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Unionised workers win pay rises, others get cuts

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, February 3rd, 2010 - 67 comments
Categories: Unions, wages - Tags:

The latest round of the Labour Cost Index is out and it shows that the nation’s 400,000 union members are the workers holding their ground as businesses try to cut wage costs to preserve their profit margins:

Inflation was 2% this year. If you didn’t get a pay rise to match or beat that, your standard of living fell.

75% of non-union workers saw their real pay packet fall. 75% of union members won real increases to their pay. And I don’t see any businesses closing down because they gave their workers inflation-matching rises.

It’s simple. If you want better pay and a better standard of living for your family, join your union (find your union here). For the same price as one beer per week, your union delivers help in employment disputes, better conditions, and bigger pay rises – year after year after year.

67 comments on “Unionised workers win pay rises, others get cuts”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Not even a token argument from our resident right-wingers? I must say I’m immensely disappointed.

  2. snoozer 2

    hard to argue with those numbers.

    If your industry has a union (and nearly all do) and you don’t join, you’re really a sucker.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    My industry has no union.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      Which industry is that?

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        Computer programmer, IT.

        • IrishBill 3.1.1.1

          Then your union ins the EPMU. Their number is 0800 1 UNION.

          • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1

            EPMU did not come up on that swanky unionisation site that you linked to.

            • felix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Select “IT Worker” and “Any Industry”.

              It’s the second union in the results.

              • Lanthanide

                Well their website is a bit stupid then.

              • felix

                Says the IT pro who either can’t use a drop-down menu or can’t read.

              • Lanthanide

                Excuse me, I *did* use the dropdown menu to select the specific job and industry that best describes my position.

                Am I supposed to think “oh, I should be *less specific* so that this website can give me the correct answers”? How am I supposed to know that choosing different ways to describe the same position will give different results? The whole reason I am using this website is for it to inform me, someone who has no clues about unions, about the unions that are applicable to my situation.

                Really they should have the categories set up so that if you choose a type of profession that is a specialised subset of a broader profession, that it displays unions first for the specialised profession, and then displays any other unions for the broader profession that weren’t already displayed in the first group.

              • felix

                Just saying it wasn’t hard to figure out.

                Don’t get bent about it.

              • Lanthanide

                There shouldn’t be anything to “figure out”.

              • felix

                As I experienced it there wasn’t really. YMMV. Good for you.

        • Richard 3.1.1.2

          What industry do you actually work in?

          What are you writing computer programs about?

  4. djp 4

    How much are union fees?

    • IrishBill 4.1

      Didn’t you read the article? The price of a beer per week. Typically they range from $4 to $10 depending on the union.

      • djp 4.1.1

        I didn’t see an article.

        so $10 per week, say $500 a year, thats getting close to 2% of a $30,000 dollar wage (before tax).

        • IrishBill 4.1.1.1

          Nobody on $30K is paying a $10 union fee. Those that do would include doctors, some senior teachers and airline pilots.

          And I meant post not article. My apologies.

          • djp 4.1.1.1.1

            oh ok, so the union fees tend to scale with the profession wages?

            another thing to factor is the cost of any strike action (you dont get paid while on strike right?)

            I guess it is up to each individual to weigh the pros and cons for his/her situation.. I am in IT like Lanthanide and have never considered unions

            • IrishBill 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Some unions scale fees, others charge a flat rate. The cost of strike action is minimal because very few negotiations involve industrial action (probably less than 1%) and often industrial action is structured to cause disruption or make a symbolic point without costing union members money.

              The other aspect of strike action is unions tend to get wage increases year on year and it is extremely rare for strike action on the same site two agreements in a row.

              Most unions will also provide hardship payments for workers who take significant strike action.

              edit: IT has a really low unionisation rate because it traditionally has been reasonably secure and high-paying. You only have to look at the fact Telecom is looking at outsourcing 400-1500 IT jobs to realise that those days are drawing to a close. I would strongly recommend anyone in IT start thinking about getting organised.

        • snoozer 4.1.1.2

          djp. $10 is the airline pilots etc. Unite’s dues are 1% of your wage up to $5 a week. PSA is $3.55 a week for someone on $30K.

          Those come $260 and $184 a year, 0.9% and 0.6% of gross wages

          Now, consider this, are you better off taking a pay cut with 0% or paying less than 1% to get an increase of at least inflation (ie 2%)?

          • snoozer 4.1.1.2.1

            not to mention all the other benefits of union membership

            • indiana 4.1.1.2.1.1

              like having your union fees donated to a political party?

              • IrishBill

                Most unions aren’t affiliated with political parties and those that are provide you with the option of not having any of your membership fee put to affiliation fees.

              • lukas

                “Most unions aren’t affiliated with political parties”

                Come now, we all know that is not true. That is like saying the BRT is not politically affiliated

              • Bright Red

                No lukas. Affliation is a formal process. It is a democratic decision made the membership of unions. If a union’s members choose to affliate with Labour that means the union gives some money (I think it’s about a $1 per member typically) to the party, and get a seat on the Affliates’ Council.

                Most unions are not affliated. Nor is the BRT affliated to National, they are on the same side or most issues, so I guess you could call them allied.

                You could check this out by going to their websites if you want to be informed. Or you just stop making silly assumptions.

  5. IrishBill 5

    Do you even understand what affiliating means?

  6. Here it is

    Oops in response to LuKKKKas’s request if anyone had seen Key’s education propaganda brochure.

  7. The Voice of Reason 7

    Top post, Marty.

    It must be galling for the righties to look at the graph and realize that unions have done more to close the wage gap with Oz than anything this vacuous government or its favourite economic zombie Don Brash could ever do.

    I feel a Billy Bragg song coming on …

  8. Brett 8

    How many union members are in the public service 90-95%?
    Its a hell of a lot easier to go on strike and demand money when the taxpayers footing the bill.
    As you know in NZ the majority of employers are small business owners who are probably struggling to stay afloat as it is.

    • Bright Red 8.1

      Most union members are working in the private sector.

      ”m not sure of the numbers for public sector but last I heard private sector was about 12%, that means public sector would be something around 60% – most of that is teachers, nurses, doctors.

      In the core public service its only about a third, nothing like 90-95%. Only teachers, nurses, doctors are that highly unionised.

  9. In my work days I was a local Union chairperson .When the voluntary union bill was passed most left the union. However these non- unionist were the first in line to gather the benifits won by the union.It angered me then and it still does . Its about time we demanded that benifits gained for workers by their union should be for union members only.
    Its also time for us all to expose employers that only employ workers
    on condition they do not join a union. Yes ! it still goes on especially in the small country towns. The non unionist who takes the benifits of the uionists fight are the real bludgers of society ,they need to be exposed asuch.

    • indiana 9.1

      “Its about time we demanded that benifits gained for workers by their union should be for union members only.”

      I agree. Does this mean an employer can have a collective agreement along aside individual agreements for jobs covered by the collective agreement? Currently we cannot. So unless this legislation is brought in, your stuck with “The non unionist who takes the benifits of the uionists fight are the real bludgers of society”

      • IrishBill 9.1.1

        You don’t even know the law.

        • indiana 9.1.1.1

          I am more than happy to concede where I am wrong…so if I have it wrong just let me know.

          My understanding is that if I employ carpet cleaners on a collective employment agreement, negotiated with the union. I cannot legally hire another carpet cleaner on different terms and conditions. I can put that person on an individual agreement, but their terms and conditions must mirror that of the collective.

          • IrishBill 9.1.1.1.1

            Nope. You can have individual agreements that are completely different to those of the collective agreement. It happens quite frequently.

            What you can’t do is use the terms of an individual agreement to induce someone to leave the union or reduce their terms and conditions if they do join.

            Many union members negotiate individual terms and conditions above the collective agreement because the collective is minimum rate document.

            Of course for the first thirty days of employment people have full access to the collective agreement but if they don’t join the union after that then they have to negotiate an individual agreement.

            • the pinkpostman 9.1.1.1.1.1

              However the fact remains that it is not only wages that Unions negotiate.Work conditions ,safety , and protective clothing ect are all Union success programmes . Many if not all were fought tooth and nail for.. Still the non union member enjoyed all these hard earned benifits. Once again non unionist are the biggest bludgers around. If a person has a religious objection then they should just pay their fee or make their fee to a charitable organisation.

  10. indiana 10

    “Of course for the first thirty days of employment people have full access to the collective agreement but if they don’t join the union after that then they have to negotiate an individual agreement.”

    I think that is the point I was making. I don’t think I can present a new employee with 2 options, a collective contract and an individual contract, where the pay rate for the individual may vary from the collective for exactly the same job. I agree fully with your second paragraph. After 30 days if a person fails to join a union how can an employer benefit by negotiating an individual agreement that has better terms and conditions than the collective – they would be falling into the trap of offering a contract to lure people away from the union. And I doubt that the employee would want to negotiate anything less than the collective terms and conditions.

    • IrishBill 10.1

      You can because you can offer rates over the collective. Being on an individual agreement doesn’t mean a worker can’t be a union member so it’s not an inducement to leave the union.

    • The Voice of Reason 10.2

      You can offer both an individual agreement and a collective agreement in that first 30 days, but the employee is covered by the collective during that time.

      Now I reckon, between me and Irish, you just got 300 bones worth of IR advice. Care to hit the Donate button at the top of the page? The difference for union members is they can ring an 0800 number and get that advice, plus other benefits including legal representation, paid on a subscription basis and all for for a weekly fee lower than the price of a jug of the amber nectar.

      How cool is that?

      • indiana 10.2.1

        Yeah thats pretty cool, but I rarely see individual contracts being negotiated with union representation. Equally it is rare to see unions fund disputes on behalf of individuals.

        • The Voice of Reason 10.2.1.1

          Well, it’s hardly likely that unions would negotiate an individual contract, they’re all about collective negotiation. Hard to have a union of one.

          I’m not sure what you mean about funding individual disputes, but unions regularly take court cases on behalf of individual members over unfair treatment, ACC claims, wage arrears and the like. Tend to win a lot, too.

  11. There is obviously a genuine knowledge deficit here among some reasonably articulate people about being a union member. Not surprising after a generation and a half have experienced the wide promotion of the individualist world view. People take on all manner of personal ‘challenges’ these days, sky diving, extreme sports, ‘heroically’ survive on minimum wages etc. How about a new challenge-IT guys in nerdy glasses inclusive, join your appropriate union!

  12. mike 12

    As I already posted here last year. Our waged staff got 2.5% last year and it only cost 7 full-time (unionised) staff their jobs.
    Well done EPMU!

    • IrishBill 12.1

      I don’t believe for a second that your company wouldn’t have made those redundancies if there had been no pay rise. I imagine you’re looking over your own shoulder though as you appear to only comment outside of work hours nowadays.

      • mike 12.1.1

        No Irish the fact is our new web marshal software blocks the standard due to ” violence/obsenities” beats me how I can still browse WOBH and KB ???
        Thanks for noticing though 🙂

    • The Voice of Reason 12.2

      If the salaries of 7 staff were needed to compensate for an increase of only 2.5%, then you must have a shitload of unionised staff. 100? 200? If your company is that big you’ve probably got an MD or CEO, maybe even a board of directors. I’d be looking for signs of incompetence, greed or mismanagement there first, rather than blaming the union.

      Of course, it could just be your fault.

  13. dave 13

    while I am supportive of unions and would not hesitate to join a union, it is not correct to state that unions are not affiliated with political parties. PSA union reps were quite upfront and overt in union meetings in 2005 and 2008 that members should vote Labour. Not one rep recommended that National or parties to the Right of the political spectrum should be considered

    • BLiP 13.1

      The reps, obviously, had read, understood, considered, checked and discussed the policy and were advising members based on what was in the best interests of the members’ short and long term interests. Sound advice as it turns out, and all part of the service.

    • Marty G 13.2

      dave. the PSA is not affiliated to the Labour Party. Affiliation is a formal status and the PSA chooses not to have it because of its unique relationship with the government of the day..

      In fact, one of the sticking points over the proposed SWFU, PSA amalgamation was SWFU’s affiliation.

  14. big bruv 14

    How did I miss this thread?

    Anyway, why would anybody want see their wages docked every week and that money be siphoned off into some union slush fund?

    Why would any worker want to give away their own negotiating rights to somebody who has no idea what you are worth as an employee?

    Do workers have any say in how their union dues are spent?, some might not the idea of having their money used to promote the labour party.

    • IrishBill 14.1

      Of course workers have a say in how their dues are spent. Unions are incorporated societies that are owned and governed by their members.

  15. big bruv 15

    Irish

    So if I was to join a union and say that I did not want my fees used to support the Labour party in any way the union would agree?

  16. big bruv 16

    Iprent

    Can you believe that so many Kiwis think the educated elite of the left are arrogant tossers?
    I wonder where they get that idea from.

    I must admit, I would never again join a union, I hate them with a passion, I see them as nothing more than parasites stealing union dues from (mostly) hard working Kiwis.

    Interesting that you say joining a union is a choice, of course if you had your way we would go back to the bad old days of compulsory unionism.

    • lprent 16.1

      bb: You really do say some really really stupid things.

      What makes you think that I want to go back to compulsory unionism? Are you a mind-reader or just a numbskull who prefers to believe stereotypes rather than face reality. I suspect you are the latter rather than the former because it is clear that you cannot see inside my head.

      I don’t want to have compulsory unionism, and I never did. However, unlike your youthful and intellectually challenged self, I actually saw the difficulties involved in the system prior to the end of it from the view of management.

      Competent unions are pretty good things for competent managers to have around. They provide a channel for both the genuine problem cases and the nutbars in your workforce to get representation. Both need hand-holding. They allow for collective agreements where the main employment issues get thrashed out.

      However unions get to be a pain when they compete for customers using demarcation systems rather than persuasion.

      Basically I suspect as per normal you have absolutely no actual ideas in the topic you’re discussing.. All you seem to ever do is use your moronic stereotypes and don’t bother to use your brains…

      Incidentally I’m arrogant (and always have been) because I’m extremely competent at almost everything I do. The education was just something I added on top of that. It is a pity that you ignored that opportunity when you had it. Basically you look rather like a bit of a prat looking for some crap to fall into.

      Jez I’m in a bad mood today…. And bb doesn’t help. It was being up half of the night working on the new site setup.

      • big bruv 16.1.1

        Iprent

        I am constantly amazed at how you become so vicious when anybody dares question your view of the world, thank god the people of NZ tossed your lot out when they finally came to their senses.

        How I wish I was youthful, sadly those days are past, but like you I well remember when we all had to belong to the union, in my apprentice days I had some union thug storm into my place of work and interrogate me about why I had not yet joined the union, I told him that I was not interested as I was very well looked after by my employer. (who remains to this day one of my very best friends despite his Labour party membership).

        Once this moron (Incidentally, were you ever a union rep in Wellington back int he early 80’s?) had worked out that I was telling him in a very nice way that I was not interested in joining his union he proceeded to stab his finger into my chest and tell me “you do not have a choice”, now given that I was an apprentice butcher at this stage and had on my hips two or three razor sharpe knives I thought that this idiot was either incredibly thick (are you sure you were not a union rep?) or incredibly brave, anyway, it was only the timely intervention of by boss that calmed things down a bit.

        I have never forgotten that day or the thug from the union, to me they will always remain nothing more than parasites stealing money from hard working Kiwis.

        As for your admitted arrogance, well, at least you are honest about one thing, it is a pity that that level of arrogance is not matched by your ability, but then I find that with a lot of people who have a well hidden inferiority complex.

        • lprent 16.1.1.1

          Yeah yeah, let me translate that for you – returning your earlier mind-read / stereotyping ‘favour’.

          So what you’re saying is that you’ve never bothered to look at the good things that unions do. The reason for this is because you didn’t like a union rep when you were young.

          You haven’t bothered to use that thing you call a brain to think about the issues. Have you ever considered why unions managed to survive after the compulsory unionism was removed. Of course you bloody haven’t. That would involve effort.

          You just come across as both lazy and rather dull. You don’t bother thinking about issues – you just react to them. Sounds pretty damn pathetic to me. You’re also stupid enough to try to apply your prejudices to others (like me) based on assumption rather than evidence. That is just mind-blowingly stupid. You’re probably stupid enough to believe in absolute truths*

          BTW: I’ve never been a member of a union. Just on the other side of the table a few times.

          Update: opps – I forgot Act is a faith-based party following a creed despite all evidence to the contrary – sorry for attacking your religion. You do believe in absolute truths…..

  17. This BB wimp is very similar to the kind of “person’ that the Dairy Workers Union encountered on the margins of the Open Country Cheese Waharoa lockout (16.9-22.10.09), people such as head scab Leon Fowler from OCD Awarua site, and 13 other scabs from OCD Wanganui, that I won’t name here. Suffice it to say these semi articulate would be bullies are rather unpleasant types.

    BB doesn’t want to join a union-good!

    • big bruv 17.1

      Hang on Iprent

      I think I might have found the 1980’s union thug.

      The post bashed out by Tiger Mountain has all the hallmarks of an intellectually challenged union moron.

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    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
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    7 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
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    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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