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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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    The Civilian | 23-10
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Musa Kart is a Turkish cartoonist. In February he published a cartoon criticising Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's cover-up of a corruption probe. Now, he's being prosecuted for it:Turkish prosecutors have filed an indictment against a famous cartoonist working for...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Workers’ rights under attack
    Now that 51st Parliament has been officially opened and sworn in, the government’s first order of business is to ram through an amendment to the Employment Relations Act. These legislative changes represent a massive assault on the rights of everyday...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Assaulted for protecting olive trees
    Villagers and activists were assaulted, handcuffed and hospitalized today while protecting olive trees at the site of a proposed coal plant in Turkey.The Kolin Group wants the olive trees cut down to make way for a new coal power plant....
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Shell Oil Cowboys Caught Drilling Illegally in New Zealand
    “There be trouble in town sheriff, some cowboys is coming into town”. It could be a line from a grainy old western from our childhood (well, mine anyway) when the good, clean living people of a well to do town...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Freedom of information: How it works in Norway
    While we're all wailing and gnashing our teeth about the corruption of our Official Information Act, the Open Government Partnership has a great piece on how Norway does it better. Key to their approach is proactive publication of the metadata...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    CTU | 22-10
  • There appears to be an off button
    John Key’s ability to turn his Prime Ministership on or off as he pleases raises a number of troubling issues for the general public....
    Imperator Fish | 22-10
  • The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins – the John Key edition
    It’s standard practice for Ministers and Prime Ministers to wear different “hats” in the course of their work. Work done as a Minister can obviously be separate and distinct from an MP’s ordinary functions on behalf of the constituents in their electorates....
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • The many hats of John Key
    ...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • Want lower rates? Cut back on urban sprawl
    Suburban sprawl is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats. Charles Marohn In the recent article The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs Charles Marohn (@StrongTowns) takes on the awkward relationship...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Ebola Fear outstrips risk
    It's not just that Ebola sounds like a modern day black plague and probably originated from blood sucking bats living in dark caves - reason enough for people here in the United States to react like there's a Zombie-Vampire apocalypse...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • National lets Shell drill illegally
    Back in 2012, National passed the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act. At the time, they made a lot of noise about how this was the first legislation to properly protect the EEZ, and that it would...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • The crime is not being rich, the crime is we don’t tax all the income tha...
    In our last blog we looked at whether the claims of ‘rock star’ economist Thomas Piketty held any water or not. Short answer is that some did, some didn’t. In this blog we turn to what we should do about...
    Gareth’s World | 22-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • 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
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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