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Actions speak louder than words

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, February 20th, 2009 - 51 comments
Categories: national, workers' rights - Tags: ,


Remember this infamous PowerPoint presentation from National’s 2005 campaign?

Remember the Nats’ vote-winning strategy of targeting female voters as outlined in The Hollow Men?

Remember Key’s answer to Investigate Magazine:

Investigate: In terms of the votes that you’re out to capture by 2008, who are you after, what is your target market?

Key: It’s got to be women. Women are the clear audience – not that they don’t like what we’ve said in the past – I think it is adding on to the message that we’ve had.

Well I wonder how this “target market” will feel about National’s decision to kill off not one, but two pay equity enquiries aimed at securing fairer pay for women.

UPDATE: Looking at the Women’s Affairs section of their website it seems National’s now lost for words on women’s issues too. That’s one big blank screen. – Tane


[Hat tip: Rachel in the comments.]

51 comments on “Actions speak louder than words ”

  1. Pat 1

    Are you suggesting they are scrapping the enquires because they are anti-women? Or is it possible government departments have been asked to reduce expenditure?

  2. all_your_base 2

    I’m suggesting that it’s one thing to campaign on womens’ issues to win votes and quite another to actually address them when you’ve won.

  3. Pat 3

    Unfortunately, as much as pay equity for women should be addressed in a normal economy, we are not in a normal economy any more. The important issue now is jobs, retaining them, creating them, minimising job losses and the impact of job losses. So I think the Government could be excused for adding these two enquiries to the “not-right-now” pile.

  4. Recession justifies sexism? Why?

  5. Rachel 5

    Check out the Nats Women’s Policy:


  6. Pat 6

    “Recession justifies sexism? Why?”

    More rhetoric. The enquires have not been scrapped because the Government wants to promote sexism.

    Recession justifies deferring non-essential government expenditure. That is not to say that everything that gets deferred or scrapped is not important. Far from it, but it means they are not immediate priorities in the current recession.

    It’s easy to crticize the Government for seeking to reduce non-essential expenditure in every department, but look yourself in the mirror and ask if a 4th Labour Government wouldn’t be doing the same right now.

  7. Pat. If you think eliminating sexism is unimportant, that says something about you.
    And I’m not saying National is promoting sexism, they’re just actively choosing to stop doing anything about it.

    I am completely confident that a 4th term labour government would not be canceling inquires to eliminate pay inequality.

    How much do you think these inquires cost, Pat?

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Pat, is it fair to draw conclusiobns about people based on what they prioritise? What they consider to be important?

  9. The only outrage about this, seems to be on this website.

  10. Pat 10

    I don’t think eliminating sexism is unimportant, I just think eliminating job-loss-ism is more important right now.

    I don’t share your complete confidence about what Labour would be doing, but you are much closer to the inner sanctum than me, so I will defer to your inside knowlege of these things.

    I have not had the pleasure of working for a government department, so you tell me how much an inquiry costs.

  11. Pat 11

    “Pat, is it fair to draw conclusiobns about people based on what they prioritise? What they consider to be important?”

    Yes. It is fair to suggest that if some proposed pay equity inquiries are scrapped/deferred, and a job summit is being held, then the issue of “jobs” is taking priority right now.

  12. why would equal pay lead to job losses?

  13. Tigger 13

    LOL ‘job summit’, let’s keep calling it that….

    Expect a lot more of this ‘because of the recession’ replies from the right. Of course, they have money for boot camps….

  14. burt 14

    That page on the National website is as empty as the Labour “policy” page was heading into the election.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – we need to get rid of the two horse race mentality in NZ politics. Both current major parties are relics of days gone by and should be ignored.

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    Pat, that’s weak, and I suspect you know it.

    I could point out that the National/ACT agreement calls for funding for ACT to do research outside of it’s portfolio areas.

    Aha!, that is what they are prioritising over pay equity inquiries!! Outrageous don’t you think?

  16. Pat 16

    “Expect a lot more of this ‘because of the recession’ replies from the right”.

    Everything being done, by every government around the world, left or right, is “because of the recession”. Labour, had they been returned to power, would be making some tough choices now “because of the recession”.

  17. burt 17


    Tough choices for Labour have always been things like increase taxes a little or increase taxes a lot. Not many fresh ideas in the “tax and spend” camp.

  18. Ari 18

    I don’t think eliminating sexism is unimportant, I just think eliminating job-loss-ism is more important right now.

    I don’t share your complete confidence about what Labour would be doing, but you are much closer to the inner sanctum than me, so I will defer to your inside knowlege of these things.

    I have not had the pleasure of working for a government department, so you tell me how much an inquiry costs.

    On the contrary, addressing unequal pay and employment opportunities is more important now than ever when many families that rely on women for their main income have the potential to get shafted- especially families that centre around single mums.

    Equality doesn’t go on the back burner just because pakeha men are feeling the crisis too, unless you don’t take equality seriously. National risks giving people that impression with such arrogance.

    Tough choices for Labour have always been things like increase taxes a little or increase taxes a lot. Not many fresh ideas in the “tax and spend’ camp.

    At least the left can always increase freedoms and move along the engine of social progress, unlike the borrow, cut, and tax cuts for the rich camp 😉

  19. Jum 19

    I’ve got just the solution.

    All male (social workers) can reduce their pay to match the women’s pay. That will equal the pay for about 4 days work, then the Government can pay the 5th working day. Since Key is whipping up a ‘we’re all in this together’ routine he’ll be happy to pay that extra day so that the guys don’t miss out.

    More likely he’ll say I’ve given you herceptin treatment – aren’t you blxxxx women ever satisfied.

    Is there a comments section on the Women’s Affairs section of Nat’s spider web site? It would be nice to leave a few ideas about what they could do with their policies.

  20. QoT 20

    Had to love the line about the “responsibility to taxpayers” – hate to break it to ya, Tony, but social workers pay taxes too!

    And of course paying our social workers equitably is hardly important in a recession – it’s not like (a) they have, like, living costs of their own or anything nor (b) they might be facing bigger workloads as the economic stress affects people’s home lives.

  21. Herbert. 21

    Where do I go to find the Ministry of Men’s Affairs? My children are doing a school project on sexism.

  22. Pascal's bookie 22

    Herbert, looks like Treasury would be your best bet.

  23. Janet 23

    Just in case you haven’t noticed the whole world is made to suit white middle class able-bodied men. That’s why other groups require a little attention occasionally, otherwise they would be completely ignored. For example, where are the jobs for women in this discussion about employment? It’s all about creating jobs for men such as in construction, and promoting institutional sexism, so if women do retain jobs they will be in poorly paid, insecure employment.

  24. QoT 24

    PB, I love you in a thoroughly platonic yet ardent manner.

    Seems to me when we *did* have a “normal economy”, certain groups were too busy shouting about “WE HAVE A WOMAN PM! AND A WOMAN SPEAKER! AND A WOMAN CHIEF JUSTICE! YOU HAVE EQUALITY, FEMINISTS, SO PLEASE SHUT UP AND LET THE MEN DO IMPORTANT WORK!!!” to acknowledge issues like continued pay discrimination in the public sector and elsewhere.

  25. IrishBill 25

    Pat (and other “the recession makes it so” righties) I could equally argue that the recession means that tax cut for business Labour put in was unaffordable and thus company tax must go back up to 33%. Or that the recession means those on high incomes shoulf sacrifice their tax cuts for the good of the nation because , as Pat says, eliminating job-loss-ism it what’s important now, and those tax cuts will be predominantly saved and used to pay down debt. Neither of which will help reduce job losses.

    The recession will be used as a crisitunity by the right. We saw exactly that in the 80’s and 90’s and they are already trying it now. That’s why they are desperate to spin business as usual (such as the Kiwirail purchase cost) as a “stimulus package” and why they will be claiming the recession needs answers like public service wage freezes. They are desperate to enact their insane “cut your way out of a recession” ideology while simultaneously being desperate to appear “Keynesian” for fear of being seen as out of step with the rest of the world. So far the media has allowed them to get away with this extremely serious contradiction but they have to lay down a budget in a few months.

  26. higherstandard 26


    “Just in case you haven’t noticed the whole world is made to suit white middle class able-bodied men. ”

    Ha ha ….honestly some of the drivel on this site is laughable at times.


    Please don’t mention Kiwirail …… 250 million over a reasonable purchase price Toll must still be wetting themselves from laughing.

  27. And what did Labour do in their 9 years in power to fix this?

    Personally I think that the fact that there is a difference in pay is abhorrent, but I have to say Labour had all the time in the world to fix this. Care to tell us why they didn’t?

  28. Julie 28

    What did Labour do? They actually started rolling out these pay equity programmes across the state sector, with the intention that they would then put pressure on private sector wages once they had finished the job. They piloted the programmes in a few smaller groups of state sector employees, tweaked them to get it right, and were in the process of rolling them out more widely, a couple of occupational groups at a time, when Ryall swung the axe. Could they have moved faster? Possibly. But at least they bloody moved!

  29. Ari 29

    Ha ha .honestly some of the drivel on this site is laughable at times.

    Yes, but some of us are kind enough not to laugh at your posts 😉 Seriously HS, there is nothing funny about inequality and it makes you look like a complete vindictive jerk to sit there laughing at the idea that white men may tilt their perspectives to make things a little easier for people like them.

  30. higherstandard 30

    Ari there is nothing funny about the continued shite spouted by the hand wringing retards on this site.

    But if you really want to believe that “the whole world is made to suit white middle class able-bodied men ”
    go ahead but I suggest you take your head out of your arse and look around the world.

    If you pack of fuckwits had your way you’d make it a crime to be a white male.

    IrishBill: we try not to call other commenters “fuckwits” on this site.

  31. Julie 31

    HS, some of my best friends are white males. My husband and my son to name just two. Countering stereotypes with stereotypes of your own doesn’t really progress the conversation much now does it?

  32. higherstandard 32


    Quite right – much more useful to pontificate or remain silent.

    I do apologise to Ari for lumping him into the fuckwit brigade as he does add intelligently most of the time but for people here to put up with the continued garbage laid at the feet of white males by hand wringing retards is pathetic.

  33. Julie 33

    Your point HS, I seem to have lost it.

    (I was tempted to comment “I know you are but what am I” because that appears to be your level of debate in this thread)

  34. higherstandard 34

    OK Julie I’ll type really slowly just for you.

    The comment as made above ….

    “Just in case you haven’t noticed the whole world is made to suit white middle class able-bodied men. ‘

    IMO is drivel and has been the type of comment trotted out repetitively by a number of commenters here of recent times.

    Leaving aside the obvious absurdity of applying this statement to every country in the world, let alone NZ. It is the kind of habitual hand wringing comment that serves to try continually create divisions of class, race, gender, political persuasion etc etc – if those people who make comments along such lines can’t take some open honest feedback from the group they’re referring to perhaps they shouldn’t offer their views in public in the first place.

  35. Julie 35

    And stating that those who disagree with you would make being a white male a crime if they could is accurate how?

  36. the sprout 36

    New depths in unsustaintable arguments HS, but just for fun, can you tell me which countries have the gender equality you assume, and on which indices do you base your assumptions?

  37. Lew 37

    The logic runs like this:

    Proposition 1: I am a white middle-class able-bodied man.
    P2: Not everything is laid out on a silver platter for me.
    P3: I am aware that some people who are neither white, nor able-bodied, nor middle-class, nor men, have succeeded in life.
    P4: In fact, some of them have it better than I do!
    Conclusion: I’m downtrodden! It’s the fault of communist ethnic feminazis! Help!


  38. Janet 38

    Well said Lew

    H/S -What are you so scared of?

  39. higherstandard 39


    Proposition 1 was : The whole world is made to suit white middle class able-bodied men

    Defend the proposition as you want or even better attend the felchtards conference with your work colleague.

    Janet why are you so anti white middle class men did you used to be one ?

  40. higherstandard 40

    Sprout do you take it up the back passage from Wombats ?

    Oh we at least that’s a better way to spend your time than waiting for someone to visit your blog.

  41. Felix 41

    hs you’re drinking again, aren’t you?

  42. Pascal's bookie 42

    maybe he stopped?

  43. higherstandard 43


    Has the conference adjourned ?


    Yes a lovely ale ……. then not now …. far too early in the morning.

  44. Pascal's bookie 44

    Is that supposed to mean something to me hs?

  45. higherstandard 45

    Ask the Wombat.

    Pip pip over and out bobbity bob

  46. @ work 46

    Notice how its only the white, middle class, hetrosexual males who claim there’s no more sexisim, racisim, class system, homophobia, or if there is any, its against them.

  47. higherstandard 47

    Notice how it’s the hand wringing felchtards who claim that all their problems are due to sexisim, racism, class system or homophobia.

  48. @ work 48

    Case in point, see above.

    Your a wanker, a liar and probably a thief, how do you feel about Ryall wanting private doctors statistics made public too, I bet yours dont look to good, you appear as a brain dead moron in every comment you write here so I wouldnt be suprised if you’re useless at your job too.

    [lprent: Banned for a week. If you want to figure out why – read the policy]

  49. higherstandard 49


    It’s you’re and doctor’s – you must be channelling your friends at the felchtard’s convention.

    I’ve got no issue with private stats being made available and support Severus’s initiative whole heartedly – you should be aware however that we ‘ve endeavoured to remove those in the medical profession who are a danger to patients due to age or lack of skill before the requirement for DHBs to make these issues openly available and we will continue to do so.

    Must go now as I’ve left my computer’s mouse inside the patient … he haw he haw.

  50. Pascal's bookie 50


    stats: wrong

    we ‘ve : wrong

    “..you should be aware however that we ‘ve endeavoured to remove those in the medical profession who are a danger to patients due to age or lack of skill before the requirement for DHBs to make these issues openly available and we will continue to do so.”: Incoherent. Learn to use the comma.

  51. higherstandard 51


    Are you still stalking me ?

    Haven’t I made it clear I’m not interested in joining the council of felchtards… and its current Grand Wizard is an absurdity, someone with a blog less visited than the Spouts.

    He haw.

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