SQ Transp 2048


  • Human Rights, Environment Obligations, and Ethical Investment: Aotearoa New Zealand is Going Down the Wrong Path

     Dr Robert Howell

    1 Introduction and Summary

    A considerable portion of the world’s investments are unethical in that they have inadequate regard for the welfare of people and/or the planet. They invest in companies that abuse workers’ or other stakeholders rights.  Their activities destroy our environment.  Very few companies are fully fossil-free, or operate within ecological boundaries.  One of the reasons for this is that the term ethical investing is defined by such unvalidated concepts as ESG, or responsible.

    Read more: Human Rights, Environment Obligations, and Ethical Investment: Aotearoa New Zealand is Going Down...

  • Should the Reserve Bank target unemployment as well as inflation? Will the new government abolish the dual mandate?

    Back in 1989 – near the end of the fourth Labour government – the inflation-busting Reserve Bank Act was passed. Labour has shifted well away from the Rogernomics of that decade, and in 2021 Grant Robertson added maximum sustainable employment to the bank’s mandate - with the support of coalition partner NZ First.

    Our Reserve Bank joined a powerful grouping of central banks that have dual targets, including the US Federal Reserve, the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.

    Going into the 2023 election, National and Act committed to a return to the 1989 objective. Will they take us out of the mainstream and into a straitjacket rather than a life-jacket?  And how does it square with their stated aim of getting people off the dole and back to work?

    Coverage can be found here

  • The next three years – the job ahead for Labour, Greens and Te Pāti Māori

    The Fabians had a session on Nov 14th reflecting on the elections. Our panel of Simon Wilson, Senior Writer at NZ Herald, Bridie Witton, Stuff Press Gallery Reporter and Ollie Neas, freelance writer used the election results as a springboard to target some of the key issues for Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori as they head into opposition.

    Coverage can be found here

  • Rob Campbell on Pae Ora Health Reforms

    Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the Pae Ora health reforms with you.

    Since I was sacked by the Health Minister I have taken time to reflect on the experience and to make a considered assessment of what I learned in the process. My intention tonight is to share that with you, making the assumption that we share common ground in wanting to have an effective, efficient, excellent and equitable public health service.

    If anyone does not want that, I don’t really have anything useful to share with you.

    Read more: Rob Campbell on Pae Ora Health Reforms

Anyone willing to be a co-signatory to this letter to the NZMA Journal, please let me know. It has a better chance of publication than the open letter to RCAP previously sent. Keith Henderson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
To the Editor
New Zealand Medical Association Journal
Since July 2013 when the government's benefit 'reforms' saw the replacement of sickness and invalid benefits by a single job-seeker support, G.Ps have been signing application forms for work assessment bearing a quotation regarding the health benefits of work from the position statement on that subject from the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM), which is running a campaign on this theme. Those G.Ps who have been inducted by MSD as 'designated doctors are meanwhile being exposed to the scientifically more dubious claim that long term benefit dependency is a cause of ill health. There are several reasons why G.Ps should be skeptical of this attempt to manipulate them into denying beneficiaries something that used to be considered an entitlement. 
Firstly there is clearly an alternative hypothesis to account for the statistics of ill-health amongst beneficiaries, and that ispoverty, the health impacts of which get no mention whatsoever in the AFOEM document (or in the work assessment application form!) Included amongst the statistics adduced by the AFOEM to support its claim that unemployment causes ill-health are statistics of ill-health of children! Of the competing hypotheses, poverty is clearly the one that best accounts for this, and if it wholly accounts for it amongst children, it would be perverse to maintain that it did not do so for adults also.
The same government that has (for reasons entirely different from any supposed health benefits) vowed to reduce benefit numbers by 40,000 has meanwhile denied that child poverty is as deep and widespread as its critics claim. Moreover it has now been revealed that the deputy prime minister has been concealing a major underestimate of the true extent of child poverty. As long as it can claim support from the medical profession by appearing to address the poorly substantiated health effects of benefit dependency, the more likely the government is to continue in its state of denial re any link between poverty and illness. Increases in illness resulting from the higher levels of poverty attendant on the draconian administration of benefits is likely to far outweigh any decreases obtained by the miniscule number of beneficiaries finding healthy employment in an economic recession.
Thirdly, foremost amongst the promoters of the 'health benefits of work' is the holder of an academic chair sponsored by the world's largest disability insurer. Even worse, that insurer is one that has been thoroughly discredited the U.S courts for denying benefits to rightful claimants.
We, the undersigned consider it is time the medical profession objected publicly and loudly to being manipulated by government and the corporate interests it transparently serves.
The allegations made above are substantiated by links in an Open Letter to the Royal College of Physicians published on waitemataunite.blogspot.com. See also http://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/