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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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    Freddie Gray: brutally murdered by Baltimore cops by The Spark A young man is dead in Baltimore, killed by six murdering cops. In the same week, a murdering cop goes free in Chicago when a prosecutor and a judge tie… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Questions For Oral Answer April 28
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received about lower than expected inflation in New Zealand? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Hobbling Democracy: TPPA and The Covenant of Secrecy
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark The TTIP and TPPA, both sounding like ominous injections of political disaster, continue their march towards belittling, and corroding the democratic content of its participating countries. The holder of the needle remains US President Barack Obama,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • The Decline and Fall of the United States | David Swanson
    Opinion – David Swanson After a speech I gave this past weekend, a young woman asked me whether a failure by the United States to properly surround and intimidate China might result in instability. I explained why I thought the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Fearing the loss of Hegemony: The Concept of US Retreat
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark Nothing upsets those drunk on imperialist virtue than the fact it might end. Such romances with power do have a use-by-date, going off like old fruit. Eventually, the crippling contradictions will win through in the end.… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Strong Support for Clarification of GMO Council Jurisdiction
    Press Release – GE Free NZ On Friday, 24 April GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association of NZ with 19 other 274 parties sought clarification in the Environment Court on whether there is jurisdiction in the Resource… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Should Environmentalists Care About Poverty?
    Perhaps heightened by the leadership contest in the Green Party, there appears to be a debate going on about where environmentalism fits into the political spectrum. I am not a member of the Green Party (nor any other, for that… ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Inoculating against science denial
    Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to… ...
    1 day ago
  • A year ago today – Auckland’s first electric trains
    A year ago today transport in Auckland was forever changed as the first electric trains started carrying passengers – although they didn’t start running in normal service till the following day. Electrifying Auckland’s rail network is something that had been… ...
    1 day ago
  • Media Link: Anzac Day panel on future conflicts.
    Commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated assault at Gallipoli prompted Radio New Zealand to convene a special panel on the evolution and future of conflict since those tragic and futile days in 1915. I was invited to participate… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Australian cops shut down Aboriginal Anzac Day march
    The article below deals with the erasing of the Frontier Wars in Australia.  Something similar has happened in relation to the Land Wars in New Zealand.  The wars of conquest and confiscation of Maori land are totally eclipsed by carefully-constructed… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • After World War 1: the horrors of peace at home (Australia)
    The small number of people involved in Redline means we simply don’t have the possibility to cover everything we’d like to.  This includes some very important stuff.  For instance, an article about what NZ soldiers came home to, an equivalent… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Anzac Day II
    I spent a couple of hours at our local RSA on Saturday. It was well past the traditional solemnity of the morning, well into the drinking. The old fellows drank like soldiers and the soldiers, there in their uniforms, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Pony-tails, panic and PR spin.
    How Crosby-Textor propose to rescue Key from the fall out over his casual Pony-Tail stroking.Rumour has it that the Crosby-Textor spin machine that elevated John Key to the leadership of the National Party and thence to Prime Minister of NZ… ...
    the Irascible CurmudgeonBy Alan Papprill
    2 days ago
  • Poor peer review – and its consequences
    See below for citations used The diagram above displays links between the journal, editors and reviewers in the case of the paper Malin & Till (2015). I discussed these links before in Poor peer-review – a case study  but thought… ...
    2 days ago
  • Capture: April Come She Will
    Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass.Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.So here's… ...
    2 days ago
  • Has John Key tugged off more than he realises?
    John Key's pony-tail-gate controversy seems to have divided people into two camps. The vast bulk of New Zealanders (to purloin a Key-ism) can agree on the fact that it's weird... and out of order. But then there are those who… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Rodney Hide: They’re all after me, man…
    The state apparently has me under covert investigation. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was followed home by some guy in a long coat and dark glasses. It was 27 degrees and cloudy. My friends have… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • The road to Mike Hosking, vilifier of young women
    Some of us have always seen radio announcer Mike Hosking as a puffed-up little prat. I was there at Broadcasting House when this shortish young guy with a big voice and a very strange manner arrived in the Network Newsroom.… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Hey RaboDirect, if Mike Hosking’s selling you, I’m not buying.
    A nasty side of radio announcer Mike Hosking spilled out into view last week as he ‘bashed’ the victim of John Key’s serial bullying. Hosking, supported by TVNZ’s OneNews, sponsored by RaboDirect, vilified the waitress whom the Prime Minister admits… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Is Auckland boring enough?
    Via Jarrett Walker, I recently ran across a provocative article by Aaron Renn in the Guardian: “In praise of boring cities“. Renn takes his fellow urbanists to task for the narrowness of their vision about what makes a good city:… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago

  • More hype and half-truths from Coleman
    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    1 day ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    2 days ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    2 days ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    6 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    6 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    6 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    7 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    7 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    7 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago

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