Iain Lees-Galloway: We’re winning on zero hour contracts

Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, March 2nd, 2016 - 77 comments
Categories: labour, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags: ,

iain lees-galloway

Iain-Lees Galloway on the thinking behind Labour offering tentative support to the Government for the Employment Standards Legislation Bill.

Last year the union movement, led by Unite, launched an amazing campaign against zero hour contracts. One of Andrew Little’s first moves as Labour leader was to get in behind that campaign and pledge that in government Labour will put an end to these unfair, exploitative contracts.

The campaign, which included industrial action by union members, a petition by signed by over 40,000 people, and an intense lobbying effort, caused the government to back down and commit to ending zero hour contracts.

Unsurprisingly, the Nats broke that promise. When the legislation came through, it in fact entrenched zero hours in law. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working with the CTU and others to put pressure on the government to keep its promise and get rid of zero hour contracts for good. National’s support parties have now withdrawn their support and they no longer have the numbers to get the law through Parliament.

This puts those of us who have campaigned to end zero hour contracts in a great position. National has now agreed to negotiate with us to change the law to ban zero hour contracts.

But what does that mean in practice?

The reality is it’s not as simple as repealing something in the law called ‘zero hour contracts’. Zero hour contracts are a result of a series of legal loopholes that have become increasingly exploited by bad employers in recent years. Our job is to identify those loopholes and close them down.

Being on a zero hours contract is basically about being permanently on call without regular hours of work. That means no security of hours and no security of income, making any kind of decent life impossible. And as with any employment relationship, it’s about power.

There are three things that we and the CTU are trying to get movement on:

  1. We want to remove the ability of employers to put people on contracts where they are on-call with no permanent hours. Being on-call can be fine in some contexts, but being on call all the time with no security of regular hours is not – particularly when it means people can’t get other work.
  2. Employers should not be able to cancel shifts at the last minute, and the idea that employers can simply cancel shifts when they like should not be normalised in law.
  3. Where practical, hours of work should be included in the employment agreement so that people can plan their lives with some security.

The Government is working with us and others including the CTU on getting these changes made.

So what does that mean from here?

Let me be very clear – Labour is committed to ending zero hour contracts and we will not support this legislation unless it does that. We will be voting to let the bill reach the next stage of the legislative process – the clause-by-clause debate – where these changes can be made. If zero hour contracts are gone, we’ll vote for it. If not, we’ll vote against it.

Some have said over the last 24 hours that Labour should just vote against the bill and hope that it fails. For some, giving the government a black eye is worth it. But it would mean leaving thousands of New Zealanders stuck in zero hour contracts. I’m not willing to put Parliamentary parlour games ahead of doing what’s right for working people – that’s not why I’m in politics and I know that’s not why Andrew Little is either.

I’m asking for your support in continuing to put pressure on the Government to do what it promised and end zero hour contracts. Everyone deserves security and dignity at work. It’s that simple.

The pressure is working. Please add your name to Labour’s petition here: http://www.labour.org.nz/zero-hours

Iain Lees-Galloway
Labour’s Workplace Relations & Safety spokesperson

77 comments on “Iain Lees-Galloway: We’re winning on zero hour contracts”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    if what Iain has written above is the actual LP position that will play out, very good

    if the opposition foot is on the Nats throat for once please sweet jeezus keep it there!–the worry as always is if the other Nat “support” parties will waver

  2. Lanthanide 2

    It’s a good thing that Winston won Northland, since otherwise National would be on 60 and only need David Seymour’s vote to pass it.

    Now they require Dunne + Seymour, and it seems like Dunne ain’t playing ball.

  3. Pink Squirrel 3

    Its great to see minor parties moving beyond opposition for the sake of opposition and instead towards trying to actually achieve something.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Is this the first instance you’ve noticed? Better late then never I suppose.

  4. Michael 4

    Good on the Labour Party – it really knows how to stick it to capitalist exploiters of working people – by voting for their worker-bashing laws. A couple of cosmetic changes here and there (like replacing the word “Contracts” with “Relations” in the Short Title of a certain Bill) and the proles will be too dumb to figure out they’ve been shafted by “their” Party – again. Let’s just fudge the language around zero hours contracts a tiny bit, run it past the semantics department, and we can cut along to that slap up dinner those nice people from Globalcorp have laid on for us.

    • Kenya 4.1

      Yawn. Sounds like you’ll never be happy. It’s the self-indulgence of someone who wants to play leftest man in the room but has no responsibility to anyone who’s actually working on a zero hour contract. All mouth, no trousers and certainly no political strategy to actually make things better for people.

    • Jan 4.2

      Codswallop – go and get some glasses and read again ! Inherit dislike of Labour (troll) oozing out of every bitter and twisted line here

    • mickysavage 4.3

      So we should put up with zero hour contracts which the current law allows. Better to do nothing eh?

    • The two laws are radically different in their approach, Michael. I’d argue that Labour didn’t go far enough, but what they did do was bring back good faith in employment law, recognised unions and freed up bargaining so workers actually saw their wages and conditions improve in the Clark years.

      • Michael 4.4.1

        How about taking a principled stand against zero hours employment agreements instead of collaborating with the Nats to enact legislation that facilitates it?

        • Iain Lees-Galloway 4.4.1.1

          We will not support legislation that enables zero-hours contracts. We will only support legislation that gets rid of them. I know it seems odd that a bill that enables them could, with a few changes, totally get rid of them but that is the situation we have here. This is not collaboration. This is not compromise. This is an opportunity to win for working people and we are going for it.

          • DoublePlusGood 4.4.1.1.1

            It’s like Labour has Stockholm Syndrome or something…

          • Michael 4.4.1.1.2

            Why not defeat the Bill and offer your own, spelling out clearly that zero-hours contracts are illegal? It looks like Labour is collaborating with the Nats on this – even though you say the semantic nuances of the law you are backing mean that its provisions have a diametrically opposing effect. While I am sure the caucus is busily congratulating itself on Its devilish cunning, it looks to me that Labour is trying to appear all things to all people again. I suggest you make an effort to re-establish contact with Labour’s political base – we don’t want clever deals with the Nats. We want a Labour Party that knows which side it is on.

            • mickysavage 4.4.1.1.2.1

              Because increased paid parental leave will not happen and zero hour contracts will still be illegal?

  5. rhinocrates 5

    Oh fucking Hell. If this is “winning” (have you been talking to Charlie Sheen?), I’d hate to see losing.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/77413441/government-scrambles-for-support-on-zero-hours-bill

    The metaphors abound: go ahead, roll that turd in the shiniest glitter; get those Tui billboards ready Iain; throw the workers under the bus again, but it’s getting awfully crowded under there.

    It looks like “Union Negotiator” Little never saw a fight that he wouldn’t back down from. Like Key, he seems more interested in “making deals” for their own sake than thinking about who they’re supposed to help.

    What a spineless, useless waste of skin. If Labour’s looking for a new logo, I suggest half an arse.

    NO COMPROMISE!

    • If you’re having trouble reading the post, just sing out. I’m here to help.

      • rhinocrates 5.1.1

        I have read it, and I know that from the party of Douglas and Goff, talk is cheap – or worthless until there are results.

        • te reo putake 5.1.1.1

          And yet, when Labour are in Government, there are tangible results. Wallowing in negativity, on the other hand, achieves nothing.

          • Bob 5.1.1.1.1

            “Wallowing in negativity, on the other hand, achieves nothing”
            And yet this has been Labours approach for the past 7 years…

            I actually applaud Labour on their stance, this is a great way to make a positive change in opposition. Just opposing everything gets you nowhere.

    • Kenya 5.2

      Sorry, I don’t understand how it helps anyone to refuse to negotiate and simply vote the legislation down. Or, cede the field for united Future to do the negotiating and get something piss weak.

      What exactly do you suggest Labour does in this situation? if the government says yes it will end zero hour contracts and you’ve forced them to make sure that happens why wouldn’t you do it? I mean honestly, wtf?

    • rhinocrates 5.3

      Just to add, why I’m so angry.

      Little never drew a “bottom line” that he didn’t blur.

      The 90-day fire-at-will? One of those absolute core issues of principle that (Do)Little was never, ever, scout’s honour, absolutely not going to surrender… until he did.

      TPPA? Weathervaning like mad, Parker promising the “best deal” at a rally in opposition to it. He got well-deserved boos. Little finally decides that he’s against i… except Captain Mumblefuck rides out in favour and that walking mass of protoplasm Goff gets “special dispensation”… and by the way, Little’s decided that a Labour-led government won’t withdraw from it anyway. So it’s a sham. And an incompetent one at that.

      Got a “Chinese sounding name”? You’re the Yellow Peril! What’s more, according to Little, white folks like him get to decide if it’s racist or not.

      Trans? Like Jeremy Clarkson, Little thinks that you’re the punchline for a joke. An incomprehensible joke.

      What do I think of the Labour leadership?

      Next!

      • Jamie 5.3.1

        Little is dealing with a right wing caucus faction and consolidating power. You saw what happened the moment he said Labour opposed TPPA. Give him a chance, he’s only been there a year and Labour is in a better place than its been in eight years. Fact is he came out against the TPPA something Labour would never have done under any previous leader, and he’s announced free tertiary education. I can see you’re angry at what you’re seeing in the media but your analysis lacks any understanding of the internal dynamics he’s working through. There is no messiah, it’s a long hard road making progressive change. Why not critique where there is legitimate grounds for critique rather than trying to undermine genuine and principled efforts to end zero hour contracts?

        • rhinocrates 5.3.1.1

          I am sympathetic with your points, you see a glass half-full, but the pessimist in me sees a glass half-empty and is tired of waiting years for it to rise.

          True, there may be no messiah – but that’s because they’d never get near the stale, pale front bench Little has set up.

          And I’m tired of hearing that there’s STILL some way to go. The future starts now, not with promises.

          I’ve seen Little crumble like a stale meringue on every fatuous “bottom line” and just let that caucus roll over him. Principles and promises are nothing without determination.

          Labour could start be getting out into the community and engaging with protest movements, not patronising it. A real leader would use that populism to strengthen his hand.

          • rhinocrates 5.3.1.1.1

            Furthermore…

            I think Little’s main problem is that he’s thinking like a union negotiator – in a bubble, working on behalf of a structured organisation behind closed doors.

            Politics is not like that.

            There’s a community of self-motivated, partisan groups outside the smoke-free rooms. There not there to be patronised, they’re the people, the voters, the activists who’ll be knocking on doors leading up to the election.

            Saying “I’ll get you the best deal, now go away” won’t do. They want in on the process.

            They’re people who have memories and keep grudges… or faith.

            They’re the lifeblood of a political party.

            Treat them with dignity, listen to them. A bureaucrat like Little doesn’t appreciate that.

          • weka 5.3.1.1.2

            “but that’s because they’d never get near the stale, pale front bench Little has set up.”

            Was allowed to set up. Your anger is righteous, I just think it’s not quite targeted right.

            • rhinocrates 5.3.1.1.2.1

              Thank you, but “was ALLOWED to set up” is all too telling. He’s no leader.

              • weka

                So he steps aside beause he’s not leader. What happens next? Is there someone in the Labour caucus better suited to leading and who could choose their own cabinet? From what I can tell, the way caucus works is you need the numbers. A leader can’t just do what they want without the numbers.

          • left for deadshark 5.3.1.1.3

            @ rhino That is one of the best points made about this current make up (labour parliamentary machine) and that attitude flows through the rest of the party too a large degree. That saddens me.

        • Jenny Kirk 5.3.1.2

          + 100% Jamie

  6. Dya remember on election night when the Nats were crowing about governing alone? Now that actually pretty slim majority is down to bugger all.

    Good on Labour for sticking it to them. This bill was intended to legislate FOR zero hours contracts. Now there’s a good chance of turning it into a law that’s actually AGAINST zero hours contracts. We’ll still need a change of government for real fairness in our employment laws, though.

  7. Wayne 7

    An alternative way of looking at it is that it looks like you are actually getting ready for Govt. Certainly that was the effect for National when John Key did the bipartisan deal with Helen Clark on the anti smacking legislation.

    • Stuart Munro 7.1

      It certainly makes it harder for Key to conduct the rubbishing attacks he prefers instead of debate – but I don’t see why Labour is offering them anything. This government should be in prison. The agricultural sector is collapsing. The debt blow out will reach record levels this year as the consequences of eight years of inexcuseably stupid economic policy is felt. Labour need to learn to throw Key anvils, not lifelines.

      • Jamie 7.1.1

        ‘This government should be in prison’ doesn’t get anyone off a zero hour contract. Neither is forcing them to actually ban them giving them a get out of jail free card? And what does that even mean when we’re talking about real people and their livelihoods? Are you suggesting Labour just play politics and working kiwis get stuffed?

        • Stuart Munro 7.1.1.1

          Let’s hear what the CTU have to say first. Labour are lying down with the Gnats and probably going to wake up with a TPP.

          • Jenny Kirk 7.1.1.1.1

            for goodness sake, Stuart Munro. Iain L-G above has said Labour is working with the CTU on this issue.

            Why don’t some of you guys read the post properly. Especially Rhino and SM above and adam below. Perhaps if you read it out loud, you’d really get the sense of it and understand it.

            • Stuart Munro 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Perhaps because Labour has struggled with systemic integrity before. It is a learned behaviour among older Labour supporters. We used to trust them you know – now we check their assertions very carefully first. Is there anything to make us cautious here? Yes, Labour are working with the Gnats. I don’t know how they can stomach them. Not very keen on complicity. There’s been way too much of it. So I’ll wait for the CTU, thanks.

      • Iain Lees-Galloway 7.1.2

        We are offering nothing. If we get what we want we will vote for the bill. No compromise, just making the most of the situation we worked hard to create.

        • Karen 7.1.2.1

          Thanks, Iain. I know you have been working really hard trying to get a better deal for workers. Keep it up

        • Stuart Munro 7.1.2.2

          Very well – let us hope you can get something for the workers – God knows they need all the help they can get under this vicious and dysfunctional regime.

          • Atiawa 7.1.2.2.1

            It’s also time for a shit load of Kiwi workers to begin standing up for themselves by standing together. Too many of them are standing on the side-line waiting for other unionised workers to provide for them.
            Grow a pair and join a union today.

        • Michael 7.1.2.3

          Why don’t you draft an SOP, telling everyone precisely what you will vote for, instead of requiring us to trust you to trust the Nats to see us right on this?

          • mickysavage 7.1.2.3.1

            Glorious failure is better than meaningful change?

            • Michael 7.1.2.3.1.1

              Better to die on your feet than live on your knees. Although, in the case of our caucus members, they get to keep sitting on their backsides drawing down their 160K (minimum) pay packets regardless of what happens to workers’ conditions.

    • left for deadshark 7.2

      Haven’t you got something better too do Wayne, oh thats right being a former parliamentarian you and work are at the opposite end of the scale.

  8. adam 8

    If a party who at it’s core is suppose to protect the interests of working people gets into bed with a Tory government…

    Oh wait, what a idiot I turned out to be. The labour party does not serve the interests of working people. Silly me. Sorry, get in bed with the Tory scum. Let them dictate once again to working people.

    No wonder there is so much disillusionment.

    No wonder working people don’t enroll, nor vote.

    What a bad joke we are left with in the labour party, what a bloody awful taste in the mouth.

    • Jamie 8.1

      This actually makes no sense. Do you have a single fact or argument to add to this discussion or are you just here to parade your ignorance?

      • adam 8.1.1

        Jamie, so you think it’s fine for labour to support this act, have you seen it? Read it?

        If not I’d advice you to have a wee look.

        Then what I wrote may make sense to you because, as it stands unless labour can get radical change this is a law which will grind working people down again.

        But, again no one can critique labour without abuse – that being call ignorant or crazy.

        Same old, same old.

        Labour and there activists are the boot at the neck of working people of this country.

        • mickysavage 8.1.1.1

          The Act increases paid maternity leave and presents a chance to do something about zero hour contracts. Labour is taking the opportunity to try and do something about the situation.

          They could continue to oppose the bill and it would probably fail. Then the increased paid maternity leave will not occur and the existing law which allows zero hour contracts will continue.

          Easy decision isn’t it?

          • Michael 8.1.1.1.1

            “a chance to do something about zero hour contracts” – it’s not exactly a rallying cry is it? Based on past Labour pferformance we can expect to see fudging, semantic wordplay, and an otherwise unchanged neoliberal status quo, with zero-hours contracts in all but name. This is an area of law where clarity and simple drafting is essential, if workers are to have the slightest chance of retaining a bit of dignity in the workplace. Yet that simple proposition seems to completely elude all those clever members of the Labour caucus, who are telling us they can out-manoeuvre the Right on legislation they’ve been preparing for years.

            • mickysavage 8.1.1.1.1.1

              And you are condemning Labour without even seeing the detail. By all means keep your skepticism intact but wait for the detail before writing Labour off.

        • Jamie 8.1.1.2

          The changes haven’t been published yet because they’re being negotiated. Labour and the CTU won’t back it unless it bans zero hours. What you’re saying is the CTU is selling its members out too? Why not wait and see before just hurling abuse?

          • Karen 8.1.1.2.1

            It seems to me that whenever Adam is pulled up for making some idiotic and ill-informed statement he plays the victim while concurrently making personal attacks on whoever pointed out that what he was saying was incorrect.

          • Michael 8.1.1.2.2

            I’d feel more confident if Helen Kelly was still runing the CTU instead of that bloke from the PSA.

            • Atiawa 8.1.1.2.2.1

              And I would feel more confident if working people stopped being so reliant upon a Labour party whose in opposition. It’s all well and good relying on a Labour Government but nothing beats a strong industrial response from workers through their collective action.

  9. Rosie 9

    Thanks for talking us through the reasoning and the strategy Iain. It needed clarifying. I admit, I was a bit baffled yesterday.

    We have so far to go to restoring workers rights and improving conditions and pay. As well as a review of and potential overhaul of employment legislation once this government is removed in 2017 there will need to be a culture shift among employers, and workers expectations, sense of self worth and dignity will need to be restored too. We’ve really been hammered in the last decade.

    If protections around zero hours can be put in place it will be a good basis for future change.

    Good luck.

    • Anne 9.1

      Nice summing up. Thanks Rosie. I, too, was a little perplexed. It does indicate Labour need to be more publicly explicit about their reasons for acting in a certain way, or choosing to support a National initiative albeit with amendments. It’s no good just assuming people will have the nous to work it out for themselves because we know many of them don’t.

      • Sacha 9.1.1

        “Labour need to be more publicly explicit about their reasons for acting in a certain way”

        No shit sherlock. It’s called political comms and for some reason that particular party has been unable to perform it for the last 8 years.

    • Venezia 9.2

      I agree with Rosie. Good to have this clarified. What was printed in The Press today could mean anything. If Labour can achieve what you have outlined Iain, then that will be a meaningful victory for workers. Good luck.

      • Puddleglum 9.2.1

        I think the headline in the printed version of The Press today was words to the effect (I don’t have it in front of me) – ‘Labour caves in to ‘zero hours’ bill …’

  10. greywarshark 10

    It’s like cutting down trees that have taken decades to grow. Then preparing the ground and replanting with the right species, and watching that the growth isn’t lost because of pests or lack of nutrients.

    Our workers rights can be wiped so easily, and then must be pains-takingly built when the time is right. We must accept humbly that we need to accept anything that goes in the right direction, and then just press on. We now need to take lessons from Maori who did just that and won through with more than other indigenous people. If there isn’t pressure to do better constantly maintained, you don’t get.

    So Jamie seems to be saying that, and Rhinocrates has a bigger vision. Okay we want it too, but have to achieve it piecemeal.

    • Jenny Kirk 10.1

      oh yes, greywarshark – that’s a good way of putting it. But we don’t want to wait 150 years to get sorted properly ….. and Andrew Little and his team are working on making things happen now. If the Govt doesn’t play ball on this one, then Labour won’t go ahead with it.

  11. One Anonymous Bloke 11

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

  12. Wainwright 12

    Brilliant strategy right up until Dunners or the Maori Party roll over for some extra treats on thrid reading. At which point Labour has facilitated the entrenchment of zero hour contracts into Kiwi law and no one cares about your ‘good faith.’

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Like assuming that you will be able to meaningfully renegotiate the TTPA after its signed, so let’s stay in it.

      • Nic the NZer 12.1.1

        To be fair thats not something labour can do much about. Hopefully labour get a decent compromise here (or retain the option to vote it down otherwise). If not they should expect a long series of discussions here about how they are constantly undermining their constituants (and loss of support from the left). I’m trying to be optimistic here as this one has a lot of popular support for a stand against it. Maybe Labour should also be drafting and publishing the further changes they will make (an alternate bill) ready to be rushed through once elected? They should be adding to a list for every change National brings in already so they can start out having got the clean up operation already sorted?

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          To be fair thats not something labour can do much about.

          Which bit of it is the bit that Labour can’t do much about? Labour in Government could withdraw NZ from the TPP, for instance.

          They should be adding to a list for every change National brings in already so they can start out having got the clean up operation already sorted?

          In reality I think Labour need to deliver to Kiwis an alternative vision and an alternative paradigm to National. Tidying up after National’s messes is not really going to do much for the country.

          Especially when Labour Governments don’t usually hang around for very long before Kiwis vote National back in again.

          • Nic the NZer 12.1.1.1.1

            Cave ins by other parties.

            The point of agreeing the reforms in advance is it makes tangible what people are getting for their vote. It also makes it hard to argue the changes are coming as a surprise. Some employers may even not want to take the chance that Labour are elected with their contracts.

          • mickysavage 12.1.1.1.2

            Why not pass judgment when you see what Labour agrees to? Right now there is agreement to negotiate. Until we see the actual proposal castigating Labour for “selling out” is slightly premature.

            • Michael 12.1.1.1.2.1

              OK. I will wait and see how this brilliant piece of legislative maneouvering turns out. So far all we know is that Labour is propping up a worker-bashing Bill from the Nats, an action that I find repugnant but not at all surprising in the Party’s centennial year. But this may be all part of the caucus’s cunning plan to resemble sheep in wolves’ clothing.

            • The Chairman 12.1.1.1.2.2

              It’s a bold move supporting National. Therefore, a number will be making judgment, thus it’s vital Labour gets this right.

  13. Sacha 13

    “Let me be very clear”

    That would be a great change for your caucus, yes.

  14. The Chairman 14

    A few of questions, Iain.

    You say Labour want to remove the ability of employers to put people on contracts where they are on-call with no permanent hours.

    Are Labour also seeking fiscal compensation for a workers inconvenience, i.e. putting their life on hold when they are on-call?

    For example, if a worker is given one full day a week in permanent hours, but is expected to be on call for the rest of the week, can they expect to be fiscally compensated for the time they are deemed on call? And if not why not?

    Can you give an example of the context of being on call (with no compensation) is considered fine by Labour?

    As for canceling shifts, can you define what Labour consider last minute? Moreover, what sort of time frame Labour consider as reasonable notification?

  15. The Chairman 15

    The Greens and NZ First opposed the bill, once again, putting Labour at odds with their potential coalition partners.

    One hopes you’re winning in the zero hours contract Iain, because it’s widening the divide, thus reaffirming the perception of a Labour, Greens, NZF coalition rowing in different directions. Which, may result in costing Labour the election.

    • The Chairman 15.1

      Clearly Labour failed to convince their potential coalition partners that they (Labour) would achieve significant improvements.

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    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    2 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    4 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    4 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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