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The Standard

POAL, DPF, and the politics of envy

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, January 12th, 2012 - 141 comments
Categories: class war - Tags: ,

I see David Farrar has joined the chorus of overpaid righties complaining about how much wharfies are paid in Auckland. Now, apart from the fact he’s spouting the same dodgy figures that have already been discredited here, I’m interested in why the f**k he and his mates are so obsessed about working peoples’ pay.

It’s not like David’s a shining beckon of meritocracy. He is after all a man with limited qualifications on a very cushy number. In fact not that long ago he was boasting about how his (mostly taxpayer funded) company was paying over $200k in tax and it seems like he’s always off on expensive holidays abroad.

Thing is, despite my taxes paying for David’s fancy lifestyle and his general lack of value to the economy, I don’t envy him his wealth and I’ve no interest in seeing his income reduced. He, however, seems to have a keen interest in seeing POAL workers have their incomes reduced.

It’s like he can’t feel like he’s wealthy while other working people are getting a decent deal. That’s a destructive and pointless politics of envy.

As an aside, I think that anyone calling for the incomes of port workers to be reduced should be stating their own total incomes and making a case for what they add to the economy. Let’s start with POAL spin doctor Catherine Etheredge, eh?

141 comments on “POAL, DPF, and the politics of envy”

  1. I don’t envy him his wealth and I’ve no interest in seeing his income reduced.

    Well I would like to see him lose his Government contracts ; )

    Good comment though.  Farrar et al want to see a system based on a weird distortion of the concept of meritocracy where they and their mates come out on top every time but ordinary people have to live like serfs to fund the system.  Simple really.

    • DavidW 1.1

      On those grounds then Micky, you would have no objection to suggestions that you get rendered ineligible for legal aid dosh I suspect.

      Sheeesh, talk about jumping the shark

      • Mickysavage 1.1.1

        /face palm

        What I meant was that if there was a Labour Government I am pretty sure Curia would have difficulty retaining its contracts.

        Good spin though.

    • Gosman 1.2

      I presume David Farrar has won his Government contracts via a transparent bidding process unless you are hinting here that the awarding of these sorts of contracts are corrupt. If they are then this is a major scandal which I would expect a decent opposition to jump all over.

      If he has won the contracts fair and square why would you like to see him lose them? Is it purely because you disagree with his political views? That is an interesting viewpoint if you do think it because I prefer to see the best value for my taxpayers money not just supporting organisations and people that share my political leanings.

      • RedLogix 1.2.1

        I presume David Farrar has won his Government contracts via a transparent bidding process unless you are hinting here that the awarding of these sorts of contracts are corrupt.

        Read IB’s post … there was absolutely no hint as as you are suggesting. What he did write was: Thing is, despite my taxes paying for David’s fancy lifestyle and his general lack of value to the economy, I don’t envy him his wealth and I’ve no interest in seeing his income reduced.

        Care to withdraw your idiotic misrepresentation?

        • Gosman 1.2.1.1

          As my question was directed towards mickeysavage not Irishbill I am unsure why you are quoting from Irishbill’s post.

          My question is entirely appropriate considering mickeysavage’s following comment here

          “What I meant was that if there was a Labour Government I am pretty sure Curia would have difficulty retaining its contracts.”

          The implication here is that either Labour would rule him out for political reason, (which I hope it would not do), or that he has only won his current contracts with the supposedly independent public service via favouritism.

          The last is corruption, albeit of a lower level, but it is something an opposition should be highlighting. I wonder if they will.

        • Gosman 1.2.1.2

          By the way, would you care to withdraw your idiotic misunderstanding?

          [Neither did mickey imply that the contracts were actually corrupt. Neither author implied that… except in your fervid imagination.

          On the other hand Farrar is clearly a ‘related party’. It’s like giving a contract to your brother-in-law. If you are going to do that you need to be seen to be absolutely transparent and clear that it was a legitimate decision. Failure to do that quite rightly opens you up for scrutiny.

          A scrutiny Farrar has so far avoided. … RL]

          • Bored 1.2.1.2.1

            Gos, you need to ask yourself the question why don’t you have DPF’s contracts? From the viewpoint of being a spin doctor for the “right” DPF is their obvious choice, he is always going to recite drivel for them to their taste.

            BUT hey its supposed to be an open and free market. Give him some competition. You are missing a revenue opportunity whilst dragging your heels round here.

          • Lanthanide 1.2.1.2.2

            “On the other hand Farrar is clearly a ‘related party’. It’s like giving a contract to your brother-in-law.”

            Or like Bill English’s brother getting a plum job in the health sector.

          • Gosman 1.2.1.2.3

            Farrar wasn’t awarded his government contracts directly by the National led Government though. He presumably applied via some independent tendering process or via the mechanism of a supposedly independent civil service. Stating that his contracts would be difficult to continue under a left leaning administration is implying political interference no matter what you try and spin it. Now this is corruption pure and simple. I would expect any half decent opposition to be all over stuff like this… oh wait that is why nothing has been brought up in parliament.

            • Mickysavage 1.2.1.2.3.1

              God you have indicated that Farrar definately was DEFINATELY not awarded his contracts by the National led Government but was PESUMABLY awarded the contracts through some sort of independent process.

              Which is it?

              • Gosman

                Ummm… what does this even mean – “Farrar definately was DEFINATELY not awarded his contracts by the National led Government “???

                Which contracts for Government departments are awarded directly by members of the Government as opposed to going through the normal Civil Service process for external work?

                • Oops, damn iPhone …

                • McFlock

                  You’re the one who said that whatever contracts farrar has were not awarded directly by the government. Care to back up that position with fact rather than presumption?
                    

                  • Gosman

                    The only ones I can think of would be if Curia was to do polling work directly for Ministers offices. He might then be able to be awarded government contracts directly by Government without going through the usual Civil service process. However from my knowledge of the situation he has had work directly through givernment departments such as the Department of Internal Affairs. These are not awarded simply because a Government minister decrees that the department should use such and such a business, of if it does happen then it is curruption pure and simple. Considering people like mickeysavage has made the claims about the contracts that Curia has in relation to them not being awarded under a different administration perhaps he would enlighten us which ones he meant.

          • Bazar 1.2.1.2.4

            No author implied corruption?

            what the hell do you tihnk “What I meant was that if there was a Labour Government I am pretty sure Curia would have difficulty retaining its contracts.” implys?

            It STRONGLY implies corruption, that or labour would shutdown Curia.

            • RedLogix 1.2.1.2.4.1

              Or it simply means Curia finds it real easy to get contracts from Farrar’s good friends in power. He’s probably what might be termed a ‘preferred contractor’. He does the kind of work they want doing, so naturally they like to select him.

              Corruption, probably not. Needs a little more scrutiny and sunlight… quite possibly.

              • higherstandard

                So exactly the same situation at is with UMR when Labour are in power ?

                Situation normal all politicians looking after their mates (SNAPLATM).

                • RedLogix

                  Umm maybe. UMR may well be Labour aligned, maybe you have more information on that than I do. But certainly nothing like Farrar is so closely aligned with National.

                  Besides Bazar is setting fire to strawmen of his own making; neither IB nor Mickey implied that Curia’s contracts were corrupt. Cosy and nice for Farrar maybe, but not corrupt. There is no evidence to support that.

                  But all this of course is a distraction from the real point; that Farrar is of course an unmitigated, hypocritical arse for happily making good money out of the taxpayer himself, while at the same time dumping of workers earning a lot less than him for doing a lot more onerous job.

                  What is with that? Is it just envy that ordinary workers whom he looks down on might be doing sort of ok?

                  • higherstandard

                    Hypocrisy amongst political pundits and politicians ……. and this is surprising why ?

                    • RedLogix

                      Not surprising, but does that mean you approve of it?

                      And that the rest of us aren’t allowed to call it when we see it?

                    • higherstandard

                      Perhaps you’ve failed

                      1. To see my comment on Mervyn English and his brother ? I support in full the calling out of hypocrcites, especially those who trough on the public purse.

                      http://thestandard.org.nz/poal-dpf-and-the-politics-of-envy/#comment-424534

                      2. To see exactly the same hypocrisy demonstrated on this site by persons such as yourself who ignore the hypocrisy on display from yourself or of someone with a supporting view to your own.

                    • RedLogix

                      Nah… I’m not the one calling for port workers to have their pay cut, while happily remaining schtumm about my own income.

                    • higherstandard

                      yepppppppp you’re a paid up apologist alright, no different from DPF much as the standard is no better than kiwiblog – nothing wrong with that just accept it and move on.

                      [I can categorically state that I am not paid to be an apologist, or for any role here or anywhere else, in any form whatsoever. You are of course welcome to your opinion of The Standard … it’s worth more or less what we are paying you for it, ie nothing…RL]

                    • higherstandard

                      By paid up I meant a paid up member of a political party- not paid to post or comment here – I don’t think anyone would be daft enough to do that for a living.

                      [On record as a paid up member of the Greens. Have a problem with that?…RL]

                    • McFlock

                      Are you officially admitting that your comments here are amateurish, hs? 

                    • higherstandard

                      Oh very pithy.

                      Yes, I can confirm the casual nature of my commentary, although it’s surprising how often those with a dissenting view on this site are accused of being paid up stooges for PR companies, if so I’d certainly be complaining to the union regarding my rostering.

        • Gosman 1.2.2.1

          Are you implying that the Health Ministry awarded this contract to Bill English’s brother because he was Bill English’s brother? If so then that is corruption. What is the position of the opposition to this?

          • higherstandard 1.2.2.1.1

            Not corruption, just lax nepotism.

            Mervyn English is an inveterate trougher, buffoon and moron much like his brother.

            And yes Gosman, I’m what the noobs here would call a rampant rightie

            • Gosman 1.2.2.1.1.1

              It might very well be what you claim it is but is there any evidence for that? Having a family member work for a government department when your brother is a Minister in another area of Government is not the definition of nepotism. However if there was a memo from the Minister to the government department or some indication that the Minsitry of Health decided to employ the brother because they thought that they would get some favouritism from the Minister of Finance would be nepotism and therefore corrupt. This is something I would expect the Opposition to highlight or at least to investigate. Did they do this in this instance?

              • higherstandard

                Gos – don’t take my word for it ask Cameron.

                http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/tag/mervyn-english/

                And Yes you would expect the opposition to roger the government over such troughing, but I guess they had better targets like Peter Jackson and the Mad Butcher.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                “Investigate”? What are they, police? Any “investigation” the opposition has the power to mount will run straight into a stone wall.

                An agency with power to compel disclosure should be “investigating”, or perhaps you might even consider that the job of journalists…

                • DavidW

                  Bloke, – bull. The opposition is funded in copious amounts for research. If they choose to direct some of those resources to dig into an appointment, questions to Ministers – written and oral, OIA requests, Parliamentary Library etc etc then they can. Don’t come crying “lack of resource” when that is patently BS

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hmmm. What you say is not incorrect, but it remains only a pittance compared to having the power of rows of Ministry analysts and private consultants at your beck and call when one is in Govt.

                    • Gosman

                      So what you are essentially stating is that the Labour led opposition, despite having an ability to investigate these rather disturbing allegations of neopotism and corruption, don’t feel the need to press the issue because said ability is not at the same level as the Government’s?

                      Rather pathetic excuse don’t you think?

          • Frank Macskasy 1.2.2.1.2

            Gosman, you asked,

            “Which contracts for Government departments are awarded directly by members of the Government as opposed to going through the normal Civil Service process for external work?”

            I provided a response with an example.

            “So what you are essentially stating is that the Labour led opposition, despite having an ability to investigate these rather disturbing allegations of neopotism and corruption, don’t feel the need to press the issue because said ability is not at the same level as the Government’s?”

            It’s the Opposition’s fault, is it? So much for taking responsibility. I thought the Right Wing was big on personal responsibility?

            So basically, you MO is this;

            1. Post a question.
            2. Wait for an answer.
            2. Turn the answer back on the Left, ‘cos it’s someone else’s fault.

            You missed your calling, mate. You should have been a politician.

            • Hannah 1.2.2.1.2.1

              I really enjoy reading the Otago Daily Times now that your vitriolic letters are no longer in print. Congratulations you are Dunedin’s best export.

              • Colonial Viper

                Interestingly this is another case of RWNJ projection on everyone else. Although the RWNJ version of vitriol is generally of the ‘cold, callous and superior’ variety.

              • fender

                Take a hike Hannah to the dairy and get a Dom Post and you may be able to read something of relevance from Frank there. I for one respect his sence of fairness and intelligent contributions.

              • Actually, Hannah, I’m born and bred Wellingtonian. (My stay in Dunedin was only temporary.)

                But thanks for reminding me. I might flick the editor at the ODT and “Star” a few more missives. Cheers! 😀

      • Fotran 1.2.3

        Gosman

        Please advise which Government contracts Farrar has got ?
        I am in the dark so please elucidate, and am not alone.

        • Gosman 1.2.3.1

          Why are you directing this comment to me? Surely this is more appropriately put to people such as Irishbill and mickeysavage who have been complaining about Curia getting taxpayer funds for doing work for government. I see no problem why he shouldn’t be able to freely earn money in this way so long as it isn’t corruptly earned.

          • RedLogix 1.2.3.1.1

            Surely this is more appropriately put to people such as Irishbill and mickeysavage who have been complaining about Curia getting taxpayer funds for doing work for government.

            Again you totally misrepresent what both of them said. If Farrar want’s to get nice cosy govt contracts (perfectly legal of course) and make good money doing so… then all power to him.

            Just weirdly hypocritical of him to be taking the position that ordinary workers earning much less than him, for far more onerous work, are somehow greedy and over-privileged.

          • Frank Macskasy 1.2.3.1.2

            Why are you directing this comment to me?

            Because you stated,

            I presume David Farrar has won his Government contracts via a transparent bidding process unless you are hinting here that the awarding of these sorts of contracts are corrupt.

            You made the point. Others are querying it.

            Just as, you fire question-after-question at everyone else and become quite peeved if you don’t elicit an answer.

            Fair’s fair, mate. Your turn to cough up.

            • Gosman 1.2.3.1.2.1

              Bollocks Frank. I don’t need to give examples of his work because as I stated I don’t care about his work for government agencies. The people who seem to care about it are people like Red Logix and mickeysavage.

              • You care enough to comment. Then you deflect when you cannot answer simple questions.

                If you don’t feel the need to “give examples” – don’t get into the debate. Simple, really.

                • Gosman

                  Read the comment from mickeysavage below Frank where he tries to back peddle on his position regarding Curia’s contracts with government agencies trying to imply he was joking to a degree. All I am doing is holding him to account for the implications of his statements such as that he now thinks a Labour led administration would have no need for his services. He doesn’t explain why government agencies won’t need to employ polling companies under a Labour led Government when they have done so in the past. Holding him to account for this view doesn’t necesitate that I have to give examples of David Farrar’s work. As stated numerous times I give not a jot about what his company does or does not do for the government.

                  • “All I am doing is holding him to account for the implications of his statements such as that he now thinks a Labour led administration would have no need for his services.”

                    You arrogant twit!

                    Who the hell are you to hold anyone to “account”?! You engage in deflection; you deliberately mis-represent what others state; and I’ve caught you out on at least two occassions fabricating stuff that you attributed to me.

                    It’s obvious, Gosman, that you cannot address the issues being discussed – including issues you’ve engaged in – and feel you have a god-given right to demand answers from others?

                    “Holding him to account for this view doesn’t necesitate that I have to give examples of David Farrar’s work. “

                    Oh really?! Grow up, Gosman, and lose the arrogance.

                    • mik e

                      Gooseman one who can,t win an argument must always have the last say.
                      Bullying with your B/S.
                      My guess looking at your profile on these blogs is that you are either a current MP or past from the right.

    • Dear RWNJs out there.

      I have a confession to make.

      I have never been able to do those elegant smily faces.

      When I type ” ; ) ” it means I am trying to make a joke.

      I do not think that Farrar’s contracts should be retrospectively torn up.  I was trying to suggest in a perhaps evil way that I did not think that a future Labour led Government would have any need for Farrar’s particular skills.

      And to Cameron Slater I am aware that you have been trying to google bomb me.

      Please stop.  What you are saying is amongst other things clearly not correct.

      If you continue to do so then I have thought of the most exquisite of punishments.  As well as an apology and damages I will also seek payment to the Maritime Workers Strike Fund. 

      • Anne 1.3.1

        Dear micky,
        Let me put you out of your misery once and for all.
        http://www.thestandard.org.nz/faq/smile/

        Make a copy and hang it above your home computer. 😀

      • Gosman 1.3.2

        Don’t you think government agencies need polling data then mickeysavage? Obviously they have thought they have needed them in the past under both Labour and National led governments. Are you are implying that a Labour led administration would dictate to government agencies that polling data should not be collected?

        • Frank Macskasy 1.3.2.1

          No, Gosman. YOU are the one implying it. Stop creating bogus-arguments and putting words into other’s mouths.

          • Gosman 1.3.2.1.1

            What am I implying Frank?

            Care to explain what the following statements from mickeysavage mean

            “What I meant was that if there was a Labour Government I am pretty sure Curia would have difficulty retaining its contracts.”

            “I was trying to suggest in a perhaps evil way that I did not think that a future Labour led Government would have any need for Farrar’s particular skills.”

            Why would a Labour led administration not need Curia providing the services it currently provides Frank?

            Explain what the implications of mickeysavages comment actually is rather than trying to get me to answer irrelevant questions regarding what his current contracts are. I have told you I don’t care and they are not relevant to the issue about whether David Farrar is getting work from government via his political connections rather than via the quality of the work he provides.

  2. Lostinsuburbia 2

    It’s the politics of fear too. The elite don’t want anyone even nudging near their lifestyles.

    Better incomes = improved chances to education and greater political/social awareness, which is the stuff of nightmares for the right

  3. burt 3

    What a joke, there are thousands of low paid workers who’s story should be told and who need a helping hand but I guess as the MUNZ are a Labour affiliated union nothing else matters.

    • Feel free to tell their story. You could start a blog to tell it on.

    • bbfloyd 3.2

      i’m with psycho on this one butt……you have information on the desperate straights new zealands “working class” has come to, then we would welcome your sharing it with us….. we already have more than enough party political bullshit coming out of the news media….. your attempts are far too transparent to be of use to even the other reactionary bigots who infect these pages regularly….

  4. Brian Harmer 4

    It’s an interesting take on “taxpayer funded” . I suspect that what you mean, is that some government agencies buy services from him. On that basis, Fulton Hogan, the Auckland Coop Taxi Company, and the Dominion Post are all “taxpayer funded”.

    • lprent 4.1

      I think what is interesting with Curia is detirming the extent to which it is funded by taxpayers or indirectly by political groups. The others you mention get part of the revenue through government sources, but it isn’t the vast majority. With Curia, from the outside, it looks like being most of it.

      I think most of the other polling companies get their revenue from outside the government / political realm. That makes Curia of political interest

      • Brian Harmer 4.1.1

        I doubt there is sufficient demand for a relatively small player in the polling market to make most of a living from Government sources.

        Disclosure: I have been a casual internet friend of DPF for almost 20 years, and have occasionally had coffee with him, and talked about life and the universe. I do not believe that most of Curia’s business is from Government sources.

        IrishBill: Then you’d be seriously underestimating the amount of taxpayers’ money political parties spend on polling.

        • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.1

          David begs to differ, Brian:
           
          “Curia Market Research is based in Wellington and was established in early 2004. Its principal is David Farrar.

           
          David, a member of the Market Research Society of New Zealand, has over ten years experience in all aspects of polling. He has managed everything from question design to results analysis for over 200 polls, including a significant number for recent New Zealand Prime Ministers.”

          Nowhere is there a mention on his website of any corporate clients, just his links with National.

           

          • Gosman 4.1.1.1.1

            I presume you acknowledge that he could get funding from Political parties don’t you? Because last time I checked they weren’t the same as Government, (as much as some lefties would like it to be otherwise).

            • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Not just lefties, Gossie. Farrar himself blurs the lines, as you can see from the Curia website extract above.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      More to the point the other polling companies at the very least maintain a front of political independence. Farrar by contrast is absolutely connected to the National Party.

      That fact alone should require a level of transparency from Curia… that we simply don’t get.

      • Gosman 4.2.1

        Why?

        • RedLogix 4.2.1.1

          If Farrar was closely connected to the Labour party you wouldn’t have so much trouble understanding would you?

          • Gosman 4.2.1.1.1

            No, I would expect the same level of transparency as any other business engaged in Government contracts. Are you stating that Curia is somehow different to other businesses or doesn’t comply with the transparency rules at the moment?

        • Frank Macskasy 4.2.1.2

          Why not?

          Key sez he’s big on “transparency”.

          • Gosman 4.2.1.2.1

            Curia is a private business Frank. How are John Key’s views on transparancy relevant here?

          • Gosman 4.2.1.2.2

            Frank, you are big on the Polish Solidarity movement. Do you know the shape of the Gdansk Shipyard currently? They used to have 20,000 workers. Care to hazard a guess at how many remain?

            • The Voice of Reason 4.2.1.2.2.1

              Under capitalism, employment at the Gdansk yards has fallen to a tenth of what it was under socialism. What’s your point, Gossie?

              • Gosman

                Yes I know. All I was dong was pointing out the irony in Frank bigging up an independent Trade Union movement in Poland whose eventual victory led to the very Shipyard they came from becoming a shadow of it’s former self. Indeed it could be argued that it was the Communists who were trying to protect the workers not Solidarity.

                • Gosman, that may well be. And that’s another story that I may blog about at some future date.

                  But it’s interesting how yet again, you’ve deflected from the point I was making: that in 1980, the Polish shipyard workers were hailed as heroes by the “Free West”.

                  Yet ironically, our own Maritime workers are despised by many of the right wingers who encouraged Solidarnosc.

                  The irony is there, whether you have the wit to recognise it as such.

            • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.2.2.2

              The more workers get made unemployed, the more ‘productive’ the corporation is.

              I guess this leads to a society with a combination of highly profitable ‘efficient’ large businesses and high unemployment throughout society.

              Surprise surprise that’s what we see throughout the western world.

    • It’s an interesting take on “taxpayer funded” . I suspect that what you mean, is that some government agencies buy services from him. On that basis, Fulton Hogan, the Auckland Coop Taxi Company, and the Dominion Post are all “taxpayer funded”.

      Not quite.

      But you do demonstrate how government expenditure affects the economy. Hence why government cut-backs affect the economy in a negative way, and reduce economic activity. And why National’s cutbacks have stagnated the economy.

      Good of you to raise the issue.

  5. immigant 5

    The Auckland warfies don’t get paid nearly as much as they shoudl be, for the very difficult, dangerous work that requires years of training. 90k a year is a laughable amount that most NZ families could never get by on.

  6. Gosman 6

    By the way where is the mainstream political wing of the labour movement on this issue?

    • lprent 6.1

      Mostly still on holiday, just like the political wing of employers and capitalists also hasn’t weighed in on it.

      But generally both major political parties tend to stand clear of industrial disputes. After decades learning the lesson, they appear to have realized that it is almost invariably counter productive.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        Exactly lprent.

        If this issue was as cut and dried as both sides of this debate seem to make it out, (i.e. Bad managers trying to destroy the Unionised workforce for more profit or Greedy workers stiffling productivity and therefore costing Aucklanders jobs and/or business), I’m sure some spokeperson from one of the political parties in NZ would take a few moments of their break to issue a press release expressing support for one side or another.

        The thing is, as you point out, that this industrial dispute is far more complex than a bunch of commentators on the blogosphere like to make out. Both sides have valid points and therefore mainstream politicians are avoiding this issue like the plague.

    • By the way where is the mainstream political wing of the labour movement on this issue?

      Not holidaying on a Hawaiian beach, for sure…

  7. johnm 7

    David Farrar an overpaid nobody propped up by our NeoLiberal stablishment to attack worker’s living standards. Like Glen Inwood another paid off nobody paid to support The Japo’s Whale Butchering program in a protected global commons by the Antarctic treaty. The Whale’s Union is SeaShepherd they don’t get any help from the cowards: The NZ and Australian Governments.

    • Gosman 7.1

      Care to provided any evidence to back up the claim that he is propped up by our NeoLiberal establishment to attack worker’s living standards?

      What is the neo-liberal establishment by the way? Is it anything that has a differing political viewpoint to you?

      • daveo 7.1.1

        Most of farrar’s income comes from national party polling work and they pay for it with parliamentary money. It’s all completely legal.

      • johnm 7.1.2

        Hi Gosman From Wikipedia: The following reeks of patronage, he’s propped up by being paid for media appearances and other perks though in himself and his record he’s a NOBODY!

        Farrar has held many roles within the New Zealand National Party and has worked in Parliament for four National Party leaders.
        The National Business Review has stated that “Any realistic “power list” produced in this country would include either Farrar or his fellow blogger and opinion leader Russell Brown.”( Absolute Rubbish!Most kiwis wouldn’t even know he exists!) In August 2006, the then National Party leader Don Brash posted a comment on Kiwiblog.(Wow!)
        The New Zealand Listener 2009 Power List, named Farrar the 4th most powerful person in the New Zealand media(More back rubbing rubbish!) saying “Kiwiblog has become part of the daily routine for Beltway insiders and others with an interest in politics and public policy.
        Farrar writes weekly columns for the National Business Review(Nice establishment perk!) and the iPredict futures site, and is a regular commentator on Radio New Zealand and Newstalk ZB.(Another overpaid perk)
        Previously Farrar worked as a staff member of the Leader of the Opposition (1999–2004), a staff member at National Party Head Office (1999 and 2004), a staff member in Ministerial Services under Jim Bolger (1996–1997) and in the Prime Minister’s Office under Jenny Shipley (1997–1999)
        Farrar often appears before Parliamentary select committees on a range of issues – most recently the Electoral Finance Bill.(Why? he’s a pumped up right wing commentator) He often publishes his submissions on his blog.

        The NeoLiberal establishment are the politicians who advocate NeoLiberal policies such as: Privatization, regressive tax policies such as GST along with a decrease in Income Tax, retreat from social provision of all kinds, a denial of the importance of the common good, the ones who have made NZ one of the most unequel societies in the developed World. The previous involves attacking Unions who support worker’s rights.

        • Gosman 7.1.2.1

          “Farrar writes weekly columns for the National Business Review(Nice establishment perk!) and the iPredict futures site, and is a regular commentator on Radio New Zealand and Newstalk ZB.(Another overpaid perk)”

          Martyn Bradbury hosted the recent series of ipredict election specials and has also appeared on Radio NZ National (although not recently though for some reason :)). You would hardly claim this means he is propped up by the neo-liberal establishment.

          Also working for a political party doesn’t mean you are being propped up by anyone. It simply means you are working for them. I don’t think anybody who has worked for the Labour party in the past, (lprent for example), is propped up by the leftist revolutionary movement. It is just plainly idiotic thinking.

          • johnm 7.1.2.1.1

            Hi Gosman
            It’s a similar phenomenon to having predominantly right wing toadies commenting on election night. It’s the preferential patronage of whose ideas are heard!
            I don’t agree he’s obviously an inflated personage touted as an important right wing commentator he is a right wing media creation of arrogant self importance. Part of the battle of influence and perception. Perhaps the process is too subtle for you to understand Gosman!

            • Gosman 7.1.2.1.1.1

              It is quite simple really. You don’t like the influence he has then set up your own independent left wing media group to broadcast your own selection of left wing toadies. However that doesn’t detract from the fact that there is a number of left wing toadies putting forward their leftist views already in the main stream media that you decry so much. Whether it is as balanced is a matter of opinion. It is obviously not as balanced as a lefty like you would like but that sort of balance would preclude David Farrar at all it seems.

          • lprent 7.1.2.1.2

            I don’t think anybody who has worked for the Labour party in the past, (lprent for example)…

            I’ve never worked for them. I have this unreasonable expectation about getting paid when I work for people and organisations.

            I have done voluntary labour for them, just as I do here. They have never paid a dime. I don’t think that Labour could afford my services. And this site certainly cannot.

            I think that I may have got paid for a couple of hours for parliamentary services a few years back. Joan Caulfield was getting embarrassed at how much work I was doing for them at the electorate office. I have no idea if it even went into the bank account.

        • Gosman 7.1.2.2

          I your definition of neo-liberal establishment includes politicians who advocate for “… regressive tax policies such as GST along with a decrease in Income Tax…” then this would incorporate Labour party politicians. In short over 3/4 of the New Zealand parliament is therefore neo-liberal. Good stuff! I must inform my political masters that we have achieved our mission in lil’ ol’ NZ.

          • johnm 7.1.2.2.1

            Hi Gosman
            Yes The Labour party has been NeoLiberal since the 1984 Government, but has recanted to some extent.That’s why so many voted for The Alliance and now vote for The Greens.

            • Gosman 7.1.2.2.1.1

              So would the Green’s abolish GST completely?

              • Colonial Viper

                Perhaps drop it to 10% as an interim measure, except on luxury goods, and make the difference up using an assets tax and an FTT.

                • hs

                  Well at least that’ll win the accounting voter base.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Who gives a shit as long as the country is better off. Creating or dismissing tax rules based on what is convenient for accountants, instead of what the economy requires, is stupid.

                    • hs

                      Indeed, but unfortunately I suspect the country would be worse off.

                      The only thing that would make the country better off in the short, medium and longer term is more jobs and less idle hands and no one seems to be coming up with them and have instead resorted to fiddling while Rome burns while waiting for a global upturn.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The only thing that would make the country better off in the short, medium and longer term is more jobs and less idle hands and no one seems to be coming up with them and have instead resorted to fiddling while Rome burns while waiting for a global upturn.

                      +1

  8. just saying 8

    Excellent post IB.
    If only you were doing PR for the union in this case.

    A big factor with the ‘public outrage’ is the fact that most NZanders are on pathetic wages and conditions, since the workforce became largely deunionised and we went down the road of becoming a low wage economy. People (and communities) usually think workers are worth what they get unfortunately, so many ordinary workers are comparing their lot to those of the wharfies and feeling aggrieved. Instead of seeing that these workers managed to hold on to more of the value of their pay and conditions because of the strength of their union, and thinking how much more they would get if their workplace had too, they feel diminished by wharfies getting more.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      “A big factor with the ‘public outrage’ is the fact that most NZanders are on pathetic wages and conditions, since the workforce became largely deunionised and we went down the road of becoming a low wage economy.”

      Yep, bucket of crabs. Those at the bottom are trying to pull those near the top down to their own level.

  9. randal 9

    so whats going on here?
    you can get a pay rise if the gubmint lowers your taxes but if you a working stiff then you get a pay cut?
    soemthing has gone horribly wrong in this country.

  10. Mel 10

    @ just saying

    As a member of the public I think that ‘public outrage’ should be directed towards the media for their very cursory reporting of this issue.

    I agree with you that the politics of greed are at work in this so-called outrage. Interestingly, most of the ‘outrage’ I have read is from the rather well off as opposed to workers on minimum wages and conditions.

  11. RobM 11

    Wages in NZ are crap.

    In Perth they’re struggling to get workers to man the counter at Bunnings for NZ $27/hr.

    In Melbourne in 1997 I was being paid A $14 an hour to man a servo full-time.
    A$18 an hour as a casual.

    In today’s kiwi money that’s around $25 as a full timer and $32 as a casual.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Workers wages in NZ are crap and Round Table types aim to give themselves bigger bonuses by making them even more crap.

  12. Ross 12

    “I’m interested in why the f**k he and his mates are so obsessed about working people’s pay.”

    Well, quite. I’ve suggested to him that he has a rather unhealthy obssession with the pay of teachers and wharfies. He might like to spend more time focusing on the pay of white collar workers.

    And why he continues to quote the unsubstantiated figures of POAL is anyone’s guess. In 2010, he quoted ad nauseum the figures supplied by Anne Tolley’s office re secondary teachers’ pay, even though he should have known – and was informed – that those figures were wrong. Is David Farrar the most dishonest blogger in NZ?

    • Bored 12.1

      Is David Farrar the most dishonest blogger in NZ? Gee Ross, pleasegive some credit to our won beloved nut bar blogger heros, Gos, TS, and Burt.

  13. The “funniest” thing about all this is that our Dear Leader himself campaigned on raising wages in 2008;

    “We will be unrelenting in our quest to lift our economic growth rate and raise wage rates.” – John Key, 29 January 2008

    Source: http://www.johnkey.co.nz/archives/306-SPEECH-2008-A-Fresh-Start-for-New-Zealand.html

    Well, the Maritime Union are fulfilling Dear Leader’s aspirations – and neo-liberals are having a hard time with this? Dear lord, talk about the “Politics of Envy”!!

    I wonder how the aspirational middle class will take to right wingers decrying local workers from higher wages, to try to catch up with our Aussie cuzzies??

    • Gosman 13.1

      This is quite typical of your wrong headed views on economics Frank. I am reminded of the time you tried to argue that NZ was importing more than we export when the opposite was in fact the case.

      What is clear in this debate is that POAL are not as productive as a competing port down in Tauranga. A couple of major businesses have already decided to move their operations to this other port for a variety of reasons,

      POAL could decide to do nothing and potentially let more business go. Or it could look to increase productivity somehow. This might involve changing their labour contracts to increase flexibility and reduce overall costs or it might be something different such as just changing systems as I have heard someone related to the Union state. What is clear is that is the two options. Do nothing and risk losing more business and costs passed on to the wider Auckland/NZ economy or make changes.

      I presume you wouldn’t just do nothing then Frank would you?

      • ropata 13.1.1

        And yet the balance of payments is buggered because we are importing loads of foreign capital to finance property speculation and tax cuts.

        • higherstandard 13.1.1.1

          And other government spending to be fair even without the tax cuts we’d still be going cap in hand and it’s not just house speculation the consumerism put on the never, never in this country is out of control as well.

        • Frank Macskasy 13.1.1.2

          Indeed.

          And on top of that, the profits repatriated to overseas investors, from privatised SOEs, and other companies. None of which helps our Balance of Payments and interest rates.

      • “I am reminded of the time you tried to argue that NZ was importing more than we export when the opposite was in fact the case. “

        As usual, Gosman; an un-source comment taken out of any specific context. If you did source it, no doubt you’d end up looking quite foolish. (Just as you claimed you were banned from my Blog – which you weren’t, at that time. Or that I did not post opposing views, despite you having made 193 posts, arguing my positions.)

        “What is clear in this debate is that POAL are not as productive as a competing port down in Tauranga. “

        No, that is not at all “clear”. That is your supposition based on your wishful thinking.

        And if labour is cheaper in Tauranga, it’s most likely that the Union has been busted there, and workers have little bargaining strength at the negotiating table. You may feel that is something to be proud of – but then again, you’re exhibited a callous disregard for people losing their jobs during this Recession, so why should we expect any different from an ideologue like you?

  14. Bored 14

    There is an idiotic act going on here. “Employers” and their cohort think foul scorn on workers wages, yet never a comment passes about management wages , in particular corporate CEO wages.

    Who are these employers and their cohorts? Employees and contract holders in the main, very few of whom are “owners” or anything other than minor shareholders in their enterprise.

    So the idiotic game goes on, one bunch of employees (management) is wrangling with another bunch of employees (unionised) over the share of the cake. The former have wages that are according to the popular propaganda of their sect justifiable and beyond scrutiny, whilst the latter’s wage levels are demonised as unjustifiable.

    We on the sideline are asked to take sides, and no matter who wins we pay the cost, and the profits go to the private shareholders……

  15. Just lookin 15

    Directors fees from the annual reports
    2008 $373,000
    2009 $396,000
    2010 $383,000
    2011 $425,000

    Employee Benefits including restructuring costs termination and pensions
    2008 $54,452,000
    2009 $56,439,000
    2010 $51,940,000
    2011 $54,873,000

    Profit
    2008 $21,115,000
    2009 $5,405,000
    2010 $37,192,000
    2011 $23,326,000

    Profit goes down when director fees increase!

    [lprent: sorry about the delay. Got caught in the spam trap. ]

  16. james 111 16

    What I dont get in this whole scrap is where is the Labour Party. The unions are their biggest donors so they rely on them for funds. Where is David Shearer ? Where is Clare Curran is she on Holiday perhaps in a condo in Honululu LOL .She has been so quiet.
    No direction coming from Labour HQ is this the new managment style we will see from Shearer. I guess what makes it real hard from them is you have Mayor Len who Labours backs to hilt wanting a better return from POA. Which will mean an impact on terms and conditions for the Workers, and the Unions standing steadfast for their conditions that dont work anymore for the employers. Very interesting silence from Labour.

    • Blighty 16.1

      What’s a dispute between a council-owned port and a union got anything to do with Shearer?

      You could equally ask where Key is on the issue.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.2

      Interesting to anyone with a genuine interest, that is, as opposed to a myopic troll. As pointed out above, political parties have learned that meddling in industrial disputes is counter-productive.

  17. randal 17

    front page news in the dompost today.
    the rich are buying rolls royces and bentleys but the workers are having their wages cut.
    what the fuck is going on?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      Wtf is going on? Betrayal of the vast majority by the tiny minority.

    • tc 17.2

      The rich get richer ……whilst nearly a third don’t bother voting…..frogs in boiling water comes to mind whilst the NACT and their MSM / blogosphere authors and trolls laughs their arses off as to how easy it all is.

      Oh look the big bad union ….somebody please save us from the union before we all perish…..look it’s a bird, a plane, no it’s Sideshow John coming back from hawaii to save us all.

  18. The Baron 18

    I realise I tread on risky grounds re the policy here. But Irish, it’s a bit rich that you turn DPF’s full and frank disclosures of his interests and positions against him from a position of anonymity.

    Who the hell are you to ask for anything? Who pays your wages? When do we get to dig through your rubbish bin? Or is this just a case of outright hypocrisy?

    But lets be generous – given the long enemity between this blog and DPF, maybe he is fair game. But where do you get off bringing Ms. Etheridge personal finances into it? So are some workers better than others huh Irish , or may I ask you why isn’t she allowed to just get on with her job too?

    IrishBill: Can you not read wee fella? Try again: “I think that anyone calling for the incomes of port workers to be reduced should be stating their own total incomes”.

    • RedLogix 18.1

      Given that right has made a huge play dissecting MUNZ worker’s pay and conditions, then no, you really don’t have a leg to stand on.

      Farrar can’t demand full and frank disclosure of other people’s incomes, while insisting on his right to remain silent on his own. Surely that’s obvious.

      As it happens personally I’m happy to see ALL incomes openly disclosed. IIRC at least one Nordic nation, Norway I think … has every taxpayers income and tax details openly available on the web.

      And the world didn’t end oddly enough.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1

        As it happens personally I’m happy to see ALL incomes openly disclosed.

        To have a “free-market” they actually need to be disclosed. This allows people to have the information available to make informed decisions.

        • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.1

          Yup. Employees need to know each others’ wages as well as the bosses’ wages.

          • higherstandard 18.1.1.1.1

            And beneficiaries, then we can have details on peoples preferences and how they vote perhaps etc etc ……..this is not a good idea and would lead to far more angst and opprobrium than any positive effect.

            Anyway under NZs privacy laws it will never happen.

            • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.1.1.1

              employment market flexibility is crucial. How can you have a liberalised free market for employment if the participants in that market do not know what each other are being paid?

            • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.1.1.2

              hen we can have details on peoples preferences and how they vote perhaps etc etc

              So you think polling should be banned then?

    • Blue 18.2

      Irish a 10% increase for working (actually doing something) for 26 hrs per week is generous and would appear that way to the 99% wouldn’t it? PR, is everything as is perception and the left are losing this one, even Labours spokesperson on these matters has yet to front in the media that I’ve seen (and I don’t mean some blog somewhere). The impression I get is that the Union would rather shut the Port down, lose contracts (and the jobs that go with them) than meet anyone halfway. They seem to have adopted the ‘our way of the highway’ stance on negotiations.

      As far as “anyone calling for the incomes of port workers to be reduced should be stating their own total incomes”. Why? What difference does it make other than feed the inevitable envy of the left, and a 10% increase in salary is not a “cut”. How about any Union official asking a Company to lose contracts and for its workers to work half a week for three times the average salary in new Zealand to declare what they earn. What does Helen Kelly earn what does the head of the MUNZ earn? Is it more than $100k possibly? I don’t really want to know at all, just showing what a fucked up pointless and envy dripping request it is.

      • McFlock 18.2.1

        Thanks for your concern.

      • Well, I guess reducing wages kinda plays into Bill English’s plans,

        BILL Well, it’s a way of competing, isn’t it? I mean, if we want to grow this economy, we need the capital – more capital per worker – and we’re competing for people as well.

        GUYON So it’s part of our strategy to have wages 30% below Australia?

        BILL Well, they are, and we need to get on with competing for Australia. So if you take an area like tourism, we are competing with Australia. We’re trying to get Australians here instead of spending their tourist dollar in Australia.

        GUYON But is it a good thing?

        BILL Well, it is a good thing if we can attract the capital, and the fact is Australians- Australian companies should be looking at bringing activities to New Zealand because we are so much more competitive than most of the Australian economy.

        GUYON So let’s get this straight – it’s a good thing for New Zealand that our wages are 30% below Australia?

        BILL No, it’s not a good thing, but it is a fact. We want to close that gap up, and one way to close that gap up is to compete, just like our sports teams are doing. This weekend we’ve had rugby league, netball, basketball teams, and rugby teams out there competing with Australia. That’s lifting the standard. They’re closing up the gap.

        GUYON But you said it was an advantage, Minister.

        BILL Well, at the moment, if I go to Australia and talk to Australians, I want to put to them a positive case for investment in New Zealand, because while we are saving more, we’re not saving more fast enough to get the capital that we need to close the gap with Australia. So Australia already has 40 billion of investment in New Zealand. If we could attract more Australian companies, activities here, that would help us create the jobs and lift incomes. ” – [http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/guyon-espiner-interviews-bill-english-transcript-4109862]

  19. randal 19

    how can the nashnil gubmint call for a high wage economy when they are cutting the workers wages?
    are they schizophrenic?

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      This is US sourced neo-liberal “logic”

      “We must cut your wages in order to increase your wages. Please do not resist our doing this favour for you”.

    • fender 19.2

      Nah they are just full of shit and compulsive liars.
      Do we need to have a whip round to send a journo to hawaii to find out where dead leader stands on the issue?

      • Vicky32 19.2.1

        to find out where dead leader stands on the issue?

        Dead leader? Hey, that’s an amazing typo… 😀

    • Draco T Bastard 19.3

      are they schizophrenic?

      Nope, they’re sociopaths. When they say high wage economy they mean high wages for themselves and low wages for everyone else.

  20. randal 20

    not bad cv. what about milton friedman who insisted M1 was the only measure that needed to be addressed and he completely forgot about velocity and the whole thing tanked just so Reagan could give tax cuts to the rich.
    mmmmmmmmm. thats strange. where have I heard that before?

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      One of the most bogus assumptions of neoliberal economic theory was that the quantity of debt and the quantity of money in an economic system have minimal to zero impact on the real working of that economy.

      Which is the exact reason that hardly any orthodox economists saw the financial crisis of 2008 before it actually happened.

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