If the aim was publicity, it worked.
Several critics of the Maori Party, including Mana leader Hone Harawira, are telling it to distance itself from National.
The party is quite rightly saying it will keep its commitment to support the government until the next election.
. . .Co-leader Tariana Turia says the party will stand by National for the rest of this term of Government, but won’t say who it might work with after 2014.
Te Ururoa Flavell says the party will consult its supporters after the election before making any commitments to other political parties.
Critics don’t realise, or don’t want to understand, that the Maori Party votes against the government more often than not.
However, it votes with it when it matters, on confidence and supply, and a few key areas which are consistent with its philosophy.
Keeping its options open after the next election puts it in a position of power which Mana and the Green Party don’t have because they won’t support National.
The Maori Party strategy is the sensible one for a party which wants to make a difference rather than one like Mana which just wants to make news.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says:
“The investment approach will allow us to provide more individualised support to people, with a particular focus on those at risk of long-term dependence.”
Replacing a complex system of seven categories, including the DPB, Unemploymetn and Sickness benefits are:
Jobseeker Support for those actively seeking and available for work
Sole Parent Support for sole parents with children under 14 years
Supported Living Payment for people significantly restricted by sickness, injury or disability.
“New Zealanders should know the changes mean we’ll go from having less than 50,000 people on the old Unemployment Benefit to nearly 130,000 on Jobseeker Support, as it now includes former Sickness Beneficiaries.”
Jobseekers will have work expectations set depending on their capacity – full time, part time or temporarily exempt through short-term illness for example.
From October 2012, changes for sole parent beneficiaries introduced expectations to be available for part-time work when their youngest is school-age and full-time work when their youngest turns 14.
“Like most New Zealanders, I think that’s absolutely reasonable and more importantly, it’s making a difference to sole parents and their children as already 9,000 sole parents have gone off welfare into work.”
From tomorrow new social obligations also come into effect which require all beneficiary parents to ensure their children:
attend 15 hours a week in ECE from 3-5yrs
attend school from age five or six
enrol with a PHO, Integrated Family Health Centre or GP
complete WellChild/Tamariki Ora checks
The changes also require anyone with work expectations to be drug-free, and benefits can now be stopped if people fail to clear outstanding arrest warrants.
“Over 40 per cent of jobs advertised with Work and Income require a drug test. We’ll expect people to be able to pass a test for those available jobs.”
Specialised Youth Services for teens and teen parents, with the Youth Payment and Young Parent Payment, have been in place since last August.
“Community providers have been working intensively with these young people, helping them navigate what can feel like a pretty daunting world, helping them with paying bills, budgeting and parenting and education.”
“Benefit rates will remain unchanged and there will be extra support for those who want to work but need more help to get them ready,” says Mrs Bennett.
A work bonus is also available from July 15 as an incentive for those who decide to work even though they do not have work expectations.”
National campaigned on all of these welfare reforms and is delivering on those promises to New Zealanders.
Few would question the need to help people who find themselves in temporary need of support and to provide long term help for those who need it.
The problem is that for too long too many people who could be working have been left to languish on benefits without any real expectation that they should be working.
Helping people become employable and find work is better for them and better everyone else.
Would that statement be any more believable than his declaration that he wouldn’t be seduced by the baubles of office in 2005?
Does anyone remember a sign with the word no?
Labour leader David Shearer has announced a new policy aimed at ensuring gender equality everywhere.
“The man ban furore got me thinking,” he said.
“The problem wasn’t that it was a step too far, it was that it was several strides too short.
“It’s not enough to ensure equal numbers of men and women in parliament, we need equal numbers everywhere.”
Mr Shearer said people had been focussing on areas where women are under-represented but no-one had paid any attention to areas where they were over-represented.
“It’s not just that there are not enough women in some occupations and callings, it’s that there are too many in others.
Mr Shearer said centuries of feminism have failed because it hasn’t gone far enough.
“It’s not enough to get women where they want to be. We have to get men where women are, whether they want to or not.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into trying to redress the balance in endeavours which have a preponderance of men but none at all in ensuring we address the problem areas where there is a preponderance of women.
He said men are still a tiny minority in many occupations which have traditionally been regarded as women’s.
“How man men do you find in schools, pre-schools and child care centres? There are plenty of male doctors but not many male nurses and even fewer male midwives. How many men do you know who are receptionists, PAs, cleaners or tea ladies?
“And where there are men in those roles, they still face problems with acceptance and aspersions cast on their masculinity.
“What message does that send? It says that all of this is women’s work and therefore somehow less worthy and less valued than work which has traditionally been the preserve of men.
“If we want real equality and not just tokenism it’s not enough to get women doing men’s work, we’ve got to get men doing women’s work.
“We need to get men out of big rigs and into kindies. They’ll have to lay down their wrenches and pick up manicure sets, stop making the messes and start cleaning them up.”
“It’s the 21st century and there’s still too many people who discriminate between his work and hers. That won’t be solved by just getting women into roles which used to be regarded as man’s we’ve got to get men into positions that are still regarded as women’s.
Mr Shearer said he wasn’t suggesting the imposition of quotas but he’d be instructing his colleagues to hire only male PAs.
“We have to start somewhere and we must lead by example.
“I’m not anticipating any resistance to the idea but if there is I’ll just have to get out my inner bad arse.
1240 A Novgorodian army led by Alexander Nevsky defeated the Swedes in the Battle of the Neva.
1410 Battle of Grunwald: allied forces of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated the army of the Teutonic Order.
1573 Inigo Jones, English architect, was born (d. 1652).
1606 Rembrandt, Dutch artist, was born (d. 1669).
1685 James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth was executed at Tower Hill after his defeat at the Battle of Sedgemoor.
1741 Alexei Chirikov sighted land in Southeast Alaska and sent men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.
1779 Clement Clarke Moore, American educator, author, and poet, was born (d. 1863).
1789 Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, was named by acclamation colonel-general of the new National Guard of Paris.
1815 Napoléon Bonaparte surrendered aboard HMS Bellerophon.
1823 A fire destroyed the ancient Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
1838 Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacted with outrage.
1850 Mother Cabrini, Italian-born Catholic saint, was born (d. 1917).
1870 Reconstruction era of the United States: Georgia became the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.
1870 Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory were transferred to Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories were established from these territories.
1870 The Kingdom of Prussia and the Second French Empire started the Franco-Prussian War.
1888 The stratovolcano Mount Bandai erupted killing approximately 500 people.
1905 Dorothy Fields, American librettist and lyricist, was born (d. 1974).
1906 Rudolf “Rudi” Uhlenhaut, German automotive engineer and test driver (Mercedes Benz), was born (d. 1989).
1911 Edward Shackleton, English explorer, ws born (d. 1994).
1914 Akhtar Hameed Khan, pioneer of Microcredit in developing countries, was born (d. 1999).
1914 Hammond Innes, English writer, was born (d. 1998).
1918 World War I: the Second Battle of the Marne began near the River Marne with a German attack.
1918 – Joan Roberts, American actress, was born.
1919 Iris Murdoch, Irish writer, was born (d. 1999).
1920 The Polish Parliament establishes Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship before the Polish-German plebiscite.
1926 Leopoldo Galtieri, Argentine dictator, was born (d. 2003).
1927 Massacre of July 15, 1927: 89 protesters were killed by the Austrian police in Vienna.
1929 First weekly radio broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir radio show, Music and the Spoken Word.
1931 Clive Cussler, American author, was born.
1933 Jack Lovelock’s set a world record for a mile run at Princeton University, beating the old record for the mile, held by Jules Ladoumegue, by almost two seconds. It was dubbed the ‘greatest mile of all time’ by Time Magazine.
1934 Continental Airlines commenced operations.
1943 Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Irish astrophysicist, was born.
1946 Linda Ronstadt, American singer, was born.
1946 Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, was born.
1947 Peter Banks, British guitarist (Yes), was born.
1954 First flight of the Boeing 367-80, prototype for both the Boeing 707 and C-135 series.
1955 Eighteen Nobel laureates signed the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by thirty-four others.
1956 Marky Ramone, American musician (Ramones), was born.
1959 The steel strike of 1959 began, leading to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history.
1979 U.S.President Jimmy Carter gave his famous “malaise” speech, where he characterised the greatest threat to the country as “this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.”
1983 The Orly airport attack in Paris left 8 people dead and 55 injured.
1996 A Belgian Air Force C-130 Hercules carrying the Royal Netherlands Army marching band crashed on landing at Eindhoven Airport.
2002 Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan handed down the death sentence to British born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and life terms to three others suspected of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
2003 AOL Time Warner disbanded Netscape Communications Corporation. The Mozilla Foundation was established on the same day.
2009 – Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashed in northwestern Iran, killing all 153 aboard.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia