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Minimum wage myths: unemployment

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, February 2nd, 2010 - 126 comments
Categories: class war, minimum wage, unemployment - Tags:

One of the old saws that the Right brings out whenever the topic of increasing the minimum wage comes up is ‘oh no, it will increase unemployment’. They said it this year. The Business Roundtable said it every year as the Fifth Labour Government put up the minimum wage and unemployment kept falling. Hell, they probably screamed it when, in 1975, the Third Labour Government nearly doubled the minimum wage to $12.46 in today’s dollars, and were mystified when unemployment didn’t skyrocket.

In fact, the neoliberal consensus among economists that minimum wages are bad news has been unravelling for decades. In 1978, 90% of economist agreed the minimum wage increases unemployment. By 1990, 62.4% fully agreed and 17.5% disagreed. In 2000, only 45.6% (I’m guessing the older ones) still wholeheartedly thought the minimum wage increases unemployment and 26.5% thought otherwise. The numbers are probably still dropping and there is growing evidence of no relationship between unemployment and minimum wages. It is simply not a truth universally acknowledged by economists that the minimum wage increases unemployment.

It is only in the bonehead world of the rightwing pundit or editor that it is taken as gospel that raising the minimum wage increases unemployment. But, wouldn’t you know it, those annoying facts don’t agree. Check out the minimum wage and unemployment rates from 1970 to 2009:

[Positive correlations go from 0 to 1. The higher, the stronger the relationship. 0.05 is so laughably low that there's probably more relationship between the colour of my shirt on a given day and the weather in Ulan Bator than between the minimum wage and unemployment in New Zealand]

Face it, the Right isn’t worried that about low-paid Kiwis losing their jobs. Low income Kiwis don’t even exist in their imaginations (go on, righties, guess the median income without peeking, and remember 50% of people are poorer than that). No, the Right is interested in bigger profits and bigger salaries for the bosses.

At the end of the day, there’s only so much pie to go around at any one time. Cutting bigger slices for the working poor means slightly smaller slices for the well-off, and that’s what the Right is against.

126 comments on “Minimum wage myths: unemployment”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    Marty, did you read your “growing evidence”. thats a pretty good own goal. basically saying that the methods used by card-krueger were not very scientific in their approach. I really like the final comment

    “Despite the above mentioned shortcomings, the Card-Krueger findings have been seized upon, both in the United States and abroad, as providing support for increasing the minimum wage. Initially, there was a rush to judgment and a rush to celebrate and acclaim the results. With the emergence of major questions concerning the accuracy of the basic data in their major natural experiment, there has been some retreat from that position. We think this retreat is wise. Certainly, until some of the major questions are resolved, it might be well to accept the statement made by Krueger at a Milken Institute conference, where he stated, “I want to emphasize that my comments should not be interpreted as support for the position that increasing the minimum wage is sound public policy” (Krueger 1993:11). “

    • TightyRighty 1.1

      Oh, and this is from 1995. so if there hasn’t been any more evidence, which was discredited anyway, like the IPCC, since then, it’s not growing. it’s stagnating. how about this,

      http://expectedreturns.blogspot.com/2009/07/increase-in-minimum-wage-means-more.html

      • Bright Red 1.1.1

        No. The old guard don’t accept the findings of the study – ie that it doesn’t increase the minimum wage.

        And it’s just one study among many. I think we’re still waiting for any empirical studies that show the minimum wage increasing unemployment.

        How do you respond to the soaring numbers of economists who don’t think the minimum wage increases unemployment?

        • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1

          Um, the study was proved to be statisctically false. you’ll rip on the herald for it, but when it’s one of your own, it’s one of many, lots of consensus. yeah wikipedia is always accurate. IPCC AR4, himalayan glaciers, i see a trend emerging. i’ll go make some pretty graphs to back it up. where are these other studies then bright red?

          • snoozer 1.1.1.1.1

            tighty. if you want to talk about the IPCC f*ck off to the appropriate thread and stop threadjacking this one.

            • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1.1.1

              not threadjacking. using it as a comparison point for dodgy studies. if you can’t comprehend what i’m saying, fuck off back to school.

              • snoozer

                So, what is dodgy about the study? that some old neoliberals disagree? Boo, hoo.

                And how do you dismiss the growing number of economists who don’t agree that the minimum wage increases unemployment? With “yeah wikipedia is always accurate”? Weak, check the studies, links are provided.

                Oh and sonny, how do you explain that complete lack of correlation between the minimum wage and the unemployment rate in nz?

              • TightyRighty

                some old neo-liberals disagree? pull your head out of the sand snoozer. the study got pulled apart because it was based on dodgy stats, put together by dodgy methods. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. sorry to tear down the things you hold dear. it’s not disagreement, it’s peer reviewed and found wanting. we on the right no the left can’t handle this, so it’s no suprise your being a fucking tool about it. trying to run interference for marty with his 15yr old discredited study. “wikipedia, wikipedia”

              • snoozer

                so we’ll conclude that you have no answer to the fact that there is no concensus among economsits that increasing the minimum wage increases unemployment.

                And we’ll conclude that you have no answer as to why there is no correlation between unemployment in New Zealand and the minimum wage.

              • TightyRighty

                and we’ll conclude with the fact you haven’t acutally provided any evidence apart from a wiki link to consensus on economists.

                surveyer – is there a link between the minimum wage and unemployment?

                economist – can i hold all things equal?

                surveyer – sure

                economist – then there can be no link.

                the “growing evidence” was growing mould from being left in the closet to long. there is no rhyme or reason to raise the minimum wage by 19%. it’s an idealogical thing, and cheap political point scoring. some jobs just aren’t worth it. as some other commentators have called, if it can be $15 with no impact, why not $50? any answer to that question snoozer, or are you just going to keep your head in the sand?

              • snoozer

                the answer to your question is that you’re arguing reductio ad absurdum and it makes a fool of you. We’re talking about increases to the minimum wage within the ranges that NZ has experienced, indeed thrived under, in the past. Not some silly idea of making it double the average wage.

                Remember, it is you guy’s who are arguing that there is a positive link between minimum wages and unemployment.

                You’ve got no evidence of it.

                Economists increasingly don’t think its true. (and I don’t know what you’re playing at making up survey questions)

                and the evidence from New Zealand is completely to the contrary.

          • lprent 1.1.1.1.2

            TR: AR4 has no significant issues. There are a couple of dodgy links in a massive compilation of the available studies in the descriptive parts of the release.

            If you think that invalidates the science – then I’d suggest you’ve proved yourself to be a moronic dork with very little idea about the depth of the AR4 reports.

            If so then you’re probably a moronic dork about the subject of the post as well.

            • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1.2.1

              it’s lazy referencing. kind of like marty’s “growing evidence”. it’s a benchmark thing Lprent and it’s an emerging trend. if you are only as good as your weakest link?

              • BLiP

                I do tend to put my own slant on whatever is being said, which means i read, comprehend and then argue without reference.

                irony 1 noun (pl. -ies) [ mass noun ] the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect

              • TightyRighty

                irony? i don’t think you get it BLiP. you seem to make out that i reference, and then lazily. i don’t. i know my argument before i walk in. it’s not my fault all your beliefs are based on shaky ground and you feel the need to act like a superior twat to get your kicks. i bet you got bullied as a kid and the teachers didn’t care as you brought it on yourself.

              • BLiP

                You may well know your argument before you walk in but, as the presentation of facts and application of logic strip it down to just another lump of ignorance, your inner nastiness swells up and it becomes ad hominem. Whattaguy!

        • Paul Walker 1.1.1.2

          As I have noted below no economist thinks the minimum wage increases the *overall* unemployment rate. What economists do say is that minimum wages reduce employment of low-skilled workers; adverse effects even more apparent when research focuses on those directly affected by minimum wages.

    • toad 1.2

      I think there is a growing consensus that moderate minimum wage increases have no statistically significant impact on employment.

      Your challenge, TightRighty, if you choose to argue that moderate increases in the minimum wage reduces employment levels is to find a study that shows, to a level of statistical significance, that it does. Card and Krueger now accept that their earlier assertion that such minimum wage increases increase employment rates is not backed by statistically significant evidence. But the same applies to the contrary assertion of Neumark and Wascher:

      The exchange between Neumark and Wascher (2000) and Card and Krueger (2000) provide some resolution of the differences because they essentially re-examined the earlier natural experiment of the fast-food industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania originally done in Card and Krueger (1994). Neumark and Wascher (2000) were critical of the fact that the original study was based on survey data of firms. They provided new evidence based on administrative payroll data of the firms and found that the survey data exhibited much more employment variability than did the payroll data (causing them to question the accuracy of the survey data). More importantly, they find that the payroll data imply that a 10% increase in the minimum wage would reduce employment by 1 – 2.5% which is almost exactly equal to the earlier consensus estimates of 1 – 3%, although their results are often statistically insignificant. They conclude (p. 1391) that:

      “minimum wage increases reduced fast-food employment [and] we can be more decisive in concluding that New Jersey’s minimum-wage increase did not raise fast-food employment in that state’.

      Card and Krueger (2000) respond to that critique by reanalysing the Neumark and Wascher payroll data (arguing that it is not based on a representative sample of employers) and by using two alternative sources of administrative payroll data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They conclude:

      “Consistent with our original sample, the BLS fast-food data set indicates slightly faster employment growth in New Jersey than in the Pennsylvania border counties over the time period that we initially examined, although in most specifications the differential is small and statistically insignificant (p. 1397) the increase in the New Jersey minimum wage in April 1992 had little or no systematic effect on total fast food employment in the state (p. 1398) The increase in New Jersey’s minimum wage probably had no effect on total employment in New Jersey’s fast-food industry, and possibly had a small positive effect’ (p. 1419).

      One interpretation of this exchange is that both sides converged closer to zero effect. That is, although Neumark and Wascher (2000) found estimates that were in the earlier consensus range, they were often not statistically different from zero. As well, the new Card and Krueger (2000) estimates moved away from their earlier ones of often finding statistically significant positive employment effects, closer to ones that find no employment effect, and this seems their “preferred interpretation’.

      • TightyRighty 1.2.1

        so the downward results are there, just a statistcally insignificant negative effect or a “possible positive effect”? maybe due to other factors, pop growth etc. so extrapolating from that, the minimum wage could remain where it is, and then unemployment would go down. hardly fucking rocket science is it? based on NJ fast food industry data and all.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Notice also that the minimum wage on your graph is inflation adjusted.

    So, how would a rise to $15 dollars per hour equated on an inflation adjusted basis given the extremely low rate of inflation during the financial crisis?

    Lets assume for arguments sake that the evidence you quote is water-tight, even though, as TR points out, this is unlikely to be the case. Your graph shows that the minimum wage may not have had a huge effect on unemployment during relatively normal economic times. However, to assume that a substantial increase of 20% (as Labour wanted) when inflation is at two percent during the worst economic times since the great depression won’t increase unemployment is lunacy. You simply aren’t comparing apples with apples.

    If what you are saying is correct then increasing the minimum wage to $50 per hour won’t affect unemployment either.

    • TightyRighty 2.1

      it’s just one of the old saws of the left. “there is no impact from minimum wage super-rises, we’ll back this up with shonky evidence, taken straight from the IPCC playbook”

    • snoozer 2.2

      Of course the numbers should be inflation-adjusted, ts.

      Nominal dollar values are just numbers on pieces of paper, real inflation-adjusted values show actual ability to purchase good and services.

      So, guys, how come unemployment didn’t head for the stratosphere when Labour doubled the minimum wage in 1975, during a period of drastic economic crisis?

  3. luva 3

    Why are Labour not advocating for an $18 minimum wage if there is no connection with unemployment.

    Please explain their reason for only $15

  4. Pete 4

    “At the end of the day, there’s only so much pie to go around at any one time. Cutting bigger slices for the working poor means slightly smaller slices for the well-off, and that’s what the Right is against.”

    …but it’s all about GROWING the pie, and that’s apparently what this government has been elected to do…

    …and where are businesses going to get the money for to pay their employees??…

    …and what about employees on the cusp of the minimum wage? Their wages will be forced up too, who will pay for that…

    etc etc

    (sorry, I thought I’d get those out of the way)

  5. Why is it that trying to give workers the dignity of a reasonable minimum wage attracts such opposition from the right? It seems to me that at the slightest mention of “minimum wage” the comments pour in.

    • BLiP 5.1

      Because, to their minds, human beings are goods, just like a pile of sand at a cement factory.

      • lukas 5.1.1

        No, I think you are confused…. it was a certain green MP who compared trees to humans, close though.

        • BLiP 5.1.1.1

          Ahh, reminds me . . . I’ve been meaning to ask one of the trolls, and you’re just as clever as the others: how come, so far as the right is concerned, a tree is worth more chopped up than standing up?

          • lukas 5.1.1.1.1

            Firstly, I do not speak for “the right” I am quite capable of thinking for myself.

            A tree can be useful and productive when cut down obviously. We have a need for timber.

            I am not saying all trees should be cut down, I am quite happy for our native forests to be protected within reasonable grounds, they attract tourists and obviously help clean up our air quality.

            So BLiP, I’ve played your game and answered your question, will you finally answer the question that I have asked you many times, do you think comparing the lose of a child’s life is comparable to chopping down trees?

            • BLiP 5.1.1.1.1.1

              As a rhetorical device it certainly resonates with you . . got a little bit of the cognitive dissonance creeping in there, Lukas?

              • lukas

                Not at all.

                Yes or no BLiP, is a childs life more valuable than trees?

              • BLiP

                Let me answer with a question:Yes or No – do you understand the word “metaphor” and, if so, what would the answer to your question be if you were to ask Tāne Mahuta?

                Do you live in Aotearoa?

              • lukas

                Yes or No do you understand the word “metaphor’

                Yes.

                what would the answer to your question be if you were to ask Tāne Mahuta?

                Ask him yourself. I don’t make a habit of talking to made up things/people.

                Do you live in Aotearoa?

                I live in New Zealand.

                Yes or No BLiP, is it appropriate to compare chopping down trees to the lose of a childs life? Here is a hint for you… the correct answer is No.

              • Pascal's bookie

                …is a child’s life more valuable than trees?

                Certainly. There are very few things, I imagine, that survive the face off when you put it like this. If there is a decision to make between your child getting killed and some other thing happening, most will prefer the other thing to happen, almost always.

                …is it appropriate to compare chopping down trees to the loss of a childs life?

                This depends entirely on what comparison you are making. No one would argue that chopping down a tree for necessary ends is exactly the same thing as burning babies on an altar for lolz. I strongly suspect however, that there are certain legitimate comparisons that could be made. ie, that there are certain aspects involved in losing a child’s life that could be compared to other things. It is very common, for example, for people to compare the loss of a beloved pet to the loss of a child.

                So let’s see the quote Lukas. You are using two very different versions here, and I’d like to see what it is you want people to defend.

                I’m guessing it’s closer to the second quote of yours above than the first, but let’s see it.

              • lukas

                here you go PB

                “That’s like saying you’ve got six children, so it doesn’t really matter if you lose one does it.”

                http://static.radionz.net.nz/assets/audio_item/0006/2047776/ckpt-20090827-1707-Conservation_land_assessed_for_mining-m048.asx

              • Pascal's bookie

                “That’s like saying you’ve got six children, so it doesn’t really matter if you lose one does it.’

                Cool, ta.

                So it is closer to the second version, and it’s about mining conservation land rather than chopping ‘trees’.

                Now, is it an unreasonable comparison?

                If you take a simplistic, literal, and frankly rather stupid reading of it, then sure. It isn’t exactly like losing a child in every respect. In the same way that taxation isn’t exactly like theft.

                But what is it about our children that makes the loss of one of them so tragic? Is it that children are rare? Is it that they are expensive? Is it that we could make lots of money from them? I think not. I think it’s something else.

                What is it about children that is so valuable? What type of value is it that they hold?

                Whatever the answer is that you have, I guess it will be something along the line that the value is intrinsic to the child. It is senseless to talk of placing a price on children, or to assess their value in any sort of way that doesn’t address their intrinsic value as individual, irreplaceable and unique humans. Their value is determined by their intrinsic qualities, which are a part of them.

                Right?

              • lukas

                PB, perhaps it is because I am literally hours away from becoming a Dad for the first time, or perhaps for completely different reasons… one can not tell logical thought from ideological thoughts to sleep deprived thoughts during times like this :D

                But, I find it abhorrent to put a value on the life of a child and compare it to mining the estate and chopping down trees in the process. I would literally kill for my child, as I am sure any parent who reads this would, and would personally find a way of chopping every last tree down in my neighborhood if it saved my child’s life.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Ahh. Congrats. I’ve just got mine to bed.

                I think you miss her point. She is not saying that you shouldn’t chop down lots of trees to save your child, if such a scenario was the thing.

                The value is the thing she is comparing. She is saying that we should neither kill children, nor mine the conservation estate. She is not putting a price on the life of a child, but rather putting those lands similarly beyond price.

                This may be of use in explaining, perhaps not now, but at a less busy/restful time maybe: (circa 6 months ;) )

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrinsic_value_(ethics)

                see also:

                Conservation Act 1987 No 65 (as at 01 November 2008), Public Act

                Conservation means the preservation and protection of natural and historic resources for the purpose of maintaining their intrinsic values, providing for their appreciation and recreational enjoyment by the public, and safeguarding the options of future generations

                This means, in short, that by law, the lands must be protected for their intrinsic value. They must be treated as ends themselves, rather than as means to ends. Just as we do with children.

                Anyways, you may not agree with that, but it is not unreasonable, nor degrading to children.

                Good luck, and I hope it all goes well.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    “IrishBill
    2 February 2010 at 10:19 am
    I think you’re right, luva, it should be $18.”

    So if you can just pluck figures out of the air like that, why not $50 per hour? After all, the minimum wage doesn’t affect unemployment, does it?

    • snoozer 6.1

      ts. the evidence is that increasing the minimum wage clearly doesn’t affect unemployment in the ranges we’ve experienced in NZ in the last 40 years (ie 30-70% of the average wage).

      Setting it at double the average wage is clearly a different matter.

      Now stop being silly and engage with your mind.

      In fact, tell us why, deep down, you are opposed to increasing the minimum wage even if only back to levels it safely sat at in past decades. Is it that you just don’t think poor people deserve a living wage for a day’s work? Or is it because you want all the wealth for yourself?

    • IrishBill 6.2

      Yeah why not? And while we’re at it why not take the upper tax level down to 0% cut all social services and let the poor fight for food in the street like dogs? And the three strikes law, why not apply it to all offenses and then bring back the death penalty?

      Reductio ad absurdum is an argument that makes you look stupid, tsmith, try a little harder please.

    • Bill 6.3

      What about calculate the entire net profit of business in NZ and pay it out in wage rates to the workers? Of course, each instance of a business being compelled to stop stealing money from workers to five to owners or/and shareholders would be treated on a case by case basis…ie the wage level would vary across the economy based on current wage + nett profit/ no. of workers for any particular business venture.

      (The bosses can get a fair share too if they put in the graft.)

      On this scenario, where is the impact on unemployment? As far as I can work out, there would be full employment insofar as nobody would be treating the workforce as a liability…as an outlay of cash to be trimmed and cut where possible to allow for the generation of more profit.

      And if anyone is up for explaining where the negative impact in employment arises in the above scenario, would they be kind enough to also point out for me that really difficult to recognise and isolate element in today’s scenario, whereby rising wages come at the direct expense of profit levels?

      Thankyou.

      • kelsey 6.3.1

        The effect on employment would be huge. By ensuring that there is no return on capital invested in the form of profits, you remove the incentive to start new businesses and invest money in business to, for example, increase productivity or keep up with technological advances. As such, what businesses that do exist will slowly die off and no new ones will be formed. Economic collapse.
        [yeah like that economic collapse that happened to aussie when it put its minimum wage at $14.50]

  7. “Or is it because you want all the wealth for yourself?”

    But, but, but if I don’t get all that wealth for myself, why did I have to lose so much time reading Ayn Rand novels?

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Snoozer : “ts. the evidence is that increasing the minimum wage clearly doesn’t affect unemployment in the ranges we’ve experienced in NZ in the last 40 years (ie 30-70% of the average wage).”

    Tell that to the workers on the minimum wage who are losing their jobs to China where the minimum wage doesn’t exist. There is no argument that we have been losing industry to low wage economies. This logically will have a major effect on those on the minimum wage. Tell me why it shouldn’t.

    Snoozer “In fact, tell us why, deep down, you are opposed to increasing the minimum wage even if only back to levels it safely sat at in past decades. Is it that you just don’t think poor people deserve a living wage for a day’s work? Or is it because you want all the wealth for yourself?”

    Because I believe people should be paid on the basis of what they’re worth, not what they need.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      Labour theory of value then is it?

      • tsmithfield 8.1.1

        The polar opposite I would have thought. How can an arbitrary minimum wage be even be close to paying people on the basis of what they are worth? Afterall, you get it no matter what you’re worth.

        • IrishBill 8.1.1.1

          And what (or who) determine a worker’s “worth”?

          • tsmithfield 8.1.1.1.1

            If I pay the wages its what they’re worth to me.

            • snoozer 8.1.1.1.1.1

              left ot your own devices, you would pay them as little as you can get away with. That’s the nature of the market.

              Is that a just and moral way to value the time and effort of a human being? No. decent pay for a decent day’s work. This is about the right of a working person to enjoy the fruits of their labour and a decent standard of living.

            • Bill 8.1.1.1.1.2

              And what if they decide that your arrogance is worth a bullet? That okay with you? I mean, fair’s fair afterall. If you have the right to judge worth and mete out reward on your evaluation, so do they. Right?

    • @tsmithfield

      China introduced minimum wage regulation in 2004. Of course, there are issues about patrolling the legislation, just as there are here.

      Your argument appears to accept the ‘race to the bottom’ approach (if they pay less, we should too). Now, of course, that was the impact of the ECA. It becomes a self-fulfilling process, in turn leading to ever-increasing inequality, fraying of social and labour market inclusion, and, eventually, political unrest. This is why the Chinese brought in their 2004 and 2008 legislation.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1

        And most of our minimum wage jobs are in cleaning, retail, hospo and other service industries. Kind of hard to do those jobs from coastal China I’d think.

  9. randal 9

    why is it okay for the right to claim that lowering taxes will increase investment but giving poor people more money will ruin the whole system and send it into a terminal spiral with no chance of recovery.
    this is a straight us versus them argument with the ruling party divvying up the pie in their favour and trying to smother any resistance.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Of course the minimum wage causes unemployment, in conjunction with the dole. How do we know this? There are unemployed people of course!!

    If there was no minimum wage and no dole, there would be no unemployment other than for people who couldn’t work due to illness/injury etc, or people who were unemployable at any price. This logic is fairly irrefutable.

    • snoozer 10.1

      oh jesus. You’ve really just given up haven’t you ts.

      In fact, there is wide-spread unemployment in countries with no minimum wage or unemployment support. But what you’re saying is that if you reduce people to absolute poverty, they’ll do anything to scrap enough food together to live – it won’t be formal ‘work’, it will be crime, a desperate scramble to survive, and many won’t.

      Yeah, not a society I want to live in. It’s the society my ancestors fled from Victorian London.

    • Clearly this person (tsmithfield) seen brigandage as a career option, for his argument assumes that work will stretch to include everyone at some price or other (presumably ever-lower, as we bid each other down in an undistorted market). History shows us that, at some stage, people will leave the labour market, retreating to subsistence activity or brigandage (that is, preying on those in the labour market). Now, there’s a slogan for National at the next election – “work or crime: the thinking person’s options”.

    • Clarke 10.3

      …. and the people starving to death on the streets would simply be a non-relevant economic indicator, I presume.

    • toad 10.4

      Bollocks tsmithfield.

      Macedonia has no minimum wage. Explain why it has unemployment of 33%.

  11. tsmithfield 11

    Snoozer “Yeah, not a society I want to live in. It’s the society my ancestors fled from Victorian London.”

    I wasn’t giving a value judgement on whether I thought this was a good thing. Just refuting the irrational logic that the minimum wage can’t effect employment.

    Snoozer “In fact, there is wide-spread unemployment in countries with no minimum wage or unemployment support”

    In those countries the amount of people exceeds the jobs available. I don’t think that applies here somehow. If there is work that can be done it is just a matter of determining the price. If the price is too high the work won’t get done.

    My wife is a real-estate agent. She often does work she doesn’t get paid for at all. Her worth is determined by how effective she is at selling. She doesn’t get any minimum wage.

    • felix 11.1

      Just refuting the irrational logic that the minimum wage can’t effect employment.

      I’ve yet to see anyone make such an argument.

      The position being advocated by your opponents is that there has been no discernible impact on employment in NZ as a result of setting minimum wage levels at anything up to 83% of the average wage.

      If you have evidence to the contrary I’m sure there are plenty here who would love to see it.

      • tsmithfield 11.1.1

        I think the error is that using backward looking research to project to the future requires that all things remain equal going forward.

        However, there are a lot of things that are not remaining equal. For instance, the worst recession in living memory, the increasing tendency for jobs to be exported overseas to name a few.

        Therefore, if things are not remaining equal, as they clearly are not, then there is no basis to project forward past research to the future.

        • felix 11.1.1.1

          Therefore, if things are not remaining equal, as they clearly are not, then there is no basis to project forward past research to the future.

          Why didn’t you add the words “for anything, ever” to the end of that and really let the crazy out?

          • IrishBill 11.1.1.1.1

            Indeed. I’m really starting to appreciate exactly what makes the right tick here.

            • Dean 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Is it the same kind of insight you had when you told someone they were an “uncle tom”?

        • snoozer 11.1.1.2

          “I think the error is that using backward looking research to project to the future requires that all things remain equal going forward”

          I believe I can fly, sure every time I’ve tried to fly in the past I’ve fallen to the ground, but that was the past, man, let’s not be “backward looking”, I’m gonna jump, whoo!

          yeah, when was the past ever an indicator of the future? Let’s ignore all the evidence from the past and come up with wild theories that just so happen to validate our ideologies.

          Pity, I actually had ts down as one of the smarter righties.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    There are lots of people who work who are not entitled to a minimum wage. e.g:

    Small business owners who pay themselves what their businesses can afford to pay.
    Sales people who get paid commission only.
    Voluntary workers.
    Parents who choose to stay at home to work by providing care for their children.

    Since there are lots of people who work who are not entitled to a minimum wage (as listed above) you seem to think there should be a special category of worker who is entitled to a minimum wage. Why so?

  13. randal 13

    the ‘other’ categories described by tsmithfiled are there by choice.
    people who work for an employer are entitled to at the very least a subsistence wage or we are not a first world country.
    furthermore if an employer is only paying the minimum wage then they are either exploiting their workers or they are not very good bsuinesspeople or they are in business for the psychological pleasure of watching poor people struggle.
    dig?

  14. tsmithfield 14

    felix “Why didn’t you add the words “for anything, ever’ to the end of that and really let the crazy out?”

    lol. Obviously there are some situations that are more unequal than others. Where there are minor fluctuations it is relatively safe to make assumptions going forward, and obviously necessary and wise to do so. However, when there is a major trend change, as has been happening, then clearly it is dangerous to project forward.

    Surely that is not too much of a difficult concept?!

    • Bright Red 14.1

      do tell, ts. what has changed?

      Why if, as you are now conceding, raising the minimum wage has never before been linked to a rising unemployment rate (even in times of recession) are you so confident things have changed?

      What are these fluctuations of which you speak? What evidence do you have that they would cause something that hasn’t happened before to happen now?

  15. tsmithfield 15

    It may surprise you to know that I don’t actually subscribe to having people live on a pittance and starving on the street.

    However, I believe there has been a lot of people locked out of the work-place due to things such as the minimum wage, the dole etc. There is enough work to go around, as there seems to be judging by the amount of people we import to work in orchards etc while we still have people unemployed who could be doing it. Therefore, it would be better for businesses to tender to WINZ or whatever for workers for various roles available. Those that tender the best wage would get the workers. Any shortfall from a living wage would be made up by the taxpayer.

    That would get a lot of people back into the workforce rather than having them stagnating as they are at the moment.

    • Pascal's bookie 15.1

      “Those that tender the best wage would get the workers. Any shortfall from a living wage would be made up by the taxpayer”

      I’m no expert at game theory, but I reckon the taxpayer will get fucking shafted in this game.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        Not if the workers are tendered for. This then would rely on the market to come up with the best price that can be paid for the workers. Therefore, the cost to the taxpayer will be minimized. In many cases it will probably be less than having to pay the dole.

        • Bright Red 15.1.1.1

          that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You’re thinking of human beings like their labour is bails of wool and the government is giving farmers’ a guaranteed minimum price.

          Labour simply isn’t that flexible or homogeneous.

          And it’s pretty obvious there isn’t enough work to go around when you’ve got 3,500 people lining up for 150 jobs.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    You obviously haven’t thought that through very well. Want to try again?

  17. tsmithfield 17

    BLiP “Brilliant!! Lets turn WINZ offices into slave markets . . .”

    Not what I said.

    I don’t think it is the employer’s responsibility to effectively be part of the social welfare system by paying more than what the job is worth to them via an artificially set minimum wage.

    The employers can offer the work at what they can afford. Employers who offer the best rates get the employees. It then becomes a function of the state to ensure the income is fair. Its really not a lot different to what happens with WFF now if you think about it.

    • felix 17.1

      So you want the rest of us to pay even more of your wage bill than we already do via WfF.

      What a bludger. The sooner you and your kind fuck off to China the better.

  18. gomango 18

    So looking at the graph, it would appear the highest ever real minimum wage is under the current Nat government.

    Credit where credit is due and all that.

    Oh and Mary G, it may or may not change your correlation conclusion but it is essentially meaningless to plot a coincident indicator (wages) with a lagging indicator (unemployment). You are looking for a cause/effect relationship which naturally implies a time lag. Anecdotally I’d guesstimate 9 to 12 months is the right sort of lag, though differnt industries would likely have different lags. Ljung-Box test is the right one.

    Without taking into account the non-coincident nature of the data your graphs are just interesting but ultimately meaningless anecdotes.

    • The Voice of Reason 18.1

      “So looking at the graph, it would appear the highest ever real minimum wage is under the current Nat government. Credit where credit is due and all that.”

      There seem to be two peaks, one in the early seventies (Kirk Labour Government) and the second levelling off in 2008 (Clark Labour Government), and the rises all appear to be with Labour, the falls with National. The next drop starting, um, about now I guess.

  19. “One of the old saws that the Right brings out whenever the topic of increasing the minimum wage comes up is ‘oh no, it will increase unemployment’.”

    Don’t lie Marty, no economist says this. As I have pointed out many times, what economists say is that both theory and evidence tells us is that the minimum wage has little effect on the *overall* unemployment rate. But as Neumark and Wascher write (“Minimum Wages’ by David Neumark and William L. Wascher, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008: from Table 9.1 page 287 when dealing with the effects on employment, under the ‘Summary of evidence’.)

    “Minimum wages reduce employment of low-skilled workers; adverse effects even more apparent when research focuses on those directly affected by minimum wages.’

    That is, an increase in the minimum wage will reduce employment for those directly affected by minimum wages such as workers with low-skills or those returning to the labour force. In Chapter 9 “Summary and Conclusions’ Neumark and Wascher write

    “Three conclusions, in particular, stand out. First, as indicated in chapter 3, the literature that has emerged since the early 1990s on the employment effects of minimum wages points quite clearly despite a few prominent outliers to a reduction in employment opportunities for the low-skilled and directly affected workers’. (p. 286)

    • Pascal's bookie 19.1

      He said ‘the right’ says it. And they do. John Key did for one. Perhaps you should be trolling him.

      • Bill 19.1.1

        Interesting that ‘the right’ is apparently synonymous with economists for the likes of PW, who in turn claim to operate from a scientific and rational basis.

    • IrishBill 19.2

      There are close to a half a million workers on the minimum wage or within a couple of dollars of it. That’s a large enough chunk of the working population that any significant effect on it in terms of unemployment would also significantly affect the overall unemployment rate.

      Which didn’t happen.

      Which means you’re wrong.

      • Paul Walker 19.2.1

        Bill, read the evidence. “Minimum Wages’ by David Neumark and William L. Wascher, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008 being a good place to start. As a percentage of the labour market those on or around the minimum wage are a small part. So the increases in the minimum wage that you see have little or no effect on the *overall* unemployment rate. What is claimed is the the changes in the minimum wage will effect the employment opportunities of those in the group at or around the level of the minimum wage. This shows up in the empircal studies.
        [Paul tell us why the number of economists who think the minimum wage increases unemployment is falling (I believed you claimed 90% agreed on your blog, only 32 years out of day, mate). Also, tell us why there is no correlation between the real minimum wage and unemployment. Marty G]

        • Pascal's bookie 19.2.1.1

          Which means that it isn’t the knock down argument against min wages that people pretend it is. The small effects (on opportunities) that are found could surely be mitigated by other policies, which is what we pay economists for isn’t it?

        • Bill 19.2.1.2

          Read my response to your fellow idiot gomango below who also seems to be incapable of reading what it was I actually said but responds to what he thinks I might have said if it were he who was writing my response.

        • The Voice of Reason 19.2.1.3

          “What is claimed is the the changes in the minimum wage will effect the employment opportunities of those in the group at or around the level of the minimum wage”

          So, I assume you are concerned. Paul, at the plight of the low paid. You must be absolutely livid at another threat to their employment; the 90 day Fire at Will Law. Or is it all academic with you?

        • Paul Walker 19.2.1.4

          Read the post you have commented on. It is explained there. Increases in the minimum wage that you see have little or no effect on the *overall* unemployment rate. That is the *overall* unemployment rate. Because those effected by the increase will be a small proportion of the whole labour market. Got it?

          The increase in unemployment caused by the minimum wage will show up among those at or around the minimum wage, that is, those directly effected by the minimum wage. Got that too?

          Simple.

          • Pascal's bookie 19.2.1.4.1

            “The increase in unemployment caused by the minimum wage will show up among those at or around the minimum wage”

            You keep changing your tune. It’s usually “a decrease in employment oppurtunities”, but here it’s an increase in unemployment. You should get more sleep, your sophistry is showing.

            • Paul Walker 19.2.1.4.1.1

              Actually you will get both.

              • IrishBill

                And as I pointed out there are a half a million workers on or around minimum wage. That’s a large enough group (about 20% -25% of all workers) that, according to your argument, we could expect changes in employment in that group to show as changes to employment in general if the minimum wage was increased.

                The problem you have is that we didn’t.

              • “And as I pointed out there are a half a million workers on or around minimum wage. That’s a large enough group (about 20% -25% of all workers) that, according to your argument, we could expect changes in employment in that group to show as changes to employment in general if the minimum wage was increased.

                The problem you have is that we didn’t.”

                Where does the 20-25% figure come from? But no, you would need very large elasticities in the effected groups and a large increase in the minimum wage to have a large effect overall. Given all the other things that effect labour markets, finding the effects of minimum wage changes in the overall unemployment stats would be very difficult.

              • Pascal's bookie

                So as everyone has been saying, employment effects are a pretty shit argument against minimum wages.

      • Marty G 19.2.2

        Nah mate. The problem isn’t with Paul and his increasingly unpopular theory. It’s with us and the statistics.

        See there’s this magic unemployment of only low paid and low skilled workers that takes place. For magical reasons it doesn’t show up in the stats. But if you look real hard (ideally while looking through a copy of Milton Freidman) it’s there to be seen.

  20. gomango 20

    Bill – your comment reminds me of the response one gets from a fundamentalist christian when their belief system is questioned.

    Andrew Walker points out some research, and a very quick overview of the conclusions. Your response is essentially “That conflicts with my personal beliefs therefore you are wrong.I don’t care about any of that data or research nonsense.”

    • Marty G 20.1

      All Paul has is one book from the school of economics that he worships. It is not proof. In fact, it is a theory that is increasingly rejected by economists.

      • Paul Walker 20.1.1

        the book just happens to be the most recent large scale survey of the literaure and thus is worth reading to get an overall of that literature.

    • Bill 20.2

      What the fuck is this twattery?

      I made no response to Paul on the min wage/unemployment assertion. I pointed out that he claimed convergence between ‘the right’ and economists and rationality. Which is fucking nuts; ie irrational. End.

  21. Marty G 21

    Actually, Paul. As you are conceding that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t increase unemployment – in fact, you’re going so far as to claim that no economist believes that – can you tell us why you are against increasing it to $15 an hour?

    Pro-tip: you can’t say ‘because it will increase unemployment.’

    • I can say what i have been saying all along. The increases in the minimum wage that you see have little or no effect on the *overall* unemployment rate. That is the *overall* unemployment rate. Because those effected by the increase will be a small proportion of the whole labour market. Got it?

      The increase in unemployment caused by the minimum wage will show up among those at or around the minimum wage, that is, those directly effected by the minimum wage. Got that too?

      Simple.

      • Macro 21.1.1

        I read that about 10 times and still can’t work out what your talking about, and I don’t think you know either.

  22. Studies of the UK minimum wage that suggest little or no impact on employment (by economists too). There are others.

    Machin and Manning (ILRR 47/2 1994) “the minimum wage has either no effect or a positive effect on employment’.

    Stewart (JEEA 2/1 2004) “No significant adverse employment effects are found for any of the four demographic groups considered (adult and youth, men and women) or in any of the three data sets used’

    Metcalf (JIR 50/3 2008) Why has the British National Minimum Wage had Little or No Impact on Employment?

    • Pascal's bookie 22.1

      That wiki page in the post (“unravelling for decades”) also points at some Statistical Meta-analyses:

      Several researchers have conducted statistical meta-analyses of the employment effects of the minimum wage. Card and Krueger analyzed 14 earlier time-series studies and concluded that there was clear evidence of publication bias because the later studies, which had more data and lower standard errors, did not show the expected increase in t-statistic (almost all the studies had a t of about two, just above the level of statistical significance at the .05 level). Though a serious methodological indictment, opponents of the minimum wage virtually ignored this issue; as Thomas C. Leonard noted, “The silence is fairly deafening.” More recently, T.D. Stanley has criticized Card and Krueger’s methodology, suggesting that their results could signify either publication bias or the absence of an effect. Using a different methodology, however, he concludes that there is statistically significant evidence of publication bias and that correction of this bias shows no relationship between the minimum wage and unemployment. In 2008, Hristos Doucouliagos and T.D. Stanley conduct a similar meta-analysis of 64 U.S. studies on disemployment effects and concluded that Card and Krueger’s initial claim of publication bias is still correct. Moreover, they concluded, “Once this publication selection is corrected, little or no evidence of a negative association between minimum wages and employment remains.”]

      source refs at the link. (“unravelling for decades”)

    • Robert Winter

      No sure how interesting these results are. It will depend, in part, on the level of aggregation of their data. The more aggregated the data the less likely you are to find any effect of changes in the minimum wage.

      • Robert Winter 22.2.1

        Well, you may not be sure, but they are from solid, established performers and part of an emerging consensus in the UK, apart from the die-hard market fundamentalists, to the effect that the impact was negligible or nil. Cambridge’s Willie Brown, over here last year, reported extensively on that consensus. And, of course, in a reductio ad absurdum approach, one can disaggregate and disaggregate until one finds a single (negligible) case of anything.

  23. gomango 23

    sorry – i actually meant irish bill – didnt see your post. coincidence.

  24. SPC 24

    In a word globalisation changed the way the market impacted on jobs.

    Once a domestic market, and we are a very good model being so open a market, is part of the global economy it loses price sensitive jobs in manufacturing.

    It will retain low wage jobs in the domestic services sector and these are jobs where the minimum wages can be increased and costs passed on to the rest of the workforce.

    Some Americans think they can mop of the unemployment of those losing manufacturing jobs and “immigrants” by having a low wage service sector – downward mobility for the once unionist worker and “domesticated” roles for “immigrants” (no health cover etc). It’s part of their increasingly disparate society ethos and their ever increasing disparity of wealth. There is no evidence as yet that the number of jobs providing services increases if wage levels are lower – except as domestic servants (often involving “immigrants” and only if they can get into the country where such work is available).

    PS There is the practice of cheap farm labour used in some areas of the USA (below minimum wage illegals?).

    • Macro 24.1

      “In a word globalisation changed the way the market impacted on jobs.
      Exactly!
      And the “democratisation” of the “communist” block.

      • BLiP 24.1.1

        Try hopping onto a Chinese server, calling up Google and doing a search on the word “democracy”.

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    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Lower Hutt scientists win right to be academics
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 37 Lower Hutt scientists are joining TEU in large numbers after the union successfully argued that they should be classified as academics in Victoria University of Wellington’s new collective agreement. TEU members at Victoria recently...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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