Fight for Anzac and Waitangi

Written By: - Date published: 1:26 pm, January 12th, 2011 - 44 comments
Categories: john key, phil goff, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

This year, as last year, we miss out on both Anzac and Waitangi days as holidays.  They’re probably our 2 most important days of the year as a nation, so we should value them more, not less, right?  The Government refuses to do anything about it.  Phil Goff, the EPMU and I’m sure all workers would love for employees to get their rightful public holidays like any other year – but John Key apparently doesn’t think it’s do-able, that it needs “thorough [a.k.a. long] research”.

What’s to research?

Moving a weekend public holiday to Monday would create questions about what dates people would be paid time-and-a-half for working, he says.

Ermm, John, have you noticed Christmas and New Year’s just fell on a weekend, and we got Monday and Tuesday off and the world didn’t cave in?  We can just do the same for Anzac and Waitangi Day.

He’s also concerned at the prospect of moving Waitangi Day and Anzac Day celebrations away from February 6 and April 25.

Um, I don’t know about you John, but I still celebrated Christmas on the 25th, even with my holiday on the 27th.  I also didn’t celebrate New Year’s on the 3rd – did anyone else?  It’s all pretty simple stuff.

In fact the reason is the Key is once again siding with his rich mates over ordinary working Kiwis.  As Goff says:

“It’s not an economic issue. If five out of seven years you can afford it, then you should be able to the other two.

“I know for years and years we said we couldn’t afford four weeks’ annual leave and we’ve achieved that.”

So, no, Key just wants his rich mates to keep every extra penny they can for CEO bonuses, whilst keeping workers down.  I call bullshit on your “research”, you just mean kicking it into the long grass…

44 comments on “Fight for Anzac and Waitangi”

  1. Big Bruv 1

    A good idea from Goff.

    However, the real question is this, why did Labour not do anything about this in their nine years?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      That’s not a question BB but a distraction.

      • interesting 1.1.1

        It is a good idea, but i agree, why didn’t labour do it when they were in? Sure it is past now, but the question does need answering. If it is so important to Labour, why didn’t they change it?

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          I see the meme. Go back into the distant past to take pressure of Bill and John from doing the right thing today.

          All NZ’ers want to know is what is happening to their holidays this year, not in 1982 or in 2002.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          Because they can’t do everything all at the same time. It takes having the idea in the first place, research and then a few months going through the political process (Although I do note that NACT try to avoid that as much as possible but, then, they are a bunch of dictators). And all of this needs to be done when they’re also having other ideas, doing other research and going through the political process for other law changes which means that it all needs to be prioritized as well.

          So, yeah, asking why Labour didn’t do it over 9 years is a distraction and nothing more you moron.

          • luva 1.1.1.2.1

            I disagree Draco.

            It is a valid for the Unions and the public to question the current government. But when Phil Goff, a senior minister from the last Labour Government that held power for 9 years asks the question one should rightly return serve on him.

            The fact that he is bringing it up when the goverment he was number 3 in had the chance to change it leads you to ponder why Labour didn’t do it. They amended the Holiday Act and unless they are very stupid they must have known these two holidays would fall in the weekend at some time.

            I therefore assume they did look at it and ruled it out. The reason they ruled it out is still probably the same rason as Key will rule it out. Therefore Goff seems to be doing nothing more than playing politics and that should be highlighted.

            So why did Labour rule it out?

            Yet another reason why we need a fresh new Labour leader.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2.1.1

              So why did Labour rule it out?

              Because we have had several Labour Governments now which were damnably economically centrist or even Chicago School free market right wing.

              I’ll put the frakin boot in myself if they head back in that direction too.

              • jcuknz

                I’d guess that the politicians of both sides and centre think that it is about time the NZ worker had fewer holidays and worked harder, and it is just the unions that are upset that every seven years workers have to work one or two extra days.

                A fly on that argument is that we know that given proper and adequate breaks from work employees work harder and are more productive … that is if they are not in dead-end jobs putting A onto B but have a quota to meet and so do five days work in four days as I had for much of my working life., and did whether it was a holiday or a strike.. There are other flies which I will not bore you with.

    • Bright Red 1.2

      The real question is why Keith Holyoake didn’t do anything about in during 12 long years.

      No, wait, the real question is why there’s no action in the here and now.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Because Labour was slow off the mark and Labour is doing something about it now.

    Question – Bill and John hold the reigns in their hands today. What are they going to do about it – today?

    • Herodotus 2.1

      This matter was raised 6 months ago, why did no one form the opposition put in a private members bill?
      Perhaps because there is more political capital in making it a point of discussion than actually doing something real and tangible about it !!!!
      Unless somene has a private members bill awaint the ballot, then I appoligise 🙂

      • spot 2.1.1

        My guess is Labour took the view that the “bigger gain” for employees was the 4th week A/L, pragmatic concerns about impact on employers of additonal change etc etc

        The time is probably right ot revisit the question, although the last review of the act by some Ministerial advisory party (2009) suggested the appetite for change wasn’t there.

        • Deadly_NZ 2.1.1.1

          But whats the use of 4 weeks Annual Leave? when the NACTS have made it possible to be out of work every 90 days.

      • Bright Red 2.1.2

        wasn’t there an attempt to put it in the amendments to the Holidays Act that went through last year?

    • Just Me 2.2

      Be honest Viper, what Labour is doing is attempting to seize on an opportunity to improve their results in the opinion polls.

      While you may feel Big Bruv’s question is a distraction it seems quite valid considering Labour had 9 years of NZ’s greatest economic growth to introduce such a policy however now choose to push this policy while the country is trying to pull itself out of a major global recession.

  3. Herodotus 3

    By deferring the day that is observed could be undervaluing what is being observed, and cheapen the day. When do we celebrate ANZAC Sun or the weekday, it was bad enough being sticked up regarding cafe/resurtant surcharges (I am tolfd that emergency mediacl centres did the same)- I would love for a resturant/cafe owner justify this, then come and by what we sell and for me to add the same surcharge % to their bill 😉
    Why should also Monday be the day to observe? Why not Friday?
    There are (potentially)5 of the 11 stat days already observe Monday (Easter,Queens Birthday, Labour,Christmas/Boxing, New Years or the 2nd). There are many now who do not fit in the Mon-Fri situatuion and for them it does matter what day is taken. By if it must be, then splitting the weekising of a holiday to Friday?

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Apparently those working in the Australian embassy in Wellington observed Waitangi day on the Monday last year and got the day off.

    Yes, that’s right – Australians working in NZ got to have NZ’s national day Mondayised, while us poor suckers don’t.

  5. Monty 5

    Labour did nothing simply because they did not want to be accused of being anti-business. Now from the comfort of opposition this issue is being pushed.

    As a contractor I am happy as I work – I get paid. No work – no pay (I love life like that – so fair)

    so tell me socialists – a person in a garden Centre works the Sunday which happens to be the 6th Feb. she then also works the 7th (recognised holiday) does the struggling employer have to give her two days in lieu and pay her penal rates on each day as well?

    Now you can see the problems when the eonomy is struggling – lets just tip a few more businesses over the line.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “Sunday which happens to be the 6th Feb. she then also works the 7th (recognised holiday) does the struggling employer have to give her two days in lieu and pay her penal rates on each day as well?”

      No, that’s already covered by the Monday-ising policy for xmas and new years. You can get, at maximum, 1 day recognised as a holiday. If you normally work both Sunday and Monday, then your Sunday would be considered to be a holiday, and your Monday considered to be a regular day. If you normally work Monday but not Sunday, then your Monday is considered to be a holiday. You don’t normally work Sunday or Monday, then if you did work on Sunday it wouldn’t count as a holiday, but if you did work on Monday it would.

      Clear as mud.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Now you can see the problems when the eonomy is struggling – lets just tip a few more businesses over the line.

      And why are SMALL businesses struggling?

      Because our business leaders don’t know how to grow industries and business models which create good high paying jobs for NZ’ers.

      Because Bill and John have no frakin idea of a plan.

      Because capitalists have suppressed wages on the many for so long, that they do not have much money to spend in stores.

      As a contractor I am happy as I work – I get paid. No work – no pay (I love life like that – so fair)

      Get back to work you lazy bugger, we need your taxes to run the country.

      • Brett 5.2.1

        What sector to you work in
        Public or Private?

        • Bunji 5.2.1.1

          Private – always have due to my industry. As both contractor and regular employee.

          But I don’t see the relevance. If you’re a contractor then your employer can rip you off more effectively if they so chose, but public or private it’s all a balance of worker rights.

      • infused 5.2.2

        blah blah blah. Business leaders don’t really impact small businesses much.

  6. Daveski 6

    Whatever it takes to get elected. Fair enough.

    But stop trying to take the moral high ground for the left … both are as elastic as each other when it comes to doing whatever is required to keep their noses in the trough.

    That people here should do their dirty work and make it look like Labour all of a sudden realised how the people are being ripped off by National simply demeans this site.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Of course the Left has the moral high ground. We’re the Left. The Right has the capitalistic high ground. But that too is pretty natural.

  7. alfa 7

    Oh good to see []’s on the case again.

    • orange whip? 7.1

      I don’t know what this means. Who is []?

    • Marty G 7.2

      I think he’s speculating on the identity of an author.

      One of the rules of this site is no attempts to out the identities of the authors and commentators who choose to keep their names to themselves. So, alfa had better stop before he gets stopped.

      • alfa 7.2.1

        WTF? I meant I thought it was [deleted] who came up with this campaign and you take it the wrong way. Bad form marty g.

        [lprent: Well I didn’t get it. It appears to me (and apparently marty) that you’re just trying to lawyer around our policies. It looks a lot like stalking.

        I’m tired of you acting like an arsehole speculating about people without providing credible (ie not Camerons bullshit) backing links. I’ve warned you before a number of times so you should know the policy (if you don’t then it is your problem for not checking).

        For being a stupid dork – have a ban for a two weeks. ]

        • The Voice of Reason 7.2.1.1

          Why would it be her? She doesn’t work for the EPMU or any other union, so I’m thinking you’re just a sad sack who is indeed speculating on the identity of an author or alternatively, ignorantly bad mouthing someone who has nothing to do with this campaign.

          Either way, you come across as a tool.

  8. burt 8

    I like election years.

  9. nadis 9

    you guys are such suckers campaigning for this. you know it will happen, it’ll just be a lot closer to the election than now, thus the response of “time needed to study the issue”. and key will get 100% credit for it amongst the wider population. trying to set the agenda on issues the government can gazump you on is kind of shortsighted. to be in with a shout at the election labour needs to define a debate on things national cant deliver, but the wider population would love to have, and things that the country can afford. if you draw that venn diagram, the intersect area is pretty small..

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      A win for the labour movement is a win for the labour movement. All the CTU and Labour need to be seen as is having placed effective pressure on the Government.

      Key and English know that if they agree to do this, they will damage their core support right wing.

      Good. They’re going to be doing that a lot this year.

      if you draw that venn diagram, the intersect area is pretty small..

      Buy NZ Government procurement policies, CGT and estate tax on the wealthy, reintroduction of a higher top tax rate for the highest income earners, reduction of GST to 10%, tough land and asset sale restrictions to foreigners, minimum wage to $15/hr by 2014, lowering the cost of everyday banking, rule out mining in schedule 4 land, plan a massive expansion of the role of Kiwibank, new innovative corrections policies, lower alcohol drive limits, major expansion help for small businesses employing <20 people,…

      Sure I could think of a couple more.

      But most importantly – give NZ a vision, a direction and a plan that they can believe in, while making it clear that hands off laissez faire free market libertarianism has failed and is D*E*A*D.

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      “to be in with a shout at the election labour needs to define a debate on things national cant deliver, but the wider population would love to have, and things that the country can afford. if you draw that venn diagram, the intersect area is pretty small..”

      Um, have you read what you wrote? Mondayising 2 national holidays is EXACTLY that. Idiot.

  10. nadis 10

    Except it will only be only seen as a win for the labour movement by those politically active on the left. The great middle will just see it as a couple of days off.

    I dont think we’ve ever had “hands off laissez faire free market libertariansim in NZ, what we’ve had is poorly executed, poorly regulated, tax system distorted short termism ever since the 70’s plus lots of cronyism in the 80’s. A lassez faire market would have been better than what we have had.

    I think you live in hope about damage to their core support right wing. Four extra days of holidays spread over 6-7 years wont do that. It’s a non-event in practical terms ( i speak as an employer), which is why you will see it announced later this year…….

    And your wish list is nice. Try costing it. That’s the advantage of sitting on your side of the house – you can be thoroughly impractical and not get called on it.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Try costing it. That’s the advantage of sitting on your side of the house – you can be thoroughly impractical and not get called on it.

      Thoroughly impractical? You call it that even though a CGT and an estate tax will capture a simply huge amount of activity which escapes our tax base at the moment? That and additional taxes on those earning $140K plus per year will bring in multi-billions.

      You can hear the gorge rising in the throat of the wealthy right wingers at the mention of a CGT. It should because it is one thing they are deathly afraid of.

      Except it will only be only seen as a win for the labour movement by those politically active on the left. The great middle will just see it as a couple of days off.

      Its up to the unions and Labour to position themselves correctly for the win. If they don’t then its their loss.

      I think you live in hope about damage to their core support right wing. Four extra days of holidays spread over 6-7 years wont do that.

      Yes it will.

      Do you know why? Yes, the change is fairly minimal, but because the right wing core in National already think that John Key has been far too soft and middle of the road, even pandering to labour at times. This will be just more proof.

      Let’s see if JK has the guts to take the hit.

      And if he does I reckon it will be because of a moment of weakness – when LAB polling pushes up to 35%, 36%.

  11. Carol 11

    People campaigning on this issue of ANZAC & Waitangi Day holidays still seem to be treating the workforce as if it’s totally a Monday-Friday thing. Maybe there needs to be some fair rationalisation so that everyone, whatever days of the week they reguarly work, is entitled to a set number of paid public holidays per year (pro rata for part timers).

    But as someone who has not worked a regular Monday-Friday schedule for years, and who rarely works on Mondays, but does always work weekends, 2010 & 2011 are great for me. Finally I get some paid public holidays. From where I’m sitting Monday-Friday workers don’t know how lucky they are to have been getting a regular load of paid public holidays.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      Yeah, I agree with you on that point. I think Anzac Day and Waitangi Day should be Friday-ised, to set them apart from all of the other holidays and help address this issue for people who regularly work Tuesday-Friday (and there’s probably a lot of them).

  12. tc 12

    In the NACT dictionary ‘research’ means we aren’t going to do anything so F off…..if they want to do anything they’ll just ask Czar Gerry or push whatever through under the cover of urgency.

    Meanwhile Oz just powers further away taking the skilled and those who can make the move away from paying NZ taxes and contributing.

    Being internationally comparitive is an issue for NACT when it comes to business issues (warner bros/mining/farmers excused from ETS etc) but when it comes to workers parity it’s not.

    Bravo Sideshow and Blinglish you’re plans working out well to run NZ workers rights and standards into the ground so that mandarin that JK wants taught doesn’t go to waste as you’ll need it in future negotiations with our employers.

    • jcuknz 12.1

      I’m not concerned with Aussie “getting away” because every person who leaves NZ for there is either reducing the unemployed total or opening a job up for somebody staying here. As somebody once said ….” people going to aussie raise the IQ level of both countries.” good luck to them … there are always some who like sheep think the grass is greener over the fence.

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