Another win for union members

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, July 26th, 2010 - 53 comments
Categories: Unions, wages - Tags: ,

The Herald reports that Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union members have won the right to a substitute holiday to make up for the fact that Anzac Day and Easter Monday fall on the same day next year as well as a three percent pay rise for this year and another next year.

You read that right, at a time when the government is attacking workers rights two thousand EPMU members are increasing their holidays and getting a pay rise.

And according to the EPMU National Secretary, Andrew Little, the union plans to negotiate the extra day’s holiday into all of its collective agreements.

As you’d expect the employers’ rep Alasdair Thompson is saying such a deal for all workers would hurt productivity. That’s because business thinks productivity is about Kiwis working harder for less and under the government’s new laws they’ll be able to push that vision even further.

Like Irish said yesterday the new laws are going to hit non-union workers the hardest. I can’t think of a better time to be a union member.

53 comments on “Another win for union members”

  1. It is interesting that these pro union posts over the past week have attracted huge numbers of comments. What is the bet that Tsmithfield, Gosman, fisi, Neil et al will now argue vociferously but without evidence that it is not actually true and that Unions are not only not good for wage increases but also cause lung cancer?

    • Bored 1.1

      How can you raise such a vile and baseless accusation against these upstanding members of blogdom? These people of big hearted generosity and kindness to their fellow citizens, these inclusive fiar minded types. Shame on you MS……..not.

  2. sean14 2

    Good on the EPMU and I’m sure they won’t have any trouble attracting new members with that sort of performance.

  3. jcuknz 3

    Of course Alastair Thompson is correct, it would hurt productivity. But do we need that productivity consuming earth resources and shouldn’t we be working towards a stage of zero increase or decrease.
    Though in my work when we had a day off that just meant the deadline had to be met with less time to do it. So I don’t think that uniform acceptance of the holiday swop would result in uniform loss of output. But AT has to spout this stuff just as the Union leaders have to and we simply ignore it for what it is, unproductive garbage.

  4. TightyRighty 4

    where is the rest of the graph? why does it stop at a 5% increase? is it because non-union workers have the best chance of getting an awesome pay rise for working to best of their abilities and not just to rule?

    • george 4.1

      Do you mean like the EPMU members in Taranki that got a 26% pay rise TR? I’m a union member and I’ve negotiated above the collective agreement in my office. That’s because a collective agreement sets a floor, not a ceiling. You shouldn’t make comments on things you know nothing about.

      • TightyRighty 4.1.1

        Precisely like the 26% pay rise. Did i mention anything about collective agreements george? nice name incidentally. I didn’t, so I wasn’t commenting on it, even if I do know something about it. Being, in addition to a trained economist, a trained performance and renumeration specialist with a side offering in industrial relations.

        An example of working to rule is the old habit of dropping tools at 5pm, no matter what is on the table. A famous old habit of union workers, that I’m fairly certain has died out.

        All I said was that non-union workers have the best chance of getting an awesome pay rise for working to the best of their abilities, not the only chance. So why get so upset about it?

        • felix 4.1.1.1

          Being, in addition to a trained economist, a trained performance and renumeration specialist with a side offering in industrial relations.

          Of course you are, dear. Of course you are.

        • toad 4.1.1.2

          TR, your “dropping tools at 5pm” reference harks back to the 60s – times have moved on, and unions have moved with them. FYI, the union movement strongly supported the Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act. Do try to keep up.

          • TightyRighty 4.1.1.2.1

            Why only read half the paragraph toad? The original comment was a not-to-subtle dig at unions at times gone by. I know the practise has largely died out. You only really see it in retail these days.

            felix, if lprent can be a know-it-all on climate change because he took earth sciences at least a hundred years ago, I can do a little bit of the same for graduating only 3 years ago.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1.2.2

            At 5PM in Quay St in Auckland youll get run over by high powered SUVs heading out to the Eastern Suburbs.
            And there was the old saying
            ‘burlington bertie arises at 10.30’

        • burt 4.1.1.3

          All I said was that non-union workers have the best chance of getting an awesome pay rise for working to the best of their abilities, not the only chance. So why get so upset about it?

          Because the graph shows CPI level increases, an area where one size fits all dominates.

          • TightyRighty 4.1.1.3.1

            The graph, on first inspection shows the percentage of workers on the vert, and the percentage pay rise on the horiz. but this stops at 5% along the horiz, which is a bit dubious.

            But what is even more dubious, is your claim burt that the graph shows CPI level increases. Since when did this graph, purporting to show the distribution of pay rises amongst union and non-union members, become explicitly about the consumer price index and the level of it’s rises and falls. While wage changes can have an impact on prices (higher costs mean higher prices or lower profit and vice versa), there are other forces at work as well. you should have stuck to just upset, rather than stupid and upset. upset will just make the stupid worse.

            • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.3.1.1

              There is a ‘plus’ sign after that last 5%. What does that usually mean, oh wise one?

              • Puddleglum

                Beat you to it! But only by seven hours… : )

                (see below)

                Still waiting for TR to catch up though..

    • Puddleglum 4.2

      I think you’ll find on closer inspection, TR, that the category on the right hand side of the graph is “5%+” – i.e., all increases of 5% or more. (Either that or there’s a speck on my screen – the font size IS very small).

    • Alwyn 4.3

      Does anyone have a graph which compares the wage rises in the public sector with those in the private sector, rather than lumping all union members together against the non-union sector.
      It is my understanding that the great concentration of union members is in the public sector and that they have been under a great deal less pressure than in the private sector.
      Thus the increases for union members may only reflect the area where they work rather the actual work done by the union itself.
      This is likely to change with the current government but was probably the case for the period that this graph covers.

  5. Julie 5

    Well done EPMU members and staff, that’s a great result.

  6. vto 6

    Oh that looks good. Do you need to be an engineer, printer or manufacturer to join? And what about an employer – suppose one of them is needed too… dang. Oh well, let them negative rises continue.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    More motivation for unionised businesses to transfer their manufacturing to China then?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      Ask Honda , who have a lot of parts manufacture, about Chinese workers. seems they have rights too. TS has run out of low paid countries for his sweatshops.

      • tsmithfield 7.1.1

        Just talking about the sad reality that I see here very often. There has been a lot of manufacturing lost to the likes of China over recent years. F&P were a recent high-profile example but there have been a lot more.

        Anything that increases costs for businesses locally will give them motivation to seek cheaper options elsewhere. Do you seriously disagree with this proposition?

        • Roger 7.1.1.1

          This is not caused by unions. There is also minimum wage laws, regional free trade agreements, advances in technology etc. The only way to really ensure that this does not continue would be to push New Zealand’s manufacturing wages down to parity with developing nations like China and remove environmental legislation and resource management processes to create the same conditions. Is that the path you suggest to improve our economy and manufacturing capability?

  8. george 8

    You are taking a low-wage, low-skill approach there smithfield. That’s the one that ends up with NZ being a third world nation. Ambitious much?

    • tsmithfield 8.1

      Not an outcome I want. Its just the reality we face. It will be interesting to see the proportion of those unionised to compared to non-unionised businesses that end up relocating overseas. Increasing local costs are a common reason for relocating. Therefore, there should be more motivation for unionised workplaces that have just incurred these increased costs to shift.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    That’s because business and NACT thinks productivity is about Kiwis working harder for less than it costs to live and participate in the community and under the government’s new laws they’ll be able to push that vision even further.

    FIFY

    • Bored 9.1

      That is the key to he whole thing Draco….the reality is as TS so nicely puts it capital will go where wages are least. Productivity as percieved by NACT in effect means maximising profit by cutting wages. Some heartless deluded misanthropes see this as a good thing, pain will they reckon be replaced with gain. Myself I always regard somebody talking about “necessary” pain with some degree of doubt. Its easy to make “hard” decisions if you are not personally recipiant of the associated “pain”.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    George “That’ll be why Germany and Scandinavia have no manufacturing.”

    So you haven’t been keeping up with trends in the Euro lately then?

    • george 10.1

      Yes because the crash has driven European living standards much lower than South East Asia’s and Mexico’s.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        So, with the low exchange rate, many Europeans will be paying a lot more for petrol and other imported items. Therefore, their actual internal wage rates might not be as good as they look. Correct?

        • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1

          Petrol is not anywhere near as big an expense on european countries with proper public transportation systems, compared to NZ. Many europeans don’t own cars or even have drivers licenses.

  11. tsmithfield 11

    Whatever. The fact remains that imported goods will be costing Europeans a lot more.

    The other point, in response to Georges original comment, is that Europe is a substantially larger and closer market for countries in that region. So for Germany, for instance, they have local cred, few barriers in Europe due to a common currency etc, a large common market, and are highly competitive with exports at the moment due to the low Euro.

    Contrast this with NZ that has to add more substantial freight costs on to the things we produce and has a relatively high exchange rate. Therefore, we are behind the eight-ball to start with. So if our costs (including wages) for manufacturing keep going up, then it is natural for companies will seek to relocate where those costs are cheaper, and closer to their markets to boot.

    • george 11.1

      Freight costs next to nothing and if it does go up it will aid import substitution as the freight-component of imports increase. The exchange rate is high as the result of policy failure. Your problem is you’d rather see wages pushed down than see basic changes to the reserve bank act that might make our currency price closer to its value and in turn stop you buying imports.

      Your argument makes sense from a finance sector point of view but few others. You’re not a currency speculator or a loan-shark are you?

  12. tsmithfield 12

    George “Freight costs next to nothing and if it does go up it will aid import substitution as the freight-component of imports increase.”

    But it does cost more. Also longer delivery times etc from NZ due to relative distances from the market. This is only a small aspect of my argument though. The relative size and accessibility of the European market compared to NZ means that manufacturers have a very viable local market regardless of what the exchange rates do. NZ is not so lucky.

    “The exchange rate is high as the result of policy failure”

    Na. It because we are seen as a better risk than those countries that got into major trouble with their banks and still have interest rates at near zero and are still printing money in one way or another. Ever heard of the carry-trade?

    “Your argument makes sense from a finance sector point of view but few others. You’re not a currency speculator or a loan-shark are you?”

    No. Just from the point of view of hedging for stuff we import.

    • george 12.1

      No, the exchange rate is high because we use the cash rate to control inflation. But you’re an importer which means you’ll never admit this because manufacturing exporters are effectively subsidising your income.

      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        “No, the exchange rate is high because we use the cash rate to control inflation.”

        Na. At the moment it is the relative differential between the exchange rates. That is more to do with the carry trade. Your argument would only hold true if you could show that we should also have our rates set at virtually zero and should be printing money as well. Its not our reserve bank that is causing the problem. Its the deplorable economic state of other countries.

        “But you’re an importer which means you’ll never admit this because manufacturing exporters are effectively subsidising your income.”

        A lot of our equipment gets fitted to processes used in exporting. I would rather the exchange rate be low because then our export manufacturing customers are busier and need to buy more from us. So I don’t disagree there.

        • george 12.1.1.1

          The carry trade relies on a high interest rate. Which is what using the cash rate to control inflation does. You’ve got your cause and effect mixed up smithfield.

          • tsmithfield 12.1.1.1.1

            Its relative interest rates. So, care to answer my question. Should we be at near 0% and printing money as they are in the US et al?

            • george 12.1.1.1.1.1

              The cash rate should be a lot lower than it is and it would be if we had another way to control inflation. There should also be a tobin tax.

              • tsmithfield

                “The cash rate should be a lot lower than it is”

                Ummm… so what level between 2.75% and 0 would you suggest as a suitable rate and why?

                “There should also be a tobin tax”

                Would have to think about the “tobin tax” concept. However, the problem is always unintended consequences. For instance, could this become a drag on the “good guys” like ourselves who are simply looking to hedge to fix our costs.

                • george

                  I’d suggest the level needed to control inflation after other measures were taken. That could well be zero.

                  In an economy that was less strictly monetarist you wouldn’t have to spend so much time on the finance side of things. It’s absurd that so many NZ exporters spend so much time currency speculating, fuel hedging and the like.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “I’d suggest the level needed to control inflation after other measures were taken. That could well be zero.”

                    I would be interested to here what other measures you have in mind. Bear in mind that if these impact directly or indirectly on the money supply then interest rates will be affected.

                    “In an economy that was less strictly monetarist you wouldn’t have to spend so much time on the finance side of things. It’s absurd that so many NZ exporters spend so much time currency speculating, fuel hedging and the like.”

                    So long as we have differential exchange rates between countries there will be a need for hedging.

                    Another point to consider is that very often when someone is speculating on the direction the currency might trend, there is often someone on the other side taking a hedging position on the same transaction. Its not always win-lose. Quite often everyone can be happy. The exporter/importer can fix there costs and the speculator might make some money all on the same transaction. Another unintended consequence of tobin type taxes might mean that speculators are driven away and it becomes harder or more expensive to take hedging positions.

                    • george

                      Bear in mind that if these impact directly or indirectly on the money supply then interest rates will be affected.

                      Wrong. You’re assuming a fixed demand situation in which reduced supply creates a higher price (i.e. interest rate) debt demand is more elastic than that. Also there are a lot of different inflationary pressure in an economy and they are best dealt with in a targeted manner for instance a housing bubble can be dealt with via an adjustable capital gains tax, a debt bubble can be dealt with via an adjustable compulsory super scheme, a wage bubble can be dealt with through income tax adjustments.

                      So long as we have differential exchange rates between countries there will be a need for hedging.

                      Wrong. You can have a stable differential which does not require hedging. It’s fluctuations in the differential that matter.

                      The exporter/importer can fix there costs and the speculator might make some money all on the same transaction. Another unintended consequence of tobin type taxes might mean that speculators are driven away and it becomes harder or more expensive to take hedging positions.

                      Businesses that trade internationally from New Zealand have to hedge far more than they would if we had a stable, correctly priced currency. A tobin tax, along with sensible fiscal policy, would help flatten the peaks and troughs in the dollar and significantly reduce firms exposure and their need to hedge. If that gets rid of a few currency speculators then all the better.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “Wrong. You’re assuming a fixed demand situation in which reduced supply creates a higher price (i.e. interest rate) debt demand is more elastic than that”

                      Of course. And what I said was based on the implicit assumption of all things being equal. What you say could also apply to controlling interest rates given that in reality all things are seldom equal.

                      “For instance a housing bubble can be dealt with via an adjustable capital gains tax, a debt bubble can be dealt with via an adjustable compulsory super scheme, a wage bubble can be dealt with through income tax adjustments.”

                      Not necessarily opposed to any of these things. However, what you are proposing involves high levels of complexity in implementation and control. Also probably replete with unintended consequences.

                      “Wrong. You can have a stable differential which does not require hedging. It’s fluctuations in the differential that matter.”

                      For this to work then it would require countries on both sides of any given transaction to have fixed their currencies. It is not enough just for NZ to have done so. But that state of affairs is outside the control of NZ and unlikely to happen any time soon. So, you are really only arguing from a theoretical perspective, not from any conceivable practical reality in the near future.

                      “Businesses that trade internationally from New Zealand have to hedge far more than they would if we had a stable, correctly priced currency.”

                      See my comment above. It takes two to tango.

                      “A tobin tax, along with sensible fiscal policy, would help flatten the peaks and troughs in the dollar and significantly reduce firms exposure and their need to hedge. If that gets rid of a few currency speculators then all the better.”

                      Not necessarily opposed to this idea. How it would work in practical reality would be the key thing. Have any countries you know of actually tried this?

    • loota 12.2

      Massive inflows of hot speculative money (the ones John Key used to direct) damage our productive sector by pumping up the value of the NZD and making our goods artificially more expensive on foreign shelves.

      • george 12.2.1

        And foreign goods artificially cheap on ours. Which is why we have such a large amount of private debt and such a poor current account balance.

        • loota 12.2.1.1

          On the upside, it helps us fill our houses with cheap **** from The Warehouse* even as our standard of living and relative income goes down the toilet.

          * I mean the generic idea of The Warehouse, understanding that the actual The Warehouse tries to source some NZ made stuff these days.

  13. george 13

    what I said was based on the implicit assumption of all things being equal. What you say could also apply to controlling interest rates given that in reality all things are seldom equal.

    You haven’t made an argument her. Or if you have you’ve not been clear.

    Not necessarily opposed to any of these things. However, what you are proposing involves high levels of complexity in implementation and control. Also probably replete with unintended consequences.

    No what I’ve suggested here involves adding a few more focused tools to deal with inflation. Arguing the law of unintended consequences without specifying any is a cop out. There are plenty of unintended consequences of using the cash rate as your only fiscal tool. Such as debt driven inflation.

    For this to work then it would require countries on both sides of any given transaction to have fixed their currencies. It is not enough just for NZ to have done so. But that state of affairs is outside the control of NZ and unlikely to happen any time soon. So, you are really only arguing from a theoretical perspective, not from any conceivable practical reality in the near future.

    New Zealand has a particularly exposed currency stabilise the NZ dollar a bit and the changes in differentials shrink. Especially in relation to other currencies which are more stable than ours. There are a lot of these.

    Not necessarily opposed to this idea. How it would work in practical reality would be the key thing. Have any countries you know of actually tried this?

    Ever done business with China?

    • tsmithfield 13.1

      “No what I’ve suggested here involves adding a few more focused tools to deal with inflation. Arguing the law of unintended consequences without specifying any is a cop out.”

      I was just trying to work out how a landlord could calculate their taxes with a floating capital gains tax.

      “New Zealand has a particularly exposed currency stabilise the NZ dollar a bit and the changes in differentials shrink. Especially in relation to other currencies which are more stable than ours. There are a lot of these.”

      Not that exposed. We do tend to move approximately in step with the Auz. I would have no objection to pegging to the Auz or US. Bear in mind that these are also fiat currencies so the concept of “fixing” a currency doesn’t work. The only way to fix a currency would be to have a single world currency.

      BTW, the concept of a tobin tax does have some fairly major problems.

      • george 13.1.1

        I was just trying to work out how a landlord could calculate their taxes with a floating capital gains tax.

        I didn’t say floating I said adjustable, like income tax has been over the last three budgets. Housing booms move slowly enough that an annual correction would be likely to be enough.

        Not that exposed. We do tend to move approximately in step with the Auz. I would have no objection to pegging to the Auz or US. Bear in mind that these are also fiat currencies so the concept of “fixing’ a currency doesn’t work. The only way to fix a currency would be to have a single world currency.

        I didn’t say fixing or pegging. That is altogether different from taking measures to stop the dollar from being priced higher then its value. You’ve probably noticed that the dollar has surged over the course of this conversation. Not because of any strong underlying New Zealand economic fundamentals but because overseas equity markets have picked up. From Stuff:

        Against a backdrop of rising equity markets and improved risk appetite, investors had shunned safe haven currencies such as the greenback and yen last week in favour of growth sensitive currencies such as the NZ and Australian dollars, Mr Jones said.

        If we didn’t have a monetarist policy boosting interest rate differentials and we did have a tobin tax adding some drag to the velocity at which our currency traded this “surge”, which just made it that much harder for exporters, would never have happened or would have been moderated.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    “I didn’t say floating I said adjustable, like income tax has been over the last three budgets. Housing booms move slowly enough that an annual correction would be likely to be enough.”

    Fair enough. But the idea that increased house values do nothing productive for the economy is not correct. My business partners and myself, and I suspect a lot of other small businesses, have used increased values in our properties to borrow and invest into our businesses, and as a result employ people. So in these cases the capital gain on property is being used productively to grow the economy. An unintended consequence of a capital gains tax could be to stifle some of this productive investment.

    “That is altogether different from taking measures to stop the dollar from being priced higher then its value.”

    A few years ago the RB used millions to try and reduce the value of the dollar. It had a slight effect. However, it only created a buying opportunity for speculators who have much more available to them than our government does. The rate went up again within days, and I think, even higher than it was before. The problem is we don’t have the muscle to take any effective action in this respect.

    “If we didn’t have a monetarist policy boosting interest rate differentials and we did have a tobin tax adding some drag to the velocity at which our currency traded this “surge’, which just made it that much harder for exporters, would never have happened or would have been moderated.”

    Perhaps. But the article I pointed to demonstrated the opposite problem. Because traders margins can be very thin, the effect of a tax might be to drive them all away and cause a major flight of capital that could be even more problematic.

    • george 14.1

      A few years ago the RB used millions to try and reduce the value of the dollar. It had a slight effect. However, it only created a buying opportunity for speculators who have much more available to them than our government does. The rate went up again within days, and I think, even higher than it was before. The problem is we don’t have the muscle to take any effective action in this respect.

      You’ve got the wrong end of the stick altogether. I was talking about not using the cash rate to control inflation. I would have thought you’d realize that considering it is what I’ve been saying in all of my previous comments.

      Only an sucker would suggest the RB should try to outbid the speculators and the only reason they did it was because it was the only intervention option they had under their monetarist purview.

      But the article I pointed to demonstrated the opposite problem. Because traders margins can be very thin, the effect of a tax might be to drive them all away and cause a major flight of capital that could be even more problematic.

      The article you cited was the usual capital flight scaremongering. The reason we have capital problems in NZ is our monetarist position undermines saving and investment in NZ by pushing our dollar up.

      If we had a compulsory savings scheme like Australia and Singapore do we would have less of a need for imported capital and the problems, like profit-shipping and the loss of economic sovereignty, that it brings. We would also have the advantage of being to adjust contributions to that scheme to buffer inflation without increasing interest rates.

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  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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