Onya Michael

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, May 8th, 2021 - 34 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, Economy, employment, Living Wage, michael wood, national, same old national, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

It has been an interesting week for Labour.  On Wednesday they announced a wage freeze for public servants earning over $60,000 unless, for those on lower salary levels, there were exceptional circumstances.  The left did not take this well.

Then yesterday Michael Wood, the twenty first century version of Micky Savage, led the announcement of a policy that conceivably could do more to address the decline in workers wages and conditions over the past 40 years than anything else tried recently.

Radio New Zealand said this:

The government has released details around employers and unions setting minimum standards to implement the Fair Pay Agreements

It brings into action the system proposed by a working group led by former prime minister Jim Bolger in 2019.

In a statement, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood said Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) would improve wages and conditions for employees, encourage businesses to invest in training, and level the playing field.

Wood said FPAs were about ensuring working Kiwis got a fair go.

“For too long New Zealanders working in critical roles like cleaners, supermarket workers, and bus drivers whose work was essential to keep our country going during the pandemic, have been undervalued by our workplace relations system,” he said.

“We’re taking a balanced approach and have designed Fair Pay Agreements to be negotiated between business and unions who are familiar with the particular sector or occupational group being negotiated for. Industrial action cannot occur during Fair Pay Agreement negotiations.

“Fair Pay Agreements will help good employers by stopping the race to the bottom we’ve seen in various industries and encourage competition that isn’t based on low wages, but on better products, services, and innovation.”

The government would also provide support for BusinessNZ and the Council of Trade Unions, “as well as potentially providing a support person and direct financial assistance to bargaining parties”, he said.

The government will now draft legislation, which will be introduced later this year, and is expected to pass in 2022.

National’s social media team lept into action.

It is a shame they did not /engage sarcasm chip/ read the background material including the report from the Fair Pay Agreements working group which included employer and union representatives and was chaired by, check my notes, former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

The report said this in italics and bolded:

There is no recourse to industrial action during bargaining

And typical National.  They are totally indifferent to the poverty that workers who perform vital roles are experiencing but are happy to lie about industrial action so that they can try and prevent something beneficial happening.

The proposal, so far, does not suggest or even hint at the possibility of compulsory unionism being reintroduced.  The recommendation of the working group was that negotiated fair pay agreements should cover both union members and non union members.

Of course this will mean that unions may not be properly resourced to do the job.  The working party report says “[t]he Government will need to consider whether additional resources for bodies involved in dispute resolution and enforcement are needed during the detailed design and implementation of the overall system.

There will be attacks from the right on this proposal.  They are already warming up their attack lines.  From Jason Walls at the Herald:

BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said employers were not interested in compulsory nationwide pay agreements, irrespective of funding offered.

“They would take away business’ right to a say over wage-setting and would lead to labour disputes and strikes.”

He added they are contrary to international law, which says collective agreements should always be negotiated voluntarily.

“Business cannot support the plan to implement them.”

The Canterbury Chamber of Commerce said fair pay agreements had no place in New Zealand’s modern workplace.

“Fair pay agreements would force payment of higher wages within sectors which could force some newer, smaller firms out of business, reducing competition, productivity and growth,” chamber chief executive Leeann Watson said.

“It would also destroy contracting, as it would cover all contractors in a sector.”

National is similarly sceptical: “Labour’s so-called fair pay agreements may be celebrated by unions who are struggling for survival, but they will not improve things for individual workers.”

The party’s workplace relations spokesman Scott Simpson said the new rules would see 90 per cent of a workforce at the mercy of the other 10 per cent.

Entire industries would be bound by agreements whether they participate in the FPA bargaining process or not, Simpson said.

The breach of international law claim is an interesting one.  Australia has had a similar model for the past eleven years.    It has consistently protected unions and collective bargaining better than New Zealand over the past four decades and wages are higher there.  Clearly below all the bluster this is the right’s main concern, workers being paid properly.

This proposal could do more to reverse the damage caused by the Employment Contracts Act than anything else tried since the 1990s.  Let’s do this.

34 comments on “Onya Michael ”

  1. Ad 1

    The decision by Minister Robertson to put a wage freeze of much of the public sector without warning, 24 hours before Minister Wood rolled out his labour sector regulation by fiat, shows that they have already set aside one of the two key triggers of their own recommendations: the Public interest trigger where there are "harmful labour conditions in the nominated sector or occupation."

    The state is of course a monopoly employer to nearly a quarter of our population.

    In many public service sectors COVID19 and accelerating poverty has massively increased the harmful labour conditions.

    With the remaining unionised capacity within the public service, I hope the Minister and the CTU start bending the accusing finger of labour re-regulation back on themselves before they step outside their own patch.

  2. Tricledrown 2

    How could Labour get this so wrong dumb idea..

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Don't you think cleaners and bus drivers should be paid more?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      Tell that to Australia…. industry wide agreements are a central part of their collective bargaining system

      It is of course minimum standards

      https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/legislation/the-fair-work-system

      Its probably the only way NZ can 'catch up with Australia' -TM John Key- in wages . When I returned to NZ in late 80s from Melbourne I got more pay here.

      • alwyn 2.2.1

        "I returned to NZ in late 80s from Melbourne I got more pay here."

        Did you say thank you to Roger Douglas? After all, given the date you state, he would have been Minister of Finance for about 4 years then. Unfortunately about the time you returned was the time that Lange had his unfortunate brain fade, decided it was time for a cup of tea and sacked Douglas.

        Wouldn't things be so much better if it had been Lange who went and Douglas who had stayed?

    • Louis 2.3

      @ Tricledrown "Last year the Public Service Commissioner issued guidance to Public Service agencies asking them to have nil or minimal pay increases for public servants until June 2021.

      “Today the Public Service Commissioner is updating that guidance to make clear that pay restraint will need to continue to be exercised across the Public Service for the next three years”

      https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-sets-pay-and-workforce-expectations-public-sector

  3. Pat 3

    An odd week of announcements from what appears to be a bi polar Government.

    The Fair Pay Agreement suggests the Goverments moves on minimum wages, holidays and sick leave wont achieve the desired outcomes….strange given they havnt had time to take effect.

    Unless this is part of a comprehensive realignment of the economy that has yet to be revealed (perhaps at Budget 2021) this makes little sense…especially in light of the previously announced PS wage freeze.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      Fair pay agreements include different minimum wages for different industries.

      Minimum pay say for a cafe worker would be different to a supermarket chain or in a call centre. Those with higher skills and qualifications get more.

      based on Australia, their Fair Pay system doesnt cover state government workers- who have different collective agreements.

      Here the individual ministries negotiate with PSA, so theres variations between them

      • Pat 3.1.1

        Am well aware of that and would suggest that they are also an exceeding inefficient method of attempting to achieve better wages/ conditions than the blanket minimums outlined.

        There is always a push effect from the increased minimum when the base is increased to maintain relativity.

        On its own this is not going to improve the position of low paid workers or encourage investment in NZ industries but it will make importing look even more attractive.

        • RedBaronCV 3.1.1.1

          Importing. We could have a border health and safety levy on goods to prevent countries with no standards undercutting our labour market. Plus tax measures on overseas remittances – they could be non deductible – that would fix a lot of it.

          • Pat 3.1.1.1.1

            As stated…

            "Unless this is part of a comprehensive realignment of the economy that has yet to be revealed (perhaps at Budget 2021) this makes little sense…"

            Industry bargaining will achieve nothing especially if we continue to turn a blind eye to the exploitation that continues to ignore (largely with impunity) even the basic legislated minimums.

    • Corey Humm 3.2

      Not odd. Perfect. Bash high paid 100 k earning public servants who the public think gets paid too much anyway 24 hours before announcing an unprecedented, in the last fourty years, reform of unionization. This drowns out the noise from the nats from a bunch of insane PSA activist's and greenies who are going ballistic over winz managers not getting a payrise.

      Brilliant.

      This govt is getting exceptional at coms. They were able to attack the lanyard mafia in wellington and be pro union at same time and the two stories cancelled themselves out

      Machiavelli would be impressed.

      More moves like this would be nice

      • Pat 3.2.1

        Perfect??…what pray tell will it achieve, apart from signalling to all and sundry that wage inflation is off the table?

  4. RedLogix 4

    At last. This more than anything else is what I expected a Labour govt to do.

    I recall having a beer with Sir Michael Cullen about 13 yrs ago and asked him why Clark's govt never got around to labour reform like this – and his answer was that they judged the general environment too hostile for it to succeed.

    Well I think now is the time. Unions in this country have been given an opportunity to show they can step up as a responsible and constructive element of our economy.

    • Incognito 4.1

      Agree 100%!

      Going by the reception it has received here on this site, which would be among the more welcoming receptions, I’d have thought, I can see why it would have been impossible previously.

  5. Sabine 5

    We have different industrial wage agreement in Germany, and general the government buts out of these and says very little.

    They are conducted between the different Unions and their counterparts the Employers Groups also sorted by industry.

    At the moment i think they are simply announcing the upheaval of everything to literally hide that they can't even organise a piss up in a brewery.

    We have homeless that are not being looked after, our schools still fall apart and some even need to demolish class rooms, we have our hospitals not coping, understaffed and under payed, we have toddlers in preschool that don't get breakfast or lunch, and so on and so forth, open crime, vandalism etc and these guys want to take another thing apart cause why not?

    Good grief, they are useless.

    https://www.eu-gleichbehandlungsstelle.de/eugs-en/what-is-a-collective-agreement-tarifvertrag–599212

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_unions_in_Germany

    As for fair pay, someone send Mr. Wood to speak to the people that were just told that they wont' be getting any increases for a few years? Or is that 'fair pay' only for some, but not all?

  6. Byd0nz 6

    On wage freeze.
    Hard working people who have been on the minimum wage for years and years never get a wage rise from the greedy employer, wages only go up when the minimum wage is raised, but it still falls short of a living wage. Pensioners have been on a wage freeze since Ruth Richardson stomped on them, if you compare the pension to a 40 hour week, it's about 7 dollars an hour, or in other words, way below the poverty line.

    But oh, those poor buggers on 100,000 +, finding it hard to pay the mortgage on their second or more property that they rent out at robbery rates, they should at least get a box of tissues from the Gvt.

    • Descendant Of Smith 6.1

      "Pensioners have been on a wage freeze since Ruth Richardson stomped on them"

      Ahhh no they haven't. Pensions have always, as benefits once were, been 65% of the average wage and have continued to rise accordingly.

      Only benefits were decoupled from the average wage to the point that from being the same they are now $140 or more apart from each other. Richardson did cut NZS by $20 per week which was reinstated by Helen's labour government. She did not put it back on benefits nor did she re-instate benefit rates back.

      Youth were most affected with a triple whammy – $20-00 per week cut, increases linked to CPI which moves much slower than average wage and the movement of the lower under 18 youth rate (which was mainly paid to kids delivering papers / milk boys etc) to 24.

      • Descendant Of Smith 6.1.1

        "Hard working people who have been on the minimum wage for years and years never get a wage rise from the greedy employer, wages only go up when the minimum wage is raised, but it still falls short of a living wage."

        Agree it sucks but that's why workers need to join together and unionise. I have always believed governments, in the absence of wide spread unionism should announce general wage orders that deliver minimum payrises each year. Move the minimum and everyone else up to say $100,000 ) since this government seems to like this figure) by a % increase that reflects inflation . Either that or make it manadatory for contracts to have annual cost of living increases.

  7. RedBaronCV 7

    How many times has this been "announced" now. They have had 4 years in power – why was this policy (even if useless) not ready to go the minute the opportunity arose.

    As to the policy itself

    – Labour could stop channelling the likes of David Cameron and the Uk tory party with state sector austerity wages.

    – Who decides what "industry" an employer is in. Them ?

    – Who decides how to classify a worker. I can see a lot of cleaners becoming sanitising specialists.in a hurry.

    – Can a worker decide to join and how easy is that likely to be.

    OTOH a couple of measures to improve things straight away could be:

    – all contractors become permanent staff after 6 months.

    – all work visa holders are joined up to a union with the fees paid by the employer and unions notified of their whereabouts. These would cover compulsory workplace inspections of such things as salary records and other business compliance. No compliance and prosecution follows plus if the employer is on some sort of visa they get booted. I'm sick of reading stories about exploited workers when we could front load the system so that there was compliance from day 1 and save all the expensive state intervention through Courts etc. It would benefit better emplyers too who follow the rules so they don't lose business to the rule dodging cost cutters.

    • Incognito 7.1

      How many times has this been "announced" now. They have had 4 years in power – why was this policy (even if useless) not ready to go the minute the opportunity arose.

      Short answer: MMP

      I have no idea “[h]ow many times has this been “announced” now” but I don’t know either why this would be relevant.

      • RedBaronCV 7.1.1

        Yes I understand that this is the sort of policy NZF would possibly hang up on but it doesn't even now feel "well prepared". It's as if the work on it has started only recently – surely it could have been good to go long before now. They had a few years in opposition to sort this sort of stuff out beforehand.

        As to "announcing " it more than once – it's the doing that counts. Talking about it repeatedly is just kicking the can down the road with no actual action. Trying too pacify the plebs without actually improving their ability to act in their own interests in the free fire zone of the local workplace. Frankly this workplace stuff sounds like Nanny knows what's best for the workforce after consulting with employers. I'm just not that impressed – sorry.

        • Incognito 7.1.1.1

          All good, please don’t say “sorry” to me!

          I think some of the thinking has been in place for a while but to get it to the policy stage requires a lot of preparation and checking for consistency with other and existing policies and a lot of legal details, I’d imagine, which can only be done when in Government. It does indeed feel a little rushed but the election clock is ticking and Covid-19 threw a huge spanner in the works.

          I don’t get your second paragraph, sorry cheeky

          • RedBaronCV 7.1.1.1.1

            Labour have had years in opposition and time in government to work out what policy for the wage earner workforce they want to implement when they have the power which they now do. But they still appear to be developing policy – rather late in the day – and frankly I don't see it reining in the mess in the modern workforce. Nor do I like the nanny state attitude – I would have thought empowering people to help themselves would give faster more widespread results.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    Well this announcement certainly surprised–did not expect Fair Pay Agreements to be greenlit during this term even a few months back. Some of my Labour loyalist friends in unions were looking sheepish whenever I asked how FPAs were going. One confessed earlier this year that it would take strong campaigning to get it over the line.

    Now I actually support FPAs due to the wage and condition floor they should provide. In my Northland and Far North region various business initiatives, particularly Iwi based, are underway, but traditional organising methods likely may not be quick enough to make the progress needed to capitalise on the flow of Pacific “slave” labour being cut off due to COVID. Effectively paying the union fee is a good touch too for workers with no or little institutional memory of collective workplace organisation.

    As long as there remains a two tier system of FPAs plus enterprise bargaining, I am ok with the policy. It is a form of centralised wage fixing and a form of a return to arbitration, no doubt about that. It is the most substantial restorative move since National tried to, and almost succeeded in, wiping out unionism totally with the Employment Contracts Act.

    I remain a trenchant critic of this timid majority Govt. until they act on a state house mega build, raise benefits, and start rolling back the State Sector Act and all the rest of it. But, while awaiting real world implementation of FPAs, they appear to have got this substantially right. The wailing from the EMA and all the rest clearly illustrates the mildest of reforms will not be tolerated by the arsehole employer class who have become way too accustomed to having things totally their way since 1991.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.1

      As you say Tiger Mountain, screaming at the mildest reforms is usual for the entitled.

      Many reforms need careful consideration to avoid unintended consequences, so take time.

      Personally I am delighted to see FPAs coming in, along with the surge in house building and consents is a great sign, and the beginning of the tunnel in Auckland, the Three Waters Policy work, the Maori Wards on Councils, the banking reforms, the tenor and direction is good. The respect for Law and Science by this Government at home and Internationally, and not forgetting progress with mycoplasma bovis and covid.

      So yes, to see the end of Bill Birch's Contract Act as the basis of our employment relations is great. That ruined many lives and reduced skilled workers to a spiral of penury, applying for lower and lower paid contracts.

  9. Incognito 9

    This is fairly good piece on the new Fair Pay Agreement system by Luke Malpass. It contains some interesting detail & info.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/125059465/government-announces-fair-pay-agreements-plan-in-radical-overhaul-of-new-zealand-employment-laws

  10. georgecom 10

    If anyone in National bothered to read the FPA proposal they would see it prohibits strikes for a FPA. So there will be no return to the 1970s. A possible downside for unions is that they don't bother trying to organise further than they already have in the private sector. FPA should have a supporting commitment to organise and build power in the private sector.

    • Enough is Enough 10.1

      The right to strike should be fundamental. Why is it prohibited?

      • Incognito 10.1.1

        Because it runs counter to good faith negotiating and bargaining.

      • Craig Hall 10.1.2

        To make it easier to maintain social license for the changes and to minimise National's ability to rage about the ferry strikes in the school holidays etc. Hence the Employment Relations Authority can make a binding determination if the parties bargaining for the FPA don't ratify it.

  11. Descendant Of Smith 11

    Part of the decline in rural areas has been the undercutting of local employers by out of towners paying less to their workers and winning contracts. This not only wrecked local livelihoods but in some cases meant things that wouldn't be fixed later by the locals who either said "go get those wankers from Auckland who you got to build it" – that's an actual quote or the locals were no longer around and more as their businesses folded. Lots of good employers who paid decent wages vanished in this way.

    Hopefully this will encourage local people to start up again knowing they are less likely to be undercut.

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  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    5 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago

  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

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