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The Standard

Port thuggery

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 am, March 14th, 2012 - 168 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags: , ,

Looks like the bullies at the Ports of Auckland have been colluding with Cameron Slater to unlawfully release the details of union members who speak out in the media including Cecil Walker, who spoke out on Radio New Zealand. From RNZ:

Mr Walker needed time off work in 2007 and 2008 because his wife was terminally ill.

A breakdown of how many days he wasn’t at work due to his wife’s illness was on Tuesday published on a blog site, along with other personal details.

Having looked at this post it’s clear that the only place this could come from is POAL HR. Especially when the material published uses the pronoun “we” when talking about POAL:

You may also want to mention the fact that we have paid every employee that has been diagnosed with cancer on full pay while they have been seeking treatment. Again, not a sign of a company that does not look after their staff!

This isn’t the first time Slater has published details of wharfies that could only come from POAL HR. He’s also leaked HR information about Andrew Angus and private medical details about Mita Skipper. In each case the wharfie target has spoken out in the media against the port. There are rumours the port has been paying Slater to run these smears.

This is a disgraceful breach of privacy and a blatant attempt to intimidate workers who take a stand. The only bright side to it is Slater is such an incompetent liability his actions have blown up in the face of the port. What a bunch of thuggish clowns.

168 comments on “Port thuggery”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I am not sure why you see this as a problem, Irish.

    If the person concerned was making statements about the POAL that were not balanced, then surely it is fair that the POAL should be able to have a forum to address the lack of balance. It would have been better if the reporter involved in the interview had bothered to approach the POAL directly for their comment.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      Imagine I had a whole lot of personal information about you. Now imagine I decided to put it all up here because I disagreed with your comment and I felt I could tangentially connect it to your comment.

      No problem right?

      • Eddie 1.1.1

        but, irish, that hasn’t happened to TS. So, it’s impossible for him to imagine. You’re asking him to put himself in someone else’s shoes. That would require the possession of empathy. He wouldn’t be a rightie if he had that.

        bang on piece, btw.

        • IrishBill 1.1.1.1

          I know Eddie, it worries me that there’s such a lack of morality shown by the right on this type of matter. It’s a dangerous attitude.

          • Pete George 1.1.1.1.1

            Dangerous attitudes have been shown on this issue across the spectrum.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              No PG, the only dangerous attitudes about personal information has been from the right as they go around attacking people for disagreeing with them.

              • Vicky32

                No PG, the only dangerous attitudes about personal information has been from the right as they go around attacking people for disagreeing with them.

                TV3 News is talking about this now, and as expected, is taking Slater’s side basically…and POALs… :(

      • tsmithfield 1.1.2

        Irish “Imagine I had a whole lot of personal information about you. Now imagine I decided to put it all up here because I disagreed with your comment and I felt I could tangentially connect it to your comment.

        No problem right?”

        Irish, if I made public statements about you that only described behaviour that annoyed me, when in fact you had got me out of the shit on a number of occasions, then I don’t think I could complain if you publicly set the balance straight, as your reputation would be damaged if my statements were left unchallenged. If you released personal information about me that was directly related to the points I had made publicly, then I would have no reason for complaint.

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.2.1

          So if people are saying on blogs that they feel overtaxed, for example, then a Ministers of the crown should be at liberty to release their tax details, exemptions claimed, reported income, number of children educated, cost of same, healthcare for family provided, cost of same…

          • lprent 1.1.2.1.1

            Which is exactly the point. Quite simply when you press the idiots who keep harping on about anonymity not being required, you’ll find that it is only ‘special’ cases that require it. Basically people that they disagree with.

            Basically there should either be a complete bias to privacy or a complete bias to openness, with the exceptions legislated. Currently the bias is towards privacy.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.2.2

          Perhaps you should listen to the interview with Mr. Walker, TS, and see if it matches your characterisation (it doesn’t).

          The points Mr. Walker makes can easily be addressed without reference to his personal situation, but one thing comes across clearly from the exchange:

          If the information comes from PoAL it is evidence that they have treated Mr. Walker well, but he is not striking over the treatment he has received in the past, is he?

          • Pascal's bookie 1.1.2.2.1

            Precisely. If smitty’s neighbour pops over one time with a cooked meal when smitty is ill, this doesn’t mean smitty doesn’t have legitimate complaint if a year later the same neighbour starts smashing his windows of an evening.

            • tsmithfield 1.1.2.2.1.1

              But if all my neighbour mentioned was the fact I was smashing his windows, then I would feel I had the right to mention that I had provided a cooked meal in the past so I could show that I wasn’t necessarily such a prick and there might be two sides to the story.

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                And everyone would say “yeah whatever, tell the judge.”

              • tsmithfield, in the analogy Pascal’s bookie mentions, it is the independence of the two actions that matters.

                That is, smashing windows can be responded to (and defended) appropriately, irrespective of other actions.

                Also, dragging third party’s medical conditions into the discussion to try to prove something irrelevant (like one’s overall ‘character’) is reprehensible and a sign of desperation.

                It’s not about ‘your’ character, it’s about certain of ‘your’ acts.

              • QoT

                Are you serious, bro?

                “Oh, sure I cheated on you, hun, but last weekend we had lots of sex, so look at my infidelity in context!”

                “Oh, sure I embezzled millions from my employer, but I gave $1000 of it to charity, so there’s two sides to the story!”

                “Yes, yes, I murdered him, but I put the poison in the dessert wine so he had a good meal before he went!”

                Having done good deeds in the past actually makes shit like this worse, AFAIC.

        • ianmac 1.1.2.3

          Sort of like a woman brings a charge of rape so the defence attacks the complainant and dredges anything to blacken her name. Is this right?

          • felix 1.1.2.3.1

            Yeah and I’ve seen people on this site going to great lengths to do exactly that over the Worth matter.

            One name that springs to mind is tknorris. Aka tsmithfield.

        • Foreign Waka 1.1.2.4

          Play the ball and not the man.

      • Jassen 1.1.3

        Deleted

    • muzza 1.2

      NO dicked head its not! – The company are not at liberty to pass over personal details to least of all to a journo!

      The best they can do is refute the comments, but handing over personal details if that is what has happened here, is falt out against the privacy act as a start!

      You should at least know that much!

    • Zetetic 1.3

      you don’t get to break the law just to throw shit at someone. Even if you regard it as bringing ‘balance’.

      • tsmithfield 1.3.1

        If the law is such that, if someone gave unbalanced information about me, and I was legally unable to publicise personal information that contradicted that perspective, then I would probably regard the law as an ass, and find a way to covertly release the information.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.3.1.1

          Um, “unbalanced”? You really need to listen to what Mr. Walker actually says, you know. That way your points would stand more chance of passing the reality check.

          • tsmithfield 1.3.1.1.1

            He did say in his interview that he wasn’t getting enough time with his family. Some of the information, presumably leaked by the port, did seek to balance that point in part by detailing the considerable amount of time the port was giving him with his family at a time when he needed it.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.3.1.1.1.1

              No, he said that years ago, he didn’t get enough time with his family, but that things had improved.

            • mickysavage 1.3.1.1.1.2

              TS I am surprised you are trying to defend POAL’s action.  I am also surprised you are not appalled by this.  You don’t get a much worse breach than this.

              • tsmithfield

                In a different context I would agree with you.

                However, there are a lot of nasty things going on from both sides. In context, its probably par for the course. I agree its probably not legal. But, if I was part of POAL, I would probably feel quite tempted to leak this sort of information.

                • wobble

                  Because that’s what we need in New Zealand. More people advocating breaking the law because it doesn’t suit them.

                  It’s always you ideological extremists (on both sides) that peddle this nonsense. It’s incredibly infantile.

        • framu 1.3.1.2

          or you could use your brain and publicly ask the person in question to approve the release of the information.

          then when they refuse you get to say “well, what can we conclude from that?”

          really easy – doesnt break any laws – and you either get to release the info or win the PR battle in one move.

          Not that im in your camp on this issue TS – but its so obvious a move i really wonder at the mentality of someone who doesnt utilise it and instead goes straight to breeching privacy and opening the door for a court case

        • Eddie 1.3.1.3

          ts. that’s not the analogy.

          the analogy is that you hold information on me on a legally privileged basis which you’re not legally allowed to release. You and I have a stoush. I say in the media that i don’t like what you’re doing, so you release this legally privileged information illegally. The info isn’t related to the stoush but legally, it doesn’t actually matter if the information you have is related to what I said or not, it’s not legal for you to release it.

          the next stage in this analogy is i take you to court where all i have to do is prove you had this private info and you published it without my permission. then you pay me damages.

          remember the beneficiaries whose private info bennett released. you morons argued that was ok too. the human rights commission found otherwise.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.3.1.3.1

            Nitpicking I know, but: “…then your employer pays me damages, and you get the sack…” :)

          • tsmithfield 1.3.1.3.2

            So, what do you think that the union would do if they had some damaging personal information on the POAL CEO, for example?

    • TS: Isn’t that the same rationale that Bennett used when she mis-used personal information from two solo-mothers?

      Be careful on this one, TS. If you can justify the mis-use of this port worker’s personal details, then the Left can do likewise to their opponants. Is that what you believe, as a principle? Is it open slather?

      You’ve commented here on a public blog. Would that justify someone disclosing your personal details “to address the lack of balance”?

      By the way, the POAL worker made no reference to anyything relating to his situation; leave from work; or anything related. So it’s unclear what “balance” was required.

  2. muzza 2

    These people are a disgrace – I don’t look at fattys web site because the reek that comes from it even at a glance is too much. But I followed the link fromt his post, and I agree it would seem the details have been filtered from an HR department, how else could he have got such specific details, its either that or he is lying!
    I read a few of the comments too, my god what is wrong with people, they are just so nasty!

    This issue is highlighting just what sort of society we now have, where people lives are openly paraded and used as a punch bag by the money masters who own large swathes of our politicians, it really is despicable!

    As for WO, karma will come around on him, although I suspect it already has in many ways…a truly horrible creature, that alot of people seem to share the views of!

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Slater has still not responded to claims around that he is in the pay of the port people. Nor have the port people, for that matter. Would this be an appropriate use of public money?

    • Eddie 3.1

      to be fair, the port’s shill came on here and denied it. there was some wiggle room in the words she used, I seem to remember.

      Slater’s definitely tight with the Port though. Last week he was allowed to visit the port to write a puff piece about how great things are there with the union workers gone.

      • Tom Gould 3.1.1

        Fair enough, Eddie, so Slater does all this work for free? Follow the money.

        • Eddie 3.1.1.1

          no, slater definitely doesn’t work for free. he’s making a good living on top of his benefit helping to cook national candidate nomination contests.

          • Frank Macskasy 3.1.1.1.1

            Slater on a benefit… oh the irony…

          • Bafacu 3.1.1.1.2

            So you know this for a fact do you Eddie?? Or are you just making assumptions then stating them as fact?

          • Populuxe1 3.1.1.1.3

            Really? Colour me shocked! </sarc> If the rumour he’s also working debt collection in South Auckland were also to turn out to be true, he must be getting a pretty penny. I’m surprised no one has set a private detective on the case.

      • felix 3.1.2

        “the port’s shill came on here and denied it. there was some wiggle room in the words she used, I seem to remember”

        Don’t think she denied it at all. Just said that they weren’t directly responsible for paying him or some such weasel words.

        Hardly surprising, they don’t seem to want to be directly responsible for paying anyone who works for them.

  4. higherstandard 4

    Just had a look at the piece you referred to – it seems the port behaved admirably in relation to Mr Walker in the past.

    It’s a shame that the current relationship between MUNZ and POAL has caused such a deterioration in what on the face of it appeared to be very good workplace relations.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.1

      Exactly: the wharfies are not striking over the way they have been treated, but correct me if I’m wrong: the current boss is a new broom, no? One more used to labour conditions in Hong Kong, if I recall correctly…

    • IrishBill 4.2

      You’re dead right HS. PoAL should be ashamed of the way they’ve trashed the employment relationship.

      • higherstandard 4.2.1

        I think you’ll find it usually takes two to cause such a shambles IB.

        From what I’ve seen those in charge of POAL and MUNZ have made a shamozel of the whole thing and as usual it’s the chaps in the middle (the workers) who get dumped on.

        • IrishBill 4.2.1.1

          The workers are the union HS.

          • higherstandard 4.2.1.1.1

            No the workers are members of the union.

            Much as my colleagues wouldn’t describe themselves as the association but only members of the association.

            • Rob 4.2.1.1.1.1

              No, some of the port workers are in the union. The rest are not in a union.

            • Frank Macskasy 4.2.1.1.1.2

              Poor semantics, HS. The workers involved would disagree with you – they’d consider themselves to be a union of workers.

              • higherstandard

                Maybe, maybe not, not being a member of MUNZ myself I couldn’t give you a definitive response and can only comment from my perspective as part of an association which is a union of sorts. However, rob does make a valid point that the port workers who are not union members would be unlikely to consider themselves ‘the union’.

                • “However, rob does make a valid point that the port workers who are not union members would be unlikely to consider themselves ‘the union’.”

                  Yup, that’s a ‘given’… though in the past it’s been the case of non-union workers “piggy backing” on Union gains. Kind of like a legal class-action if I understand the process correctly.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.2.1.2

          “I think you’ll find it usually takes two…”

          I think you’ll find that two is the minimum number for there to be a dispute, and that liability often rests with one party more than the other.

        • Lanthanide 4.2.1.3

          hs, the wharfies *want to keep working for POAL*. They don’t want to work for the contracting companies or be made redundant.

          • higherstandard 4.2.1.3.1

            I’m sure that’s the case Lath, but I’d suggest that having multiple weeks of strikes whereby the other side to the dispute gets in contractors to do the job of the strikers seems somewhat counterproductive to MUNZ’s argument.

  5. I’ve got concerns on both sides of this. Both POAL and MUNZ have been guilty of overplaying their hands.

    Certainly the release of private payroll information is bad, especially in the detail it was given. A statement could have been made disputing the worker’s allegations and claiming support had being given to the worker in general without specific details being released.

    Calling it thuggery (presumably to try and counter accusations of union thuggery) is embellished emotive language, why not call it what it is? Otherwise it just degenerates into a “who’s the most thuggish” slanging match that no one will win.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1

      Are you going to be OK? Can someone look after Pete? He’s concerned.

    • IrishBill 5.2

      Weird that you criticise the use of the term “thuggery” when the left use it but endorse it when the right use it. At least other right wingers here have the guts to own their beliefs. This is why nobody has any respect for you.

      • Pete George 5.2.1

        Thuggery usually involves violence. I’m not aware of violence being involved from either side of this issue.

        You make a valid point here about breach of privacy but by in trying to win a war of words you lose credibility on the message.

        • IrishBill 5.2.1.1

          I didn’t realise you were such a master communicator, Pete. I guess that’s why tens of thousands of people read your blog and nobody reads ours. No wait, it’s the other way around. I guess you’re wrong. Again.

        • muzza 5.2.1.2

          You are a member of the UF Party whose single MP has been collecting the party leader bonus payment, and ministerial salary while sliming up to whomever can form a government.

          Your talk about losing credibility is hilarious!

        • Frank Macskasy 5.2.1.3

          Thuggery also involves intimidation.

          Hence why Michael Laws was so keen to eliminate ganf patches from his turf.

          POAL is engaging in intimidation using full page media ads (paid out of company funds!); sacking 292 workers; and now mis-using the port workers personal details.

          Intimidation. Thuggery. Just plain nastiness.

          • Populuxe1 5.2.1.3.1

            Did you really have to use Laws, as much a thug himself, as an example?!?!? How does your mind work????

        • KJT 5.2.1.4

          You really think that changing, formerly satisfactory, working conditions unilaterally for the worse.
           
          AND then when the workers, as was their right, did not agree, but still made substantial concessions, POAL put them out of a job.
           
          Is not thuggery?
           
          Certainly more damaging than just punching them on the nose!
           
          But. As they say. “steal a $100 you get jail. Steal a million (or a 100 livelihoods) you get a knighthood”.

      • wot irish bill said..

        ..re p.g. ‘owning’ his beliefs..

        phil-at-whoar..

    • Kevin 5.3

      @Pete George
      “Certainly the release of private payroll information is bad, especially in the detail it was given.”

      You are absolutely correct on that observation because the detail in question concerns personal family information that has resulted in Mr Walker being ridiculed and subject to some nasty vitriole from the public.This ridicule will affect his family and may prove to embarrassing and distressing.
      Mr Walker will be entitled to take whatever appropriate action he may feel, in this dispute it is important that both parties play the game and not the man.

  6. If ever there was a reason for Len Brown and Auckland Council to involve themselves in the dispute this is it. This sort of behavior reeks of bad faith and ought to be condemnned.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    There was an interview with Helen Kelly about this on Radio New Zealand this morning, and followed by a interview with a lawyer specialising in privacy.

    I didn’t really hear much of the lawyer’s interview, but he was talking about a “lone wolf going against an employer”, eg the way that Cecil spoke about POAL may entitle them to some form of response (refer ts at #1), but certainly releasing this information is illegal and Cecil can go to the court to seek damages, if he can prove he and his family were hurt by the release of the information (or, he could just accept an apology, it’s up to him).

    The lawyer also mentioned the case vs Paula Bennett, saying that as yet that case has not been fully resolved and his last knowledge of it is what was leaked shortly before the election. He expects it will go to court or some-such eventually, as Paula is adamant that she didn’t do anything wrong.

  8. Ant 8

    Too bad it’s 2012 now and all that stuff happened 4 years ago under a different management team.

  9. DavidW 9

    Now that the redundancy notices have been issued, presumably none of the strikers are now employees of POAL. How far does the Privacy Act stretch on the detail of ex-employees? Presumably being honest about an ex-employee to a prospective employer doing a background check would also constitute breach of privacy. No?

    • It’s still private information whether they have resigned or not. Generally personal employee (and ex-employee) information is given high levels of privacy in companies, more so than financial information.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 9.2

      Yes, unless that person has named you as a referee and you have their written permission to give a reference. I’ve contracted in places where is was made clear from day one that under no circumstances were references to be provided by anyone, whether or not they had permission.

      From memory, companies have been successfully sued by ex-employees unhappy with references on no more basis than the company failed to get their permission in writing.

  10. vto 10

    Well irishbill this is the perfect justification for anonymity which sometimes gets raised on this site, most noticeably recently by Fran O’Sullivan.

    • no it’s not ‘the perfect justification for anonymity’..

      ..how so..?

      ..i can’t see any connection..

      are you telling me every anonymous person here is ‘too important’ to use their real name..?

      and a side of anonymity that is rarely covered..

      ..is that those who are anonymous feel it gives them some power..

      ..where as that is just a self-delusion..

      ..especially when compared to the power of standing beside/behind your arguments/politics…

      ..and using yr real/own name..

      ..eh..?

      phil-at-whoar.

      [We’ve discussed this before and I’m not going to re-litigate it here. This site maintains a strict privacy policy…no if’s no but’s; if you continue to advocate against it you will be permanently banned. Last warning…RL]

      • higherstandard 10.1.1

        Hate the writing style Phil but like the thinking.

        [And you can pull your fucking head in too…RL]

      • vto 10.1.2

        Why? I thought it was pretty obvious from what has happened here. Speak up against the “big boys” and the big boys retaliate with a no-holds barred sledgehammer approach that includes family.

        That has always been the fear and now, once again, it has been evidenced.

      • phillip ure.. 10.1.3

        (this is my response to the threat of being ‘permanently-banned’..)

        i am talking hypothetically/in the third person..

        ..about the concept of people using their own names or not..

        ..what the hell are you talking about..?

        (and i’m not asking for any ‘re-litigation’..

        ..i was making a response to the (aside) claim from vto..

        ..and making my own aside about the large/big concept…of people choosing to post under their real names or not..

        ..from the point of view of my experience..

        ..w.t.f. is wrong with that..?

        ..and heaven forbid..!..not ‘challenging your authority’..eh..?

        ..not a trace of it..never entered my mind…

        ..(in fact..i wasn’t here for those previous debates you have obviously had..eh..?)

        ..you really have got the wrong end of the stick on this one..eh..?

        ..your response has me lifting my jaw off my knee..

        ..an apology will suffice..

        phil-at-whoar.

        [This is not your site. The policy here is clear, if you don’t like it go elsewhere. I’m too fracking busy to haggle with you over this….RL]

        • phillip ure.. 10.1.3.1

          seeing as i didn’t know that subject was unable to be discussed…

          [Yes you do. We’ve had this conversation before.]

          (under the penalty of a permanent-ban..whoar..!..eh..?..

          ..’holy over-the-top-reaction..!.. batman..!’..eh..?)

          [This topic we do not muck about with. Either you agree with and abide by the policy or you do not have the privilege of posting here.]

          ..and likely don’t know what the other ones are..

          [You had a clear warning.]

          [Deleted more drivel…]

          phil-at-whoar.

          [ I’m seriously tempted not to waste any more time or thread space on this and just ban you for my own convenience. However not this time. Just leave this alone and you live for another day…. RL]

          • Te Reo Putake 10.1.3.1.1

            Personally, I think wilful illiteracy should get a lengthy ban. IT’S WORSE THAN SHOUTING, imho, because it’s disrespectful to the readers.

            [lprent: If I did such things then who knows who might go? After all nearly everyone here offends me (except maybe r0b).

            Shouting and excessive bold tends to offend my eyes (as is intended). But it gets moderated because it tends to escalate into shouting wars which offends me as a moderator.

            So far I haven’t seen anyone trying to emulate phil’s rather unique style.

            But philu is walking precariously close to a banning boundary at present for other reasons.. ]

            • phillip ure.. 10.1.3.1.1.1

              “..But philu is walking precariously close to a banning boundary at present for other reasons.. ..”

              what ‘reasons’ (plural..?..)

              ..going back to my permanent-ban question..?

              ..(and my considered reply is ‘deleted/censored..?

              ..do you know how that makes you look..?

              ..and how it shifts me to a moral highground..?

              ..what the f. did i say in that comment…(not even directed at him..)..that deserved to be ‘deleted..?

              ..aside from libel…what ever deserves ‘deleting’..?

              ..that is rank/unfounded/over-the-top censorship..

              ..and as i said..

              ..does you/progressive politics no favours..

              ..can’t you see that..?

              ..phil@whoar.

              [I’m over explaining to you. Permanently banned. …RL]

              • Sorry to see you go phil but we all follow the same rules in here and number 1 is don’t fuck a moderator off.

                • lprent

                  More like “don’t fuck a moderator off after being warned”. That is rule number one.

                  We really don’t have time to re-litigate the site rules with everyone who would like to run the place their way.

                  • Indeed and nor should you, it seems to run pretty well nearly all of the time the way it is. Thanks for all the effort put in, appreciate it.

      • Jackal 10.1.4

        It’s not that people gain a sense of power from being anonymous, in fact anonymity can often be disempowering. It’s that there are many unscrupulous bastards out there who will use whatever personal information they can attain against you to try and close you down.

        Anonymity does not mean people are not standing behind their ideas… because ideas do not need an identity to exist.

        Although I commend you on your openness phillip ure, I’m sure you agree that political debate should be about ideas and not personal abuse. Anonymity should not reduce the power of an idea, but it certainly reduces people’s ability to undertake personal abuse.

        • phillip ure.. 10.1.4.1

          (i’d reply to you jackal…but i’ll likely be ‘permanently banned’ if i do..eh..?…

          ..suffice to say i wd have something to say..eh..?..heh..!)

          phil-at-whoar.

        • Rosie 10.1.4.2

          Regarding anonymity: Another reason for not disclosing your full name in a public arena is to protect yourself from nut jobs. The Dom Post actually printed a letter of mine, and of course my full name was signed to it. Some crazy dude who disagreed with my view looked my number up in the phone book, left messages and also had a rant at me when I picked the phone up when I was at home. I told him he had no right to be invading my privacy and harrassing me. He believed that because I had a letter published that I automatically consented to be open to “discussion” from other members of the public. He thought he could intimidate me and own me and I think this is the same agenda that creepy whale oil has in regard to abusing the privacy of his target. Of course there are other agendas at work, that have already been discussed but it does amount to thuggish behaviour.

          • Vicky32 10.1.4.2.1

            Regarding anonymity: Another reason for not disclosing your full name in a public arena is to protect yourself from nut jobs. The Dom Post actually printed a letter of mine, and of course my full name was signed to it. Some crazy dude who disagreed with my view looked my number up in the phone book, left messages and also had a rant at me when I picked the phone up when I was at home.

            I had that happen to me when I lived in Wellington. I actually had to go to the police and have my number changed – the nutjob in question called and said things like “You should check on your baby, that he’s all right”.. I knew he was, he slept in the same room as me, which reassured me that the nutjob hadn’t actually been inside my flat!
            Actually I am conflating two incidents. The guy who saw my letter in the Evening Post (it existed them) was harmless, but he wrote me letter after letter. The psycho who kept phoning, had seen my details in WCC magazine, about my non-custodial mothers group. That’s what solidified my fear of solo fathers and Daddies Rights groups…

            • Anne 10.1.4.2.1.1

              Yep, in the distant past I also had problems with nuisance phone calls. In my case it had it’s roots in my political activity with the Labour Party. The caller used to ring me around the same time nearly every day then hang up when I answered. Cost me $80 to change my number and become unlisted. I found out years later who was responsible – and for other forms of harassment as well – but too late to do anything about it.

              I think women on their own (for whatever reason) are particularly vulnerable to this type of behaviour.

        • Uturn 10.1.4.3

          @ Jackal

          +1

  11. Blue 11

    This is just another example of how little respect for the law POAL has. They’re just cowboys who think they’re a law unto themselves and can do whatever the hell they want.

    Releasing someone’s personal HR records into the public domain is illegal. No reputable news organisation would have touched the information, and that’s why they got Slater to do it.

    If POAL wants some sort of ‘right of reply’ they could refer in general terms to the support they have provided to employees and their families with cancer in the past.

    And in this ‘right of reply’ they could mention that contractors are not entitled to any sick leave at all.

  12. Slammed in the Herald: Fury after port worker’s details leaked to blogger.

    Fair enough. But there has been a distinct lack of union fury at some of the other (actually thuggish) allegations that have been made.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 12.1

      8:07am: “Thuggery usually involves violence. I’m not aware of violence being involved from either side of this issue.”

      9:30am: “…there has been a distinct lack of union fury at some of the other (actually thuggish) allegations that have been made.”

      So which is it, Pete? Or is it some completely other third thing that you will now proceed to make up on the spot?

      • Pete George 12.1.1

        Releasing private information isn’t physical, it’s even a stretch trying to call it intimidation, seems more like stupid PR retaliation.

        There have been allegations of physical intimidation and assault which if true would be thuggery. And if true against workers by workers then should be in the inteersts of the union to stand up against it, or at least ensure allegations had merit or not.

        That isn’t hard to understand is it?

        • Frank Macskasy 12.1.1.1

          Of course it’s intimidation, Pete. What else would you call it?

          Don’t be so disengenuos – we’re not naive and we all understand the “war” that is currently being waged.

          I’m not much for classical marxist terms, but in this case I’ve no hesitation in calling this a Class War.

          Releasing that port worker’s details is part and parcel of a clear intention to intimidate and discredit.

        • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1.2

          What’s really not hard to understand is ‘the difference between an allegation and a demonstrated fact’.

        • Puddleglum 12.1.1.3

          Pete George, “intimidation” and “stupid PR retaliation” are not mutually exclusive.

          In fact, this case proves they can describe one and the same incident.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.4

          Releasing private information isn’t physical, it’s even a stretch trying to call it intimidation, seems more like stupid PR retaliation.

          Wow you really have no idea how actual intimidation works, do you? What are you, a hermit? Never seen an episode of “The Sopranos”?

          Something as simple as your young child arriving at home one day with a gift and note for you from a stranger can send the messages “we know where you live” and “we can reach out and touch your family whenever we want to”.

          Zero violence, very intimidating.

    • “But there has been a distinct lack of union fury at some of the other (actually thuggish) allegations that have been made…”

      Such as………?

      (Personally, I never put any credence in those stories about Board Member X and his penchant for goats.)

  13. vto 13

    So who owns this shambolic operation? Why are they hiding behind the management as if it is nothing to do with them? I have certainly never come across this sort of approach, ever, in too many years of doing business. The owner is always the one who charts a business’s way and sets its attitudes. Always. And if shit hits the fan with management then contact with the ownership is always the next immediate step.

    Who owns this port and why do they not step up to the plate as in all other business? Whoever it is sound bloody pathetic to me.

  14. Tiger Mountain 14

    The scabrous slater is more than happy to shovel the shit for his masters when the agenda is anti unionism.

    He is not so keen to breathlessly tell us the truth behind the Richard Worth case or the many other tory stuff ups and scandals involving if rumours are true, Banksie and even the Nat President.

    POAL are definitely playing for keeps, some of the boards homes deserve a polite visit if they think it ok to play the family game.

    • Hami Shearlie 14.1

      No wonder Bomber doesn’t have Slater on Citizen A anymore! A new low, with probably more to come. How about someone leaking all the juicy details of Whaleoil’s records at Winz, doctors reports etc about his depression – Wonder how he’d like that? Whaleoil will find it hard to get out of the gutter he’s crawled into this time!

      • tc 14.1.1

        Slater never left the gutter, his associates on the right are quite happy to feed him from there. After all it’s not that far for them to travel is it.

    • Bafacu 14.2

      The “family game” was played by the Union quite some time ago. Looks like they had their turn, now it’s the Port’s turn.

      Next throw of the dice anyone?

  15. (i just posted this at oils’…)

    wouldn’t it be interesting if this was traced straight back to ports management..

    ..and the groundswell of public-revulsion at these tactics..(‘thuggery’ in the extreme..eh..? )

    ..is what tips the balance..and is what gets the ports bosses fired..?

    ..wouldn’t that be an own-goal of staggering proportions..?

    ..and surely hurt people will sue..?

    ..you might well have grabbed a whirlwind by the tail with this one..mr oil..

    ..btw..has anyone asked you direct..?

    ..did the ports of auckland management leak these deeply-personal worker files/info to you..?

    ..and are you being paid by them ..or anyone else..to run this campaign..?

    (i’ll let you know if he answers..)

    phil-at-whoar

    • insider 16.1

      You need to get out more if you think this is a blogging low.

      • No, I concur with Bomber – that was pretty vile.

        In fact, it reminds me of American politics, Rush Limbaugh-style. Do we really want to go down that road, Inside? ‘Cos believe me, if we do, it’ll be the rightwing who starts getting whiney about “gutter tactics”.

        • insider 16.1.1.1

          Blogs have been used for personal point scoring for quite a while and I think this is far from the worst example. I think the Chris Carter Martyn mentions is worse.

          Was the information wrong? Were there malicious falsehoods in there? I’ve seen stuff on here and on Whale that are far far worse in terms of sustained personal attacks on individuals in the public eye but without anything much in terms of supporting evidence. I think I;ve even read veiled threats from some on here against POAL management.

          So your belief that we haven’t gone down that road already is naive at best.

          • McFlock 16.1.1.1.1

            /slackjawed stare
               
            golly.
            First order of business is to point out that rattling off someone’s sick and bereavement leave is pretty spectacularly low.
               
            The second is to request links to the so-called threats here on the standard against poal management. Oh, and were those threats dealt with by moderators, or were they expressed by post authors themselves and not moderated by anyone else? 

            • insider 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Have you only just joined the Internet mcflock? I suggest you head over to whale and see some of the personal attacks he has been making on munz workers this month or look on here last year at the comments about key that variously labelled him a sociopath, a psychopath, a drunk and a baby killer (ok I made that last one up but I’ll bet they thought it!!) I suspect these things on whale and here all are equally grounded in fact….I think those kind of things far more destructive and low than this.

              It might have been hurtful for the guy to have that discussed but I’ve not seen the truth of it challenged. Plenty of others have had their personal lives exposed against their will. So against that I can’t see this as some sort of blogging low. If you’d said it was an industrial relations low, then I might agree. I’ve been in similarish situations and it is tempting to tell people the inside info, but in that direction lies hell, and you are best at times to just suck it up.

              Re the threats, I think the internet’s conscience Peter g may have picked the writer up about it. But after so many posts and comments on the subject I could be munging things and have it wrong, and quite happy to admit such

              • higherstandard

                Certainly there is some pretty poor stuff on the interwebs – remember the poor old mad butcher having death wished on him along with all kinds of other slurs.

                Saying that I suspect the NZ blogs are pretty mild compared to some overseas and the appalling comments eople post on social networks like facebook and twitter.

              • McFlock

                no links then. Fine.
                  
                Seen WO blog before – needed a shower afterwards. Not so much surprised at his site, more that apparently feeding him personal information about employees counts as part of “good faith bargaining” now.

  16. Colonial Viper 17

    Take POAL to the cleaners, and demand the head of their HR function on a platter.

    • Jackal 17.1

      The main problem here is that the Privacy Commissioner will request to see what harm has been caused before acting. It is no longer enough that PoAL/Slater has breached the letter of the law and Cecil Walker would need to prove that there has been an adverse effect. Being that emotional damage is difficult to quantify, the Privacy Commissioner will likely dismiss any complaint.

      This is because the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and most other watchdogs have had their teeth pulled by a John Key led government, which is something Bomber highlights in this excellent post. There’s one main reason National have undertaken their degradation of our rights, and that’s to ensure people do not have recourse for the widespread worker abuse that will/is eventuating.

      However the court of public opinion is harder to ignore. It may be that Slaters ego gets a boost because Beef hooked readership increases, but without credibility there isn’t much point in giving an opinion because it will be ignored by anybody who matters.

  17. I think we’re getting away from WHY the Port management have effectively declared Class War on their own workers. Why was the issue of casualisation pushed so hard?

    Was it to destroy the Union?

    Was it the drive to achieve a 12 % return?

    Nah. Not quite. In fact, Auckland City Council ABANDONED their requirement for a 12% return last year (thankyou, Cathy Casey!).

    In fact, it’s pretty much what many have been advocating for quite a while: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/ports-of-auckland-ltd-that-magic-12-figure/

    • Mark 18.1

      Good question..
      IMHO POAL have been, and wish to be a good employer and supplier, and provide reasonable returns to the shareholders.. even more so when the shareholders are often the employees and the customers. This is how you have a good business, and most employees whether blue or white collar take pride in being an integral part of a good business.
      We can claim and counterclaim until the cows home home over a few $K, or a few hours paid not worked, and I don’t think there is any argument that in the bad old days, and in some cases currently, the Unions provided essential protection for workers from the excesses of capitalism.
      I did my time in the early 80’s in a Unionised shop, and to be honest, it was a bit of a joke the way the Engineers milked, and fucked around, and downed tools at any opportunity.. so much so that 3rd & 4th year apprentices were given the responsibility of keeping the place running.. and we were all on a much better wicket than than our counterparts in the office of similar age/experience.
      No one with any integrity can deny the orchestrated disruption to everyone caused by the muscle flexing of that time.. Mangere Bridge, Waterfront, InterIslander Ferries, and unfortunately that has engendered a militant mentality and sense of entitlement amongst some workers… but it is also a legacy of how the general public see the current stoush. 
      On the whole Kiwis are a fair, hardworking and egalitarian bunch, they know they can have a beer and a barbie with the boss, and they know that in return for a good effort they will get looked after.
      I recently read a book about how things were in NZ during WW2, consensus was everyone getting in behind the guys in Uniform except the Wharfies, who would pilfer, steal time etc at every opportunity.
      POAL was not on a march to casualisation, or privatisation,  but they are certainly now determined to remove MUNZ from the equation, and in light of some of the above, and recent events, it’s hardly surprising.
      Own goal by MUNZ, with sad and expensive consequences for all parties.. and possibly a catalyst for the destruction of international Unions who get involved. I’d be putting my energies into the aged care workers about now.

      • Tiger Mountain 18.1.1

        WWII era wharfies led basic initiatives such as “no scrap metal to Japan” and many of them were involved in dangerous merchant vessel journeys throughout the war and ultimately the 1951 lockout.

        People usually either acquire some form of class analysis or not, you clearly have not managed to Mark so save your keyboard.

        • KJT 18.1.1.1

          The wharfies and seamen whose wages were frozen for the period of the war, while shipowners became billionaires.
           
          The ones whose pay was stopped when the ship sunk. While the Government replaced the ship and paid the shipowner for the lost time and money.
           
          The wharfies and seamen who had a higher casualty rate than most of the military.
           
          The ones who worked ships in Russia, the Mediterranean and Pacific while under fire.

          I sailed with seamen who had been blown off sinking ships several times, who then had to go immediately back to sea as they could not afford the time with no pay.
           
          I can understand perfectly why some wanted payback after the war was over.

          • Mark 18.1.1.1.1

            I don’t disagree with most of the above.. I was specifically referring to reported actions of Auckland Wharfies.. far from the theater (theater/theater ???) of war. Again, perception and a lot of it becomes reality in many peoples’ minds.
            To change this and gain popular support and mass sympathy currently requires total change of tactics.. I don’t believe MUNZ is up to the task. 

            • Vicky32 18.1.1.1.1.1

              far from the theater (theater/theater ???) of war

              Just a wee question.. why the American spelling of theatre?
              BTW, on Radio NZ at least, the allegations were made very subtly… “amidst allegations of violence against new workers. Police said they had seen no evidence of that” – but what will listeners carry away with them? Allegations were made! (No smoke without fire, cliche cliche etc..)

        • Mark 18.1.1.2

          Class analysis these days revolves around the middle classes.. MUNZ is losing the battle with them, and with your Elite class, and probably with the majority of  the working class  as well..
          For right or wrong, the wharfies are probably regarded as the elite working class, who don’t want to work as hard as most of us have to.. this is the battle, which may be lost.. as I said, you gotta pick them, and fight them with a winning strategy.. perception is everything like it or not, and perception among the middle to left, and Waitakere man, is that this is a fight where the Generals (Parsloe & Co) have no skin in the game. WW1 and the cannon fodder perhaps? 

          • NickS 18.1.1.2.1

            lolwut?

            Since when the fuck have wharfies been considered lazy?

            • Populuxe1 18.1.1.2.1.1

              NickS
              Find yourself a good dictionary of New Zealand colloquial expressions, sit down with it and a nice cup of tea, and read…
              You might start with “wharfie’s picnic” – although the image it always conjoured for me was rather jolly and picturesque rather than lazy. I’m not going to through a QoT-style hissyfit about it because in that case you might as well ban TV programmes like Only Fools and Horses and Auf Wiedersehn Pet for similar reasons.
              Of course wharfies are not lazy, or at least no more so than any other group, but you’re naive if you think the perception isn’t entrenched in the popular culture.

              • NickS

                Thanks, I hadn’t even realised that perception had ever existed to any large extent, but then I’m a child of the 80’s who happened to once own The Unauthorized Version: A Cartoon History of NZ.

                It’s not unsurprising though, given the tendency some have to assume everyone outside of your field doesn’t work as hard as you.

                On the hissyfit remark, I’ll be blunt, fuck off. Feminists have enough fun dealing with overt bullshit and entrenched privileges and perceptions (along with the fuckwits within the movement who are transphobic etc) without having to deal with hyperbolic, whining bs coming from those who would normally be our fucking allies when ever we point out misogynistic stuff.

                • Populuxe1

                  On the hissyfit remark, I’ll be blunt, fuck off. Feminists have enough fun dealing with overt bullshit and entrenched privileges and perceptions (along with the fuckwits within the movement who are transphobic etc) without having to deal with hyperbolic, whining bs coming from those who would normally be our fucking allies when ever we point out misogynistic stuff.

                  I’ll be blunt too. My “hyperbolic, whining bs” is most often in reaction to other people’s “hyperbolic, whining bs” – especially as most adults have earned the right to look like total fucktards on their own merits without being redundantly hissed at by self-appointed schoolmarms (no crack at you, [deleted]) whose bandwidth of cultural and social experience is too narrow for them to make informed judgments (you just admitted as much above), so they start hissing at everything like mad geese. Critical Theory, like anything else, contains gaping flaws.
                  Case in point. The banning of Mark Twain novels from school libraries in the US because they contain the N-word despite the fact it is realistic in that context, and the books are resolutely anti-racism and anti-slavery. Another case – again the US – people being fired from their jobs for using the word “niggardly”, regardless of the fact it comes from the Old Norse nigla, meaning “small matters” and nothing to do with the Romance root nigra meaning “black”. It’s that kind of pettifogging that pisses me off, and I will relentlessly mock anyone who does it. So you fuck off.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Also, uncharacteristically, I apologise to QoT again. That was mean of me to drop your name, sorry – but I will never stop having my own hissyfits at what I see as unfair denigrations of expressive language. The truly offensive things are almost always obvious, and society will police those.

          • Frank Macskasy 18.1.1.2.2

            “Class analysis these days revolves around the middle classes.. MUNZ is losing the battle with them…”

            Yeah, gotta luv them Middle Classes. If it weren’t for them, we’d still have slavery; no franchise for women; and beating the crap out of your kid so s/he would ‘grow up’ (if s/he survived) a Solid Well Balanced Citizen…

            … oh, wait, no.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.2

        IMHO POAL have been, and wish to be a good employer and supplier, and provide reasonable returns to the shareholders.

        Yes because good employers plan to make all their staff redundant before contract negotiations have started, right?

        • Mark 18.1.2.1

          “Yes because good employers plan to make all their staff redundant before contract negotiations have started, right?”

          Evidence of this? If you have put it out there, will probably help your cause.
           

          • Colonial Viper 18.1.2.1.1

            Its obvious mate! Engineered from day one. The leaked document from POAL showed it was under discussion a long time ago.

            • Mark 18.1.2.1.1.1

              All well and good.. is this evidence going to be strong enough for the Employment Court to show bad faith? 
              If it is good it should be used in the battle for public opinion, now..
              If it’s not good enough, hell of a gamble with workers lives.. 

          • KJT 18.1.2.1.2

            Mearsk booking out the rail between Tauranga and Auckland while negotiations were still in progress?

            • Mark 18.1.2.1.2.1

              Yeah, fair comment.. this could be seen as bad faith, could be seen as a prudent contingency move, again, what is going to stack up as evidence, given actions of all parties and what is at stake for local/central economy?
              Traditionally the Employment Court tends to lean on the side of employees where they are seen as powerless and exploited, I’m not sure they will see that in this case. 

            • Frank Macskasy 18.1.2.1.2.2

              Indeed, KJT. It’s interesting that even NZIER in a 2010 report, identified Maersk’s role in driving down port charges, by playing POAL and Taurange against each other. Despite container shipping rising, POAL was making less profit.

              Why?

              Because (some) New Zealanders are naive enough to permit shipping companies to play us like amateurs. The NZIER report stated, in part,

              “…On the other hand, Maersk undoubtedly extracted significant discounts from Auckland to secure its business. Its standard business practice is to play off competing ports aggressively against one another in terms of price and the facilities they provide, such as fixed berth slots and equipment for loading and unloading. It cannot be criticised for its approach; it is operating in a very competitive market and needs to have as cost competitive a port service as it can find and negotiate…”

              Which means that port workers have to bear the brunt of lessening profit because Port companies allow this to happen.

              Someone said on Radio NZ’s Jim Mora’s Panel that New Zealanders have trusted economic “experts” these last 30 years to make our economy successful. But those same “experts” have failed miserably.

              Luckily, I guess, there are enough cheerleaders for the Right (judging by comments here and on other blogs) to keep these “experts” in jobs…

  18. Tiger Mountain 19

    –Until the last CCO member is strangled with the entrails of Tony Gibson, to paraphrase an old saying, this type of union busting will not be over for the people of this corporatist supercity.

  19. DH 20

    Did you have to link to whaleoil, I was about to eat lunch.

    Seems pretty clear what the message is; “Any other worker who mouths off against the port will get their details printed too…” Real standover tactics.

    I’ve been following industrial disputes since I studied labour relations mumble years ago & I’ve never seen an employer behave like POAL before. Public opinion can turn pretty quick, if they keep this up they may as well shoot themselves IMO.

  20. Mutante 21

    [Deleted. Direct inciting of violence is out of bounds…RL]

  21. John72 22

    The media never comments tn a manner that might resolve the dispute, It only passes comment that might antagonize someone or engender any existing ill feeling. They are acting as children and treating the public as children. It is rude.
    Are they being used to distract our attention from other subjects? Give P. of A. some credit for looking after staff. Luke 10: 30-37

    • RedLogix 22.1

      Give P. of A. some credit for looking after staff.

      What you are referring to took place some years ago; well before the current management were in place.

      • rosy 22.1.1

        Don’t big employers also have insurance for the loss of key workers for extended time periods due to illness of the worker or family? It protects the company as well as the employee.

  22. Jackal 23

    Cameron Slater is an ugly thug

    But what makes such an underhanded tactic even worse is that Slater feels absolutely no remorse for what he has done. He thinks he’s somehow justified in releasing people’s personal details of a private nature in an attempt to silence them. What a cretin!

  23. Georgecom 24

    As far As I am concerned the issue is pretty simple.

    Maybe a while back POA did treat one of their workers very well and grant him a decent amount of LWP to attend to pressing family issues. That is to their credit and they acted as a good employer. That was then.

    This is now and they are NOT acting as a good employer. They are taking a very hard line with their workers.

  24. hateatea 25

    When I worked in payroll many years ago, it was impressed upon me that all information pertaining to an individual was confidential and privileged. I couldn’t discuss anything about their employment with anyone (apart from my boss) without the employees consent. That obligation for confidentiality didn’t cease when the employee left the form or, indeed, when I myself left the firm.

    The person responsible for providing Mr Slater with such privileged and sensitive information would appear to have been responsible for a most serious ethical breach. Irrespective of humane consideration being provided to an employee at a time of crisis, the employee’s right to privacy has not been abrogated in any way by his being currently in opposition to that employer’s CURRENT and FUTURE actions.

    I regard this as a most serious transgression and I hope that all involved will suffer the appropriate consequences as I can see no justification for the information release.

    Of course, I am not holding my breath as neither PoA or Mr Slater have appeared concerned about either the spirit or letter of the law in the past

  25. John72 26

    Is any one embaressed by the P. of A. showing some concern for staff? Only the Union? RedLogix, can you verify your “then and now” comment with detail. Dates and people. Who are the new managers and when did they start? This would enhance it’s credibility because what you have said could apply to anyone, over any time frame?
    Regards,

    • lprent 26.1

      Perhaps you should ask the Ports of Auckland for dates. They do seem to like handing out personal information to anyone…

  26. John72 27

    1prent, what you are saying is that RedLogix can not verify his comments. May I suggest that most of what is appearing on this page is primitave, childish, rubbish. If you were to read it again in 5 years time so many of you will be embarressed. Try and think of something positive to say.
    1.Corinthians 13:11

    • John 72, slight typo there mate. That should read,

      Corinthians 11 – All Blacks 13

      (It wasn’t our best game that day.)

    • McFlock 27.2

      Based on PoAL’s actions to date, you might want to consider James 1:26 before defending them.

    • lprent 27.3

      Kind of hard to see what you are referring to if you don’t use the reply button or give a comment number – which is why I put those features into the site. I write a few comments each day, even more notes, and read so many that they blur. I really don’t have time to chase down comments that you are too lazy to reference using the tools I have provided.

      But given the minimal amount of effort you have applied to the question I suspect you are referring to a leading question where whoever was asking it was trying to get someone else to do their work for them. My usual response is some in on the order of “if you want to know, then stop being a lazy prick and exert some effort to look it up yourself”. That is considerably different from your lazy interpretation.

      From my vague recollections of that poorly edited roman collection of tales*, I bet the bible has something to say about those who are too lazy to exert themselves.

      * I got booted out of Sunday school at about age 7 or 8 after I last read the book. Turned out that while I’d read the bible, the Sunday school teacher hadn’t. Consequently she was a bit horrified when I started pointing out some parts of the old testament and even new testament books like Paul that differed considerably from her views.

      • John72 27.3.1

        Iprent, “Many are called but few are chosen” (Mathew 22:14). I would be ostentatious to claim be chosen. However, the thoughts expressed in the quotations are relevant and show that the idea being offered is not new.
        Regards,

  27. John72 28

    McFlock, where will I find your quotation? The Bible is one of the most widely read books ever printed. What was your book?
    Every generation thinks that it is smater than it’s predecessors. I used to. This one is no different. It is sad but seems to be part of maturing. It has been the same for thousands of years. Shakespeare is still valid, just a diferent vocabulary.

    • McFlock 28.1

      Here
       

      Nobody who fails to keep a tight rein on the tongue can claim to be religious; this is mere self-deception; that person’s religion is worthless.

       

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    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    4 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    4 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    4 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    5 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    5 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    5 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    6 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    6 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago

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