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Telecom and the logic of capitalism

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 1st, 2009 - 68 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.

68 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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    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    3 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    4 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    4 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    5 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    5 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    1 week ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Is the prostitute the seller or the sold?
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the third part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna Whitmore. Part 1 was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis
    Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    5 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    6 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
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