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A brief point on union meetings

Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, October 1st, 2010 - 45 comments
Categories: Unions, workers' rights - Tags: ,

There’s a story doing the rounds today about the actors’ union denying Peter Jackson entry to a union meeting. It’s basically Jackson having a good old whine about how it just shows how unreasonable the union is being and how they won’t even talk to him.

Life must be so hard when you’re a multi-millionaire who doesn’t understand employment law.

Considering Jackson refuses to hire his staff under employment contracts and forces them all to work as independent contractors I can see why he might be a little bit confused about how these things work. So I’ll explain it really simply.

Union meetings are for union members. They’re not for employers. They’re not for “industry people”. And they’re very rarely for media.

The reasoning is simple. Union members, in order to negotiate collectively, need to have a forum where they can discuss the issues freely and openly without the employer breathing down their neck. They also need to be able to agree on a negotiating strategy without their employer finding out in advance what that strategy is. That would kind of defeat the purpose of having a strategy.

Likewise, employers don’t tend to invite union reps to sit in on management meetings about how they plan to handle contract negotiations with the union.

The place for unions and employers to negotiate is at the negotiating table, not at each other’s planning meetings.

It is a worry that Peter Jackson is so woefully misinformed about how employment relationships work, but I guess it’s what we should expect from a man who’s built his business on forcing people to work as “independent contractors” and threatens capital flight the moment his workers start organising.

45 comments on “A brief point on union meetings”

  1. david civil servant 1

    on the other trotter it would seem that if the union were serious about engaging with Jackson they would have allowed him entry for a period of time to make an address however now it looks more likely that this a union beat up

    • Juan Manuel Santos 1.1

      But that’s not what union meetings are for. They’re about workers meeting together to decide on a course of action, which their chosen representatives (elected delegates) then take to management with a democratic mandate.

      It’s not an opportunity for the employer to come in, eye-ball who’s there and attempt to guilt-trip and/or threaten workers into backing down.

      Jackson either doesn’t understand employment law or is using this as a cynical attempt to smear the union. Neither would surprise me.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      I love how entertainment projects destined to make one hundred-two hundred-three hundred million dollar profits for the corporations, there is no money in the kitty to give workers minimum wage protections and other basic entitlements.

      • Roflcopter 1.2.1

        Actually, there is and they were already negotiated for this film. And they were getting paid well above market rates.

        But don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, eh?

        • Juan Manuel Santos 1.2.1.1

          I’d be cautious about Jackson’s figures on this after he’s lied or wilfully misunderstood everything else so far. Touching to see how readily you accept his unverifiable figures as “facts” though.

          • Roflcopter 1.2.1.1.1

            Ummm, some of your own beloved union members are saying this, on condition of not revealing who they are.

            • Tigger 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Rolf – care to elaborate with facts?

              • grumpy

                But, from the Herald article, the union allowed in non-union actors – and even allowed them to vote!

                • bbfloyd

                  G.. do you not understand what a fool you make yourself look when you quote a third rate newspaper like the herald..you know, of course, who pays for the “news” they print, don’t you?

              • felix

                Don’t hold your breath – he’s been claiming to have detailed info for days but strangely can’t seem to produce any.

            • tea 1.2.1.1.1.2

              In breaking news I can prove everything on condition I don’t- source this constant crap or stfu.

  2. The Baron 2

    He could also be “whining” because people are trying to destroy his project, and the jobs it creates, but he has not yet had an opportunity to sit down and talk about it and try find a workable solution…

    Sorry, I forgot only Union fanboy comments allowed.

    This petty point scoring is getting out of hand. Can we get over all this crap and actually find some way to have the movies made here, please?

    • The Voice of Reason 2.1

      Bullshit, Baron. Jackson has refused to meet with the union reps and he has no right to try and crash their members’ meeting. What an obnoxious bully he turns out to be. If the movie goes overseas, it’ll be because he’s cocked up the organisation of it. He’s already fluffed around so much he’s lost a director, now he wants kiwi workers to subsidise the making of it.

      Anytime he gets off his high horse and sits down with the union, the problem can be solved and the movie made. Till then, Jackson remains the reason the Hobbit is at risk.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        I’m coming around to the idea that this is not so much about the money, which realistically would be not that much more in the scheme of things for The Hobbit. But that it is about trying to prevent an increased level of worker organisation in the NZ entertainment industry.

        Such a change would permanently (or at least for the long term) shift the balance of power more towards local workers for every future production project now on the cards.

        And it is probably that ongoing prospect that Jackson et al are finding unpalatable.

    • jagilby 2.2

      You forget Baron that the Union only endorses job creation when it results in more Union subs being paid.

  3. burt 3

    Perhaps he thought that since the unions demand access to places of employemnt whenever they want and that they always bang on about good faith that he would be able to join the meeting.

    • felix 3.1

      Perhaps they ruined his holiday in the 70s and he’s still crying about it.

      • grumpy 3.1.1

        Seems the NZ branch of Actor’s Equity now want to talk to Jackson. perhaps the Aussie/NZ solidarity is starting to crack?
        Also, in NZ there seems to be a dramatic difference of opinion between Auckland and Wellington members.

        • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1.1

          “Seems the NZ branch of Actor’s Equity now want to talk to Jackson.”

          FFS, grumpy, that’s how the whole thing started! They have always wanted to talk to Jackson, but he has refused to meet them. What you haven’t grasped is that AE is affiliated to the MEAA. They are, in effect, the same entity. Having tried locally to meet with Sauron, sorry, Jackson, they then asked the larger organisation to help when he wouldn’t front. Hence the involvement of the MEAA. It’s not a problem to be solved, grumpy, its what unions do. Solidarity, eh.

      • mcflock 3.1.2

        Perhaps he misheard when an elderly actor yelled “You shell out not for our parts!”

      • burt 3.1.3

        Bully, it still hurts. :-(

        But seriously, the lack of good faith is rightly comparable and I’m happy you made that association yourself.

  4. Sweetd 4

    In unrelated news, Peter Jackson’s studio is on fire in Wellington.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      In which the building burnt to the ground while Jackson negotiated individual contracts with each of the firefighters attending.

      • comedy 4.1.1

        Unfortunately all the actors also perished as they were unable to exit the building without union approval…….

        • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.1

          Luckily Jackson realised the actors’ deaths were a clear breach of their contractual obligations and was able to cancel their insurance policies before they could blow the no claims bonus.

          • comedy 4.1.1.1.1

            No Australian actors were harmed in the incident according to the MEAA.

            (he he this is fun, let’s see if we can attract the ire of the sysop)

  5. Ten Miles Over 5

    goodbye movie industry, I can’t say I’ll even notice you’re gone.

  6. BigSigh 6

    The posts on this website seem *extremely* one sided. So far no one has explained why the NZ actors haven’t actually formed a union IN new zealand and tried to negotiate. Seems this is all an Australian union with nothing to lose and everything to gain and actually very few members in NZ, and its not even a legit union in NZ… sooo… explain please how PJ is the bad ass in all this but there’s no criticism against this aussie union, or against why the actors are so disorganised?

    Seriously, they should’ve got organised a long time ago, BEFORE this started, then rather than flat out call a boycott, first raise the issue, THEN if no satisfactory response call for the boycott.

    Please, please can someone explain why this other side of the issue is somehow considered completely OK behaviour?

    [lprent: Read the about. Learn about the site. While you're at it read the policy as well. It will help prevent my having to waste time explaining the bleeding obvious to yet another idiot luser. ]

  7. BigSigh 7

    Errr… that’s a bit harsh… and neither seem to explain this… I guess I’ll just have to stick with the limited view the MSM gives me then which seems to paint the union pretty badly in this situation (and fairly so).

    captcha: forget [it]

    • Eddie 7.1

      Lynn understandably gets tired of explaining the bleeding obvious to people who haven’t read the about or the policy. This is a labour movement blog, it’s not required to provide ‘balance’ and has no pretence of doing so. You come hear to read perspectives from the left. Other perspectives are available in great abundance elsewhere. Try http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz or http://www.nzherald.co.nz

  8. Craig Ranapia 8

    Which begs the question why they were quite happy to admit non-union members (and I know that for a fact) to both meetings in Auckland and Wellington. Then again, when I belonged to a union it wasn’t run by clown school drop outs.

    Hope I didn’t use too many big words there, Eddie.

    • Eddie 8.1

      Sometimes a union will allow non-union employees who are considering joining the union. Often it’s necessary in the early stages of the campaign. That’s non inconsistent with the post. Union meetings are not for employers.

      • Craig Ranapia 8.1.1

        Eddie: You’re simply being disingenuous — non-union members were admitted to both meetings. A simple matter of fact you either weren’t aware of, or failed to mention because it didn’t fit your thesis. And it’s too cute for words to pretend there’s no difference between a semi-public meeting organised by a union, and a strategy session. If The Standard to going to run around calling Jackson a liar, you folks really should be a little more careful with the “truthiness” yourselves.

        • The Voice of Reason 8.1.1.1

          The words ‘semi public’ suggests you understand that means control over attendance, so you get that the organisers have the right to allow or deny entry. The difference between Jackson and invited guests is that he is the boss. It’s a union meeting, and the union have every right to tell him to piss off. The minute workers get to attend board meetings, I’ll reassess my position.

          • Craig Ranapia 8.1.1.1.1

            Voice of Reason: I also understand the difference between what happened last night and an AGM, executive meeting, or a strategy session ahead of contract negotiations. Funny how you don’t — and Eddie seems quite happy to fudge that not-exactly-trivial distinction.

            • The Voice of Reason 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Funny how you don’t know about union meetings, Craig. They’re defined in the Act.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    “Hope I didn’t use too many big words there, Eddie.”

    “Which raises the question of why…”.

    No charge, smart guy.

  10. Harpoon 10

    Is Equity a union?

    • The Voice of Reason 10.1

      Let me see … Wikipedia thinks so:

      “A trade union (British English) or labor union (American English) is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions”

      It’s funny how people who usually come here to complain about the strictures of the state seem to be saying Equity’s failure to follow bureaucratic regulation is somehow a bad thing. But then, I never thought I’d see a day when a Kiwi Prime Minister would consider the cover up of the theft of the identity of a dead baby ethically acceptable.

  11. salsy 11

    We can still be pro-labour, pro-union, pro workers rights and question the motives of the MEAA, given all the misinformation flying around, Id even go as far as to say, its actually the smart thing to do.
    This is stolen from an annonymous post: So let me get this straight.

    Equity NZ through what appears to be administrative negligence, has lost it’s legal standing as an organisation representing NZ performers.

    For more than a year they refuse to meet with SPADA, who represent all NZ producers to discuss improved working conditions for NZ actors, in accordance with the ECA and NZ labour laws.

    They demand to meet the producers of The Hobbit to discuss a collective contract negotiated by them, apparently completely oblivious to the fact that this would be illegal under the Commerce Act.

    The producers of the Hobbit point that the rates they pay have been quite generous, and are only getting better. Meanwhile Equity refuses to spell out exactly what it is they are seeking, apart from muttering about credits (?!) and unspecified terms unrelated to pay.

    If what they are asking for is so little, and the arrangement in the past have been fair, why boycott it and risk the entire shebang?

    The behavour seems self destructive, unless you look at it from the point of view of the MEAA.

    Ask yourself these questions: When was the last time a large organisation, especially an Australian one, spend money and time for completely altruistic reasons? They don’t; Just like a company their own organisational interest come first. The vast bulk of MEAA members work in Australia, what do they have to lose if they create industrial strife in NZ? = Nothing. What do they have to gain if NZ is no longer an attractive option for American, British, or indeed Australian production finance? They keep productions in Australia, and Australian performers nests feathered.

    So looking at the disorganised and bizarre behaviour surround this and other issues, either Equity and MEAA are complete idiots about the law and reality of the territory they are working in, or more likely, the MEAA cares far more about stopping runaway production from coming to NZ than it does about NZ actors. Why else would they refuse to meet with SPADA and make an honest attempt to draw up more favourable guidelines for actors?

    It’s difficult to watch a bunch of nice actors, who apparently have no sense of the bigger picture, being manipulated to act against their own interests like this.

    • Daveo 11.1

      I agree that Actors Equity and the MEAA have been pretty hamfisted of their handling of things, but your conspiracy theories about the Australians are way off.

      Aussie unions work with Kiwi unions all the time. Just recently Australian unions put in the hard yards to help EPMU and MUNZ members achieve trans-tasman pay parity on offshore oil rigs.

      In fact the big bad MEAA that you seem to think is intent on destroying NZ actually works with the EPMU on journalist issues to the point that the two unions produce a joint magazine for journalists that’s largely funded and produced on the Aussie end.

      It’s not just the Aussies either. The SFWU has works closely with the SEIU in the US and the two unions jointly ran the CleanStart campaign.

      Unions aren’t businesses, they are workers’ organisations based on the principles of solidarity and collective action. There are countless examples of unions helping each other out across national boundaries.

      If you want to look at motives here I’d start asking why Jackson is so keen to pretend he has to employ his staff as independent contractors and why he keeps making shit up in the media when he really should know better.

  12. Tiger Mountain 12

    What a motley crew of non unionists, ex barely unionists and union opponents attempting to comment here, a pathetic display indeed.

    • comedy 12.1

      Yes how dare anyone apart from a union spokesperson (approved spokesperson) offer comment.

      Crikey next the fuckers here will be offering opinions on politics without being members of parliament.

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    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • I feel sorry for Labour Party members and supporters
    I feel really sorry for the members and supporters of the Labour Party as they watch their caucus tear itself to shreds. And no matter what the outcome of the coming leadership race Labour members and supporters will be the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Ummmm, why is Auckland Transport spying on Aucklanders?
    Ummm. What? Sophisticated surveillance coming to Auckland Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that can put names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland. The surveillance has the capability to also scan social media...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • It. Is. About. The. Economy. Stupid.
    Liam Dann does a good job of explaining the positive and negative issues looming for the NZ economy and as dairy prices plunge again overnight alongside a large Wall st sell off  and China Bank rumours begin, his case for the negative...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Don’t think of it as reinvading Iraq, think of it as redecorating Iraq
    I think some NZers view Iraq like an episode of The Block. Yes Iraq is the worst country on the street, but with a bit of elbow grease by our SAS and some great deals down at Bunnings, hey presto we...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Mana Maori alliance
    Most Maori you speak to on the street can’t understand why Mana movement and  Maori Party don’t combine it confuses them why Maori are divided cross benches in Parliament instead of a unified political power that represents 15% of the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • How You Can Help the Homeless
    At any one time, there are an estimated 357 homeless people in Central Auckland alone, many enduring hardships beyond the rain, wind and cold of sleeping rough. October 10 is World Homeless Day when the public are invited to learn...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Over 20% of Gold Production Now Pledged to Kiwifruit Claim
    Kiwifruit growers representing over 20% of New Zealand gold kiwifruit production have already pledged to join The Kiwifruit Claim, the chairman of the claim’s grower committee, John Cameron, said today....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • ‘Creepy’ Decision on Up-Skirt Filming Slammed
    Family First NZ says that a discharge without conviction given to a man who filmed up a woman's dress in a Wellington department store is a ‘creepy’ decision that should concern all people who value their privacy. “This decision by...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Speaker leads delegation to CPA Conference
    Strengthening New Zealand’s ties with parliaments from across the world will be the focus of the upcoming delegation to the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 4-10 October and the 131st Inter-Parliamentary...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Response to Russell Brown and Tertiary Education Union
    The allegation that I have worked with others to discredit public health efforts is wrong. My public comments in relation to public health researchers have been where academics have mislead the public about official support or endorsement, and where...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • 17 jobs lost as Bridon/Cookes reaches the end of its rope
    Seventeen workers at the iconic Bridon/Cookes wire rope company in Auckland are to be made redundant as the company ceases production in New Zealand. The company has blamed the high New Zealand dollar for making it uncompetitive to keep the...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Slip in University Rankings – Funding Not the Problem
    Responding to the slippage of New Zealand universities' rankings , Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Time to rethink police chases, says safety campaigner
    Police chases are dangerous and generally unnecessary, says the American Federal Bureau of Investigation....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Robertson now expected to be Labour leader by Xmas
    Grant Robertson is now overwhelmingly picked to become the next leader of the Labour Party by the end of the year, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Another potential Labour...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
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lprent: At the request of Tim Barnett, Labour's returning officer, the Karen Price/Clayton Cosgrove post has been withdrawn during the primary.