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A brief point on union meetings

Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, October 1st, 2010 - 45 comments
Categories: Unions, workers' rights - Tags: ,

There’s a story doing the rounds today about the actors’ union denying Peter Jackson entry to a union meeting. It’s basically Jackson having a good old whine about how it just shows how unreasonable the union is being and how they won’t even talk to him.

Life must be so hard when you’re a multi-millionaire who doesn’t understand employment law.

Considering Jackson refuses to hire his staff under employment contracts and forces them all to work as independent contractors I can see why he might be a little bit confused about how these things work. So I’ll explain it really simply.

Union meetings are for union members. They’re not for employers. They’re not for “industry people”. And they’re very rarely for media.

The reasoning is simple. Union members, in order to negotiate collectively, need to have a forum where they can discuss the issues freely and openly without the employer breathing down their neck. They also need to be able to agree on a negotiating strategy without their employer finding out in advance what that strategy is. That would kind of defeat the purpose of having a strategy.

Likewise, employers don’t tend to invite union reps to sit in on management meetings about how they plan to handle contract negotiations with the union.

The place for unions and employers to negotiate is at the negotiating table, not at each other’s planning meetings.

It is a worry that Peter Jackson is so woefully misinformed about how employment relationships work, but I guess it’s what we should expect from a man who’s built his business on forcing people to work as “independent contractors” and threatens capital flight the moment his workers start organising.

45 comments on “A brief point on union meetings”

  1. david civil servant 1

    on the other trotter it would seem that if the union were serious about engaging with Jackson they would have allowed him entry for a period of time to make an address however now it looks more likely that this a union beat up

    • Juan Manuel Santos 1.1

      But that’s not what union meetings are for. They’re about workers meeting together to decide on a course of action, which their chosen representatives (elected delegates) then take to management with a democratic mandate.

      It’s not an opportunity for the employer to come in, eye-ball who’s there and attempt to guilt-trip and/or threaten workers into backing down.

      Jackson either doesn’t understand employment law or is using this as a cynical attempt to smear the union. Neither would surprise me.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      I love how entertainment projects destined to make one hundred-two hundred-three hundred million dollar profits for the corporations, there is no money in the kitty to give workers minimum wage protections and other basic entitlements.

      • Roflcopter 1.2.1

        Actually, there is and they were already negotiated for this film. And they were getting paid well above market rates.

        But don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, eh?

        • Juan Manuel Santos 1.2.1.1

          I’d be cautious about Jackson’s figures on this after he’s lied or wilfully misunderstood everything else so far. Touching to see how readily you accept his unverifiable figures as “facts” though.

          • Roflcopter 1.2.1.1.1

            Ummm, some of your own beloved union members are saying this, on condition of not revealing who they are.

            • Tigger 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Rolf – care to elaborate with facts?

              • grumpy

                But, from the Herald article, the union allowed in non-union actors – and even allowed them to vote!

                • bbfloyd

                  G.. do you not understand what a fool you make yourself look when you quote a third rate newspaper like the herald..you know, of course, who pays for the “news” they print, don’t you?

              • felix

                Don’t hold your breath – he’s been claiming to have detailed info for days but strangely can’t seem to produce any.

            • tea 1.2.1.1.1.2

              In breaking news I can prove everything on condition I don’t- source this constant crap or stfu.

  2. The Baron 2

    He could also be “whining” because people are trying to destroy his project, and the jobs it creates, but he has not yet had an opportunity to sit down and talk about it and try find a workable solution…

    Sorry, I forgot only Union fanboy comments allowed.

    This petty point scoring is getting out of hand. Can we get over all this crap and actually find some way to have the movies made here, please?

    • The Voice of Reason 2.1

      Bullshit, Baron. Jackson has refused to meet with the union reps and he has no right to try and crash their members’ meeting. What an obnoxious bully he turns out to be. If the movie goes overseas, it’ll be because he’s cocked up the organisation of it. He’s already fluffed around so much he’s lost a director, now he wants kiwi workers to subsidise the making of it.

      Anytime he gets off his high horse and sits down with the union, the problem can be solved and the movie made. Till then, Jackson remains the reason the Hobbit is at risk.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        I’m coming around to the idea that this is not so much about the money, which realistically would be not that much more in the scheme of things for The Hobbit. But that it is about trying to prevent an increased level of worker organisation in the NZ entertainment industry.

        Such a change would permanently (or at least for the long term) shift the balance of power more towards local workers for every future production project now on the cards.

        And it is probably that ongoing prospect that Jackson et al are finding unpalatable.

    • jagilby 2.2

      You forget Baron that the Union only endorses job creation when it results in more Union subs being paid.

  3. burt 3

    Perhaps he thought that since the unions demand access to places of employemnt whenever they want and that they always bang on about good faith that he would be able to join the meeting.

    • felix 3.1

      Perhaps they ruined his holiday in the 70s and he’s still crying about it.

      • grumpy 3.1.1

        Seems the NZ branch of Actor’s Equity now want to talk to Jackson. perhaps the Aussie/NZ solidarity is starting to crack?
        Also, in NZ there seems to be a dramatic difference of opinion between Auckland and Wellington members.

        • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1.1

          “Seems the NZ branch of Actor’s Equity now want to talk to Jackson.”

          FFS, grumpy, that’s how the whole thing started! They have always wanted to talk to Jackson, but he has refused to meet them. What you haven’t grasped is that AE is affiliated to the MEAA. They are, in effect, the same entity. Having tried locally to meet with Sauron, sorry, Jackson, they then asked the larger organisation to help when he wouldn’t front. Hence the involvement of the MEAA. It’s not a problem to be solved, grumpy, its what unions do. Solidarity, eh.

      • mcflock 3.1.2

        Perhaps he misheard when an elderly actor yelled “You shell out not for our parts!”

      • burt 3.1.3

        Bully, it still hurts. 🙁

        But seriously, the lack of good faith is rightly comparable and I’m happy you made that association yourself.

  4. Sweetd 4

    In unrelated news, Peter Jackson’s studio is on fire in Wellington.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      In which the building burnt to the ground while Jackson negotiated individual contracts with each of the firefighters attending.

      • comedy 4.1.1

        Unfortunately all the actors also perished as they were unable to exit the building without union approval…….

        • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.1

          Luckily Jackson realised the actors’ deaths were a clear breach of their contractual obligations and was able to cancel their insurance policies before they could blow the no claims bonus.

          • comedy 4.1.1.1.1

            No Australian actors were harmed in the incident according to the MEAA.

            (he he this is fun, let’s see if we can attract the ire of the sysop)

  5. Ten Miles Over 5

    goodbye movie industry, I can’t say I’ll even notice you’re gone.

  6. BigSigh 6

    The posts on this website seem *extremely* one sided. So far no one has explained why the NZ actors haven’t actually formed a union IN new zealand and tried to negotiate. Seems this is all an Australian union with nothing to lose and everything to gain and actually very few members in NZ, and its not even a legit union in NZ… sooo… explain please how PJ is the bad ass in all this but there’s no criticism against this aussie union, or against why the actors are so disorganised?

    Seriously, they should’ve got organised a long time ago, BEFORE this started, then rather than flat out call a boycott, first raise the issue, THEN if no satisfactory response call for the boycott.

    Please, please can someone explain why this other side of the issue is somehow considered completely OK behaviour?

    [lprent: Read the about. Learn about the site. While you’re at it read the policy as well. It will help prevent my having to waste time explaining the bleeding obvious to yet another idiot luser. ]

  7. BigSigh 7

    Errr… that’s a bit harsh… and neither seem to explain this… I guess I’ll just have to stick with the limited view the MSM gives me then which seems to paint the union pretty badly in this situation (and fairly so).

    captcha: forget [it]

    • Eddie 7.1

      Lynn understandably gets tired of explaining the bleeding obvious to people who haven’t read the about or the policy. This is a labour movement blog, it’s not required to provide ‘balance’ and has no pretence of doing so. You come hear to read perspectives from the left. Other perspectives are available in great abundance elsewhere. Try http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz or http://www.nzherald.co.nz

  8. Craig Ranapia 8

    Which begs the question why they were quite happy to admit non-union members (and I know that for a fact) to both meetings in Auckland and Wellington. Then again, when I belonged to a union it wasn’t run by clown school drop outs.

    Hope I didn’t use too many big words there, Eddie.

    • Eddie 8.1

      Sometimes a union will allow non-union employees who are considering joining the union. Often it’s necessary in the early stages of the campaign. That’s non inconsistent with the post. Union meetings are not for employers.

      • Craig Ranapia 8.1.1

        Eddie: You’re simply being disingenuous — non-union members were admitted to both meetings. A simple matter of fact you either weren’t aware of, or failed to mention because it didn’t fit your thesis. And it’s too cute for words to pretend there’s no difference between a semi-public meeting organised by a union, and a strategy session. If The Standard to going to run around calling Jackson a liar, you folks really should be a little more careful with the “truthiness” yourselves.

        • The Voice of Reason 8.1.1.1

          The words ‘semi public’ suggests you understand that means control over attendance, so you get that the organisers have the right to allow or deny entry. The difference between Jackson and invited guests is that he is the boss. It’s a union meeting, and the union have every right to tell him to piss off. The minute workers get to attend board meetings, I’ll reassess my position.

          • Craig Ranapia 8.1.1.1.1

            Voice of Reason: I also understand the difference between what happened last night and an AGM, executive meeting, or a strategy session ahead of contract negotiations. Funny how you don’t — and Eddie seems quite happy to fudge that not-exactly-trivial distinction.

            • The Voice of Reason 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Funny how you don’t know about union meetings, Craig. They’re defined in the Act.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    “Hope I didn’t use too many big words there, Eddie.”

    “Which raises the question of why…”.

    No charge, smart guy.

  10. Harpoon 10

    Is Equity a union?

    • The Voice of Reason 10.1

      Let me see … Wikipedia thinks so:

      “A trade union (British English) or labor union (American English) is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions”

      It’s funny how people who usually come here to complain about the strictures of the state seem to be saying Equity’s failure to follow bureaucratic regulation is somehow a bad thing. But then, I never thought I’d see a day when a Kiwi Prime Minister would consider the cover up of the theft of the identity of a dead baby ethically acceptable.

  11. salsy 11

    We can still be pro-labour, pro-union, pro workers rights and question the motives of the MEAA, given all the misinformation flying around, Id even go as far as to say, its actually the smart thing to do.
    This is stolen from an annonymous post: So let me get this straight.

    Equity NZ through what appears to be administrative negligence, has lost it’s legal standing as an organisation representing NZ performers.

    For more than a year they refuse to meet with SPADA, who represent all NZ producers to discuss improved working conditions for NZ actors, in accordance with the ECA and NZ labour laws.

    They demand to meet the producers of The Hobbit to discuss a collective contract negotiated by them, apparently completely oblivious to the fact that this would be illegal under the Commerce Act.

    The producers of the Hobbit point that the rates they pay have been quite generous, and are only getting better. Meanwhile Equity refuses to spell out exactly what it is they are seeking, apart from muttering about credits (?!) and unspecified terms unrelated to pay.

    If what they are asking for is so little, and the arrangement in the past have been fair, why boycott it and risk the entire shebang?

    The behavour seems self destructive, unless you look at it from the point of view of the MEAA.

    Ask yourself these questions: When was the last time a large organisation, especially an Australian one, spend money and time for completely altruistic reasons? They don’t; Just like a company their own organisational interest come first. The vast bulk of MEAA members work in Australia, what do they have to lose if they create industrial strife in NZ? = Nothing. What do they have to gain if NZ is no longer an attractive option for American, British, or indeed Australian production finance? They keep productions in Australia, and Australian performers nests feathered.

    So looking at the disorganised and bizarre behaviour surround this and other issues, either Equity and MEAA are complete idiots about the law and reality of the territory they are working in, or more likely, the MEAA cares far more about stopping runaway production from coming to NZ than it does about NZ actors. Why else would they refuse to meet with SPADA and make an honest attempt to draw up more favourable guidelines for actors?

    It’s difficult to watch a bunch of nice actors, who apparently have no sense of the bigger picture, being manipulated to act against their own interests like this.

    • Daveo 11.1

      I agree that Actors Equity and the MEAA have been pretty hamfisted of their handling of things, but your conspiracy theories about the Australians are way off.

      Aussie unions work with Kiwi unions all the time. Just recently Australian unions put in the hard yards to help EPMU and MUNZ members achieve trans-tasman pay parity on offshore oil rigs.

      In fact the big bad MEAA that you seem to think is intent on destroying NZ actually works with the EPMU on journalist issues to the point that the two unions produce a joint magazine for journalists that’s largely funded and produced on the Aussie end.

      It’s not just the Aussies either. The SFWU has works closely with the SEIU in the US and the two unions jointly ran the CleanStart campaign.

      Unions aren’t businesses, they are workers’ organisations based on the principles of solidarity and collective action. There are countless examples of unions helping each other out across national boundaries.

      If you want to look at motives here I’d start asking why Jackson is so keen to pretend he has to employ his staff as independent contractors and why he keeps making shit up in the media when he really should know better.

  12. Tiger Mountain 12

    What a motley crew of non unionists, ex barely unionists and union opponents attempting to comment here, a pathetic display indeed.

    • comedy 12.1

      Yes how dare anyone apart from a union spokesperson (approved spokesperson) offer comment.

      Crikey next the fuckers here will be offering opinions on politics without being members of parliament.

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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    12 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    15 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    4 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    5 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
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