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The Standard

Workers be careful, says Aussie Unionist

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 pm, May 7th, 2008 - 157 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags: , , , ,

Sharan Burrow (President of Australian Council of Trade Unions) talked to Morning Report about the union experiences in Australia under a conservative government, and their hope for the future with Kevin Rudd. She also had some words of warning for NZ workers:

“We say to your workers here, be very careful, you don’t want to go backwards to the early 90s, it’s a world that is not good for working people. Rights at work are fundamental and I would urge all of your workers to make sure that political parties here, if they want to change the government, actually, do the right thing by workers.

Certainly when we look across the ditch….we see you with a rights base that’s been reconstructed after the era of the early 90s that does much better things with collective bargaining, much more respectful of workers. And we were so envious of that in the last eleven years. So be careful, don’t go backwards, that’s our message.”

It highlights that Labour Relations is core policy for the left. The extent to which National can make itself a small target on this one will be really interesting.

UPDATE: Radion NZ podcast

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157 comments on “Workers be careful, says Aussie Unionist”

  1. vto 1

    An area I applaud labour on. Sticking up for the workers.

    Mind you, sometimes they get carried away …

  2. big bruv 2

    Great…so Labour “stick up for workers”

    Is this why our wages are so far behind Aussie? Labour have had nine years to improve the lot of the working man yet the gap continues to grow.

  3. higherstandard 3


    You forget the Standard line on this issue it’s the employers fault that wages are lower than Australia.

    [lprent: I've never said anything about workers rights. Tane and Irish usually do.]

    IrishBill says: Wrong HS – http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=945 but given it’s employers who have failed to invest in productive capital and who have spent the last eight years making big profits while paying wage increases only a little higher than inflation I think they can probably shoulder some of the blame.

  4. Surely union officials have a vested interest in workers remaining union members irrespective of the real benefit to the workers, after all their jobs and salaries depend on worker union fees.

    As far as income levels are concerned isn’t it funny how those who earn the most are not members of unions ? The highest earners are those who take responsibility for their own lives and don’t hand that off to unions (or governments ). Being a union member is not a good predictor of a high income.

  5. IrishBill 5

    Maw, do you ever make a statement that is based in fact? Union members get higher wages than their non-unionised peers. The highest increases in earnings however, are senior management. Last year the average salary increase for CEO’s of large companies was 25%. Here’s a tip: CEO’s generally are not union members.

    To be honest you’re continual stream of mis-information is becoming a little dull.

  6. Magwxxxxvi, a truely magnificent display of ignorance! Allow me to disabuse you of some of your blind prejudice.

    “Surely union officials have a vested interest in workers remaining union members irrespective of the real benefit to the workers.”

    Fact: workers are free to join or leave unions in this country (where there is one available).
    Fact: research here, as elsewhere shows that NZ workers have a largely instrumental approach to union belonging. There are a few who join for ideological reasons, but they are relatively very few.
    Fact: research shows that not only are union members generally very positive with their unions (as one would expect, belonging being voluntary), but a substantial chunk of the non-members in unionised workplaces believe that they would be worse off without unions (call these people free-riders). These people see benefits in belonging, and are in a better position to judge this than you are, mawgie.
    Fact: research also shows that in NZ, as elsewhere, a substantial number of those in non-union workplaces say that they would like to join if they could. Around 30%. Most of the rest are indifferent, as one might expect given that (the research shows) these people tend to know little about unions. Very few think that they would be worse off with a workpace union.

    Then you say, “As far as income levels are concerned isn?t it funny how those who earn the most are not members of unions?”

    If we look at the employed, you will be surprised to learn that levels of unionisation RISE as income rises, until well into the top tax bracket. Same with education, rises to post-graduate degree level. You are surprised because your views are rooted in mid-20th century prejudice and bear little relationship to 21st century reality. What does the modal union member look like? Forget the cloth cap and think nurse-manager. (Did I mention gender? More female unionists than male, now).

    So, mawgie, now you have no excuse for your ignorance. References available on request.

  7. maw. it’s not true that the highest paid professions are not unionised – look at how highly unionised doctors are.

    In fact, some of the high paid professions are not just unionised they effectively have guilds, which is but a stroger form of collecive organsiation than a union – the Law Society, the Chartered Accountants, the Medical Council – they police their industry, prevent people they don’t want from practising in it and, as the is the point of any workers’ collective, ensure good rates and conditions for their members.

    Capitialists form ‘unions’ all the time – the Employers’ and Manufacturers’ Assocation, the Chambers of Commerce, Business NZ, the Business Roundtable, dozens of industry lobby groups. These are all forms of collective organisations intended, just like a union, to improve the conditions and rewards for their members.

    Collective action makes sense,united people are much stronger than they are divided – good lobby groups get the outcomes their members want, highly unionised industries have higher pay. So it is not surprising to find that the oldest and most highly educated professions and busiensses have very strong collective control of their industry. It’s just when the working people do it that it gets opposed.

  8. IrishBill: “Last year the average salary increase for CEO’s of large companies was 25%. Here’s a tip: CEO’s generally are not union members.” Doesn’t that demonstrate my point ? You don’t get to be CEO of an organisation by letting other people take responsibility for your life or by joining a union.

    What can unions offer you ? Maybe a pay increase at the rate of inflation or slightly above if you are a member of a particularly powerful one ? My concern about unions is that encourage people to hand over responsibility for their lives and facilitate “learned helplessness”.

  9. Steve: you make some goods points with your comments concerning professional societies. I am sure however that the members of these societies don’t accept limitation of their income by the societies and that they set their own fees based on what the market will allow. I’m also sure that the most highly paid medical practitioners are not on salary with the state but are in private practice even if they contract back services to the state.

    IrishBill says: “limitation of their income” makes no sense. Collective agreements are minimum rate documents. All union members are free to negotiate individual terms and conditions above their collective and many do so. What employers can’t do is offer terms and conditions below the collective: it sets minimum standards. You have no idea of Employment Law, Maw and I suggest you do some research before you make further comment.

  10. IrishBill 10

    “You don’t get to be CEO of an organisation by letting other people take responsibility for your life or by joining a union.”

    Maw, unless your are part of a lucky sub-one-percent group you don’t get to be a CEO full-stop. Are you, for example, a CEO of a major New Zealand company? If you are not and also clearly not a union member I would like to ask you what’s holding you back?

    AS for “learned helplessness” you obviously have no idea about how unions run these days. They are voluntary organisations run by their membership. That means union members decide on what they are going to ask for, union members sit at the negotiating table and union members vote on to accept the deal or to take industrial action. The only roles officials have is as expert advocates in negotiations and grievances.

    If anything unions are the vehicle through which workers get together to take responsibility for their working lives.

  11. Neilson 11


    CEO’s are not in a position to join a union as they are the employer and sign collective agreements with the union and negotiate (or send a rep) the agreement and they could not be negotiating the contract or attending the meetings where discussions are held about what bottom lines the staff have in negotiating as this would give management an unfair advantage in the negotiations.

    Also there is only one CEO in an organisation whose remuneration is negotiated with the board (their employer)

    For these reasons they cannot join the union and so the comparison is invalid.


    needy Incorporated – very apt

  12. Hoolian 12

    I’ve heard terrible stories about the unions in Australia – like striking because the slices of ham (provided by the company) at lunch were too thin, or because their coke machines were removed.

    The Aussies love Kiwi workers because we’re such hard-working, productive workers who get down to it and get the job done.

    I’m totally for and in support of Worker’s rights, but I also know you can go overboard. We don’t want that here in NZ.

  13. James Kearney 13

    I’ve heard terrible stories about the unions in Australia – like striking because the slices of ham (provided by the company) at lunch were too thin, or because their coke machines were removed.

    I heard of an employer in Australia who fucks pigs. So what?

  14. Well, it doesn’t look like Mawg’s about to let facts and logic get in the way of his/her prejudice. And Hoolian, has it never occurred to you that striking over slices of ham might just be due to numerous other causes of discontent including, quite often, poor management?

    So… back to the real question. Are workers’ rights under threat come November?

    I’ve concluded elsewhere that it does seem that National have cottoned on to how unpopular anti-worker laws are. Certainly, the fate of Howard and his Workchoices law provides a sobering reminder.

    Since Key took over, the hysterical attacks on the ERA by Wayne Mapp have diminished, and noises have been made about no substantial changes being made to the current settings. We await the release of their policy with optimism, tempered with fear of backsliding after the election (should they win).

    What do you think?

    IrishBill says: The only policy National has explicitly confirmed in relation to work rights is the removal of all work rights for workers in the first 90 days of a new job. I think that’s a good indication of where they stand on IR.

  15. IrishBill 15

    And I’ve heard terrible stories about employers in Australia like the behavior of Patrick Stevedoring in the late nineties:


    Australia is a far more robust employment environment in which both sides are more aggressive than they are here.

    Having said that many Australian based companies make a much higher profit to investment here because they import their aggressive behavior. This is curtailed to some extent by the current employment law (although I would argue we need strong protections) Under the liberalised employment environment the National party wants workers here would have to bow to this rapacious behaviour or start employing the much harder tactics of Australian unions. My advice to employers who back the reintroduction of ECA-type legislation is be careful what you wish for.

  16. Billy 16

    But…but…but…IrishBill, I thought balking at giving money away to Australians was xenophobic.


  17. randal 17

    well the tories wont win this year or in the forseeable future so workers look to be reasonably protected

  18. IrishBill 18

    Don’t be facetious Billy.

  19. Note to self: be wary of commenting on unions on a Labour party blog.

    Gentleman: you have corrected some of the misunderstandings I had about modern unions. I was a member of (and briefly a delegate for) the NLGOU way back in the 80’s. During that period I witnessed many examples of union stupidity especially by the other big union on site the EWU. Times as you say, have changed.

    IrishBill says:Happy to be of service but please note this is not a Labour party blog but a labour movement blog. There is a significant difference.

  20. vto 20

    Anyone here concerned about employer/business-owner rights?

    While I applaud those that stick up for the workers, as I said often it goes too far. And everything this govt has done has quite simply made it harder to employ people and own and operate a business. Well done. IrishBill’s statement (copied below) is a perfect example.

    How about making it easier to employ people for a change.

    IrishBill said: “The only policy National has explicitly confirmed in relation to work rights is the removal of all work rights for workers in the first 90 days of a new job.”

    Ever think IrishBill that the reverse is actually the case i.e. is the re-instigation of employer rights?

  21. Dim (was dime) 21

    yea bruv, its the evil business owners that dont pay their stuff enough money!

    it makes me sick, these people put everything on the line, they start a business.. work their asses off.. have all the stress and worries… and yet they dont share their profits with the workers!

    what scumbags!

  22. mike 22

    “Union members get higher wages than their non-unionised peers”

    Not in my work place IB
    Non union workers are generally rewarded with performance bonuses – coincidently of course…

    IrishBill says: Free-loading is a problem with the current law. Having said that the performance bonuses would be a lot lower if there was no union on site (and the pay increases would be higher if union density was 100%). I’m would say that the workers at your site earn more than workers doing the same job at a comparable but un-unionised site.

  23. vto 23

    Agree with your sentiment Dime.

    I have a business, which at its peak last year had over 100 people employed directly and roughly the same again indirectly in supply. My wife and I and our children put EVERYTHING on the line. The stress, work, etc etc etc etc is ridiculous. And then you get slammed left right and centre by especially Cullen and his ilk.

    I tell you a truth. I have the ability to keep this business going and ramp it up even. Quite a contribution to the community I would have thought. But frankly it is simply not worth it. I am pulling back. This is a truth.

    I will simply sit back, put my energy into other aspects of life, and wait until the settings are improved before getting economically (and hence employingly) active again.

    Usually those that employ have had experience at employment. However, it seems those that are employed have no experience at employing. Why don’t you givt it a go and see what it’s like.

    IrishBill says: I assume from our previous exchanges that you have a building business. Given the current change in that industry (such as decrease in consents) I’m guessing employment law is one of the less important factors in your business decisions. Or did you expand in the 1990’s?

  24. Big Bruv & Dime,

    Oh, so it’s the employers who do all the work? Silly me, here I was thinking that the workers might have had a hand.

    Note that not all employers have set up their own businesses in the recent past. Think Doug Myers, one of your heroes. Inherited most of his pile, and, according to the Court of Appeal [Coleman v. Myers], pinched much of the rest of it off his rellies.

    Note also that clever employers have discovered that treating their employees well, including paying them well, results in better organisational performance, including higher profits for the shareholders. Your distorted view of the world has more to do with Dicken’s England than a modern corporation.

  25. James Kearney 25

    Anyone here concerned about employer/business-owner rights?

    In a social democracy you have to strike a balance but don’t pretend New Zealand is some kind of workers’ paradise. We have some of the most neoliberal employment law in the developed world.

    Your problem is your benchmark is the Pinochet-esque employment law ushered in by the Nats in the 1990s.

  26. IrishBill 26

    “And everything this govt has done has quite simply made it harder to employ people and own and operate a business”

    VTO, no what they have done is transfer some accountability onto the employer. In my opinion if employers can’t deal with what is a pretty liberal and simple employment law they should probably not be employers.

    Dime, you’ve got nothing but empty rhetoric. New Zealand is the second highest rated country in the world for ease of doing business. Most workers depend on their jobs to feed and house themselves and their families. What you are suggesting is that the a large part of the risk businesses take (and which businesses gain the reward from) is transfered to their workers. For instance the stress and worry of whether tomorrow would mean having a job to go to would be transfered onto workers for the first 90 days of their employment if National got their way. Of course there would be no extra reward for these workers.

    I figure you probably see that as fair but I think you’ll find you’re in the minority there.

  27. IrishBill: thanks for the clarification re the blog provenance. A friend in the hospitality business in Wellington told me that the Standard was run out of the 9th floor, clearly she was wrong. I’ll put her right. Thanks

  28. Dim (was dime) 28

    i lived in aussie for 5 years and having a 90 day trial was just outstanding.

    irishbill – ever employed someone? ever got it wrong? its grief!!! a 90 day trial is fair. if youre a good worker – you have nothing to worry about? why are we trying to protect slackers?

    I have employed people and I have never had a bad experience. If you manage people properly it’s not a problem. Getting rid of people for non-performance under the ERA is also not a problem as long as you give them an opportunity to sharpen up.

    as for empty rhetoric, its just what goes through my head when i turn on the radio and i hear some unionist demanding a slice of the profits because a company has had a good year.. i dont see it going the other way when companies have a bad year.

    Oh but it does. A zero percent increase when times are tough for a business is certainly not unknown in business circles (thankfully, much less so now that there has been economic growth).

    i guess it just comes down to envy… we should admire business owners that are doing well, it should inspire us to better ourselves.. not just put our hand out.

    Envy? That’s the stupidest thing you’ve said yet and you’ve said some pretty stupid things. Most workers are happy to see their boss do well but like to see their share of the gains they help make. A sensible employer does share because they understand that this will increase their workers’ desire to help the business grow.

    VTO – theres a lot to be said for keeping a business at a certain level.. work/life balance and all that.

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    dime – when you say it was outstanding, I assume you mean from an employer’s perspective?

  30. vto 30

    IrishBill, it is a tough and brutal world that is for sure. One thing – you suggest that the 90 day trial period is transferring the accountability onto the worker implying that it should actually rest with the employer.

    I don’t understand that reasoning (or even what the reasoning is). The risk is that the employee is a dud – why should that risk not lie with the employee?

  31. Daveo 31

    i lived in aussie for 5 years and having a 90 day trial was just outstanding.

    There is no 90 day trial in Australia. Howard’s workchoices law allowed employers with fewer than 100 staff to sack workers for no reason whatsoever regardless of how long they’ve been employed. There have been some bloody horror stories.

  32. Dim (was dime) 32

    actually from both sides.

    i went through a 90 trial with my first ever job. no problems.

    i became management and some people didnt survive after 90 days. so yeah it was good for my department.

    i then changed jobs down the track and at the end of 90 days i had a meeting with management. i basically went in to say see ya later and they said “its not quite working out is it”.. to which i replied.. nope! so it was see ya later!

    the 90 day trial is just that..a trial.. looking back, if i hadnt of gone through that 90 day trial.. i probably would have stuck around an extra few months, been unhappy.. was good to have a time frame.. from there i went on to achieve greatness somewhere else :)

    its sad that people think a 90 day probation period or whatever you want to call it, will just be used for evil.

    employers dont set out to employ bad staff!! trust me, no employer wants to let someone go after 3 months! its freakin grief employing people.

    its not a good look either! not good for staff morale, not good for a companies customers to see staff turnover etc.

    do you really have a problem with a company having some protection in this area?

  33. IrishBill 33

    The risk is that the employee is a dud – why should that risk not lie with the employee?

    Vto, Because being in business means taking risks in exchange for rewards. Every time a business invests in any way it takes a risk. Unless you are going to argue that the risks of capital investments should be underwritten by the law then I don’t see how you can argue that investments in workers should be. If you decide to expand to a bigger workshop, don’t do due diligence on the building and then find it was a poor business decision then who’s fault is that?

  34. big bruv 34

    The Poms have a law (I assume it still stands) that allows you to fire an employee for any reason at all within the first 12 months, personally I think that just invites abuse, I favour the 90 day trial period.

    Dime is right, employers should and must have some protection in this area.

  35. vto 35

    IrishBill, I gotta fly, but just quickly.. your argument is a huge tub into which most anything could be tossed.

    The employee presents at the interview, holds him/herself out as being appropriate for the job and capable of performing it and is taken on on that basis. When it transpires shortly after that the employee is not in fact so capable etc then the problem should rightly lie with the employee, not the employer.

    There is no comparison with items of capital expenditure. You can check a building, check a machine, etc and get it pretty accurate. In fact, following your comparison – if an item of machinery is purchased and does not perform as promised then you send it back (or similar).

    I understand your argument but do not accept it as appropriate in employment circumstances.

  36. IrishBill 36

    Dime, many employers would take advantage of such a situation and most of them would be employers of vulnerable low-skilled workers such as fast-food workers and cleaners. Many of these employers already show disregard for their workers under the current legislation and would happily exploit their workers further given the chance.

  37. Dim (was dime) 37

    irish bill – wtf??

    so if this law came in, maccas would start hiring people and firing them after 90 days.. for fun?? it makes no sense.

    as for your risk/reward thing.. just weird.

    VTO answered that well enough.. so no need for my 2 cents

    IrishBill says: moron. If you run renewing 90 day contracts you effectively keep your workforce without rights. That means no grievance costs and no union (if they join a union you fire them) and that means massive labour savings.

  38. vto 38

    Without a 90 day trial, or similar, employing someone is an outright gamble.

    IrishBill says: when I employ people I have taken the time to check their references and to background them. I also spend a decent time interviewing them and getting to know who I’m dealing with. I haven’t had a dud yet. It’s called good management and it means I don’t need a law that would harm tens of thousands of workers just because I’m not up to scratch. If you feel you do then you should consider sharpening up your HR practices.

  39. mondograss 39

    You can do a 90 day trial period in NZ, it’s quite legal and in fact I had one at my current job when I started last year. The thing is though, you still have to follow standard dismissal procedures if you decide not to continue. An employer cannot sack you at the end of the 90 days without having good reasons, or made a decent effort to work through whatever issues have caused the arrangement to not work out. They can’t however just sack you for no reason and with no comeback, which is what National are proposing. Mapps bill is a violation of natural justice, if you hired someone in good faith, you have an obligation to make it work. If it turns out they lied about the skills or quals then you can sack them on that basis, but if they’re just lacking in a bit of training, or the attitude is a bit poor etc you have to give them a chance to make good.

  40. Dim (was dime) 40

    haha there we go again with the name calling?

    i’m not sure where i spoke renewing 90 day contracts? why would anyone do that? weird. it’s only for the first 90 days of employment.

    good to see you’re the perfect manager :) well done for never having a problem.

    also good to see you make shit up to justify your position.

    just so im clear irish – you’re a moderator here? or you have something to do with the site?

    IrishBill says: take some time to read up and find out. You’re banned from commenting for a week for calling me a liar.

  41. randal 41

    gosh it is really fun reading natoinal propaganda from people who obvioulsy have never owned their own business at all but any business that is not prepared to stand by its workers is no business at all…just an outlet for neanderthals to stand over people who need money to feed their families.

  42. Dim (was dime) 42


    [lprent: Irish banned you for a week. See above]

  43. Dim (was dime) 43


    [lprent: I suggest you read the Policy page at the top of the screen, and yes Irish is a moderator (otherwise he can't leave comments on comments).]

  44. Quite ironic that dime got “sacked” from the blog for a week, no? Albeit with cause. So he won’t have any problems with that.

    Mondograss is quite correct, except that employees who lie about their quals, etc, to get a job can generally be sacked at any time when this is discovered, with no comeback, not just within 3 months.

    Dime probably had a 3 month “trial” in Oz rather like that in NZ which Mondgrass describes, but didn’t realise that he counldn’t be sacked at the end of it. Given his grasp of these matters I’d be surprised if that weren’t the case.

    The UK experience is telling. Especially when the labour market is loose, many employers of the low-paid routinely sack these workers just before the 12 month period ended, so avoiding any legal obligations that come with permanent employment.

    Incidentally, many fast food operators get around the law by hiring on a casual basis, rostering week-by-week. So, if someone talks about joining the union, say, they simply don’t find themselves rostered to work.

  45. Billy 45

    “…employees who lie about their quals, etc, to get a job can generally be sacked at any time when this is discovered, with no comeback, not just within 3 months.”

    No. You still have to follow the tiresome process and if you trip up on any step you’re in the cart. If you see an employee wandering around the factory floor chopping his colleagues ears off you have to sit him down and ask him for his side of the story, consider his explanation in an open-minded fashion, allow him to bring his support person blah blah blah. And even if you do it all right, he’ll file with the employment relations tribunal and you’ll have to spend $5k on a lawyer even if you win. So it will be cheaper to give him $3k to piss off, so he can start chopping off ears at the next place.

  46. Redeye 46

    I wanted to contribute here but I’m not exactly in agreement with Irish and it seems that unless you are, your out. So I wont.

    [lprent: Disagreeing with people is fine - people do it here all of the time.
    Abusing them isn't. In this case directly saying he was a liar without a shred of evidence was definitely over the top. That was just trying to start a flamewar.

    This is all in the Policy document at the top of the page. Read that.

    The difference isn't hard to figure out. Just think about what you'd take as a personal attack, compared to a disagreement about ideas.]

  47. Billy, Not a bad summary of the check-list, but flawed overall.

    Presumably you mean Employment Relations Authority, the Tribunal having ceased operations eight years ago.

    Firstly, the law is very clear about sacking people who have demonstrably lied about themselves, so that if someone was silly enough to take a case to the Authority, you would have a great case to claim costs. In mediation the mediator would be bound to make it clear to the complainant that they would take a bath in the ERA.

    Secondly, one would hope that you would go through the “tiresome process” in the real world (as opposed to your imaginary world where workers chop each others’ ears off). what do you think that the effect is on the other workers if you just go around arbitrarily sacking people, as you are proposing?

    And can’t you see that when you pay out $3,000 every time someone threatens you with the ERA you are simply making that an expectation? I advised an employer who had fallen into that trap to call the workers’ bluff (they had no case) and take it to court if necessary. Know what? No more spurious actions. Everyone got the message. You don’t have to be that clever to work this out, but obviously it pays to think a little more about it than you have.

  48. Matthew Pilott 48

    Redeye, please go for it – just best not to call someone a liar on their own blog. Irish explained what some do worry could become commonplace in certain industries with a 90-day bill.

    Billy – for serious misconduct your contact can generally be terminated without notice. Ear-chopping, inappropriate pig relations and lying about qualifications all would constitute serious misconduct.

    If the employee feels it is unjustified the can take a complaint to teh employment relations authority, but if they lied about their qualifications, they’d probaby be tossed out on their ear!

    Check out some better examples:



  49. Billy 49

    “Firstly, the law is very clear about sacking people who have demonstrably lied about themselves, so that if someone was silly enough to take a case to the Authority, you would have a great case to claim costs. In mediation the mediator would be bound to make it clear to the complainant that they would take a bath in the ERA.”

    An employee lying about him or herself gives an employer a good reason to sack the employee. But, if the employer fails to follow a fair process it is the employer who will be bathing.

    “What do you think that the effect is on the other workers if you just go around arbitrarily sacking people, as you are proposing?”

    Do you think sacking someone for removing body parts is arbitrary?

    “And can’t you see that when you pay out $3,000 every time someone threatens you with the ERA you are simply making that an expectation?”

    Yes. Do employers fall into the “trap”, as you call it? Every day.

  50. Tane 50

    But, if the employer fails to follow a fair process it is the employer who will be bath

    People have a right to fair process, it’s that simple. Fair process is a part of the skillset a manager needs to do their job – if they can’t get their head around basic employment practices then they should reconsider their choice of career.

  51. Billy 51

    Tane, it is almost never big companies who get caught out. It is the plumber or the owner of the retail shop employing one or two people. They can’t afford an HR department, and they usually can’t afford to get it wrong. So lots of them try not to employ anyone.

  52. big bruv 52


    You should know the rules by now, all the Labour “luvvies” can abuse us all they like, we are not allowed the right of reply, if you do then you are banned.

    You should not be surprised at this, Labour are all about double standards and breaking rules.

  53. big bruv 53

    More moderation?….you guys must be feeling the pressure.

  54. They can’t afford an HR department, and they usually can’t afford to get it wrong. So lots of them try not to employ anyone.

    Do they pay an accountant? Because tax law is more complicated than the ERA. But y’know Billy, if you want to reduce the rights of all New Zealand workers just so a few small employers can save a few hundred dollars on professional advice then I guess that’s your call.

  55. Billy 55

    There I was thinking you guys were against injustice…

  56. [lprent: I suspect we have the reincarnation of Dim here again. But I'll let it through to see if he has learnt a more civilized behaviour. It is fairly obvious he was never taught how to argue properly. Perhaps he can learn some lessons here.]

    The exploitation of Dimebag was disgusting, he never even had a 90 day trial and here he is being persecuted, first with the crude insult, then by the Chinese style control of free speech and then by expulsion.

    What type of ideal is this of free speech in a free country and in a free democracy ?

    I hate fascists and all they stand for by controlling what is printed in order to pursue their own Utopian fallacy.

    This is a fascist regime, for fascists, run by fascists.

    Power to the people !! stand up and fight.

    Dime, what a martyr, for speaking the truth.

  57. And Matthew, if you take a complaint to the ERA they will chuck it out straight away, and force you to go to mediation. Your Lawyer takes it to the ERA afterwards.

  58. In fact, some of the high paid professions are not just unionised they effectively have guilds, which is but a stroger form of collecive organsiation than a union – the Law Society, the Chartered Accountants, the Medical Council – they police their industry, prevent people they don’t want from practising in it and, as the is the point of any workers’ collective, ensure good rates and conditions for their members.

    Huh ?
    Those people are free to join a Union if they wish, and how do they prevent those who they do not want in ?

    I’m lost, please explain this outrageous statement

  59. Rattus. I’m talking about professional associations that are controlled by the professionals and have the legal power to prevent anyone not registered with them from practicing their profession – that’s basically a guild and modern versions include the Law Society and the Medical Council (you must be registered with them to practice). I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I’m saying that’s an example of collective action in a profession to protect and improve the position of the members of the profession, it’s what a union does but stepped up a level. It’s not a surpirse that we find these stronger forms of collective action, backed by the power of legislation in the more highly paid professions.

  60. leftie 60

    I don’t get this common argument from employers referring to employment law and employing unsuitable employees: “But, if the employer fails to follow a fair process it is the employer who will be bathing.”

    If I speed and get caught I get a speeding ticket. If I steal at work (commonly known as gross misconduct) and get caught it is grounds for instant dismissal. I know and accept the rules and if I break them I have to accept the consequences. Employers are right into calling it “compliance”, what’s so hard about complying with employment law? Follow the rules (comply), no problem the employee can be fairly (and rightly) dismissed. Break the rules, accept the consequences. Is this a genuine concern or simply a whinge? Perhaps it is a situation where the employer tries pushing the boundaries and gets called on it?

  61. Matthew Pilott 61

    Rattus, thanks for the clarification about the ERA. Doesn’t make much of a difference in the end…

    As for dime’s ‘martyrdom’, ah, dime called someone a liar when they were completely wrong and perhaps a tad confused. Don’t let rationality disrupt your wee rant though.

    Actually I retract that, you’re clearly taking the mickey there. If you ever fill out a personal, don’t forget the GSOH! Tee hee.

  62. Matthew Pilott 62

    Hey Bruv, I’m in moderation. This is now me not having a rant about it. Feel free to take note.

  63. Rattus. I?m talking about professional associations that are controlled by the professionals and have the legal power to prevent anyone not registered with them from practicing their profession – that?s basically a guild and modern versions include the Law Society and the Medical Council (you must be registered with them to practice). I?m not saying that?s a bad thing, I?m saying that?s an example of collective action in a profession to protect and improve the position of the members of the profession, it?s what a union does but stepped up a level. It?s not a surpirse that we find these stronger forms of collective action, backed by the power of legislation in the more highly paid professions.

    They have the power to exclude those who dont meet their professional standards. Such as a qualifications authority has he power to exclude those who do not pass exams. Its is not an authority to exclude those who are not idealogically one of us, but those who do not meet entry criteria, such as a degree, a professional competency exams, practical compentencies and a code of ethics, or else anyone could join.
    Its about professional standards above all, for the public good.

    Its not about prevention, its about meeting standards

  64. [lprent: I suspect we have the reincarnation of Dim here again. But I'll let it through to see if he has learnt a more civilized behaviour. It is fairly obvious he was never taught how to argue properly. Perhaps he can learn some lessons here.]

    Huh, what do you mean by civilised behaviour ?

    Is that agreeing with everything the downtrodden left and the salt of the earth workers say ?

  65. Matthew

    banning someone for speaking out does convey a sense of martyrdom, in the same way Lech Whelsa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther, Joan of Arc and Leon Trotsky were made famous for speaking out, and then persecuted.

    IrishBill says: you forgot David Irving. I would have thought he’d be at the top of your list.

  66. And come-on Matthew
    I’ve read posts by this Irish Billy Chap as follows

    “Maw, do you ever make a statement that is based in fact?”

    “To be honest you’re continual stream of mis-information is becoming a little dull.”

    “You have no idea of Employment Law, Maw and I suggest you do some research before you make further comment.”

    “Don’t be facetious Billy.”

    “Dime, you’ve got nothing but empty rhetoric.”

    “Envy? That’s the stupidest thing you’ve said yet and you’ve said some pretty stupid things.”

    “IrishBill says: moron”

    In fact “Moron” came after Dime accused you of “also good to see you make shit up to justify your position.”.

    Not once did Dimebag call this Irish Bobby chap anything.

    I suggest this IrishBully grow some balls and learns to take back what he throws at people.

    God, I’m glad I’m Scottish

    [lprent: Let me make this quite clear. Around here I make the rules - you are a guest. The rules are very loose because there are limits on how much effort I'm willing to take. The simpliest solution for me is to simply kick people off and make sure they stay off. However the moderators have been encouraging me to not be such a bastard sysop.

    Dim got kicked off because he walked over an edge. But Dim was on route there already because its comments appeared to not add much to the discussion apart from trying to start flamewars. I'd already had reason to warn Dim earlier - something that was obviously not read. Saying things to deliberately inflame poinless schoolyard level discussion is not tolerated by me. I have to read it.

    Guess what - I'm the ONLY judge of what constitutes unacceptable behaviour here. Live with it or leave. It isn't a topic for discussion.

    Oh and I had a look at the discussion on Pandasport... Remember this is a moderated site frequented by adults - even their schoolyard antics have more intelligence than dim's.]

  67. lprent 67

    BB: please put down the drink before reading this. I feel for your abused keyboard.

    update wp_comments
    set comment_author=’Dim (was dime)’
    where comment_author in (‘dime’, ‘Dime’)

    See here

    Roughly translated this means “do not piss off a sysop”.

  68. r0b 68

    Matthew: Hey Bruv, I’m in moderation. This is now me not having a rant about it. Feel free to take note.

    I end up in moderation too occasionally, maybe I share an IP with someone misbehaving. It’s nothing to fret about, comments usually clear moderation pretty fast.

  69. r0b 69

    Lynn, your second link above is null.

  70. r0b 70

    Hmmm – and your first link leads to a page we ordinary users can’t see (“You are not allowed to edit comments on this post”).

    [lprent: picked the link off the admin pages. Should be correct now]

  71. lprent 71

    Nope – it is the spam merchants that we’re fighting continuously. They try slipping the messages into old posts. The latest round are a bit more subtle. A lot are from local IP’s, and they’ve finally decided to stop selling sex and moved on to dvd’s, movies, and other things.

    I’ll have another look at it after I get some other code out of the way.

  72. Felix 72

    Wow, pandasport is amazing. People who use porno as avatars high-fiving each other for typing inane things at the standard.

    Dim’s Motley Crue sig is particularly revealing.

  73. vto 73

    Gotta say I think the levels of tolerance before banning etc on this site seem pretty low. Maybe let things slide a bit more. But its your show, you make the rules..


  74. big bruv 74

    Comrade Iprent

    Rattus is NOT Dime.

    Rattus, you should know by now that Iprnet only allows comments that praise dear leader, not surprising when you consider who pays for this site.

    [Tane: Lynn pays for the site. You're running pretty close to a banning with your repeated smears bruv - but I'll leave that to Lynn's judgement since it is him you are slandering.]

    [lprent: I'm aware of that. I tracked back in the IP's and links after making that statement.]

  75. Matthew Pilott 75

    R0b – I know – my point was that bruv has a cry every time he is in moderation, like many on the right. They assume that it is censorship, so I wanted to pint out that it happens to us filthy Commies as well.

    Rattus, Dime called Irish a liar. There’s not much more to it than that. How you can put someone who can’t follow an argument, gets confused and blames it on someone else by questioning their integrity in the same class as Mandela et al – you’re simply talking out your ass. He was not banned for speaking out, anyone with a modicum of intelligence can do so without resorting to accusing someone else of lying when they’re wrong. I doubt you have the ability to see that though, determined as you are to compare dime with…oh, you got me again! Another bloody great joke! And here I was thinking you are being serious. I need to lighten up. Comparing Dime with King… classic. We need more righties with a real sense of humour here, it’s pretty much just Billy and Phil at the moment.

  76. Billy 76

    “…it happens to us filthy Commies as well.”

    You told me you were a social democrat. I always suspected that was code for “filthy commie”.

  77. Matthew Pilott 77

    Rumbled. Drat!

    Billy, please note not all commies are filthy, many adhere to perfectly acceptable standards of personal hygiene.

    vto – interesting two cents. No doubt in part due to my replying to the comments of various people on this thread, but it can turn away from a decent discussion into something not really worth it in fairly short order. In fact it only takes one or two comments for this to happen.

    It’s perfectly understandable that the authors of this blog don’t want this to happen to each and every thread, so I can see quite clearly where they draw the line. Not to be rude, but if you’re happy with some of the crass comments that ruin a thread, well, your standards might be a bit low. It’s not what I come here to read, nor many other people, I suspect.

  78. Jason 78

    I thought Idi Amin was dead but judging by the comments implying “I will just make up the rules as I like”, maybe he isn’t.

    I am a dairy farmer. Our work situation compells our staff to live on the farm and work alongside me for up to as many as 105 hours a week. In a situation like this, you are not just trying to employ someone to aid in running the farm, you also need to be able to maintain a cordial and hopefully jovial relationship. It is very hard to determine through an interview process weather your initial feelings will be correct. At any stage in my employees contract, they can up and leave, just giving a weeks notice and go to happier fields if thats what they wish. I to, would like 1 opportunity, after 90 days, to be able to do the same thing. The business is mine, the farm likewise, yet because of an ass of a law, I can be locked into a situation whereby I work greater hours then most alongside a non combatible person and live 100 metres away from said employee for a whole 12 months.

    Give me the opportunity to have 1 chance to be able to make the same decision that my employee has the right to make at any stage of the contract.

    Dime made a very good point, the great majority of employers dont want a high turnover of staff, it just doesnt make good business sence.

  79. big bruv 79


    What repeated smears?…I merely said “not surprising when you consider who pays for this site”

    Do you have something to hide Tane?

  80. Tane 80

    You’re implying that Helen Clark or Labour pays for our site, as you have in the past. They don’t, Lynn does, and he’s made this very clear. If you want to keep on this line of attack then fine, but don’t expect to get away with it here.

  81. big bruv 81

    [Bruv, don't take me for a fool. One more outburst and you're banned for a month. For now you're in moderation.]

  82. Matthew Pilott 82

    I think bruv wants to be ‘martyred’ like his mate dime.

    Jason, the law is not an ass – it is designed to encourage working relationships, not ensure that people are friends with their boss. You’re saying you want to be able to fire someone, not because they can’t do their job properly, but because you don’t find them ‘compatible’. The law is actually designed to protect employees from that very attitude!

    Dime was right with his point that most employers wouldn’t be likely to do that, but those that deal with younger and more vulnerable staff might – the real ass would be enacting a law that allows for the removal of all workplace rights from a specific sector of society.

    As for your comparison with a genocidal dictator – you’re an ass. Read the bloody about page if you want the rules.

  83. Jason 83

    I’m sorry Matthew, clearly you have the experience of working in a situation where you are working extremely long hours, often in stressful times with someone only then to go home and live a stones throw apart from each other.

    Clearly you have expereince that tells you that a compatible working relationship is irrelevant.

    I’m going to make an assumption that you have not worked in such an occupation and are therefore unqualified to pass judgement on the dynamics required to make such a working relationship successful.

    Note, that I didnt even begin to use examples of where staff are not capable of doing the jobs they have said they are and rather then being able to move them on and finding staff with the required knowledge or ability it is then incumbant on me to have to train them. This is regardless of weather I am actually in a situation where I can offer training.

  84. vto 84

    Mr Pilott I think Jason makes a very good point..

    Namely that the employee can simply up and off at a moment’s notice leaving the employer and the business completely in the lurch. Yet the employer cannot do the same, or even something remotely similar. That stands out to those out there doing business and employing people as highly unfair.

    The pendulum is way out to one side.

    Jason’s point re ‘friends’ cf employees is a grey area due to the nature of farming. It is very real and cannot be dismissed as you have done.

  85. big bruv 85

    If the hat fits…..

    [lprent: bb: I can see from earlier comments that you want to really really want the maytr halo. Are you sure you're not some kind of fundamentalist? I think that leaving you in moderation here will be interesting. Think of it as an experiment]

  86. Redeye 86

    Jason also inadvertantly highlights yet another point. How many ‘potential’ employers don’t become employers, or don’t increase the staff, simply because of the hassle in employing. The often used example of the Physiotherapist struggling with an answer machine in place of a receptionist simply because he doesn’t have the power to try before he buys.

    I’m a software developer and currently have the work to employ at least 3 other coders today, but wouldn’t now consider it through previous bad experiences in this regard.

    That said; I have seen how some in the hospitality industry in particular treat their employees. Those employees did need some protection.

  87. Matthew Pilott 87

    Jason, and vto, if you have a proposal that could give you what you’re after without making thousands of vulnerable workers suceptable to exploitation then I promise you I’m all ears.

    The 90 day bill is not that solution.

    It might work for you and a few others in your situation (doubtless there are many, many individual similar situations), but the negative implications far outweigh this. Would yor really advocate a law change that could remove all working conditions for thousands of employees across the country, for your own benefit?

    How do you propose to change a law that allows you to fire someone because you feel you can’t work with them? How would that not then flow on to make every new employee vulnerable to the whims of their employers? If you make an exception for situations where you give acommodation to the worker, for example, fruit pickers may be without rights as many orchards have live-in workers.

    I am not dismissing the problem out of hand, as you say, I’m dismissing the solution – there is a distinction there!

    Jason, if your problem is that staff are not fully trained, you make a condition of their employment that they are qualified/experienced. If they are not, then they have lied to you and you have an avenue to cease their employment. Is that a possibility?

  88. AncientGeek 88

    Jason: I worked for 6 months in a town supply in my youth. I’d agree with you that it is a rather unique working experience. Especially the thermos tea at 0430. I was working with the share milker as the farm was owned by a lawyer (it was the 70’s – he was after the tax credits).

    For me, that was the 18 months that I worked in a lot of places to gain real-world experience, and to decide if going to uni was worth the effort.

    I don’t know what it is like now. But then the wages were pretty bad, and the hirelings like me were quite young. I’d come from doing night shift in a factory to a fifth of the income + food and board. I couldn’t imagine wanting to do it as a job for very long, not unless I had some sort of ownership state.

    I was having to learn everything at a considerable rate of knots, being a city boy. I was also having to do it while sleep deprived for the first month while my sleep cycles shifted.

    I’d be interested in what the wages are like now?

  89. Matthew Pilott 89

    Redeye – I agree with the problem you have raised (I mean I agree it is a problem). In the end it is a tough balance to strike.

    To be entirely honest with you all, I see the ‘power’ (and please don’t take ‘power’ to mean anything as randal mentioned above) as residing with the employer, so I think the balance needs to be in favour of the employee – that is, after all, why I’m a leftie!

  90. vto 90

    Mr Pilott, I gotta go but I still think a trial period would be a suitable solution.

    I really struggle to understand the ‘labour movts’ problem with it, especially given the very real problems the lack of a trial period makes for those doing the employing.

    And you simply have to believe it when employers say ‘the last thing we want is staff turnover’. It is the truth.

  91. Matthew Pilot: “You’re saying you want to be able to fire someone, not because they can’t do their job properly, but because you don’t find them ‘compatible’. The law is actually designed to protect employees from that very attitude!”

    Point of clarification: People can be justifiably sacked for incompatibility. One such case involved an Air Nelson pilot as it happens… no relation I assume.

  92. vto 92

    One more thing Mr Pilott, I used to work as an in-house solicitor for a large NZ company. It involved a great deal of employment law work and problem solving across the company’s hundreds of staff. My experience from that is that the power does not lie completely with the employer. In different areas it lies with one or the other.

    In the area of dismissal it lies very heavily with the employee, and that is exactly what is causing potential employers to simply refuse to employ where they can, as Redeye says above. That is also why the issue of a trial period keeps rearing its head.

  93. Rattus: “And Matthew, if you take a complaint to the ERA they will chuck it out straight away, and force you to go to mediation. Your Lawyer takes it to the ERA afterwards.”

    And this is one of the things about the ERA that works really well. Even the most vociferous employer lobbyists (like Peter Tritt of the EMA Northern) have awarded mediation high marks. You might have noticed, Rattus, that one of the expressed aims of the ERA was to reduce the role that lawyers play in the employment relations. It was the ECA that opened up this pandora’s box, and sadly, it seems difficult to get rid of lawyers once they become involved — like an infestation of cockroaches…

    Anyway, the vast majority of cases that go to mediation are resolved quickly and at minimal cost under the present regime. That is why I pointed out that the hypothetical ear-chopping or lies at interview cases probably wouldn’t get to the Authority.

    Let’s hope that National are clever enough (should they win) to retain the emphasis on mediation, and continue the search to get rid of lawyers.

    Rattus again: “I hate fascists and all they stand for …”

    Hmm, and you’re the one who wants the right to sack people without having to demonstrate any reason whatsoever… for, say, joining a union. Very democratic that!

  94. Dime is 100% correct in his views and should not be banned, but thats the left for you, they can name call, and they can insult someone’s house, they can call people sleazy, but boy you guys on the left are so thinskinned, if someone says something negative about someone on the left, you banned them.

    If you start up a business, it should be your right to let an employee go, if things arent working out, its “YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR MONEY”

    It should have nothing to do with any Union.

    Bring Back the DIME.

  95. “In the area of dismissal it lies very heavily with the employee, and that is exactly what is causing potential employers to simply refuse to employ where they can, as Redeye says above. That is also why the issue of a trial period keeps rearing its head.”

    Gosh vto and Redeye, haven’t you noticed the completely unprecedented GROWTH in employment over this period when employers were supposed to be resoultely refusing to employ more staff because they have to justify ithemselves when they want to sack them? Even the drop in employment reported yesterday is disproportionately amongst those who are not in permanent employment (and hence mostly women), it is said.

    Sort of gives the lie to your rhetoric doesn’t it?

  96. Brett: “If you start up a business, it should be your right to let an employee go, if things arent working out, its “YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR MONEY’

    Yep, that’s called “redundancy”. Dismissal for redundancy is perfectly justified. See your lawyer for more details.

  97. lprent

    This board is suppose to represent free speech, but it seems anyone who has a view that is not in line with Aunty Helen, gets banned.

    The treatement of the poster Rattus, Dime and Big Bruv and saying they are the same person is disgusting, why not do a IP check, and then you will see they are different people.

    Can anyone on the left tell me why you guys hate free speech??

    [lprent: I did, as I've commented earlier. I did track them back to a site where they were gloating that they got banned - so I guess they got what they came for.

    This is a moderated site - not a free speech site. Free speech sites are commonly full of spam and continuous flamewars, try usenet some time. Read Bruce Simpsons take on it Past its Use(net)-by date?.

    The moderation isn't for ideas - it is for behaviour. If people chose to act in a manner that doesn't conform within the guidelines of the Policy page, then they will get moderated or banned. It doesn't sound like you've read it]

  98. I’m not talking redundancy, im talking about firing dumb asses who don’t aren’t up to the job.

  99. vto 99

    jafapete, I said “causing potential employers to simply refuse to employ where they can,”. Note, “where they can”. What you raise introduces a whole pile of other issues into the debate to do with economic growth etc. So no your post does not give ‘lie to the rhetoric’ as you put it.

  100. Your going to banned Big Bruv for a month????

    Your banning the best posters, who start the best debates.

    This site reminds me of those nutters who supported Tami Iti when he got arrested on terrorism charges.

    They were on the news chanting for people to stand up.

    A man on the sidewalk, pointed out that the Police are just doing their job and one of the protesters screamed at the man “Shut up Free Speech”

    To tell someone to Shut up and your reason for this is Free Speech, defines the left for me, you guys are 100% for free speech as long as the speech is what you believe in.

    [lprent: see my note on your previous comment above]

  101. jafapete 101

    Brett, Thanks for the clarification. See my note above about the messages that you send the remaining staff if you sack people (or engage in other disciplinary action such as giving a warning) arbitrarily.

    Unfair and inequitable treatment of any employees has a negative effect on the morale of all employees. So treating employees fairly and equitably pays off and clever employers treat the employees fairly and equitably.

    If you were to look closely at the legal requirements for cause in dismissal, you would find that they are no more than a check-list for how to treat employees fairly and reasonably.

    After all, employees have a common law duty to act in good faith towards their employers.

    Note also that it works both ways, and *not* disciplining a slacker also has a deleterious effect on morale.

  102. Matthew Pilott 102

    jafapete – no such relation! (note the two ‘t’ surname…)

    Brett, dime had some fine points. They didn’t get him banned. Don’t be disingenuous and entirely ignore the reason he was banned, you just look like an idiot! Why would you make such a pointless statement, when we know you’re not? “free speech” baselessly calling someone a liar – i’m not sure what your idea of it is Brett, but it’s a pretty peculiar interpretation.

    WRT your other point, what kind of society would we live in if people could be fired at whim? How could society function if no one had any jobn security? You obviously have some strong convictions, but I can’t see much evidence you have tested them.

    Most companies don’t want high turnover, true vto. Go back (when you have a few spare minutes) and read what Irishbill actually said to dime – he explains the problem of the 90 day bill, that none of you seem willing or able to see. Use your imagination – because no doubt some unscrupulous employers would, and some poor folk would potentially suffer immensely as a result.

    vto – there are always excpetions, laws aren’t made for exceptions though.

  103. jafapete 103

    vto: May 9, 2008 at 12:31 pm: “jafapete, I said “causing potential employers to simply refuse to employ where they can,’. Note, “where they can’. What you raise introduces a whole pile of other issues into the debate to do with economic growth etc. So no your post does not give ‘lie to the rhetoric’ as you put it.”

    Gosh, just as well we had the current legal regime over the past decade then, otherwise we’d have been suffering much worse skill shortages than we have! Just think. We’d have had no unemployment at all! After all, those employers holding off would have mopped up the last 3.6% in a flash.

    Sorry, vto, your argument doesn’t hold up.

  104. Matthew Pilott 104

    Brett, I’m going to clarify. Not becuse you need me to, because I believe you are pretending you don’t get it, or ignoring the obvious, to make a pathetic point about your interpretation of ‘the left’.

    Dime got confused about the 90 day bill. He didn’t understand what Irishbill was saying and said that irish was “making s… up”. Dime was completely wrong, and got his just desserts.

    Bruv implied the blog is funded by Labour. This annoyed our friendly sysop, who foots the bill. That’s why he is on moderation.

    These two points weren’t hard to follow. If there was a 10 year old handy, I would like to take them through these points to illustrate how easy they are to understand, and that you are probably fully aware of what has gone on, and are simply being obnoxious when you fling around accusations of the left hating free speech.

    (on a different note, I had a great moment of juvenile laughter when i saw my cap was “ball deposits”)

  105. vto 105

    jafapete, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

    Unless I am missing something I do not see anything in either of your posts that goes anywhere near my points re a trial period. What you have done is spout some stats over changes in employment levels as if they illustrate something about the particular issue.

    Try this from one of my posts above..

    “I really struggle to understand the ‘labour movts’ problem with (a trial period), especially given the very real problems the lack of a trial period makes for those doing the employing.”

  106. jafapete 106

    vto: “jafapete, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.”

    That’s pun-ishing, I think.

    vto: “I really struggle to understand the ‘labour movts’ problem with (a trial period), especially given the very real problems the lack of a trial period makes for those doing the employing.’

    You can look at my earlier post about the British experience, of workers (usually the low paid and most vulnerable workers) being sacked just before the 12 months comes up if you want an insight into the labour movement’s problems with the idea.

    You might also look at the Aussie experience of “at will employment” when the so-called workchoices legislation took effect, alluded to by another commenter above. Some employers got carried away and the employer lobby groups and then government quickly had to get employers to lay off laying off until after the election. But by then the damage had been done.

    Clever employers wouldn’t do anything much different than the law requires them to anyway, but it’s the others we’re worried about. And they tend to employ the most vulnerable workers.

    Got it now?

  107. big bruv 107

    What many from the left hate to admit is that Labour relations in NZ are generally pretty good, 99% of workers are happy with their conditions and most do not see the need to belong to a union.

    I worked in the UK for six years, at first I was shocked at the level of naked hostility between workers and management, as time went on I understood why this is the case, the workers expect the worst from Management and the Management expect the worst from the workers and their union, neither side ever seemed to disappoint each other.

  108. vto 108


    Those two examples seem quite different from a short trial period.

    In answer to my question you have done what most do – find some extreme examples to bolster ‘their side’ of the argument.

    What you are saying is that if there is a trial period employers will simply fire people before the end of the trial period and take advantage of it. That is simply not true (except for exceptionals). What is the advantage in having a high staff turnover? Please tell me.

    Look, this issue will not die because as things currently stand it is unbalanced in the employees favour. It will keep coming back and back until it finds an equilibrium. At the moment there is no equilibrium.

  109. Matthew Pilott 109

    Dearest bruv, in fact nothing thrills us more, knowing that workplace laws mean workers get a good deal (with the exception of overall pay rates, which has become an issue as of late), and we sleep the sleep of the contented knowing that Unions’ and Workers’ struggles over the decades have helped making NZ a great place to live and work in. Thanks for pointing that out though, and here I was thinking it’s all doom & gloom from you.

  110. vto 110

    Jafapete, just read your last post again. What you also say is that you are worried about the worst most nasty employers.

    Well.. laws in an area like this should never be designed around the worst 1 or 2%. And that is a mistake that the left often make – generate laws around the minor minority which adversely affects the generally good majority. That is a schoolteacher trait which keeps the whole class behind because of the one kid that threw a dart. Hated that approach when I was a kid and hate it now. Cannot see how we would ever agree if that is your approach. Perhaps that is why this particular issue is not resolved yet.

  111. Matthew Pilott:

    The banning of people isn’t consistent though.

    A lot worse has been said, by those on the left, and you don’t need a ten year old to figure that out.

    [lprent: Read the policy page at the top of the screen. Then you might know what you're talking about. The key point is disruption and it is a judgement call. For instance it was apparent that Dim's only purpose here was to disrupt. He spoke without bothering to think about anyones responses, and always went for remarks designed to inflame. In short he was a fire starter.

    His comment to irish would have just been rubbished without that previous pattern of behaviour. He ignored warnings about his behaviour. Around here, the 'left' and 'centrists' usually heed behaviour warnings, so they have less bans and moderation.

    This is getting tiresome. If you want to keep whinging - please do it elsewhere.]

  112. Matthew Pilott 112

    vto – do what I said and read irish’s comment, are you deliberately avoiding reading something contrary?

    If you are an employer with traditionally high turnover of low-wage vulnerable workers, you hire them on endless ‘trials’ thereby voiding all of their legal workplace rights indefinitely. This solution is worse than the problem!

    As I said above, the problem may be real and could do with addressing but this solution is worse than the problem. Your instances are also exceptions, as i also said, and not the rule. law generally has to cater to the rule, not exceptions. We wouldn’t have record unemployment if it was too hard to hire someone, and a majority of employers weren’t bothering!

  113. jafapete 113

    BB: “What many from the left hate to admit is that Labour relations in NZ are generally pretty good, 99% of workers are happy with their conditions and most do not see the need to belong to a union.”

    I guess you qualified that so that a leftie like me couldn’t argue that yes, we do acknowledge that employment relations in NZ are generally pretty good, because many of us, in fact, do. Surveys show that NZ workers are generally more satisfied with their influence at work, etc, than are workers in the anglo-american world, with the Brits the least satisfied (as you say).

    And whilst you may be strictly correct in saying that “most do not see the need to join a union”, I do hope you have not overlooked my comment yesterday at 9.31am:

    Fact: research also shows that in NZ, as elsewhere, a substantial number of those in non-union workplaces say that they would like to join if they could. Around 30%. Most of the rest are indifferent, as one might expect given that (the research shows) these people tend to know little about unions. Very few think that they would be worse off with a workpace union.

  114. Redeye 114

    “AucklandPete: Sort of gives the lie to your rhetoric doesn?t it?”

    I take offence at my post being called rhetoric and a lie. They are real examples given.

    Which raises another point. If you are really trying induce debate how come Irish is allowed to call other posters liars but no-one is allowed to respond in kind?

    [lprent: I don't consider that to be a personal attack. If you want to prove something isn't rhetoric, then link to something to backup your point. Whoever it was, was dissing your argument - not you.]

  115. Matthew Pilott 115

    Brett Dale, fine me an example where someone from the left said an author here was lying. Find me an example where someone from the left accused the blog of being run or funded by the Labour Party. Find me and equivalent example if you can.

    Don’t you get it? It’s not saying nasty or controversial things that gets you pinged, it’s flaming and such accusations as I mentioned.

  116. Matthew Pilott 116

    vto – was just thinking about your last comment. It seems I’m at a contradiction, in that I state laws shouldn’t be made for exceptions, yet the 90 day bill isn’t alright because of the exceptions.

    Bit of a conundrum, but I still stand by my views, that such a law shouldn’t be enacted if the flaws and loopholes are obvious and readily exploitable. This isn’t the case with current law – on one ‘exploits’ it, even though I readily conceed it can make things difficult in certain situations.

  117. jafapete 117

    I think we both agree that in the employment law area there needs to be some stability around an equilibrium that everybody can live with (even if they are not thrilled with every detail).

    I think that we are getting closer to this point. The Nats have sworn off returning to the ECA; and the ERA, you might have noticed, is a long way from the old arbitral system that prevailed before 1991. (See the pingback link above for my views on the ERA.)

    One thing that we are really arguing about is the extent of the problem of arbitrary management. You say 1-2%. Hell, the Uiversity of Auckland has been featuring in the news recently for arbitrary sackings, and there’s more I’d like to say… So I think that’s it’s a lot more than 1-2%.

    Bottem line. I’d be all for a multi-party conference to see whether there is some common equlilibrium that we could all agree to. Crazy? It’s called tri-partism and it’s how they do things in Europe, for example.

  118. vto 118

    I did read Irish’s comment. Was pretty obvious, but didn;t go to the nub of the issue. But ok then, there are two problems and surely they can both be accomoodated..

    Namely, problem for employer is lack of trial period.

    Problem for employee is employer using endless trials to void worker rights.

    I, and surely you people, can see both of the problems. I don’t deny the problem you describe.

    How can the two problems be accommodated? Not quite sure, but both have to be addressed… anyone with a big brain out there? Different trial periods for different sectors perhaps?

  119. jafapete 119

    Redeye: “AucklandPete: Sort of gives the lie to your rhetoric doesn?t it?’ I take offence at my post being called rhetoric and a lie. They are real examples given.

    Note the qualification “sort of”. And don’t get so worked up about an expression that doesn’t mean *precisely* what you contrue it to.

    Also note that I have been called a lying filthy commie, etc, etc, numerous times on right-wing blogs, and hardly ever complained, if at all. (Can’t remember complaining, but may have.)

  120. big bruv 120


    Once again you stretch the truth, workplace relations have improved out of sight since the end of compulsory unionism and the implementation of the employment contracts act.

    Giving individual employees the right to negotiate their own contract is always going to result in happier workplace relations, those who are worth more receive it, what a pity our teachers are not allowed to do the same thing.

  121. jafapete 121

    vto: “How can the two problems be accommodated? Not quite sure, but both have to be addressed anyone with a big brain out there? Different trial periods for different sectors perhaps?”

    Funnily enough, I was going to suggest soemthing along those lines. But wouldn’t claim to be a big brain.

    Shame we’re not responsible for respective party policy in this area…

  122. Matthew Pilott 122

    Ensure a company could only give an employee one single trial, say within a five year period.

    Specifiy a maximum number of trials to fill a role/vacancy.

    Have a registration period with the trial so employers abusing or excessively using the system are noted.

    Ensure specific/relevant/appropriate reasons are given for a ‘failed’ trial.

    Allow for mediation in case of a failed trial.

    All of these are totally against the essence of the bill National supported though, and I doubt they would get support from either side. Also note I don’t necessarily support these ideas – just thought I’d throw a few out there.

  123. higherstandard 123


    How about a penalty for the employer of 4 weeks pay (payable to the employee being removed) if they sack someone after the trial period. Would be enough to put most employers off rorting the system (which very few would) conversely if the employee was cak they would also probably be happy to pay this cost to get rid off them.

  124. Matthew Pilott 124

    Note not meant to be ‘registration period’ but a ‘register system’.

    Redeye, FTR I don’t think Irish called anyone a liar. he pinged someone for doing so to him…

  125. higherstandard 125


    I like your first 4 points – very nice.

    Have been to mediation for some staff we had to remove and agreed it is useful but very dependent on the mediator where there are very different standards in skill.

  126. Matthew Pilott 126

    bruv – Truth streching? Moi? Codswallop!

    Interesting claims bruv, have you got anything to shop that the introduction of the ECA led to improved workplace relations? Would be interested in reading a study or survey that showed this.

  127. jafapete 127

    Oh, and Redeye et al., here’s an example of the sort of ordure frequently directed at lefties on the best known right-wing blog in NZ, and about which we don’t whinge. Just posted, you can see the steam rising…

    I’m blowing your cover Jafaboy. The days of communists like you and the shameless bludger Phil Whoar being seen as centre left are dying, and I ask everybody out there who reads my posts to think about the need to call a commie a commie, and how it hurts them politically and personally when you do that. Don’t be intimidated by their scorn and attempts at ridicule. Truth will always (eventually) prevail, and to the commies its like a wooden stake thru the heart of a vampire. Never let them win. Remember folks- Truth is all it takes.

  128. vto 128

    ah excellent. Something along those lines…

    What are we going to resolve next then?

    I know.. when to knock off for the day and quench the thirst, because I aint got much done today carrying on here that’s for sure. And its almost too late to start.

  129. Mathew Pilott you said:

    If you are an employer with traditionally high turnover of low-wage vulnerable workers, you hire them on endless ‘trials’ thereby voiding all of their legal workplace rights indefinitely. This solution is worse than the problem!

    the law will be for one trial, when a person is first hired. the will be no option for endless trials.

    Who do you fly for? dimes brother is ex air nelson and currently air New zealand.

  130. jafapete 130

    vto, agreed. Galbraiths at 5pm anyone?

  131. Matthew Pilott 131

    HS, thanks, I can only imagine that is true with the mediator.

    There’s always the ‘stick’ approach, but I don’t like it. Have a fee – or maybe a bond is a better term – for a trial (amount of which is dependant on the size of the organisation) that is returned if the trial is successful.

    This would encourage employers to only use a trial when necessary, and would mean a decision to employ or not would have to be carefully weighted, but it is unfair in that it penalises employers for getting a dud. Can’t think of a workaround off the top of my head.

    Not sure where the bond money would go either – clearly not to the worker, or it would encourage people to fail!

  132. big bruv 132


    “vto, agreed. Galbraiths at 5pm anyone?”

    Only if you promise that Robinsod will be there

  133. higherstandard 133



    There’s a solution in there somewhere – although I’d like to believe that the majority of employers and employees won’t/don’t have these issues to face.

  134. Matthew Pilott 134

    Brett – wasn’t aware that was in the law – I didn’t think there was a mechanism to prevent it. I.e. you have one trial and it ‘fails’, so you get the same person back for another one. Exploitation of the vulnerable does occur…

    I’m no pilot – I almost crashed a place once actually (it was on the ground).

    vto – how about whether we keep public control over certain assets…but maybe save it for another day…

  135. Billy 135

    I think Brett’s right, Matthew Pilott. You could not employ the same worker on more thatn one trial.

    The potential for abuse is that an employer could employ a series of employees on such trials. But I am just not sure why you’d do that if the employee worked out.

  136. Matthew Pilott 136

    Billy – if it’s for an unskilled job (where it would be hard for it to not work out) you could save a lot in terms of workplace rights – paid leave and so on, that don’t apply in a trial. There is potantial for anti-union and bad-faith activity as well that can’t be discounted. The effects of these need to be fully investigated before going in with the law.

  137. jafapete 137

    Billy, In the UK employers have been known to re-employ the people that they terminate just before the 12 months are up, after a short break. As noted above, the primary reason for doing this is to avoid legal obligations.

    They tend to do this because they are running businesses based on price competition, employing low paid, low skill workers whose cooperation is not needed beyond a minimal level of compliance, and because they (the employers) are callous bastards. Think cleaning contractors for a concrete example.

    Implicit in what vto suggested earlier is the fact that the problems tend to be concentrated in certain areas. Mass services is the primary area, but there are others such as freight forwarding and universities with [self-censored].

  138. Jason 138

    Getting back to the topic, a trial period is exactly what is needed in at least my profession, farming.

    The people against this can not actually put forward any evidence to back up claims that this bill would be abused and that the net effect would be drastically poor on employees.

    I am now not employing because of this. Within a 10km radius of me I know of at least 3 other farms who are also not employing as it is not worth the risk to have to spend a whole year with someone who may not prove sutible.

    Give us a trial and there would be at least 4 people employed on June 1. As it is, we just arent employing, we will do the extra work ourselves.

  139. Redeye 139

    Mathew can I refer you back to the 4th post of this thread where the Irish bloke says;

    “Maw, do you ever make a statement that is based in fact?” If that’s not calling him a liar then you ought to open both eyes.

    Never the less, I find it amusing to now be lumped in with the right because I disgagree on this issue. Most other sites I post on lump me in with the lefties.

    Politics is not Rugby. You are allowed to look at the issues individually and see the rights and WRONGS of both sides without being some sort of traitor.

  140. big bruv 140


    Jafa is right, I worked for a company in the UK that was well known for hiring sales staff for the summer months and giving them the flick as winter set in (I refused to comply with this instruction)

    It is simplistic and quite simply wrong to lay the blame for this mentality entirely at the feet of the employers, as I said both sides do not often disappoint each other.

    Most of the animosity between workers and management in the UK is the result of union agitation, the staff are brainwashed into believing that all managers are callous bastards and the management are of the opinion that all workers are unionist stirrers.

    I well remember telling the owner of the company that I worked for that I was going to shout a few beers and fire up the BBQ every Friday for the staff, the first question he asked me was “how much that was going to cost” the second was “why would you do that?”
    Anyway, for the first month I sat there on my own every Friday night, it took about seven months until we had a total buy in from the staff and they began to realise that I was not out to screw them, they also found out that they had a boss that genuinely cared about them.

    The end result was that productivity improved out of sight and workplace relations at our branch were the best in the company, we did not lay anybody off come winter and the practice of drinks and a BBQ on Friday still continues to this day.

    In many ways that is what happened in NZ with the end of compulsory unionism, workers and staff found out that they were not each others natural enemy and by working together they could both achieve their goals, as one of the chaps who worked with me in the UK said one day he found it much more fun coming to work when he knew that the place was no longer a hot bed of animosity.

  141. Matthew Pilott 141

    Jason, there are a fair few examples on this thread as to how the law could be abused, and jafapete gave a definite example just above.

    As I said previously, you’re happy to see a law that could easily lead to exploitation of vulnerable workers enacted for your own benefit? And all this to help you with work that you actually can do yourself? And you are not able to have fixed term contacts (why not make it a three month contract, and then offer them a permanent job if you get along with them??) or any other method of employment at all, given that you’re absorbing the work of four people?

  142. Billy 142

    Matthew, you can’t have a fixed term contract and use it as a trial. The law doesn’t allow you to.

  143. lprent 143

    Jason: “Getting back to the topic”

    Topics tend to veer and weave a lot around here. You get used to it eventually. Especially, when they get as many comments as this post has. I should start thinking about a threading system at the client side.

    Looking at the comment streams, there does actually appear to almost be an agreement about ideas on this topic emerging. It’d make a first…

  144. Matthew Pilott 144

    redeye – he looks to have been talking about opinion, as opposed to fact. It’s a far cry from accusing someone of making things up to justify a position.

    I haven’t ‘lumped you in with the right’, and didn’t think anyone else had either but I may have missed something.

    You are allowed to look at the issues individually and see the rights and WRONGS of both sides without being some sort of traitor

    As you may notice, much of the latter part of this thread has been doing exactly that.

  145. jafapete 145

    Redeye: “Maw, do you ever make a statement that is based in fact?’ If that’s not calling him a liar then you ought to open both eyes.

    Based on speculation? Based on sincerely held but misguided prejudice?

    I think I know who needs to open his/her eyes, and at least one of them is red.

  146. Jason 146

    I’m not allowed to offer a fixed term contract, tell the employee to leave then re-employ someone new to do the same job. That is illegial.

    As for the comment about being able to do the job myself, its not possible, there are trade-offs. The farm doesnt run as smoothly as it should, most days I will barely see my children, come spring I will do about 12-14 weeks nonstop, working on average 13 hours per day. That has an effect on my health and the general happiness of my family.

    As for the comment regarding vunerable workers needing protection. Well, I have worked bloody hard for a very long time, took on the risk of starting my own business, put my balls on the line with a big mortgage, it would be nice if there was a law that could give me some scope to be sure I can employ the best people for the job.

    Certainly, I have earned that right.

    However, we, like many other farmers, have decided we are better off to do this then to put up with the risk of employing someone who is not sutible and then having to be stuck with them for the entire contract, then having to try and find someone else to fill a new job role as we were not able to finish a fixed term contract and employ someone new.

    Go and ask a real estate agent why most dairy farmers end up selling thier farms. Staffing issues.

  147. jafapete 147

    BB, I thought you were doing really well until you got to the bit about the ECA. Sorry to be so didactic, but…

    1. Unions had a very limited presence in most NZ workplaces prior to the ECA, because that was the nature of the old system (i.e., centralised, bureaucratic). In particular, they had very little presence in smaller workplaces, and that is where deunionisation was greatest after the introduction of the ECA.

    2. The ECA was enabling legislation; it did nothing positive to improve workplace relations. Ypour argument is based on a belief that union membership was a barrier to better workplace relations.

    3. However, almost all of the drop in union membership over the first 18 months of the ECA was in the mass private sector services, which, you may have noticed from the discussion above, is where the problems have been, continue to be, and probably always will be. Think little shops, restaurants, cafes, service stations, cleaning contractors, rest homes…

    4. There is no evidence that workplace relations improved in these mass services workplaces. In fact, we do know that the workers in these workplaces tend to be the ones who would like to join a union but can’t. This suggests that where unionism declined fastest, and to the greatest extent, bad workplace relations persist. There goes your argument!

    You need a more nuanced argument, distinguishing between the types of employemnt relations that pertain in different industries, for example. Also, you need to recognise that the unions of today bear little resemblance in most cases to those of twenty years ago.

    Now, I don’t want ever again to read about the wonderful ECA promoting good workplace relations.

  148. Matthew Pilott 148

    Billy, Jason – I understood that people did this – hire people on fixed term contracts, but if they like the employee they choose to hire them on a permanent basis, or at least substantially extend their contract. If not, they try with another worker, on a fixed-term basis. I might be wrong about this or confusing it with the use of Temp workers though.

    Jason – are workers that bad in the farming sector? It sounds as if there is such a slim chance of getting a decent worker you don’t bother.

    At the end of the day, you’re still advocating a law that will have far wider consequences than in the agricultural sector, and seem to be dismissing this out of hand. While it may be a good thing in your area, it won’t just apply to farming.

  149. mondograss 149

    I think it needs to be observed that it’s still a contract based system, therefore what you put in the contract, as long as it’s not completely arbitrary, is enforceable. The farmer guy who complained about staff leaving with 1 weeks notice, could change the contract to have 4 weeks notice. Other skill specific stuff such as ability to build a fence to blah specification, or having a professional demeanour can also be inserted. You just have to make sure that you go through the contract carefully with the prospective employee at the hiring stage.

    Then of course you can still have a 90 day trial and if they’ve not met the conditions of the contract and it can be reasonably said that they’re not able to, the relationship can be terminated. But BOTH sides have to make an effort to resolve any issues that come up and good, fair process must still be followed.

    Not much you can do if you simply don’t like the person, but heck I’ve hated bosses plenty in the past, been pretty sure they felt the same way about me, and still been able to work with them. Of course I didn’t have to live with them though.

  150. Billy 150

    Matthew Pilott, you used to be able to do it under the ECA, but the ERA contains specific provisions to stop you doing this. You have to have a genuine reason for the fixed term (and, I want to see if you are a good employee doesn’t count) and, once it has expired, you still have to go through the process as if you were sacking them. Very deliberately, this means that there is no benefit to the employer in having the fixed term at all. If you could, no-one would be asking for the 90 day trial thing.

  151. Matthew Pilott 151

    Billy – maybe I’m thinking of a situation involving temps then – because I’m sure this does happen, but having a temping agency in the middle may muddy the waters enough to allow for some form of this to happen. No use in this case, of course.

  152. jafapete 152

    Billy, Yeah, but these provisions are more honoured in the breach…

    Not that I am condoning this behaviour, mind.

  153. mondograss 153

    Could use a labour hire company I guess, might be some out there that do agricultural workers and would be amenable to having someone hired permanently off their books. IT contracting can work like that, you hire a contractor through an agency, if they’re good you offer them a permanent role, and a portion of their salary goes to the agency for a fixed period. If they’re no good, you send them back to the agency and ask for someone else.

  154. big bruv 154


    You may not want to read about the good things that came out of the ECA but that would be tantamount to sticking your head in the sand.

    The ECA means that I could always negotiate my own deal with any prospective employer, I am not bound by some silly union agreed contract that dictates what or how much I can earn, it also means that any workplace can negotiate directly with their employer, if employees are not happy with the deal they have then they always have the right to walk out and find a more generous employer.

    [lprent: Huh? I don't usually note on content errors, but... You can do the same thing under ERA. Don't join a union and make your own contract with the employer.]

    All I and others are arguing is that the employer should have the right to make the same choice within a 90 day period

  155. jafapete 155

    BB: “The ECA means that I could always negotiate my own deal with any prospective employer, I am not bound by some silly union agreed contract that dictates what or how much I can earn, it also means that any workplace can negotiate directly with their employer, if employees are not happy with the deal they have then they always have the right to walk out and find a more generous employer.”

    1. Under the old award system, “awards” were minimum terms contracts, and it was usually possible for workers to negotiate better terms and conditions, and very large numbers of them did.

    2. You can still do this under the ERA.

    3. Very few “workpaces” negotiated directly with their employers, or used bargaining agents other than unions. Unions still did the vast majority of collective bargaining, even after 9 years of the ECA. Why do you think that was, if the alternatives were freely available?

    4. A survey that was done a few years ago showed that it is still very much the case that “if employees are not happy with the deal they have then they always have the right to walk out and find a more generous employer” and do. A little known fact is that turnover was very high in NZ historically, and continues to be today, largely because this is a preferred means of dealing with an unsatisfactory employment situation in this country.

    As always, references available on request. Also, enough for one day. I will be off to Galbraiths in an hour or so, and have no idea at all where robinsod is, so cannot hope to produce him, for whatever reason.

  156. jafapete 156

    Postscript, you will have noted from earlier posts that my main problem with the ECA is that the most vulnerable workers suffered the most, even before it came into effect in May 1991 (some employers couldn’t wait). You could add a few other things, such as the long-term macro-economic results of embarking on a low pay, low productivity path.

    I don’t think the benefits that the ECA might have brought were worth the pain and I do think that there were much better ways to go about providing more flexibility in our labour market. finis

  157. leftie 157

    Whoa…155 posts. It seems that Employment Relations is a hot topic this close to the election. I cant be the only worker who has bad memories of last time National was government.

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  • Inevitable Labour pontification post
    Labour are having their caucus meeting today: step one in the post-mortem of what went wrong in the election. There’s already the inevitable talk about Labour’s values, and Labour needing to reconnect with the voters so here’s my take, which...
    DimPost | 22-09
  • Inevitable Labour pontification post
    Labour are having their caucus meeting today: step one in the post-mortem of what went wrong in the election. There’s already the inevitable talk about Labour’s values, and Labour needing to reconnect with the voters so here’s my take, which...
    DimPost | 22-09
  • Where to now for transport in Auckland?
    In some respects Saturday night’s election result changes nothing from a transport perspective. It seems as though the government that will be formed over the next three years will be remarkably similar to that we’ve had for the past three...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • The strategic dimension to a third term
    Government is always a balancing act. For this term the balance is between an urge in the National party for business-friendly action and staying in touch with the wider public. It doesn’t matter for that balancing act whether National keeps...
    Colin James | 22-09
  • Top 5 Scoop Press Releases Week To 20th Sep 2014
    Article – Scoop Insights The following five press releases were the top performing press releases (by NZ page view numbers) according to Google Analytics on Scoop for the seven days to 20th September 2014.Top 5 Scoop Press Releases Week To...
    Its our future | 22-09
  • The rebuild
    Morgan Godfery has described his sense of alienation in the days preceding last Saturday’s election – when poll after poll painted an ever-more-accurate picture of the scale of National’s eventual victory – as being akin to ‘a full-scale culture shock’....
    Bat bean beam | 22-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the troubled aftermath of Scotland’s vote
    Column – Gordon Campbell A week can be a very long time in Scotland’s 300 year struggle for independence. The “ No” vote last week that seemed to end the cause of Scottish independence for a generation, has turned out...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-09
  • Deranged
    Saturday's result was a shock for the left. And for some, it was apparently so shocking that it can only have been the result of fraud. So they're petitioning the head of the Electoral Commission for a recount. Naturally, they...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • The Wall Street Journal downplays global warming risks once again
    As has become the norm for media outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch, just before a half million people participated in the People’s Climate March around the world, The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece downplaying the risks and threats...
    Skeptical Science | 22-09
  • Kiwis concerned about the TPPA: Day of Action
    Saturday.November 8 . 1.00 pmAuckland ~> Aotea Square Facebook EventHamilton ~> Garden PlaceFacebook EventWellington ~> The Bucket Fountain Facebook EventChristchurch ~> tbc Facebook EventTimaru ~> Bay Hill Piazza Facebook Event...
    Watchblog Aotearoa | 22-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #30 Small is Beautiful
    30: Small is Beautiful What if we decided small can be beautiful? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder sees beauty through the lens of what they hold dear. When it comes to lifestyle beauty relates...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • Carbon News headlines 22/9/14: If the PM doesn’t worry about climate chan...
    Welcome to a new regular feature on Hot Topic: the week’s Carbon News headlines, brought to you every Monday. Carbon News is an NZ-published web newsletter covering climate and carbon news from around the world, published and edited by experienced...
    Hot Topic | 22-09
  • Some acting experience an advantage but not required.
    If David Cunliffe were an actor, his preferred acting style might best be described as Shakespearean – declamatory, expansive, grand in tone and gesture, rich in soliloquy. It is a style suited to the stage but unfortunately totally unsuited to...
    Brian Edwards | 22-09
  • Labour and Greens voters are more alike than different
    Most political analysis in New Zealand seems trapped in the two-party winner-takes-all world, or perhaps they are numerically challenged by the number which comes after two. Whichever, to discuss the National-Labour divide without mentioning the Greens is almost pointless. (I’ll...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • The truth about our ‘rockstar economy’
    There were knowing smiles among economists when earlier this year John Key set the election date a couple of months early. He told us it was because there were various international gatherings that the prime minister had to attend. But...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • Post-election blues
    Frank Macskasy has written an interesting piece on the Daily Blog about things Labour needs to take away from this election.Some people picked him up on his claim that National has not increased its vote over 2011, pointing out that the special...
    Te Whare Whero | 22-09
  • The minor parties – some thoughts & questions
    The Greens They ran a blinder of a campaign. Their polling numbers were looking great, as they closed on 15% in some polls. Then they got just 10.02% on the night (although their vote share is likely to rise by...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-09
  • The threshold has to go
    Another election, and once again we've been reminded of the unfairness the two major parties built into MMP in an effort to stack it for themselves and prevent competition. ACT got 14,510 votes and one seat in Parliament, while the...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • Was Scotland’s referendum rigged?
    Things haven't gone well in Scotland after their historic referendum to choose whether they became independent from Britain or not.As it turns out, an apparent majority of 55.3% chose to stay with mother England.However, there has been a growing disquiet...
    The Jackal | 22-09
  • Don’t you get tired of this?
    I have seen so much of this lately: And this: And in so many cases when we challenge this cherry-picking and confirmation bias we get this:...
    Open Parachute | 22-09
  • Don’t you get tired of this?
    I have seen so much of this lately: And this: And in so many cases when we challenge this cherry-picking and confirmation bias we get this:...
    Open Parachute | 22-09
  • Access: You Can Call Me Brave Now
    People say I’m brave when they see me in my wheelchair. That can be frustrating. I’m not brave just because I happen to have a disability. There are, however, instances in my life where I have had to find a...
    Public Address | 22-09
  • New Fisk
    John Kerry’s rhetoric on Isis insults our intelligence and conceals the reality of the situation in Syria...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • MMP, electorates, and misaligned incentives
    Amongst the post-election entrail reading, I've seen a couple of people suggest that one of the reasons labour lost was due to a lack of tactical voting by Greens. If only Green supporters had held their nose and voted tactically...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • On a wave of mutilation : where to now for Labour?
    2014 was a disaster. Unfortunately for Labour, the disaster has now been surpassed. The party will be beginning (another) process of determining what went wrong, and what can be done to fix things. I hope they don’t throw all of...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-09
  • O’Connell St officially opened, time to close it again?
    On Friday evening the new O’Connell St shared space was officially opened. The street is by far the best shared space created in Auckland to date thanks in large part to the historic buildings in the area which feel like they’ve been...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • The issues that matter
    I'm not bitter and twisted. No, really, I'm not. Much....
    Imperator Fish | 22-09
  • Upcoming MOOC makes sense of climate science denial
    In collaboration with The University of Queensland, Skeptical Science is developing a MOOC, or Massive Online Open Course, that makes sense of climate science denial. The Denial101x MOOC will launch in March 2015 on the EdX platform. Registration has just opened...
    Skeptical Science | 21-09
  • Where to from here for National?
    If John Key wants to have a stab at a fourth term as Prime Minister, there’ll be no one in the party to stop him. He’s weathered the Dirty Politics and Moment of Truth storms, and come out the other...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-09
  • Things you can do about global warming now we have a new do-nothing governm...
    Australia’s brilliant First Dog On The Moon on climate action (courtesy of The Tree), deemed by me to be relevant in the aftermath of an election that has delivered New Zealand another three years of National-led government, and therefore little...
    Hot Topic | 21-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • No time for self-pity
    After 23 meetings across the largest non-Maori electorate in the country – almost all of which went fantastically, approx 4,500km on the odometer, positive MSM and social media coverage, and polling well, I admit my team and I headed to...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • The 30 second speech that could have saved the Moment of Truth
    As the dust settles and we struggle to understand what the bloody hell happened on Saturday, many point to Kim’s failure at the Moment of Truth to present his evidence. I think that Kim was poorly advised and that politics requires a...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Internet MANA and the 2014 election
    It was always going to be a hard task for Hone Harawira to hold onto his Te Tai Tokerau seat when the political establishment united in a coalition to defeat him and the chance for Internet MANA to bring more...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Unity in Action
    Yes the Left have taken a drubbing, but never mind, time to pick ourselves up off the floor, patch up our wound pride, dust ourselves off, cast around for our friends and allies, and re-enter the fray. Lots of work...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • A Fiji democratic mandate for the coup leader – what now for the media?
    Attorney-General Sayad-Khaiyum and Rear-Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama’s Fiji First party is poised to lead the country in the next four years. Photo: Mads Anneberg, an AUT Pacific Media Centre student on internship in Suva with Repúblika Magazine and Pacific Scoop...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Why I voted Labour and why 2017 will be different
    As a 3nd and 5th generation Kiwi-Indian (depending on which side of the family we have to go with), my relationship with New Zealand is a special one. Like other New Zealanders who are not of the Caucasian variety, the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Humble Pie
    Oh. My. God. This was a heartbreaking nightmare. I was wrong, horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. I honestly believed that the resources, the media attention, the vile toxic politics exposed by Dirty Politics and the mass surveillance lies would have seen...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Election 2014; A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over
    .   . It would be fair to say that the results for Election 2014 did not go as anticipated. The Left has had a drubbing – and some of it was of our own making. In other aspects, there...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Final total of advance voting
    And the final total for the advance voting was a staggering 717,579 advance votes against 334,558 in 2011       Tonight, I’ll be watching the TV3 election coverage because I could bare Paul Henry’s smugness one inch more than Mike Hosking’s...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Reward offered in latest seal shooting
    It is with shock and dismay that our organization learns of the latest shooting of a New Zealand fur seal, this one on Stewart Island. This is the third such crime to reach our attentions since May this year and...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Taxpayers Forgotten in Ministerial Horse-Trading
    Responding to the Prime Minister’s comments reported on Radio New Zealand , that he is considering giving Act MP David Seymour a ministerial role because “When they have more staffing and resources as a result of a junior ministerial role...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Labour’s Defeat Points to a Forgotten Target Market
    With the devastating defeat for the Labour Party in the election, Labour seems to have lost touch with what resonates with New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Cunliffe may survive year but doomed by end of 2015
    NZ First is expected to take one seat off Labour once special votes are counted, maintaining the election-night result that John Key’s National Party will be able to govern alone, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Making All New Zealand the Place Talent Wants to Live
    The development of the provinces is becoming a major issue for New Zealand, and for the new Government. Television New Zealand’s Sunday programme (21 September) addressed the plight of towns such as Whanganui, where jobs and populations are declining....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • China’s booming torture trade revealed
    The flourishing trade, manufacture and export of tools of torture by Chinese companies is fuelling human rights violations across Africa and Asia, new research by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation reveals....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • President Obama Congratulates Key
    The President called Prime Minister Key late last evening to congratulate him on his third electoral victory....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Seven Pasifika MPs elected – highest number ever
    AUCKLAND ( Pacific Media Watch / The New Zealand Herald ): The highest number of Pasifika MPs elected in New Zealand's history were voted in at the weekend general election....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • LGNZ congratulates National
    LGNZ congratulates National Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) congratulates re-elected Prime Minister John Key and the National led government on winning their third consecutive term following Saturday’s general election. LGNZ President Lawrence Yule acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • The Letter – 22 September 2014
    John Key’s win is historic. In the history of MMP elections – worldwide – ever – no government has won an absolute majority. MMP was imposed on Germany to make sure that country never had another Hitler. It is designed...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election Coverage – None Better Than Trans Tasman
    To get a steer on what was going to happen in the election - away from the histrionics of the mainstream coverage - the best place to go was The Main Report Group’s weekly political report Trans Tasman....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Federated Farmers intemperate
    For the second time in a week Federated Farmers has made intemperate and provocative comments on environmental issues, says EDS....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • MP’s Stolen Items Recovered
    Following a complaint to Parliamentary Services today [ September 19 ], items which had been stolen from NZ First MP Andrew Williams’ Wellington parliamentary office have been recovered and returned....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election results bad news for those on benefits
    Beneficiary Advocate Kay Brereton says, “ The election result holds no good news for people on benefits, National campaigned successfully with their beneficiary bashing agenda, and will now believe their punitive treatment of beneficiaries has the support...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Opportunity to progress water infrastructure
    “National’s re-election is an opportunity to develop the infrastructure New Zealand needs to provide surety of water for agriculture, town drinking water supply, waterways, recreational use and to future proof the country from climate change,” says Andrew...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Wellington City joins the global call for 100% clean
    At 1:00 pm, residents and visitors of Wellington gathered at the summit of Mt Victoria to join the millions strong call for a 100% clean future....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Hikoi with us from Cape Reinga to Auckland Oil Conference!
    Monday 22 September 2014: Maori from different tribal areas along the western length of Northland are organising a hikoi starting on Saturday to a Government oil conference in Auckland to make sure that Norwegian oil giant Statoil gets the message:...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls
    Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls National re-elected to third term with record high vote as Labour slumps to worst result in over 90 years...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National-led Government wins mandate for RMA reforms
    An unprecedented increase in support for the third-term National Party, the best electoral performance since 1899, has delivered a clear mandate for reform of the Resource Management Act says Federated Farmers. “Vital reforms to the RMA have...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • New Zealand says no to Culture of Death
    Right to Life is pleased that the people of New Zealand have rejected a culture of death by refusing to elect a Labour/Green government that supported the decriminalisation of abortion....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Steven Joyce
    CORIN Steven Joyce if we could start with how things are going to look now with your support partners. Can you just run us through, National can technically govern alone on what you’ve got at the moment, do you think...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Kelvin Davis
    SUSAN Well earlier this morning, just before we came to air in fact, Corin spoke to Kelvin Davis, one of the big winners of the night, the new MP for Te Tai Tokerau....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – David Cunliffe
    CORIN Joining me now is Labour Leader, David Cunliffe. Good morning to you Mr Cunliffe. This is a tough result for Labour, how much personal responsibility do you take for this....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Grey Power congratulates Key
    Grey Power National President Terry King congratulated John Key for his party’s “resounding win “ in yesterday’s election and hoped that the new National Government would look hard at issues affecting the ever–growing number of older New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • EMA congratulates PM John Key and National
    The Employers and Manufacturers Association extend hearty congratulations to the re-election of Prime Minister John Key and National....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Helen Clark Receives Inaugural Women’s Health Rights Award
    Helen Clark was honoured as the first recipient of the Women’s Health Rights Award at the 121st Woman’s Suffrage event held in Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National deal with New Zealand First unlikely
    The National party is unlikely to offer a confidence and supply agreement to New Zealand First according to Dr Ryan Malone, Director Training and Research at Civicsquare....
    Scoop politics | 20-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
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