web analytics
The Standard

Tale Three – the Death of Sean Mortensen. Killed 20 January 2010

Written By: - Date published: 5:01 pm, July 17th, 2013 - 14 comments
Categories: health and safety, workers' rights - Tags:

I have collected up the available documentation on the men killed in the forest since 2008. I am going to try, using the documents I have, to tell their story – one at a time. I haven’t been able to contact all the families of these men and hope if any of them read them, they are not surprised or upset to see the details set out like this.  The first two stories are here and here.

Sean Mortensen was killed at Robin Hood Bay, Port Underwood in Marlborough.  He was 34  years old.  He worked for Pelorus Contracting Ltd and was in a forest managed by Merrill and Ring Ltd.  Merrill and Ring is a NZ subsidiary of an American forest company.   Interestingly last time I looked it  had taken action against the Canadian Government using the NAFTA!

M&R  contracted Robinson Forest Management to provide health, safety and quality services to is operations.

On 20 Jan 2010 Sean started work at 6.30am.   He   was carrying out machine assisted tree felling .  At 10am it was smoko time but they were up to the last tree and they decided to fell it before stopping for smoko.

The process being used  involved connecting a tree to the mainline of a cable hauler prior to felling it.  The line was not to assist with determining the directions of the fall, but to stop the tree sliding away downhill and being difficult to retrieve once it was felled.  The effect of the tree being connected should not have been realized until the tree was down, but this can only occur if there is sufficient slack in the mainline from the outset.  The attached  main-rope was in the way of where Sean wanted  to work to cut the tree.  He  radioed  the machine driver to put some tension in the rope to lift it out of the way- too much tension was in the rope and when the tree fell it was pushed  backwards into Sean instead of  falling forward to the ground as intended.    The Coroner noted that the hill they were working on was so steep that Sean could not see how much tension was in the line nor could he see the hauler from where he was.

The tree rested on top of him.  Despite desperate attempts by his crew to get the log off him and revive him, he died including from multiple internal injuries and asphyxiation.  He tested positive for  marijuana use but the amount in his system was inconclusive to establish drug related impairment as a contributing cause to this accident.

The DOL investigation raised concerns with three elements relating to this accident –

  • the method of falling the tree;
  •  the competency of staff ;and
  •  the adequacy of the employer and Merrill and Rings health and safety programme to minimize the risk from the work.

In regards the felling method – it said was not an “accepted/recognized” method for felling and there were other standard techniques that could have been used.  Workers on Sean’s crew said the method they were using was widely used by gangs in the area.  The DOL said the method had a number of hazards including the tension in the ropes issue.  They also found Sean’s tree cutting method did not meet industry standards and he was primarily employed in breaking out.  They found his cutting method had  increased the risk.  It found the method of felling being used had been developed locally without any hazard assessment.

Sean had worked for Pelorus for 9 years and held standards in tree felling and breaking out.  He was unqualified in machine assisted felling.  The only real experience he had in this process was from watching others do it from time to time. He was regarded by his workmates as very safety conscious.  The 19 year old workmate assisting him at the time was also unqualified and only had 2 weeks tree felling experience.

The investigation noted that Pelorus was in the process of applying to ACC to join a discount programme (WSMP) so had a detailed health and safety system but it was mostly incomplete and hazards were not identified as to whether they were significant and it did not cover machine assisted tree felling.  The DOL thought the system showed the company had a lack of knowledge around the management, recording and monitoring of significant hazards – quite a failure for a logging company!!

Merrill and Ring had worked with Pelorus for 13 years.  They used Robinson Forest Management to carry out forestry crew supervision and health and safety auditing.  Both these companies were aware that  the process being used by Sean was used by its contractors.  Neither had any technical knowledge of the process.  Robinsons had not observed the process being used and there were no records of it.  They required Pelorus to have a comprehensive system.  These requirements are  listed in the investigation report – the list does not include a requirement for trained health and safety representatives nor appear to cover issues such as fatigue management, weather policies etc.

The DOL found a number of practicable steps that the company should have taken were not taken in regards to Sean’s death.  It found there was insufficient evidence to determine if Merrill and Ring  had met  its duties.  It found insufficient evidence to suggest Sean was in breach of his duties as an employee under the Act.

The report did not make any recommendation regarding prosecution and  none was taken.

The Coroner conducted an inquiry.  She found shortcomings in the employers health and safety system.  She asked why Sean had chosen to use the method he did to fall the tree and one explanation given was that without it the tree may have been unrecoverable and “felling waste”  was not in his nature.  As another worker stated, that by using the method “you don’t have to try and run down the hill and muck around  hooking it up in the scrub.  As soon as you drop it, you can just pull it straight away”.  It appears the method was dangerous but productive.

The DOL told the Coroner that it believed Pelorus has failed in its duties under the Act but that “legal advice” taken was that there was insufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction so  no prosecution was taken.

The Coroner formed the impression from the Company at the hearing,  that the ”safety ethos at the site in relation to tree felling did not extend appreciably beyond acknowledging that tree felling is inherently dangerous, that every tree poses its own set of risks, and thus that everyone needed to be careful at all times”.

She found no documentary evidence of objective assessments of risk relating to the process being used nor strategies to manage it.  She said the approach relied on workers raising concerns and discussing solutions but the weakness was there was no system.  She made a point similar to the Coroner that considered the death of Michael Stevens that people don’t know what they don’t know and when they have insufficient training this is dangerous.

She found the attitude of the witnesses from Pelorus  “disconcerting” as they repeatedly stressed forest work was dangerous without any perception that formal polices are needed.  She found that Seans failure to recognize the line needed slack in it  may have been due to tiredness, impatience or distraction with smoko due and that she could not determine the impact of prior cannabis use  but she also considered his actions need to be seen in the context of the culture he worked in.  The DOL inquiry provides no evidence of these things being considered, no hours of work, weather conditions, employment conditions are included.

Media reports recorded the DOL saying tp the Coroners  hearing that the company had  refused to allow the Department of Labour to formally question management and staff about the accident following initial interviews immediately after it occurred,  and in other reports the Company owner Andrew Stewart says he doesn’t agree his company had shortcomings and that his business has always encouraged staff training in the area of health and safety.

During the hearing the DOL reported it had revisited the site one year later and had identified  that Pelorus Contracting  had again failed to achieve basic compliance requirements, including

  • Unwarranted and unregistered crew vehicles on the work site.
  • Uncertified protective structures on skidders, excavators and a bulldozer.
  • Inadequate operator protection on an excavator.
  • Inadequate traffic management, with inadequate road signs and warnings of the work taking place.
  • An excavator grapple ram pin being held in place by wire.
  • A worker felling trees without adequate eye protection.

It noted that after almost all the failings had since been fixed, and an unannounced follow-up visit three weeks before the hearing  had shown that Pelorus Contracting crews had “stepped up their game”

On 22 April this year I sent in an Official Request of the Pelorus file to MBIE to see what follow up work had taken place with this company.  The Company was visited on 16.2.11.  for a workplace assessment.  This appears to have been the first visit after the death and was one year later.  This is where those failings listed to the Coroner above  were identified.  By June that year these deficiencies were noted as resolved except the  D7H dozer remained un-certificated.  It is unclear if this machine was used during this period in this condition.

The inspector noted the company was non- compliant in most areas checked.  He noted that overall compliance was very poor and M&R and Pelorus had very limited knowledge about their legislative responsibilities.  He recommended multiple enforcement notices be issued. It appears 8 Improvement Notices were issued as a result.  Prohibition notices were available to these inspectors to stop this work but these were not used.

The next assessment was in October that year.  It notes no compliance issues on this visit.  The DOL then held a safety breakfast with the crew in January 2012.  In August 2012 the Breaking Out process was assessed by the DOL.  While doing so, hazardous tree felling practice was observed with two tree fellers too close to each other and not looking at each other (working within one tree length of each other).  A written warning was issued.   There does not seem to have been any other visits since.

14 comments on “Tale Three – the Death of Sean Mortensen. Killed 20 January 2010”

  1. IrishBill 1

    That’s grueling reading, but it throws some of the glib political discussion of health and safety into sharp relief.

  2. DavidC 2

    I would be interested to see how this write up would differ had Mortensen killed his 19yr old workmate rather than killing himself thru his poor judgement call.

  3. Helen Kelly 3

    you know David, with these facts – inadequate training, no scheme, a culture of multiple breaches by the company, etc etc and then after this death, continuing breaches, this story would have been told in the same way. Either of these workers could have been killed in this environment and the fact is it should have been a safer workplace. Dont you think so?

    • DavidC 3.1

      No Helen I dont see anything in your narrative that would have stopped this guy from killing himself or someone else.

      Vastly experienced forester, asked for (via walkietalkie I assume) assistance and was given it. Spar kicked back uphill and killed him.

      All the training in the world and all the safety systems written and neatly filed away wont stop human error.

      The post death saftey lapses are something else again but you are happy to conflate the two obviously. Anything to try and push your adgenda.

      • Helen Kelly 3.1.1

        What’s my agenda David?

      • Arfamo 3.1.2

        All the training in the world and all the safety systems written and neatly filed away wont stop human error.

        We’ll never know, David. After carefully reading all that article, the company never had them and training was inadequate. Employers utilizing other human beings for profit have a responsibility to keep them safe. What bothers me more is the DOL finding and doing something about shortcomings too late. Like Pike River. Contracting in this field obviously costs lives in employer-preventable situations.

  4. Chris 4

    8 improvement notices & a written warning after the fact that a worker had died, simply is disgusting. Simon Bridges what the hell is going on? Who is pissing in who’s pocket? You say we don’t need an inquiry, why not? This is one case of 67 since 2000….when is the rest of the country going to wake up? if this was your son or brother, father or uncle how would you feel? Department of Labour is failing this industry, the workers, the families, the children. Miserably.

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    Dear Helen,

    I hope (and trust) you are planning to drop some bombs on some people in Wellington. What those bombs are (TV documentary, major publication, demonstrations, etc.) I leave up to your organizing expertise.

    But know you are laying excellent groundwork. Some of us (me) will vigorously support you and these “worker units.” (Since they are disposable, management need not regard them as human beings.)

    I and close family have worked in some of these “killer” industries. Profits instead of people is NOT on.

  6. ropata 6

    no fines?
    no compensation to the bereaved?
    no suspension of operations pending a full review of procedures?
    no management accountability?

    OSH legislation & enforcement clearly has no balls

    (ex steel worker here, with scars to prove it, and I can tell you of 3 deaths in that plant)

  7. Rod 7

    Breaking out and tree falling are quite separate skill sets, yet the message here seems to be that staff with limited formal training are used interchangeably in both these risky jobs? It would be good to know if this is common practice?

    Also, if attaching a cable to a standing tree is not in any rule book, why is it permitted?

  8. jcuknz 8

    If they had no cannon fodder the firms would not be able to operate so would have to up their game …. so don’t let your son or daughter join these killer industries.

  9. Another industry that is probably even more dangerous than forestry for the human workers is slaughterhouse worker. I remember a documentary on drugs in slaughterhouses in which it was pretty much concluded that everyone was stoned most of the time. And the industry freely admitted this but did not want the drug problem investigated because if they were forced to be drug free it would be the end of the industry.

    It makes you wonder. If this is the way the humans are treated, if they have to be stoned to cope with the horror of their jobs, then just what are the animals going through? Apart from having a fatality rate of 100%, there must be so much suffering through botched jobs by workers and uncaring attitudes from management.

  10. Phil Darkins 10

    There is no accountability on these companies. They treat people as expendable commodities. I assume they even account for their losses of ‘resources’ ahead of time based on past fatalities and debilitating injuries. They do this because successive governments have encouraged them by virtue of inaction. Therefore the time has passed for punitive legislation to introduce rigorous safety processes monitored and prosecuted by genuinely empowered government agencies. Will this happen anytime soon? Not on any of these men’s lives, nor the lives of those to come. Primary industry is still the backbone of this nation’s exports. The political will does not exist. It will take unionisation of the whole of this workforce to bring about the improvements required. This harks back to the dawn of modern unionism: the Industrial Revolution. How many more have to die before these workers realise that it is up to them to cry, “ENOUGH! We hereby refuse to risk our lives for you!” Forestry workers, organise yourselves now!

  11. Chris 11

    Hear hear Phil! What an awesome post, so true! Until the guys get together with the unions & the regulators/royalty collectors are regulated from an independent source, that can override this poison in the industry. Clearly the stats show their system or lack of, has failed the workers & 67 dead since 2000, it is time for over ruling regulation. Which is people together with first union. So all you forestry workers out there reading this, sign up at http://first-forestry-together.org.nz/join/

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    32 mins ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    1 day ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    1 day ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    1 day ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    2 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    2 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    2 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    4 days ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    5 days ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    5 days ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    5 days ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    5 days ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    5 days ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    6 days ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    6 days ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    6 days ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    6 days ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    6 days ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    6 days ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    7 days ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago
  • Disconnect between rates and income must be fixed
    Local Government New Zealand’s 10 Point Plan is a chance to stop the widening chasm between the rates some households are charged and their ability to pay, Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “There is a huge disconnect… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • If it’s good enough for Lake Taupō…
    Nick Smith supports helping farmers transition away from dairying and agrees we must set nitrogen caps that limit the number of animals on farms. He says this strategy is “world leading”. However we need action and pressure from him, on to… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • The importance of swamp kauri for climate research
    As early as 2010, international climate scientists were expressing concern at the rate of ancient swamp kauri extraction in Northland. Swamp kauri provides one of the best sources in the world for measuring climate fluctuations over the last 30,000 years.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt needs to heed warnings on med students
    The Government is being urged to act on advice it has received about the negative impact its seven year study cap will have on hundreds of medical students, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The 7EFTS lifetime limit unfairly disadvantages… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers at sea over overseas buyers register
    The Prime Minister and three of his ministers are at odds over the collection of information about offshore speculators buying our houses and seem to be making things up as they go, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “John Key… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for Key to ditch the King Canute routine
    With the economic mood in New Zealand souring, it is time for John Key to admit reality and drop the King Canute approach, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John Key is claiming that 95 per cent of the economy… ...
    1 week ago
  • Botched contract leads to charter school rort
    A botched Government contract has allowed an Auckland charter school to double dip by getting funding for students it has accommodated for free, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Information received by Labour through written Parliamentary questions show the Ministry… ...
    1 week ago
  • Flawed system costs $3 million and counting
    New figures obtained* by Labour show the Government’s shambolic ACC car registration levy system has cost more than $3 million to implement and the costs are set to escalate, Labour's ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “That’s $3 million that could… ...
    1 week ago
  • Radio NZ facing death by 1000 cuts
    The National Government’s seven year funding freeze on Radio New Zealand has put its vital public broadcasting services in serious jeopardy, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says. "The axing of 20 jobs at our only publicly funded broadcaster shows the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Trades funding cut short-sighted
      Short-sighted funding cuts could lead to fewer school students learning trades, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. "Schools are now being financially penalised for enrolling students in trades academies. They could lose teachers and school management positions as a… ...
    1 week ago
  • The rock star economy is well out of tune
    The bad news is mounting for the economy with job ads falling in June, suggesting employment is taking a hit, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “ANZs Job Ads data shows job advertising fell 0.6 per cent in June and is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury latest to withhold Saudi sheep scandal information
    The Labour Party will today lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman after the Treasury became the latest government department to withhold information on the Saudi sheep scandal. Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says the Government has been… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere