Is Human Resource Management in New Zealand Ethical?

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, March 4th, 2015 - 61 comments
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Director, Transition and Transformation Rachel Walker

Director, Transition and Transformation Rachel Walker

The “divide and rule” strategy has been used to impose and maintain control over human beings for countless years. Capitalists are past masters at applying it to their workforce via the “management vs worker” cleaver but, no matter the resulting tension, it was always people getting along – or not – with other people. Not so in recent decades, especially in large corporations, which have seen the introduction of a systematic dehumanisation process. It began the day the “Personnel Department” became “Human Resources”.

The reduction of humans down to the status of “resources”, no more important to the functioning of a business than a bag of cement at a concrete factory, has resulted in an unconscious shift in thinking. Just as it causes less emotional angst for American soldiers to kill “rag-heads” rather than kill other soldiers, so too it is easier for senior executives to impose ever increasingly dire conditions upon “resources”. The only buffer which now exists between the ruthless corporate worship of Mammon and the workers in many businesses is a flimsy scattering of scant laws and the day-to-day level of ethical behaviour applied in this brand new field of “Human Resource Management”.

The day “Personnel” officially became “Human Resources” in New Zealand was 1 April 1999 when  the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand was incorporated. A voluntary membership industry organisation, the HRINZ today has around 3800 members which is about half of all those believed to be working in the field.

The current President of HRINZ is Rachel Walker who, as well as her presidential duties, works full-on as a human resources professional.  Her official job title is, “Director, Transition and Transformation”, (yes, really) and Rachel’s duties are many and varied. For example, she recently oversaw the “transformation” of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management from a public service under the Department of Internal Affairs into a “business unit” operating alongside the spy agencies being run out of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Next task for Rachel is the winding up of CERA by “transitioning” it from Christchurch and plopping it into the increasingly busy Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Hers is both a tough and intricately complicated job, involving multiple work-streams, no end of strategic engagement with surplus resources, dispensing treasure to throngs of private sector partners, keeping secret sensitive information, soothing sensitive political egos, and all the rest of it that goes with toiling in John Key’s Beehive boiler room.

Obviously, then, ethics plays a vital role in the performance of Rachel’s job and is something she obviously takes seriously. In fact, for her full time employment and in her role as President of HRINZ, Rachel, along with all the Institute’s members, is bound by a Code of Professional Conduct. This Code . . .

. . . plays an important part in ensuring membership of the Institute remains the respected and credible benchmark of HR professionalism . . . [T]hrough this Code, the Institute acts as monitor of the highest standards of behaviour and practice in the HR profession. Your membership commits you to upholding and maintaining these standards, and is dependent on your agreement to comply with all reasonable requests the Institute might make to investigate alleged breaches of the principles or spirit of the Code . . .

. . . and comes complete with a complaints and disciplinary procedure. Sure, okay, the wording creates enough “outs” for a cricket tournament but there is one provision which Rachel might like to take a look at. It affords the President the ability to make a complaint against a member on behalf of HRINZ and, if ever there was a need to do so to protect the blossoming human resource field surely it was revealed on Monday’s decision by the Human Rights Tribunal.

The Tribunal’s findings regarding the treatment of a “human resource” by NZCU Baywide’s Human Resources Manager  Louise Alexandra – IMHO and layperson’s reading of the documents – make it abundantly apparent that there has been a significant breach of all four tenets upon which the HRINZ’s Code of Professional Conduct (Codes of Practice) is based. Specifically, I suggest that Louise Alexandra has been found to be unable to sustain the Professional Competence and Behaviour, Ethical Standards and Integrity required of a Representative of the Profession providing Stewardship of people operating within her sphere of influence.

The behaviour at NZCU Baywide presents HRINZ with a rare opportunity to demonstrate that it is, as it claims to be, a body made up of professionals who are serious about their work, concerned about the maintenance of standards, and intent on ensuring as far as possible the safety of others in the realm within which they operate.

Just saying.

61 comments on “Is Human Resource Management in New Zealand Ethical?”

  1. shorts 1

    at the end of the day they’re just people

    High level of loathing from me aimed at HR “professionals” in New Zealand – they could teach the PM some tricks on how to lie

  2. saveNZ 2

    HR are the people you don’t go to if you have a problem.
    Likewise recruitment agencies, too much power not enough brain power.
    Yes there are possibly a few good HR’s out there, but in general the standard is dire, which makes it even more ironic they are in recruitment and such a position of power within a company.

    • GregJ 2.1

      As I’ve said before – known to me for a long time as “Hinderance Resources”. And don’t even get me started on Recruitment Agencies and HR consultants!

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.2

      That’s why Dogbert is ultimate evil when he is in his HR role.

    • Trisha 2.3

      Absolutely agree with your comment. The Peter Principle is alive and well when people without critical thinking skills, the source of empathy and fairness, are elevated to positions way beyond their level of intellect. They perceive it as a ‘power’ role. Certainly, they must make some tough decisions from time to time, but they do it from a very myopic perspective – that is the danger. In many ways Key himself is myopic but he has street smarts which enabled him to be successful as a trader. It seems so many crucial government affiliated roles have gone to vacuous, self important women. As a woman who would love to see more women in such important roles, I find that appalling.

  3. alwyn 3

    You suggest that
    ” Capitalists are past masters at applying it to their workforce via the “management vs worker” cleaver”.

    Do you really think that calling this organisation which is, as they say on their website, a credit union and therefore essentially a co-operative which is, again in their own words “Customer-Owned Banking” a “capitalist organisation” is fair to real capitalists?

    The staff might have been a great deal better of if they had been working for a genuine capitalist organisation. The woman concerned certainly couldn’t have been worse off.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Agreed that a credit union is a collective organisation and is based on a great philosophy. It is a shame this philosophy was not understood by senior management.

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1

        And if it isn’t understood by their senior management it is very likely they run the whole damn place as their own private fiefdom.

        Complete with honour lynchings, it would seem.

    • framu 3.2

      hmm – does who owns it change the nature of its capitalism?

      or is it more a case of “for profit / not for profit” that determines whether its capitalistic or not?

      (genuine question there – not taking the piss)

      • alwyn 3.2.1

        It is probably debatable, but I personally wouldn’t call an organisation like this an example of Capitalism.
        Here is one definition, from Wikipedia.
        “Capitalism is an economic system where things (property, for example) are owned by people or an individual, not by a government or communities”.
        I would lean to saying that an organisation that is supposedly owned by its customers would come under the definition of being owned by the “community”. of depositors.
        The managers certainly count as ratbags though.

        • tricledrown 3.2.1.1

          Alwhynger The Capitalists have Unions galore the Nactional Party is the political front.
          The News Media their propaganda front.
          An Octapus would be a good description with many tentacles.
          Alwhinger you are one of the suckers on the end of one of the tentacles

    • vto 3.3

      Alwyn, capitalism makes full use of socialist collectivism. The right wing hypocrisy over this highlights their own failings in general ……. i.e. they are thick bastards who don’t even understand what they do.

      Let me give you some examples;

      1. the limited liability company is typically a collectivist organisation.
      2. our largest business Fonterra is a cooperative
      3. our second largest business Foodstuffs is a cooperative.
      4. pretty much all farmers belong to some coop or another, such as Ravendown

      all of the above are rabid capitalists and full blown collectivists

      your question is ill-defined, but like the right wings lack of understanding about their daily left wing activities it is hardly surprising. No wonder the country never gets anywhere when such a large portion of the population is so ignorant about their own activities.

  4. mickysavage 4

    Yep I had a quick read of the judgment. The barbarism on the treatment of that poor woman was breath taking …

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.1

      It was an honour lynching. In another society they would have necklaced their former employee/colleague.

      It’s very likely they would still not accept that they did anything wrong.

      • marty mars 4.1.1

        “honour lynching” “necklaced”

        wtf – I’m starting to worry about your rhetoric

        • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1.1

          The mostly male senior managers in the firm decided to destroy her reputation, her privacy, her financial future, her job and her job prospects in a small community. They used work resources and work time to do so. Over a fucking ***cake***. They felt what had been besmirched was their own (gutless concept of) honour. In other words, the men didn’t like feeling disrespected. And they felt nil remorse for what they did.

          So I call it an “honour lynching” because that is what I perceived happened. Was it physical? No. But it was designed to cruely and unjustifiably attack her on every other plane, from reputational to financial to career. I think that in a less “tolerant” and “moderate” society than NZ (lol) they might have vindictively organised for actual physical harm to have come to her.

          And another thing for the feminists who don’t think that I tow the line. I recognise full well that the patriarchal scum probably would not have done this if the former employee had been a man, and not a woman.

          • marty mars 4.1.1.1.1

            Your first paragraph sums up well – ‘honour lynching’ mashes up two disgusting crimes in an unnecessary way imo

            Good on you for your ‘road to Damascus’ moment – I’m sure all the feminists are already celebrating. 🙂

          • Stephanie Rodgers 4.1.1.1.2

            “the feminists who don’t think that I tow the line.”

            Defensive much?

  5. Once was Tim 5

    You mean ‘ethical’ as in
    – advertising jobs that don’t exist or have already been filled (probably just to get prospective candidates on their books, and make themselves look good)?
    [It makes all those newspaper stats one used to see totally crap as well when multiple HR companies are advertising the same job]
    – charging an employer (a govt department) $x per hour for a contractor and taking nearly twice what the contractor gets in the hand (SysAdmin role x 2) as their cut – on TOP of the fee finders fee
    – completely misunderstanding an employer’s requirements because their template matching system is completely inappropriate
    – Christ, the list is actually endless the more I think about it.
    Any employer that uses Corporate HR Companies (especially gubbamint) are doing themselves a disservice.
    They seem to change names quicker than they change their underwear as well. I’ve only ever struck ONE company that was half-way decent.
    Thank God I don’t have to deal with them anymore

    • gsays 5.1

      you could add former tim; telling someone that we will contact you if another position comes up. then advertising said position and not contacting said person.

      but i am not bitter. depite having to urinate with a woman in the room, all for a minimum wage factory job..

  6. just saying 8

    In most of the research about workplace bullying (and it is rife in NZ) the advice is do NOT go to human resources.
    Like you say, bl1p, there is a huge hint about why in the title.
    There are many structural reasons for the rise in workplace bullying, but the kinds of individuals involved have existed since the beginning of time. The only difference is that the current workplace facilitates the behaviour and in some cases bullies are deliberately chosen for key strategic roles because the current socio-economic climate makes them very useful.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    I think myself lucky to have escaped such dire straits.

    And then I remind myself that I haven’t: my peers are subject to this iniquity.

    I am forcibly reminded of the circumstances of the GFC, where the bankers who baulked would be ‘moved sideways’, and those who acquiesced, promoted, cf: Steve Eisman’s remarks on meeting bankers.

    Mitt der dummheit kampfen, etc etc.

    The solution, as always, is regulation: without constraints, creativity is worse than useless.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      I hope she’s ok.

      Too many people brainwashed by Objectivist dogma. This is the inevitable result.

    • sabine 10.2

      will she be the only one? Can we expect to see any of the manager boys to be gone within the day?

  8. SHG 11

    It amazes me when people who are experiencing difficulties with the company they work for say shit like “I’m going to tell HR” as if HR is some white knight waiting to charge in and save the day. HR won’t protect you from the company; HR *IS* the company.

  9. Sanctuary 12

    To paraphrase Edward S. Herman:

    “…What is really important in the world of… (HR) …is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program…”

    HR is the quintessential middle class “profession”, the ideological enforcers of corporate doublespeak, where language is used to soothe the disposable whilst it is being disposed of in order to prevent that ultimate middle class horror – an emotional outburst that reveals the corporate process for it is.

    I have dealt with a lot of HR types. The idealistic ones don’t last long. And sadists and sociopaths would, I would hazard to suggest, be much more highly represented in HR than the population in general.

  10. Joanne 13

    Workers on dairy farms are now referred to as ‘labour units’ – as opposed to stock units of course.

    • Ergo Robertina 13.1

      Yeah, it’s depressing. Dairy farm workers are horribly exploited for the hard work and incredibly early hours they keep, and they’re increasingly working on corporate-owned farms, so the corporate-speak does not surprise me. Apart from the significant human cost it’s artificially keeping overheads in the industry low, which further inflates the debt bubble.
      I grew up on a farm in the 80s, and there is now a divide between the rural haves and have nots that was not nearly as stark 30 years ago.
      The language change reminds me of something I once read about the industrial revolution, during which one of the things that disturbed some people was referring to people as ‘hands’, as in the number of hands you have on the job. It’s interesting how we become inured to things that represent quite fundamental shifts in how we view other people.

  11. sabine 14

    I once was told by a blond HR bimbo and her boss in the pink shirt that “Company” does not do redundencies and that i should just try to work with my manager who considered meetings with him as equal as meeting with the gestapo. Fuckwit he was.

    after laying a complaint, and more bullying i went to my managers boss and told him in no uncertain terms that I wont be bullied and above all i won’t be bullied out of my job.

    As they could never find a thing to complain about my performance, and I always came to meetings lawered up eventually i was offered a redundancy. I gracefully accepted and opened my own business. never looked back.

    Fact is when dealing with HR, do not show up without a Union representative or a Lawyer. Best money ever spend.

    • SHG 14.1

      Fact is when dealing with HR, do not show up without a Union representative or a Lawyer.

      +1, Insightful

  12. capn insano 15

    I started my first job for a large nation-wide IT firm at the end of ’97. One of things they did was have a number of on-site guys for various printer, PC and Networking tasks. I do remember at least once one of the team leaders discussing a situation regarding one of the clients and said something along the lines of “can we get a resource out there”. I remember this struck me as odd at the time but I didn’t comment being just an assistant storesperson at the time.

    • GregJ 15.1

      “Corporate speak” is now so embedded we have to all take it on board and work out what the learnings are so going forward we can move the needle and leverage our outcomes with our core competencies to procure the best outcomes for our Corporate values. 😈

      BTW – love your handle! 🙂

      • Murray Rawshark 15.1.1

        You forgot the stakeholders. Dracula is grateful.

        • Capn Insano 15.1.1.1

          As long as we all synergise to our maximum potential and leverage the full extent of the IT ecosystem we can exploit economies of scale across departments and empower our equity acquisition entities.

          Man that hurt my head and cheers.

  13. Colonial Rawshark 16

    Capitalism always seeks to commodify labour, so it can be traded, sold and disposed of like any other commodity.

    Marx got this spot on.

    • marty mars 16.1

      + 1

      I’m of a mind to think that the commodification of everything is the purpose of capitalism – you can’t get profit if it is not commodified and without profit it is worthless to those bastards.

      • Colonial Rawshark 16.1.1

        Pretty much. I would say the combination of totalitarian commodification and totalitarian externalisation of costs (the latter I got from Dmitry Orlov’s blog) would explain our current incarnation of capitalism pretty well.

        I use the term totalitarian because they seek to commodify and dump costs on not just our persons and our bodies, but also our communications, our relationships, our thoughts (eg predictive ad tracking on google or by FaceBook), in fact every single aspect of a normal human’s being.

        edit – also of course on our homes our food our environment our transactions, etc.

        • Colonial Rawshark 16.1.1.1

          Dang it, or was it from the Archdruid’s blog…not Orlov’s

          • marty mars 16.1.1.1.1

            hmm the externalisation of costs rings a JMG bell – not sure about the totalitarian bit though – I don’t read Orlov but JMG I religiously follow 🙂

  14. adam 17

    Did not the labour party elect as president – a lecture in H.R….

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  15. Macro 18

    “Human Resource Management” says it all. Humans are regarded as a resource – not as people. It is a term that is specifically chosen to dehumanise and to diminish the individual from a person to a resource – something that can be discarded at a whim. The sooner humanity discards this obscene term, and returns to a term the incorporates more fully the concept of people, the better.

    • Sable 18.1

      Won’t happen while pro US neo con toss pots are running the country.

    • Rodel 18.2

      Relative of mind was a senior in HR and they wanted to encourage the use of the term ‘human capital’ to better describe the relationship between a corporation and its employees. They were happy to be regarded as human capital themselves.

      I was expecting them to rename their HR department as ‘human capital management’ but the capital word seems to have been dropped lately.

      Personnel is a better term I think.

      • Coffee Connoisseur 18.2.1

        Perhaps they should just cut the BS and go straight to Human Cattle Management Department

  16. If the NZCU HR manager is not a HRINZ member the the code of ethics do not apply

  17. Sable 20

    The good old “Human Remains” department as I’ve heard it called. In my experience no one likes them and its not without some justification.

  18. Coffee Connoisseur 21

    The reduction of humans down to the status of “resources”, no more important to the functioning of a business than a bag of cement at a concrete factory, has resulted in an unconscious shift in thinking.

    Very telling in fact.
    If we have a system that we are all subject to…
    and in that system there are Companies and Corportions….
    And in those companies, humans are resources, to the point where they have a Human Resources department for managing that resource….

    Then who is the system for if we are simply a resource in the current one?

  19. Chaz 22

    It is important to note in all this that the issues were not just with the HR manager, they were throughout the executive.

    Secondly I was going to comment that the OP in her excoriation of capitalism did not seem to notice that this incident occurred in a social collective, but I see that point has already been picked up on.

    There are some disparaging comments made by management in this report to the effect that the board “just does what they are told.” Other posters have pointed out the lack of governance typified by management acting as if they were running a “fiefdom.”

    It raises a question on whether this was a governance issue with this single credit union or whether it is an inherent failing in a model which does not include shareholders protecting their own vested interest through the exercise of governance.

    The management have definitely come out of this with their names muddied, but what about the board that was meant to be governing this organisation?

    If the members had any sense of their own interests they would fire the bang lot of them.

  20. Chaz 23

    PS if you folks are going to be sensitive about the term “resource” you are going to die when you learn that in IT departments you are all generally referred to as “Users.”

    Do you think you are reading too much into a label?

    Years ago we were not allowed to call low intelligence people halfwits anymore, that was rude, so they had to be called retarded, then retarded got to be rude so they had to be called handicapped, then handicapped got too pejorative so they had to be called challenged, then challenged got bad so they get called special, and now being special is bad and they get called different, but different is bad so…what comes next IFIIK.

    I get it we shouldn’t call people halfwits, excepting political debate of course in time honoured tradition, but at some point doesn’t it get a little precious?

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  • 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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