Tag Archives: National-led government

Bill English PM : Super changes

john-key-54-and-bill-english-54-in-aug-2015-david-white-fairfax-via-stuff-co-nz-1

“New Zealanders are healthier and living longer so adjusting the long-term settings of NZ Super while there is time for people to adapt is the right thing to do.” –Bill English PM

### NZ Herald Mon, 6 Mar 2017 3:19 PM
PM Bill English announces Super changes [+ Videos]
The eligibility age for superannuation will rise to 67 years old by 2040, Prime Minister Bill English revealed this afternoon. In a major political development, English promised to begin progressively lifting the threshold from 65 to 67 years old in 2037. That means the changes will not affect anyone born on or before 30 June, 1972. The Government will not act on the promise until after the general election in September.

English said the major change would be legislated for next year. The Government will also limit superannuation eligibility to people who have lived in New Zealand for 20 years, rather than 10 years. That is lower than the commissioner’s recommendation of 25 years. English said the new residency requirement would apply to people who arrived in the country after the law was passed – likely to be next year if the National-led Government remains in power.

Other settings such as linking NZ Super to the average wage and universal Super without means-testing would remain unchanged. The age at which people could access Kiwisaver would remain at 65.

In justifying the change, English noted that even someone who retired at age 67 was likely to receive NZ Super for longer than someone who retired at age 64 today. “That is because average life expectancy is increasing by about 1.3 years each decade.”

The changes to the age of eligibility and residency requirements would save the Government at estimated 0.6 per cent of GDP or $4 billion once fully phased in.

Finance Minister Steven Joyce said New Zealanders’ life expectancy had risen by 12 years over the past 60 years. “When the age was set at 65 in 2001, a retiree could expect to spend about a fifth of their life receiving NZ Super. That has since increased to about a quarter. Following this change, those eligible for NZ Super at 67 in 2040 can still expect to receive it for a quarter of their life on average.”

Experts have said the Government will have to do more than raise the age of eligibility to keep the Super scheme affordable. The cost of the scheme is expected to triple in the next 20 years from $11 billion to $36b as more people reach the over-65 age-group and live for longer.

….English said raising the retirement age in 2037 would more fairly spread the costs and benefits of NZ Super between generations, ensure it remained affordable, and would give people time to adjust. It would also bring New Zealand into line with other countries like Australia, the UK, Denmark, Germany and the United States. English said he did not think his proposals would damage National’s chance of winning a fourth term. “I think they will enhance it,” he said.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: stuff.co.nz – John Key (54) and Bill English (54) in August 2015. Photo by David White/Fairfax, tweaked by whatifdunedin

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Win! to DCC candidate Paul Pope #DunedinHospital

ODT 22.8.16 (page 6)

ODT 22.8.16 Letters to editor Pope p6 overlay*overlay by whatifdunedin

Posted by Stop Dunedin Hospital from being downgraded
Monday, 22 August 2016

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Facebook - Stop Dunedin Hospital from being downgraded 22.8.16

Comments on Monday, 22 August 2016 at 7:12 p.m.
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Facebook - Stop Dunedin Hospital from being downgraded [Mon, 22 Aug 2016] - comments at 7.12 pm

█ For more, enter the terms *hospital*, *sdhb* and *food* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

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Homelessness : watching Al Jazeera on New Zealand

mischa-richter-dog-next-to-man-watching-tv-[New Yorker - condenast]Mischa Richter – The New Yorker

Received from Peter Attwooll
Friday, 5 August 2016 5:49 p.m.

Today, sitting in a comfortable lounge with the fire on, and watching TV, I turned on Al Jazeera. Lo and behold, a report came up about homelessness in New Zealand. Wow, I thought. The World looks out at what is happening here in this little country, deep in the South Pacific.

The report was on homelessness in NZ. They interviewed a large, Islander family living in a decrepit garage in Auckland. They also interviewed Bernard Hickey, Economic Commentator.

The report commented on the large homeless problem in NZ, the number up to 40,000 (from memory). Paula Bennett refused to respond to repeated calls for an interview.

The government did, what all governments do, and provided a solution for THIS family in order to avoid the immediate embarrassment and look like they are doing something.
Cynical, eh?

John Key and his National Government have got a lot to answer for. Equally, the Opposition parties have also got to provide viable solutions to bring greater equity to this country and help homeless people to get off the streets.

Al Jazeera English Published on Aug 4, 2016
Homeless in New Zealand – thousands living in garages and cars
Once a pioneer of the social welfare state, New Zealand now has over 40,000 people who are homeless, forced to live in their cars and in garages as a result of rapid house price and rent rises and a shortage of social housing. Al Jazeera correspondent Tarek Bazley visits South Auckland and meets two families – one with six children living in a derelict garage, the other who lived with three teenagers for months in their car – and charts the country’s fall from and egalitarian society to one with deep divisions of wealth.

Subscribe to our channel http://bit.ly/AJSubscribe
Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
Check our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/

homelessness_banner - Human Rights Commission [hrc.co.nz] 1homelessness via hrc.co.nz

Human Rights Commission
The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Al Jazeera, also known as JSC, is a Doha-based state-funded broadcaster owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network, which is partly funded by the House of Thani, the ruling family of Qatar.

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

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Boris J knows Exactly how New Zealand came to this #KeyGovernment

“The whole EU system of regulation is so remote and opaque that the super-rich are able to use it to their advantage, to maintain their oligarchic position.”

### telegraph.co.uk 15 May 2016 • 9:20pm
Of course our City fat cats love the EU – it’s why they earn so much
By Boris Johnson
At last year’s Tory Party conference I drew attention to a worrying statistic about the way our society is changing. It is the number of times the salary of the average FTSE100 top executive exceeds that of the average – the average – employee in that company. This multiple appears to be taking off, at an extraordinary, inexplicable and frankly nostril-wrinkling rate.
Plato said no one should earn more than five times anyone else. Well, Plato would have been amazed by the growth in corporate inequality today. In 1980 the multiple was 25. By 1998 it had risen to 47. After 10 years of Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson – and their “intensely relaxed” attitude to getting “filthy rich” – the top executives of big UK firms were earning 120 times the average pay of the shop floor. Last year it was 130 times.
This year – cue a fusillade of champagne corks – the fat cats have broken through the magic 150 barrier. The average FTSE100 CEO is taking home 150 times as much as his or her average employee – and in some cases far more. Let us make no bones about it: these people have so much more money than other people in the same company that they are flying in private jets and building subterranean swimming pools, while many of their employees cannot afford to buy any kind of home at all.
Read more

Boris Johnson [theguardian.com] 1Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (b. 19 Jun 1964) is an English politician, popular historian, and journalist who has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015. Johnson previously served as the MP for Henley from 2001 until 2008, and as Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016. A member of the Conservative Party, Johnson considers himself a One Nation Conservative and has been described as a libertarian due to his association with both economically liberal and socially liberal policies. Born in New York City to upper-class English parents, Johnson was educated at the European School of Brussels, Ashdown House School, and Eton College. He studied Classics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1986. Beginning his career in journalism at The Times, he later became The Daily Telegraph’s Brussels correspondent, with his articles exerting a strong influence on growing Eurosceptic sentiment among the British right-wing.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 11:22, May 16 2016
Labour leader Andrew Little: PM ‘out of touch’ with families in hardship
By Rosanna Price
Prime Minister John Key has advised families living in garages or in cars to go and see Work and Income. But Labour leader Andrew Little has called that advice “impractical”, saying Key is “out of touch” with these New Zealanders in hardship. Key’s comments come after social housing groups and community workers have called on the government to increase their supply of affordable housing. There have been reports families in Auckland have been forced to rent garages and shipping containers, with the Salvation Army estimating one in ten Auckland garages is used as a home. Social agencies say the number of families living out of their cars has increased.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: theguardian.com – Boris Johnson

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Dairying, Housing : More on Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Water resource management [lincoln.ac.nz] 1Irrigation [lincoln.ac.nz]

█ Interpretation of the existing RMA has led to dairy intensification destroying waterways and threatening public health and welfare, in large measure.
A bit of a tour….

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 14:29, March 23 2016
Canterbury rumbly-gut outbreak linked to dairying
By Pat Deavoll
An outbreak of “rumbly-gut” among communities in Canterbury has Waikato veterinarian and agri-ecology consultant Alison Dewes concerned. She thinks the outbreak is the result of dairy intensification and irrigation contaminating public drinking water. Thirty per cent of the region’s shallow wells have already experienced an increase in nitrogen and pathogen levels after 10-15 years of irrigation on shallow lighter soils, she says. “We have the highest rates of ecoli diseases in the world, and the highest rate of campylobacter, cryptosporidia and giardia in communities in the Hinds region. We have the highest rates of zoonoses (disease spread from animals to humans) in the world in some of the irrigated/dairy catchments like Selwyn and Hinds and the government is promoting a further 40,000ha of irrigation in an already allocated and at risk catchment. Economics and dairy intensification are trumping public health and welfare.”
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### NZ Herald Online 8:42 AM Wednesday Mar 9, 2016
40pc of farms fail to lodge consents
By Zaryd Wilson – Wanganui Chronicle
Forty per cent of dairy farms required to lodge a resource consent application with Horizons Regional Council have not done so. A total of 229 dairy operations were required to have lodged an application by January 1 this year under the regional council’s One Plan, which aims to limit nitrogen pollution of waterways. The One Plan – adopted by the council in 2014 – limits nitrogen leaching by intensive farm operations, namely dairy, commercial horticulture, cropping and intensive sheep and beef farming. Figures released to the Chronicle under the Official Information Act reveal that only 137 of the 229 dairy operations which came under new rules have lodged consent applications. The new rules took effect on July 1 last year, and farms had six months – up until January 1 – to apply.
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Wetland copy-header [nzarm.org.nz] 1Wetlands [nzarm.org.nz]

26.11.15 NZH: Resource Management Act reforms to be introduced
The Government will introduce its long awaited Resource Management Act reforms to Parliament next week after securing the support of the Maori Party. The reforms to the country’s main planning document stalled two years ago when National’s support partners refused to back them because of their potential impact on the environment.

Ministry for the Environment

About the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
This page has information on the amendments proposed in 2015 to the Resource Management Act 1991.

Resource Legislation Amendment Bill [New Zealand Legislation website]
The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill (the Bill) was introduced to Parliament on 26 November 2015.

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Leading New Zealand law firm Chapman Tripp say:
OPINION Most of the provisions in the Bill have been telegraphed in advance so there is little to surprise. If passed as drafted, it has the capacity to reduce costs and speed up planning processes – but probably only at the margins. For more radical and meaningful change we may have to await the results of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into urban planning (see Chapman Tripp’s commentary here, dated 2.11.15).

RMA Reform Bill – busy with change but less than National wanted
Chapman Tripp 26 November 2015
OPINION The ‘phase two’ RMA reforms, initially to have been passed in 2014, have now finally been introduced to Parliament as the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. The Bill is a busy piece of legislation running to more than 200 pages, and aims to help streamline planning and consenting processes. But National has had to abandon its proposals to remove the “hierarchy” some saw as enshrined in the existing Part 2 of the RMA, promoting environmental values ahead of economic development in sections six and seven. After the loss of the Northland seat to Winston Peters in March, it does not have the votes to get the wider and more far-reaching changes through. We look at the Bill:
Major changes
● Requiring councils to follow national planning templates (once such templates are available) with standardised provisions across the country.
● A range of measures aimed at producing faster, more flexible planning processes. These include: tighter timelines for plan production and the introduction of two new tracks – a collaborative track and a streamlined track.
● Reduced requirements for consents – allowing councils discretion not to require a resource consent for minor changes, creating a new 10 day fast-track for simple consents and eliminating the need for an RMA consent when consenting is provided for in other legislation.
● Stronger national direction – especially in relation to hot-button issues like providing for new housing or addressing dairy stock in rivers.
Read more

Blue skies review for urban planning – the take-off
Chapman Tripp 15 January 2016
OPINION The blue skies review into urban planning has now left the runway, with the release by the Productivity Commission before Christmas of an issues paper seeking feedback on possible directions for change.

Continue reading

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NZ flag is the NZ flag is the #NZflag [beach towel selection in context]

RNZ Toby Morris 'Make Your Own Flag' eight_col_DIY-FLAG (1)RNZ/Toby Morris — eight_col_DIY-FLAG

### radionz.co.nz
RNZ: On the Inside
OPINION: Flag failure – Where did it go wrong?
By Toby Morris
Well, that’s that. The votes are counted and at last the shambolic flag saga is finally over, banished to eternal life as a series of pub quiz trivia questions. An embarrassing phase best forgotten like a national bad haircut.
As much as I’ve always wanted a change, in the end I think we made the right choice. So why do I feel so rotten?
I had a bad feeling about it from the start, and I wasn’t alone. This time last year, anyone who has ever worked on any kind of corporate creative brief took one look at the chosen panel and their proposed process and saw that it would result in a mediocre, safe choice. It was creativity by committee, with no designers involved, and a process that allowed no room for development or refinement.
So we expected the worst, but like George W Bush said, we ‘misunderestimated’ them. Things went from worst to ‘worster’ as they lurched from one disastrous step to another. An inane and vague campaign to engage people about what they stood for led to the saddest road trip ever as the panel toured the country for public meetings with record low turnouts. No one was interested.
By the time the public was able to submit entries, the mood became more evident…. In large numbers, we were treating the flag process as a huge joke.
Read more + Cartoons

RNZ: How the world saw NZ’s flag decision
RNZ: Kiwis have their say; flag’s here to stay
RNZ: NZ flag result – how it happened
RNZ: MPs split down party lines on flag vote

NZ Herald
‘Wasteful vanity project’ ….How world reacted to flag result
Defeated PM defends $26m flag vote as critics round on him
Andrew Little: PM’s pet project has cost NZ $26m

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29.2.16 Jonkey a flag!
14.11.15 New Zealand Flag: 1000s of public submissions ignored by panel…
25.9.15 New Zealand Flag —symbolism
28.2.15 Campbell Live | TXT POLL: Does NZ need a new flag?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Jonkey a flag!

nz-flag2 [flagz.co.nz]

Prime Minister John Key has warned if people vote against changing the flag they will not get another chance until New Zealand becomes a republic.

### radionz.co.nz Updated at 12:46 pm today
RNZ News
Has the PM mistaken himself for a flag?
By Finlay Macdonald
OPINION: To borrow a title from the late, great Oliver Sacks, we appear to have a prime minister who mistook himself for a flag.
John Key is now arguing that a vote against the silver fern flag in the March referendum is really a vote against him. He is echoing those commentators who have already tried to depict opposition to a new flag as simply anti-Key sentiment in red, white and blue drag.

Last chance to change flag before republic – PM
Only citizens should vote on flag change – NZ First

The flag debate, they claim, has been “politicised” by the Left out of bitterness and spite. Aside from their own absurd partisan assumptions, what those arguments can never address is the ideologically diverse nature of so much opposition to the Lockwood flag.
How else to explain the informal alliance of lifelong republicans and ageing anti-establishment boomers with monarchists and RSA traditionalists? If anything unites these camps it seems less likely to be a shared loathing of the prime minister than a nose for what you might call a false dichotomy – an unnecessary choice between two inadequate options.
Because you can say a lot of bad things about the alternative flag, but probably the worst is that it makes the current flag look good.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
14.11.15 New Zealand Flag: 1000s of public submissions ignored by panel…
25.9.15 New Zealand Flag —symbolism
28.2.15 Campbell Live | TXT POLL: Does NZ need a new flag?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Tweets:

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