Democracy and Dunne

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, July 19th, 2016 - 32 comments
Categories: Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

The union movement’s digital campaign arm – Together – has sent out the following email asking for support to put Peter Dunne on the spot with his electorate over Easter Trading:

It’s official – the Government’s planned law-change to make more people work on Easter Sunday, is in trouble.

Last November the Government had 75 MPs supporting this change – now it’s down to only 62. All it’ll take now is for Peter Dunne and Te Ururoa Flavell to back working people, and the law won’t go through.

We think the tide has turned – people want to choose family over more shopping and neither Dunne or Flavell have made any guarantee to support the Government on this law.

Thousands of people have signed the open letter to stop this law. Now to bring the point home, we want to deliver thousands of flyers to voters in Peter Dunne’s electorate, explaining the democratic choice he’s got to preserve Easter Sunday for the families of people who work in retail – or not.

We have volunteers to deliver the flyers. We just need to pay to have them printed. Will you chip in to help?


The final vote on this law is in just a few weeks. We need to make sure that the people who Peter Dunne is paid to represent know about the choice he’s making – it’s about transparent democracy. Please chip in to help.

Thank you for your support,

Andrew Chick
Together Campaigns Team

*You can view a PDF of the flyer here

32 comments on “Democracy and Dunne”

  1. I am against this actually – Good Friday and Easter Sunday should not have the laws they currently have – However Labour Day, Waitangi and Anzac day should all have them as full days non-working. Makes more sense (if we are to have a limited number of days like this) Easter is a religious nonsense with psuedo-corporate linings. Christmas is the same, but at least it has a greater tradition of getting together with friends and family.

    So down with easter, and up with Labour day, Waitangi day and Anzac Day – real meaningful holidays

    • red-blooded 1.1

      Yeah – I have to say that I agree with You_Fool. I might add a day commemorating NZ’s first law giving women the right to vote, or the date of the first election involving women. I’m over religious-based holidays. Most NZers are not Christian: 42% atheist/agnostic and 6% identifying with other religions. So, 52 vs 48: a small majority, I know, but a majority nonetheless.

      One other issue is the effect that the timing of Easter has on school terms. To be frank, it’s a pain: the end of the first term is almost always timed to coincide with Easter and this can make it freakishly long (like 2014 – 12 weeks) or annoyingly short (2015 – 9 weeks). To be fair, it wasn’t an issue this year and I actually appreciated a break mid-term, but I would have appreciated it just as much if it had been celebrating a non-religious event or concept. The only plus side that I can see to Easter is that it’s a cluster of days, rather than a series of single days, scattered about through the year. We could cluster some days around Waitangi Day, though, if we chose to.

      • You_Fool 1.1.1

        To be clear, I was not avocating taking away the holiday, but its special privledge as a no-work holiday. It is even sillier when considering there is no such trading restrictions on labour day, the day put aside for celebrating workers rights, and where the most vulnerable workers are most likely not to have a rest day, but us white collar executive types get to take a long weekend to the bach.

      • Foreign waka 1.1.2

        “So, 52 vs 48: a small majority, I know, but a majority nonetheless.” Yeah, just get rid of that too, democracy, consideration for other faiths etc… who needs it. (sarc)

        • red-blooded

          Foreign waka, I’m afraid I really don’t get your point. what’s the “that” that you seem to assume I’m trying to jettison? Democracy? Because I don’t see anything in my comment that would suggest that. And as for :consideration for other faiths”; surely it’s MORE considerate of other faiths not to mandate holidays around the religious observances of just one faith? Where’s our matariki holiday, for example?

          • Foreign Waka

            red-blooded, my point was that you wrote “small majority, but…” and “to get rid of that too” referred to the validity of a majority as in a democracy a majority counts even if the other side doesn’t like the outcome.
            As for consideration for other faiths, unfortunately unless legislated a person observing their belief will not be able to do this as the only religion that is counting for something is the mighty dollar.
            Yes, and why do we not have a Matariki holiday?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      Easter, despite the tendency for Christians to perform crucifixion theatre, is a Northern hemisphere fertility festival. Eggs, rabbits etc.

      Probably better celebrated as a Koanga festival in September.

      • Foreign waka 1.2.1

        Can it get any more offensive for those who are Christian? Since when is a celebration of ones faith open to horsetrading?
        NB: Did you know that Christians are the most persecuted of all world faiths?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Eggs and rabbits.

          That offends you? Go tell lies to children. Make sure you separate them from their parents first. Oops, you believers already did.

          • Foreign waka

            ???? What the heck are you talking about. It is the resurrection of Christ that is celebrated and for Christians this is a very important event. Its like Passover for the Jewish, Diwali for Hindi or Vesakha for Buddists. None have special status but all are important to those who hold the belief.
            For those atheist I know of it is belief that they have no belief at all, a fallacy clear to see.
            Judging people on their faith is as bad as segregation by color.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              So the question – in case you are confused – is whether the state should get involved in religious observance. Spring – the equinoxes etc, are things that actually happen. I note that Easter is observed on the first full moon after the equinox, rather than on some imagined anniversary.

              If the state is to get involved in religious observance, enshrining it in law and so-forth, we can be on holiday 365 days a year, for there are gods-a-plenty who demand our genuflections.

              This is old news though. Pastafari.

              • Foreign Waka

                Yes, and this leaves 365 days to observe the religion of money and greed. Besides, please read up as to why the celebrations were shifted to those times in the year. This does not denote the right of a person to have the freedom to observe their religious faith.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      I agree that it shouldn’t be a religious holiday but I do think that a holiday at that time is appropriate. In fact, I’d go so far as to put a holiday on each of the equinoxes (Easter is on one equinox).

      Keep Xmas as you say but also put in a major holiday for Matariki.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    I think the obvious solution for Good Friday and Easter Sunday trading is:
    1. Pay these holidays at 2.5x normal hourly rate, +1 day in liu for people who are rostered to work and do work.
    2. Have language in the legislation saying that workers cannot be forced to work (sure, some employers won’t pay attention to this, but the majority will).

    Seems like a win-win to me: if workers want the money and are happy to work, let them work, but it will cost the employers a lot of money for them to do so. It’s a strong incentive for the company to stay shut if they can’t make a profit after paying the extra wage bill.

    • Siobhan 2.1

      Re point 2…Have you actually worked a ‘full-time’ minimum wage job in the last 5 years?? Employers these days, including some of the largest, have gone pretty damned feral. They may not hold a gun to your head, but if you want to stay on the roster, and if you need the occasional day off for a sick kid you better do what they want. There are large employers I know of, but I’m not sure I should name here, who don’t even give employees references any more, no matter how long or loyal their employment. Talk about the death of the Social Contract.
      “It’s a strong incentive for the company to stay shut if they can’t make a profit after paying the extra wage bill.” and that sounds so nice, but one way or another companies will work their way around that, these days staff are seen more as an unfortunate expense, Profit is the be all and end all of business.
      All you will get is less staff working even harder, with a robot lurking in the corner next to the self service counter.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        No, I haven’t. But that’s why #1 will help to compensate workers who do have asshole bosses.

        I guess there’s a chance that the bosses will deliberately under-staff on those days, due to the higher wage costs.

        • Craig H

          Understaffing is pretty common on public holidays already in fast food etc.

    • Tom 2.2

      As a nurse my wife gets double time and a day in lieu. thats fair I think!

    • Foreign waka 2.3

      Yeah right. Saw that Tui board from afar. The legislation with these provisions already exists but if you want to exercise your right it will be the last time you have tried whilst being employed.

  3. Bearded Git 3

    Peter Dunne’s influence on the upcoming changes to the RMA is more important than Easter Trading (which will happen inevitably).

    Both Dunne and the Maori Party need to vote against the RMA changes which in their current form will make it easy for developers to wreck our most precious landscapes. (I’m assuming here that Labour and NZF have realised this and will vote against the RMA changes, which is not a given.)

    • Chuck 3.1

      I would say the RMA is in danger from both the Nats and Labour…if they are going to build 10,000+ extra houses a year the RMA will only get in the way and cause delays.

      Will be interesting to see how the Labour / Green “partnership” will handle this…

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        the RMA will only get in the way and cause delays

        Meanwhile, on Earth, witless right wing talking points about the RMA don’t bear scrutiny, especially not when there are so many serviced sections the government hasn’t built anything on.

        Can’t you get a new pack of lies from somewhere?

        • Chuck

          “Meanwhile, on Earth, witless right wing talking points about the RMA don’t bear scrutiny, especially not when there are so many serviced sections the government hasn’t built anything on.”

          Afternoon OAB, could you point out the thousands of “serviced sections” just waiting to be built on?

          And you definition of a “serviced section”?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            The problem with parrotting lies over and over again is that the facts catch up with you.

            We’ve got six and half years of land planned for, infrastructure in the ground and ready to go. Government themselves have got more than 20 special housing areas that belong to Housing New Zealand that are ready to go.

            “There’s no shortage of places to build. Our question to government would be, perhaps you just need to get on with it.”

            Penny Hulse.

            Going to take any personal responsibility for parroting lies, Chuckie?

            • Bearded Git

              There is already land zoned for an EXTRA 55,000 people in the Queenstown Lakes District. Despite this the avowedly pro-National Mayor Van Uden has pushed through several unnecessary Special Housing Areas with significant adverse landscape effects.

            • Chuck

              Avoiding answering my question OAB??

              The quote from Penny Hulse is meaningless in the context you are trying to use it…she is counting both Brownfield and Greenfield numbers…

              Most still need to go through the RMA process (along with either new infrastructure or upgrades etc).

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Meanwhile, the shit government you enable is more concerned with lying than housing homeless families.

      • Bearded Git 3.1.2

        No Chuck wrong. The 10,000 houses a year can be built in less sensitive landscapes; there is plenty of room for this; plenty.

        The Outstanding Natural Landscapes and some other important landscape areas on the other hand need to be protected-the RMA changes do not do this because they permit non-notification of developments so the public can have no say in many cases, neither can they appeal.

  4. Sirenia 4

    Some retail workers never get a weekend. This will mean they get a rare weekend day off work.

    • Siobhan 4.1

      I don’t care what the day is for, or what commercial/religious guff is at work, we need as many days as possible, where as many people as possible, are having a break. Its called having a decent society where people are something more than just consumers and working units on some spread sheet.

    • Tom 4.2

      Noy just in retail, try nurses , police, fire workers in care homes etc. At leastt they get renumerated for their weekends and public holidays!

  5. red-blooded 5

    Note that nurses, fire workers, teachers etc still have unions/associations in working order and creating decent collective agreements. That’s the real answer to fixing the issues of holidays, bargaining and renumeration.

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