web analytics

Prats in the Nats on China’s miners

Written By: - Date published: 5:52 pm, November 15th, 2007 - 26 comments
Categories: national, workers' rights - Tags: ,

How’s this for small-minded prejudice from National Party backbencher Kate Wilkinson in a press release today complaining about the $84,000 dollars for a Labour Dept to help provide health and safety training for Chinese coal miners:

Ms Wilkinson says Kiwi taxpayers will clearly be surprised to learn that the New Zealand Government is effectively subsidising the Chinese coal industry.

I don’t know the total value of the Chinese coal industry, it’s probably in the trillions, but I am sure that NZ$84,000 wouldn’t go very far as a subsidy.

But that $84,000 will be absolutely priceless in terms of our future relations with China. Mine safety is a hugely important issue for China, and the programme also includes information about available technology for emissions reduction, which could have immense future economic benefits for New Zealand and environmental benefits for the world. Safety in Chinese mines is so important that the US is also investing $2.3million, Australia $4million and the EU $1million euros in the project. New Zealand unions were the pathbreakers.

Rangiora Kate should talk to her colleagues Tim Groser and John Hayes about the wider world and New Zealand’s place in it.

26 comments on “Prats in the Nats on China’s miners ”

  1. Camryn 1

    A worthy goal, I agree. A benefit of some small sorts (not quite priceless) to our international relations, I also agree. But, why isn’t China paying for it itself? Just sayin’.

    Also, how much did the pathbreaking NZ unions contribute to their working bretheren, or do they only advocate Chinese mine safety on the taxpayer dime?

  2. Some good points, John A.

    In fact, NZ$84k is actually pretty miserly of the Government. Mining safety is a huge problem in China, and in this context the left should be criticising the Government for not giving more.

    In fact it’s disappointing to see this post attempt to justify this expenditure on the basis of NZ’s national interests. Why can’t such aid be given and justified purely on the basis of the good it will do? This type of argument falls into the trap of the National Party style of logic whereby aid is given on the basis of trade, NZ’s strategic interests, and our “economic benefit”. But then again, Labour does indeed share a very similar foreign policy to National, so we shouldn’t expect any difference.

    Bryce
    http://www.liberation.org.nz

  3. Leftie 3

    Camryn
    Seems to be a common type of comment from your camp. Are we really such a bunch of tightarses? Why would Australia and the USA give substantially more money as well?
    Maybe you would like to suggest we reduce or eliminate our international aid? Of course this would give us more money to enable tax cuts for the rich.

  4. Robinsod 4

    Bryce – I’d say if we’re talking aid we should be looking at better spend than China. As much as Camryn and I disagree on many things I’d like to see the biggest holder of US T-bonds cough up a few bucks for the safety of its own citizens.

  5. Sceptic 5

    I think the issues here are (a) why is the Department of Labour engaging in international aid projects, surely that’s the job of MFAT/NZAID rather than a department that should be looking after New Zealand’s Labour Market and (b) China is an odd place for us to be spending our ‘aid’ dollars if the DOL is a place that should be giving out international aid in the first place.

    In terms of the $84,000 be absolutely priceless in terms of a future relations with China I’d say that 84k is less than peanuts to the Chinese so there is little value in terms of international political capital and why would the Chinese Government really value so highly the teaching of labour safety standards that they obviously don’t believe in enough to legislate for in the first place.

  6. Leftie 6

    Sceptic
    Probably because they are “labour safety standard” deniers.
    Have you not heard the saying: “its not the size of the gift, it’s the gesture”.
    Maybe one day they can help us out.

  7. Lee C 7

    Chinese miners die in their droves every year. We import cheap Chinese goods.
    China pollutes and ravages its countryside.
    We buy Chinese goods.
    China tortures and executes its people.
    We buy Chinese goods.
    China is a Nuclear power.
    We welcome their warships.

    In return, we export our:
    abuse of workers’ rights
    abuse of human rights
    our ecological damage
    our pollution
    our sovereignty
    our credentials as a civilised society
    – to China.

    Labour=National-lite

  8. Robert owen 8

    lee that is why you should vote GREEN

  9. If this were a viable aid project, then I wouldn’t mind. But since when did the frigging CTU become an aid organisation? And since when did the contestable fund become an aid instrument?

  10. The Prophet 10

    So, Does the Standard officially support coal mining in China?

    Leftie – How much money do you need to have to be ‘rich’ in your opinion?

  11. Leftie 11

    The Prophet
    Enough money to be able to throw a million dollars at the political party that you want in power.

  12. Long time listener 12

    I think the EPMU got it about right:

    “The EPMU helps Chinese miners because we value human life. National’s criticism of this is astonishingly short-sighted and petty, and makes clear where their party stands on decent labour standards – they don’t care.” (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0711/S00262.htm)

    Cheap political point scoring from National. They needed to be called on it.

  13. Policy Parrot 13

    Perhaps Kate Wilkinson secretly admire Chinese labour practices and therefore, doesn’t want us to help improve things.

    She obviously thinks workers rights there are fine, which is good for her as her party seeks to drive our own working rights down to the same common denominator.

    Now, does anyone really think either Waimakariri or West-Coast Tasman electorates will be even slightly vulnerable?

    Who need enemies when you have friends like Wilkinson?

  14. Daveo 14

    Also, how much did the pathbreaking NZ unions contribute to their working bretheren, or do they only advocate Chinese mine safety on the taxpayer dime?

    I understand the CTU and the EPMU contributed significant staff resource and expertise and basically ran the project themselves. The DoL funding was helpful but the unions ran the actual operation and have continued their relationship with the Chinese miners, because unlike the National Party they see working conditions and international labour standards as important.

  15. r0b 15

    Bryce – ” But then again, Labour does indeed share a very similar foreign policy to National, so we shouldn’t expect any difference.”

    Let me mention one minor, trifling, insignificant difference between the two. National would have taken us into Bush’s (lie based) war in Iraq. Labour, to their eternal credit, did not.

  16. Leftie 16

    rOb
    As they say “feeds the rich while it buries the poor”

  17. r0b 17

    Leftie – didn’t know that one (GNR kinda passed me by) – but like it, ta.

  18. Lee C 18

    Robert Owen
    “lee that is why you should vote GREEN”

    except Green = Labour = Nationalite

    I might as well have voted for Pontious Pilate during the crucifixion.

  19. Sam Dixon 19

    Guys, I understand the $84K isn’t just a bucket of cash we gave the Chinese – if it was one could legitimately question why we gave it to them – the $84K is the cost of the program for which we are providing… what we’re really providing is resoruces to improve mine safety training that the Chinese didn’t have.

    Bryce – isn’t all alturism ultimately self-interested?

  20. Steveb 20

    Labour and National’s foreign aid policies are very similar, so lets not pretend that the Nats are a bunch of meanies opposed to foreign aid. That’s just fucking stupid.

    It’s absolutely fair game for National to criticize foreign aid if it’s being pissed away in stupid half arsed undeserving schemes, or if it’s being politicised, or as in this case, both.

    China should sort its own fucking coal mine safety out. They’re rich enough, smart enough, and more importantly, they’re socialists(so of course they care about the workers right?).

    So yes, while I feel for the poor little coal miners, we have higher aid priorities.
    If the Kiwi coal miners want to do a quick whip around themselves and help out their less fortunate Chinese comrades, they should be applauded for it, but this isn’t their money, it’s ours. More proof that the unions run the Labour party.

    Funny that you linked to this lame post from kiwiblog Sam, what a fucking embarrassment.

  21. PhilBest 21

    What happened to my post a few hours ago? Typical effing totalitarian censors.

    I said: And what happens when the Chinese Communist Party nationalises everything again and tells all the private investors to piss off, and shoots a whole lot of them to make an example of “the capitalists”? You guys are lefties, you’re in on the plot, you KNOW this is going to happen.

    OOOH, WE CAN’T HAVE COMMENTS LIKE THAT OUT IN THE PUBLIC FORUM NOW, CAN WE?

  22. Nih 22

    You most likely got the captcha wrong. It’s worth reloading the page after posting to make sure it really worked, since it *appears* to post it even if you fail the humanity test.

  23. PhilBest 23

    Nih, thanks for that. Bit deceptive though isn’t it? Decent blog sites tell you straight away if you fail the captcha, and ask you again. And frankly, the decipherability of some of the ones I’ve seen here is marginal.

  24. Nih 24

    Oh I don’t know. Generally if something outsmarts one person but not everybody else then it’s not considered deceptive. Nice initial reaction too, very calm of you.

  25. Robinsod 25

    “Best”? I’m not really so sure about that at all…

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Fast-tracked Northland water project will accelerate economic recovery
    The Government has welcomed the decision to approve a new water storage reservoir in Northland, the first of a number of infrastructure projects earmarked for a speedy consenting process that aims to accelerate New Zealand’s economic recovery from Covid-19.  The Matawii Water Storage Reservoir will provide drinking water for Kaikohe, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago