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Viewing entries tagged with 'government'

Four days into the year of balance

Posted by Philip on 4 January 2015, 11:42 am in , , , , , , , , ,

Venn diagram - freedom & security in overlapping circles, support in the overlapJust a quick reflection on the first days of the year, an affirmation of sorts. I notice I've taken on my reclusive role, usual for this time of year, not having left the house this year yet, other than to sit on the deck to read, drink, socialise, admire the beautiful nature-laden part of Auckland I am blessed to live in, and/or reflect.

It's been a stressless, easy ride into 2015. May it continue.

The only event of note was a slight over-indulgence of leadership juice on 1 January, ending with my falling on the floor. A few years ago I had upper and lower back injuries, leaving me without power in my upper arms/shoulders and no longer able to walk. Unable to lift myself from the floor anymore, particularly after a wine or two, I invested in a Bupa medical alarm half way through last year — it seemed less strenuous than weight training, at which I failed miserably to endure.

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Election reflection

Posted by Philip on 21 September 2014, 4:45 pm in , , , , ,

I've had a theory for some time now that the early decades of each century are primarily conservative and the later decades are liberal. I'm no historian and I've got no research to back it up because I couldn't be bothered researching.

But I was born in 1967 in the hippy flower power era, followed by the 80s with its androgyny and outlandish fashion; the birth of the internet; and civil right movements left, right and centre. All at the end of the century that saw two world wars, the industrialisation of society and alcohol prohibition.

Now, just 14 years into the 21st century, NZ elects a National government for third term with the highest majority since god knows when and the second lowest vote Labour's ever had. Sure we've had gay marriage, but that has just increasd the numbers trapped by a conservative institution. And I won't be surprised if we prohibit alcohol again once we've made tobacco illegal.

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Envy tax, says PM

Posted by Philip on 25 June 2014, 6:27 pm in , , , , , , , , ,

Labour's "alternative budget" today announced, "High earners will pay a tax rate of 36 percent on income over $150,000. Currently the top tax bracket is 33 percent for people earning over $77,000."

The Prime Minister John Key's surly response: "Envy tax." It's a response that epitomises this Government's entitled, ungenerous and irresponsible approach to the economy.

Key's response is typical of the neo-liberalism of conservative politics. It erodes community, rewards greed and treats money, not only like it's an infinite resource, but that it's an entitlement to have more money than others.

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End of NZ's state housing era — brave move or sad times?

Posted by Philip on 15 April 2014, 8:34 am in , ,

This morning the NZ Herald ran an editorial supporting the idea that state housing being awarded to tenants for life has been consigned to history.

I think it's sad that an era of Government ensuring a home for life has ended. It's not like shelter is a luxury — it's a necessity for everyone.

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War is raw

Posted by Philip on 23 September 2012, 7:32 pm in , ,

Check a Thesaurus dictionary and you see one of the meanings of "war" is "conflict, warfare, combat, fighting, struggle, armed conflict, action, military action, bloodshed, contest, tussle; battle, skirmish, fight, clash, confrontation, engagement, affray, encounter, collision, offensive, attack, blitz, siege; campaign, crusade, feud, vendetta; strife, hostility, enmity, antagonism, discord, disunity, animus, ill will, bad blood; hostilities."

Spell "war" backwards and you get "raw".

Check a Thesaurus dictionary and you see one of the meanings of "raw" is "unsophisticated, crude, rough, unpolished, unrefined, undeveloped."

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When caring isn't quite enough

Posted by Philip on 5 September 2012, 4:20 pm in , , ,

Last week I went to the Tenancy Tribunal because, once again, Housing New Zealand placed a tenant next door to me who was known to Police for violent and anti-social behaviour. He was arrested in late May for disturbing the peace and threatening other neighbours in my street; luckily I was away.

Since June I have been working with HNZ to reach a creative solution to stop this repeated flaw in their placement process happening again. I suggested they convert the duplex I live in into one dwelling. They refused my suggestion once and then again when I asked for a review of decision.

They did, however, move the nextdoor tenant. But this resulted in him abusing me verbally from outside, leaving me feeling threatened enough to call the Police. Though he's been gone for ten days, I am still aware that he is aggrieved and knows where I live.

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Government success fees paid to make sure youth don't die

Posted by Philip on 29 March 2012, 7:22 am in , , , ,

In its newly released "Youth Services" tender which, as I describe below, seems like a state-funded game of Monopoly, the Ministry of Social Development is from today seeking tenders from non-profit organisations to provide two new services.

The Government tender site GETS describes them:

The first service is for 16 and 17 year olds not in employment, education or training (NEET) or at risk of becoming NEET ... MSD will contract providers to engage with these young people and provide on-going tailored and extensive support to help the young person to re-engage in education, training or work-based learning.

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A modern dictatorship?

Posted by Philip on 26 October 2010, 9:53 pm in , , , , ,

Recently I took a holiday to relax the body, clear the mind and reinvigorate the creative spirit. But there's nothing like a great book to make that holiday a wee bit more stimulating.

My choice – Solving Tough Problems, by Adam Kahane. 

I know, I know, it's not the trashy gay novel that I could have read on the beach – that would have been Solving Hard Problems (snort – comedy is so cheap).

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Disability stuff up being fixed by those who stuffed up

Posted by Philip on 5 October 2010, 6:21 pm in , , ,

Disability support providers Idea Services and Timata Hou asked to be put under statutory management because they could not afford the potential $176 million liability of a court-ordered requirement to pay workers for the time they are asleep at their care houses, according to 3news.co.nz.

Service and Food Workers Union national Secretary John Ryall said, "The reason that IHC has been forced to put its trading companies into statutory management is because the Government, as the funder, has sat on its hands and refused to acknowledge that disability support workers have been ripped off for the last 20 years."

It would seem to me there's fault on both sides. The Ministry for failing to provide adequate funding and management for failing to respond early enough. Either way disabled people lose out.

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