Health, Safety and Accountability

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, December 22nd, 2011 - 39 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags: , ,

CTU President Helen Kelly talks about Pike River and the death of security guard Charanpreet Singh Dhaliwal and what these tragedies tell us about employer accountability for health and safety in the workplace.

39 comments on “Health, Safety and Accountability”

  1. randal 1

    what this tells us is that we live in a self regulated civil society.
    what this means is that you must tug your forelock and not answer back to the bosses who have their minds on higher things like how to reduce your wages.
    otherwise you are being uncivil and spoiling their equanimity.
    bwah wah wah.

  2. fender 2

    I love you and the great work you do on behalf of the people that some want to abuse to death in many cases Helen. You are the most admirable type of human around and the type of person we need more of not only in NZ but the world over.
    I know you often get flak from people who are afraid you will somehow eat into the profits that they make by exploiting people. But sensible people know that a safe, happy, equal opportunity workplace where people get fair pay for a fair days work is not only best for productivity but creates an environment where making profits is more likely and sustainable.
    Keep up your great work. Hope you have a great xmas and new year xxooxx

  3. Uturn 3

    There is a connection, or disconnection somewhere, in the minds of those who should act, between their percieved organisational status, their legal obligations and then maybe far down the line, their moral responsibility. I guess what that means is that over the period of my working life, my employers have ranged from psychotic, to negligent through to plain confused. The psychotic ones thought that “no care, no liability” was a good motto. They had taken the risk to form a business and now everyone else should pay. It was up to me to save myself, at my cost, regardless of the law. They were the big man, with percieved extra-legal rights because of social status. To some degree, the legal systems backed them up. Pushing people who simply refuse to engage is a job no one really wants to get involved with unless there is some material payoff – this included the supposed “good guys”.

    When you’re young and ignorant, it’s easy to be taken advantage of by more aware superiors. Morally right? No freekin’ way. What happens is wrong, on every level, but when the choice is look after yourself or get injured, maimed, or worse, a person usually does what they can to protect themselves. That act of looking out for yourself is usually stolen for the whole “personal responsibility” meme and because the victim of this abdication from above wants the dream to be real, they might even start believing it themselves. But all they’re doing is maintaining a dangerous environment. Big boys don’t cry, your own efforts your own rewards, tough guys don’t complain and no one questions the boss’ abdication of responsibility. Senior employees often back this up and don’t help the at risk workmate either – waiting for them to fall for whatever personal thrill.

    Sometimes the boss doesn’t actually want you dead. If they come up through this same distorted culture, sometimes they just don’t know. They have a mixture of ideas about safety, all contradictory and rather than risk cognitive dissonance they disappear at important moments, like during the set up of a job or during orientation of a new employee. These employers hover around, looking through their fingers, until reality pushes through their fuzzy thinking and down they come, barking that “it ain’t safe” and then everything stops until a fresh grasp can be found on how to proceed. If they don’t re-appear, they come back later to console the employees who are discussing the craziness of the now finished job, and how one guy almost had that happen, and how she almost lost her hand, and the scaffold was waving in the breeze. They don’t want you dead, but they won’t act. If anything had gone badly wrong, they’d find out the law takes a dim view of neglect.

    Changing the ideas of the psychotic employer is a job for the law, politics and culture in general. Solitary workers can make small day-to-day changes in their environment, but currently they will always be outgunned at an organisational level and risk some kind of workplace penalty. It takes some courage. If you see the new guy a bit disoriented, come on people, guide them through it! If you know a new shift or environment has a hidden risk, tell them about it, or go with them, or alert your supervisor with your concern. It doesn’t matter if you had it hard and now you want others to feel how hard you had it so you can be sure they can relate to your pain and fear. Don’t use people like that, you only trap yourself. Feeling crappy might seem better than feeling nothing at all, but the path to emotional freedom often begins with a period of what feels like non-identity. It doesn’t last forever.

    Creating supportive and safe workplaces isn’t just a political choice, it’s about finding real connections between people and that holds wider benefits than just at work or the bottom line.

    Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it. Decide to keep your shift safe over the holiday period.

  4. lprent 4

    Hell, I am impressed with this video blog. Clear consise and stayed on topic. I was somewhat worried that it’d look like crap or would waffle. But I was impressed and it got me irritated with those companies to the point I will have to read some more.

    I got Lyn (she does video for a living) to watch it. She suggested a couple of tech things to improve it, but said it wouldn’t matter that much. I will squirt them through when I rouse myself from the immediate post work mode (aka blobbing out).

    Doing this regularly is a great idea.

  5. randal 5

    If anyone deserves a knighthood for their services to this country and devotion above and beyond the call of duty then Lprent does.
    thank you lprent.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    I absolutely agree that businesses need to treat health and safety of their employees as their utmost concern. However, employees also need to play their part. For instance, it has come out in the Pike River enquiry that minors were putting plastic film over their methane sensors. This in no way reduces the culpability of the company, and their may well have been productivity motivations that encouraged this behaviour. However, it clearly was a highly dangerous thing to do.

    Also, if people believe they are intrinsically safe they can tend to take less care than they ought. I looked at this sort of behaviour during my studies a few years ago. I read an article about the introduction of safety belts in Britain. The effect was a reduction in death and injury to drivers. However, there was a corresponding increase in death and injury to pedestrians. It seems that because drivers perceived themselves to be safe they took more risky behaviours on the road.

    This all goes to show that health and safety is quite complex and not solved simply by management establishing a safe working environment as there are complex psychological factors at work that can lead to unforeseen outcomes.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      For instance, it has come out in the Pike River enquiry that minors were putting plastic film over their methane sensors. This in no way reduces the culpability of the company, and their may well have been productivity motivations that encouraged this behaviour. However, it clearly was a highly dangerous thing to do.

      You’re a fucking asshole. What you’re ignoring here is who has the power and the responsibility in the workplace for ensuring that high levels of health and safety standards are followed at all times. The 17 year old kid or the mine’s general manager?

      • Craig Glen Eden 6.1.1

        Health and safety is a real reason to have strong Unions without a good Union most companies will do what ever the hell they like and workers often end up paying with their lives, if it was the 1% who were loosing their lives it would be a totally different story.
        Its a bit like Keys statement that NZ SAS did a grand job sorry that we lost a couple of good soldiers but thats the price we pay ( words to that effect). I bet he wouldn’t be so flippant if the price to pay was his son that had been killed that would a different bloody story.

      • tsmithfield 6.1.2

        CV: “You’re a fucking asshole. What you’re ignoring here is who has the power and the responsibility in the workplace for ensuring that high levels of health and safety standards are followed at all times. The 17 year old kid or the mine’s general manager?”

        You obviously have very little knowledge of the health and safety act.

        It is clear that employees also have responsibilities under the health and safety act.

        From the act:

        WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO AS AN EMPLOYEE?
        As an employee, you have responsibilities for keeping yourself and others safe.

        You can make your workplace safer by:

        being involved in processes to improve health and safety
        sticking to correct procedures and using the right equipment
        wearing protective clothing and equipment
        helping new employees, trainees and visitors to the workplace understand the right safety practices and why the practices exist, and
        communicating any safety concerns to your employer.

        I am fairly confident that covering the sensors with plastic film wasn’t “sticking to correct procedures and using the right equipment”.

        I thought I made it quite clear in my previous comments that I considered that most of the blame lies with the company. However, employee behaviour can’t be ignored in this.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1

          I am fairly confident that covering the sensors with plastic film wasn’t “sticking to correct procedures and using the right equipment”.

          Show me one instance of disciplinary action taken against a worker for doing such.

          These practices were tacitly or explicitly supported by mine management IMO. Unless you are claiming that every time the General Manager went down the mine, the workers hurriedly took all the plastic film off the sensors so he didn’t see it.

          Tell me, would you back health and safety whistleblower legislation protecting employees in work places?

          If not, why not.

          • tsmithfield 6.1.2.1.1

            Yes I would support whistleblower legislation.

            You have no argument from me that the company was atrociously deficient in it health and safety practices. And I absolutely agree that the company should shoulder most of the blame for the terrible outcome. They created the culture, and were clearly very lax in their enforcement of safety in the mine.

            However, even if management had actively been telling workers to deactivate their sensors with plastic film, employees should still have known it was the wrong thing to do and refused to do it. There are some things that are so blatantly wrong that people should know not to do them under any circumstances. What they appear to have been doing is not far removed from striking a match in a mine.

            So I still hold there appears to be a small degree of responsibility with the employees in this situation. The act is very clear that employees also have responsibilities as I pointed out above, and to some degree they may have failed to meet these responsibilities.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Fair enough. It seems to me you clearly recognise that the power, authority and responsibility for designing and running a safe mine rests primarily with senior management.

              • tsmithfield

                CV: “Fair enough. It seems to me you clearly recognise that the power, authority and responsibility for designing and running a safe mine rests primarily with senior management.”

                Thanks for that.

                It is probably impossible to know whether deactivating the sensors actually had any causal role in this situation. My understanding of Pike River is that there was a much higher tolerance of methane levels by management, almost to the point of explosive concentrations. Also, I have grave doubts about the investment the company was making in necessary equipment such as ventilation etc to evacuate methane from the mine. So, the accident may have happened regardless.

                My company had just won an order for a whole lot of second-hand compressor equipment for Pike River. Second-hand because they couldn’t afford new. I thought at the time it seemed a bit odd, and wondered if this was typical for the mine. We were on the verge of supplying when the accident occurred. Our staff could have been installing the gear into the mine at the time of the accident other than for a few days.

                Subsequent to the event, the manager we know from another contracting company told us he had pulled his workers out from working in the mine several months earlier because he was worried about safety. Turns out to have been a very wise move.

                • RedLogix

                  And while I fully agree ts that there is both an element of employee and employer responsibility for this disaster…. there is a dimension you have not touched on.

                  Employees have a responsibility to act safely in the ways the Act outlines. But their degree of committment and compliance with good practise will be set by the example and standards demanded by management.

                  Just three weeks ago I installed and commissioned a SIL2 level CO2 gas detection and shutdown system. In my working environment this kind of issue is taken seriously, disabling such a sensor would be an instant, if not sooner, dismissal offence. Presented with such a blatant stupidity, our entire organisation would demand a dismissal and seek to find a way to prevent a repetition.

                  Pike River management clearly did not set about blowing up their mine. They never had a meeting were they decided to deliberately take short-cuts and insane risks with lives and their huge investment. Instead they fooled themselves into thinking that what they were doing…in the cause of getting the mine into desperately needed production… was going to be ok. A lethal sort of closed circle groupthink as it were.

                  Missing in action was an independent oversight of mine management. That is the crucial element that should have picked up what was going at Pike River. Instead we had a DOL desperately understaffed and resourced… and given the emphasis on ‘industry self-regulation’ brought about by the dismantling of government departments in the 1990’s … not correctly placed to act effectively.

                  That is why Pike River has a political culpability as well, no less inescapable than that of the idiots who may or may not have put plastic film over sensors.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Instead they fooled themselves into thinking that what they were doing…in the cause of getting the mine into desperately needed production… was going to be ok. A lethal sort of closed circle groupthink as it were.

                    This is very similar to the ‘normalization of deviance’ or ‘normalization of risk’ organisational culture that NASA was accused of.

                    In other words you know that technically, you should not be covering up the sensors because it poses a potential risk to life and limb. But you do cover a couple of the worst offenders for convenience.

                    No one dies on day 1. No one dies on day 2 or 3. So having ‘proven’ that its ‘safe’ you cover the rest up. And no one dies on day 4, 5 or 6.

                    Sweet, the organisation has now ‘proven’ that its ‘safe’ to keep the gas sensors covered and the deviation to proper protocol becomes normalised as routine.

                    Until the fucking thing blows up killing people, whether its the Space Shuttle or a coal mine.

            • Jilly Bee 6.1.2.1.1.2

              I thought whistle blower legislation already exists – it’s going back a long way, but didn’t Phil Goff help that bill through Parliament? Something to do with a problem at a psychiatric institution. Lake Alice, maybe.

        • mik e 6.1.2.2

          tsm its clear that pike river were taking short cuts just about everywhere they could that was the culture enforced on workers because the management didn’t have enough money to open the mine safely

        • fender 6.1.2.3

          If the miners were coming home feeling crook all the time, which they were, it’s clear there were ongoing ventilation issues. Management must have and should have known this, and I’d bet they were aware.
          Management may have been aware of sensor covering if there were earlier incidences of “false alarms” holding up production, could have been suggested by them even.
          Anything’s possible and likely with that poorly designed and run death trap.

          Someone needs to be jailed for this.

          • tsmithfield 6.1.2.3.1

            “Someone needs to be jailed for this.”

            I don’t disagree with you there.

            • KJT 6.1.2.3.1.1

              Yes they do.
              The Rena second mate and Master are facing criminal charges for what is, most likely, a simple mistake, possibly accentuated by fatigue, working conditions and training issues.
              Scapegoats for systemic rather than their individual fault.

              Pike River is also due to a lax attitude to safety from Government on down.

              I wonder of the party of individual responsibility will take individual responsibility for the de-regulation and lack of interest in workers safety since the 80’s which contributed to these disasters.

              In my view the buck stops at those who had the power to make changes. The top.

              Without proper outside audits and monitoring even the most safety conscious can get complacent.

              Especially people whose main responsibility is the bottom line.

              Still trying to instil in my crews that just because a confined space or hold was OK yesterday, it doesn’t mean it is OK today.

              McFlock is right that safety is complex. Like the common increases in accidents when a safety management system is first implemented. The normal human attitude then, is that “safety is covered. Don’t need to worry about it any more”
              A very dangerous attitude in places like ships, mines and rigs, which cannot be made totally safe.

    • McFlock 6.2

      This all goes to show that health and safety is quite complex and not solved simply by management establishing a safe working environment as there are complex psychological factors at work that can lead to unforeseen outcomes.

        
      But some psychological factors leading to safety hazards are simple enough to understand. Fatigue, intense and sustained production targets, and poor training and supervision are all pretty obvious.
       
      For example, low management emphasis on workplace hazards indicate to inexperienced workers how “real” a threat is, leading to the effect you alluded to with safety belts. Is the threshhold for an alarm indicative of a “real” hazard, or is it just some line drawn by a gummint boo-row-krat? And if the alarm shuts down production, and workers have production targets which result in payment penalties if not met, well – what would you expect to happen over the course of time? Management 101 (or it should be).
        
       

      • KJT 6.2.1

        Reminds me of an oil rig that had a zero accident rate for two years in Indonesia.

        They paid a very large, by Indonesian standards, bonus to each team for a perfect safety record.

        There were no lost time injuries, but some rig workers were never seen again.

  7. Skeptic to the max 7

    “Work is killing 1000 of us a year. New figures, which also show there are 17,000 new case of work-related disease in New Zealand each year, have been revealed by the Labour Department as it rolls out a new plan to reduce the statistics.
    The Occupational Health Action Plan has 21 initiatives focused on reducing occupational cancer, respiratory hazards, noise, skin irritants and stress and pressure.”
    …….. “She [Helen Kelly] applauded the department’s plan but said it had a history of writing reports about workplace health and safety, then not having the time or resources to implement them properly.”
    The department could not say yesterday whether it had specific funding for the plan. ”  http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/business  19.12.2011

    Meanwhile
    “The plan was drafted in response to the 2009 review of the Workplace Health and Safety Strategy for New Zealand to 2015 which identified the need for a stronger focus on occupational health as a priority issue.”
    The draft was the  “Occupational Health Action Plan 2011-13”.
    The consultation on that draft plan then closed November, 2011.

    The final has now been launched December 2011. It’s now the “Occupational Health Action Plan to 2013”

    Some two years for a response to the 2009 review. By the Labour Dept’s estimate that’s 1400 to 2000 more deaths and yet to begin the lengthy process of Implementation. Think now about Public Sector cuts as a response to workplace safety…inspectors..’She’ll be right’..we got until 2013.

    Then compare responses and response time of 8 months to the following scenario and Bill introduction by National…13/08/2009
    “According to statistics supplied by Mr Joyce, there were 25 fatal crashes and 482 injury crashes between 2003 and 2008 (5 years) where the use of a cellphone or another mobile device was a factor.” He announced at that time his estimate was that this Bill would then save 5 or 6 lives a year. 

    National’s new plans and priorities summed up nicely by panellist on “Backbenchers.” this week. ….whatever crops up at the time in this term..like the earthquake, the Pike mine, the Rena

     

    • fender 7.1

      1000 every year. Thats 29 people every 10.7 days.
      It’s easy to see where this governments priorities sit. They would rather a token gesture cellphone rule to appear concerned for lives when theres the 1000 every year staring them in the face.
      But we can’t upset shonkey corporate mates with extra “hassles” now can we.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        1000 every year. Thats 29 people every 10.7 days.

        20 people per week is the more marketable way of framing the statistics 😛

        • fender 7.1.1.1

          20 per week makes a better poster for sure.

          I used the 29 to say its a pike river every 10.7 days

  8. randal 8

    the real founding document of new zealand is the world bank report 1968. (watch out for hippies).
    the parameters it uses are exactly the same now as then and the problem is still the same.
    autarchy or rampant capitalism forcing its full effects on a very small society with sometimes devasatating results.
    an optimistic viewpoint is looking for new things to do and I personally believe that it is possible.
    the labour party must and will lead.

  9. Hulun Shearer 9

    I just love the efforts of the far-Left to rehabilitate Helen Kelly. Every time the extremists show her face, they remind the electorate exactly who the Labour Party is. Who Trade Unionists are.

    Keep up the good work. Another anti-Union march this Mayday (of all days!) this year would be superb.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Well coming from you HS that’s unexpectedly welcome support and praise. Maybe there’s something in this Christmas spirit thing after all.

      Best wishes….

    • lprent 9.2

      Far left? Me (since I was the one who organised the login)? You really are a bit of a moron.

    • fender 9.3

      Hulun Shearer is the name of a troll, banned till next year, in my humble opinion.
      Theres certainly no need for rehabilitation, shes more relevant and vital to society than you could ever be. Sticking up for people and their rights, protecting them from exploitation is work for the finest people on earth.
      Theres nothing extremist about trade unions you clown HS. It’s very likely if you have ever worked at all that you have been the recipient of a condition that has protected YOU from danger or exploitation, and that was put in place with the assistance of a union.
      Any political party that cares about the workers in this country would know that unions are a very strong voice for workers who are often taken advantage of. Labour can only be commended for supporting people who care about others HS, because that shows that they care too. Caring may be a foreign concept to you HS, but to humans (the real kind) thats a part of what makes them tick.

  10. Tarmack54 10

    An unsung Kiwi hero who will only be acknowledged very late in her career, but never by Corporates

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    3 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
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