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There is no alternative

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, January 17th, 2012 - 182 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

Work conditions in the Right’s ideal world:

  • Stevedores only paid while actually unloading containers
  • Firemen only paid when fighting fires
  • Emergency doctors only paid while saving lives
  • Soldiers only paid if under fire
  • All Blacks only paid while handling the ball/tackling
  • MPs only paid while in the House
  • CEOs not paid while at their Papamoa beach-house


182 comments on “There is no alternative”

  1. And don’t forget we are catching up with Australia, really fast …

  2. Tony P 2

    Also a lot of the RWNJ’s wet dream:

    Teachers only paid when in front of children.

    • nadis 2.1

      actually Tony i think the problem people have with teaching is not the rate of pay – anyone I know is happy to pay teachers more. The problem is that crap teachers get paid the same as good ones. I know – as a board of trustees member – the angst of our headmaster who would dearly love to cull a couple of time servers, teachers who gave up caring a decade ago. But it is too hard, and we’ve been told to do so is to buy a fight with nzei. Which is the other problem – the NZEI thinks of itself as a union when it should think of itself as a professional society.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        I wish we could cull useless fat port directors and CEOs the same way you are talking about.

        Yet they all seem to be paid the same. Check out Sanford’s directors and CEO paying themselves more and more to “retain talent” while their company’s performance goes down and down and down.

        What a fucking joke maybe the private sector could lead the way instead of being the bludgers on society attacking the next generation.

        • Gosman

          Well technically you can get rid of them. Certainly far more easily than you can get rid of most employees.

          The owners of a business i.e. the shareholders have the ability to dismiss CEO’s if they fail to perform. The Auckland city council has the ability to get rid of the management of POAL you so despise. Whether they do so is a question for them and for Auckland residents.

          This is opposed to many employees where it is very difficult to get rid of them even when it is pretty clear they have breached their terms of employment.

          • Colonial Viper

            Technically you can get rid of useless directors? Tell that to Sanford’s small shareholders!

            • Gosman

              So why couldn’t they get rid of the directors CV?

              • Colonial Viper

                Higher paid directors lower performing companies: that’s the private sector for you.

                • Gosman

                  That is not aswering the question. Why couldn’t they get rid of these incompetent directors CV? Did they not set up a performance clause in their contract? They are answerable to the Shareholders so were the Shareholders happy with a badly performing company?

          • Craig Glen Eden

            “This is opposed to many employees where it is very difficult to get rid of them even when it is pretty clear they have breached their terms of employment”

            This one of the most over used and blatantly untrue lines that slack management use. The truth is it hides managements own poor ability to actually manage. Its easy to fire someone if they are incompetent just follow the correct procedures.

            • Gosman

              I can give you a recent example of where the law makes things difficult for a manager to get rid of an employee.

              A manager of a retail store noticed one of his staff had purchased a number of items from a sister store using their staff discount. This after he had advised the employee that they couldn’t purchase that number of items in their own store. He then noticed that the same number of items appeared on TradeMe shortly afterwards. This is explicitedly not allowed in the employment contract and is dishonest behaviour. Yet HR advised him it would be too difficult to get rid of the person. I have heard many similar type stories.

              • Colonial Viper

                Bullshit Farmers just won a case (and won costs) in the employment court against a dept supervisor who was fucking around with staff buying benefits.

                Just coz the employer you quoted was incompetent doesn’t mean all employers are.

                Oh and fire the HR staff in that company you are referring to, they clearly have no idea/are lazy/couldn’t be bothered.

                • Gosman

                  Why was the employer incompetent in this situation?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Because there was an obvious gross violation of terms and yet they thought it was too hard to do their job.

                • Gosman

                  Just for your information the reason they couldn’t get rid of the employee is basically the employee has quite obviously lied to cover their tracks. The TradeMe account the items were sold through was a family member’s and the items that they had bought had been sent (according to them anyway), to another family member in another country. In short the HR person stated to the Manager that it would be too difficult to prove otherwise as they can’t force the person to provide evidence supporting their story. It seems being dishonest pays off sometimes.

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    So you think it’s disappointing that a worker can’t be sacked without proof? Do you think we should extend your philosophy to the criminal courts? After all, policemen never lie and if they think something happened, surely that’s good enough?

                    • Gosman

                      Yep on the first part. I myself are on a contract whereby if the business that employ’s me decides my services are no longer required can give me two weeks notice, (or pay me out), and I am gone.

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      Well, if that happens without good reason, Gossie, let me know. We can both make out like bandits in the personal grievance case!

                    • Gosman

                      The thing with the criminal courts is that the Police have the power to gather the evidence. Hence why it would be harder to lie to cover your butt. For example the Police in this example could compel the family member who sold the items to testify about where they got the goods from and also investigate further the story about the items being sent overseas to a relative. Employers have no such power.

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      Er, no, the NZ Police have no such powers, Gosman. We still enjoy the right to silence here. That applies to both criminal and employment matters. It’s also a right I wish some of the stupider commentators here would take advantage of rather than blather on from a position of ignorance.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      For example the Police in this example could compel the family member who sold the items to testify about where they got the goods from

                      LOL yeah forced testimony, why not just hold the alleged perp in a cell until they sign a prewritten confession, not only would it speed up convictions it would save a bundle in legal aid costs!

                  • Akldnut

                    ha! Gosman you goose, would the power to comply with investigations be the same one they used in the Kahui case

                    • Gosman

                      What I meant was that they can investigate and put somebody on the witness stand. That person can decide not to say anything. In which case the Jury/Judge can make up their own mind what the decision not to say anything means. However in the case of the Employer/Employee the Employer has restricted power to even chat to third parties about such matters to ascertain the truth.

                    • felix

                      No you fucking moron Gos, no-one has to talk to the police.

                      Nothing to do with Juries and Judges.

                    • McFlock

                      The power of KMart compells you! The power of KMart compells you!

                      Nah, not a sound we should be hearing, IMO 🙂

              • The Voice of Reason

                Pointless story, Gossie. The HR presumably spotted in a nano-second that there would be no way of getting evidence that backed up the manager’s suspicions. The answer, obviously, is to do away with the law. Happily for fans of managerial incompetence like yourself, this Government has done that already for the first 90 days of employment.

              • fender

                When you earn peanuts as a retail salesperson I’m not surprised you find a way to try and supplement your meagre income.

              • A manager of a retail store noticed one of his staff had purchased a number of items from a sister store using their staff discount. This after he had advised the employee that they couldn’t purchase that number of items in their own store. He then noticed that the same number of items appeared on TradeMe shortly afterwards.


                Gosman, how do you know those same items were from the store?

                How do you know the Trademe account was held by a relative by the staff member?

                Where’s your evidence?

                And don’t you think HR was aware of these issues since they were on-the-spot? Whilst you’re either relating this to us third-hand, or, for all we know, you’ve made it up.

                Christ man, how on Earth would you convict/fire someone on that kind of say-so? It’s not even circumstantial evidence!?

          • queenstfarmer

            Not just “technically”. Unless there is a contract / constitution saying otherwise, 50.01% of shareholders (or voting shareholders) can give directors the boot, and put in their own directors.

            And they get no redundancy, no stand-down period, or other nonsense (though of course, many big companies have a corrupt practice of golden parachutes)

            For publicly traded companie, though, little shareholders can rarely muster enough votes to get anywhere near being able to give directors the boot. Big institutions or other big corporate shareholders almost always get their way, which in many cases has led to the crony capitalism and corruption we now see.

            • Lanthanide

              “Not just “technically”. Unless there is a contract / constitution saying otherwise, 50.01% of shareholders (or voting shareholders) can give directors the boot, and put in their own directors.”

              As I understand it, you don’t even need 50.01% for this. You just need 50.01% of the votes. Many small investors don’t vote.

              • queenstfarmer

                Yes – that’s what I meant by 50.01% of shareholders (or voting shareholders). So it’s like a parliamentary election.

                And yes, many small shareholders don’t vote which makes it that much easier for the large institutions to have their wicked way with a company. The Shareholders Association has had some success in rallying small shareholders, and more strength to them.

                • Lanthanide

                  Right, I thought that’s what you meant. However you can be a “voting shareholder” and not vote. Just like I can be on the electoral list and not vote.

                  You may have used the term “voting shareholder” to denote a shareholder that exercises their right to vote. I believe the more usual usage is to denote a shareholder who has voting rights, as not all shareholders do.

        • nadis

          I wish we could cull useless fat port directors and CEOs the same way you are talking about.

          Obviously the owners can. With POA, 100% owned by one entity, the owners are clearly choosing not to. You should ask the owner why…….

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        “Crap teachers get paid the same rate” Bullshit. Teachers are subject to work assessment and only those who do well get promoted.

        • Rob

          Its not bullshit at all, the fact is that crap teachers get the same pay as very good teachers. Good teachers may hopefully progess to become good influencers and leader within the school.

          • burt

            Its not bullshit at all, the fact is that crap teachers get the same pay as very good teachers. Good teachers may hopefully progess to become good influencers and leader within the school.

            Brilliant, good teachers get promoted out of the class ! lose – lose…. but that’s unions for you… the only important thing is that the unions get to extract fees from members so they can donate to the Labour party. The students… they don’t factor in here and neither do the parents.

            • the pink postman

              Since when have teachers union donated to the Labour Party?Its certainly news to me . I just wish they did it would save my small branch the time we spend on our monthly stall to raise a few dollars. Whilst the local,Nats have huge amounts of money donated by the farming community .
              Just recently they advertised a dinner for $500 per person.What working class Labour supporter could afford that.?

        • nadis

          Really……. you have experience of this? I can point to real evidence to the contrary 800 meters from my front door.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            No, you can point to an anecdote about what you think. Meanwhile, the evidence tells us that we have one of the top education systems in the world.

            • Lanthanide

              “Meanwhile, the evidence tells us that we have one of the top education systems in the world.”

              Which doesn’t have much to do with bad teachers being paid the same as good teachers. Just that the bad teachers overall aren’t a huge problem.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Having already batted that one straight back: “…those who do get promoted” I didn’t really feel the need to repeat myself.

                Or perhaps the phrase “attestation against the professional standards for salary progression” has some other meaning…

                • Lanthanide

                  I don’t really know much about the teaching profession at all.

                  Is it not true that salary is also largely based on tenure? So after 5 years you get paid X regardless of how “good” a teacher you are?

                  Whether you are then promoted or not (and that comes with a larger salary) is therefore a secondary issue as to the question of good and bad teachers being the same amount. It’s quite possible that there are only so many ‘senior’ positions available, so good teachers may be unable to be promoted even if they were disserving of it, while other ‘bad’ teachers still got the same salary as they did.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I’m not a teacher, although I have one school aged child. I have various opinions and anecdotes about which of his teachers have worked out better for him so far.

                    My personal experience is that the situation is complex enough at this one school to render the glib right wing talking points meaningless (no surprises there).

                    Teachers say they have to meet performance goals and that these are tied to salary advancement. The MoE info I linked supports them. Other measures of their overall performance indicate that not only are they collectively very good at what they do, but that they do it for considerably less money than their overseas contemporaries.

                    Ask yourself how many organisations achieve such consistently good results but are simultaneously full of dead wood. The RWNJ narrative doesn’t stack up against the facts.

                    As for whether “salary is based on tenure”, what is the source of that claim?

                    Remember how the wharfies earn $91k for a twenty-eight hour week when it’s really Tony Gibson who does all the physical labour with his bare hands? All those lazy good for nothing teachers and the wharfies are just taking us all for a ride eh…

      • fabregas4 2.1.3

        This is absolute rubbish. Talk to your principal about the competency clauses in the Collective Agreement and ask him/her to get things underway. They are exhaustive and time consuming, no doubt about that, but if your principal, and you and the Board are too lazy or lack motivation to get the process underway then you and he/she should think about the children and if you still can’t be arsed then resign tomorrow. NZEI is both a union and a professional body and in my experience they don’t want poor teachers in front of children either. Just make sure that you follow the procedures properly – this is only right and fair.

      • martin 2.1.4

        Hopeless board and hopeless principal if you can’t hold an underperforming teacher to account. You have probably got a folder of complaints from parents. So you can give a three month warning about improving performance with some achievable and specific goals – eg fewer complaints. Then you send them on the appropriate professional development programmes. keep a good paper trail. They might improve. If not you can eventually fire them.

    • Monty 2.2

      You are all so full of hate it is sad. Those on the right want increases in productivity. Firement get paid to sleep. The dynamics of responses are much different at 2.00am to that at 2.00pm (a fire truck can respond to a much wider area in the 90% / 7 minute timeframe at 2.00am. So the question then begs – strategically position the Stations and cut the number of evening staff.

      the resistence from the left to change of work practices in order to remain competitive demonstrates the inability of the left to understand any matters of economics. Your view of employers vs employees and the snarky and inaccurate comments show a sad lack of maturity.

      No problem from our end. POAL will crush the 1950’s mindset of the outdated MUNZ. The POAL played a trump card and will win. The benefit will be enjoyed by vast numbers of Auckland and NZ Businesses. MUNZ will be left wondering how the hell it all went so very wrong for them.

  3. johnm 3

    Meanwhile our asset selling man, Key gets paid while basking in the warmth of his Hawaiien home, paid for from his currency speculation days. One rule for the masters one for the serfs!

    • CnrJoe 3.1

      whose money does John Key have ?
      mom and pop investors ?
      i just know it’s not his.
      i’d call him a shyster and a crook, sorry.
      our psychopath ‘smiling assassin’ minister of photo ops
      oooh, history will not be kind.

      • Rob 3.1.1

        Jealous much…..

        • Jackal

          I very much doubt CnrJoe is jealous of somebody else’s wealth that was amassed from other people’s hard work and misfortune. John Key in his Merrill Lynch-mod days personally benefited from the very thing that led to the financial crisis that is destroying many countries around the world. He currently has investments in Bank of America and will likely personally benefit from New Zealand’s growing indebtedness. Is that the kind of person you want as Prime Minister?

          That CnrJoe is jealous of ill-gotten gains is a particularly pathetic argument. What you’re wanting people to do is just allow corruption and greed to run amuck because if anybody speaks out against it, they will be labelled as jealous! Fuck off Rob. People’s motivation to reduce the disparity is not about jealousy, it’s about reducing inequality and building a brighter future for everybody… not just John Key et. al.

      • Gosman 3.1.2

        Are you implying that the investors whose money John Key handled in his job as a money market trader were unhappy with the results? If so then do you have any evidence that they think John Key stole their money or at least invested it unwisely?

        • muzza

          You dick – thats exactly not the point is it! – ever worked on a trading desk?

          • Gosman

            Pretty much. Not on the selling side mind you but in the support side.

            Have you worked on a trading desk then? Are you implying that ALL traders essentially steal from investors or misinvest their money? If so then why do these investors keep coming back?

            • McFlock

              The same reason people keep buying lotto tickets every year. For pretty much the same result.

            • Colonial Viper

              Traders are just the low life minions. Cogs in a wheel. Tens of thousands have just got laid off Wall St. That’s the top 10% getting fucked over by the top 0.1%

              See more of that soon.

            • Colonial Viper

              If so then why do these investors keep coming back?

              Don’t be an ignoramus.

              Investors aren’t coming back into the equity markets. They know its a game they are set to lose; Goldman Sachs and their high frequency trading algorithms thieve millions from the market (and ordinary investors) per second.

              The ‘liquidity’ in the markets today is all new printed cash from the Fed’s QE efforts. Not from investors.

            • muzza

              Tell me you know what HFT is Gosman! – Yes, I have…..

      • johnm 3.1.3

        Hi Cnr Joe
        I agree Key behaves like a Roman Emperor ! Protected by his Praetorian Guard- the Diplomatic Protection Squad and by his family faction the Natii family also known as the National party. Many are loyal to Emperor Key as he dispenses largesse through tax cuts to the already wealthy roman elites. He doesn’t believe the Plebs should have benefits of the common wealth hence privatises assets to benefit already well off investors. However the plebs are a necessary cheap labour force for the aristocrats to exploit eventually he will not be too worried if virtual wage slavery creeps in. The political arena is beneath his consideration. Model to emulate? The corrupt militaristic Roman Empire of the USSSS. Steadiest job for the Plebs there is to be a Legionaire in the armed forces-funeral costs guaranteed. Hail Emperor Shonkey in his Capri retreat known as Hawaii!

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    You left wing serfs and purveyors of bludging, envy and laziness, bow to your betters, your superiors, the wealthy, the born to rule over your mediocre inconsequential low net worth lives, and acknowledge them for the masters of the universe that they see themselves as! Till my sun drenched fields until dark, servants, when you might be lucky to get a few morsels to eat and bask in my generosity to you; I am busy with a mohito to drink on my luxury yacht.

    • Super Guest 4.1

      Benefit cheque late this week Viper? You seem more left-of-Lenin than usual.

      • Rob 4.1.1

        Vipers benefits come from his in-laws, he does not have any money issues or worries.

        • Colonial Viper


          the in-laws mansion has a great wireless set up, posting on The Standard from the pool house in this weather is a treat!

      • Jackal 4.1.2

        Benefit cheque… what century are you from Super Guest?

        • McFlock

          19th – like the economics of envy.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            Economics of envy? You mean constantly trying to stay ahead of the joneses while CEOs make off with millions they don’t deserve? 😛

            I’m not envious of people being paid what they’ve actually earned, and I have no problem with people earning more than me if they genuinely make life better for people more than I do. The trouble is that this is not how the world works right now.

            • McFlock

              Yeah – notice that whenever someone says “why is that person so rich and yet so many more are poor” a tory comes up with “politics of envy”? The fact is that it’s their perspective that makes it look “envious” to suggest that the wealthy should help those who need help. The growth economy is the problem – we need to consume more, more more. The bigger fish eat the smaller fish, and the smaller fish eat each other trying to get bigger.
              Money traders and bankers are the remora of the analogy. 🙂

        • Super Guest

          I’ve never gotten a benefit, Jackal, so I wouldn’t know how they come in. I know I get paid via the internet, but I really don’t think beneficiaries really should be spending their money on internet then pissing and moaning about being poor so perhaps a benefit cheque is the way forward, despite being a little archaic. As for your question I was born in the 20th century, though, the politics of this site were born somewhere in the 1800s – most likely in Berlin.

  5. Work conditions in the Left’s ideal world:

    – Everyone gets paid the same whether they work or not.

    In practice that ideal proved unsustainable and far worse than the current lumpy and imperfect systems of remmuneration. But there is no alternative but try to improve the moving target that we have.

    • Gawd Petey.  You better look under your bed I am sure there is a red there.
      How about this for a statement “equality of opportunity, equity of outcome”.
      This means that there will not necessarily be equal pay but there will be a minimum standard to make sure people are not left behind.  This is what the broad left always talk about.
      Your assertion that the left wants strict equality of outcome is, well, bizarre.

      • Pete George 5.1.1

        No more bizarre than Zetetic’s odd examples.

        This means that there will not necessarily be equal pay but there will be a minimum standard to make sure people are not left behind.

        In theory that sounds fine, but much harder to achieve in practice. How do you determine a ‘minimum standard’ when there are some many inequalities?

        Circumstances vary hugely across the country – and an ability to efficiently utilise what is provided also varies enormously.

        • Colonial Viper

          A minimum standard where pensioner homes aren’t left cold and kids can eat full meals three times a day. With expensive items like milk and cheese even.

          Goawd you’re a dickhead Petey. Go spend some time in South Dunedin why don’t you.

          • The Voice of Reason

            Not going to happen, CV! For some reason the people of Dunedin are ignoring PG’s call to waffle together for a united future and are trying more visible protests against the inequality Pete is so fond of.

        • The Voice of Reason

          “In theory that sounds fine, but much harder to achieve in practice.”
          Not in Australia, Pete. They have an excellent two tier employment system, with minimum standards for all and the ability to bargain for more if an enterprise can afford it. In fact, this model is also common in Europe and worked well here in NZ till the nineties.

        • mickysavage

          Soo to hard eh Petey and we may as well put up with poverty because we cannot agree exactly what the minimum standard is going to be …

        • mik e

          Pompus Git your argument is going nowhere like unbalanced follicles

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Actually a living wage for a fair days work would be fine.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Wrong but I’m not surprised about that. Lies are the usual way of the RWNJ.

      Why do we have unemployment Pete? I know for a fact that it’s not because people don’t want to work.

    • mik e 5.4

      rights ideal only a few at the top get paid the rest are serfs

  6. higherstandard 6

    I’m labelled a righty on this blog however I don’t agree with any of those scenarios.

    I’d also suggest that you’d struggle to find many/any who would. It’s pretty much as silly as PGs scenario above.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      People don’t get paid for going to and from work even though it costs them in time and money.

      So, true that it’s not many – just every single business owner, director, CEO and probably this entire government.

  7. Jimmie 7

    I would think in relation the wharfies it should be that they get paid only while unloading containers and all associated work. If on call should receive a payment approx 40% of their normal hourly pay to compensate for restriction on activities but taking into account that they are getting paid for doing nothing.
    I would think that for their work and skill level required they should be on an average annual pay range of $45-65,000 so the hourly pay rate should reflect this.

    Also the extra provisions for sick leave/medical insurance/annual leave should be looked at as they are clearly excessive.

    Wharfie work is not particularly demanding or dangerous that it requires this level of cover – just makes them lazy and allergic to work.

    Sorted 😛

    [a. Your scenario would give wharfies a massive pay rise because they are on call 24/7 – you would pay for 32 hours work plus 136 hours at 40%, vs 49 hours at full pay now. b. why is health insurance and a bit of extra sick leave excessive for workers that have a 114% chance of a work injury that will stop them working in a working life time? C. Do you go around looking at every executive’s pay and conditions and demand they drop them because they’re ‘excessive’, or is that judgement reserved only for working people? d. is this how we become a wealthy country, by cutting the wages and conditions of workers who negotiated them? E. You’re arrogant enough to call them lazy but the Auckland wharfies are the second most productive in Australasia and are being paid productivity bonuses. I bet you can’t say that about yourself. Zet]

    • And what about Gibson’s $750k?  How can you justify this Jimmie?

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        Talk to the people who are responsible for his employment. I believe you may have voted for a couple of them.

        [i thought you were a business guy, gossie. Then you should know that CEOs are employed by boards, not shareholders. And the POA board was appointed by Hide not the council. I do agree that the council should sack the board. Zet]

        • Gosman

          Did Hide put in place rules that stated that the Board could not be influenced or replaced by the Council?

          By the way I’m not sure you are correct on that point. Someone mentioned yesterday that the Board was not appointed by Hide.

          This link here suggests that the board members are appointed not by Hide but indirectly by the Council


        • nadis

          You keep telling fibs about Rodney Hide choosing the board. Please provide some evidence.

          Click to access boardappointmentremunerationpolicy201112.pdf

          And as much as you want to hide from the unpalatable truth, Len Brown and his councillors are ultimately responsible for the actions of POA. Try and prevaricate it away as much as you can, but the SOI given to ACIL by the council sets the parameters for what management and the board do. Change those parameters, and the behaviour of management changes. Look at the required ROE over the next 5 years – an extra $38 million per annum – a 100% increase – why are you surprised management is trying to casualise the labour force. Seriously, commentators here paint themselves as rational yet avoid thinking about the obvious:


          The council is a greedy owner. Credit where credit is due.

          • Colonial Viper

            Come now, I posted about this yesterday.

            It seems to me that in 2011 PoA convinced Len Brown that providing tens of millions more in dividends would be relatively easy to do. The Council have now budgeted those gains in and committed the monies, and have no other way to secure a similar level of funding from somewhere else.

            So the Right have brilliantly manouvered Brown and Council into a fiscal corner where they have to back the PoA board.

            Of course, even after the union is broken PoA won’t be able to deliver on its profitability promises so the Council is stuffed anyway but that doesn’t matter.

            The important thing is that the union will be broken and the port will be ready for privatisation.

            • Gosman

              It was as unsubstantiated then as it remains today.

              “It seems to me that in 2011 PoA convinced Len Brown that providing tens of millions more in dividends would be relatively easy to do. The Council have now budgeted those gains in and committed the monies, and have no other way to secure a similar level of funding from somewhere else.”

              This would be easy to check CV. Instead of hypothesising why don’t you write an e-mail to the Council requesting information about any decisions areounf the POAL and the council budget?

            • nadis

              It’s certainly plausible that the council could be that useless. ZBut we are talking an extra 19mm per year (assuming the revenue increases linearly from 0 to 38mm) for 5 years – that’s 100mm. ACC budget is 2.5 billion. The additional contribution from POA to the council budget is about 0.8% on average so well less than 1%.

              so your thesis is that:

              a) Len Brown and his council and management are so dim they have allowed the POA management to completely out think them. To what end I am unsure, as the council must vote explicitly for any privatisation – that is not a management or board decision.

              b) Len and his council can overlook their worker solidarity principles for 0.76% of council’s budget. If true, then they re easily bought.

              There is prob some grain of truth in what you say, one should never overestimate the competence of a city council. My conspiracy theory is a bit neater. Somewhere, sometime MUNZ or their leadership really really annoyed the wider labour movement, and this is payback time. Internal fratricide within labour is so fun to watch.

              Go for it Len “Pontius Pilate” Brown!

              • Colonial Viper

                The additional contribution from POA to the council budget is about 0.8% on average so well less than 1%.

                One more thing. Its the partial privatisation of the Port which will bring in big bucks to ACC.

                • Gosman

                  So do you think that the Council has factored this into their budgetary calculations as well then CV?

                  Do you have any evidence… oh wait…. I forgot this is just your made up hypothesis explaining why the Council can’t do diddly squat even though it is within their power to do something.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Oh Gosman, be a sport, I’m just detailing out possible scenarios, don’t get your little knickers in a knot.

                • nadis

                  I’ll say it again. Privatisation is a council decision not a POA decision. Read the SOI.

                  If you believe privatisation actually is the council end game, then there is your answer. Len Brownn and council are explicitly selling out the ports workers. You are no longer in the “maybe POA have pulled the wool over the eyes of council”, you are in the territory of “council is complicit, in fact active in the de-unionisation of the port”. I personally believe the second option is most likely. It is also the simplest explanation for what is going on.

                  My advice is that if you actually want a left wing mayor in Auckland, you should actually find a left wing candidate rather than Len “Manchurian Candidate” Brown.

        • ak

          [i thought you were a business guy, gossie

          Yep, sorry Gozza, severe credibility downgrade just as you were nearing readability.

          Incidentally, having interviewed and overseen dozens of acting and aspiring CEOs over decades, you may be interested to learn that they don’t actually do any work at all in the normal sense: their role is simply to ensure that others do it. All of it; from organising their time to justifying their obscene salaries.

          Extraordinary efforts and prime focus is devoted to the next interview: assembling myriad unverifiable examples of how they single-handedly “inspired the team”, “built the brand”, “took the hard decisions”, “streamlined the system going forward”, “instituted the latest best-practice/process/theory/synergetic matrix/blah blah blah – going forward of course, as opposed to backwards, and all the time talk – talk talk talk, saying nothing in ever-decreasing, increasingly inane circles of cant. Image, image, image: from their peacock personal coiffure to the incessant, mind-numblingly “positive” PR of how great they and the organisation art, all of it – all of it, performed by underlings; cajoled, heckled, threatened, enticed, bludgeoned into the craven idolatry of nonentity entities and self-seeking bullshit artists.

          If you think they’re easily removed, you’ve been on a different planet for decades, and don’t even get me started on directors; suffice to say a recent blather on hard they “work” was the most humourous comment I’ve seen in years.

          • Gosman

            Did you not read nadis’s post directly above yours?

            The executives of POAL are employed and directly responsible to the board which is appointed and therefore controlled ultimately by the Auckland city council.

            Hence if the executives are not performing in a manner that the Auckland City council sees fit they can be replaced.

            If Len Brown is unhappy with the management team at POAL there is an easy solution to this problem. Replace the board and replace the management.

            • ak

              Ah. So you know exactly how this could be done, do you Gozzie? Just a majority vote at council to sack the entire board then is it? And then a simple appointment process to install a compliant board that can break contracts with utter impunity, is it? And why aren’t you ending every comment with a question any more? Know it all now do we? If so, could you answer the first question? Please?

              • nadis

                ACC doesn’t need to sack anyone. All the council needs to do is change the POA Statement of Intent. That is easily done, and well within the normal powers of the council. The fact the council is choosing not do so is quite illustrative……..

            • Colonial Viper

              Yeah that’s how it works in theory, why not come back to reality mate?

            • Gosman

              You guy’s just comeup with excuses why things can’t happen but it is good to see you finally acknowledging at last that the ultimate responsibility for management at POAL is the Council. It is not some nameless faceless ‘evil’ Capitalist that you can safely demonise. The people of Auckland are the ‘evil’ Capitalist in this story.

              If you are an Aucklander and you don’t like this fact then complain the Len Brown and your Councillors. You voted them in to represent you didn’t you?

              • Colonial Viper

                Amoral corporatist leadership at every management and governance level.

                Fuck’m all, when they bring Massey’s Cossacks back to the wharf there’s going to be a proper fight.

                • Gosman

                  Yeah because violence in industrial disputes have worked out so well for the Labour movement in the past hasn’t it?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Workers and unions have typically lost port disputes in NZ, yes, as state authority is brought to bear against workers, and law enforcement turns a blind eye to unionists being assaulted or strung up.

                    Thankfully, that friendly nice family man John Key wouldn’t allow anything mean like that to happen in New Zealand.

                • nadis

                  If they bring Massey’s cossacks back to the wharf, I’m definitely picking the other side. Those Cossacks must be close to 90 years old now.

      • law 7.1.2

        What do you get paid for your public work Greg?

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Zet, your article misses the point.

    Any business can choose to contract out certain business functions. In that case, they actually only pay for the time that work is actually done. This is nothing particularly unusual, and is probably particularly relevant to the current dispute given that POA are losing customers hand over fist, and thus likely to have a lot more variability in work requirements.

    • DJL 8.1

      I think it is you missing the point. The workers have been getting productivity bonuses. Its the management who negociates (sp?) with the clients not the workers.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Gibson is still working to advantage his old outfit Maersk and screwing the union is simply part of that agenda.

        If Gibson screws the union over properly, he’ll be in a prime position to be offered a global executive position with Maersk international.

        • nadis

          Yes because saving a few million in NZ is mission critical to a multi billion dollar global company like Maersk.

          • muzza

            It not about the money with the monoply men Nadis, you should understnad that.

            Its the play book that counts man…come on!

          • Colonial Viper

            nadis…come dude, you’re smarter than that. A billion dollars is made up of a thousand million dollars, is it not?

            And if you don’t make those individual million dollar lots one by one, and treat each million dollar lot as a critical part of the whole, you’ll never end up accumulating a thousand of them.

            And so you will never become a billion dollar company like Maersk has.

            They realise this. You don’t.

        • mik e

          Maersk is screwing New Zealand over the cost of shipping a container from New Zealand to China is 3x that of one shipped from Sydney

  9. MCO 9

    It’s not the same.

    When not fighting fires, firemen are training, educating etc etc.
    When not saving lives emergency doctors are completing all sorts of other tasks that are necessary.
    When not under enemy fire soldiers are training.
    I’m not even going to talk about the All Blacks…

    When not unloading ships stevedores are driving home.

    Not the same is it?

    • Uturn 9.1

      When not fighting fires, firemen are training, educating etc etc.

      …or sleeping.

      When not saving lives emergency doctors are completing all sorts of other tasks that are necessary.

      …like snorting up cocaine in my sister’s bathroom.

      When not under enemy fire soldiers are training.

      … by lifting bottles of beer to their lips.

      I’m not even going to talk about the All Blacks…

      …because that would mean describing historic drunken brawling and sexual harrasment.

      So many anecdotes, so little time.

      • MCO 9.1.1

        …or sleeping. Yep, but then they are an emergency service so I really don’t think there is an option than having them readily available do you? Sort of the same as the emergency doctors don’t you think?


        …like snorting up cocaine in your sisters bathroom. Really? But I’ve got to assume that not all of them do that, maybe just one.

        …by lifting bottles of beer to their lips. Again, really? I acknowledge it probably happens, but I think it is probably the exception rather then the rule. And when they’re on their own time they can do what they want after all.

        Re. the All Blacks – I didn’t comment because 1) I’m just not interested in the All Blacks and 2) It’s not as though they are doing a job such as you and I so I don’t consider them a valid comparison anyway.

        • felix

          “And when they’re on their own time they can do what they want after all. “

          You haven’t really understood this post at all, MCO.

        • fender

          “and when they’re on their own time they can do what they want after all”

          No not true. Many people are tested to make sure they keep out of the bathroom with Uturn’s sister etc., a breech of their human right to do what they want in their own time.

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      “When not unloading ships stevedores are driving home.

      Not the same is it?”

      You act like the stevedors don’t get any training, yet assume that firemen spend 100% of their non-active duty time doing this.

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        part of the “stevedores are unskilled labourers” myth.

      • MCO 9.2.2

        Not so.

        As I understand it the stevedores do undertake training.

        The educating comment was re. the Fire Service going round our schools and educating kids re. fire danger etc.
        I’m not suggesting they are undertaking themselves all the time at all. We all know they have down time, it’s nature of what they do and the price paid for them being available to save lives and protect property.

        • McFlock

          Okay, we want firefighters available to fight fires if and when they are needed, so we as a society pay them for the downtime they might have between fires, training or fire safety education. 
          The port wants wharfies available to unload ships if and when they are needed, so the port insists that the wharfies are not paid for the downtime they might have between ships, training or container re-arranging.
          We all know wharfies have downtime (although the specific quantity is in dispute), it’s the nature of what they do and the price paid for them to be available to make Auckland the 2nd most productive port in australasia.


          • Akldnut

            Hell the fire fighters I know play table tennis, pool, darts, play cards, watch TV and sleep while they’re at work. All this while waiting for a callout to a job. Can we expect the right too have this union in their gunsights soon?

            I seem to remember they tried around 1995-6 and and failed.

  10. randal 10

    it would seem that the they want it all so they can be big men back in somewhere in europe when they go to coktail parties and their exclusive resorts and mini mansions in the country.
    just greedy pigs in truth.

  11. tsmithfield 11

    “Work conditions in the Right’s ideal world:

    Stevedores only paid while actually unloading containers
    Firemen only paid when fighting fires
    Emergency doctors only paid while saving lives
    Soldiers only paid if under fire
    All Blacks only paid while handling the ball/tackling”

    The fallacy in the above analogies is that the other trades mentioned are either performing other administrative activities, or engaged in training when not performing their core function. Furthermore, roles such as emergency doctors require staff to be available due to the highly unpredictable nature of the work.

    Contrast that with the stevedores who have nothing to do if there is not a ship in port, and whos work is highly predictable (ship arrivals/departures tend to be known well in advance).

    In the case of the stevedores I think there is a very strong argument for contracting out the work. This being the case, the stevedores either have to meet the market or find something else to do.

    • lprent 11.1

      …who’s work is highly predictable (ship arrivals/departures tend to be known well in advance).

      Ah no. You are completely incorrect as with all freight transport, it is variable.

      There is considerable variance on ships arrivals (frequently up to a day different in schedule from previous port) and therefore their departure times. It depends on the weather, exiting the previous port, what they encounter along the way, availability of tugs, and if their berth is clear. The best you can describe their arrival times as is a probability statement with a steadily increasing confidence and certainty. Not to mention that ships masters really are a law unto themselves.

      At a month out you know which of a couple of days they will arrive. At a week out you can guess with a moderate degree of confidence which day they will arrive, but not the hour. The day before you can guess within a few hours when they are likely to be available.

      In other words it is exactly like looking at political polls for predicting the vote for each party. A month out you’re saying that national will get 56%. A week out they’re getting 52%. A few days before they’re getting 50%. On the day they get about 48%.

      Like the polls where all you can say with certainty was that it was highly likely that National would form the government, the only thing you can say about freighter schedules is that either people or vessels will be hanging around waiting if you try to schedule workflows a month out. Which is what the idiots at the PoA are trying to tell the union (to their considerable amusement).

      It is quite clear that the PoA want to move to a model where there are seagulls hanging around waiting for a phone call that says they have to be at work a few hours later.

      I think you could do to talk to some actual wharfies rather than just making suppositions from interrogating your navel.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        Reminds me a bit of a criticism I read about Napoleon’s strategy. Because the times and speeds of land armies were pretty well established, Napoleon never really got the hang of dealing with navies – he thought you could just shift them around like counters on a blank chessboard. His admirals never really managed to get it through to him that ships just aren’t like that. 

        While he was a master on land at getting his opponents to move just a touch out of reach so they couldn’t support one another but his diversionary force could get to the field, with navies he was always just a bit off.

      • tsmithfield 11.1.2

        I would agree with you about there being some variability, especially at the level of a single ship.

        However, a busy port would plan on the basis of a number of ships, not just one. This would smooth out the variability and allow a lot more predictability. On this basis, it should be predictable with a reasonable degree of accuracy that between date X and Y there will be a certain number of ships in port requiring unloading requiring a certain number of workers.

        • RedLogix

          The point you miss is simple. Even IF the need to be at work can be predicted a day or two in advance… the actual shifs worked vary substantially from week to week, month to month.

          You argue that they should be paid only for their time at work, as if they were like plumbers or electricians who can pick and choose from a number of clients they can service at any one time. In other words is one job is delayed, or held up for any reason, they can probably get on with another one.

          But this is most certainly not the case for waterside workers. They can only have one employer and if that employer doesn’t need them today, then there is no other job for them to do instead. Morevover that one employer REQUIRES them to be available … regardless of whether there is actual work or not… regardless of whether the worker has any other use for that time or not.

          And because that stand-down time is so variable and unpredictable from week to week… it really is of low value to either the worker, or anyone else….except of course the port company who needs them available to meet it’s service needs.

          Essentially the Port wants workers sitting around waiting at its beck and call… but doesn’t want to pay for it.

          • tsmithfield

            The point is, though, that there are providers who can supply what POA wants. So, POA has options.Therefore, the workers need to adapt to the new environment, or lose their jobs. Just like evolution, those that don’t adapt cease to exist.

            Whether this is fair to the workers or not isn’t really relevant.

            • Colonial Viper

              Whether this is fair to the workers or not isn’t really relevant.

              You see, this says it all.

              The Right Wing structure the game so its a race to the bottom for workers and communities, and a race skyward for CEO salaries, directors fees and owner dividends.

              Do you think we’re going to play this stupid game of yours as you would wish us to?

              There are people willing to do Gibson’s job for $250K pa., a half million dollar a year saving to the people of Auckland.

              Why doesn’t Gibson lead by example and take a frakking paycut in order to “adapt to reality”.

              • tsmithfield

                I’m not making a value judgement on this. Just pointing out that this is the way things are.

                Unless you want to legislate that businesses aren’t allowed to alter their business model so that they change to using contractors for tasks they previously performed internally, that is.

                • RedLogix

                  I’m not making a value judgement on this. Just pointing out that this is the way things are.

                  Oh yes you are. Otherwise why else are you here supporting PoAL’s position at every point?

                  The idea that what you are saying is somehow ‘value-free’ is just you deluding yourself; the rest of us can see.

                  • tsmithfield

                    It is value-free in that I am just pointing out the objective reality of the situation.

                    It doesn’t really matter in the end how much the union stamps their feet. The company can always contract the work out if it wishes, and there’s not a damn thing the union can do about it.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yeah and I can come round to your place at 4am with a baseball bat too. Not a damn thing you can do about it.

                      Just saying in a value-free way.

                      Yeah I know it’s illegal and wrong, but that’s not the point is it? Busting unions just because you can, is immoral and wrong too. And once upon a time we had laws that more or less made it illegal too.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Unless you want to legislate that businesses aren’t allowed to alter their business model so that they change to using contractors for tasks they previously performed internally, that is.

                  That’s meh, I want to legislate to require that permanent employees have 20% of the seats on every company board, and that workers have a democratic say in who is CEO of their company.

                  • tsmithfield

                    I want to legislate away winter and legislate for free coffee to be delivered to me every morning.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Afraid of a bit of democratic representation in the business world are we?

                    • tsmithfield

                      Nah. Just pointing out that what you want to legislate for is about as likely to happen as what I want to legislate for.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Small difference – legislating against winter won’t stop winter, no matter the enforcement of the law.

                      Legislating to increase democracy into the workplace…will increase democracy into the workplace.

                    • felix

                      False equivalence tsmith.

                      It’s not possible to legislate* away winter, whereas it’s perfectly possible to legislate for democratic control of workplaces.

                      *edit just to cut off your next line of semantic bullshit, of course it’s technically possible to legislate for the non-existence of winter but it’s impossible to enforce.

                    • tsmithfield

                      I wasn’t talking about what is possibility of enforcing the legislation. I was talking about the likelihood of such legislation occuring. Which, for the instances that both CV and I referred to, is effectively zilch.

                      Read what I actually said.

                    • felix

                      I did read it dickhead, it’s your naked opinion and nothing else.

                      Cling to your privilege, tsmithfield. Pray nothing changes to take it away.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Back when Roosevelt implemented the New Deal back in the ’30s, there were quite a few concepts along those lines which they couldn’t get past the worker-haters in Congress. The irony was that many of the wise heads that came up with the New Deal also went on to advise recovering post-War Japan, which did implement a lot of those suggestions, which is why Japan’s car industry kicked so much arse for years.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The point is, though, that there are providers who can supply what POA wants.

              No there isn’t. The contracting firms will just hire the same people. In fact, all that the contracting firms will be is a ticket clipper in the middle just as labour contracting firms are now. The workers will be far worse off and so will PoAL.

              • tsmithfield

                They might hire some of the more compliant ones. Then again, they could bring workers in from overseas as well.

                • Colonial Viper

                  ah a battle for the survival and livelihood of NZ families then. Not much at stake is there. Let me know when you tired of advocating against your own community TS.

                  • tsmithfield

                    I am just saying what could happen, not what should happen. You should learn the difference.

                    • Playing word-games now?

                      Doesn’t say much for your argument. As for your comment,

                      They might hire some of the more compliant ones. Then again, they could bring workers in from overseas as well.

                      Of course they could. Indeed, this government could ban unions outright; seize assets; imprison officials. (It’s been done overseas.)

                      And you know what would be the result, tsmithfield? Do you know what human beings do when they backed against a wall, and have nothing to lose?

                      We could ask Muammar Gaddafi… but his loyal subjects kinda shot him.

                      Or, just as simply, we continue losing skilled, experienced professionals and blue collar workers to Australia.


                    • tsmithfield

                      “Playing word-games now?”

                      Nah.. Just helping people with comprehension problems.

                      “Of course they could. Indeed, this government could ban unions outright; seize assets; imprison officials. (It’s been done overseas.)”

                      The maritime union is already throwing a hissy about overseas labour. So that is a very real possibility. But there is no precedent in NZ for the other outlandish extremes you refer to.

                    • felix

                      No precedent for people being killed over industrial disputes, tsmithfield?

                      Not much of a scholar of history, are you?

                    • RedLogix

                      Yeah and I could just ban you ts for being ethically bankrupt … but should I ?

                      Just saying in value-free way.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “Yeah and I could just ban you ts for being ethically bankrupt … but should I ?”

                      “Could” implies banning me would be one of a number of options you could choose. “Should” implies that you have a moral/ethical responsibility to ban me. So you could ban me in a value free way, but not should. 🙂

                      Anyway, I don’t see myself as ethically bankrupt. Just looking at it from a different ethical perspective. Let me ask you, which is the most ethical:

                      1. That workers get to keep their terms and conditions no matter what, even if it means a business fails in the long term.

                      2. That workers have to bite the bullet in order for the business to survive over the long-term, thus preserving their jobs and possibly improving their position over the long-term?

                      While I agree that the company should be able to make changes such as contracting out, if that is best in the long-term, I also believe that management, in this situation, should have lead by example and taken a cut in their own terms and conditions first.

                      As business owners, my brother and me did exactly that at the beginning of the recession before we asked anyone else to take a cut.

                    • RedLogix

                      That workers get to keep their terms and conditions no matter what, even if it means a business fails in the long term.

                      But that is not the case, The union has moved substantially on terms and conditions, but the company has rejected every one of them; making it clear that the company will not sign a CEA and will not employ union members.

                      That workers have to bite the bullet in order for the business to survive over the long-term, thus preserving their jobs and possibly improving their position over the long-term?

                      As we demonstrated a few days ago, comparision of the Annual Reports for PoAL and PoT clearly show that Auckland is from a labour productivity measure.. the MORE efficient port.

                      The contracting model at Tauranga is less efficient, therefore the Union is doing it’s best to preserve the business at Auckland. Currently Auckland is less profitable because of poor governance and management decisions around excessive dividends and debt levels.

                      Moving to a contract model would only make things worse.

                      I also believe that management, in this situation, should have lead by example and taken a cut in their own terms and conditions first.

                      So why are you defending Gibson’s merry crew of union-busters then? At $750,000 he’s being paid TWICE what the Prime Minister gets… in what sane world does that make sense?

                      “Should” implies that you have a moral/ethical responsibility to ban me. So you could ban me in a value free way, but not should.

                      So finally you can acknowledge that this dispute has an ethical dimension…

                    • tsmithfield

                      “But that is not the case, The union has moved substantially on terms and conditions, but the company has rejected every one of them; making it clear that the company will not sign a CEA and will not employ union members.”

                      I don’t disagree with you. However, the movement may not be enough to ensure the long-term viability of POA. So my point still stands.

                      “As we demonstrated a few days ago, comparision of the Annual Reports for PoAL and PoT clearly show that Auckland is from a labour productivity measure.. the MORE efficient port.”

                      Hmmm…well the likes of Mearsk and Fonterra seem to have voted otherwise by their decision to leave POA for Tauranga. Unless, of course, you are prepared to agree that their decisions were motivated by the industrial action at POA.

  12. Sea Bandit 12

    When politicians are working sweet FA happens

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Government is the most powerful economic entity and authority in NZ.

      You would like us to forget that, wouldn’t you?

  13. MCO 13


    I’m suggesting that the examples that have been used as comparison are not valid.

    I think the OP is trying to suggest that these professions get paid when they are not performing their core duties, or any duties at all (and that is essentially correct) and that the stevedores should also.
    But the professions used are not good examples to use for the reasons (and probably countless others) that I and others have suggested.

  14. newsense 14

    Or even with the All Blacks example- not paid if on the bench…

    • Akldnut 14.1

      If your in the squad you’re an All black, your value becomes higher and you still get paid for sitting on the bench or going on tour even though you mightn’t play.

  15. Jim in Tokyo 15

    If you follow some of these arguments from the right to their logical conclusion, you get TEPCO

  16. randal 16

    there is always an alternative.
    the bible warned against usury because if all the rich had the money then what would the poor people do?
    the same thing applies here but the rich are far more numerous these days but much more secretive and their assets and perquisites hiddento view except in extreme cases where they have to step into sight to achieve their objectives such as stealing the stevedoring away from the ports of auckland and the thus receive all the profits.
    just another shifty trick hidden behind the shibboleth of “THE UNIONS”.
    time for len brown to step up and unless he has been bought off then he must show which side he is on.

    • Gosman 16.1

      “the bible warned against usury because if all the rich had the money then what would the poor people do?”


      I must have missed that lesson in Sunday School. Can you advise me which verse or verses in the Bible mentions this?

      • felix 16.1.1

        Oh fuck off Gosman, you wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes in Sunday school. You’d have been booted out for screaming “where’s the EVIDENCE?!?!”

        • RedLogix

          I’ve mentioned this before, but while religion is generally silent on the topic of economics… it is a curious fact that ALL of them in one form or another… have something to say about usury.

            • RedLogix

              mm.. fair enough. At the period the Bible was written it was necessarily silent on the topic of economics in the sense we understand it in the modern world.

              But I agree there is plenty of wisdom to be found. Contrary to modern delusions, our ancestors while limited in their technical understandings of the world, were not a stupid people. On the contrary, they must have been acutely observant and more than capable of astute insight.

              • Draco T Bastard

                At the period the Bible was written it was necessarily silent on the topic of economics in the sense we understand it in the modern world.

                We don’t understand economics in the modern world. Several centuries of market theology based on money as a resource has made sure of that.

  17. mik e 17

    This blog is becoming so popular with the right wing delusionists that they may as well shut down their own purile blogs!

  18. burt 18

    All Blacks only paid while handling the ball/tackling

    What a ridiculous analogy, imagine the quality of the All Blacks team if work rate wasn’t a considerable aspect of team selection. Imagine if team members couldn’t be picked to match opponent teams.

    Yes, we lost to France because the team roster had all the appropriate players on the bench that day… union rules – you know how it is…..

  19. You forgot programmers not paid while their code is compiling. 😛

    • lprent 19.1

      Yeah that is when I usually get time to moderate the site. Usually lets the brain contemplate around the edges while I let my fingers do the scrolling.

      But I have been a bit sloppy on the moderation as I got up to approach 10 on the latest feature/bug to get it. It took almost 4 working weeks and I was starting to think that there might not be a workable solution. Got it yesterday and there were no gotchas testing today.

      Haven’t had one that was quite so much fun since the mid 00’s.

      People don’t just pay me to idle about while compiling – no sirree. They insist on paying me. That is when all the productive work gets done.

  20. Colonial Viper 20

    tsmithfield: advocates against his own community, positions NZ for long term weakness, yet is an able communicator, demonstrates ability at humour and charm, is clearly intelligent, educated and amoral.

    This country seems to be filling up with them. Wonder where the training programme is.

  21. muzza 21

    This info below via Penny Bright……


    [lprent: Write your own comment with judicious quotes and links. The idea is not to use this as a wall to throw up press releases. Do that at scoop or your own site.

    This has nothing to do with the material. I’d put in a link myself, but I can’t see it on google. What it has to do with is what the site is for and why people come here to read in comments. They aren’t interested in press releases. They are interested in your argument – so write one and make it relevant.

    You’ve now been warned. Read the policy and stop wasting my time. ]

  22. One Anonymous Bloke 22

    Lanthanide: “I think in general this probably isn’t rigorously enforced”? Come on you can do better than that. What is the source of that claim, and how does it fit the reality of overall high-performance?

    “Poorly performing schools promote under-performing teachers”? Do they? Citation please. You don’t think there might be a correlation between “poorly performing” and “low decile” do you?

    I think you may have a case of right-wing talking points… 🙂

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