Protection for workers in hard times

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, May 3rd, 2010 - 32 comments
Categories: unemployment, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Darien Fenton’s Redundancy Protection Bill is before the House this week (provided National doesn’t cancel Private Members’ Day again).

80% of Kiwis (basically, the non-unionised ones) don’t have any redundancy protection. If they lose their jobs, they’re out on their arse with nothing. All other developed countries, except the US of course, have protections in place for workers who lose their jobs and income through no fault of their own.

Fenton’s Bill will provide all New Zealanders with a minimum right to:

a) notice of dismissal of no less than 4 weeks; and

b) compensation for redundancy in the amount of 4 weeks’ remuneration for the first full year of the employee’s continuous employment with the employer; and

c) further compensation for redundancy in the amount of 2 weeks’ remuneration for each subsequent full or partial year of the employees’ continuous employment with the employer, up to a maximum entitlement of 26 weeks’ remuneration.

That’s based on minimums that unionised workers receive.

Will the Bill pass? Labour, Anderton, and the Greens are behind it. Last I heard, the Maori Party were going to back it. ACT are against it, of course. But National is said to still be mulling it over.

Help John Key make the right decision for all the working Kiwis who are still losing their jobs every week. If you have any of the Hard Times postcards around, mail them off. Or email Key at j.key@ministers.govt.nz and tell him to do the right thing.

32 comments on “Protection for workers in hard times”

  1. lprent 1

    I’ve seen a few people unexpectedly made redundant with nothing more than outstanding pay. Then they have to find a job and try to deal with WINZ (always a bit of a pain with weeks between appointments) while living off their savings.

    Frequently it only takes a month or two to get into a poverty spiral that is really hard to get out of if they don’t have family and friends that they can get support from.

    Redundancy should not be an issue for competent managers. You can normally use natural attrition if you recognise an issue arising in the business. The real issue is that at present there really isn’t a penalty cost for managers shedding people. There should be. It will greatly assist in getting rid of the deadwood managers and business owners.

    Just on a side issue. I have no idea if it is Brownlee’s incompetent management of the house, or his deliberate policy of getting rid of members day debates, but he has managed to probably miss more members days than any other ‘leader’ of the house through an apparent mismanagement of the legislative programme.

    Personally, I’m leaning towards the incompetence scenario. Anyone else got any ideas?

  2. One could make the observation that the National Party, collectively, are *terrible* employers. They bad-mouth their staff publicly. describing thousands of them as “waste”….and not making any useful differentiation between or among them. They make it clear they won’t be paying anyone any more money, with the implicit assumption they are being paid too much already (You know – Cops, nurses, teachers, fire fighters, prison staff….and so on).

    That this is the party generally seen as representing business owners and employers is even worse. Any competent HR manager would look at this behaviour and recoil in horror.

    The wonder of it all is that anyone on a wage working for these people actually votes for them. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. No wonder emotive wedge issues were crucial to the last election. They needed something to distract from the reality of what they say and do.

  3. Darien 3

    Thanks to everyone who has supported this bill through the Fair Deal in Hard Times Campaign. It’s not over if the bill doesn’t proceed. We will keep campaigning on this right through to the next election.

    • big bruv 3.1

      I bet you will, Labour are always very generous with other peoples money.

  4. Clarke 4

    As an employer this Bill has my wholesale support.

  5. Rex Widerstrom 5

    An excellent move… one of the best I’ve seen from Labour this term. A real point of difference politically, takes the party back to its core business, and addresses a real need.

    Having found myself redundant more than once (indeed, as Tane once commented here long ago, employing me seems like a guarantee of eventual insolvency 😀 ) I can attest that lprent’s description of what happens above is correct. For most people, more than a month or two between jobs and you’re on a downward spiral of losing your home and your savings from which it takes years to recover, if at all.

  6. big bruv 6

    “80% of Kiwis (basically, the non-unionised ones) don’t have any redundancy protection.”

    Then that 80% are idiots, there are numerous companies who offer income protection, it should not be the job of the employer to pay redundancy to workers they no longer need or want.

    “If they lose their jobs, they’re out on their arse with nothing.”

    Tough luck, and once again I note that you are being economic with the truth, sadly they have access to my money via WINZ.
    If they have not put anything aside for a rainy day then that is their problem not mine.

    Business owners already have to carry sick leave, holidays, maternity leave, bereavement leave and a host of other government imposed costs, compulsory redundancy is a stupid idea that does nothing to foster personal responsibility.

    • Clarke 6.1

      Business owners already have to carry sick leave, holidays, maternity leave, bereavement leave and a host of other government imposed costs, compulsory redundancy is a stupid idea that does nothing to foster personal responsibility.

      Good attempt at a smoke-screen, big bruv, but when it comes down to it you’re just being an apologist for businesses that are so incompetently run that they can’t cope with the entirely predictable costs of New Zealand’s regulatory environment … and when they do go broke, they’re so poorly managed that they can’t even make provision for their workers.

      Don’t think of this as an additional cost on employers – think of it as societal insurance against incompetent management.

      • big bruv 6.1.1

        The only smoke screen emerging from this discussion is the one you put up re “incompetent management”.

        Of course this is an additional cost on employers, you cannot class it as anything else, it is also another reason as to why an employer would think twice, and then a third time, about talking on extra staff when things begin to pick up again.

        Insurance is not something that should be left to what you call “society” , insurance is a personal item and something that any smart worker would have.

        I note that Labour did nothing about this during their long and disastrous term in power, only now do they think this is such an important piece of legislation.

        You make an interesting point about our regulated environment, under this stupid piece of legislation a boss would be forced to take into account a persons length of employment when working out who is going to be made redundant, if things are tight he may well be forced to pay off a good and productive worker who has not been with the company for a long time over a lazy and unproductive long term time server.

        Business is the survival of the fittest, the workers should be in the same boat, a boss looking at redundancies should be able to get rid of who he wants when he wants and not have to worry about paying out ridiculous redundancy packages.

        • Clarke 6.1.1.1

          You make an interesting point about our regulated environment, under this stupid piece of legislation a boss would be forced to take into account a persons length of employment when working out who is going to be made redundant, if things are tight he may well be forced to pay off a good and productive worker who has not been with the company for a long time over a lazy and unproductive long term time server.

          Are you serious? I mean, if you deliberately set out to illustrate my point about incompetent management you couldn’t have done better.

          If the business has been putting up with – in your words – “a lazy and unproductive long term time server” without doing anything about the employee’s performance, then it’s clearly bad management. Anyone with the faintest speck of HR expertise knows that there is a structured and straightforward process for performance management, and this expertise is both widely taught (e.g. NZIM) and available as external expertise from a great many providers. And putting up with poor performance whilst refusing to take advice about fixing the problem is pretty much the definition of managerial stupidity.

          It’s clear from your example that both society and workers need protection from this kind of poor management, and there is no reason why the costs of this ineptitude should be inflicted on the staff, their families or the taxpayer.

          You weren’t quite right when you said that business is survival of the fittest – it’s more akin to survival of the smartest. In that context, Darien’s proposal isn’t a redundancy provision so much as a stupidity tax.

          • big bruv 6.1.1.1.1

            “If the business has been putting up with in your words “a lazy and unproductive long term time server’ without doing anything about the employee’s performance, then it’s clearly bad management. Anyone with the faintest speck of HR expertise knows that there is a structured and straightforward process for performance management, and this expertise is both widely taught (e.g. NZIM) and available as external expertise from a great many providers. And putting up with poor performance whilst refusing to take advice about fixing the problem is pretty much the definition of managerial stupidity.

            Spoken like a man who has never run a small business in his life and spoken like a man who drips with the arrogance of the liberal, educated left.
            Sure, big companies will have HR departments, and these people are well skilled, however, you know as well as I do that the vast majority of business in NZ are small to medium and most are run by owner operators.

            These people might be extremely talented at what they do, their skills are fantastic, however they are not people who have been to university, often they work a full day and then go home and try and do the books, for you to suggest that they are “bad managers” just shows that you know very little about the real world.

            I suspect this is more of your smoke screen, like all from the left you and the truth are strangers, you seek to paint every employer as the big bad company when you know this is not the case.
            Somebody once said that we are a nation of shop keepers, that has not changed, when many of them make a bad staff choice it is not as easy as you people keep insisting it is to get rid of bad staff.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Spoken like a man who has never run a small business in his life…

              bb: Jez that is extremely simple minded of you, and shows a complete inability to learn from your past mistakes.

              If there is one thing that you should have learnt from uttering such statements here is that your mindless prejudices do not match with reality. There are quite a number of commentators here who have run businesses, who still run businesses, who have managed businesses, who own businesses, and who have or do employ staff. That includes me for most of those.

              The majority of them on this site are centre, centre-left or just left. Basically they’re not ideological right bigots like you and can think past simplistic prejudices and slogans that you get stuck on.

              While we’re on the subject of your simplicity. There was a wee matter I was meaning to raise with you

              I read a totally inadequete article of yours on Clint Heines blog during the weekend. Apparently it was on Street who I gather you thought was ‘troughing’ the system.

              During the entire article there wasn’t one bit of information about what she was alleged to have done, or even a link to it. There wasn’t even a link to anything to where people were alleged to have defended her. In fact the whole post was pretty well devoid of information apart from the garbage from your uninspired brain.

              Now I know that the wee mutual mastubation society that is the NZ wingnut bloggers probably have some idea of what you were talking about. However how about doing something really basic and letting everyone else know as well.

              I agree with ‘James’ who commented

              Who’s actually defending her because she’s gay? Has someone actually said, “It’s ok cause she’s gay?” The post is a bit vague. No links, no quotes. Seems like projection to me. Not surprised.

              I’m surprised that even Clint lets you tarnish his site with a rubbish post like that… You’re even letting the wingnuts down..

              • big bruv

                You felt so moved by the article that you had to come here and comment?

                Is that because like all bullies you can only play when you make the rules?, or are you afraid your comment might be deleted?

                I must have hit the mark though for you to make mention of it, guess I must have hit a raw nerve.

              • felix

                You know I’ve wondered why Clint ever decided to let bruv post on his site.

                I’m pretty sure he just keeps him around because in a way he makes Clint seem relatively sane and coherent.

              • lprent

                bb: It was on my routine weekend scan of other blogs. I don’t have time to spend on many blogs during the week, so I usually spend a couple of hours during the weekend seeing what has been happening. I force myself to scan some of the wingnut blathering so I can see the current patterns…

                Didn’t comment on Clint Heines blog because I went to have a hunt for whatever it was you were talking about – you sure as hell weren’t telling anyone. Didn’t get back to cricket heaven to give you your required education.

                Forgot about it until I saw you pop up here acting like a dork.

                So I took an opportunity to give you some basic training in the fundamentals of how to write a post. The first rule is to assume that not everyone already knows the story already, outline it, and provide links for people to track into if they want to.

                You don’t want me to point out your writing flaws?

                😈 Besides it is funnier where more people will read it. You really should reread your posts after you write them and before you publish them. Think of it from the viewpoint of someone who hasn’t heard of the story. Incidentally Tane and the commentators beat that into me here when I started writing posts

    • Rex Widerstrom 6.2

      big bruv suggests:

      there are numerous companies who offer income protection

      Excuse me, but WTF? That’s not income protection insurance as it’s commonly offered, which is in fact:

      Income protection insurance provides an income stream for you should you become unable to work due to an injury or illness. In the event of a claim, the insurer will pay an amount (normally up to 75% of your gross salary in Australia) until you have recovered sufficiently to work again, or up until the maximum benefit period as stated in the policy which is normally 2 year, 5 year or up to age 65.

      Since I don’t think even Fenton’s Bill goes far enough in offering me some security if my employer goes belly up I’d be happy to insure myself against such an eventuality. So I have some questions:

      1. Which companies offer the “we’ll cover you if your employer proves to be a dickhead and his business goes bust” flavour of income protection?

      2. How do they do their risk assessment? They must be good, because most of the dickheads who employed me and then went bust (some owing me basic things like wages and, in Australia, superannuation) certainly had me fooled with their flash offices and fancy cars.

      3. What would the premiums be like?!

      [lprent: fixed the link and while I was at it, a couple of spelling errors. ]

      • Jenny 6.2.1

        Yes BB we would all like to know this one.

        In fact, I think I will remember this question and keep asking you it, every time I see you on a thread. Until you give an answer.

        Hundreds of thousands of working people would be prepared to pay premiums to such a company, (myself included).

        So don’t keep it to yourself, please.

  7. Clarke 7

    Spoken like a man who has never run a small business in his life and spoken like a man who drips with the arrogance of the liberal, educated left.

    No, actually spoken like a man who’s been running businesses since the late 1980s, and who currently employs 22 staff. Over the years, some have been excellent performers, some less so, and I’ve only had to performance manage a couple. So you might want to be cautious about thinking that you speak for all employers when you clearly don’t – not all of us conform to your kindergarten stereotypes.

    As an employer I fully support Darien’s bill, because it will only come into effect in the following circumstances:

    1. When a business makes staff redundant …
    2. … and they don’t have a redundancy clause in their employment contract …
    3 …. and the business can’t or won’t make provision for paying them a fair redundancy.

    That’s a small number of companies, and this is a very small impost on the cost of doing business.

  8. Kleefer 8

    I agree with big bruv, haven’t these people heard of insurance? If they can’t figure that one out then I’m not too happy to pay twice, for my own insurance to keep me out of trouble and for their welfare payments after they failed to take out insurance.

    • Clarke 8.1

      Why should the staff have to buy insurance to protect themselves from incompetent management?

    • Ari 8.2

      Name me one company that would pay out a redundancy for you if your employer failed to make the payment. I bet you can’t.

  9. big bruv 9

    Clarke

    If as you claim you are indeed an employer (and for the sake of this discussion lets pretend that you are) then please tell me why you think it is your job to pay redundancy if you decide that you no longer need a number of your staff.
    When you hire a new worker you are buying his time and perhaps his skill depending on the type of work, that should be the end of the matter.
    He works 40 hours, you make money from him and at the end of the week he receives a portion of that money.
    There is no earthly reason why you as an employer should have to cover him for his refusal or stupidity in not putting something aside for a ‘rainy day’.

    Thankfully the bill stands very little chance of passing, one would hope that the unions take its defeat with good grace and start to educate their members (and non members) on the issue of personal responsibility.

    • Armchair Critic 9.1

      BB
      An employer’s responsibilities extend beyond having to pay their employees at the agreed rate. Only a sociopath would think otherwise.

      • big bruv 9.1.1

        Rubbish, if I work for a company they buy my time, I expect nothing more from them nor do I seek it.
        When that working day is done I go home and tend to forget about work until it is time to switch on again the next day.
        The employer responsibility is to pay me for the time I have worked and provide a safe environment for me to do that work (or as safe as possible)

        If I am good at what I do then I expect to be paid handsomely, if not then I will take my skills somewhere else.

        That is the end of the matter.

        • Armchair Critic 9.1.1.1

          Two and a half sentences to contradict yourself and find an obligation that employers have over and above paying employees at the agreed rate. Well done.

          • big bruv 9.1.1.1.1

            Yep, have to agree with you there Armchair, providing a safe working environment is the one other obligation that an employer should have to provide.

            That is about it though.

            • Armchair Critic 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Well I dunno about that. I reckon that meeting the terms and conditions of the employment contract would be pretty much obligatory.
              And in the absence of law or contract, the obligation to pay regularly and on time has always been big in my book.

        • Jenny 9.1.1.2

          BB, what’s the name and phone number of that insurance company?

    • Clarke 9.2

      Bruv,

      I suspect you and I are a couple of light-years apart on the philosophy of this discussion, but it’s a fair question and one that deserves a fair answer.

      The context for this is the fact that I had to make one staff member redundant at the beginning of 2009, after she’d been with the company for about 2.5 years. Revenue had dried up in the area she was working in, and our profitability at the time was not high enough to let me keep her on whilst we tried to develop a new section of the market. So I made her redundant, and paid her out pretty much according to Darien’s proposed formula – 4 weeks for her first year, and two weeks for each of the other two years (rounded up from 1.5) that she worked.

      The reason I did so had quite a lot to do with fairness, and the assumption of risk. The way we were billing her services was that she was getting just over a third of her hourly rate as income – the other two thirds was going in overheads, downtime and margin. So the bulk of the risk of having her on the payroll was being absorbed by the company, but we were also taking the bulk of the revenue. It was my decision to take her on, and my assumption of the risks that went with that – when she applied for and got the job, at no point did I say to her that she needed to assume the risks of a market downturn in her personal planning or finances. It certainly didn’t say that in her job description, either.

      Basically the social contract is that the investors assume the risks, and the employees only take a portion of the income they earn in recognition of the fact that they don’t share in those risks. Investors go into companies with their eyes open about the likely risks and rewards, but expecting employees to share in the downside with no share of the upside seems completely unfair to me – particularly when no-one is prepared to spell it out in those terms when they’re employed.

      So out of a sense of justice and fairness, I paid out redundancy to her. I didn’t promise her a job for life, it didn’t send the company broke, and it didn’t result in creeping socialism that rotted the brains of all the staff members. But it did give her enough income to bridge the gap between leaving us and finding her next job, and it did provide a sop to my conscience about the fact that I’d made someone redundant who enjoyed their job, and had a mortgage and a family like the rest of us.

      Which probably means that I don’t measure up as a rapacious capitalist, standing astride the bodies of my competitors, fighting my way to the top in some bizarre Darwinian struggle. So be it. Other people’s motivations and the decisions they would likely make in the same circumstances are different – as the saying goes, YMMV. But it’s what felt fair to me.

      Cheers

  10. Darien 10

    @Clarke : good on you. There are many employers who see it the same way as you do and it’s refreshing to hear from you on this blog.

    • big bruv 10.1

      Darien

      Your bill would have had far more credibility had you put it forward during your time in government, you choose not to do so, like many I am left wondering why this was the case.

      I suspect that your bill is nothing more than a sop to the unions and payback for their support of you, no doubt your pals in the union movement are quite happy that this bill has been voted down as it had it succeeded then they would not have been able to use the threat of redundancy as a way of frightening more fools to hand over some of their hard earned wages to some thug by way of union dues.

      It is not often I agree with Henare but he was dead right today, this bill was/is the height of hypocrisy, it got what it deserves.

      • Jum 10.1.1

        Nonsense big bruv. You should have listened to Darien’s reply about redundancy legislation not being necessary at the time. I would go one further and say Labour could be trusted to bring unemployment down even further, which they did.

        NActional however can’t be trusted to do anything but privatise, create cheap, desperate unemployed and that was reason enough alone for Labour to start concentrating on the bill knowing that the untruths and misleading spin by Joyce and Co would mislead the fickle public who would vote in these carpetbaggers. Even Maori understood that and even the United Future voter was swayed into voting for Darien’s bill until his NActional masters reminded him that he was meant to be voting against it.

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  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    5 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    7 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    7 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
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  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
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  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
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  • Extra support for rural families
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  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
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  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
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  • 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 ...
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