Pay equity for health care workers

A major win for Kristine Bartlett, her union and 55,000 health care workers after the Government has agreed to a major boost in pay rates.

$2 billion pay equity settlement for 55,000 health care workers

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today announced that some of the health sector’s lowest paid workers will share in a $2 billion pay equity settlement over five years.

The wage boost follows the TerraNova pay equity claim brought by E tū (previously the Service and Food Workers Union) on behalf of care worker Kristine Bartlett.

“This settlement recognises the work carried out by the 55,000 workers in our aged and disability residential care, and home and community support services across the country,” says Dr Coleman.

“From July 1 this dedicated and predominantly female workforce who are mostly on or around minimum wage will receive a pay rise between around 15 and 50 per cent depending on their qualifications and or experience.

“For the 20,000 workers currently on the minimum wage of $15.75 per hour, it means on July 1 they will move to at least $19 per hour, a 21 per cent pay rise. For a full-time worker, this means they will be taking home around an extra $100 a week, which is over $5,000 a year.”

For these 55,000 workers this funding boost will see wages increase to between $19 to $27 per hour over five years. Existing workers will be transitioned to positions on the new pay scale which reflect their skills, and their experience. For new workers employed after July 1 wages will be based on an individual’s level of qualifications.

A care and support worker on the minimum wage with three years’ experience and no qualifications will receive a 27 per cent increase in their hourly wage rate moving from $15.75 to $20 per hour from July 1. That rate would progressively increase to $23 by July 2021 and would rise further if they attain a higher qualification.

The $2.048 billion settlement over five years will be funded through an increase of $1.856 billion to Vote Health and $192 million to ACC.  ACC levies are set for the coming years, but may possibly increase over the next decade to support this. However, that is not definite. There may also be an increase in costs for people in aged residential care facilities, whose assets keep them above the subsidy threshold. This will be determined through the annual Aged Residential Care contract negotiations.

“To ensure the pay rises happen in the agreed manner, I will be introducing legislation to Parliament shortly,” says Dr Coleman.

“I would like to thank E tū, Public Service Association, New Zealand Nurses Organisation, and the Council of Trade Unions for their constructive and positive approach throughout the negotiations. I would also like to acknowledge the New Zealand Aged Care Association, Home and Community Health Association, and the New Zealand Disability Support Network for the vital role they have played in reaching this agreement over the past 20 months.

“I would also like to recognise the employers who will implement this new wage structure and pass the rates onto their staff.

“Home and community support, disability and aged residential care workers are widely seen as amongst the most deserving of recognition as a pay equity case. It is an historic moment for the Government to address this undervaluing with Ms Bartlett and the unions.”

Some background from RNZ: Govt settles historic pay equity case

In 2013, Kristine Bartlett – a professional caregiver – successfully argued in the Employment Court her low hourly pay rate was a result of gender discrimination under the Equal Pay Act.

Health care workers, including age care and disabled  care workers, were grossly underpaid through the Government for doing demanding jobs largely done by female workers, so this is a big step up towards pay equity.

Not only will this pay health care workers what they deserve, it will also boost the incomes of a lot of low waged households and families.



Nutrition Finance and Government

By Duncan from Sustainable Life NZ

A glance at Nutrition Finance and Government.

As well as regenerating the degraded ecosystems of the world we also need to regenerate the health of the human genome. To understand nutrition today you almost need to be a biochemist It wasn’t always like that.

To achieve regenerating or at least trying to protect the human genome as a species there are many things we have to understand and accomplish, but you can make a difference the moment you choose to wake up. We have been indoctrinated into social systems with diets that favour the acidic spectrum. Any food that is acidic, contains the chemical binding agent starch. Any food that was made by nature, has a complete molecular structure, made by nature, no starch(or less), instead natural enzymes are present. Genetically modified foods are genetically modifying animals and us!

On one level our bodies are electro chemical entities, as such we require a certain electro chemical coherence to efficiently operate mentally, physically and emotionally. Natural alkaline food is bioelectric. There are states of energy within food, dead or alive, distorted or natural, and natural food plays a role in supporting immunity. Part of this immunity is combatting mucous and preventing further inflammation at an intracellular level.

So personally what can you do? Switching to a 70+%alkaline 30-%acid diet including large servings of leafy greens, and a nutrient dense Base Element diet, consisting of a delicious variety of natural foods will provide numerous wonderful health benifits! Detoxifying your body and ridding yourself of as much of the distorted information as you can will allow you to operate more efficiently and decisively. All this is important if you wish to have more clarity and longevity.

Also if you are able to produce your own renewable organic produce or even just purchase from organic local suppliers you will; reduce your waste contribution, not support corporations that put profits over people and environments, grow the industry of local organic produce which arguable has more transparency, improve your health, and potentially provide food security through sustainable organic home production! So while there are a myriad of problems if we can begin to understand the problems we can start working towards effective solutions.

Part of the problem here, is the elite agenda for a hostile corporate takeover of the biosphere. There is a systematic poisoning of the human genome AND the earths ecology. World banks, the federal reserve, International law, world conflict, media, the W.H.O, the U.N, the W.T.O, the industrial military complex and a web of transnational corporations are coercing to centralise control of all W.T.O countries, New Zealand included. Part of the agenda is to use the highly effective control mechanism of money to further instigate the economic slavery of individuals and remove the sovereignty of nations furthering the dissolution of democracy. In part, effectively creating a corporate global agricultural control grid.

We can made a difference! Money is an illusion. I call it creative wealth. Think of it like this, you reside on the earth, you want to build a house build anything physical, you need produce from your environment. So effectively you are not creating anything new you are manipulating products of the environments natural capital into a more effective use. With money, you are creating something from the non physical because you have bestowed a concept, a set of rules. It is an illusion! Nature doesn’t follow our rules! The Federal Reserve itself which controls the supply and production of money isn’t government owned but owned by a private entity! This technocratic, globalist agenda uses money and control of natural resources to manipulate people and nations, we can use their weapons against them! Create our own resource security and nationalise our assets, whilst boycotting corporations! These systems are the real terrorists, they just hide behind suits and logos.

The point is, the deception of our perceptions that we have undergone requires us to stay blind and adhere to the social norms and control structures that exist in place, so the agenda can be implemented. Through corporate control and deception of our perceptions, almost anything can be instigated, effectively with human ‘permission’.

We need to reclaim our political system. I don’t have all the answers, but I know it can be achieved. We are facing an election in NZ and I’m buggered if I know of any political party that does represent us and isn’t already in the pocket of corporate interests with a healthy amount of conflict of interests (or is controlled opposition). The whole political system has been manufactured to only advance those who don’t make a lot of noise, and are not policy based. The legalised bribery that is campaign contributions needs to end. Otherwise this dissolution of democracy and oppression of rights will continue. Instead of supporting parties support social movements or people with policy that makes sense.

Get engaged! If you can do your own research do so. While the government has you focused on terrorism and whatever other constructed issue, things are being implemented behind the scenes!

If we can’t rely on ‘our leaders’ to represent us we need to represent ourselves, more than a revolution we need an evolution of thought. Much love

People, ecosystems and future generations



The Nation – trade

On The Nation (9.30 am Saturday, 10:00 am Sunday):

Patrick Gower talks to Todd McClay MP about what happens next for New Zealand trade now the TPPA’s been Trumped.

Yesterday the Government launched a trade policy onslaught:

PM launches ambitious trade agenda

Prime Minister Bill English has today launched New Zealand’s updated trade strategy, Trade Agenda 2030, and reiterated the Government’s commitment to free trade.

The Prime Minister has also announced the Government’s ambitious goal of having free trade agreements cover 90 per cent of New Zealand’s goods exports by 2030, up from 53 per cent today, as well as investing $91.3 million over four years through Budget 2017 to help achieve this.


McClay is doing a good job of talking knowledgeable and reasonably frank about the prospects of future trade agreements.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says Government still wants to do a trade deal with Russia, even if Vladimir Putin is in power.

Trade Minister Todd McClay on a plane to meet Trump administration “within the month”.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says Saudi Arabia/Gulf states free trade deal will be signed this year.



Government battles crime targets

The National Party has been trying to portray successes in dealing with crime, but the Government looks likely to fail to meet it’s own targets on reducing crime.

Yesterday on Twitter promoting less bad crime statistics:

But RNZ: Govt likely to miss violent crime target

The government looks unlikely to meet its self-set target for reducing violent crime, under the latest information released for its ‘Better Public Services’ targets.

It might also miss its target for lowering reoffending rates.

The government said it was on track to meet seven of its targets for the delivery of public services, but said four needed “more work” if those targets were to be met.

The Better Public Service targets, which were set in 2012, include welfare dependency, immunisation rates and violent offending.

One of the targets was to reduce the rate of total crime by 20 percent by June 2018, violent crime by 20 percent by June this year and youth crime by 25 percent by June this year.

Total crime is down by 14 percent since June 2011, and youth crime by 32 percent.

However, violent crime has only been reduced by 2 percent since 2011.

Another target was to reduce the reoffending rate by 25 percent by this year, but that has only fallen by 4.4 percent.

The government had earlier signalled it would change the way this was measured because the total number of reoffenders, as opposed to the rate, had dropped by 26 percent.

So some improvements, but more challenges on crime reduction.

One oddity – if crime is reducing as much as is claimed – 14% – why is the Government increasing Police numbers by about a thousand?

Larger surplus

A larger than forecast surplus has been announced by the Government.

This will help National with their budget in a couple of months, and shouldn’t do their election chances any harm, but do they usually announce 7 month results? Or are they just want to get a bit of good news out there?

BREAKING: Seven month surplus better than expected

Even the Government misuses ‘Breaking’.

The Government’s books are better than expected, with a $1.1 billion OBEGAL surplus for the seven months to January, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says.

“Stronger tax revenues as a result of a healthier economy are flowing through to the Government’s financial performance,” Mr Joyce says.

Tax revenues year-to-date are 3.8 per cent more than they were predicted to be in Budget 2016.

“Company tax in particular is higher than expected, and that reflects the good performance of New Zealand companies in what is still an uncertain world,” Mr Joyce says.

The $1.1 billion OBEGAL surplus compares to Treasury’s forecast of a $517 million surplus at the start of the fiscal year.

Core Crown expenses for the seven months to January were $234 million lower than the Budget forecast, reflecting the Government’s ongoing commitment to prudent spending.

Mr Joyce says that a number of variables made the final out-turn for the full financial year hard to predict.

“The biggest variable at this stage is the cost of the Kaikoura earthquake and how those are allocated between this year and next year,” Mr Joyce says.

“The good news is that this Government’s strong economic management means we can afford to step in to help these communities and support them when they are most in need.”


“Reached the limits of what Government can do”

Comments made by Bill English in his speech at Ratana suggesting that Government had “reached the limits of what Government can do” have been criticised, but I think he makes a valid point.

ODT reported:

In a 10-minute speech which included a brief Te Reo introduction, Mr Little also criticised Prime Minister Bill English’s comments at Ratana yesterday. Mr English told Ratana members to “reawaken the spirit of enterprise” among Maori because Government had “reached the limits of what government can do – government grants, programmes, more public servants.”

Mr Little responded: “I come here to say that’s an abdication of leadership and an abdication of the responsibility of Government.”

But Andrea Vance at 1 News reported more detail: PM Bill English tells elders at Ratana the Government isn’t abandoning Maori

Andrea Vance: Both Mr English and the church seem to be in tune over pulling Maori out of poverty.

Bill English: Somehow along the way we have reached the limits of what Government can do, the limits of Government grants, programmes, more public servants.


And what I see around the country, and I think it’s obvious now to every New Zealander, is this burgeoning spirit of enterprise.

Piri Rurawhe (Ratana Church Secretary): That’s always been a whakauru (?) of Ratana. We need to help ourselves before we can help anyone else, and we like that whakauru.

Andrea Vance: Mr English says the Government isn’t abandoning Maori.

Bill English: Government is learning much better how to work with the people who know the people.

Apart from the overdone platitude ‘every New Zealander’ I think English makes a lot of sense here.

We can’t sit back and expect the Government to fix everything. It is often far more effective if the Government helps and encourages communities and families to help themselves as much as possible.

Obviously some Government assistance, funding and interventions are necessary, but people – individuals, families and communities – need to take responsibility for their own problems.

Solutions cannot easily or effectively be imposed, they have to be wanted, and those with problems (with some exceptions) ultimately need to address and resolve them themselves as much as possible.

There is only so much Government can do. Recognising this is important. I think English is on the right track here.

National’s ‘index of shame’

In Simon Wilson’s latest article in a series that mainly focusses on what Labour needs to do to turn around their failing strategies lists what he calls THE SHAME INDEX in  National’s Index of Shame, and the other issues the left needs to focus on this election.

Shame on them. Shame. On. Them. And disgust on them, because there’s an awful lot for Labour and the Greens to shame the government with. This is an incomplete list.

Wilson makes no attempt to disguise where his political preferences lie.

1. Child poverty

Combatting child poverty is a mindset. When you declare it, and mean it, you’re saying you’re putting children first, you’re going to work systematically and comprehensively and you’re going to prioritise this work. And it’s a terrifically valuable Trojan Horse: you can’t combat child poverty without doing education, health, housing, domestic violence…

That’s a lot of things to sort out – of course everyone wants less ‘child poverty’ and domestic violence, and better education, health and housing, but to be able to afford to spend more money on them you need a sound economy, sufficient tax revenue, and an appreciation of the challenges of making meaningful differences on all of these things. And the time it would require – waving a political wand is not going to cut it.

2. Filthy rivers

It’s about cows. Not just cows, but mainly cows.

There’s no doubt that water quality is a major issue of concern. And that the dairy boom is a significant factor. So do we force the number of dairy cows down significantly? Later in the article Wilson wants exports increased, and dairy is one of our biggest  exports.

Improvements are already happening, for example Fonterra requires waterways to be fenced off on farms supplying them with milk. Fixing the problems takes time – can dirty waterways be cleaned up more quickly?

3. Domestic violence

I put this up in a previous post, but where’s the comprehensive All Blacks-led campaign to remake the idea of what masculinity is?

Domestic violence (and violence in general) is one of the biggest blights on New Zealand society. The current government, and past governments, have tried to address it with some successful changes but nowhere near enough. It will take more than an All Black led campaign to fix it. And the All Blacks are not under the control of Government – why not an MP campaign?

4. Tax evasion

We already accept the principle of equality in our elections, with MMP. We accept it with GST: everybody pays. So why doesn’t the same principle apply to tax on all income?

Governments, through IRD, have worked to reduce tax evasion – it’s illegal so if it can be proven it is prosecuted.

It’s not clear what Wilson suggests here, but I doubt he really means a flat tax on ‘all income’, he doesn’t define income, and I don’t know if he understands what he is proposing or is just  pushing a populist anti-tax evasion  line without really knowing how to deal with it.

5. Farm worker deaths

Since 2013 there’s been a concerted safety campaign in forestry and it seems to be working. But the industry with the biggest number of workplace deaths (nearly five times more than forestry over the last five years) is agriculture. The government refuses to act.

It is certainly a serious problem, but to compare deaths in different industries the number of workers should also be compared. There is in fact about four times as many agriculture deaths per year than forestry deaths – see Workplace fatalities by industry – and the rate of both has dropped since 2013-14.

I would be surprised if the government “refuses to act”. In fact a government agency is trying to do something: “WorkSafe is partnering with farmers and their families, rural community, and sector organisations on a comprehensive information and education campaign starting from February 2015 to tackle the high number of deaths and serious injuries on farms.”

6. Underfunded mental health services

How is this not a major scandal?

Certainly a good case could be made to fund mental health, and all health services, better. How much of an increase in the total health budget would be enough? And where would that money come from?

7. The surging wealth inequality gap

Did you know the salaries of CEOs in our big companies jumped 10 per cent in 2015 and 12 per cent last year?

The escalation in higher incomes does seem obscene, but what is the solution? Impose income limits on private companies?

Should we care about high incomes? Shouldn’t the focus be on raising low incomes and increasing employment levels and productivity?

8. The housing crisis

Because the government has not wanted to unsettle homeowners or mess with their ability to buy more property, we have a housing crisis that is crippling the country’s major city and fast spreading to other centres too.

That’s an extremely simplistic view on the surge in property prices that is occurring in many countries around the world as well as New Zealand. It

Housing is a big issue but Wilson’s simplistic view is aimed at the effects rather than the causes, which are complex, are difficult to turn around, involves local bodies at least as much as central government, and appears to be more of a political hit than based on facts or reality.

9. The Emissions Trading Scheme

The government’s principal vehicle for meeting international commitments to fight the causes of climate change is ridiculously weak and misguided, partly because it excludes agriculture (46 per cent of our emissions) but also because it does not work as an effective tool for reducing the emissions it does measure.

The NZ ETS was initiated by the last Labour government and was tweaked by National and is ineffective. What is not stated nor probably known is what could be effective in it’s place.

One way of reducing agricultural emissions is to reduce animals numbers, which will impact on the exports that Wilson wants to increase.

10. Pike River

This one is pretty simple, really. Promises were made and human decency should prevail.

This is highly contentious but not as simple as Wilson suggests. If body recovery costs more lives who will be blamed? Some Pike River families think it’s a decent decision to leave the bodies where they are.

What is indecent is the level of politicisation of the issue by some. Labour have made noises but haven’t promised to recover the bodies.

11. The Saudi sheep deal

The auditor-general decided there was no evidence Murray McCully had been corrupt in putting this deal together, but she did identify “significant shortcomings”. This shabby affair set a new low for government integrity.


12. Housing the homeless

The shortage of emergency and short-term housing for the homeless is appalling in itself, but the added levels of bureaucratic absurdity just beggar belief.

To a large extent yes. Housing  and rental costs are a real and growing problem – but so is housing people who are difficult to house, especially those involved in using or producing drugs.

13. Healthy food in schools

Seriously, what would it cost to get serious about healthy eating in schools?

Wilson takes an odd shot here at a former National MP and links it to Dirty Politics. Is he playing dirty?

Should nutrition guidelines be enforced in school cafeterias?  And all food outlets close to schools controlled? Should more be done to provide ‘free’ (taxpayer funded) breakfasts and lunches to kids at school? No suggestions on any of this from Wilson.

14. Underfunded homecare services for the elderly

What nonsense – and, surely, how easy it would be to fix.

If it was easy and cost effective to fix I think that it would have been done. Does Wilson think that uneconomic underfunding is deliberate? More money will help, but where does that money come from? Taxes from dairy exports?

15. The neglect of Northland

The province of such beauty and such destitution. Northland’s not the only neglected part of the country but it’s one of the most obvious.

No suggestions on how to fix the regions including Northland. I would like to see more done to help regions but writing an online article isn’t a solution, it’s a vague diss.

16. Abuse of children in state care

This is historic but should be addressed better now. Are resources more effective in another inquiry, or in doing something practical?

17. Deep-sea oil drilling

It’s nothing short of perverse for the government to maintain its commitment to deep-sea oil exploration. Not only is it nuts to imagine there is any useful place in the future of this country for a growth in carbon fuels, but the companies themselves are no longer interested.

The Government isn’t spending money on deep sea drilling, they are allowing companies to explore of they choose. If they choose not to what’s the problem? Seems like a gripe without an actual problem.

18. Blaming Helen Clark

Seriously, they’re still doing it, in their ninth year in office.

Clark’s Government did commit the next government to some fairly hefty ongoing costs such as interest free student loans and Work For Families, both of which would be quite difficult to undo, but it does look pathetic to keep blaming Labour (rather than Clark).

This is a mostly vague populist political hit list from Wilson. It’s hard to see it making a significant impact on poliutical change.

I wonder if he balances it with an index of government achievements?

Simon Wilson’s Labour series

Simon Wilson, who left as editor of Metro Mag in October, has written a series of articles at The Spinoff over the last few days that almost appear to be the beginnings of some sort of an election campaign.

His main focus is on what the National led government is doing wrong and what Labour in particular needs to do to take over. His political leanings are fairly obvious. In one article he says he would have voted for David Shearer and Helen Kelly.

But there is quite a bit of interesting and thought provoking content – particularly for Labour if they are willing to concede that their current strategies are failing and they need to lift their game substantially.

The articles up until yesterday:

Welcome to election year in NZ. Here’s how the Labour Party can make it a real race

Does Andrew Little stand a chance of leading a centre-left government into Christmas 2017? Ahead of Labour’s caucus retreat this weekend, Simon Wilson has been pondering their task.

The Andy Plan: A 3-step programme to make Labour’s Little an electable prime minister

If Andrew Little hopes to lead the centre-left to victory in the election later this year, he’s got a lot of work to do. In the second of a six-part series, Simon Wilson sets out the task.

The identity politics debate has become cancerous for the centre-left. One Labour MP showed how to join the dots

Is identity politics destroying the Labour Party or is that just the catchcry of a bunch of old white guys trying to get their own way again? Is Labour really a broad church party? Here’s the third part of Simon Wilson’s analysis of Labour in 2017.

Social investment: the two uninspiring words upon which the entire election could hang

If the National Party gets its policy of “social investment” right it could stay in power for another generation. So what will Labour and the Greens do about it? Here’s part four of Simon Wilson’s analysis of Labour in 2017.

Hear us out: There are lessons for Labour in Trump’s win

What on earth can the left learn from Donald Trump? Quite a lot, as it happens, as Simon Wilson explains in part five of his week-long analysis of Labour in 2017.

I don’t know whether Wilson is angling for a press job with Labour for election year, or is offering up his advice because that’s where his interest lies (or perhaps he may be planning a similar series on National (who he generally blasts in this series), Greens, NZ First and other parties contesting the election.

Wilson’s latest article will be addressed in my next posts – see National’s ‘index of shame’.

Turei: “a very radical economic and social agenda”

In an end of year interview with Stuff  Green co-leader Metiria Turei claims that National have “a very radical economic and social agenda” that will become more obvious now “they don’t have the friendly face of John Key to soften its blow.”

The most common criticisms of the National dominated Government led by John key and under Bill English’s economic management has been that they haven’t done enough, that they have been a do nothing ‘steady as she goes’ Government.

I think that more people will see Turei as the one with a very radical economic and social agenda.

That’s why National have been getting in the high forties in the last three elections (44.93%, 47.31%, 47.04%) and Greens seem to have plateaued (6.72%, 11.06%, 10.70%).

I think there is a fairly strong voter resistance to a government strongly influenced by the Greens even under Russel Norman’s attempts to present a moderate, fiscally responsible party. Turei has always been seen as a radical.

Stuff: There’s a new political landscape now, and Greens co-leader Metiria Turei is here to play

Solving child poverty is so obvious…if only leaders didn’t cheapen the seats of power and the media calmed down a bit.

We should all calm down, let Turei wave a Green wand and all our social and environmental problems will be fixed without any adverse impact on the economy. Heaps of money redistributed to the poor and no oil for the rich.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei has some choice words about the political year past.

It delivered some shock results, one shock resignation and a “disgraceful” lack of progress on social issues like poverty and housing, she says.

There has certainly been challenges for the Government on housing, but they have been criticised for not doing enough, not for being radical.

There has also been growing pressure – by political design and aided by media – on inequality and child poverty, and again National have been criticised for not being radical enough.

“John Key never had a commitment to public service. For him, it was never about the best public welfare. I think he saw it as a challenge for him personally and I think he enjoyed quite a bit of the job, at least until these last couple of years.

“He certainly made the role of Prime Minister a much more superficial one than it’s ever been before.”

The public/media side of Government and Prime Minister has always been superficial. Key has generally done well with that, but that doesn’t mean more in depth things haven’t been done with less publicity.

However, Turei offers some praise for Key’s decision to leave when he did.

“I’ve always thought politicians should go at the top of our game…rather than getting kicked out and carried out, walking out on your own two feet is a much better thing to do.

“It was wise the way [Key] did it for himself. What he hasn’t done is leave a genuine legacy for the country.”

It’s too soon to judge Key’s legacy. But Key has succeeded where Turei has failed – they both became MPs in 2002, Key by ousting a sitting MP and winning an electorate, Turei as a list MP.

Key spent 6 years in opposition, then the last eight years leading the Government.

Turei has been 14 years in opposition. The Greens have increased their vote since she has been co-leader but seem to have hit a Green ceiling.

She may still get to experience the realities of being in government, and discover that rapid radical economic and social changes are not as easy to implement as she seems to think. And not without adverse effects.

Next year’s election could be make or break for Turei’s legacy.

“I think it’s going to be a really exciting election, because changing the Government is so possible this time around,” she says.

It’s certainly possible – but it was also possible in 2014 and the Greens were very confident of growing their support significantly so they would have a big say in government, only to be disappointed – so much so that Russel Norman decided to opt out.

But if Turei talks too much about others being very radical on economic and social issues she risks drawing attention to herself and her own ideals, and they are far from conservative.

“A very radical economic and social agenda” probably describes Turei more than any other MP, and certainly more than any other party leader.

Most voters probably see Turei as a Mad Hatter compared to TweedleDumLabour and TweedleDeeNational.

Bill’s Cabinet reshuffle

Bill English announced his Cabinet reshuffle this afternoon.

“An opportunity for the Government to renew itself with fresh energy.”

Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett will remain the Minister of State Services and Climate Change Issues and will pick up the Police, Women and Tourism portfolios.

Steven Joyce will pick up Finance and Infrastructure

Gerry Brownlee will remain the Leader of the House and retain Supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Defence, and the Earthquake Commission portfolios. He will also be appointed as the Minister of Civil Defence.

Simon Bridges and Amy Adams have both picked up additional senior ministerial responsibilities. Adams has had Social Housing added to her Justice portfolio.

Simon Bridges continues as the Minister of Transport and will pick up the Economic Development and Communications portfolios and Associate Finance, while Amy Adams retains Justice, Courts and picks up Social Housing, Social Investment and Associate Finance.

Amy Adams will take a lead role in driving the Government’s social investment approach.

Alfred Ngaro, Mark Mitchell, Jacqui Dean, David Bennett will be new Ministers, Ngaro new in Cabinet.

Alfred Ngaro picks up Pacific Peoples, community and voluntary sector, associate minister for children and associate social housing.

Mark Mitchell gets Stats, associate justice and land information.

David Bennett will be associate immigration minister.

Jonathan Coleman continues in his Health and Sport and Recreation portfolios.

Michael Woodhouse has been promoted up the Cabinet rankings (19 to 9), retaining Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety and picking up the ACC portfolio.

Anne Tolley has picked up Local Government and will also be appointed Minister for Children, where she will continue her work on improving outcomes for children and young people. (Note change from ‘Vulnerable Children’ to Children.

Hekia Parata will retain the Education portfolio until May 1, at which point she will retire from the Ministry to the back bench.

Murray McCully will retain the Foreign Affairs portfolio until May 1 at which point he will retire from the Ministry to the backbench. A decision on his replacement will be made at that time.

Judith Collins (who has lost Police and Corrections) “has not been demoted” takes on new responsibilities in Revenue, Energy and Resources and Ethnic Communities, and is well placed to oversee the significant business transformation work occurring at Inland Revenue.

A number of Ministers largely retain their existing responsibilities, including Chris Finlayson, Nathan Guy, Nick Smith, Todd McClay, Maggie Barry and Nicky Wagner.

Paul Goldsmith and Louise Upston have been promoted into Cabinet.

Goldsmith gets Regulatory Reform and Tertiary Education.

Upston picks up Corrections (she was incorrectly picked as a demotion).

Hekia Parata and Murray McCully will exit the Cabinet in 1 May 2017 and move to the back bench (they won’t stand in the election). This means there will be no by-election in McCully’s  East Coast Bays electorate but English says this is to help with transition in Foreign Affairs.

English says he will make an announcement later on who replaces McCully and Parata.

Nikki Kaye would “likely” get education but has a light workload for now.

Nick Smith, who was rumoured to face demotion, keeps environment and building and construction and is at 15 in the rankings (he was 11). English says this isn’t a demotion, new ones have gone up.

There is no ‘Minister of Housing’. Housing will be covered by Nick Smith (Construction) and Amy Adams (Social Housing)

English appears to have ducked a tough decision on housing – Nick Smith is still effectively the housing minister but there has been a change of title from building and housing to building and construction.

Ministers Sam Lotu-Iiga, Craig Foss and Jo Goodhew are departing the Ministry.

English says Goodhew didn’t do anything wrong, but her demotion “it’s just part of a process … she wants to be in Parliament … we are considering other roles for her”.

There will be 21 positions in Cabinet until May 1and a further six outside Cabinet (including two support party Ministers) keeping the total number of Ministerial positions at 27 plus the Parliamentary Under Secretary David Seymour. 

“I would like to thank our support party leaders Peter Dunne, Te Ururoa Flavell, and David Seymour for their continued contribution to a strong and stable government.”

“The Broadcasting portfolio has been disestablished. Its responsibilities now included within Communications & Arts, Culture and Heritage”

Kitchen Cabinet: English, Bennett, Joyce, Brownlee, Bridges, Adams, Coleman.