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What Have Labour Done For The Poor, Exactly?

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, September 28th, 2020 - 30 comments
Categories: benefits, Carmel Sepuloni, Economy, labour, uncategorized, welfare - Tags:

There’s been plenty of criticism about Labour’s policies not being effective enough to alleviate poverty.
Time for a bit of perspective.

You’ll probably remember the interview Labour’s Carmel Sepuloni gave with TVNZ last year.

But, as with most policy areas, COVID19 focused the Minister’s mind, and that of Treasury.

Labour’s Social Welfare Minister has had a hard time from the Child Poverty Action Group recently. Their task is necessarily unceasing.

But, as the Minister rightly notes, Labour have implemented a lot.

For just a few of the highlights:

  • Labour did the Families Package early on which gave 384,000 families an extra $75 a week
  • Labour implemented the Best Start payment which gets parents with young children $60 a week for 3 years
  • They implemented 7 months paid Parental Leave, up from 4 months.
  • They actually did the hard political thing of setting legislated targets child poverty, which is going to grip them tighter and tighter each time it’s reported
  • Labour now gives free lunches through schools – by mid next year that’s 200,000 children eating better so they can learn better
  • Minister Sepuloni stopped the requirement to name the father or your benefit gets cut. A truly shitty National government policy.
  • Minister Sepuloni shifted the mean and disgusting punitive culture of Social Welfare, though is happy to admit there’s a lot more to do
  • Labour banned smoking in cars – great for child health – and when National started in power the smoking rate was about 20% and it’s down to 14.9%.
  • Allocated over half a billion in funding against domestic violence – now let’s see them spend it to make a difference
  • Did strong long term employment stuff like the Tupu Aotearoa and the expanded Mana In Mahi programmes for education pathways into work for Maori and Pacifica and generally people who had some massive social disadvantage
  • Increased the minimum wage, and promised to raise it again to $20 next year

Sure, there is plenty they didn’t do. Minister Sepuloni should keep taking the criticism, and fighting harder for her patch in Cabinet. That’s what you get paid for.

Of all the political capital they’ve accumulated, it’s sure time to spend some of it in social welfare.

And probably COVID19’s social and economic effects will confuse any causality of the collected policies to any change to the GINI Coefficient. Brutal damn year.

But that scale of positive social intervention never happened under National. Or Act.

Labour’s Carmel Sepuloni led this change, as did the Prime Minister herself.

It would have been a meaner, crueller, more damaged country without Labour’s social welfare policies; a very, very dark entry into the crisis we are in.

Social welfare is another portfolio for which Labour should be voted back in.

30 comments on “What Have Labour Done For The Poor, Exactly? ”

  1. Poppa G 1

    I think the handbrake NZ 1st applied in cabinet should not be underestimated. Labour, without that impediment should be able to more social gains. Keep in mind that covid is going to be having an effect for a some time yet.

    [Is there a good reason why you changed your user name? You’re creating extra work for Moderators. Please stick to only one user handle and to the old one from now on, thanks – Incognito]

  2. Rosemary McDonald 2

    What Have Labour Done For The Poor, Exactly?

    Sweet FA, tbh.

    https://www.cpag.org.nz/new-zealands-welfare-system-fails-to-recognise/

  3. Kay 3

    They've completely ignored the existence of people with long term illnesses and disabilities and barely-if ever- acknowledge our existence. As long as we don't exist they don't have to help.

    If none of them will even have the decency to respond to an email on the subject then as far as I'm concerned they have done absolutely nothing. The only thing I will agree with is things are always a hell of a lot worse in general under the Nat. It does not mean they are better under Labour.

  4. Anker 4
    • Also benefits raised by $25 at the start of covid. And they have linked benefits to wage inflation (I don’t really understand this, but I have heard it said this is helpful)
    • will in crease sick leave.

    heard Robertson talk about an insurance scheme for unemployment. Seems Sweden has this, was reading about it in the context of Covid

    • Kay 4.1

      I can assure you that $25 has achieved absolute nothing. For nearly all of us it was eaten up right away by the rent. The worrying thing now is, Temporary Additional Support renewals have been on hold for the last 6 months because of covid and WINZ being over-run but are about to be restarted. usually, an increase in benefit rates result in an automatic decrease in TAS. Given every beneficiary in private rental and/or with high disability costs is now getting TAS full time just to have a roof over our heads, we are facing the very real prospect of having up to $25 taken off us.

      • woodart 4.1.1

        totally disagree kay, that $25 per week was a 9.5 percent increase in my benefit. has made a big difference. along with the winter power payout(doubled this winter, has helped me pay off a couple of longstanding accounts and also put a little aside for rainy day. I realise that everybodies experiences vary, but if you turn your nose up at a nearly ten percent increase in your weekly stipend, dont expect sympathy from this fellow beneficary. your claim that every beneficary in private rental is now getting TAS is also wrong.

        • Kay 4.1.1.1

          Fine woodart, I'm very pleased that $25 has helped you. It's no doubt helped a few people, but it's made bugger all difference to the people I know in private accommodation for the reason I've given, especially when their rent is more than the core benefit and we need supplements to pay the bills. And did I turn up my nose? It is how ever, a token gesture and the government knows it. Until exorbatant rents are sorted then token gesture increases are not going to make much of a difference.

          I do agree, than in conjunction with the increased winter energy payment (= $65/week for a single person), now that has made a massive difference. But 40 of that is about to vanish as you know. And just how many people do you think actually used that energy payment to pay for energy? Like you say, pay off a couple of accounts (if they were power, then that shows you didn't have enough to meet non-winter prices), and put a bit aside, ie hoarding for the leaner times to come.

        • weka 4.1.1.2

          not everyone got $25.

      • Sabine 4.1.2

        Given every beneficiary in private rental and/or with high disability costs is now getting TAS full time just to have a roof over our heads, we are facing the very real prospect of having up to $25 taken off us.

        Bill was worried about that. He left a few comments stating exactly this just before lockdown.

        The state gives with one hand and it takes away with the other. the poverty of the masses as a political tool.

    • weka 4.2

      "Also benefits raised by $25 at the start of covid"

      It's important to understand that that doesn't mean that each beneficiary got an increase in the bank account each week. Depending on what supplementary benefits they get, that $25 is abated down once the full benefit is calculated. Some beneficiaries get much less.

  5. arkie 5

    This morning the Prime Minister ruled out raising benefits if they get a second term, pledged continued incrementalism.

    From 5:28

  6. Sabine 6

    They have not increased benefits for anyone unless they are Families. there you get a wee bit of money for kids under three, and once they are three years old and a day, the kids can go get a job and 'learn the value' of work.

    School Lunches – Again, we can credit Covid with the increases in the school lunches provided. The 200.000 number of kids getting is came about Covid, not need. Covid.

    https://www.education.govt.nz/our-work/overall-strategies-and-policies/wellbeing-in-education/free-and-healthy-school-lunches/

    Expanding the programme in response to COVID-19

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme is being expanded to reach around 200,000 students by the end of 2021. It includes extending the programme to secondary schools.

    This initiative will help cushion the blow of COVID-19 impacts on students living in already socio-economically disadvantaged households which may now be experiencing heightened financial stress, job and income losses at home which can interfere with learning and wellbeing.

    The covid increase in the base benefits, due to Covid. The extra 25 NZD came because of Covid. No other reason than that. Not the need that was there already 3 years ago, 2 years ago and 1 year ago, but the Lockdown Level 4 braught that on. And only due to bad reports and bad score cards that were handed out before.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/413106/people-say-they-re-struggling-to-get-financial-support-from-work-and-income-during-covid-19-lockdown

    Work and Income is fielding an unprecedented number of calls for people trying to access the jobseeker allowance, emergency food grants and wage subsidies – with 75,000 calls in just four days.

    Mary and her partner are both in their 50s and on the benefit.

    Between them, they get roughly $186 a week, plus some temporary additional support to pay off a car.

    As the lockdown drew near, their cupboards were almost empty, Mary said.

    She applied for an emergency food grant a week ago and heard nothing, so she approached advocacy group Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) for help.

    Her advocate applied for them and also heard nothing back.

    "She lent me $50 to get bread and butter. We were very grateful for that because we had absolutely nothing in our cupboards or fridge."

    Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March said Work and Income's system was "chaos".

    "We're incredibly concerned about the fact that Work and Income's emails and online systems are completely overloaded," he said.

    "People are going for days without accessing emergency assistance for things like food grants or even get into income support for those that are recently unemployed."

    He said there were some options the government could look at to help smoothen the process.

    "The simplest way to streamline this is to increase base-line benefit levels, so that we take off a lot of the demand for families to get in touch with Work and Income for food grants.

    "That would alleviate a lot of that hardship out there in the community and a lot of the time staff have to take to process these hardship grants."

    Benefits are set to increase by $25 from today but AAAP wants that to be raised higher.

    The winter energy payment, which those on benefits receive, is also doubling.

    The rent freeze? Covid.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12319849

    Landlords will not be allowed to increase rents or kick out their tenants except for in very specific situations during the four-week Covid-19 lockdown.

    The Government will today pass an urgent piece of legislation to ensure renters wouldn't suddenly be homeless and without somewhere to self-isolate.

    Housing Minister Megan Woods said there was also an obligation on tenants not to abuse the situation.

    I like the little admonishment of the renters to not 'abuse' the situation, no word yet on Labour admonishing the Landlords not to abuse the drop of the rent freeze, but i guess that is ok?

    The Covid unemployment?

    https://workandincome.govt.nz/covid-19/income-relief-payment/index.html

    If you lose your job (including self-employment) from 1 March 2020 to 30 October 2020 due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment.

    You can get up to 12 weeks of payments, to help with living costs after a sudden job loss, and give you time to find other work.

    Housing? Still as bad as it was 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 3 years ago, the rent freeze did help, but that is running out and i don't think Labour will extend it, despite the need for it.

    Homeless?

    https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/more-1000-homeless-be-housed-through-budget-2019#:~:text=Budget%202019%20will%20turn%20around,Minister%20Phil%20Twyford%20announced%20today.

    Budget 2019 will turn around the lives of more than a 1,000 long-term homeless people by helping them into permanent homes – the largest government investment ever in addressing chronic homelessness, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today.

    Jacinda Ardern said Budget 2019 is breaking the cycle for long-term homeless people by giving them a permanent, warm and safe home, and support services to help address the causes of homelessness.

    never mind that by their own estimate in 2018 we had over 41800 people experiencing severe housing depreviation or homelessness , and the budget in 2019 did not even amount to a drop of water on a hot stone.

    https://www.hud.govt.nz/news-and-resources/statistics-and-research/2018-severe-housing-deprivation-estimate/

    The estimates confirm that on 6 March 2018 there were at least 41,600 people experiencing severe housing deprivation.

    The total includes:

    • 3,522 people who were considered to be living without shelter (on the streets, in improvised dwellings – including cars – and in mobile dwellings).
    • 7,567 people who were living in temporary accommodation (night shelters, women’s refuges, transitional housing, camping grounds, boarding houses, hotels, motels, vessels, and marae).
    • 30,555 people who were sharing accommodation, staying with others in a severely crowded dwelling.

    Food security? go check the increase in foodbank parcels.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300077507/coronavirus-auckland-city-mission-faces-175-rise-in-demand-for-food-parcels

    A leading charity has seen a staggering 175 per cent increase in demand for food parcels this winter as the fallout of coronavirus continues to be felt by Kiwi families.

    Before the pandemic, Auckland City Mission was distributing 450 parcels a week to families and individuals who could not otherwise put food on the table. Over lockdown, this rose to more than 1200.

    The need has continued, with about 1000 parcels – each with enough food to provide four days of meals to a family-of-four – currently being distributed each week.

    Income? Go check out the hard ship grants that we are handing out.

    https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/incomes-fall-for-first-time-on-record

    on average by their own numbers income fell by abut 50 NZD – just about the price of water and maybe internet per month.

    Unemployment? currently the hardest hit are already among the poorest or those most likely to be employed part time, low skilled and low wage jobs – Women, Young, Elders, Disabled/differntly abled. The ones that were already suffering before covid.

    https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/employment-highest-ever-for-women

    No shovel ready jobs for the dears, just the same old humiliating Winz – kinder and gentler if you can get someone to answer the phone in the first place, and then a benefit only if your husband does not earn 0.50 cnt above the threshold, and then my dear you depend on your husband for your three meals a day and nice save and warm bed at nigh. IF the partner is a bit of a shitheel go run to a womens refugee or just die in a ditch.

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2009/S00148/labour-partys-welfare-policy-condemns-beneficiaries-to-poverty.htm

    “Auckland Action Against Poverty launched its Liveable Incomes For All campaign earlier this year, inviting political parties to commit to lifting incomes to liveable levels, individualising benefits and removing all sanctions within three years. Both the Green Party and the Māori Party pledged their support to our campaign, but the Labour Party refused to engage with our demands. Now that the Labour Party has announced its welfare policy we know that if they win an outright majority this election significant welfare reform would not be part of the political agenda.

    “Despite all the rhetoric of kindness and compassion from the Prime Minister her Party is heading into the election without a commitment to lift people on the benefit out of poverty. COVID-19 is only going to put more strain on frontline Work and Income staff, with more people on jobseeker benefits needing food grants. Leaving core benefits below the poverty line during an economic crisis is irresponsible.

    Band aids, that is all they handed out. Not serious surgery for the festering boil that is poverty in NZ to clean up and heal, but shitty little bandaids so they – Labour – can feel like they did something.

    Labour should be ashamed of themselves with their kinder and gentler bullshit, its not even enough of a turd to trickle down to those that need it the most.

    • Sabine 6.1

      Unemployment? currently the hardest hit are already among the poorest or those most least likely to be employed are part time, low skilled and low wage jobs – Women, Young, Elders, Disabled/differntly abled, Maori and POC. The ones that were already suffering before covid.

      Fixed above error.

    • woodart 6.2

      didnt bother to read all of your post ,because your first line is totally incorrect, who knows about the rest. I live alone, not a family, and my benefit was raised $25 per week. if you are going to put a rant on here, get your facts correct!

      • Kay 6.2.1

        Yes she did get that first line wrong, that dates back to National and their pathetic attempt at saying how wonderful they were at fixing child poverty.

        I gather you don't get TAS woodart? If you don't then you'll get to keep your $25. As for the many, many of us reliant on it, well like I said, we're about to find out how much will be clawed back. You do know that's how they get away with these 'increases' don't you? Take away to give = not much of an increase to the budget.

  7. Sabine 7

    i have a comment in moderation due to high use of links. I hope it gets trhough. 🙂

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    It is one of the core principles of quality assurance that you determine the efficacy of your products or services, not independently, but in close consultation with your customer base.

    Though there would be no argument that Labour have done infinitely better than National would have done, that's a pretty back-handed compliment. The measures taken in support of the response to Covid were very positive however.

    But Labour still have much ground to make up for offshoring my industry. A few grudging sops thrown to the folk they impoverished in the first place don't make up for that. They really need to put some thought into what would create better prospects for those freight-trained by their ill-judged enthusiasm for the lies of Roger Douglas.

  9. adam 9

    There you been told,

    so shut up and take your scraps you ungrateful peons.

  10. Craig H 10

    Also:

    • a collection of pay equity settlements
    • Living Wage for public service employees with contracted workers to follow
    • indexing benefits against average wages, not CPI – obviously that's a long term system fix, not an immediate item, but the minimum wage increases and various living wage and pay equity settlements will also flow through this mechanism to benefit rates
    • winter energy payment (not stated in OP, but obviously mentioned a few times in comments)
    • increased student allowance
    • fees free – 1 year for university students, 2 years for apprentices

    Thoroughly agree that there is a long way to go, but hundreds of thousands of people are better off from these policies. For future policies, I'd suggest expanding ACC to illness and social insurance since people will be invested in a better welfare system if they are paying directly into it and can see the potential benefits for themselves. Potentially also has the bonus of eliminating income protection insurance as a thing.

    I just realised in typing this that it is unclear whether I meant to include social insurance in ACC or as a separate thing, so perhaps that can be a discussion topic.

  11. Corey Humm 11

    Notice that the nz left lazily only talks about poverty in one way: Families. Families families. Child poverty. CHILD poverty.

    Because middle class liberals have decided that adults who are in poverty deserve it.

    Won't somebody think of the children!!!

    Bugger all for anyone without kids, whose disabled can't work because of mental illness or can't find a job right now in any real financial way once covid benifit runs out.

    • Geoff Lye 11.1

      Spot on or people who cant pay for meds and cant even get a benefit either .

    • KJT 11.2

      The reason is that there isn't enough sympathy, for adults in poverty, to get traction for reducing poverty. See the antipathy from the Chardonnay Socialists on here, to even minimal taxes on the rich, to be used to reduce poverty.

      The only way to get any progress is to talk about child poverty.

      The religious belief that poverty is deserved, is so prevalent in New Zealand. (Comforting to our sense of decency, if we can tell ourselves we are richer, because we are better people). Nurtured by the many who either profit from poverty, or do not want to contribute, even the price of a few coffees a week, to reducing it.
      The belief that NZ is a meritocracy, where people get the income they deserve, is a common self justifying delusion, still!

      However even they cannot justify claiming that little children, "deserve" poverty without sounding totally callous.

      Disabled people seem, unfortunately, to be invisible.

      The actual "Left" whose only representatives in Parliament are the Greens, "well meaning middle class they may be, but their hearts are in the right place, have not forgotten about adults that are poor. We are struggling to get more help for the poor. At least if we get children helped a lot more, we may be able to break the cycle of poverty somewhat.

  12. Riff.s 12

    As has been touched on in the comments, raising benefits and working class wages mainly benefits landlords. Any extra money gets thrown into a rent payment bidding war in a desperate search for adequate housing.

    Ending the housing shortage is a necessary first step to reduce poverty. The only way to end a housing shortage is to build houses. Here labour has delivered the most building starts for a generation both public and private. Also a good move by labour to increase capacity by using free fees to get the young ones onto trades rather than uni.

    Its a long game but I think they've got the right idea.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 12.1

      Yep incl the landlords Bene, the NZ Govt Accommodation Supplement. Another example of Socialism for the rich pricks…even moreso those with multiple properties.

      The criminal selling off of OUR State Housing…by nat and neolib "labour" has lead us to a bad place. Better change….

      Some old news…but hey..relevant as ever

      "It seems that an economy whose claim to fame has been getting rid of subsidies is now more reliant than ever on a subsidy to landlords which became the centrepiece of National’s housing reforms of the 1990s (and was embraced again when the party regained office) and a subsidy to employers that was a flagship policy of the Clark Labour governments (I’m told it was politically verboten in Treasury at the time to characterise WFF as a benefit, which it really is)."

      https://publicaddress.net/hardnews/budget-2017-how-do-we-get-out-of-here/

    • KJT 12.2

      Agree the fees free trades and building State rentals are good policy.

      However we need State house building at the per capita level of the 40's and 50's to even make a dent.

      Training up kids on the job to build 10 000 State rentals would be an excellent, “Shovel ready” project.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 12.2.1

        @ 12.2 Hey I've thought, said, promoted (wished ) that for so long….just seems to be that cliche "no brainer" but so long coming…. Just frustrating as all hell. And Hey re you at 11.2. I kinda wondered what I'd struck here at times. Power to you matey… : )!

  13. Adrian Thornton 13

    No capital gains tax while Ardern leader

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/pro/2019/04/17/542639/no-capital-gains-tax-while-ardern-leader

    I think a prime minister that touts pragmatism as one of their greatest assets, but only takes a firm stand on NOT implementing a capital gains tax, thereby directly supporting and encouraging the obscene housing ‘market’ has made it quite plain what their fundamental ideology is…free market capitalism, if she can help the poor within that frame work fine, but you can be sure she and this liberal Labour govt will NOT operate outside of their own self-imposed liberal free market framework. That is just a fact that they have made abundantly clear to anyone who chooses to see it can plainly see..like it or not.

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  • Rating The Contenders.
    There Can Be Only One: Some might ask why National MPs would install yet another “successful business person” at the helm of their party? Isn’t one Todd Muller enough? Especially when Simon Bridges could become the first National politician of Māori descent to become Prime Minister.LET’S GET SOMETHING out of ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Omicron, and the Bridges/Luxon dilemma
    At this early stage, the Omicron variant seems to be more infectious, and more able to bypass the protection offered by vaccines and by the antibodies generated by previous infection. The fact that it is being spread around the globe by travellers who were all presumably fully immunised and had ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 29 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Kevin Moore, Associate Professor in Psychology & Tourism, Lincoln University: “For me, the big advantage of NZ Politics Daily is the breadth of opinion and sources it gathers. Together. There is always a mix of news reporting, news analysis, opinion pieces and blog posts. That breadth ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • National is still very much the same Party even without Collins leading it… that’s the real issu...
    Judith Collins regarded Thatcher as “a personal hero” of hers. But like her hero though, it took the UK Conservative Party and their ideological counterparts here to get rid of both of them, from the inside. There’s a sort of bizarre symmetry to that really. Both were rather messy ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 21, 2021 through Sat, November 27, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: To Breed or Not to Breed?, The Vaccine for Fake News, Ten ways to confront the climate ...
    3 days ago
  • A professor without honour in his own country
    Michael Corballis just three months before his death appeared in an interview on the Hui with Mihirangi Forbes. She made no effort to conceal her disdain for his defence of science and proceeded to lecture him on not knowing enough about mātauranga Maori to comment on it and accused him ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Businessman – and Political Novice
    The drums are beating – see Heather Du Plessis-Allan in today’s Herald – for Christopher Luxon’s bid to become National’s new (and latest) leader. It is conceded that he is a political tyro but – such is National’s current plight – it is suggested that he is a risk worth ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No, Elizabeth Stuart Would Not Have Stopped the English Civil War (Probably)
    As you might have noticed, A Phuulish Fellow is a fairly eclectic blog. Even an organic one. I have my interests, and write about them as the fit takes me. And sometimes I stumble across an article I feel the need to comment on. Today, I ran across a ...
    4 days ago
  • Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
    Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Covid as Warriors
    The book I am currently working on – tentative title ‘In Open Seas’ – looks at the current and future New Zealand. One chapter describes the policy towards Covid using the trope of warfare. It covers an important period in our history but show how policy evolves and why, as ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: the B.1.1.529 variant – what do we know?
    There’s a lot of news about a new variant originally reported in southern Africa. Early signs have prompted calls for immediate precautionary blocks on travel from the region to restrict its spread. The WHO has called an emergency conference on this variant. Here’s a round-up of what we know so ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • National Party board denies it unanimously agreed to Collins’ Faustian bargain with Satan
    Sources close to party president Peter Goodfellow say he was totally blindsided by Collins’ claims he was party to this particular satanic ritual. National Party president Peter Goodfellow is today issuing a strong denial on behalf of the party’s board, saying they did not, at any point, agree to the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The cost of optimism
    Yesterday the National Party imploded in a messy knife-fight that cost it its leader and probably one of the contenders. So naturally, the government has taken the opportunity to do a dump of its pandemic advice, including the Cabinet papers on its controversial decisions to repeatedly lower the Auckland alert ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s less than stellar choices
    Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio – a role in which he has been ...
    5 days ago
  • Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?
    Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   The news last week that University of Auckland public health researcher Simon Thornley was retracting a co-authored paper about supposed vaccination risks during pregnancy raised deeper questions about the limits of academic freedom. Thornley’s own head of department had called for the paper to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 26 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jean Drage, Political scientist specialist in local government: “With 78 local authorities and central government currently intent on reform, local government is a challenging area of research to keep on top of. Thank goodness for Bryce’s NZ’s Politics Daily. It is a gem, especially as it also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Bridges is not the one
    Simon Bridges failed to bluff Judith Collins out of the leadership. A campaign to rehabilitate his image began shortly after the election and culminated in the publication of a memoir in August. There were persistent rumours of a deal with rival Christopher Luxon and MPs from the ‘liberal’ wing of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Smokefree cars – an important step towards protecting children from the hazards of smoking
    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    6 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    6 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    6 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
    Today, the government introduced the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to the House. The Bill would allow the government to use classified information in civil or criminal proceedings and keep it secret from the other party. So people suing the government for human rights abuses could lose, and defendants ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    6 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    1 week ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    1 week ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    1 week ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Inflation — the decline of purchasing power as prices rise — is currently at its highest level in 30 years. This has led to concern among the public and policymakers about the rising costs of many important products like food, shelter, gasoline, ...
    1 week ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    1 week ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
    Since its election loss earlier this year, Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party has been pinning its hopes on the upcoming by-elections to regain power. That was a pretty forlorn hope - with 18 seats, they would have had to win all seven by-elections and have two additional women appointed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    Its official: the Marsden Point refinery, source of more than 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, will be closing down from April: Refining NZ has confirmed its decision to close the Marsden Point oil refinery, which will shut down in April. The company announced on Monday that its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand Response to assist peace and stability in Solomon Islands
    The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  “We are deeply concerned by the recent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Continued growth in volume of new home consents
    In the year ended October 2021, 47,715 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the October 2020 year. In October 2021, 4,043 new dwellings were consented Canterbury’s new homes consented numbers rose 31% to higher than post-earthquake peak. New home consents continue to reach remarkable levels of growth, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Saddle up for summer with cycle trail funding
    New investment will keep the best of New Zealand’s cycle trails in top condition as regions prepare to welcome back Kiwi visitors over summer and international tourists from next year. “Cycle tourism is one of the most popular ways to see the country ‘off the beaten track’ but the trails ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealand provides additional funding to COVAX for vaccine delivery
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced additional funding will be provided to COVAX to support vaccine delivery in developing countries. “New Zealand remains cognisant of the dangers of COVID-19, especially as new variants continue to emerge. No one is safe from this virus until we all are and this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Community fund providing support for 160 organisations focused on women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced financial support will be allocated to the 160 successful applicants for the COVID-19 Community Fund, to support organisations helping women/wāhine and girls/kōtiro in Aotearoa New Zealand affected by the pandemic. “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on women around the world including in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government delivers reactivation package as Aucklanders reconnect for summer
    A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash have announced a Reactivating Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Mobile services and broadband come to Chatham Islands for first time
    World class mobile and broadband services have been switched on for the 663 residents of the Chatham Islands, Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark and Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash announced today. “This eagerly awaited network will provide fast broadband and mobile services to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Crown accounts reflect strong economy amid pandemic
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect an economy that has performed better than expected, despite the latest Delta COVID-19 outbreak. The Crown accounts for the four months to the end of October factors in the improved starting position for the new financial year. Core Crown tax revenue was $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Applications open for new 2021 Resident Visa
    The first round of applications for New Zealand’s new 2021 Resident visa open today (6am). “This one-off pathway provides certainty for a great many migrant families who have faced disruption because of COVID-19 and it will help retain the skills New Zealand businesses need to support the economic recovery,” Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Nailed it! Over 500 apprentices get jobs boost
    Over 500 apprentices and cadets have been placed into work across New Zealand thanks to the Government’s booming build programme, that’s both constructing public houses, and maintaining older homes. Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the milestone today at a public housing construction site in Riccarton, Christchurch. “This Government’s investment in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Investment to support maternal mental health
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