Bunnings workers strike to close wage gap

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 pm, February 21st, 2008 - 39 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

bunnings-200.jpgWhile media, politicians and the Kiwi blogosphere are arguing about the wage gap with Australia, around four hundred NDU members at Bunnings Warehouse are taking matters into their own hands with a two-hour nationwide strike action today.

Bunnings workers in New Zealand start on just $12 an hour compared to $19 for their counterparts in Australia. This is from a company that could afford to give its Australian CEO a raise of 61% recently, bringing his salary up to more than $6 million or, in an ordinary wage earner’s terms, $2,885 an hour.

It also brings some context to the wages debate. No amount of tax cuts will give these workers the $7 pay rise they’d get from moving across the ditch, and to pretend that’s the case is just dishonest.

These workers have unionised themselves in an industry that had the guts torn out of it by the Employment Contracts Act and are standing together to fight for decent wages. They deserve our full support.

You can help by calling your local Bunnings store manager on 0800 HARDWARE or by emailing Bunnings New Zealand’s General Manager at brad.cranston@bunnings.co.nz. Tell them to get back to the table and pay their workers properly.

More info at NDU.

39 comments on “Bunnings workers strike to close wage gap”

  1. Steve Pierson 1

    Good to see ordinary kiwis standing up and demanding their bosses stop expoliting them.

    I worry what would happen to people like these if National ever gets to introduce its union breaking laws.

  2. mike 2

    Yes and its also Nationals fault that their Aussie counterparts are more productive, pay a lot less tax have cheaper homeloans and pay less for petrol/food etc…

  3. Steve Pierson 3

    It was under National that the wage gap opened up.

    Under Labour the gap has stayed steady (which has required NZ wages to grow faster than Aussie ones, once National let us fall so far behind it becomes very hard to catch up)

    captcha: “difficulty of”. quite

  4. Santi 4

    “I worry what would happen to people like these if National ever gets to introduce its union breaking laws.”

    Why would you worry? Are you afraid of losing your grip on power, aren’t you? Don’t claim concern for the workers for whom you got none, otherwise you would be complaining and shouting loudly about the miser Minister of Finance who denies the workers the share of their money via rapacious taxation.

    Steve, spare me the pain of seeing you playing the concerned unionist.

  5. Yes Santi – that’s right. Naughty Dr. Cullen. Now who says wages need to “drop” again? Oh that’s right John Key.

    Oh and by the way Santi, fuck off.

  6. Tane 6

    the miser Minister of Finance who denies the workers the share of their money via rapacious taxation.

    You really are a walking, talking National Party spin machine are’t you Santi?

    Taxation in New Zealand is not out of line with other countries and it’s certainly not an issue for people on $12 an hour who’d pay the bottom rate anyway (what is it, 19.5%?). What taxes do mean is that these families can now take their kids to the doctor, give them a decent education and live in a society where they need not live in fear of poverty and indignity in old age.

    The tax system is the least of these workers’ problems. What they need is higher wages, and it’s good to see they’re standing up for themselves.

  7. mike 7

    Oh dear I think the lefties are a bit niggly cause Labour President has just offered to resign – how long until clark follows… http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10493743

  8. Steve Pierson 8

    He needn’t have offered to resign, but it is better when a public figure makes the offer over a small thing, rather than refusing to do so over a big thing (oh, like, saying kiwis wages should be lower, for example)

  9. Tane 9

    Mike brother, you’re a punter in this game but I’ll let you off this time. Williams ain’t going anywhere, it was an offer as he felt he’d let the party down, and the PM rightly rejected it. Bugger, guess that means it’s back to Key’s wage drop revelations eh?

  10. The Double Standard 10

    Tane – since you seem to have all the stats on this issue I wonder if you have anything on the number of workers per store in NZ vs Oz?

    After all, it’d be a shame if asking for a wage rise ended up in job losses of some of those striking wouldn’t it?

    Of course, it could be that the Bunnings shareholders are just greedy rich pricks.

    Interesting to find that the Jacks Links staff were striking a few years back for higher wages, then found themselves laid off because the business wasn’t making money. Another little oops from Anderton’s “Jobs Machine”

  11. Santi 11

    Tane, defender of the poor and champion of the workers:
    what would happen if as a result of your proposed wage increase a number of small businesses in NZ are no longer viable and had to lay their workers off?

    Aren’t we risking killing the golden goose in your laudable attempt?

    The end result will be more people on the dole, benefits and the like, and more nanny statism. It might be what you want, but NZ does not need that.

  12. r0b 12

    Tane, defender of the poor and champion of the workers:
    what would happen if as a result of your proposed wage increase a number of small businesses in NZ are no longer viable and had to lay their workers off?

    This same tired line has been trotted out every time Labour has raised the minimum wage, which is every year for the last 8 years. And yet, strangely, the unemployment rate is at a 20 year low.

  13. Tim 13

    The minimum wage has increased dramatically over the past few years and the unemployment rate has dropped dramatically too. There is no evidence to show that wage increases mean job losses in this country.

    Businesses aren’t going to be run into the ground if wages increase, they just won’t be able to compete with each other by continually reducing labour costs (a euphemism for wage cuts).

  14. Tim

    A fair point, but there is a lot more going on in an economy than minimum wage settings and unemployment figures. It would be difficult to make a categorical claim one way or another based simply on NZ’s headline unemployment stats of the last few years.

  15. Phil 15

    The starting wage in Aus ($18.44 NZD – which is $16.04 AUD) is nominally better than the starting wage here ($12 NZD). However, there’s no discussion of living costs, no discussion of the relative profit margin of Bunnings here vs Aus, and no consideration of the rate at which people move off the starting salary,and no mention of any other independant costs of hiring or training staff.

    All these things could go toward explaining the difference in starting rates, and it pays not to go off half-cocked.

  16. Phil 16

    With respect to minimum wage, it needs to be noted that increases during the last decade have FOLLOWED ON FROM rises in the general level of income (look at Stats NZ’s LCI and/or QES…)

    It could quite reasonably be argued that in such cases there will be no impact whatsoever on unemployment. Additionally, it could also be argued that legislating the minimum wage in such cases has done nothing what-so-ever for workers, as their wages were already on the increase anyway.

  17. Steve Pierson 17

    So, just to be clear Phil. You are arguing these workers should not be striking over the fact they are being paid $12 an hour.

    And your arguemnt over minimum wages is wrong. If you read the submissions around minimum wage rate increases you would see they are not tied to prior increase in average wages. No: National did not raise the minium wage until force to by New Zealand First, and since Laobur has come to power there have been 8 (on April 1, 9) increases in the minimum wage. Not raising the minimum wage is an ideological, not an economic decision.

    National has always opposed reaising the minimum wage: check out KBB’s graph of the minimum wage going right back to 1977. http://kiwiblogblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/hmm-who-to-trust/

  18. Interesting footnote to the NDU release illustrates the unions dishonesty:

    “Wesfarmers, Bunnings parent-company and Australia’s biggest company”

    Tell that to BHP. Elsewhere Wesfarmers is rated at Australia’s 17th largest company.

    When they lie in such ways in one part of a press release, it makes me wonder what other lies are present. In particular how accurate is the wage comparison?

  19. Good to see you’ve got that research unit hard at work, Frank. A productivity example to us all. Oh no, wait a minute you don’t produce anything but spam. How ironic.

  20. insider 20

    So the logic is, because the company pays workers $X in one country the workers in another country should be paid the same?

    Where does this ‘logic’ end? Should I be paid the same as a US employee of the same company? What about a Brit or a Fijian or a Chinese?

    It seems a rather lame protest with little principle to it.

    Perhaps someone can explain it to me

  21. Bart 21

    You keep talking about the wage gap that opened up under National. FFS, that was 8 years ago. Labour have had nearly 9 years to fix it.

    Is it fixed…..????

  22. I’m afraid you’ve lost me there Mickey. Who is Frank?

    Or are you just trolling again? Do try and keep up a reasonable discussion will you, instead of spreading lies and abuse.

  23. Leftie 23

    Insider: “So the logic is, because the company pays workers $X in one country the workers in another country should be paid the same?”

    Hell yes, when the headlines from National refers to the number of Kiwis moving to Australia and the difference in hourly pay.
    Isn’t that what a reasonable employer would do?: I don’t want my knowledgable, skilled workers going down the road (or over the ditch) to work for my competitor for $X more an hour, I want to keep them, so I will pay them the same.

  24. Why Francis, you know exactly who I’m talking about. Love your work. Might catch up with you later. Yes?

  25. Matthew Pilott 25

    Bart, by your logic, shouldn’t Labour need at least nine years to undo the damage wrought by National? Far easier to destroy than build and all… They opened up the gap, Labour has managed to stop it increasing. If National didn’t drop the ball, we’d be fine, if you’re going to be so simplistic about it!

    That’s like saying Labour have had eight years to fix [insert problem here] – what you’re saying is that they are perfect, or at least should be. Nice you hold them in such high esteem!

  26. Tane 26

    You keep talking about the wage gap that opened up under National. FFS, that was 8 years ago. Labour have had nearly 9 years to fix it.

    Is it fixed ..????

    It opened up under National and has stopped growing under Labour. I’d like to see it closed, but it takes a lot longer to build a house than it does to burn one down.

  27. Mickey – I still don’t understand what you are trying to say. Have you made a post today that is more than lies and innuendo?

    Although I have to say that you are slipping a bit as the resident attack dog.

    http://www.viewimages.com/Search.aspx?mid=697941

    Anyway, time to throw some snarlers on the barbie. And I can assure everyone that Mickey won’t be seeing me today.

  28. Oh I wouldn’t say that with such certainty if I were you, Francis.

  29. Phil 29

    Steve, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I deliberately left the two posts separate so that people didn’t bring the two (separate) issues together. I thought that was fairly obvious.

    For minimum wages, I never said “tied” to anything (yet another case of those on the left confusing correlation and cause-and-effect, but I digress)
    I was pointing out that the legal rise in minimum wage has predominantly followed on from existing economic conditions already having done the work of pushing overall wages up. Whether you choose to call this an ideological or economic argument is largely irrelevant.

  30. Tim 30

    “Additionally, it could also be argued that legislating the minimum wage in such cases has done nothing what-so-ever for workers, as their wages were already on the increase anyway”. I don’t agree Phil.

    Even if wages grow under favourable economic conditions this does not automatically mean an increased wage for those at the bottom. For example, for the hundreds of thousands of workers who work within $1 of the minimum wage the recent minimum wage increases have been the biggest pay increases they’ve seen in 20-odd years (cleaning industry, hotel industry etc.).

    Even in the past 5 or so years, when wage levels were rising in NZ in general, the wages for people on close to the minimum wage were not, except when the minimum wage was increased. If employers can profit from paying poverty wages they will.

    It’s irritating when right wingers say “Increases in the minimum wage will lead to unemployment!” but at the same time they are the most vocal opponents of the unemployment benefit.

    The minimum wage is still far too low. It should be set at 66% of the average wage. This is the OECD norm (as employers like to argue so much about OECD norms when talking abour probationary periods).

  31. iiq374 31

    Tim – It’s irritating when left wingers say “If employers can profit from paying poverty wages they will.”
    Especially when they fail to differentiate between large and SME employers.

    Yes, it is frequently a hallmark of large business that they pin down wages. It is also a hallmark that being employed within one of those types of industries is a poverty trap for those who ‘choose’ it. One of the issues you have in battling this with increases in minimum wage levels is a decrease in the employment within the SME industry, constraints of growth in SME’s, encouragement of increased employment in low skill areas, etc.

    All of which vastly benefit the Labour party and the “ruling elite” but do nothing to actually assist the eradication of a lower class.

  32. Tim 32

    Well, I guess the difference is that the left-winger’s statement is true, the right-winger’s statement is not.

    While SMEs make up 96% of businesses, they only employ about 30% of employees, and the majority of SMEs do not employ anyone. I don’t see why there should be one law for SMEs and one law for any other employer.

    There is no evidence to show that minimum wage increases and increased workers’ protection in recent years have led to decreases in employment in SMEs or stifled SME growth.

    Nobody ‘chooses’ to be paid the minimum wage, you’re always going to have someone who needs to do those jobs and there is no justice in implying they deserve the poor wage they are being paid.

    I don’t see how minimum wage increases benefit the “ruling elite” (whoever they may be) or the Labour Party.

  33. iiq374 33

    Well, I guess the difference is that the left-winger’s statement is true, the right-winger’s statement is not. Ah, except you are showing the true difference between left and right; right debating a point, left going “la, la, la” ;-p

    While SMEs make up 96% of businesses, they only employ about 30% of employees, and the majority of SMEs do not employ anyone. I don’t see why there should be one law for SMEs and one law for any other employer. Thanks for providing my proof for me.

    I don’t see why there should be one law for SMEs and one law for any other employer. I don’t see why there should either – however at least I’m recognizing that both exist before creating a slap down to both.

    There is no evidence to show that minimum wage increases and increased workers’ protection in recent years have led to decreases in employment in SMEs or stifled SME growth. Is there any showing it hasn’t?? The only research I have seen on minimum wages is that in a less than full employment scenario it impacts most heavily on the most vulnerable. Although I can’t quote from my own business as the lowest paid worker gets > $60,000 p.a. I can quote from my wifes where the impact wouldn’t show in reduced employment – because students are already classified as fully employed…

    Nobody ‘chooses’ to be paid the minimum wage Jeez – I thought it was the right’s job to be out of touch? How long since you went to school and watched people explicitly choosing to leave and take up minimum wage careers?

    there is no justice in implying they deserve the poor wage they are being paid. There is no justice in implying that just because they are working that they deserve more…

  34. Tim 34

    “right debating a point, left going “la, la, la’ ;-p” ???

    I don’t agree for good a reason. I said “If employers can profit from paying poverty wages they will”. Look at any fast food company and most international cleaning contractors in New Zealand and almost any international business trading in China (Nike, GAP etc.).

    You said minimum wage increases lead to decreases in employment. This is not correct. As I’ve stated before the minimum wage has increased significantly in the past few years while unemployment has dropped significantly, most markedly in unemployment amongst Maori, Pacific Islanders and youth, the so-called “vulnerable” workers. You can get these statistics from the DOL or Statistics NZ.

    People don’t choose to work for the minimum wage, think of someone in Otara who has to leave school to support the family because Mum and Dad get such poor wages. It’s a cycle, not a choice.

    I assume you own a SME. If you can afford to pay your lowest paid worker $60,000 then you can certainly afford to comply with employment laws and pay people the minimum wage. What’s your issue with current employment laws?

    Your last two responses make me think that you believe that people who “choose” to work in low paid jobs are not worthy of more. Sure, there are always going to be people who are lazy and stupid, some of them might work for the minimum wage but an equal if not greater number of them are wealthy.

  35. iiq374 35

    You said minimum wage increases lead to decreases in employment
    Actually I didn’t…

    Sure, there are always going to be people who are lazy and stupid
    Has nothing to do with being lazy nor stupid; it has to do with the relative benefit that they are able to offer. I have a couple of people who are lazy (admittedly none who are stupid) who are worth more to me than some of my hard workers – because the fact is they are more productive in the 20-30 hours actual work they put in than some who put in 40-50.

    I assume you own a SME. If you can afford to pay your lowest paid worker $60,000 then you can certainly afford to comply with employment laws and pay people the minimum wage. What’s your issue with current employment laws?
    Ah – beautiful example of left thinking; this law doesn’t affect your self interest so why should you care? Just because you seem to only care about something that directly affects you doesn’t stop others caring about the wider community and consequences.

    People don’t choose to work for the minimum wage, think of someone in Otara who has to leave school to support the family because Mum and Dad get such poor wages. It’s a cycle, not a choice.
    Sorry this is an argument around the level at which a safety net is required – not at which a minimum wage should be set. Also raising the minimum wage exacerbates this issue as it becomes more attractive to turf the hypothetical kid out to get $25K more in rather than $20K more in. It makes the argument of delayed gratification for higher education even harder to make.
    Unless of course you prefer a greater proportion of our young leaving school to “work at the meatworks”.

  36. Tim 36

    “Just because you seem to only care about something that directly affects you doesn’t stop others caring about the wider community and consequences.” The purpose of a business is to make profit. Businesses are not altruistic. Don’t try to pretend that you are running a business because you “care about the wider community”. You may do so in general terms, but that’s not the purpose of your business.

    If, as you say, you care about the community, then you should be concerned about low wages and the damage they do to society. There are a lot of social costs to low wages, and ultimately paying people such low wages is economically inefficient. Just increasing productivity or getting more people into work is not going to fix low wages in itself. Because a business is there to maximise profit, it is not going to increase its workers’ wages unless it has to, regardless of how much its productivity increases.

    “Also raising the minimum wage exacerbates this issue as it becomes more attractive to turf the hypothetical kid out to get $25K more in rather than $20K more in” – the whole point is that if Mum and Dad did not need to survive on poverty wages, their children wouldn’t have to work to help support the family. It’s not a question of “turfing out”, it’s a question of need. The minimum wage is a safety net, $12 an hour is not enought to raise a family.

  37. LabourMustBeLiquidated 37

    If Labour gave a damn about workers they would stop taxing the living daylights out of them. Never mind, Klark and her commie cronies will be off into the dustbins of history come election 08.

  38. PaulL 38

    Tim, you’re failing to discern between iiq374’s business interests, which are probably to make a profit, and his political interests, which occur in his non-working time. He cares politically that we not enact policies that reduce employment – even though those policies don’t impact his company directly. Why do you believe that his only interest here is whether or not his company is impacted – did he give up his rights as a NZ Citizen when he became a filthy capitalist?

  39. r0b 39

    G’day LMBL, welcome to The Standard. We look forward to further intelligent and constructive contributions from you in the future. Have a Nice Day.

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

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