Poverty, inequality and tax by Susan Grimsdell

I’m always puzzled that politicians, the ones who either run the country already or want to run it, fail to see that introducing policies that make things a bit more equal will make things better for everyone. Who benefits from tax cuts? For example, the National Party is campaigning on a promise of tax cuts, but their plan will benefit people who are already doing quite well, and benefit the poor hardly at all.  Those on $90,000 a year will get an extra $58/week, those on $15,000 will get $1.35. Our Labour… Read More

The state of the nation by Angela Caldin

Yesterday, I had two interesting conversations which I’ve been pondering on overnight. The food bank phenomenon I was on the tube when I met a colleague from my days in the magistrates’ courts. He’s a defence solicitor and therefore sees on a daily basis and at first hand the poverty and deprivation experienced by many of those who commit petty offences. He commented wearily that food banks are just about the only growth industry in this country nowadays. It’s true that food banks are springing up even in areas which are traditionally… Read More

Earning a Crust by Trevor Plumbly

Dollars and Sense? As the old Jewish saying goes, ‘There’s no profit in looking in another man’s pocket.’ By and large, I’ve done my best in life to avoid doing that, but a newspaper article the other day forced a bit of a rethink. A CEO of one of our leading banks is now being paid over $4 million a year; stick a few perks in the mix and you’d probably end up nearer the $5 million mark. Big salaries are an accepted part of American corporate life; what I’m asking is,… Read More

Blaming the Victim by Angela Caldin

Some societies and cultures view a rape victim as to blame for what has happened to her. She is seen as damaged and may suffer isolation, be disowned by friends and family, be severely punished or even be killed. When this happens, we are shocked and call such behaviour barbaric. But the same phenomenon of the shifting of blame has now been revealed to have happened here on a big scale. One of the many horrifying things to come out of the report on the grooming of young girls by predominantly Asian… Read More

A Sporting Chance by Trevor Plumbly

A Nation Obsessed by Sport International image is pretty important to most countries, especially small ones, and New Zealand is certainly no different in its anxiety to scrub up for foreign approval. Superficially, we shine up pretty well: ‘Godzone’ and all that, a clean, green land occupied by smiling, tattooed Maoris, All Black rugby players and all manner of sportspeople gung-ho to show the world what a tiny country can achieve on the world stage. Medals and titles won are usually accompanied by an ‘against all odds’ reference to our somewhat sparse… Read More