That one time Government almost did something decent for workers

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, July 4th, 2015 - 41 comments
Categories: human rights, workers' rights - Tags:

There was this one time when the Government understood that workers coming into NZ to help rebuild Christchurch were very vulnerable to exploitation.  Because a work visa is tied to a particular employer, migrant workers found that raising any issue such as getting the minimum wage, health and safety, being ripped off on accommodation and the like, meant they would be dismissed and have to leave the country despite often having incurred huge debt to get here.

The Government thought a solution would be to allow them the freedom to move easily to another employer involved in the rebuild and changed the rules to allow this.  We all praised them.   But the Government is worried about “employee poaching”.  That is when workers move to other employers because they can earn more.  Yes they have made collective bargaining inaccessible by design of the law, but there will also be active measures to ensure market pressure to lift wages are also removed by Government supported anti competitive measures.

Warned/lobbied (by those bastions of worker rights, Labour Hire agencies would you believe!) that this move to support migrants might mean ” employee poaching” – it has now backed down and reversed this decision.  Actually prior to that is has even facilitated construction employers to sign a “Construction Sector Workforce Plan” with a specific acknowledgement that “poaching” will increase wages and a provision that says

Anti-poaching agreement: construction employers will investigate the scope for an anti-poaching agreement, in which signatories will refrain from directly approaching other employers’ staff with a view to poaching them, and rely instead on fair and equitable ways of attracting and retaining staff

Actually there was this other time too.  After two Government run inquiries into health and safety, the overwhelming finding was that the biggest fault in our shonky system was the lack of worker participation in workplace safety.  Basically workers are the only “eyes, ears and mouth” at the worksite every day and in safe jurisdictions they have rights and roles in keeping the work safe.

The Government almost introduced new law which would secure this role and these rights for workers.  We all praised them.  Not only would workplaces have elected safety reps but they would have real rights – like ceasing dangerous work, issuing prohibition notices, accompanying inspectors and being part of investigations.  After lobbying from our most dangerous sector (agriculture), the Government will try to pass the law excluding these rights for all business with less than 20 staff – which happen to be our most dangerous – farming, forestry, construction, fishing.  If workers do not have reps with approved training, it doesn’t matter what “employee participation” system the workplace has – these rights are removed.

Oh and actually… do you remember the Minister (Woodhouse) said he would legislate to remove the worst elements of zero hour contracts and deductions from workers wages for events such as drive offs in petrol stations (maybe he just meant he would get rid of John Campbell?).  We all praised him.

Of course the worst element for zero hours is that in most cases they are unnecessary.  They occur most often in 24/7 businesses that could easily offer permanent hours.  The fix would be to make them unlawful unless there were genuine reasons on reasonable grounds to use them.  We think instead he will probably legislate to make zero hours lawful but put in unstipulated penalties in such as “an allowance” for late cancelled shifts, or such like. There will be nothing for late call ins which will increase (to avoid the allowance), or insufficient security of hours and irregular shifts – which is the real issue here.   On deductions – we think they are already unlawful, but these too are likely to be made legal in some circumstances allowing more of them rather than reducing them (if they do anything at all).

41 comments on “That one time Government almost did something decent for workers”

  1. red-blooded 1

    The cuts to workers’ rights have been insidious; usually presented as a solution to some problem employers claim to have, apparently little steps, but little steps that all lead in one direction.

  2. Nigel 2

    “Of course the worst element for zero hours is that in most cases they are unnecessary. They occur most often in 24/7 businesses that could easily offer permanent hours.”

    Good article. Great work you do getting the message on H&S/working conditions out there.

    We are literally not allowed to discuss any of this stuff as an employee of a business that may fit the quote above. Top secret workplaces and all that.

  3. ropata 3

    Michael Hudson nails the problem. The 1% are waging financial war on the rest of us. The objective of military warfare is to acquire land, key resources, and political power over a nation. The only difference is that financial warfare is carried out with fountain pens not guns. The outcome is the same.

    The aim of financial warfare is not merely to acquire land, natural resources and key infrastructure rents as in military warfare; it is to centralize creditor control over society. In contrast to the promise of democratic reform nurturing a middle class a century ago, we are witnessing a regression to a world of special privilege in which one must inherit wealth in order to avoid debt and job dependency.

    The emerging financial oligarchy seeks to shift taxes off banks and their major customers (real estate, natural resources and monopolies) onto labor. Given the need to win voter acquiescence, this aim is best achieved by rolling back everyone’s taxes. The easiest way to do this is to shrink government spending, headed by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The fact that these are the programs that enjoy the strongest voter support has inspired the Big Lie of our epoch: the pretense that governments can create money only to pay the financial sector, leaving the beneficiaries of social programs entirely responsible for paying for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, not the wealthy. This Big Lie is used to reverse the concept of progressive taxation, turning the tax system into a ploy of the financial sector to levy tribute on the economy at large.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/31/the-financial-war-against-the-economy-at-large/

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      The emerging financial oligarchy seeks to shift taxes off banks and their major customers (real estate, natural resources and monopolies) onto labor.

      This is what GST is and why we’ve always seen an increase in GST at the same time that taxes on high incomes has come down.

    • Reddelusion 3.2

      Can you tell me when the next meeting of the 1pc is, I would like to go, they seem very organised

      • Crashcart 3.2.1

        Just look for the next meeting of the Cabinet Club. That should have a pretty good representation of the 1% paying a whole lot of money into the National Party charity and having nice little innocent discussions with the leader of the National party. Not the PM of course that could be considered slightly corrupt.

      • ropata 3.2.2

        Up FJK’s arse usually, I’m pretty sure you are familiar with it

  4. dukeofurl 4

    So the Labour hire companies stamp their feet and its done overnight.

  5. Charles 5

    It’s nice the government tried to become an Immigrant Labour Union (ILU – you may not have heard of them..) to solve the problems of their ideology, and then realised that as a Union they were contradicting the idea of unfettered profit and private control of the labour force. Must have been quite something to see that reverse eureka moment go off in the collective heads of National MPs.

  6. Chrys Berryman 7

    ……and when the immigrant worker gets home …the exploitation continues,crammed into a bedroom with 4 other guys and paying $175 for the privilege…..this is not the N.Z I grew up in,where an owner of clapped out villa in ChCh can gross $500,000 a year…….and then theres the highly trained Phillipino nurses who work in aged care for the minimum wage and get the shove after 2 years because they fail the English exam[a test most Kiwis would fail!!]………enabling the rest home to get another set of wage slaves…….the list goes on and on…….thankyou National for creating the conditions for this evil to thrive.

  7. Draco T Bastard 8

    But the Government is worried about “employee poaching”. That is when workers move to other employers because they can earn more.

    Wouldn’t that be like the free labour market that employers keep insisting that they need?

    Of course, what the employers really mean is that they want to be able to do anything they like without having to consider the employees while the employees have to do what they’re told whether they like it or not. Exactly the same way as it was under the old feudal lords.

    Actually prior to that is has even facilitated construction employers to sign a “Construction Sector Workforce Plan” with a specific acknowledgement that “poaching” will increase wages and a provision that says

    I’ve looked at a few contracts for labour hire firms and the one thing that they seem to have in common is a clause that if the person who is employed by them then gets a job for one of the labour hire firms clients that person owes the labour hire firm. The least I’ve seen claimed is two and a half weeks pay and the most is $5000.

    The employers don’t want a free labour market, they want a slave market and this government is giving it to them.

    • ropata 8.1

      That is not a legal contract, it contravenes the basic right of someone to earn a living. Wouldn’t stand up in court, but a minimum wage labourer doesn’t have the means to go there..

    • Reddelusion 8.2

      Are you sure Draco, my experience is the employer pays if worker goes temp to perm. You may be referring to if employee finishes with labour hire company, thus the labour hire company is simply seeking to recover his investment in bringing some one out

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        Last time I looked, labour hire companies don’t do any investment in the people that the contract out and so they’re not recouping anything.

        • Reddelusion 8.2.1.1

          Draco if they where providing no value they would not survive. they are simply acting as middlemen connecting employees and employers which obviously comes at a cost but also adds value , if not you would assume with modern technolgy they would be easily disinter-mediated.

          • ropata 8.2.1.1.1

            Surprisingly, unskilled labourers don’t use high technology in the manner you dream of

          • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1.2

            I’m not disputing that. I’m pointing out that they’re effectively claiming ownership of the employees by demanding payment from those employees and the new employers if the employees leave.

    • BM 8.3

      Yeah, that finders fees a bit rough.

      I remember doing a bit of work for one particular business and they had this young fella
      helping out doing general labouring and stuff.

      The boss of the business was going to offer him a full time job but the labour hire company said the business in question would have to pay something like 3-5k to them as a finders fee.

      We’re talking just a bog standard labourer with no special skills, unfortunately the young guy didn’t get the job.

      I don’t think a lot of people quite realize the traps some of these labour hire companies can be.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.3.1

        It’s not a finders fee as the labour hire firm hadn’t been hired to find anybody. It’s a don’t take our slave off us fee.

      • Reddelusion 8.3.2

        This is normal terms in the industry bm. If not how would these firms survive. They offer to types of services, temp labour where the make a margin on hours worked by temp ( paid by employer) , hence if employer can just take his people the business model would be unsustainablle, ie let the hire company do all the recruiting and work and at no cost employer takes the ones he likes. Normally if a temp has been at a place long term the temp to perm fee is waived or reduced. The other service these companies provide is recruiting for full time employees, this is where a one off finders fee is paid by employer. All this talk of slave labour is nonsense, these companies prove a valueable service in bringing employees and employers together, which either party would find much more difficult on their own

        • BM 8.3.2.1

          I completely understand.

          I just thought it was a bit high for a labourer.

          It’s hard enough for the unskilled to find work, having this sort of road block put in your way when you’re trying your best is a bit disheartening .

        • Tracey 8.3.2.2

          why do they have a right to survive? They get a cut by charging the work at $25 per hour but only paying $15 per hour…

  8. Mike the Savage One 9

    Perhaps instead of being concerned about “employee poaching”, especially in view of a looming recession coming our way (dairy bust, China growth slowing, Australia losing steam), we may also have reason to be concerned about immigrant workers competing for jobs offered by other employers, thus putting pressure on wages of local workers?

    But besides of that, whatever is going on in the area of labour laws and workers rights, this government can hardly be trusted to honestly look after the interests of workers.

  9. Gordon Reynolds 10

    What are you all complaining about.
    The majority of voters support the national party so they are getting what they want.
    After all the employers are a minority the rest of us are workers so we get what the working voter voted for.
    I don’t understand them!!!!!!

  10. G C 11

    Free market capitalism is normally National’s mantra, right? “We should let the markets decide” I’m sure I’ve heard them say that? (I’m seriously asking)

    This sounds like slavery. If an employee can get better pay somewhere else, all power to them. Why shouldn’t a skilled/hardworking construction worker be entitled to accept such opportunities.

    It’s good for over-all wage increases and encourages businesses to be more innovative. ‘Job Placement Companies’ are probably losing money when workers exit jobs they’ve been placed in – cry me a river, people aren’t slaves, right?

    If people are impinged from moving around the labour force, unemployment will be created:

    Opportunities for continued employment will be lost. ChCh Rebuild Example: Employee is told there is 8 months worth of work. After working 5 months an opportunity to take up a years contract in another business arises. Because of anti-poaching policy – opportunity is lost and employee is unemployed 3 months later.

    • Reddelusion 11.1

      Yes it is free market GC but as in all markets contracts mean something hence the contract between hire company and their staff and employee and hire company. The government step in where the market is failing to deliver on the greater good , ie chc rebuild, I thought you would be all for that

      • G C 11.1.1

        Disagree Reddelusion

        I haven’t seen any evidence workers (ChCh Rebuild) availing themselves with higher paying opportunities means; “the market is failing to deliver on the greater good”.

        Someone maybe a valued employee of a small company. If their skill-set is being under utilised – and said skill-set could be used to complete say, an Anchor Project (convention centre, sports facility) – why stop that from happening.

        If a foreign worker is being exploited, is it for the “greater good” to stop them accepting fair remuneration for their labour.

        Let’s not forget the Christchurch Rebuild is the government’s proverbial ‘wet-dream’ in that it dramatically bolsters economic growth.

        It’s human nature NOT to want to job hop. Rather people want a secure position they can stick at. Christchurch has traditionally been a low wage town/city. With an increasingly active and dynamic local economy here (ChCh) – wages have to and will increase. Policies like the above are just backwards.

        • Reddelusion 11.1.1.1

          It simply a competitive fixed term contract GC, a contract to supply labour is no different than any other contract, if you don’t like it don’t sign it, or negioate terms accordingly. Without the law of contracts and effective enforcement commerce would break down. How would you feel if you hired a plumber for 2 weeks under contract and halfway through the job he decides to pick up sticks because it suits him Your political views on chic rebuild is immaterial to this arguement

          • G C 11.1.1.1.1

            “How would you feel if you hired a plumber for 2 weeks under contract and halfway through the job he decides to pick up sticks because it suits him”

            1. A sole-trade is unlikely to throw His business away on a whim
            2. If it is a company, another trades person could finish the job
            3. I wouldn’t pay the plumber
            4. etc, etc, etc

            People aren’t incline to just leave jobs – if ‘Recruitment Agencies’ are experiencing high turn over – perhaps they need to look at themselves.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        There are somethings that shouldn’t be in a contract and clauses that prevent employees from moving to better employment is one of them.

        • Reddelusion 11.1.2.1

          That is the case under normal employment law, the chc rebuild is a bit different, re jobs are project related, people are coming in on specific temporary visa to meet a specific need (the chc rebuild) and are operating in a quasi contractor environment and are not directly employed by the employer, but by the hire company

          • G C 11.1.2.1.1

            When using the term “quasi contractor environment” in your argument – It’s really scrapping the bottom of the barrel. I’m still not convinced there is an actual problem that needs addressing here.

            Rather, I’m incline to think ‘Recruitment Agencies’ are using lobbyist to promote policy that would line their pockets. I’d suggest ‘Recruitment Agencies’ need to get better at placing people in jobs – NOT seeking corporate welfare through a legislative proxy.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2.1.2

            Nothing about the Christchurch rebuild requires a change in employment law just to protect the labour hire firms from their own folly of not paying enough/abusing people.

  11. G C 12

    Surely the ACT Party would be against this kind of ‘policy making’ & legislation?

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      You would think so but I wouldn’t count on it as Act works to protect the employers more often than not.

      • G C 12.1.1

        I hope Act speak out against this policy idea – I’m liking David Seymour at the moment.

  12. Keith 13

    The move to stop a worker going to another employer to get better conditions is a text book example of laws used in the medieval period where serfs were prevented from leaving their masters. What next, legislate what colour and material of clothing they must wear?

    As for Woodhouse saying he was going to change the zero hour rort and he doesn’t, absolute classic lying National. I can just see it, “shit we are getting a caning over this abusive zero hour scam, tell them you’ll change it, but never change anything. It will keep our donors happy and maximise profits.

    Its no exaggeration that National are in government for their mates and hate ordinary people.

  13. Keith 14

    In fact what you describe in the opening paragraphs is not at all disimilar to “Debt bondage” or “Serfdom” and this banned by the UN.

    Because a person, who goes to great expense to come to NZ is then bonded to an employer named on the visa and cannot leave them legally to work for another, or certainly not without a lot of difficulty and probable expense. Their original employer quite simply owns their destiny whilst in NZ and that person is extremely exploitable to say the least.

    Its almost unbelievable that in NZ in the 21st century we are even talking about this.

  14. Peter Scott 15

    Excellent post Helen. So National are the champions of letting the market decide except when it comes to labourers wages. That is absolutely disgraceful and must be stamped on if workers wages are to rise.

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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    7 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    29 mins ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago