Bravo big business!

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, June 12th, 2015 - 87 comments
Categories: health and safety, Judith Collins, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

I can’t tell you how relieved and pleased I was to read this yesterday by Pattrick Smellie:

Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum backs reform

Big business backers of controversial health and safety reforms say New Zealand “risks forgetting” the Pike River mine disaster if opposition from farmers and small business owners is allowed to water down the Health and Safety Reform Bill.

A Government backbench revolt against the legislation has delayed for two months its report back from Parliament’s transport and industrial relations select committee, with MPs claiming there’s a backlash from small business and farming constituents about the legislation increasing their health and safety responsibilities.

But the head of the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum, Francois Barton, says big business wants the reforms passed swiftly and for large and small firms to be brought into the regime, saying health and safety has for too long been treated as a “PC nanny state issue”.

“We don’t want to see any undue delay or dilution,” said Mr Barton, whose forum represents 178 of New Zealand’s largest companies, ranging from the electricity, oil and gas, port, aviation and forestry sectors, to manufacturing, telecommunications and infrastructure businesses. …

Read on for plenty more!

That really puts the focus on those who are trying to water down the legislation – the Collins faction in Cabinet, claiming to represent (some) small farmers and businesses. Recall that just a week ago Tova O’Brien wrote:

But just days before it was due to be finalised a mutiny within the National Party stymied the process and the Bill has been sent back to the drawing board to get watered down some more.

You can thank Judith Collins and a coterie of backbench MPs for that. They stirred, they stropped, they successfully stalled the Bill’s progress.

Collins’ leadership ambitions are one of Parliament’s worst kept secrets, it is also no secret she is agitating big time to up her profile.

Stalling the reforms is a power play from her and the backbench, yes, but it is also a reminder how strong farming, forestry and fishing interests are within the National Party.

Shame on anyone involved in this. Shame! All workers have a right to a healthy and safe workplace.

87 comments on “Bravo big business! ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    “tinpot” under 20 staff employers have been the bane of modern labour relations for ever in NZ, those legend in their own minds self made aspirational men that put their profits into bach, boat and HSV Commodore before research and development, a living wage, let alone health and safety; the workplace deaths and injuries in just the past week underscore this

    as I understand it the original new bill in the wake of Pike River, tackled the issue of multiple contractors, so it would not be as easy to avoid accountability, and the obvious lead company would be where the buck stopped with obvious implications

    a mate of mine got fried at work several weeks back working on a 33kV job at an ancient substation for a contractor to Vector, extremely lucky to survive he faces several years of painful rehab while the parties and Worksafe try to investigate and resolve, under current legislation running scared witnesses will only comment anonymously and my mate will be more likely to be scapegoated than compensated, his employer has opted out of ACC to a third party insurer

    this is the real world scenario of what the selfish Nat SME types are pushing

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Very sad to read about your mate getting hurt like that TM. I’ve worked around big electricity all my life and I have to say that accidents like that give me the cold willies.

      I hope he makes a full recovery and is properly looked after. It’s the kind of accident that rarely makes headlines, but can completely fuck over a person’s life worse than a fatality in some ways.

      The 1992 H&S legislation (like most things that wretched govt touched) is now well understood to be deficient. Pike River notwithstanding, the untold story is the fact that the Serious Harm Incident rate (at around 5,000 per year IIRC) has not significantly decreased at all.

      Every safety professional I’ve talked to (and I know several very well) has spoken about the urgent need to implement legislative and administrative reform. That some sectors of this government have attempted to prevent this is beyond appalling.

      It is just downright culpable.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1

        thanks RL, my friend is a long time union member and is getting good support from that quarter at least

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    National MPs demand the right to be killed at work. Read all about it.

    • miravox 2.1

      National MPs and their funders demand the legal right to maim and kill people at work.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1


      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        National MPs are employees, not employers. If they’re so keen to be killed at work who are we to deny them?

        • miravox

          Their work place is more that 20 employees so they’ll have full protection of the law – unlike, say, farm, forestry and construction workers. National – looking out for itself since time began.

          Happy to lobby for our employees to be subject to the same watered-down law they propose for SME employees but.

  3. John Shears 3

    What happened to making sure that before a job was started that
    safety for the worker had been checked. Basic Job Instruction.

    Pike River was a case of ignoring gas warnings and knowing that the detectors were not operating all about dollars and not about people ?????

    I learnt about the Davy Safety Lamp in the 3rd form in 1942 and how
    it only takes a spark to ignite.

    Electrical energy can kill , a 1.5 volt dry cell across the heart can stop it and kill, you don’t need 33KV. Sad to hear about your mate, of course he should be compensated.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “Sad to hear about your mate, of course he should be compensated.”

      It’s not wise to recommend outcomes when all of the facts of the incident have not yet been determined.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        He will be compensated because we have ACC. In theory he will get full medical and rehab assistance, plus modification of accommodation if needed and 80% of what he was earning before the accident.

        That being written, ACC have been moving toward a policy of refuse first and then see if the poor bugger will appeal… and then the overturning of ACC is now close to 50%. Yes, 50% of appeals are won in the District Court because ACC got the decision wrong.

        “For 29 years, Jamie O’Mara’s mother has cared for a son who is probably ACC’s most seriously injured claimant.

        Now, Sally O’Mara and partner Miles Glover have overcome another hurdle by winning a court battle with the corporation after it tried to downgrade the level of assistance it provides.

        Mr O’Mara has never been able to sit, stand or walk on his own, after suffering a brain haemorrhage caused by vital vitamin K shots not being delivered when he was born.

        His medical problems include cerebral palsy, severe epilepsy and scoliosis, meaning he requires 24-hour care.

        ACC funds two continuous caregivers from a pool of 14 carers on rotation, which is split equally between level 1 and level 2 attendant care, with the latter staff having more training and expertise.

        But in 2010, ACC decided after an assessment that it would lower the amount of level 2 care to only 8 hours a week, with the remaining 328 hours performed by less skilled staff, saving about $500 a week.

        This alarmed the family, who were adamant that Mr O’Mara needed specialised care. Their concerns were upheld by a review tribunal.

        In an unusual move, ACC decided to appeal against that decision, but its argument was again thrown out by District Court judge David Ongley.

        In his decision, Judge Ongley said the downgrade was a “substantial shift” for which ACC had provided no explanation.”

        And the solution for this Government? Take the Appeal process away from the Court which is overturning its mistakes at a rate of almost 50%

        For those who are interested in how the Government has eroded ACC rights read this as a backgrounder. Google Chester Borrows for his response. My experience with the Weathertight tribunal is that the Adjudicators are not at arms length from the Ministry of Justice. They are housed in the same building, go to MOJ “briefings”, are paid by the ministry … mind you the Chair also was guest of honour at the opening of PRENDOS new offices in Tauranga which is, imo, a major conflict of interest given PRENDOS act as “experts” before the Tribunal. But I digress.

        • Lanthanide

          Evidently you missed this bit:
          “his employer has opted out of ACC to a third party insurer”

  4. BG 4

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Larger operations could be seeing this legislation as a way to cripple their smaller competitors under bureaucratic red tape, thus taking them out of the market.

    Simple economics tells you that only the larger businesses (with the benefit of economies of scale) can afford to run these implementation programmes that smaller businesses will struggle to do.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      And yet, curiously, some amazing spooky force (magic probably) keeps small businesses open in every country in the world with strong worker protections and high wages.

      What a pity you don’t know any of this magic 🙄

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Our managers are among the worst in the world. Our small business owners are probably even worse.

        • Phil

          On what basis are you making that claim?

          Educational attainment?
          Workplace safety?

          I think on any reasonable metric we’re going to have much better quality managers than, say, an equivalent-sized construction firm in Dubai or manufacturer in Bangladesh or Corporate farm in Paraguay.

          • RedLogix

            Well yes – if the standard you are going to hold up derives from developing countries or places well-known for their human rights abuses – then I guess you have a point.

            On the other hand DtB would have been on safer rhetorical ground if he had stuck to the OECD. Of which NZ still likes to consider itself a member.

          • Draco T Bastard

            On what basis are you making that claim?

            We Have the Worst Managers in the World……

            Recent research from the Ministry of Economic Development found that we have some of the worst managers in the world and this is the main reason we are losing so many good people to Australia.

            Poor leadership and management skills are also the reason for our high employee disengagement and low productivity according to Chris Bell Managing Director of Customer Experiences a company that specialises in the development of high quality customer experiences.

            Research and 30 years of personal experience of the fucken idiots.

        • infused

          He doesn’t have a basis, of course. Blanket statement that all smb’s are shit at work place safety.

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.2

      And theres the false narrative that these bosses/farmers/forestry owners have been spouting for to long ” it would cost to much to keep workers safe” Bullshit BG!

      Every worker deserves to get to go home to their families at the end of a working day without being injured or killed, simple as that!

      • Kiwiri 4.2.1

        Mmm .. will it ever cost too much to keep CEOs and senior managers safe? And do they deserve to get to go home to their families at the end of each working day without being injured or killed (not to mention also to go elsewhere to enjoy hookers and coke)?

      • BG 4.2.2

        Why such attack? I not against providing workers protection, I never said that.

        I’m just wondering why big business is so supportive of it?

        • RedLogix

          Because any real business owner and manager knows that safety is the best value for money he can buy.

          Back in the 80’s – well before the H&S legislation came into force – I worked at a big site for seven years. Every morning at 9am was the daily production meeting.

          The Production Manager was a no-bullshit bear of a man, not at all given to sentimentality – but without fail the first item on the agenda was always “Are there any health and safety issues?” I can hear his voice as I type this. And the meeting went no further until they had been discussed, action planned and minuted. Then the previous day’s items got reviewed.

          And they did this because they were smart enough to know that worker safety was in fact the single most profitable thing they could invest in.

    • Tracey 4.3

      Maybe. Just maybe.

      I suspect they will be pushing for taxpayer subsidies to pay for the changes. THAT will hurt smaller business for sure. I will happily subsidise smaller businesses but not those with a history of profit and shareholder payouts.

      • Lanthanide 4.3.1

        You’ll only subsidise companies that run at a loss? I would have thought they were the exact companies that deserve to go out of business.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Lefties are going to have to do a whole lot better than this to win the votes of SME operators, directors, shareholders and management.

        • Tracey

          Then re-read… I won’t subsidise busiensses that have chosen NOT to put aside money they have to do it.

          The notion that a business that cannot genuinely afford some of the aspects of health and safety should be thrown to the market wolves is a nonsense imo.

          You must hate XERO then?

    • Aaron 4.4

      I agree with BG, this is a massive problem for small businesses all over New Zealand – including couples owning a shop, tradies and all sorts of normal people who are just trying to get by.

      This is actually a huge issue for NZ culture and part of how the corporate world is killing off small businesses and turning the population into corporate serfs.

      It’s very important to make this distinction – and also to understand that some of the people in business are dodgy and some are not. Tarring everyone with the same brush won’t get us anywhere.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.4.1

        Businesses that can’t survive without killing and maiming workers don’t deserve to exist. Other countries with strong health and safety laws manage to have small businesses. Are you saying NZ entrepreneurs are useless and incompetent or something?

  5. saveNZ 5

    Health and safety love to pick on the little guy and the big players like to cream all the money while passing on the work and risks to the little guy for a pittance. So to be held accountable to them for workplace safety – my God they might have to actually do something for a change! No wonder Collins is up in arms! Corruption under threat and Accountability for the main contractor!

    Good on Big business leaders for coming out and saying they want health and safety in the workplace.

    It is time for responsible big and medium business to stand up to the government and say “not in our name”.

    Remember nobody has been made accountable for Pike River in any real way.

    The fact that the police who had no experience in dealing with mines were made to take over shows what a pathetic lack of governance there was.

    The council and RMA should be scrutinised too.

    The mine would never been allowed to operate in Australia.

    What sort of country do we live in?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      What sort of country do we live in?

      A slowly retrogressing one.

      • mac1 5.1.1

        Yes, Draco, sometimes I feel that we are in fifth century Rome, with the viaducts failing, the road system run down, lead in the water pipes, large farm owners increasing their holdings, slavery and servitude for the masses, slums and fires in the towns, appalling industrial conditions and deaths in the mines and factories, reliance on imported cheap food and goods, and fearing barbarians both within the gates and without.

        A slow retrogression into the Dark Ages.

        Did I mention the crazy emperor, impotent public servants, run down army and police force, and the 1% senator class with their equestrian underlings gouging the empire for all its worth?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Yes, every civilisation has its sunset. Usually around that time, it is the elites who double down on the strategies and technologies which have brought about the decline, making the end swift and inevitable.

          • RedLogix

            You’ve been reading your Jared Diamond haven’t you CV?

            • Draco T Bastard

              It’s not just Jared Diamond but other research showing that the main problem we have is the rich:

              In both scenarios, Elite wealth monopolies mean that they are buffered from the most “detrimental effects of the environmental collapse until much later than the Commoners”, allowing them to “continue ‘business as usual’ despite the impending catastrophe.” The same mechanism, they argue, could explain how “historical collapses were allowed to occur by elites who appear to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory (most clearly apparent in the Roman and Mayan cases).”

              And we shouldn’t forget Limits To growth forecast and what’s actually happening (pdf).

              And we really are seeing conditions decline for the majority of people while the rich get richer. The path is almost indisputable and so the question is if we’re intelligent enough to get off that path and change or if we continue to allow the rich to heard us over the cliff.

              So far the cliff is getting very, very close.

              • RedLogix

                Exactly. Yet here is the curious thing – maybe for the first time in all of these historic cycles we have an actual conscious knowledge of what is happening. The evidence for this is beyond all dispute, and what is more, it is reasonably common knowledge.

                Yet somehow we still lack the means to change it. An almost Cassandra-like curse.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  I suspect the Archdruid would say that there is a certain unconscious magic (the more scientific amongst us might prefer to characterise it as mass social conditioning) which is being applied to and is working against the vast mass of people.

                  • Kiwiri

                    Well put. How true.

                    One of the major spells that is being cast is debt. More and more are brought under the power of debt.

                    We now need many brooms. And very many hands to apply them to good uses.

                  • RedLogix

                    Agreed. JMG is an endlessly thought-provoking writer; yet the chasm between his world and the one I can see out the door right now seems un-bridgeable.

                    But it is still the nub of the matters we talk about here. Over on OM there’s a fine old debate between the usual ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘community responsibility’ suspects. It always presses buttons for many people here.

                    Yet JMG would accuse us of “falling into that weirdly unhelpful habit of binary thinking”. Why does this debate have to prove one side right or wrong? What is wrong with simply demanding that both be correct? Why not BOTH personal and communal responsibility at the same time?

                    Yet somehow we’re all conditioned to dig a ditch on one side or another of the debate – and go no-where.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      People remember that the first Labour Government provided excellent state housing to the poor and the working class – but they forget that if you did not look after the property, keep the lawns tidy, have your children looking washed and presentable etc. – it could be taken off you.

                      And yes, that breaks the binary.

                    • RedLogix

                      I didn’t know that. Seems impossibly quaint from our perspective, and yet perhaps it points to where the left took a wrong turn somewhere.

                    • Tracey

                      I agree… there is always this left or right, socialist or capitailst, label label label…It keeps us in our self proclaimed straight-jackets which cannot by definition let us move to something other than tinkering with what we have.

          • mac1

            “Let me put an alternative hypothesis. America in 2011 is Rome in 200AD or Britain on the eve of the first world war: an empire at the zenith of its power but with cracks beginning to show.
            The experience of both Rome and Britain suggests that it is hard to stop the rot once it has set in, so here are the a few of the warning signs of trouble ahead: military overstretch, a widening gulf between rich and poor, a hollowed-out economy, citizens using debt to live beyond their means, and once-effective policies no longer working. The high levels of violent crime, epidemic of obesity, addiction to pornography and excessive use of energy may be telling us something: the US is in an advanced state of cultural decadence.”

            This is a quote from a 6 June article in the Guardian “Decline and Fall of the American Empire.”


            • Draco T Bastard

              Read an article somewhere, somewhen that hypothesised that empires are too expensive to maintain because of all the greasing of palms needed to maintain control of the populace in remote locations. The two main problems suggested were:

              1. The bought leaders don’t actually stay bought unless you keep giving them more and
              2. The populace will always rise up against the oppression of the bought leaders

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Both China and Russia work on quite different principles to established western empire.

                • Tracey

                  please outline them

                  • RedLogix

                    The Russians are essentially nationalistic and defensive in nature. They have little appetite to expand, but rather they seek the capacity to hold onto what they have.

                    The Chinese empire is essentially mercantile in character. If they conquer the world – it will be because they have purchased it.

                    /Puts away seriously fat generalisation brush/

                  • Kiwiri

                    Tracey – not sure where to start but my mentor’s parents lived in China and were avid scholars of Chinese literary and socio-political philosophy. I am aware that the principle of Tianxia was paramount (‘All under Heaven’).

                    Authors such as Zhao have discussed this, e.g.

                    All-under-Heaven … consists of both the earth and the people. Consequently, an emperor does not really enjoy his empire of All-under-Heaven, even if he conquers an extraordinary vastness of land, unless he receives the sincere and true support from the people on the land.

                    … [Quoting Xun-zhi: …] Enjoying All-under-Heaven does not mean to receive the lands from people who are forced to give, but to satisfy all people with a good way of governance.

                    The concept of All-under-Heaven shows its uniqueness in its political and philosophical world-view that creates the world-wide-measure, or the world-wide viewpoint, of seeing the affairs and problems of the world in the measure of worldness. It defines the world as a categorical rethinking unit of viewing and interpreting political life, constitution and institution.

                    This methodology is essentially different from the western. In western political theory, the biggest political unit is found to be a country or nation/state, while in Chinese theory it is the framework of ‘world/society’. States have always been seen as subordinate units inside the framework of the world/ society that are regarded as a necessary and the highest political unit.

                    Chinese political philosophy defines a political order in which the world is primary, whereas the nation/state is primary in western philosophy.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    please outline them

                    Adding to the other comments already made

                    As far as I can tell, the Russians don’t merely see recent disagreements with the West as primarily economic or political disagreements, rather they are civilisational disagreements i.e. differences arising from fundamentally different perspectives on the world. Notice how the Russians now use emblems and symbols both from the times of the USSR and also from the time of the Romanovs. There is a cultural re-integration going on there which to us in the west mostly looks like nationalism.

                    Also remember while the West, and the Western Roman Empire collapsed into the Dark Ages, Byzantium continued in the East which had a major effect on the cultural outlook of Russia today.

                    The other thing to note is that the American empire is very young; the Russians in contrast have a 1300 year history, Persia and China much older than that. These much older civilisations are less than impressed with the upstart, I’d say.

                    • Tracey

                      Thanks CV

                      I had a ride in a taxi in St Petersburg. We agreed a price. The driver was, at a guess, a guy closer to 60 than 50. His english was broken. We had agreed to 40 euro. He took us from The Hermitage past the church of spilled blood. He slowed and went into an animated , slightly loud, lecture. Some in Russian some in English. Tsar Nicholas I definitely came up, so did Romanov. At a red light he showed us his ring… it has tsar Nick I on it. He called The Radisson and other American hotels on Nevski Prospect, “Boredllos”. He was an angry man. Clearly a Tsarist.

                      He knew we were not Americans and has smiled when we said NZers…

                      Anyhoo, he did a u-turn on NP at peak hour (anyone who has been there will understand why I mention it) and told us we were “here”.

                      We knew we were not.

                      He demanded 100 euro. II said we weren’t getting out til he took us to our hotel. He waved generally in a direction but we were a long way from there and the sun was beginning to go down (October in St Petersburg)

                      He leant across me and opened the door and told us to get out. My partner got out but he then shut the door to keep me in a demanded 100 euro. Once my partner had our gear fro the boot I paid him and got out.

                      It took us 35 minutes to find our hotel, with the help of three very helpful Russians (One a policeman with no english) (one young man – whose girlfriend urged him to ignore us) and one woman in her late 20’s.

                      People are basically the same over. Some are kind and helpful, some pine for the past and some steal ya blind.

                    • RedLogix

                      Interesting CV. Certainly most Westerners have little sense about how the Russians are the modern inheritors of a Byzantine civilisation we know almost nothing about. Nor much of their rich and interesting history. Certainly a visit to the Amoury at the Kremlin makes the Brits collection at the Tower of London look like the poor country cousins.

                      Another way of characterising the difference between the Americans and Russians:

                      On the outside the Americans are all confidence and brashness, but underneath brittle and shallow.

                      The Russians by complete contrast appear grim and surly in public, but in private I found them serious minded, thoughtful and great company.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I’ve never been to Russia but I’ve heard it said that Russian shopkeepers are always grim and never smile. It gives them an air of unfriendliness and an atmosphere of bad customer service, professional commentators say. Until you learn that in Russia, a person who smiles without good reason is generally seen as an idiot or mentally unstable.

              • mac1

                I think also that empires are based on expansionism- looting and the appropriation of another culture’s wealth, land and resources. As these run out and the infrastructure to maintain the overlordship becomes too costly or difficult, things start to fall apart.

                As you say, the ‘consent’ of the governed can be withdrawn and your ‘remote locations’ or borders become flash points for the next wave of invaders, empire builders, war lords and booty seekers.

                WW1 was a war of empires in conflict as aged empires were actively overthrown and newer empires augmented, in the Balkans, eastern Europe and the Middle East.

                Niall Ferguson wrote well of the demise of empires in his history of the twentieth century, “The War of the World. History’s Age of Hatred.”

                • Kiwiri

                  Continuing with Zhao:

                  Comparative study would help to clarify the concept of empire, though this is beyond the scope of this paper.

                  The differences among the ideas of empires can be detailed as follows:

                  1. The pattern of the Roman Empire. This is the typical ancient empire, not referring only to the Roman Empire but also to others. It is considered a military superpower with territorial expansion. It would encompass the whole world if it were possible in its claimed or hidden ideal. Consequently it always has temporary frontiers instead of clearly-settled boundaries. We know this pattern has not worked since the age of nations/states.

                  2. The pattern of the British Empire. This is the typical modern empire based on a nation/state under the mixed ideals of nationalism, imperialism and colonialism. It has definitely divided boundaries except in disputed areas. The definite boundaries do not indicate the self-restraint of imperialism, but the safeguard of their national interests against the free entry of others. Instead of territorial expansion, imperialism has created colonies to develop and maintain its control of the world and the division of the world into the developed and the undeveloped. This pattern has become impossible since the Second World War because of the universalizing of the system of nations/states, together with nationalism and the consciousness of independence.

                  • Kiwiri

                    3. The new pattern is of the American ‘empire’. It is a new imperialism, inheriting many characteristics of modern imperialism, but transforming direct control into the hidden, yet totally dominating world control by means of hegemony or the ‘American leadership’ as Americans prefer to call it. This hegemonic imperialism is occurring not only in political and economical spheres but also in knowledge, especially through globalisation, in which it has the greatest power to universalize its own. This new imperialism differs from the traditional empire in that it is much more than a game winner, as it also defines the rules. The world would become disordered if a player in the game also became the rule-maker.

                    • Kiwiri

                      4. The pattern of All-under-Heaven.

                      All-under-Heaven appears much like globalisation, but is essentially different as it contains no such sense of the ‘-isation’. All-under- Heaven indicates globalism instead. It means an institutionally ordered world or a world institution responsible to confirm the political legitimacy of world governance as well as local governance, and to allow the justification of systems.

                      Its political goal is to create ‘All-under-Heaven’, the trinity of the geographical world (the earth), the psychological world (the hearts of all people) and the political world (the world institution). It is a grand narrative, maybe the grandest narrative in political philosophies. The very virtue of the All-under- Heaven pattern is its world view of world-ness, which could let us understand correctly and discover solutions to world problems. World-ness is a principle higher than internationality.

                      [Zhao’s] conclusion is that the most important political problem today is not the so called ‘failed states’ but the failed world, a disordered world of chaos.

                    • McFlock

                      number 3 reminds me a little of Rome’s expansion into the Italian states, where it reached a geographic limit to its sustainable hegemony. The solution offered was progressive Romanization, where assimilation was awarded higher levels of citizenship.

                      Comparing that with say Hawaii and Puerto Rico, and their differing levels of US rights and protections even after individual military service.

                    • RedLogix

                      Thank you for this contribution kiwiri.

                      A while back I posted on the same theme, albeit from a Westerner’s perspective:

                      Yet few stop to ask; if we label a nation with ineffective, or no government as a ‘failed state’ – what are we to call a global world that lacks the same?


                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      [Zhao’s] conclusion is that the most important political problem today is not the so called ‘failed states’ but the failed world, a disordered world of chaos.

                      Particularly interesting how Pepe Escobar now characterises the American Empire as the ‘Empire of Chaos.’ It’s philosophy is to prevent the rise of any future power on the scale of the USSR which might challenge it; it sets up the implosion of entire countries and societies if it suits its tactical or strategic agenda.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Comparing that with say Hawaii and Puerto Rico, and their differing levels of US rights and protections even after individual military service.

                      Being a member of the US led anglo FVEY gives NZ undoubted privileges (and obligations).

  6. Chooky 6

    There must be a revived /reinstituted Public Service …the fact that it has been run down is negligent and criminal

    ….Expert Safety Inspectors, including Health and Environmental Inspectors…with teeth… are absolutely necessary to monitor and advise both small and large businesses…free of charge…the New Zealand taxpayer would support this!

    Often accidents happen out of ignorance of the risks… not ill will …and sometimes it is the boss who is killed…as is the case in the recent quarry accident

    Big business is showing it is more responsible and moral on this issue than the Nactional government…which is both negligent and criminal

    • Kiwiri 6.1

      It would be nice to hear good ol’ Labour with ol’ and good Labour values to reaffirm and reinforce the argument for why we need a strong and (as you say) revived/reinstituted Public Service for the people in this country. Can a few MPs in the Labour caucus speak up loudly and persuasively please?

      • dukeofurl 6.1.1

        They are . You are just not listening.

        But you sound like a glove puppet/ concern troll?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Which Labour MP has spoken up for a strongly revived and reconstituted public service lately? A link would be appreciated.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Any links to those Labour MP statements dukeofurl? If not, maybe you would like to apologise to Kiwiri for suggesting that they were a glove puppet/c.t.

        • Tracey

          can you name the few? I may be wrong but it seems to me that those who got the sulks after Little got the nod have chosen to do and say nothing… which is a start BUT they need to be WORKING

  7. Skinny 7

    Be interested to see who blinks first n this stand off between Key and Collins. By the posturing Key is doing he doesn’t appear to be willing to water down the proposed changes too much. Mindful he has his finger on the pulse of public opinion/popularity.

    • Tracey 7.1

      It must be serious cos all the focus (with the help of Pagani) has shifted to Labour.

  8. KJT 8

    While I can applaud some amongst big business who are genuinely concerned for their workers, big business are always enthusiastic about legislation which doesn’t cost them much, but picks off pesky smaller competitors by putting up barriers to entry.

    Not to mention the billions that will now go to private “Safety Inspection firms” and a “Safety Inspection” bureaucracy with million dollar managers, (NACT’s solution to everything) to do the job that Union members did for free, aided by Labour department inspectors on a normal wage.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      but picks off pesky smaller competitors by putting up barriers to entry.

      Actually I am all for some ‘barriers to entry’ for small businesses. A higher hurdle to leap over would slow down some of the cowboys and cut-throats.

      • KJT 8.1.1

        From personal experience a lot of cowboys in building are rather large companies.

        The one man bands either have to be very good or very cheap to stay in business long. Cheap cowboys do not last long in a small town.

        Different in the major cities, I understand.
        The cowboys just join “Master Builders” to give themselves credibility.

        As for “cut throats” ask why it is has been cheaper to buy New Zealand produced building materials in Australia, than here.
        Why, when we obtained timber wholesale from a local yard one of the big building firms threatened to put them out of business if they continued to supply us.

        • RedLogix

          Not going to quibble with that KJT. And you are spot on higher up about what Union members and Govt. inspectors used to achieve for almost nothing.

        • saveNZ

          +1 KJT

          One of the biggest robbers is Fletchers.

          Remember Mainzeal, how the F, could it go under in a construction boom, oh that’s right Jenny Shipley was the director….

          The Nats can run anything into the ground. Thicko’s, Ideology, Cronyism and Kick backs…

          TICK – how the Nats run the economy. Now being a parasite that is an apt!

  9. Kiwiri 9

    “Mindful he has his finger on the pulse of public opinion/popularity.”

    And Collins is trying to get her fingers around his neck.

  10. dukeofurl 10

    What seemed strange to me was the quarries got left out of the tougher mining rules as they didnt do tunnelling ?

    Yet most mines these days are open cut and thus the same as a quarry. Limestone – Coal whats the difference when its being dug out from surface. often the scale is similar as well, as an open cut mine can have a handful of workers too

  11. Tracey 11

    I presume those businesses calling for this are already operating at higher than the current standard and want others to do so too?

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