Written By: - Date published: 4:29 pm, April 20th, 2009 - 8 comments
Categories: national/act government, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The Government announced two nine day fortnights today. Interestingly, they’re refusing to tell us who one of them is. From the Government’s press release:

Ms Bennett confirmed today that Oamaru-based Summit Wool Spinners and another manufacturing firm, which wishes to remain anonymous, had joined the scheme

Now call me old-fashioned, but this strikes me as plain wrong. This is taxpayers’ money the Government is spending and it’s a basic matter of transparency that they should tell us where it’s going.

For all we know this is a non-union firm and the workers have had the nine day fortnight forced on them as a pay cut.

Such a blatant lack of transparency is not a good sign from a Government that wants to increase the involvement of the private sector in our major public assets.

8 comments on “Transparency”

  1. lprent 1

    Sounds like a good one to look at with an OIA

  2. BLiP 2

    Classic national – big announcement, scant details. Here’s another example.

    But – having read the speech you link to, I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps I owe the National Party an apology. I always believed their true agenda was secret, but no. There, in black and white, John Key, the bonds and derivatives expert, says the first thing he’s going to do is:

    . . . introduce infrastructure bonds . . . SNIP . . . (Labour’s) bonds were no different from bog-standard government bonds. There were no infrastructure risks linked to them. National will introduce real infrastructure bonds, with funding tagged to particular infrastructure.

    Oooh, look mummy . . . a specially derived, taxpayer funded, zero risk to business, pool of lovely yummy cash just for daddy!

  3. The Baron 3

    Yeah, I see your point Tane… I don’t like the idea of blind subsidies either.

    .. but another explanation could be the nature of the market that that second firm operates in. By applying for the 9 day fortnight, they could be signalling to their customers that they are in dire straights, and may lost some of their business due to concerns about ongoing support for warranties or parts and the like. Or alternatively, perhaps their competitors would muscle in on their turf knowing that they were weak at the moment.

    Either of those scenarios could result in far worse consequences for the workers – i.e. firm actually laying people off as they lost market share, or had to shut down…

    Of course, we’re both making interpretations that we cannot substantiate. The point is that there can be good reasons why that firm want this information withheld.

    And BLiP – what is your point? I think we all get the idea that you hate the nats, so how about some substance once in a while?

    • BLiP 3.1

      who’s “we”, kemosabe?

    • Baron: You’re making the assertion that can’t be substantiated. Tane is stating a fact: we aren’t being told who is getting our tax money. It’s not unsubstantiated.
      The suggestion you make is one that came to mind and it would be understandable if it were the case.

      However, National’s appalling record of undermining accountability, restricting public input and reducing (or removing) democratic checks on abuse of power and resources does not give me any confidence this isn’t just more of the same from them. We need look no further than National’s plans to gut the RMA or Super Auckland and the way they plan to bring it about to see clearly they have no regard for democracy unless it gets them what THEY want…which is why National Party owner, Peter Shirtcliffe, and his mates will soon be funding a big anti-MMP campaign for the dole purpose of securing power for National all by itself….so they can call the tune like they used to in the old days before MMP.

      Ideology aside, I can never vote for such people. No one who supports democracy and accountability should.

      That’s why secret tax money to unnamed firms is a very bad thing to let National get away with.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    This makes no sense at all. All it takes is someone working at this company to say “our company is doing the 9 day fortnight” and then everyone knows about it.

    It’s not the sort of thing you can quietly sweep under the rug if the people getting the short end of the stick don’t want it to be swept away.

  5. IrishBill 5

    I’ve heard an as yet unsubstantiated rumour that the secret company is a Brethren company.

  6. Phil 6


    By the same logic, we should publish the names of everyone on the unemployment benefit? what about the DPB?

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