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Key: Kiwis are lazy drug users

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, September 6th, 2016 - 197 comments
Categories: Economy, im/migration, john key, wages - Tags:

John Key let the mask slip yesterday – as he said that we needed immigrant labour even for unskilled work because of the work ethic and drug use of New Zealand workers.  That’s how he sees normal Kiwis, struggling to get ahead in his economy.  Much like Bill English’s ‘pretty damn hopeless‘.

As Richard Wagstaff of the CTU has said – it is unfair to compare NZ workers who have to live here year-round, often maintain a family, and have stand-down periods etc, with migrant labour that is effectively bonded to their employer for their time they are here, and often starting in debt to them.  Often what is needed to attract NZ labour is better pay and conditions, but immigrant labour is a cheap and easy subsidy to employers.  It may be causing big infrastructure problems having a record 69,000 coming in over the last year, and an overheated Auckland housing market (average price: $1 million) but it saves the government having to make sure that Kiwis get the right skills, and it stops their party donors complaining about rising wage bills.

The guys at Nice Blocks can pay $20+/hour (Living Wage now $19.80) to juice oranges.  Perhaps this is a clue to what is needed in other low-skill jobs.  Because at the moment our big numbers of immigrants are for Dairy cattle farmers & workers, Cafe/restaurant managers, Retail managers & supervisors, Aged or disabled carers and Truck drivers – and you got to think with 5-6% unemployment, we’ve got the people to do those jobs if you actually pay properly.

But when you hear ‘Kiwis are too lazy to work’, perhaps decode it as ‘Kiwis aren’t going to waste their lives going backwards financially working for those pay & conditions’.

197 comments on “Key: Kiwis are lazy drug users ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    Was disappointed but not surprised that the question wasn’t asked of these two employers how much they paid the SWS workers and what their other conditions were.

    For Key and his business lobbies the answer appears to be, ‘if you can’t find people desperate enough for your low wage jobs in NZ, bring in even more desperate people from overseas.’

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1


      That does appear to be it. The driving force to turn NZ into a third world country solely so that the rich can become richer.

      We cannot afford the rich.

    • Sebbie 1.2

      Yes that is exactly it. They want people who will work for minimum wage and not ask for workers rights to fill a wide variety of jobs. Also the government wants people who will take all the govt positions at bottom dollar so they look for those positions from third world countries too. It’s not about Kiwis being lazy it’s about employers and the govt wanting as many people as possible to be on minimum wage.

      • G C 1.2.1

        Let’s not forget that often it’s unprofitable for people to work. If a beneficiary starts working the government applies claw-back attachment orders on their wages for WINZ debts. Extra petrol, extra food, tools, phone costs, clothes, etc are examples of work related costs.

        If the now working person loses their job they can’t receive a benefit again for many weeks and often end up dispossessed, then homeless.

        NZ also holds the gold medal for work-place bullying.

        Benefisharies are also unable to work part-time as they lose dollar for dollar form their benefit and have to cover work costs. This is effectively the employee paying his/her employer.

        In many cases benefisharies can’t study as it’s illegal to receive an unemployment benefit while in full-time study and student allowances are less than the unemployment benefit.

        So workers get less, after costs, than people on the benefit. People on the benefit can’t afford to live anyway through.

        Add into this the cost of housing … things are going to get much, much, much worse in NZ. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg!

        Yet in a recent poll, most NZers believe NZ is moving in the right direction.

        I wonder sometimes if God is withdrawing his hand from NZ to let those so dispassionate towards the poor fall into poverty – many are only one or two social rungs away.

        • someoneelse

          I agree. It should be easier to go off and back on the benefit. The process should be no more than three clicks on a website and no stand down for temporary and seasonal workers.
          So simple.

        • BM

          Beneficiaries are also unable to work part-time as they lose dollar for dollar form their benefit and have to cover work costs. This is effectively the employee paying his/her employer.

          What nonsense.


          In many cases beneficiaries can’t study as it’s illegal to receive an unemployment benefit while in full-time study and student allowances are less than the unemployment benefit.

          That’s what a student loan is for.

          • G C

            No, you’re talking rubbish! It says ‘your main benefit’ – benefisharies lose ALL their accommodation supplements dollar for dollar straight away!

            • BM

              Well you should be contributing to NZ, not sitting on your arse bludging,

              Attitudes such as yours, is the main reason we need to import low skilled workers into the country , no shame at all, rather be given money than actually work for it.

              Damn lucky you actually get given any money at all.

              • G C

                I work BM. Perhaps BM your dispassionate attitude towards the poor will plunge you into poverty. Those who don’t think they are conceited, are very conceited indeed.

        • Leftie

          But G C, the benefits are low, people still can’t make ends meet. After they pay the rent, people do not have much left over for other necessities like power, food, water and so on. People also need to remember that this National government stripped kiwis under 18 from having access to govt assistance. They can’t get a benefit.

      • Leftie 1.2.2

        +1 Sebbie. Not just minimum wage either, I know Kiwis applying for jobs that are below the minimum wage. The companies know they can get away with it because people are desperate for work, despite the victim blaming by a lying John key, and the contrived staging and beat ups from Duncan Garner and the rest of msm.

    • Sebbie 1.3

      And this is not the first time we’ve heard this Bill English has also been quoted as saying “immigration is permissive because a lot of kiwis are pretty damn hopeless” Can New Zealanders realise what their govt thinks of them and get to the polls?

    • Sebbie 1.4

      I honestly don’t think Kiwis are even given first chance at most of these jobs, National always runs to recruit from overseas for government positions in the first instance, our kids that have just finished their courses training in a wide range of areas are deemed inexperienced so it’s off to recruit someone experienced from overseas and our kids with their teritiary tech and uni degrees have to go on the dole because they aren’t given a chance. As for a lot of other jobs it is just ASSUMED in the first instance that New Zealanders will want more than the govt or employer wants to pay and New Zealanders are not even given a chance at the job they go straight to recruiting from overseas again.

    • Sebbie 1.5

      We are going to be short of teachers in Auckland so what does the National Party do, not employ our kids finishing teacher training but run to third world countries for teachers who won’t join the union. It’s all about trying to turn us into a third world country so the rich can get richer.

    • G C 1.6

      I think the reason people are NOT leaving NZ in droves is because people are just too poor to leave. People aren’t staying here because it’s such a great place to live. The government should pay people to move to Australia – obviously that would cause a strain on NZ and AUS relations, but would certainly improve peoples lives.

      Bet more than 28 people would take that one up!

      • Little Kiwi 1.6.1

        I think us kiwis are suffering from learned helplessness. It isn’t really that hard to buy a one way ticket or start our own business with our skills. It’s change we fear.

  2. Ch-ch Chiquita 2

    It isn’t very hard to find out what these employers are offering. Send a nice young bloke to get an offer and expose them for what they realy are.

    But to be honest, it also comes back to us, the consumers. If we want to buy a bottle of wine for $10 at the supermarket, growers can’t pay more tham peanuts for picking the grapes. We need to consume less, pay more for what we consume and buy direct.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1


      In other words, we have to stop being so bloody cheap.

      • Takere 2.1.2

        Here, Here! Its a Dog Whilst. Plain and simple …. to divert attention from the many Crises of Housing, Nick Smith, Homelessness, Nick Smith, Pullah Benefit, Birds Shitting Everywhere, Nick Smith, Trade War with China stopping Beef, Dairy, Fruit, ect … at the Boarder because we won’t put up with dodgy Steel, Plumbing Products, Asbestos Trains ect ….Key, Dildo Joyce. Poorly performing DHB’s by Balance Sheet(s) and with their Services, Johnathon Coleman.They’re in the shit and they know what works to divert the public’s attention away from their incompetence and miss-management. Call them out by name and make them accountable.

    • Ron 2.2

      But that isn’t”t true. Kiwifruit growers are making $200000/ha profit.
      Wine growers are creaming it. Low wages are not because employers van’s afford it.

    • Sebbie 2.3

      Actually it is hard to find what employers are paying, people who have dared to ask what they are paying at a job interview get the frown and “sounds like your more interested in the pay than the job.” They try and keep it secret and show discussed if the question is even asked.

  3. Olwyn 3

    Think about what has been said in the past about Maori, and about the Irish, Scots and Welsh before that. Nothing says “colonisation” like “…but they are all lazy and unreliable.” John Key’s RNZ statement shows just that kind of disdain for NZ workers – his kind of democracy is responsive only to the colonisers, and not the colonised.

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    As disgraceful as his comments are to us, this will be music to the ear of National Supporters.

    That line wasn’t a slip of the tongue. It was calculated and focus group tested.

    They are truly vile people. The National Party and every person who votes for them

    • AmaKiwi 4.1

      Complete this John Key sentence:

      “More NZ young people should follow the work ethic of my son and daughter . . .”

      • mary_a 4.1.1

        @ AmaKiwi (4.1) …

        “…. indulging in exhibitionism by flaunting their half naked bodies throughout social media and msm for the whole world to see.”

        • How exactly is that relevant to anything at all? His kids have a right to be kids, leave them alone.

          • AmaKiwi

            @ Matthew Whitehead

            “His kids have a right to be kids, leave them alone” but my kids are lazy drug users because they don’t harvest fruit.

            Key’s son, Max, is a publicity hound. Max is no longer off limits.

            Max put himself in the news again just this week with some moronic father-son car washing public relations bit. His radio show. Golf with Obama. His clubbing video. Etc.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              I was referring specifically to Mary. I think it’s reasonable to call into question their work ethic in a respectful way, and I felt you were being reasonable in your post, but kids do still have a right to have a personal life even when their parents are politicians. It shouldn’t be being discussed on blogs or in the media if they have a sex life, or take some harmless recreational drugs.

              I don’t think publicity stunts open up his private life to criticism, tbh, insofar as his publicity isn’t hypocritical to his private life. (so if he’s slut-shaming then absolutely his sex life comes into play) While he’s probably gone further than he needed to in helping out his dad that way, there are pressures and obligations on kids to be there for publicity when their parents are politicians. The ones that are good parents rule it out entirely even if their kids want in.

              And yeah, I agree with you that there’s no obligation on people to travel long distances to take on poorly-paying seasonal work to avoid being considered “lazy.”

              • mpledger

                The are JK’s children but they are not kids. Max is 21 and Stephie is 23, if I’ve done the sums right.

                • Well sure if you want to get technical I should say “his adult children” rather than “his kids,” yeah. But they’re not his wife. They didn’t choose to be a politician’s children, and thus they still deserve to have their own private life.

                  It’s the right wing that needs to resort to policing the sex lives of politicians’ families. Let’s leave that sort of gutter-dredging to them. It only becomes relevant if he starts preaching one thing as okay for his family and another thing as required for every other family, which he isn’t doing in terms of their private lives.

          • Sebbie

            She’s 23. The thing is only the daughter of a rich man can afford to indulge in being a performance artist in this day and age.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              I wholeheartedly agree with you, but that doesn’t make “flaunting her body” any more relevant to the discussion. It should be a discussion of how we support ANY talented young woman or man into a career in the arts.

          • North

            Not when they engage the “Fuck you plebs……look at darling little me and who’s my Daddy?” They play the political games they get what they get. I don’t know who the fuck “Stephie” is so I don’t say a word about her. I certainly get fucked off with “Caught napping on Air Force One” FFS. So I say “FFS !” Enough of your weeping for a 21 year entitled child fancies he’s the ‘New Camelot’ John F Kennedy Jnr.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              I actually couldn’t give less of a shit about Key’s kids in particular, and am sure that if they can’t take care of themselves, their daddy will probably step in.

              It sets a really bad precedent though for left-wingers to go around criticising his kids because then we have to deal with their bullshit “family values” memes in return about how every else’s sex lives should function. Instead we should put our money where our mouth is and shut up about people’s private lives unless they are involved in some sort of political hypocrisy. (eg. a conservative in the closet voting against LGBT rights, or a family values candidate that cheats, etc…)

        • Nessalt

          Are you seriously going to body shame because they are the children of people you don’t like?

    • Patrick Cummoskey 4.2

      Everyone who votes National shouldn’t be allowed to vote. They have clearly shown they do not have the intelligence to make the best choice.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    But when you hear ‘Kiwis are too lazy to work’, perhaps decode it as ‘Kiwis aren’t going to waste their lives going backwards financially working for those pay & conditions’.

    Or perhaps you could quote what Key actually said, which is that a lot of these people don’t have the work ethic required to do unskilled labouring work such as fruit picking. That’s not the same as “being too lazy”.

    Person wrote in this morning to Morning Report. They say of a busload of 8 NZ workers who they’d get to pick apples in their orchard, on average, 2 of them would fail to turn up on the first day, two of them would quit on the afternoon of the first day, 2 of them would quit by the end of the week. Only 1 or 2 of them would last the entire season.

    Now, it’s quite possible that the NZ workers simply don’t want to do the hard work required of the job for the comparable low pay, which I can understand. But I’m not sure that increasing the pay would make a huge difference for some of these people.

    Trevor Mallard took part in a documentary several years ago, I believe it was called “Make your politician work”. He took up a job picking asparagus, a job that is normally given to foreign labourers. The owner of the operation was quite matter of fact about the situation – NZ workers would simply NOT do the asparagus picking job, as it was too much hard work for them. He could NOT pay a higher wage for the job, because it would make the whole operation unsustainable. If you’re in business, you have to make a profit, otherwise the business doesn’t exist.

    The jobs that NZers were happy to do however, were in the packaging sheds, which were less physically demanding and required slightly more skill. These jobs paid a little better than the picking jobs, but not substantially so.

    The owner said that if it weren’t for the foreign labourers picking the asparagus, the operation would either be significantly smaller, or not exist at all. But BECAUSE of the foreigners do the hard labour work, he was able to employ more NZers doing the stockhouse packaging work.

    • He could NOT pay a higher wage for the job, because it would make the whole operation unsustainable.

      That’s true, but only in the sense that it would make his operation uncompetitive with ones that continued to pay a pittance, and in the sense that consumers have become used to goods being cheap due to exploitation of foreigners so will resist actually paying what it ought to cost to produce those goods. If there was a blanket ban on exploiting migrant workers, every asparagus operation would be in the same boat. Consumers would probably buy less asparagus because it would be more expensive, but there’s nothing inherently bad about that.

      Also: I worked weeding asparagus as a summer job in Blenheim back in the 1980s, so there are NZers who are willing to do the work. I certainly didn’t like spending all day bent over working in dirt under blazing sunshine, and the money was crap, but it’s not the kind of job you plan to make a career of.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        “in the sense that consumers have become used to goods being cheap due to exploitation of foreigners so will resist actually paying what it ought to cost to produce those goods”

        Food in New Zealand is already extremely expensive.

        “but it’s not the kind of job you plan to make a career of.”

        Which is also part of why people don’t want to do these jobs. They’re difficult and there’s no career path and it’s not a long-term job.

        Even if you work in a service station, there’s more of an opportunity for advancement in such a workplace, or at least taking your experience and finding a job elsewhere.

        • Psycho Milt

          Food in New Zealand is already extremely expensive.

          In what sense? Can food really be called “expensive” if its prices reflect the costs of paying people enough for it to be worth producing the food? When I was a kid, fresh asparagus was a luxury item because it’s expensive to produce if you provide the wages and conditions needed to persuade people to do the work involved in producing it. There’s no genuine reason why we should exploit foreigners for the sake of changing fresh asparagus from a luxury item to a standard one.

          Which is also part of why people don’t want to do these jobs. They’re difficult and there’s no career path and it’s not a long-term job.

          In most cases, if a job is a tough one that people are reluctant to do, employers offer wages and conditions to make it sufficiently attractive. For some reason, in cases like this we instead let employers just bring people in from the Third World who are desperate enough to take what’s offered. That shouldn’t happen.

          • left_forward

            I completely agree with both your posts on this PM – points very well made.

          • The New Student

            +1 PM

            True cost of food. Why that’s so hard for people to understand is beyond my capability

            In my little mind, food should be produced ethically or not at all

          • Lanthanide

            Here’s my reply from below; the reply button wasn’t working properly for me earlier.

            “In what sense?”

            In the sense that food costs too much to the average wage. People from the UK and US are always surprised at how expensive food is here. I’ve seen comments from people saying that in the UK they always cooked food at home because it was cheap and service in restaurants was so expensive. Now that they live in NZ, they frequently eat out, because the price difference between home-cooked and restaurant food is so low – food is so expensive but service is relatively cheap.

            This just might simply be economies of scale at work, though. Food in Australia is roughly the same price, but their wages are ~40% higher.

      • AmaKiwi 5.1.2

        Thanks to TPPA this producer will have to compete with even lower cost producers such as Vietnam. He probably pays more in rates than the entire Vietnamese farmer’s cost of production.

        Well done, Nats.

    • Scott 5.2

      Agree with that, but Wagstaff may have a point as well. If there are structural barriers to kiwi unemployed taking up these jobs, such as benefit stand-down periods at the end of seasonal work, then those need to be reconsidered. I think however you’re right, the main problem is that a good number of people just don’t want to do this type of minimum wage work. They prefer the alternative of not working at all.

      • Lanthanide 5.2.1

        Ah yes, all the ridiculous bureaucracy of WINZ and them screwing up your benefit payments, causing you to go into debt. Not worth the hassle and stress.

        A UBI would reasonably help with this. If people were on a UBI, they would know that if they work 3 days, they get to keep 100% of their earnings after tax from that work, and it won’t muck up their other benefit.

        Whether employers would be happy to take people on for that amount of work is another question, but it would give a lot of people a lot more options for work.

        • Stuart Munro

          Picker employers used to provide seasonal accomodation – it wasn’t flash, but it meant that although pay was low and sometimes weather affected, what you made you kept. Last time I checked out fruit picking it wouldn’t pay accomodation costs – working for free (in the absence of a noble cause) is very demotivating.

          • North

            I was told by a short term Tongan citrus worker in Northland (single man) that after meeting very basic hostel/shared cabin type accommodation, cheap, cheap food and other unavoidable costs, he had barely $100/week in his hand. Less should he resist the sense of slavery with a modicum of recreational expenditure.

            This is what that construct ‘good joker’ Key sees as the answer for all of us. Rape the poor and require that they rejoice in his Brighter Future, sporting gecko-like smiles like his.

            And in the case of Polynesian workers, suffer six months of disgraceful, pointed ignore in a shitty little racist Northland town. Local poor can and do say “Fuck Off !” Delightful people can’t.

    • vto 5.3

      Well clearly the asparagus business of that person is not sustainable and should be shut down then

      I fail to see why this is so hard to fathom

      • Lanthanide 5.3.1

        I guess you missed the bit where this guy was employing dozens of NZers in the packhouse operation.

        It seems you’re quite happy to force all of those people out of their job.

        • vto

          No I did not miss that.

          maybe you are missing the bit where the country has voted in the free market and that we are all expected to operate under it. Why is it different for these business people? Can I also get exceptions to our rules when an input cost for my own business makes it not viable?? Please?? To keep the playing field level of course….

          • Lanthanide

            The foreigners are being paid the minimum wage, so there’s no special “exception to our rules” that this company is using.

            He was quite clear, that if it weren’t for the foreigners willing to do the work, the operation would either not exist at all, or be substantially smaller.

            Ultimately the foreigners are creating jobs for NZers, that would otherwise not exist.

            • vto

              Yes, there is a special exception to our rules. These employers get to up the supply of workers by bringing in foreigners temporarily thereby suppressing the ability of NZ workers to negotiate up their wages.

              If the foreign workers did not exist then the employers and employees would be able to negotiate in the usual manner..

              .. now they just give the finger to locals, saying “work for minimum wage or we employ foreigners”

              that is not the free market
              that is not what employers vote for
              that is nanny government undermining employees

              • Draco T Bastard


              • Lanthanide

                “If the foreign workers did not exist then the employers and employees would be able to negotiate in the usual manner..”

                And this company would either not exist, or would be substantially smaller, so there would be fewer jobs available for NZers.

                • vto

                  Yes you have already said that

                  • s y d

                    Hands up who believes the invisible hand is at work?
                    I’m with VTO and Psycho Milt – if you think that market mechanisms are the best way to allocate resources, then let those mechanisms run their course.
                    Supply and demand. Only it seems for labour inputs there is state intervention to ensure supply never affects the price of labour.

                    • Scott

                      If you want a “free market” to solve the problems why does the freedom of the market get constrained by immigration laws?

                      It is an illusion to say that we’ll let the free market sort it out but to set up a market that is not free.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If you want a “free market” to solve the problems why does the freedom of the market get constrained by immigration laws?

                      A free-market is predicated upon a level playing field. Such does not exist. Pay rates are different, working conditions are different, how much it costs to live, availability of health care and much more.

                      And we’re not really talking about full immigration here either but temporary workers. The ones that come in for a short time, send money back to the whanau while they’re here and then return.

                  • Lanthanide

                    And you didn’t address it, so I can only assume you’re fine with destroying NZ jobs.

                    • vto

                      The jobs don’t properly exist to be destroyed.. they are artificially created by exceptions to the rules everyone else has to work and do business under

                    • Lanthanide

                      So vto, all the people working in the pack house, are working ghost jobs?

                    • vto

                      yes for the reasons already repeated

                      your logic is the same as slave owners used to use

                      good one

                    • mikes

                      That’s assuming he business owner is being honest when he says the business wouldn’t exist if he had t pay people more, which is not usually the case. If they honestly can’t afford to pay a few people an extra say $5 an hour then the business is probably not viable anyway.

                      Remember, wages are a cost of doing business which means they are tax deductible for the business. so when an employer says they can’t afford higher wages then they must already be paying zero tax for that to be true. If they are already paying no tax they are making no profit so the business is nonviable anyway

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      This isn’t a case of needing cheaper workers but of needing machines to do the work which requires R&D but it’s not the type of R&D such a small operator can do. In other words, it’s R&D that the government should be doing and then manufacturing the equipment to do that menial work.

      Of course, at that point, the government should probably be the one to run the operation as well. Individuals should not get the full benefits that come from societies investment.

      • mpledger 5.4.1

        But I think the supermarkets are setting the price for food goods. Basically, we’ll take your good at this price or we won’t take them.

        • mpledger

          Hence, the rise of farmer’s markets.

        • Draco T Bastard

          To a very large degree the supermarket chains and food processing companies are dictating prices to the farmers. This actually requires the farmers to stop selling to these groups and selling directly to the public. The internet would allow this to work very well in a farmer cooperative. The farmers would own the process from food production, processing and selling on the internet. Delivery would then be via the courier companies or the farmers could set up their own delivery service.

          Quite literally farm fresh produce delivered to your door.

    • Wayne 5.5

      The interview with Andrew Little this morning on RNZ was also interesting.

      He accepted that there is a challenge with some young unemployed people of understanding the expectations of the workplace. To suggest that there are no issues, as some here are doing would be to deny reality. And I have have seen the issue close up.

      The important point Andrew Little made is the need to work alongside people who have real difficulties of adjusting to work to help them to be more work ready. Many of them, for a variety of reasons, have had limited connection to the workplace and it’s expectations. It could be lack of work in their area, lack of skills, and the reality of drug use. Many will have left school without qualifications. They do need support.

      I thought a lot of what Andrew Little said was common sense.

      • Muttonbird 5.5.1

        What is the main reason your government does not provide this support?

        • Wayne


          Just to be annoyingly correct.

          The government is for all New Zealanders, it belongs to all of us. Thus it is “our” government.

          Of course the political parties which make up the government only have the support of those who vote for them, and perhaps they have that support only at that point.

          • b waghorn

            thats one way of avoiding the question you’d make a great politician ?

          • Stuart Munro

            ‘Our’ government is a fucking disgrace.

            • Sabine

              i doubt that this current Government is the government of those that have no house, no job, and don’t donate or vote national party.

              at least i fail to see any good this current National Party led government has done for NZ that would benefit the least of us.

              Maybe you could point us to that?

              at some stage the question that should be asked is simple: Have you got no decency left?

          • Leftie

            The Key National government most certainly doesn’t represent me or anyone else I know, Wayne.

      • vto 5.5.2

        Wayne, please see mini-thread just above at 5.3 re market mechanisms.

        Why not let the market mechanisms run their course? supply and demand and all that.

        hypocrisy shreds your cred

      • Sebbie 5.5.3

        There are tons of unmployed who have very high qualifications but still can’t find work.

        • Leftie

          Absolutely spot on Sebbie. And the National government ensures that these Kiwis get sidelined.

    • AmaKiwi 5.6

      Thanks to TPPA this producer will have to compete with even lower cost producers such as Vietnam. He probably pays more in rates than the entire Vietnamese farmer’s cost of production.

      Well done, Nats.

    • Ch_Ch Chiquita 5.7

      So maybe the business model is wrong then. Perhaps what is needed in such a case is a co-op where all employees are partners and whole families work in the farm. We are stuck in this unsustainable business model that allows a business to survive only on the back of exploiting the third world, again.

    • b waghorn 5.8

      ” But I’m not sure that increasing the pay would make a huge difference for some of these people.”

      Lanthanide i have personally ditched two jobs due two the money not being enough for me to bother putting up with that job , in both cases i would have stayed for more money.

      • Lanthanide 5.8.1

        Yes, but how much more is necessary, for some of these jobs?

        Say they paid the “living wage”?

        Would you rather have a job at The Warehouse paying $16/hour, or a hard, back-breaking job out in the fields (and exposed to the weather) paying $19.80/hour?

        Many people would choose the former.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          …especially considering that after three years at the Warehouse you’d be on the living wage anyway…

    • G C 5.9

      Businesses that can’t cut the mustard should close. Obviously in the above example the business was turning a profit and within the law. Though, I hope you’re not arguing that avoiding a business closing down justifies paying slave wages?

      We certainly don’t have many farriers and blacksmiths driving the NZ economy.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    It may be causing big infrastructure problems having a record 69,000 coming in over the last year, and an overheated Auckland housing market (average price: $1 million) but it saves the government having to make sure that Kiwis get the right skills, and it stops their party donors complaining about rising wage bills.

    Also means that the local businesses don’t have to train them.

    Over the last thirty years we’ve had both government and businesses completely writing off NZers and looking to import the needed skills rather than develop those skills here. That development of skills is expensive but it’s what’s needed to develop our economy beyond only raw production.

    Time for NZers to demand more from our government while telling the cheap business pukes to fuck off.

    • NZJester 6.1

      Don’t forget the fact that because a lot of businesses here do not pay skilled workers what they would get overseas by having easy access to imported cheaper labour, that those that can actually leave to go overseas for those better-paying jobs, tend to do just that. They tend to not want to come back either as they might have a big student loan debt hanging over their heads here and are now subject to arrest at our airports.

      • Little Kiwi 6.1.1

        Highly skilled workers can pay off their student loans faster when they go overseas for better wages. Plan to get mine down a bit before I take off. Denigrating kiwis for being lazy is just an excuse for companies to import cheap slaves.

      • James 6.1.2

        That’s easy to fix. Simply honour the loan agreement you signed when you borrowed the money.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Nah. The best solution is to write off the debts and abandon the stupid failed right wing bullshit along with all the other stupid failed right wing bullshit.

  7. vto 7

    This situation genuinely annoys ……..

    These business people need to learn to play by the free market and up their pay rates to what the market is happy with. Currently they are big failures..

    If the free market deems $30/hour and that sends their business bust then tough – that is what happens to everybody else in the free market. We don’t go running to nanny government with hands out when business ideas don’t work out because we can’t source the various inputs at prices we need..

    .. but fruit growers and others seem to think otherwise

    they seem to think they have a god-given right to demand particular prices for their business ….

    la-la land stuff


  8. Gangnam Style 8

    He was probably drunk when he said it.

  9. Siobhan 9

    National Radio had a piece on this this morning. I was left slightly bemused that they could run a whole piece on workers/employment without interviewing an actual worker, let alone an unemployed person. I thought employment was a two party arrangement??

    By the by…Solomon Island workers earn 70 cents an hour back home, Fiji workers $2.70 (NZ dollars, and these are the ‘Official’ minimum wages…not enforced).
    The pitiful wages they earn here are a lifeline back home…..but try living in the Hawkes Bay on those wages…a shitty fenceless house down the wrong street in Flaxmere, will set you back $300.00 a week for starters.

    The imported workers are ‘housed’ in overcrowded rentals and even shipping containers, they are not paying normal NZ rates for educating,clothing and feeding their families (who are living cheap back home), this is the only way this scheme ‘works’.
    If these workers had to actually live in NZ full time it would take less than a generation for them to realise they are on a fast track to nowhere.

    • NZSage 9.1

      My thoughts exactly Siobhan.

      Not forgetting the overseas workers are away from their families for several months, most likely have a rudimentary social life and subsistence level diets. All in all third world conditions right here in NZ.

      This is the “Brighter Future” that Key, National and their business buddies also want for the rest of New Zealand’s unskilled workers.

      Makes my blood boil!!!

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2


    • Ben Clark 9.3

      Really good point about Morning Report piece. Should give them feedback about that…

      (also about wages vs cost of living in PI countries)

      • Siobhan 9.3.1

        Well, my husband just put in a complaint, along the lines of not having Fair and Balanced reporting.

        Maybe we all should?

        Now is not the time for National Radio to totally capitulate to the Neo liberal agenda, be it from the National Party or Labour. RNZ are still, technically a Public broadcaster.

    • Bill 9.4

      So overhaul employment legislation so that it’s not possible for an employer to exploit the desperation of foreigners…or so that, if they do, they run the very real risk of jail time.

      That shortens your “generation” to the time it takes a penny to drop. And it doesn’t exclude short term migrant labour from the work force. They are taking one of the few routes available to them and the reasons working in NZ is one of the few routes available to them is all tied up with a shitty colonial past and the fall out of that past.

      Those countries and their peoples got deliberately fucked over so that people here (and elsewhere) could enjoy a bit of a comparative high life. We owe them.

      • Stuart Munro 9.4.1

        Oh really.

        The same argument was made on behalf of Russian slave ships.

        Let’s get our own house in order before destroying our labour market for the benefit of the rest of the world.

        • Bill

          Was it? Enlighten me.

          Someone argued against the line that, (as many on the left currently argue) Russians (foreigners) shouldn’t be allowed to be aboard those boats (in those orchards/hotels) because they’re taking jobs from kiwis and pushing up house prices?

          I don’t fucking think so Stuart. But hey…like I say, enlighten me.

          • Stuart Munro

            Mate they made all the arguments.

            We owe them? Then pay them.

            Don’t rig a fiddle using NZ jobs – pay them up front in cash. If that is not acceptable then the argument isn’t sincere.

            As for post colonial guilt – I am not responsible for the impoverishment of Russia, nor were my ancestors. I didn’t desire it nor did I benefit from it.

            Let’s not have any blanket assumptions further erode the lousy conditions NZ workers suffer without taking a pretty critical look at them.

            NZ is an island economy – its job market can be readily wrecked by what are in international terms relatively small numbers of workers. Fishing for example only directly employs a few thousand. A few hundred imports and wages, job security, skill progression would be gone – and they didn’t stop at a few hundred. The long term disaster is the skill loss. Accountants cannot innovate in fishing any more than they can in engineering. NZ has an equivalent marine resource to Japan, but we produce 1% of the product value and 1% of the jobs.

            Once Russian contracters are handling employment kiwis will no longer be hired – I was refused jobs on NZ registered vessels for not speaking Russian, for not accepting below minimum wages, and more frequently for no specified cause. The same is coming with Silver Fern farms – foreign contracted labour will usurp the jobs that once supported kiwi families.

            So I get that a certain generosity to foreign workers is desirable in principle, but the way it plays out locally is not as enlightened Left policy but as cynical Right opportunism.

            • Bill

              You missed the bit (not the first time I’ve said it) that employment legislation ought to be overhauled and the whole environment tipped to favour workers – all workers?

              • Stuart Munro

                Forgive me – if you can achieve broad employment sector reform such that kiwi workers are securely and safely employed I’ll cheer for foreign workers too.

                The size of the ‘If’ pains me though.

  10. vto 10

    Key used to work in the foreign financial markets…

    it is very well known that these workers have always snorted all sorts of drugs up their snouts to keep them bubbling along… more so than with manual workers I would surmise

    Has Key snorted stuff up his nose like his colleagues?

    • s y d 10.1

      Key manufactures and supplies vast quantities of drugs, via his ‘blind’ trust investment vehicles.
      He has also offered drugs as an apology for assault

    • s y d 10.2

      Key manufactures and supplies vast quantities of drugs, via his ‘blind’ trust investment vehicles.
      He has also offered these drugs to victims of his assaults.

  11. mary_a 11

    Typical disrespectful attitude from John Key towards working class Kiwis. Blame the unemployed, instead of addressing the cause of their plight, which in this case is importing cheap foreign labour, when the existing labour force here could be employed to do the work.

    Hardly surprising statement coming from him, considering his failure to address the issues concerning rampant migration into NZ, putting pressure on infrastructure, health and housing, as well as ongoing unemployment, homelessness, failing education etc.

    Didn’t Bill English say something similar not so long ago? Must be the National government mindset. Kick vulnerable Kiwis while they are down and out!

    Get this government out. The sooner the better!

  12. Keith 12

    Isn’t John Key a cowardly little man?

    He could be honest and say the “flexible employment” regime he has championed has a cause and effect that his lazy donors didn’t think about when they demanded it. They thought they could treat workers like play things that they could pick up and put down whenever they pleased. But when they only offer part time work, be it set period or uncertain hours every week for low money or worse on contract, they now have to expect their part timers may be doing something else! And yes that has a major effect on reliability and engagement but who the fuck could be surprised by that? Certainly not anyone who thinks past the end of their greedy blue noses!

    He could be honest and say Nationals hidden immigration agenda was to provide cheap exploitable labour to bypass labour laws, minimum wage rates and safety laws and even to fuel housing speculation and landlording. And it is a roaring success at those achievements.

    He could be honest and say there is next to no fruit picking in Auckland where the vast majority of immigrants end up.

    He could be honest and say that the part time work that is agricultural crop picking has been done by tourists for a very long time because who living in this country can leave home, go and rent down the line somewhere and then be paid bugger all to pick fruit and then somehow go back to where they came from all the better for it? Whatever John but hey the Lords are pissed with their serfs according to a couple of friends of yours in the horticultural industry.

    But he doesn’t, he instead does what he always does when he is caught out, lies, misleads and throws everyone and anyone that won’t harm (non Nat voters) him under the nearest bus. Yesterday he threw his fellow kiwi’s under the bus. They are lazy, they have no work ethic, they are drug addicts and users, they are scum not fit to walk this earth.

    Fuck you John Key and your lying blame deflection and abuse of New Zealanders. But while you are at the immigration game how about looking overseas for some value for money, honest, genuine, caring politicians because the National Party are bereft of them!

    • Redlion Seratus 12.1

      Bang on the bulls eye Keith… from my experience it is backpackers out of vans or crammed into what ever accommodation the person running the gangs can drum up…piece rates & if you don’t make the minimum tough go else where

    • Leftie 12.2

      Hundreds and thousands of +1’s Keith.

  13. NZJester 13

    They are back at the drug taking beneficiaries lie again.
    That has already been proven a lie with 2014 OIA request figures showing only 134 initial failures of beneficiaries being given a drug test, but then only one person failing both the initial and a follow-up test in 2014. The info does not say what percentage of those might have been false positives or due to refusal to take the test.
    In 2014, benefits were cut in half for 33 cases, including twice for families with children. Another 27 times, allowances were fully cancelled. A statement with the Official Information Act response noted the 2014 figures might include the same person being sanctioned more than once.
    So the numbers are very small and might be even smaller when you take into account it is likely the same people being sanctioned more than once.
    I bet if you tested the average National voters the percentage would probably be far higher for drug use as they have the money to afford the drugs.
    Most people do not want to do the seasonal work as most of the employers offer little money for a very hard and physically demanding job that is subject to weather interruption, when fruit is ready to pick and price varies depending on what variety of fruit is being picked.

    My Sorce of information

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    Capitalist exploitation of labour continues as normal. The profit motive is the only true value of our society; all else are but nice to haves.

    I suppose this is a call to fight for better, fairer conditions of wage slavery.

  15. Bill 15

    Is it really just me missing something, or does “migrant labour” keep wrongly getting mentioned in the same breath as “immigrant labour”? The two are not the same thing. The impacts from the two categories of people are different.

    69 000 immigrants doesn’t equate to 69 000 people seeking work.

    Most of the 100 or 200 odd thousand work visas are being issued to migrant labour…back-packers, foreign seasonal workers etc. None of those people will be looking to buy a house.

    Look. I agree that wages and conditions should improve dramatically so that people can afford to take up some of the jobs out there. And I’d agree if anyone was proposing that employment legislation act as a big bloody stick hovering over employers. I also agree that house prices and the cost of renting must tumble alongside a huge increase in security or certainty for renters.

    A meaningful context for that is (to use a little used term) class warfare – it’s all about money, power and finance. Nationality has very little to do with any of it. If a comparatively rich (insert nationality) wasn’t buying up a housing portfolio at prices most can’t afford, then a comparatively rich kiwi would be doing it. Now sure, maybe house prices wouldn’t have risen as fast, but we’d still be in a “nearly never killed the cat” situation – unaffordable is unaffordable whether the degree of unaffordability is in the low tens of thousands or in the low hundreds.

    A lot of the bullshit arguments around house prices seem to be fueled by the angst of that comparatively wealthy layer of society (eg – politicians and other professionals) who’ve realised they no longer rule the housing market roost. Meanwhile, for most people, that ‘battle’ over who should be top dog – ie, who should have ‘the right’ to build a rental or speculative portfolio – matters not one jot – we’ll be ripped and stomped no matter who comes out on top. Unless…

    Anyway. Pitting NZ workers against foreign workers, or NZ born house buyers against foreign born house buyers misses the point entirely and contains the seeds of some really nasty shit. That a seemingly large section of the self proclaimed left adopt such divisive arguments and push them to the forefront of debate, yeah…phrases like “deeply disquieting” spring to mind.

    • Stuart Munro 15.1

      It doesn’t take many foreign investors to throw the housing market out of kilter. It doesn’t take many migrant workers to erode living and working conditions and make some kinds of work a dysfunctional choice for kiwis who need a house and family. You find objection to these trends ‘disturbing’. Try losing your job or house to them and you won’t be disturbed, you’ll be furious. And so you should.

      The origins of the Left do not lie in eschewing confrontation in favour of comfortable preconceptions – rather the reverse. They brought conflicts to a head and fought for them. Demanding the right to housing is not racism. Demanding secure and meaningful and remunerative work is not racism either. NZ cannot and never could absorb en masse substantial numbers of workers from poorer economies without eroding local pay and conditions. The Left must be ready to fight that issue, because the Right have, as always, been completely irresponsible.

      • Bill 15.1.1

        I don’t find objections to the trend disturbing – I find the adoption and deployment of essentially racist arguments disturbing.

        I don’t eschew confrontation in favour of comfortable preconceptions, but I’m not going to indulge in casual racism when the real conflict revolves around money and finance – ie, when the conflict is one of class, not race or nationality.

        Demanding secure and meaningful employment isn’t racist. Demanding the right to housing isn’t racist. Arguments being used to bolster those demands can be and have been though.

  16. Sabine 16

    Gosh i must be the lucky employer then lol. Cause the people that work for me are sober, clean and tidy, polite, well spoken and on time.

    but then i don’t expect them to to bow and hovel either. And for what its worth while i pay above the min wage i can’t afford to pay living wage just yet.
    and prices are as steady as can be.

    ahh, it must be so nice to have a government that actually gives you carte blanche to abuse your workers and if they get uppity those pesky kiwis we just import a few from countries that are known for their adherence to ‘human rights’.

    I so loathe this man, i can’t put it in words anymore. it is as if he has run out of fucks to give and now is just plain insulting the same people that pay his wage.

    • Andre 16.1

      “the people that work for me are sober, clean and tidy, polite, well spoken and on time.”

      We’ve seen how you deal to people who step out of line here at The Standard so I’m not at all surprised you have model employees. 🙂

    • James 16.2

      So as an employer you can’t afford to pay the working wage ??

      Why not ? According to some on here that simply makes your business unviable.

      Didn’t this make you as “bad” as all those business owners who just rip off the poor worker with less than a decent working wages simply so they can rip all the profit out of the business.

      Or are you another of those people that beleive that only others should have to pay it – and economic realities only count in your business.

  17. dv 17

    Shearing is hard and seasonal.

    How come there are not shearing shortages

    The rate is about $3.5 per sheep.

    For 200 sheep per day that is about $700 a day.

    So not low pay

    • BM 17.1

      Shearing takes skill, picking fruit not so much

      Problem is, most younger kiwis are incapable of doing boring repetitive tasks, every thing has to be fun and exciting and new.

      Picking fruit or in fact most manual jobs don’t fit that criteria,

      • s y d 17.1.1

        BS, BM.
        Most younger kiwis are more than capable of picking fruit, it’s just that having a toke on the job is now frowned on.
        Used to be that a wee number before hitting the vines was just part of the day…

        • BM

          So they can’t pick fruit unless they’re blazed?, that’s not really the type of worker you want.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            …I think you’re missing the point that employer expectations are becoming unrealistic. There is nothing about responsible casual drug use that prevents you from being a good employee. That’s why you don’t get fired for having after work drinks if you can still come to work and be effective the next day. With more rational drug laws, the same would be true for certain methods of getting high. If they’re not doing anything illegal on your property and they’re still effective at their job, TBH it’s none of their employer’s business whether they’re smoking.

            (And FWIW, I say this as someone with absolutely no direct interest in the matter- the closest I get to using drugs is social drinking)

            By far the more relevant thing is that they’re not willing to pay a fair wage for picking fruit. Yes, it’s not skilled work, but it’s also manual labour intensive and usually far away from where their workforce would normally live. I’m not saying they need to compete with office workers or anything, (although in a world where the difficulty of a job was accurately reflected in pay scale rather than the rarity of qualifications, they would) but they do need a livable wage.

            • BM

              I think you’re missing the point that employer expectations are becoming unrealistic.

              Consequences of the new health and safety regulations.

              • Sabine

                then they need to test for impairment not past use which is what is done now.

              • Is it? Did I miss the relevant part of the Health and Safety at Work Act?

                Regardless, from both a practical and a moral point of view, it’s not an employer’s responsibility to manage recreational drug use unless it’s impacting work or it’s an actual addiction, regardless of what tinkering this government may have done.

                My employer SHOULD only get a say in what I do outside of work time insofar as it risks my ability to do my job effectively. (In practice they’re understandably cautious on several fronts there, especially in managing social media exposure)

            • Draco T Bastard

              Yes, it’s not skilled work,

              Yes it is. Sure, it doesn’t need a tertiary education but someone who’s been doing it for years is going to be a whole lot better than someone’s who’s just started.

              • Yeah I agree with you completely there, probably better to avoid the term “skilled work” in the future, it’s a nasty piece of spin.

              • Lanthanide

                Skilled work is basically anything that you can’t learn on the job in about a week. Yes, someone who is there longer will be more productive, but anyone with an able body being able to be productive after a short time is what makes something “unskilled”.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yes, someone who is there longer will be more productive,

                  Denoting a higher skill.

                  IMO, the idea behind ‘unskilled work’ is nothing more than an excuse to pay less while enabling victim blaming of the poor.

          • North

            Ho BM…….”blazed” That’s a goodie. You obviously know something about this I don’t. Lucky Crosby Textor don’t drug test their piece work trolls.

      • Guerilla Surgeon 17.1.2

        Funny, my son has just taken a boring repetitive job, simply because it is the only one he could find. As have a number of his friends. So perhaps you could keep your stereotypical bullshit to yourself?

        • mpledger

          I know a number of peer’s kids who haven’t gone on to university after level 3, who have taken boring, repetitive jobs that offer no career because there isn’t a lot of options.

          My peers who left after UE walked into entry level jobs with prospective careers attached.

          There just aren’t the jobs for “juniors” any more.

  18. Guerilla Surgeon 18

    I think this was said about Ronald Reagan, but it does apply to Key as well. “You can wade through his deepest thoughts and not get your ankles wet.”

  19. UncookedSelachimorpha 19

    Replace the minimum wage with the living wage or better. This is the obvious first step.

    Then see how much of the problem getting good workers remains. It will be a lot less – more motivated people and staff who can actually afford healthcare, homes etc. Plus more demand for things like asparagus from workers with money in their pockets.

    • To be fair the issue here isn’t going to be solved entirely by a minimum increase, because it’s one of wage competition, where employers are incorrectly viewing manual labour as something they don’t have to pay for because it’s easy to procure in areas with a lot of job-seekers. But if you’re offering picking work you can’t compare your rates to someone doing manual labour in a city, because you need to bring in people from out of town to have enough labour, and therefore you need to pay a premium to encourage people to move for seasonal work.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 19.1.1

        Agree it won’t be entirely solved by a minimum increase.

        But the general idea should be to increase wages to get the labour you want, rather than deliberately suppressing wages and conditions (by importing more low-wage workers, removing employee negotiating power etc) and then complaining you can’t get anyone decent to do your poverty job.

    • James 19.2

      Why not waist the min wage to 69$ per hour then ?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2.1

        This parrot has learned his lines, and now he only needs to work on the spelling.

        The fact that only a right wing lackwit would consider it a strong argument doesn’t seem to register.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 19.2.2

        Or a trillion per hour? Or zero and bring back slavery?

        There is a powerful case for minimum wage rates. Your straw man logic adds nothing to the discussion. John Key would be proud.

  20. Rodel 20

    The PM’s comments bear a striking similarity to Mitt Romney’s downfall comments about the undeserving 47% was it? in America.

  21. Lanthanide 21

    This is an attempt to reply to Pyscho Milt at, but the reply button isn’t working properly so it may appear in the wrong place.

    “In what sense?”

    In the sense that food costs too much to the average wage. People from the UK and US are always surprised at how expensive food is here. I’ve seen comments from people saying that in the UK they always cooked food at home because it was cheap and service in restaurants was so expensive. Now that they live in NZ, they frequently eat out, because the price difference between home-cooked and restaurant food is so low – food is so expensive but service is relatively cheap.

    This just might simply be economies of scale at work, though. Food in Australia is roughly the same price, but their wages are ~40% higher.

  22. Leftie 22

    John key hates kiwi workers, lets face it, John key hates New Zealand and New Zealanders in general. It’s all part of John key’s exploitative agenda to belittle and denigrate Kiwis in favour of cheap, indebted foreign labour, that are too scared to complain.

    Immigration New Zealand lying to the world…

    <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/ImmigrationNZ/videos

    • whispering kate 22.1

      The PM’s comments were demeaning, insulting and probably defamatory and certainly not what you expect from the PM of this country. He has no manners, mana or stature and it is an embarrassment to its citizens that we have to tolerate him polluting our airways on a regular basis.

      Worker’s rights do not exist here anymore, so why would people want to slave out in the open or any job in mind dulling repetitive labour if they are not, at least, offered a living wage to do so. Immigrants are coming in from third world countries and are used to working on slave’s rate, this in itself is not humane, but that it how it is. They are prepared to work here for the measly pay they receive so their families back home can survive.

      Something is terribly wrong here that companies have such low morale among their staff, I know of people who have finally in despair had to leave their jobs because of bullying heads of departments and over-work because of employee attrition and non-replacement of staff. Some seek early retirement just to get out of the hell hole they are working in. One company I know about has gone from 60 + staff to 40 – and its still going down. Employers’ need to sit down with union members and negotiate getting worker morale back and more attractive salary levels – unions need to be renamed “workers advocates”. Companies can still make a profit at the end of the year if they work smarter and not treat their employees who bring in this profit with such disrespect.

      As for the PM he is just a hollow man with no substance – you judge people by the company they keep and he has some pretty awful people who flock around him – I think I have said once before on this site “he is all hair oil and no socks” – a very old saying which my Granny once quoted to me.

  23. emergency mike 23

    So we have reached a place where a right wing PM reckons that immigrant workers are better than New Zealand’s workers because the later are lazy, druggy, and might complain about silly old health problems.

    Almost a decade of persistent beneficiary bashing means that David Farrar’s focus groups have told John Key that the ‘beneficiaries are undeserving’ meme now trumps the more old timey Winston stand-by ‘foreigners are stealing our jobs’ meme.

    As Siobhan points out above, many of these workers accept living in conditions that should get them a John Campbell interview, because an average wage back home is a fraction of ours. So if they send that money back home then to them it’s good money. But to a New Zealander it’s not. Why take go-nowhere, physically stressful work that barely pays the bills?

    Maybe Key could offer to subsidise New Zealand orchard workers wages by 500%, then see if kiwi workers are more willing to live in a shared dorm room for a season, so that they can send good money back to their working poor families in South Auckland who already live in similarly bad conditions.

    And why begrudge anyone a cone or two before 8 hours of picking fruit geez…

    • b waghorn 23.1

      Yep john key spreading the hate since 08.
      what is it with people growing to hate youth as they get older.

      and as for a cone i used to be in the forestry and in the none machinery jobs like planting and pruning the boss turned a blind eye to the puffers which meant we had guys who would not have had a job in most places turn up every day and toil away.

    • Gangnam Style 23.2

      “And why begrudge anyone a cone or two before 8 hours of picking fruit geez…” coz think of the children & clutch your pearls & it’s PC gone mad!!!

    • BM 23.3

      Because if they fuck up and hurt themselves or some one else, the new health and safety laws puts the business owner directly in the firing line.

      In this no personal responsibly environment we’re currently in, the business owner is now personally liable for every act of stupidity his/her employees do unless they take all practical steps possible in making a work place safe.

      Drug testing employees is the consequences of the current environment.


      • emergency mike 23.3.1

        Then given that tests for weed can be positive up to a week after the psychoactive effects are finished, my comment could be aimed at the law being an ass and still stands.

        Perhaps the drug Key was talking about was alcohol. I can see how working with a decent hangover could be dangerous, if you’re up a ladder picking fruit or something, and make one feel pretty damn lazy too. But somehow I don’t think he was.

        • BM

          Until they come up with a better way of testing, the current system is the default.

          Business owners have to abide by the current laws or face the consequences.

          BTW, as fucked as this sounds, if some employee drinks too much at a work event, drives off and crashes, there’s a high chance the employer will get done for not providing a safe work environment.

          How fucking ridiculous is that!!!

          I hate this nanny state bullshit.

          • te reo putake

            There already is a better way of testing. Saliva swabs. But that only shows actual impairment and the likes of Key want to make value judgements about lifestyle choices, not keep people safe.

            ps; your work do scenario has been around for years. Like all those parents we were told would be jailed for smacking kids, actual cases are few and far between. Good employers lay on taxis. That’s both responsible and tax deductible.

            • BM

              Employers shouldn’t have to be “Mum” or “Dad”

              • Actually, it would be nice if employers let Mum run the place. But we’re stuck with Dad. As I said earlier, workplace drug testing has little to do with health and safety. It’s actually about power and control.

                Oddly, only a very small percentage of workers fail at work drug tests. That’s not just because the majority aren’t doing drugs, it’s more because we have a testing regime that does not detect drugs. P and the like are out of the system in hours, so most testing is not going to identify a damn thing. I note we don’t test for tiredness, either. Overwork kills more kiwis than dope ever has.

                • Bill

                  Far saner if workers told both “mum” and “dad” where to stick their power and control, no?

                • BM

                  You really do hate being a man, don’t you?

                  • I really hate that men dominate most positions of authority. I think the world would be a better place if the blokes just kicked back and watched the footy and let the women run the joint for a few years. What would be the harm?

                    • Pat

                      a “mother of all budgets” perhaps?

                    • Steve Barnes

                      That is just what I thought a few years back in the UK and look what happened…
                      Falklands war, poll tax, the Suss Law…..
                      I could go on….
                      Not to say women are bad of course, good and bad people are not gender specific.
                      Just sayin’.

                • emergency mike

                  “…workplace drug testing has little to do with health and safety. It’s actually about power and control.”

                  Bang on.

                  Minor quibble, and Im not havng a go, but I had to cringe at the saliva test showing “actual impairment”. First, you can fail a swab test if you’ve smoked weed in the previous 24 hours. That’s better than a piss test for sure, but your actual impairment could be nil by that time.

                  Second, even if a person is stoned as f*** on the job, trying to translate a THC level into a measure of actual impairment for a given task is complicated.

                  With alcohol things are simple: more booze, more car crashes. Motor coordination goes south, impulsive, overconfident, risky behaviour goes up. But the cannabis experience is a strange one that does not fit neatly into the usual boxes. (Like the pharmaceutical box of isolating and extracting compounds to make a ‘product’ from the plant. It turns out that the interaction of the many compounds within the plant makes a better medicine. To the dismay, and probably by now the panic, of big pharma, you can make a better medicine than Pfizer’s by just juicing and/or making a concentrate of the whole damn plant.)

                  Studies looking into how dangerous smoking and driving actually is, (ie not studies that reckon that a positive drug test means the crash was caused by weed), usually find that the answer is ‘not much’. See here, and here. I can’t find the link to a large statistical analysis I saw that found that testing positive for weed was no more dangerous than having a noisy child in the back seat. There is a caveat, studies have noted that novice smokers are more impaired when driving stoned, (though still better than a drunk driver). While longer term smokers might even perform better than sober drivers, they tend to compensate for the high by focusing totally on the task and driving slowly and carefully. The nature of the cannabis high changes over the years for a smoker. It’s complicated.

                  Many smokers like to get stoned and engage in physical activities that require intense focus and motor coordination. I heard of people who like to get stoned and practice martial arts sparing, and once had a flatmate who was into hardcore downhill mountain biking with his mates, after a good smoke up. There are even some who say it might be a performance enhancing drug for endurance athletes ffs.

                  There is not a damn thing about cannabis that is analogous to alcohol. Let’s get drunk and go downhill mountain biking: not so much. Yet there us a pull to think that since alcohol is so dangerous then cannabis must be just as bad. It’s not, it’s different Would I be fine with my pilot or surgeon being stoned on their job? Of course not. But fruit picking? Please, have a cup of tea and calm down.

          • emergency mike

            As I said, my comment could be aimed at the law rather than employers. My point is that the current testing system for cannabis is not fit for purpose. ‘It doesnt work but were gonna use it anyway’ is stupid.

      • North 23.3.2

        Shouldn’t that apply also to a shriekingly shickered (oh I am sorry……”tired and emotional”) PM…… in charge of a bench three away from Mr Speaker ?

  24. Gangnam Style 24


    From red radio 1ZB!

    “The numbers appear to contradict the Prime Minister, who earlier today told Leighton Smith drug dependency is a major contributor to New Zealand poverty.
    John Key said a range of factors contribute to poverty, but he said every employer who tests people for drugs will have had prospective employees who failed the test.
    “Some people are locked out of the labour markets because they’re taking drugs and they’re holding themselves back.”

  25. Whateva next? 25

    What a legacy you have left us Mr.Key, whataguy……….except it’s bollocks as usual for this government.

  26. vto 26

    There was a policy brought in to drug-test beneficiaries.

    Later that policy was tested to see how it worked.

    The numbers that failed the drug test were something like 1% of beneficiaries concerned…

    Key hates the downtrodden

    Key is a hater

  27. Infused 28

    Network engineers are pretty impossible to find. So they are being sought overseas. They are also being paid around 50-100k depending.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 28.1

      This is perhaps a genuine skills shortage, one where education and immigration could be a reasonable solution.

      A completely different situation to bringing in unskilled workers to suppress wages at the bottom.

    • Gangnam Style 28.2

      & why are they hard to find Infused? Maybe because they havn’t been training them for the last 10-20 years & are now reaping what we sow. Ain’t the freemarket just grand.

    • Gangnam Style 28.3

      “They are also being paid around 50-100k depending.” I wonder if they are paid more in the UK or Australia? Might also explain a shortage here?

  28. TopHat 29

    I Tried to post this yesterday but had issues with the site…

    When I was young and making career choices, I was told I’d make a great Chef. I could travel the world, always have a great paying job etc etc etc,

    I did travel the world, trained at some of the worlds top establishments and spent 20 years learning the finer details of Culinary Art.
    Then returned to NZ to be offered little more than minimum wage and produce fare = to well garnished bangers and mash, as to the extent of the Kiwi palate.

    Subsequently, I nor any other discerning Chef wouldn’t spare a solid fart for NZ Hospitality operators as they WILL not provide even the basic of renumeration packages that one could expect anywhere else in the world.
    So this is why we need to import poor quality cooks as skilled labor, because the professionals won’t do it!

    • Bunji 29.1

      Very much a case of Kiwi employers being too cheap then – and we shouldn’t be subsidising them by allowing cheap immigrant labour….

      • TopHat 29.1.1

        Now that they have undermined the profession and created a low skill industry in it’s place, I fear there is no going back. Hospitality in New Zealand would fall over if it were forced to reform it’s employment tactics.

  29. rhinocrates 30

    Key dog whistles, mangy dog barks:


    As ever, however outrageous his comments, he can depend on a lackey to repeat it and then he can say “Look, people agree with me.”

  30. barfly 31

    Sorry…wrong post but….I posted a reply to a post on open mike on 7/9…and now open mike has disappeared afterwards? GCSB?

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