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Rio Tinto threatens NZ with capital strike

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, May 13th, 2008 - 84 comments
Categories: climate change, economy, Environment - Tags: , ,

Multi-national minerals company Rio Tinto is threatening to close its Tiwai Point aluminium smelter in Bluff and move its production offshore if the Emissions Trading Scheme is enacted because they say it will increase power prices.

This is not the first time Rio Tinto has held New Zealand to ransom using the threat of closing this economic powerhouse of Southland. In fact, pretty much every year Rio Tinto threatens to pull the plug over something, whether it be power prices (Tiwai Point uses 13% of New Zealand’s electricity and gets it at a massively discounted secret price) its desire to buy Manapouri power station, (which supplies Tiwai Point with power) or tax rates (the 10% drop in the corporate rate that came on April 1 is already forgotten). Rio Tinto is making record profits as the world price for alumina sours – profits in the last four years total nearly $500 million – but it knows the Government can’t afford to let a factory that, directly and indirectly, employs 3000 people and brings around $500 million to the economy annually to close. So it keeps on demanding more.

This is a greedy, heartless company, that always wants more, and has a record of doing what it takes to get it. In New Zealand, they exploited National’s Employment Contracts Act to break the workers’ union. They are implicated in human rights violations across the globe including the support of apartheid, have illegally mined uranium in Namibia and their “security services” have engaged in mercenary work in support of dictatorships. The company started the Bougainville conflict when it used its political muscle in Australia and Papua New Guinea to get the right to dig the world’s biggest hole, the Panguna copper mine, on Bougainville. Locals objected to the rape of their land by Rio Tinto, others wanted the gold for themselves. A civil war ignited that cost 30,000 lives. Rio Tinto made hundreds of millions and moved on.

What Rio Tinto is trying now over the ETS is a classic example of capital holding democracy over the barrel. Capital is international; it can leave a country if it wants. Democracy is limited to competing nation-states that only have limited cooperation. So, if a country’s people want better wages, or taxes to pay for social services, or to reduce greenhouse gases and big business doesn’t like it, they can threaten that country’s government with a capital strike: ‘play by our rules or we leave, and you lose jobs’.

Well, I say Rio Tinto should fuck off. This is our country and we will make the rules here, not some soulless multi-national that is only out for itself. Rio Tinto can withdraw their capital but there will still be a state of the art smelter and trained workforce in Bluff. The smelter can be brought into public ownership and run by New Zealand, with the profits staying in New Zealand.

84 comments on “Rio Tinto threatens NZ with capital strike”

  1. IrishBill 1

    “In New Zealand, they exploited National’s Employment Contracts Act to break the workers’ union”

    There are also stories about them influencing the nature of the ECA. When the ECA came into force they brought a crane in to move the on-site union office to the outside of their security fence and engaged in some serious union-busting.

    I agree that someone needs to call their bluff (and so far I’ve seen little sign of that in the media) but if they did leave I’m not sure we would be left with a state of the art smelter as I don’t think Rio would allow it. They’d either retain and mothball it, strip and transport it or gut it and sell the (poisoned) land.

  2. Joker 2

    “Well, I say Rio Tinto should fuck off”

    I am sure the people of Southland would really appreciate you playing tough guy with their livelihoods.

  3. Aj 3

    I doubt Rio Tinto would do anything to enable the smelter to function under public ownership.
    Of the workforce, a fair percentage would welcome the kick as they love the high wages but absolutely hate the working environment. Southland economy would easily absorb the rest. There are other big projects coming on. New Zealand needs the power and on a cost/benifit picture the country may well be better off?

  4. Tane 4

    It’s interesting that international capital is free to strike for political reasons, but if the workforce tried the same they’d be prosecuted under the ERA.

  5. Joker. So you’re saying we should bend over and take it whenever a multi-national wants to f*ck us over?

    This is a democracy – the people rule, not capital.

    Irish. If the Govt was willing to offer a fair price, I’m sure we could get the smelter from them.

  6. IrishBill 6

    “Irish. If the Govt was willing to offer a fair price, I’m sure we could get the smelter from them.”

    I doubt it. I’m not sure we want it anyway as all we are doing is exporting renewable electricity and the process produces Perfluorocarbon which are greenhouse gases with thousands of times the warming potential of CO2. I’ve spent time at Tiwai and the surrounding (dead) wetlands and can tell you the local environmental impact of the smelter is also huge.

    I suspect there are ways we can find to exploit our clean power that involve less damage to the environment and more money in the public’s pocket than smelting aluminum.

  7. Santi 7

    “Well, I say Rio Tinto should fuck off.”

    Another senseless, rushed statement from S. Pierson, Professor of English.

    Actually, your political masters are already backpedalling on this matter. Just read the this morning’s press release from David Parker, bending backwards trying to keep the smelter in Southland.

    Steve, shut your mouth and follow orders.

    IrishBill says: and that’s a week’s ban. If you complain it’ll be a month.

  8. Santi 8

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    Is The Standard invoking the EFA to silence dissenting opinion? hy?

    The expletive quoted was part of SP’s posting. Smarten up!

    [calm down.SP]

  9. Wait, I speak out and Santi wants me to toe the government line?

    you really bring down the standard of debate here santi.

  10. Santi 10

    I complain, hence give me a month!

    [Tane: And a month it is. See you in June Santi.]

  11. IrishBill 11

    I’m stunned Santi thinks he can come onto our blog and abuse us and expect not to be banned. What a dick.

  12. Santi 12

    Understood comrades.

  13. higherstandard 13

    It’s a banner day I’m in full agreement with Irish Bill’s first comment.

    In relation to your suggestion of buying it SP – God forbid this is not anywhere near what the government should be getting involved in.

  14. Daveo 14

    It’s a pity when trolls come on and try to ruin a thread. Nevermind, as to the topic at hand, it’s disheartening to see the media so uncritical of Rio Tinto over this. As with Don Elder’s comments the other day all it takes is for a company to threaten capital strike and the media bend over backwards for them.

    Where’s some critical journalism looking at these companies’ motives? Surely the actions of a company like Rio Tinto should be looked on with at least a little suspicion.

  15. Billy 15

    “I’m stunned Santi thinks he can come onto our blog and abuse us and expect not to be banned.”

    Haven’t you just done what you criticise DPF for doing? SP used intemperate language (by which I am not offended, I think used when one is passionate about something, it gets that accross) yet Santi is banned when he responds in kind.

  16. Lew 16

    I think this whole thing is much ado about nothing. Parker made clear on Morning Report this morning (though Sean Plunket obstinately refused to acknowledge it) that the government’s proposed but not yet drafted-in changes to the ETS will be roughly compliant with what Rio Tinto suggest.

    Steve, I think you’ve overreacted to Rio Tinto’s routine cage-rattling here, and it’s your `to the barricades’ rhetoric which has caused Santi to fly off the handle.

    Regulatory schemes must necessarily take major industrial players into consideration; the government isn’t backpedalling; it’s rewriting policy as part of the consultation process.

    What we’ve got here is posturing.

    L

  17. r0b 17

    There is no right way to handle trolls, its a lose lose situation for a blog.

    There is no right way to handle the vagaries of international capital either, a lose lose situation for a government. Instinctively Steve’s response appeals, but could the Southland economy really redeploy that many people? Where do we go for stats on regional economies?

    Captcha “New Helen” – no thanks, I like the current one.

  18. Billy. it’s his trolling attitude that’s the problem. And it’s a real shame because it brings everything down.

    The more I think about it, the more I’m coming around to the idea that the smelter isn’t worth having at all – but then there’s the international problem: the production would go somewhere else, and Tiawi Point is the best smelter in the world in purity, pollution, and energy efficency. So from that perspective, it is worth having – don’t see why we should bow to Rio Tinto though.

  19. Rimu 19

    I too would welcome Rio Tinto’s departure. I’m sure all that electricity will go to good use, solving our electricity shortage! :D

  20. I was hoping to be criticised as reflexively pro-nationalisation, then we could have had an interesting conversation on the virtues of State capitalism vs multi-national control.

  21. Tane 21

    Santi’s remark “Steve, shut your mouth and follow orders” was unacceptable. I’m not going to have the integrity of my fellow posters attacked and nor am I going to tolerate this kind of ongoing abuse. Santi’s been engaging in this kind of behaviour for some time – it is not an isolated incident.

    Lew, Rio Tinto is playing politics here as they have on many other occasions. I don’t think criticism is out of line.

  22. slightlyrighty 22

    Hang on a minute. If Rio Tinto go overseas, and set up a plant in say, Asia, then the net effect of the ETS is the loss of thousands of jobs, the devastation of the Southland local economy, and a net increase in global carbon emissions as a new factory is set up in an area where Kyoto does not apply.

    Think it through. What is the ETS aiming to achieve?

  23. Daveo 23

    The question is whether Rio Tinto will actually go overseas or whether they’re using the threat of capital strike to hold our democracy over a barrell. I’m not convinced it’s the former.

  24. I don’t blame Rio for doing this, why should they stay and do business in a country where they are going to be tax heavily.

  25. MikeE 25

    Looks like Atlas is about to Shrug…

  26. Aj 26

    Agree with Lew. It’s all politics. I note that the Southland Times has extensive coverage/comment today – the whole stunt planned well ahead I’d say.
    Comalco NZ is associated with Shadbolts EFA campaign, along with noted supporters of the right, Talley and the local Richardson Group. Look at this as purely political advertsing….

  27. Steve: I agree with you that its certainly worth looking at the contribution that Tiwai makes to our economy (irrespective of who owns it) versus the benefits of not having to build additional electricity generation. It would be nice if this debate could be had in a rational non-partisan way without the obvious political implications of 3000 jobs disappearing though I understand Southland enjoys 98% employment.

  28. James Kearney 28

    You’re right Brett. Those human rights and environmental standards are a real drag too.

  29. mike 29

    “If the Govt was willing to offer a fair price”

    What has price got to do with buying things for politcal gain as in the Railways
    Cullen doesn’t mind how much of taxpayers hard earned cash he spends as long as there is nothing left in the kitty. Reckless

  30. Chris S 30

    slightlyrighty: They can’t run forever

  31. James Kearney 31

    Looks like Atlas is about to Shrug

    That reminds me MikeE- who knew John Galt was implicated in human rights violations in developing countries and Dagny Taggart ran mercenaries to help dictators?

    Meanwhile: http://www.angryflower.com/atlass.gif

  32. IrishBill 32

    Rio would not go overseas over the ETS. They are hardened operators (FFS they’ve supported coups and run their own militias) and they are trying it on. They way they handled the media on the issue was quite telling in that they selectively leaked the summary of their position to particular journos but not others.

    They also have a contract for fixed electricity prices until 2030 and will continue to make big money ETS or no and Southland jobs are not at risk.

    If I were the government I would nod politely while Rio made their submission, make reassuring noises and then just go ahead with the ETS.

  33. slightyrighty. you’re saying we should race to the bottom to keep soulless multi-nationals pleased. I say we shouldn’t.

  34. Lew 34

    Wow, busy busy.

    Tane: I agree, criticism is justified. But that’s not the part of Steve’s post I objected to.

    Steve: I’m not going to get embroiled in that one, but I’ll gladly watch and pick apart the symbolic issues at stake if someone else does.

    Rimu: This amazingly simplistic view (shared by several emailers to NatRad) does nobody any credit.

    Daveo: This is spot on. I’m not convinced of it either, which is why I think it’s no big deal. Ultimately there seems to be this idea that the government doesn’t care if Rio Tinto leaves NZ, or if the dairy industry goes belly-up, or whatever other issue. Comments liker Steve’s give credence to this, which is PR on a platter for those who oppose the government. But it’s plainly not true – the government plainly wants Rio Tinto to stay here, and Rio Tinto has made plain that it wants to stay. This is simple negotiation, and all we’ve got here is a bulldog journalist (Plunket), bulldog bloggers (Steve and Farrar are the two I’ve read this morning – and incidentally there’s a hilarious thread on this topic over on Kiwiblog) wanting to make out that either side is being manifestly unreasonable. It just doesn’t seem to be so. It’s imply a case of dynamic equilibrium – Rio Tinto will howl and stamp its feet and the government will make reasonable concessions and all will return to normal.

    L

    Captcha: all banana. Everyone wants the whole thing, nobody wants to share.

  35. Chris S 35

    Thank you IrishBill – that puts things a little more in perspective.

  36. Sam Dixon 36

    That aussie kid from Rio Tinto who looked about 24 and was threatening our elected leaders on the TV last night with capital flight if they followed the people;’s will didn’t look much like Atlas to me.

  37. IrishBill: well I guess if I was a powerful multi-national ( and not a starving artist in Ponsonby) I would be fighting emissions trading schemes wherever and whenever they pop up in the world. Lets be thankful they haven’t sent in the mercenaries (yet) :-)

  38. slightlyrighty 38

    I’m saying we shouldn’t sacrifice jobs for the sake of environmetal principles which have not been thought through.

    The purpose of the ETS is to reduce Carbon Emissions. Given that developing economies such as China and India have not signed to Kyoto, the net effect of applying any sort of ETS will be the outsourcing of manuafcturing to these areas, creating the opposite effect of it’s intent.

    This is why Kyoto is not worth the paper it is written on.

  39. slighty – that is a race to the bottom. We shouldn’t enact any environmental protection because other countries haven’t, they won’t because other countries (like us haven’t).. in fact it’s not just a race to the bottom it’s a race to the top that never gets started because everyone wants to be in last place.

    A definition of ‘race to the bottom’ would be” countries are forced by the international nature of capital and their inability to cooperate effectively to compete for capital. That means they must attempt offer the better conditions for capital than other countries, even at the cost of other priorities (public services, environmental and labour standards). Countries are forced into competition against each other, lowering taxes and protections to keep ahead of each other – racing to the bottom – in an effort to attract and retain capital.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_to_the_bottom

  40. infused 40

    Hang on a minute. If Rio Tinto go overseas, and set up a plant in say, Asia, then the net effect of the ETS is the loss of thousands of jobs, the devastation of the Southland local economy, and a net increase in global carbon emissions as a new factory is set up in an area where Kyoto does not apply.

    Think it through. What is the ETS aiming to achieve?”

    Finally, someone that has a clue.

  41. insider 41

    Lew’s right, this is posturing, and the danger is that you won’t be taken seriously next time you try it. That’s why you should only do it if you REALLY REALLY mean it. The question is, do they?

    Steve

    If the deal’s so secret, how come you know they get it cheap? Wouldn’t you expect it cheaper than most others if you were such a large consumer?

    Anyway you are living in the past. In fact they get it at a commercial rate agreed to by an SOE. The contract was signed a few months ago.

    Meridian get the benefit of having a guaranteed customer for a significant part of their capacity at low cost to serve, rather than having to risk selling it on the spot market or trying to capture new consumers at high cost.

    Last I heard Meridian have been doing quite well commercially so it hardly seems like they are being screwed

  42. infused. aware of the argument, just refute it as a basis for policy.

    Rio Tinto won’t go anyway. It’s not worth it to them. they are just trying to make the existing sweetheart deal they have even more profitable.

  43. Billy 43

    What is the point of having an ETS if it does not stop activity which creates emmissions? If it doesn’t do this, money is changing hands, but the world is still getting warmer. Isn’t closing down the plant exactly what the ETS was designed to do?

  44. Aj 44

    Just a few moments ago on Nat Rad, Key: “Rio Tinto posturing….National broadly supports the ETS…..final form will not be tailored to individual companies…”

    Hell, he’s getting his lines from Labour now…

  45. Lew 45

    Yes, this phenomenon of producers heading overseas to unregulated economies where they can emit as much as they like is called `leakage’ and is the single biggest problem with any emissions trading system which isn’t global (and even, theoreticalyl, global systems, because compliance will be differently managed in different economies). The purpose of NZ’s ETS implementation is essentially to strike a balance between leakage (caused by too much regulation) and huge Kyoto obligations (caused by watering down the scheme too much for emitters). I wouldn’t want to be on that team; they’re damned either way.

    L

  46. Lew 46

    Billy: No. The point is to make emitters work more efficiently, and emit less. If they emit more than they’re allowed to, they have to buy credits from other companies (countries, or whoever) who have emitted less than they’re allowed. Read the wikipedia page on emissions trading.

    L

  47. Matthew Pilott 47

    I haven’t read the comments, but I pretty much wholeheartedly agree.

    The lines from Rio Tinto’s managers were that if the ETS goes ahead, they’ll go somewhere were it isn’t, and that we should wait until other countries have one.

    There will always be a country with lower standards than us, and these type of demands can be ceaseless. Where does it stop for them – they were directly threatening to move somewhere and make more pollution if the plan went in here -they are blackmailing scum.

    Well I have a plan, a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel:

    As the plant is so important (to Southland), bring in the ETS, wait till they’re (Rio Tinto) hurting and threatening to close the plant. Then the government can make an offer and buy the plant at a discounted rate, and keep it paying well and environmentally friendly (relatively).

  48. Phil 48

    Steve, I love the link you have on ‘breaking the union’.

    How terrible all the employees must have felt when management was being nice to them, making them feel valued, and inviting them to wine and cheese evenings.

    Those scumbags in management! how do they sleep at night?!

  49. Matthew Pilott 49

    I haven’t read the comments, but I pretty much wholeheartedly agree.

    (As in I agree with Steve’s post. D’oh)

  50. Phil 50

    One other thing;

    “massively discounted secret price” is inaccurate.

    The price is secret, yes. As are many other details of a great many contracts that occur in the business world. It’s called ‘commercial sensitivity’.

    The price is discounted, yes. Massively? maybe, but you don’t know that – it’s a commercially sensitive price.

    Why do they recieve electricity at a discount?
    1) they’re a large user – no different in concept to the bulk discount you or I get from supermarket bulk bins. The variable costs associated with supplying power in that quantity are lower.
    2) no middle men – Comalco buy power straight from the source. It cuts out having to dick around with the retail and transmission arms of the market
    3) Accuracy of usage – Comalco know exactly what power they need, and when they need it. They’re in contact consantly with their power supplier telling them whats happening. The generator doesn’t have to guess, and as a result faces less risk in securing supply to the grid

    [plus. Manapouri was built for the smelter and doens’t have transmission capacity to send it’s energy elsewhere (it could be done but would require investment) that gives Rio Tinto a captive supplier. SP]

  51. Tane 51

    Phil, I don’t think they felt terrible being invited to beer and cheese evenings. The terrible feeling will have come years down the track when they realised they’d sold out their pay and conditions for the price of a sixpack and a few crackers.

  52. James Kearney 52

    How terrible all the employees must have felt when management was being nice to them, making them feel valued, and inviting them to wine and cheese evenings.

    Those scumbags in management! how do they sleep at night?!

    As I understand it the day the ECA came into effect Comalco lifted the onsite union office up with a crane and moved it over fence outside the company’s premises. This was classic union-busting aimed at cutting wages and used both the carrot and the stick.

    IrishBill says: you might want to read my comment at the top of the thread ;)

  53. Phil 53

    “they’d sold out their pay and conditions for the price of a sixpack and a few crackers. ”

    … and having the company pay for volunteer fire training, and having free counselling sessions for those finding it hard to make ends meet, and consulting wives/family before changing shift rosters, and making health and safety a priority, and having management demonstrate caring for the workforce, and feeling valued and part of the decision making process.

    Yep, I bet they’re all looking back to the good old days when the company didn’t bleed staff dry.

  54. Stephen 54

    Would imagine ‘carbon leakage’ will be addressed in Kyoto-2. The US and Europe have already started putting carbon-tariff type options on the table…

  55. Phil 55

    The union got ‘busted’ because Comalco moved the office a few yards?

    If that’s all it takes to bust a union, then it’s clearly being led by the wrong people…

  56. James Kearney 56

    Phil- you should do some reading on union-busting. A short-term charm offensive (often met by an offer of hefty pay rises) is a small cost compared to the long-term gains to the employer’s profit margins of a union-free workplace.

    See this Wikipedia article for a broad overview:

    After vilifying the union, the second imperative of a union avoidance campaign is to humanize the executives in the eyes of workers. The goal is to portray the company as benevolent, compassionate, and caring. According to Martin Jay Levitt, a former union buster, at seminars,

    “…managers learned the tricks of evading the so-called union problem: by appearing to listen to their employees and to encourage openness, by making policies simple and clear, and by relaxing some rules. And yes, they were tricks. Sleight of hand. Perception was more than a tool for me: it was the whole game… the objective was not to empower the employee, as I pretended, but to shut him up…”

    Management must temporarily submit to the guidance of consultants concerning all communications with employees. Examples of management’s newfound kindness are publicized to all employees. Through surveys and interviews, the union buster develops a definite insight into who in management is trusted and liked, and who is not. The former are brought forward and become the new face of the company during the union organizing campaign, while the others are coached on masking or overcoming their dislikeable characteristics. Absent such transformation, their visible role is diminished.

    “Give the workers just enough rope so that they believe they are off the leash, just enough to fool them into scorning the union. The golden rule of management control, as I taught it, was: incorporate dissent, institutionalize it. They would find, I promised my disciples, that dissension won’t be half as attractive to the masses once the rebels are sitting down with the bosses…the cunning manager should embrace his workplace rebels. Be grateful for them, I offered, for they are your most effective shield against the union. If you can convince the activists that they’ll accomplish more, perhaps have more power, without a union, why, you’ve won the war.

    Managers or owners may be asked to visit worksites and exchange jokes, gossip, and laughter with workers. The theme of company-as-family prevails, with the union portrayed as an upstart outsider. Only after a union organizing drive is defeated, might company executives be allowed to return to their “tyrannical” ways.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_busting

  57. James Kearney 57

    The union got ‘busted’ because Comalco moved the office a few yards?

    When the union organiser is no longer allowed on site then yes it does make a big difference.

  58. Phil 58

    “Manapouri was built for the smelter and doens’t have transmission capacity to send it’s energy elsewhere (it could be done but would require investment)”

    Manapouri is largest hydroelectric power station in New Zealand. About 70% of it’s output goes to the smelter. That leave the other 30% which enters the national grid, in exactly the same manner as any other generation point…

  59. Phil 59

    James – A quick lesson in repeated-round game theory;

    You and I enter into an agreement to do something which benefits us both equally. Then, I renege and take all the ‘profit’ for myself, leaving you with nothing.

    In the next round, will you view my promise of agreement the same way?
    No, of course not.

    Same principle works here – If RioTinto renege, and go back to the dark side, the staff will no-longr trust them and the union will be back bigger than ever. It’s in Rio’s interest to continue to treat their staff well – behavioural economics at it’s most elegant.

  60. Phil 60

    I almost forgot… Have you ever taken one of those staff satisfaction surveys that organisations are wont to do from time to time?

    In my experience (which is as an office worker – not a smelter) the results show that higher pay is not that important. Flexible working conditions, ‘feeling valued’, and being part of the decision making process, have always been much more important factors to get right in making your staff happy.

  61. James Kearney 61

    Phil- your game theory is contradicted by reality. That’s simply not how the real world works as any union organiser will tell you.

  62. James Kearney 62

    ‘feeling valued’, and being part of the decision making process,

    Again the question is whether workers’ input really is valued and whether they have any meaningful input in the decision making process. I’d wager the workers at Tiwai don’t. Tell me, did the company consult its workers before this latest threat of capital strike?

  63. IrishBill 63

    “It’s in Rio’s interest to continue to treat their staff well”

    Phil, they are not. In the last five years the people I know who work there have seen a change in culture that they do not like. They have also told me that Rio has succeeded in keeping the union out by harassing union members and paying out on unfair dismissals and is in a legal wrangle because they have stopped unions from accessing the site on H&S grounds. If you had ever been to Tiwai (and I have some years ago on business) you will know that it is run like a compound and nobody gets in or out without the company’s say-so.

  64. Phil. Fact remains that Manapouri can’t send its full power load out of the region – the cables don’t have the capacity.

  65. Lew 65

    Phil: This is an insultingly elementary view of labour relations, and if you know anything about game theory, you know it is. If it were true, no labour force anywhere would have been unionised since the first major round of strikes established the unions’ credibility. In reality, both sides regularly engage in subgames to enhance their overall strategic positions, and union breaking is a subgame which trades off a short-term cost of wage increases or whatever else against the removal of a long-term liability represented by the union’s power, and what’s more, if successful it creates a secondary reward for the company of good `we’re doing right by our people’ PR. (If unsuccessful, however, it creates a secondary cost in bad PR, but that doesn’t seem to be the overall case here).

    Your point is ultimately correct – labour forces in NZ do have recourse to organisation, signalling, and ultimately industrial action. But Steve’s initial criticism of Rio Tinto wasn’t about their negotiation strategy – it was about their subgame efforts to break the union.

    L

  66. lprent 66

    About Santi. All I can say is that he is just damn lucky I wasn’t around this morning, and someone else moderated the comment first.

    Bloody idle kibitzer. Can’t remember him ever bringing anything interesting to the discussion. A specialist in the negative.

    Oh Billy – what I found offensive was the suggestion yet again that this site or its posters take orders from the NZLP. That is an issue that has now had a long period of insinuation and no proof. I’ve repeatably stated that is not the case, and I’d say that the posts support that. When they mention labour, the posters are almost as likely to express their disapproval as they are to support them.

    These days I treat it as being a direct personal attack and react accordingly.

  67. bill brown 67

    In years where wage rises are kept low I have noticed that there is certainly a rise in employee inclusive consultative groups to cast the employer in a better light towards the employees.

    As I have been with the same employer for over a decade I have seen the ebb and flow of this for myself.

    It is those employees with a shorter work history that tend to get sucked into the “what a good employer, they really care what I think” trap.

    Personally, I sell my -limited- time to my employer for money (I certainly don’t go for the ambiance) anything over and above the money they give me for it is just window dressing.

  68. roger nome 68

    Phil:

    “The union got ‘busted’ because Comalco moved the office a few yards?

    If that’s all it takes to bust a union, then it’s clearly being led by the wrong people”

    You don’t understand the ECA. An employer was able to legally disallow union officials access to the workplace when ever they wanted to, making organising impossible. They were using a union-busting piece of legislation to, well union-bust.

  69. Phil 69

    Lew – it wasn’t meant to be an in-depth analysis of Labour relations, but a simple illustrative example. Continued unionisation is not really that different from, say, insurance, and it’s a perfectly legitimate action within the framework of game theory.

    IB – wasn’t aware of the change in culture at Tiwai. Will take your word for it.

    James –
    “your game theory is contradicted by reality. That’s simply not how the real world works as any union organiser will tell you.”

    Union organisers are part of the game, following the same types of perverse incentives and incomplete information as anyone else…
    To put it another way – you’re never playing the game on quite the same field as before

    “Tell me, did the company consult its workers before this latest threat of capital strike?”

    Touche – fair point
    =)

  70. roger nome 70

    Phil – unions can’t afford to operate in about 50% of NZ’s industry because the operating costs are too high (small workplaces, high turnover etc).

    Game theory has nothing to do with it most of the time.

  71. [Tane: Bill, drop the smears and I won’t delete your comments]

  72. r0b 72

    BB, this blog is funded by lprent (not the Labour Party), as you well know, which makes you a liar. And the number of beneficiaries has fallen significantly under Labour, as you also well know.

    Your lies and innuendoes add nothing to this blog. Why don’t you go do something useful with your life? Go water your flowers or something.

  73. roger nome 73

    Tane – If I madethat kind of smear over at K-blog at davey I would be banned for life. Time for BB to go?

  74. Ari 74

    Steve- have they followed through on any similar threats in the past when they didn’t get what they want?

    Anyway… while I’d like to keep them, it’s ridiculous for them to hold the country hostage over excess profits- as Steve points out, this is a boom time for aluminium and I seriously doubt they can’t afford the ETS as proposed.

  75. Has anybody mentioned yet that Rio Tinto bought the New Zealand iron ore mining company that had the concession to do the exploration to see if the Seabed mining of the West coast black sands was economically viable and that Rio Tinto is now being the subject of hostile take over bids from the Chinese Government amongst others. These big Corporations; it is all to much power in to few hands. And generally of people who don’t give a toss about local or indigenous people. The Bougainville civil war being a case in point.
    What about Nationalising the smelter, it works for the Venezuelans.

  76. Maybe let slip to a few journalists something about forced nationalisation. I dont believe for a second that National\Farrar\The Herald\the Talley brothers ect believe even half of thier propaganda, but it woudl send a strong singnal to the public of New Zealand about where the Government stands on corprate bullying, likely to be a big point of difference from National

  77. vto 77

    They are without doubt bully boys. And have seen Paul Little’s success with the train set. There’s just one option…

    call their bluff

  78. Lew 78

    killinginthenameof: National has already taken much the same line as Labour in response to Rio Tinto, so that view is unfounded. In fact, consensus appears to be that Rio Tinto overplayed its hand on this one.

    L

  79. I’ve crunched some numbers, and we would be $26 million a year better off if Rio Tinto carried through on their threat and pissed off. And that’s using their own figures for economic benefit.

    The full petard-hoisting is here.

  80. Benodic 81

    Lew I’d say that’s the consensus now. It wasn’t the consensus from Monday night through Tuesday afternoon.

    (Captcha: “blackmailer chant” – yep, that’s Rio Tinto’s submission alright)

  81. r0b 82

    The full petard-hoisting is here.

    Nice – very nice – and you address the jobs issue too.

  82. Hope you don’t mind Idiot/Savant but I linked your article to my blog.
    I liked it and I hope it gets more exposure that way.

  83. > Well, I say Rio Tinto should fuck off.

    Strong words from a bishop. I don’t even live in Southland but I hope you don’t get your wish.

    With regard to nationalisation I doubt that smelters have quite the same appeal to Dr Cullen as he has shown with his trains. But perhaps Rio Tinto could propose aluminium trains as an energy saving measure. The Audi S8 looked quite cool in aluminium.

    After the smelter, I think farms should be next. Those farmers think they own the country, and all that farting isn’t good for the planet. How about it?

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    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Wild West culture a result of gung-ho government
    Successive employment law changes over the last six years that have taken away work rights have led to a Wild West employer culture in many workplaces, Labour’s workplace relations spokesperson Andrew Little says. A government audit of 23 Christchurch building...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Dr. Kennedy Graham’s speaks in the 2014 Ministerial Statement –...
    I have listened closely to the Prime Minister's statement this morning and to this debate over New Zealand's engagement towards the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In my contribution I want to focus on the broader aspect...
    Greens | 05-11
  • Catherine Delahunty speaks on the Paid Parental Leave Bill
    He mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Thank you very much for allowing me to speak on this bill. As a grandmother, it is very close to my heart. I know there are many parents, uncles, aunties, and others in...
    Greens | 05-11
  • Pacific unemployment still hurting
     All New Zealanders will be bitterly disappointed that the Pacific youth unemployment rate (aged 15 to 24 years) is now 26.7 per cent, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.  “Our young people are the future workforce of...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Response to Ministerial Statement on ISIS
    Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity for the House to respond to his statement today. It’s times like this Parliament can be at its best....
    Labour | 05-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Why lifelong prisoner surveillance is evidence of our failing prisons
    The intrusion of more and more State surveillance is easier to implement if the State begins with groups the populace are frightened of. Muslim radicals, Maori radicals, environmental radicals and prisoners are all easy fodder for ratings chasing media to...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • REVIEW: The Blind Date Project
    The Blind Date Project Silo Theatre 4-29 November The Basement  Part of the excitement of a live performance, be it music or theatre or a circus with trapeze artists and lion tamers, is the risk that it could all go...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Good News For The Left!
    EVER SINCE the debacle of 20 September 2014, the New Zealand left has been hanging out for some good news. Today, thanks to Stephen Mills, the Executive Director of UMR Research, it has finally got some. UMR Research has for...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • The SIS won’t use 48 hour warrantless spying for ‘evidence’
    Let’s just slay one of the myths the Government are trying to use right now to justify the SIS 48 hour warrantless search fishing expeditions shall we? The Government has been telling all who listen over the weekend that the SIS...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • There’s a better way of discouraging would-be jihadists
    The Prime Minister claims there is a growing threat from New Zealanders attracted to Islamic State and he wants to increase state powers to watch such people and take away their passports. I believe there is a better way to...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • Nationwide Day of Protest Captures Public Attention on TPPA
    . . NZ, Wellington, 8 November 2014 – Wellington basked in a beautiful summers’ day with nary a breeze and only a few clouds in a clear, blue sky. The sort of summer day that we keenly await after months...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Right to Life Congratulates the new Labour Leader
    Right to Life congratulates Andrew Little MP, on being elected as the new leader of the Labour Party. This is a very important election as Andrew Little is now a Prime Minister in waiting His election follows a line of...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Reply to open letter on earthquake repair in Christchurch
    You raise many points and I acknowledge the frustration some people are experiencing when their homes are still not repaired or rebuilt. We have consistently said that the scale and complexity of events has always meant that it will not...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little New Labour Party Leader
    In a press conference held on Tuesday in the Labour Party Caucus room at Parliament, it was announced Andrew Little had been voted in as Leader of the Labour party....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Liam Butler interviews Professor Jay Kandampully
    Jay Kandampully is Professor of Consumer Sciences in the Department of Human Sciences. He also serves as a visiting professor at University of Innsbruck, Austria; Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China; and Furtwangen University, Germany;...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Judge joins calls for tourist driver tests
    A district court judge has joined the growing number of professionals calling for tourist driving tests....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU congratulates new Labour leader
    The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union congratulates Andrew Little on his election as Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party. “I have worked closely with Andrew and know he will be a strong and successful leader,” says Bill Newson,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • WHO Highlights Devastating Global Impact of Drowning
    The global drowning report released today by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 372,000 lives are lost each year to drowning. Safekids Aotearoa, as a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, has joined the worldwide effort to focus more attention...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPA must refuse phosphate mining application
    Text of the Press Release issued by KASM (Kiwis against Seabed Mining), Greenpeace and Deep Sea Conservation Coalition on 17 November 2014: “EPA must refuse phosphate mining application” The New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency should refuse...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Compulsory smoke alarms needed in rental accommodation
    The tragic deaths of three young people during a house fire in Hamilton, hot on the heels of a 3 year old dying in a house fire the previous week, point directly to the need for compulsory smoke alarms in...
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • CAA fines Minister for security breach
    The Civil Aviation Authority has completed its investigation into an alleged security breach at Christchurch International Airport by then Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee and two aides on 24 July, 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • Pacific climate funding must prioritise the poor
    Caritas supports the government’s prioritising of the Pacific for direct climate change related funding, rather than making a major contribution to the global Green Climate Fund....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • Stopping drink driving will take more than just lower limit
    Stopping drink driving will take more than just lower limit Stopping drink driving crashes is going to take more than just reducing the adult drink driving limit, says the Automobile Association. The adult (20 and older) limit will lower to...
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • “Smacking” legal opinion hides real problem
    In seeking to challenge and clarify the legal interpretation of section 59, the conservative political lobby group, Family First, are once more attempting to deny the very real psychological impact of physical discipline on our children....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • Sutton Quits … The sorry saga of CERA
    President Truman described the MacArthur speech as horses..t. History has been kind to Truman on this issue....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • Key Announces Government Inquiry into Smith Case
    In a press conference held in Wellington today, Prime Minister John Key announced there would be an independent government inquiry into the recent escape of Philip John Smith....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
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