Ministry of Health

Don’t let the facts get in the way of a pimped story

The Media party, working  in complicity with the Labour party are really pimping out housing stories.

Andrew Little hasn’t quite declared a crisis but he has said a crisis is close.

But is there really an over-crowding issue. John Campbell has been stalking the streets of South Auckland along with his other media pals rocking up to houses where inveterate breeders are moaning about their predicament so surely over-crowding must be an issue…right?

Wrong.

The government via the Ministry of Health commissioned a study in 2014 based on census data regarding over-crowding.

The statistics, you know hard data not manufactured cry-babies found by a political party says that over-crowding is reducing.

overcrowding Read more »

EXPOSED: Ministry of Health funded group running #dirtypolitics

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State-funded group Agencies for Nutrition Action can now be exposed for running a campaign straight from the playbook of dirtypolitics.

Under the guise of reducing childhood obesity under the banner of #protectourkidsnz this trougher group has pulled together “a group of motivated people” a group of other troughers to lobby for:

  1. Healthy food polices in all schools and early childhood services (‘getting the tuckshop to match the classroom teaching’)
  2. Restrictions on junk food marketing to kids (‘it is unethical to allow junk food ads targeting kids in the middle of a childhood obesity epidemic’)
  3. Taxes on sugary drinks (‘to reduce consumption and provide funding for childhood obesity prevention programs’)

Some would say if that is what it takes to reduce obesity in kids, then that’s a good thing.

But that’s not the point.

It’s their covert lobbying strategy specifically designed to put heat on the Government and their paymasters at the Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council which will be their undoing.

Let’s break this down and see what they’re really pushing for: Read more »

Trougher, desperate for attention, trying to re-write past again

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Here we go again.

Poor old trougher Shane Kawenata Bradbrook – the trougher exposed on Whaleoil for living it up large around the world on the taxpayer, is crying to Maori media after another troughing group gets a slap from the Taxpayers Union.

This time it is taxpayer funded anti-tobacco group ASH getting a serve from the Taxpayers Union who say:

The Taxpayers’ Union believes that questions need to asked about why a lobby group, working with the Maori Party on a political campaign around tobacco plain packaging, is largely taxpayer funded.  This morning’s front page of the New Zealand Herald covers the latest efforts to build political pressure to introduce a plain packaging law.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says, “While civil servants operate under a duty of political neutrality, the Ministry of Health and others are awarding substantial sums of taxpayer money to health and environmental lobby groups to push particular political agendas.”

“It is wrong for special interest groups such as ASH to be using taxpayer money for political campaigns. ASH’s factual inaccuracies about the impact of plain packaging on smoking consumption in Australia suggests that they are operating outside any of the usual public sector control requiring balanced and evidenced based public statements.”

According to ASH’s most recent annual return filed with the Charities Register, more than 90% of ASH’s funding comes from the taxpayer.

Mr Williams says, “We all support funding for front line and addiction services such as Quitline. What we don’t support is funding to political organisations to operate campaigns with taxpayer money.”

Read more »

Doug Sellman teams up with discredited troughers

Professor J. Douglas Sellman

Professor J. Douglas Sellman

While on the topic of prohibitionist and supermarket hater Doug Sellman, his organisation Alcohol Action NZ is gearing up for a big fight with the Government over the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship.

Travel and lifestyle blogger and pinko David Farrar commented on all the bans the forum recommended the other day, saying it was all a bit depressing, and that it will eventually end up with plain packaging for drinks and food.

Farrar’s post would have incensed Doug Sellman, who is now saying that Alcohol Action NZ is ‘sponsoring an independent expert committee on alcohol advertising and sponsorship (IECAAS), which is monitoring the work of the Ministerial Forum’. From this an ‘independent report’ will be produced. It’s worth a look to see who is on this so called ‘expert committee” that will produce an ‘independent report’.

Oh dear look who we have here. Read more »

Troughers gathering in Wellington, Hague excited

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Well that didn’t take long.

A bunch of tax-payer funded troughers are rolling into Wellington and to Parliament tomorrow for the so-called 10 year ‘anniversary’ of the Smokefree laws.

No doubt Shane Kawenata Bradbrook will be there waving the flag, alongside Smokefree Coalition’s Prudence Stone, who may be looking for some action.

There’s just slight problem with this. Helen Clark introduced the Smokefree Environments Act in 1990, and by my reckoning that’s more than 10 years ago.     Read more »

Cry me a River

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While most people were out enjoying the sun, there’s a few troughers all upset over a new board game.

And guess where these troughers are from… oh that’s right, the bastion of trougherland Otago University’s Wellington health promotion and policy research unit.

Moira Smith, who is very interested in research in the area of policy development, popped up on WOBH’s Trougher Radar in 2013 when she, alongside ex Ministry of Health trougher Louise Signal wanted to ban McDonald’s vouchers for kids and give them a stick of celery instead as a prize for player of the day.

Moira Smith is also very keen on advertising and marketing restrictions and for zoning by-laws around schools for products she doesn’t like.

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Minstry of Health staff too lazy to walk, book cabs to run them around the corner

The Ministry of Health is full of busybodies who tell us all to stop smoking, stop drinking sugary beverages and wail on about obesity and the need to exercise more.

As is usual these days when there is a bloody great trough to wallow around in those who sanctimoniously tell us how to live our lives are busily doing exactly the opposite.

The Taxpayer’s Union has busted them though…it seems the staff in the Ministry of Health are simply too lazy to walk around the corner…and take cabs instead which you and I pay for.

A few months ago a Ministry of Health official contacted us regarding the use of taxi charge cards within the Ministry, and suggested we look at the number of ‘micro-trips’ taken by managers, often between the Ministry’s Wellington offices and Parliament.

Details of the Ministry’s taxi charges show its Wellington staff are making more than 1,000 taxi trips a year costing less than $10.

In the 2012/2013 financial year, Ministry staff based in Wellington charged taxpayers for 8,645 taxi trips with 1,076 of those for journeys costing less than $10.

It is sadly ironic that while the Ministry of Health spends taxpayer money to promote active living, officials are getting taxis a few hundred metres down the road.

A taxi trip for the sake of a five minute walk is simply not justifiable when it’s someone else’s money. The documents show that these short trips make up more than ten percent of all taxi charges by Wellington based staff.

Taxpayers will not be impressed that Wellington health bureaucrats are the in habit of getting them to pay for micro-trips when it is probably faster to walk.

Read more »

Winston Peters, Maori TV and the stitch up

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One thing certain about Winston Raymond Peters is that he never lets facts stand in the way of a good story.

Let’s take the recent case of the allegedly dodgy Maori trust Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau Trust.

Winston Peters raced out with a story in May, which by sheer coincidence happened to coincide with a so-called investigative report on Maori TV’s Native Affairs. All of this came about because a couple of fellas recently fired from the trust have decided to “get back” at the trust.

What better way to “get back” at the trust than to claim dodgy dealings and paint themselves as honest, caring whistle-blowers, and say that the only reason they were sacked was because when they tried to tell the CEO Malcolm Robson about misspending, Robson wasn’t interested.

As with all employment relations disputes where ex-employees think they’re in for a cash win-fall, the company has to play a straight bat. Robson, told Native Affairs in a statement that the employees were dismissed as a result of a pre-existing employment investigation involving “suspected breaches of employment conditions…” and that “there will be no comment on specific allegations or the individuals involved while the investigation is active.”

Sounds fair enough when you know someone’s keen on trying to extort seek a pay-out.   Read more »

Health troughers shop story to Sunday Star-Times

Plain packaging coming for McDonalds?

Plain packaging coming for McDonalds?

The health troughers are at it again…banging on about obesity and making up numbers to support even more coin pouring into their bloated wallets.

Apparently we are all being crushed by fatties.

Health experts say a lack of government vision and investment means the obesity epidemic is continuing to balloon out of control with no end in sight.

Middlemore Hospital intensive care specialist David Galler said much of his time was now spent dealing with preventable issues which stemmed from obesity. His job did not start out this way.

“There are lots of people walking around this nation and their size isn’t compatible with life. Some people are so big now that we can’t actually diagnose what’s wrong with them. We can only do so much, I can’t turn the world backwards and make a person who is 270kg, 100kg.”

According to the most recent New Zealand Health Survey, 1.2 million New Zealanders are now obese, more than was recorded in the 2012 report. This translates to three in 10 adults and one in nine children.

These rates are significantly higher in poorer areas. Two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are classed as overweight. Galler blamed a lack of leadership and vision at a government level and said obesity was now a bigger health concern than smoking.

“We can keep on putting these things off but we need regulation from the government’s end. It’s an immensely expensive problem for us when we think about obesity being one of the major triggers of type 2 diabetes.”

Galler’s view is backed up by Auckland University professor Boyd Swinburn, who says there is no doubt New Zealand is getting increasingly fatter at an alarming rate.

“We spend $700m a year on obesity through diabetes and heart disease. It’s been going up since the 1980s. To be honest, not much has happened in the last few decades in the way of policy and in the last five or six years there has been very little done.”

Galler said the country was being sold short because of a lack of vision from politicians. “New Zealand kids are fatter than any European kids, we are way behind the United States and Australia.

“For politicians there is no promise of immediate gain. Health spending is going through the roof and there are all sorts of reasons for that … the management of chronic disease is a major factor. It’s our fear of preventing the preventable. We need a much more sophisticated system to prevent disease and keep people well.”

The Morgan Foundation states a 20 per cent tax on soft drinks could save 67 lives per year. The money raised could be used to promote healthy eating and awareness campaigns. The foundation said the government had rejected this plan even though costs to the health system from obesity were pushing $700m.

Read more »

Told you plain packaging will extend beyond cigarettes, now it will be a trade weapon

I’ve been talking about it for ages, and commenters and other including politicians scoffed…Don’t be silly Cam, plain packaging legislation is for tobacco only.

Except it gives the antis a toehold and now we are seeing the results of that. On top of that tobacco producing countries can use it to conduct a trade war against our exporters.

New Zealand’s wine and dairy producers will be forced to export their products without branding in retaliation for Government’s introduction of plain packaging of cigarettes, tobacco firms are warning MPs.

A senior Indonesian official has been reported saying New Zealand exporters will pay a price for draconian law changes which will require tobacco producers to sell their products in plain packs with standardised fonts and colours.

Tobacco firms and lobbyists repeated the warning to a Parliamentary committee yesterday.

Emergency Committee for American Trade president Cal Cohen told MPs that plain packaging was likely to lead to restrictions of trademarks for other goods such as wine and dairy.

Tobacco giant Phillip Morris pointed to a letter by Indonesia’s former Minister of Trade Gita Wirjawan to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, in which he said plain packaging breached WTO rules and would have an impact on New Zealand exports.

Wine and dairy…ouchy…I wonder what Fonterra and all the exporters of dairy products think about that…especially those exporting branded baby formula to China.

What about sugar containing products…will they be the next victims in the war of business?

The former minister, now the Indonesian Director General for International Trade Co-operation, made a similar warning in a local news report: “If the cigarettes we export there are not allowed to have brands, then the wine they sell here shouldn’t also.”

New Zealand’s exports to Indonesia were worth nearly $900 million, half of which came from dairy. Food and beverages made up 70 per cent of total exports.

Trade Minister Tim Groser said New Zealand was “exercising its normal rights” through the plain packaging legislation.

He told the Herald: “I’ve met numerous Indonesian officials since we initiated that action and no concern has been expressed to me personally.

“So I would be very surprised if I hear talk in the future of that.”

Be surprised Groser…it will happen. The health busybodies will move from tobacco to sugar, to alcohol to dairy…they will use the same tactics, the same denigration and on top of that use state funding and taxpayer money to do it all.

If tobacco producing countries retaliate they will use the very same arguments Groser is advancing…that [insert country] was “exercising its normal rights” through the plain packaging legislation against alcohol…which from a muslim country like Indonesia is perfectly defensible on religious grounds without any pesky scientific evidence, which is severely lacking in tobacco legislation.

Corporate New Zealand better gear up for a war with the state funded health busybodies, it is coming whether they like it or not and their silence against plain packaging simply emboldens them toa ttack harder.