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Andrew Little: the future of work

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, December 1st, 2014 - 98 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, jobs, labour, workers' rights - Tags:

Andrew Little future of work

Tena koutou katoa. Thanks for joining me today.

Can I acknowledge Annette King, Labour’s Deputy Leader, Grant Robertson, our Finance Spokesperson, and the other members of our Labour Caucus.

Can I also acknowledge Michael Barnett from the Auckland Chamber of Commerce who helped us put today’s event together.

This morning I want to outline what will be a signature piece of work for the parliamentary Labour Party over the next two years. It will confront what I and many others regard as one of the biggest medium and long-term challenges facing New Zealand and many other countries: the future of work.

This is important to me because I’ve spent my working life making sure the labour market operates in a way that ensures people have secure jobs, decent work, and the opportunity to get ahead.

For myself, I had a pretty classic Kiwi upbringing. I grew up in Taranaki. My dad was a school teacher and my mum worked as a secretary for an optician.

They taught me to work hard, respect others and, most of all, to think for myself. Given that they were both committed National Party voters, they probably did a better job of that than they would have liked.

My Mum and Dad worked hard to provide for us and make sure we got a good start in life. Because of them I was able to do well at school and go to university where I studied law.

After graduating, I went and worked as a solicitor for the Engineers Union. There I enjoyed a highly varied employment law practice, helping to make sure that workers got good conditions and they weren’t taken advantage of.

I’ve always been driven by the need to see justice done, or for that matter, to see injustice challenged.

The injustice I talk about is when the powerful and the privileged take advantage of the weak.

At a time when we are reflecting how some employers are making unilateral deductions from staff to pay for stock losses caused by customers, I recall that one of the first cases I worked on was about exactly this issue.

A service station manager claimed $100 was missing from the till, possibly the result of a drive off. He also claimed a meat pie had been stolen. He insisted the two staff on duty each pay $50 towards the lost petrol, and when one of them, Daniel, who I represented, refused, he was sacked for his refusal and for stealing the pie.

Daniel, a teenager at the time, was able to challenge the unfairness meted out to him, including producing a receipt for the pie. Daniel got justice and his employer learnt a lesson in due process.

One of my big fears is that expectations we once had of fair treatment at work are fast evaporating.

The reason I chose to work for people like Daniel then is the same reason I chose to enter politics a few years ago.

I believe that the law and government policy should provide safety and security for people and a level playing field so they can get on with making the best of their own lives.

I don’t think New Zealanders ask that much of their Government or their laws.

All they want is to know that if they work hard and pay their taxes, they’ve got a decent chance, they can save a bit for retirement and try to give their kids a leg up.

And if circumstances make work impossible, people still have the means to live in dignity.

We don’t ask the world. We don’t want something for nothing or for anyone to do it all for us.

All New Zealanders want is a fair shot.

Whether it’s in work or their own business, New Zealanders want to know they’ve got opportunities and can get ahead.

It’s a pretty simple social contract. You do your bit, there are good rules that make sure you are fairly rewarded and have some certainty, and there is help and support there if you need it.

But right now, more and more people are doing the right thing, but they aren’t seeing the results.

Because if we’re honest, even some of the most simple aspirations are becoming harder and harder to fulfil.

We all know this.

It’s becoming harder to find secure, well paid jobs. It’s becoming harder to buy a home, harder to afford to start a family or retire.

And this isn’t just a problem for the low paid.

More and more people on good incomes, mid-level incomes, are finding it harder to save, harder to pay the mortgage, harder to keep their businesses afloat, harder to get ahead.

People are feeling the squeeze. Even though they are working their guts out.

That simple social contract is breaking down.

The security that should come with hard work simply isn’t there for people like it should be.

And this isn’t just a question of economic performance, because what we are finding is that even when growth ticks up, too many people still feel insecure.

We are seeing a new insecurity in disturbing new working arrangements like zero hour contracts, where someone who ostensibly has a full time role can have their hours changing massively from week to week, or can find themselves with no hours at all for the week.

I want to be clear, I’m not blaming just the current Government for this new era of squeeze and insecurity.

The erosion of the economic security that New Zealanders should be enjoying is bigger than any one policy or decision.

These are issues caused by the fundamental settings of our economy, the priorities about where we are investing, and who our economy is meant to be delivering for.

It’s about the fact that too much of our investment capital is going into speculation, instead of into supporting the next great Kiwi business that is going to create jobs and grow our wealth.

It’s about the fact that the average house in Auckland earned more money last year than the average worker.

It’s about the fact that incomes aren’t keeping up with the cost of living, which means a greater reliance on consumer credit and private debt.

Our economy, like our laws and our government, is only useful if it’s about delivering for people. And that means everyone.

People don’t serve economic principles or forces. Economic forces are the product of what people do.

We’ve forgotten our economy is meant to be about people, and as a result more and more people are being left out. Their efforts aren’t being rewarded.

So let’s be clear about something else. The decline in economic security isn’t because New Zealanders aren’t working as hard as they used to. In fact, New Zealanders work some of the longest hours in the developed world.

What’s happened is that the underlying structures of our economy have changed, and our policies haven’t changed to keep up.

People on middle incomes, people who own a small business, people who work on contract, who are doing their best to earn a crust and get ahead, they are feeling forgotten.

Mostly because, in policy terms, they are.

I want to be clear about something here too: The Labour Party has a challenge to update our definition of working people in a world where the nature of work itself is changing.

Because today, being the party of working people isn’t just about being there for New Zealanders who work 9 to 5 on a salary or on a shift for an hourly wage.

It has to be about being there for all the people who make their living from their own work, who are grafting to improve their lot. People who, to use the old phrase, work for their money instead of having their money work for them.

When I travelled around the country during the recent elections, people often told me they didn’t see themselves reflected in what we were saying.

And that meant they didn’t feel like there was anybody in politics who was looking out for them.

So today I have a clear message about that: to people working hard to get a small business off the ground, to people choosing to work on contract, people who are their own bosses, and are thinking about maybe being able to take on someone else: we get it.

And the Labour Party will work for you.

We have always been the party of hard, often physical work, and the party that sees work as a means for social and economic advancement.

The party that wants to see everyone get ahead.

To make this happen, we will be the party with a long term economic plan. A plan that’s about giving people the tools they need and restoring economic security to New Zealanders.

We will be the party that makes sure when you work hard, you get the rewards.

That means having good rules that give people certainty and fairness. And rules that mean people can seize opportunities with confidence.

The truth is, we need to be bold enough to face up to some of the big issues.

And one of those is the changing nature of work.

My son Cam is 13 and it’s pretty obvious to me that the workforce he is going to be entering in a just a few years’ time is going to be totally different from the one that I went into after university.

For Cam’s generation, there are some big challenges ahead.

New technology is rapidly transforming our world and our work.

It’s hard to understate just how important these changes are going to be for working people.

The ongoing digital revolution is as world changing as the industrial revolution was 200 years ago, and to adapt we are going to have to make decisions now if we are to be ready so people are not left out.

For example, experts from all around the world are already warning that a greater reliance on technology and automation is going to mean that many of the jobs we rely on today won’t be there in the future, and neither will the wages that go with them. One study completed last year shows that 47% of all jobs in the United States are at high risk from automation.[1]

There’s no point in extolling the virtues of a change to much less labour-intensive work without also confronting what that means for people and society in general.

At the same time, we are seeing more and more people, especially younger people, who are embracing the new economy.

More and more people today are their own boss, and are working to make their own ideas succeed.

We need a Government that is going to champion those people, while fighting to make sure that no one is left out or left behind by an economy that is changing in ways we could never have predicted.

We need a Government that is going to prepare us to seize every opportunity that is coming.

Because I see huge potential benefits for New Zealand in an economy that is driven more by ideas and innovation. That’s a space we are really strong in already.

A major theme of my work as Leader will be developing a long-term economic plan that’s about making the most of the changing nature of work, that’s about increasing productive investment, and building an education system that’s fit for the challenges of the 21st century.

To do this, Labour will establish a Future of Work Commission to work with New Zealanders over the next two years to develop policies for creating more jobs, creating better jobs, and getting New Zealand ready for the economic challenges of the next twenty years.

The purpose of the Commission will be to look at how we adapt to the rapidly approaching changes ahead; how we make sure ours is a society and economy that generates work and incomes for a stable and prosperous community, and how we prepare for the likelihood of multiple changes in jobs over a working life, including periods of no paid work.

This project will be chaired by our finance spokesperson, Grant Robertson, and will include portfolios such as social development, economic development, education, labour, skills and training, and ICT.

The Commission will get around New Zealand. It will hold public seminars and workshops and will draw attention to issues around work in New Zealand that need to be addressed.

It will engage external advisors and experts including, where possible, from overseas. It will work closely with local universities and academics. It will be a major piece of work.

We’re doing this because although we can see a major challenge ahead of us, we don’t pretend to have all the answers.

Labour is going to spend the next three years focused on solutions, not sitting on the sidelines complaining.

We will work with all New Zealanders, from the smoko room to the boardroom, to build a plan to grow our economy and take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us. I’m confident we’ll do this best by working together.

This means Labour will fight the next election with a long-term economic plan built on the best expert advice and the real world experience of our communities and businesses. We will equip New Zealand to face the economic challenges of the next twenty years, including planning for work that supports and enhances the environment and mitigates climate change.

In the end, it is Labour’s historical mission to make sure the great social contract of mutual gain and mutual support, which is so important for peace and stability, is periodically modernised to meet today’s challenges. We are now facing one of those times.

Conclusion

I think we have some incredible opportunities ahead of us as a country.

Opportunities to grow our wealth, create new and better jobs, give our workers both more opportunities at work and better protections.

We have the opportunity to make sure that work in the future remains the best path to economic and social security.

We’ve got the opportunity to renew the basic social contract that is at the heart of our Kiwi way of life.

To make sure that New Zealanders who are working hard can get ahead. To make sure that effort is rewarded.

To make sure that each of us has a fair shot at making the most of our lives and fulfilling our aspirations.

I look forward to working with all of you to help make this happen, together.

Thank you.

 

[1] Carl Frey and Michael Osborne, University of Oxford.

98 comments on “Andrew Little: the future of work”

  1. music4menz 1

    Good to see that Andrew is wanting to move the Labour Party towards the middle ground, towards ‘the boardroom’ as he puts it. He is a realist who sees that Labour must nail its colours to the centre of politics and move away from the more extreme left policies of the Greens. That is the only way forward for the party.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Middle ground? The speech is quite radical in some respects and hints at the redistribution of wealth and some solid central planning of the economy.

    • Te Reo Putake 1.2

      I think you may have misunderstood Andrew’s message, but your support is welcome anyway. Appealing to people who do not fit a narrow definition of ‘work’ does not mean a move to the centre, it means finding left wing policies that resonate with them. It seems to me to actually be an abandonment of the Blairite surrender to neo-liberalism that has hobbled labour parties worldwide for the last 20 years.

    • karol 1.3

      Actually, he is expanding the Labour Party focus in more than one direction. He is not taking some narrow focus on the “middle ground”. Nor do I see Labour’s centre move towards “the boardroom” in that speech.

      And he is particularly focusing Labour on a working class where:

      People who, to use the old phrase, work for their money instead of having their money work for them.

      Hardly shifting Labour to focus on the boardroom interests.

      He focuses on the increasing insecurity of work, and includes the unemployed and underemployed as people Labour will be focusing on. He is also expanding the notion of “working class”.

      He says:

      People on middle incomes, people who own a small business, people who work on contract, who are doing their best to earn a crust and get ahead, they are feeling forgotten.
      […]
      We will work with all New Zealanders, from the smoko room to the boardroom, to build a plan to grow our economy and take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us. I’m confident we’ll do this best by working together.

      The starting point is in “the smoko room” but he says Labour will also work with those in the boardroom.

      And he also says:

      And if circumstances make work impossible, people still have the means to live in dignity.
      […]
      It’s becoming harder to find secure, well paid jobs. It’s becoming harder to buy a home, harder to afford to start a family or retire.

      And this isn’t just a problem for the low paid.

      More and more people on good incomes, mid-level incomes, are finding it harder to save, harder to pay the mortgage, harder to keep their businesses afloat, harder to get ahead.

      People are feeling the squeeze. Even though they are working their guts out.

      That simple social contract is breaking down.

      The security that should come with hard work simply isn’t there for people like it should be.
      […]
      Because today, being the party of working people isn’t just about being there for New Zealanders who work 9 to 5 on a salary or on a shift for an hourly wage

      He says Labour will be looking at the changing nature of work –

      and how we prepare for the likelihood of multiple changes in jobs over a working life, including periods of no paid work.

      • Coffee Connoisseur 1.3.1

        Its like I went to sleep and woke up in a different world. This is a fantastic start.

        • Chooky 1.3.1.1

          +100…great speech for new Zealand workers …and ALL New Zealanders

          Andrew Little is showing real Labour Party leadership and he is offering hope to many thousands of New Zealand workers who are struggling to survive financially and maintain a good standard of living

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      The boardroom interests are the interests of the 1% and are definitely not of the centre but that of the extreme right-wing.

  2. Sirenia 2

    ‘It’s about the fact that the average house in Auckland earned more money last year than the average worker.’

    And he’s talking about the average wage. The median wage in Auckland has dropped to $25,000.
    I just hope he also considers those doing unpaid work such as raising kids and caring for older family members and keeping communities going.

    • karol 2.1

      He did mention people not being in paid work more than once.

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.2

      And he’s talking about the average wage. The median wage in Auckland has dropped to $25,000.

      It sounds like you are referring to the median income, which includes retirees, stay at home parents, other beneficiaries.

    • Clemgeopin 2.3

      I took it to mean that the house prices have risen so fast that the increase in house prices per year are more than what an average worker earns in an year.

      • karol 2.3.1

        Yes. I think people are being too focused on details here. The intent of the line is clear and it works as a brief soundbite.

  3. The Chairman 3

    This (in the link below) is what Little is touching upon.

    And this (in the link below) is what Bridges wants to oversee.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/63664656/bridges-nz-can-take-lead-on-driverless-vehicles

  4. a good speech for the audience he was speaking to..

    ..and a good showing that ..unlike asset-stripper key..he is a man with plan..

    ..and he referred to something largely ignored/left-unspoken by labour leaders for so long..

    “..We’ve got the opportunity to renew the basic social contract that is at the heart of our Kiwi way of life..”

    ..to me that speaks universal basic income/poverty-busting..or the like..

    • whateva next? 4.1

      Yep, Vernon didn’t appreciate it…”Andrew Little’s underwhelming speech ” wow, how utterly facile can you get?

  5. Whateva next? 5

    This shows me Andrew Little’s time spent with workers, and prior to that students, have given him a real insight into the needs/ aspirations of real NZers, and the real issues ( not flags ) that face us, and our families.
    In short, we can restore hope that the vast potential of New Zealand is once again restored, rather than squandered.
    Applause and Huge sigh of relief.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    “…And if circumstances make work impossible, people still have the means to live in dignity…”

    That one word – dignity – is the fault line between the right and the left on welfare. It is good to Little contending that those on benefit deserve more that just subsistence. That they need to also live with dignity.

    And it is good to see the Labour party talking about work and workers.

  7. Sans Cle 7

    Great stuff. Andrew Little is going from strength to strength in my esteem.

    Following on from Little’s statement:
    “I want to be clear about something here too: The Labour Party has a challenge to update our definition of working people in a world where the nature of work itself is changing.”,
    It got me thinking about global challenges of low paid work in other countries (and effective slavery) which affect us here, through low cost imported goods……affecting our manufacturing. Would be good to hear how Little would tackle the more systemic problems of the global labour system (acknowledging that it’s optimistic to think that NZ can overhaul a global system……but we have punched above our weight in social policy in the past).

  8. mickysavage 8

    “[T]he average house in Auckland earned more money last year than the average worker”.

    So true and so sad …

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Well something has to be done, capitalism has created too much fallout for too many people for too long. Full time, regular hours workers on a living wage are a fading group. Divisions among the working class and unwaged and immigrant sectors are rife.

    Until enough sleepy Hobbits wake up the least we need from the next left government is the right to strike and industry agreements and standards restored.

    Ultimately people have to fight for and defend their own gains, which is where neo liberalism has been so insidious by running down democratic organisations and participation so capacity to fight is reduced and alienation increased.

    So if the social democrats are talking UBI and recognising self employed and dependent contracting and SME issues that is a good thing. People other than wage workers have defaulted to an aspirational tory world view for too long.

  10. Michael 10

    Another great speech from Andrew Little!

    I don’t think he’s had a bad day yet. And meanwhile, Key has been having a bad day everyday.

    This is the sort of stuff Labour need to be doing. I saw many strong hints towards a UBI in there. And I like that he is acknowledging how work is changing.

    • Chooky 10.1

      +100… “strong hints towards a UBI in there. And I like that he is acknowledging how work is changing”….good important points..

  11. The Chairman 11

    IMO everybody seems to be taking what they hear from the speech, and although the rhetoric sounds good, it doesn’t really say anything of substance. Leaving us with more questions than answers

    For example, how do Labour plan to increase investment in the productive sector? Or how will Labour ensure people’s work efforts are fairly rewarded?

    Until his new Future of Work Commission establishes a plan, there is really little of substance to comment on.

    • weka 11.1

      have you looked at Labour’s policies? Lots of information there on what Labour will do.

      • The Chairman 11.1.1

        Implying his new Future of Work Commission is being designed to merely rehash old Labour policy? CGT etc…

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          No, don’t be daft. I’m saying that Labour already have many policies in place that answer your question about eg how Labour will ensure people’s work efforts are fairly rewarded. No point in looking at things in isolation. You wanted some evidence of a plan, go and have a look, it might answer some of your questions (assuming they are genuine and not just trying to knock Little’s work commission idea).

          • The Chairman 11.1.1.1.1

            Yes, Labour do have policy in place that answer the questions, such as their CGT, which is why I asked are you implying they have nothing new?

            • The Chairman 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Expanding on my last post.

              It all comes back to my initial post you replied too. The speech leaves us with more questions than answers.

              Little says they don’t have all the answers and directing me to policy merely questions which policy are they planning to keep, change or do away with?

              As for his new Future of Work Commission, the notion is good but not if it’s merely a vehicle to rehash the same old policy they currently have.

              Therefore, as stated in my earlier post, one can’t really comment until we see their plan.

        • Neville 11.1.1.2

          I agree this man wants to take New Zealand back to when the unions ruled NZ in 1914 so if all you Labour supporters want that good luck that means no Internet,technology or any sky tv

          • mickysavage 11.1.1.2.1

            Gee Neville what makes you think that?

          • tricledrown 11.1.1.2.2

            Neville get your hisTory right Unions weren,t very strong up until the 1950s in NZ.
            Wages were low right up till the 1950,s.
            New Zealand was in constant recession from the 1880s.
            Facts not Fantasy Neville.
            Unions mean higher wages for everybody as employer strategy is to pay non union members to keep them from joining a union.
            Higher wages means more economic growth.
            Something your against Naive Nev!

    • George Hendry 11.2

      @ Chairman :

      “Until his new Future of Work Commission establishes a plan, there is really little of substance to comment on.”

      There is, in fact, plenty. There you are – an example-free response to your example-free statement.

      “Yes, Labour do have policy in place that answer the questions, such as their CGT, which is why I asked are you implying they have nothing new?”

      New is not the point – the pre-election policy is not old as in need of replacing. Even the CGT, best known of all thanks to media distortion, is not being replaced because inherently bad but due to how easy it is to misrepresent.

      New is eg when the PM ‘calls for fresh ideas on tackling poverty’ so he can pretend to be waiting for feedback while planning to go on doing nothing about it.

      Final question :

      Do you troll
      A) at minimum wage

      B) at living wage

      C) on results-based contract, so much for each offence taken with a bonus for each thread successfully derailed

      D) on your own time, wearing your own hat

      ?????

      • The Chairman 11.2.1

        Context, George.

        My example was given in a post above. Therefore, feel free to demonstrate yours.

        New policy is exactly the point. Unless you are of the belief (which it seems you are) none of their policy is flawed or disliked (not misunderstood) by a good number of voters?

        As for CGT, the notion it will rein in speculation and divert investment is flawed. This is largely highlighted by the fact Labour planned to capitalize from the new tax revenue, thus anticipating on speculation in property to continue on to produce this tax revenue stream.

        I’m sure a number of workers would agree, increasing the retirement entitlement is not ensuring they are being fairly rewarded for their work effort.

        Moreover, a number of voters don’t find Increasing the minimum wage to have it largely taken away by compulsory KiwiSaver very encouraging either.

        I’m not a troll. I’m a left wing voter that struggles to vote Labour. But I’m not the topic.

    • Murray Rawshark 11.3

      Also my impression. He seems to want to do away with the policy they went into the last election with, and run a think tank to come up with new stuff. No filling in that sandwich.

  12. Peter 12

    Anecdotal examples of deteriorating conditions for employees:

    1. Employees being told to use their own computers at work
    2. Employees being told to pay for work related training courses
    3. Employees working overtime without extra compensation.
    4. Employees having to return to work twice in a day to work split hours at the discretion of the employer
    5. University graduates working for less that a living wage

    I’m sure others could add much more to this list ……….

    I suspect if Labour look to addressing the wider working conditions faced by all NZ people they will gain wide support.

    • BassGuy 12.1

      I can confirm these happen to me:

      1. Check (not asked, it just happened because work computers were too slow and I had a lot of work to get through).
      3. Check (although not “without extra compensation” but without compensation at all).
      4. It’s just expected that I’m willing to do that.
      5. I’m a Bachelor of Science working for minimum, and they even sometimes get my hours correct. Remarkably, the errors always favour the work place, I’ve never been overpaid.

      To your list, I’ll add:

      6. Employees told to spend “just a few minutes every day” cleaning up, as part of their job, off the clock, unpaid and unrecorded. Not doing so would get you fired.

      7. Employees expected to be available for work at any notice. Not being available means punishment, commonly by getting no offers of extra work for a while.

      8. Employees discouraged from joining the union.

      9. When raising issues of workplace rights, employees get told “if you don’t like it you don’t have to work here.”

      If Labour start a campaign based around holding employers (especially wealthy ones) to legal working conditions, they would have taken a big step toward winning my vote back.

  13. GP 2001 13

    Thank god Cunliffe’s gone and we can talk some sense. Amirite?

    [r0b: Please pick one handle and stick to it]

  14. Whateva next? 14

    Peter,
    with unions being eroded every day, workers going for jobs and not getting it if they say “yes” to the question ” do you intend joining a union?” ……slave trade alive and well in NZ.
    When I started nursing 30 years ago, all 3 unions had an hour each to come and talk to us……we made an informed choice even!!wow, how things have changed, and not for the better.

  15. just saying 15

    This speech makes me feel optimistic.

    Sure it’s not what I would have loved him to say. I guess there has to be a degree of “not scaring the horses”.
    But I see Labour taking charge of the narrative, starting to tell home truths about the reality of the situation we find ourselves in, and build a vision for meeting the critical challenges we can no longer deny or avoid. One that almost everyone can understand the need for and appreciate. Even take some reassurance from in these highly uncertain times.

    I hope I’m not imagining it, but it feels like a palpable change from Labour of old, behaving like a desperate adolescent – greasing-up to, and going along with any shit the bullies dish out to anyone who can’t fight back. And generally being craven and pathetic.

    Maybe Labour is on the cusp of becoming part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Our job is to keep the pressure on.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      Maybe Labour is on the cusp of becoming part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

      We can certainly hope so.

  16. Skinny 16

    Great speech by Little and the good thing is he means business. The CTU need to arrange a nationwide rally opposed to ‘Zero Hours’ strike while the iron is hot, after highlighting of abuse of power by some Employer’s.

    Hurry along Helen Kelly and the rest of you ex teachers get off the beltway treadmill and getting umm organising!

  17. Jay 17

    A while ago I wrote on here about my mother, aged 70, a small business owner and life-long Labour voter, who had voted National last election out of fear that Labour Party policies would put her out of business.

    I was shouted down and called a fool, and my poor old mum was made out to be some kind of greedy capitalist lasher of the working class.

    No one grasped my point, showed any interest in or acknowledged the work she does, and couldn’t have cared less about her or the possibility she might have gone out of business had Labour won.

    Mr Little has now acknowledged that small business owners and the self-employed are workers, and are people who work for money as opposed to people for whom money works.

    It’s common sense talk like this that will give middle NZ the confidence to vote Labour again, the feeling that he will look after all of us ordinary working NZers, and not operate as some kind of state funded charity who will pour all our hard-earned money down the toilet.

    I also note he was wise enough not to attack John Key – he might be the only one in the Labour Party who understands that most ordinary NZers are tired of it. And what’s more important – it won’t change how we vote.

    He’s just the kind of opposition leader we need – and at this rate he might get my mother, and possibly even her “fool of a son”, voting for him.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Yes, I recall that. Weren’t you and your mum complaining about the minimum being raised?

      • greywarshark 17.1.1

        @Jay
        It’s common sense talk like this that will give middle NZ the confidence to vote Labour again, the feeling that he will look after all of us ordinary working NZers, and not operate as some kind of state funded charity who will pour all our hard-earned money down the toilet.

        I had the feeling that much of the Labour talk being about helping those really struggling, there was little for the people who were earning and if they were small employers, possibly have a few employees. The Party did sound like a not for profit charity at times.

        It’s important that Labour take an interest in them. One way they could help tiny and SME businesses is by offering special courses on running a business, and handling obligations to staff and how to look after them with good relations on both sides. Staff relations would be stressed as being as important for success as checking staff and customer theft.

        @ Matthew
        I thought that was an interesting point you made on Monday? on Radionz about the median voter.

  18. Triumph of the Median Voter Model.

    • karol 18.1

      Yet, Little has specifically extended the focus to include the unemployed, people on zero hour contracts, etc.

      It seems to me, interpretations of this speech deliver a bit of a rorschach test.

    • whateva next? 18.2

      or corruption of money and abuse of power, mixed with complete lack of integrity?

      • whateva next? 18.2.1

        “…or corruption of money and abuse of power, mixed with complete lack of integrity?”
        referring to Key’s hypnotism of the median voter, and throwing money at Farrar to be his magic mirror on the wall.

    • Skinny 18.3

      Meanwhile Master Hooton your spinning snake oil on Radio NZ, how people don’t care about politics. I do think most people care about the rushing through under urgency of new spy legislation.

      Andrew Little talking the future of work gets people wanting to join a Union. I’m joining up 2 today, so I think your out of touch with the smoko room there Matthew. I suggest you stick to peddling your wares to the Boardroom cobber.

      • tricledrown 18.3.1

        Skinny Kiwi tradition is not to talk politics on summer holidays,when everyyone is trying to forget the worlds problems and recharge their sole.
        Hootton is dog whistling at the same time telling anyone who does are a sad person.
        But you can bet your Auckland houses capital gain that poor sad we Matthew will be talking thinking politics!
        Ironic& funny aye Matt the die hard Nact!

  19. SDCLFC 19

    I voted Robertson, and was disappointed he missed out, and somewhat confused by the process (not trying to fight a battle, just stating a position so people can see where i come from).
    That said, and moving on, I’m super impressed.
    First by the initial press conferences, then the caucus reshuffle, then nailing Key without resorting to the shrill of the Greens, and now this speech.
    Hope it gets good traction and that the media link it in with the performances of last week.
    The direct speech is in contrast to anything Key can offer or any of Cunliffe, Shearer, or Goff (any comparisons from people with longer memories than mine?).
    Importantly he’s made early moves and statements which the other three, and Cunliffe in particular, failed to do, while at the same time laying down the framework for a long game.

  20. Ant 20

    Good start, Labour need to spend at least the next two years taking back the “work narrative” from National.

  21. cogito 21

    “the average house in Auckland earned more money last year than the average worker”

    Great line!

  22. Atiawa 22

    Here in Taranaki it’s hard to believe that summer has arrived – overcast, cold & showery, until I read Andrews speech.
    What a great conversation starter. The world of work, especially over a couple of beers and the traditional summer bar-b.(Hope springs eternal)
    The topic is a lead into many aspects of our lives that have changed so much in recent times.
    How do people make better use of their leisure time? Is one example. What can most working people afford to do with their leisure time during retirement? Are current primary exports to remain as our main contributor to GDP in 10 – 20 years time?

    A great opportunity to engage with others. Take the opportunity.

  23. JanM 23

    I’m really pleased he’s including small business owners in his focus. My partner was a builder in the 80s/90s and I ran his small company. One of the things that happened in the shift to the right was the removal of pretty much all legal protection for small businesses in the building industry. We, and many others we knew were just run over by greedy and corrupt developers and we had no ability to fight back. Many of them, including ourselves, were bankrupted (in our case the final straw was a dishonest timber company). I lost my home and was never able to recover on a teacher’s income.

    • Colonial Rawshark 23.1

      +1

      Labour has ignored contractors, owner/operators and small business owners for far too long, not recognising that these people are often Labour leaning, and as hard workers find the dominance and preferential treatment afforded to capitalists, big multinationals and major banks a serious pain.

      • Murray Rawshark 23.1.1

        I can’t argue with that. Fletchers and the like do just as well from Labour as they do from NAct. Since 1984 Labour have also been mates with the dishonest developers. Having a good look at building and putting in place some state supplier to help small builders would go a long way, along with a house building program.

  24. ankerawshark 24

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11366968

    Audrey Young. Can’t give Andrew Little the heads up herself.

    Feels the need to point out that it initially looked like not many coming.

    AL “dead pan”

    J A “Least likely to use the word crap so gets to do the introduction” ….implies using thw word crap a bad thing.

    Has to get quotes from others at the end of the article rather than critiquing AL plan herself.

    • greywarshark 24.1

      Sounds like concentrating on the style rather than the substance. Actually saying crap is awful. With no lead in to why the word is being used.

  25. vto 25

    The default political setting for small business / self-employed / contractors has been National for as long as I remember.

    However all parameters around these groups have been relocated and adjusted heavily by neoliberalism to place them now in the same position as the workers of the past.

    That Andrew Little has identified this phenomenon and stepped forward to represent them is a master-stroke.

    Methinks the National Party will be starting to get worried …..

    Go Andrew Go !

  26. Liminal 26

    At last.

  27. Bill 27

    The talk of automation and its consequences…I dunno. Last time, and currently, all that has happened is a burgeoning, of mostly pointless, low and middle management positions.

    Way back when, automation was going to set the worker free.

    That’s what I’m all for. Sod creating jobs just for the sake of it. Re-educate ourselves, acknowledge and elevate non-job pathways to satisfaction and dignity.

    Harking back to AGW and fossil fuels again – we should be finding ways to reduce the total number of jobs available (save only those that contribute to the well being of society), developing more diverse, satisfactory ways of developing and expressing our common humanity, talents and creativity, while, as a society, throwing everything we have at preparing for (if such a thing is possible and on the basis of preparing for the worst while hoping for the best) +4 degrees C hitting within the next 3 – 4 decades.

    • weka 27.1

      I was under the impression that Little is planning around a post-40hr week world. Putting some pressure on Labour to put that in an AGW/PO world seems more likely to be successful now than before.

      • lprent 27.1.1

        I’ve been trying to get down to a 40 hour week for years. Nearly there.

        • weka 27.1.1.1

          At some point Little is going to have to resolve the ‘let’s work hard’ meme with the ‘let’s not have so many jobs’ bit. Interesting he’s not focussing on NZ’s problem with people having to overwork.

          • Draco T Bastard 27.1.1.1.1

            Interesting he’s not focussing on NZ’s problem with people having to overwork.

            He did mention it though:

            So let’s be clear about something else. The decline in economic security isn’t because New Zealanders aren’t working as hard as they used to. In fact, New Zealanders work some of the longest hours in the developed world.

            Of course, part of that is that we have such high unemployment as a policy setting to keep wages down.

            • Coffee Connoisseur 27.1.1.1.1.1

              You too should put your name forward for the working group if you have the time. There is no better shot at actively getting things on the right track than this.

    • JanM 27.2

      Those low and middle management positions – grrrr! “Human resources’ -eeeek Back in the day they were called wages clerks and secretaries and they did very well, thank you. Now many companies seem to be full of them tripping over each other and, as far as I can make out, more nuisance than they’re worth and just sucking money from people who actually do stuff!

  28. Agree that this is an important speech.

    Andrew lays down the classic Social Democratic philosophy of using the state to moderate and mediate class conflict by arbitrating ‘fair shares’ between labour and capital, i.e. a state managed ‘social contract’.

    The problem is that such social reforms under capitalism are winnable only when it serves the interests of international capital.

    This goes back to the Liberals and its left wing Fabians who set up the IC&A Act in 1894. That worked OK until 1908 when declining economic conditions didn’t allow workers to get their ‘fair share’. In those days NZ was governed by the Bank of England as a financial colony.

    A long period of economic instability and open class struggle ensued until workers and working farmers put the First Labour Government into power. Andrews reference to self-employed is in line with the support that working farmers gave to Labour in the 1930s after decades of economic stagnation.

    Labour’s ‘social contract’ was really a ‘social contract’ with British imperialism to regulate and discipline production in NZ as part of the war effort. Labour oversaw NZ’s part in the resolution of the Great Depression by wartime Keynesianism where the state traded off its export of food for insulation of domestic manufacturing.

    This ‘social contract’ fell apart when Keynesianism disintegrated at the end of the post war boom and NZ manufacturing could not longer make profits in a protected market. Muldoon proved that when capitalists threatened massive capital flight from his ‘Think Big’.

    So it was the Labour Party that renegotiated this ‘social contract’ when it was forced to deregulate the economy under Rogernomics. It was replaced by the neo-liberal unsocial contract which specified rolling back labour laws 100 years. This has largely succeeded with NACTs ECA mark 2 that reduces workers to isolated individuals with no solidarity in the workplace.

    So how is Andrew going to revive his Labour ‘social contract’ under the current conditions? The re-colonisation of NZ by US finance capital, and commodity exports to China, is similar to the UK colony of 100 years ago.

    To recreate the Labour ‘social contract’ pre-supposes that the NZ can win some economic and political independence from international capital. But this will not be possible under current global capitalism. NZ is a powerless pawn of the two major global rivals. The US imposed TPPA will take over ownership of IP as the key to increased productivity in NZ, creating the same wage slavery that its MNCs impose on Chinese workers inside China.

    Therefore, the only way of winning ‘fairness’ for workers in today’s conditions is to oppose both US and Chinese imperialist controls over the NZ state and to unite with US and Chinese workers to overthrow their respective ruling classes.

    The first step will be for workers to organise fighting, democratic unions that cover all those who work for a living, paid, unpaid, or unemployed to demand work, a living wage and mount a class-wide defence of those rights.

    This will mean class solidarity and class struggle as never seen before and use of methods and tactics we are now seeing daily all around the world.

    • swordfish 28.1

      The notion that working farmers voted Labour in hefty numbers in the 30s (thus playing a major role in the historic 1935 election of the Savage Government) is one of the great myths of New Zealand historiography.

      The reason Labour won enough rural and semi-rural seats to take power in 1935 was not because of some, putative dramatic swing of farmers, but, in fact, largely because the Right vote was so hopelessly split. Only the very poorest farmers (on poor quality, recently-settled, indebted land) switched to Labour – and, even then, only in a few specific areas. There were, however, fairly significant swings in many of the larger rural towns.

  29. Draco T Bastard 29

    This is important to me because I’ve spent my working life making sure the labour market operates in a way that ensures people have secure jobs, decent work, and the opportunity to get ahead.

    The entire purpose of the ‘labour market’ is to ensure that those things don’t happen.

    These are issues caused by the fundamental settings of our economy, the priorities about where we are investing, and who our economy is meant to be delivering for.
    True but where does he go with it. Does he understand the purpose of the economy and that we can’t afford the rich?

    What’s happened is that the underlying structures of our economy have changed, and our policies haven’t changed to keep up.

    Incorrect. Our economy has been specifically setup to produce what he and we are seeing happening. These policy setting were first introduced by the 4th Labour government.

    It has to be about being there for all the people who make their living from their own work, who are grafting to improve their lot. People who, to use the old phrase, work for their money instead of having their money work for them.

    There’s another definition that we have to change: Bludgers: People who have their money work for them.

    To do this, Labour will establish a Future of Work Commission to work with New Zealanders over the next two years to develop policies for creating more jobs, creating better jobs, and getting New Zealand ready for the economic challenges of the next twenty years.

    There’s really one, complex answer to that – R&D. Personally, I’d go for a space program that looks to employ around 300,000 FTE positions.

    • @ draco..

      ..personally i wd look at setting up local industries manufacturing car parts..

      ..using the high-grade aluminium perfect for that task from tiwai..

      ..but first we have to hike the power-prices..to that smelter..

      ..to the current owners..who are screwing us blind..

      .. can make good on their oft-repeated threats to ‘walk’..

      ..(we should offer them a lift to the airport..next time they threaten that one..

      ..stare the bastards down..!..)

      • Draco T Bastard 29.1.1

        ..personally i wd look at setting up local industries manufacturing car parts..

        Considering that cars are going the way of the dodo that seems problematical at best.

        ..(we should offer them a lift to the airport..next time they threaten that one..

        ..stare the bastards down..!..)

        We should be doing that with every capitalist that tries the but we’ll leave whinge. We can survive and prosper without them.

  30. Ross 30

    Nailed!

    No whinging, forward thinking, let’s go.

    One thing needs to get into the air early though. All that Mr Little says is fine, but lurking in the background is the death knell of all forward thinking initiatives: taxing the rich. Say it now, say it loud. Those bludgers have to pay their share in an equal world.

    • Coffee Connoisseur 30.1

      ” lurking in the background is the death knell of all forward thinking initiatives: taxing the rich. Say it now, say it loud. Those bludgers have to pay their share in an equal world.”

      No Ross. Not if you understand the bigger picture. The solution isn’t necessarily through wealth redistribution.

      • Ross 30.1.1

        Yeah, my thinking wasn’t so much about wealth distribution as funding generally. It doesn’t matter what the initiative is, it still needs to be funded in some way (from somewhere). It is at that point in the narrative that all the doomsday business apologists rise up and cry foul. We should get that crap out and over with early in the process rather than, say, during the final month of an election campaign.

        • Draco T Bastard 30.1.1.1

          Yeah, my thinking wasn’t so much about wealth distribution as funding generally. It doesn’t matter what the initiative is, it still needs to be funded in some way (from somewhere).

          Real Monetary Reform

          We view government funding backwards. This is because we’ve been taught that the government is funded by taxes but this is incorrect. It is government spending that funds the entire economy and taxes are there to limit the build up of NZ$ in both the local and global economies.

          • Ross 30.1.1.1.1

            Wow, talk about a Damascus moment Draco (or should that be Mr. Bastard:-). I’ll get back to that for a deeper read. But this is exactly the conversation that needs to be had now, early in the Process. Mr Little has outlined an inspiring trajectory for his supporters to follow. I’m old enough now to have seen this before. The danger I am flagging is that “where is the money going to come from” is the thing that needs to be addressed from the start, not left to ambush us at the end. I would have thought that the future of work is synonymous with monetary reform. It is money that is the devil here. It is money that will rise up and kill the best ideas if it is left to gatecrash the party of it’s own accord.

  31. Jones 31

    Great speech. Unlike John Key, Andrew Little’s “everyman” image isn’t cultivated.

  32. ankerawshark 32

    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/little-brings-in-narcissistic-personality-expert-2014120118

    Anyone know anything about this? Possible tv 3 focussing on this guys expertise on narcissism, which is not what Little is bringing him here for?????

    • Coffee Connoisseur 32.1

      probably to identify and sideline or remove any narcissists from within the team

    • weka 32.2

      “3 News can also reveal Mr Little has brought in an Australian political expert with a doctorate in narcissistic personality to review his office.”

      haha, I bet TV3 just about wet themselves when they realised they were going to be able to report that.

    • Clemgeopin 32.3

      This article showing his analysis of Aussie Labour leader, Mark Latham, might give you a clue about his expertise:
      http://www.theage.com.au/national/latham-a-narcissistic-loner-primed-to-implode-20090331-9iat.html

    • Murray Rawshark 32.4

      “He used to be the chief of staff for former Australian Labor leader Mark Latham.”

      Latham was an absolute disaster. He was all over the place and probably increased Howard’s majority.

      The guy did his PhD on narcissistic personalities. His expertise should be much wider. Once you get one, you don’t stay on the same topic for the rest of your life. Although the idea could be to get him to analyse Key.

      Overall, I don’t like the idea of bringing an Australian expert so close to the leader. It’ll give Nact heaps of ammo, despite the fact that their orders come from Washington via Crosby Textor.

  33. Brian 33

    I will believe, when there is mention of government guaranteed job for all who are able and willing to work.This should be at a livable wage and other benefits.

  34. Philip Ferguson 34

    A review of current situation:
    http://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/low-pay-longer-hours-and-less-social-mobility/

    If Labour was going to do something about this they had nine years in which to do so; in fact they just managed the malaise.

    Which is also what Key is basically doing: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/keys-vision-managing-the-malaise-of-new-zealand-capitalism/

    Phil

  35. tricle up 35

    Very good at last we have a politician who can reduce ideology to nothing but and rebuild a framework on top of the rubble that has sensible inclusions ..

  36. Murray Rawshark 36

    While I read that, I heard Cunliffe’s voice. Do they have the same speechwriter?

    It didn’t impress me much. There are heaps of Kiwis who are neither in the smoko room nor the boardroom and not anywhere between.

    Also the bit about getting overseas experts where possible. WTF? It’s always possible. The point is whether it’s always necessary. I won’t be joining the Little fan club any time soon.

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  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago

  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago