Nats getting squeamish on zero hour contracts

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, March 4th, 2015 - 61 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, national, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

I’ve seen family members on zero hour contracts and its no way to live. Campbell live (best journalism on TV) had a welcome focus on the issue yesterday:

Zero-hour contracts leave Kiwi families struggling

But there’s an entire industry in New Zealand paying minimum wage and less, because the workers they employ don’t even work a full week.

It’s called a zero-hour contract, and as an employee, you are called upon to work whenever required. That means if you’re not required, you don’t get paid that week – so how do these people survive?

Zero hour contracts are the logical end point of National’s agenda for employment legislation. Nats weaken employees’ rights at every turn in the name of workplace “flexibility”. From an employer’s point of view, zero hours is as flexible as it gets.

But of course the workers get screwed. There is a union campaign against zero hours, you can join the campaign here. With this and other media attention being focused on the issue, the Nats seem to be getting a bit squeamish. Workplace Relations & Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse was on Campbell Live last night:

Minister to zero-hour employers: Rethink your rosters

Mr Woodhouse’s solution is to take some help from the Government [WINZ], if you can get it.

He says he encourages employers to rethink their rostering practices.

Mr Woodhouse says that there will be changes to employment law this year and is “quite happy to introduce legislation into the House in the middle of the year that would prohibit the worst excesses of the [zero-hours] practices that we find”.

So National aren’t going to follow their employment policies to their logical conclusion? “Excesses” is a very interesting admission for the Minister to make. Let’s make sure we hold Mr Woodhouse to that promise.

Final word on last night’s interview to Helen Kelly:

61 comments on “Nats getting squeamish on zero hour contracts”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    How did National get this through? What specifically did they remove from the ERA to allow employers to take advantage of zero hour contracts?

    • As I understand it, the ERA is silent on the matter, unlike the removal of tea breaks, which required a change of legislation. What has changed is the weakening of good faith provisions and the hardening of employer attitudes. A switch from ‘we can do it, but should we do it?’ to ‘yay, lets do it!’.

  2. dv 2

    >> Mr Woodhouse’s solution is to take some help from the Government [WINZ], if you can get it.

    In other words more corporate welfare.

  3. mickysavage 3

    Of course all employers can be trusted to exercise this power properly. Employers like Credit Union Baywide who tried to get an ex employee sacked from her new job because she thought her old employers were a bunch of dicks:

    “Hi Rob:
    Thank you for your reply. While we appreciate you seeking legal advice, we are still of the view that you can terminate Karen’s employment within the 90 day trial period. Note the following extract from the Department of Labour’s website regarding the 90 day period:
    “While an employer is not required to provide written reasons for an employee’s dismissal, there is an expectation that an employer, acting in good faith, would inform the employee as to why he or she has been dismissed. Any provisions about giving notice in the employment agreement will need to be adhered to.”
    We also have sought advice from an employment and dispute resolution expert, this being Dave Robb from Grow HR, based in Hastings. His view is that you are entirely within your rights without risk of any repercussions to dismiss Karen under the clauses included within the 90 day trial period. To this end, we invite you to give Dave a ring on 878 5454 who is happy to talk to you at no cost.
    Without challenge to this situation Rob, Baywide has no option but to discontinue processing loans for Finance Point while Karen remains a contact or is involved in the submissions of applications to Baywide. The option of forwarding loans via a landing page or some other alternative to Baywide, remains open, without financial disadvantage to you.
    We urge you to contact Dave.
    Kind regards”

    Get that? CUB threatened to discontinue receiving loan applications from the complainant’s new employer if he did not sack her under the 90 day provision.

    http://www.justice.govt.nz/tribunals/human-rights-review-tribunal/decisions-of-the-human-rights-review-tribunal/html-decisions-and-headnotes/2015/hammond-v-credit-union-baywide-2015-nzhrrt-6

    • Tracey 3.1

      What about extortion?

      “the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats.
      “he used bribery and extortion to build himself a huge, art-stuffed mansion”
      synonyms: demanding money with menaces, exaction, extraction, blackmail;
      shakedown”

  4. Tracey 4

    Michael Woodhouse needs to resign., Immediately. He simply lacks the intelligence for the role, as Minister and Mp if he doesn’t think Government can legislate for good employer practice.

    hear that Mr Armstrong, Mr Small???? An MP who doesnt undertsand he can legislate for good employer practice.

    • aerobubble 4.1

      The right is an alliance between libertarians, religious conservatives, and neoliberals. An alliance between those for no govt, little govt and downright opposed to govt.
      So of course good government is never seen, never hear, never spoken.
      This is the weakness of right leaning National or Labour govts, breakdown in social, economic and legal regimes, more exposed when the economy is weaker than usual.
      As along with good government goes freedom, legal recourse, social security from a civic society, etc. Its essentially down to the strange bed fellows of modern politics, herded together by the manufacturing plant that is the media drowning out of the nuance and stuffing nonsense it its place. Take the example of the lead sentence, he was found guilt twice, like that was the story when in fact the opposite, quite the opposite occured, astonishingly he had had two quashed convicts for the same crime.
      That the absolute sense would apply to a conviction yet not to the equally before the law quashing of said unsatisifactory decisions. Its the arrogance and cheaping of justice that is re-inforced by media choice of commentary, all to contain the irrationality of libertarians, free market and religious conservatives. The greatest threat to religion is dictatorships, yes even of the unfettered market, similarly to libert. And neo-liberalism isn’t a economic theory since it has a religiou zeel for excesses that cannot be challenged since they are anti god of the free market.

      The modern US republician party is a construct of greed, corruption and power led by media to bring down the Republic.

  5. adam 5

    This is just crap – more games from National, it’s so can pretend they are good guys – and not the filthy Tory Scum they really are.

    It’s all smoke and mirrors.

    Employers are acting like 2 year old’s and working people are suppose to suck that up.

    Scraps – It’s just scarps from the masters table.

    I will not have a master, nor will I be a slave.

    • Tracey 5.1

      The Law sends a signal. Many employers, understandably, have picked up the signal from this Government:

      If it’s legal it’s ok
      If you don’t get caught, it’s ok
      if it’s a loophole test it

      When Michael Woodhouse proclaims that Government cannot legislate for good employer practice they understand they have a get out of jail free card.

      Unions need to be strong int heir message, if you have a Union membership you can fight back cos they pay for your lawyer, if you are not, you are at the mercy of a government and employer who thinks they can treat you like their property and worse than the family dog.

  6. Tracey 6

    Have all the Managers implicated been publicly named? They shouldn’t be able to just walk into job with the shield of anonymity while Karen is stuffed.

  7. b waghorn 7

    Zero hours contracts are only a step or two away from people standing on corners in the morning hoping some “employer” might pick them for a few hours work .
    Third world country here we come.

    • millsy 7.1

      You have that in the US. You go to their equivalent of Bunnings or Mitre 10 you are mobbed by tradies looking for work. To the point where the stores are installing shelters for them.

      • b waghorn 7.1.1

        I was thinking mexico and India I didn’t know the leader of the free world had descended so low.

      • millsy 7.1.2

        Its been happening for a while. Mostly Hispanic immigrants, but more and more locals.

    • Barfly 7.2

      isn’t that common practice in the USA?

    • Murray Rawshark 7.3

      I think they’re actually worse, because the person on the corner can decide to take a day off. The next day when they return, the corner is still there. The zero hour worker doesn’t have that right. The whole idea makes me sick.

  8. Skinny 8

    When put on the spot for his opinion by the Campbell live reporter Key in an unconvinced way mutters they ‘could’ legislate against the worst offenders. You could almost see Key thinking out loud, Kim Campbell head of the EMA and my friends from SkyCity will be howling about this.

    The ironic thing is the same scumbag employers like restaurant brands that Key was being forced to look at over alleged unfair zero hours contracts, are the same ones using the National Governments facilitated ‘removal of tea break’ law.

    By being given an inch, oh looky a mile away. What a crock as if National don’t know the effects of their ERA changes.

  9. shorts 9

    my pick is the national govt will talk a lot around this issue whilst not upsetting those crappy employers who often tend to be their best mates…. for the simple reason of their polling, Nats live and die by their polls and will move heaven and earth while doing neither to appease those whom headline readings is enough (their voting base)

    • b waghorn 9.1

      “Nats live and die by their polls and will move heaven and earth while doing neither to appease those whom headline readings is enough (their voting base)”
      That’s were the power of social media is being under used buy the left .
      Look at what just happened with mp pay raises ,ever story on the subject I saw on Facebook had comment after comment about how key can change laws when it suits him why not for this.

      • shorts 9.1.1

        the power of social media is you get what you follow/like – a very skewed world, my social media is littered with the leftish view, ie social media reinforces the users views more often than not

        • b waghorn 9.1.1.1

          I wouldn’t call 3news leftish ,and I meant if people from the left leave comments that will sway people s way of thinking it will make a difference.

          • shorts 9.1.1.1.1

            oh sorry mistook your meaning – agree comments are important interactions and help form opinions or reinforce them.

            It seems sometimes there are co-ordinated comments coming from the right – same words, sentences and stats… never seen anything similar from the left

            personally I think the best comments are those that lead to people forming their own opinion (with some subtle leading) rather than the more blatant form

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.1.1

              They aren’t so much co-ordinated (although there’s a little bit of that) as rote-learned and never questioned.

            • b waghorn 9.1.1.1.1.2

              I’m not suggesting people get fed lines to spread but if all the good people who read the standard were to make the effort to plant a simple but thoughtful comment once or twice a day into the mainstream media sites it would start to work. I don’t like calling people sheep but they will follow if lead.

  10. helen kelly 10

    Woodhouse is not going to deal with the worst excesses. He is thinking of making it unlawful to restrict secondary employment if you have zero hours – in other words, zero hours will be lawful but slavery won’t. Good luck keeping a zero hour job if you are unavailable to work because you have 6 other jobs to make ends meet.

    He is thinking of some form of penalty for late cancellation of offered work, but that will still allow zero contracts and will not address the problem of last minute call ups, no guaranteed income, contracts with one hour guaranteed any time any place, 1 hour shifts etc.

    These contracts occur in the very businesses that can offer the most security – 24/7 operations. The sit alongside thousands of other variations of insecure work. They are by design. The destruction of collective bargaining has provided for them. Many are probably illegal but the cost of enforcement is huge and beyond the means of organised labour in many cases.

    Zero hours will be further facilitated by this Government as is the casualization of labour – much of it for workers employed by the Government itself. Lets not be Joyced on this one – this is what you get in a country with totally ineffective labour law – it is designed that way and any concern expressed is fake and insincere.

    • Skinny 10.1

      With respect Helen how about the CTU run a campaign picketing and calling on Union members to boycott Restaurant Brand stores?

      * best wishes.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1.1

        That destroys the jobs of those who are getting some hours..

        Much better for similar situation over the deductions from wages, most of these are franchises are can be leant on by head office that its unacceptable.
        Their public image is VERY important as they spend huge amounts on advertising ( probably as much as they spend on wages)

        • Skinny 10.1.1.1

          Oh right the usual PC approach, I shake my head.

          Thank goodness Unite union front up while others worry about imagine damage control. A collection bucket, chosen rotated sites for the picket/boycott. Just muscle up and fight back and spare us the crap. You won’t get any change unless you put your foot on the scumbags throat.

  11. esoteric pineapples 11

    Helen Kelly is awesome – worth following on Facebook

  12. This zero hours caper is just another Americanization of our country.

    I read in the Sydney Morning Herald about an American who is calling Australian workers over payed and to many holidays, saying it is not that way in the USA.

    And J Key just loves them, well stick them where the sun don’t shine Key.

  13. millsy 13

    All it is is just making workers expendable. I see no other outcome.

  14. aerobubble 14

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2015/mar/02/food-banks-benefit-sanctions-leave-clients-hungry-for-months

    Know your place, serfdom means no safety net, no mistakens or you are for it.

    Weak welfare and weak work poctections create classes of serf and master.

  15. Philip Ferguson 15

    Woodhouse would have had a certain amount of time to prepare for the interview on Campbell so it’s interesting that he seemed not to know what zero-hours contracts are and kept confusing them with casual work of the kind he did as a student and after he came back from his OE.

    I loved the bit about curbing “the worst excesses” too. Which “excesses” would be acceptable and not require curbing?

    I can’t find it now but yesterday I came across an interview with Key which included stuff about zero-hours contracts and Key seemed to suggest he favoured legislation to stop the worst abuses and “exploitation” , oblivious to the fact that bosses’ profits come from exploitation anyway (https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/what-is-exploitation/).

    We seem to have almost come full circle. Zero-hours contracts used to exist in the earlier decades of capitalism in this country and continued into the first part of the 1900s. On the waterfront, workers would turn up each morning and some would be picked to work and some not and no-one was guaranteed particular hours. A strong union organised the workers and largely put an end to that.

    After WW2, the long postwar economic boom meant that capitalism was so flush and so needy for more and more workers that there were substantial improvements in pay and conditions. By the early 1970s, however, that was over and capitalism had returned to its more ‘normal’ boom and bust cycle.

    These days virtually no-one’s job is secure and the best that capitalism in NZ has on offer in the 21st century is an increasingly long and grinding work week for many, precarious employment for some, zero-hours contracts for some, insecure employment for all, and a continuous struggle by much of the working class to simply make ends meet: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/low-pay-longer-hours-and-less-social-mobility/
    (I’ve updated this article with some stuff on zero-hours contracts)

    Clearly, we need a new political movement – one of, for and by workers.

    Phil

  16. Saarbo 16

    Great work from Campbell Live for bringing this into voters living rooms…it seems bloody difficult to get the big issues through to voters. But the other area that is really being abused currently is the “90 Day Trial Period”, Im currently employing farm workers and discovering many have horrifying stories about farmers abusing the 90 day trial period…there is a disgusting lack of protection for farm workers currently…heart breaking to hear their stories. Clearly these policies are designed to reduce wage rates and conditions, and unfortunately they are working well.

    • gsays 16.1

      hi sarbo, i have been in two (in a row) situations where the 90 day right to fire legislation was used to its utmost.
      the first was a petrol pump manufacturuer in the manawatu where the bosses went from pleading to the workers to do overtime, (i asked that it be referred to as extra time as over time had a financial recompence), as they were so busy. to when it came time for my three month review being told that they were not busy enough to keep me on. i might add that this jobsite was not organized, and as a couple of folk indicated they were grateful for a job in marton.

      the sevcond was building for a self employed builder who had a wee plethora of jobs needed to be done before christmas. jobs got done and then voila! not enough work to keep you on.

      i am a robust 40 something and while disappointing for a while i bounced back ( and felt sorry for the greedy young builder i worked for) but what the dickens does this tell our youngsters? that it is ok to screw someone over?

  17. Am watching a young woman begging for payment for the hours she has worked….hard physical work, long hours. The employer keeps promising he will pay her. Owes more than $1,000 now. Keeps setting up appointments that she has to walk miles to attend and then he doesnt show up. This is theft. He is nothing but a thief. No employment contract so he thinks he can get away with it.

    • helen kelly 17.1

      Get her to email me. She does have an employment contract – it is just not written down which is illegal. Many workers think if the law has been broken and they have no written agreement then they have no agreement – not true! helenk@nzctu.org.nz

  18. Ergo Robertina 18

    Campbell Live has run some outstanding stories on zero hours, and last night contextualised the issue by linking it to their stories on children’s lunches.
    The unions must call for a boycott.
    In a Mike Treen piece at the Daily Blog last week he reprinted three letters from fast food workers which illustrate the gross unfairness of zero hours contracts.
    One letter, about a worker’s struggle to breastfeed, I found especially poignant. There’s something deeply dysfunctional about a world in which a mother finds it difficult (she’s determined to keep up the breastfeeding) to feed her child an essential food because she must be on call at all times to serve unhealthy food.

    ”A manager actually made a comment along the lines of. “Well you can’t get any more supervisor shifts until you stop breastfeeding”’

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/02/27/the-minimum-wage-and-zero-hour-contracts/

  19. Economix 19

    Agree with this post. Zero-hour contracts need to be abolished.

    Yes, 99% of employers who have this type of agreement with their employees might be fair/reasonable re number of hours, however that is simply not good enough. It is the Government’s responsibility to ensure fairness in the workplace, and zero-hour contracts are so obviously unfair.

    My thoughts…zero-hour contracts will be gone by year-end.

    • gsays 19.1

      hey economix, we have a greater power and responsibility to this mum.
      tell me who the employer is and i promise i will not spend money with them.
      a few more make this pledge and they encourage others and soon the power is taken back.

  20. TheBlackKitten 20

    I really can’t believe Woohouse’s solution is to go to WINZ if these people on zero contracts don’t get any work for the week. Poor solution and he should be sacked for providing such a shallow pathetic solution.
    Zero contacts are wrong in that they leave the person no ability to seek other work if none is forthcoming from their employer. Correct me if I am wrong but if this is the case then I view it as no different to me expecting a photographer, lawyer or doctor to be on hand to see me instantly if I may need them and for me to only have to pay them for the time I spend with them. This robs people of their ability to earn a living. Labour should ask National if my scenario would also be acceptable & if not then please explain the difference?
    Are the taxpayers not already subsidising employers low wages via WFF? Woodhouse – the taxpayer does not need another subsidy for cheap labour to pay for.
    NZ employers need to be made to be responsible in ensuring that the wage they pay ensures a decent standard of living. A fair days pay for a fair days work remember. But the issue is not just wages, it is also the cost of living.
    Food – Power – Housing – Rates – Leases – Insurance – Transport costs – All basic necessities for people to live and run businesses (in particular small). Why are they all so expensive?!
    Who own the businesses that provide these services? Are they monopolies or duopolies? Why are they charging what they do for their product/services? What is the break down to get a bottle of milk into the customers trolly in the supermarket? Is it fair, is it balanced or are we being rorted to support those lovely shareholders that demand high dividends at the expense of policies like WFF and zero contracts?
    These are all key issues that have been sadly neglected by left wing parties around the world for the past 30 or so years and really seriously need addressing.
    Get to it Labour!

    • sabine 20.1

      working for family
      emergency grants
      food grants
      accomodation benefits
      are all subsidies of low income jobs

      but its all cool, cause only bludgers and lazy ones need these services. the other just trott on. and that is the dilemma. how many working families in NZ are on a winz benefit or another? and has the number gone up or down under nats?

      • TheBlackKitten 20.1.1

        I did not know that working people were entitled to emergency grants, food grants and a accommodation benefit from WINZ. Is this true?
        I thought that the only entitlement working people could get was WFF and you only get that if you have children.
        However if people working fulltime need & can get these things then yes, they are subsidies for low wages. Its interesting to note which government introduced WFF thou isn’t it.
        And if they are working then they are not bludgers, they are the victims of our low wage issue which no political party has dealt with. Bludgers are those that can but don’t work and choose to breed on the system. Plenty of those about which the Labour & Green party continue to pander too.

  21. Janice 21

    The more people with zero hour contracts mean less people in the unemployment stats so it makes it easy for government to be able to say that they are reducing unemployment. Every zero hour contract is one new job established even if the person doesn’t get any work.

    • rod 21.1

      Spot on Janice you are dead right,
      +100

    • D'Esterre 21.2

      @ Janice: “The more people with zero hour contracts mean less people in the unemployment stats so it makes it easy for government to be able to say that they are reducing unemployment.”

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Janice! And that’s the reason why the government will do exactly nothing to change the situation. Unless we the citizens rise up and shame them into it.

  22. Brian Biggins 22

    Yes there needs to be a serious investigation into pricing in this country. Spent a month in the US last year and realised very quickly that this country is one giant rip-off- even when you factor in the difference in market size. Peter Bills Herald article (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10659094) around the time of the rugby world cup, was spot on! I remember the outcry against him! The monopolies, duopolies, and price fixing in this country needs to be exposed. Of course, the National Party propaganda machine (aka the MSM) won’t go near it!! And yes, WFF is a taxpayer subsidy to employers and designed to suppress wages but keep middle class families happy with their ‘lot’- who says Labour didn’t introduce (and facilitate) neoliberal policies during the Clark reign! Zero contracts is the final step towards modern-day serfdom.

    • D'Esterre 22.1

      @Brian Biggins: We’ve just returned from Europe. Over there, NZ is known as the Switzerland of the Pacific, because it’s so expensive. In London, I bought 1 litre of milk for 89p. When I returned, I checked prices at the local supermarket. Good luck with getting 1L milk so cheaply here: $2.60 and up. We’re being fleeced….

    • TheBlackKitten 22.2

      Yes Helen Clarks reign was not that of a traditional Labour Party. If the likes of Kirk and Savage could see how see ignored the employment contracts act & introduced policies to subsidise employers low wages like WFF that pinged the financial burden back onto the middle class taxpayer they would roll in their graves.
      This women quite happily sat in the Lange/Douglas government and unlike Anderton, did not mermer one whisper of a complaint whilst Douglas set about setting his policies in place. And wasn’t she minister of health between 87 – 90? Wasn’t that the period that this Ministry set about making the changes to our public health that have had absolute disastrous results for the NZ public?
      Helen unlike Anderton, could quite easily turn a blind eye to Douglas & other neoliberal policies. Why because her agenda was not to help people with their economic concerns. Like all of the other arrogant academic elites of her generation, she had not one iota of an idea of what it was like to make ends meet on a 40 hour a week wage, in how difficult it is to stretch those wages to put food on the table, pay the mortgage, pay the insurances, pay the rates and any extras for school for the kids. Their idea of hardship was people lighting up a cigarette in front of them or someone eating too many pies and becoming too fat. Or someone using the word ‘black’ to describe the colour of a particular horse.
      I rate Clark as the worst and most disgraceful PM the Labour Party has ever had due to her neglect of those key economic concerns of people, because of that, Labour now returns 25% on election nights.

  23. mac1 23

    A good answer to Mr Woodhouse is simply to say that murderers are very rarely found in New Zealand society but we still legislate against them. Similarly with bad employers.

  24. dan1 24

    I agree with a couple of bloggers above: boycott firms with zero hour contracts. It will be short term pain for the workers in the firms involved but in the medium term and longer, fairness and reasonableness will be restored.
    Can we access a list of firms with zero hour contracts.

  25. Lloyd 25

    I have just realised that the clouds over New Zealand are presently on zero-hour contracts and that is why we have a drought.

  26. fisiani 26

    Name and shame and boycott firms who offer zero hour contracts.

    • tricledrown 26.1

      1600 Known companies then the 25% Who practice wage theft.
      All of who no doubt support Nactionals Dickensian employment laws.
      Another forestry worker dies.

    • mac1 26.2

      Agreed, Fisiani.

      Now who do we blame for zero hour contracts so we don’t ever vote for them again?

  27. Descendant Of Sssmith 27

    Yeah but who here cares what National is going to do. They are tory pricks.

    Still waiting for Labour to bring back as a policy the 8 hour working day, 40 hour working week they once were proud of and now see as an insult to the modern way of the world.

    Start there and we might be making some progress.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: Vote for the climate
    Local body voting papers went in the post on Friday, and should be arriving over the course of this week (mine arrived today). And if you care about climate change, I urge you to vote. While local government seems irrelevant and out of touch (like a whine of old white ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Climate Change: We must do more
    Like many people, my submission on the Zero Carbon Bill urged more ambitious targets. And if the select committee was in any doubt, they're needed:An assessment backed by the world’s major climate science bodies has found commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions must be at least tripled and increased by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Cracking down on mining
    NZ Energy and Environment Business Week reports (in Scoop) that the government is finally moving on reforming the Crown Minerals Act, including banning mining on conservation land and repealing the hated Anadarko Amendment:The Government is planning to change the Crown Minerals Act’s purpose from “promoting” mining in light of changing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Fluoridation – A new fight against scientific misinformation
    Anti-fluoride campaigners think a new Canadian fluoride IQ study is the best thing since sliced bread but the scientific critiques warn they are wrong. Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty The new Canadian ...
    20 hours ago
  • GM Strikers Are Waging a Battle on Two Fronts
    Reprinted from Jacobinmag by Jane Slaughter and Chris Brooks Almost 50,000 UAW workers are on strike against GM and a two-tier labor system that undermines worker solidarity. But members may need to wage a battle on two fronts — against the company, but also against their own union leadership. Forty-nine ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Who Will Be Fed Next To The Hungry Gods Of Politics?
    Before Jacingrant There Was Gracinda: Grant Robertson and his 2014 running mate, Jacinda Ardern. She stood at his side: loyal and obliging, as she had ever been. The media dubbed this duo “Gracinda” – a sort of political “Brangelina”. The other young people who worked alongside Robertson were also ambitious ...
    2 days ago
  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    4 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    1 week ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.