Living better lives

November 7, 2019

National’s welfare proposals have been condemned as beneficiary bashing by the usual suspects, but the party’s welfare spokeswoman Louise Upston says their aim is to help people live better lives:

. . .When people are in need, it’s important we support them to get back on their feet and give them a hand-up. We believe there should always be a safety net for Kiwis who need it. . . 

A safety net for those in need should not be confused with a hammock for those who could but don’t support themselves.

 At the heart of our policy proposal is the Social Investment approach. The previous National Government designed it, and it transformed lives – using data to identify the best ways we can solve the problems faced by Kiwis. Underpinning it all is the idea that the best interventions are the earliest ones.

This approach targeted spending, often at a greater initial cost but with a much lower long-term cost and it worked.

We know that families are the best form of welfare we have, so in helping families, we’re helping all Kiwis to live better lives.

That’s why National’s committed to investing in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. We know that not all mums and dads feel prepared for what life as a parent will bring, so we’ve proposed a range of ways we can support young parents.

Whether that’s more home visits for all families in the first six months, or a focus on intensive home visits for vulnerable young mums who are at risk, we want to ensure we’re supporting families as they navigate their first moments with a new baby.

Plunket nurses used to visit all homes with new babies every week at first then gradually reducing the visits unless there was a need for more. There was no stigma attached as because visits were universal.

That’s why we’ve committed to giving all new mums a guaranteed three day stay in a hospital or postnatal facility just after giving birth, and why we want to change parental leave so parents can take it at the same time, for the whole family to help each other out and bond in those early days.

By getting Kiwi kids off to the best possible start, we’re giving New Zealanders the best chance to reach their full potential.

Better starts for babies improve their chances of better lives and provide a foundation for happier fmailies.

We’re looking for solutions that break cycles of poverty and tackle the root causes, not just the symptoms of disadvantage. We want to measure the success of those solutions using targets. Targets work, ensuring clear, focussed goals on positive outcomes for Kiwis.

When we introduced targets for immunisation, rates went up. We introduced targets for the number of people achieving NCEA level 2, and the numbers went up. We know targets are effective.

This Government scrapped targets – but we’ll reintroduce them so that we can help more and more New Zealanders to live better lives.

Targets are about spending taxpayers’ money responsibly – and we believe in spending taxpayers’ money responsibly. We wouldn’t have social welfare at all without the hard work of New Zealanders every single day, paying their taxes.

National believes work is the best route out of poverty, through the security of a regular pay cheque and the chance of career development. Children do better when their parents are in work, and parents do better too.

A relatively few people have health problems which mean they will never be able to work. But those who could work, should work and those who need it should be given help to be work ready and secure employment.

National is committed to having the right mix of obligations and sanctions, so that those who can work, do work, with all the opportunities that brings. We want to reduce the number of children in benefit-dependent households.

We want to hear your feedback on how we can best support New Zealanders, ensure taxpayers’ money is spent responsibly and give all New Zealanders the opportunity to live better lives. Please have your say at www.national.org.nz/social_services.

Sir Apirana Ngata’s prediction that welfare would destroy Maori has become true but not just for Maori.

The statistics are clear, people in work are much likelier to live better lives than those on benefits.

The government must look after the most vulnerable but it also has a responsibility to help those who could look after themselves to do so.


Rural round-up

February 19, 2016

600 apple pickers wanted now – Ryan Bridge:

Are you looking for a job? Or do you know anyone who is?

There are 600 vacancies for apple pickers in one orchard in the Hawke’s Bay right now.

It’s a three-month picking season and this is only one orchard.

Another orchard down the road needs another 120 workers in the next two weeks and it even offers to give you a ride to work. . . 

Spot-on breakthrough – Karen Bailey:

IMAGINE if you could cut your herbicide, insecticide and fungicide bill by using as much as 99 per cent less chemical. 

That’s the claim by an English research company working on the development of an intelligent sprayer that can recognise specific weeds, insects and diseases in agricultural crops.

There are already a few targeted droplet dispensing systems on the Australian market that can do this with varying success, but Cambridge Consultants claims its sprayer features new generation technology that has been transferred across from its medical product development team.  . . 

Creating a new blueprint for hill country farming – Gerald Piddock:

Dan Steele has a vision for New Zealand agriculture. 

It’s a vision where farmers produce high-valued goods that sell the country’s environmental image to the world.

But to succeed, it means a radical shift from the traditional production-per-hectare model that has been New Zealand’s mainstay for the past 100 years. . . 

Big station aims for shepherd Lexie – Amanda Saxton:

Cambridge-raised Alexia Phillips – known as Lexie – came to Otiwhiti a skilled horsewoman but with little else in the way of farming nous. Last year she graduated as both top academic and top cadet from Otiwhiti’s agricultural training school.

A buddy going shepherding while Lexie was still at Hamilton’s Hillcrest High spurred her to sign up at the 3250 hectare station near Hunterville.

“Hearing about my friend’s experiences made me think ‘oh, that could be a bit of me’,” the 18-year-old said. . . 

Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced:

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have congratulated this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy competition finalists, celebrating excellence in Māori farming.

The three finalists are Tahu a Tao farm in Rakaia near Ashburton, Te Ahu Pātiki and Maukatere near Oxford in Canterbury and Tewi Trust in Okoroire near Tirau.

“I commend these finalists for their sheer hard work and fulfilling a legacy left by Sir Apirana Ngata, who helped introduce the competition which encourages proficiency and skills in Māori farming,” says Mr Flavell. . . 

Major Events Fund invests in the World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships 2017:

The Government is investing $260,000 through the Major Events Development Fund in the Golden Shears World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships to be held in Invercargill from 9 – 11 February 2017.

Participants and spectators from over 30 countries are expected to attend the iconic event, with competitors travelling from as far as the Falkland Islands and Isle of Man to compete.

Devorah Blumberg, Manager of New Zealand Major Events, says New Zealand is known worldwide for its thriving agricultural sector. . . 

Farmer leaders sought for DairyNZ board:

Aspiring directors are being sought for DairyNZ’s Board of Directors.

Farmer leaders are encouraged to apply for two associate director roles which provide an invaluable opportunity to see governance in action.

DairyNZ chair Michael Spaans says the associate directors must be dairy farmers who want to move beyond their farm and into industry leadership.

“We will be looking for candidates who can demonstrate a commitment to their personal and governance development,” says Michael. . . 

Owl Farm focus day a valuable resource:

How will changing health and safety legislation affect your farm? Are empty rates higher than normal this season on dairy farms? And what alternatives are there to chicory for summer cropping? These key dairy industry topics and more will be discussed on Wednesday 2 March at Owl Farm’s first farm focus day for 2016.

Owl Farm, the St Peter’s School and Lincoln University Demonstration Dairy Farm, will host guest speakers from Fegan & Co, LIC and PGG Wrightson Seeds. Owl Farm Manager Tom Buckley will give an update on the season so far and give examples from Owl Farm to illustrate the issues at hand. . . 

Hat tip: Utopia


July 14 in history

July 14, 2010

On July 14:

1223 Louis VIII became King of France upon the death of his father, Philip II of France.

1698 The Darien scheme began with five ships, bearing about 1,200 people, departing Leith for the Isthmus of Panama.

 

1769 The de Portolá Expedition established a base in California, and set out to find the Port of Monterey.

Point of San Francisco Bay Discovery

1771 Foundation of the Mission San Antonio de Padua  by the Franciscan friar Junípero Serra.

Mission San Antonio de Padua

1789  French Revolution: Citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille and free seven prisoners.

Prise de la Bastille.jpg

1790  French Revolution: Citizens of Paris celebrated the constitutional monarchy and national reconciliation in the Fête de la Fédération.

 

1791  The Priestley Riots drove  Joseph Priestley, a supporter of the French Revolution, out of Birmingham, England.

Burning three-story house, surrounded by a mob. People are throwing things out of the windows and belongings are scattered on the street. 

1798  The Sedition Act became law in the United States making it a federal crime to write, publish, or utter false or malicious statements about the government.

 1834  James Abbott McNeill Whistler, American painter (d. 1903).

1858  Emmeline Pankhurst, English suffragette (d. 1928)

 

1865  First ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper and party, four of whom died on the descent.

 

 1868  Gertrude Bell, English archaeologist, writer, spy, and administrator, was born (d. 1926).

 

1872 Albert Marque, French sculptor and doll maker, was born (d. 1939).

 1881 Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Pat Garrett outside Fort Sumner.

1853 New Zealand’s first general election began.

NZ's first general election begins

1900 Armies of the Eight-Nation Alliance captured Tientsin during the Boxer Rebellion.

Boxer Rebellion.jpg

1902 The Campanile in St Mark’s Square, Venice collapsed, also demolishing the loggetta.

 

1903 Irving Stone, American writer, was born (d. 1989).

The Agony and the Ecstasy.JPG

1910 William Hanna, American animator, was born  (d. 2001).

1911  Terry-Thomas, British actor, was born  (d. 1990).

1912 Woody Guthrie, American folk musician, was born (d. 1967).

1913 Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States, was born (d. 2006).

 
A man in a suit sits, arms folded, in front of a United States Flag and the Presidential seal.

1916 Start of the Battle of Delville Wood as an action in the Battle of the Somme.

Monochrome image on newsprint type paper. Pen and charcoal sketch of multiple= 

1918  Ingmar Bergman, Swedish film and theatre director, was born (d. 2007).

1921 – Leon Garfield, English children’s author, was born (d. 1996).

1924 – James W. Black, Scottish pharmacologist, Nobel laureate, was born.

1928 Nancy Olson, American actress, was born.

1930 Polly Bergen, American actress, was born.

1933 Gleichschaltung: In Germany, all political parties were outlawed except the Nazi Party.

Flag of Nazi Germany

1940 Susan Howatch, English author, was born.

1943  The George Washington Carver National Monument became the first United States National Monument in honor of an African American.

 

1948  Palmiro Togliatti, leader of the Italian Communist Party, was shot near the Italian Parliament.

1950 Sir Apirana Ngata died.

Death of Sir Apirana Ngata

1958  Iraqi Revolution:  the monarchy was overthrown by popular forces lead by Abdul Karim Kassem, who becomes the nation’s new leader.

1965  The Mariner 4 flyby of Mars took the first close-up photos of another planet.

Mariner 3 and 4.jpg

1969  Football War: after Honduras lost a soccer match against El Salvador rioting broke out in Honduras against Salvadoran migrant workers.

1969  The United States $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills were officially withdrawn from circulation.

 

1992  386BSD was released by Lynne Jolitz and William Jolitz beginning the Open Source Operating System Revolution.

386BSD installer screenshot.png

2000 A powerful solar flare, later named the Bastille Day event, causef a geomagnetic storm.

 

2002  French President Jacques Chirac escaped an assassination attempt unscathed during Bastille Day celebrations.

2003  The United States Government admitted the existence of “Area 51“.

Wfm area 51 landsat geocover 2000.jpg

2007  Russia withdrew from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


July 14 in history

July 14, 2009

On July 14:

 1789 French citizens stormed the Bastille.


Prise de la Bastille, by Jean-Pierre-Louis-Laurent Houel

1853 New Zealand’s first general election began.

1865 Edward Whymper made the first ascent of the Matterhorn

1950 Sir Apirana Ngata died.

Apirana Ngata

Sir Apirana Ngata, circa 1905. (Photo: Wikipedia)


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