This is why we need a living wage

Written By: - Date published: 3:25 pm, June 30th, 2016 - 60 comments
Categories: cost of living, employment, minimum wage, wages, workers' rights - Tags: ,

living wage

There was another in what has been a long stream of heartbreaking stories this morning concerning a Porirua family struggling to make ends meet. But this is not a family relying on benefits to survive. Both parents work full time.

From Radio New Zealand:

New statistics this week show the gap between the rich and poor is widening, but the government rejects the idea inequality is rising.

Situa Tangatauli works three cleaning shifts throughout the day, starting at 6am and finishing at 11pm.

Her husband is a security guard working in the afternoon and evenings. They are both on the minimum wage of $15.25.

She said she felt guilty that despite them working the equivalent of two full time jobs, they could not afford to give their two young girls the simplest things.

“My oldest one has joined a basketball team and during the school holidays there was a programme and she had to pay $5 each day,” she said.

“Some days I had to tell her she has to miss this one because I can’t afford to make a proper lunch for you.”

On some days she looks inside her cupboards and all she can offer her children is a biscuit.

“I said to them is it alright and they say ‘mum it’s ok because we know you’ve been working hard’,” she said.

“I know it’s not a proper lunch but they accept what I get for them.”

Situa’s jobs include cleaning two libraries and a toilet.  The libraries are run by the Porirua City Council which regrettably is not a living wage employer.  Of all New Zealand’s territorial authorities only Wellington City Council is and the Councillors had to face the prospect of legal action being taken against them individually when they tried to require contractors dealing with the Council to also be living wage employers.

The situation in Auckland is even worse with the combination of sky high house prices and rampant rental inflation contributing to a crisis where even well paid people are struggling to cope.

And on the flip side senior managers employed by Council are enjoying unprecedented levels of remuneration.  The Auckland Council Chief Executive enjoyed a $60,000 salary increase just before Christmas last year.  Senior manager salaries in the public sector have increased that much that the Remuneration Authority thinks Councillors salaries should be increased by 20% just to maintain relativities.

The response of the Government is regrettable.  This morning on Morning Report Bill English tried to suggest that that there has been no change in poverty levels despite a rampant homelessness problem.  He also tried to suggest that national poverty was all Auckland Council’s fault.  Note to Bill the situation is endemic and nation wide and it is getting worse.

A living wage being paid by Auckland Council is not difficult to achieve.  Catriona McLennan in a recent Herald article has set out how.  All that is required is some political will on the part of the Councillors.

And in the meantime Situa will continue to work three jobs at minimum wage to try and make ends meet.  There has to be a better way.

Reprinted from gregpresland.com.

60 comments on “This is why we need a living wage”

  1. Greg 1

    Cleaners and security guards are often negotiated out of collective agreements, and employed at lower rates by contractors. Especially in large organisations.

    How are Parliaments cleaners fairing who are contracted to a Australian company,
    it would be interesting to see a public record of how that contract was awarded.
    And we know how efficient, and quick this government is with releasing official information requests etc about said contracts. Has the Labour party even bothered to ask about this one, looking after the peeps who clean up their poop.

    I expect that economic goals like a living wage would kick in with wonderful wage increases, when on the back of primary producers higher export volumes with TPPA, and others:
    Not that there is any evidence that this has occurred in the recent past.

    • Contractors that create a middle man in the chain that need to make something, another words, clip the ticket yet companies love it as it is far easier to end a contract rather than worry about troublesome issues like redundancies or wage increases. The down side is due to them clipping the ticket that cost has to come from somewhere, and guess where it comes from. Lower wages for those cleaners. If companies would just employ them direct, there is your cost saving to enable better wages right there.

  2. UncookedSelachimorpha 2

    We are a rich country. There is no need for anyone in NZ to be paid less than $19.80 / hour.

    • Richard McGrath 2.1

      Why not make it an even $100 an hour?

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.1

        There is a rationale for the living wage. Your number is provided without any suggested basis.

      • AB 2.1.2

        Reductio ad absurdam is a cheap rhetorical trick not an argument.
        There are dangers and injustices in setting a minimum wage too high, just as there are in allowing it to be to low.

    • bg 2.2

      Simple. Stump up your own money, create your own business and pay your staff whatever you like.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        Then stop whining like a wannabe privileged baby and obey employment law like everyone else does. Some of us in the business community have heard of a thing called “ethics”, and have noticed that this government’s policies are hurting our bottom line as well as destroying people’s lives.

        If that lame bullshit is all you’ve got to offer, I’d rather your business fail than put up with any more of your drivel ruining the country.

  3. Bob 3

    I think the title of this post should be “This is why we need a UBI”.

    A legislated living wage would have a major inflationary effect as companies recoup the increased cost via price increases, whereas a UBI would primarily be paid from existing tax income streams.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.1

      Their other option is to reconsider their levels of CEO pay and payments to shareholders. Doesn’t have to automatically mean price rises.

      Could simultaneously legislate that no individual salary can exceed X amount and no dividends can be paid out, until all staff in the business are on the living wage or better.

    • OneTrack 3.2

      We can just cut back on the health budget to pay an UBI?

  4. It’s not just what is being paid in wages, it’s also what is being charged for basic necessities such as housing, particularly in Auckland that is creating this type of misery.
    I would like someone to tell me why we pay the prices we do for items in the supermarket like bread, meat, milk, cheese and eggs.
    How do the supermarkets get their prices that they charge us for? Is there anywhere where you can get a breakdown of how much it costs to get milk from the farm to the supermarket in comparison to what the consumer gets charged? If so, I want so see it, if not which I bet my bottom dollar there isn’t then why not? And why are opposition parties not asking these types of questions? Is it similar to the United States in how no one but extreme polictions will talk about how devastating the NAFTA trade deal has been to the American workers? No poliction in NZ will ask the question or find out why we pay the prices we do for basic food items.
    The same goes for council rates, water charges, insurances – housing, contents and car, telephone bills, rent, house prices and anything else a household needs to exist in the NZ economy. Are we all been given a fair deal or is there some greedy corporate involved or and greedy middle people inbetween clipping the ticket? If so, what are we doing about it as these costs are all well in excess of what we are being paid in wages and we need to do something about that. What we do need is more teeth in government to ensure people are not been taken advantage of by greedy corporates.
    Yet the lefts answer to this high living costs vs low wages situation is a sad, sad weak top up with welfare for workers called WFF and let’s not forget you only qualify for it if you have children. What about single people, students or childless couples who are out there trying to make a living? They pay the same for food and receive the same pathetically low wages as those with children but no one seems interested in them. And trust me, they are also struggeling but articles never seem to be published about them or how the pensioner who does not own their own home exists in today’s high sky high price economy. Why do we only hear about the hardship of people with lots of children?
    The real issue to this and the families in this article is lack of jobs, lack of opportunity, bad trade deals like the TPPA, sky high immigration of unskilled workers, horrific house prices created by the huge difference of supply an demand in the main work centres, a weak commerce department that allows supermarkets to charge sky high prices and poor worker representation re wage levels. All these factors have contributed to a low wage economy with basic living costs well out of correlation to what people earn in wages. This has been going on since the early 80s and we desperately need a party that will tackle these issues instead of taking the weak easy lazy option of creating more welfare to try and fix a festering underlying problem of no decent paying jobs. I am sick and tired of it!

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      TheBlackKitten has nailed it.

      Take 75% of the multi-billion dollar profit made from banks, electricity companies, water companies, supermarkets and give it back to the people.

      If you give a full time worker $2/hr more, the land lord will just up the rent by $80/week.

      • Greg 4.1.1

        No, overseas landlords set rental prices increases when they hear John Key announcing his fictional creation of average wage rises.
        And rental companies are creaming it.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 4.1.1.1

          Landlords exploit any form of income, but particularly TAS and Accommodation Supplement. Without these our rents would be substantially lower.

          • Greg 4.1.1.1.1

            Employers exploit kiwisaver payments and working for families rebates to keep wage growth low. Which doesnt compound if you deduct the employers kiwisaver contribution as employers do.
            Its a contribution to workers real incomes falling behind the rises in cost of living, which compound.

            add in the fact money devalues 20%+ every decade.
            Its probably a higher devaluation now if someone does the math.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.1.2

        Yes, might need intervention at a number of levels.

        How about the state initiating and promoting a nation-wide non-profit groceries co-op, that then becomes self-funding? Would compete with the ruthless Progressives and Foodstuffs.

        Similarly, the state could support a non-profit banking model.

      • Richard McGrath 4.1.3

        Dead right. Forced increases in wages end up subsidising landlords and others. A better step would be to reduce taxes across the board. Make the first $50k of income tax-free.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.1.3.1

          Reducing taxes usually hurts the poor; has certainly been the case for the tax changes over the last 30 years or so. Your $50k tax free threshold could avoid that, but only if accompanied by an increase in tax on the wealthy, to allow for continued provision of services.

          • Richard McGrath 4.1.3.1.1

            No need to increase taxes on high earners by making the first $50k of income tax-free. It would just stop the churn through various govt departments that trickle the money back down to the low earners.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.1.3.1.1.1

              ….there is a lot wrong with that statement.

              Rather than discussing details with Richard further, I will illustrate his extreme philosophies with quotes from the Libertarianz website, where Richard seems to be party leader (please correct me if this is a different Richard McGrath):

              “Taxation, which is the theft of private property, is morally wrong.”

              “Libertarianz would remove permit laws, occupational licensing laws, ACC levies, health & safety laws and labour laws (such as the minimum wage which increases unemployment).”

              “Education wouldn’t be funded by tax…. Parents would be free to buy the education they choose. Some parents, however, may not have the financial means to provide education for their children. Voluntary charity could provide opportunities for these children as it has in the past.”

    • Greg 4.2

      exports to Australia have increases has orchardists employment costs risen.
      How has the higher export volume added to our standard of living?
      Have you seen the price for the quality fruit in the supermarket?

      Supermarkets do not scale primary produce prices on what it costs at the gate,
      but on the world market rate is set at in New York.
      Its what Fonterra does as well.

    • JNZ 4.3

      Go vegan – don’t buy meat, milk, eggs, or cheese (buy beans, whole grains, and vegetables) and watch your grocery bills plunge and your health soar.

      That is one thing you have control over. The rest is much harder.

  5. fisiani 5

    New statistics this week show the gap between the rich and poor is widening, but the government rejects the idea inequality is rising.

    The gap between rich and poor households remains the same as last year therefore the gap is not rising.
    Better paid jobs usually require better education. Thank goodness we are getting better educated school leavers.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      We need more Masters graduates flipping burgers and filling store shelves

    • Greg 5.2

      70%+ of Uni graduates are now female, care to do a breakdown of what degree’s they are graduating in.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        why can’t I hear screaming concerns from the gender equity crowd about this?

        • Greg 5.2.1.1

          They will quote figures over a decade + old,

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11369770

          Ms McNabb said women now accounted for 76 per cent of tertiary graduates, but the pace of change in universities at the upper tiers was glacial.

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1

            A few top jobs lacking for women, while young men in their masses are being left behind at the bottom.

            But let’s focus on what matters to the elite tustling for it at the top of the hierarchy, not what is happening to young men being let down by the education system at the bottom of the pyramid.

            • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1.1

              it’s shocking that for every dollar a woman earns, a man only gets 80c, eh. /sarc

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I can’t help idly speculating that there’s a talented and successful female chiropractor in Dunedin…

                Am I a bad person?

                • McFlock

                  lol

                  Dunno about chiropractors, but there are lots of talented female doctors and physiotherapists graduating in Dunedin every year 👿

            • Greg 5.2.1.1.1.2

              steady stream of clients for Serco, to make a nice profit from

        • McFlock 5.2.1.2

          probably because as greg’s article points out, the female graduation rate doesn’t appear to trickle up as quickly as your manly yelps would otherwise suggest.

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.2.1

            It makes a mockery out of gender equity concerns in education when you boil it down to the balance at elite levels.

            Where’s the campaign to find out why young men are being so badly left behind 3:1 in undergrad studies?

            • McFlock 5.2.1.2.1.1

              lol

              By “elite levels” you mean the current rates of higher study (which are skewed in one direction) rather than the actual supposed fruits of those higher levels of study (which are skewed in the opposite direction).

              Get back to me when the wage gap is non-existant or in the females’ favour.

          • Greg 5.2.1.2.2

            No university Vice Chancellor appointment for a women yet is the gist of the story.

            hmm, odd that aint it,

            Though one appointed to the Auckland museum chief position was an outstanding success.

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10632703

    • McFlock 5.3

      The gap is rising, the gap is not rising.

      Are you saying statsNZ are incorrect? Or are you just full of shit?

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.3.1

        Nats tend to encourage focus on details of change since last time, measurement methods, definitions etc etc……

        But the big thing is that inequality in NZ is massively too high, regardless of any recent blip up or down or other detail.

  6. Hanswurst 6

    To my mind, English presented two glaring pieces of misinformation, whether deliberate or inadvertent. Firstly, he referenced his administration’s “having to compete” with private interests; his government is the executive and commands a majority in the legislature. It sets the terms of competition. His PM prides himself on being pragmatic, and neoliberal governments have spent decades attacking the very concept of ideology as a form of evil, and yet here (as so often) we have a cabinet minister treating as axiomatic the idea that government is simply another player in a market that, going by how he talks about it, must have been set up by God.

    Secondly, he cites the problem of housing as being one of raising incomes. Housing is not an ownership issue, but an issue of having a roof over your head and four solid walls around you. Nor is the right to occupy a dwelling connected to your being able to earn enough to afford the capital or to pay a market rent. Even if one accepts English’s implicit argument that it is difficult for the government to raise real incomes, that is a separate issue from legislative means to increase access to housing, let alone establish a universal right to adequate housing.

    Both of these statements from English contain great lashings of ideology masquerading as sober and balanced facts. Contrary to what some would have us believe, ideology is a vital part of policymaking, but it needs to be acknowledged and argued, not simply taken as read.

    • Greg 6.1

      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Tory

      (noun) Chiefly British. Term for individual with conservative ideals and/or membership of the Conservative political party. Typically a member of the privileged élite, typified in Parliament by old-Etonians groomed for Oxbridge and further successes in their well-fed, cosseted, self-indulgent lives. Tories (plural) tend to go through life blissfully unaware of the realities most people face. Underneath all the rhetoric policies are aimed at further creation of wealth amongst the affluent and disdain for classes considered ‘below’ themselves

  7. Hanswurst 7

    Further, English cites the campaign “a couple of elections” back to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, and states that it is now $15.25/hour. Reading that on its own, any reasonable person would take this as a claim that the government had done bugger all to raise the minimum wage in that time, and yet here he is, citing it as evidence that they are working hard to lift wages.

  8. adam 8

    And the wage slaves beg master for some more scraps off the table.

    Pathetic

  9. Tory 9

    To allow for informed debate, why not include total hours worked per week, accommodation supplements paid plus working for families/tax credits?
    It can we’ll be argued low paid workers do earn a living wage, made up from hourly rates plus government payments/initiatives

    • Hanswurst 9.1

      It can well be argued that some low-paid workers don’t earn a living wage, because they are missing out on the standards of food and shelter that our society considers adequate to constitute a living. If the government or any of its proxies wished to make the argument you are theorising about here, they could do it (they have form in releasing such personal income details about those who cause difficulty for them). The fact that they have opted for more wishy-washy lines is far more telling than the fantasy arguments you are conjuring up here would be, even if they were actually advanced in practice.

  10. Tory 10

    Bullsh1t, how do we know they are missing out on anything when the full extent of their income,; salary/wages/Government allowances is not disclosed?

    • McFlock 10.1

      lol
      gotta love the right-wing nanny state. Ignore the obvious so they can obsess over minutae to clear what masquerades as their conscience.

    • save nz 10.2

      @Tory – they are waiting for John Key to reveal his tax returns first.

      But don’t worry, if Paula hears about them, she is bound to leak it.

  11. NoThanks 11

    Before moving towards the living wage, can they confess that they were probably those waggers who didn’t tuck their shirts in and barely finished Year 12 before dropping out? If yes, then that’s just karma because actions have consequences.

  12. save nz 12

    Thanks for this great post.

    Shocking that the bloated CEO structures forced on us by the supercity are now meaning that they are giving themselves massive pay rises and then other councils are expected to match it!!

    At the same time the workers can’t make a living, but they councils are stopping them from getting the pay increase using the same reasoning (others will want it).

    Oh I wonder why inequality is increasing!!

    How about the government and local bodies get the same increase as minimum wages each year, what was it 50 cents per hour?

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    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 ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks 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 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    9 hours 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
    10 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    15 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago