Keep left, obey speech limit

August 9, 2018

Nominating Garrick Tremain for Cartoonist of the Year on the strength of this:

You can see more of his cartoons here.



e-mob for Roxburgh children’s village

May 29, 2018

Southern mayors are asking people to join an e-mob today to save Roxburgh children’s village.

Message from Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan: the people of the South are being asked to join in an e-mob protest (possibly the first of its kind) to get the message that failing to increase funding so the Roxburgh Children’s Village can remain operating is unacceptable to the people of the South.

Those who care about the Village and the children and families of the South that have used its services since 1949 are asked to join an “e-mob” protest, sending the very poignant Garrick Tremain cartoon (with his permission) to Jacinda Ardern this Tuesday 29 May.

The cartoon attached (is available and instructions for where to email it by emailing

May 29 has been chosen as it is one month until the doors close on the Village. It is very important that you know that the residential therapeutic service that the Village offers will no longer be available to the children of the South, while it does remain in place for other parts of New Zealand. This is service by geography at its worst.

May 29 is also the anniversary of Mabel Howard being made our first female Cabinet Minister in 1949. Ironically, she was made Minister of Health and Children’s Welfare.

The cartoon (is available and instructions for where to email it by emailing

No automatic alt text available.

Everyone who sends the cartoon is asked to email: so an accurate count of support can be made.

The ODT answers questions about the village and the service it provides for children in desperate need here.

Down but . . .

September 27, 2014

Cartoon of the week:

knock out

For a bigger image and more of Garrick Tremain’s wonderful cartoons click here.


Waiting at the alter

March 29, 2014

Cartoon of the week:










Liberation has more on the dotbomb issue here.

Diving into debt

February 3, 2014

One of the biggest priorities of the next government, whatever its colour, should be to use predicted surpluses to pay down debt as quickly as possible.

But Labour hasn’t learned from its profligate spending during the noughties.

Its promises so far show it will be diving into our pockets through higher taxes to  pay for its higher spending.

The inevitable consequence of that is diving into higher debt – private and public.


New driver wanted

December 2, 2011

Cartoon of the year from New Zealand’s best cartoonist, Garrick Tremain:

Phil Goff was blamed for most of Labour’s problems but he was handicapped from the start by the legacy of the Clark years and her resignation on election night.

Goff delayed the announcement of his resignation by days and it won’t take effect for a couple of weeks but his successor will be in just as difficult a position as he was.

It will take a lot more than a new leader to get the party going anywhere and a lot more to get it going somewhere that members and voters want to go.

P.S.  Tremain isn’t part of the VRWC.

Those of us fortunate enough to see his regular contributions in the ODT know he casts his pen and his wit across the political spectrum.

You’ll find his cartoons, paintings and books on his website.

Long term benefit dependency not good for individuals or society

August 15, 2010

Does anyone really believe that long term benefit dependency is good for either the people receiving them or society?

Judging from the howls of anguish which have met the release of the Welfare Working Group’s summary paper some people do otherwise they wouldn’t be so upset at the prospect of addressing the problem.

Nobody is suggesting that benefits shouldn’t be available to offer short term assistance for people in temporary need. Nor is anyone suggesting people who are unable to work because of health issues or other circumstances beyond their control should not get long term assistance.

The problem is people who could work to support themselves and don’t.

They’re the ones, which Garrick Tremain portrayed so well, taking welfare not as a safety net but a hammock.

I can remember reporting on second generation beneficiaries nearly 30 years ago, by now some families must have the third or even fourth generation on benefits.

One of the reasons people choose state asistance rather than work is, as Lindsay Mitchell points out, they get more money than thy could earn in wages.

It must be galling for people on in low-paid work to know that some of the tax which comes out of their pay contributes to keeping people who get more in welfare than they earn.

There are no quick and easy solutions to the problem, but economic growth will help. More better paid jobs would ensure those in work are better off than they’d be on benefits.

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