that l8 year old solo mothers should be having vigorous sex all the time to keep fit, enjoy and relax.”
        Yes, you’re the guy who’s got an obsession with sex and teenagers, hey?
        How many 18 year old solo mothers do you think there are? Clue – about 90% fewer than you imagine! 😀
        Deb

  2. Jim Nald 2

    Yep, not worth wasting too much time.
    Even comparing at a basic level, this paper can’t measure up to your toilet paper which can be flushed away and doesn’t clog the sewers.

  3. KJT 3

    A universal minimum income is almost a no brainer. Even the most rabid RWNJ can see the benefits.

    As for the rest of it. It is so predictable as to be a total waste of money.

    These working groups and commissions have become unemployment benefits for ex politicians and party hacks.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      These working groups and commissions have become unemployment benefits for ex politicians and party hacks.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Wingnut_welfare

    • TightyRighty 3.2

      I wouldn’t mind a universal minimum income, but only if it was accompanied by an absolutely flat tax rate on every dollar earnt over it. otherwise we’ll just raise another generation of people accustomed to looking to the state to solve their every issue.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        the state is the only way certain issues can be solved, and the state needs a high level of funding to do it.

  4. belladonna 4

    They are targeting Invalid Beneficiares with a view to transferring them to an Unemployment Benefit which is a lot less than an Invalids Benefit – the jobs aren’t there but what a great way to cut costs – vile really.

  5. Bored 5

    What f**k knuckles like Bennett and Rebstock dont stop to ask is, “What happens to us (as in themselves persoanlly) should we succeed in getting rid of welfare (which is their ultimate goal)?

    The answer is simple, the people get angry and rebel, and if they get overly hungry they foment revolution. This is the primary reason why we have welfare systems, dont ever kid yourself it is because the political classes really care, it is a palliative method to avoid their overthrow.

    • Carol 5.1

      Well, people have to have a certain amount of resources in order to rebel. Why for instance hasn’t there been a major underclass rebellion in the US?

      OTOH, David Cameron & Nick Clegg in the UK probably should be congratulated for starting to politicise a large section of young people in the UK. These young people (probably ones with just enough resources at the moment) are learning the ways, means, and power of collective organisation, and how the media responds to it.

      • Bored 5.1.1

        There have been US underclass rebellions, the best example I can think of is the Civil Rights movement. There has also been massive violent repression of what once once the largest Communist party in the world, and the breaking of a substantial Union movement. Patton and Eisenhower before their wartime fame made their names breaking up an unemployed workers campaign in Washington.

        US politics is characterised by a massive divide and rule campaign by the wealthy at any one moment, the propaganda of which stifles any real debate, or any unity toward rebellion. This has always been backed up by massive force where necessary.

        On the subject of Cameron and Clegg I have the impression that activism in the streets scares them shitless. The “Black Bloc” methodology has demonstrated that the policing power of the state has no answer to common cause that has no central links or leadership to nip off at the head. When a protestor joins a Black Bloc he /she has no idea who he/she is standing alongside, you cannot incriminate the person you do not know. You can however show common cause, and act with a known tactical method to which the authorities have little answer.

        • Carol 5.1.1.1

          Well the police in London are using the same tactics as in the poll tax demos (sometimes described as riots). eg Kettling (trapping the protesters in a crowded space, and scaring them with police on horses). But the poll tax protesters were older and included more seasoned protesters.

          Now they’ve got a lot of young people acting with a relative amount of sponataneity – plus I gather parents collecting outside the kettled area asking them to let their kids come home. But, it seems to me to be a whole new generation are out on the streets in numbers. I’m sure that does scare them a bit.

          • Bored 5.1.1.1.1

            Nice observation Carol, there have been two apolitical generations raised since the neo lib revolution of the eighties, succoured by consumerism and techno gimickry. It gives me hope that there are numerous young people re engaged in street protest. Black Bloc makes this more effective, the tactics described here are very difficult to counter, have a read of this for basics http://www.solarstormtechnologies.com/radish/discontents/blackbloc.htm and this for advanced http://www.sheffieldmayday.ukf.net/articles/blackbloc.htm

            I have noticed that the sites change a lot which may be down to the authorities or perhaps pre-emptive movement to avoid authority. Either way if protesters had used these tactics in 1981 I suspect the authorities would not have coped.

    • RobertM 5.2

      Its the same with libraries. But like the benefits they can be turned to advantage to give time and money for research etc, The advantage of an Invalids benefit is you could partly fund a university enducation on it or do what you want, because it was assumed you were hopeless by social welfare. Doctors are usually keen to maximise peoples income. But the assumption psych patients are hopeless and won’t return to productivity is nonsense if modern drugs were used intelligently and people given a chance and left alone by society and the police. To get well, people need to control there own lives and drugs- which is why I favour a GMI and people writing their own perscriptions- because only the person themselves and their lovers will get them across the bar. Paternalitic and patronising relations and alturism are never helpful.
      Really anybody over 28 should just be guaranteed a floor income of about $350 with the only add on a supplement for up to 4 children. . More and the state would tie your tubes or your partner would get a little cut. Everybody should experience work for a few years, but I really think that much of the present workforce isn’t suited or efficient in much of the work they do in the NZ economy and the increasing shophistication of modern so called productive jobs will make this even more true. So I doubt if we need an income support dept, just do it thru the IRD.
      In my mothers opinion work was a privilege not a right

  6. freedom 6

    Is this a good time to mention the best and fairest way to get the local economy moving is introduce a tax free allowance of $10,000 before income tax is applied.

    It is the most universally fair base to a tax system as everyone has the same starting point and with few exceptions the first $10,000 of any person’s income is spent solely on living costs in their local economy

    Or would the corresponding drop in Income Tax revenue only highlight a disproportionate volume of tax is paid by those who earn the least in our society

  7. kriswgtn 7

    yeah nacts make out beneficiaries dont pay tax on anything – they pay tax on their benefits,they pay gst on everything.

    And theyre tryin to pass of that the world ‘s fukup on debt is because of beneficiaries
    what a fukin joke and the thing is ,is that joe public believe it

    sheep f***uckers

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Yeah its a bit of a problem, to be sure, to be sure.

    • Jim Nald 7.2

      the nacturds are very quick to accuse others of not paying taxes .. and, in another context, of corruption

      why are they so familiar with not paying taxes and corruption?

  8. B 8

    Read welfare article in Listener today in which Rebstock makes all kinds of false assumptions and claims about beneficiaries and the system -saying things like “you hear it from everyone” rather than offering actual evidence. The one comment she made which I thought was the most blatantly manipulative was -after making a big deal out of how benefit dependency causes poverty- “…in fact in most other countries the employment rate is aligned with or higher for sole parents than for partnered women”. Rebstock says that making sole parents work would improve our child poverty rate. In fact many countries with high (sole)maternal employment rates have higher levels of poverty than here eg Canada and the US where sole parents have no choice but to work because of policies such as those Rebstock advocates. Having just done a paper at uni on this where we looked at welfare regimes across the OECD its pretty clear what works and what doesnt. Or rather who benefits: the models she advocates eg insurance are of greatest benefit to the middle classes whereas systems such as the one we currently have benefit those on low incomes.

    • Puddleglum 8.1

      Did you like her phrase “the medicalisation of labour market dislocation”?! I’m not sure how to take that.

      It means one of two things, so far as I can tell:

      1. That the ‘dislocation’ has been medicalised (well, I guess I’d agree that there’s a certain psychological pathology behind the policies that have thoroughly dislocated work and workplaces – is that what she means?)

      2. Or being made redundant, having your relationship and family break up, being seriously injured, etc. has, inexplicably, been claimed to make some people depressed, anxious and unable to cope when ‘WE’ all know that that wouldn’t make ‘US’ depressed, anxious and unable to cope … SO, they must all be bludgers. But we can’t say that – wink, wink – so I’ll just say that ‘labour market dislocation has been medicalised’ cos I know all those lefty types use ‘medicalisation’ as a big, bad bogey word.

      Either way, that phrase alone disinclines me to take her views seriously. It’s a sign of poor thinking or deceptive rhetoric – I’m not in favour of either of those traits.

      • Roger 8.1.1

        Possibly an extension of 2. She also uses the term “hidden unemployment” and asserts that the numbers on the Sickness or Invalids’ benefits “simply cannot be explained by the population generally becoming less healthy”. The “hidden unemployment” with the as she terms “the medicalisation of labour market dislocation” suggests collusion between the previous government and the medical profession to unjustifiably remove people from the labour market to doctor the numbers. It also suggests as you said that the recipients are all bludgers.

        Her statement about the numbers is her flimsy ‘proof’ of her initial assumption. It is presented in a way that suggests a wide scope of health causes for the larger numbers of sickness and invalids beneficiaries do not exist but is actually very narrow in focus to easily promote her argument. It excludes for example better recognition and diagnosis of mental health problems and a greater focus of patients to be integrated or reintegrated into society rather than incarcerated in medical facilities or prisons. It excludes aging population, higher recognition of childhood deficiencies or diseases, reduced working conditions and safety that results in accidents and injury. It excludes the negative social impact of moving towards a 24-7 business and working roster.

        It is well presented but unquantified idealogical nonsense presented as expert opinion and designed in a way to attack left leaning policy ideas and the previous Labour government. But what else would you expect.

        • Carol 8.1.1.1

          And yet a recent OECD report says NZ’s rate of disability benefits is below the OECD average, and the unemployment rate of people with chronic health problems or disability was a lot lower than the OECD average, and other things show we tend to work more of our sick & disabled, but for less pay:

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4389217/NZ-below-OECD-benefit-average

          However, despite that continual increase the number of people of working age in New Zealand who received a disability benefit was below the OECD average. In 2008 it was 3.8 percent, compared to the OECD’s 5.7 percent.

          Other findings included:

          * New Zealand’s rate for older people (50-64-years) on a disability benefit was among the lowest in OECD but the country had the fifth-highest rate for young adults aged 20-34;

          * Public spending on sickness and disability as a share of GDP was lower in New Zealand than the OECD average;

          * The unemployment rate for people with chronic health problems or disability in 2006 was around half that of the OECD average – 7.4 percent compared to 13.7 percent. But it was more than twice New Zealand’s unemployment rate for people without health problems;

          * Employment rates of people with health problems or disability in 2006 were among the highest in the OECD, 59.5 percent compared to 43.6 percent. However, incomes of those employed are lower than for the general population of New Zealand.

        • Rosy 8.1.1.2

          “the numbers on the Sickness or Invalids’ benefits “simply cannot be explained by the population generally becoming less healthy””

          yeah, well, there would be even more on the invalid’s benefit if there was not an obligation for partners of invalids to provide for them.

          • B 8.1.1.2.1

            Perhaps it could be explained by the growing gap btw rich and poor in nz which has been shown to be linked to poor health? In other words neoliberal policies from this and the previous govt.

            And yes – partners& family of invalids pick up a lot of slack for the govt- yet get zero recognition or support

      • B 8.1.2

        @Puddleglum Yeah i noticed that one… I reckon its code for ‘lazy people who dont want to work faking mental illness so they can get on the bene’

  9. Drakula 9

    Thank you Carol I am in a position where the figures you quoted may come in handy.

    As for the above paper I agree with Nald it isn’t even as usefull as toilet paper.

    Bennett and co are going to do what they are going to do, so I think that this working groups paper is just window dressing.

    If I remember correctly the Green Party member Catherine Delahunty was invited to contribute to that group to at least give it the appearance of neutrality.

    Then she was uninvited; OK now go and figure that one out!!!!!!!!

  10. Sean 10

    Thanks for this piece Marty. For me, this is the key passage.

    In fact, when there were jobs for nearly everyone there were just 1,700 long-term unemployed who had been on the dole for over 4 years. If there are any bludgers they are a subset of those 1,700. Hardly worth turning the lives of 338,000 people and their families upside down over.

    One of the tragedies of this whole story is that if you and I can find the is information on the Ministry of Social Development’s website. Why can’t a professional journalist?

    I expect misrepresentation, and outright distortion from the NACT government – but what is the media’s excuse? If this information is available at anyone’s desk top, why aren’t editors demanding that their journalists locate available information, and understand it?

    It isn’t that hard, the core of the story the media should be able to find is this. A miniscule fraction of people could be exploiting the system, just like a fraction of people exploit any system. What is needed is a process that finds people in that fraction, prosecuting them if necessary. Instead the government is going about to go with the beat-on-all beneficiaries method, which did not work in the 90s, and won’t work now.

    I know, the media won’t find this story, they will just go with the line the NACT government hands them. If only they had a little professional pride.

    • kriswgtn 10.1

      “If this information is available at anyone’s desk top, why aren’t editors demanding that their journalists locate available information, and understand it?”

      Cos theyre thick inbred bastards

  11. tc 11

    Par for the course, Rebstock continues to be a waste of time and space as under her watch the ComCom rubber stamped increased consolidation/decreased competition across the board her finest achievement being allowing a supermarket duopoly….bravo paula.

    So she’s hardly on the side of consumers getting a fair deal be that of any product/service including gov’t delivered ones like benefits.

    This is classic ‘yes minister’ stuff, appoint a committee who’ll generate the recommendations you want rather than objectively derived ones…..can’t have that now, basher needs her fix.

  12. Drakula 12

    tc which is why they uninvited Catherin Delahunty!!!!

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    6 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    7 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
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