Published on May 3, 2016
Published on May 3, 2016
The latest Unicef report has us languishing at the bottom of the developed world in relation to the health and welfare our children and youth. This report was based on the data our government collects and concerningly, with regards to child poverty, a ranking wasn’t provided because of a refusal to follow standard practice (an admission of failure?). In many documented areas we are seriously neglecting our young people (ranking numbers are determined by the data provided from a maximum of 41 developed countries):
New Zealand is sitting on a half-a-trillion-dollar debt bomb and Kiwis are increasingly treating their houses like cash machines, piling on the debt as they watch the value of their properties soar.
Reserve Bank figures show household debt, excluding investment property, has risen 23 per cent in the past five years to $163.4 billion. Incomes have risen only 11.5 per cent.
Households are now carrying a debt level that is equivalent to 162 per cent of their annual disposable income – higher than the level reached before the global financial crisis.
Including property investment the total debt households owed as of April was $232.9 billion, according to the Reserve Bank.
Satish Ranchhod, a senior economist at Westpac Bank, says the main driver has been low interest rates.
“Continued low interest rates have sparked a sharp increase in household borrowing at a time when income growth has been very modest.”
And it’s housing loans where the growth has mainly come from.
Housing loan debt has risen 23.4 per cent to $132.83 billion. Student loans were up 22.9 per cent to $14.84 billion and consumer loans are up 16.6 per cent to $15.7 billion.
Y’ know, we have an election coming up later in the year, and all I seem to hear from the die-hard Kiwis is “National has got to go; Key & his ‘cronies’ have sold us out (to overseas investors)”!
And they’d be right, but there’s a far BIGGER issue going on here, if you take the time to dig deeper! Here’s what I see; this is MY view ….
Politics in Aotearoa has always been between TWO major parties – no different than almost every country in the world; that’s just the way it has ALWAYS been.
Yes – other smaller parties have come (& gone) & they have been more of a DISTRACTION than a help; and they serve to make people feel there ARE other alternatives, but there’s not – there’s left or right, (up or down, in or out) – that’s just how it is!
Third, fourth generation Kiwis have grown tired of the same old record playing the same old song…. we went backwards & forwards – National/Labour, Labour/National and it got to a stage where Labour was looking forward to having their turn again …..
Key did some VERY SERIOUS DAMAGE ….
Selling out to overseas investors, back-door deals – leaving faster than he came into the political arena; this WASN’T by chance; this is VERY ORCHESTRATED by very POWERFUL PEOPLE, something most can’t BEGIN to understand!
Polls (strategically held in specific areas) have been used by the media to manipulate the masses! If those polls were held in Otara (Auckland), Highbury (Palmerston North) or Aramoho (Whanganui), they would be SO DIFFERENT they wouldn’t be recognizable!
Seventy to eighty thousand immigrants (refugees) a year over the last few years – that wasn’t by chance either! THINK! Those who arrived since 2008, and have applied (& got) voting rights, WHO do you think they would vote for? – the party that brought/allowed them (& their families) here, or the other party?! Straight up …. and they’re PUSHING New Zealanders to take a minimum 50 thousand per annum; they are GUARANTEED VOTES for them (National). Who bites the hand that feeds them?! They (the NEW New Zealanders) would feel OBLIGATED to vote for National; most would see Aotearoa as “Club Med” compared to the countries they came from!
We can’t even accommodate our own, yet the “Government Depts. can’t help our new arrivals enough…. housing/benefits/medical/schooling/employment …. by chance?! – NOT ON YOUR NELLY!
Regardless of party policies, you will ALWAYS go to the ones you feel are your rescuers, and National know this; they RELY on it, and they will play it to the hilt!
And we will let them, because that’s how we roll …
Ask yourself, what do the Nats care about the homeless in NZ, about child poverty, about youth suicide? Under their terms we’ve seen those stats worsen to the point we’re the world’s worst at all of them! And so in that light the above opinion rings very true. Were they truly caring they would also be caring for their own. They’re not. As I repeat regularly, under their watch we have all these dubious stats of shame. They don’t even flinch about it. Business as usual. So the caring motive doesn’t hold water for me. And it’s not about Kiwis not caring for the needs of refugees. I’m sure most us do. The point here is, we’re deep in the mire with 42K homeless. Their doing. I have noticed, Herald’s published an article with the affirmation of no less than four other former NZ PMs on the need to welcome 500 new refugees now. So four other riders (of the same horse) agree. Very comforting. EnvirowatchRangitikei
Well congratulations Nat government/corporation, you’ve now put us on another dubious ‘honour’ list. Most homeless? Two homeless gentlemen recently dying in the winter cold even. Highest youth suicide. Highest child poverty. Well done John Key. Well done Bill English. You do us proud. What next are we going to excel in?
Who next can you simply kick to the curb with your boot that’s looking increasingly fascist these days? Twenty billion to weapons and war, and only one to housing? Whilst you land bank our state homes, 42K people sleep in tents, garages and cars. Your monetary priorities say it all. You’ve ushered in neo-liberalism on steroids. You’ve trashed not only the people but the environment as well. And what use is any economy with neither of those?
Social Housing Minister Amy Adams is rejecting an American University survey that puts New Zealand at the top of a list of developed countries for homelessness.
Yale University has released a list of developed countries ranked on the number of homeless people per capita – which has New Zealand at the top, followed by the Czech Republic and Australia.
It found about 40,000 people are either living on the street, in emergency housing, or shelter considered sub-standard.
The report does note that getting an accurate picture of homeless is challenging, because many countries define homelessness in different ways.
Ms Adams said the findings should be treated with a high degree of caution, as the survey did not have consistent comparisons from country to country.
“They’re not comparing apples with apples and to suggest that is our number of homeless is quite wrong.”
Join 10+K others and sign in support of Pike River families for re entry to the mine. Bill English is planning to seal it, so much for National’s promises. (And if you’re not a Kiwi go to our Pike River pages for further info on the mining disaster that took 29 lives).
“Twenty-nine men lost their lives when the Pike River mine exploded in 2010. The Government made all sorts of promises to do everything they could to get the boys back.
Instead, late last year, they started to permanently seal the mine without trying to recover any remains or evidence. That’s despite many international mining experts saying the drift – the 2.3km tunnel leading up to the mine – could be safely re-entered and may contain evidence and remains.
The Government wants to seal off Pike River and forget about it. But the families of the men killed there, their communities, and the majority of Kiwis won’t let Pike be forgotten.
Sign the open letter asking Prime Minister Bill English to do the right thing by the families of Pike River and work with them to recover the drift.”
As Bryan Bruce is pointing out here & I couldn’t agree more:
“The government doesn’t stop people climbing mountains because it is dangerous.
Nor does it hesitate to send volunteer New Zealander soldiers to fight in wars where they might get killed.
So the Prime Minister’s “responsibility for safety ” argument is a bit thin.
If qualified mine rescuers are willing to voluntarily enter the mine to see if they can recover any bodies or remains then it seems to me they should be allowed to do so.
The problem for the Government is commercial liability should anything in a recovery attempt go wrong.
I’m sure liability could be waived by the volunteers.
Click on the link below to sign an open letter to Bill English.
Please share to give others the chance to sign.”
Go HERE to sign
Rocket Lab is an American aerospace corporation launching out of New Zealand
Did you know that NZ now has a rocket base? This news seems to have flown under the radar for many. I only noticed it myself a month or so ago. The base is actually situated in Mahia on the East Coast of the North Island, however it was originally planned for the South Island at Kaitorete Spit near Christchurch, also near Birdling Flat and the Radar/Haarp Station there (more on NZ Haarp here and here). The length of time obtaining consents appears to have been the deciding factor about a change in tack. Rocket Lab noted one thing that prevented it from launching close to Christchurch which was the need for a cultural impact assessment from the council. A decision was made to locate the launch pad at Mahia instead. A cultural impact assessment (CIA) is …
“… a report documenting Māori cultural values, interests and associations with an area or a resource, and the potential impacts of a proposed activity on these. CIAs are a tool to facilitate meaningful and effective participation of Māori in impact assessment.”
Rocket Lab’s financial backers include Silicon Valley venture capitalists, Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 investment fund and Lockheed Martin. It has received up to $25 million of government funding over five years. SOURCE
The company of particular note there is Lockheed Martin:
Lockheed Martin is one of the largest companies in the aerospace, defense, security, and technologies industry. It is the world’s largest defense contractor based on revenue for fiscal year 2014. In 2013, 78% of Lockheed Martin’s revenues came from military sales; it topped the list of US federal government contractors and received nearly 10% of the funds paid out by the Pentagon. In 2009 US government contracts accounted for $38.4 billion (85%), foreign government contracts $5.8 billion (13%), and commercial and other contracts for $900 million (2%).
Last November (2016) saw the ‘celebration’ of the NZ Navy’s 75th year.
The launch pad is stated in the following article to be, environmentally friendly, which is heartening indeed given our environment that masquerades as ‘clean and green’ still is in reality pretty much trashed. And regarding partnership with the world’s “largest defense contractor, let’s not kid ourselves, can never be termed ‘friendly’ in any sense of the word, given the carnage we are witnessing daily in terms of civilian deaths, if you happen to read alternative media that is. The US is a nation that has taken defense to its ‘finest’, witness the armchair ‘warriors’ who expunge families with small children from thousands of miles away with drones. Lest you think I am being too harsh on these entrepreneurial people who will no doubt be supplying jobs to local folk (the usual candy cum rationale proffered by corporations) the deciding factor for me is the funding from the said weapons corporation. They won’t be helping fund this because they’re really keen to supply Gisborne locals with employment. We all know this is not the way of corporations. Neither will the Government/corporation be … corporations are about profits not people. If the Government really had a mind to help people they would not make hard working families on minimum wage pay more tax than themselves. Neither would they let corporations off with tax. To see how much they are let off watch Bryan Bruce’s ‘Mind the Gap’ doco on child poverty.
Mainstream media tends to not overly highlight the deaths of little children and their parents in the many global conflicts. It gives war a bad name and they, including our Government/corporation, prefer to re frame and name it as ‘defense’. This is what John Key committed $20 billion of your money to last year (Kiwis) … not war … ‘defense’. They are defending us from Isis and similar terrorist threats that their friends in the US helped to create. And the US’s Madeleine Albright thinks the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was still “worth it”. The British Royals are not averse to trading in weapons either.
Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest weapons manufacturer and supplier to such regimes as Saudi Arabia, a country that today stands accused of using these very weapons to commit war crimes.
NZ Herald 14.06.2016
On Tuesday 27 September 2016 a member of the public in Wairoa expressed concerns at the Wairoa District Council meeting:
The person “…..enquired as to when the first rocket will be launched and what assurances Council has that satellites launched won’t be used for spying or military activities…. Rocket Lab has installed the launch platform at the private orbital launch under development on Māhia Peninsula. The installation of the almost 50 ton platform is the final major step in preparing the site for the arrival of the first electron launch vehicle, scheduled to be tested in the coming months. The New Zealand Government has announced the development of a new regulatory regime for space and high altitude activities. It will ensure the development of a peaceful, safe, responsible and secure space industry that meets New Zealand’s international obligations.” SOURCE
Now that should put all of our minds at rest. The NZ Govt “will ensure the development of a peaceful, safe, responsible and secure space industry that meets New Zealand’s international obligations.”
Nothing to see here ….
Anyway, that said, here is an article from 2015 on the launch pad:
The company proposing a rocket launch pad on Canterbury’s coast says it is committed to protecting the environment.
Rocket Lab’s proposed site on Kaitorete Spit was officially unveiled this morning in front of Prime Minister John Key and representatives from the Department of Conservation.
You may well be asking, why a rocket launch pad?
“Rocket Lab’s mission is to remove the barriers to commercial space by providing frequent launch opportunities to low Earth orbit. Since its creation in 2006 by Peter Beck, Rocket Lab has delivered a range of complete rocket systems and technologies for fast and affordable payload deployment.”
View a video of the blessing of the site in 2015 from the Gisborne Herald:
“THE final frontier could be conquered as early as next June, when Rocket Lab expects to begin launching test rockets into space from its Mahia Peninsula site. For Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck, launching his first 16m Electron rocket into space from what will be the world’s first commercial orbital launch site is a life-long dream.”
On Saturday the remote site on Onenui Station was blessed and the lease agreement signed between Rocket Lab and the landowners — representatives of Tawapata South Incorporation.
So we in NZ are now third highest in the developed world for child poverty. We had 41K homeless last time I looked, and 33K empty homes in Auckland belonging to people who don’t even live here. This is the way of Neo-Lib economics. It doesn’t care about children, it doesn’t care about families, it doesn’t care about the vulnerable. NZ has spent $25 million on this pad, the country that is now a haven for the rich who seek to escape the fallout from their oppressive economic activity… and in light of all that, a rocket launch pad is great news. It really reminds me of a recent meme I saw. A politician leans in to a sleeping homeless man and says … “wake up … I’ve got a tax break for you”.
Header image credit: Wikipedia
As Key, is apparently swanning off with his family to Hawaii tomorrow following his shock resignation, likely deserting the ship he’s helped sink, let’s reflect on our ‘esteemed’ leader’s honesty or lack thereof for the past terms we’ve had him installed with his wrecking ball. He wasn’t a banker for nothing. Our post war leaders will be turning in their graves.
“Yep, its that time again when readers are reminded of some of the lies John Key told in the lead-up to and in the seven years since his National Ltd™ came to power. No doubt there will be a bunch more lies to be added later today when John Key presents his “State Of The Nation” address and, in doing so, further bolsters his legacy as the most dishonest Prime Minister New Zealand has ever had. So, from the top . . .
This is a repost of this article. Timely as in HNZ has just announced they’ll be shortly out of funds. No surprizes! Why if these people have degrees in accountancy are they running us into the ground peeps? Do check out the links recommended in the older article here (Agenda 21 and Banking), and read about the new debacle here.
The Prime Minister John Key announced earlier this year that he intended to sell off 1000 to 2000 of NZ’s state houses. Large numbers of these homes were built by the first Labour government in 1935 and as of 2013 the stock numbered 69,000. That era had marked the birth of our welfare state and the tenants of the first house that was finished and let in 1937, paid just one third of their income in rent. Fifty years later we had the Labour government promising to remain involved in NZ’s housing market, then with the event of Rogernomics and Roger Douglas’s neo liberal economic policies (the new economic ‘experiment’ that benefited those at the top of the capitalist pyramid and launched the ever increasing gap between rich and poor) rents were raised to market rates. Tenants could then apply for a government subsidy called an accommodation benefit, effectively subsidizing the landlords. By 1997, 60 years later, tenants were paying three quarters of their income in rent. The welfare state in NZ, having officially begun with the Social Security Act in 1938 and the state ensuring every New Zealand family had at least a minimum standard of living, was now descending rapidly into an abyss of debt and for many, poverty. We’ve effectively gone from free milk in schools to kids with no lunch at all.
In a recent article by Bryan Bruce, advocate for NZ’s children in poverty, and maker of the documentaries ‘Mind the Gap’ and ‘Inside Child Poverty‘, some interesting questions are raised, questions many New Zealanders have also been asking. Questions like why is the Key government selling off our state housing stock, especially when thousands of families have nowhere to live? NZ is in fact experiencing a housing crisis, described by the Salvation Army as an ‘unfolding social disaster’. On the one hand we have soaring house prices in Auckland that have so inflated the market few can afford them, and on the other, according to Auckland’s City Mission estimates, the numbers of people sleeping rough in Auckland for the year 2013-2014 virtually doubled.
The NZ Parliament website states that a “2013 University of Otago study using 2001 and 2006 Census figures and emergency housing data estimated that 12,900-21,100 dwellings would be needed to house the 2006 severely housing deprived population. These were in addition to housing required to address other forms of need, and underlying demand”.
In total, “An estimated 34,000 people, or about one in every 120 New Zealanders, were unable to access housing” in that year (University of Otago Monday, 23 September 2013).
“A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”
~ Mahatma Ghandi
Now it gets interesting. The usual rationale proffered for asset sales since they began with Rogernomics, have been ‘to get us out of debt’ or ‘save us money’, giving the impression they are no longer breaking even let alone making a profit. Bruce however reveals that the HNZ corporation has in fact been making a very healthy profit (links in his article). Clearly it would be more prudent to keep this asset.
Further facts Bruce highlights are:
Bruce raises questions like, where did those profits go? Why have they not reinvested the profits into the housing stock? Why sell housing stock in the regions when they are presumably encouraging folks to move to the regions? (Agenda 21 maybe? … the real plan for UN’s Agenda 21 aka Sustainable Development is to have populations relocated out of rural and into urban areas).
You may not be aware of this, but NZ is a corporation. Our country is listed on the Securities and Exchange Commission website as a corporation under the name of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Most will be aware that corporations are required to turn a profit … to maximize profits is their legal mandate. They are not about, nor are they required to be about the welfare of people. (Watch two minute movie trailer for ‘The Corporation’ below).
So as our corporation steams along at full speed, rapidly selling off both our country and its assets, those who head it up are giving us the impression they govern as elected representatives of the people. In a sense they do but their real agenda, their corporate bottom line, is hidden from view. Corporations if you study them, and as the above trailer illustrates quite succinctly, are not required to consider the effects their economic activities have on people. I strongly urge you to watch the full documentary on ‘The Corporation’ page. You will then be joining some dots and making sense of what is really happening in our midst. As long as we remain a corporation, poverty will not disappear. The welfare state has always existed merely to give capitalism a human face. That capitalism is now shamelessly profit driven and the human face is disappearing fast.
Check out the links and see for yourself where and how we are listed on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website here.
See our Money pages for more info & links, &/or search categories for further related articles (at left of any page).
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Featured image: “State houses at Arapuni Hydro Works” by Archives New Zealand – State houses at Arapuni Hydro Works. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:State_houses_at_Arapuni_Hydro_Works.jpg#/media/File:State_houses_at_Arapuni_Hydro_Works.jpg
Here is a sign posted by a Taumaranui resident who had their locked meter box broken into to install a Smart Meter (aka Advanced Meter). As you can see the response they said they got from the lines people when following this up was equally as telling… “we own you people”!
While it appears little known that there are options for having these meters removed and replaced, it also seems that Taumaranui has only one supplier. This makes things more difficult in terms of no bargaining power. The use of the term ‘jack boot’ is therefore not that extreme given the whole scenario and the way these folks have been treated. It is all symptomatic of the direction our country is headed with an ex-banker for a Prime Minister who clearly places profits and corporate interests above the interests of his constituents.
What is especially disturbing about this event (and it’s not an isolated incident, I’ve heard myself of installations happening while folk were not home) is that in the comments and discussion around this, many others have been similarly treated. The repeated tale of outrageous hikes in charges, one for instance from $100 to $150 approx. plus the Nelson woman last year who received a bill for $800 for her two bedroom house! And this is something I’ve both read about & heard, time and time again. We are fed the line that the meters are more accurate and customers have been undercharged prior to Smart Meter installation. Not to the tune of a $1000 hike? Surely? … yet this is what I’ve heard more than once. A difference of $20 is feasible but not $600 or more. See here a proposed explanation for these hikes by a retired electrical engineer.
“…over 250 people have commented with some saying they had similar experiences with unexpectedly large power bills and problems after the installation of smart meters.” Stuff.co.nz
Disturbing also is the detail about the elderly turning off their hot water in order to buy food or not turning on any heating because they can’t pay. Again I know of this happening in my district (the Rangitikei) where an elderly person is being charged $150 and upwards in a tiny flat with few if any appliances operating. She has switched off the hot water, has no heater and goes to bed early to keep warm. And finally, the above sign and the comments corroborate that folk are being pressured to leave the district because of the costs. ‘The town is dying’ says the sign.
Now,on that topic, we have been led to believe for years that towns are dying because people somehow mysteriously allowed it. They all moved away. We even had a prominent economist telling us recently that they were zombie towns and pretty much had to go. Well, people left because of decisions made by our respective governments to close down amenities and resources like the hospitals, pharmacies and banking. I know … I remember it happening! It was about the time those governments had borrowed large sums of money and gotten a once prosperous and fully employed nation into un-repayable debt, followed by Rogernomics and belt tightening for the poorer folks, not the wealthy mind. And the former being blamed for the debt while corporations enjoy huge tax breaks. And now this from the power companies and we were told privatizing them would lower prices. Competition, the market and all that. We’re still waiting nearly three decades on. On that note, check out our (UN) Agenda 21/2030 pages for why all this is happening. Particularly Agenda 21/2030 in NZ. Watch the video there by former Australian politician Anne Bressington.
As this sign very perceptively outlines folk, we are being ripped off and our southern clean, green paradise is fast morphing into a fascist regime. Think, TPPA and all that has entailed in terms of keeping us out of the loop then claiming to seek our feedback/opinion/input. Their tactics provide the illusion of having sought our opinion … it is nothing more folks, in case you hadn’t already noticed. See how they provide you with forms containing multi choice options none of which you wanted to choose anyway? Like the recently proposed flag debacle that has cost the country $28 million. Shame.
Returning now to the Smart Meters themselves, be aware, they are NOT compulsory. If you already have one, there are options about its removal and replacement. (If you don’t have one yet, inform your powerco you do not consent to one … in writing … in advance). For further information on that Kiwis, visit stopsmartmeters.org.nz/ and note they have a page there explaining how to get rid of a Smart Meter. The meters are also known here as Advanced Meters. (Folks from other countries, there are similar sites in your countries, just google.)
You should also be aware that health professionals have warned about the health risks these meters carry. Predictably the authorities deny this, however the stopsmartmeters website has already logged before and after testimonies from Kiwis who had their Smart Meters removed. See also the links here for further information on that, with a video trailer featuring a health professional explaining the effects from long term exposure to a Smart Meter. See also in this video what the meters when in proximity do to your blood. Above all, educate yourself further by watching the award winning doco Take Back Your Power by Josh Del Sol at his website. It is accessible for a very small charge. Or consider holding a viewing in your town (contact stopsmartmeters for details). Further info on Smart Meters is also available on our Smart Meter pages. Spread the word and resist this move.