BIG NEWS: 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Baldock's s59 petition may not get to referendum

Larry Baldock's petition to date does not yet have the required signatures to force a referendum.

Much has been made of the anti smacking petitions lately. Much of the discussion has been around whether parental correction should be a criminal offence, and the role of the Family First lobby in promoting these petitions to force a referendum at the election. A pretty ignorant blog post at Salient suggests that Larry Baldock's Kiwi Party should own one of these petitions as it is responsible for it, namely the question "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?"

Problem is, the Kiwi Party is not responsible for the question. The question was written by Sheryl Savill. Russell Brown, who is someone I have a great deal of time for, thinks Bob McCoskrie of Family First is a hypocrite for promoting the petitions while supporting the "riding crop woman" and running a site called "stop the abuse".

But those who want to seek a referendum, the exercise is exactly about a cry to "stop the abuse". Like Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro, The NZ Herald and Green MP Sue Bradford, Brown ignores the second petition question: "Should the Government give urgent priority to understanding and addressing the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse in NZ"?

This was written by Larry Baldock.

But 265,000 think this question should be put to a referendum. Successfully curbing child abuse is of greater importance than whether smacking is a criminal offence or not. The problem is that advocates from organisations like Save the Children, Plunket and Barnardos refuse to sign the petition because their fear of reverting back to a smacking ban is greater than their desire to curb child abuse.

For Kiro it's worse - her fear of parents being legally able to smack their children is greater than her desire to do her own job. Russell Brown is not so gripped by paranoia, but if he really wanted to contribute to the government getting the message that it should address family breakdown, family violence and child abuse, he`d sign the petition too. He, like anyone can download it here

Theres only one problem: His view of Bob McCoskrie, who didn't even draft one petition question. Both Russell and Bob want to reduce child abuse. But only one has signed the petitions.

Barnados is panicking about a possible law change, Kiro and Bradford find it easier promoting the current law than addressing child abuse. Cindy Kiro is discouraging people from signing a petition that will force a referendum on the very issue that is a key part of her job description: child abuse.


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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Have you got your library card?

Twelve Police detectives in seven vehicles raided Vince Siemers place last Thursday looking for his library card.Anybody would think he smacked his kids with it.

But no. The search warrant itself sought evidence relating to any communication Siemer had with any of the defendants or their lawyers in the ill-fated (and since dropped) terrorist charges last October. Apparently the commuicastion was made at the local library.

The police immediately confiscated Mr Siemer's library card as exhibit one. Why so many police were needed to officially confiscate a library card is evident only when you see the long list of items taken which have nothing to do with the search warrant. While no warrant was shown, the search warrant - signed by a deputy registrar with the district court - claimed they were looking for evidence related to possession of a copy of the Police Affidavit in the terrorist raids.

Siemers runs a news siteand is well known for this.
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Friday, February 22, 2008

WINZ breaks law when getting drunk drivers' cars back

The Ministry of Social Development appears to be breaking its own law in allowing payments to be approved to get cars back after being impounded due to drivers' unlawful activity.

Judith Collins was questioning Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson about why beneficiaries can get aassistance after their car has been impounded for drunk driving. Dyson said beneficiaries can get an advance payment of their benefit or a special-needs grant if
they have an immediate and essential need. Work and Income staff will consider all the circumstances, including the effect of the situation on the person’s family or children, whether the person himself or herself can afford to pay, and whether the person will be able to afford the repayments.

Sounds fair. They need to get their car back and can't afford to. But Dyson conveniently missed one vital bit of information out, and nobody appeared to notice.
The Chief Executive may consider the extent to which the Applicant has caused or contributed to the .. situation that has given rise to the particular immediate need.
I would have thought that if the police impound a car because a person was drunk behind the wheel, then the applicant contributed to the situation by breaking the law and driving over the limit, and that the Ministry should take that into acount.

Do you?


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Mike Williams offers to resign

Helen Clark has refused to accept Labour Party President Mike William's resignation. In fact she told him not to be silly. I think Clark was silly in not accepting his resignation. She probably should have told him to resign to the correct people - the Labour Party Board.

He offered his resignation over the Owen Glenn affair. Nobody wants to talk about it anyore. Clark said he made an honest error in not disclosing the interest of Owen Glenns loan as as a donation. Previously, a Labour party lie was not a sacking or resigning offence - unless you were caught out - as Dalziel and Benson-Pope were. Now it is not even a sacking offence if you are caught out. Its called an honest mistake.

I look forward to seeing Helen Clark accepting honest errors from other parties
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Barnardos in a panic

Yesterday Barnardos Chief Excecutive Murray Edridge put out two media releases on the Section 59 smacking debate. This was after he released an earlier one a day prior that the media would not touch because it breached court orders - orders which he claimed he did not know anything about.

Here's one of them. A referendum?, why the panic? He blasts Family First for having nothing on its website on an upcoming review of the smacking legislation.
Have the petitioners told the general public about the review?... Is there any reference to the review on the Family First website? We couldn’t find any!”

Ummm. It's not Family First's petition. And I couldn`t find anything about the review on the Barnardos website either. Perhaps Barnardos could put on on its site and Family First could link to it.

Edridge says there is no need to be alarmed, or to panic about a referendum. But panicking is what Barnardos is doing right now because the Government is not running the review, the public is. Edridge should have another chat to Sue Bradford. Earlier this week at a function I was at, in fact it was the launch of this Save The Children book called Unreasonable Force, Bradford said that she did not believe that any government would pass a law to revert our smacking legislation to what it was before the smacking bill was passed. So that's sorted. No need to panic.

"Why therefore the haste to have a referendum nine months before that law review is due"? Eldridge asks. It's called democracy. But Eldridge shouldnt worry about it because Bradford said that no Government will turn the clock back. And it was her bill.

And I have the book, written by Beth Wood, former Children's Commissioner Ian Hassall and Robert Ludbrook. It revealed that Peter Dunne and Helen Clark were behind the ban on smacking right from the very start. For that reason you won't find this 2005 discussion on Radio Rhema in the book.
Helen Clark:...a lot of people are uncomfortable with the beating, ah, but they don't want to see, ah, you know, stressed and harassed parents, ah, you know, called in by the police because they, they smacked a child, so I think there's a debate to go on...
Bob McCoskrie: "So you do not want to see smacking banned?"
Helen Clark: "Absolutely not, I think you are trying to defy human nature
But you will find that Helen Clark told the Dominion Post that a smacking ban was welcome as it is about trying to stop the appalling child abuse and child deaths. Then Sue Bradford said, after a few horrific child abuse deaths, that her bill was not intended to reduce child abuse after all. That's in the book too.

BTW there's a full moon today. Annette King will be oontacting the police early tomorrow to discuss the damage.
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Well Dunne?

I read this speech from Peter Dunne earlier today. He says:
Last year, UnitedFuture learned a powerful lesson – via the medium of the Electoral Finance Bill - about listening to the community.
Let me say this as I clearly as I can: we were wrong to support that legislation for as long as we did, and while I am pleased we eventually came to our senses and opposed the Bill, it remains one of my greatest regrets in politics that we misread the situation for so long.

But we have learned our lesson as a consequence – we will listen to the voice of New Zealanders far more closely in future, and then we will act accordingly.

We will undoubtedly disagree from time to time – I am not suggesting we should become a blank piece of paper to be written all over as the mood suits – but as best we can, we will redouble our commitment to put the public interest ahead of that of party or government.
Peter wants to listen to the voice of New Zealanders and act accordingly. David Farrar believes it is a genuine expression of Peter’s views on the issue. But as I said there is a subtle difference between listening to the voice of New Zealanders and acting accordingly, as opposed to listening to the voice of New Zealanders and voting accordingly with public opinion.

So I thought I`d ask Peter with reference to legislation in general, not just the Electoral Finance Act. His reponse was that votes will be a judgement call, obviously dependent on the nature of the issue, but the intention is clear, in so far as the taking of party positions is concerned. Matters that are being treated as conscience votes will remain for the individual to resolve.

I believe Peter is genuinely putting the public interest first. I really do. It's just that the public don't often agree with his perspective of what is in the public interest - and that does not really appear to be a concern to Peter. With party votes, he`ll listen and act accordingly. If the public don't agree with what he thinks is in the public interest, he`ll vote accordingly, like he did with the smacking legislation. In other words he`ll exercise his vote - and while "acting accordingly", it may not necessarily be "voting accordingly", notwithstanding his U-Turn on the Electoral Finance Bill.

Meaning that if 74 percent of the electorate want to support the upcoming referendum on child discipline and the government decides to legislate, Dunne may not necessarily change his vote in support of the referendum if he believes the public is wrong.


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Another Christian Party

Independent MP Taito Phillip Field has moved to register a new Pacific Party with the Electoral Commission and is reasonable confident of winning Mangere.

Mangere is the electorate that the Family Party is also confident of winning . It is targeting Mangere the same way as the CHP targeted Wairarapa with Merepeka Raukawa-Tait at the last election. Of course we also have The Kiwi Party in the mix as well - and Peter Dunne's United Future party which is likely to get one seat at the most.

It would be better if these Christians actually understood how and why people vote rather than contributing to the wasted vote with their preoccupation of issues of personal morality. There is not enought natural constituency to sustain one dedicated Christian party in this country, let alone several.


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Kids need to exercise, says overweight MP

The Government has launched a new website that uses online games to try and get children to be more active in the real world. The website is here.

In launching the site, Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the website was another way to encourage children to get active (like making a flax dart , perhaps) - and to eat the right pies and chips food.

She should start making some flax darts. Then she should update this crappy website to advise kids not just to throw, but to retrieve the dart - preferably runing to retrieve it.After all, that's the excercise bit that should BE on a site supposed to get rid of obesity and encourage exercise. Look at her, obesity personified!

update I see Whale Oil thought so too.


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"Look,Helen, I`ll lend you some money if you get that FTA deal, OK?"

We know why Labour donor and moneyman Owen Glenn wanted a free trade agreement with China. As Investigate Magazine noted a while back
So who exactly is Owen Glenn, any why would a NZ free trade deal with China and the US prompt him to become Labour's biggest benefactor? Well, Glenn is now a shipping magnate, and free trade deals mean much more freight and more business for his global empire. Especially as he has managed to obtain a much sought after "Class A" trading licence to do business in China.

Perhaps Glenn is not giving Labour money in this election, not just because he doesn't back losers, but he is getting his FTA with China when it is signed in April.

That's his payback.

But there's more. Last night Helen Clark's spokesperson said of Owen Glenns consul appointment to Monaco
No appointment has been made. She has not offered it. It is not hers to offer. She has received no advice on it.
Today Helen Clark confirmed Glenn had expressed an interest in being honorary consul and Mr Peters was now considering whether the country needed anyone in that role.
Perhaps that would depend whether Monaco needs any lesbian hip hop tours - or how many people need medical treatment after falling ill in the casino or seasick or their superyacht.

Monaco has 30,000 people - That's about $16.6666 per person for Glenn's $500,000. All those sixes. Satanic.


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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Latest Colmar Brunton Poll - and its bad news again for Clark

In May last year I predicted a National/ Maori government and in 2006 a Labour loss.

Jordon Carter responded by stating
In 1999 the Nats had run out of ideas and their vote was too low to maintain power - Labour just got in instead. In 1984 Muldoon had destroyed the economy and had the whole of liberal New Zealand lined up against him. Neither of these situations is relevant to Labour in 2008. The economy is singing, and the government shows no signs of running out of ideas.
What's changed since then is that Jordon Carter is a Labour candidate and that support for both National and Maori Party has increased. National's support has almost doubled since the 2002 election.

What hasn`t changed is that Jordan is wrong.

Poll Results
National 53%
Labour 34%
Greens 6%
NZ First 1.6%
Maori Party 3.3%
Act 0.9%

Key 36%, Clark 27%

In the recent Roy Morgan and Herald polls, the Greens were on 9.3 and 6.5 percent respectively and the Maori Party was on 1 and 2 percent. Now the Maori party is first cab off the rank. Labour is down and National has its best result since the 1999 Election.

When Labours slide started in November the Greens and NZ First were over the 5 percent threshold. It's a different ballgame now. Labour and NZ First are being deserted for National and the Maori Party and Clark is not wanted any more. Many people seen to have forgetten that Helen Clark was asked to resign as leader only months before the election in 1996. Will it happen in 2008?

It will be fascinating to see if the Maori Party can poll 5 percent before the election - and whether it can hold until polling day. If the Maori Party get around the same as the Greens did in 2005 ( 5.1 percent) - it would be a wasted vote if they get six seats.


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The rich prick who donated $500,000 to a party with a leader who could not remember his name

Owen Glenn is the rich prick who is listed as donating a third of Labour's declared donations at the last election because he was impressed with the international approach the PM was taking by pressing for free trade deals. The two met at a tourism dinner in Sydney - but when Clark got home.... bugger, she could not remember his name and probably lost his business card in the wash.

Glenn, fortunately remembered Clark's name and eventually made contact and donated $300,000 in 2005 and $199,960 in November 2004. These were paid in $100,000 monthly instalments for five months. He is not listed as donating to National. In 2005 Mike Williams said Glenn was not not making donations to other political parties.

Glenn was probably a friend of Michael Cullen until recently. He lives in Monaco and, after talking with Winston Peters at the Rugby World Cup, hoped that a voluntary role as New Zealand's honorary consul to Monaco would begin early this year. The current consul is National's Richard Worth who is wondering how long this position will last. He lodged a question on the first available date this year
200 (2008). Richard Worth to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (12 Feb 2008): What consideration, if any, is being given to the appointment of Mr Owen Glenn as honorary consul for NZ in Monaco?
.The reply is due on the 20th February once Dear Leader is consulted.

After the election Glenn said he lent a relatively small amount of money to Labour. I think $100,000 is not a "relatively small" amount to employ some fund raisers. He said he will probably not donate in 2008 - even though Labour reversed its "Owen Glenn" amendment to the Electoral Finance Bill which stated that someone could not donate money if he or she was overseas and not on the electoral roll.

Owen Glenn doesn't back election losers.


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Friday, February 15, 2008

Him that pisseth against the Wall

This is something quite different. Here's a clip of a Baptist preacher preaching on the phrase in the King James Bible 'him that pisseth against the wall'. Brings new meaning to "Stand up for Jesus". I`m sure Dover Samuels can relate to this - after all, won`t Louisa Wall be his relacement?

This is a genuine sermon. I dare you to watch it and not snigger. For anyone who is familiar with the King James followers you`ll know that they take their version of the Bible literally. So it is bit concerning that this man uses the word peeing as well. It would be better if he used pee-eth.


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Thursday, February 14, 2008

CYFSWatcher quits

Last week WhaleOil asked who is behind the group chucking bricks at MPs offices and linked the group - People Power - to the people behind CYFSwatch, a site that was initially closed down by Google after a death threat to an MP was posted.

It was not an unreasonable link, given that people-powernz.wordpress is of very similar name as ( which was also closed down). The current CYFSwatch site and the are hosted on the same server by the same person who tags nz onto the end of his anonymous sites as they move around to avoid detection.

There are several people behind these sites. Ironically, last week the person behind CYFSWatch understood to be poster Bryn Rodda (or one of his mates) - suddenly quit. He has denied being involved in the site, despite posting on it, providing information to the site and linking it prominently to his YouTube site. They are looking for an offshore replacement so that they wont be subject to the Electoral Finance Act - the very Act the People Power website was set up to oppose.

The name People Power is a take of the collectives other site PTTP PTTP stands for "power to the people". They think chucking bricks at MPs offices is power and they have threatened to attack NZ First's Auckland office later this month.

Finally Henk van Helmond, the man behind all the sites, says he did not know who threw the bricks at Clark's office. He has said he doesnt know them, nor has he met them - just had "contact" with htem. He says he doesnt know the people who post on his sites either - that includes Bryn Rodda. But he certainly knows a lot about the brick chucking. And he knows Bryn Rodda more than he makes out. Both have had contact with the woman who used the riding crop on her son. They`re all connected.

I know that.
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I`m going to kill myself in 90 days

No, no me, Crazy Jane It's her maddeningly fascinating blog counting down the days until she says she will commit suicide. She has 83 days to go. Her site is already getting 3500 unique visitors an hour.

It will be interesting to see how this stunt progresses.
update 10pm Lame, lame,lame.she's chickened out
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

those two housing (un)affordability policies

Catcus Kate and the New Zealand Herald editorial writer comment on how Labour makes policy. A housing policy. Not sure how many houses, where they will be built or how much they will cost. In other words they could be unaffordable
Housing New Zealand chairman Pat Snedden today conceded a couple would need to earn more than the average $68,000 household income to meet mortgage repayments on an affordable home at the Government's flagship Hobsonville housing development.

Mr Snedden [said] he he expected the 500 affordable homes planned for the 3000 home project, which has been billed as a model for such developments, to have a price-tag in the mid $300,000 range.

Couples would need to be earning about $70,000 to service a mortgage on the homes.

Mortgage calculators show repayments on a 30-year 90 percent loan at a current two-year fixed interest rate of 9.35 percent would be $603 a week before rates and insurance. At a rate of 8 percent, repayments would be [$27.716 a year].
One policy - policy A - is where the taxpayer pays for a third of the value of a house as a deposit and gets it back when the house is is sold. The other policy- policy B - is to increase housing stock to make housing more affordable - ie to reduce the price. According to Catcus Kate, policy B reduces the benefit of the policy A in the long run as it will reduce the price the taxpayer gets when the house is sold - a capital loss. Yet the Herald says the policies will increase demand for the lower price housing (more than increased supply) - which will push house prices up - meaning the the taxpayer gets a capital gain on resale.

Who's right? I`m no economist. If there is huge demand on low priced houses, the Herald maintains that successful policy B will increase future proceeds of policy A, meaning taxpayers eventually pay more for each house in the short run as the price increases. If so, how can policy B be deemed successful without greater supply?

Catcus says successful Policy B will REDUCE the future proceeds from Policy A as house prices reduce Catcus puts it this way
Policy A: The taxpayer is now becoming a party to (as defined in the US) subprime lending and fronts with 30% of the purchase price of a home to low income and potential squatters. The pay-back for the taxpayer is that when the home is sold, they get their 30% back and keep 30% of the proceeds. This is the only cash flow for the “investment”. No interest needed to be paid for this 30% share. This long-awaited policy is to be rolled out in July 2008.

Policy B: A raft of “housing affordability” measures are introduced such as increasing housing stocks (although reports `state that housing stocks need to increase a massive 80% to cope with population growth) and freeing up land. All designed to make houses more affordable ie. to REDUCE the price of homes. This will have a longer time lag obviously while property is built and land is freed up.

So the peace of mind collateral (security) for Policy A for the taxpayer is the capital return and 30% profit on future sale. But Policy B is purposively designed to actually reduce the return as profit on Policy A.

Successful Policy B will REDUCE the future proceeds from Policy A.

Successful Policy B will REDUCE the value of the equity private taxpayer has themselves and make taxpayers net wealth decline.

And announced on the SAME DAY
Sounds like policy B will fail, leading to failure of Policy A. And that's even assuming the houses are affordable.

Nobody wins.
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Another Maori child bashed in the head by parents

The Herald didn`t actually report that another kid bashed in the head was a Maori, or that his parents fractured his skull, but it did imply that the parents may not be co-operating with Police.

At least he`s still alive and is not going back to his parents after he eventually leaves Starship Hospital.

Sue Bradford would be concerned that another child has been smacked in the head. Cindy Kiro would be concerned that this kid was smacked in the head as people can die of such injuries - which is a very good reason why the state should ban light smacking on the bum.
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Helen Clark's embargoed speech on shared equity for homebuyers

The Government will launch a shared equity scheme in July as one of its measures to assist home buyers into their first home, Prime Minister Helen Clark will say in her statement to Parliament this afternoon.

The Prime Minister's Office has distributed this speech under embargo but it was leaked to the media.

The speech announces a new name, School Plus, (along with Cullens tax cuts named Sur Plus) for the education and training policy she announced in her state of the nation speech. New name because, like Cullens tax cuts announcements, the concept has gone down like a lead balloon compared with John Key's speech. Clark's policy means that all students must remain on some structured form of learning or training until the age of 18.
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Monday, February 11, 2008

The brick chuckers

Who is behind.People Power, the wingnuts chucking bricks through Labour and Greens electorate offices? asks Whaleoil.

He thinks it is probably the people behind the anonymous CYFSwatch site. The domain name for People Power NZ is It has the IP address:

Five other websites are found with the IP

All these sites are hosted and maintained by a person who calls himself "Kiwi1960". He is Masterton man Henk van Helmond. He has multiple sclerosis. He is assisted by "Chief Gadfly, who is 47-year-old Bryn Rodda. I know where both men live and I know their phone numbers.

Here's Rodda's MySpace site where he links to CYFSwatch etc. (UPDATE His profile is now set to private so you cant see it now unless you look at the cache)) He has not denied that he has posted items on CYFSwatch But he is clearly involved in the site and is the driving force behind CYFSstalk - or is that CYF Stalk - which van Helmond claims to own.

Yet van Helmond claims to be unaware who is posting on CYFSwatch as he only "hosts" the site - but he clearly supports it with his posts and he posts comments to items others have written - here he calls Sue Bradford a communist and Cindy Kiro a bitch . Charming.

Which brings me to People Power. I suspect People Power could well be the same people as those behind CYFSwatch as well as this silly kiwiblogblogblog when you see it has exactly the same format as the People Power mirror site and they have kicked up a bit of a stink on Whale Oils site when he dared to suggest a link between the CYFSwatch and People Power.


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A third of working families effectively do not pay tax

After announcing tax cuts, Finance Minister Michael Cullen has the audacity to ask employers to pay their staff more so he can get more tax to fund these tax cuts in order to curb the reduction in his surplus - a surplus generated by overtaxation in the first place.

Ironically really.

A third of all families in this country who don't receive benefit income effectively pay no tax anyway, because they get more from Working for Families. Lindsay Mitchell has blogged the figures
. Families who receive some benefit income: 164,400,
Families who receive no benefit income, but receive more than they pay in tax 66,500,
Families who receive no benefit income but receive less than they pay in tax 125,900.
Total 356,800.

I am assuming that the other two thirds includes families without kids, and those who get just the In Work Payment for going to work, so of working families who do have kids, well over a third do not effectively pay tax. So any tax cut for theses families is effectively a handout.

When Cullen cut the company tax rate, did he want employers to use it to increase productivity, leading to higher salaries and more tax for the Government?

Didn’t work, did it?

So instead the Government wanted to have more people on lower incomes rather than fewer on moderate incomes. Its called increasing the participation rate. More people are in work - collectively paying more tax on low incomes - but because interest rates are so high, these people were forced to work or increase their hours to make ends meet - not to increase their disposable income. The Government is saying that fewer people are collecting benefits - meaning a lower proportion of tax is paid on welfare.

So Cullen has already got the money off us all. So why can't the scrooge cut taxes and increase WFF payouts for low-income families - particularly as there is no incentive for businesses to grow the economy and lift wages. There is no incentive for families to work longer hours unless they have another child as any increase abates WFF further.

UPDATE Matt McCarten agrees Read it all. Hers a snippet
Until now, government initiatives have arguably let low-paying employers off the hook and have institutionalised a poverty trap. For example, rent subsidies paid to low-income workers make no difference because rents have increased in response to soaring house prices. Although the heralded family support is a welcome relief to low-paid parents, it helps sheet in low-paid wages. This comes about because any increase in wages a parent may get is then deducted from their family support, neutralising any benefit.

Employers have used this contradiction to persuade their workers that paying them more money is pointless.
my initial story is here


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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cullen's tax cuts will effectively be handouts for low income families

Did you know that a couple who have three kids and are earning $48,000 (or two kids on $38,000) effectively pay no tax? They get more from the Government for having these kids.

When Working for Families (WFF)handouts were announced, some described them as "tax cuts". Some may describe Michael Cullen's possible tax cuts as handouts - for WFF recipients.

If my calculator is correct, a family with two small kids earns $38,000, and pays $142.50 tax each week, and according to the IRD calculator they get about $187.00 back in WFF payments. A third child will get $57 extra.

If that family earned $35,000, they pay $131.25 tax a week and get back $199.00 in WFF payments - or $256.00 if they have three kids, $316 four kids. If the family had three kids and earned $48,000 they pay $200.19 tax each week and get back $204.00 in WFF payments.

Lets look at the family earning $48,000. Along with all earners on that salary, if the bottom tax rate was lifted to $50,000, they`d get a $20.00 weekly tax cut. If tax was not paid on the first $10,000 all earners will get an $18.75 weekly tax cut - enough for a block of cheese, (or, rounding up, exactly a third of a child - heh.) Or two boxes of mentos chewing gum.

Will Cullen be that generous? Doubt it.

Michael Cullen may give these families a tax cut, but it is effectively a hand out - he may as well increase their WFF payments. But seems that two thirds of it will be taxed in the emissions trading scheme.

No wonder Cullen wants employers to pay their staff more - he rather recieve more tax to help fund his tax cuts and let people chew up their WFF payments on higher interest rates.

This post is contined here


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Friday, February 08, 2008

unemployment falling

Stuff has reported that unemployment has fallen to a record low.

And it is wrong - kind of.

Numbers on the Unemployment Benefit haven't fallen since September, but the unemployment rate has fallen to a record low as more non-beneficiaries are entering the workforce- students, housewives (to support their partners in a low-wage economy), prisoners and immigrants. Those coming off jobs and other benefits and onto the dole are not even matched with those coming off the dole into jobs and onto other benefits .

According to the MSD, at the end of December 270,000 were receiving a benefit, up from 263,000 in September, and 261,000 in June.Of those, according to the MSD's fact sheets, in December, 23,000 were in reciept of an unemployment benefit, the same as in September and in June. The reason there is a 2000 reduction in unemployment numbers in the past month is because of seasonal work. Ironically the number of people entering work during the last quarter was a net of 23,000 - the same number as the dole figure. Thats because 26,000 women entered the workforce - lots of students competing degrees - and 3000 few men did.

So, according to the MSD, unemployment has not reduced since June, but 9,000 more people are on benefits.

The unemployment rate may be a record low because more housewives, students and immigrants are entering work than those coming off the dole.

Unemployment benefit numbers have remained constant, but should fall substantially in the current quarter as unemployed students get jobs. However dpb numbers have increased by 1,000 every quarter since June, the invalids benefit numbers increased by 10,000 since June, but sickness benefit numbers increased by only 1000 because so many of those on the sickness benefit were transferred to the invalids benefit.

We know why the Government loves Household Laboure Force Surveys - it can crow about the participation rate. It wants more immigrants and those who conduct non ecomomic tasks - such as stay-at-home mums - to inflate it. Just don't buy the line that successful Government benefit-reduction policies lead to a higher participation rate.


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Thursday, February 07, 2008

One of these three is the next President

One of these three is the next Prime Minister

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

hungry hookers lose sex appeal

Old sex workers are going home hungry because all the young underage girls are taking their business.

So says former sex worker Mamatere Strickland, who says she assists sex workers over 18 who want to leave the sex industry.

Thats rubbish. They are going hungry because they spend all their money on drugs and they can't or won't get jobs in parlours or outside the industry. They may habe less money because they are old and crusty.

The problem is that Strickland is working with those who want to stay in the industry, not those who want to leave - which is why she she moans when their income levels drop.

Keep the old hookers hungry - that`ll make `em leave. And at the same time, take the supply off the kids by arresting their clients and pimps.


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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bill of Rights needed for parents of Children

A separate Bill of Rights is needed for parents' children, according to SMACK, a community-based organisation which supports the parents of children. New Zealand has joined lobbying by other countries to introduce a Bill of Rights for parents of children

“The needs of childrens' parents are quite different and we need to be aware that their rights could be in conflict with what some people, like Cindy Kiro from the Office of the Childrens Commisson (OCC) believe is appropriate,” says Beth Wood, a leading advocate for parents of children and chief executive of SMACK.

The Kansas Institute of the Rights of "the Olds" (KIRO), along with the Office of the Parents Commission, is also lobbying for a separate Bill of Rights that entitles these parents to not be judged, blamed or labelled and to have a lifelong relationship with their children.

“Having a child in the home can bring a massive life change to these parents – they are often isolated and we currently need to make sure they have been involved in any decisions made for them and to be well cared for should they get a police warning or their child is taken away by CYFS after being smacked lightly,” says Wood.

"Like KIRO, we believe a bill of rights would prevent families being destroyed". Wood continues. "There is currently no requirement that institutions, like CYFS, OCC or the police, dealing with children inquire about the parent's existence or concern themselves with the parents rights or wellbeing. Instead, they abuse the law and destroy families”.

Parents have a daunting range of needs, says Wood, but they are never addressed.

“They need contact with the children, to have that relationship and their parenting styles recognised and valued, rather than carrying the stigmas of CYFS and suffering the abusive actions of police”.

On behalf of these parents, SMACK is lobbying the New Zealand Government to introduce a separate Bill of Rights for parents of children and will be marching to Parliament on Wednesday with a wide variety of school groups directly after school finshes at 3:30pm for a smack-in.

“By acknowledging that these parents exist and have different needs, we can make a change that could prevent the cycle of abuse – parents are seven times more likely to be charged for lightly smacking their children than parents without children.”

hat tip
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Monday, February 04, 2008

Labour is happy for union delegates to be politically partisan

Last election the politically neutral PSA sent more than 600,000 letters as part of "Labour's job factory" to get Labour re-elected. After the Madeleine Setchell affair the PSA raised concerns whether National would run a politically neutral public service.

That's because the PSA like it how it is. Labour-slanted. It wants to provide an inpression that it is politically neutural. Then this happens.

Labour Chief Whip's tax-payer -funded manager sends an e-mail to an electorate agent for Dunedin South. It begins with an invitation to a PSA meeting, of which she is a delegate. It is sent from her parliamentary e-mail, and signed off by her as office manager for Barnett.
Big weekend for your fella?" in reference to yesterday's Labour Party selection contest in Dunedin, (which David Benson-Pope lost to Claire Curran).
Hope it all goes well for David. Despite the sigh! oh sh..! events over the past year still think we would be silly to flick experience when on the ropes. The newcomers can try the List and earn some stripes.
But the e-mail was accidentally sent to Katherine Rich's Dunedin office. Tim Barnett thinks a politically partisan e-mail like this is fine because the sender was acting as a PSA delegate at the time it was sent, even though she is paid by Parliamentary Services.

So it is fine to be partisan if you are a PSA delegate, but not (at least publically) if you are a public servant with no union involvement? That really indicates that Labour is does not want the Public Service to be politically neutral, while running some sort of public front that it is neutural - which is why the PSA raised concerns whether National will run a politically neutral or partisan public service.

The PSA is quite happy to be an agent of Labour - while running
seminars on political neutrality
to maintain that front - and to ensure politically neutrality after the election.

Labels: , ,

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Fran O'Sullivan on Labours deception

Fran O`Sullivan has a good column today. Read it here. She indicates how Labours deception in its unsuccessful attempt to win an election led to the Mother of all budgets and benefit cuts in 1991. Clark last week dragged up Richardson's 1991 Mother of All Budgets, claiming the social dysfunction caused by its slashing of the welfare state was responsible for the current generation of violent youth offenders.

If she truly believes Richardson's benefit-slashing budget spawned a tribe of young Damiens then she should set about trying to rectify the conditions.We want our Prime Minister to seek answers and try and unite us in facing up to some unpleasant realities.Not play "dog whistle" politics by trying to seed in the public's mind the belief that electing National to government again would simply exacerbate youth murder sprees if the Key Government embarks upon a hidden agenda.

Clark's not on solid ground when it comes to hidden agendas. As deputy Prime Minister and Labour's key strategist at the 1990 election she helped perpetrate the big lie of that campaign. In 1990, New Zealand was teetering towards economic recession. But the Labour Cabinet kept claiming right up to election day that the Government's accounts were in surplus.

National Prime Minister Jim Bolger's plans for a decent society were scuppered when he was confronted by officials just one day after the election with news of a serious fiscal crisis that they had kept secret under Labour's orders. The Bank of New Zealand was about to go belly-up, something senior Labour ministers had known about for weeks, and the Treasury was forecasting a $3.7 billion deficit for the 1991/92 year which would blow out to a $5.2 billion deficit by 1993/94 unless drastic actions were taken.

Bolger's Cabinet had to cut costs to avert a major credit rating downgrade for New Zealand.
Helen Clark should just call the election now and get her misery over with sooner rather than later.


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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Why is one in five Kiwi kids leaving school with grossly inadequate literacy and numeracy skills?

Answer: Ask John Key's speech writer. "Why is one in five kiwi kids..."

He must be an NCEA kid. Yet some are not. Not enough kids are getting the relevant soft credits in English and/or Maths - and thus failing NCEA level 1. Because they fail - or are likely to fail - they drop out of school, many getting early leaving exemptions.Those with a bit of perserverance ( which should be mentored by teachers in schools IMHO) go onto NCEA level 2. You can get level 2 even if you failed level 1 English and Maths, provided that you pass them at level 2.But one in five students and half our Maori boys don`t even get to attempt level 2 because they have left school by then - some, perhaps, after another unsuccessful attempt at level 1.

Teachers are running a curriculum, not teaching kids who find it difficult to learn. If kids can pass the only basic compulsory subjects - English and Maths - they`ll have no trouble getting NCEA level 1 - and that is a qualification. But they can still have inadequate literacy and numeracy skills for the workplace if they pass level 1 by doing "creative writing", poetry , solving "straightforward numbers" and using geometric texts - none of which have exams as they are all internally assesed.

But the Government will be happy as they have a "qualification". But will Education Minister Chris Carter employ them as speech writers? Probably not, after this e-mail, his office appears to be too loaded with NCEA level 1 people as it is.


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People power set up mirror site

People power have a web site that is in a blog format. They are the group that attacked Prime Minister Helen Clark's Mt Albert Electorate office on the morning of her “State of the Nation” speech, in protest against the Electoral Finance Act, and in active opposition to suppression of freedom of expression by the Government of ordinary New Zealand citizens.

THe group now has a mirror site for the express and intent purpose of publically violating the Electoral Finance Act and its distinction between “blogs” and “websites. Blogs are within the law, but websites that campaign in election year are not. Andy Moore's dontvotelabour website (see sidebar) was shut down because he couldn't afford to take the case to court, but People Power claim that they will go all the way to court as a test case for the Electoral Finance Act.

Problem is, at the moment, the mirror site is also run like a blog. Well, its a mirror site, it would.

Why dont they run it like a website and then see what the Electoral Commission does?
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Friday, February 01, 2008

'God hates fags' crowd to picket Ledger funeral

Actor Heath Ledger's funeral is to be held next week and guess who is going?
Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas has announced their plans to picket at Heath Ledger’s funeral because the actor “promoted homosexuality” by his film ‘Brokeback Mountain’ in which he played a gay man.
Fred Phelps leads the church, which demostrates their strong conviction against gays, lesbians and soldiers by picketing. "God hates the tacky bucket of slime seasoned with vomit known as Brokeback Mountain and he hates all persons having anything whatsoever to do with it,” the church wrote on a flyer

The full flier is here. Their blog post "Heath Ledger is in hell - way to go doomed America" is here.One thing they don't appear to be aware of: The funeral is to be in Perth, Australia.

Heh.Dumbasses. I hope they try to go the the funeral, get the wrong plane and end up in Wellington. I`ll be only too pleased to meet them at the airport.
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