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A lost generation – industry training is failing

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, June 27th, 2013 - 50 comments
Categories: education, jobs - Tags: ,

The thing is, that for some types of training in New Zealand you can mostly just go and do it. If you want to be a teacher, a lawyer, a nurse, an artist, an actor, a writer, an engineer, an architect or a historian to give some examples, you go to University or Polytech and get the full training you need to at least be qualified. You might need a job to really learn the craft but you have the qualification you need. For middle class kids this is the normal path for training and usually works quite nicely. It is great as a parent to see your kid able to learn to do something they love and even though the job at the end is not guaranteed, you know they will be more employable for a better job at the end than they were at the beginning. In fact lots of these occupations have an over supply of trained people coming out of tertiary institutions, but still the education is available and if you want to do legal training, and you are aware the job market is not all it is cracked up to be, you might still choose to do it because things change, and you may have a range of ideas on how you are going to use the training. Not all training roads lead to Rome.

However if your kid wants to be a builder, a plumber, an electrician, an arborist, a plasterer, a mechanic, an upholsterer, a bus driver, a train driver, a bicycle mechanic or a welder then you have to hope like hell they fall into the training one way or another. Sure they can get into a “pre-training” course somewhere, maybe, but they can’t just choose to go and get the teaching they need, and even if it is their absolute passion, they may be plumb out of luck. The situation regarding this type of training in NZ represents not only another market failure but a story of a lost generation of opportunity. The dismantling of the previous training system with all its faults, and its replacement with the current voluntarist system within a deregulated labour market with no industry planning, no industry bargaining, weak worker voice, and labour market levers designed for a low cost business model has been a disaster which will have a legacy impact for at least two generations and maybe three if it is not fixed.

If the Christchurch rebuild tells us anything it is you can’t predict exactly what demand might be for any particular skill. The short and long term skills shortage lists for immigration also can be read as a legacy of bad training policy. There are jobs on that list that just shouldn’t be there and wouldn’t be there if the system was working. And the policy impacts on kids who leave school and don’t want to go to University but are left with no real options for decent training. The apprenticeship scheme has been resurrected but not nearly on the scale needed. When you meet a young person on an apprenticeship it is a big surprise and cause for celebration. I would love to know how many apprentiships and jobs with a decent training component are gained by word of mouth – someone who knows someone who gives someones kid a break – nothing wrong with that – unless you don’t know anyone! And even if for example we end up with an oversupply of builders – are these young people better or worse off for having this training? Things change! Skills are adaptable!

The industry training (ITO) system saw the state delegate the planning and purchasing of this training to employers organisations themselves. It was meant to also include unions and certainly there is usually a representative on each ITO but little effort is put into building real worker capacity to genuinely broker and lobby for genuine low threshold access to this type of training. Worker engagement, where it genuinely occurs is usually over the content and quality of the training rather than access. With the fragmentation of the labour market and little industry co-ordination at the employer level, and no framework to establish training obligations at all, the system hasn’t and wont work. The Government is restructuring the Industry Training (ITO) sector but it is not dealing with these issues and it is creating further fragmentation of the labour market at the same time and the results will be the same.

There is nothing wrong with strong employer/union participation in the planning and brokering of training, but it must be within a statutory framework that establishes the strong interest of the state in this area being successful. The Government (and I mean any Government) cannot sit back and just hope the system works. The mechanism for readily available training opportunities and the system for funding the training, must be comprehensive and requires Government attention.

The marvellous book I referred to in my last blog had examples of how Europe deals with training. It points out actually that workers in unionised plants are more likely to get access to continuing vocational training, but it does not provide similar evidence for the basic training opportunities. It gives a good further illustration of the benefits of industry level collective bargaining – workers are able to influence training outcomes and accommodate issues such as costs, leave etc within a bargaining framework which also protects employers from threats such as the poaching of trained staff by employers not investing in training. Discussions at the industry level occur within an industry bargaining framework including on continuing education. The training is also tied to pay and conditions and appears effective in many European countries to ensure workers and employers have the skills they need.

The book highlights another issue – impacting on Canterbury as we speak. Workers in insecure employment arrangements are far less likely to be given training opportunities. In some situations the person needing the skills is not the employer (labour hire) and in others the contracting model shifts the training responsibility to the worker themselves (think film industry here – why after all these years is WETA still applying to bring 500 workers per year into NZ rather than training them – maybe because they are contractors?). In Christchurch many of the large construction firms contracting for the work are then subcontracting it out – leaving those not really in a position to offer comprehensive training unable to meet demand. Through one set of eyes, it leaves business without the skilled workers they need. Through another set of eyes, thousands of young workers can’t get the training they want – unlike those that go to law school!

The book gives a number of examples of European state frameworks that ensure training opportunities. They include – compulsory payroll levies with a requirement, for example, that a percentage of workers in every business be engaged in recognised training, requirements that all under 18 year olds in the workforce be engaged for 40% of their time in training (with Govt support for wages and programmes), a right to a certain number of continuing training days per year per worker, negotiated pacts where training is exchanged for redundancy during quiet times and training charters at industry level between governments, unions and industry. This model continues to allow for the ITO type arrangement to plan and broker the training, but within a much more sure proof system that meets demand for training much more comprehensively.

I know a young man that wants to be an arborist. He did a pre-training programme and is hooked. He left school without qualifications and has made coffee in insecure jobs until discovering this passion. There seems to be a demand – power companies, councils and others advertising about the place. He can’t access full proper training. He is too old for a modern apprenticeship and they don’t seem on offer anyway. He is stuck – if he wanted to be a lawyer he could go off to university – if I knew someone who knew someone who cut him some slack – he might be lucky, but why is this so difficult?

50 comments on “A lost generation – industry training is failing”

  1. karol 1

    I do agree that the state of vocational training outside of university degrees in NZ is pretty abysmal.

    I did quite a bit of teaching in further education colleges in London and a little in TAFE colleges in Sydney. They did a lot of pre-vocational and vocational courses that trained people for working in various kinds of occupations.

    Back at the end of the 20th century, the UK further education system provided quite a good framework for vocational training, some of it for people already working on the job (eg brickies, various kinds of engineers, child care workers, etc). And they also provided grants for many of the pre-work training courses.

    I did some teaching of “communications” (literacy, numeracy) on courses for brickies, plumbers, etc) – not the easiest thing to teach to those groups. But my main vocational teaching was on child care courses largely undertaken by women students.

    While I agree with most of your post, Helen, it seems to me that it is slanted more towards jobs that have been traditionally male-dominated. In the light of the court case on pay for equal pay for aged care workers, the legacy of gender differences in occupation also needs some attention. You said in your above post:

    However if your kid wants to be a builder, a plumber, an electrician, an arborist, a plasterer, a mechanic, an upholsterer, a bus driver, a train driver, a bicycle mechanic or a welder then you have to hope like hell they fall into the training one way or another.

    Although more women do many of those jobs now, they are still pretty male-dominated.

    On those courses I taught on in London Further Education courses: the male dominated jobs resulted in higher pay than the female-dominated ones. The child care workers had a similar amount of training, and required similar entry-level qualifications as the plumbers, brickies, etc. Yet child care workers are paid considerably less.

    So I hope you are giving equal consideration for the training requirements for working in jobs that have traditionally been done by women.

    • Rogue Trooper 1.1

      recent case in the media;
      Kristine Bartlett- Healthcare assistant receiving $14.32 per hour, after 20 years experience.

  2. BM 2

    Question you need to ask yourself is why are tradesmen not training up apprentices.

    Some of the reasons are
    - damn hard to find suitable people
    - it’s too costly, customers are not willing to pay for an apprentice
    - haven’t got the time to train people
    - when you do train some one up they piss off overseas or go work for someone else
    -They go into competition against you, this is a biggy, trades people are making a killing because there’s a shortage of skilled people, they don’t want that to change in a hurry.

    Like you say this is a big issue and it’s going to really take a a lot of work and change to get sorted.

    • just saying 2.1

      Last tradesman I hired charged out his apprentice at $45 per hour for holding the ladder.
      Tradesman before that sent the apprentice for the whole wiring job, including the initial quote.
      In fact it can be very difficult to get a qualified tradie round our way. Seems like an apprentice can be a bit of a licence to print money, considering what the apprentice gets paid by the employer.

      I know someone who has taught at a pre-training course for three years. He’s never had a student get an apprenticeship, or any kind of job, in the industry. His mates in the industry won’t touch anyone disadvantaged enough to be on a pretraining course. They can pick and choose because there are for more wanting apprenticeships than places available. Middle class kids seem to be most likely to get apprenticeships via word of mouth. They are very seldom (if ever) advertised.

      Oh, and good point Karol.

      • karol 2.1.1

        You describe a pretty appalling situation, js.

        And this is pretty worrying:

        Middle class kids seem to be most likely to get apprenticeships via word of mouth. They are very seldom (if ever) advertised.,/i>

      • Rogue Trooper 2.1.2

        I worked, briefly, for a Plastering contractor (a “Christian” from a rather ‘exclusive’ witnessing denomination). he paid me $12 and hour (approx 5 years ago) to measure, cut and mount gib independently in some flash HN houses, and also to plaster outdoor walls; He charged me out to the customers at $25 per hour. (shakes head).

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Question you need to ask yourself is why are tradesmen not training up apprentices.

      Oh, that’s easy – because they’re not being paid to. Or, to be more precise, they’re being paid to do a job in some really stupidly constrained time limit which doesn’t allow for training anyone and they’re not being paid enough to cover any slack that a trainee would entail.

      They go into competition against you, this is a biggy, trades people are making a killing because there’s a shortage of skilled people, they don’t want that to change in a hurry.

      That would be the competition of the free-market at work.

  3. Helen Kelly 3

    Interestingly Karol if you want to be an ECE teacher, the training is widely accessible as are for example communications and journalism. You don’t need a job to generate these oppourtunites to train. With aged care the problem is employers don’t want training because they fear it will drive wages up. I haven’t tried to deal with pay equity in this column. That is a whole other issue – but it wont be solved by not training plumbers (will it might actually but there are health issues that will arise!).

    • karol 3.1

      Thanks, Helen. I agree there needs to be training for plumbers etc. But there are various female-dominated jobs that require some sort of training, and that don’t require a university qualification. Aged care is a good example. And yes, the employers will always be concerned about pushing wages up if equality was achieved.

      The training I was talking about isn’t ECE teaching. In the UK, I was training those who work with children, but don’t require a teaching certificate. In the UK they have traditionally been called nursery nurses and teachers’ assistants.

  4. captain hook 4

    The thing is they, and you know who they are know that when they need tradespeople they can bring in workers from other countries and sweatshop them for lower wages and conditions.
    Its just more crummy tory crap.

    • just saying 4.1

      I forgot to mention, the pre-training teacher I mentioned before (who is in Auckland, I’m not), said that the industry there will to be dominated by immigrants very soon, for the reason you say: sweat-shopped for lower wages and conditions.

  5. Yes 5

    Unions have many investments in ITO’s and run and manage them. They are all heavily funded by the government (past and present.)

    Isn’t that the issue they are not delivering?

  6. Rob 6

    Absolutly agree with this. I think one of the issues is that an ITO (certainly the ones i have experience with like Competenz and BCITO) are charged with facilitating training opportunities and that they actually do not do the training themselves.Their regional managers try to locate good trainers (not always easy) and then link these trainers to training events and trainees.

    We are really missing out on strong apprenticeship there is no doubt and also missing out on the lack of solid technical graduates that we used to have with NZCE, NZCS type technicians.

    • karol 6.1

      But ultimately, doesn’t the buck stop with the government as Helen says in her post?

      NZITO has charitable status.

      And, it looks like the main funding for training comes from the government in the form of subsidies. The rest is “user pays” – so who is that “user”? Looks like the trainee?

      The New Zealand Industry Training Organisation operates on a user pays basis and it also offers employers training subsidies, for certain programmes. These subsidies are administered on behalf of the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission. To qualify for funding support an employee must first meet the following criteria.

  7. sid 7

    I am a trade tutor at one of the biggest polytechnics in Auckland, and I agree with pretty much everything in the above article.
    However, considering the rebuild of Christchurch and the projected population growth in Auckland, resulting in a demand increase for tradespeople, it seems obvious that industry alone cannot train the required trades people.
    I have been advocating now for several years that as an alternative to the apprenticeship model (industry pathway) an educational pathway through the polytechnics is a very viable option. The idea is to have one “national qualification” into which both pathways lead independently.
    This option was tried and adopted in Germany in the late 70′ies and 80′ies, in order to grow the industry in certain areas in a planed framework, and thereby assure a high quality of trades training. Germany had made the experience that training their own tradespeople was a key factor to grow the industries for a high quality production and performance.
    Therefore, handing trade training over to industry alone, seems to me not only short-sighted but costly in the medium to long term.
    In the latest TRoQ (Targeted Review of Qualifications) developments that canvass the trades, it already is becoming apparent that trade training is being handed solely over to the ITO’s and industry. This in itself has only financial reasons, as government is looking for the cheapest delivery pathway.
    Trade training is not resulting any more in a well rounded and knowledgeable tradesperson, but in a semi-skilled labourer, who only has been able to learn what the company has to offer. The specialisation of that company, however sophisticated it maybe in their field, is quite often very limited. Re-employability for such trained apprentices, when they become unemployed, is therefore limited as they are so specialised and any new job they start is like a new training start.
    This obviously results in low starting wages each time thus trained tradespeople start new employment and the impact on productivity etc are unavoidable.

    • xtasy 7.1

      “Therefore, handing trade training over to industry alone, seems to me not only short-sighted but costly in the medium to long term.”

      Industry there (in Germany and some other European countries) tends to train, when they see prospective need. But many “Mittelstand” companies do it also out of solid belief that they have a duty and an interest to train young workers. As there are always economic fluctuations, also there training fluctuates correspondingly. But yes, the state has a role to plan, together with industries, to ensure enough people get trained and educated, to meet future demands.

      Sadly in NZ the governments of past decades threw out the whole lot, and left it to business to do its thing. As we know now, they could mostly not bother, and if shortages occurred, it was the scream for opening up more migration. The same harmful effects occured with safety and other aspects, and hence we had the Pike River disaster, same as a high rate of accidents and fatalities in forestry.

      It is totally overdue to rethink the whole agenda. And I was encouraged today, watching a bit of Parliament TV, to see Sue Moroney, Darien Fenton and that member from the Greens cooperating, to stress, we need a different environment for workers, ensuring collective negotiations, unions and worker’s rights are respected again!

      Sadly the government is two faced, wanting to bring in check inspectors for mines, but doing little else, even loosening up tea and lunch break rules, so employers can basically deny workers their breaks, which will lead to serious health and safety issues, due to workers being over stressed, tired, distracted and prone to perform poorly, leading to accidents or even fatalities.

      NZ is far behind the standards upheld in most of Europe. But we know Key and Nats, they just love to rubbish Europe and blame the working conditions there for the other issues. That is absurd and pure propaganda and distraction. Sadly so many Kiwis are ill informed and do not know they are being shafted!

    • Rogue Trooper 7.2

      a problematic trend in the automotive engineering trades has seen a portion of trainees, poly-tech grads, directed into specialized sub-fields of the trade, automatic transmissions, electronics, for example and missing out on the broad range of exposure and experiences that were more typical in earlier decades. Furthermore, a greater part of the roles now involved simple component replacement, with larger repairs / overhauls also being directed to ‘specialists’ in their field. Human nature being what it is, the ‘cream’ of work is often protected by older trades-people.

  8. Logie97 8

    Just like to point out that you can delete “teacher” from your initial paragraph with the development of charter schools.

  9. BrucetheMoose 9

    The National lead government trashed the long standing formal apprenticeship system in the early 90′s at the behest of the larger building industry players and developers, mainly because they couldn’t be bothered training people and they wanted to casualize the building sector to force wage rates down. The govt. then put in place training systems that were inadequate and ill-disciplined. End result, the whole training regime became run down to where uptake was severely compromised. The incoming Labour lead government tried to breathe life back into it in 2000 with the Modern Apprenticeship scheme, but it was too late by then, the damage was done. You need continuality to maintain a high standard and consistent trained trade workforce. A whole generation of trades people have gone by the wayside now. It will take another generation to claw it back, but it still won’t get back to previous standards it once was. Ironic the now National government is trying to resuscitate it again. A bit too late now to undo the damage. Shows the severe lack of foresight National has when forming policies.

  10. xtasy 10

    “The marvellous book I referred to in my last blog had examples of how Europe deals with training. It points out actually that workers in unionised plants are more likely to get access to continuing vocational training, but it does not provide similar evidence for the basic training opportunities. It gives a good further illustration of the benefits of industry level collective bargaining – workers are able to influence training outcomes and accommodate issues such as costs, leave etc within a bargaining framework which also protects employers from threats such as the poaching of trained staff by employers not investing in training. Discussions at the industry level occur within an industry bargaining framework including on continuing education. The training is also tied to pay and conditions and appears effective in many European countries to ensure workers and employers have the skills they need.”

    Oh, Helen, how I damned well welcome this!

    Yes, training in many professional activities, particularly trades, industry, and the lower levels of science related, or service focused industries in New Zealand has been so damned neglected. I would really hope that one day we can see apprenticeships offered to not just a few hundred or a few thousand in selected professions or trades but industry wide.

    And with that, I dream of the skills and knowledge of well trained workers to be reflected in fair and liveable pay and wages, so that New Zealanders of all levels of education and training can say, I am getting what I am worth!

    That is a dream scenario at present, with so many not offered anything, but very basic on the job training, unless, as you say, they are middle class with parents that can afford to assist, that can perhaps otherwise access student loans and get into tertiary courses.

    New Zealand even educates experts that it exports, be this in law, accounting, in medical professions and the likes, but the trades here are treated abysmally.

    Look at Europe, especially Central Europe, and you will see, how more successful and more stable, also more participatory societies are made. I dream that one day NZ governments will wake up to a full potential of well skilled, trained and qualified workers at all levels, who also deserve good pay and participation in business, and more.

    There are endless opportunities, from as humble as bee keeping, baking, building, manufacturing, to higher skills in engineering and science. Wake up NZ, but it will not happen under this lot running the show, and sadly not be implemented, not even voted for by a lame duck, before even voted for, David Shearer. Heed the news, the messages from the bottom, and bring us a true leader, thanks, Helen, why do you not consider?

  11. Descendant Of Sssmith 11

    You’re forgetting that many many of the apprenticeships were actually done in the public sector not in the private sector.

    Railway workshops, hospitals, MOW, post office, and so on all had fitters, welders, electricians, carpenters, cabinet makers, etc.

    If you asked a group of self employed tradesman over 50 how many did their apprenticeship in the public service you’ll find the figure was surprisingly high.

    TEC also operated on a strange system where training provides submitted and developed the courses they wanted to run which they then did a scan of the labour market.

    The whole move away from centralised planning and management has been a disaster. The privatisation of training also resulted in cheap and piss poor training – a proliferation of courses such as recreational diving (how many millions were spent with Dive HQ. trained a few paua poachers though.)

    The private sector has always been pretty crap at training people and without the influx of apprentices out of the public sector they simply are not picking up the slack.

    Once again they have taken the work off the state, not invested in an ongoing work force as the state did and taken the savings from this lack of investment out in profit. Having extracted the profit and advocated and paid lower taxes they now want more taxpayer funds.

    I note they are not saying we’ll pay a bit more tax so the state can afford this.

    • tc 11.1

      You’ve nailed it, the flow of skilled trained resource dried up with destruction of such entities as railway workshops, PTT apprenticeships etc

      Add in the lure of better wages and conditions across the ditch and the Nats destruction of apprenticeship schemes in the 90′s and we are screwed now for decades to come even if the gov’t got off its neo lib arse which it will not as the market is god and always correct.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      Yep, it’s the public sector that is the source of all wealth in a society but we’ve been told over the last few decades that it’s the private sector that is the source and we’ve bought into that lie.

  12. Darel Hall 12

    Helen, you acknowledge the oversupply of skills (builders, lawyers, etc) as being unproblematic because skills are adaptable (transferable). Then you lament the undersupply of other skills. Surely the two ideas belong together.

    Firstly if you’re relaxed about oversupply then you have to be relaxed about undersupply. They are related phenomenon.

    Secondly, the more subsidy/ incentive that follows the oversupply area the less available for the under supply areas.

    It is not the case that the trades you’ve listed are only available through an ITO. Most can be done through a polytechnic and many through Private Training Establishments and of course Wananga. Getting a job in a trade with small numbers at the other end might be problematic, but that doesn’t seem to be your argument.

    Apprenticeships have never gone away. The regulation that defined an apprentice has. That means it is difficult to count. I did some work in the mid-1990s and I calculated that the proportion of young people in structured training for a level 4 qualification (ie a basic trade certificate) in industry training alone (ie excluding institutional pathways) was just under what it was in the late 1980s. This was the peak of the old system before apprenticeships as a pathway declined rapidly due primarily to the decline in the public sector workforce and the government’s assumed responsibility to train people in this way as well as growth in training pathways in industries that weren’t part of the old order.

    The history is covered here: http://www.itf.org.nz/assets/Publications/Literacy-Publications/ITF-Funding-History.pdf.

    Helen, your argument appears to boil down to access. Well Industry Training expanded quickly from about 1999/ 2000. Access wasn’t an obvious problem, quality was at times. I don’t believe there is good evidence for systemic access problems.

    Regards,

    Darel Hall
    Executive Director
    Industry Training Federation 2002 – 2006

    • Helen Kelly 12.1

      Darel – I dont agree the under and over supply issues belong together. My point is that oversupply can be short term and education is good in its own right. Under supply is a huge problem – both for industry but also for workers that are looking for employment. Actually my blog was about the undersupply of training oppourtunties. While there may be an issue of resources going in the wrong place if there is oversupply in some areas – there is no evidence of this in the trades sector – there simply seems to be a lack of places and training opps. One of the problems is not enough employers offering training ops. This is a different problem to the under/over supply issue. As you will know training is different than getting a qualification – a qualification is a whole and while there may be lots of training going on and lower level courses available at polytechs etc, if you want to be a teacher or a lawyer – you can get a full qualification without the sort of challenge doing the same in plumbing creates. Yes my concern is about access and access to quality training leading to proper qualifications. It doesnt claim to be anything else. I think there is very good evidence of systematic access problems and you just have to talk to parents of young workers to see it in action.

      • Darel Hall 12.1.1

        Helen, thank you for responding.

        In case anyone asks about motives, no one has asked me to engage, I just happen to have valued my time with industry training and think the evidence shows that what we did and what they do now is good.

        I agree with the proposition that the first qualification for younger people usually makes sense. After that matters get less clear.

        If the issue is about whether industry training (by that I mean ITO arranged training) leads to whole qualifications then there isn’t much of an issue. There is some ITO training in Limited and Supplementary Credit Programmes (about 15% according to this BERL report using TEC stats) which are not whole qualifications, but part of whole qualifications. On the other hand LCPS and SCPS are often critical skills, effectively a licence to operate so are well supported.

        Other phenomena include more mature people seeking skills through papers or units rather than qualifications. Also older people often want qualifications to certify the skills they want rather than do extra work to get a qualification for skills they don’t want. So we have smaller but still “proper” qualifications.

        If the issue is about access opportunities no matter what the pathway then I don’t agree there are significant access problems. Tertiary organisations work hard to maintain their numbers and to fill vacant places.

        The latest figures from 2012 show 2,956 EFTS (equivalent full-time students) paid for by TEC but not delivered by the tertiary sector so there is a little bit of funded access available. There were also 5,485 EFTS delivered but not funded. On the whole the sector delivers 97.1% of planned delivery. It is tight but there is still a little room to move.

        My point about oversupply is that if you are comfortable about oversupply in one area, then given funding constraints you must necessarily be comfortable (in a system sense, not callous about an individual’s aspirations) with under-supply in other areas. If you are arguing there ought to be more places per se then that’s different and I understand your point. But then why is this piece so specifically negative about industry training access?

        This really is a longer discussion face to face to understand positions better (a debate I am no longer part of). It may be that I have reacted more strongly against a position than you intended to put, but I also feel and think very strongly about this one.

        Thanks again,

        Darel

  13. quicksilver 13

    I completed an engineering apprenticeship with a fertiliser co-op (owned by the dirty farmers no doubt) The pay started on 42% of a tradesman’s wage. It was hard and dirty work, and if you didn’t show up (like many of today’s youth tend to do consistently) you got a bollocking & arse kicking. The absolutely worst, lazy, bad attitude Tradesmen had come out of the NZ Railways or other State employers.. or the cloth cap poms. They would strike, sabotage, sleep.. at the drop of a hat.

    • just saying 13.1

      Good to see you tugging your forlock at Ravensdown, an environmental wrecking-ball, and employee exploiter, while slagging-off those that don’t or didn’t share your abject servility.

      • quicksilver 13.1.1

        Wrong, not Ravensdown. Wrong, forlock tugging. Wrong, “environmental wrecking ball”. Wrong, “employee exploiter”. Wrong, “abject servility”. “just spouting shit” may be a more apt handle for you.

        • just saying 13.1.1.1

          (owned by the dirty farmers no doubt)

          I’m guessing you know. Is there another farmer-owned fertiliser coop?

  14. Lloyd 14

    Thanks for this Helen

    It was the introduction of the Industry Training Act in 1992 that did the damage. This diseastablished the entire apprenticeship system and killed off the apprenticeship culture.

    This Act was driven by the Employment Contracts Act due to the philosophical drive to disestablish binding secure employment arrangements and an apprenticeship was the most binding secure arrangement that existed. So – goodbye apprenticeships, hello trainees. The word ‘apprentice’ was removed completely from the Act and everybody was a ‘trainee’. Adding insult to injury the word came back into vogue as “modern apprenticeships”.

    ASTE Te Hau Takitini o Aotearoa fought these changes (as did the CTU of 1991) but as with the destruction of other cultures once it is gone it is hard to get back. ASTE also repeatedly pointed out the wasteful ways of the ITOs (for example – one year, (I forget which but around 2000) only 15% of all Govt income to the Electrical ITO was actually spent on education with the rest spent on ‘infrastrucute’ or as we said back then “ITOs are businesses in the business of being ITOs, not in the business of good trades education”.

    Many Unions in NZ bought into this system. Some are still involved. It has been a disaster for workers, young people, tertiary education and ‘industry’ overall. There is one ITO that has NEVER had one trainee pass the qualification.

    Anyway, I could rave and get angry for hours but to be honest I have given up.

    It is great to see it brought up but I fear genuine quality trades education has been killed off, buried deep, and despite the current fashion for zombie revival will stay dead and buried.

  15. quicksilver 15

    There certainly was back then. My comment should have read “no less” rather than “no doubt”. But address the points why don’t you.. which refute some of the crap spouted here regarding the good old railway workshops, and the dirty old employers/trainers. Since that time I have been very involved in training my own workers, and also leading/managing those with a variety of backgrounds.. Apprenticeships, ITO’s, Polytechs.. The less influence they had had from a state owned & Unionised environment, the more skilled, more productive, better paid and happier they were. Fact.

    • just saying 15.1

      The less influence they had had from a state owned & Unionised environment, the more skilled, more productive, better paid and happier they were. Fact.

      Citation required. We’ve had numerous stories backed by hard data on ‘The Standard’ which show unionised worker are better paid that their non-unionised contemporaries, so you’ll need more than just anecdote to refute the facts.

      • quicksilver 15.1.1

        I don’t need citation for what is clearly commented as my own experience. I have lead probably 3-400 Tradesmen in my career as a leading hand, foreman, business owner, supervisor, site manager & project manager. I have also made hiring recommendations or recruited many more. On all types of projects, large & small. I would be fairly certain that most of the people with a similar background to me would say the same. I completed my apprenticeship as a fitter turner around the time the Think Big Projects (esp Motonui) were winding down. The very worst bunch came from the railway workshops in Dunedin. What’s your experience with apprenticeships/industry training just saying?

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1

          One of the main differences I’ve seen between people who were trained in the public service and those trained in the private sector is the public service peoples ability and desire to get in and do the job no matter what it takes without complaint. Don’t see that from the private sector.

  16. Venezia 16

    Helen – can you please provide the details of the book you mention above? I have checked your earlier posting. It gives Susan Hayter as editor but no actual title.

    • Helen Kelly 16.1

      The Role of Collective Bargaining in the Global Economy – Negotiating for Social Justice. Edited by Susan Hayter. Published by Edward Elgar publishing in association with the ILO 2011

  17. Rosetinted 17

    How do these political and business fools think that we can maintain ourselves as a developed nation if everything we do is shoddy. If we don’t have any principled and trained people to do things. And how can we have industry making high value products without well trained capable people in the same sector to integrate with. Eventually we will have no smart, new technology people who want to stay here doing value added stuff and novel business for the 21st century.

    It is crazy and an obvious moral hazard to adopt a practice of worshipping business as a highly principled entity, when it is long known the large amount of lying about how ethical and logical it is. Then building on the lie so it is left to train its own workers, monitor its own work hazards, inspect the efficacy of its own structures and performance, govern its own wage payments, its own hours, its own treatment of staff, force other businesses to the wall, decide on ways of tax avoidance with government’s approbration.

    The right wing pollies both Labour and National have been running us into the ground since they went critical on the unions and started treating women and youth as breeding stock, of an inferior type.

  18. Darel Hall 18

    Dear Lloyd

    It is not true that “It was the introduction of the Industry Training Act in 1992 that did the damage”. Apprentices declined by 41% from a peak of 28,383 in 1987 to 16,711 in 1992. The Industry Training Act was a response not a cause of this change (page 9 http://www.itf.org.nz/assets/Publications/Literacy-Publications/ITF-Funding-History.pdf).

    No one was prevented from using the term apprentice. Being a trainee for funding purposes didn’t change the elements of being an apprentice ie preparing for a trade, at work, with a mentor who is a senior tradesperson.

    The anecdotes you and Helen use may be true but there isn’t a good reference to allow me to find out. In any event you both typically use matters which are not central features of or the common experience of industry training.

    There are genuine choices of pathways (institution or ITO) for people in the occupations Helen cites.

    The history referenced says that Ministers didn’t think highly of Polytechnics ability to deliver what industry wanted (p9 and 11) so took $23m (p15) from them to fund ITOs. That funding has grown and some people resent this and still believe there was more to the original decision than what people stated.

    Regards,

    Darel

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 18.1

      Be interesting if you could show split data for private versus public sector apprenticeships.

      How many apprenticeships were being done in the public sector that vanished.

      And to those trying to say lots of the public sector apprentices were crap that’s a nonsense.

      Both private and public sector produced some crap workers during the 70′s and 80′s as they continue to do so now but those workers can’t be generalised to say public sector apprentices were crap.

      Many of the public sector workers following the reforms went into business for themselves or others and continue to be successful here or overseas.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 18.2

      Be interesting if you could show split data for private versus public sector apprenticeships.

      How many apprenticeships were being done in the public sector that vanished.

      And to those trying to say lots of the public sector apprentices were crap that’s a nonsense.

      Both private and public sector produced some crap workers during the 70′s and 80′s as they continue to do so now but those workers can’t be generalised to say public sector apprentices were crap.

      Many of the public sector workers following the reforms went into business for themselves or others and continue to be successful here or overseas.

    • quicksilver 18.3

      Don’t dare try and insert any facts into a Standard ideological rant Darel, you’ll be banned faster than a Leftie doing the 50m sprint to the public trough. :)

  19. Rosetinted 19

    I have just tried to edit but it wouldn’t go past the save stage and just stayed in the edit window until time ran out.

  20. Rogue Trooper 20

    well, workshops are finding it difficult to find experienced, competent diesel mechanics, locally, anyway.

  21. helen Kelly 21

    Here is the short term skills shortage list for immigration- baker, mechanic, arborist (sigh)

    http://www.immigration.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/89185A40-27D3-41F4-84BE-30129920411D/0/ISSL.pdf

    The Canterbury list (lost oppourtunity – the only good thing that might have come out of Chch is training)

    http://www.immigration.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/6E0E1E3B-0029-4146-8631-9C890E64CFA7/0/canterburyskillshortagelist.pdf

    Long term list slightly better – but Chef – how many chef apprentiships in Wgtn? I heard only one – but maybe there are hundreds with all the restaurants and I am missing it!

    http://www.immigration.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/063ECB35-F5D5-44D8-8325-7041A727A9D5/0/INZ109311February2013.pdf

    • karol 21.1

      immigration skills short list: beef & cattle farmers? Seriously? Several “oil and gas” occupations?

      And registered nurses on the long term list, and 2 or 3 ICT occupations?

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  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
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