web analytics

Who Really is Judging the Poor?

Written By: - Date published: 2:46 pm, June 3rd, 2018 - 89 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, uncategorized, welfare - Tags: , , , ,

Families living in poverty, those who rely on food banks have internalised the overt, covert and inadvertent negative discourse that keeps the poverty conversation focused on individual blame, while ignoring the systemic causes of the problem.

Two incomes not enough for Christchurch family seeking food parcels’  is a headline that speaks volumes and is indicative of a trend that shows that more and more working families are struggling to make ends meet. This trend was identified in research as early as 2006.

Various charities  have been highlighting this issue for a number of years but it’s a trend that sees no sign of abating. Working families are struggling to survive in our low wage economy (thanks Bill English). While working families have been finding it really tough, those on benefits have been on the back foot since the 1990’s.  At that time benefits were cut and set at a rate that ensured that beneficiaries would not have access to an adequate diet. (Some experts suggest that these benefit cuts led to increased social problems). Despite supposed benefit increases in 2016, beneficiaries are no better off and Labour’s 2018 budget  does not go far enough to make much difference for those most in need. Some 500,000 people are left out of full participation in society and it does not appear that situation is going to change in any hurry.

While more and more working families are struggling and beneficiaries carry on coping with their lot in constant survival mode, there seems to be more emphasis on differentiating between the deserving  and the undeserving poor.  The judgements and assumptions come thick and fast about how easy beneficiaries have it in comparison to the working poor. For example:

I do not get any assistance from WINZ for anything as I am working. I would probably be better off financially on a benefit but I want to work

This implies that the benefit is adequate, it’s not. It also implies that those on benefits don’t want to work, they do.  That said, there’s enough evidence showing that even ‘hard work’ does not guarantee people a decent standard of living.

The article ‘Two incomes not enough for Christchurch family seeking food parcels’ provides another example of judgement  that can lead others to make generalisations about those needing food:

I’ve been to a house where they’ve been like ‘great, the food’s sorted. Now we can buy the grog’. You think ‘that’s not the purpose of why we’re here’

Those kind of statements help perpetuate stereotypes and myths about not only people who use food banks, but also about beneficiaries in general and a quick perusal of the comments section in those articles (if you can stomach it) confirms that.

These judgements or statements that justify the worthiness of recipients add to the overall stereotypes that those in need experience on a daily basis.  The sad thing is that you don’t have to search very hard to find example after example of the helping professions inadvertently perpetuating these uniformed beliefs and stereotypes.  It has reached the point that even those most in need resort to similar stereotyping and shame provoking discourse about others deemed less worthy than themselves (for example see this piece of research where food bank recipients were apt to judge other recipients as less deserving).

These type of judgements are internalised and research shows how this type of commentary leads to significant stigma and shame. Not only does that stigma and shame ensure that people in need are reluctant to seek help but it also leads to significant isolation, poor mental health, suicide and disengagement from society. On top of that, many of those experiencing poverty are the same populations that are subject to multiple oppressions in the Aotearoa New Zealand context ( see Giles, 2016).

I think it is time that the helping professions; the food banks, the ‘do gooders’ and  the people who claim they’re making some difference in the lives of others, simply stop and think before they speak. They need to ask themselves whether or not what they’re saying is contributing to the current dominant, anti-beneficiary, blame provoking discourse that plagues conversations around poverty.

Those commentators need to stop differentiating between the deserving and undeserving poor. Stop making stupid statements that poor people simply need to learn more skills (budgeting, cooking, shopping, gardening) to get by. Stop telling the public that their service makes sure those getting the help actually need it. (This simply buys into the myth that those fronting up to the charities are not really in need).  And finally stop individualising what is a systemic problem. I imagine if the ‘helping’ professions took a little more care about the conversations they’re putting out there, it may go some way toward minimising the impact of the negative stereotypes that dominate discourses about poverty.

 

89 comments on “Who Really is Judging the Poor?”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Turn the stigma and shame around and direct it where it belongs: at the corrupt sociopaths who finance and otherwise enable the National Party. The authors of the hate speech documented in the OP.

    This isn’t happening by accident.

    • soddenleaf 1.2

      Personal responsibility. If only they took PR. That was the conclusion of a ntn podcast, after much study of criminals the guest declares they lacked PR, that society lacks this. No, not the wealthy collapsing the financial markets, but yet another bottom feeder, who seeks out the fallen, those clearly failed themselves and society, as examples of everyone else. Fact was had he studied the class of all drunks he talked about he’d find many were workibg off the evil they internalized whilst working in the financial sector. It’s not PR that’s the problem it’s society that disregards individuals for the greater growth of balance sheets. Those evil soft liberals aren’t the problem it’s the right-wing commentator pointing away from their own lack of personal culpability and at liberal progressive, who I must remind you, have be ousted from power for the last thirty years by neolib economics.

  2. Bill 2

    I wonder, in this world with its myth that one can “get ahead” if one merely chooses to, whether fucked over people have ever not internalised society’s general antipathy towards poverty and the poor?

    “Poor” is inferior and somehow lacking at the personal level (apparently).

    That judgement goes right back to the inception of liberal capitalism, and was one of the justifications used by the propertied members of society seeking to shape the world to their advantage. So we had ‘the rule’ that only those enjoying property rights could vote, because the fact they had property in a world that was guided by wholly neutral market forces, was illustration enough of their inherent superiority to those who didn’t have property.

    All that’s changed over the past near 200 years – attitudes around poverty, as your post illustrates, certainly haven’t – is that various discrete groups, that were formerly excluded from positions of formal power within capitalism have been co-opted, and arguably neutered as a result – women, workers, non-white skinned people…

    I believe there are some who would call that progress…

    • Stunned mullet 2.1

      There is little doubt that despite the conflict and other disasters over the last couple of centuries that in the main conditions for most of the world’s peoples have improved even those at the most disadvantaged, surely you have little appetite for a grea leap back in time to class war and the deprivations of a couple of hundred or more years ago.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        …in the main conditions for most of the world’s peoples have improved even those at the most disadvantaged

        That’s a crock of shit. For a start, your ideas of “improvement” are bound by western capitalist/consumerist/materialistic measures of “improvement” (and disadvantage) that have baselines that are oblivious to whatever measures various societies and cultures might have used to gauge well being or progress and what not.

        What the situation of many colonised peoples would have been today isn’t something we can even really punt at, given that so many cultures and their peoples were simply removed from the face of the planet altogether.

        And please, do yourself a favour and don’t be tempted to bang on about medical advances or technological advances, as though they would only ever have been possible in a capitalist context. Cheers.

        And not understanding the suggestion that class war is some historical artifact. Open your eyes. Look around.

        • Stunned Mullet 2.1.1.1

          I refer to the following datasets excellently presented by Hans Rosling.

          Your desperation to cling to the demonisation of all things capitalism and of the west are just but becoming a bit of bore.

          • adam 2.1.1.1.1

            Let’s reject logic of any strip, and call Bill a bore.

            Sheesh stunned mullet I knew you were a bit of a look at me, me, me. Even for you that comment is a loser move.

            Come on dude, if you can’t work out the capitalism has been quite destructive. You living with your head up your….

            I suppose I should put a list, or, like the others in rwjn collective, you will cry, or try to make a stupid joke.

            ISIS
            Sudan
            Yeman
            Ukraine
            Puerto Rico
            Haiti
            South Africa
            Isreal
            Guinea
            Liberia
            Nigeria
            Sierra Leone

            I’ll stop now, but the list is big.

            By the way, look up how capitalism stops technology in the name of profit.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        The last ‘couple of hundred years or more’ also includes the Enlightenment and the resurgence of Democracy. The ‘New Deal’ was not a Capitalist priority no matter how you slice it.

        Not to mention the way limited liability companies are used to shield the owners of capital from the consequences of their behaviour; Chomsky: “Capitalism? Show me some!”

      • millsy 2.1.3

        I don’t know about you, but Chinese, Russians and Indians being able to buy KFC, McDonalds, jeans and TV’s doesn’t count as improving conditions (which seems to be the way to measure prosperity these days). Job protections, social services have been reduced over the past 30-40 years, and rents have quadrupled.

      • WILD KATIPO 2.1.4

        Stunned Mullet ( as always ) selectively chooses examples to suit the narrative. It is no coincidence that many of those peoples in nations in continents such as Africa ,South America or South East Asia often still live in the most rudimentary and destitute fashion. And they often do so because of western banking and capitalist interests.

        One doesn’t have to take a world cruise and travel far from the tourist destinations in those country’s to see the truth. Capitalism has done virtually nothing for those peoples lives. Running water? – a luxury . Medication from introduced diseases? – Often unheard of. And they die young and they die painfully.

        What SM is always talking about are the more prosperous examples of WESTERN nations.

        Which in turn displays the usual arrogant , self righteous and inherently self satisfied exclusiveness of that particular strain of thinking.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      To the extent that Calvinism predates Capitalism, it also has a lot to answer for.

      • humma 2.2.1

        Whats wrong with Calvinism? I was brought up in a Calvinistic household and think the grace, love and compassion shown by Calvinism can show us something in this day and age.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1

          because worldly success could be interpreted as a sign of eternal salvation

          Encyclopedia Brittanica.

          • Stuart Munro 2.2.1.1.1

            Calvinism brought an end to pretentions of divine right – judging by the knighting of silly Billy we could use a bit more of it.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Oh, did I mention it’s a mess of arrant mumbo-pocus? The divine right was mortally wounded by Magna Carta, not the competition between sky-fairies.

        • Grafton Gully 2.2.1.2

          “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
          Matthew 5:48

    • RedLogix 2.3

      For most of human history we sharply distinguished between trusted insiders and ‘others’. Those who failed to do so tended to get wiped out violently, selecting hard for those who were naturally suspicious of strangers or the unfamiliar. It’s strongly hard-wired into us to be naturally more attached to those we are familiar with, than others we can scarcely know.

      Yet despite this over the past few hundred years we have successfully broadened categories of insider quite remarkably, gradually peeling off the labels we have traditionally stuck to entire masses of people. At a formal level at least, we now regard all of humanity as essentially one species. All humans matter, we all count and none of us are ‘others’ any more.

      And at the same time our real measurable progress towards turning this formal moral ethic into reality, over any meaningful timeframe has also been astonishing. There are no parallels anywhere in our prior evolution I can think of.

      It goes without saying that such a monumental transition has been uneven, sticky and fraught with unexpected consequence … no sane person would argue the world is anything like nirvana. But we can point to a lot of good evidence that we have been generally heading in the right direction. By every measure the entire human race is at this point in time a LOT less violent, better educated, healthier, lives longer and enjoys at least a modest standard of living their great-grandparents might only dream of.

      In this view, ancient and absolute categories of class, race, gender and culture are disintegrating piecemeal, blurring their sharp edges, no longer standing as formal markers of exclusion. Therefore grounding a political philosophy on notions of arbitrary categories in an era when these mean less and less as each decade passes, is to my mind not an effective plan.

      Because while capitalism and technology combined are rapidly all but eliminating absolute poverty, there is no question relative poverty has greatly intensified at the same time. This contradiction generates a great deal of misunderstanding and heat. Each end of the political spectrum argues with considerable justification it’s own ideological view of this paradox; I’ve watched it rage here on and off for years; it goes nowhere and leads to no effective outcome.

      It seems to me at least, that eliminating gross extremes of wealth and relative poverty is the great unsolved moral challenge facing us as a species, but real change will not flow from these stale, positional debates. We should stop wasting time and energy on them and look elsewhere.

      • JanM 2.3.1

        An excellent and thoughtful piece, thank you RedLogix

      • koreropono 2.3.2

        “Each end of the political spectrum argues with considerable justification it’s own ideological view of this paradox; I’ve watched it rage here on and off for years; it goes nowhere and leads to no effective outcome”.

        I disagree. Challenging stereotypes, indeed raising people’s consciousness to social issues, or even their own plight is a valuable social work tool. For example when using narrative therapy or indeed consciousness raising techniques with client groups, there is nothing more satisfying when you see the ‘light bulb’ moment, that leads to measurable and effective outcomes at the individual, family and group level.

        On a mass scale it is important to challenge the status quo/the dominant ideology, lest we all become tarred with the same ideological brush placing financial gain over humanity (but that’s another story). I wonder what would have happened had Martin Luther King Jr not raised peoples’ consciousness or if the feminist movement had not gained momentum through dialogue, literature and action? A narrative was created back in the 1990s and that dialogue indoctrinated young and old alike. It continues to hurt disadvantaged groups. If that narrative goes unchallenged then people will only ever see things from one perspective. Thankfully the number of writers who challenge dominant ideology is proof that having these debates does lead to effective outcomes. I.e. more and more people challenging the status quo. The’ we are beneficiaries’ movement is proof of that.

        “We should stop wasting time and energy on them and look elsewhere”.

        And what would you suggest?

        • RedLogix 2.3.2.1

          Without gainsaying the value and importance of challenging conventional narratives, I do think we tend to get cause and effect inverted; or at the least we tend to overrate the political drama, while neglecting underlying causes.

          For instance consider slavery; a fixed and largely unquestioned feature of all human economic life for at least ten thousand years, yet utterly overturned within a century of the invention of the steam engine. Of course the abolition movement had something to do with it, but an underlying shift in technology certainly enabled the change.

          As for what I suggest? Certainly the left must continue to argue against relative poverty and gross inequality. But merely intensifying, further polarising a debate that has gone nowhere in decades will be counter-productive.

          We often use the metaphor of a ladder when thinking of the economic/social hierarchy. Using this metaphor as a tool suggests possible strategies; one to reduce the steepness of the ladder with the usual structural measures such as taxation and redistribution. Another is to reduce the spacing of the rungs on the ladder with more opportunity for education, healthcare etc, measures that put the next step clearly within reach.

          In broad terms these are the conventional left wing responses; all of which are helpful to some degree, but all of which seem to have real limits. Not the least of which is that they are so easily undone by the next Tory govt that comes along.

          The other possible way to see this problem is to consider how people on each rung of this metaphorical ladder can choose to both help and be helped by those immediately around them. In most ways this is an anti-political idea so I don’t expect it to be received well, but in essence I would argue the most permanent way to reduce inequality is matter of personal ethics. Also the impact of the internet has yet to play out; it may well play the key technological role that shifts the underlying ground, much as the steam engine did over 200 years ago.

          • Molly 2.3.2.1.1

            “For instance consider slavery; a fixed and largely unquestioned feature of all human economic life for at least ten thousand years, yet utterly overturned within a century of the invention of the steam engine. “
            Slavery hasn’t been overturned, just repackaged. I would go so far as to say, the lack of visibility makes it even more profitable and more unlikely to be stopped than during the abolition period. And while the invention of the steam engine might have contributed, but English slave owners didn’t give up without demanding compensation, which the British Treasury only finished paying off in 2015. Ironically, the lists for compensation provide the fullest archive for British slave ownership that exists.

            “The other possible way to see this problem is to consider how people on each rung of this metaphorical ladder can choose to both help and be helped by those immediately around them. “
            The problem with this idea, is that it requires a consensus on what achievements or values are placed on each rung. That is problematic.

            Is is an achievement to have become mortgage free at the age of forty, if by doing so you have contributed to the rising housing costs for others?
            Which rung are you on if you have increased the biodiversity of your land, but have done so on minimum wage?

            • KJT 2.3.2.1.1.1

              Repackaged is right.
              In fact, a youngster being forced by threat of a 13 week standown, from WINZ, to work for an inadequate wage, for a bullying, mean and capricious employer, fits the definition of slave labour, pretty neatly.

              Or the hospitality worker, paying his employer, so him and his extended family, can get residency.

            • RedLogix 2.3.2.1.1.2

              @ Molly

              Your interest link describing British compensation to slave owners demonstrates quite forcefully how deeply embedded the slavery was in our economic systems, and how entirely normal it was for so very long. But bluntly speaking the Industrial Revolution rendered slavery obsolete; machines were typically an order of magnitude faster and cheaper. Within decades slaves had no more labour value than horses were for transport by 1910.

              For the most part, of the abolitionists had simply waited a few more decades their battle would have been largely won for them by sheer economics .. and no compensation needed.

              Consider this, while there is no question the British abolition movement established an important ethical position and won a real political battle within the bounds of the British Empire … yet chattel slavery was on the decline in most parts of the world pretty much at the same time. You can quibble a few decades here and there, but in the context of ten thousand years of historic precedent, it vanished all at once.

              It gets the precedence wrong to say that the “steam engine contributed”, the link is more fundamental than this. The Industrial Revolution enabled the Abolitionists. The technology shifted the ground, which then opened the door for a political response.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Within decades slaves had no more labour value than horses were for transport by 1910.

                In other words, free-labour was cheaper.

                Think about that for second.

                And then consider that the rich blame the poor for being poor.

              • Molly

                “But bluntly speaking the Industrial Revolution rendered slavery obsolete; machines were typically an order of magnitude faster and cheaper. Within decades slaves had no more labour value than horses were for transport by 1910.”
                As DTB mentions above, that statement requires deeper thinking. And further exploration would make it apparent that if human rights were not part of the equation when abolishing slavery, then any future instance of free or cheap labour being required to make profits, would be considered a palatable option.

                As we can see with the prevalence of slavery today.

                Compensation was required, regardless, because those who benefitted from the exploitation of others, also held positions of influence, and used that influence to ensure further enrichment.

                “For the most part, of the abolitionists had simply waited a few more decades their battle would have been largely won for them by sheer economics .. and no compensation needed. “
                This comment really needs thinking about. Those lives, those individual lives you are so blase about, were not academic lives to those living them.

                You also imply that capitalism is fundamentally responsible for the improvement of lives, but ignore the lives, communities and cultures that have been destroyed by the pursuit of profit by capital holders. Which is also ongoing. Not to mention the destruction of the environment on a global scale.

                I would concede that there have been technological and scientific advances that have improved lives, but whether capitalism has hindered or hastened the equal distribution of those benefits is an ongoing discussion. I would tend towards the hinder side, myself.

            • greywarshark 2.3.2.1.1.3

              Red Logix
              What comfortable assumptions you make. And how easily you dismiss people’s distress when a life made by their own actions is taken away from them. Doesn’t matter, in the long run it will pan out, after your time though. Unlucky you.

              Because while capitalism and technology combined are rapidly all but eliminating absolute poverty,there is no question relative poverty has greatly intensified at the same time. This contradiction generates a great deal of misunderstanding and heat. Each end of the political spectrum argues with considerable justification it’s own ideological view of this paradox; I’ve watched it rage here on and off for years; it goes nowhere and leads to no effective outcome.

              Capitalism can intensify absolute poverty, and make death seem preferable to life. That thought of yours has maggots.

              For instance consider slavery; a fixed and largely unquestioned feature of all human economic life for at least ten thousand years, yet utterly overturned within a century of the invention of the steam engine. Of course the abolition movement had something to do with it, but an underlying shift in technology certainly enabled the change.

              Slavery always involves deprivation of something. But some slaves can be very well off, indeed some could earn enough to buy themselves out. They would be the exceptions. And being released from slavery can mean losing the protection of an owner valuing you as part of his/her resources. The blacks freed in the USA after their war became like the fox in the hunt, and likely to be beaten and strung up when caught. Red Logix you are dismissive of the individual here while you look at a broad history.

              The broad history of treatment by humans of each other is not served by dismissing bad behaviour. It is more likely to be elevated when there is better understanding along with some acceptance, and a vow to do better.

              • RedLogix

                Capitalism can intensify absolute poverty,

                Well no it hasn’t. In general terms quite the opposite. Globally the fraction of people living in absolute poverty has decreased dramatically from over 94% in 1820 to about 9% in 2018. In recent decades the rate has only accelerated to the point where just 30 odd countries account for almost all absolute poverty, and 2 of them, India and Nigeria for 40%.

                https://ourworldindata.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Tree-Map-of-Extreme-Poverty-distribution.png

                This doesn’t diminish or argue away the distress and suffering of those still trapped at the very bottom of the global heap wherever they may be, but in the overall context of history such a sustained, global and enduring economic shift has never happened before. Disentangling the relative contributions of the Enlightenment, science, engineering, technology and financial expertise makes for an interesting tangential debate, but arguably none of this remarkable transition would have been possible absent any single ingredient.

                Having said this; I’ve clearly stated (something you selectively omitted) that capitalism has paradoxically intensified relative poverty, which in it’s own turn is directly correlated with entire clusters of psychological and social ills. But to discuss this crucial matter intelligently, we need to be crystal clear on the distinction here, on the enormous problems capitalism has both solved and the new ones it has created. Progress is made by solving the real problems in front of us; not replaying old ones that exist primarily as emotional echoes, relics from prior centuries.

                Specifically I would argue the left should give away framing capitalism as the enemy; it is a social tool like any other, albeit powerful and prone to both great use and abuse. But on balance it has been an essential component of 200 years of astonishing progress; the world is not going to abandon it for all it’s flaws. Therefore we should bend our energies to adapting our use of this tool to solve the problems in front of us. And that I’d argue is a far more ambitious vision than anything a battered, outdated remnant Marxism might offer.

                • Stunned Mullet

                  Nice comment RL worthy of a post and enthusiastic discussion in its own right

                • greywarshark

                  I said that capitalism canintensify poverty. That shouldn’t be disagreed with as nothing is 100%. And quoting statistics gathered about people is pretty banal. Communism certainly does intensify relative poverty. Great improvements have been made in certain countries because of capitalism. But I think you may be considering material things mainly. But as for making people’s lives seem better, there is much unhappiness in countries that rate highly on a materialism ladder. So it is a mixed blessing. And that is reflected in the saying that problems aren’t solved by throwing money at them.

                  What we need is managed capitalism which would be far different to what we have been left with today. We also have to learn to work co-operatively and learn to plan. Running a democracy as a leader and and as a supporting citizen should be an important primary school course. How to organise a group that has a goal, an idea, and how to present it and carry it out. That would be good, children would enjoy that. Capitalism encourages the idea of being a worker. Many NZs have the idea that shopkeepers are wealthy and mini-capitalists and this is because they are so used to working for others. I struck this attitude when I had a small shop.

                  Capitalism also doesn’t encourage people to be participatory citizens, but likes the representative model. “We know what’s best, and will serve you well.” With a push the citizens can force consultation but may find it merely answers questions about the plan and ignores any requests and demands that the group involved all agree with and sometimes they may be wrong but have to be properly informed and aren’t.

                  I think citizens of Waiheke Island who wanted to stop a large marina being built there, having lost a case against it, have to pay $100,000 of costs. That is capitalism. There is a demand from wealthy boat owners, or people who are footloose and sample the world from their boat. So there is money to be made and whatever the residents had, they have no right to stop it being invaded for someone’s profit. It will be up to them to prise some of the profits to go towards amenities and to say fund a concert once a year as a booby prize. And that is what unbridled capitalism gives the ordinary Joe and Josephine in the end. At present it gives them overpriced housing and the whole life plan of a huge number of NZs that they could look forward to in past decades, has been swept away by the ugly capitalism adopted, this neoliberal capitalism

                  • RedLogix

                    And quoting statistics gathered about people is pretty banal.

                    I get it; every person on struggle street is someone with a story, usually a tough one. I think all of us here can either tell their own, or listened to them first hand.

                    And that is indeed the core of my argument above; if you are going to make a difference to people’s live the best way is one on one, personal and up-close. Intimacy and understanding the unique details of each individuals life sets the stage for the most effective transformations. This is the sense in which the personal is political, lives change one at a time.

                    But the tools for understanding the broader social picture, which is what I’m addressing, are different. Here is where numbers do matter, where data is king and statisticians are the princes of the modern world.

                    We’re both presenting two different ways to engage with the same thing; each has it’s place.

                    • Ad

                      The most effective moves against poverty still remain at the collective level, and that is the only way to sustain the right kind of capitalism.

                      It’s moves like increasing benefits such as Working For Families, increasing the minimum wage, and making the Living Wage a full policy that will lift people out of poverty fastest.

                      Another is in collective wage and salary agreements. With the decline of unions, the New Zealand government is now stepping directly back into industry-wide award agreements. Believe it or not, this initiative is going to be led by Jim Bolger (!)

                      Making a difference in people’s lives is at least as hard as you suggest. But each person in deep relative poverty has a large set of issues that got them there.

                      Those issues of poverty are addressed in the collective by institutions, and often multiples of them, because it is only institutions that have the specialist capacity and longevity to bring that assistance to bear long enough and broad enough to enable people.

                      Arguing for state institutions strong enough and interrelated enough to address poverty is not an argument against capitalism. It is an argument that the only bearable kind of capitalism is one in which collectivist institutions – such as the institutions of the state – are strong enough to sustain society.

            • tracey 2.3.2.1.1.4

              Well said

          • koreropono 2.3.2.1.2

            RedLogix you raise some interesting points but Molly then counters some of those with valid points that I agree with.

            When you say that “people on each rung of the metaphorical ladder can choose to both help and be helped by those immediately around them” are you referring to community development and localising support at various levels? If so, I kind of agree ( there’s a whole other debate sitting here too), but in order to do that there needs to be a level of raising critical consciousness to help people move past the indoctrinated bullshit of the last 30 odd years.

            Which brings me to this point, when you say “the conventional left wing responses; all of which are helpful to some degree, but all of which seem to have real limits. Not the least of which is that they are so easily undone by the next Tory govt that comes along”. When you refer to ‘the conventional left’ I am not sure who you mean, if you’re talking political thought and agendas I don’t see either of the dominant political parties as anything other than agents of the status quo, and there is certainly nothing left about that.

            • RedLogix 2.3.2.1.2.1

              Yes that certainly fits within the very wide bounds of what I was thinking of. Essentially we need to transform the enormous challenge of relative poverty from a political battle into an ethical one. In the past decade the ground has shifted dramatically; we now have excellent hard data and research that clearly establishes why gross inequality is bad for everyone.

              With a global economy well on the way to eliminating absolute poverty (https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=770) we now face a radical and very significant psychological transition. For all of our eovlution most humans lived in extreme poverty; life was pretty much always a zero sum game, if one person won it was usually seen to be at the expense of someone else.

              We now live in a world where this is no longer an absolute truth. An entirely new possibility arises where the more individuals do better, the more everyone does better. Adapting to this new paradigm demands a deep shift in how we view the world. I deliberately chose to draw a parallel with the abolition of slavery; the underlying shifts in both technology AND our collective ethical outlooks are very similar.

              From our vantage point in 2018 we find it hard to imagine how anyone tolerated chattel slavery; we find it morally repugnant regardless of our political outlook. Yet our ancestors, who were really no less human than us, universally considered slavery perfectly normal, desirable even, for millennia. Right here we can point to an example of a deep psychological and ethical shift within the purview of our own recent history. The human ability to adapt to new circumstance is something we can depend on; IF we approach it correctly.

              Of course the transition from slavery was not easy, the Industrial Revolution came with it’s own challenges and awfulness, but crucially we can look back to see how we clearly evolved from one ‘status quo’ to another one small step at a time. The process was complex and messy, but it didn’t involve tearing the whole mess down to rubble in the hope something nice would arise in it’s place. (The French tried but most of the rest of the world looked on in horror and determined not to repeat.)

              Because the ‘status quo’ is not so carelessly dismissed; it may well fall short of some hypothetical ideal, but it is what we have and it isn’t all bad. If it really were so god awful neither of us would be safely typing this out with full stomachs and warm feet.

              The great challenge of inequality is primarily a psychological, ethical and social challenge; the political front is necessary but not central to establishing enduring change. That means winning minds and hearts, reaching out and expanding the left’s influence, persuading and transforming across the entire political spectrum. Huddling in politically radical ghettos hurling ideological invective just doesn’t feel like an effective plan.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.3

        But we can point to a lot of good evidence that we have been generally heading in the right direction.

        This is true but is it true due to capitalism?

        Capitalists have been against the removal of slavery, legislation against discrimination on race or gender, and pretty much every other ‘progressive’ action taken.

        • KJT 2.3.3.1

          I am sure all those African, Chinese and Mexican small farmers, who have been ‘rescued from poverty by capitalism” really appreciated losing their income, and having to migrate to city slums, in the hope of work.

          Rising average GDP, is not actually a measure of poverty reduction. like all right wing stats, it ignores the reality of a few doing well, while many are worse of.

    • soddenleaf 2.4

      Personal responsibility. If only they took PR. That was the conclusion of a ntn podcast, after much study of criminals the guest declares they lacked PR, that society lacks this. No, not the wealthy collapsing the financial markets, but yet another bottom feeder, who seeks out the fallen, those clearly failed themselves and society, as examples of everyone else. Fact was had he studied the class of all drunks he talked about he’d find many were workibg off the evil they internalized whilst working in the financial sector. It’s not PR that’s the problem it’s society that disregards individuals for the greater growth of balance sheets. Those evil soft liberals aren’t the problem it’s the right-wing commentator pointing away from their own lack of personal culpability and at liberal progressive, who I must remind you, have be ousted from power for the last thirty years by neolib economics.

      • tracey 2.4.1

        Like when Simon Bridges blames ‘dud advice’ and 44% of voters nod and think “ bloody advisors”

  3. North 3

    Dear Stunned Mullet…..a bottle of ugly plonk for your thick as non-sequitur rhetorical “…..surely you have little appetite for a grea leap back in time to class war and the deprivations of a couple of hundred or more years ago.”

    Talk about missing the very essence of the post !

    I guess it’s a waste of breath to remind you that we don’t have to look back a couple of hundred years to see a real, live, enduring class war going on.

    Taking another approach, your stupidity actually underlines the point you’ve missed. So thank you I guess.

    • Stunned mullet 3.1

      Dear North good to see you’re still about and as noisome a cunt as always.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        North has a point. If the way the most vulnerable members of our society are treated isn’t a “class war” then the definition of “class war” needs refreshing.

        “Ferals”, “underclass”, “lazy and stoned”, “personal responsibility”, “don’t you know who I am?” Not to mention the Iwi/Kiwi racism that goes along with it.

        This is what a class war looks like.

        • TheBlackKitten 3.1.1.1

          Your comments really do annoy me as all I see is a lot of bitterness when ones opinions does not agree with your ideology 1000 percent. Why don’t you offer constructive alternatives instead of getting so bitter towards those that have different opinions to yours.
          Here I will give you some help. Tell me ONB, what would you do about poverty if you were the Prime Minister of NZ. Now please try not to be nasty and personel in your reply. You may gain some respect by doing that.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1

            Can you point to the “nasty, personal” aspect of the comment you responded to?

            Didn’t think so.

            I’m a big fan of predistribution: raising wages (including the MW) is a number one priority. That means stronger unions and more labour inspectors. In extreme cases, Mr. Peter Talley should have his assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, pour discourager les autres.

            Obviously benefits need to rise to a dignified level.

            Embed the BoRA in our constitution (such as it is), re-assert the rule of law. Enforce both far more stringently than at present.

            None of this is rocket science: all you have to do is look at the policies of countries doing a better job than we are. None of this should be news to anyone, since these are positions I’ve held and articulated for years.

            Perhaps you (somehow) managed to only read the comments I use to hold a mirror up to the National Party.

          • WILD KATIPO 3.1.1.1.2

            @ TheBlackKitten

            … ‘ and as noisome a cunt as always ‘ …

            I fail to see how OAB was as ” so bitter towards those that have different opinions to yours ” … compared to Stunned Mullet.

            You really must have peculiar ( and selective double ) standards, mate.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1.2

        A revealing judgement – takes one to see/label one? You must be fair busting with pride.

      • Gabby 3.1.3

        Why’s that good to see stunted munter? What item of genitalia are you?

      • greywarshark 3.1.4

        stunned mullet
        Control your choice of language.

  4. Ad 4

    Well written.

    As the headline NZ unemployment heads down to 4%, at some point employers are going to have to pay New Zealanders in other firms a whole bunch more.

    Employers are also going to have to incentivise more and more; like in-work daycare, paying to get them drivers licenses, subsidized accommodation, free HOP cards to get to work, paying them to complete advanced literacy and trades training. The pressure is on employers to really persuade potential workers to commit to those work places.

    • Stuart Munro 4.1

      I’ll believe that when I see it.

      The lack of response in real wage terms to supposedly historically low unemployment levels suggest that the stats are less than bankable. A true low unemployment rate will see rises beyond government lifting of minimums.

      We’ve some way to go to restore the credibility of govt statistics after a decade of deliberate misrepresentation.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      The pressure is on employers to really persuade potential workers to commit to those work places.

      No it’s not.

      As the headline NZ unemployment heads down to 4%, at some point employers are going to have to pay New Zealanders in other firms a whole bunch more.

      More likely that they’ll complain about ‘skill shortages’ to the government and import people to keep wages down. As they have been doing for years.

      free HOP cards to get to work

      The government should get that happening now by the simple expedient of having employers pay for peoples travel to and from work to home.

      • tracey 4.2.1

        When “chef” is now one of our top “skill” shortage occupations that system is beyonf broken

    • tracey 4.3

      Why? We have had cycles of good and bad times for the last 40 years and tge only wages consistently going up are CEOs and MPs. And when the former do wrong they get million dollar payouts to leave and when MPs do wrong they get voted back

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    In your first link (Two incomes not enough)

    In an average week, Kylie* and her partner might take home a combined $620 after tax. In a tough week it could be less than $300.

    The Christchurch mother said she did not receive any Government support or tax cuts to help her and her partner raise their two children, aged 8 and 5.

    These people don’t need budgeting advice, they need tax advice.

    It pisses me off that it is assumed people with low incomes should proceed through life with material disadvantage because they remain ignorant of what they can claim.

    Canada has a very successful program teaching refugees and poor about their tax system so they can get some upward mobility going. We need this too.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1

      They charity *helping* them should have mentioned family tax credit. Its not judging, its discerning.

    • koreropono 5.2

      Maybe Kylie needs less support with tax advice but some support around changing her thinking. For example I wonder why she felt guilty about taking her kids for a free haircut? Was it because she thinks that only those who look homeless are deserving of it?

      Kylie “said she did not receive any government support or tax cuts” she then goes onto say “I just kind of like to do it on my own. I shouldn’t really do it the hard way but I don’t like to seek too much help”. I wonder why she chooses not to get the Working for Families Tax credits? Perhaps the answer lies in being indoctrinated in to believing that only certain kinds of people get this help? Is part of the problem that particular narratives are designed to make people feel guilty, or bad about receiving government support?

      Some of New Zealand’s more extreme right wing commentators are pretty good at making the Kylies of the world feel like bludgers if they seek support from Government sources.

      • tracey 5.2.1

        Excellent point. The villification of our poor and vulnerable has achieved its purpose self loathing silence and a desire not to be similarly tainted

  6. Zorb6 6

    Predatory lending as per the former Westpac executive and Equiticorp thief Allan Hawkins companies recently fined $720,000 ,have a huge impact on the poor.
    He should have been given another 6 years and not allowed out from 6.am to 6 p.m like when he did his last lag.
    Plenty more like him doing the same thing.Enticing the unsophisticated ,financially illiterate into ludicrous loans with eyewatering interest rates and penalties swamping people with unpayable debt.

  7. Observer Tokoroa 7

    There is no problem – but Capitalism

    No Government has to borrow money.
    no family has to struggle

    All essentials such as Housing must have capped pricing
    All Rentals must have capped pricing
    All essential food items must have capped pricing
    All Energy must belong to Government
    All Waters must belong to Government
    All Land must belong to to Government
    Air lines and their Routes belong to the Government
    All earnings above a given agreed Amount, must be returned to the Nation

    We have tried the idea of tossing every important thing to the greed of greedy. Ii has failed everywhere. Only pathetics such as Hosking and Espiner and Soper believe in crucifying the poor. Garner too.

    In return, No man or Woman shall receive anything unless they work for the good of everyone. Every worker, from Professional down to Untrained shall be responsible for their effort

    Share Holders shall not have any protection. Because Banks offer no protection to their Clients – there is no point in giving Share holders anything.

    Very Nordic – Yes. And very sane

    Just look at the mess National is in. They are positively vile. Evil in fact.

  8. TheBlackKitten 8

    Several issues contribute towards this issue and neither political party addresses them. The right wing label poverty as being lazy and the the left label it as not enough welfare when neither are the correct answers.
    The white elephant in the room that no political party addresses is that there is not enough jobs for everyone. NZ employers do not invest in any training and we are all paying international prices for food and housing which are essential living costs but we do not receive international wages. Sorry but NZ employers need a kick up the arse on issues of competitive wages and training to upskill the NZ workforce. Going to tech and getting a diploma does not give people the skills that on the job training does. All it achieves is high loans that need to be paid back and holds the young back financially. Importing migrants from poor countries desperate to stay in NZ and who will work for low wages and crappy conditions does not help the poor or improve the living standard for NZers. These issues only benefit rich business.
    We are been gouged the living daylights out of what we pay for basic essentials. I have not seen one NZ political party address the issue of why we pay the prices we do for food. Why does a bottle of milk cost what it does in the supermarket? What are the costs involved in getting milk from the cow to the supermarket? I suspect if this was investigated that you would find a lot of price gouging and ticket clipping involved.
    We now live in a global economy where third world countries that have poor working conditions have taken away a lot of unskilled work. This contributes to less jobs. Less jobs means the ones that are available can decide the terms and will offer as little as they can get away with.
    The real solution to poverty is lots of jobs with opportunity to upskill that won’t result in high students loans that will hold you back financially for the rest of your life.

    • Stunned mullet 8.1

      Don’t come here and talk sense you’ll be villified.

      • WILD KATIPO 8.1.1

        The problem is you never have. And neither has your little buddy TheBlackKitten.

        Have a read , both of you.

        Get an education for once.

        New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
        http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

        • WILD KATIPO 8.1.1.1

          My apologies to TheBlackKitten.

          Indeed there are a few things that are correct in your above post. I consider myself corrected. However , I would be careful in future in defending the arrogance of Stunned Mullet,… whose views appear diametrically opposed to what you speak about.

    • tracey 8.2

      How would you address an aging and top heavy popukation tgat has close to, if not, negative growth, without immigration?

  9. Tricledrown 9

    Greed is a survival instinct nature is about the strongest smartest exploiting the resources.
    Those who miss out die leaving the strongest to breed to carry on the species.
    This basic instinct is the “heart” ironically of right wing monetarism.
    Civilization has not changed human behaviour to look out for the weak ,poor,disadvantaged .
    Fighting against nature’s pyramid scheme trying to undo it has been a failure harnessing it to benefit a wider spread of people is the best we can do.
    Pure capitalism Pure Communism are both failures.
    Balance of the 2 Dogmas works best.
    Ying and Yang push and pull competing dogmas delivers balance.
    Since the collapse of feudal communism capitalism has got more selfish and nasty.

  10. Observer Tokoroa 10

    Lol Stunned Mullet Lesson

    I hate teaching people anything, especially Kiwis, because they are the best and the greatest Wonderkind in the whole World. They Know and do everything.

    I am a Kiwi and I know for a fact – that as long as I can fart I am an educated New Zealander.

    But Canberra owns the Land. Yes. Get stunned Mullet. Canberra owns. the land.

    It allows or disallows people to build or not to build according to the Intentions of the Australian Capital Territory Authority.

    Or do you still think that Stalin did that . ?

    Now your good mate Hosking and Pigtails Key, will say it cause erections in there fronts and is very bad. For they want to take all the land for themselves and put it in their coffins when the (hopefully) pass on peacefully.

    I have one more little thing for you to consider Good old Mullet ?

    Would you explain, to all of us Kiwis how it is that that more and more money goes to fewer and fewer people. There are Millions of stupid econo mists strolling around doing sweet all, who never explain why money is a wayward treachery.

    It has no value because it favours fewer and fewr persons. Stick that up your treasured Mullet good man.

  11. Leonhart Hunt 11

    Really good write up, Ive been looking at how we got into this mess as it directly affected me, Its really heartbreaking to be stereotyped as a “bludger” or the most recent “drug use” (MSD testing show beneficiary drug use as 0.005%) “iphone’s” or “doesn’t want to work” (which is just stupid as the data show we do) excuse for treating my kind as less than human. Even though I am no longer unemployed I am still broken by what msd did to me and I doubt I will ever fully recover.

    Ive written before about the issues I had with MSD including being prosecuted for benefit fraud for simply living in the same flat with another person, (I plead guilty for various reasons, mostly because you can’t really oppose their judgments, MSD has a 97% win rate) was sentenced to Home D (completed) and community work (completed) as well as reparations (five grand already payed back, btw to me I consider this me paying back my unemployment benefit for the time I was on it, like a loan instead of “fraud” because no matter what they say I still maintain I did not lie on my applications over weather i had a partner or not, because I don’t.) 1/2 of the total amount, this week took another turn MSD contacted me to pay the other 1/2 of the reparations (you know that bit that the judge reduced based on means and liability) apparently MSd doesn’t agree with this, instead of challenging it in court they (according to them) have the power to recover funds that are beyond what a court has deemed. which I of course can’t pay because Im paying reparations which the amount I set at all the spare money I have, this doesn’t matter to MSD, its pay up or else.

    Oh and did anyone read the report on RNZ about ACC vs MSD prosecutions? ACC last year prosecuted 4 people, MSD 644 people, ACc handles a large fraud case load and pretty much identical situations.

    there’s good news though I have been in contact with the Hon Carmel Sepuloni, unfortunately I do not have permission to discuss what I have been talking about or her replies in any detail but “changes are coming”, hopefully they will be the ones we need so desperately because so many things in our society are affected directly by social services and we need a functioning system that is fair and accessible to all.

    • tracey 11.1

      Thanks for your comments. Gordon Campbell addressed so many welfare myths in his piece a few years ago at Werewolf. Sadly when some read tge facts they suppress it and continue on believing the dross they are tossed to keep tgem feeling confy. Bridges did it again by tossingctge 44% ‘dud advice’. A most BS of BS justification but the 44% seem pleased to have something to blame so that

      A. Nats are not held to account
      B. They dont feel foolish about being misled, again and again and again

      Fool you once shame on me fool you dozens and dozens of times, shame on you. The Nats strategy of Crosby Texter etc plays on people not wanting to admit they are wrong. Who wants to look foolish? So feed them more BS

  12. Jackel 12

    Capitalism is just a generic term that means market conditions exist at a particular place and time. It can also include predator investment banks, the debt system and money as a commodity. It’s just what you get when you let the cards fall by default. There is a non zero probability a better system exists. Why has no one thought of one. Well, better the devil you know but in time this too shall pass. Perhaps when we learn to be a bit more humane towards each other.

    • Leonhart Hunt 13.1

      No, this person is a con-person a deliberate fraudster, not undeserving poor, tenancies really need a centralised database that records all Tenancy agreements and how they ended to stop people like this, but even these people are deserving of assistance.

      • Antoine 13.1.1

        More undeserving poor, http://gisborneherald.co.nz/localnews/3167780-135/rental-nightmare-on-elgin-street

        (And yes I do understand there’s plenty of undeserving rich too)

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1

          Where are you going with this nasty divisive crusade of yours? What’s it meant to prove other than that you’re a low-life?

          • Antoine 13.1.1.1.1

            I’m pointing out that the distinction between undeserving and deserving poor is still useful. Just like the distinction between undeserving and deserving rich.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s useful to low-life sociopaths, sure.

            • koreropono 13.1.1.1.1.2

              @Antoine – the only people who find isolated and limited examples useful, are those who like to create stereotypes to justify the vilification of certain types of people. Those stereotypes are then used to justify the mistreatment of those groups.

              It’s a bit sad that bias leads certain kinds of people to constantly seek out information that will confirm their preconceived and bigoted ideas. I think this happens because certain kinds of people don’t have the capacity for critical thinking. I think we should pity those people, whereas others think those kind of people are just arseholes.

              • Antoine

                You can call me an arsehole and a sociopath if you like; I call it being able to tell the difference between one thing and another. If you want to discard that ability then go for it, but I think it’s part of what makes us human.

                A.

                • koreropono

                  @Antoine maybe some reading comprehension lessons wouldn’t go amiss either.

                  While stereotypical thinking is the brain’s shortcut and strategy to filter information and could be simply classified as ‘being human’, faulty ‘thinking’ develops when people don’t learn to develop other skills and processes within the brain, like critical thinking.

                  It is simplistic to assume that people can simply ‘discard’ our human inclination to form stereotypes, particularly when it is hardwired into the brain to help us manage large volumes of information. It becomes faulty and problematic when people do not develop other the skills to question their unconscious biases. It becomes problematic and harmful to others when people, such as yourself, rely on erroneous or biased information to either denigrate and vilify others or perpetuate those steretypes. Bias, whether conscious or not, means that people, such as yourself, will tend toward seeking out information that confirms their preconceived prejudices. Sure some poor people are bad, so are some rich people. Some commentators on TS are are stupid but it doesn’t mean they all are. Which category do you fall into?

                  • Antoine

                    Suggest you redirect your energy from thinking of elaborate ways to be snarky to me, to something useful

                    A.

        • Leonhart Hunt 13.1.1.2

          That link shows the normal bias towards renters/poor note the comment at the end by the letting companies “5 – 10 percent of renters do this” the hard data show only 5% of rental agreements go to the TT (I cannot imagine landlords not taking this damage to the tt) so this would mean even at the lowest of what this agent says would be all cases taken to the TT, which Is simply not true.

          Completely tratshing a place is very rare, and almost always makes the news there has been only one other published case like this so far this year.

          • Antoine 13.1.1.2.1

            I don’t say this behaviour is common.

            A.

            • Leonhart Hunt 13.1.1.2.1.1

              I didn’t say you did, and we do need a better way of dealing with issues like this but still not undeserving of help. its pretty clear from the story linked that the person when though a mental health crisis, especially with being a “good” tenant for so long, subletting is usually not allowed in rental agreement (but not all have it spelled out) and the original tenant may not have been the one that trashed the place.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    15 hours ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    2 days ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    2 days ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    3 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    4 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    5 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    5 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    6 days ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    6 days ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    6 days ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    7 days ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    7 days ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    1 week ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First’s Ron Mark confirms bid for the Wairarapa seat
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First MP and Minister for Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Ron Mark has confirmed his bid for the Wairarapa seat.“The Coalition Government has done a lot of good work throughout the Wairarapa, but many constituents have told ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes second tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its next tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. We’re proud to announce these hardworking New Zealanders that have put their hand up to fight for a commonsense and resilient future.Jamie Arbuckle – Kaikoura Mark Arneil – Christchurch Central Jackie ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago