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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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    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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