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

  • Project protects jobs and nature
    A Waitomo-based Jobs for Nature project will keep up to ten people employed in the village as the tourism sector recovers post Covid-19 Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “This $500,000 project will save ten local jobs by deploying workers from Discover Waitomo into nature-based jobs. They will be undertaking local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Minister Shaw speaks with U.S. Presidential Envoy John Kerry
    Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw spoke yesterday with President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. “I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kerry this morning about the urgency with which our governments must confront the climate emergency. I am grateful to him and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today announced three diplomatic appointments: Alana Hudson as Ambassador to Poland John Riley as Consul-General to Hong Kong Stephen Wong as Consul-General to Shanghai   Poland “New Zealand’s relationship with Poland is built on enduring personal, economic and historical connections. Poland is also an important ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Major redevelopment of Wainuiomata High School underway
    Work begins today at Wainuiomata High School to ensure buildings and teaching spaces are fit for purpose, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Minister joined principal Janette Melrose and board chair Lynda Koia to kick off demolition for the project, which is worth close to $40 million, as the site ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New expert group appointed to advise Government on Oranga Tamariki
    A skilled and experienced group of people have been named as the newly established Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis today. The Board will provide independent advice and assurance to the Minister for Children across three key areas of Oranga Tamariki: relationships with families, whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago