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Archive for 8 June 2013

Why Peter Dunne won’t “Feed the Kids”

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feed the kids

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The Mana Party currently has a bill before Parliament, which, if passed, will fund school meals for children in Decile One and Two schools. These are schools in the poorest parts of our country.

Because as many of you readers know (or SHOULD know), child poverty has been steadily increasing over the last decades. Whether caused by low wages; inadequate welfare payments for unemployed; high house rentals and electricity tariffs; dysfunctional parents; or whatever – about 270,000 children now live in abject poverty.

Many are going to school without breakfast or lunch.

We can blame the parents or the system or whatever. But we can’t blame the kids – they don’t vote. Nor can they speak up or act for themselves (unless, through hunger, they steal food from somewhere). Nor do children choose which family to be born into.

The Mana Party’s “Feed the Kids” Bill is designed to alleviate this growing cancer in our society and to give children a chance for a decent start in life. Food in their bellies will help improve their attention in school and help them focus and learn. Because as we all know (or SHOULD know) – without an education, these children will remain trapped in poverty.

From the Website, Feedthekids.org.nz,

  • Feeding the kids should be our first priority as a nation.
  • The Bill aims to set up government funded breakfast and lunch programmes in all decile 1-2 schools.
  • It’s a simple, easy and immediate way to address growing levels of child poverty in Aotearoa and has been a key recommendation of leading organisations such as the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty.
  • The Bill is expected to come before Parliament for its first reading on Wednesday 5 June. So far Labour, Greens, Maori Party, NZ First, and Independent MP Brendan Horan have agreed to support it. We need one more vote to get it passed and to a select committee for further consideration.

“We need one more vote to get it passed and to a select committee for further consideration“,  trumpets the appeal.

Unfortunately, that one vote will not be coming from Peter Dunne.

From the blogsite, YourNZ, run by Peter Dunne supporter, Pete George,

Peter Dunne’s vote would be the one that makes the difference to get this bill passed on the first vote. I asked him if he would support it. Dunne responded:

I fully understand what is intended by this essentially laudable proposals, but I think it is fundamentally flawed for a number of reasons.

Of course, there is a significant number of children who go to school to hungry, because they have not been properly fed at home, and of course poor nutrition has an adverse effect on learning and the subsequent development of the child. That is not the issue – rather, the question is what is the best way of addressing this problem.

At one level, the idea of meals in schools is superficially attractive, but it is essentially palliative, and does little to deal with the circumstances of these children on a long term basis.

Then there is the question of which group of children should we be focusing on. After all, not all children in schools will come from the same socio-economic backgrounds. So, should such a programme be applied universally, which would be as expensive as it would be impractical, or should it be more tightly targeted?

And if so, how? Should, for example, it just apply in low decile schools, even though there will children in those schools from a higher socio-economic status who would not need such a programme?

In that event, what about low-income household children in higher decile schools? Or, to get around income definition problems, should the children of beneficiaries be the only ones eligible?

Whatever way one looks at the issue, the definitional problems are massive, and strongly suggest that such a programme would not only be unsustainable, but also impractical, and in a number of cases potentially inequitable.

That is why I take the view that a much more realistic and workable approach is to target directly, through early identification by community agencies, at risk families and to work with them to help them  get the support they need to properly feed their children.

That support could take any number of forms, depending on individual circumstances, including direct assistance with the provision of food, at one end of the scale, through to such things as life skills advice on cooking, for example, and proper budget advice at the other end of the scale.

Such a targeted approach is far more likely to succeed in the long term, and benefit directly at-risk children, and would have my full support.

Acknowledgment: YourNZ – Dunne won’t “Feed the Kids”

Blah, blah, blah – it is vile sophistry to justify doing precisely nothing.

Dunne sez,

That is why I take the view that a much more realistic and workable approach is to target directly, through early identification by community agencies, at risk families and to work with them to help them  get the support they need to properly feed their children.

That support could take any number of forms, depending on individual circumstances, including direct assistance with the provision of food, at one end of the scale, through to such things as life skills advice on cooking, for example, and proper budget advice at the other end of the scale.

Not only is that not happening – but social welfare services are being wound back by National, and assistance is getting harder and harder to access;

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National to push 46,000 off welfare

Acknowledgment:  Fairfax Media – National to push 46,000 off welfare

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The consequences for increasing poverty, and the effects on children,  are inevitable;

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Hungry kids scavenge pig slops

Acknowledgment: Fairfax Media – Hungry kids scavenge pig slops

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So why is a reasonably intelligent, well-educated man who is socially progressive, so thoroughly opposed to feeding  our hungry children?

After all, Dunne’s track record on social issues seems to be encouragingly positive;

So what’s up with Peter Dunne and his awful, cold-hearted response to the crisis of child poverty afflicting this country? One could imagine ACT and National MPs voting against the “Feed The Kids” Bill – those people either have freezer coolant in their veins, or are ideologically wedded to rugged Individualism and Personal Responsibility (except when National is held to account for it’s stuff-ups and policy failures) that includes perpetuating poverty on a nationwide scale.

Why has Dunne fobbed off meals in schools when he knows full well that it is a successful programme that is cost-effective; helps families in need; and alleviates hunger in our children? Dunne knows full well that food in schools has been a normal feature of Scandinavia and British schools for decades.

The pay-off is kids who can focus on classes and succeed in education. As Bryan Bruce said recently,

let’s get on and feed our kids properly so the teachers are freed to do their job and our kids can learn the 21 st Century skills they will need to earn money, pay their taxes and grow our economy.

See: The Daily Blog – Can we afford to have “a chat on food in schools”?

So why has Dunne adopted a miserly attitude that would gladden the dead heart of Scrooge? Why, when he admits that hungry, under-fed children is a very real problem,

Of course, there is a significant number of children who go to school to hungry, because they have not been properly fed at home, and of course poor nutrition has an adverse effect on learning and the subsequent development of the child.

I submit to the reader that Dunne’s mealy-mouthed words about why we can’t feed hungry children is indicated in his following words,

So, should such a programme be applied universally, which would be as expensive ...

So this isn’t about whether or not child poverty and hunger exists – Dunne concedes that it does.

This is about money.

And Peter Dunne, as we know, is Minister of Revenue.

Just recently, Dunne attempted to tax carparks as part of an extended Fringe Benefit tax. Last year, Finance Minister Bill English announced that a rebate for children earning pocket money (paper delivery boys and girls, etc), would be eliminated. And Gerry Brownlee announced 9 cents per litre increase in petrol taxes over a three year period.

Quite simply, after two unaffordable tax cuts – funded by offshore borrowings – National has found itself in a fiscal hole, of a shortfall of at  least two billion dollars per year.

After Dunne’s fiasco over his failed car-park proposal – which was so unpopular with trade unions and businesses alike – his National colleagues distanced themselves  from the policy, and it was finally dropped by Dear Leader on 18 March.

A day later, Key dumped another proposal by Peter Dunne to  extend tax on cellphones and computer laptops.

As Minister of Revenue, Dunne is in a bind. He is cash-strapped to fund National’s budgetted policies.

It also means he is loathe to support new initiatives which will incur additional spending.

Especially if it puts more pressure on him to find the money to pay for said initiatives.

As Dunne pointed out,  about feeding decile 1 and 2 school-children;

“…should such a programme be applied universally, [it] would be …  expensive

How else to explain his bizarre statement,

“...the question is what is the best way of addressing this problem.  At one level, the idea of meals in schools is superficially attractive, but it is essentially palliative…”

Feeding hungry children is… ‘superficially attractive’?

Feeding hungry children is ‘palliative’??

If Dunne is opposed to feeding hungry children from this nation’s poorest families,  because he would find it difficult to reconcile extra expenditure with revenue, he should at least have the intestinal fortitude to publicly admit it. Tell us, straight up.

Hiding behind faux excuses is obscene. Especially when, with every word he writes, there are children with empty bellies turning up at our schools.

Peter Dunne writes,

That is why I take the view that a much more realistic and workable approach is to target directly, through early identification by community agencies, at risk families and to work with them to help them  get the support they need to properly feed their children.”

So. What has he done to achieve this?

Because all I can see is a cleverly-worded fob-off.

To the people of Ohariu – this is your MP. Is this what you voted for?

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child poverty

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 10 May 2013, before Peter Dunne resigned as Minister of Revenue.
For a full follow-up debate that followed this blogpost on The Daily Blog, click here.

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References

Feed The Kids

The Daily Blog:  Hungry Kids Annoy Frazzled Lobby Group Director

The Daily Blog:  Can we afford to have “a chat on food in schools”?

The Pundit: Children’s Commissioner fronts for Nats on food in schools: Corporate agenda rules

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Week Watch – 7 June

An end-of-the-week look at issues that’ve hit the headlines (or not)…

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Looking at the pieces

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When the State fails our children

The recent case of an 11 year old child excluded from Paeroa Central School for violent and other anti-social behaviour has brought into stark consciousness the problem of dysfunctional, troubled, and/or special needs children in our education system.

On the one hand, these children – many of whom have been raised in dysfunctional households or have other problems – have a right to State funded support and education. They cannot be left to rot and grow into troubled adults moving in and out of the justice system.

On the other hand, children and staff at schools have a right to safety and a non-violent, undisturbed environment to learn and socialise.

Both rights are equally valid.

Having had some experience with a special needs child (see previous related blogpost:  Once upon a time there was a solo-mum), who I’ll refer to as “Zack” (not his real name), I have seen how a mainstream school can have considerable difficulties in this area.

“Zack” is an intelligent, charming, highly curious, young man (12) who requires one-on-one support during his entire school day. Not having that one-on-one support is untenable for both “Zack” or the school, as he can “flip out” at provocations which other children might not notice.

“Zack” was expelled from two previous schools for lack of one-on-one support from a teacher-aid.

He was enrolled at his current school with the specific agreement that “Zack” would be provided full-time, one-on-one support from a dedicated teacher-aid.

It soon become apparent that the Ministery had assigned this teacher-aid (who was doing the best she could under the circumstances) to two children; “Zack”, and another child at another school.

Not being able to violate given laws of physics by being in two places simultaneously, the school took action to cut down “Zack’s” hours in class. He was permitted to attend class only when the teacher aid was present (approx 4 hours per day). When she left to attend her second client, “Zack’s” grandmother collected him. (“Zack’s” mother, “Sally”, is a solo-mum who works at an early childhood facility. Read her full story here:  Once upon a time there was a solo-mum.)

Implementation of promises of full support – the current fashionable term is “intensive wraparound support” – by the Ministry of Education have been erratic and never fully implemented. (At the beginning the Ministry was reluctant to offer any support for “Zack”. They relented only when schools refused to accept him unless there was  funding for a teacher-aid.)

Paeroa Central School was right to stand their ground.

Principal, Janet Jones, said,

“We can’t understand why the ministry would give us the directive to take him back and put him in the classroom of the teacher who was assaulted. There’s got to be other alternatives.”

Acknowedgment – TV3 – Violent pupil needs to be supported, MoE

I know why.

It’s called “washing your hands of a problem”.

Note this from the above TV3 story,

Last year the ministry controversially decided to shut down the McKenzie Residential School for children with extreme behaviour in Christchurch.

The former principal of that school is not sure how effective the wraparound system will be.

“Anecdotally information we get is that pupils are struggling, principals are struggling and schools are struggling,” Greg Healy says.

Acknowedgment – IBID

The Ministry (or rather, this rotten government) had similar plans for Salisbury School, which also catered for children with special, high needs. Salisbury School, however would have none of it and recognised that the Ministry’s promises of “intensive wraparound support” was so much bullshit. (See previous related blogpost: Why Salisbury School was right to be wary of this government)

It was another principal, this time in Whangarei, who discovered the realities of “support” available from the Ministry,

A Whangarei school principal says a system designed to improve support for at-risk children appears to be bogged down in paperwork.

The Gateway programme began two years ago to co-ordinate the roles of Child, Youth and Family, doctors, schools and mental health services for children in care.

But Horahora primary school principal Pat Newman said from what he has seen, the gateway is blocked.

He said he has been trying since March to get an assessment for a young pupil with serious anger problems who hurts other children on a daily basis.

Mr Newman said various agencies have filed their observations about the boy and though he clearly needs specialist help, there has been no action. Now his classmates are afraid of him and have begun to exclude him.

Acknowledgment – Radio NZ – Paper-work seen as blocking support for children

The moral of this story?

Beware of the Man from the Ministry who sez he’s here to help.

Dominion Post – New depths in coded racism?

After the furore surrounding Nisbet’s racist cartoons in the Marlborough Express and The Press, Fairfax’s newspapers seem more circumspect at how they voice their casual racism.

Take this bit in the Dominion Post’s  editorial on 7 June,

Nobody can argue with the restrictions for suburban bars, which are in residential areas where the right of people to get a good night’s sleep clearly outweighs the right of proprietors to open into the early hours of the morning. There might also be a case for shorter opening hours for bars in Newtown, which has been identified by the council as high risk because of its demographics and the number of patrons seeking hospital emergency department treatment.

What does “because of its demographics” mean?

Could it code for… people with non-white skin colour?

Could it mean… people who are different to the rest of us by being poorer? Browner? Non-white, non anglo-saxon, non-gentiles?

Because it’s highly ironic that the anonymous author of that comment then refers to “the number of patrons seeking hospital emergency department treatment”.

Really?

Really?!?!

Funny that. Because according to previous reports in the Dominion Post, it wasn’t Newtown that has been the real problem in terms of alcohol-fuelled harm;

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Ambulance base for Wellington party central

Acknowedgment – Dominion Post – Ambulance base for Wellington party central

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'Pressure valve' medics patch up night's drunks (2)

Acknowedgment – Dominion Post –  ‘Pressure valve’ medics patch up night’s drunks

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It seems fairly obvious even to the most blind-drunk person that the real problem zone is not Newtown, but a few kilometres to the north, in Wellington’s boozy, brawling, bar-strip – Courtney Place.

But maybe the “demographics” aren’t as easily discernible in Courtney Place? And the voices of profitable booze-bar owners are more organised and louder in Courtney Place?

I wonder what the anonymous writer of that trashy editorial has to say on this?

Blogger’s shock discovery

The Blogger-Known-As-Jackal, may have uncovered something quite sinister in  the stranding of the m.v. Rena in October 2011.  Jackal writes,

“For over a year and a half now The Jackal has been attempting to learn exactly what was onboard the MV Rena when it ran aground near Tauranga on 5 October 2011. I was wanting this information to try and work out the potential environmental impact, but unfortunately my efforts have been in vain.

On 10 October 2011, I made a formal request under the Official Information Act (PDF) to Maritime New Zealand for information relating to what the MV Rena was carrying, which they declined. I then approached the Ombudsman about that lack of disclosure.

This week, I received the Ombudsman’s final ruling on the matter…”

See:  Rena to hold her secrets

Check out his blogpost, and look at the picture that Jackal posts. His assessment of the situation  seems to be on the ball: the Rena was carrying yellow-cake uranium.

And now it’s lying on the sea bed and shoreline of our east coast.

United Future – The Party you have when you’re not having a Party…

This week it was revealed that Peter Dunne’s “party”, United Future, did not have the required 500 signed up members.

Up till now, United Future has been receiving taxpayer funding, which all registered Parties are elegible to receive. Under parliamentary rules, Party leaders are entitled to receive an extra $100,000 to fund the leader’s office.

Winston Peters challenged this funding, pointing out that if United Future did not exist as a registered entity, therefore it could not receive Party funding.

The Speaker of the House – a National MP, but supposedly a “neutral arbiter” in such matters – made a surprising determination that United Future was still eligible for Party funding.

So, despite being de-registered by the Electoral Commission, it is still being paid taxpayer money?

Opposition Parties being mostly powerless, resorted to one of the few actions possible to display their opposition; Peters led a walk-out of NZ First MPs from the Debating Chamber.

Of course, that was dismissed by Dunne as  “children’s games”.

National Minister, Gerry Brownlee, also used the same phrase (see: Parliament walkout ‘childish’ – Brownlee),

“The Speaker is the sole determinant of how the rules are applied. They’re being really childish over this.”

That may be. But sometimes making a point requires that   “children’s games” are played.

Just like  on 4 September 2003, when National MP, Shane Ardern, rode a tractor up Parliament’s steps during  farmer protest against a proposed flatulence tax (see: MP runs into strife on tractor),

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Shane Ardern - tractor - Parliament steps - september 2003.

As reported by the NZ Herald at the time,

National leader Bill English, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, Act rural affairs spokesman Gerry Eckhoff and United Future leader Peter Dunne all voiced their opposition to the tax at the rally.

“Game-playing by children”: best done by National MPs with big, smoke-belching, noisy  machines.

By the way, check out Gordon Campbell’s comments on this issue – especially where it pertains to welfare beneficiaries: Gordon Campbell on the Speaker’s lifeline to Peter Dunne.

Interesting though, isn’t it, how this government can break rules and laws when it suits their purposes.

Like this…

Simon Bridges – Soft on Crime?

On 6 June, Minister of Labour Simon Bridges announced that Labour Inspectors would no longer be targetting retailers who unlawfully opened their doors to trade on Easter (see: Garden shop welcomes relaxed Easter laws).

Bridges said,

Where there are complaints they will be followed up, there will still be prosecutions but it won’t be as proactive as it has been previously.”

Evidently, according to the Minister of Labour,  “his department is moving away from enforcing shopping laws to clamping down on the abuse of migrant workers“.

Yeah, right. Of course they will.

This wouldn’t have anything to do with a failed Bill in Parliament, in 2010, to liberalise Easter trading laws, would it? This Bill, promoted by  Rotorua MP Todd McClay, and supported by Simon Bridges,  was  voted down in Parliament.

“I supported that because I think it is really inconsistent that the likes of Parnell, Taupo and Queenstown can open on Easter Sunday at the moment but Rotorua and Mount Maunganui, which are certainly frequented by many tourists, can’t.”

However, Mr Bridges said he would not support retailers opening on Good Friday.

“I’m personally in favour of some liberalisation of the law so that there can be more business made by retailers on Easter Sunday but I won’t go the whole hog,” he said.

Acknowedgment – Bay of Plenty Times –  Easter trade campaign gets MP’s partial nod

So the Bill which Bridges supported was voted down by Parliament. But now, Bridges is permitting illegal Easter trading through the “back door”, by withdrawing Labour Inspectors who visit law-breaking retailers, to issue infringment notices?

Is that how National ministers deal with inconvenient laws?

Is this how National demonstrates it’s “tough on crime” attitude?

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National hoarding staying strong on crime

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Darren Odering, of Orderings Garden Centres says,

“Personally I think its a stupid law. Nobody suffers. I think they’re doing that now anyway. They go to some of our stores and not others.”

Acknowedgment – TV3 – Garden shop welcomes relaxed Easter laws

The same could be said of this country’s marijuana laws: “its a stupid law. Nobody suffers”.  And yet successive governments spends millions in busting pot smokers and imprisoning them.

As I blogged last year on this issue;

Is it a “victimless crime”, as garden centre owner, Darryn Odering insists?

Or is this a a case of businesses manipulating ill-informed public opinion; selfish attitudes;  and exploiting their advantage as a minority of law-defying businesses, trading when their competitors are closed?

Oderings is open during Easter because it is hugely profitable.

Why is is hugely profitable?

Because it’s a public holiday.

Would it be hugely profitable if every single business was open on Easter Friday? Including schools, government departments, etc? In fact, if Easter Friday and Easter Monday was no different to any other day of the week – how profitable would it be for law-breakers like Oderings?

The answer, of course, is that it wouldn’t. It would simply be another business day. Let’s be clear here;

Oderings relies on it’s profits because it’s competitors obey the law.

Oderings would not have those huge  profits if it Easter Friday (and Monday) was another normal trading day.

So people would be at work .

So if the law is to be changed, let’s do it fairly and apply it across the board throughout the country: everything opens and everyone (with a job) works. Not just the captive retail assistants and fast food workers. Everyone.

And this is where the rubber hits the road. Do we, as a country, want to give up a holiday so we can all work like any other day?

And if we’re all working – how will that benefit us and retail outlets?

The answer is; it doesn’t benefit us. We get another day that shops are open and we’re all working. Oh  whoopty f****n doo.  What the hell did we just gain/lose?!?!

To all elected representatives, I offer this advice;

  1. If we’re serious about keeping our holidays, then it’s time that the $1,000 fine was increased to a more meaningful amount. $25,000 seems a nice figure. The current  penalty of $1,000 is meaningless. It’d be like sentencing a drug pusher to community service. Both are supposedly “victimless” crimes, after all.
  2. If we’re going to allow Oderings to open on Easter – then make it a blanket law, across the country. Everyone opens; everyone works.  That includes schools, banks, local bodies, government departments, Parliament, etc,  on Easter Friday and Easter Monday.  No one takes time off.

Now let’s see which way the public jumps.

See previous blogpost:  Easter Trading – A “victimless crime”?

Simon Bridges on democratic protests

Simon Bridges announced earlier this year that sea-going protestors who oppose deep sea drilling, will face harsher penalties, and may face interception and  arrest by our military.

The revised law includes interfering with or damaging structures, ships, equipment, operations or activities in the zone and could incur fines of up to $100,000 and up to two years’ imprisonment. (see: Prominent NZers fight environmental protest ban)

See also:  TVNZ Q + A: Transcript of Simon Bridges

Interesting to see now National ministers can be “tough on crime” when it comes to dissenters protesting against perceived threats to our envioronment – but not-so-tough on crime when it comes to commercial retailers deliberately  flouting the law, purely for personal profit-making.

Is this is how it works in New Zealand under a National government?

Dunne resigns as Government Minister!!

More here:  Dunne resigns as minister over GCSB leak

Key is  relaxed.

After Dunne – What about John Banks?

On 29 April 2012, Dear Leader Key said this about John Banks and the Skycity and Kim Dotcom “anonymous” donations,

I’ve sought an assurance from Mr Banks that he complied with local government law. He’s given me that assurance. I accept him at his word. If people don’t believe that they are free to test that with the police.”

Acknowedgment – MSN News – PM standing by under fire Banks

After the Police completed their investigation into the donations scandal, on 5 July 2012, it became apparent that John Banks had lied about the donations being “anonymous”. In fact, he knew damn well where they had originated from. Banks had made a full disclosure to the Police.

On 17 September 17 2012, Key stated categorically that he would not sack  Banks after these new revelations,

He’s got a version of events, others have got a different version. It’s not for me to forensically go through that. But I accept if he says to me, which he has, ‘look I didn’t know’ then I accept that. Look there is not court case against the guy.”

Acknowedgment – TVNZ –  Key not interested in calls to sack Banks

To protect John Banks, Key took evasive action,

The prime minister is resolutely refusing to take a look at the 126-page dossier from the police investigation into “anonymous” donations to Mr Banks’ 2010 mayoralty campaign.

Acknowedgment – Fairfax Media – Master of Keyvasive action

By not looking at the Police report, Key could claim that he had “no knowledge”  of any lies told by Banks.

Contrast that to Key’s handling of the Dunne-GCSB Affair.

First of all, Key actually read the report,

The report shows that Mr Dunne has not met all of the requests for information from the inquiry.”

Acknowedgment – Beehive.govt.nz – PM releases leak inquiry report, accepts Minister’s resignation

Secondly, he’s challenged Dunne on the issue,

He’s told me categorically that he didn’t leak the report. I want to believe him but the problem is unfortunately the inquiry doesn’t rule him out and I can’t dismiss the possibility that he has because of the information contained in the report.”

Acknowedgment – TVNZ – Peter Dunne: I did not leak the GCSB report

Read the report. Challenged Dunne. Accepted Dunne’s resignation.

What about John Banks?

  1. When will Key read the Police report into their investigation on the donations scandal?
  2. When will Key challenge Banks on the issue?
  3. Will he accept Banks’ resignation as he did with Dunne?

Double standards much, Dear Leader?

Lying prick.

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Fabulous Fridays

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Shock News: Roy Morgan predicting change in government!!!

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Red Green Up

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A current shock Roy Morgan poll predicts a  change in government, if the results are carried through to the next general election.

The poll results are as follows;

National: 41% (down 3%)

Labour: 35% (up 3%)

Greens: 12%  (unchanged)

NZ First: 4.5% (down 0.5%)

Conservative Party: 2.5% (up 1%)

Maori Party: 2% (unchanged)

ACT:  0.5% (down 1%)

United Future: 0.5% (unchanged)

Mana Party: 0.5% (down 0.5%)

A Labour-Green Bloc together would win 47%  of the Party Vote – beating National’s 41%.

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Latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll

Acknowledgment: Roy Morgan

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What makes this poll stand out above recent television and Fairfax-IPSOS polls are;

  1. The poll results appear more realistic in terms in terms of negative public sentiment to National’s policies,
  2. Roy Morgan polling has been more consistent,
  3. The polling takes into account respondents contacted via cellphone – a major criticism of other polls which only contact landlines.
  4. The figure of 41% echoes a comment made by National Party supporter and right-wing commentator, Matthew Hooten, on Citizen A on 16 May.

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The fact that polling is including respondents who may rely solely  cellphones gives Roy Morgan an added advantage over other pollsters, who only call land-lines.

As Statistics NZ tabulates it’s recent census data, we will soon have a better understanding of how many households rely solely on cellphones, with an absence of landlines. (See related blogpost: Census, Surveys, and Cellphones)

As well, note Matthew’s comment at 27.15, where he says,

“The impact of gay marriage. The private polling by the major parties shows both National and Labour sharply down. National in one private poll has a poll number with a ‘3’ in front of it…”

His ‘slip’ (?) and reference  to “a poll number with a ‘3’ in front of it” backs up Roy Morgan’s poll results perfectly.

The National Party hierarchy must be fully aware that the TV and Fairfax polls are inflated and unrealistic. Which is one reason why the Nats recently ‘caved’ to public pressure and implemented a restricted ‘Claytons‘   food-in-schools programme.

National’s support of State provision for  feeding children came as a bizarre  after-thought to the main Budget, and it could only have occurred if massive public pressure had been brought to bear. This kind of socialised service provision does not come naturally to a right wing Party like National.

Keep an eye on future Roy Morgan polls.

We are witnessing the inexorable decline of one government – as the next,  government-in-waiting, prepares to take the reins.

However, one Big Question remains: what will a new, left-wing, Labour-Green government do, once in power? For a further viewpoint on this vexing issue, read Morgan Godfery’s blogpost; What the left can learn from Lusk.

Do we unpick and wind back neo-liberalism? Or should we be content merely to ‘contain’ it?

NZ Power was a good start and received favourable support from the electorate. But that is only a start.

After thirty years of failed neo-liberalism, and with around 270,00 children living in poverty, there is much work to do.

The rebuild of Christchurch is under way.

The re-build of New Zealand is yet to begin.

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Previous related blogposts

Census, Surveys, and Cellphones

References

Roy Morgan Poll 29 May 2013

Citizen A 16 May 2013

Other blogposts

What the left can learn from Lusk

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