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It’s safe to get off the fence now, Len

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, March 31st, 2012 - 50 comments
Categories: business, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

The PoAL management looks as incompetent and divided as the Nats after their ‘bullet-proof’ contracting out plans were shot down by the Employment Court and a director resigned publicly admonishment management’s strategy.

Time to use that bully pulpit, Len. The workers have won this fight themselves – but you can make the end of the battle come quicker. Say you have no confidence in Pearson and Gibson, demand they drop their plans which have cost the council a fortune much already, and get the port back to work.

You can even go along to the workers’ victory party and pretend that you were on their side all along, rather than being a fair weather friend who only discovered which side you were on once the workers had won the battle themselves. You and Shearer can share a taxi.

50 comments on “It’s safe to get off the fence now, Len”

  1. well said JH.

    Brown’s only hope of redemption is to sack Pearson and Gibson.

    last chance to show us whose side you’re on Len 

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I’m pretty sure that Len has already shown us which side he is on.

    • Slap shot 1.2

      That would be bad. Give them a chance to negotiate. The union is in a very strong position, and will likely now get a better deal. Then everyone can move on and get on with their jobs.

      Never humiliate a defeated opponent. Nothing good comes of it in the end. Winning is an occasion for a pint and a cheer, not gloating. The union has kept the moral high ground so far. Why throw that away? If Pearson and Gibson are to be sacked, then let it be quietly and after a decent interval. Right now it is time for the union to be the bigger man, as they say. There are a great many people who have come to a better opinion of trades unionism because of this dispute. Let’s keep them on side.

      • muzza 1.2.1

        Well said ….

        PS – Brown has shown which side he is on…he will not be making a vocal statement other than, when this is all sorted out, that he was please both sides came to an agreement!

        LB has either wilted under duress, or this is what he always was…brothers in arms the lot of them, IMO!

      • mickysavage 1.2.2

        What could help is the appointment of a progressive pro worker director to the board.  Someone like Mike Williams.  There are very few of these around though …

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.1

          Rewrite POAL constitution as per Ben Clark’s suggestion and have a couple of worker-directors on the Board.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2.2.2

          They did have one, Nigel Haworth . Professor of Human Resource Development at UA.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.3

        Keeping incompetent directors/CEOs on just because you don’t want to embarrass them isn’t a good idea. It just gives them more time to make more mistakes that will cost even more to fix.

        • Akldnut 1.2.3.1

          It would be noble to keep them on until all the hoo-haa dies and then let them slip quietly into oblivion if it weren’t for the fact that they are such manipulating, callous lying pricks. (gosh I just described tha majority of Torys).

          Public stockade, whipped and lashed, tarred and feathered, drawn and quartered I say!

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.3

      What part of the holding company structure and the legislation Hide put in to protect the Council replacing the PoAL directors dont you understand ? I think Hide modelled it on the Green party election processes.

  2. tc 2

    The fence has left scars Brown will struggle to recover from, like Key and co he’s traded off a working class upbringing and then betrayed it but unlike the hollwmen backed Key he lacks the CT machine to spin away from it.
    Fletcher, Brewer and co would be pleased at this turn of events, making Brown look ineffective when he would’ve backed a winner as it may hand the right back the mayoralty.

  3. prism 3

    I noticed Rob Campbell has stepped down from PoL. On radio reports his union connection was mentioned. I looked at a report on 1984 and Lange’s short day followed by Douglas et al. These are quotes about the changes.

    Economist Peter Harris, who led the charge for the unions against what became known as Rogernomics….Rob Campbell, who at the time worked for the unions alongside Harris as an opponent of Rogernomics but later became a cheer leader, said the labour movement had expected a traditional Labour programme.
    (But the programme was revolutionary.)
    It transformed an economy from what Lange described as operating like a Polish shipyard into one of the most deregulated free market economies the industrialised world has known.

    Link – http://www.sharechat.co.nz/article/07c29b10/opinion-the-rogernomics-revolution-20-years-on.html

    So the present PoL dispute has connections way back. The ports were known to be tightly controlled and it was thought they got better wages and conditions than was reasonable. There didn’t seem to be a way to work with union to modernise, control costs and improve handling rates. It seems that business has now achieved that, has a well functioning port, so why contract out and lose steady jobs that people can build a life around?

  4. ianmac 4

    It would be interesting to see exactly where the Mayor stands legally in such disputes. Wasn’t the idea to prevent the Mayor from interfering in any way with the Industrial matters – keep at arms length?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      No doubt you are right. Because the neolibs love it when business interests have sole rule over the corporate domain, without the inconvenience of democratic or community interests having a say.

    • Eddie 4.2

      he has little institutional power – he has one vote on the council, which would have to direct the council’s investment company ACIL to act against the POAL board or face the sack. But he is mayor of all auckland too – that’s a lot of political power when he speaks, which is what teddy roosevelt was talking about when he talked about the bully (ie good) pulpit.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    Browns a disgrace I had high hopes for him but this whole situation has shown him up for what he is, one word, gutless.I cant wait to see him out at some event, I will tell him face to face what I think and no political bullshit will be accepted for the contempt he has shown for working people.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    It is past the last chance saloon for Len. The next ‘Lenslide’ will be his slide out of office. So the supercity will be looking a split mayoral contest as per usual.

    Does Len realise that his compliance with POAL/ACIL union busting will earn him no favours from Wellington? Joycie’s roading lobby is still going to freeze out him and the inner city loop.

  7. lefty 7

    Its now time to start working on a genuine left ticket for Mayor for the next elections.
    Cathy Casey or Mike Lee are the most obvious candidates for the position – they both have the advantage of not being associated with Labour and its serial sell outs of the working class as well as being intelligent, competent and principled.

  8. captain hook 8

    on the surface this is a classic left/right debate but scratch the surface and it is about corporate interests taking away any freedoms they can.
    if there are winners there must be losers and these people are psychopaths using the industrial apparautus to to work out their camouflaged propensities on an unsuspecting populace by creating losers.
    creepy stuff.

  9. Jenny 9

    Mayor Brown has backed a bunch of right wing losers, to do as they saw fit. This ignominy will always be his.

    Can he redeem himself?

    I don’t know.

    But I agree that Mayor Brown at the very least, should now take some responsible remedial action.

  10. Kevin Welsh 10

    Independent Left ticket for Auckland and Cunliffe/Little for Labour. Ticks all the boxes for me.

  11. Jeremy 11

    why didn’t the union just accept a 2.5% increase at current terms?

    • Eddie 11.1

      because that’s not what they were offered, that’s what they were offering and the port management rejected it.

      They were offered reduced hours without guaranteed shifts in exchange for a 10% hourly increase – which equated to a 20% annual pay cut.

      • Jeremy 11.1.1

        From NBR:
        “After unsuccessful negotiations, during which the union rejected a 2.5% wage increase with a rollover of the existing CEA and no changes to the terms and conditions, PoAL made 292 jobs redundant – including 235 union members – and introduced competitive stevedoring at its Bledisloe and Fergusson container terminals.”

        • KJT 11.1.1.1

          Where their work would be contracted out. Which meant permanent employees on decent wages could be replaced with temporary contract labour undercutting their terms and conditions.

          Resulting over time for large pay drops for all wharfies.

          Havn’t you figured out what it is about yet. POAL was working to bypass the collective agreement and employment law protection by contracting out.
          Something that has now happened to far to many of New Zealand’s workers.

          • Jeremy 11.1.1.1.1

            So you are telling me that the port company needs permission from the union to contract out work? or that the union is holding the port company to ransom?

            • Eddie 11.1.1.1.1.1

              The port must act within the law. That means it must bargain in good faith, it must reach a collective agreement if at all possible, it mustn’t lock out without two weeks’ notice – all things it failed to do.

              • Jeremy

                I’m aware of this good faith bargaining. It doesn’t change the questions however. I’m satisfied Len Brown has met both parties I trust his judgement.

        • Eddie 11.1.1.2

          That’s a typo by NBR. The previous sentence is the employer’s offer which the workers rejected, the sentence you quote is actually the union offer, which the employer rejected.

          All the other material shows that the union offered 2.5% with no changes to conditions, the port offered 10% with contracting out.

  12. Fortran 12

    MUNZ won the battle – great.

    But the War – um – I doubt it.

    • felix 12.1

      Yeah, you’re probably right. I mean you’ve been right about everything else so far.

  13. Darien Fenton 13

    “You and Shearer can share a taxi”

    14 Labour MPs plus David Shearer who spoke at the rally? Only political leader to speak at the rally? Only political leader I’ve seen at the picket apart from Hone?

    • IrishBill 13.1

      I agree with Darien. I think Labour has shown support and I don’t think that politicising this dispute would have been strategically useful – all it would have done would have made it more likely that government would get involved (as they had planned to until PoAL made it too toxic to touch) and they wouldn’t have done the workers any favours by doing so.

      I said a few weeks ago that PoAL was on the ropes and they’ve certainly taken a beating since, but right now the union still has to get a deal before this is a win.

      • Ad 13.1.1

        Who doesn’t know that Darien Fenton had to beg, plead, and drag that Shearer kicking and screaming to the protest to show any solidarity at all.

        “I don’t think politicizing this dispute would have been strategically useful…”
        I would put it to you that this has been political for some time.

        Simply imagine what would have happened if Shearer had actually shown leadership on this with the Union from the start. National would be defending on yet another front.

        Right now National are fighting on the ACC front, none of which Labour can take credit for.

        At some point the Labour leadership has to grow a set of principles and defend them. If protecting organized Labour isn’t one of them, then the Labour Party should fold up its tent and go home.

    • JH 13.2

      Fair enough. I admit you guys got on board with the workers, if belatedly. And that delayed support probably wasn’t a bad thing in terms of winning the battle for the workers because early Labour involvement would have triggered government action.

      The concern is just whether Labour’s delayed reaction was due to that kind of strategic thought or just that Shearer really didn’t know which side he wanted to be on.

      • Anne 13.2.1

        The concern is just whether Labour’s delayed reaction was due to that kind of strategic thought or just that Shearer really didn’t know which side he wanted to be on.

        I recall a photo (think it was originally on Slater’s blogsite – he had been following them?) of Parsloe and Shearer walking together on a street deep in conversation. This was in the early days of the dispute. Not long afterwards Parsloe was interviewed and he commented to the effect that it was the view of the union that it would be better if Labour stayed on the side-lines.

        That suggests to me it was a strategic position both parties had agreed to..

  14. Vicks 14

    + 1
    Damn right Darien and Shearer made it clear that he was opposed to casualisation at the brginning of this dispute. Misleading people into accepting that it was otherwise JH is no better than what the RWNJ get up to and screams of a whole other agenda. Move on.

  15. Craig Glen Eden 15

    While Im not a Shearer supporter I have to defend him because as DF has said above he did front at the Rally and while the greens had people there, there was no greens co leaders so its a bit rich to attack Shearer for being unsupportive.

  16. Jenny 16

    Will Mayor Len Brown do anything at all?

    Is the current mayor trying to turn the Auckland super city mayoralty into a purely ceremonial role?

    Something akin to the British monarchy, or the Irish President, perhaps?

    Someone to attend official ceremonies and cut ribbons etc?

    Is this what we want?

    And if it is, should he get paid so much?

    • David H 16.1

      “Will Mayor Len Brown do anything at all?”

      Such as??? Fall on his Sword. And beg the peoples forgiveness, would do for starters.

  17. Uturn 17

    I expected Shearer to flex some political muscle, if he has any, and use his position to give a clear voice to the working people against that group that are just like POAL board – our incumbent government. His job is not to imitate normal MPs with words of personal support, or hide away like a mayor who prefers his job to doing his job.

    Leaders have far more power and if they get involved in an issue and try to say they have no power, then say their power wouldn’t help, then they may as well have stayed home. No one was convinced Shearer couldn’t help, it was a manufactured political line to buy him time in his career. Back then, the price that was going to be paid for Shearer’s career was not only the livelihoods of the wharfies, but if their defence failed, the livelihoods of the workers of any other company that followed a similar casualisation suit. The union could have been broken, with people now beginning the spiral down into losing homes and family life balances. Passing round the bottle just before the final battle – a battle yet to win – and kidding ourselves he’s really on the side of the workers is just plain dumb.

    Talk of not embarrassing an opponent that was about to starve and destroy families is equally silly. Would you release diseased wild dogs back into the community, once you’d caught them, too? The least you’d do is contain them, warn people about them, show them for what they are so they could be identified. If that hurt their feelings of needing the freedom to freely destroy, then what a shame. No amount of hugs and moral high ground will protect against the nature of greed. Greed never gives up.

    Hiding behind unproven claims that “it wouldn’t help”, to reluctantly do as little as possible to give people a voice at the highest level, choosing instead to consider showing up at a picket as a true measure of a leader’s resources, is a betrayal. I agree with James Henderson: Shearer and Len should get in a taxi together, head out south, to the airport. To bad if it means a few Labour MPs need to consider the uncomfortable truth about where their allegiance lies.

    • the sprout 17.1

      well said uturn

    • Vicks 17.2

      Shearers response was perfectly appropriate and his message was clear. The only rabid dogs I can see are the ones contributing ranting posts like yours Uturn!!! So if you are going to bite someone – bite someone deserving like the nact snots who set up the supershitty otherwise put your damn muzzle back on.

  18. coolas 18

    As this dispute was always about POAL busting the union, all politicians who expect the support of workers should have come out clearly on the side of MUNZ. For fuck’s sake. There’s a battle going on here. Casualisation of labour reduces workers to a resource given less respect than money. Only through organised labour can worker’s rights be preserved and enhanced. Maybe we have to go through this shit to see the pendulum swing. Workers on the Board would be an ‘elegant’ conclusion to this. And Len’s the man who can do it, or, at least support the idea.

  19. JamesGeorge 19

    Putting the ethics of the situation to one side for a minute, Len Brown has shown us exactly what an incompetent politician he is.
    When Brown first confronted this issue he had a pretty clear cut choice to make. One pick would give him a win win situation, the other, a lose lose.
    Guess what? Brown chose the lose lose. By siding with the POAL tories Brown put himself in a situation that must leave him damaged no matter what the outcome. If the neo-liberals had won Gibson & Co would get all the credit from Wellington for fighting the good fight and Brown would be ignored by the tories. The humanists of Auckland on the other hand would hold Brown responsible for the demise of one of the last strong trade unions, leaving Brown seeming like a quisling & a scab.
    If the neo-cons lost as they certainly seem to have, Brown gets regarded with contempt by humanists and labourites alike. If only because he chose to be on the wrong side when one of the greatest victories for working NZers this century went down. Meanwhile the Tories in Wellington and their Auckland acolytes have a handy scapegoat for their loss -Brown. He won’t be getting any favours outta Wellington; in transport or anything else.

    Conversely if Brown had publicly spoken out for the wharfies from the get go he would have been in a win win situation. If the wharfies win he’d be regarded as being an integral part of the biggest victory for organised labour in NZ this century. If the wharfies lost, Brown could have blamed every decision that went against Auckland emanating outta Wellington on the Nats petty vindictiveness for him being on the wrong side.

    That would not have hurt him electorally either. By the time we all get to pick our council again jonkey and his band of 1% bumkissers will be on the nose with the vast majority of Auckland’s voters. Meaning many voters who may not usually vote for a labour mayor would also vote for Brown because Brown had identified as a opponent of soul killing inhumane capitalism. Their vote being a way of letting Wellington know how they felt about having a government that puts the interests of ordinary kiwis last.

    The RWC transportation mess where Brown let himself get manouvered into being scapegoated, the one who screwed the pooch, should have told us what a ‘scared of tories’ little naif Brown really is deep down.

    Now I’m gonna get back the the Unthanks marathon I’ve been grooving on since I heard the wharfies’ great news. Grinning to myself thinking no matter how much the herald n the other fishwraps try n play this down, more than a few smart young people will have realised that the me me me meme fails in the face of real solidarity from a committed band of comrades.

  20. Jackal 20

    Will Len Brown save face?

    Len Brown still has the chance to save face by taking control of the situation and ensuring that the dispute between POAL and MUNZ is resolved…

  21. Carol 21

    Oh, Len, you’re doing it all wrong, supporting the dubious side on contentious issues… trying to curry favour with the more conservative and centrist voters… Now you express some moral outrage, but wide of the mark. Where were you when the unaccountable POAL has been trying to act undemocratically and without consultation with ratepayers and residents?…… from insult to injury:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10795919

    Auckland Mayor Len Brown has spoken of his fury at being kept in the dark over a deal to give highly-prized coastal land to Maori.

    Brown says the government briefings on the deal to give $13.8 million of land in Devonport to Ngati Whatua did not “cut the mustard”.

    His comments came after it emerged at least two councillors were told of the deal a year ago – but a secrecy arrangement bound them to keep the mayor in the dark.
    […]
    “A confidential briefing for the Hauraki Gulf Forum – an autonomous body – does not cut the mustard.”

    The document setting out the April 2011 briefing was accepted at the forum – which has seven Auckland Council delegates – by councillors Mike Lee and Wayne Walker.

    It stated: “While we believe it is important to ensure the forum is consulted on this matter, it is imperative that this matter is treated as confidential and not discussed outside the forum’s meeting.”

    Lee said he was opposed to public land being used for settlements but that his feelings on the subject were not strong enough to break the confidentiality obligation.

    Forum members come from three government ministries, six councils and local iwi. Christine Fletcher, Sandra Coney, Mike Lee, Denise Roche, Paul Downey, Des Morrison and Wayne Walker were Auckland Council’s members. Roche and Coney had left by the time the secret briefing occurred.

    But there seems to be different interpretations as to whether the lland deal involves “prime coastal real estate”.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6673729/Angry-residents-threaten-to-take-over-naval-base

    Furious Devenport residents are threatening to occupy a naval base in a move usually used by Maori to draw attention to disputed land.

    The public stoush is over a 3.2 hectare chunk of Auckland land, valued at $30 million, promised to Ngati Whatua in a Deed of Settlement in November.
    […]
    Furious Devenport residents are threatening to occupy a naval base in a move usually used by Maori to draw attention to disputed land.

    The public stoush is over a 3.2 hectare chunk of Auckland land, valued at $30 million, promised to Ngati Whatua in a Deed of Settlement in November.
    […]
    Ngati Whatua spokesman Ngarimu Blair said there is a misconception the deal involves the coastal area, sports field and surrounding reserve.

    “We’re not buying that. We never were. We’re only talking about the navy barracks, the sheds, carpark areas and building which we are purchasing and is set well back from the coast.”

    The RNZ Navy, which leases the land, will be offered a minimum lease of 15 years under the agreement.

    Adjoining Takapuna Reserve and Narrow Neck Beach – totalling 11.9ha and covering the shoreline – remains in the public’s possession and unaffected by the deal.

    Plans are also under way to formalise a public walkway on the eastern strip of the base. Currently the navy can revoke access at three months’ notice.

    “We’re the last people to restrict public access to great pieces of land on the harbour or river. We did the same thing for our land at Bastion Point,” Blair said. “We’re very sensitive to these issues.”

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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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