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Lindsay Mitchell: Sepuloni

Hot on the heels of media nonsense about Ardern's departure - for instance, it was driven by misogyny despite many of her harshest critics being females - comes the fawning over Sepuloni.


In the NZ Herald Thomas Coughlan writes:


Sepuloni’s elevation to the top may challenge this. She’s Social Development Minister and may keep this role after the reshuffle (she’s excelled, so far).


And at RNZ Jane Patterson says:


The MP for Kelston, Sepuloni has been a steady pair of hands in the social development portfolio and makes history as the first Pasifika deputy prime minister.


For starters emergency housing is in the social development portfolio. The take-over of motels leading to social mayhem (think Rotorua) has been a tragedy for those housed in them and those in their surrounds. The waiting list for public housing has sky-rocketed since Sepuloni has been Minister.


EVERY main benefit has seen increased numbers since 2017. Covid played a part, but the upward trend was established before 2020.


Never before has New Zealand seen demand for both skilled and unskilled labour at current levels yet 11.3 percent (up from 9.7 in 2017) of the working age population is benefit-dependent.


Compounding this, the average length of time people are spending dependent has gone up.


Sepuloni has driven some extraordinary changes that defeat what the last Labour government was trying to achieve. No longer requiring mothers on the benefit to name fathers of their children is a prime example.


The increases to benefit rates and other financial supports have eaten away the incentive to work as the difference between income from work and income from a benefit dwindles. Previous Labour governments resisted linking benefits to wage inflation but Sepuloni did exactly that in 2020.


In fact, this Labour government has implemented many of the Green Party's welfare policies including diminished use of sanctions to enforce work obligations.


Her own ministry's annual reports acknowledge the department is not moving in the right direction in a number of areas.


Worst of all Sepuloni has overseen a rise in children living in unemployed homes. The damage to their outcomes is well researched and documented. But unheeded by this government whose sole focus has been to lift incomes with their fingers firmly in their ears over the unintended consequences of paying people to do nothing ... except have children.


If all of the above is "excelling" I hate to envisage what failing looks like.


Sepuloni has not been a great Minister. That the media are painting her as such demonstrates ignorance and bias. The only thing that has kept the social development portfolio largely away from the headlines is the comparatively worse performance of police, education and health.



Lindsay Mitchell blogs here

5,893 views81 comments

81 Comments


Unknown member
Feb 01, 2023

Just another useless minister, the only difference is she is now number 2, hell that could mean anything.

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Unknown member
Jan 25, 2023

Is it any wonder that MSM has lost the trust of many Kiwis?

let’s hear how they whine when their Government sponsorship is removed by a new Governmen.

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Unknown member
Jan 26, 2023
Replying to

Damned straight.

Let their rhetoric be judged on skill, not government intervention.

Then. We'll see who can lie straight in bed.

Aaron

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Unknown member
Jan 23, 2023

Oh yes! and selling her to the public as a Pasifika politician instead of a Taranaki born and raised NEW ZEALANDER with Tongan ancestry, is just more irrelevant spin and fairy dust from a party whose ideology identifies and glorifies anybody with that skin condition called BROWN, while at the same time thumbing its long pointed nose at those of us who think being a New Zealander is sufficient justification for celebrating one's place in New Zealand society. The blatancy of this and the Ardern misogyny claims show just how low this government is prepared to go to hide the facts and deny the truth.

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Unknown member
Jan 23, 2023

What is it with all this ethnicity BS? Sepuloni sounds more Italian than Pacific, but who cares? I assume she is a New Zealander so that should be it. End of! I don't recall anyone complaining about having too many PMs with a Scottish background, nor rejoicing that we've finally got one whose ethnicity is English! What nonsense! This celebration of ethnic background only applies to people of colour, it seems, and is worn as a very woke badge of inclusivity. Can you imagine their relish if she also had a wooden leg!?


I'm all for merit. It should purely be the best man for the job!

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Unknown member
Jan 25, 2023
Replying to

It was pretty obvious Labour would pick via a tick the boxes system except they had no one better than Hipkins as the top Dog, however he does tick the youth, young progressive voter box even though he is white and male. Once he was chosen (most likely pre-2023) it was clear the DPM would have to be female and preferably 'ethnic' by their box standards.

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Unknown member
Jan 23, 2023

Meanwhile the parliamentary Maori are behaving as expected. The Pate Maori are audibly expressing their disappointment that a Pasifika person got the job when apparently it should have been a Maori, because there has never been one that had that job before. Supposedly that is a qualification ,somehow enterpreted by themselves to mean, that at least 1 of them was the best person for the job regardless of how they have performed.

Personally, anything that upsets the Maori caucus makes me extremely happy. I won't ever look at Labour as a party worth oxygen until that Maori caucus figure out that actually " being " the best person for the job is so much more rewarding than having the ability…

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Unknown member
Jan 25, 2023
Replying to

It should be decades until Labour get even close to running the Country after what this current caucus has done, particularly in just the past 2 years alone, absolutely disgraceful in all aspects imo.

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