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Jesus wept – Toa the baby orca who had the temerity of dying cost $10 000???

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Jesus wept – Toa the baby orca who had the temerity of dying cost $10 000???

At that price Toa could get a Spinoff podcast paid by NZ n Air to waste.

4000 hungry children living in motels will be so happy to see money spent on a dead baby whale that was always going to die.

Surely Toa is the most expensive virtue signaling this year, and as such must be eligible for NZ on Air funding?

You can’t champion $10000 for a dead whale when we have 4000 kids living in motels.

Come on.

Can the hungry children eat the dead whale?

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I wish the Government spent less time telling me they are doing a great job and more time just putting a needle in my arm!

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So I wasn’t paying attention. I’m sick of having the State demand my attention all the time so the more I can mute them the happier I am.

I knew the vaccination process for Group 4 was being booked by the end of this month so I went to check when I can finally get a fucking vaccination in my arm.

July 28th they cried, July 28th.

I was expecting to book a time on July the fucking 28th.

Surprise fucking surprise- like everything with this Government there is fine print lies.

The fine print lies are now a bullshit ‘age band’ fuckwittery that’s right – I still can’t get fucking vaccinated until some time in fucking September.

I knew I was being lied to when the Government said July 28th so I should have expected a bullshit fine print lie that pushes it far past July the fucking 28th, so I only have myself to blame.

Im guessing that there will be more changes and more stretching the truth to suite the latest version of the narrative.

I wish the Government spent less time telling me they are doing a great job and more time just putting a fucking needle in my arm!

 

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July TDB Contribution Drive

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Folks it’s the end of the month and we are passing around the hat. If our journalism has touched you this month, nothing says thanks like cash!

We are the only ones calling it the way we do.

If you value having an independent news voice and are in a position to contribute – please do so here.

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Political Caption Competition

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You know your Police Minister is in trouble when the weakest National Party MP ever is beating them up weekly.

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The Daily Blog Open Mic – Wednesday – 28th July 2021

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Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.

EDITORS NOTE: – By the way, here’s a list of shit that will get your comment dumped. Sexist language, homophobic language, racist language, anti-muslim hate, transphobic language, Chemtrails, 9/11 truthers, Qanon lunacy, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics, 5G conspiracy theories, the virus is a bioweapon, some weird bullshit about the UN taking over the world  and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.

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Quarterly Inflation Rising Steadily Across The Board – Statistics New Zealand

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Higher prices for transport and food have driven up inflation for the all households group in the June 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

The ‘all households group’ represents all private New Zealand-resident households.

Inflation for the all households group, as measured by the household living-costs price indexes (HLPIs), increased by 1.1 percent in the June 2021 quarter. Each quarter, the HLPIs calculate how inflation affects 13 different groups, while the consumers price index calculates how inflation affects New Zealand as a whole. In the June 2021 quarter, all 13 groups experienced inflation of between 1.0 and 1.2 percent.

Visit our website to read this news story and information release and to download CSV files:

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Home Upgrades That Will Boost Your Property’s Value

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Across the country, there is a short supply of available homes in the market. With this, prospective sellers get an upper hand in the real estate negotiations. But that’s not all, the property owners are continually looking for ways to improve their property value even further. 

And yes, with a few strategic home improvement projects, you can increase the quality of life in the near-term future. Such projects are also likely to increase the property value especially when you sell them. 

However, which upgrades are likely to pay off down the road? Such include: 

  • Use Lighted Bathroom Mirrors 

Bathroom remodels add a lot of value to your property thus increasing the profits when selling the house. For instance, some bathroom additions like lighted mirrors can enhance the appearance of the bathroom in many ways while making it more attractive. Yes, the benefits may seem small at first, but they are surprisingly beneficial to your home and your life. 

Take time to understand how these mirrors work. Their benefits and available styles in the market. This information helps you to better prepare and ensure that you’re not spending money on items that you don’t need. 

  • Open Up the Floor Plan 

A buyer wants to see a spacious living area, dining room, and kitchen. Therefore, you can knock down the right walls to create this additional space. And even better, buyers want a design that’s completely or partially open around the three areas. 

An open arrangement allows for more natural light into the property. The experience is always inviting. It gives the buyer an impression that they have more space to play with. 

However, before you knock down some walls, consult the experts. That said, a home still needs definition and structural support between spaces. Therefore, consult an interior designer before picking up a sledgehammer. 

  • Go Green 

Many prospective real estate buyers prioritize environmentally friendly amenities in their homes. Well, you can enhance your home for this by installing a rainwater collection system or vegetated roof for landscape irrigation. Further, you can include solar panels and solar-powered landscapes on the property exterior to appeal to eco-conscious buyers. 

  • Add a Home Office 

Due to covid-19 restrictions, many people are working from home. While this is common, it comes with a variety of challenges. 

For instance, what do you do when you’re in the middle of a discussion and a family member comes and asks whether you fed the dog in the morning. Embarrassing, right? 

Having a home office is a small addition that’ll create value for the house. Reasons, the buyers can have a quiet time as they work from the comfort of their home. 

Conclusion 

A home upgrade project works to improve the value of your property. It’s also a fantastic method of increasing the property’s asking price. It also entices potential buyers into the front door to assess the rest of your magnificent border. Once you make these changes, your property increases value almost immediately. Further, it increases the curb appeal especially when the exterior is modernized.

 

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The Advantages of Facebook Marketing for Your Business

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Social media networks have altered the marketing landscape. Having a professional profile appears to be a requirement for any entrepreneur – especially for small enterprises. It has been demonstrated that developing a good online presence may assist them in growing and being more known.

 

It is challenging to run a successful marketing campaign on major social media sites such as Facebook. Nevertheless, if done correctly, it will expand your business’s opportunities and attract more consumers. Here are four benefits of Facebook marketing for your business.

 

Increased Brand Awareness

One of the most significant benefits of Facebook advertising is the opportunity for exposure. It also aids in the development of a strong internet presence. If you build a professional account for your company and execute a creative strategy that involves a diverse variety of individuals, your brand will most likely become more known. The more individuals who can recollect your company’s name, the better.

 

Increased Website Traffic

One of the most popular social media sites is Facebook, with more than 2 billion active users. Your company profile may attract a wide range of demographics, allowing you to access existing and future clients irrespective of region or age, even if your specialty is extremely limited.

 

You would not have achieved that without a Facebook business profile since no other network has a diverse user base. Furthermore, Facebook users may share information and browse for specific items and services by using keywords closely related to your specialty. When it comes to social media marketing, this is a huge benefit.

 

Expert Authority

Having a professional Facebook account is an excellent approach to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. The goal is to create credible, high-quality material that is both relevant and timely. The greater the number of people that share or repost it, the more trustworthy you become.

 

If your company’s profile is regarded as a reliable and reputable source of information, it will be easier to attract new clients and retain existing ones. It’s a great objective to have when it comes to building and growing your professional internet presence.

 

Various Advertisement Formats

The variety of ad options available on Facebook is a significant benefit. These let you utilize both images and text to convey your company’s story and attract new customers. These ad types are classified as videos, pictures, collections, and carousel advertisements, which vary in placement and design.

 

Having a variety of advertising to select from helps you to showcase your company from various angles. You may also reach a larger audience and create a variety of material. Regardless of the format, you select, whether it’s a video commercial or a sponsored story, you can put your company in the best way possible and highlight what it’s all about in a completely controlled manner.

 

Facebook advertising is a powerful instrument that allows businesses to reach a larger audience, establish a solid online presence, and market their services. Social media networks continue to change and affect the world that we live in. They are here to stick, so you must embrace Facebook online advertising services if you would like your company to grow and succeed. Contact us for your Facebook advertising needs.

 

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Hard Questions Remain For Openness Conference For Animals

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How open should researchers be with what they do to animals in experiments? That’s the question being discussed at a conference on openness in animal research.

The conference is being hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART). The conference is primarily composed of industry representatives and animal researchers, but for the first time ever the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) is attending.

This is the first time an animal advocacy group has attended the event, in keeping with progress towards openness. But the Executive Director of the NZAVS, Tara Jackson, says some hard questions remain.

“This has been an excellent first step in opening up a dialogue, but it remains to be seen how open these organisations are actually going to be,” said Jackson.

“Is the public going to be given unlimited access to the really horrific experiments, or will they only be shown the less impactful experiments?”

“When a project won’t really stand up to public scrutiny, like when an animal suffers to increase profits, will the public get to hear about it?”

Jackson is concerned that some groups may try to gain the appearance of being open without revealing the parts the public might be concerned about.

“There is a big difference between a PR exercise to get the public on board, and genuinely allowing the public full access to know what is going on,” said Jackson.

“Ultimately the public has a right to know what is happening to these animals. Morally, and often legally, the public has every right to be able to scrutinise what is happening to animals,” said Jackson.

The group has exposed many experiments in the past that it claims did not hold up to scrutiny.

“From proposals to test party pills on animals to gassing pigs to increase profits of the American pork industry, we repeatedly find experiments that Kiwis are against when they find out about them. Are we going to have to continue to dig for these experiments or will animal researchers be open about everything?” asks Jackson.

Despite concerns about the extent of openness that is actually being promised, Jackson is pleased that there is some progress.

“Ultimately every step towards openness is a good thing. A lot of horrific things that happen to animals in experiments are only allowed because no one knows about them.”

NZAVS promises to work with organisations that are genuinely willing to be open but promises that it will continue to investigate and expose horrific experiments when they are hidden.

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Poverty report highlights why Labour’s Neokindness isn’t enough

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Poverty burden for children increases in first year of COVID-19 due to Government neglect – Child Poverty Action Group

Poverty, inequity, homelessness, and food insecurity have increased for New Zealand children throughout the first year of COVID-19, partially due to Government neglect, the latest Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) report says.

CPAG is an independent charity that works to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand through research, education, and advocacy.

Its report, called The first year of COVID-19: Initial outcomes of our collective care for low-income children in Aotearoa New Zealand, was released on Tuesday and outlines the impacts low-income children faced during the first year of the pandemic.

New modelling in the report shows young Māori and Pacific children were about 2.5 to three times more likely than Pākehā children to have entered poverty in the 12 months after the start of the lockdown last year. Also, changes in youth homelessness and chronic absences for low-income students were worse for Māori and Pacific people than for Pākehā.

Labour’s Neokindness is doing very little for the poorest amongst us.

Take last weeks supposed $20 per week benefit rise that wasn’t, over half of beneficiaries didn’t in fact get the $20 promised!

Majority of beneficiaries won’t be $20 better off despite Budget boost

In May’s Budget, the Government announced it would lift all main benefits by $20 a week on July 1 in order to help vulnerable New Zealanders put food on the table and pay their power bills.

But modelling from the Ministry of Social Development for Budget 2021 shows that 193,000 individuals and families are estimated to receive less than $20 per week because the additional financial assistance they receive for accommodation or other costs will fall as a result of their main benefit rising.

It is estimated 178,000 people will receive an increase of $20 or a little bit more.

You can’t promise $20 knowing that less than half would actually get it!

MSD have seen this increase as a way to make revenue by clawing it back from beneficiaries, this money is for the poorest, it’s not so fucking Wellington bureaucrats can build themselves a new glass palace in Wellington!

I’m getting a tad sick to death of listening to this Government tell us with straight faces that lifting 30 000 kids out of poverty is somehow a meaningful response to the poverty crisis.

It is not.

Look, even if, and I mean IF, they actually do lift 30 000 kids out of poverty (and I say IF because we saw how their promises of jobs from the Provincial Growth Fund were a jokeso even IF they lift 30 000 kids out of poverty, that still leaves a staggering 190,000 children in poverty!!!

You can’t boast about saving 30 000 kids while leaving 190 000 behind and still ask for a pat on the back!

This isn’t leadership, it’s capitulation. These new figures make the meaninglessness of Government Policy look even more pathetic!

If only we could put in as much effort  lifting children out of poverty as we do on middle class tax breaks for electric cars, a billion dollar bike lane and hate speech legislation.

We hate beneficiaries so much that a crumb is sold as a mountain.

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MEDIAWATCH: Spin-off & Stuff as social engineering Government propaganda

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Weekly Editorial Meeting at Stuff 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I always thought everyone knew Spin off was nothing more than a social engineering Government propaganda platform for middle class millennials masquerading as ‘journalism’, but the amount of Government money poured into the SpinOff has surprised us all.

The SpinOff is Wellington’s megaphone in Auckland and its ‘journalism’ consisted of framing a Labour Party Staffer for rape from someone who doctored evidence.

This grotesque wound of ‘journalism’ didn’t stop SpinOff drowning in taxpayer dollars because the way NZ on Air works means a select few elite opinion platforms get all the cash to ensure their elite opinion circle jerk shuts out all else.

This woke cavalcade of poorly viewed taxpayer funded content created with all the same intellectual rigor of your average suburban Wellington mommy blogger trigger thresholds has produced an editorial team who are in a daily struggle session to prove who hates heteronormative white cis males the most.

$6million dollars so white people can feel guilty and virtue signaling their therapy learnings just seems so fucking Wellington, am I right?

Apparently Stuff could take $300k for a ‘cultural competency course’ which obviously didn’t cover goading Martin Devlin into a suicide.

Watch for how both new organizations pump Jacinda propaganda for the Hate Speech laws.

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EXPLOITATION IN PIOPIO – ANGRY LOCALS TAKE REVENGE? LOCAL DRIVES TRACTOR INTO SUPERETTE

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At 5am last Saturday a mystery driver rammed a tractor into a shop that the locals accuse of exploiting migrant workers. 

This is a story of several hard-working people who came to New Zealand in search of a better life. Instead, their dreams were shattered in the tiny township of Pio Pio (just south of Te Kuiti in King Country). But this time the locals are stepping up to end this mistreatment. 

It all started with a victim we call Allan*. He was employed at the Piopio Superette by Avinash Mudaliar and his wife Bidya. Like thousands of migrants in this country, he was forced to give cash back to his employer to keep his job and remain in New Zealand. Under immigration visa rules, Allan was contracted for $25.50 an hour. But what is becoming a new norm in arrangements like this, he was required to return everything above the minimum wage back to his employers.

The evidence is undeniable. We have audio recordings where the Mudaliars directly implicate themselves. In one, Bidya demands Allan to pay money back, saying “otherwise you won’t get paid”. In another recording, Avinash instructs Allan that this money is required every week, otherwise he won’t get his next pay-check. 

If that was not enough, the Mudaliars sent texts each week stipulating how much money Allan was to pay them. Bidya claimed that giving money back was part of the “deal” that they and Allan had entered into. Of course, there was no deal, merely a powerful party forcing its will on a powerless party. There is no shortage of evidence, just a lack of justice.

Allan had no choice but to comply as his visa was attached to the job at the Piopio Superette. If he lost his job, he would face deportation. Over time Allan became increasingly resistant to these extortionist demands. His growing courage drew the anger of Avinash, and Allan was dismissed for “serious misconduct”. Apparently he left a pie warmer on. Allan was hand-delivered his immediate dismissal notice by a relative of the employer while he was at home. Allan was banned from his workplace and has not allowed to step inside since. 

This was an egregious act to get rid of a victim who started to stand up for himself. We claim that in just seven months the Mudaliars extorted over $4,000 from Allan. 

One Union have filed a Personal Grievance case to get Allan’s money returned. We are also seeking compensation. The Mudaliars deny the allegations. However since we agreed to help Allan, we have been contacted by locals and former employees with their own stories of mistreatment by the Mudaliars. Apparently this has been going on for years. 

One long term resident told us that a worker of the Superette would visit her home to make calls to relatives back in India. This victim left New Zealand mentally broken and financially destitute. In our union work e come across this situation too many times. The local say that there has always been a high turnover of staff who have been many victims of exploitation. 

Another former worker who had to return to India tells us that over the course of nearly two years working for the Mudaliar’s he was paid $9 an hour, later raised to $11 an hour,  working up to 70 hours a week doing shifts of 16 hours.  There were no chairs in the store and the worker says the workers would have to stand for the entirety of their shift. He says he was never paid more than $600 in any week even after working 70 hours. We are taking his case now too. 

Stories like this are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more former workers of the Mudaliars with similar stories of exploitation who are afraid to come forward.  But something  inspiring is happening. Since we got involved, the locals have stepped up to support the workers. The local newspaper King Country News is following this story up. Good on them. Real news still happens, even if it’s only in small towns. 

Locals in Piopio have been going into the store to give the Mudaliar’s a piece of their mind about their exploitation. Apparently the employer has made a complaint to the police about their treatment. Wouldn’t it be nice if the police were there to arrest exploiters for criminal theft, rather than people who call an exploiter out. The Mudaliars have threatened to sue me for defamation. Telling the truth is something exploiters aren’t used to. They think it’s a crime. Beyond irony. 

Police are investigating and trying to find out who drove the tractor into the store. The locals say the community has closed ranks. Nobody is saying a thing. We are told the superette has lost a lot of trade. As the locals find out more of what is going on, they are mobilising in support of the workers and against exploitation.

Workplace abuse has become too commonplace in New Zealand. But communities coming together to confront exploitation will end it.  Pio Pio sets an example for us. It’s a great start. 

………………………………..

 

Matt McCarten is the director of UTU for Workers Campaign. If you know anyone who is being abused or exploited contact me at Justice@utu.org.nz  

*name has been changed to protect the worker.

 

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GUEST BLOG: Ian Powell – Restructuring primary health when you haven’t got a clue

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Minister of Health Andrew Little’s White Paper on the Government’s ‘health reforms’, announced in April, included the unexpected intention to abol ish New Zealand’s district health boards (DHBs), effective 1 July 2022.

DHBs are unsurprisingly largely associated in people’s minds with hospitals. Some would argue that this makes the health system hospital-centric. Not so. Hospitals attach the greater public and media attention because they deal with the most complex, specialised and acute (non-deferrable) cases along with emergencies.

In other words, hospitals are the place of last resort for those cases that can’t be dealt with elsewhere in in the health system. Hospitals are the most integrated part of the health system.

As a consequence hospitals are the part of the system where a sad or bad outcome for patients is more likely to occur and where access is more likely to be delayed or denied. It is not difficult to see how hospitals will continue to function next July: pretty much the same as now (how they might subsequently evolve is another question).

DHBs and community health

While recognised internationally as an asset, an underappreciated role of DHBs is their responsibility for community health which includes primary care delivered largely by general practitioners. DHBs have a geographically defined, integrated, whole-of-population responsibility for both community and hospital healthcare. Their integrated nature makes them relatively advanced organisations in advanced universal health systems.

The abolition of DHBs means hospital and community healthcare will be more structurally separate than at present and a consequential diminishing of integration. Andrew Little’s White Paper would have the DHBs responsibility for the provision of primary care at least transferred to new ‘locality networks’ overseen by the highly centralised ‘Health New Zealand’ (a new national bureaucracy responsible for the funding and provision of healthcare to be established by 1 July 2022).

The Simpson review on localities

The Heather Simpson-led Health and Disability System Review Panel didn’t say much about localities, but it did propose locality plans with indicative budgets for each locality based on age, ethnicity and deprivation.

Locality plans under Simpson would have included:

  • health needs assessment results (including unmet need for different services)
  • what primary care services would be available to meet these needs and in what settings
  • how networks of services would be organised and provided, and by whom
  • how access would be enabled
  • how specific populations would be served
  • the outcomes these activities were expected to achieve for defined populations.

By ‘locality’, Simpson meant a geographically defined area with a population of between 20,000 and 100,000 people, with footprints that make sense for the community being served. Localities could be aligned to council boundaries, iwi rohe or natural borders. PHOs would disappear. Sensibly, presumably to reduce transaction costs, the population analysis currently undertaken by Primary Health Organisations would have been picked up by each locality’s DHB.

The April White Paper keeps Simpson’s localities alive through what it calls ‘locality networks’. But it doesn’t build on the Simpson review in terms of what these might comprise. Instead, there is a generalised, imprecise implementation process.

The most noticeable difference between the Simpson review and the Little White Paper is that the former was based on the continuation of DHBs (albeit fewer of them), whereas the latter is based on their abolition.

Distant relationships

This means a greatly increased distance between the accountable statutory body, the new Health New Zealand, and the locality networks it will be responsible for developing and supporting, including the necessary engagement and understanding of local population health needs. The difference is the expansion of bureaucratic centralism at the expense of closer local engagement.

The Health and Disability Review Transition Unit led by Ernst & Young senior partner Stephen McKernan is vague on an implementation timeframe for primary and community health to be “reorganised” through localities, other than over the “next few years”.

Each locality is to have a consistent range of core services and a locality plan. General practices and other primary care providers are to form part of a wider locality network with “shared goals”. Locality networks may not necessarily have responsibility for geographically defined populations, as DHBs presently do and as the Simpson review envisaged.

‘Health New Zealand’, in partnership with an equally new Māori Health Authority, will be responsible for implementing localities from 1 July next year through phased rolled out tranches, starting with early prototypes. Budget 2021 allocated $45.98 million over four years to develop prototypes and test the locality approach. Of this, $9.6 million is for five to six prototypes in 2021/22, covering about five per cent of the population.

It is clear that the thinking on locality networks is embryonic at best. McKernan himself has acknowledged this, in a recent update from his unit, by advising there is “…still a lot of work to do on designing how localities will operate in practice”. Translation: we haven’t a clue!

Working it out as you go

This ‘working it out as you go’ approach is risky. It means that the centralised ‘Health New Zealand’ is well placed to call the shots at the expense of local engagement, especially at the critical prototype and foundation stages.

It would have been better to have used the advantages of local population knowledge of the DHBs and then, once locality networks were up and running, make a call on the future of DHBs. With such a vacuum of understanding of what might comprise localities and their networks, the abolition of DHBs next year is premature. Unfortunately, common sense isn’t the way of white board warrior business consultants who the government listens to the most.

When cooking meals, chefs start from a recipe. Locality networks have yet to get to the recipe stage. Has Minister Little created an avoidable muddle with his locality networks? We haven’t reached that destination yet. Perhaps we are in a pre-muddle situation.

[This is a revised version of my latest column in New Zealand Doctor Rata Aotearoa published on 21 July]

Ian Powell was Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, the professional union representing senior doctors and dentists in New Zealand, for over 30 years, until December 2019. He is now a health systems, labour market, and political commentator living in the small river estuary community of Otaihanga (the place by the tide). First published at Otaihanga Second Opinion.

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GUEST BLOG: Katy Thomas – Jacinda, as one mother to another, your medicinal cannabis apathy is hurting our kids

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Eddy’s lips alternate blue and white with RSV he contracted whilst in hospital to monitor his seizures.  The children of New Zealand went back to school today but not mine.  I’m staring down at Eddy’s retractions as he struggles for breath in his sleep.  The skin sucks in between his ribs and at the base of his throat.  His abdomen flexing again, again, again, again, again.  I’m staring into the silence, still no air rushes in.  

Just like in his seizures, he can’t breathe.  On the 6th attempt, he gasps and fear flutters over his little grey face. Water rushes into my mouth and I think I might be sick.  I swallow back the bile.   All-consuming panic flushes over me in a cold sweat as I bite my nails to the quick. At war with my thoughts – should we go to hospital?  Or will it make him sicker?  An overwhelming sense of déjà vu sends me reeling.  

A week ago today we buried my friend’s son, taken by RSV.  Like Eddy, he had severe epilepsy and used medicinal cannabis for his seizures.  Charlie marched (in his wheelchair) down Queen St for access to medicinal cannabis.  He was the light and love that lit up his parent’s hearts.  Sadly, he never lived to see the fruition of a law he helped inform. He never found the perfect cannabis medicine before he died due to lack of choices available here. 

The past 3 years took a toll on Charlie and his devoted parents, especially his Mum who I connected with through the medicinal cannabis patient community.  Although our sons were different in age and diagnosis, the similarities between them were enough for us to find commonality despite diversity.  Both of us full-time carers and solo Mums for the better part of our journey.  We both speak the language of forced poverty on disability.

Unpaid carers provide approximately $17 billion of free support to the 1.1million New Zealanders living with disability.  Carers are mostly women.  30% of disabled children live in solo-parent households.  As the breadwinner, I was confident in my ability provide for Eddy as a solo parent when I left my ex-husband.  4 months later Eddy’s epilepsy started and nobody ever spoke of the economic sacrifice 24hr caregiving entails.  Let alone inadequate supports, sleep deprivation and mental distress.

More than half of children in poverty live in a household with at least one disabled person. We discovered CBD the year after his seizures started and I clearly remember Eddy’s then neurologist telling me I was eligible to go on the benefit.  I was stunned she thought it was possible to support a child with so many needs on such a pittance.  It wouldn’t even cover the cost of his medicine each week, let alone shelter, food and additional therapy.  

Unwillingness to invest in cannabis medicine and funneling money into a punitive judicial system that simply can’t sustain itself is killing our kids. Eddy is twice as old now and the costs keep rising.  He eats more, he takes more medicine, medical specialists cost more than $500 an hour – and that is the price of access.  True costs run bigger than that.  Because CBD isn’t funded and because our access was prohibited, we had to go to the emergency department twice in the last month.  We will probably have to go again this week.  

(More burden on overworked, underpaid, undervalued women aka nurses)

Disability Is both a cause and consequence of poverty under our current government.  Caused by barriers to education, reduced earning capacity and significant additional costs which create financial hardship. Disability is a consequence of financial constraints which prevent access to healthcare.  Economic hardship increases the likelihood of living or working in environments that adversely affects health outcomes.

Poverty is not an inevitability. The UK invest 3 times what we do in disability and consequently, there is no causality between poverty and disability.  The UN highlights the importance of financial support for carers to compensate for their lack of access to the workforce. Parents of children living with disability in NZ are frequently forced to foodbanks, churches and family.  This is demeaning, energy and time consuming.

“Caregivers and their children shouldn’t be living in such despair.”  Child poverty elimination demands scrutiny of the relationship between poverty and disability in New Zealand. .  Fragmented funding, incoherent policy and inadequate subsidies are forcing poverty upon our most fragile children.  How our own PM can claim to be the Minister for Child Poverty without material reform for carers ignores the true costs of raising a child with disability.

Improving access to medicinal cannabis will immediately improve the quality-of-life outcomes for both patients and carers.  Upholding barriers passes added burden to whanau and primary care for conditions that could be managed at home.  The costs of hospital instays are born not only by the New Zealand tax payer but burnt-out medical professionals and carers – mostly female. 

Medicinal cannabis is a feminist issue.  It’s an access issue.  It’s a forced poverty issue.  It’s a New Zealand issue.  And it doesn’t have to be any of these things.  Jacinda may not have built the glass ceiling but it’s time she stopped standing on our backs to prop it up.  

Katy Thomas is a TV Presenter, business owner and patient advocate.  She has a petition at her blog site wellfitmum.com and you can learn more about her journey at Instagram.com/iamkatythomas   After Eddy was refused ketogenic diet support for his epilepsy through ADHB, she started ketogenic food company Keto Happy Co. to improve patient access and support.  When she isn’t working on that she is Mum to Eddy and Harry.

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Holes in the Tundra: Why Burping Cows Are the Least of Our Worries.

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THE GREENS would like to see New Zealand’s dairy herd diminished … substantially. Not only would this go a long way to reducing the farming sector’s excessive methane emissions, but it would also assist mightily in cleaning up New Zealand’s waterways. Fair enough. Just so long as those same Greens are willing to tell the voters that a policy of reducing the number of cows is, at the same time, a policy of reducing their living standards. Now, it’s possible that upwards of 10 percent of Kiwis are happy to wear that – for the planet. Much more likely, however, is that upwards of 50 percent are not.

New Zealand’s dairy herd has increased substantially for a very good reason. More dairy cows were needed to compensate for the falling revenues from meat and wool. The year-on-year increases in New Zealand’s dairy production bear testimony to the energy and skill of her dairy farmers who, in the space of barely 25 years, have transformed the New Zealand countryside to accommodate their industry’s phenomenal expansion.

Did they know this would come at a huge environmental cost? You bet your life! As did successive governments. Did they go ahead anyway? Of course! Had they not, this country would be a lot poorer, and its people considerably unhappier. Unhappy voters may be acceptable to the Greens, but as far as the other political parties are concerned, courting the voters’ displeasure is a less-than-optimal election strategy.

Herein lies the problem with Climate Change. Everyone knows it should have been stopped. Everyone knows it could have been stopped. Everyone knows it’s not going to be stopped. Or, rather, no one’s going to make a serious effort to stop Climate Change until its far too late. And it’s already far too late.

In Norway, just a few days ago, in a little town well north of the Arctic Circle, the temperature topped 30 degrees Celsius. Temperatures even more extreme have been recorded in Northern Siberia. What’s that drip-drip-dripping sound? Well, yes, it’s what’s left of the Arctic ice shelf melting away. More ominously, however, it’s the sound of the Eurasian mantle of permafrost turning to slush. Now if you think cows pose a methane problem, the methane problem arising from melting permafrost is just going to ruin your whole day.

Not to put too fine a point upon it, if the Eurasian permafrost mantle melts, then the gigatons of stored Methane released will trigger runaway global warming. Basically, we – and just about all the other animals on the planet – will be cooked. The melting of the permafrost would, therefore, constitute an extinction level event – essentially, it would be unsurvivable. And, guess what: the permafrost is melting; at an alarming rate and in the most spectacular fashion. For more than a decade now, huge holes in the tundra have been appearing all across Siberia – evidence of massive methane eruptions. And that’s just for starters! Eurasia has barely begun to belch!

So, please forgive my guffaws when the likes of Andrea Vance start lecturing New Zealand’s farmers on Climate Change. As if the burps of our cows are in any way comparable to the vast methane burps already wafting up from the Siberian tundra. Do these folk not realise that we could slaughter every last dairy cow in New Zealand and the world’s climate scientists would struggle to measure the effect? Don’t they know that New Zealand contributes just 0.17 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions? Are they unable to grasp that the ever-increasing frequency of extreme weather events is proof that humanity is already in the grip of a planetary crisis from which it cannot extract itself? Certainly not by purchasing electric cars and embracing a vegan lifestyle? Why do we applaud this kind of empty virtue-signalling? It’s nuts.

Just how nuts is demonstrated by the fact that New Zealand is now importing dirty Indonesian coal to keep the Huntly Power Station’s furnaces glowing. Yes, that’s right, having shut down our own coal mines, we are reduced to loading the stuff onto huge ships and sailing it across the ocean. When, finally, it reaches our shores we transfer it into specially designed railway wagons and transport it to the Waikato, where Genesis Energy sends the fatal by-product of its combustion up two mighty chimneys and into the atmosphere. According to the hapless Energy Minister, Meagan Woods, we are going to have to keep on doing this for at least the next ten years – by which time a vast hydro project in the South Island will apparently be ready to take up the slack.

Not good enough for Forest and Bird. Its Director, Kevin Hague (a former Green MP) is insisting that burning coal is just plain immoral, and that Huntly be decommissioned immediately. New Zealanders, he says, will just have to make do with less electricity.

Huh! That means when the hydro lakes are too low; when there’s insufficient sunlight to power-up the solar panels; and when the wind’s not blowing hard enough to turn the big turbines; the lights will go out. The stove won’t work. And, if we’re in the grip of a heatwave like the one frying western Canada and the United States, the air-conditioning will stop keeping us cool. Since keeping the lights on, and the air cool, is the very least we expect from our politicians, those deemed responsible for plunging us into an overheated darkness are bound to get a real electoral kicking.

Which pretty much brings us back to where we started. Coming to terms with the fact that Climate Change is a bit like Heaven. Everybody wants to get there, but nobody wants to die. We know the planet must be saved, but we are unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to save it. When the American Vice-President, fresh from his secret 2001 conclave with the big oil companies, declared: “The American way of life is not negotiable.” He knew what he was talking about. It would be foolish to think that New Zealanders are any different.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

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