Perhaps its time for a WINZ equivalent of The Little Red Schoolbook - laying out beneficiaries' entitlements and processes open to them...
In the meantime there's this, if you're in Auckland. As of a month ago their doors were temporarily closed due to dealing with a backlog of cases.
So it's not quite correct to say that no action has been taken with respect to predatory lending.
Ten years ago a group of NGO welfare agencies delivered a report to then Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett's office citing the urgent problem of loan sharks drawing the vulnerable into unsustainable levels of debt. Barnett promised to bring it to the attention of the Minister of Consumer Affairs. Shamefully, nothing came of it.
It's an issue that's come up again during the tenure of each succeeding Minister of Consumer Affairs. Perhaps surprisingly it was ACT's Heather Roy who made the most positive noises about actually dealing with the problem, but that was as far as it went.
While the activities of loan sharks appear to have continued to flourish largely unchecked, the Government's breathtakingly radical solution turns out to be WINZ beating them at their own game.
Most weeks there is a talk by a 'muscular intellectual of the left' or two in a crowded church hall in Wellington and a robust discussion.
Little (no pun intended) risk of 'robust discussion' here. The comments on these Polity posts mostly follow the same pattern. People attempt to engage in good faith with Rob Salmond, as if whatever issue he's purported to raise might be advanced by the insights of a bona fide Party insider. Rarely if ever does he respond. For the most recent example, see Sacha's unanswered question upthread.
What a beautiful combination of blooms.
Indeedy. A really sweet bunch of images here, such a great tribute to ChrisW.
They are capable of making some very crappy kitchen ware, but I'm trying to keep an open mind on the food production skills.
An adage worth repeating: Food from China that isn't Chinese food, isn't food. Then again, there's Wuchang rice.
The Sallies in NZ appear to have learnt from their ill-advised blunder of the 1980s, when they publicly opposed homosexual law reform. Unlike the US, where they've become active deliverers of privatised welfare and even probation services, they've largely kept themselves aloof from any political taint.
The Church's willingness to become a tool of Government policy seems to be at the discretion of its local hierarchy. Closer to home, John Howard took what seemed a highly provocative approach when he appointed the very willing Salvation Army Major Brian Watters to head his ramped up punitive approach to drug law enforcement.
Declaring that "The wages of sin is death", Watters literally played the role of Christian soldier in the Australian war on drugs. "I say it's a phoney war. We're running around with popguns and they're chocolate soldiers. If we had the same approach towards stopping the invader in 1942 as we've got towards this problem now, we'd all be talking Japanese today."
On his retirement in 2005 Watters went on to a stint on the UN's International Narcotics Control Board in Vienna.
Not sure if this is the same tree, but definitely the same park and species. Looks like it would have been fun to get up close to the canopy. BTW these Australian banyans were presumed to be sterile in NZ, as they require a particular micro wasp to pollinate them. Then back in the 90s the wasp showed up in NZ. So the odds are that they're out there somewhere in the bush now, in their juvenile strangler phase.
The pic at the top is the giant at Pahi, on the northern Kaipara, from late 2012.
I can't believe that they are thinking of building subdivisions on Pukekohe soils, as intimated on TV1 news last night.
The Pukekohe area was the setting for many of the stories in Roderick Finlayson's unfortunately neglected Brown Man's Burden. The dispossessed Maori that Finlayson knew and wrote about in his IMHO often superb short stories had, in the wake of the land wars, been reduced to servitude to mainly Chinese market gardeners.
Te Puea Herangi made it her mission to better the lives of those she saw as her people. "I want the people on the land,. I want land in order to draw my people back from Chinese gardens. Maori women are living with Chinese gardeners. I had some stolen from me at Ngaruawahia. If the men cannot get a living many of them go to the Chinese. There are about 400 of my people at the Chinese gardens around Auckland, and 300 at Pukekohe. They have gone there to work because they need food and clothing. My scheme will help to bring people back to their land.”
While most of these events happened back before WW2, their effect is being felt right now as the Te Puea Marae open their doors to the homeless.
It's an old, established and quite boring industry,
Perhaps it was more fun in the olden days. A friend who drove in Auckland back then had a story about picking up a bunch of queens one Friday night. As they were waiting at the lights at the intersection of Customs and Queen one of his passengers leaned out the window and shouted to a young bobby on the beat who'd stationed himself outside the Dilworth Building "Get off my corner you slut!"