CTU critiques National’s employment policy

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, July 29th, 2008 - 7 comments
Categories: national, workers' rights - Tags:

Last week the Council of Trade Unions issued a devastating point-by-point critique of National’s ACC policy. Now they’ve followed up with an excellent and surprisingly balanced critique of National’s employment policy.

When you compare the amount of detail the CTU has put into its critique with National’s policy bullet-points that barely even fill a page it’s just embarrassing.

One side’s across the issues and arguing on the basis of evidence, the other’s slipping out policy under the radar and with as little detail as possible, as if they’re ashamed to tell people what they really stand for.

You can read the full report over the break or on the CTU’s website here.

A glass third full
National’s employment policy is at least a step back from the extremes of the 1990s work rights framework, and the Employment Relations Act with its emphasis on workers and employers bargaining in good faith will remain. National has dropped their previous policy of removing the ability for workers experiencing stress to have protections under Health and Safety law. They have not foreshadowed a repeal of the youth rates gains (which they voted against) or recent flexible working arrangements provisions (which again they voted against, but perhaps John Key has noted that UK Tory leader David Cameron is such a fan of their comparable legislation, and wants to extend it!) The CTU has called for cross party support for the social partnership model, which, with its problem-solving culture, is acknowledged as a big contributor to the economic success of several comparable small countries, and National’s support for this is welcomed.

But two thirds empty
However, genuine social partners don’t take the ground out from each other. Social partnership cannot exist without basic human rights protections, including the right of workers to join independent trade unions and bargain collectively. Workers reacted negatively to National’s plan last time to remove the right of new workers to a fair hearing from their employer, and will do so again. And, critically, National has no plan on how to lift wages in New Zealand; rather their policies will do the exact opposite. In the 1990s, it was low paid workers who bore the brunt of National’s workplace reforms, and history looks set to repeat if they are elected.

Specifically, National’s policy (24 July 2008) says:

National: “National believes employment law should treat employees and employers fairly, expand opportunities for those having difficulty getting work, increase flexibility, and let businesses grow.’

We say:
National’s rhetoric on workplaces doesn’t match the reality. The World Bank this year rated New Zealand second highest of 178 nations for its ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report, second only to Singapore. And further breakdowns of their data show New Zealand employers face some of the least restrictions on the hiring and firing of workers.

Taking away rights does not create job opportunities. Our employment law already does treat employers and employees fairly, and there is a job vacancy because there is work to do, not because the worker asked to do it is easy to fire.

And there are much better ways to promote employment opportunities for long-term unemployed or disadvantaged groups of workers, by investing in skills development. A strong economy with active labour market arrangements is the best way to ensure there are good employment opportunities rather than the removal of fundamental employment rights.

National: “We will introduce a 90-day trial period for new staff, by agreement between the employer and employee, in businesses with fewer than 20 people. This will give those having difficulty getting work – like young, inexperienced people or new immigrants – a better chance at a job.’

We say:
The Employment Relations Act already allows for probationary employment, what it doesn’t allow for is probationary employment where you have no rights as an employee. National is proposing to specifically legalise unfair behaviour for small businesses. Their new second class of worker with less rights that those in larger firms would cover the 30 per cent of workers work in small businesses (1), and could effect up to 200,000 workers annually (2).

Currently case law requires an employer to do just three things for a probationary employee: tell the employee about their concerns, hear the employee’s point of view and consider it in a fair manner. That isn’t hard. And research by the Department of Labour from 2007 (3) shows that, in practice, there is very little real problem to address.

You wouldn’t see small shops be given the right to opt out of consumer protection laws, or small property owners opting out of tenant protection laws, so why would any government legislate to allow small businesses to opt out of fairness in employment? A comment from an interviewee in a 2006 Massey University research report into employment practices of SMEs is telling: ‘the trial period is just really a means of me being able to dismiss them if I don’t like them, or if they’re not fitting in. (4)’

Most employers don’t set out to exploit new workers. Fair employers don’t need the law changed. For those that won’t or can’t be bothered acting fairly, it is vital we keep rules that protect the people who start working for them.

We do not oppose employers having the right to dismiss poor performing workers. But we do oppose the removal of the right for a worker to appeal against unjustified dismissal.

National say this policy will give people out of work a better chance to find jobs. But when they were last in government in 1999 there were 161,128 people on unemployment benefit. In May this year there were 17,465.

National: “We will have safeguards for workers. Good-faith provisions will still apply, as will rights to sick leave, holidays, and health and safety provisions. Rules of natural justice and human rights legislation will apply. Mediation will be available in disputes, and employers won’t be able to hire and fire the same employee every 90 days.”

We say:
Recourse to the Human Rights Commission (an institution which National floated abolishing in 2006) does not give a worker grounds for reinstatement or recovering lost wages. A personal grievance does, with reinstatement being the primary remedy. Under National’s proposal, an employer need give no reason for firing a worker. Cases to the Human Rights Commission are likely to increase in order to get a fair hearing. And it appears as if a worker who complains of sexual harassment could take forward such a complaint but if dismissed after that and within 90 days of starting the job would have no right of appeal against the dismissal.

It is unclear how rules of natural justice will apply; personal grievances include consideration of natural justice if the right to these is removed how are natural justice tests put before the courts?

National’s proposal may also cause problems for people accessing income support. When employees are dismissed, Work and Income use the odds of a successful personal grievance to help decide whether someone should face a 13 week stand down for a benefit. If it’s impossible to take a personal grievance, they won’t be able to avoid a stand down. Workers may also have a difficult time when going for a new job – if you were dismissed during the first 90 days, whether the dismissal was fair or not, you could have to declare that when you apply for your next job. No matter how unfair, you wouldn’t be able to clear your name.

National: ‘Continue to allow union access to workplaces with an employer’s consent, which cannot be unreasonably withheld.”

We say:
Currently a union has access provided they exercise it reasonably. It is for the employer to challenge access rather than the union get permission for it. Employers will use this provision to control union access and bully employees seeking to talk to the union at work. This provision is likely to breach International Labour Organisation conventions.

National: ‘Restore workers’ rights to bargain collectively without having to belong to a union.’

We say:
It is unclear how workers bargain collectively without a collective? A union is simply a collective (of 15 or more) governed by certain legal requirements (e.g. the requirement to be at arm’s length from the employer). Collective bargaining without a collective was a fundamental component of the Employment Contracts Act and allowed in-house or bosses’ unions to put in place non-union collective agreements that didn’t help lift wages at all, but instead locked workers out of genuine collective bargaining to lift wages. In the Employment Contracts Act period, employers would simply employ workers on the non-union collective agreement (contract). There was no negotiation.

Collective bargaining is a critical way of addressing wages, training, and standards across industries, and rights for workers to be covered by genuine collective agreements need strengthening, not watering down.

There is no substitute for independent trade unions, who both work with employers on skills, productivity and modernisation, and campaign to lift workers’ pay across industries. Unions are part of the solution, not part of the problem, and that’s why we are growing (up 80,000 members since 1999).

National: Appoint a working party to review the Holidays Act, especially the issue of ‘relevant daily pay’.

We say:
The purpose of National’s review appears just to be a chance to reduce the amount of pay workers get for a statutory holiday. The principle behind the current arrangement is that a worker would get paid what they would normally be had they been at work; if you have a bereavement, get sick or are on a public holiday you would not be penalised.

National are threatening to turn the clock back to the days when, in the meat industry for example, employers set a very low rate for public holidays or when a worker was sick, a basic rate close to the minimum wage. This created a perverse incentive for people who were sick to struggle into work, as it was costing them too much to be sick. In export and health and safety conscious industries such as the meat industry, that is that last sort of an incentive you want to be giving.

National: ‘Keep four weeks annual leave, but allow employees to request trade of the fourth week for cash. This can be only at the employee’s request and cannot be raised in negotiations for an agreement.’

We say:
National opposed the fourth week of annual leave for all workers. Rather than having a plan to lift wages and holidays, National’s approach is to force low paid workers to choose between a minimum wage job and 4 weeks leave, or a minimum wage job with three weeks leave plus a payment which may or may not be the equivalent value of the additional week. Three weeks leave will again become the norm under National. Everyone deserves the right to four weeks of annual leave, and it shouldn’t be taken away.

National: ‘Retain the Mediation Service but ensure it is properly resourced with properly qualified mediators. Require the Employment Relations Authority to act judicially in accordance with the principles of natural justice, including the right to be heard, and the right to cross examine before an impartial referee. Allow injunctions and important legal questions to be heard in the first instance in the Employment Court, and allow a general right of appeal to the Court of Appeal.’

We say:
Ironically, National says they want to make things easier for small businesses through their 90 day no rights period, but yet they are proposing making the employment process more complex and legalised. The Employment Relations Act is working well, with the majority of workplace disputes being settled by use of mediation or at the workplace by unions – which costs workers and employers nothing. High lawyer’s fees for court hearings are a barrier for many workers not in unions, and the CTU would be concerned about a move to overly formalise the employment disputes process.

But what’s missing?

National is silent on any concrete strategies to lift wages.

We all agree wages are too low, National themselves highlighted the wage gap with Australia at the last election. Workers are feeling the pinch through high food prices, rents and mortgage payments and increased fuel prices, but as the economy slows and prices rise National has delivered an employment policy that reduces job security and allows workers to sell their holidays to help make ends meet. Leaving it to taxes alone is a joke. Rather than offer any ideas on how to lift wages, National will make it worse.

Statistics New Zealand’s last Census shows that around two thirds of New Zealand’s salary and income earners earn less than $35,000 a year. And Kiwi workers’ wages are, on average, 30 per cent lower than Australian workers.

The Employment Contracts Act (ECA) had a lot to answer for. In the 1990s workers saw a huge number of their terms and conditions at work stripped away: penal rates, collective bargaining obligations, recognition of unions and cuts in real wages. In the supermarket sector, for example, under the ECA real wages fell by 11.2% for Monday to Friday workers and 44.4% for part-time students (5).

A 2003 Canadian comparative study (6) provides striking evidence of how much damage New Zealand workers suffered during the 1980s and 1990s. The report reveals that New Zealand workers suffered a drop of 6.5% in real hourly earnings during the 20 years from 1980 to 2001, the worst performance of the 16 OECD countries in the study. New Zealand was the only country in the study where workers real hourly earnings fell – workers in every other country had an increase with the Japanese workers real hourly earnings rising 64%, UK workers earnings went up 46.9%, Canadian 39.5%, and Australian 28.8%. The wage gap with Australia grew by 50.4% in the 1990s and by 1.6% from 2000 to 2007.

The key point here is that New Zealand wages are too low, in order to lift wages we need to see more workers addressing their pay and conditions collectively across industries, not less. Any government with a serious plan to lift wages should strengthen the rights for workers to be covered by industry and multi-employer collective agreements to address wages on an industry basis, not dismantle collective bargaining provisions by allowing for collective agreements to be set up by employers with an interest in keeping wages down.

The CTU advocates the high road approach of regularly raising the minimum wage, increasing the numbers of workers addressing pay and conditions across industries, and modernising the workforce through investing in skills, plant and machinery and lifting productivity. We think this will benefit firms also, who should compete on the quality of their products, not on low wages, and having industry standard agreements will discourage a ‘race to the bottom’ on wages.

National have not addressed the following in their policy:

• Their plans for the paid parental leave scheme, which more than 100,000 parents have benefited from.
• Confirmation or otherwise of their 2005 policy of removing elected health and safety reps and the ability for workers to issue hazard notices in dangerous workplace situations.
• Their plans (if any) to address the gender pay gap, which persists at around 15 per cent.
• Their agenda to increase to the minimum wage, other than through non-committal statements to reviewing it regularly. As the graph on the next page shows, under National, the minimum wage has failed to keep up with the average wage.
• Whether they will continue employer contributions to KiwiSaver two of their spokespeople have suggested they won’t.
• Whether they would repeal protections for vulnerable workers when their job is transferred, so that they don’t face the loss of employment or the possible reduction in conditions every time their employer loses the contract in places like hospitals, schools or commercial buildings. Last year National said business owners have employment obligations to existing employees but those obligations should not have to be automatically transferred to a new owner of the business, and that it was ‘not up to the government of the day to arbitrarily decide who is vulnerable.

7 comments on “CTU critiques National’s employment policy”

  1. Swampy 1

    “There is no substitute for independent trade unions, ”

    Well actually there is a substitute, and that is truly independent trade unions. This piece of spin from the CTU ignores the fact that the majority of unions engage in political campaigning, and most of them support the Left.

  2. Swampy 2

    National opposed the fourth week of annual leave for all workers. Rather than having a plan to lift wages and holidays, National’s approach is to force low paid workers to choose between a minimum wage job and 4 weeks leave, or a minimum wage job with three weeks leave plus a payment which may or may not be the equivalent value of the additional week. Three weeks leave will again become the norm under National. Everyone deserves the right to four weeks of annual leave, and it shouldn’t be taken away.

    First question: “Rather than having a plan to lift wages and holidays,”

    What is this “plan to lift…holidays” in particular? Does the CTU have the inbuilt assumption that there is an infinite capacity for the economy and employers to keep giving up more and more working hours in the form of new holiday entitlements?

    Second question: “Everyone deserves the right to four weeks of annual leave”

    What right is that? is it written in the Bill of Rights? No, it is a CTU wish list. In some industrial claims they want even more holidays, like five weeks after a certain period of service. Does the CTU exist in some cloud cuckoo land where holidays grow on trees?

  3. Swampy 3

    “Any government with a serious plan to lift wages should strengthen the rights for workers to be covered by industry and multi-employer collective agreements to address wages on an industry basis, not dismantle collective bargaining provisions by allowing for collective agreements to be set up by employers with an interest in keeping wages down.”

    The CTU want a return as much as possible to the days of compulsory unionism when the unions ran the show, these are all measures of increased union power leading to more industrial action.

    There’s some of us who might be considered the sort of person who would naturally be expected to join a union, but who won’t do so at any price because we don’t accede to any kind of blackmail. The MECA is a mechanism for such. There is no reason why any employer should be compelled to enter into an industrial relations agreement that covers any other employer than themselves. These used to be called “awards” in the bad old days of compulsory unionism.

    What the CTU doesn’t actually mention in the above but we all know is the background is the increased union muscle which they expect to get and therefore the ability to increase industrial conflict in the workplace. Even the great Labour party is embarrassed by the militant health unionist Deborah Powell because they know that that kind of embarrassment loses them votes every time.

    The CTU has just shown their colours never actually change. They are still the hard left socialists who get about 5% at the election under the Alliance banner.

  4. Felix 4

    …most of them support the Left

    No shit. Gee why would that be?

    A union is a political organisation by definition. It exists to represent the interests of it’s members (workers).

    Hmm, why wouldn’t an organisation whose very existence is predicated on representing the interests of workers support parties who represent the bosses, the capitalist classes, the owners of the means of production?

    Fuck, you’ve stumped me. I’m gonna be up all night now trying to figure this out.

  5. RedLogix 5

    There is no reason why any employer should be compelled to enter into an industrial relations agreement that covers any other employer than themselves.

    Be careful what you ask for Swampy; that’s a sword that can cut both ways.

    Without an award system the Unions could easily go round picking off small employers one at a time.

  6. Frankie 6

    Can anyone provide a good link and or information on the EMA’s position on TR and kiwi saver and the reasons why or why not their position should/should not be supported?

  7. lprent 7

    Try these
    Google

    From us
    From Peter Dunne
    EPMU

    What is TR? 😳

    captcha: Adams wife

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    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

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