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For a living wage

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, February 11th, 2013 - 174 comments
Categories: cost of living, jobs, wages - Tags:

The living wage campaign is announcing this week the results of its study into the pay that a family needs to afford the basics for a decent life in New Zealand. It’ll be around $18-$20 an hour, which is more than 40% of workers get. I look forward to the proposal receiving strong support from the parties of the Left – the Left has always said a well-paying job is better than welfare.

I also expect to hear the same old rich buggers saying it’s ‘unaffordable’. But it’s not.

This is a rich country – it’s just a question of how we spread the wealth. A decent life for all (generated by a sustainable economy) should be our first and highest goal.

Oh, and good on the Herald for its living wage series, which kicks off today.

I’m particularly interested in how many low and middle wage workers have been forced to become ‘contractors’, who are sold as independent business people but are, in fact, slaves with no work rights and who (as Mainzeal workers are finding) stand last in line for their money if something goes wrong. The rules around permanent jobs being done by dependent contractors need to be strengthen and there need to be requirements for businesses to take out insurance for money they owe contractors.

174 comments on “For a living wage”

  1. IrishBill 1

    The rules around permanent jobs being done by dependent contractors need to be strengthen and there need to be requirements for businesses to take out insurance for money they owe contractors.

    Absolutely. And yet, with the Hobbit law, this government took us in exactly the opposite direction.

  2. vto 2

    Yep. I am sick to death of subsidising businesses with my taxes.

    Bloody free-loading business and employers. Why should I susbsidise them so their workers can feed themselves?

    Pay your costs business and employers and stop being bludging freeloaders.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      First target is large corporates and infrastructure monopolists ticket clipping and holding up costs while adding very little business value. Small businesses are being screwed in every direction currently.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        First target is large corporates and infrastructure monopolists ticket clipping and holding up costs while adding very little business value.

        The collapse of Mainzeal and all the finance companies is proof of just how much value the big corporates and their high paid managers actually add.

    • TightyRighty 2.2

      Do you think it is ok for individuals to bludge off the taxpayer?

      [RL: Looks like a stupid threadjack to me. We all depend on each other one way or another.]

      • TightyRighty 2.2.1

        No, it’s a question that is fundamental in me replying to VTO’s comment. If you thought things through a little more you might realise that. It’s the same old story with the intellectually bankrupt on this site. If it’s good for the goose it should be good for the gander, except if the gander is someone who the “progressives” on this site seek to “protect” from “society. So if VTO hates businesses bludging, despite the tax, rates and jobs they provide, VTO should equally hate those individuals who sit around watching sky on benefits.

        • bad12 2.2.1.1

          So you believe in ‘magic’ then??? having a couple of hundred thousand beneficiaries all running round out in the economy asking for work will ‘magically’ produce 1000,s of those jobs will it???,

          There is only X amount of employment in the economy and jobs don’t ‘magically’ appear just because someone looks for one, i know you will find that hard to believe and provide us with a link or something which proves that such ‘magic’ solutions such as ‘looking for’ create employment…

        • vto 2.2.1.2

          Go and ask your question of yourself fool.

          I made no mention of individuals who bludge off the taxpayer. You just don’t like the fact that it is the rich and business who do the greater bludging.

          Wanna play add up the bludge?

    • swan 2.3

      This argument makes no sense. Employers pay the market clearing rate (except where the minimum wage prevents them from doing so). The taxpayer is not subsidising the employer, they are making a transfer to low wage earners. If you believed your argument you could apply it to the entire welfare state: “Why should I subsidise these employers by paying for their employees healthcare/ childrens education etc”

  3. fatty 3

    I hope Labour, Greens and Mana all propose $20 per hour. If not, they should not get your vote. How can a party on the left have policies that create working poor in NZ?
    This will mean raising taxes for the rich. So stop fucking around and say you are raising taxes…I’m looking at you Labour, do you care? If you are not willing to stand up for the working poor then you are a burden on humanity, and you are creating the working poor…Don’t deny it. Its true. Do us a favour and stop being a politician if being ethical is beyond you.

    This is not something that can be ignored

    • Polish Pride 3.1

      Thats cool so long as small businesses can increase prices on their goods to compensate them for the extra in wages they need to pay….but then will your living wage still be a living wage at that point.

      • David H 3.1.1

        Why they won’t need the compensation, because people will have extra money and they will spend it, then the businesses will have to hire more staff, to cope with the extra business. It’s the opposite of the vicious circle.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        Thats cool so long as small businesses can increase prices on their goods to compensate them for the extra in wages they need to pay….but then will your living wage still be a living wage at that point.

        So let’s try it and find out what actually happens.

      • Foreign Waka 3.1.3

        The lopsided economy is a result of having an increase in GDP without corresponding increase of the “share” in terms of increase in wages. You will notice that $1 bought more 10 years ago than an equally inflation adjusted $1 today. The wages stayed put in real terms and the minority got an even higher stake in the wealth. I am sure it makes sense when you look at the wage and purchasing power a decade ago vs today. The only way this can be righted is an equitable approach to tax. I know, it is not very “hip” but the load has to be spread in order to have a meaningful society. And in the end, for the majority of people, it is a meaningful life they want not a constant economic live lesson.

    • cricklewood 3.2

      Shouldn’t need to increase taxes, Working for families payments will plummet at current settings as will accomodation supplements. Even student loan payback will increase dramitically. Unless of course we move all the settings in line with a minimum wage increase…

  4. ianmac 4

    Perhaps those super rich politicians could show leadership by paying the Parliamentary cleaners a living wage?

    • David H 4.1

      Don’t make me laugh. All slippery wants is a lower than basic wage economy. Where he can count his success by the increase in homelessness, and beggars in the street, for him to spit on.

  5. felixviper 5

    “I also expect to hear the same old rich buggers saying it’s ‘unaffordable’ “

    Of course, and they’ll be here shortly whinging that it’s too much of a jump from the current level. But the fact is that it’s only a big jump because the min wage has been held way too low for too long.

    Should’ve been $15 5 or 6 years ago.

    • King Kong 5.1

      Personally I think everyone should be earning at least $50 an hour. I can’t see how you could possibly afford a decent case of Haut Brion if you were on anything less than that.

      Of course then I realised that would mean it would cost $100 a week to have your papers delivered and realised that was just stupid.

      [RL: Stupid is as stupid does. You are just one more of these away from self-martyrdom.]

      • vto 5.1.1

        just stupid

      • bad12 5.1.2

        i would suggest that that comment from you just moved the clock that indicates the length of your stay among us here as a commenter just moved to 2 minutes to midnight…

      • emergency mike 5.1.3

        The really funny part about this is that I’m pretty sure our dear leader has trotted out exactly the same ‘$15? Why not $20? Why not $30? Look the reality is…’ line as this moronic tr0ll. (Can’t find a link, maybe it was in a leaaders debate or something?)

        • swan 5.1.3.1

          So, what is the rebuttal to the argument then? I cant find it in this comments thread.

          • felixviper 5.1.3.1.1

            The rebuttal is that everyone should earn zero dollars per hour.

            It’s stupid, irrelevant, as logical as King Kong’s argument, and so bleeding obvious that no-one but you needed it said out loud.

            • swan 5.1.3.1.1.1

              You’ll have to explain it better. I dont understand what you mean.

              Lets just flesh out the arguments a bit. To simplify things a bit, there are two ways of setting labour rates – one is to let the market find its own equilibrium, the other is government regulation. So if the government is to regulate a higher level, what is the limit to this? If there are no unfavourable trade offs, then $50 an hour should be the policy surely. If there are unfavourable trade offs, then why do they not exist at $20 an hour? And if they do exist at $20 an hour, shouldn’t we carefully weigh them against the benefits of the policy?

              • Colonial Viper

                There’s plenty of unfavourable outcomes at market set pricing, you just like to ignore those because they are generally unfavourable to labour.

              • felixviper

                I’m not going to get into a discussion about markets determining a minimum wage.

                In our society we’ve decided to have a minimum wage to ensure a basic minimum standard of lifestyle, to ensure that people can feed their kids, to ensure that people aren’t grossly exploited for profit, to ensure that people can participate at a meaningful level in society.

                If it’s not enough to achieve these objectives (or whatever the stated objectives are) then it needs to be raised. Simple as that.

                Whether the market, left to it’s own devices, would determine an even lower minimum is irrelevant in this context as we’ve already decided to have a society with minimum standards. At best it’s another (usually boring) discussion but it’s not really part of this one.

                • swan

                  Except that “markets determining a minimum wage” is just another way of saying “labour markets reaching equilibrium”. So if you are not interested in equilibrium then you are not interested in the manifestation of a lack of equilibirum – ie unemployment. I think unemployment is a pretty important topic myself, and one that is central to any discussion about minimum wages.

                  • felixviper

                    No, I’m not interested in markets reaching equilibrium. I’m interested in a society with minimum standards.

                    Have you not been paying attention?

                    • swan

                      Well you could be interested in both those things if you wanted to be.

                      So you are not interested in unemployment, but you are interested in a society with minimum standards. Are you sure?

                    • vto

                      I can pick felix’s next reply from 10,000 miles. he he

                    • felixviper

                      lolz v, I don’t think I can even be bothered. As above, boring discussion.

                    • swan

                      OK thanks for trying to explain it to me.

                    • emergency mike

                      ‘s weird tho, i thought neo-classical economics had been pronounced dead once people realised that in spite of the x goes up y goes down awesomeness of it, it had no meaningful relationship to reality. apparently there’s still a few muffins who didn’t get the memo.

                    • swan

                      “‘s weird tho, i thought neo-classical economics had been pronounced dead once people realised that in spite of the x goes up y goes down awesomeness of it, it had no meaningful relationship to reality”

                      I dont know where you got this idea from??

                    • felixviper

                      From seeing these exact same discussions played out over and over again with such predictable results?

                  • Are you seriously trying to argue that unemployment doesn’t happen without a minimum wage?

                    That demonstrates either a severe lack of understanding about what drives unemployment, or a high degree of understanding of trolling.

                    • felixviper

                      I don’t think he was seriously trying, no.

                    • swan

                      No. Saying x causes y does not mean x is the only cause of y.

                    • McFlock

                      fine then – we can set a minimum wage at a liveable standard, and work on the other causes of full employment to counteract any (so far undemonstrated) adverse effect from the existence of minimum wages and unemployment benefits.

                    • swan

                      So McFlock,

                      On that basis, lets go for $50 an hour as policy. Surely better $20

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, because how can a banker possibly live in dignity on under $50/hr?

                      That’s all the topic is about. Not an “if we set a UBI at a zillion dollars, we’d all be RICH, I tells ya!” absurdity. Just the belief that kids shouldn’t go hungry and that everyone should have a home before we start spending money on coffee beans that were shit out of a cat’s arse.

                      But keep up with the crazy talk, you funny.

                  • Mike

                    Who gives a flying fuck about the markets equilibrium. Lets get people a decent living wage first and let the fucking “markets” equilibrate. (not a word i think..hehe) from there. You can’t have any semblance of real market equilibration when the market is manipulated by the wealthy to their own advantage through rent seeking.

                    Go and start talking about the markets to someone struggling to pay the rent and feed their family on $13.50 an hour. Good luck.

                    There is no room in the market economic model for social relations or responsibility. People and their welfare are not deemed important other than they are producers and consumers. Take any of the free market model calculations or measures and you’ll see none of them have the welfare or stableness of society as part of the equation. The family and their ability to survive are not considered as relevant in terms of inputs into calculations.

                    Fuck the market!

    • alwyn 5.2

      The New Zealand minimum wage is, by international standards, actually very high in comparison to the median wage. In NZ, in 2011 it was 59% of the median wage. The only country in the OECD that was higher was France on 60%.
      In comparison Britain was 46%, Canada 45% and the US was 38%.
      When you suggest that it should have been $15 5 or 6 years ago I suspect you are like the (probably apocryphal) union leader who said that he would never be happy until every worker earned more than the average wage. $15 would have been more than the median wage for the time and would certainly have been inflationary.
      ref to the Economist
      http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21567072-evidence-mounting-moderate-minimum-wages-can-do-more-good-harm

      • vto 5.2.1

        That may well be the case but there appears to be no relevance to the issue of being able to actually live on the wage. Bit useless that bit of information.

        It is cheaper to employ someone than keep a slave.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1

          Also, the NZ median wage has been collapsing as jobs have been lost, so no wonder the minimum wage looks Ok in comparison.

      • RedLogix 5.2.2

        Unfortunately alwyn you haven’t included any data on the cost of living in these various countries.

        In NZ, in 2011 it was 59% of the median wage.

        This might just tell us that our median wage is pretty crap too …

        • Colonial Weka 5.2.2.1

          And why the median? If you have lots of people on a low wage and a few people on a high wage, doesn’t that mean that the median is low? Wouldn’t the average wage be a more useful figure?

          • RedLogix 5.2.2.1.1

            Well it doesn’t really matter CW … just so long as you know which figure is being used, what it means and critically, WHY the person using it has chosen it.

          • RJL 5.2.2.1.2

            If you are interested in what proportions of the population actually earn, then median is more useful. As you say, if there are few people on a very high wage and many on a low wage, then all may look well looking at the average wage — but all the low wage people could be in desperate poverty.

            Average isn’t really that useful at all in this context. Although a comparison between the median and the average might tell you something about how skewed to the wealthy (or not) wages are.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2.1.2.1

              Although a comparison between the median and the average might tell you something about how skewed to the wealthy (or not) wages are.

              IIRC, the median wage in NZ ATM is approximately half the average wage. Somewhere around 75% of the working population have an income less than the average wage.

          • Mike 5.2.2.1.3

            At least with the median you know where you stand. Looking at the median you can factually state that 50% of incomes are above that and 50% below.

            The average is not useful at all and in fact creates false perceptions of the real situation. The average is looked at by most people (who don’t stop to think) as the middle of the road thanks mainly to the MSM, when in fact the average is always way higher than what most people earn.

            For example the media uses the median regularly when looking at house prices but almost all of the time uses the average when looking at wages and incomes. The result, house prices don’t look so bad (a perception created by the media) and wages aren’t that low (again, a created perception). You have to wonder if there’s a policy in the media regarding this as it just doesn’t make sense.

            They also do things such as often using the household income, which again subconsciously creates a perception in many people of higher incomes than what the reality actually is. Most married couples (and unmarried couples), don’t hear the term household income and then think about how that relates to individuals. They can’t be blamed for that, but the politicians take advantage of such things thanks to a complicit media.

      • geoff 5.2.3

        What a load of horse shit, I hate this “if everyone was paid better it would just cause inflation, therefore we shouldn’t do it” meme.
        As if the situation we are in now isn’t completely inflated. Look at electricity prices, house prices, the price of food, it’s all way way over inflated compared to what it should be. You haven’t said anything about cost of living in your calculations.
        Prices are so bloated that everyone is struggling to keep their heads above water, aggregate demand is fucking dead as a dead thing, because people have been bled dry.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.4

        union leader who said that he would never be happy until every worker earned more than the average wage.

        [Citation needed]

      • Shane Gallagher 5.2.5

        As someone who moved here from Europe in 2002 I can tell you that the median wage here is terrible, which is why the minimum wage here is so high relative to it. What the figures actually show is that much of NZ is living on poverty wages…

        oh look 270,000 children living in poverty. What a coincidence! :-)

      • Mike 5.2.6

        “The New Zealand minimum wage is, by international standards, actually very high in comparison to the median wage.”

        And no doubt the New Zealand median wage is, by international standards, actually very low, making your stat irrelevant.

        It’s not just the minimum wage that is too low to live on. Wages in general for those on lower incomes are too low. comparing the median wage to the minimum wage means nothing when there is such huge income disparity between the top and the rest.

  6. bad12 6

    There’s 2 forms of ‘contractor’ in the economy at the moment, the ‘willing’ small business owner who is in effect carrying most of the risk for the likes of just collapsed construction comapny Mainzeal who have multiple contractors supplying most of the labour and having the burdon of ‘risk’ being forced upon them on those construction sites,

    A relatively simple solution which would require a law change would simply see monies paid to the main contractor of any business activity first paid into a relevant ‘trust account’ managed by a specific Government department where contractors to the main contractor could lodge their claims against such monies having a set time frame within which to lodge such claims,

    The other law that need changing is that of ‘who’ is a secured creditor of any business that goes into receivership, my view is that contractors to and employees of the business that has collapsed should be first in the line of creditors as far as any claim against the businesses remaining assets are concerned,

    Obviously such a law would result in Banks being less forthcoming with revolving credit arrangements for such businesses which in turn would result in the businesses themselves having to carry more capital so as to allow their business to continue…

    • vto 6.1

      Yep, the line-up of unsecured creditors should read ……

      1. wage and salary earners.
      2. sub-contractors.
      3. …
      last. IRD.

      Why is the IRD near the top of the list now? Does anyone know what the good reason is for IRD to be ahead of the people who do the work?

      • bad12 6.1.1

        myself i would put the IRD 3rd on the list, the Banks are privately run institutions of ‘risk’ taking and should be last in line as a creditor,

        Not paying their relevant due tax allows such collapsed companies to in effect deny to NZ social services which taxation supports,

        With regards to Mainzeal in particular and the many companies operating in NZ as loss making entities where the parent company is registered in a ‘tax haven’ such as the Bahamas i would suggest that the actions of the directors of those companies have taken deliberate actions,(like de-listing from the NZ stock exchange the parent company and registering it in that tax haven),to circumvent the payment of due taxation in this country…

        • King Kong 6.1.1.1

          And as a bank why the hell would I lend to you without a front ranking security? No loan no business, no business no jobs.

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1

            Why the hell should I work for you without a front ranking security of being paid?

            No work, no business either.

            • King Kong 6.1.1.1.1.1

              What is your total risk? Two weeks wages? You could always ask at the interview to be paid in advance.

              • Colonial Viper

                Wow you’re thick. Two weeks wages AND your home at risk, when you can’t pay your mortgage, let alone feed your family.

                I suggest bringing back enforceable redundancy payout clauses is crucial.

              • Lightly

                not just two weeks’ wages. Redundancy and leave entitlements can be tens of thousands of dollars

              • RedLogix

                Or as a subcontractor there is your whole business at risk. Which is indeed what contracting has devolved into … a means of pushing risk down onto weaker parties.

                Now while there is some merit in spreading some risk onto other parties that are better positioned to assume it. For instance it makes sense to sub-contract technical risk to engineering specialists or professionals, or to companies with specialised equipment that you only need for specific short phases of a project.

                But what has happened instead is that most subcontractors are nowadays doing what used to be core business for the principal. This is not done because it’s any cheaper, it’s not. It’s usually done to spread the commercial risk (and the health and safety risk as well) so that when the principal gets into strife .. there are plenty of hapless subbies around to pass the baby onto.

                • woodpecker

                  Not just financial risk. I know a builder who constructed a roof, as per plan, as per building code, passed inspections, but when the roof sagged under its own weight, guess who ate the 40,000 to replace it.

              • woodpecker

                Alot of subbies work on statement at the end of the month for payment due on the 20th month following. So you could be looking at up to 6 weeks for payment. If you ask for advance the prime just opens the door and shouts NEXT!

                • Foreign Waka

                  And have to pay tax before being actually paid! What a hoot. An invoice issued is already a dollar earned for the IRD. Mind you that did obviously not apply to Mainzeal.

            • vto 6.1.1.1.1.2

              That’s right. Example – people in NZ require buildings to live and work and play in. Mainzeal and others fulfil this never-ending demand. It is simply (and it is simple) a matter of changing the existing set of regulations that Mainzeal and others operate under to another set of regulations to operate under – a set that looks after those that build the buildings ahead of other unsecured creditors, like IRD.

              As for secured creditors like banks, that is a bigger question and more complex. If it is required that workers and subbies rank ahead of banks then that will certainly be an issue for the banks and they will likely up-sticks and go elsewhere. Maybe. Or maybe they will learn to operate under the new set of regulsations – if they want to have a share of the NZ economic pie that is.

              Seeing off the banks wouldn’t be a bad thing anyway – there are other ways of providing credit into the economy (though an incredibly small number of businesses seem to understand this).

              You knows… I am arguing against my interest here as have been in self-employed business etc for some too many years. But the big picture is the more important one. If there is a healthy employed society whereby the big bulk of the populace is prosperous then my business will do well. If the big bulk is struggling then so too does my business. My business will adjust to any new norms and regs, hopefully within a short timeframe. Why do Key desciples insist on driving down the big bulk of the populace???? It seems brainless to me.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.2

            And as a bank why the hell would I lend to you without a front ranking security? No loan no business, no business no jobs.

            Hence its crucial the Government become a provider of cheap business capital, pressuring the banks to improve their game or get out.

            • King Kong 6.1.1.1.2.1

              The classic left wing lollie scramble answer to everything.

              However, I would have thought that tax payers financing business fat cats on the cheap wouldn’t be a policy that I would hear from you.

              • vto

                How is it a lolly scamble anymore than the current system is? I look forward to your explanation.

                (Also, it is today the rightwing that throws the lolly scrambles – farmers irrigation, South Canterbury Finance, Hollywood, …. best you keep up lest you even more become redundant)

              • Colonial Viper

                What lolly scramble? Business owners are not kids, and the Government has a responsibility to fulfill societal roles that the banks are failing in.

                I would have thought that tax payers financing business fat cats on the cheap wouldn’t be a policy that I would hear from you.

                I thought you said that loans and credit were crucial for business and jobs? I happen to agree with you.

              • fatty

                The classic left wing lollie scramble answer to everything.

                The classic call from the greedy right winger who’s hogging the lollies. Weird how sharing has become an extreme position.

              • Mike

                Why not if it is a good income earning investment and has proper oversight?

          • bad12 6.1.1.1.3

            Yes exactly as you say KK, this is about the first comment from you that makes any sense of all your comments i have had the misfortune to read even tho you obviously haven’t meant the comment to read as it does,

            As a bank, no loan is to make no profits which means no need for Bank to be in New Zealand,

            Bye Bye bank creating a need for someone like a Government to create a loan entity or extend the bank it already owns ability to service the business sector…

          • Mike 6.1.1.1.4

            Because you get interest payments (profit) on ‘money’ which you didn’t actually have in the first place to be able to ‘loan’, created out of thin air at the push of a button and you carry no real risk. If it all goes belly up you end up getting assets or at the worst you write off the ‘loan’ via a bookkeeping entry, which won’t affect your profit other than that interest not realized through the rest of the interest payments that would have occurred.

            Or, if you’re canny, and you know the ‘borrower’ will probably not be able to service the ‘loan’, you could create some sort of new financial instrument enabling you to ‘sell’ the loan onto some unsuspecting retirement fund and then you could rake in some coin betting that the ‘loan’ you arranged would all go belly up.

            If all else fails you can just socialize all your losses and get taxpayers to bail you out with money they have to borrow from one of your subsidiary banks and on which they will have to pay interest over the coming years; which you can use to make sure your executives get a nice little ‘performance’ bonus like they were promised.

            Then, just to plan ahead, you can spend loads of money and time lobbying government to ensure no changes are made and no regulations are put in place to curb the financial industry, ensuring you will be able to make further profits doing the same things again in the future.

      • Mike 6.1.2

        I disagree, I would put IRD 2nd, behind wage and salary earners, as it is the public’s money Then sub-contractors (part of the risk of getting aiming for higher revenue via contracting), then other creditors, then banks.

        (Nah, just kidding….fuck the banks.)

    • RedLogix 6.2

      And the entire NZS 3910 contract model needs to be thrown out and re-written around the principles of good project management.

      What we have at present is merely a lawyer’s charter.

  7. BM 7

    So this $20 per hour for a family with 2 kids.
    Since the church is involved , I’m guessing mum stays at home and looks after the kids

    A one income family with the bread winner making only $18-20 an hour would most certainly
    struggle, luckily this family has working for families to fall back on giving them an extra $150-200(I’m assuming after tax) per week.

    WFF adds around 5$ per hour tax free to the families income, pushing them well above the “living wage”

    • vto 7.1

      But BM, you miss the entire point.

      WFF is a subsidy to business paid for by taxpayers. This government is anti-subsidy but takes full advantage of this subsidy and simply chants, with hands over ears…. “can’t hear you, can’t hear you, nyah nyah nyah”. This is the level of their intellect.

      • BM 7.1.1

        National would can WFF in a heart beat if it could, it’s complete bull shit and has become an albatross around the neck of New Zealand.
        Unfortunately far too many families now rely on WFF to survive these days, it’s now like super if any party touches it, they’re fucked.
        Thanks Helen Clark and Labour.

        • vto 7.1.1.1

          fancy that, you miss the point again

          WFF is a taxpayer subsidy to business and employers. It should be canned and replaced with a wage that people can actually live on.

          • grumpy 7.1.1.1.1

            Exactly vto.

            WFF is the main reason wage rates are so low in NZ. Employers don’t need to pay decent wages because the nice taxpayer makes sure the pittance is topped up.

            I also wonder at those who are pushing for a lower dollar – all that does is further lower everybody’s real income.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I also wonder at those who are pushing for a lower dollar – all that does is further lower everybody’s real income.

              Yes it lowers the value of the monies held by those with large stocks of NZD or who have significant NZD income.

              However, it will also bring an onshoring of jobs and production. It will increase the price competitiveness of NZ products in overseas markets, helping our manufacturers. Given these factors many other NZers will be better off.

              • grumpy

                Goody! We might even get our own Nike and Addidas sweat shops!!!!

              • grumpy

                Not really CV. Purchasing power on virtually everything is diminished – from petrol to milk.
                A drop in $NZ would likely be offset by a rise in inflation.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Only goods with a significant foreign cost component will be impacted by a lower NZD value AFAIK.

                  A drop in $NZ would likely be offset by a rise in inflation.

                  Maybe. If it happens, just take money out of the top end of the economy to balance it out. But I can’t see it really happening other than new cars, Italian olives and smartphones becoming pricier.

                  • alwyn

                    That is simply not true CV.
                    Any goods that we produce in New Zealand and sell to overseas buyers will also be affected.
                    Consider one example. We produce lots of dairy products in New Zealand and sell them overseas. If the value of the NZ dollar drops the price we (or strictly Fonterra) for the exported goods will rise in New Zealand dollar terms. If they don’t we don’t want a reduced value NZ dollar do we? We pay in New Zealand the going rate for the goods. If the export prices go up (or down) the local price we pay for the same goods goes up (or down) to match.
                    This will happen for ALL tradeable goods that we produce.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sure, I’d love to pay the same price as Australians, Chinese or Brits for a litre of milk. We get ripped off in NZ.

                      In all other cases the answer is still easy: have foreign buyers subsidise NZers for things like milk, meat and other locally grown produce.

                      In other words, don’t make NZers pay more for inferior produce, while sending the best stuff overseas.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If the value of the NZ dollar drops the price we (or strictly Fonterra) for the exported goods will rise in New Zealand dollar terms.

                      Goods produced in NZ and exported are sold in US$. The seller then converts them to NZ$.

                      If the conversion is low (exchange rate is high) then the amount of NZ$ that can be spent in the NZ economy is also low and vice versa.

                    • alwyn

                      In response to Draco.
                      I reread my comment and realised I had left out the word get between the words “Fonterra)” and “for”. You have obviously interpreted it as being there.
                      Yes, you are right that many internationally goods are priced in US dollars. They don’t strictly have to be but they are. It’s the same reason that foreign exchange trading rooms only maintain exchange rates between each currency and the US dollar. There are far fewer numbers that have to be available and you can get a cross-rate by a simple multiplication.
                      However that’s why I put in the words “rise in New Zealand dollar terms”. You are only agreeing with me on that.
                      Having more New Zealand dollars to spend in New Zealand doesn’t however help the economy as a whole. It may help the dairy farmers but it merely shifts purchasing power to them and away from someone who doesn’t make their income from exporting. For those people prices of things they buy are going up.
                      If you regard having more dollars around is a good thing would you advocate simply issuing ten times as many. If not why not?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Having more New Zealand dollars to spend in New Zealand doesn’t however help the economy as a whole. It may help the dairy farmers but it merely shifts purchasing power to them and away from someone who doesn’t make their income from exporting.

                      In theory, the farmer and manufacturers having more money to spend that money in increasing the business and thus creating more jobs and more wealth. That is, after all, why the government decreased taxes for the rich and increased them for the poor.

                      And you’re right, a lot of that money will just find its way into trust funds and not be used to benefit NZ but some of it actually will be spent on building up businesses.

            • Wayne 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Grumpy, you are wrong on WFF. It reflects the fact that families with children have higher costs than other people. All developed economies have a tax credit system that reflects that reality.

              The intent of WFF is to ensure that families have enough income by essentially redistributing income from all other taxpayers. Remember it goes up with more children. The other alternative is a universal child benefit, but that goes to well off people as well.

              So when Helen introduced WFF, she was continuing a well trodden path, which is why National has kept it. The Nats in 1996 had a Family Tax Credit, which got replaced by WFF, but they essentially do the same thing. WFF recognised 10 years of inflation which is why it is higher than the Family Tax Credit.

              The key point is that to try and replicate WFF through wages would be impossible (or at least fundamentaly uneconomic). It would mean lifting the minimum hourly wage to around $20 per hour. WFF basically produces an income of around $40,000, hence the $20.

              The increase would have to be done for everyone, whether they were a beginning worker, or whether or not they had skills justifying $20. It could not be done just for people with families. And all wages at least up to $60 would have to increase to retain some level of proportinality.

              The New Zealand economy would obviously become uncompetitive.

              It is also why this campaign will fail. The minimum wage is $13.50 (but lets say it is $15). The effect of the campign is get the negotiated minimum wage to $20. That won’t happen, because employers can’t pay differential wages depending on a persons circumstances. essentiaaly it would have to be $20 for everyone. It is WFF that can take account of induividual circumstances.

              A more sensible campaign would be to make sure WFF keeps up with increases in cost of living.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It would mean lifting the minimum hourly wage to around $20 per hour.

                That’s about how much is needed for a single person to live well.

                And all wages at least up to $60 would have to increase to retain some level of proportinality.

                Nope. Proportionality does not need to be maintained. In fact, for the people at the higher end, what we should be seeing is a decrease in wages (probably through taxes so that higher WfF that you’re asking for can be paid).

                The New Zealand economy would obviously become uncompetitive.

                No it wouldn’t if we also worked on decreasing the value of the NZ$ on the forex.

                • Wayne

                  Well, if you were an apprentice on starting on $20 you would expect a substantial increase once you got your certificate, to at least $30, probably more, and after 5 years with a cert probably you expect $40. Otherwise why bother. That is why it will have (and should have) knock on effects.

                  When we had very high wages in meatworks and wharfs it meant a lot of people did not get qualifications who should have; that is why a wage spread is necessary to give people an incentive to gain skills.

                  Pre 1984 or thereabouts our pay scales were too compressed and it meant we had one of the lowest skill levels on the OECD. People who could have got skills could not see that it was worth their while to do so. I suspect one of the reasons we have low productivity is a residual legacy of that period, since it takes time to ensure most people get the higher level skills a modern economy demands.

                  But higher WFF would mean looking at taxes. More likely it will the key priority when looking at the next tax reduction package. This should be able to done in 2015/16 when we are back in surplus or close to it. A core issue for the 2014 election?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Pre 1984 or thereabouts our pay scales were too compressed and it meant we had one of the lowest skill levels on the OECD. People who could have got skills could not see that it was worth their while to do so.

                    To some degree I would agree with that but I also think that you’ll find that the major problem was that there just wasn’t enough capital investment to get rid of those jobs. If the jobs aren’t there, and low skill jobs should be phased out as fast as possible, then the people without skills need to go out and get them (which is why we need free education – our present system is quite literally wasting the abilities of tens of thousands of people, IMO).

                    More likely it will the key priority when looking at the next tax reduction package.

                    Lowering taxes will make the country even worse off just as the National Party has planned.

                  • Mike

                    “I suspect one of the reasons we have low productivity ”

                    Are you for real????

                    Productivity has nearly doubled in the last 40 years.

                    Wages, however, have stagnated or decreased in real terms, with all the additional profit going to those at the top instead of being shared as it used to be before the 80’s.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.3

              I also wonder at those who are pushing for a lower dollar – all that does is further lower everybody’s real income.

              Oh, look at that, another idiot.

              No, that’s not all it does. It also makes NZ products more affordable in NZ.

            • swan 7.1.1.1.1.4

              “WFF is the main reason wage rates are so low in NZ. Employers don’t need to pay decent wages because the nice taxpayer makes sure the pittance is topped up.”

              That is absolute nonsense. How does working for families lower the market rate? If anything it would increase the market rate by reducing labour supply – i.e. Mum is able to stay at home.

              • felixviper

                Do you really not understand how subsidies distort markets?

                • swan

                  So you think if we got rid of WFF then employment would go down as people wouldn’t bother working if they didnt get the WFF inducement?

                  • felixviper

                    No.

                    Stop pretending that we’re all constrained in our thinking by the market paradigm to which you’ve limited yourself.

                    • swan

                      Actually it was others that brought up the idea of WFF as a subsidy. It isn’t, unless you are redefining the term.

                    • RedLogix

                      So you think if we got rid of WFF then employment would go down as people wouldn’t bother working if they didnt get the WFF inducement?

                      Only if they had some other equal or better alternative to choose from.

                      Which most people do not have.

                    • felixviper

                      “It isn’t, unless you are redefining the term.”

                      Sure swan, in that case I’m redefining the term “subsidy” to mean “paying for something so someone else doesn’t have to”.

                      Happy now?

                      Oh and before you get too excited, no, I don’t have to renounce all other examples of subsidies just because I think this one is misguided.

                      mkay?

              • Mike

                It’s just another form of rent seeking and if you don’t understand how giving taxpayer top ups to people on low wages enables businesses to keep paying low wages then …… … bleh!

          • indiana 7.1.1.1.2

            The WFF family policy was never sold to the public as a subsidy to business by Labour when they announced the policy. Labour is equally anti-subsidy. When they draft policy, it is to be sold cost free to the recipient of the policy.

        • grumpy 7.1.1.2

          Only half right. Certainly WFF has become an electoral bride alongside Student Loans.

    • Mike 7.2

      WFF is simply another form of rent seeking.

      Instead of paying a proper living wage, companies are subsidized by taxpayers in the form of WFF. If workers were paid a fair wage, there would be no need for WFF.

      And what about single people and those on $13.50 an hour, or those on the unemployment benefit on around $200 per week. (plus landlord subsidy accommodation supplement)

  8. karol 8

    I heard part of the discussion on the topic on Nine-to-Noon this morning. One of the people (a woman) was saying it’s better for businesses to be treating their workforce well and paying a living wage.

    Can’t get the link code to work:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2546062/nz's-living-wage-campaign.asx

  9. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 9

    When talking about contractors, it is a situation where it is very efficient for the project owners and very inefficient for the worker (now Contractor, who has to do most of his paperwork, government forms etc and probably wait longer for his/her wages, a month perhaps and not necessarily bigger wages. One staff procurement company is now going onto weekly payments from its business customers for these reasons.)

  10. SJH 10

    I just want to say this is a very big leap from what was previously a $15 minimum wage campaign. Maybe this is too far? $18-$20 an hour would put a huge amount of people out of work. I have worked for $23 an hour at AFFCO in the past which was a lot of money for me. I am now working for $14.50 an hour in Central Wellington and I am able to survive as well as save and enjoy certain luxuries now and again. It would be nice to earn more but I think we need to be realistic about exactly how much. I find it hard to believe people need $18-$20 an hour just to “Live”.

    • fatty 10.1

      I can live on a couple of hundred dollars too. No problem, been doing it for years. But I don’t have any kids dependent on me…do you SJH?
      We can keep people earning $14 p/h…but when children are involved we are raising them in poverty and the results can be devastating.

      Also, I can frame this with right wing economic logic…
      If we have working poor with children, then the children are growing up learning that working is not worth the effort. Why would they bother busting their arse to live in poverty – a logical response from our children growing up in that situation is to move into crime or just bum around on the dole.

      What are we teaching our younger generation when working results in economic suffering?

      You also claim that it will cost people’s jobs SJH, but if we tax the rich and give to the poor, and that money is then spent in the economy (instead of sitting in a fat-cat’s overseas account, as it is now). Won’t that stimulate the economy and create more jobs? The apparent downside of this is that we must tax the rich – I don’t see how this is a downside

      • SJH 10.1.1

        No, I don’t have kids. I was the son of a solo mother and I know how difficult things can be. My mum has never found it easy to find work and still struggles to this day to find worthwhile employment.

        I don’t think $14 an hour is enough, but I think a sudden jump from a campaign for $15 to $18-20 is pretty signficant. Also $18-$20 is a range of $2, which is the total amount the minimum wage has risen in probably 7 or 8 years ( I don’t have figures to hand, if anyone knows where I can find some data and dates on the hostory of minimum wage in NZ that would be fantastic.)

        A campaign for $16 would likely have been a better move in my opinion. $18-20 just seems too much. Working For Families is already there to help people who have made the decision to have kids. I don’t think it’s any good for people to bust their ass for low wages, but we all know that decisions we make early on in life can make life more difficult as we get older. That doesn’t mean we don’t provide people with opportunities to overcome these difficulties, but it does mean that we have to take into account that some people are simply not going to be skilled enough to earn as much as they would like to.

        It certainly will cost people jobs. Take a restaurant with a staff of 30 for instance. If 20 of the staff are working for $14.50 an hour, and suddenly the minimum wage rose to $19, what kind off effect would that have the business? Thats thousands of dollars per week.

        Taxing the rich may well be a solution to increasing government revenues and increase spending on social programs, but it doesn’t do much to help individual businesses cope with what could be a debilitating wage rise. The only way they’ll deal with that is by firing workers and raising prices.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          Some good points. But remember, on $15/hr you can’t save for the future, save for a deposit on a house, anything like that. Any increase in the minimum wage needs to be substantial, but also graduated. A sudden move from $13.50 to $19/hr would sink a lot of small businesses within the first 3 months.

          What needs to happen for any such change to prove viable is for businesses to experience lifting revenues as people get more discretionary income into their pockets, and start spending more not on imported junk, but on local goods and services.

          • grumpy 10.1.1.1.1

            Agree with your ssentiments but disagree that it can be achieved without a corresponding lift in productivity.

            Higher incomes with a high dollar is what is needed.

            • fatty 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Agree with your ssentiments but disagree that it can be achieved without a corresponding lift in productivity.

              Really? What have our productivity levels been and what do they need to get to?

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1.2

              but disagree that it can be achieved without a corresponding lift in productivity.

              well that’s about major investment in capital equipment, plant, machinery and new technology. And I recognise that foreign machine tools get much more expensive as the NZD drops….

              • Draco T Bastard

                Which is where government printing of money and spending it into R&D really pays off. No need to import that foreign machine if we can make it here.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It takes 10-20 years of dedicated effort to gain competence in new technology via illegal copying and patent theft, and another 10-20 years to gain any kind of independent leadership.

                  So what you are saying can be done, but it will be extraordinarily difficult and a generational task.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Oh noes, we can’t do it over night, oh woe is us.

                    /sarc

                    You do realise that we could license the technology as it is or possibly a generation or two behind and then work from there don’t you?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Of course you can license that knowledge. If anyone wants to sell you their IP, once they know you intend to enter their core markets.

            • Mike 10.1.1.1.1.3

              If wages had increased in line with increases in productivity over the last 30 years as they should have done, this thread would not exist.

          • SJH 10.1.1.1.2

            That’s true. I can’t save much. I’m only earnign a dollar above the minimum wage, but I suspect that’s why we call this the minimum wage.

            Someone starting out on the minimum wage would need to be very frugal and have low debt to save $150 – $200 a week.

            This is where I’m a little confused as to a “living wage”. Have they provided any data as to what exactly a $18-$20 living wage provides? With my student loan repayments and other debtss, if I was earning even $18 an hour I’d be able to save at least $200 a week.

            Is it a living wage, or are we talking about an ideal wage?

            • fatty 10.1.1.1.2.1

              This is just a guess, but its not a living wage in that it is the minimum to stay alive. It would be more as you say an ideal wage. That means that under a livable wage a person has access to opportunities to basic rights, such as a warm dry place to live (not a mansion, but a reasonable place where health will not be compromised), able to afford a healthy diet (veges, meat, grains, cereals etc.) It would also mean people are not excluded from citizenship – so that means being able to afford to partake in community activities, sports, recreation, swimming pools etc.

              That is just a guess, I could be stretching it there.
              I also wonder how they figure this out if this minimum wage is for someone with a child, or three, or none, or living in Westport, or living in Auckland…

              • SJH

                That’s very much what I was referring to.

              • KJT

                University studies show that at present, for a family of four, a healthy diet costs a minimum of $278 a week, rent for a basic family home is at least $250 even in backwaters like Whangarei. A cheap house is unlikely to have close access to public transport, even with non-casual working hours so for most workers a car is a necessity. There goes another $200 a week. Then there are clothes, health care, appliances, beds and bedding, school, some recreation (Eg. Kids rugby boots and fees) and the costs of going to work.

                Wages that are too low and WFF are a subsidy, from the rest of us, for employers who will not or cannot meet the full costs of the resources they use. Not even good capitalism.

                • fatty

                  thanks, do you have links to those studies KJT?…also are you going to start posting on your blog again?

                • KJT

                  Still looking for a publicly available web source for you. It was a recent Otago University study.

                  Incidentally the same study not long ago put the figure at $220.

                  Showing the excessive rise in cost, until the last few months, of staple grocery items.

            • Blue 10.1.1.1.2.2

              From what I read, the calculations relate to a family of four – Mum, Dad and two kids, and based on the assumption that one parent works 40 hours per week, and the other parent 20 hours per week.

              For this family, the ‘living wage’ covers essentials like rent, power, transport, basic nutritional food all cooked at home, rates, levies etc plus about one outing a month.

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10864565

              Obviously, single people with no kids will find this pay rate substantially more luxurious, while people with more kids will find it harder to cope on.

            • felixviper 10.1.1.1.2.3

              SJH: “Is it a living wage, or are we talking about an ideal wage?”

              Let’s rephrase that question as “Are we talking about a living wage or a subsistence wage?”

              Sick of these people talking as if it’s controversial to expect ordinary workers to have a decent bloody lifestyle.

            • infused 10.1.1.1.2.4

              ideal wage.

              • fatty

                Blue stated this – For this family, the ‘living wage’ covers essentials like rent, power, transport, basic nutritional food all cooked at home, rates, levies etc plus about one outing a month.

                Infused – do you really call that ideal? It appears to be the minimum to me…what would be your minimum?

            • Mike 10.1.1.1.2.5

              We’re talking about a fair wage for a fair days work. Corporations are making ever increasing profits yet not sharing the increase with workers by way of wage rises.

              A living wage means being paid enough that you are able to participate fully in and feel part of, society.

              It means you can save for retirement if you are careful with your spending, it means not having to stress about which bill doesn’t get paid this month. It means being able to one day maybe buy a house of your own, etc, etc, etc. We’re constantly reminded from birth that we have to “work for a living”, well if we’re working we should be paid enough to ‘have a living’ which is decent and fulfilling.

              “Someone starting out on the minimum wage would need to be very frugal and have low debt to save $150 – $200 a week. ”

              You’re obviously joking. Aren’t you? Someone on the minimum wage receives let’s say around $450 after tax. Take out your “$150 to $200″ savings leaves them with $250 to $300 a week to pay their rent, buy food, petrol, registration, insurance, medical, power, water, phone, repairs, emergencies and so on and so on and so on.

              I don’t know where you live, but my rent is $200 per week which, to get your level of savings if i was on minimum wage would leave me with $50 to $100 a week for all my non rent living expenses. Not a hope in hell! Petrol alone is around $40 per week, leaving me just $10 to $60 for everything else. No matter how frugal, it simply ain’t possible.

              • SJH

                No I’m not joking, Mike.

                I’m only slightly above the minimum wage. If you don’t have any dependents it is possible to survive and save. Not everyone needs a car, I don’t have one. I walked 70 minutes to and from town for work while living in Wellington last year. It is possible, but it is tough. $450 minus $150-$200 savings would leave me with $250 – $300. My home costs are $150 which includes rent ($125), electricity, SKY TV costs. I rent a place with a friend for $250 a week which we split. So that leaves me with $100-$150 a week to buy food, use public transport, buy some beers, go to a gig or whatever I like. That’s why I said you would have to be very frugal. When I’m not frugal, I can either dip into my savings or go without. I’m lucky that I have a job and am reasonably frugal.

          • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 10.1.1.1.3

            CV
            Gradual implementation of higher minimum rates is the job. But some national controls on loose lending by big companies would be good. All purchases need to have a deposit and immediate payments – adjustable amounts could make it easier all around but no payment holidays etc. Also let’s start with special housing accounts at Kiwibank with encouraging features.

    • joe90 10.2

      Nothing quite like the politics of resentment.

    • RedLogix 10.3

      Once upon a time employers paid married men more than single men. Now we have WFF.

      Get it?

    • felixviper 10.4

      SJH: “I just want to say this is a very big leap from what was previously a $15 minimum wage campaign. Maybe this is too far?”

      Right on cue.

  11. tamati 11

    If you want an example of “contracting” being used to circumvent minimum wage laws look no further than the courier industry!
    Ever wonder why couriers come at 6am to drop of that parcel? They have to work twelve hours a day to feed themselves. The left should investigate this, the whole indusrty is a rort!

  12. rod 12

    Evidently, John Key isn’t keen on the $18-$20 per hour living wage idea.

    • Skinny 12.1

      Of course Key is not keen at all on a $18-$20 living wage, he isn’t keen on raising the minimum wage. 

      This is a great strategy by the mighty Unions to highlight the low wage economy in NZ. All opposition party’s need to run with this and put pressure on the Government to ‘get real’ and act for all our citizens not just the rich!

  13. Foreign Waka 13

    Article 23 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ” Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and for his family an existence worthy of human dignity.”
    Human dignity would be the word that is important here because it is closely related to the participation within society as a whole. The only way to enable this is be having the means to do so.
    And this is not possible with $ 13.50 per hr.

  14. 2008 – 9 was the end of the era of growth. We are now living in the reverse of that, and at some stage in the future those left alive are going to be living off what remains of ‘the land’.
    To get from where we are to that point is going to be bloody horrible, this is just the start, even the Greeks haven’t seen the worst of it.
    China got a taste in 1949 ish, when up to (guesstimate) 45 million starved to death, with stories come out like this one – Before a mother dies she tells her daughter that because she is just skin and bone the best part of her is her heart “So eat it” or the commune leader who made a man bury his son alive, because the 10 year old was seen eating when he shouldn’t have had food.
    Believe me I am not looking forward to all of this.
    Low wages is the least of our problems.
    But no one cares, we got Kiwi Saver, and the Green party. happy happy joy joy

  15. Afewknowthetruth 15

    All industrial economies have been heavily subsidised by cheap energy (particularly oil) for many decades, and wages largely reflect the rate at which fossil fuels are extracted from underground. Thus, the US reached the pinnacle of notional wealth when its oil extraction reached a maximum and has been in decline since. Britain peaked in coal extraction in 1913 and in oil extraction around 2000, so it is on the slippery slope down. Places like Spain were able to create short-lived speculative economies based on money creation and the transfer of wealth from other nations via tourism and food exports. New Zealand built an economy based on extraction of phosphate rock from places like Christmas Island and the conversion of oil into waste.

    The old game is now over because global extraction of oil peaked several years ago and coal has become very problematic. Christmas Island has been stripped of phosphate (and most of the oceans have been stripped of fish). There are desperate attempts to prop up the system via fracking, deep=sea drilling etc. The bankster’s Ponzi scheme [of creating money out of thin air and charging interest on it] is unravelling via out-of-control debt and currency wars.

    Over the coming years we will see a substantial fall in notional wealth based on digits in computer systems throughout the entire world. It is inevitable. Needless to say, those at the top will ensure they get more than their share via whatever means they choose -probably overt fascism and/or feudalism, as opposed to the covert fascism and debt-slavery we currently endure.

  16. kiwi_prometheus 16

    “First target is large corporates and infrastructure monopolists ticket clipping and holding up costs while adding very little business value. Small businesses are being screwed in every direction currently.”

    “The left should investigate this, the whole [ logistics ] indusrty is a rort!”

    I think these comments point to the real problems that keep wages low and employment soft.

    NZ has a low productivity rate thanks to lack of capital investment by the management class who prefer to increase profits via undermining employment conditions.

    Regulations allowing monopolies or cartels to drain the nations wealth. The latest rort exposed is the power sector, free to suck the life force out of consumers thanks to no real independent regulator looking out for the little guy.

    An economy geared to low wage industries like Dairy and Tourism while a property bubble is cultivated, soaking up investment capital and increasing the risk of a financial crisis.

    Foreign ownership of banks etc sucking out what anemic wealth the NZ economy does produce.

    Campaigning for a living wage is quixotic while the above remain unaddressed – such a campaign could be useful only for bring attention to the above problems that are keeping wages suppressed.

    Where are the economist on The Standard?

    • RedLogix 16.1

      Plenty of economic material in this vein has been written or referenced over time. Many of us here pretty consistently find Steven Keen a good non-orthordox economist. I first spotted him in 2005, have his book ‘Debunking Economics’ and attended a seminar he did here recently.

      He’s not the only voice …. but he is Australian, occasionally refers to NZ, and is very accessible.

      • kiwi_prometheus 16.1.1

        Yeah I’m familiar with Steve Keen.

        “Many of us here pretty consistently find Steven Keen a good non-orthordox economist.”

        I’ve hardly heard him mentioned on here let alone any in depth discussion of his economic theory.

        Need some economists on here.

        • RedLogix 16.1.1.1

          Well Steven did comment here a couple of times some years ago… but that aside, there really are not a lot of non-orthodox economists in full-time employment in this country. Keith Rankin is the only other name that immediately leaps to mind, not to mention CTU’s Bill Conway.

          Otherwise you’ll just have to put put up with us enthusiastic amateurs.

        • Mike 16.1.1.2

          Why economists? You seem to be suggesting that an an economist is needed to discuss economics. I would have thought we’ve listened to economists for long enough and economic theory as it stands is no longer relevant as it does not include the welfare and stability of society in its’ calculations.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.3

          I’ve hardly heard him mentioned on here let alone any in depth discussion of his economic theory.

          Please describe how your lack of attention is our problem.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      The latest rort exposed is the power sector, free to suck the life force out of consumers thanks to no real independent regulator looking out for the little guy.

      It’s not that we need an independent regulator as that the power sector should never have been de-nationalised and turned in to a profit driven faux competition. It should have remained a government service running at a direct loss with taxes making up the difference rather than being a cash cow for government.

  17. Rogue Trooper 17

    Well, I do not think, sadly, that this minimum wage campaign is going to gain traction. the timing may be out, dwell on it.

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    No New Zealand forces to Iraq, says Key. Stuff, 18 June 2014: Prime Minister John Key has ruled out sending special forces soldiers to Iraq as the United States mulls options in response to the unfolding crisis there. Speaking in...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New Fisk
    With US-led strikes on Isis intensifying, it’s a good time to be a shareholder in the merchants of death...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Carbon News 20/10/14: Chile’s carbon tax, soil SOS and more pressure on d...
    Chile’s new tax could open carbon doors for NZ Chile’s new carbon tax potentially offers New Zealand an opportunity to offset some of its own agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, says economist Dr Suzi Kerr. The $US5-a-tonne carbon tax slipped into...
    Hot Topic | 20-10
  • National doesn’t care about crime by the rich
    National likes to make a lot of noise about benefit fraud. Meanwhile, they've buried a report into the social costs of economic crime:At the beginning of last year the then Minister for the SFO, Anne Tolley, was reported as saying...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New kiwi blog
    On The Left - a collective of lefties....
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Habemus Parliament
    So, a month after the election, we finally have a Parliament. Good. meanwhile, people seem to be noticing that the associated ceremony - white wigs, fancy dress, oaths of allegiance to a foreign monarch - isn't very kiwi (and tomorrow,...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • The case for free-market urbanism
    In the National Review, a conservative American magazine, Reihan Salam takes a look at the confused state of the American debate over intensification. His article, entitled “The Great Suburbia Debate” criticises the position taken by Joel Kotkin, a long-time campaigner...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Why the SPCA’s position on 1080 threatens thousands of native animals
    By Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons Once again the SPCA has shown it has no empathy with conservation in NZ – they just don’t get it. We already know about the environmental vandalism caused by their trap neuter return policy....
    Gareth’s World | 19-10
  • The challenge for NZ’s political youth
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) In my experience as a politically engaged young...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • The Privatisation of Solid Energy
    by Jeanette Fitzsimons When Solid Energy went belly up with huge debts and failed businesses like its briquetting plant in Southland, the Government was forced to drop it off the list for privatisation because it was no longer fit for...
    Coal Action | 19-10
  • Manufacturing Terrorism
    Domestic Terror: Police constables and detectives outside the Wellington Trades Hall, 27 March 1984. After 33 years of vilification directed at trade unionists, at least one of their enemies finally made the leap from words to deeds, and an innocent caretaker,...
    Bowalley Road | 19-10
  • NZ hikes terrorism threat to “low”, ignores US military warning of “...
    So, the threat of a terrorist attack on New Zealand is upon us has risen from “very low” to “low” — second to lowest in a ranking that has six levels. Cabinet is now urgently reviewing our security laws to...
    Hot Topic | 19-10
  • Improving AT’s Patronage Reports
    This week we should learn about the patronage results for September and with this post I want to explore whether Auckland Transport are delivering the results to the public in the best way that they can. Currently we get patronage results a...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume
    Press Release – AFTINET Mps, Public Health And Copyright Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume in CanberraMps, Public Health And Copyright Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume in Canberra When: 11 AM Monday, October 20Where: Parliament...
    Its our future | 19-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Press Release – iPredict Andrew Littles probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New...
    Its our future | 19-10
  • Secrets, Lies and Revelations
    There is a lot this National Government doesn't want us to know. They have made it clear that we shouldn't measure child poverty, that we don't need independent environmental reporting and any official information requests are delayed indefinitely, especially if...
    Local Bodies | 19-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #42
    SkS Highlights Another "lightening rod" article by Dana, Dinner with global warming contrarians, disaster for dessert, drew the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. If you have not already done so, be...
    Skeptical Science | 19-10
  • Putting people at the centre of policy
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Leftist politics puts people at the centre of...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – Episode 67
    For the rest of Alpaca Metropolitan, check out the tumblr comic....
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Meaningful compassion
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) My mum sometimes tells the story of when...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • If you didn’t vote, please complain!
    This image from youth voter turnout group RockEnrol (who did some great work), while humourous, is an excellent example of the problem. There’s a particular refrain commonly heard around election time – both in the buildup, as an exhortation towards...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • We have lift-off!
    Welcome to On The Left! We’re happy to be here. OTL was born when a couple of lefty comms people got together for coffee and decided that the NZ blogosphere was lacking an accessible, well-written, interesting and above all fun group...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • DEALING WITH FOREIGN INVESTORS
    How can foreign investors in New Zealand be sure that we will treat them fairly? If they are not sure perhaps they will not invest here, even though their investment may be valuable to us. (I do not believe all...
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Cunliffe and Labour
    I didn't cover the election, long story short; the country is still being run by a banker and someone who was in charge of the National Party got its lowest percentage in recent history. Although if Cunliffe gets finance we...
    Topical | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • AT’s Get on Board with Jerome Campaign
    Auckland Transport recently launched a new campaign featuring Jerome Kaino encouraging people to use PT and HOP. It seems to be primarily an online campaign focused on the videos below however I’ve also seen a few ads on the backs of buses...
    Transport Blog | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #42B
    As deaths mount in Nepal disasters, questions about climate change raised Churches go Green by shedding fossil fuel holdings Climate change: it’s only human to exaggerate, but science itself does not Cutting global warming pollution just business as usual at some...
    Skeptical Science | 18-10
  • Dunno what to say about this, really
    Donald Trump and Russell Brand are having a spat on twitter.  It puts me in mind of Oscar Wilde's quip about fox hunting - "The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable."  Though in this case, more a matter of the...
    Left hand palm | 18-10
  • We must join the fight against Islamic State
    We are being confronted with an evil of a kind we have not seen before. An evil we can barely even name. Islamic State? ISIS? IS? ISIL? What the hell do we even call these people?...
    Imperator Fish | 18-10
  • The Splits: Epsom / Ohariu Split Vote
    Epsom voteAct 2011 Party-Vote 3% (939 votes),   Candidate-Vote 44% (15,835)       2014 Party-Vote 3% (1,023),         Candidate-Vote 43% (15,966)Nat 2011 Party-Vote 65% (23,725),     Candidate-Vote 38% (13,574)       2014 Party-Vote 64% (23,904),      Candidate-Vote 32% (11,716)Lab 2011 Party-Vote 16% (5,716),      ...
    Sub zero politics | 17-10
  • Blinding Flash of the Obvious re composing encrypted emails – Avoid auto-...
    I recently reviewed Edward Snowden’s instructions for setting up and using PGP/encrypted email available on Vimeo: GPG for Journalists – Windows edition | Encryption for Journalists | Anonymous 2013. It’s a good tutorial. One of the points it makes about...
    The Paepae | 17-10
  • An Auckland Urban Redevelopment Agency?
    Details are starting to emerge from the Council’s review of its Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to see if any changes need to be made to them. The CCOs were set up in 2010 by the government as part of the super city...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • What A Real Labour Party Member Sounds Like.
     HARRY SMITH, 92 years old, describes the world in which he was raised. A world of poverty in which the ravages of ill health simply could not be resisted by ordinary working-class families. Harry lost his sister to tuberculosis and...
    Bowalley Road | 17-10
  • Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come
    This article was originally published on The Conversation [UK] on Sep 26, 2014. Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come By Eelco Rohling, University of Southampton It may already be too late to stop Antarctic ice sliding into the ocean....
    Skeptical Science | 17-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #45: What if Renters….
    #45: What if Renters had the choice to have Rights and Responsibilities like Commercial Tenants? Home ownership is of course a daily debate in this city of Auckland. In the absence of anything else, the New Zealand Herald will always...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Enjoying the unexpected – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa is looking forward to bringing her wide-ranging experience, including in education and public healthcare, to her new role as an MP. That’s coupled with her determination to achieve better outcomes for the people of Manukau East....
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Walking in the footsteps of the greats
    Introducing Peeni Henare Peeni Henare, new MP for Tāmaki Makaurau, grew up surrounded by inspirational leaders. From his grandfather, soldier and kōhanga reo pioneer Sir James Henare, to David Lange, who was “like a quirky uncle who popped by every...
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Treasury cherry-picks its data
    Yesterday we learned that Treasury didn't like food-in-schools. And now we know why: because they cherry-picked their data to support their preferred conclusion of leaving the poor to starve:A report behind Treasury advice that said school breakfast programmes did not...
    No Right Turn | 17-10
  • Read Nicky Hager’s search warrant
    How we want it to be: How it sometimes is (click to read documents): Documents from New Zealand cops raided home of reporter working on Snowden documents by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher (The Intercept). Worth reading to see how...
    The Paepae | 17-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – shifting focus: towards building an effective ...
    It has now been three weeks since the election, and we on the left are still in the phase of trying to figure out what went wrong.  That can be a useful exercise depending on how it’s done, especially if...
    The Daily Blog | 11-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Auckland move for KiwiRail health and safety team questioned
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Redundancies a result of putting profit over good business
    Heinz Watties redundancies a result of putting profit over good business Heinz Watties workers are shocked by the announcement made late last night that up to 100 jobs are being cut from the company’s New Zealand operations. No information was...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Injuries at work show many sectors are too dangerous
    Workers are deeply concerned about the research Statistics New Zealand have released today showing that almost one-quarter of agriculture, forestry, and fishery workers had a work-related injury claim accepted by the Accident Compensation Corporation...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Chatham Rise seabed hearing: the absence of evidence
    The phosphate on the seabed, 450m down on the Chatham Rise, has a particular quality that other phosphate doesn’t have: uranium....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Office of Ombudsman making sure people treated fairly in NZ
    The Office of Ombudsman has told Parliament that it has made significant progress in effectively managing its work to make sure people are treated fairly in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Food Matters Aotearoa Conference Press release
    This year the UN World food day theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”, chosen to highlight and raise awareness of the problems worldwide and the solutions to food security and ridding the world of hunger. The...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Support from Production, Recreation and Environment.
    When it comes to water quality not many organisations can claim to have the support of major bodies representing production, recreation and the environment, yet this is exactly what NZ Landcare Trust has achieved. The Trust's upcoming 'Communities...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Law Society supports Malaysian Bar Peace and Freedom Walk
    The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its support for a planned Walk for Peace and Freedom by Malaysian lawyers protesting against continued use of the Sedition Act 1948 by the Malaysian government....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Bunnies Offered Protection With New Technology
    SAFE is announcing the spring launch of its “bunny protector” – a new mobile phone app that will help shoppers on the go avoid animal-tested cosmetics products. Suitable for both iPhone and android, the ‘SAFEshopper Cruelty-free NZ’ app will...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Maori Wellbeing – Defying the Oxymoron
    When Mother Teresa was asked how do you achieve world peace, she said, go home and love your family....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
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