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Wages up – Work secure – Labour policy

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, July 30th, 2014 - 165 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, employment, health and safety, labour, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Labour has today released its Work and Wages policy. An immediate lift in the minimum wage to $15, and a raise to $16.25 in April next year. 90 day free sacking option for employers to go in first 100 days. Core public service to get the Living Wage first, others to follow. That’ll put some money where it’s most needed.

Announcing the policy today, David Cunliffe said:

“Today we are committing to a ‘100 days’ programme to make positive changes to the lives of working New Zealanders. These include:

  • Immediately increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, with a further increase to $16.25 an hour in April 2015.
  • Aiming to raise the minimum wage to two-thirds of the average wage over two terms as conditions permit.
  • Ensuring all core public service workers are paid at least the Living Wage, and extending that as fiscal conditions allow.
  • Abolishing the Government’s 90 day dismissal law.
  • Reviewing health and safety laws and ensuring Worksafe New Zealand is adequately resourced.

“We will also charge a Commission of Inquiry with investigating wage setting and other workplace practices with a view to developing labour market regulation that makes it easier to negotiate fair pay and conditions, and encourages productive workplace relationships.

“Labour will boost wages and bring down unemployment so all Kiwis can afford a better life.”

You can read more including the full policy document here.

165 comments on “Wages up – Work secure – Labour policy”

  1. blue leopard 1

    Many people on the lowest wages are doing very important work and it is long past the time that doing such work was made affordable.

    It is a crying shame that employers have to be pushed to provide wages that employees can live on – however that is clearly the case – and I applaud Labour for the stance they are taking.

  2. Stifflittlefinger 2

    Watch the unemployment rate rise if this ever gets implemented.
    You can only bleed employers so much before they are forced to cut jobs.

    • Tracey 2.1

      Thanks chicken little

    • Shrubbery 2.2

      Protip: if low income workers are paid more, then they have more to spend. This is good for the economy. Businesses that are only viable because they underpay staff won’t do that well, but why would we encourage that sort of behaviour when we could encourage more viable business strategies?

    • wonderpup 2.3

      [citations needed]

      • McFlock 2.3.1

        [no citations exist]

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.1.1

          [citations exist that show the opposite is true]

          • s y d 2.3.1.1.1

            Their solutions are our problems
            They put up the wall
            On each side time and prime us
            Make sure we get fuck all

            They play their games of power
            They try to mark the pack
            They deal us to the bottom
            But what do they put back?

            Don’t believe them
            Don’t believe them
            Don’t be bitten twice
            You gotta sus-sus-suspect device

            Read more: Stiff Little Fingers – Suspect Device

    • Tracey 2.4

      How can business be bleeding in a rockstar economy?

      If you are right and businesses are bleeding, and we know employees are struggling, for whom is this economu working???

      • poem 2.4.1

        Well said Tracey.

      • Kiwiri 2.4.2

        If you are right and businesses are bleeding, and we know employees are struggling, for whom is this economu working???

        Umm ….. Banks, Landlords and Speculators?

    • poem 2.5

      “You can only bleed employers so much before they are forced to cut jobs”

      Like it has under national you mean.

      And you know that.. “Watch the unemployment rate rise if this ever gets implemented”… is a fallacy .

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.6

      @Stifflittlefinger.

      What you have there is a false belief. The real world (cf. Seattle, and many many more examples) is somewhat different to the world of Economics 101.

      Closer to home, Michael Cullen raised the minimum wage nine times in nine years and unemployment went down. To put it another way, Bill English’s best efforts have never matched the NZ left’s business as usual.

      Now, clutch at your false beliefs even harder, perhaps try some outright denial, shoot the messenger and all that stuff, and I’ll have a good laugh at your inability to cope with a reality check :D

      • Kiwiri 2.6.1

        Michael Cullen raised the minimum wage nine times in nine years and unemployment went down

        Yeah, please raise the minimum age!

        The effect is a “build up” or “spurt up” because “trickle down” or “hoard away” does not work.

    • Weepus beard 2.7

      Your handle is a NI anarchist punk band right? Surprised you fall on the side of tight employers.

      Unless you high jacked that band for your own purpose, that is.

      • Rosie 2.7.1

        I thought that handle was weird too and at odds with the message

      • Stifflittlefinger 2.7.2

        Hardly an anarchist band. There message was mainly independence from the IRA/loyalist shit that was NI at that time. If they wanted anarchy they would have picked a side and stirred up major trouble. By the way also a big fan of “The Clash”. Not the message just the music.
        RIP Joe Strummer

        • s y d 2.7.2.1

          just the music…..not the message…..

          thats a bit like reading books for the pages, not the words…

        • Te Reo Putake 2.7.2.2

          “Not the message just the music.”

          Strummer would have despised you.

        • Rosie 2.7.2.3

          Uh ok. stifflittlefinger(s)

          Funny, I had a Clash night last Friday to cheer myself up. The music’s great but can’t be separated from the narrative. That would be like reading a book for the pretty pictures.

          Each to their own though.

    • Macro 2.8

      Utter crap!

      What will happen is the complete opposite of your dire and uneducated predictions.

      http://americasmarkets.usatoday.com/2014/07/07/study-states-that-raised-minimum-wage-had-stronger-job-growth/

      “Critics of minimum wage increases argue they raise business costs, forcing employers to lay off workers or hire fewer people.

      But CEPR senior economist John Schmitt says one reason minimum pay hikes actually could bolster employment growth is that they help businesses fill openings more quickly. Big employers of low-wage workers, such as fast food chains, virtually always have job vacancies, he says.

      Another reason, he says, is that low-wage workers tend to spend nearly all their extra cash, lifting the local economy and creating more jobs.”

    • irascible 2.9

      All evidence points to the opposite of your argument. So stop mouthing the same nonsense that the unethical and unprincipled Key, Joyce & Cronies declare as they asset strip the country.

    • Minarch 2.10

      One supermarket proved it can provide employees with a livable wage, annual bonuses, and a retirement plan. They can beat Walmart’s prices. They can turn a profit, too. So why was its CEO just forced out?

      http://www.esquire.com/blogs/news/market-basket-fight

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Aiming to raise the minimum wage to two-thirds of the average wage over two terms as conditions permit.

    The problem with that is that conditions will never permit. Better just to have the minimum wage increase to two thirds of the average wage over three years.

  4. George 4

    That’s one way to describe things.

    The other is that:

    “a Commission of Inquiry with investigating wage setting and other workplace practices with a view to developing labour market regulation that makes it easier to negotiate fair pay and conditions, and encourages productive workplace relationships”

    is a step back from the industry award wages and conditions that Labour promised to introduce.

    Cunliffe and Parker have openly admitted they dropped that plan because business opposed it.

    • Darien Fenton 4.1

      Not true. The policy says “Labour is committed to introducing Industry Standard Agreements” ….and “Labour will reform wage setting and collective bargaining following a Commission of Inquiry.”

  5. Lanthanide 5

    Having recently attended employment law training session, I’m much less against the 90 day law than I used to be.

    There are actually protections around when it can be used, and it doesn’t let employers off the hook completely (although of course most employees won’t be aware they have rights):
    1. The 90 day provision is not valid for anyone who has previously worked with the company. So you cannot hire and fire the same person every 89 days – the second time they are hired, the 90 day provision is invalid.
    2. Even if someone is dismissed under the 90 day law, the employer must still follow a reasonable process and act in good faith. Getting to day 89, with no previous indications of bad performance, only to be let go, is not acting in good faith.

    • George 5.1

      Except that the employer does not have to give any reason at all for the dismissal. The law is quite clear on that. It’s thus very hard to prove bad faith or a breach of the Human Rights Act, in the way that someone covered by ordinary employment law can.

      I’m not absolutely and entirely against it either, but I think that a strong form of protections is needed. These should include a full written explanation of the reasons the person was fired, and a payout of six weeks wages, since that employee is now seeking work again unexpectedly.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        I’d be happy with that.

      • Puckish Rogue 5.1.2

        That sounds fair

      • Hayden 5.1.3

        And no stand-down for unemployment benefit at the end of the six weeks.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.3.1

          …criminal prosecution of human rights abuses by government employees, with particular focus on WINZ and ACC. In-depth investigation of human rights problems. Entrenchment of the NZBoRA.

          Criminal liability for human rights abuses extended to elected officials. Government for the people.

          A modest goal.

    • Tracey 5.2

      As with all things, there are pros and cons. The power differential betw most employees and their employers is crucial. Most employers value their employees and understand the value of loyalty. Most employees understand their employer takes risks and loses sleep to keep them employed.

      As with all things it is the extremes at both ends which we end up legislating for.

      Employment law is usually the first to change with each change of govt ensuring little consistency and making it expensive to keep getting new advice on each change

    • RedBaronCV 5.3

      In practice it is utter crap because it removes from employers any onus to try to get the right fit of person for the job. They just take some one on, then when the utterly unreasonable targets for the job that are not disclosed in the interview or are lied about are not met then they just use the 90 day rule.

      People who leave a reasonable job to go to a new one are then left high and dry. Some firms are so appalling at the “give it a whirl” game that agencies won’t touch them and these are not minimum rate jobs. It’s a sociopathic hunting ground. It also slows down recruitment- a lot of people won’t move jobs when they face this.

      Then there is the stress and costs of taking action.

    • The 90 day provision is not valid for anyone who has previously worked with the company.

      I have heard stories to the contrary, namely people being offered “promotions” and then fired after a few weeks on the basis that the promotion was a “new” role and thus (not that this was spelled out to them at any point, of course) subject to a 90-day trial.

      The entire problem of the 90-day trials is this: there was already provision for probation periods in employment law, so literally the only point of the 90-day law was to allow bad employers to churn through workers, keep wages down, and undermine union organising in the workplace.

      • Lanthanide 5.4.1

        I have heard stories to the contrary, namely people being offered “promotions” and then fired after a few weeks on the basis that the promotion was a “new” role and thus (not that this was spelled out to them at any point, of course) subject to a 90-day trial.

        Well according to the presenter, as well as the HR department at my company, that is illegal and the people such treated can file a PG and will almost certainly win.

        Furthermore, the clause must be agreed to by both parties, the employer cannot try and fire someone without it having been put into the written contract first. This goes so far as if someone works for 1 day before signing their contract, the 90 day clause is invalid because they already started working for you.

        The entire problem of the 90-day trials is this: there was already provision for probation periods in employment law, so literally the only point of the 90-day law was to allow bad employers to churn through workers, keep wages down, and undermine union organising in the workplace.

        Except the probationary period, in practice, offered no additional powers to employers in how they were able to treat their employees, so might as well not even have existed. See my post further down in the thread.

        • Tracey 5.4.1.1

          From my interactions with people in employment situations, the majority won’t take legala ction. They go try and find a new job and consider challenging will be trouble than its worth and settle for a good reference.

    • Darien Fenton 5.5
      1. Employers don’t have to follow any process at all. Proving a breach of good faith is a huge hurlde in the Employment Authority, and is not ground for unjustified dismissal.
      • Bob 5.5.1

        Come on Darien, that is BS and you know it.
        “1.Employers don’t have to follow any process at all” have you read the act?
        http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2000/0024/latest/DLM58328.html?search=ts_act_employment+relations_resel&p=1#DLM58328
        Good faith means a requirement to show that the employer has given multiple chances for the employee to rectify poor performance or bad behaviour, AND the employer has to show how they have provided sufficient support to rectify that performance or behaviour. If the employer does BOTH of these, AND the employee doesn’t show signs of improvement, only then can they be let go.
        I am sure you would have already read through recent case law since you are part of a Labour Party that is wanting to repeal this law, but just in case you are simply spouting Union rhetoric, you can start here:
        http://www.corbanrevell.co.nz/wa.asp?idWebPage=39970&idDetails=188
        http://www.fortunemanning.co.nz/Publications/Employment+Law/Trials+and+tribulations+-+an+update+on+90+day+trial+periods.html
        And I would ask you to specifically read this:
        http://www.pdassociates.co.nz/newsletters/pitfalls-90-day-trial-period-employers-beware/

        • Te Reo Putake 5.5.1.1

          Have you read those links, Bob? Perhaps you should, eh. And quoting a piece of the legislation that has no bearing on the ability to dismiss under the 90 day provisions doesn’t strengthen your argument at all.

          Perhaps you could show us some evidence that anyone has successfully used ‘breach of good faith’ to win a PG against a dismissal under the fire at will provisions?

          And Darien is right, lack of proper process is not a major issue any more. National have watered down the law so that small employers can get off by saying they didn’t know what the proper process was. It may be the only place in NZ law where ignorance of the law is a genuine defence.

          Ps, happy last day, Darien!

          • Bob 5.5.1.1.1

            TRP – Here you go:
            http://dol.govt.nz/workplace/determinations/FullSummary.aspx?ID=39828871
            http://dol.govt.nz/workplace/determinations/FullSummary.aspx?ID=39828504
            http://dol.govt.nz/workplace/determinations/FullSummary.aspx?ID=39828839
            http://dol.govt.nz/workplace/determinations/FullSummary.aspx?ID=39828479

            These are just cases this year that have made it to court in 2014 and not been settled during mediation, there are dozens more cases won by the employee freely available on the MoBIE website.

            “And Darien is right, lack of proper process is not a major issue any more. National have watered down the law so that small employers can get off by saying they didn’t know what the proper process was. It may be the only place in NZ law where ignorance of the law is a genuine defence”
            Believe what you like but ignorance is NOT a genuine defence, if you know of any cases where it has been I would be very interested to read it, but in the mean time I will just take your statement as being as ignorant of the law as calling the 90 day trial ’90 day free sacking’ as Mike Smith does above.

            • Darien Fenton 5.5.1.1.1.1

              And none of those cases you cite got their job back and all got a pittance in compensation. And they only succeeded because the employer didn’t do the paperwork properly. They learn fast. I don’t know if you’ve ever actually met someone who has been dismissed under the 90 day trial period. I’ve met heaps. Losing a job is a devastating experience for anyone, and there are few workers who have the resources to take the employer on. And what’s worse, getting another job will be all but impossible, because they’ve been sacked.

              • Bob

                Maybe a pittance for a list MP Darien, but these are all in the thousands of dollars, which is a lot of money in my world!
                Yes, I have met people that have been dismissed under the 90 day trial law, both of them admitted they weren’t enjoying the role/company so they weren’t worried and both have got new jobs since without issue.

                Losing a job is devastating but these people can’t just be fired at will (as you will have people believe), they have to be underperforming or causing a justifiable disruption to the business to be fired. How many of these ‘heaps’ of people you have met have said they thought they were performing well when dismissed? How many were adding value to the business they worked in? You do realise that when you get a job in the real world you don’t just turn up and get paid don’t you Darien? You still need to do the work you are being paid for, this law gives people a chance to prove themselves, a chance they may well not have got without it.

            • Te Reo Putake 5.5.1.1.1.2

              No mention of breach of good faith in those four cases, Bob.

              The first 3 had the employer use the 90 day provision as an excuse to dismiss, when it wasn’t available to them for technical reasons. The fourth was a disadvantage case where the employer simply didn’t pay the wages, then eventually fired the worker.

              Care to keep digging and find us a case that involved a good faith breach in the 90 day period?

              And as for your last paragraph, the Act has been amended to allow the ERA to decide that even if a dismissal process was technically poor, that does not necessarily mean the dismissal is unjustified. The reason given for the change was that most kiwi firms don’t have HR departments or similar resources and shouldn’t be penalised if they give it their best shot, but still fall down on proper process.

              Or as one firm put it:

              “Employers will be delighted to know that the amendments also mean that the ERA or Court cannot decide that there has been an unjustified action or dismissal solely because of a defect in the employer’s process if the defects were minor or technical and did not result in the probability that the employee was treated unfairly.”

              So ignorance can be a defence, Bob. Do try and keep up.

              • Bob

                Here you go then TRP: http://dol.govt.nz/workplace/determinations/FullSummary.aspx?ID=39826623
                “Found respondent did not comply with good faith obligations in dismissing applicant – Dismissal unjustified – REMEDIES – No contributory conduct – Found respondent should have dealt with applicant’s performance issues by managing applicant’s performance”

                http://dol.govt.nz/workplace/determinations/FullSummary.aspx?ID=39825138
                “Found respondent could not rely on trial provision whether dismissal within 90 day trial period or not and Authority could determine whether dismissal justified – Found applicant not given opportunity to provide advice, comment or explain performance”

                “So ignorance can be a defence, Bob. Do try and keep up.”
                I’ll ask again, can you point to one piece of case law that backs this up TRP???
                Without case law to back up your point, this can just be seen as a law firm trying to drum up new business on their interperatation of the law, not as a reason to scrap a good piece of legislation!

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Again, neither of those work. What you’re looking for is a good faith breach in a 90 day dismissal. Have another crack.

                  edit: the relevant bit of the legislation about process failure is this: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2000/0024/latest/DLM60327.html

                  (the fifth line)

                  • Bob

                    The first example even directly states “Found respondent did not comply with good faith obligations in dismissing applicant – Dismissal unjustified”, can’t be more clear than that!

                    The second case “Found applicant not given opportunity to provide advice, comment or explain performance” refers to not acting in good faith as stated in the Employment Relations Act 2000: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2000/0024/latest/DLM58328.html?search=ts_act_employment+relations_resel&p=1#DLM58328

                    1A) The duty of good faith in subsection (1)—

                    (b) requires the parties to an employment relationship to be active and constructive in establishing and maintaining a productive employment relationship in which the parties are, among other things, responsive and communicative; and

                    (c) without limiting paragraph (b), requires an employer who is proposing to make a decision that will, or is likely to, have an adverse effect on the continuation of employment of 1 or more of his or her employees to provide to the employees affected—

                    (i) access to information, relevant to the continuation of the employees’ employment, about the decision; and

                    (ii) an opportunity to comment on the information to their employer before the decision is made.

                    “the relevant bit of the legislation about process failure is this: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2000/0024/latest/DLM60327.html
                    Yes, that is the legislation, but again, show me how that legislation has been applied in case law!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Sorry mate, but neither meets your own definition in the your call of bullshit up the page. What you are looking for is a proven breach of good faith and/or process failure AND a genuine 90 day dismissal, all in the same judgement. Perhaps if you put those terms in the search engine you’ll have better luck. But don’t bother linking to judgements where it was shown that the 90 day rule didn’t apply, as most of those you’ve put up have turned out to be.

                      In other words, try and find something that actually disproves what Darien said.

                    • Bob

                      Since you are obviously struggling with reality, let me step you through it!

                      UNJUSTIFIED DISMISSAL – Poor performance – UNJUSTIFIED DISADVANTAGE – Applicant claimed unjustifiably dismissed and disadvantaged by respondent – Respondent claimed applicant’s employment subject to 90 day trial period – Applicant claimed first document entered into by parties was employment agreement – Respondent made provision in document for trial period and to assist applicant to purchase vehicle with loan – Authority not satisfied document was employment agreement – Found document later entered into by parties was employment agreement which also referenced trial period and finance for vehicle – Applicant purchased vehicle using funds referred to in documents – Respondent met with applicant to discuss concerns about efficacy of applicant’s work – Respondent convened another meeting after failed to see improvement in applicant’s work – Parties agreed to addendum to employment agreement – Applicant claimed bullied into signing addendum and not given opportunity to seek legal advice – Respondent claimed applicant not bullied into signing addendum and applicant’s suggestion to reduce salary by 50 per cent – Respondent dismissed applicant and requested repayment of loan – Found respondent failed to stipulate in documentation that applicant could be dismissed during trial period and not entitled to bring grievance in respect of dismissal – Found applicant not employed on 90 day trial period and could raise grievance – Applicant claimed disadvantaged by respondent’s failure to allow reasonable follow up of opportunities for new clients – Applicant claimed bullied by respondent – Found applicant not persuasive witness and various allegations not established – Found applicant architect of own misfortune – Found no impropriety in relation to agreement to addendum – No disadvantage – Found respondent did not comply with good faith obligations in dismissing applicant – Dismissal unjustified – REMEDIES – No contributory conduct – Found respondent should have dealt with applicant’s performance issues by managing applicant’s performance or having trial period that complied with law – $7,500 reimbursement of lost wages appropriate – $3,000 compensation appropriate – COUNTERCLAIM – RECOVERY OF MONIES – Respondent sought repayment of loan advanced to applicant for purchase of vehicle – Found respondent advanced loan to applicant in employment context – Found implied term of loan agreement that loan would be repaid at conclusion of employment – Applicant to pay respondent $10,340 – Respondent sought repayment of personal fuel costs incurred by applicant – Applicant to pay respondent $340

                      Result:

                      Applications granted (unjustified dismissal) (counterclaim)(recovery of monies) ; Reimbursement of lost wages ($7,500) ; Compensation for humiliation etc ($3,000) ; Recovery of monies ($10,340)(loan) ($340)(fuel costs) ; Application dismissed (unjustified

                      The key points being:
                      – UNJUSTIFIED DISMISSAL – Poor performance
                      – Respondent claimed applicant’s employment subject to 90 day trial period
                      – Found respondent did not comply with good faith obligations in dismissing applicant – Dismissal unjustified
                      – Recovery of monies $10,340

                      This covers all of your and Darien Fentons lack of understanding of the legislation in one case, 90 day trial IS NOT fire at will, and employers DO have to follow good will process. You can continue with un-informed rhetoric all you like, but reality does not match.

                      For a fourth time now, show me in case law how ignorance is a legal defence?!?! Or is this just another piece of union rhetoric with no basis in reality?

                    • McFlock

                      Found respondent failed to stipulate in documentation that applicant could be dismissed during trial period and not entitled to bring grievance in respect of dismissal – Found applicant not employed on 90 day trial period and could raise grievance

                      cf:

                      What you are looking for is a proven breach of good faith and/or process failure AND a genuine 90 day dismissal, all in the same judgement.

                      sigh.

                      edit: franlkly all that case demonstrates is the employers who were too thick to properly manage underperforming staff are occasionally also too thick to properly administer the fire at will legislation.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Poor old, Bob. Can’t even be arsed reading the evidence he reckons supports his position.

                      From the judgement:

                      “The Authority finds that the trial period referred to in the documentation
                      provided to it by The Freight People does not comply with New Zealand law and is therefore a nullity. It follows that Mr Rix-Trott was not employed on a probationary period of employment and, in consequence, he can raise a personal grievance in relation to the circumstances of his dismissal. ”

                      Get back to us when you find a case that actually backs your premise, Bob.

                    • Bob

                      McFlock – “frankly all that case demonstrates is the employers who were too thick to properly manage under performing staff are occasionally also too thick to properly administer the fire at will legislation.” You contradict yourself! If it is “fire at will” legislation then you would be able to FIRE AT WILL!!! How can you be too thick to properly administer legislation that you don’t need any reason to administer?

                      Still waiting for some case law TRP…..

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      LOL, does that mean you’ve given up Bob? I do appreciate the time you took to at least try and find something to back up your statement. Obviously, I knew it was it was always going to be a futile effort, but at least you gave it your best shot. Beats arguing with people who just bluster.

                    • McFlock

                      You contradict yourself! If it is “fire at will” legislation then you would be able to FIRE AT WILL!!! How can you be too thick to properly administer legislation that you don’t need any reason to administer?

                      Because you have to explain the fact that you’re working under those rules before you hire them. Otherwise, you have to treat them decently. You can’t employ someone and then change the rules after they have the job. That’s nothing to do with firing, it’s basic contract theory.

                      Once you explain those rules before you give them the job, you have the power to fire at will. In the case you quoted, the problem wasn’t that the employer couldn’t fire at will. It’s because the employer was incompetent at hiring people, and couldn’t even manage a simple 90-day clause in the empoyment contract.

          • Darien Fenton 5.5.1.1.2

            Thanks TRP.

            • Te Reo Putake 5.5.1.1.2.1

              Thank you, Darien! It was great to have a battler for the battlers in parliament, you should be very proud of all you did there.

              • Rosie

                Hear! Hear!

                • Michael

                  I thought your valedictory speech was great, Darien. You said a lot of things that needed saying. I’m glad you will remain with the Labour movement, where there is a lot of need for your skills.

  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    When the 90 day was implemented the cries from the left were deafening in what it would mean for NZ workers but has it come to pass?

    There was a flurry of publicity of course, but I recall red alert had something up about an interview with a “victim” the victim just happened to be a member of young labour (pure coincidence I’m sure) but has there been any incidences recently?

    The law seems to be working well so why change it? There may be case for the raising of the minimum wage but is there one for the 90 day bill? It just seems to be like the Greens wanting to ban all publicly owned *semi-automatics even though theres no good reason for it.

    *Not meaning this to be about semi-autos just using it as an example of parties wanting to change things for no real reason

    • poem 6.1

      The 90 day rule may have worked for employers, but not so much for the workers. Many employers have abused it for cheap short term labour.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      The ninety day protection for scumbag employers bill was introduced on the basis of the lie that it would lower youth unemployment. Youth unemployment went up. No apology was contemplated let alone delivered.

      In the private sector, this level of incompetence leads directly to the dole queue. In politics, the argumentum ad nauseam works in the short term, and that explains the National Party: the embodiment of false beliefs and prejudice.

    • Rosie 6.3

      The 90 day law wasn’t necessary in the first place. There was already a provision in the existing Employment Relations Act, whereby either an employer or employee could review the situation under a trial period of 90 days. Under this provision however, the employee still had a right to legal representation if they felt they had been unjustifiably dismissed. Under the Nat version, the employee doesn’t.

      I have often wondered if this removal of right to seek legal representation is in breach of ILO conventions regarding access to legal representation. NZ is a signatory to the International Labour Organisation’s conventions.

      The reason the law needs to be changed is because it puts an unreasonable amount of power in the hands of those who already have it, and removes a basic work right from those who don’t.

      Try being a job seeker when you have a sham of a law hanging over your head. In your first 3 months you have absolutely no job security no matter how hard you work or how good you are at your job. It is a sickening feeling I can tell you.

      It has to go.

      • Lanthanide 6.3.1

        “The 90 day law wasn’t necessary in the first place. There was already a provision in the existing Employment Relations Act, whereby either an employer or employee could review the situation under a trial period of 90 days. ”

        That’s what I thought too. During the employment law training session (mentioned above), I questioned the presenter quite closely as to the difference between the existing legislation and the 90 day law.

        The existing legislation is effectively useless. Basically it’s ‘formally’ giving the employee notice that you will be monitoring their performance. But that’s it. It means you might be able to slightly speed up a performance review process that could result in termination, but otherwise the existing process must be followed in full and if you mis-step at any point you’re liable for a PG. So ultimately in practice putting the condition in their employment contract is no different from having regular meetings with the employee where you go over their performance -> so putting the clause in the contract doesn’t actually give the employer any new powers whatsoever.

        On the other hand, the trial period can be for lengths of time longer than 90 days. But in practice it’s not really worth bothering with.

        • Rosie 6.3.1.1

          Hi Lanthanide.

          Just to clarify, second paragraph you mention “The difference between existing law and the 90 day law”. The 90 day law replaced the previous lawful trial period provisions, so the “existing law” is the current law no?

          Yes, I did see you had been attending a law training session. I was curious as to who was running it, because the presenter (s) sound out of touch with the reality of the 90 day law, as it now stands.I had wondered if it was the EMA running it, but even the EMA doesn’t get such matters confused. They are ideologically and duty bound to promote the employers view but know where to draw the line legally, normally.

          Going by what you are saying it seems they are of the view that nothing has changed, and that the employer may still be liable for a PG if they dismiss an employee when the 90 days is up

          The crux of the 90 day law is the removal of the right for legal representation if an employee wants to pursue a PG on the grounds on unjustifiable dismissal.The employer is not legally required to provide the employee with a reason for dismissal either.

          This is why there was a big stink about it and why Labour plan to scrap it.

          I was horrified to to witness this happen in the workplace last year to a young guy who just needed guidance and boundary setting. There had been some tension between him and the boss. The organisation’s (most disappointingly it was a well regarded NGO) lawyer advised the employer to sack then young guy under the 90 day provisions. It was see ya later alligator.

          • Lanthanide 6.3.1.1.1

            “The 90 day law replaced the previous lawful trial period provisions, so the “existing law” is the current law no?”

            No, the 90 day law is available in addition to the probationary period. The probationary period still exists, but as I outlined, it is pretty much a waste of time because in practice it offers nothing in addition to what an employer could achieve through the body of the rest of the legislation anyway.

            My use of “existing legislation” was referring to the probationary period.

            The training was from the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce, and in general the presenter seemed very knowledgeable, factual and not biased in any particular direction, but spoke of things how they are. The presenter is available to hire in employment disputes, so does practice what they preach.

            “Going by what you are saying it seems they are of the view that nothing has changed, and that the employer may still be liable for a PG if they dismiss an employee when the 90 days is up”

            No, the 90 day law does give the employer much more power. But, it does not prevent the right to file a PG for bad faith.

            • Te Reo Putake 6.3.1.1.1.1

              That’s dead set wrong, Lanthanide. Because the employer does not have to provide a reason for the sacking, a good faith breach cannot be proved. I’d go further; the 90 day provision specifically removes the need to behave in good faith. The only PG’s that can be taken are where there was a technical issue (such as the ones you’ve mentioned around rehiring or the simple failure to get the 90 day clause agreed to before employment started) or for where there is provable bigotry or discrimination.

              I too am available for hire in employment disputes. The difference between me and the bloke from the CoC is that I generally win my cases.

              • Lanthanide

                Because the employer does not have to provide a reason for the sacking, a good faith breach cannot be proved.

                In some cases, probably. But if the employer tells someone they’re doing a great job, there’s absolutely not hint of any problems and they talk about the person staying with the company for a long time, then on day 89 they are fired and are given a reason that contradicts all previous statements, that would seem to be bad faith.

                Basically you can file a PG for 3 reasons: unjustified dismissal, not acting in good faith and unfair disadvantage. The 90 day law removes the unjustified dismissal cause, but not the other two.

                A quick google turned up this result, which pretty much agrees with everything the presenter said: http://www.duncancotterill.com/publications/trial-periods-in-practice-ensuring-your-90-day-trial-period-is-valid
                Including, specifically, this point:
                “If you don’t think your employee is suitable for your organisation, you should let them know prior to dismissing them. Consult with them about their performance or attitude, and provide an opportunity for improvement. You are legally obliged to be open, honest and communicative with staff. If you fail to deal with performance concerns, your employee could claim unjustified disadvantage and breach of good faith.”

                I too am available for hire in employment disputes. The difference between me and the bloke from the CoC is that I generally win my cases.

                A ridiculous claim to make, since you have no idea who the person I am talking about is, or in fact that they are a woman, not a man.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  You’re not getting it, Lanth.

                  Good faith does not enter into the equation at all, once the trial period has been agreed. Good faith must be used in that negotiation (as if job applicants have any choice in the matter!). To repeat myself, the fire at will provision effectively removes good faith as a consideration during the 90 days. It’s an almost unfettered right to dismiss, with the only exceptions being those we’ve already identified, such as discrimination.

                  If good faith was relevant, it would be equally relevant on day 1 as on day 89. But it isn’t. Further, if it was relevant, which it isn’t, the penalties would be minimal and would not necessarily include payment for lost wages, hurt and humiliation or breach of the Act. Most small employers also have recourse to the other nasty change to the Act bought in by National and that is the right for employers to claim they didn’t know what they were doing, therefore shouldn’t be punished. Technical or process deficiencies can now be ignored or minimised, which is also a significant watering down of good faith.

                  Anyway, even if you didn’t get much of value from the training day, I hope at least the lunch was good.

                  • Lanthanide

                    The law says you can raise a PG on the grounds of breach of good faith.

                    Whether that is possible in practice is entirely besides the point that I am making, which is that is what the law says. Lawyers are advising employers to keep this in mind so that they don’t end up with PGs filed against them, which even if the employee isn’t successful still costs a lot of money for the employer to deal with.

                    I am not defending the 90-day law: it has problems. I would rather see it improved, than scrapped, as Labour is proposing.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “Whether that is possible in practice is entirely besides the point that I am making, which is that is what the law says.”

                      Not quite. What you said was:

                      “2. Even if someone is dismissed under the 90 day law, the employer must still follow a reasonable process and act in good faith. Getting to day 89, with no previous indications of bad performance, only to be let go, is not acting in good faith.”

                      Then you went on to say:

                      “No, the 90 day law does give the employer much more power. But, it does not prevent the right to file a PG for bad faith.”

                      You have put the case that acting in bad faith or having a bad process can lead to successful PG’s in a ninety day trial. I’ve pointed out that the provisions of the trial period legislation mean that cannot happen. Specifically, the right to silence on the reasons for dismissal mean this cannot happen, unless the employer is foolish enough to put something fatal in writing. Which pretty much never happens. To be more precise, the trial legislation allows for, and actually encourages, bad faith behaviour, as long as its not admitted.

                      However, if the CCoC is advising employers that it’s dangerous to sack people under the 90 day provision, then I’m all for that. Anything that stops employers behaving like pricks is fine by me, even if it’s based on misinformation or just a misunderstanding of the presentation.

                      Paul Diver has quite a good summary of the pitfalls from an employers’ point of view, including a swift dismissal of any worries around breaches of good faith. He points out, as I did, that the exemption from providing reasons and information means bad faith behaviour is not really an issue.

                      http://www.pdassociates.co.nz/newsletters/pitfalls-90-day-trial-period-employers-beware/

                    • Lanthanide

                      Filing a PG is not the same as filing and winning a PG. Nothing I said indicates that anyone would win any particular PG filed for bad faith, just that such a thing was possible.

                      unless the employer is foolish enough to put something fatal in writing.

                      Employers make foolish mistakes all the time, like firing someone who doesn’t actually have a 90 day provision in their contract.

                      However, if the CCoC is advising employers that it’s dangerous to sack people under the 90 day provision, then I’m all for that.

                      It’s not advising that it’s “dangerous”, it’s advising that care should be taken and the law does not give you carte blanche to do whatever you want under the mask of “90 days trial”.

                      The page you linked to specifically says: “Both parties must not do anything to mislead or deceive the other.”

                      It’s easy to imagine a case where, as I outlined above, the employer made repeated statements that the employee would definitely continue past the 90 day period, there was no problem with their work etc, only to turn around and fire them on 89. That would be deceptive and therefore breaching good faith.

                      It also says this:
                      “Employers do not need to give a written reason for the dismissal but are required to give an explanation at the time notice of dismissal is given.”

                      Whereas you previously stated people could be dismissed for no reason. So it seems this source disagrees with you.

                    • Tracey

                      The problem is proving bad faith. It’s all very well for a presenter to say the law says you can sue for bad faith BUT proving it and the costs thereof is quite prohibitive.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Nope, the source agrees with me. Giving a verbal explanation (“we want to go in a different direction, etc.”) is not the same as giving lawful reasons why a dismissal should be upheld. If the employer doesn’t give the explanation, there is no particular penalty for that anyway.

                      Your example of the boss indicating that employment might continue and the worker was doing fine is completely irrelevant, and, unless the statements were in writing, unprovable. And even if it were demonstrably true that the employer said all those nice things, he could still legally sack the worker under the 90 day provision. That’s what the fire at will law is all about. In your scenario, the employer can simply say on any day in the 90, “I changed my mind and I decided to go in another direction”. Case closed. Sure it’s unfair, but that’s what the legislation is designed to allow.

                      The simple truth is that the 90 day rule allows and even encourages bad faith behaviour, no matter what you think you heard in your seminar.

                      And Tracey is dead right. What would be the point of taking a PG on alleged bad faith behaviour? It wouldn’t go anywhere and would just cost the applicant whatever they spent on representation and possibly the other side’s legal costs if they chose to go hard on it. The number of cases won over breaches of good faith in other areas such as bargaining or redundancy are minimal anyway, even when there is substantial proof. When the employer has the right to dismiss on his side anyway, it simply isn’t going to happen.

                    • Lanthanide

                      he could still legally sack the worker under the 90 day provision. That’s what the fire at will law is all about.

                      Yes, and the 90 day law does not prevent the employee in this case from filing a PG for breach of good faith.

                      You can argue as much as you want that “no one wins such claims”, the point still stands that employers should still act in good faith when dealing with a 90 day dismissal, because otherwise they risk a PG for breaching good faith, however unlikely that is to be raised, or to succeed, in the first place.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Why ‘should’ they use good faith, Lanth? There’s no penalty if they don’t, no risk of losing a case based on it and the 90 day provision positively encourages the very opposite. Firing someone for no good reason is pretty much the definition of bad faith behaviour, yet no company has ever been succesfully done for it that I know of. Feel free to find evidence that says otherwise.

                      You seem weirdly hung up on the fact that people can file no hope cases, as if that has some relevance to or indeed, influence on, employers. It doesn’t. And I bet the CCoC advocate did not say anything like ‘don’t use bad faith coz someone might file a case against you they have absolutely no chance of winning’.

                    • Rosie

                      Well! Clearly I can’t top what Te Reo Putake and Darien Fenton have to say – that was a very thorough and technical going over of the law.

                      From a (unemployed) workers view this law needs to go. To put it in its simplest terms the 90 day law is inherently unfair. One party is advantaged at the expense of the other party. No matter how much one pulls apart the intricacies of the law, it comes down to who has the power. Workers in NZ, especially non unionised ones, have very little left.

                      The guy I saw get fired under the 90 day law had no where to go, no legal representation. None of the bosses even attempted to work through the little issues they had with him. They were so minor they didn’t even warrant disciplinary action.

                      Such abuse of workers rights should have never been allowed to happen. Labour are doing the right thing by planning to repeal the law.

                    • Lanthanide

                      You are (trying) to argue that the CCoC speaker is wrong in that PGs re: breach of good faith cannot be raised if someone is fired during the 90 day period.

                      You’re wrong, they can be.

                      Here’s your quote incase you don’t remember what you actually said:

                      That’s dead set wrong, Lanthanide. Because the employer does not have to provide a reason for the sacking, a good faith breach cannot be proved.

                    • Lanthanide

                      To put it in its simplest terms the 90 day law is inherently unfair. One party is advantaged at the expense of the other party.

                      What about the case where the employee misrepresents themselves during the interview process and their references don’t flag any issues?

                      In that case, the employee is advantaged (by getting paid a wage that they don’t deserve) at the expense of the employer.

                      For large employers, this is a risk of doing business and their processes likely need to be improved to weed the problem out before hire. For small employers, a mis-step like this early in the company’s life can send it bankrupt.

                      Yes, it is possible to dismiss workers over performance problems. But it can be a costly and time-consuming process, whereby not only is the under-performing worker paid wages, but the managers and others who have to deal with the situation end up spending a large amount of their time dealing with the situation.

                      My favour would be to put specific restrictions and safeguards around the 90 day provision, but not remove it wholesale. In fact extending it to 120 days could be warranted.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Um, the quote contradicts your strawman. It’s no fun if you’re going to shoot yourself in the foot all the time ;)

                      “Here’s your quote incase you don’t remember what you actually said:

                      That’s dead set wrong, Lanthanide. Because the employer does not have to provide a reason for the sacking, a good faith breach cannot be proved. "

                      I remember it very well, and I also remember asking for you to provide some evidence that contradicts it. I’m still waiting …

                    • Lanthanide

                      I’ll make this simple for you because you don’t seem to be getting it.

                      When someone is dismissed generally, they have the right to raise a PG for reasons of A, B or C.

                      When someone is dismissed under the 90 day trial period, they have the right to raise a PG for reasons of A or B. They cannot raise a PG for reasons of C.

                      A = breach of good faith
                      B = unfair disadvantage
                      C = unjustified dismissal

                      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2000/0024/latest/DLM1867204.html?search=ts_act_employment+relations_resel

                      67A-2-C: if the employer does so, the employee is not entitled to bring a personal grievance or other legal proceedings in respect of the dismissal.

                      Clearly, you can bring a PG due to breach of good faith, because that is not excluded by the legislation. Note that a PG for breach of good faith can be raised even while you are still employed – it has nothing to do with being dismissed. Generally however people who are currently employed are unlikely to bring such a claim against their employer.

                      The fact that no one does so, or such cases are unlikely to succeed, does not mean it cannot be done. As such, employers are wise to not breach good faith.

                    • McFlock

                      What about the case where the employee misrepresents themselves during the interview process and their references don’t flag any issues?

                      In that case, the employee is advantaged (by getting paid a wage that they don’t deserve) at the expense of the employer.

                      Well, that’s fraud.
                      Or if the interviewee didn’t have to make an explicit lie about something critical to their prospective role, then that’s an interviewer who lacks competence.

                      For large employers, this is a risk of doing business and their processes likely need to be improved to weed the problem out before hire. For small employers, a mis-step like this early in the company’s life can send it bankrupt.

                      So the employees should shoulder the risks of a crap manager? If a manager needs 90-day FaW, they have bigger problems than evil poor people lying to get jobs.

                      Yes, it is possible to dismiss workers over performance problems. But it can be a costly and time-consuming process, whereby not only is the under-performing worker paid wages, but the managers and others who have to deal with the situation end up spending a large amount of their time dealing with the situation.

                      God forbid a manager should spend their time managing.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Lanth, I’ll make this as simple for you as I can:

                      So fucken what?

                      Your original statement was wrong. It remains wrong. What you ‘learned’ in a seminar doesn’t overrule reality or the law. You are not an instant expert in the area and you do not trump hundreds of advocates, lawyers, authority members, and politicians just because you are fixated on a misheard or misunderstood aspect of what you were told. At least poor old Bob tried to justify his position by doing some research. All you’ve got is dancing on the head of a particularly blunt pin.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ TRP:

                      Except the law backs up what I am saying. An employee who was dealt with in bad faith who also happens to have been dismissed under the 90 day law, can bring a PG against the employer with regards to the breach of good faith, regardless of whether they were dismissed or in what fashion it happened to be.

                      That’s what the law says. I even quoted it. That is what I have been saying all along, you’re trying to make out that you “cannot” raise a PG on breach of good faith, when factually, you can.

                      @ McFlock

                      Well, that’s fraud.
                      Or if the interviewee didn’t have to make an explicit lie about something critical to their prospective role, then that’s an interviewer who lacks competence.

                      Yes, I agree it is the interviewer who lacks competence, but it doesn’t seem fair that an employer can make a mistake, and therefore be stuck with an underperforming staff member for months (or potentially, years). People make mistakes, it happens. Why is it only employees who are allowed to make mistakes, but employers not? Why are employers being held to this mighty high standard?

                      Many small businesses that have employees actually end up in the situation where the business owners earn less in a year in profit than they pay their staff in salary and wages (and I mean individually, not in aggregate). It’s really not like employers are all-mighty masters of the universe and must be upheld to exacting standards and if they may a mistake hiring the wrong person who they then can’t get rid of expediently, who cares if they go bankrupt. That’s not actually fair.

                      God forbid a manager should spend their time managing.

                      Yeah, because a manager that spends 60 hours a week managing their regular business, is perfectly able to spend another 5 hours a week dealing with an underperforming staff member. They’re a manager after all, who cares how long it takes them to do their job or how stressful it is? They’re a manager, not a worker so who gives a stuff about them?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Fuck me, you’re dense. I agreed about a millennia ago that people can file cases they can’t possibly win. So fucken what? The whole point of the law change is that under the 90 day provision they cannot win. They cannot win. They. Cannot. Win. So it’s not a disincentive to bad faith behaviour. Geddit now?

                      What you think you heard is meaningless gibberish that has no relevance in the real world. FFS don’t tell your employer about what you ‘learned’ if you ever want to get another cushy day out of the office.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Ok, well we have nothing to argue about, then.

                      Also, it was on-site training.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, I agree it is the interviewer who lacks competence, but it doesn’t seem fair that an employer can make a mistake, and therefore be stuck with an underperforming staff member for months (or potentially, years). People make mistakes, it happens. Why is it only employees who are allowed to make mistakes, but employers not? Why are employers being held to this mighty high standard?

                      Oh come on.
                      There is recourse for a competent manager to either improve (the ideal outcome) or get rid of “underperforming” staff members.

                      The trouble is that it requires an ability to manage. Why should the staff member be the only one expected to be competent?

                      Many small businesses that have employees actually end up in the situation where the business owners earn less in a year in profit than they pay their staff in salary and wages (and I mean individually, not in aggregate). It’s really not like employers are all-mighty masters of the universe and must be upheld to exacting standards and if they may a mistake hiring the wrong person who they then can’t get rid of expediently, who cares if they go bankrupt. That’s not actually fair.

                      They take that risk because if the business takes off, the owners reap the rewards. The employees do not. If the owner is not a competent manager, the first thing they should do is improve that area of their skillset or get someone competent to do it.

                      Managers might not be masters of the universe, but they do have significant power over their staff members. Fair labour laws (and effective third-party worker representation via unions) goes some measure to balancing that power, but the manager will almost always be on top. If they’re not competent to be inthat position, they shouldn’t have the job.

                      God forbid a manager should spend their time managing.

                      Yeah, because a manager that spends 60 hours a week managing their regular business, is perfectly able to spend another 5 hours a week dealing with an underperforming staff member. They’re a manager after all, who cares how long it takes them to do their job or how stressful it is? They’re a manager, not a worker so who gives a stuff about them?

                      I’m not sure you know what “managing a business” means. Managing staff is part of it. This includes preparation, monitoring, ongoing two-way feedback, and yes knowing how to deal with difficult situations.

                      The attitude that managing staff is not part of a manager’s “regular business” is probably a big reason that some of these incompetent managers fuck up in the first place.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.4

      The law seems to be working well so why change it?

      I don’t think that an All round failure is what most people would call working well.

    • There are many, many stories of employers abusing 90-day trials. But guess what? The kind of workers who are vulnerable to bullying bosses aren’t usually in the best position to go public with their stories because they’re vulnerable workers who need a job.

  7. Tarkwin 7

    As Lanthanide says there are provisions in the 90 day law that protect people. I’ve used it to employ staff and have never had a problem, that is not to say there aren’t trash people out there who will do anything they can to rip people off regardless of the law. As for the hourly rate, I would love to pay my staff more. They are loyal, they work hard and they deserve it. The problem is it’s just so hard to make a dollar at the moment, our industry has been dessimated by the Chinese and the Indians. They work for next to nothing, my staff don’t and nor should they have to. I don’t know what the answer is but I dont think raising the minimum wage twice will help – I can live with once. Regardless of who gets in in September things have got to improve.

    • Anne 7.1

      Regardless of who gets in in September things have got to improve.

      You sound like a good employer Tarkwin.

      Dare I suggest though that ‘things’ won’t improve under the present regime because they are simply not about improving conditions for the average industrial worker. They know most of them won’t be voting National. It follows that the macro-management of the economy is not conducted in their interest despite the imposing rhetoric from Bill English in particular. But a Labour/Green government plan to alter the emphasis of governance towards increasing growth (export growth in particular) and increasing employment opportunities for ordinary workers. I have no doubt there will also be incentives made available for NZ made goods and services that will give people like you a chance to regain your former momentum. In some ways it will be a return to the good old days of the 50s,60s and 70s but updated to fit in with modern technology and life styles.

      It’s worth a punt don’t you think Tarkwin? Better than the do-nothing alternative we have at the moment.

      • blue leopard 7.1.1

        …and also, if more people are paid better then there are more people who can afford to buy the products/services of your business, Tarkwin.

        • Rosie 7.1.1.1

          +1 Exactly blue leopard. More tills ringing, more happy bosses and customers, more staff employed to meet extra business demands.

    • McFlock 7.2

      dunno if it’s winter or the nats, but a lot of folks I know are at the end of their economic tether, too.

      The thing about a staggered increase in minimum wage is that it gives a bit of time for the upped money circulation from the first increase to come back to your bottom line.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3

      Tarkwin you might take heart from Seattle’s experience: their high minimum wage boosts their local economy, not weakens it.

      Something’s gotta change: it’s the government.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.4

      I don’t know what the answer is

      The answer is to stop competing with those that get to under cut us because they have lax laws and even laxer enforcement of those laws. Basically, we need a law that says:

      You can trade with us when your standards meet ours

      Introduces a race for the top rather than the race for the bottom that we’ve had for the last thirty years.

    • Wayne 7.5

      As the author of the 90 day bill (I appreciate that Kate Wilkinson was the Minister, but the policy came from my 2006 Members Bill virtually unchanged), this is a debate that I follow.

      The law is now nearly 6 years old. I was not surprised that it was Labour policy to repeal it in 2011. However, I would have thought it was less of an issue in 2014. But I guess it is Labour’s view that it is part of the “neo-liberal experiment”, even though every OECD country has such laws.

      Anyway, this post is less about the merits, which have been well rehearsed many times, and more about the way political parties go about their business.

      Is this a policy that Labour promises to repeal no matter what and irrespective of how long they are in opposition, or will it be accepted once more time has gone by (assuming the Nats form the govt in 2014)?

      If it is the former, then I guess this will be one of those policies that exists when the Nats are in power, and not when they are not.

      When you think about it, there are not many policies in this category. I guess top tax rates is one, and maybe privatization, although that Nats are not promising that for 2014. Are there any others?

    • Minarch 7.6

      There are other ways to make your staff feel appreciated even if you cant afford pay rises

      company paid family outing days (rainbows end, parakai etc )

      more paid holidays in lieu of a pay rise (its not against the law to have MORE than 4 weeks per year ! )

      Mental health/ “duvet” days along side sick-leave entitlement

      on-site gym/wellness benefits

      pay there union dues ;-)

  8. michael 8

    A very modest set of initiatives here. On the plus side, scrapping fire at will won’t cost taxpayers anything, while increasing minimum wages as promised will cost relatively little. On the negative side, “working towards” and “reviewing” are weasel words for inactivity and the status quo. After six years in opposition, Labour should know by now what needs to be done, how much it will cost, and from where it will raise the money to pay for its policies. If people think Labour hasn’t done its homework and that it is bullshitting them, again, it will “enjoy” another three years in opposition. At least opposition MPs get paid many, many times more than the minimum wage so it shouldn’t hurt their bank accounts too much. OTOH, for the people Labour claims to represent, another term of right-wing oppression is dire news indeed.

  9. dave 9

    wages must rise as a worker who hasn’t had a pay rise in 10 years the current system is broken it doesn’t work there plenty workers on contact in real terms being paid below the minimum wage who are being exploited the whole system is broken. a lot of jobs once you take into account transport costs acc are no longer viable as energy poverty takes hold. i know of a company that make there works supply there own gear with no cost reimbursement and staff have no way of claim tax deprecation or any insurance costs workers across the board are being ripped off in gods zone and lifting the minimum wage is just a start when we hear of $1000 dollar hour consultants at Auckland council while staff working out on outsourced contracts get ripped it just makes the blood boil
    there needs to be a prolong campaign of industrial action across the country to start clawing back what has been stripped from us in the last 3 decades .

    • Rosie 9.1

      True Dave. There are many unprotected and exploited workers. Those workers on a contract such as courier drivers, in real terms often learn less than the minimum wage as they are paid per piece, have to pay their own acc and don’t get holiday or sick pay.

      Supermarket merchandisers are another group of contracted workers. Hired by agencies, they miss out on the basics and must supply their own phone and transport and that is rarely fully compensated in the mileage allowance, so they lose out by subsidising the employers costs.

      The winners are the supermarkets who get their order taking and shelf filling labour for free

  10. dave 10

    i know for sure strong worker representation and collectivisation and industry standards are part of labours industrial package an inquiry is there to provide the image of consultation and justification but we already know the outcome and what needs to happen so don’t worry about any back track the agenda has already been set.

  11. Saarbo 11

    Labour will win this election, this has given many of the people who didn’t vote in 2011 another powerful reason to vote Labour. There are areas that the “free market” does a terrible job, and at the lower end of the wage scale it is hopeless. For all of those people who are complaining, well see how you would live on the minimum pay rate…at the moment the low paid are subsidising employers…Well done Labour.

    • Rosie 11.1

      Excellent. +1

    • Bearded Git 11.2

      True saarbo-the first thing someone said to me last night in the pub was “I’m going to vote Labour because then next year I might actually have a half-decent wage”.

  12. disturbed 12

    Yes Saabo we need to get the message out to the masses, of kiwis who need the higher wages to survive.

    If this Shonkey mob stays afloat they will drive the minimum wages lower as Key is on record as saying he would want to see wages lowered.

    In 2008, the following was recorded by a reporter:
    During a Northland meeting on his Heartland tour, John Key met Kerikeri District Business Association president Carolyne Brooks-Quan in a café with a journalist present. Key seems to have taken little notice of the journalist, referring to him in a later media interview as ‘a young guy’.

    During the meeting Brooks-Quan expressed to Key her concern about calls for employers in New Zealand to pay their workers more:

    ‘There’s been a lot surrounding the exodus of people to Australia that are lured by higher wages. There are some calls here for employers to pay more. What’s your take on that?

    John, ever the business-friendly politician, replied:

    ‘We would love to see wages drop. The way we want to see wages increase is because productivity is greater. So people can afford more. Not just inflationary reasons, otherwise it’s a bit of a vicious circle as it comes back to you in higher interest rates. We really want to drive that out.’
    I rest my case.

  13. Populuxe1 13

    Well that’s lovely and all, but not worth diddly without jobs in the first place. Where are the policies for job creation?

  14. adam 14

    Why do they need a review? Are not citizens advise keeping records? What about the unions – they keep records, or maybe ask the employment lawyers who getting all those calls a week. ACC they have records too. It’s all there.

    I think the review part is rubbish. And as a radical, I think labour are again weak as piss over wage raises. Why are we only talking a pitiful rise an hour, we need real wages.

    A minimum wage of $25 an hour.
    Million dollar fines and jail for deaths in the work place.
    Good behaviour bonds for bad employers – in the tens of thousands for every case won against them.
    Safe work places – homes taken from bad employers and sold to get the work place safe.
    Redundancy clauses in every contract
    Free access for industrial unions to work places
    Freedom of association
    Education options for works and their families.

    That just for a start

    If a employer has such a bad model to make money, one which relies solely on paying piss poor wages – they shouldn’t be in business in the first place. Business in NZ need to up their game, the cheap labour model is a bad joke. Maybe all the crying Muppet’s who think it’s hard to be in business should not be – it’s simple – do some work yourself/become self reliant – rather than force your ideological shit down working peoples throat.

    And Populuxe1 – How about you read the other policies labour have released about the economy. Before you open your mouth, and show your nothing but a c grade troll.

  15. tricledrown 15

    Populaxitive.
    Goldman Sachs was commissioned to research evidence on minimum wages.
    Their findings just before the 2012 US elections proved that states which had a higher minimum wages had lower unemployment.
    Also states that increased their minimum wage lowered their unemployment.
    Also other research shows US states with the highest taxes had the lowest unemployment and highest growth.
    Meanwhile States with the lowest taxes had the worst unemployment and growth.
    California is the best example under low tax high debt Republican government low growth occurred.
    Now Democrat controlled with higher taxes growth and debt reduction is occurring.

  16. john 16

    A few points

    1/ Inflation has gone up 43% since 1999. Minimum wage has gone up 103% over the same period.

    2/ Many struggling manufacturers will simply not cope with a big increase in their wage bill. Likewise with orchard where some Apple orchards have been letting the fruit fall on the ground because it costs more to pick them than what they are worth.

    3/ Much of the increase will go back to govt for those who need it most. Treasury figures show nearly 70% of a wage increase for a four person family with two people on low wages gets stripped from working for families.

    4/ It makes automatic equipment that replaces low skilled jobs (i.e. supermarket self checkouts, auto burger makers that cost one annual wage but replace three workers, robotic vacuum cleaners, ) far more feasible and cost effective. Amazon is getting 10,000 robots this year that will replace workers who fill online orders.

    5/ It makes it even more risky for an employer to take on low skilled staff. Take away the trial period and you make many people unemployable.

    6/ There will be even fewer jobs for low and unskilled people.

    7/ In places like Auckland where housing is over priced, it will allow rents to catch up as they are some of the lowest in the world compared to the price of the houses.

    8/ Addressing structural issues like over-priced housing, can have a much more positive effect. Ditto with everyone going to Auckland for work, when there are more jobs available AND cheaper houses in other places.

    9/ And nothing will reduce poverty more effectively that if people stopped making dumb decisions, like hoping to beat all the competition to find low skilled work instead of working to get a qualification or skill that’s needed. And failing to plan to get into a secure emotional and financial place BEFORE having a family.

    If you think there are not enough low skilled jobs now, it’s only going to get worse as technology rolls on. And while 40% of NZ children are not even planned, we will continue to have hundreds of thousands pour over the poverty cliff.

    Anything the government can do – even a very left wing one – will be little more than tinkering with the problem.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      John can see it all in his crystal ball. Unfortunately it’s showing him what happens on another planet. On Earth, the evidence is in: minimum wages rises boost the economy.

      Will John notice what happens on Earth? Doubtful.

      • miravox 16.1.1

        “Will John notice what happens on Earth? Doubtful.”

        Beyond doubtful. He lives on Planet Key.

      • srylands 16.1.2

        Well in New Zealand a long run of increases in the minimum wage now means we have the highest ratio of minimum to average wages in the OECD. I don’t know that has boosted the economy, or how you would even prove that empiricaly.

        On empirics, the minimum wage is paid to just over 2% of the labour force. So it is a tiny effect. Further they are a mixed bunch. Students, and a fair number of earners in (relatively) high income households.

        I think it is naive to think that increasing wages for unskilled 18 year olds won’t have an impact on their employment.

        We would be better off letting the market set all wages and targetting income support via welfare if there is residual problem for some workers. We should also tackle housing costs which is a main source of child poverty (and poverty generally). Finally, we should strongly discourage the unskilled from having children – because they simply cannot afford to do so.

        So there you have it:

        • embrace market – abolish MW
        • tackle housing costs
        • targetted welfare for low income earners
        • discouarge child bearing by the unskilled

        Do those things and there is no need for any MW.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.2.1

          No, that doesn’t work on Earth S Rylands.

          On Earth, Seattle for example, the highest minimum wage in the US goes with the lowest unemployment rate, for obvious reasons. Obvious to people who didn’t drink the kool-aid that is.

          Before people were stupid enough to implement the pre-determined faith-based policies you sold them, no-one cared. In the real world, your dogma has to deliver results, and it doesn’t, ever, anywhere, and we know this since we tried it.

          You’re naked, leech.

    • Tracey 16.2

      You seem down today John? Still thinking wistfully that only a couple of weeks ago you were in hawaii

  17. Dale 17

    Not sure about all that John. But I think raising the minimum wage, making credit much harder to get and having maybe the first 10,000 tax free will go a long way. Many people get trapped into a credit spiral. If they had more of their own money then it empowers people.

  18. Dale 18

    The lack of regulations around bank lending has screwed many. It wasn’t that long ago that first home buyers had a 15 or 20 year mortgage, now its 30 plus. The banks know they got you for life. Imagine if they could only offer a 25 year mortgage. House prices would reflect income.

    • Minarch 18.1

      doesnt mortgage mean “death grip” in latin ?

      • Tracey 18.1.1

        Good call

        Origin
        late Middle English: from Old French, literally ‘dead pledge,’ from mort (from Latin mortuus ‘dead’) + gage ‘pledge.

        • minarch 18.1.1.1

          Hence why i would never have one ( a mortgage that is )

          I have purchased a property in Latin America quite recently, and came to a private agreement with the (previous) owner, 1/3rd cash on the barrel-head, another the rest in regular monthly installments, no interest paid, no banks necessary, everybody is happy ! Its quite common in this country too as no one really trusts the banks there.

          now i just have to learn spanish !

  19. Jepenseque 19

    Hi all

    this is good debate. What I am interested in is a what level of min wages does a further increase become significant from an employment perspective? This is the crux of the debate. Is it at 12, 15, 20 dolloars an hour? No one wants to see higher unemployment. If I say had a small office business that was cleaned at night and the cost to do that was say 2 hours or about 29 bucks at current min wage would I still get it done at $35 or $40 a night. Some business might go back to getting it cleaned only say 3 nights a week. What do you all think? Cheers

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1

      I think the evidence is that minimum wage rises boost the economy. If you think they do something else, stop concocting hypothetical examples and look at the huge amount of data available.

      Your myth that it will result in higher unemployment is a myth. Do you understand what the word myth means? It means you can easily refute me by pointing to some real world examples where your myth came true.

      The onus is on you to provide facts in support of your false beliefs.

      • s y d 19.1.1

        Jepenesque – buy a vacumm cleaner, put some sounds on (stiff little fingers maybe) and clean yer own office…

        or perhaps you won’t be able to afford heated seats in your next new car cos the working poor are sucking too much outta your hypothetical business

    • Wreckingball 19.2

      Jepenseque makes exactly the right point. At some point, as a business owner, you will decide not to get the cleaners in every day. That is indisputable. When you extrapolate this effect on all businesses and all labour it will lead to a reduction. There will also be a substitution effect from people to machines as pointed out above. Unemployment will go up.

      As you stated above One Anonymous Bloke, “the evidence is that minimum wage rises boost the economy”. If that were the case, and as I have already said below in my last post, why don’t we set the minimum wage at a much higher level, to encourage even more growth?

      • Tracey 19.2.1

        So to be clear. It is better to pay people less than a living wage because you are doing them a favour. If you have to pay a living wage you will do it yourself?

        That is a tui sign

      • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2.2

        Right then, so the highest unemployment will be in the US states that have the highest minimum wage, right? Wrong.

        You are one of those people who thinks the argumentum ad nauseam carries weight; get a clue: it doesn’t matter how many time you parrot your false beliefs: they’re false, or you would be able to cite real world examples to back them up, and you can’t because the real world shows the opposite of your claims. Yes, it does.

  20. grumpy 20

    Always amazes me that those calling for a rise in the minimum wage are the same ones calling for a lower Kiwi dollar.
    Wages in New Zealand are too low but need to be increased at the same time as a high dollar is maintained.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      Always amazes me that those with the most money get so angry when it is suggested that those with the least need a little extra to get by, but that’s the real world: extreme wealth degrades personal ethics.

      • Grumpy 20.1.1

        ……but…….but, if wages go up and the dollar falls, then in real terms they are no better off?

  21. Karen 21

    The response from the right is always this will increase unemployment. This is an interesting study that disputes that theory.

    http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/min-wage-2013-02.pdf

    The conclusion is interesting.

    “Economists have conducted hundreds of studies of the employment impact of the minimum wage.

    Summarizing those studies is a daunting task, but two recent meta-studies analyzing the research conducted since the early 1990s concludes that the minimum wage has little or no discernible effect on the employment prospects of low-wage workers.

    The most likely reason for this outcome is that the cost shock of the minimum wage is small relative to most firms’ overall costs and only modest relative to the wages paid to low-wage workers. In the traditional discussion of the minimum wage, economists have focused on how these costs affect employment outcomes, but employers have many other channels of adjustment.

    Employers can reduce hours, non-wage benefits, or training. Employers can also shift the composition toward higher skilled workers, cut pay to more highly paid workers, take action to increase worker productivity (from reorganizing production to increasing training), increase prices to consumers, or simply accept a smaller profit margin. Workers may also respond to the higher wage by working harder on the job. But, probably the most important channel of adjustment is through reductions in labor turnover, which yield significant cost savings to employers. “

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      The debate is over, after some troublemakers collated mountains of evidence that proves that right wing drivel is drivel.

  22. Hagar 22

    One way to test what effect of increasing the minimum wage is to increase everyone’s wages by 100% and see what happens.

  23. Wreckingball 23

    If a raising the minimum wage boosts the economy and economic growth, why don’t we make the minimum wage $100 an hour, or even $1000 an hour? That will surely just help the economy grow even quicker.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Hey dude, if 3 pieces of fruit a day are better for you than 2 pieces of fruit a day, why not eat 300 pieces per day?

      Moran.

      • Wreckingball 23.1.1

        A specious comment CV. Biology and the economy cannot be compared. Can you not answer the question??

    • Lanthanide 23.2

      Because raising the minimum wage to $100 or $1000 an hour would be hugely inflationary.

      Raising the minimum wage to $15 and then $16.25 an hour will not be hugely inflationary.

      It is a bad idea to implement policy that is hugely inflationary.

      Any other questions you want answered?

      • Wreckingball 23.2.1

        The $1000 wage was obviously a very crude example but my point still stands (regardless of the inflationary effect). If increasing the minimum wage does increase economic growth, surely a Labour government would do all that it could to increase the minimum wage as quickly as possible (taking into account inflationary pressures).

        The fact is that such a move would kill the economy. As I, at 19.2, have outlined (as well as others on this thread), there will be a substitution effect away from low-wage workers. The marginal productivity of that extra low-wage worker will be lower than the marginal cost of that worker.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 23.2.1.1

          How about you cite some real world examples to support your fantasies Wreckingball? An impossible task, because there aren’t any, and at least you might be dissuaded from demonstrating your ignorance any further.

          • Wreckingball 23.2.1.1.1

            Just three of the multitude of research that backs up my statements above:
            http://www.cato.org/blog/we-shouldnt-follow-germany-minimum-wage
            http://americanactionforum.org/research/how-minimum-wage-increased-unemployment-and-reduced-job-creation-in-2013
            http://davidcard.berkeley.edu/papers/njmin-aer.pdf

            I studied the minimum wage – unemployment effect when I did my did my economics honours degree, which specialised in public policy. The large bulk of evidence supports a negative minimum wage – unemployment effect.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 23.2.1.1.1.1

              Cato? American Action Forum? :lol: Right wing echo chamber much? Where’s the peer review?

              Did you read the Card study?

              We find no indication that the rise in the minimum wage reduced employment.

              Own goal, chump.

            • Minarch 23.2.1.1.1.2

              “http://www.cato.org/blog/we-shouldnt-follow-germany-minimum-wage”

              “The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C.”

              says it all really….

              about as credible as

              http://www.jbs.org/

              or maybe

              http://www.davidicke.com

            • Tracey 23.2.1.1.1.3

              Oh dear, it seems your Degree is useless

              http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/min-wage-2013-02.pdf

              The conclusion is interesting.

              “Economists have conducted hundreds of studies of the employment impact of the minimum wage.

              Summarizing those studies is a daunting task, but two recent meta-studies analyzing the research conducted since the early 1990s concludes that the minimum wage has little or no discernible effect on the employment prospects of low-wage workers.

              The most likely reason for this outcome is that the cost shock of the minimum wage is small relative to most firms’ overall costs and only modest relative to the wages paid to low-wage workers. In the traditional discussion of the minimum wage, economists have focused on how these costs affect employment outcomes, but employers have many other channels of adjustment.

              Employers can reduce hours, non-wage benefits, or training. Employers can also shift the composition toward higher skilled workers, cut pay to more highly paid workers, take action to increase worker productivity (from reorganizing production to increasing training), increase prices to consumers, or simply accept a smaller profit margin. Workers may also respond to the higher wage by working harder on the job. But, probably the most important channel of adjustment is through reductions in labor turnover, which yield significant cost savings to employers. “

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Oh dear, it seems your Degree is useless.

                Yeah, it looks like “study” means “read what other people have written” as opposed to “look at raw data”.

                Don’t feel bad Wreckingball, ignorance is a condition we all share.

              • Minarch

                “simply accept a smaller profit margin” BLASPHEMY !!!! :-)

            • McFlock 23.2.1.1.1.4

              lol you had me at cato.org.

              You do realise that the only actual paper you linked to found that the rise in the minimum wage increased employment, not unemployment?
              I.e. reality didn’t match the theory.

              Contrary to the central prediction of the textbook model of the minimum wage, but consistent with a number of recent studies based on cross-sectional time-series comparisons of affected and unaffected markets or employers, we find no evidence that the rise in New Jersey’s minimum wage reduced employment at fast-food restaurants in the state. Regardless of whether we compare stores in New Jersey that were affected by the $5.05 minimum to stores in eastern Pennsylvania (where the minimum wage was constant at $4.25 per hour) or to stores in New Jersey that were initially paying $5.00 per hour or more (and were largely unaffected by the new law), we find that the increase in the minimum wage increased employment.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Ladies and Gentleman, put your hands together and give us a big round of applause for the one, the only, your favourite, Reality’s Liberal Bias!

            • Wreckingball 23.2.1.1.1.5

              It is unfortunate that my google search for the first three papers that support my theory returned did not show what they purported. However, we studied this extensively in our economics class and my proposition still stands – I just don’t have the time to dredge up the (correct) papers right now

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                :lol:

                Did you read Tracey’s comment at 23.2.1.1.1.3?

                It sounds very much to me as though your “study” was confined to theory not raw data, which is no doubt why so many real studies refer to their failure to find evidence for expected text book outcomes.

                Now you can say thankyou to Tracey for the meta-analysis she clued you into, and readjust your world view a little.

                I bet you cling to your false belief instead. It’s what we do.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                “…my google search for the first three papers that support my theory…”

                1. It’s not your theory.
                2. It’s not even a theory: theories attempt to explain actual phenomena.
                3. The trick is to search for things that undermine your beliefs; you’ll always find something to support them.
              • Tracey

                You did an honours degree, specifically addressed the topic and had to google for support of your position, and THEN, came up with ones that dont support your position? Which university did you get your degree from and when?

  24. adam 24

    CV did answer, because a ideologically loaded question is an ideologically loaded question. Wreakingball can you think of any other neo-con questions you need answered to justify your love of your ideology?

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    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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