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Take back our communities and create Jobs That Count

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, August 21st, 2016 - 22 comments
Categories: business, community democracy, local body elections, public transport, Unions, water - Tags: , ,

So often we lose sight of the fact that local government is about much, much more than rates.

It’s about the water that comes out of the tap – and whether it’s contaminated with campylobacter. It’s about the kinds of houses that get built in your neighbourhood – and whether they’re warm, dry and watertight. It’s about public transport and road networks that mean you can get from A to B easily, whether B is your work, the local library, your kids’ school or your marae.

It’s about building the kind of community you want – whether that’s about urban development, or how to ensure the voice of Māori is heard at the top table. It’s dog laws, liquor licensing, noise control.

It’s the bits of life that aren’t work: the parks and community centres and libraries, theatre projects, providing public spaces for markets and festivals.

It's Santa Parades!

It’s Santa Parades!

It’s how we care for each other: social housing, night shelters, funding vital social services like women’s refuges and food banks.

And it’s about work: about the businesses and employers who operate in our communities: how they treat local people and the environment, and making them pay their way.

Far too many big companies think they rule the roost in our towns. They get discounted rates while local residents are expected to pay more and more, they discharge their wastewater into our rivers, and they threaten to pull up stakes and take our jobs away every time they get a single whiff of regulation.

bertie ratu jobs that count

Bertie Ratu: union legend, local body candidate

That’s why we’ve started a Jobs That Count local government campaign – it’s started with running candidates in towns that have AFFCO plants – including the wonderful, strong AFFCO delegate Bertie Ratu – as a powerful way to hold Talleys AFFCO to account for the mistreatment of people who work for them, and for the environmental harm they are doing.

But we’re not stopping there. Across the country there are people running for their local boards and councils who know that local government makes the decisions that matter for their communities. And all of us can stand together and make our votes count – for local government leadership that really represents the people. We want other candidates who believe in jobs that count and real local democracy to get on board with this campaign too. It’s well past time for taking back control of our communities and I want others to join us in this.

That means getting involved. Turnout for the local body elections in 2013 was just 41%. In many areas, just a couple of hundred votes one way or another determines who gets onto councils or local boards – many wards go uncontested. With a united campaign across the whole country, we can work together to get good people elected – people who believe in Jobs That Count.

If you want to get involved, or just stay informed about our campaigns, can sign up at www.together.org.nz/our_democracy.


Note: Helen’s flying out to Cuba today for treatment, so won’t be available to comment here.

22 comments on “Take back our communities and create Jobs That Count ”

  1. r0b 1

    Thank you for this timely reminder.

    And good luck with your treatment.

    • North 1.1

      Arohanui Helen…….gem you ! I recall feeling quite moved when on a demo’ somewhere years ago now, I got chatting to this guy next to me……..no doubt about where his heart was at. The guy……your Dad.

    • Chooky 1.2

      +100…Great Post!…thanks Helen for everything!

  2. Bill 2

    My impression is that the pro-market, financial efficiency mob have been slowly high-jacking anything from local councils to hospital boards, to school boards for some years now.

    Yes, it would be good to put some social component back into decision making.

    But I’d go further than what’s proposed and begin a conversation on what jobs companies should be allowed to create in the future. My basic rule of thumb would be that if it doesn’t contribute to society, then it doesn’t get to exist.

    • weka 2.1

      Cue debates about what is a contribution to society 😉 Would be an interesting discussion.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        Well…does it increase human well being?

        That could be any one of a number of things, but excludes anything that merely makes money on the premise that the making of money will somehow ‘trickle down’ into improved welfare.

        So a job at McDs for example, would be hard one to justify. But a job that provides food to people would be easy. That’s not a go at the food in McDs btw, but recognition of the fact that McDs is about making money at the expense of soul destroying jobs in “dead” workplace environments, much more than it is about providing food.

        I could think of ‘1001’ “coordinator” jobs that would bite the dust…accountancy, legal, managerial, lobbyist, banking, financial…

        Then there are those that make a decidedly negative impact…coal mining, car manufacturing, swathes of the chemical industry, banking, financial…

        • Gosman

          I’m not sure I understand this. Are you stating a job at McDonald’s does not contribute to society? In which case there are a huge number of people you have just stated are not doing anything productive.

          You mention banking as well. Does this mean you don’t think a Bank teller contributes to society?

        • Gosman

          What about someone involved in tourism related activity? Surely this is not really contributing to society as all it does is encourage more people to waste precious resources and contribute more to polluting activities. Also what really is the point of someone bungy jumping anyway? Isn’t that a complete waste of time?

        • Nic the NZer

          Well this idea is clearly ideological tripe.

          Your prime example leaves people clearly bewildered as to why McDs is a no go but then again Logan Brown is (i assume) all about providing people with food. Is the difference in the logo? The fact its from the US? The number of stores? The fact its menu is standardised? The business model? The cost point? Or as seems apparent something to do with their employment contracts (apparently signed in blood promising the employees sole to the devil).

          This is obviously quite important because it goes to how the govt and courts will identify and eliminate such entities (for their obvious moral abhorence). If you can’t explain this then the policy can hardly be justified.

    • Gosman 2.2

      What criteria would you use to determine if it contributes to society or not?

  3. George Hendry 3

    To counter the work being done every day behind the scenes by those taking democracy from us, we need to get in the habit of doing something every day to take it back.

  4. Awesome campaign! Delighted to be on board 🙂

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    Fantastic. Will get my vote.

  6. Jan Farr 6

    All the best Helen!

  7. McFlock 7

    Excellent idea.

    Talleys ain’t going to like it, so that earns bonus points 🙂

  8. Mike 8

    What an absolute pile of tripe. You are hiding that fact the future requires less labour through technology and more education in future jobs. I’m on your side Helen but you are living in the past. My sons job has not been invented yet, that is exciting!! Educate educate educate. All the best Helen.

    • North 8.1

      Get it right Mikey…….”exciting” that you don’t know what the fuck is happening ? In a New Zealand where Helen Kelly’s enemies depend on mugs like you not knowing what the fuck is happening while knowing that mugs like you’ll bugle for them anyway. Which empowers them to keep on raping. Jeeezuz !

      • North 8.1.1

        PS: Mikey…….seems to me that (characteristically) Helen Kelly is doing in her post what she’s always done – Educate, educate, educate. Your response – “tripe”. Huh ????

        • Mike

          Wow, sorry north, nothing that you said made any form of sense then. Can you please explain. Interprete if it is another language. Seems like you are stuck in the past making horse whips and Kodak film. The world has moved on and so must you. Stop bleating and be a little more constructive and start to think about what people might like to do in the future. Even someone like you may be able to contribute something positive for the future, I doubt it but prove me wrong. Go on.😄

    • Drowsy M. Kram 8.2

      “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” – Ellen Glasgow’s succinct counter to the “going forward” brigade.

      The pace of change in many areas of human endeavour is accelerating, leading inevitably to an increasing reliance on that which has not yet been invented. Exciting times for some, scary and/or confusing for others. The ‘Jobs that Count’ initiative is one way to promote healthy, resilient communities, resilience that will be sorely tested going forward. All the best Helen.

    • What on earth does this have to do with the post? It’s seriously obnoxious to talk about “living in the past” when right now, companies like Talleys AFFCO are treating their workers like shit.

      I’m all for looking at the future of work and education but I’m baffled why you think that entitles you to be pointlessly negative about this campaign.

      • Mike 8.3.1

        I’m sorry Stephanie if you feel an alternative view point is considered negative. That sounds incredibly narrow minded of you. remember I’m on your side, but not stuck in the 60s with mr Corbin

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