Progress on new superunion

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, December 18th, 2007 - 33 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

The NZ Herald reports the Service and Food Workers Union, the National Distribution Union and Unite have agreed in principle to merge into a new super-union.

The new union will represent some of the lowest paid workers in the country such as cleaners, checkout operators, fast food workers and factory process workers, and encompasses three of the most militant unions in the country.

And while the membership will be a lot less than the 54,000 suggested in the article (by my reckoning the three unions’ combined membership is around 40,000 members), it will certainly be a major new political and industrial force in this country.

As we pointed out in our post back in September, a merger makes real sense. A super-union’s economies of scale makes for a far more effective campaigning and organising machine, and the new union will need that if it plans to make good on its plans to organise the largely non-unionised retail and hospitality sector.

Matt McCarten certainly has big ambitions:

Unite general secretary Matt McCarten, who has grown his membership five-fold in the past two years through a media-savvy “Supersize my Pay” campaign, said he wanted the new union to double its numbers within a year to easily surpass the country’s biggest union, the 55,000-member Public Service Association.

“It’s not just about a union getting bigger. It’s about getting the critical mass,” he said.

“I think what it will become is the catalyst to organise other unions around it with a campaigning union approach around social justice issues.

“In my view I’d want it doubled within 12 months. The others all think that’s ambitious but I think we could do it, easy.

“I think workers don’t have a problem with joining a union at all. What we need is the capacity to meet their needs – that’s what has held us back.”

Of course, as anyone in politics knows, egos and conflicting interests can sink the best laid plans, and as I understand it the deal is nowhere near as certain as the Herald suggests. There’s also the issue of whether the new union retains the SFWU’s affiliation to the Labour Party.

The Servos played a major part in Labour’s get out the vote strategy in South Auckland last election and have supplied a good number of the party’s MPs, but with Laila Harre and Matt McCarten at the helm this issue is still far from settled. I’m sure Labour will be watching the situation closely.

33 comments on “Progress on new superunion”

  1. This is the real problem that Labour has with unions affiliating to it. In return for using its massive power to instruct people to vote and do its dirty bidding on the Party’s behalf–because the Labour Party itself has very little organisational capacity–Labour has to pay back union officials with positions in the Party.

    Historically, the SFWU has made a very poor contribution to the Labour Party in terms of MPs. Look at current MPs in Labour’s caucus from the SFWU background: Rick Barker, Darien Fenton, Taito Philip Field. All of them are also-rans. Expect the SFWU to put up more turgid, pathetic nobodies, which the Labour Party awards with taxpayer-funded privileges.

    The only MP of any value in the last twenty years to come out of the SFWU stables is Mark Gosche. None of the rest of them achieved cabinet rank on merit.

  2. East Wellington Superhero 2

    Great. A super union with powerful leaders aligned with Labour. How accountable do you think this top-down political organisation will be?

    I would argue not very.

    Once this “super union” is formed how easy will it be for competing unions to form and how easy will it be for non-Labour Party supports to disagree with their local union rep?

    This will be interesting. Hopefully the genuine needs of workers will be met, and not the political aspirations of their more ambitious and articulate union bosses.

  3. Sam Dixon 3

    Um, IP,, the name of Labour is Labour… it was set up to be the parliamentary arm of the labour movement, its not surprising they retain strong links.

    And I think you’ll find the grassroots level organsiation of labour far exceeds national’s (which is why national needs the secret donors of course)

  4. Tane 4

    Prick:

    Unions can’t and don’t ‘instruct’ people who to vote for, but they do inform their members about what each party’s policy is on work rights. That’s a core service that you’d expect from a union.

    I’m also not sure what these taxpayer-funded priveliges are you’re talking about. No one’s ever been able to give me a straight answer on what exactly the unions get from the DoL’s contestable funds that isn’t also given to Business NZ and the EMA.

    EWS:

    Great. A super union with powerful leaders aligned with Labour. How accountable do you think this top-down political organisation will be?

    A superunion is what the EPMU is and I don’t see the sky falling over that. What I do see is a Labour Party that makes sure workers get a voice in government and a fair share of the economic good times through higher wages, four weeks annual leave, fairer laws on unfair dismissal and regular increases in the minimum wage.

    Once this “super union” is formed how easy will it be for competing unions to form

    It happens all the time. There are plenty of small unions about that provide alternatives to the larger unions (BUG, M&C and the PWU spring to mind), but by the way you’re talking about unions ‘competing’ I’m not sure you understand what unionism is about anyway.

    how easy will it be for non-Labour Party supports to disagree with their local union rep?

    Union membership is voluntary and Labour Party affiliation is decided democratically, but that’s beside the point. Affiliation doesn’t affect the service members receive in the SFWU or any other affiliated union and I don’t see why a merger would change that.

    This will be interesting. Hopefully the genuine needs of workers will be met

    So do I, and so do the leadership of the three unions involved. Believe it or not, these people are actually in the game to help workers and they understand that you need those economies of scale to make a real difference.

  5. Sam Dixon 5

    East Wellington Superhero – unions are democratic, voluntary organsiations. Their leaders are elected by their members, and the full-time staffers’ roles is to assist and advise the members, not to dictate to them. that doens’t sound very ‘top-down’ to me.

    Competing unions? the whole idea is that unions don’t compete too much (although occassionally some do cover the same work places), they are vehicles for workers to cooperate and pool their resourcs, not compete against each other. If a group within a larger union wnated to set up on their own that would be their right but they are stronger unified (union, get it?)

    As democratic organisations, unions are only affliated to parties with the consent of their members, and there are votes on the issue. Members, of course, may cast their vote as they please – secret ballot and all that too.

  6. …they are stronger unified (union, get it?)

    No, they don’t get it. Not even slightly. That’s why they write in with their cobblers about instructing people who to vote for and being top-down organisations.

  7. East Wellington Superhero 7

    Sam,

    I like how you know about all the grass-roots level of the National Party.
    Would you like to show us proof to back up your statement?

    In regard to unions being democratic – are they democratic like Labour Party Parliamentary candidate selection?

  8. Kimble 8

    Heh, the EFB will mean that a SUPER UNION wont be able to spend as much as three smaller unions in parallel campaigns with the Labour party.

    Sounds good to me. NZ has had enough of these shadowy, hollow, third party organisations perverting our democracy every three years with largess from their overflowing warchests.

    If the Labour party is merely the political arm of the union movement (which has been admitted above) then how on earth can they “inform their members about what each party’s policy is on work rights” in an impartial way?

    The truth is it can’t, and you don’t want it to. Be honest.

  9. The Double Standard 9

    Historically, the SFWU has made a very poor contribution to the Labour Party in terms of MPs. Look at current MPs in Labour’s caucus from the SFWU background: Rick Barker, Darien Fenton, Taito Philip Field. All of them are also-rans. Expect the SFWU to put up more turgid, pathetic nobodies, which the Labour Party awards with taxpayer-funded privileges.

    Here’s a few more for your list – some former MP’s, some current:

    Charles Chauvel
    Lianne Dalziel
    Mark Peck
    Laila Harre
    Matt Robson
    Willie Jackson
    Dave Hereora
    Sue Moroney

  10. Sam Dixon 10

    Kimble – how are organisations that are democratic and public ‘shadowy’? When the unions run campaigns they do so with their names written proud, when they donate to parties they don’t do it anonymously or through secret trusts.

    And your point on the EFB assumes that they would have over $120,000 to spend – three small seperate unions might not have anyhting like that warchest (economis of scale might eman the superunion does). If we’re going to tlak about sizes of warchests – check out how much the unions gave to political parties in 2005 compared to what secret donors gave National.

    http://www.elections.org.nz/parties/donations_summary.html#gen1

  11. Sam Dixon 11

    Kimble – read more closely. The Labour party is not merely the poltiical arm of the union movement, it was set up as that and retains strong links with the unions –

    unions can easily inform their members on work rights policy without having to say ‘oh and vote Labour’ – all the unions have to do is put Labour and National’s records together http://kiwiblogblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/super-sizing-the-minimum-wage/ http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=883 and any sensible worker will know how to vote

  12. Tane 14

    Nice work Sam D. I also find it hard to believe the NDU, SFWU and Unite have “overflowing warchests”. These are hardworking grassroots organisations that rely on strong delegate involvement and are run on a shoestring.

    In 2005 the NDU gave Labour $24,000 and the SFWU gave $20,000. Unite gave nothing. If that’s any indication I don’t think the spending cap’s going to be an issue for them. We know all this because these unions declared their spending openly, unlike National’s backers.

  13. Amateur Scrabbler 15

    As a workplace delegate (for one of the unions in this article actually) I really have to laugh. 😉

    “Competing unions”.

    Haha. Nice. When people of the right start going on about unions they often betray their ignorance of how unions actually work.

    Competing unions indeed.

  14. Sam Dixon 16

    When your work experience is living off a trust fund at uni until joining daddy’s firm and lazing your way up the ladder, you don’t get to have any idea of the importance of unions to workers.

  15. James Kearney 17

    That competing unions jibe made me laugh too Scrabbler. Unionism is about solidarity not the dog-eat-dog competition so admired by the right. I suspect that’s why a lot of right-wingers fail to understand them.

  16. The Double Standard 18

    “are run on a shoestring.”

    Unite dues are a minimum of $2/week

    If the new combined group charge at least that much, and have 50,000 members, thats annual revenue of $5.2 million.

    Since the unite dues are income linked up to a max of $5.90/week the actual total will be higher. Averaging $4/week would result in revenue of $10.4 million

    Hardly a shoestring.

    The issue is not just how much is passed officially to Teh Party, but also how much is directly spent promoting them outside of the official election spending.

  17. The Double Standard 19

    Having checked the NDU and SFWU fees I think my estimates are a bit light. They will comfortable have income over $10 million with 50,000 members. Pity that they can only spend $120,000 campaigning for Labour eh?

  18. Kimble 20

    I was just using your own fear-mongering language against you. If the reality of the situation doesnt matter to you, then it doesnt matter to me. All that matters is that I can use scarey language to twist the democratic process in my favour. Again, another play from Labours book.

  19. Tane 21

    First of all, the new union will have around 40,000 members, not 50,000. Secondly, you have no idea how much it costs to run a union do you?

    I’ve been involved in several and I’ll tell you the private sector unions have huge costs due to the fact they have to bargain separately at every single enterprise, added to the cost of legal bills, campaigns and research work. They are certainly not flush with money.

    I’m also aware that money is spent outside of the party, but the amount they can afford to donate is usually a pretty good indicator of how much is spent in total. And I can assure you most unions will be well under the $120,000 cap.

  20. Kimble 22

    When your first experience of Unions is seeing their bullyboys knocking your dads teeth out because he had a family to feed and wouldnt stand on their picket line, then maybe you can understand why other people are naturally suspicious of union official supposedly down-home good-intentions.

    Until that time, Sam,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

  21. Kimble 23

    “And I can assure you most unions will be well under the $120,000 cap.”

    So not only does Labour set the anonymous donation cap just above what they expect to receieve, they also se the third party spending cap just above what they expect their union allies to spend!

    Jesus! Corrupt much?

  22. Tane 24

    Okay Kimble, I can see your judgment is clouded by personal issues.

    That’s fine, but if we’re going to talk violence let’s talk Fred Evans (http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/black-tuesday/the-1912-waihi-strike).

    Or we can stick to the issues. Your choice.

  23. Tane 25

    Jesus! Corrupt much?

    Tin foil hat, mate.

  24. Mike Porton 26

    When your first experience of Unions is seeing their bullyboys knocking your dads teeth out because he had a family to feed and wouldnt stand on their picket line, then maybe you can understand why other people are naturally suspicious of union official supposedly down-home good-intentions.

    Unions always look after striking workers financially. It’s called collectivism. Your dad didn’t refuse to picket because of his wife and kids. He did it because he didn’t believe in standing with his fellow workers and preferred instead to help the boss keep everyone else’s families hungry. That makes him a scab, Kimble.

  25. Pascal's bookie 27

    Hoo boy.

    So I guess this isn’t the ‘no hitting zone’ thread then.

    My two words worth: Ernie Abbot.

  26. Kimble 28

    Holy crap you guys are thick! That isnt my story anymore than Sam Dixons masturbatory effort a few comments beforehand. Didnt the link give you genuises a large enough hint?

    You didnt rein in Sam Dixon, did you? You didnt demand he remain on topic, as you did me. Why is that? Could it be that there is a double standard at the Standard? Could it be that you are relentless in your crushing of opposition? What is it you are all afraid of? My arguments must be really hitting home for you to threaten to censor me!

    (To save time, I am mirroring your style in the previous paragraph.)

    What would you call it if National did it Tane? How did Labour come up with those amounts? Is it purely a coincidence? Yeah right!

  27. Tane 29

    Kimble, I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Crushing opposition? Threatening to censor you? I’m confused.

  28. Kimble 30

    I am mirroring your style in the previous paragraph.

  29. Tane 31

    Hmmmm. In that case you might want to go do some writing classes because as far as parodies go that was pretty weak.

  30. The Double Standard 32

    Tane

    This from Matt McCarten as quoted in the Herald

    Unite general secretary Matt McCarten, who has grown his membership five-fold in the past two years through a media-savvy “Supersize my Pay” campaign, said he wanted the new union to double its numbers within a year to easily surpass the country’s biggest union, the 55,000-member Public Service Association.

    At least he puts his names to the estimates.

    $12 million dollars buys a lot of influence you know. I don’t know how much running a union costs – why don’t you enlighten us on what staffers get paid (in the interests of full disclosure of course).

    I can’t buy your line that they can only afford to donate a few tens of thousands to Teh Party though. That may be all that goes above the line, but you can’t seriously maintain that more is not spent in other areas. How much did the PSA spend on (legally) promoting a certain party in 2005?

  31. Jon 33

    Size of new union – SFWU has 23,000 members, NDU 20,000 Unite say they have more than 10,000. That adds up to a lot more than 50,000 members. However, in international terms, it’s still a small union, so I don’t know why everyone is getting so excited. Would have been better if the EPMU was in there as well, then you would be talking a union with the real power and resources to organise in the low density private sector.

    SFWU MPs – interesting to note that low paid workers such as aged care workers (SFWU members) and hospital service workers (SFWU members) have all had significant payrises funded by the government this year. There’s nothing ineffective about that.

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    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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