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The cost of our clothes

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, May 9th, 2013 - 23 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, cost of living, International, news, poverty, workers' rights - Tags: ,

When I was growing up in the 60s, my mother used to make most of our clothes.  By the time I was in my late teens, in the 60s, it became easier to buy relatively cheap, off the peg clothes in shops.  Many people now know nothing else.  These days. most of those clothes are made in factories in relatively poor countries.  Many of us are aware, that those clothes are made in factories where people work in poor conditions, for wages that are very low by our standards.

This is not our doing, but many of us often benefit in small ways from the relatively easy access to affordable clothing. Ultimately however, these clothes are produced through a system that enriches the corporate elites.  This is the same system that is continually undermining workers, beneficiaries and working conditions in countries like NZ, though no to the same degree as in less well-off countries. The profiteering by the Western garment companies, ultimately damages us all.

Our MSM rarely draw attention to the conditions under which our clothes are produced.  When there are accidents in the garment factories, due to their unsafe conditions, our MSM rarely write about the underlying causes.  In poor countries, only disasters caused by “acts of god” are given the attention they gains our sympathy.

Pilger did a documentary in 2001, showing how globalisation of the garment industry resulted in people in places like Indonesia working in appalling conditions for meagre wages, so that designer brands like GAP could be affordable to buyers in western countries.  It was shocking at the time, for those of us who saw it.  But then it moved into the background noise of the diversionary infotainment stories in our media.

New rulers of the world

It’s a powerful documentary, in Pilger’s inimitable style.  It expresses strong views, based on some in depth research.  His website provides the rationale of the documentary:

The film turns the spotlight on the new rulers of the world – the great multinationals and the governments and institutions that back them such as the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation under whose rules millions of people throughout the world lose their jobs and livelihood. …

To examine the true effects of globalisation, Pilger travels to Indonesia – …

… where high-street brands such as Nike, Adidas, Gap and Reebok are mass produced by cheap labour in ‘sweatshops’ and sold for up to 250 times the amount received by workers.

The documentary shows conditions in a large sweatshop in Jakarta, where workers (mainly women and children) live in squalid camps, in order to earn just over half the amount deemed to be a “living wage” by the Indonesian government.

Many children there were undernourished and prone to disease. While filming, Pilger himself caught dengue fever.

Garment factories producing clothes for richer countries, are still using exploitative, low paid and damaging practices in diverse places, like Cambodia, as reported in Green Left.

Last month there was possibly the world’s worst industrial accident in a garment factory in Bangladesh.  The NZ Herald report on it a few days ago, focuses mostly on the government’s poor oversight, and dodgy structure of the building.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith spoke as the government cracked down on those it blamed for the disaster in the Dhaka suburb of Savar. …

The government appears to be attempting to fend off accusations that it is in part to blame for the tragedy because of weak oversight of the building’s construction.

The article fails to mention the underlying cause of the “accident”: that the garments were being produced for some major Western brands.  It fails to provide the context in which pressure from “the new rulers of the world” results in governments and factory owners in poor countries cutting corners.

Overnight, above NZ Herald article has been updated.  This morning I’m pleased to see the article now headlines the pressure on Western retailers to fix the factories.  However, while references to the multinational corporations have been inserted, the original focus still dominates.

The death toll is now over 700,

bangladesh factory collapse

 

As reported by Inquirer News:

The police control room overseeing the recovery operation said the death toll stood at 705 on Tuesday afternoon as workers pulled more bodies out of the wreckage of the eight-story building that was packed with workers at five garment factories when it collapsed on April 24. The factories were making clothing bound for major retailers around the world.

The disaster is the worst ever in the garment sector, surpassing the 1911 garment disaster in New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist factory, which killed 146 workers, and more recent tragedies such as a 2012 fire that killed about 260 people in Pakistan and one in Bangladesh that killed 112, also in 2012. It is also one of the deadliest industrial accidents ever. …

The workers, many who made little more than the national minimum wage of about $38 per month, are demanding at least four months in salary. The workers had set Tuesday as the deadline for the payment of wages and other benefits.

Though the worst, this “accident” wasn’t the first.  In November 2012, Al Jazeera reported on two recent fires in Bangladesh garment factories.  Workers a the second fire were angry that nothing had changed after the first fire.

Many of the Western companies that were getting their garments made in the factory that collapsed in April, are failing to own up.  According to Al Jazeera on 27 April, “activists” have become highly critical of the profiteering corporates.  Only “British low-cost fashion line Primark and Spanish giant Mango” have so far put their hands up. Others, like Wal- Mart are “investigating” or in denial.

The US said it could not confirm whether any US companies were sourcing garments from the complex, as protesters in San Francisco targeted the headquarters of Gap with banners reading “No More Death Traps”.

The International reported on May 3, does make the connections the low prices and “tight deadlines” demanded by retail companies in the US and Europe, and the dangerous working conditions. Primark was the main retailer that owned up to sourcing products from the factory, and expressed their concern.  Others still keep a low profile.

This is the cost of our clothing; produced by a “neoliberal” capitalist system that favours the elites, and ultimately damages us all to a greater or lesser extent.

[update] NZ Herald is now reporting the death toll has risen above 800.

23 comments on “The cost of our clothes”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Western corporates and their directors have been negligent in the extreme for not forcing their subcontractors to meet even minimal labour and safety standards.

    In theory, western corporates are in the perfect position to proactively force massive improvement in industrial and health and safety standards in countries like Bangladesh. Or they would be, if they weren’t so busy treating those places like mines and worker gulags.

    Mind you many US clothing brands do the same to their own citizens: using low cost prison labour (most of whom are black), just like the good ol days.

    • mikesh 1.1

      Or governments could impose tarifs on imported clothes on the basis that these tarifs would be removed only if wages and working conditions improved to acceptable levels.

    • ghostrider888 1.2

      cottening on

  2. prism 2

    I am pleased to read your post karol. I went straight to Open Mike and put a relevant comment there. My comment on Bangladesh is on Open Mike No.12.

    • karol 2.1

      Yes, prism. I saw it and agree with your comments. I was pleased to see someone had been aware of this awful event and was concerned about it.

  3. Bill 3

    And if a recent study done on ‘Apple’ is anything to go by, these ‘western’ corporations would still be making immense profits if their production was undertaken in ‘the west’ paying ‘western’ pay rates. And, of course, there’d be many more, now defunct domestic producers still existing had the rush to exploit cheap labour and lax conditions overseas not taken place.

    But then, relative wage rates in ‘the west’ couldn’t have been pushed down, profits couldn’t have soared and we’d be living in a more benign (not ‘good’ and not ‘desirable’ – but still, more benign) form of Capitalism. And that’s a bad thing from the perspective of profit and power.

    Maybe the concept of internationalism will enjoy a resurgence, but I’m not holding my breath and given the impoverishment of western consumers in relation to 30 or 40 years ago and the loss of plant, machinery and skills in ‘the west’ due to shifting production off-shore, I’m thinking the horse has bolted.

    And so Globalisation will trundle on and cheap ‘third world’ working conditions will, by and by, be introduced to ‘the west’ via prison labour (already existant in NZ) and more draconian employment/unemployment legislations alongside the final gutting of unions.

    And the final result will be shift away from the poor in other countries providing for us, the rich ‘western consumer’, to a situation where the ‘lucky’ poor in every country (those who can actually get into paid employment) will provide only for the rich in every other country. And the Capitalist competition (within the productive sphere) will be over market share for shrunken markets that many of us will have no meaningful access to.

    And if you want a taste of what that’s going to be like for the bulk of people, then cast an eye over Africa or Central/South America where exclusion and serious poverty playing out alongside highly oppressive forms of governmence is the order of the day.

  4. Rosie 4

    The continuation of abuse of garment workers in many parts of the world and the reality of their sub human existence is just heartbreaking.

    Despite a lot of campaigning and hard work by the workers themselves along side international Labour rights groups, garment workers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt still suffer severe life affecting injuries in unsafe factories, appalling and unacceptable work conditions and poverty wages right through to mass death such as the factory collapse you discuss above.

    The Tazreen fire in Bangladesh that killed 112 workers in 2012 you would think, would wake up the retailers who get their clothing manufactured in such places but it didn’t. Retailers like GAP and Disney continue to pay lip service to their own H&S regulations and some have refused to even sign new contracts to create safe work places. At the time that the factory collapse occurred, survivors from the Tazreen factory fire were touring the States, doing public talks, meeting with authorities and picketing headquarters of the retailers who have their contracts with these terrible employers. What would they have felt to hear the news of the factory collapse?

    In NZ we left are left with a poor choice for purchasing ethically produced clothes. Buy NZ made? Good luck. Clothing manufacturers in NZ are either struggling or closing down. You can still get few locally made items, er,socks made by Colombine in Hawkes Bay but they’re not going to clothe you are they?! You can buy some pricey clothes from flash “ethical” clothing companies (Eg, Kowtow) but its not within everyones reach. You can buy online but thats kind of inconvenient, or you can just get around in a few carefully purchased essential items.What to do? Worker run collectives producing good quality clothes for men, women and kids from sustain-ably produced textiles?

    • karol 4.1

      Yes, Rosie, it is a fraught situation and hard to know what to do. We have this issue of where to buy. The countries and people that provide cheap labour for wealthy multinational companies have been made dependent on the meagre wages.

      Worker cooperatives in NZ could be a positive step IMO, as part of an international campaign to dismantle the whole corrupt system: a system led by the corporates, IMF, World Bank, etc.

    • prism 4.2

      One fire doesn’t of a conscience make. Or something. The fire in that Arab city was it in Dubai that killed babies and toddlers. The female owner wouldn’t go to Court. Even with her Gucci handbag where she could have found some small change in a gesture of contrition. Then recently there was another fire at that mall. There was a problem originally about not using fire retardant paint but I don’t know about the latest.

      Perhaps women should adopt a worker. Something similar has been done, names and small details have gone with packaged items.

      The amount of wasted garments that are still good but have just been roughly used or stained amounts to tonnes that have to be dumped. Cotton and polycotton tops made good rags, polar fleece can be good on the inside, and made into patchwork blankets etc but that still is just a portion, even if a significant one. And each item the result of skilled and concentrated effort by someone getting $38 a MONTH (from the item) and even in a low inflation area could one eat and sleep safely for that, and what if a family was trying to, with only a mother who has to earn to keep her children alive and well.

      • Rosie 4.2.1

        Hi Prism.
        I guess the problem isn’t that there hasn’t been just one fire. Factory fires are common in Bangladesh but still multinationals and consumers turn a blind eye. Maybe its too inconvenient for them/us to have a conscience.

        I’m a bit lost of the “perhaps women should adopt a worker”. Can you please expand? Do you mean we should feel a connection or at least some gratitude for the person who made our garment or pair of shoes? If so, I agree. I’m just not sure about the “women” bit.

        After having this conversation I thought about my sneakers. They are the “No Sweat” brand. No Sweat used to make casual clothes and shoes made in factories that used only 100% Union labour. Depending on the country they worked in, under the collective agreement workers had access to full healthcare, education for their children and profit sharing. Awhile ago I went to buy some more sneakers and t shirts online but the site had gone and I haven’t followed up with it recently. Theres no excuse for this work environment to not be the norm. I think if consumers did have a thought or care about where their products come from it might put pressure on the multinationals, those kinds of workplaces might have an opportunity to exist as a reality.

        • Rosie 4.2.1.1

          Er, that should read “the problem is that there hasn’t been……….”

        • prism 4.2.1.2

          Men coulddo this reciprocal thing too but I am thinking of the tonnes of women’s clothes that get sold to NZs so women are gaining big advantage from these clothes. Some women’s dress shops have had to withdraw from locations lately what with the down-turn. But the multiplicity of womens clothing shops almost matches the pub numbers in colonial days.

          And somewhere a while ago, there was a system going where people who packed or picked said a hello to the users – perhaps a note in a box of dried fruit or something.

          • Rosie 4.2.1.2.1

            Thanks Prism:-)
            I agree there is an abundance of cheapie chain stores for women, but I must say, of all the blokes I know, none of them has a smaller wardrobe than me! I also know women who only buy from second hand shops and charity shops and a few that sew all their own clothes.

            Still, that’s most likely a minority of people that take steps like that to lessen their impact. We have a global industrial clothing supply problem in regards to worker health, safety and well being and it doesn’t help that we perpetuate it. I wonder if consumers will start demanding more care from the manufacturers of their clothes in light of the Bangladesh disaster.

  5. Rosie 5

    PS. Check out a link to a Fiji workers rights campaign I posted on Open Mike. The situation for workers in Fiji has been flying under the radar for too long as well.

  6. georgecom 6

    One way of trying to slightly lower the steep imbalance is through the likes of union aid – helping workers organise of developing countries.

    http://unionaid.org.nz/

    even $10 per month makes a difference

  7. Steve Morris 7

    Consumers must vote with their wallets to make any real change. Check out Freeset at http://www.freesetglobal.com a business that was set up by NZers Kerry and Annie Hilton who gave up living in Albany to live in the slums of Kolkata to rescue women trafficked in the sex industry. All profits from the business in Kolkata benefit the women (salary, health insurance and retirement plan) and are used to grow the business.

    • ghostrider888 7.1

      I have a freeset shoulder bag. Our congregation support their mission.

  8. idlegus 8

    its def been on my mind, especially when it was being reported that 100 were dead but 700 were missing, i was thinking why coouldnt they just say up to 800 were possibly dead. i found this powerful image here, http://lightbox.time.com/2013/05/08/a-final-embrace-the-most-haunting-photograph-from-bangladesh/#1

  9. ghostrider888 9

    some 3-ply Jolly UMconditional PositivE Regard for your heart-warming work, karol.

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    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    1 day ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    1 day ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago
  • March Against Monsanto
    Press Release – TPP Action Waikato March Against Monsanto (MAM)is a global form of action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long term health risks of genetically modified foods and Roundup ready crops.Today Waikato people rally, at… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    6 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    7 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    7 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    11 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    13 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    13 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    13 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    14 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    1 day ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    4 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    4 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    4 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    5 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    6 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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