Telecom and the logic of capitalism

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 1st, 2009 - 69 comments
Categories: telecommunications, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

united-we-bargain-divided-wThere’s nothing like a Tory Government in power and a monopolistic corporate flexing its muscle to remind you that capitalism is all about serving the bosses and screwing the workers.

This Telecom dispute. The engineers are being made redundant from their current roles already in batches. On October 1, all the jobs will be gone and the contract for servicing the network goes over to Visionstream. As the workers are being made redundant, Visionstream is trying to get them to sign up as contractors on worse rates than they get now and forcing them to buy all their own equipment. Cost of that is up to $60K. The catch? Visionstream is only offering 70% of the jobs that exist currently (they think they’ll be able to work fewer workers harder for less. Don’t expect to be getting prompt repairs if you have a phone or internet fault if Visionstream wins).

Of course the workers don’t want to take worse conditions for less money. That’s why Telecom and Visionstream’s strategy is so devious. By making them redundant in batches quite a way out from the changeover they’re really putting the screws on financially in they hope they’ll buckle. And each redundant engineer who breaks and signs up with Visionstream leaves a worse jobs to jokers ratio for the ones who are standing strong.

Forget the fairy stories you’ve been told about capitalism, in disputes like this bosses’ basic strategy is to sew fear in the hope it will lead to division. Make people fear they won’t be able to meet their mortgage and feed their kids, make them fear they’ll be left jobless in the middle of a recession, then try to divide them against each other by making them compete against their workmates for the few shitty jobs that are left.

As long as most of the engineers stay staunch, Visionstream are stuffed. But the bosses are counting on hunger and fear to do their work for them.

So far, the workers are winning. Few of the engineers have been buckled and signed up with Visionstream. Most of them are unionised and they know that together they can force Visionstream to break. Visionstream is desperate enough that they are lying, making claims to have signed up hundreds of engineers and threatening workers who won’t sign up, but the workers know it’s a crock. As long as they stand together, they have the power.

It’s a matter of holding the line until the bosses back down, which is why the donation of $10,000 from the Maritime Workers was so fantastic, and why you should get behind them by donating too. If the bosses break these workers, you could be next.

69 comments on “Telecom and the logic of capitalism ”

  1. vto 1

    Good on you. Stick it to the corporate dogs. United you stand.

    • jcuknz 1.1

      I think it rather fun and ironical that if you decide to support the striking linesmen you can do it using the telecom system of adding your payment to your account. Good that other telecom workers are helping the linesmen becuase what is happening to them could happen to other sections of the company without too much trouble I think. maybe it is the thin end of the wedge. It seems wrong to me that a company is trying to save money from some workers yet seems quite happy to pay a ridiculous salary to its chief executive. As with other aspects in life the pursuit of excellence leads to foolishness …. it be better to have not quite such a high flyier at the top and not have to bother about not paying workers a proper return for their labours to pay the shareholders..

  2. Zetetic 2

    I see the Zeal320 workers won a good result. Must have been scary for them striking, especially with all the propaganda AirNZ ran against them to other AirNZ workers. they stayed staunch though, and got the reward

  3. Ron 3

    It’s all very well for me to stand on the sidelines and heckle but is this an opportunity for more widespread action? I don’t know how unionised the rest of the company is ut some strike action elsewhere in the company or in Government Depts related to Telecom might help.

    • Daveo 3.1

      Under the Employment Relations Act it’s illegal to strike in support of other workers. In fact it’s illegal to strike for just about anything.

      Maritime Union have said they’ll be diverting Telecom broadband shipments though.

      • Swampy 3.1.1

        Maritime Union might find National is prepared to look a lot more closely at the law in relation to them than Labour was prepared to turn a blind eye to.

        I remember previous time MUNZ getting away with stopping a shipment to a company in support of the EPMU which was clearly an illegal sympathy strike.

        As to why we have such legal restrictions, because in the past a lot of industrial action was clearly political, directed at governments of all hues. A lot of strike action in the last months of Muldoon stopped as soon as Labour was elected, but it started up again once Roger Douglas’ razor gang got into full swing.

    • The Voice of Reason 3.2

      There has been a nationwide strike of workers employed by Transfield in support of the Northland/Ak workers. This has been possible because their collective agreement talks have stalled and they are legally entitled to take industrial action. I understand there is more to come.

      Good signs that Vision Stream are cracking, too, with a fantasy press release claiming victory in the dispute and the bringing forward of redundancies in order to ratchet up the pressure on the workers they are bullying into the new contracts.

      Reminds me of the bluster and bullshit that Progressive Enterprises used in the days before they ran up the white flag. Hopefully, there will be the same result here, which will be good for both workers and consumers.

  4. singularian 4

    Oh look, another hate filled, bitter diatribe on the Standard.

    Tagged with ‘class warfare’

    Which century do you guys live in again?

    • mike 4.1

      Careful mate they’ll send the boys round to rough you up.

      NZ remains an uncompetitive backwater but these luddites don’t see
      the world has changed, they want to stay in the good old days..

      • Zetetic 4.1.1

        mike, you sound scared. oh no, the big union boys gonna beat you up?

        And when has that actually happened to you? It’s not the 60s anymore.

      • Quoth the Raven 4.1.2

        I expect mike hates the market. Unions are part of the market. This is just market acitivty the workers are bargaining with the power they have – the power to remove their labour.

        Corporate collectivists like mike just can’t stand it.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1

          No capitalist likes or supports the free market as it decreases profit. That’s why things like patents exist.

          Telecom gets opened up to competition (even if it was artificially) and their profits decreased. Their response was perfectly predictable – they cut costs and one of those costs is labour. They are trying cut the price of labour to less than cost price to maintain the profits of the worthless shareholders.

          • jcuknz 4.1.2.1.1

            Before you attack shareholders remember that a goodly proportion of them are hard working, or retired hard working workers, with their savings invested in the sharemarket and they will or currently do need those returns to reward them for their efforts in keeping the country going.
            There are workers who save some of their pay rather than booze and smoke it away. If there were more like them the country would be a better place for all.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1.1.1

              The point is that the shareholders don’t actually add any value to the business and are, therefore, worthless. Telecom was fully paid up and operating at a profit long before it was sold. In other words, it was self-sustaining. It would be now except that most of the profit now goes to a bunch of bludgers rather than being fed back into the network.

              shareholders remember that a goodly proportion of them are hard working, or retired hard working workers,

              That doesn’t give them the right to take others livelihood from them.

        • Swampy 4.1.2.2

          So you agree that unionists can remove their labour, and the employer has the right to confirm that as a permanent arrangement if they so choose?

        • Swampy 4.1.2.3

          That’s the inconvenient market, and its reality coming home. Telecom were doing quite nicely out of the local loop but Labour came along and decided they should shaft them, and I’ve no doubt there were some in Labour who thought Telecom should get it in the neck for being evil money grubbing capitalists.

          It is a complete contrast from Kiwirail, Labour bought up the tracks and eventually the whole business and the former owners made such a good deal they fell over themselves to sell out.

          So OK, Labour shafts Telecom with the LLU, making sure it is not profitable any longer, then Telecom turns around to cut the costs of this albatross, the response is not a big surprise is it?

    • Zetetic 4.2

      So, no disagreement with the facts and the conclusions singularian? No defence of Telecom?

      Just having a little cry because the language is robust? Do you need a little cuddle? mike might give you one, you seem to get along.

      We live in a class society – capitalist and worker and a few in the middle who want to be capitalists and end up being house slaves… you guys know what I mean eh?

      • singularian 4.2.1

        Zetetic – I have no intention of arguing against your ‘facts’. I have seen enough of you on this site to know that you are a zealot and therefore, as in arguing against god with a believer, there is no point.

        Class society? Ha, believe what you want. It is you that is out of touch whether you and your friends realise it or not.

    • RedLogix 4.3

      Which century do you guys live in again?

      Oh I dunno, how about the one in which Telecom’s CEO can get paid in one day about as much as the median annual income?

      If this executive class of bosses really believed that turning employees into dependent contractors was such a good idea, why then are we not seeing Paul Reynold’s own job being put out to tender? I’m sure they would get some pretty competitive bids unders $7m.

      Is there any way you think that kind of salary (plus benefits) can be justified? Or are you ok with me just calling it by it’s real name, ‘class warfare’?

      • singularian 4.3.1

        So the Telecom CEO obviously employed himself?, paid himself whatever he wished? and all the shareholders are too scared to say anything in case they get reduced in class?

        I’m sure you could apply for his job when it comes up. You seem like a pretty smart person, why don’t you? You appear to be saying anyone could do it, are you?

        • RedLogix 4.3.1.1

          So the Telecom CEO obviously employed himself? Paid himself whatever he wished?

          More or less. It’s called ‘executive capture’, where a small class of self-selecting individuals perpetuate their own hyper-privileges on their own terms.

          the shareholders are too scared to say anything in case they get reduced in class

          Most shareholders have no say whatsoever.

          You appear to be saying anyone could do it, are you?

          Yes. I’ve watched these senior executive types for years, it doesn’t take much talent or skill even. Mainly it helps if you are tall, better than average looking, have the ability to act confident and project a little drama from time to time… and most critically.. be willing to manipulate and push other people around, to betray and sacrifice them with no scruples whatsoever. The rest is just a little general learning, the right accent from the right schools… and a nice suit.

          Often fairly dull and tedious work once the novelty wears off.

          • Akldnut 4.3.1.1.1

            Shit you’ve just describe the Nact government and the public. (Most shareholders have no say whatsoever.)

    • Whole singularian calm down calm down
      1st stop being a stupid jerk and wake up and smell the freashly cut roses
      At the end of last year, Vodafone had 1.527 million customers, compared with Telecom’s PATHETIC 1.302 million and why do you think that actually dont answer that it answer this why are telecom making their employees spend 60K on tools and transport im sure you could lend them some couldnt you
      so stop and think before you type something and then just dont type it

  5. sean14 5

    “…the workers know it’s a crock. As long as they stand together, they have the power.”

    What’s the problem then?

  6. IrishBill 6

    The 21st, it’s capital and its political arm that are pushing the 19th century economic dogma.

  7. Relic 7

    Nice post Zetetic, about something that is happening in the real world, this is the type of issue where people show what they are made of. It is one of several defining disputes so far during Shonkey’s term. Mr Fyfe and all his “Air New Zealanders’ may be feeling a bit queasy too after the Zeal settlement. Well done EPMU members.

  8. Shona 8

    Zetetic,Thanks for the donation link. Makes it easy as the EPMU local office is out of town.
    Done!

  9. Bart 9

    Keep up the good fight. It will be a sad day if Visionstream get their way. Anyway the public can help out, other than making donations? Boycotting certain products etc?

    • singularian 9.1

      Yeah Bart – boycott Telecom – you better shut down your internet straight away. 🙂

      Oh, and don’t use the phone today, OK?

  10. singularian 10

    OK Bart – you don’t like that suggestion? I thought you wanted to do something….you know….like a boycott to help the boys ( are there any female phone techs?). Obviously your want to help only goes so far, as you are still commenting here your internet is obviously still on. ( i bet you’re one of those people who believes in AGW but still drives around wearing label clothes made in China, drinking coffee from South America and using expensive consumer devices to pontificate on the internet…am I right?)

    Sooooo….why don’t you make some nice egg (freerange of course) sandwiches and pop down and serve them up to the protesters where ever they are? No crusts please.

    Just trying to help.

    By the by – I don’t do KB, no fun at all.

    • Maynard J 10.1

      I think your first suggestion was better. If you do not like what is going on, then switch your internet to Ihug or worldxchange. Go over to vodafone or 2degrees. And then tell telecom exactly why you are doing it.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Well, at least he’s admitting that Telecom is an actual monopoly.

  11. stevo 11

    Let’s remind ourselves about how strong unions have maintained wages in Australia above ours without driving that economy into the ground. Wage gap anyone?

    Visionstream was established in 1994 as a subsidiary of Telstra.

    And lets see how Telstra has agreed to negotiate with the Communications Workers Union..
    http://www.cepuconnects.org/telecommunications/telstra-eba-2008/unions-and-telstra-new-relationship/index.cfm

    Is this an example of bad behavior when you are away from home and you think no one’s looking?

    This will not be the only example of an Australian company..shackled for years into good behavior in Australia coming over here and taking advantage of our innovative labour laws.

    Just when I thought I might swap networks back to Telecom, after teaching them a lesson with their outrageous mobile and Internet charges a while back….wanting to support a NZ company and all that…and then this own goal..maybe not.

    • Swampy 11.1

      Australia is a much bigger and wealthier economy.

      You are wrong to suppose Telecom has ever been any different from what they were when they were the post office and it took weeks to get connected.

      Incidentally the Progressive Enterprises campaign happened under a Labour governemnt, it doesn’t really make any difference which government is in power.

  12. ieuan 12

    I’m interested in some of the facts presented here, how is the ‘up to $60K’ figure justified? Thats a lot for a van and some tools. Considering you can lease a van that’s a lot for tools.

    A Visionstream spokesman (I think it was on ‘Breakfast’) said they were offering a $3K one off payment and a low interest loan to help cover the set-up costs.

    I’m not trying to defend Telecom or Visionstream but I do think there is a great opportunity here for ‘the Workers’ who can see that this is the way their industry is heading and want to leap into running themselves as a business.

    • Relic 12.1

      Dependent contractors is what any service people that sign up with ‘VisionSteam’ will be. It is not an aspirational ‘be your own boss’ lifestyle, particularly given the mileage some of these guys will clock up between jobs. This was a disastrous arrangement for many so called owner drivers forced into such arrangements in the 90s. Some mortaged homes (and ultimately lost them) to buy their rigs only to have work reduced or stopped. I know this having been involved with the NDU at that time. Industries affected were petrolium, long haul, bitumix, building etc.

      Communications infrastructure is too important these days to expose to further Telecom price gouging gymnastics.

    • Daveo 12.2

      We’re not talking about a couple of spanners here mate, have you seen what kind of tools are needed to maintain a telecommunications network? That’s on top of the van and the business setup costs.

      As for the “great opportunity”, have a look at the analysis.

      http://www.epmu.org.nz/assets/Visionstream/Acura-Accountants-Analysis.pdf
      http://www.epmu.org.nz/assets/Electrocomms/PETER-CASTLE-OPINION.pdf

      The contracts are a sham, even John Carter MP has described them as a “crock” and advised workers not to sign. Of course it’s easy to say on a secure MP’s salary, not so easy when you’re laid off with no redundancy and there’s a mortgage to pay.

    • RedLogix 12.3

      [Moved]

  13. RedLogix 13

    I do think there is a great opportunity here for ‘the Workers’ who can see that this is the way their industry is heading and want to leap into running themselves as a business.

    Problem is that it’s not a great opportunity, it’s a lousy one.

    Would you for instance set yourself up in a business in which there was say, 1000 suppliers, and only 1 customer?

    These dependent contracts are only sham businesses. Even IRD does not allow them to make normal expense claims and deductions because they have long recognised that this kind of practise, where an employer sets up it’s own employees as dependent and bonded contractors is just a tax rort.

    These guys have to put a “Chorus” label on their own vans, and are forbidden to work for a third party. What kind of ‘business opportunity’ is that?

  14. ieuan 14

    It is hard to understand that Visionstream would want these guys to fail, that would benefit no one.

    • Armchair Critic 14.1

      Visionstream surely don’t want them to fail. All VS are asking is that they accept more risk for less money and worse conditions.

    • RedLogix 14.2

      No they don’t need them to fail, just be desperate enough to take whatever VisionStream doles out on it’s own terms.

      Surely you can see that this kind of thing is simply a negation of employment law, and all protections it brings to the employer/employee relationship… and substituting with a master/servant one. Subcontractors have almost no effective legal rights whatsoever, especially ones who don’t even have the choice to work for any third party.

      Seriously, would you sign up to that kind of ‘opportunity’?

      • ieuan 14.2.1

        ‘Seriously, would you sign up to that kind of ‘opportunity’?’

        Without knowing all the details, I don’t know. It’s fair to say that the coverage of this dispute by the writers at the Standard is long on rhetoric and very short on detail, I guess this is a union site so balance and objectivity go out the window around here.

        • Maynard J 14.2.1.1

          Can you think of a single benefit or advantage to these ‘contractors’ that they might gain from the idea?

          And that is a genuine question, throw anything out there that you think that might benefit them. I for one can not think of anything, apart from that they have some capital to sell if everything goes to custard. Of course, most would have to take a loan to buy the capital, and they are then paying interest on something that will rapidly depreciate…so really I have just shot that idea down as a benefit. See if you can do better.

          This really is a clear-cut case of workers being screwed by their organisation.

          • ieuan 14.2.1.1.1

            Again not knowing the details how can anyone answer that question?

            I guess they don’t have a job with Telecom anymore so working for Visionstream at least gives them a job.

            Does anyone know the details of the rates Visionstream are offering? I have read ‘little better than minimum wage’ but I find that very hard to believe.

            (PS anyone want to have a go at justifying the ‘up to $60K’ set-up cost mentioned by Zetetic?)

            • snoozer 14.2.1.1.1.1

              the $60K is in the independent reports, see link above.

              “I guess they don’t have a job with Telecom anymore so working for Visionstream at least gives them a job.”

              OK, so imagine you work hard and well for a profitable company but to make a little more cash the boss fires you and all your coworkers then hires another company to employ people to do your job but for less money… sure you might take the job because ‘at least it gives you a job’ but it’s not fair or right is it?

              Now, what if you and your co-workers could band together and say “bollocks to that, we can see you’re just using a fancy loophole to give us all big paycuts, well we’re not having it – we won’t work for you unless we keep our current conditions”… like some kind of organised group of labour. You could even prove to the boss that you’re serious by withdrawing your labour for short periods and only working to the exact conditions of your contracts.

              If enough of you stood together, and there weren’t enough unemployed workers to replace you, the company would have to back down and you wouldn’t get ripped off.

              Wouldn’t you do that?

            • Maynard J 14.2.1.1.1.2

              If you want to play devil’s advocate, you need to advocate. Disagreeing because you do not know anything is not going to get anyone anywhere.

              Your benefit so far is that being fired and forced to sign up under much worse conditions is good, because without signing up they would not have a job. That shows how bad the situation is overall, but yes, it is better than nothing.

              Still, hardly a ringing endorsement for your proposition that this could be “a great opportunity here for ‘the Workers’ who can see that this is the way their industry is heading and want to leap into running themselves as a business.”

              This business seems to give all the risk, and removes a chunk of the reward. Whoop-de-dee for that.

            • The Voice of Reason 14.2.1.1.1.3

              I’ll have a crack, Ieuan. Van plus tools equals $60K. Lease costs are around $20k p.a. plus running costs on top. To buy a van would cost around $40 k, plus fit out (racks, ladders etc.) Leases also have a limit on Km’s on them, so if you run around like a blue arsed fly, you pay more.

              You are completely wrong about the lack of detail. Daveo’s post an hour ago has links to the cost analysis and contract summary. Have a quick flick thru and remember, no constant supply of work is guaranteed to these ‘contactors’, but they have to be on call 12 hrs a day and not work for anyone else. It’s pathetic. If you need more details, try epmu.org.nz and don’t forget to make a donation while you are there.

              Imagine working for Macca’s for 12 hrs a day, but only getting paid on a per item basis, and then only if they ring you and tell you to come in to make a burger, and then they send you home again till the next punter walks in the door. And you have to supply the cooker, the fryer, the uniform and the cleaning gear, but you can’t cook a feed for anyone else during the down time.

        • snoozer 14.2.1.2

          check out the independent analysis in those links above.

          Visionstream is just doing what companies do when they can – minimise their labour costs by paying their workers less. It’s not evil on an individual level and it’s not hard to believe, it’s a product of the capitalist system, but it should still be fought otherwise the company ends up with bit fat profits and the workers end up with crumbs.

          • ieuan 14.2.1.2.1

            OK I’ve looked at the Acura analysis and they are saying contractors could expect $1525 per week (or around $80K a year) in revenue. However this somehow drops to $24,000 per year because of ‘expenses’. There is no breakdown of these ‘expenses’.

            • Daveo 14.2.1.2.1.1

              Have a look at the document by Peter Castle, the commercial barrister. The contracts are a bloody sham.

            • RedLogix 14.2.1.2.1.2

              The estimation I completed for Tim allows for 15 $65 codes and 2 $275 codes per week / 45 weeks a year. From talking with the local fault technicians it seems this would be a good week. This is the equivalent of $1525 income per week on the proposed codes.

              And if I multiply $1525 * 45 I get $68,625 which for an independent contracting business is risible.

              And is a ways short of $80k.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.3

          Considering the fact that the detail and the analysis has been posted here and over at Red Alert it would seem that you’re the one that short on fact and long on rhetoric.

  15. Shona 15

    Ieuan, my eldest has a an engineering trade qualification. His tools purchased over a 7year period are insured for a replacement cost of $20.000.

    • ieuan 15.1

      Looking at the Visionstream contracts they do not look great but then again the analysis by Acuro seems superficial and flawed at best.

      The union in this case would do their members the most service by sitting down with Visionstream and trying to get a better deal.

      I’m not trying to defend Telecom or Visionstream as their management of the change has been terrible.

      • RedLogix 15.1.1

        but then again the analysis by Acuro seems superficial and flawed at best.

        Like your ‘flawed’ attempt at multiplication above?

        Superficial? A $70k income for a business is pathetic. And bear in mind that this is pretty much a maximum, neither is there any guaranteed minumum.

        I personally used to run my own personal contracting business, not dissimilar to the kind these telecom techies are being asked to run, only without the van, tools and material expenses. Or the requirement to be on call 12hrs/day, the requirement to accept the all risk on re-work, and consequent liability.

        In a normal year I would invoice out around $150k. But by the time I took out all the downtime, the unpaid travel time, the training, the new software and equipment, the insurance, the vehicle costs, the office costs, ACC, the tax, the accountant’s fee, provisional tax, the fact that banks would not lend me money, and on and on… I was in the end better off on a salary.

        What I did enjoy was the diversity of work I found myself doing, both here and overseas… but that’s not even an option under these VS contracts.

        I repeat, $70k pa revenue for this kind of business, with so much risk and so little security is risible.

      • Mike 15.1.2

        Visonstream refuse to talk to the union.

  16. millsy 16

    I went to VS’s website today, and it had a write up about one of their owner operators. Turns out the guy ‘bought some of his tools from Trademe’.

    ******

    Unlike what some rightwingers on here think, I actually think there is nothing wrong with being an employee (what happened to the whole capitalist dream of starting as a mail boy and working your way up?), and not everyone wants the insecurity of running a small business. I have no problem with people become owner-operators but it should be a choice, and not imposed on them – I dont see why its such a mission fo VS to say, hey, we will keep you on as employees but if you want, you can become a owner operator, and start your own business.

    • snoozer 16.1

      because that wouldn’t cut VS’s labour costs and shove all the risk on the workers.

      Remember, they’re working in their own short-term interests, not for some optimal outcome for all involved.

  17. Luxated 17

    Apologies if this has been mentioned but how is Telecom making people redundant then hiring a contractor do the same job even legal? Surely it contradicts New Zealand’s redundancy laws?

    • lprent 17.1

      What redundancy laws? It’d be nice if there were some.

    • PaulD 17.2

      Telecom? Telecom only has a couple of hundred staff of it’s own in Chorus. AFAIK the redundancies are in Contractors to Chorus.

    • The Voice of Reason 17.3

      The question may have been worded awkwardly, but it’s something I’ve been wondering about, too. Redundancy is when the job a person does ceases to exist and as a consequnce, the person is laid off. I’m guessing that in this case, the awarding of the contract to a new provider, Vision Stream, means the current provider, Transfield, is the one laying off the staff.

      Vision Stream are simply refusing to (re)hire the same workers unless they accept the shonky contracts.

      Given the professionalism of the EPMU, I would have thought they’d have shot straight to court if there was anything illegal in what is happening. Which leads into Lprent’s point that there is bugger all protection for workers who are made redundant, even under appaling circ’s like this. The sooner a law comes in giving minimum redundancy protections and payments, the better.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 17.3.1

        I dont think its V S thats doing the hiring (how would they get rid of them if their process suceeds?)
        Its another 3rd party contractor to the new contractor that would be hiring

  18. jcuknz 18

    If it was such a good deal for the potential contractors I would expect Visionstream to offer either jobs or contract and most would pick to be contractors. The fact that very few want the contracts speaks for itself. It is a sow’s ear being forced on them.

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2009/09/08/work-and-income-sells-telco-jobs/

    Looks like Telecom have been making people redundant and then offering those same jobs up for less.

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  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    24 hours ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 day ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 day ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    3 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    4 days ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    4 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    5 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    6 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
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    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
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    5 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
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    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
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    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
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    7 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
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    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
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    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
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    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
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    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
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    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
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    1 week ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
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    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
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    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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