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Archive for July, 2013

All Kiwi sickness and invalid beneficiaries will now be subject to same requirements as those on the dole…


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    :roll:Its not about job creation but about the Governmen cutting costs and saving money on some of New Zealand society’s most vulnerable citizens. The biggest shake-up since the Social Security Act of 1938 was passed by the first NZ Labour Government 1935-49…

    An welfare advocacy group is warning that thousands of Kiwis will suffer under newly implemented changes to the beneficiary system.

    Auckland Action Against Poverty said the latest round of reforms, which require all sickness beneficiaries ,sole parents and widows with no children under 14 to look for fulltime employment like other job seekers, would have a brutal impact on the wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of children and adults who are dependent on the state for survival.

    The reforms, which come into force today, represent the biggest upheaval in the welfare state since the Social Security Act was passed by the first Labour Government in 1938.

    Other new obligations include drug-testing for jobseekers in relevant industries.

    Auckland Action Against Poverty spokeswoman Sarah Thompson said the changes were aimed at decreasing the number of beneficiaries in New Zealand, rather than job creation.

    “All New Zealanders who end up on welfare will have more hoops to jump through or face punitive measures as the Government attempts to push them into low-paid insecure work – no matter what the downstream cost.

    “This is not about getting people into decent work [and] it’s not about job creation. It’s about cutting costs by pushing vulnerable people off the books,” she said.

    The group will hold information stalls outside three Work and Income offices in Auckland today.

    Ms Thompson said there had been an increase in the number of beneficiaries who had been “sanctioned” for slip-ups in the last two months.

    Some had also had their benefits reduced due to Work and Income errors.

    What are the changes?

    The reforms represent the biggest upheaval in the welfare state since the Social Security Act was passed by the first Labour Government in 1938.

    All sickness beneficiaries, and sole parents and widows with no children under 14, are now subject to the same requirement to look for fulltime work as other jobless people, although sickness may be accepted as a valid reason to postpone work temporarily.

    Other new obligations include drug-testing for jobseekers in relevant industries, which is expected to trigger benefit cuts for up to 5800 people, and a requirement for beneficiaries to clear outstanding arrest warrants.

    About 8000 beneficiaries have arrest warrants outstanding for issues such as unpaid fines. Unless they clear them within 38 days, their benefits will be halved if they have children, or stopped completely if they don’t, in what is likely to be the biggest single purge of the benefit rolls since the system was created.

    Papakura case study

    The co-ordinator of the Pikorua Community House in a low-income part of Papakura, Michelle Neho, said many people with outstanding warrants would go back to drug-dealing rather than pay their fines.

    A Herald investigation into how the changes will affect people’s lives in Papakura, as a case study of a high-welfare area, has found widespread fear of the reforms even among those who are supposed to be exempted from the work-search requirements.

    “A lot of people are scared about the warrants to arrest,” Ms Neho said. “There’s a lot of people that have thousands of dollars of fines outstanding.” Some would rather come off the benefit than pay all their fines.

    The huge reorientation of welfare shifts the focus from the short-term unemployed, which largely left other beneficiaries alone, to a new “investment approach” aimed at finding work for those who are likely to stay on benefits the longest and cost taxpayers the most – mainly the sick, disabled and sole parents.

    Work and Income chief Debbie Power said 85,000 people – mainly the sick, long-term unemployed, and sole parents and widows with no children under 14 – would move today into intensive “work-focused case management” with 760 personal case managers to help them find jobs and overcome barriers such as transport and childcare costs, addictions, debts and workplace attitudes to mental illness and other conditions.

    A further 1000 sole parents and 1000 people with mental health problems will be handed over to contractors who will be paid from $2250 to $16,500 for each person they place in employment for at least a year.

    But it should be remembered that tax evasion probably costs the State ten times as much as they expect to save from welfare reforms.

    These so-called welfare reforms are just cheap,despicable attacks on New Zealand’s defenseless poor. A nation is judged on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. British system attacked in the House of Commons because many mentally ill Britons committed suicide.

    Work and Income shopfront on Waiheke Island.

    Work and Income shopfront on Waiheke Island. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Pride Petterson- Robati, lock forward for Melbourne Storm Under 20 Thunderbolts(Boltz) in the thick of things against Bulldogs…

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Melbourne Storm

Melbourne Storm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Pride Petterson-Robati - Holden Cup Rd 18 - Bulldogs v Storm

Holden Cup Rd 18 – Bulldogs v Storm

In This Photo: Pride Petterson-Robati

Pride Petterson-Robati of the Storm is tackled during the round 18 U20 Holden Cup match between Canterbury Bulldogs and the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium on July 14, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.

(July 13, 2013 – Source: Mark Nolan/Getty Images AsiaPac) more pics from this album »
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Great Scott – Kiwi driver Dixon makes it three Indy car races in a row…

Scott Dixon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway...

Scott Dixon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Miller Lite Carb day for the 2009 Indianapolis 500. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three In A Row For Scott Dixon

9Entering the race weekend at Pocono two weeks ago, one of the biggest story lines of the 2013 IndyCar season was the struggles of Chip Ganassi’s race team. Leave it to Scott Dixon to do something about that. He won his 3rd race in a row on Sunday, this one in dominating fashion. For sweeping both races at Toronto, “The Iceman” earned himself a nice $100,000 bonus. Dixon had as close to a perfect race on Sunday as a driver could ask for.

Dixon’s win from pole position was impressive. Helio Castroneves finished 2nd and remains the championship leader heading into the next race at Mid-Ohio. Sebastien Bourdais finished 3rd, giving Dragon Racing their 2nd podium of the weekend. Dario Franchitti and EJ Viso rounded out the top 5 on Sunday.

It was a weekend to forget for Helio’s teammate, Will Power. In both races, he ran up front all day, only to lose it all in the final laps. Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay got tangled on a double-file restart at the end of the race. After Ryan’s problems on Saturday, both of these drivers are probably looking forward to leaving Canada. They finished 18th and 19th on Sunday.

Dixon has moved himself into 2nd place in the standings, with 6 races left in the season. He trails Castroneves by 29 points. Dixon now stands alone in 7th place on IndyCar’s all-time wins list. The 6 drivers ahead of him are named Foyt, Andretti, and Unser.

Dixon led 81 of the 85 laps, and had a 16-second lead at one point in the race. The 3rd Ganassi car, driven by Charlie Kimball, finished 6th on Sunday. It wasn’t a great return home for James Hinchcliffe, who had mechanical issues before the start of the race. The standing start went well though, which we should see another one in Houston later on in the year.

After a hectic schedule in the past few months, the series will finally get some much needed time off. Dixon is on a roll, but he will have to wait for his opportunity for a 4th win in a row. The next race is in 3 weeks, at Mid-Ohio. There is another 3 week break after that race. The Honda Indy 200 is scheduled for August 4, and will air at 3 PM ET on NBC Sports Network.



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Our Haley is back on her game – Kiwi singing sensation Haley Westenra hitting the high notes again…

English: Hayley Westenra during her concert at...

English: Hayley Westenra during her concert at Hampton Pool, Surrey, 1 Aug 2009 Deutsch: Hayley Westenra – Konzert in Hampton, Surrey, am 1. August 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Haley Westenra’s regal recovery


She’s the Kiwi singing sensation who almost gave it all up after a breakdown in 2008. Now, Hayley Westenra is back at the top of her game professionally, is engaged to the man of her dreams, and has finally worked out how to achieve balance in life. She will also be one of the voices Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s baby will hear most, after she was chosen to record a lullaby especially for the newborn next month.

“I think William will be a wonderful dad. He is the real deal, very grounded,” says Hayley (26), who has been a favourite of the royal family for more than a decade – she once performed for the Queen three times in the space of two weeks. The singer and Prince William have bonded, due to their love of rugby and music, and Hayley fondly recalls the time she attended a barbecue at her hometown of Christchurch, where Wills was ruling the tongs during an official visit in 2011.

Hayley has spent plenty of time with the royal family, including Princes Harry and Charles.

“I really got to see how compassionate he is,” she says.

“I introduced him to my family and he instantly wanted to know how they’d been affected by the quake. He’s genuinely interested when you talk to him.”

Although she did have to pinch herself when he gave her a burger at the memorial for earthquake victims.

“He is down-to-earth whenever I’ve met him, but having him serve me at a barbecue was really bizarre,” she laughs.

“Afterwards, we were joking about how we had to both go for a long run, to make up for all the desserts we’d eaten.”

“Sometimes I really do have to pinch myself when I think about some of the amazing things I have experienced.”

Hayley’s new album, Hushabye, features Sleep On, the lullaby written especially for the royal baby.

“The idea took me by surprise, as I only expected to do an album like this when I was with child myself,” smiles Hayley, who confirmed her engagement to Frenchman and fellow rugby fan Arnaud Sabard on New Year’s Day in 2012.

“But then I realised that I could put some of my favourite tunes on it and record the sort of album I’ve always wanted to do.”


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Richie McCaw supports an integrated global rugby season…

Richie McCaw, il Capitano, Miglior Giocatore d...

Richie McCaw, il Capitano, Miglior Giocatore dell’Anno! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Richie McCaw carrying the ball behind a maul (...

Richie McCaw carrying the ball behind a maul (All-blacks) 5 meters away from the Springboks goal-line during a tri-nations match at Westpac Stadium on July 30th, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


World respected All Blacks captain, Richie McCaw, backs an integrated global rugby season.

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NZRL Age Grade National Competitions 2010


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National Competition


2010 Winners:

The 15s competition final saw Counties Manukau beat Wellington Orcas 30 – 16 to become the inaugural holders of the Nathan Cayless Cup.

In the 17s competition Counties Manukau beat Auckland 22 – 12 and became the inaugural holders of the Mark Graham Cup.

The third final saw two committed Premier teams competing for the Albert Baskerville Trophy withAuckland beating Counties Manukau 14 – 6.

NZ Residents 2010 here

2010 National Merit & Residents Teams:

15s Merit Team
Position Name Zone
3 REUBEN RENNIE Counties Manukau
4 LAFU FEAGAIGA Counties Manukau
5 EZRA TOGIA Wellington Orcas
7 TAUTURU HAPUKU Counties Manukau
8 PAUL TULI Counties Manukau
9 SEMISI TYRELL Counties Manukau
10 PJ LOSE Heartland
12 WATSON HELETA Counties Manukau
15 KAURI AUPOURI Wellington
16 JULES WEBLEY South Island
17 PETER DILLEN Counties Manukau
17s Merit Team
Position Name Zone
1 ROGER SHECK Counties Manukau
2 JEREMY HAWKINS Wellington Orcas
3 REGAN HAIKA Waicoa Bays
5 VILIAMU LOLOHEA Counties Manukau
6 CARLOS HOTENE Counties Manukau
8 DAVID BHANA Auckland
9 SILIVA HAVILI Counties Manukau
10 MIRO ATERA Counties Manukau
11 CADE UMAGA Wellington Orcas
12 JESSE PERETE Heartland
17 MICHAEL SIO Auckland
NZMRL  2010
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Christchurch mayor Bob Parker spells out the reasons for not standing at the coming elections…

Mr Parker said he is taking responsibility for the actions of his council, which has had to ask for Government help as it loses its building consents accreditation and associated insurance cover.

Bob Parker says Christchurch deserves to have a fresh start.Bob Parker says Christchurch deserves to have a fresh start.


He said on Saturday one of the reasons he’s quitting is because he’s been subjected to unintelligent, uninformed drivel from critics.

Mr Parker said previous mayor Gary Moore had said some unpleasant things about him, which were drivel.

He said he feels he has done his best for Christchurch, and someone fresh needs to take over.

But Mr Parker said his decision not to stand in the council elections in October, was triggered by events this week.

Dalziel surprised and saddened at decision

Christchurch mayoral candidate Lianne Dalziel says she is surprised and saddened by Bob Parker’s decision to not seek re-election.

Mr Parker said on Friday he is exhausted after six years in office, three of them since the first earthquake, and cannot sustain the stress of the job for another term.

Ms Dalziel is the only declared candidate for the mayoralty so far. She is also MP for Christchurch East.

Although she is seeking Mr Parker’s job, she said was incredibly sad to hear that he will not be running against her.

Ms Dalziel said Mr Parker provided strong leadership immediately after the earthquakes.

She said his decision will pave the way for major changes at the city council.

Meanwhile councillor Glenn Livingstone said on Saturday Mr Parker’s decision was face-saving and preferable to probable political annihilation at the election in October.

The decision was also welcomed by the Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network, which said the council needs good leadership to allow the rebuild to take place, but that was not happening under Mr Parker.

English: Hon Lianne Dalziel presenting a 2008 ...

English: Hon Lianne Dalziel presenting a 2008 award to Robert Ibell (Cycle Champion of the Year) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Show-down between Kim Dotcom and NZ PM John Key at Parliament’s committee rooms…


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Elephants on Petone Beach in 1934…


A Christchurch man is in a coma after a fall in Thailand – in a critical condition…

English: The Village of Ashford in County Wicklow

English: The Village of Ashford in County Wicklow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Christchurch man is in a coma in Thailand after suffering horrific head injuries in a fall from an apartment building, the Irish media reports.

Robbie Robinson, 32, was injured in the fall 13 days ago after a night socialising with friends in Bangkok, says.

Robinson had stopped in Thailand on his way back to Christchurch, where he has lived for some years, after a month visiting family in Ireland.

His Facebook profile says he is originally from Ashford, County Wicklow.

He had reportedly left his keys inside his apartment and tried to climb on to the balcony, the Irish news website said.

He lost his footing and fell several metres to the ground.

A source was quoted as saying his family was holding a bedside vigil and were “praying for a miracle”.

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