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Thin end of the wedge to get thicker?

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, June 10th, 2013 - 54 comments
Categories: capitalism, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The Nats’ attacks on workers rights and conditions started with the “fire at will” (90 day probation) Bill. No surprise to find pressure from employers to double the duration:

Union alarm at talk of longer work trial

Trade unionists have labelled a suggestion by the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association to double the current 90-day trial period for employees as “disgraceful”. …

EMA manager of employment services David Lowe said it was hard to manage employees with fluctuating performance, and extending the 90-day trial to 180 days would allow employers to identify potential issues with workers.

If the Nats buy in to this there will be no end to the process. 180 days won’t be long enough, better double it to a full year. Two years. Do away with employment security altogether. All in the name of stimulating the economy of course.

54 comments on “Thin end of the wedge to get thicker?”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I’m in the position right now where one of my team members has been employed for a job that he doesn’t really have the skills to do. We’re not entirely sure how he made it through the interview process, but he did.

    If we had realised during the 90 day period that he didn’t have the required skills, we would have showed him the door at that point. It is now however past the 90 day period, so we must follow the normal performance management process. At the moment, this particular employee is managing to perform well enough to avoid a more formal performance monitoring process.

    This is definitely as it should be, and I see no reason why we, or anyone else, should need the duration extended out to 180 days. It is time consuming (and hence expensive) to remove someone from the business if they’re under-performing, and the process itself also must be carefully managed so as to avoid potential grievance etc claims. But that’s our fault for hiring someone that we shouldn’t have hired, and not properly monitoring them in the first 90 days to see if they could do the job. The employee should not be punished for our mistakes.

    • Shona 1.1

      Here’s a thought Lanth, how about your business ‘trains ‘ this hapless individual so they do have the skills required. Oh and he/ she got thru’ the interview process because the interview process is inadequate. Any chance that it will be reviewed? I doubt it NZ businesses don’t bother with questioning their processes or training anyone any more. So of course people lie to get through an employment system that is stacked against them all the way.

      • Macro 1.1.1

        +100

      • Lanthanide 1.1.2

        Because actually it turns out, my employer is not a university, and it is not our job to train someone for 3 years how to be a software developer. We employ people to contribute to the business, if they can’t contribute to the business, they shouldn’t be employed.

        Also, as I said above, the employee is currently performing at a level where a formal monitoring process is not required. We have been assisting him and modifying our normal work to accommodate him, but he still isn’t performing at a level we would expect from someone in his position with his length of time at the company.

        “Any chance that it will be reviewed?”

        Yes, we’ve discussed it and have made changes.

        “So of course people lie to get through an employment system that is stacked against them all the way.”

        In this case I don’t believe there was any deliberate lying involved, although I wasn’t present during the interview process so I don’t really know for sure.

        • Macro 1.1.2.1

          So just like every other business yours just wants to take, take, take, and never give anything back. Businesses have a duty to train – yes even software developers.
          If the young person whom you employed had a relevant qualification – and that wasn’t up to scratch – then that is something else, and maybe you need to look at your selection criteria. But having made a bad choice it really is the ethical duty to make the best of a bad choice.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Precarious short term employment many years ago was “seagulling” on the wharf, maybe you got picked maybe you did not. But in the 50s, 60s, to mid 70s there was a hell of better chance of full time employment on “Award” wages and conditions all over New Zealand.

    Security of and more hours per week/day are a persistent need for many workers now. Employment agencies and contract working increase the modern day precarious work ranks. The trial period puts downward pressure on wages via management by stress. Small business people are under stress too in some cases from the banks etc, but stuff ’em if they think exploiting workers is the way out.

  3. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3

    The problem Helen Kelly has is that she told us the world would end when the 90 day period came in. Employees would be getting buggered by employers on the High Street.

    And, the truth is, it’s not really causing any problems.

    • woodpecker 3.1

      If that’s true, why the need to double it to 180 days?

      • Polish Pride 3.1.1

        because often employers are so busy just trying to survive in the current economic climate they don’t have the time or resources to determine whether an individual is performing as he needs to be. It is also not to give them more time to get rid of an individual, but you might be at the 6 or 8 week mark before you realize there is a problem. Then you have to provide feedback and assistance to see if the problem can be fixed. Many times 3 months just isn’t long enough, 6 would be better for both the employer and the employee in many cases. In the instance where the proper steps have been taken and the employee still can’t do the job then the employer should be able to sit them down and say we have done this, that and the other and its still not happening. I’m sorry but we have to let you go.
        Despite what many on here will think, employers would rather the employee work out and be a good fit. They really do not want to have to go back to recruitment. It is a time consuming costly exercise. Resources are far better spent elsewhere, going back to recruitment is for most employers not an attractive option.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          If an employer or manager hasn’t stayed awake for the first 90 days then they deserve to go out of business.

          Also this measure shows how ‘No Idea’ the National Party is currently at.

          • Polish Pride 3.1.1.1.1

            It’s not that they are not awake it is that they are stretched beyond capacity.
            The second part is true but this in my experience would actually benefit both employers and employees in he current economic climate. They might be bereft of ideas but that doesn’t make this a bad policy.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1.1

              How on earth can you advocate for a policy which gives employers far more powers and gives employees only insecurity as being a good policy?

              The poor “current economic climate” has been caused by people like you who do not understand that job insecurity destroys economic growth.

              That tells me that you do not give a fuck about the balance of power between employees and employers. Or if you do, you prefer that the hand of employers are always strengthened as a priority.

              It’s not that they are not awake it is that they are stretched beyond capacity.

              Rubbish. That’s employer laziness and incompetence that you are excusing.

              If business is really that busy then why aren’t workers being better paid?

      • Polish Pride 3.1.2

        We use the 90 day rule. We have hired about 10 people on it since it came legislation. 1 of those 10 people didn’t make it. We did what we were supposed to do but they hadn’t come up to speed enough. They were let go because of risk. The 90 days was coming up and we had a choice.
        Let them go before the 90 days
        Take the risk with them and have to go through a lengthy process of warnings and BS if they didn’t cut the mustard.
        Now here’s the kicker. If it was 180 days we would have been happy to take more time to develop the person and try to get them up to speed. They would probably still be with us. 90days in business is a very short time, often too short.
        Without the 90 day rule we would have avoided hiring unless we really really had to.
        I have been both an employee (for many years) and an employer. Many on here have it dead wrong on employer motivations on things like this. It might surprise many but employers never hire someone not wanting them to work out and would rather help someone get up to speed rather than can them and go back to the recruitment process which is very time consuming and takes resource away from doing other activities to progress the business.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          I’m sure you won’t mind it if your work site becomes fully unionised then.

          The union will be able to help you properly assessing, mentoring and training workers, since you seem to be having so much trouble yourself, being “overstretched” or whatever example you used.

          As an employer I’m not surprised that you like the idea of making sure that all your new employees remain precarious as long as possible.

          It is cruel and unnecessary.

          Frankly, we’d be better off with employers with a better attitude than yours. The real job creation has to come from government.

          • Polish Pride 3.1.2.1.1

            I have to be honest the idea of my site becoming fully unionized scares the shit out of me simply because they have the ability to cripple business. I trust them about as much as you trust employers. Besides if they really cared about workers, their goal would be to free them from having to work (ok lets not go there this time)

            as for your last comment soooo wrong. 6th year been to hell and back. Never been paid a cent. Always put staff first. Company breaking even so paying staff as much as we can. no one on less than $15 per hour low staff turnover, good culture, Staff will get increases as revenue improves still before I get paid. Good flexibility with staff personal problems (after all everyone has em) Plenty of opportunity for staff to advance, learn new skills take on new roles. Even had a staff member turn down a job paying 40K more in another different role elsewhere because she didn’t want to leave.

            Job Creation comes neither from Govt or Business. Job Creation comes from the working class and middle class.
            They are the ones that spend their money and allow businesses and an economy to grow. Employ policy that reduces wages and you will struggle to grow your economy as they will have less to spend with businesses. Employ policy that reduces wages and your tax take will be lower and Govt will not be able to employ as many people, who again are mostly middle class, and who again spend their money with businesses and so on.

            I have picked up one thing we can improve on though from your comments. We can let them know that we want them to be here, and that if they have any issues or questions or if there’s anything they are unsure of, just ask. No one should ever get in trouble for asking questions. It served me very well in my career.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1.1

              But you can’t create rules for a frakking country based on the experience and organisational culture of your one frakking business.

              What do we do, clone you off 500,000 times so you can be boss of all the other employees around the country?

              And you seem plenty fine with holding all the power as the employer, as the wise old trusty boss.

              as for your last comment soooo wrong. 6th year been to hell and back. Never been paid a cent. Always put staff first.

              FFS so you got your halo intact and shiny, but I’m sorry, when you look at the behaviour of big employers like Air NZ, Talleys and Subway, you are in the moral minority mate.

              Keeping people in precarious employment is absolutely wrong and the fact is that you are on the wrong side of this discussion, despite your self styled halo.

              • Polish Pride

                Ahhh but I’m pretty sure having an end goal of freeing all workers from having to work in order to survive puts me back on the right side and the Unions at best somewhere in the middle.

                I’ve always thought it would be far easier if I could be just installed as a dictator than trying to change the world from where I am now. :)

                On a more serious not I’d have instant respect for unions and would encourage all my workers to join if they would actively and vigorously lobby govts to a system that frees workers from having to work yet still provides the tings that we all need and want.

                • Colonial Viper

                  as creditable as that may be, it reinforces my point that we cannot design the laws and regulations of a whole nation based on the example of your management ethos and practices.

                  I’ve always thought it would be far easier if I could be just installed as a dictator than trying to change the world from where I am now. :)

                  Even a dictator needs a semblance of legitimacy if he/she is to survive in the long run.

    • vto 3.2

      And vice versa of course, with the proviso that having no 90 day trial improves the position of people less well off. Not that that matters to people such as you eh…. it is all about the well off.

      You guys always act against your own best interests like the gormless fools you are. Example – paying the low paid a living wage rather than a minimum wage (read slave wage) would increase the amount of money being spent in the domestic economy and thus boost all business.

      • Kevin Welsh 3.2.1

        The problem vto, is that a lot – but not all – employers see their hired help as a comodity, and treat it accordingly.

    • Poission 3.3

      The 90 day rule has caused problems for employers,by making it more difficult to hire both skilled and unskilled staff as they are less likely to tradeoff security (tenure) for insecurity.

      Additionally the insecurity from having high rates of temporary workers is an impediment for increased productivity,

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/8776416/Low-productivity-costs-firms-30-billion

      Bridges fits in well with the Troika ( key english and Joyce) he is the thick end.

    • Unionist 3.4

      Department of Labour research shows one in five workers hired under the 90 day period is sacked. That’s a very high ratio.

      The reality is very few of these people are in unions (unions tend to have collective agreements so 90 fire at will clauses don’t apply) so have no voice when things go wrong.

      I know from personal experience that it’s more common than you’d think, and people who are sacked under it are very unwilling to go public for obvious reasons.

  4. keith ross 4

    the worse thing about the 90 day trial is that it makes movement in the work force a risky business. One does not know if the employer is going to do the right thing or not. This means that if you have a crap boss or job it is a gamble to toss it in for a new job,locking workers into whatever they can get. The same thing was my experience living in the USA, people were to scared to change jobs because they may lose benefits(medical) locking them into their present job. Freedom to change employers should be a right that is protected not undermined. Perhaps well off people or well educated people do not experience this but it is one of the “non measured” effects of this law. making it 180 days is ridiculous and further undermines the ability of the worker to get a fair deal in the market. A great example of legislating the scales in favor of the already well off.(most employers are bettor off than the people they are hiring)

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    You guys are missing one of the most important aspects of this legislation. It dissuades existing long serving staff from waka jumping to another employer due to reasons of insecurity in a new job.

    that reduction in labour mobility is a crucial cost saving for employers not wanting to take on new staff but also not wanting to deal with the costs of staff turning over.

    • fatty 5.1

      true…and that is also the reason why unemployment over 5% is also wanted (govt fantasy figures, not real unemployment). The last thing employers want is employee choice (to use a neoliberal buzzword).

      Coming from National, this de-powering of workers is unsurprising…but what is Labour’s stance. Does Labour have a policy of full employment? Anything less is a disgrace.

      • Rhinocrates 5.1.1

        I think it has something to do with being “realistic”. Ie., making sure that they have the very best deck chairs at the bottom of the North Atlantic rather than sailing into New York Second Class.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.2

      CV, it also discourages new workers from joining the union, if there is one at the workplace, which is another cost saving for the employer.

  6. Winston Smith 6

    I hope the Labour dredge up more examples like they did when the 90 day was brought in, most amusing when it was discovered the examples just happened (pure coincidence of course) to be member of the youth wing of the Labour party

    About the only interesting thing they had on red alert…

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      [citation needed]

      And, no, Kiwblog and Whaleoil are not valid references.

    • QoT 6.2

      Holy shit. People in New Zealand are, like, connected to each other! It must be a conspiracy, there’s no other way to explain how people might know each other in a country of 4 million.

  7. infused 7

    To be perfectly honest, the 90 day trail has been the best thing that’s ever happened in business in along time.

    However, I don’t think there is a reason to extend it passed 90 days. If you are on top of your management process, issues will crop up quickly.

    I also wouldn’t call this action disgraceful. I’m sure there is the odd few that can slip through, which is why this should be a small business law only.

    It’s costly to change out staff. I just gave the biggest pay rises I’ve ever given to keep staff this year.

    • framu 7.1

      considering you could use trial periods pre 90 day law – what made things so different for you once the law came into effect?

      • infused 7.1.1

        Where is the law stating that before the 90 day trail period was implemented?

        • framu 7.1.1.1

          well it doesnt exist now does it :-)

          AFAIK it used to be completely legal to specify a non-binding trail period for new employees as long as it was written into the contract that was agreed to.

          I know my boss used (and still uses) them for all new and unproven employees. (and not the 90 day one either)

          The only difference was you had to give a reason that was open to being challenged if you didnt keep them on

          • fatty 7.1.1.1.1

            framu, you made the mistake of thinking that infused might want to back up the claim that the “90 day trail has been the best thing that’s ever happened in business in along time”

            The best you can hope for is some vague comment, which in reality translates as “I’m a shit boss” (see 7.2.1 below)

            • infused 7.1.1.1.1.1

              How do I even need to back that up? It’s an opinion.

              How am I a shit boss? I’ve only ever written it in to one contract and never fired anyone with it.

              • fatty

                How do I even need to back that up? It’s an opinion.

                Well done, you’ve just backed it up by admitting its only an opinion. The way you wrote it originally suggested you might have some reasoning behind the statement

                How am I a shit boss?

                You’re a shit boss because you hire shit employees, even when unemployment is at an historically high level. That shows that non-shit workers don’t want to be involved with you…or am I missing something?

              • framu

                yes its an opinion – but it seems its an opinion based on ignorance of employment law.

                your claiming its the best thing thats happened in ages – ive have pointed out that you didnt need the 90 day law to start with as there were already trial periods at your disposal.

                As with all new laws passed by anyone, its helpful to look at whats changed – not what its promoters claim it does

                so… is it still the best thing to happen in ages? or has a little bit of knowledge changed your opinion?

          • Unionist 7.1.1.1.2

            Exactly. The law always allowed for a fair dismissal in the first 90 days. All that’s changed in the law is employers are allowed to dismiss unfairly and can’t be challenged on it.

            • infused 7.1.1.1.2.1

              They can be challenged on it.

              • Colonial Viper

                On what grounds?

                • Jim Davis

                  Only on direct human rights grounds if they’re stupid enough to say ‘you’re fired because you’re a Jew’ or similar. If they just say ‘you’re fired’ and don’t give a reason they don’t have to provide one. Or if they say ‘you’re fired because you’re not performing’ that’s okay too, because they don’t have to prove or quantify non-performance so no one can challenge it. It really is a shit of a law.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      To be perfectly honest, the 90 day trail has been the best thing that’s ever happened in business in along time.

      Sad if that’s really the case. In summary it describes how poorly National has performed at improving small and medium business growth in this country.

      • infused 7.2.1

        I don’t think you realise how big a deal it was trying to get rid of shit employees.

        • McFlock 7.2.1.1

          Much, much easier than getting rid of a shit employer.

          So what was the difficulty for you: giving clear expectations and feedback of employee performance; or that fiddly “good faith” lah-di-dah pc-gone-mad hogwash?

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.2

          I don’t think you realise how big a deal it was trying to get rid of shit employees.

          Oh yeah, it was sometimes a problem, some employees would raise a PG on leaving in the hope of getting an extra $2K to $3K pay out for no reason.

          But the solution to an unfair practice is not to can due process entirely and institute more unfair practices.

        • framu 7.2.1.3

          considering youve demonstrated a woeful lack of knowledge regarding employment law – im not that surprised

  8. fambo 8

    Like other right wing organisations attacking workers etc, the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has no self defined boundaries. The only one it knows is the fence put up to keep it from running riot. The present government is cut from the same cloth.

  9. georgecom 9

    If the EMA are consistent, what they really want is fire at will. Any day of the week an employer can sack a worker for any reason.

    “EMA manager of employment services David Lowe said it was hard to manage employees with fluctuating performance, and extending the 90-day trial to 180 days would allow employers to identify potential issues with workers”.

    Thats a really weak justification for extending the sacking period. If ‘fluctuating performance’, I imagine employers would want to sack a person AT THE POINT the performance fluctuated, be it 60, 90, 180 or 360 days. That being the case, just come out and state as such honestly and clearly rather than use some weak excuse.

  10. George D 10

    I’d be surprised if the National Government did this. It’s bad politics.

    (Yes, it’s awful, but that’s not why they’d refrain from it.)

  11. millsy 11

    Hi infused (and others),

    Just wondering if you see your workers as expendable beasts of burden to be thrown away?

    Cheers
    Millsy
    (real name withheld)

    • Macro 11.1

      Of course they do! That’s why its called an “H R” Human Resource.

      Resource according to the online dictionary is “A stock or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function”.

      It used to be a “personal department” but that had the unfortunate connotation that you were actually dealing with PEOPLE.

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    9 hours ago
  • The cost of corporate tax cheating in Australia
    How much does corporate tax-cheating cost us? In Australia, A$25 billion a year - enough to eliminate two-thirds of the government budget deficit:Australia's biggest 900 companies claimed tax deductions and exemptions worth a total $25 billion last year – enough… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Union merger gives local government sector a stronger voice
    On 1 April 2015 the Southern Local Government Officers Union (SLGOU) and the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) merged. Already New Zealand’s largest union, the merger brings the PSA’s membership to nearly 62,000. ...
    9 hours ago
  • March ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, or get your stats wrong).… ...
    9 hours ago
  • the stone in Winston
    The Greens made a good choice in not standing a candidate in the Northland by-election but the win from Winston and NZF is not good news for them.I like the Green Party and I'd be happy if they were dominant… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Secret squirrel
    The New Zealand Herald reports: Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment to Iraq. The ABC in Australia revealed yesterday that New Zealand troops had begun training with the Australian Defence… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    11 hours ago
  • A victory on freshwater
    Fresh water quality is one of the big environmental battlegrounds in New Zealand, with the government hellbent on destroying it for the profit of its cronies in the dairy sector, while the public understandably wants rivers which are safe to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Midweek lunch break
    Sit back and relax to these soothing, beautiful Wrestlemania 31 gifs. Best. Entrance. Ever. Dean. Fucking. Ambrose. Ronda. Fucking. Rousey. Super. Ladder. Plex. RKO. Outta. Nowhere. ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    12 hours ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    12 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    13 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    14 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    14 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    14 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    14 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    15 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    15 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    15 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    15 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    16 hours ago
  • The other missing mode
    Here at TransportBlog, we often write about “missing modes“. Auckland is shamefully underprovided with alternatives to driving, and that’s the situation that led to us developing the Congestion Free Network. The CFN calls for investment in rail, bus and potentially… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    17 hours ago

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  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    9 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    1 day ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    7 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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