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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

    BB

    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

    Mawg

    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.

    Regards
    Alexander

    Captcha
    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:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/04/07/2209454.htm

    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.

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1867

  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

    [deleted]

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

  43. Dim (was dime) 43

    [deleted]

    [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:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10507227

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=189&objectid=10493521

  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

    Dime

    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..

    2c

  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

    Tane

    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

    No.

    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

    vto,
    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

    Matthew

    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

    vto:
    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

    vto

    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

    MP

    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

    Jafa

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

    Only if you promise that Robinsod will be there

  133. higherstandard 133

    MP

    Agreed.

    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

    Billy,

    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

    Jafa

    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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    On the Left | 31-10
  • Long past time
    The Dominion-Post reports that the government is considering wiping past convictions for homosexuality. Good. As a guest-poster to On The Left has recently explained, living with a criminal conviction isn't easy; employers and agencies will simply dump applications from people...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Define Instruments Expands into South Africa
    It’s always great to see companies grow – and Define Instruments recently took their first big leap. The team has followed existing international sales by setting up a South African office. It’s the first of many new overseas offices we hope to...
    Lance Wiggs | 31-10
  • MacLennan on fixing the OIA
    Journalist and lawyer Catriona MacLennan has some suggestions on Fixing Official Information Act Abuses . She identifies three problems with the law: lack of resources to enforce the law; deliberate flouting of the act; and inadequate understanding of the legislation...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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