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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 | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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