The National MP Sam Uffindell has been stood down from the party's caucus while further allegations of bullying raised by RNZ are investigated. A female flatmate of Uffindell's from his University days, in 2003, says she was bullied and intimidated so badly she was forced to flee for her own safety. Uffindell denies the allegations, saying a number of flatmates fell out during his second year at university, but he rejects accusations his behaviour was intimidatory or bullying. National Party leader Christopher Luxon says an independent inquiry will be done by Maria Dew QC, over the next two weeks. Terms of reference for the inquiry will be decided today. Political commentator Brigitte Morten spoke to Guyon Espiner.
This is as bad for Sam Uffindell and it is bad for National. Sam Uffindell has admitted today that he was a bully at school and this was not an isolated incident. It was the worst of its kind he says but there are others who might also reveal publicly that he assaulted them. Of course he shouldn't' be punished as a 38 year old for what he did as a 16 year old. 16 year olds make bad decisions. That's why they mostly don't' go through the adult court system. It's why we don't' let them vote. It's why we don't' let them buy alcohol. But Sam is being punished because of the party he belongs to. Which brings me to national. This is bad for national because for the second week in a row we're not talking about all of Labour's stuff ups which affect kiwis' lives. We are talking about National's stuff ups. And this is National Party's stuff up because they should not have selected Sam Uffindell at this point in time. They know they have a PR problem for recently selecting badly behaved young men: Andrew Falloon who sent a ‘sext' to a young woman, Jake Bezzant who allegedly impersonated his ex and sent explicit images of her to other men, Todd Barclay who was accused of recording the conversations of a staffer without her knowledge. Selecting these people consistently tells voters National doesn't think that behaviour is that bad; that National is a party of Tory toffs who have a ‘born to rule' mentality and think bullying more vulnerable people is ok. I'm not saying that is the attitude. I'm saying that's the impression some voters get. And National has just reinforced that by once again selection a young man who they knew had been a bully and deciding they could live with it. Now as I say I don't' think Sam should be punished for what he did in 5th form, but Sam isn't being punished for that. Sam is being punished for his party's selection history. And unless National wants future MPs to also go through this level of media scrutiny, they are going to have to raise the bar on what they tolerate in candidates' personal histories. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The government wants to pave the way for councils to redesign our streets - saying proposed legislation will make roads safer, more accessible and environmentally friendly. However, the National Party says the legislation introduced to parliament yesterday would allow councils to circumvent public consultation and pilot changes to streets for up to two years. It is urging the proposed changes be rejected via public submissions. Transport Minister Michael Wood spoke to Corin Dann.
National's newest MP has admitted he physically and mentally hurt other students while he was at school. Sam Uffindell was kicked out of King's College 22 years ago after beating a 13-year-old in a dormitory. The incident has followed him to Parliament this week and has flung the National Party into damage control. RNZ political reporter Katie Scotcher has the story.
The National Party believes new legislation empowering courts to ban criminals from accessing firearms will be a "complete flop". Party police spokesperson Mark Mitchell says his party supports the legislation, but it's a missed opportunity. He says police could have been given more powers to seize illegal firearms from gang members. Mitchell spoke to Corin Dann.
National MP Sam Uffindell has been stood down from the party's caucus while an investigation is done into further allegations of bullying raised by RNZ. A woman who flatted with the Tauranga MP at university in 2003 says Uffindell was an aggressive bully who once pounded on her bedroom door, screaming obscenities, until she fled through her window. In a statement issued late last night, Uffindell denied claims he engaged in "intimidatory or bullying" behaviour, but said there was a falling-out between flatmates. The allegations follow revelations that Uffindell, as a teenager, beat up a younger boy at Auckland's prestigious King's College boarding school and was asked to leave. The MP yesterday described himself as a 16-year-old thug but said he was now a changed person. RNZ has spoken to his former flatmate and her father. They did not want to be named. National Party leader Christopher Luxon released a statement late on Tuesday night. "This evening my office became aware of very concerning accusations made to RNZ about behaviour shown by Mr Uffindell toward a female flatmate in 2003 while at university," he said. "Mr Uffindell disputes the allegations and in the interests of natural justice, an independent investigation will now be undertaken to determine the facts. While this process is underway, Mr Uffindell will be stood down from caucus. "The investigation will be conducted by Maria Dew QC and I expect it to take two weeks. "However, as these allegations have only come to me in the last few hours, the finer details of the investigation, including the terms of reference, are yet to be confirmed and will be finalised over the next couple of days." Uffindell has also responded and said when he was a student at Otago he enjoyed a student lifestyle, which included drinking and, at times, smoking marijuana. While in second year a number of flatmates fell out - and two of the flatmates left midway through the year. He rejects any accusation that he was engaged in behaviour that was intimidatory or bullying. he says it simply did not happen. Uffindell said while there is an investigation into these accusations he will not make further comment.
National MP Sam Uffindell has been stood down from the party's caucus while an investigation is carried out into further allegations of bullying raised by RNZ. A woman who flatted with the Tauranga MP at university in 2003 has told RNZ's Morning Report Uffindell was an aggressive bully who once pounded on her bedroom door, screaming obscenities, until she fled through her window. In a statement issued late Tuesday night, Uffindell denied claims he engaged in "intimidatory or bullying" behaviour, but said there was a falling-out between flatmates. The allegations follow revelations that Uffindell, as a teenager, beat up a younger boy at Auckland's prestigious King's College boarding school and was asked to leave. National Party leader Christopher Luxon spoke to Guyon Espiner.
So the National Party conference was held over the past weekend in Christchurch. Things went well until late on Sunday night when planes started being cancelled and MPs and party members went mumbling off into the wet cold winters' night in search of a bed. The conference was organised and dull which is just what a party wants. An action filled conference is not the sign of a settled party. But they seem settled on Luxon and Willis and so the game continues with a policy thrown out to keep the party in public discussion. Maybe I've just been in the game too long, but I could have guessed it would be some sort of benefit policy that says something along the line of kids don't want to work, benefits are a lifestyle and the Ministry of Social Development are useless. Which is exactly what they said. I've heard these plans so many times in so many guises. I wonder where this army of competent community advisors are going to come from in a time of skilled staff shortages, and I wonder about the cost of bureaucracy to monitor the spending of taxpayers dollars by NGOs and third party providers. But that's the National way. In an election year, tax cuts and benefit bashing are their bedrock. But here's a thing. Is National really promising tax cuts? ACT finally called their potential coalition partner out this weekend pointing out that National is not planning tax cuts at all but just shifting the brackets. Their release says tax bracket indexation is just Labour's tax policy adjusted for inflation. Therefore it's not a tax cut. It's tax tinkering that effectively freezes Labour tax policy in time. Which, of course, it is. Always has been. Brackets haven't moved under three administrations now, both National and Labour. That's nearly a decade of increased tax revenue year on year. That's nearly a decade of people being placed into higher tax brackets than they can afford. It really is a rort. It's not the rich getting richer that bothers me. It's the policies from both parties that see the poor getting poorer that makes our country impoverished.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Is any job better than no job? The National Party seems to think so - announcing yesterday that, if it becomes government, there'll be no more young people lying around on the unemployment benefit playing video games all day. “The free ride is over” - that was the warning shot fired from the luxurious surroundings of Christchurch's new Te Pae Convention Centre, to young people in Aranui, Linwood, Spreydon, Otara….in fact, anywhere in New Zealand where there is a young person currently receiving the unemployment benefit. Or jobseeker benefit, as it's known these days. And when I saw the coverage on TV last night, I thought I was back in the 80s. Especially pre-'87 when it seemed anyone who had a spare bit of cash was starting up or joining a shares club and there were yuppies left, right and centre who seemed to be making money out of nothing. It turned out they were making money out of nothing and it all came crashing down but, before it did, if you weren't in a share club or if you weren't a yuppie you were what we here in New Zealand referred to at the time as a dole bludger. If you were on a benefit, it was because you couldn't be bothered working and all you needed was a good kick up the backside and sent out to do an honest day's work. Because it never did us any harm! That was back in the 80s. But fast-forward to yesterday, and the National Party seems to think the same solution is needed. The gist of its policy is that anyone under-25 who's been on the jobseeker benefit for more than three months, would get what's being called a “job coach” to essentially do whatever is needed to get them into a job. And then when you get a job - if you stick at it for 12 months, you get a $1,000 bonus from the taxpayer. But if you don't go along with the plan laid out by the “job coach”, then there would be what the National Party is calling “sanctions”. Even the word “sanctions” reeks of Margaret Thatcher doesn't it? This morning, party leader Christopher Luxon told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB that these sanctions would start with state-control of beneficiaries' spending and then eventually their unemployment benefit would be out the window if they didn't tow the line and get a job. Now I think this policy is a disaster. It will sound good but, in my view, it will achieve nothing. It's all big stick with a little bit of carrot. It's the sort of thing that is very easy to trot out - but making it happen is a completely different story. For starters, does the National Party have any idea why some or all of these young people aren't working? Doesn't it understand that some of them come from really good families who have done all the right things - who aren't “the no-hoper parents” people like to rant on about - but despite all that, life just throws some cruel things at these young people. Things like mental health issues. But also self-esteem and confidence problems. Kids who, especially over the past two-to-three years, have spent so much time in isolation that the idea of going out terrifies them. I know young people right now - some of them I've known since they were babies - who are really struggling at the moment. And what does National think will help them? Telling them that the free ride is over and they need to get a job. Is this really still the answer in 2022? Are we really going back to the days of calling everyone who doesn't have a job a “dole bludger”? Another reason why I think it won't work, is that National seems to have completely forgotten - or ignored - what would actually have to happen to make it work. Where would all these “job coaches” come from? What would the Ministry of Social Development have to stop doing, so it could implement this new policy? What would the consequences be of cutting someone's unemployment benefit just because they don't get a job? More crime anyone? I was talking to a 75-year-old woman on Saturday night who is still working. She started working when she was 16 and she's at the point now where she thinks it's time to wind things up. I'd never met her before and I don't know alot about her but it sounded to me like she and her husband had done pretty well for themselves, but they had obviously worked very hard to get there. Now she could easily be very critical of “the current generation” and be of the view that if she managed to work hard and keep working, then anyone could. But she wasn't, and even she acknowledged that life is so much more complicated for young people today. And I'm picking that, like me, she won't be falling for this cheap talk from the National PartySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The National MP Sam Uffindell says boarding schools in the 90s were a “rough and tumble” environment but the incident which saw him expelled from Kings College was the most serious he was involved in. Uffindell has admitted he was asked to leave the school when he was 16 after a physical assault on a younger student. He told Morning Report students would punch and tackle each other. But his attack on a third former on the last day of term was the only event he mentioned to the National Party selection committee. He says he regrets the incident. Uffindell denies that his apology to the victim last year was in preparation for his political career.
Today's panel features a Central Hawkes Bay sheep farmer and a Northland cow cocky as we discuss the Ngāi Tahu regenerative farming trial in Mid Canterbury and the National Party conference up the road in Christchurch.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The National party leader Christopher Luxon has just fronted media over the revelations about the Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell. Sam Uffindell was kicked out of Auckland's King's College when he was 16, for taking part in a violent assault of a 13-year-old. Mr Uffindell told the National Party about the incident before he was selected. But Mr Luxon has told media that as leader, he should have been told about it , and so should voters in the Tauranga by-election. Susie speaks with RNZ Political Editor Jane Patterson.
There was, I thought, some positivity coming out of the National Party conference, especially in terms of their policy around youth unemployment. But of course, the usual voices and the usual critics have come out against it - beating up on vulnerable young people, beneficiary bashing, all the usual shrieks from people who see young, unemployed beneficiaries as victims. But how can you not care that somebody young, somebody fit and somebody able is languishing on a benefit? How can you not care that young people who are without jobs and without purpose, face a lifetime of being on the scrap heap? There's study after study, the most recent one is from Europe, which follows up on previous research on young people who are not in employment, education or training, and it firmly establishes that a lack of education and work experience are the two main driving factors in increasing the likelihood of a young person becoming long-term unemployed. No surprises there. It also highlights that long term unemployment dramatically affects several dimensions of young people's well-being in particular; it decreases overall life satisfaction and increases the risk of social exclusion while decreasing optimism about the future. So sit on your chuff long enough and you're going to feel that life is not worth living. You'll probably end up graduating from a job seeker benefit to a sickness benefit if your mental health suffers that much. So we know that being young, fit and unemployed is a recipe for disaster. I suppose we differ as what to do about it. The Government would have you believe that just giving more money is the answer. National says there needs to be a measure of the carrot and the stick. Christopher Luxon says we need to help young people get the skills they need to find work, encourage them to stick at a job and reward them if they managed to do so. The number of young people who have been receiving the job seeker benefit for more than a year has almost doubled since 2017, at a time when so many businesses are screaming for workers, somebody has to care about young people. Giving them a benefit in consigning them to the scrap heap is not caring.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Another MP and another headache for the National Party over its candidate selection. It's newest MP in Tauranga, Sam Uffindell, has admitted he was kicked out of his boarding school as a teenager for beating a younger student. Deputy leader, Nicola Willis, says neither she, nor leader Christopher Luxon, were told by the party about Uffindell's admission before he was selected. In fact, she only found out yesterday. She spoke to First Up's Nick Truebridge.
National's proposal for allocating job coaches to beneficiaries aged under twenty-five has found an upbeat response in at least one of the organisations that helps young people find their career paths. Taupo Pathways, which helps steer young people in the central North Island into meaningful employment, thinks the proposals put forward at the weekend are good. Manager Gaeleen Wilkie spoke to Corin Dann.
The Green Party says sanctions against beneficaries do not encourage young people out of work back into employment. A new approach from the National Party involves helping those who have been on the benefit more than a year find work - but sanctions in some cases if they don't stick with it. Green Party social development spokesperson, Ricardo Menéndez March, says it's just "dog-whistle politics" and National is missing the point. He says the Opposition doesn't seem to understand that a large proportion of those who have unemployed for a long time have health conditions, are care-givers or are already doing voluntary work. He spoke to Corin Dann.
The National Party is starting the new week with a new party president. Sylvia Wood, an employment relations specialist, was elected to the position yesterday at the annual conference in Christchurch. She replaces Peter Goodfellow, who has stepped down after 13 years in the role. Already she's talking about using her position to deliver "an absolute obsessive focus on the party vote" at next year's general election. She spoke to Corin Dann.
RNZ's political editor, Jane Patterson, was at the National Party conference this weekend. The party unveiled its new welfare policy at the conference, a promise to get young beneficiaries into work. It also chose a new president. Patterson spoke to Corin Dann.
National Party leader Christopher Luxon has concluded his party's conference with a tried-and-true political tactic: a full-throated promise to get young beneficiaries off welfare and into work. It was the first conference for Luxon since he took over as leader just eight months ago and he spent much of the weekend boosting his profile with members. Deputy political editor Craig McCulloch was at the event at Christchurch's Te Pae convention centre - and pulled together this report.
A National Government will take what it says is a new approach to reducing benefit dependency among young people. The National Party are particularly keen to do something about the 13,000 under 25-year-olds who have been on the Jobseeker benefit for a year or longer. Under the plan, community providers will be contracted to provide 18-to-24-year-olds with a job coach. At the same time, jobseekers will receive more support and even a $1000 bonus payment if they stick it out in a new job for twelve months. Those who don't go along with it will face sanctions. National Party leader Christopher Luxon spoke to Guyon Espiner.
The Labour Party says the opposition National Party is "out of touch" after it released its new welfare plan during its national conference at the weekend. National Party leader Christopher Luxon says jobs coaches would be allocated to beneficiaries under the age of 25. Anyone who had been receiving welfare for more than a year, who then stayed off for a year after receiving a job, would be eligible for a one-thousand-dollar payment. Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says there's no evidence the plan would work, and it turns young people into villains. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to Corin Dann.
Newstalk ZB Chief Political Reporter Aaron Dahmen joins the Weekend Collective to recap the second day of the National Party's annual conference, which took place in Christchurch over the weekend. LISTEN ABOVESee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Political commentator Peter Dunne joined the Weekend Collective to give his thoughts on the National Party's annual conference, which took place in Christchurch over the weekend and whether he thinks National come out better from this after a torrid few weeks. LISTEN ABOVESee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Employment relations specialist Sylvia Wood has been elected National Party president at the party's conference in Christchurch. Wood takes over from Peter Goodfellow, whose 13 years in the job make him the party's longest-serving president. Wood has over 25 years' experience in human resources and employment relations. National leader Christopher Luxon said he was "delighted" to announce Wood had been elected "unanimously" by the party's board. National Party delegates elect their board, and the board elects the president. Wood said it was a "great privilege" to be elected president. "Thank you to all our members for the support, passion and commitment to our party," she said. Wood paid tribute to Goodfellow for his passion and commitment. "I welcome your support and knowledge for the work we have ahead of us," Wood said. "In January this year, the board set the strategic direction for the party: a total focus on winning in 2023." She said the party needed unity in caucus, good data, and sufficient funds to win in 2023. Wood also said the party needed a relentless focus on the party vote - not just electorates. "An absolute, obsessive focus on the party vote, because that is what we need to win," she said. - by Thomas Coughlan, NZ HeraldSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The National Party is heading to Christchurch this weekend for the party's annual conference, which will by the first for leader Christopher Luxon after replacing Judith Collins last year. The conference will be a major one for National after several years of tension and changing leaders, with a new party president also due to be elected. Will this conference be a quiet show of solidarity, or will it be remembered for all the wrong reasons? National Party member and PR consultant Liam Hehir joins Thomas this week to discuss why he wants it to be a boring conference, how Luxon is faring as a leader, and why Act continues to loom over National's future. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
If the honeymoon isn't over yet for National Party leader Christopher Luxon, I think it's about to be. Because, in the past 24 hours, I've read two political opinion pieces - one by a left-leaning commentator, the other by a right-leaning commentator - which are both saying pretty much the same thing. That Luxon is struggling and Nicola Willis might have been a better bet. I remember getting quite a bit of flack a few months ago when I said I thought Nicola Willis should be leader. I even predicted that she would be by the end of the year. And nothing since then has given me any reason to change my thinking on that front. The thing about Luxon is that he was never, ever going to be another John Key. I know alot of people thought he was. But I think that was pretty superficial thinking based on the fact that both of them come from impressive business backgrounds. The difference was, John Key had been a trader - and traders thrive on chaos. Which is good if you want to be successful in politics. Christopher Luxon, though, had impressively worked his way up the ranks to become a chief executive. But chief executives hate chaos. Chief executives talk alot about pivoting and all that but, when it comes down to it, they prefer things to be organised and planned and structured and well thought out. Chief executives are terrified of surprises. That's why they employ swathes of people to manage risk. And so you've got John Key who thrived on chaos and was quite prepared to make a clown of himself and didn't hide the fact that he had truckloads of money and holidayed in Hawaii and played golf with Barack Obama. And people loved him because he was authentic. And then you've got Christopher Luxon who is actually very reserved and considered as any successful chief executive probably should be - and, because of that, he doesn't thrive on chaos (like John Key did), which I think must make politics a very difficult thing for him to be involved in. Certainly as leader of a party. So I was very interested to read these articles about Christopher Luxon by two people at each end of the political spectrum, both saying they don't think he's up to the job. Let's start with Shane Te Pou who comes at things from the left. In his piece on the nzherald.co.nz website he says that when he expressed the view back in April that National may have got it wrong making Luxon leader and not Nicola Willis, his National Party friends accused him of stirring. But fast-forward to today and when he says the same thing to the same people today, he's finding there's less eye-rolling and “a lot more flickers of acknowledgement” as he puts it. Shane Te Pou's criticism of Luxon is largely focused on recent performances in the media - accusing Luxon of scoring own goals left, right and centre. The most recent example being a TV interview where Luxon tried desperately to avoid answering the questions that were actually asked. Using a trick known as “block and bridge”. An example of “block and bridge” is where a politician might be asked a question about something and instead of answering it they trot out a line saying New Zealanders don't really care about that, but they do care about what it's costing to fill the tank, buy petrol and pay the mortgage. And we saw Christopher Luxon do it the other week when he was asked about the Facebook post saying he was in Te Puke when he was actually in Hawaii. He acknowledged it was a mistake by his social media team but when a reporter asked him something along the lines of whether the muck-up was keeping him awake at night, he said it was the cost of living in New Zealand that was keeping him awake at night. Block and bridge. And Shane Te Pou finishes the article by saying this: “At what point will Luxon's CEO credentials and superficial plausibility give way to the recognition he is just not very good at this?”. So that's the view from the left which, I can think we could all agree, is hardly surprising for that very reason. Shane Te Pou is a left-leaning commentator and, of course, he's going to take every opportunity to throw potshots at Christopher Luxon. But then today, we've got Matthew Hooton - who comes at things from the right. He's polar opposites of Shane Te Pou politically but his thinking is strikingly similar. His article today on nzherald.co.nz starts with this headline: “”Peak Chrostopher Luxon now firmly in the past”. Hooton says since taking over as leader, Luxon has offered nothing new. He says the only thing of any significance has been a promise to cut taxes. But, as we've seen, that's been played down by National's finance spokesperson Nicola Willis who is saying the tax cut thing was just an idea National was putting forward for this year's Budget. Matthew Hooton thinks one of the most damaging things Luxon has done is criticise New Zealand businesses and call them soft during his recent overseas trip. As Hooton says in his article, sole traders and small business owners who have battled through Covid would have heard those comments and assumed he was talking about them. He writes: “They might legitimately ask if the softest corporate job in New Zealand is the one Luxon himself held: chief executive of a state-owned airline that gets bailed out each time it goes bust.” And he goes on to say that Jacinda Ardern - who he describes as “the more experienced and nimbler political operator” - is likely to have the edge over Christoher Luxon at next year's election. He writes: “Unless he has a lot more in the tank than is apparent so far, Luxon is starting to look more like a Todd Muller or Andrew Little than a Key or an Ardern.” And I couldn't agree more.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
All eyes will be on Chris Luxon going into his first National Party Conference as party leader. However, it hasn't been a good week for the National Party, with doubts from commentators on his leadership. And the Party President role is up for grabs, with Peter Goodfellow stepping down. It also wasn't a good week for James Shaw. Shaw was the only candidate named for their leadership contest, there are questions over whether he will get past the 75 percent threshold to retain his leadership. Rotorua locals are standing up to their council. More than 3600 submissions have been received on the issue of using motels for emergency housing. Newstalk ZB Political Editor Barry Soper joined Heather du Plessis-Allan. LISTEN ABOVESee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Just one Accredited Employer Work Visa has been processed in the month since the category opened. The National Party has got hold of a leaked Immigration New Zealand paper, and the Party's calling the log-jam disastrous. Applicants must submit a job-check to obtain the visa - showing the employer couldn't fill the role with a New Zealand worker. Since job-checks opened six weeks ago, three-thousand-321 have been submitted, but just 817 approved. Managing Director of Building Recruitment, Kevin Everett joined Heather du Plessis-Allan. LISTEN ABOVESee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Despite an unemployment rate of just 3.3 percent, National Party leader Christopher Luxon is questioning why there is a rise in the number of people receiving a Job Seeker benefit. If you found the combination of low unemployment and an increased number of people on the benefit for the unemployed difficult to get your head around, you're not alone. ANZ economist Finn Robinson spoke to Guyon Espiner.
The government has unveiled its blueprint for dealing with the unavoidable consequences of climate change, including the likelihood whole communities will have to move to higher ground. The 200-page National Adaption Plan pulls together a "to do" list of about 120 actions, including new legislation to deal with the detail of managed retreat. It lays out some stark realities. One in seven of us - about 675,000 people across Aotearoa - live in areas prone to flooding. That equates to about $100 billion worth of houses. But the big questions of who pays and how are still a long way from being answered. RNZ climate reporter Hamish Cardwell has the details, and Climate Minister James Shaw talks to Lisa Owen.
The National Party leader Christopher Luxon says the Cost of Living payment is a shambles. The first of three payments was made to people this week, including to some New Zealanders living overseas. The Prime Minister has said it isn't worth chasing those people to get it back. But Christopher Luxon told Morning Report the payment roll-out was an 'absolute joke'. National is proposing tax cuts to increase household income.
Top stories for 3 August 2022 A Christchurch church accused of being "toxic" "hurtful" and "extreme" is facing further accusations. The National Party says the Government has been misleading taxpayers about the scope of the Cost of Living Payments people started receiving on Monday. New Zealand has its third monkeypox case, isolating in the South Island.
Just at the moment when New Zealand should be getting back to business, the wheels keep falling off for this Government. On Sunday, we finally opened up completely to the rest of the world. After two and a half years the so-called hermit kingdom was over. There's even a cruise ship scheduled to arrive in a few weeks We should be emerging triumphant, but we're not. Today we're bickering over a government handout that's supposed to help with the cost of living crisis but is proving to be a thorn in the side of the Labour Government. And it is probably just going to make inflation worse. Nicola Willis and the National Party are claiming that overseas residents are going to be getting the three instalments of $116.67, even though they don't live here. Ms Willis claims a man living in Dubai who has not been a NZ resident for 22 years is going to be getting the payments and he's feeling embarrassed. This is an outrage, if it's true. But you should never totally believe a politician. So 2.1 million people are in the process of getting a payment or an email from the IRD, who have been charged with running the scheme. The letter says all sorts of things. Only people who have filed their IR3 returns or taxed at source will get the money. So you need to have earned taxable income from NZ to be eligible and to have paid it. You have to be a tax resident. You also have to have a current functioning New Zealand bank account. And all the way through it says YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE. Which is not to say you will get the money. There are many reasons why many people will get the money around the world. It is because they are taxpayers and therefore their taxes are being used to be given back to them. But I'm picking that Mr Dubai will not get a cent. However, Handout Shame was the headline in the paper. So this is a badly designed bureaucratic mess that rewarded tax residents, not just physical residents. Add to that the people who most need it are denied it. The poorest beneficiaries and the OAPs who are paid the winter energy payment But that is not its worst crime. Before we even come to who gets it or not, this pork barrel exercise will barely help ease the cost of living while at the same time add fuel to the inflation fire. Because, despite what the Prime Minister said on Q and A yesterday, it will be inflationary. Just for the record. All excessive spending is inflationary. Government spending, corporate spending, excessive profits and even private spending It all spills cash into an economy, increasing demand at a time when supply is limited. So the lesson from today is carry on with business but remember all politicians never tell the whole truth.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Prime Minister admits the government knew some ineligible people would receive the $350 cost of living payment. The first instalment of $116 will be paid today to tax residents who earned less than 70-thousand dollars last year. The National Party says some New Zealanders living overseas have also been told they qualify. Ardern told Morning Report that is the case but says the 'vast majority' of recipients meet the criteria. She said the Government moved quickly to implement the payments that were announced in the May budget.
The Cost of Living Payments being deposited into bank accounts from today are not only going to New Zealand tax payers, but also to people living overseas. The $116 payment is meant to help people in New Zealand with the rising costs of inflation. National Party deputy leader Nicola Willis says the payments are poorly designed, leading to a significant amount of wasted money. Willis spoke to Corin Dann.
National supports closing a political donations loophole, but wants it dealt with separately to legislation already before Parliament. Cabinet will today consider recommendations about a technicality allowing a political party to set up a shadow entity, and funnel anonymous donations through it. One remedy could be to insert it into a bill making changes to electoral law, which includes dropping the disclosure threshold from $15,000 to $5000. National leader Christopher Luxon says the loophole needs to be fixed. The ACT Party agrees the loophole should be closed urgently, otherwise New Zealand remains vulnerable to interference, including from overseas.
A Young Nat appears to be behind the creation of fake mayoral contender websites that all link back to Leo Molloy. The National Party says it's got nothing to do with local body elections and its youth wing is staying silent - but the contenders for the city's top job are not. Aanei te aki ripoata a Finn Blackwell.
The National Party says a progress report published on the Government's Road to Zero road safety strategy shows several failings. The Annual Monitoring Report, sent out by the Ministry of Transport, admits road deaths remain "unacceptably high". There were 320 deaths on the roads last year, and 2323 people were seriously injured. The report showed the national vehicle fleet is less safe than it was four years ago, and police are conducting just half the breath tests they were expected to. National Party transport spokesperson Simeon Brown spoke to Corin Dann.
The Education Minister wants the new mega-polytech to make more progress reducing deficits and getting its operating plan in place, as the 1 January deadline bears down fast. Te Pūkenga - or the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology - has been hitting the headlines for its projected deficit, its chief executive on unexplained leave and for failures in its dealings with staff. The National Party says the government should scrap the whole thing and concentrate on the individual polytechs that are really struggling. Chris Hipkins says major reform is needed to make the sector sustainable, but he's not happy with the progress so far. Here's political editor Jane Patterson.
It was an eventful first day back at Parliament for National Party leader Christopher Luxon after the winter recess. On Thursday last week, it was thought Luxon was in Te Puke, as it turns out, he was 7000km away holidaying in Hawaii. He's back in New Zealand now, and spoke to Susie Ferguson.
The National Party is accusing the Government of failing the building and construction sector. A new report out today from CoreLogic says the sector's under extreme cost pressures with construction costs rising steeply. National Party building and construction spokesperson Andrew Bayly spoke to Corin Dann.
National Party deputy leader Nicola Willis has defended Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after she faced criticism for taking a photo with a crowd while not wearing a mask. The photo, posted to Ardern's Facebook and Instagram accounts was to celebrate the 2022 Youth Parliament, and was taken on a staircase in the Beehive on Tuesday. Also in the photo are Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro, Deputy Speaker Adrian Rurawhe, Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and National's youth spokesperson Matt Doocey. Only one person in the crowded photo is visibly wearing a mask. Willis told Morning Report controversy around the photo was unwarranted. "Let's be sensible about that. I think many people have taken their mask off for a photo, and that's all that happened there, and I don't think that's unreasonable." It comes as there is renewed concern about the latest wave of Covid-19 More than 10,000 new cases were reported on Tuesday, along a further 21 Covid-related deaths. Nearly 790 people are in hospital with the virus, including 20 in ICU.
Videos: 1. There was an unexpected 40% increase in 'all cause deaths' in 2021 (8:28) 2.Dr. Mike Yeadon: The Reason Why They Had to Use Genetic Vaccines 3. [PROOF] The Great Reset Is HAPPENING!- Russell Brand 4. Dr. Peter McCullough, MD, MPH, Jun 27, 2022 Texas Senate HHS Testimony 5. If I Were the Devil: Paul Harvey (Clean Audio Version) 6. A few highlights of a recent speech of mine that went slightly viral - Simon O'Connor (Simon David O'Connor MP is a New Zealand politician and a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives. He is a member of the National Party. He has represented the Tāmaki electorate since 2011. He is a member of the Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade committee). 7. Gun Control and The Vaule Of Life Health News: Cinnamon could stop Parkinson's in its tracks Leucine-rich protein supplements could benefit adults with sarcopenia Nutrients for the bones Searching for meaning? Try appreciating the small things Want a higher GPA in college? Join a gym Men's hot flashes: Hypnotic relaxation may ease the discomfort men don't talk about Cinnamon could stop Parkinson's in its tracks Rush University Medical Center, July 14, 2022 In an article appearing in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology indicates that cinnamon could one day be used by Parkinson's disease patients to prevent the disease from progressing. Saurabh Khasnavis and Kalipada Pahan, PhD, of Rush University Medical Center studied the effects of the spice in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease. They found that when cinnamon is metabolized into sodium benzoate in the blood and brain, the loss of beneficial proteins known as Parkin and DJ-1 is halted, while neurons that produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is reduced in Parkinson's, are protected. Motor function, which can be significantly impaired by the disease, was improved in animals that received cinnamon. "Cinnamon is metabolized in the liver to sodium benzoate, which is an FDA-approved drug used in the treatment for hepatic metabolic defects associated with hyperammonemia," explained lead researcher Dr Pahan "Cinnamon has been used widely as a spice throughout the world for centuries,” he noted. “This could potentially be one of the safest approaches to halt disease progression in Parkinson's patients." Leucine-rich protein supplements could benefit adults with sarcopenia Seoul National University College of Medicine, July 15 2022. Sarcopenia is a condition characterized by muscle wasting that contributes to frailty in aging men and women. Results from a meta-analysis of randomized trials reported in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics concluded that protein supplements rich in the essential branched-chain amino acid leucine could improve muscle strength in sarcopenic individuals. “The treatment of choice for sarcopenia is still resistance exercise with nutritional supplementation because no pharmacological agents to treat sarcopenia have become available yet,” Sang Yoon Lee, MD, PhD, and colleagues at Seoul National University College of Medicine noted. The meta-analysis included 6 randomized, controlled trials that involved a total of 699 men and women with sarcopenia. Three hundred forty-six trial participants received a daily protein supplement containing 3 to 6 grams of leucine and 353 participants received a placebo or no leucine for 8 to 13 weeks. Muscle strength, muscle mass and physical performance were evaluated before and after the treatment periods. Muscle strength significantly improved in leucine-supplemented participants as a primary outcome in comparison with the control groups. There was also a trend toward improvement in muscle mass and physical performance in the groups that received leucine. There was no significant difference in response between lower and higher amounts of leucine. No serious adverse events were reported. Nutrients for the bones Catalytic Longevity Foundation, July 13 2022. A review appearing in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences describes how specific nutrients activate bone-preserving mechanisms. Osteoclasts are bone cells that break down bone tissue while osteoblasts synthesize bone. With respect to osteoblasts, the RUNX2 transcription factor is the master regulator of osteoblast formation and function, driving the transcription of a number of genes essential for the bone forming process. Signaling pathways that drive RUNX2 gene transcription are triggered by bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) 2 and 4. AMPK, which is activated by G. pentaphyllum, hesperidin and metformin, promotes BMP 2 and 4 expression in osteoblasts. The protein Sirt1 promotes RUNX2 activity. Sirt1 activation is increased by melatonin, nicotinamide riboside, glucosamine and thymoquinone, found in Nigella sativa. Activation of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), the only known nitric oxide receptor, also leads to the promotion of RUNX2. High doses of biotin activate sGC. Nrf2 regulates the cells' defense against oxidative stress, as well as enhancing the activation of RUNX2 in osteoblasts and osteocytes. Lipoic acid, melatonin, thymoquinone, astaxanthin and sulforaphane can promote Nrf2 activity. Activation of these mechanisms also promotes autophagy, a process in which the cells consume their own damaged cellular components, which helps to prevent apoptosis (programmed cell death) and senescence in osteoblasts and osteocytes. “Regimens providing a selection of these nutraceuticals in clinically meaningful doses may have an important potential for preserving bone health,” the authors concluded. “Concurrent supplementation with taurine, N-acetylcysteine, vitamins D and K2, and minerals, including magnesium, zinc, and manganese, plus a diet naturally high in potassium, may also be helpful in this regard.” Searching for meaning? Try appreciating the small things Texas A&M University, July 18, 2022 Appreciating the intrinsic beauty in life's everyday moments can contribute to a more meaningful existence, according to new research. In a paper recently published in Nature Human Behavior, Joshua Hicks, a professor in the Texas A&M University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, says this may be a previously unaccounted for factor tied to perceptions of meaning. "It might not relate to whether you matter in the grand scheme of things, but we've shown people who value the little things, like your cup of coffee in the morning or being mindful in conversations with others, tend to have a high sense of meaning in life," he said. Hicks studies existential psychology. Put simply, he aims to understand the "big questions" in life. He describes his main focus as the experience of life—studying people's subjective feeling that their life has meaning. Scholars like Hicks generally agree there are three main sources of a subjectively meaningful existence: coherence, or the feeling that one's life "makes sense"; the possession of clear, long-term goals and sense of purpose; and existential mattering. This last factor, he says, is the belief that one's actions matter to others. What Hicks and his co-authors argue in their latest research is that appreciating and finding value in experiences, referred to as experiential appreciation, is a fourth fundamental pathway toward finding meaning in life. Want a higher GPA in college? Join a gym Michigan State University, July 10, 2022 For those students looking to bump up their grade point averages during college, the answer may not be spending more time in a library or study hall, but in a gym. New Michigan State University research shows that students who were members of the recreational sports and fitness centers on MSU's campus during their freshman and sophomore years had higher GPAs than those who weren't. The research also indicated that students with memberships stayed in school longer. An increase of 3.5 percent in two-year retention rates was seen among this group. The research supports previous theories suggesting that by creating an environment that connects students to an institution, in this case a university recreational facility, an increase in academic success and retention can occur. During the project, Pivarnik's team analyzed data from a sample of freshmen and sophomores, totaling 4,843 students, and compared the GPAs of those who purchased a fitness facility membership and those who did not. Results showed that after four consecutive semesters, the students with memberships obtained higher cumulative GPAs. They also had more credits completed by the end of their first year in college. Men's hot flashes: Hypnotic relaxation may ease the discomfort men don't talk about Baylor University, July 10, 2022 Men who experience hot flashes are unlikely to talk much about it, but they may find relief from their silent suffering if they are willing to try an unusual treatment, according to findings from a Baylor University case study. After seven weeks of hypnotic relaxation therapy, a 69-year-old man who had uncontrolled hot flashes following prostate cancer surgery showed a drastic decrease not only in hot flashes but also an impressive improvement in sleep quality, according to the study. Men's hot flashes are, of course, not related to estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. They occur in men with a history of prostate cancer — the second most common malignancy in men — or another disorder causing a testosterone deficiency. Up to 80 percent of prostate survivors experience hot flashes, and about 50 percent of those experience them as severe and needing treatment. What's more, hot flashes due to prostate cancer tend to be more frequent, more severe and more prolonged than those women experience. The new research follows previous published studies by Elkins that found a marked decrease in hot flashes among postmenopausal women and also among breast cancer survivors who have undergone hypnotic relaxation therapy. It reduced hot flashes by as much as 80 percent, and research findings by clinically trained therapists show it also improved participants' quality of life and lessened anxiety and depression. (Quality of life included such issues as work, sexuality, social and leisure activities, mood and concentration.)
The hell years of National since John Key's departure are revisited in jaw-dropping detail in Andrea Vance's new book. In a special edition of Gone By Lunchtime, she talks to Toby Manhire about the revelations, and whether Christopher Luxon can consign the bad times to history. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.