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Auckland Rail Industrial Action

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, February 26th, 2018 - 50 comments
Categories: health and safety, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

Thanks to Warren Doney for referring to this in open mike this morning.  The importance of the rail system to Auckland is being shown because limited industrial action (working to rule) is resulting in major traffic congestion.

As he points out we are only getting one side of the story from MSM.  Auckland Transport is trying to save money by cutting costs and the MTU considers that there are safety issues.

Here is a media release put out by the MTU.

Auckland rail workers refuse overtime due to safety concerns

Auckland rail workers have overwhelmingly voted to take industrial action as their employer insists on cutting staff on commuter trains.

Beginning tomorrow, rail workers who are members of the RMTU will take a ban on overtime.

“Transdev and Auckland Transport aren’t budging on driver-only operation, which will severely compromise passenger safety,” says John Kerr, Rail and Maritime Transport Union organiser.

“This plan will make locomotive engineers – the people driving the trains –responsible for passenger assistance and security. This isn’t safe, and rail workers won’t put their passengers at risk like this.”

The workers have been in collective bargaining with French-owned multinational Transdev, since May. Auckland Transport is involved in the negotiations, but is also pushing the driver-only model.

However, preliminary results from a survey by the Public Transport Users Association have revealed nearly all passengers support keeping safety critical staff on trains.

“Train managers are the first responders in medical emergencies; they ensure all passengers, including those with disabilities, can safely board and disembark; they’re a deterrent to anti-social behaviour. With train managers on every train, the public can feel safe knowing a skilled, uniformed member of staff is never far away,” says John Kerr.
“An overtime ban will affect services, so we hope management will start listening.

“We issued notice of the ban on Saturday afternoon and AT immediately
announced a reduced train timetable. Our members don’t want to inconvenience the public, and we know they support us in not compromising their safety, so we’re calling on AT and Transdev to resolve this dispute.”

“We had a positive meeting with both AT and Transdev on Friday and have another scheduled for next Wednesday. If we make progress we can call off the overtime ban, if not our members are also willing to take full-day strikes.”

“We call on Auckland Council and central government to step in and tell Transdev to keep our passenger trains safe.”

ENDS

For more information contact:

John Kerr
Organiser
Rail and Maritime Transport Union
Mobile: 027 246 4941

 

50 comments on “Auckland Rail Industrial Action”

  1. MG 1

    A couple of points (as a train commuter):
    1. How do other metro systems who don’t have train managers on board manage?
    2. Given that there was a ‘positive meeting’ on Friday, why continue with the work to rule and inconvenience thousands of passengers in a month that is always very busy with University returning etc?

    • Sacha 1.1

      As others have pointed out over on the main transport blog, it is also the period when people must respond to the Census about their travel patterns, which affects the following 5 years of policy and funding decisions. Genius timing.

      Full post and discussion: https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2018/02/25/trains-get-whole-lot-crowded/

    • Andrea 1.2

      How do the passengers on other metros manage when there is no ‘train manager’ and some lout gets frisky?

      As a past train user there is something reassuring about knowing someone offical will be coming through at frequent enough intervals – especially late at night.

      ” and inconvenience thousands of passengers in a month that is always very busy with University returning” Well, I don’t know why but this sounds so much like “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families but now is not the time for a discussion on such a sensitive topic”. Just does, I guess.

      Perhaps it would be better to wait out the year with futile discussions until May and hope the Goodwill Fairy comes by with a solution, eh?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3

      Transdev are really screwing you around. Make sure you express solidarity with their employees and try your best not to be a scab, eh.

    • mpledger 1.4

      Last time this came up with examples, I went and looked at wikipedia and saw that most of those metro systems don’t have one person running the train. They might not have a “train manager” but they have something else of an equivalent nature.

      In America, they have dedicated transit police to monitor the safety of passengers – the railway company pays for it.

    • Stuart Munro 1.5

      In Seoul there are a couple of people at each station who handle things. If there’s a problem you phone the prominently displayed number and there’ll be someone on board at the next stop. But it basically never happens – you get the odd drunk, but they rarely make trouble.

  2. Sacha 2

    The RMTU really needs some help with their comms. That media release is still not visible on their website. This page has lots of relevant but undigested information about their campaign: http://www.rmtunion.org.nz/articles/article-campaigns.php

  3. patricia bremner 3

    These workers need a safe work place. Passengers do also. They have been negotiating since MAY!! How much longer do the employers need?

    Other countries have a variety of checks and fines for infringements. We should trial some and keep the status quo “till a way forward is found.

    A foreign owner needs to consider NZ passengers more.

  4. Carolyn_Nth 4

    I wonder if any of AT management travel regularly on trains?

    I’d suggest giving it a go during the school run times on the Western line. Sometimes it seems like party time – very noisy, with secondary students from diverse schools all talking, joking, and playing about in a very crowded carriage.

    And then, at other times, there can be anti-social behaviour so it is very important to have AT staff in the carriages. I’d not travel by train at night without them.

    If the private train company can’t do it, then it should be transferred to a public sector operator that is not for profit.

    • adam 4.1

      The executive team at AT have a private fleet of cars. Some have suggested that it is so they don’t have to travel with any of the lower classes. Others, that they don’t really know/care what they are doing – as long as they get a car and a parking spot with their job.

  5. Jingyang 5

    I think the RMTU aren’t doing themselves a favor by concentrating exclusively on safety issues in their communications.
    The train manager positions as they stand are redundant – driver only trains won’t need TMs per se. However, they will need Transport Officers with greater powers and the TMs have been offered these positions and necessary training – they’ve also been offered training to become train drivers.
    But, and this is a very bloody big BUT, the pay for TO’s is LOWER, with greater responsibilities – including possibly putting themselves in harm’s way dealing with ropey passengers – and, Transdev are keen on the TOs not being union members either.
    As far as current working conditions go – if a mere overtime ban means that peak hour train movements are effectively halved, then it points to piss poor training and hiring and employment practices by Transdev that have left them reliant on overworking existing employees.
    Of course at the bottom of it is AT expecting a 5 star rail network whilst trying to only pay for a 3 star network provided by a foreign multinational whose need for shareholder profit means we get a 2 star network in practice.

    • Carolyn_Nth 5.1

      I’m not sure of the over time ban meant services should be halved. That was Transdev’s decision – I think they are playing for public sympathy.`

      Agree with your last paragraph.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Could we see some of that unpleasant behaviour that we saw on some USA airline, dragging a protesting person out of the aircraft by his feet? If that is the sort of control that the business running the transport think is appropriate, one person will not be able to carry out the maneouvre successfully.

        As we get more helpless under the decimated service culture we have to bear, will we get armed thieves on commuter trains as the dairy owners are suffering? A bit of organisation with advice of where to get on and off through headphones on the crim and watchers outside might set up a risky but profitable system running circles around the outnumbered security.

    • Antoine 5.2

      Hi Jingyang

      Just trying to get my head around this.

      > The train manager positions as they stand are redundant – driver only trains won’t need TMs per se. However, they will need Transport Officers with greater powers

      What will a Transport Officer do, under Transdev’s model?

      A.

      • Jingyang 5.2.1

        As I understand it, TMs largely concentrate on train operations, and while they can ask to see tickets etc they have no ‘police’ power. TOs OTH, are much more like transport police and will have some legal powers – to hold and detain until police arrive and they’ll will be able to get on and off trains snd ‘patrol’ as necessary. Legislation is also necessary to give them their powers.
        The RMTU does also have concerns about assaults on TMs and by extension TOs.

    • tracey 5.3

      Why pay them less and heap on more responsibility? Money, shareholders? Director and CEO bonus?

      Those below smugly talking about driverless will solve tge “problem”, with the problem being people wanting jobs with decent wages, is when those formerly working hands are idle…

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    As a train user, I will only use trains as a last resort if this is brought in.

  7. Son of Don 7

    London Victoria Underground operates with only a driver and that will be busier than the Auckland system (almost 200 million passenger journeys per year).
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_line
    Just like driverless vehicles, ATO’s are the future for rail transport. Clearly dinosaurs like Unions don’t want this to happen.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Freedom of speech and association aren’t going anywhere, no matter how much you whinge about other people having them. As Jim Bolger recently admitted, hatred of unions just drags everybody down to your gutter level.

      • Son of Don 7.1.1

        Says another dinosaur….

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1

          Says a fool whose opinions are motivated by hate.

          • infused 7.1.1.1.1

            Change is coming, whether you like it or not.

            Driverless vehicles of all types will put an end to this. Unions are just helping it along.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1.1.1

              What a good thing I didn’t say anything about change then.

              The jobs of the future will be unionised. Or people can just sit around in the road until you get the message. Robots don’t buy your goods, and they won’t support the “demand” side of your precious economy.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury 7.1.1.1.2

            Rich coming from a Luddite who hates change

            • Ed 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Do workers have any rights tupoence?
              Or are they simply resources and for employers to exploit?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1.2.2

              I’m a Luddite now? Change is the only constant. That being so, strength in numbers is its own reward.

    • Molly 7.2

      Unlike Auckland Transport, the Underground doesn’t permit non-passengers access to platforms which would be particularly relevant for many of our stations on the outskirts where there have been incidents with passengers getting harassed.

      The number of experienced commuters also provides a level of security and community not present in Auckland. And all stations would have provision for disabled and high-needs passengers.

      AFAIK, the ATO’s are not expected to be present on all trains. If they are you may have a point. However, random appearances will not provide the security and support that permanent ATOs on every train would do.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1

        The London Underground has its own police force. I think whoever duped Son of Don into repeating these lines, “forgot” to mention it.

        • Hornet 7.2.1.1

          “The London Underground has its own police force.”
          That’s correct. But they also have 1.37 billion passengers annually.
          (https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/what-we-do/london-underground/facts-and-figures).

          Unfortunately it seems the only way to attract customers to public transport in Auckland is to bribe them (https://www.interest.co.nz/news/90460/investing-requires-return-some-point-david-chaston-cant-see-how-aucklands-massive-public)

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1.1

            What do Maninthemiddle and Groundhog say though?

          • Molly 7.2.1.1.2

            Even the comments under your latter link have more depth to them than that article.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1.2.1

              Delivering passengers to the CBD or any other business district only occurs for 2 reasons. 1: They are customers of the businesses there. 2: They are employees or operators of the businesses there.

              Therefore the full benefit of the transport feeding the CBD is received by the businesses operating there. Why is the cost not wholly borne by those which receive all the benefit benefit?

              I say make it free to passengers and load the entire cost of it onto the rates for those properties within the business zones. Granted the system and services would need to improve somewhat, but that is long overdue. It is not a new model, other places have free public transport. See what that does to the traffic woes.

              I’d like to thank Acrophobic for bringing this to our attention.

              • Hornet

                Who are these people? Honestly you seem to have some kind of identity crisis.

              • Hornet

                Effectively that’s saying that businesses in the city should pay for the costs of their employees getting to work. Or their customers getting to their shops. But only if they are in the city. No-where else, just in the city.

                In the end that’ still a subsidy – just paid for by different people.

                Some of the comments in that thread are best not re-posted OAB.

            • Hornet 7.2.1.1.2.2

              The link was really to just point out how massively a city like Auckland has to subsidise public transport.

              And I’d specifically quote this:
              “Operating subsidies only account for the day-to-day costs of operating the system. But these costs do not involve any cost of capital employed or the cost of any borrowed money. Nor do they include the new Capital Expenditure1 being poured into this system:”

              As to the comments that follow the article, I absolutely agree we need to weigh up the cost of roading v the cost of public transport, just so long as we compare apples with apples. That the subsidies for pubic transport are huge is indisputable, however.

              But the respondent who wrote “because our idiot council sprawls Auckland suburbs too far and wide” obviously doesn’t live in Auckland. Many of the cities suburbs are being ruined by the Council’s obsession with intensification (to justify public transport) and ludicrously underused cycle lanes.

              • The link was really to just point out how massively a city like Auckland has to subsidise public transport.

                It has to massively subsidise private transport too. Your point?

                • Hornet

                  “Your point?”

                  That the only way people are being attracted to public transport is to bribe them. Of course AT are helping too, with their incompetent ‘upgrading’ of suburban shopping precincts, and what appears to be a deliberate attempt to force people out of cars and onto bikes, buses and trains.
                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11952666

                  • You could just as easily say that subsidies to private transport mean the only way people are attracted to use roads is to bribe them. And you’d be just as wrong.

                    • Hornet

                      Well now, because road commuter transport is convenient, comfortable, most often faster…

                      It seems that the only way AT are getting people onto public transport is to bribe them or force them.

              • Molly

                Taxes are paid to provide the requirements of society, that everyone benefits from – whether they use it or not. To call it a “subsidy” without context, is creating an emotional reaction from the easily persuaded.

                As pointed out and ignored by you – roading is “subsidised”, so is airtravel.

                Externalities are not paid by the user in other of those cases. The wear and tear on roads, the emissions both in air and road travel, the particulate pollution. All of these impacts on the environment are borne by us all – and most importantly – are not financially quantified. If they were you would be able to see which mode is really being “subsidised” the most.

                Hint: It won’t be public transport.

                • Hornet

                  “Taxes are paid to provide the requirements of society, that everyone benefits from – whether they use it or not.”
                  Yes, but surely we get to debate how those taxes are applied? For example – I can ride a train free to Eden Park to watch a rugby game. Why should I, and other train users, not be expected to pay for that when clearly there are few viable alternatives?

                  “To call it a “subsidy” without context, is creating an emotional reaction from the easily persuaded.”
                  The context was the post I was responding to (/auckland-rail-industrial-action/#comment-1454693), which was in turn a response to your own post (/auckland-rail-industrial-action/#comment-1454539). I agree with your sentiments there. Security is a major issue for train travel particularly (both on the trains and transit between stations and home), and addressing that issue will just push the level of subsidy up further.

                  “Externalities are not paid by the user in other of those cases.”
                  Well perhaps not fully, but these costs are at least partially and directly offset by charges borne by the user, including road user charges, petrol taxes, tolling etc.

                  “Hint: It won’t be public transport.”
                  Cite?

                  I’m not anti public transport. My two children both use public transport to get to Uni, and it is clear that to avoid excessive congestion, we need a combination of transport options. But public transport in the Auckland context is problematic because of low population density. The point of the article I referenced was to show that public transport is only luring passengers through massive subsidies, not through better services or convenience.

                  • Molly

                    ” For example – I can ride a train free to Eden Park to watch a rugby game.”
                    The pertinent phrase there is “benefit to society”. Public transport, as a whole benefits society. The decision of AT to provide free public transport to an event that will have a lot of attendess, alleviates the pressure on the roads leading to that event, and so could be quantified as having a benefit for those travelling that aren’t attending. This is a separate consideration, and not involved in the overall conversation around provision of comprehensive public transport, just how it is applied in particular instances.

                    ““Hint: It won’t be public transport.”
                    Cite?”

                    Somewhere here, you’ll find the relevance to Auckland. TBH I’ve never seen a report where private transport is less polluting, maybe you’ll cite one? 40% more carbon per user IIRC, for those in private transport. Once more, the actual financial and social costs of that 40% more carbon is not quantified, neither is the comparative build costs of the vehicles used, per passenger.

                    I’m not anti public transport. My two children both use public transport to get to Uni, and it is clear that to avoid excessive congestion, we need a combination of transport options.
                    Sounds a bit like… I’m not a racist, I have friends who are….

                    Anyway, the point is whether we are passengers or not we ALL benefit from those using public transport, in terms of reducing roading requirements, reduced pollution, better air quality and associated positive health outcomes etc.

                    Stop looking at it as a subsidy, and rather as an investment in better outcomes for all. The “subsidy” term is clouding your ability to see further than monetary concerns. Not all the costs of private travel, or benefits of public transport have been monetised and included in those calculations.

                    As far as I am concerned, public transport should be free. Done efficiently, it will reduce the emissions, create social cohesion, improve community planning and start people thinking collectively.

                    • Hornet

                      “Public transport, as a whole benefits society.”
                      So does private transport.

                      “The decision of AT to provide free public transport to an event that will have a lot of attendess, alleviates the pressure on the roads leading to that event, and so could be quantified as having a benefit for those travelling that aren’t attending.”
                      Not really, particularly when there are few, if any alternatives. I should pay my own way to Eden Park…I certainly won’t be driving!

                      “https://at.govt.nz/media/913854/Commuter-costs-potential-savings-report.pdf”
                      Your link relates to savings to the individual commuter. Can you point to the actual content that refers to subsidy levels?

                      “Stop looking at it as a subsidy, and rather as an investment in better outcomes for all.”
                      What better outcomes? You haven’t even evidenced what those better outcomes are! Less congestion – sure. Travelling to large public events where there is little or no alternative – yep. But for convenience, speed to destination, more direct routes, comfort…I’ll drive my car thanks.

                  • Molly

                    “So does private transport.”
                    Primarily, it benefits individuals – and the externalities of that choice are borne by wider society.

                    “Your link relates to savings to the individual commuter. Can you point to the actual content that refers to subsidy levels?”
                    Sorry, I’ll get onto amassing vast amounts of money to do a research project that meets your unknown criteria. As for that, you miss the point, once again. That current financial quantifying often misses the other costs: environmental and social that are incurred. When that is included private transport is “subsidised” quite considerably.

                    “What better outcomes? You haven’t even evidenced what those better outcomes are! Less congestion – sure. Travelling to large public events where there is little or no alternative – yep. But for convenience, speed to destination, more direct routes, comfort…I’ll drive my car thanks.”
                    I’m guessing reading comprehension is not your forte. So I’ll repeat:

                    Anyway, the point is whether we are passengers or not we ALL benefit from those using public transport, in terms of reducing roading requirements, reduced pollution, better air quality and associated positive health outcomes etc.

                    Stop looking at it as a subsidy, and rather as an investment in better outcomes for all. The “subsidy” term is clouding your ability to see further than monetary concerns. Not all the costs of private travel, or benefits of public transport have been monetised and included in those calculations.

                    As far as I am concerned, public transport should be free. Done efficiently, it will reduce the emissions, create social cohesion, improve community planning and start people thinking collectively.

                    • Hornet

                      “Primarily, it benefits individuals…”
                      You didn’t say ‘primarily’. There are many benefits to society of private transport – less congestion of public means, the financial contribution to roading that is then enjoyed by society more widely, car pooling…

                      “…and the externalities of that choice are borne by wider society”
                      As they are with public transport.

                      “That current financial quantifying often misses the other costs”
                      How do you know if you can’t even cite any evidence?

                      “So I’ll repeat: ”
                      You clearly do not understand the difference between an assertion and evidence.

                      You seemed to expect your claims to go unchallenged. Things just don’t work that way.

  8. Bill 8

    And across almost the entire length and breadth of the South Island, little children raise their heads to their mums or dads and ask “What’s “rail”?” And with wide eyed wonder exclaim “I thought “trains” only existed in that bed-time story. They’re real?!”

  9. Cemetery Jones 9

    It’s actually not so bad. I seem to be travelling at peak morning and evening, so I’m used to being packed in anyway. If it helps the staff with their employment negotiations then I can hack it being barely perceptibly more crowded for a couple weeks.

    • Carolyn_Nth 9.1

      I’ve travelled at peak times by bus a couple of times this week – and done a run to Auckland’s northern most area – I haven’t seen anything different from the usual.

      AT/Transdev were scaremongering at the beginning of the week when they pronounced the work to rule industrial action would cause big problems for travelling all around Auckland.

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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    4 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
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    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    5 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
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    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    6 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
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    6 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
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    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
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    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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    2 weeks ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
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    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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