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Working for a Living

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, February 24th, 2013 - 117 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: , , , , , ,

The thing I like about the Living Wage campaign is the branding represents strongly both the problem and the solution.  Even the Prime Minister fell into its trap the other day when he said that the Living Wage was not a priority for his Government.  What a load he got off there!  The statement says it all really.  Full Stop.  The Government don’t want you to work for a living, they just want you to work.

The thing is there is no mechanism in NZ to develop fair wages.  Collective bargaining brings a margin for workers that can access it, but even then, the outcomes are often wages below a living wage for workers in the service, hospitality, retail and care sectors for example (about 700,000 workers actually).

For most workers the employer sets the wages.  In Christchurch a major consortium of 5 construction companies (Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team – SCIRT) has a recruitment website that says it all really.  While urging people to come and undertake a state provided training in construction, on the pay issue it says:

Each employer sets their own pay rates and will decide what your wages will be .

Well that’s clear enough!  Many of these employers are reported to be paying the minimum wage for semi -skilled work  (labouring, traffic control etc).   Thank goodness they don’t get to completely decide – the minimum wage is at least a bottom!  The complaints they can’t recruit and want to increase migration to Christchurch needs to be challenged.  The market works both ways boys!

So instead of unions claiming the 2-3% settlements of wages being achieved from time to time in collective bargaining as a victory (which on low wages they clearly aren’t in the context of a living wage), they are changing the context and fighting the dominant narrative about work.  The campaign highlights that that the deal about work is broken and needs to be restored.  That in exchange to the obligations and duties owed by workers to their employer – honesty, loyalty, diligence – wages should be paid that afford a decent life.  Rest, time with family, a modest family holiday etc.  It is remarkable that we have to have this debate.

The narrative pushed by business and government is that work is a charity.  The business is the benefactor providing jobs as a community service – to be honoured and recognised.  That  workers are the beneficiaries – the recipients of the charity – for which they should be grateful and deferential and not bite the hand that feeds them.  They are lucky to have a job!

Pike River was the classic example – the PM rushing to the companies side to ensure the risk that  the dark side of business would be exposed was minimised.  The CEO was given a key place in the state memorial service to talk about how the miners were drawn to Pike because of its safety culture (safety culture – my next blog!).  The media were stigmatised if they were ‘mean’ to him in his hour of grief by asking insensitive questions like did he know what the hell he was doing in the aftermath of the explosion.  He was nominated for New Zealander of the year a few weeks after the explosion –he was described in the media as “god inspired”.  He promotes the narrative beautifully in an interview everyone should now re-watch.

The Hobbit was another – those ungrateful actors spitting in the face of the generous charity of Warners who were the ultimate charitable giver – 2000 jobs.  But also in every day dealings the narrative is tripped out.  The recent Business NZ new year party – Phil O’Reilly praised his membership on the basis that they worked every day to create jobs for our community (like at Contact Energy).

The Living Wage seeks to change the narrative.  While in the first instance it is relying on employers agreeing to pay a wage higher than the market demands them too, it raises the issue of what the exchange of work entails and who really pays for low wages.  The campaign sends a message broader than the actual employers that will buy into it.  It says the market is failing and needs to be fixed.  It makes the space for courageous politicians to step up and promote legislation that supports collective bargaining and industry wide agreements on the basis that the current law is failing to do that and the community is paying the difference (by way of health costs, family subsidies, crime costs, educational failure etc).  It changes the narrative of “be grateful and take what you can get”, to “the market is failing and business are taking advantage of it and its victims –workers – to pay wages that are destroying our community”

Sure the union movement as part of the  strategy will recognise those employers that come on board and encourage communities to do the same.  We will highlight these employers as the good ones – juxtaposed against those that don’t. But always within the story that the system is broken and needs fixing (because there will be employers that don’t).  We do a bit of this now – highlight Progressive Supermarkets for paying higher wages than others etc.  But the campaign painfully highlights that the things that humans, citizens, children, families, communities need to survive are not built into our economic model – they have to be shamed out – and then the model has to be changed.

I support the Living Wage campaign – it will bring about real change for many low paid workers, and highlight the inadequacy of the model – and it will lead to the bigger debate – we need fair laws, a balanced economy and a commitment to truly recognise that work is part of a deal – and that deal includes an exchange of time, skill, sweat and honesty for a wage that people can live on.

117 comments on “Working for a Living”

  1. QoT 1

    The market works both ways boys!

    I feel a disturbance in the Force, as though dozens of private sector chief executives screamed “But that’s not fair!!!!” in unison.

    • lprent 1.1

      What! You’re not suggesting that you think that CEO’s think an unbalanced market playing field is desirable. Are you?

      Rhetorical question… After all we only have to look at the GFC and who it impacted on to see the answer to that.

      • QoT 1.1.1

        But but but doesn’t an unbalanced playing field just make people work harder to be successful? Why do I even OWN bootstraps if not to pull myself up with them?

  2. geoff 2

    Great post, Helen.

  3. Bill 3

    The Living Wage (campaign?) seeks to change the narrative

    If that’s the case, can I humbly suggest that jobs be referred to as jobs and not work? The two concepts are worlds apart and really shouldn’t be interchanged.

    And then maybe have a wee think over statements such as –

    That in exchange to the obligations and duties owed by workers to their employer – honesty, loyalty, diligence – wages should be paid that afford a decent life.

    That so buys into the dominant narrative that it just isn’t funny. Fact is, neither I nor any other worker has ever owed an employer anything! Most people have a job in order to survive. End. Commonly, jobs deliver no pleasure or empowerment or sense of achievement. Remember the term ‘wage slavery’? If there wasn’t a socio-economic system compelling people to take up jobs, then people wouldn’t take up jobs. And please remember that the principle reason, and in many instances the sole reason jobs exist is to make money for other people. Meaning that most people waste most of their life doing pointless shit only because they have to – primarily in order that others get to spend most of their life doing exactly what they want to do.

    • lprent 3.1

      Given a choice between employing someone (and I regularly do) or working with someone who I think

      1. Is likely to rip the company and me off, sell its secrets (and therefore my wages) to competing firms and slack off whenever they are unsupervised.
      2. I can trust

      I’ll tell you which one I will be not be employing. Those three attributes are the basis on any employment agreement and for good reason. As an employer, who can be bothered wandering around cleaning up after such an arsehole?

      As a fellow employee, I’m uninterested in helping silly pricks who think that I have to waste effort preventing them thieving from me, destroying the work that I’m doing, or offloading their work on to me.

      Basically your criticism is just silly if you think it through. No-one likes working with thieving blabbermouth layabouts. Hell I don’t expect that you would.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        And the same principles apply not just to employees but also to business partners or even co-owners in a collective (whether it’s a for profit or not for profit). You want people onboard who are hard working, loyal, honest and have the best interests of the enterprise consistently at heart.

        Clock watchers and paycheck players can frak off.

      • Bill 3.1.2

        Not quite sure how you conclude that “thieving blabbermouoth layabout” is the counter position to “honesty, loyalty and dilligence” being excercised for the principle benefit of the employer.

        Way I see it, attributes such as honesty, dilligence and loyalty are for the sake of my co-workers and (where appropraite) customers/consumers – not the employer. Not saying they won’t benefit after some incidental fashion. But they ain’t the reason or focus of those traits.

        My focus for them has always been to unionise the workplace to the very best of my ability in order to keep the buggers in line.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        See, I look at it like this:

        To the employer I owe honesty and diligence. To the other workers I owe those plus loyalty. That means that if I get a better option then I’m going to tell the employer to fuck off and put a shout on for the workers.

        In a free-market there is no room for loyalty to the boss.

  4. Bill 4

    Would have added this as an ‘edit’ to my previous comment if I could have.

    Anyway, if your reading this Helen, do you have any thoughts on why unions don’t have a plethora of literature/information on the formation of worker co-ops or collectives?

    And any thoughts on why, after over a hundred years of this shit, that unions are still not in a position to arm workers with the necessary knowledge and confidence to assume control and ownership of companies that announce lay-offs or shut downs?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Bill. Worker co-ops and democratically run collective enterprises do not require unions. You don’t need to negotiate with the boss when you are the boss.

      For instance, in Spain, the Mondragon collective corporation has occasionally been accused of not strongly backing worker movements and unions in general. And why would they if workers choose their own senior managers and supervisors, amongst democratically making other major business decisions.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        No, worker co-ops and collectives don’t need unions. But unions could (and in my mind should ) arm workers with the necessary support and knowledge to move away from undemocratic – vertically divided – work environments.

        And if they were serious, then the ‘threat’ of worker control becomes a very effective leverage in negotiations.

        As for Mongradon and many similar enterprises that call themselves cooperatives – the persistence of a vertical division of labour kind of puts the lie to that claim. (Not saying they aren’t doing some things better, but….)

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Well, Mondragon doesn’t just “call” itself a co-op, it actually is a worker owned co-op, legally and in practice, there’s no if’s or buts about that.

          As for the “vertical division of labour” issue – I’ve got no issue if a co-op has hierarchical elements in how it’s organised and run, as long as it’s also highly democratic. Worker-owners being able to vote in and vote out both their CEO and immediate supervisor for instance.

          • Bill 4.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps not the thread for this discussion, CV. But the presence of any heirarchy has an inverse affect on democracy. Like you say, elements of democracy can be preserved, but that’s not the same as having democracy – it’s just making a heirachy less undemocratic than it could be.

            And so what if workers can vote people in and out of positions of power if those in power have a monopoly on the information people need in order to cast intelligent votes (and can be selective on what info is released or the spin put on info that is released)? And it’s no use saying that iinfo is freely available and just has to be requested, if most people are unaware of exactly what information exists. Or – in instances of voting where a depth and breadth of knowledge doesn’t come into play – who wants to partake in the bullshit number games and struggles necessary to progress up heirachical structures?

            It’s all unnecessary if the right (ie, democratic) structures are developed and put in place.

            Said this in simlar discussions. Preserve the functions – but don’t assign them as exclusive or individual roles. Then you have pre-empted any potential for individuals or cliques to gather power into themselves.

  5. Olwyn 5

    An excellent post. One important thing the LWC has done is to identify what a living wage actually is. Once a benchmark is in place the numbers can be updated to accord with changing conditions, but importantly, on the narrative level, just having that benchmark knocks a hole in the story that says “You must work, but we will decide your pay on our criteria, with no reference to yours.” What is odd is that we have sunk so low that we now need to re-harness the concept of “earning a living” to the concept of “work.”

    • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1

      What is odd is “the narrative pushed by business and government is that work is a charity” where workers should be grateful to be offered job, but these same groups will be quick to defend the idea of letting the market decide while insisting on minimum pay.

      Clearly workers aren’t grateful for minimum wages for a skilled job, especially in an area where accommodation costs are skyrocketing things still aren’t fixed. Shocker!

  6. chris73 acualy is Dolan 6

    “Living wage”, is this because the minimum wage campaign fizzled to nothin?

    [lprent: do you want me to fix the spelling mistake in your current apparently meaningless handle? ]

    • bad12 6.1

      What exactly is that supposed to mean???…

      • chris73 acualy is Dolan 6.1.1

        bda12 pls…

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Sure of course, that’s exactly how it happened :roll:

          • chris73 acualy is Dolan 6.1.1.1.1

            I just find it interesting the living wage campaign kicked off after the minimum wage campaign seemed to go nowhere, of course it could just be all a big coincidence…

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Allow me to assure you, no one expected the National Government to enact a $15/hr minimum wage.

              So the fact that Key hasn’t lifted the minimum wage to $15/hr is not some kind of set back.

              • chris73 acualy is Dolan

                Still I got to give credit where its due, change the name of something so it sounds “good” and who could possibly vote against something that sounds so “good”

                I can see the headlines “National don’t want kiwis to make a living…”

                Simple but eefective

                • David

                  Yep, semantics like that I have no problem with, National are the masters at framing the debate to suit themselves. So payback is a cruel beeatch mate, our income inequality makes for sobering statistics to read, but hey sure, inequality and poverty have nothing to do with poor crime, health and falling education statistics.

                • Except this isn’t just an empty marketing spin like National does. They’ve actually calculating how much you need to earn to be able to afford to live in a modest but reasonable fashion and said “why isn’t everyone paying at least this much?”

                  It’s an eminently reasonable question and National can’t answer it because their philosophy insists that the facts are wrong and that low wages are somehow good, because otherwise you wouldn’t have a job. (which is ridiculous, wages pay for other people’s jobs in the first place- you can’t get profits if nobody else pays their workers enough to afford your product, unless you’re marketing entirely to the elite property owner) Newsflash: facts can’t be wrong, at best you can argue with the “modest” part, but honestly, having a little money to pay for library fees and to be able to afford taking some unpaid time off occassionally is not unreasonable.

          • bad12 6.1.1.1.2

            We probably shouldn’t be giving this thing oxygen, it’s obviously acting to mock the post…

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    While urging people to come and undertake a state provided training in construction, on the pay issue it says:

    Each employer sets their own pay rates and will decide what your wages will be .

    Well that’s clear enough!

    And if you’re in Auckland that going to mean that you’re a dependent contractor and so the probable rates will likely be below minimum wage once you take everything else into account. Of course, contractors don’t have protections such as minimum wage.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    The narrative pushed by business and government is that work is a charity. The business is the benefactor providing jobs as a community service – to be honoured and recognised. That workers are the beneficiaries – the recipients of the charity – for which they should be grateful and deferential and not bite the hand that feeds them. They are lucky to have a job!

    Yep, setting our society up to be dependent upon the capitalists, other wise known as The Road to Serfdom.

    Even the Living Wage group are getting it wrong as they’re still looking at things through a capitalist mindset. I know it’s hard to get out of that delusion but people really do need to ask What is the economy for and what limits does it have? If people don’t ask those questions then their answers are always going to be wrong.

    It’s not, and can’t be, about a Living Wage any more. It can’t be about everyone going off to make a few people richer while being being given a pat on the head. We have so much productivity today that if we supplied only what we needed then the majority of people would be out of work and, under the current system, living in poverty.

    We need to change the system.

    • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1

      Ok so you’ve changed the system now what? Some people are born smarter, faster, more hard working etc etc than others, some people genuinely deserve more than others because of what they’ve achieved

      How will you/would you reconcile that with making sure everyone is better off

      • Bill 8.1.1

        On what basis are you rewarding people Chris? Innate ability (ie, a lucky throw of ‘gene dice’) or social contribution? Seems from your comment that you just don’t differentiate between the two. And unless you do, then a sensible system of reward will be impossible to envisage.

        • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1.1.1

          Ok so John Key went to uni, maybe he had a natural affinity with numbers maybe just natural ability for hard work (probably helped by his moms example) but hes amassed a fortune well in excess of what most people need

          Does he “deserve” his fortune?

          • David 8.1.1.1.1

            Present knowledge would indicate his ability with numbers is grossly over-inflated. Do you get your news from a different source than the rest of us?

            • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1.1.1.1.1

              A personal estimated fortune of 50 million suggests otherwise, don’t let petty jealousies cloud your judgement

              • Colonial Viper

                $50m in personal fortune doesn’t matter to the country

                The ability to correctly count new jobs as predicted in his Budgets does

                • David

                  Spot on there Mr Viper, doesn’t matter a jot. Still not sure where my petty jealousies came out, could you clarify for me? I’m missing some synapses here, but not as many as Chris, he spells mum as mom, says it all really.

                  • chris73 acualy is Dolan

                    “Present knowledge would indicate his ability with numbers is grossly over-inflated.”
                    – The guy made 50 million and he started from a less than humble background (no inheritance) to me that suggests that he is good with numbers (or at least very good at his job”

                    Yet in spite of this you instead state opinion as if it is fact ie ability with numbers is grossly over-inflated because deep down you know you’ll never be as successful as him (neither will I but I’m ok with that) and thats where the jealousy comes in

                    I must thank you for pointing out my difficulties with spelling, I’ve had issues with learning difficulties in the past but I appreciate you bringing it up especially as it had so much to do with the argument.

                    • felixviper

                      “Yet in spite of this you instead state opinion as if it is fact ie ability with numbers is grossly over-inflated because deep down you know you’ll never be as successful as him (neither will I but I’m ok with that) and thats where the jealousy comes in”

                      Massive assumption there chris. Seems far more likely that he’s basing his belief on Key and his govt fucking up everything they touch, don’tcha reckon?

                      ps can you give me a hint as to the new name?

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.2

            As he got it by throwing a lot more people into poverty (Helped crash NZ$, helped cause the GFC, etc, etc) so that someone else could get a lot richer than him – nope, he doesn’t deserve a damn thing.

            • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Yes Draco that’s exactly what he did…nothing to do with the study, long hours, postings to foreign countries

              • Draco T Bastard

                He studied long hours to do exactly what he did – screw over millions for his own personal benefit.

            • Mark 8.1.1.1.2.2

              I thought “crashing” the $NZ was a good thing.. isn’t that what you guys are calling for now?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Depends upon how and why its done. Done for the good of the country and in such a way so as not to hurt the country then it tends to be “good”. Done simply to make someone rich with no consideration to how it would affect the country with the inevitable damage done to the country as what Key did then it comes under the heading of “bad”.

          • Bill 8.1.1.1.3

            Are you suggesting that innate ability be rewarded ‘just because’? That social contributions be ignored or relegated? That luck of birth should determine rewards or potential for rewards?

            By what measure of contribution to society does John Key deserve millions of dollars while most people live in debt – includng many who make obvious and on-going contributions to society’s well being?

            • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1.1.1.3.1

              Are you suggesting that innate ability be rewarded ‘just because’? That social contributions be ignored or relegated?
              – Ok so who decides what these contributions are worth and who pays them?

              That luck of birth should determine rewards or potential for rewards?
              – It shouldn’t but for some lucky few it does

              By what measure of contribution to society does John Key deserve millions of dollars while most people live in debt – includng many who make obvious and on-going contributions to society’s well being?

              – Someone decided he was worth what they paid him…how else would you do it?

          • Foreign Waka 8.1.1.1.4

            Yes, if you work 80-odd hrs each week, contribute to the success of a business – why not. Nothing wrong with that. In the same way as some people are very intelligent and work hard others are infinitely stupid and/or lazy. Just hoping we do not use the latter as benchmark.

      • David 8.1.2

        So, those people will do better, be more successful and subscribe to the nbr. Does that mean that everyone else has to scrabble in the dirt for the leavings from the big boys table? Ho! We have the Secretary General of planet Key here! Please sir, can I have some more?

        • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1.2.1

          You want more go out and earn more, whats stopping you?

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1.1

            I like your philosophy of individualistic bootstrapping, but it’s also time for government to do its job to sort out the societal and economic roadblocks in the way of community success.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1.2

            The system that gives all the communities wealth to the few and thus keeps the resources from the use of the many.

          • Puddleglum 8.1.2.1.3

            You want more go out and earn more, whats stopping you?

            Speaking personally, it’s generally my ethics that have stopped me getting as wealthy as Key. What I mean by that, is that I understand the modern economy to be a deliberately designed machine for reproducing capital and wealth – and nothing else. Its process of design and construction required horrendous and widespread violence against millions of ordinary people (e.g., removing people forcibly from the land, colonisation, racist and oppressive laws, etc.).

            That machine – so immorally constructed – now leverages the wealth of the few who are morally and ethically compatible with its basic thrust and priorities. That doesn’t mean that a businessperson goes around treating everyone awfully – but, whether they like to admit it or not, their actions contribute to someone being treated awfully somewhere (e.g., if you out-compete a competitor business so that it goes out of business then a lot of people’s lives can be severely disrupted through no fault of their own).

            I know that some people can rationalise this to themselves by saying words to the effect that, ‘Well, life is just hard like that’, or ‘If I don’t do it somebody else will – so why not me?’, but I can’t. I’ve never been able to opt in to a generally harmful system by saying those sorts of things to myself.

            My incapacity is not laziness, lack of talent, intelligence, insight, innovativeness or even an entrepreneurial spirit – it’s the lack of an amoral/immoral perspective that I can use to go along with what you need to do to ‘succeed’ in our economy.

            • vto 8.1.2.1.3.1

              clap clap clap clap clap clap clap

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1.3.2

              +1

              Find myself in the same position. I quite literally cannot do what Key does because I know how much harm I’d be causing.

              • karol

                Many people do not have much choice. A person’s life-direction often depends on their family background, local opportunities, and the wider social, historical and economic context. It depends on how much they are supported and/or hindered by others, and the knowledge gain.

                I made a choice way back in my teens, to not follow my immediate family into business, because it seemed to me about accumulating money and contributing to capitalism. I chose to work in the public sector doing things I considered would contribute to society. My siblings are wealthier, but they have studied less. They do work hard and are considerate, caring and helpful people. But I have also worked hard, studied way more than them, and traveled and worked more overseas.

                I was lucky to have a choice due to my background. Others have less choice and just work hard to stand still…. or even go backwards these days. It’s harder for far more people now than it was when I was a young person, and it’s harder than when John Key got his start.

            • Rogue Trooper 8.1.2.1.3.3

              a veritable symphony of Truth

    • Bill 8.2

      Yup. We absolutely need to develop a new economy for a whole host of reasons including the dehumanising impact of workplaces in a market economy context.

      I sometimes wonder at this deeply conservative, well… malaise that seems to permeate NZ society. And it can be somewhat despairing when unions merely echo the thought processes that represent that malaise with calls for employers to ‘be nicer’ and/or ‘reasonable’ and imply that people would and should be content in jobs that are presided over by such ‘nicer’ or more ‘reasonable’ bosses.

      It’s a clear million miles from what we need.

  9. xtasy 9

    As much as I basically support the idea of a “living wage”, and as much I see a real need to first of all start increasing the so-called “minimum wage” to at least $ 15 to $ 16 an hour, I see this campaign not going to succeed, certainly not in present day New Zealand.

    It is based on voluntary participation by employers, and it is suggesting the ones that employ in the public service (therefore the state) to start and lead in introducing it.

    Only if workers start realising that they will only achieve improvements through solid, resolute, firm and collective actions, then will there be any realistic potential for improving the labour laws, wages, salaries and working conditions in NZ. That though I cannot see, in a society driven through endless division, disentitlement, FEAR and intimidation on a daily basis.

    Even when Helen likes to show how “Progressive Enterprises” should be given credit for paying their staff “more”, has she not learned, that they only do this by making the existing staff worker harder, to produce more per hour, minute and movement of a hand? They have not only abolished “Foodtown”, but with “Countdown” brought in more “efficiencies”, that are achieved by their workers. Working conditions have sufferes as a consequence, that is what supermarket staff told me in various markets.

    And we cannot rely on the “goodwill” and “generosity” of an alternative government either, as the pressures of business and employer lobbies will soon be felt by an alternative Labour led government.

    Of course, better wages and conditions mostly will necessitate better performance in various forms, requiring better skills, smarter investments, upskilling and jobs that can deliver better conditions.

    Add to that the “global” scenario, and it is clear, only working together with labour movements across the boarders and through the ILO can improve conditions for all. So it is all nice and positive at first sight, but workers need to take action to bring it about, and that is where Helen and her CTU are needed to organise more and more widely, to get members to change things. Not an easy task this is.

    Nevertheless, it is great to see Helen Kelly write posts like this here on the Standard!

    • Arfamo 9.1

      Very good points xtasy. Still, it’s a campaign that’s gotta start somewhere. This is as good a way as any to start it. People need to be reminded they are part of a shared identity and community with a stake in the success everybody’s futures, not just their own.

      • xtasy 9.1.1

        Yes, Arfamo, at least it raises the awareness in many, what is at least needed for a wage for a worker to pay the basic costs of living, and not be forced to make compromises on accommodation, health, clothing, diet, personal safety, education and many other areas.

        It has started a public debate, even in that otherwise so moronic mainstream media, and that is something positive, where so much else looks so grim anyway.

        It does not solve the “division” and competition and suspicion amongst workers and the population in general, and that is the ground that now really needs to be worked on, to inform, educate, unite, support and empower workers and citizens.

        United we stand, divided we fall, has anybody ever heard of this?

    • Foreign Waka 9.2

      I think the issue starts with hr rates being paid instead of annual income. If the annual net income is set against an actual (please no cars, lawnmowers and beer in the mix) indexed living expense it would count for something. By having a benchmarked set minimum income in conjunction with a lets say 35 hr week it would provide more income to more people. Incidentally, it would put an official number on the actual cost of living to measure the income of beneficiaries and pensioners. Just a thought.

  10. Wayne 10

    Helen, Still obsessed with the Hobbit issue. Presumably you have extracted a cast iron promise from Labour to repeal it. I know the Greens will, but they will do just about anything to prove they are more union friendly than Labour.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Worker unions are a critical part of our society Wayne, and an important part of the balance against the interests of financial capital. That’s why Key remains so intent on undermining unions.

    • felixviper 10.2

      “Helen, Still obsessed with the Hobbit issue.”

      Yeah, still obsessed with employment contract law.

      That’s unionists for you, eh Wayne?

      • chris73 acualy is Dolan 10.2.1

        I think its good that she keeps banging on about The Hobbit…I mean its right up there with T. Mallards strategies and Shearers mumblings for helping National

    • xtasy 10.3

      Wayne: You so “hobbitually” comment here, you are “hobbitually” welcome, even if you make little sense.

  11. Helen Kelly 11

    Thanks everyone. Some very interesting feedback (that sounds slimey- sorry!) . The trouble with nothing but a revolution being good enough, is you never start anything. Yes the union movement needs to organise more workers and the Living Wage Campaign is part of that. Yes the economic system is crapping all over working people but it is these types of campaigns that make that point strongly and as I said, create space for new policies. Yes we could spend our time advising workers on co-operatives but the super market workers stacking shelves and paying our wages don’t earn enough to live and they have prioritised this and we have to prioritise. I have been advised not to respond to the Trolls but I am not quite up to spotting them yet, so on the Hobbit, slightly obsessive yes, but it has been bought on by a huge sense of injustice and wrong doing which we continue to expose as more info is released. Speaking of which, the papers shd be released this Friday :)

    • QoT 11.1

      I love this comment.

    • xtasy 11.2

      Thank you Helen –

      well summarised, and I will await that new info on “Hobbitgate” with great interest.

      • chris73 acualy is Dolan 11.2.1

        No one cares about The Hobbit (and I mean the general voting public )so I’ll break it down for you:

        Sir Peter Jackson = respected and liked by the general public so not a good idea to keep on attacking him unless you think flogging a dead horse is a good course of action

        Choose your battles because this is over (unless you want to help National regain power in which case keep on flogging)

        (the invoice is in the mail)

        • felixviper 11.2.1.1

          So when someone is liked and respected we should just turn a blind eye to their employment practices?

          Serious question. (Also you still haven’t given me any hints as to your new name…)

          • chris73 acualy is Dolan 11.2.1.1.1

            Depends, is the loss of votes due to negative publicity worth the fight? You may well win the battle by “proving” something but the ensuing loss of goodwill…

            There are numerous battles that Labour could be fighting so I’d recommend picking the smarter battles.

            I mean attacking the mad butcher and peter jackson is not really the smartest thing they could do.

            If I was advising Labour I’d be saying keep asking the simple question of “are you better off now before or after National took office” and then follow it up with references to rising house prices, unemployment etc etc, keep it nice and simple and don’t get sucked into specifics

            Again the invoice is in the mail :)

            I answered your question above but its under moderation…not sure why

            • felixviper 11.2.1.1.1.1

              “If I was advising Labour I’d be saying keep asking the simple question of “are you better off now before or after National took office” and then follow it up with references to rising house prices, unemployment etc etc, keep it nice and simple and don’t get sucked into specifics”

              Totally agree, I gave Labour exactly this advice in 2011. Still haven’t been paid either. ;)

              However Helen’s job is not to get the Labour Party elected, it’s to represent her members in employment negotiations and disputes.

              This will from time to time involve dealing with employers with a high public profile. Why should this stop her doing her job?

              • chris73 acualy is Dolan

                It shouldn’t but the CTU is linked with Labour so whatever comments she makes is reflected back on Labour.

                I mean isn’t getting into power to make changes the important thing?

                [lprent: Hell I'm "linked" with Labour because I am a NZLP member, so when I abuse you in the course of my duties moderating here then do you think that Labour is persecuting you? I will give you a hint on the answer - read the policy.

                But let us look at you. Hell, you use the same sewerage system as Labour members. Clearly you have dangerous associations as well because you crap in common. And you're apparently naming yourself after a duck. Does that mean you and Trevor are soul buddies?

                You are using a particularly stupid tinfoil hat argument.. Should I start to use the same logic on you? I'm sure you won't like that absurdities that I choose to "discover". But I'd suggest that using that particular style of argument will give me leave to Investigate you as if I was Wishart (ie paid well to do so). ]

            • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1.1.2

              Depends, is the loss of votes due to negative publicity worth the fight?

              The only negative publicity would be for Jackson. That’s what happens when you prove to people that someone is an arsehole.

          • Te Reo Putake 11.2.1.1.2

            The answer here, felix:

            http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/287088-dolan

            Not sure if the duck in question is also spelling challenged, acually.

        • One Tāne Huna 11.2.1.2

          Shorter Chris73: everyone has the same opinions as me.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      Not after a revolution, just want people to realise that the present system doesn’t work and so asking for a living wage also doesn’t work as jobs themselves are disappearing. Would prefer to see a campaign for Universal Income, the return of Penal Rates and the acceptance of the limits of the economy.

      • dpalenski 11.3.1

        +1

        Especially if applied to the most anti-social of shift the split shift pretty much at work for 12+ hours but only paid for 8.

    • Roy 11.4

      I think it is perfectly legitimate to keep banging on about The Hobbit because it was such a well-publicized and blatant example of the problems you are concerned about.

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    In a globalised world of manipulated exchange rates people in NZ are being paid well above global rates, way beyond what can be sustained, other than by massive borrowing at high interest. NZ cannot compete in manufacturing, in IT or in tourism, and soon won’t be able to compete in dairying or forestry. Once the international bond market goes kaput … and things are working up to that scenario….. jobs -in the present sense of the word- will largely disappear.

    In addition to the dysfunctional globalised employment market there is the matter of Peak Oil, another Elephant in the Room that most people are utterly determined to ignore: declining global extraction of oil is in the process of annihilating status quo economic arrangements, and the rate of demolition of the traditional economy will accelerate appreciably as EROEI falls off the cliff.

    In the meantime a large sector of NZ society believes in better living through denial.

    • Roy 12.1

      With whom will we not be able to compete in dairy or forestry?
      Also, I don’t think ‘global rates’ is a legitimate argument. It sounds more like an argument in favour of a race to the bottom.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        Also, I don’t think ‘global rates’ is a legitimate argument. It sounds more like an argument in favour of a race to the bottom.

        It is a race to the bottom but you’ll note that it’s the argument used by the farmers for why we pay so much for food produced here despite the fact that it costs less to buy elsewhere.

    • Foreign Waka 12.2

      Rubbish, unless you mean compete with India and 3rd world countries. Labor conditions and sustainable living standard has more to do with political will than with anything else. It is the moral and ethical bankruptcy of the financial class that gets people into poverty. History and current affairs is teaching us that fact every day. Why do we think NZ is any different?

  13. john ryall 13

    Good post Helen.

    The significance of the Living Wage Movement internationally is that it doesn’t just focus on big corporates and public bodies paying the living wage to their direct employees, but incorporating the living wage as a basis of their procurement policies. That means cleaning, security and other contractors have to compete for contracts on the basis of paying the living wage to their employees and ensuring it is paid by any sub-contractors as well.

    The living wage movment is a challenge to the massive income inequality that has developed in New Zealand in the last 30 years.

    While the Government is saying that the answer to higher wages is for economic growth to trickle down to wage levels at the bottom, the living wage movement is saying that it is time to measure all economic policies on the basis of whether they provide wages for New Zealand workers that are not just enough to survive on but to allow working families to participate in their school, family, church and other community activities.

  14. Rogue Trooper 14

    Love Helen Kelly yet i am still not “seeing” $18 an hour being paid without a “second coming”

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  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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