What is to be done?

Written By: - Date published: 5:29 pm, March 3rd, 2009 - 40 comments
Categories: labour, maori party, national/act government, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Kudos to the Maori Party’s Rahui Katene for using her position to highlight the situation at Sealord in Parliament today. But it’s Paula Bennett’s response that got me thinking:

Rahui Katene: Is the Minister aware that the Māori shareholders of Sealord attended the Prime Minister’s Job Summit last Friday, and what plans does the Government have for working with companies to make them responsible employers?

Hon PAULA BENNETT: Yes, I am aware that they were there. I am not in the business of telling businesses how to run their businesses. What I am here to do is support those workers and those employees who need that assistance via Work and Income.

Simply shrugging your shoulders and sending working families to the dole queue frankly isn’t good enough.

When 180 people’s jobs are at risk and another 400 are being told to take a $70 pay cut or lose theirs, maybe it’s time we did have a Government that’s “in the business of telling businesses how to run their business”.

If one thing’s for sure it’s that a Government like that won’t come out of the Labour Party in its current incarnation. So what is to be done?

40 comments on “What is to be done? ”

  1. Ari 1

    Perhaps in fact they should be passing laws to keep people employed. (not that I’m asking for direct subsidies to companies that want to lay people off, that would be ridiculous for obvious reasons)

  2. Matt Holland 2

    Well John “We would love to see wages drop’ Key. Be careful what you wish for… .

  3. IrishBill 3

    Nice use of a Russian political reference Tane, is that the novel or the pamphlet you’re paying homage to?

  4. gingercrush 4

    One can just await Rave saying how we need to NATIONALISE all these companies back to the workers. The WORKERS.

    • Ari 4.1

      Don’t be a fool, Sealord doesn’t need to be nationalised for obvious reasons.

      They should probably be considering firing people a last resort in these circumstances, but frankly, with how unfriendly National is to employment… who can blame them?

  5. Fighting Redundancies

    Don’t go to WINZ- The SFWU could take a leaf out of the book of the workers in Chicago’s Republic Doors and Windows plant, or Waterford’s Crystal factory, and occupy the plant against the lay offs.

    http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2008/12/usa-factory-occupation-victory-at.html

    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90900

    • Rex Widerstrom 5.1

      So they got their severance and vacation pay. Good on ’em. I’m not sure what rules they face but if that were NZ it then provides WINZ with an excuse to impose a stand-down because they have “too much” money to qualify for a benefit. A necessary righting of a wrong but hardly a fix.

      I like Niall Ferguson’s solutions as outlined in The Australian recently:

      1. Restructure (but not nationalise) the banks. “Existing shareholders will have to face that they’ve lost their money. Too bad; they should have kept a more vigilant eye on the people running their banks”.

      2. A generalised conversion of mortgages to lower interest rates and longer maturities… “their are times when the public interest requires us to honour the rule of law in the breach”.

      The full article is well worth a read, and isn’t too long.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        Rex

        Yes that is a very good article from a man who carries some clout in Aussie financial circles. Steve Keen also highly recommended the same article last month here.

        Read it and refer your friends to it. Finally the call has gone out that what is needed to get out of this crisis is not more debt, but less.

  6. Rex Widerstrom 6

    Funny, she was only too happy to laud Rio Tinto a couple of weeks ago.

    Although “Minister of Employment” has always been a misnamed portfolio – it’s been unemployment while portfolios like Regional Development have tackled issue aound the creation of jobs – you’d think she’d have had a better answer than that.

    Further evidence of being:
    a) out of her depth, and
    b) being kept within very strict boundaries by the real decision-makers
    methinks.

    • gingercrush 6.1

      c) She was answering the question credibly. What else was she meant to do? Oh I have authority to save such jobs. Get real Rex, you’re smarter than that.

      • Rex Widerstrom 6.1.1

        errr… if she was utterly bereft of a constructive idea of her own, she could have referred back to the Rio Tinto example, which she praised and indicated that ” the Government will help where it can”.

        That seems to amount to assistance via WINZ but I’d assume she’s aware of the idea being mooted by unions and employers in Australia that where a business cuts back to, say, a four day week, the government makes up the difference.

        The government pays less than it would on the dole. The workers earn more than they would on the dole. The company survives the downturn and is still there and able to employ when things improve.

        Something other than “don’t ask me about jobs, I’m only the Minister of Employment”. When Tizard said that about cars when she had transport, she was roundly, and rightfully, called a dozy airhead.

  7. Tane 7

    Irish, neither in particular. It’s a reference to the radical left tradition in general.

  8. djp 8

    Gee maybe you guys should cheer lead for the Workers Party? In the meantime I shall cherish the freedoms I still have.

  9. IrishBill 9

    djp, you’ll find once you lose your job that there aren’t many freedoms you get to enjoy.

    • djp 9.1

      this doesn’t make sense to me… I don’t have enough money to buy a Lamborghini, does that mean my freedom is breached?

      IrishBill: and just because the government restricts me from owning a nuclear weapon is mine? Reductio ad absurdum. Good to know some people still use it. Keep it up.

  10. Tane 10

    It’s an open question djp. If you don’t have anything to contribute to this thread there are plenty of others to keep you amused.

  11. djp 11

    ok, I am just a bit surprised at how much coercion goes into your utopia I guess.

    As for sealord, I dont know the state of their balance sheet. Would it be better if the whole company went bankrupt? Or should the govt subsidize their current level of activity.

    A third way is to let production flow from what is not economically-viable/efficient to what is. The economy will be better off as a whole in the long term.

    The only system that provides 100% employment 100% of the time is a hunter-gatherer society. History is littered with examples of capital and labour shifting to accommodate new technology, efficiencies and circumstances, this is the reason why I don’t have to hand wash my own clothes or thresh my own grain.

    • Tane 11.1

      You’re thinking entirely within a free market capitalist framework in which a lower than desired return on capital (the situation at Sealord) is reason to slash jobs and move operations to low wage economies. And, furthermore, for the Government to just sit back and take no responsibility for the workers’ employment or the decisions of the company.

      There are other ways of operating than either a) relying on the market to sort it out, or b) returning to a hunter-gatherer society. I’m interested in political alternatives, both immediately in terms of keeping these people in work, and long-term regarding the kind of economic system we choose to live under.

      As for coercion, the Right seems strangely blind to the level of coercion that exists in the system we have now. Any system I would favour, reformist or radical, would involve no more state coercion than the current capitalist setup.

      • gingercrush 11.1.1

        Well good luck in getting Greens to be the largest party under MMP. It won’t happen. See most New Zealanders aren’t stupid enough to vote in the Greens. Not even the true low income voters vote Green.They’re not that stupid themselves. The Greens are a party of inner city middle class good income people. So detached from anywhere, they are free to dream up unmeaningful liberal thoughts.

        [actually, on average Green voters are the most highly educated, so I’ll thank you to stop calling us stupid. SP]

        • Tane 11.1.1.1

          Don’t know where that came from, I didn’t even mention the Greens. But yeah, I agree with you – even though I vote for them and support their policies I realise the Greens are a party for the liberal middle class. Hence why I don’t see them as our salvation.

        • vto 11.1.1.2

          SP I have always wondered why people think that just because someone has intelligence they also have brains. Often the two are miles apart. In fact the greens could well be one of the best illustrations of this.

        • gingercrush 11.1.1.3

          I never said you weren’t intelligent. But sorry the way I see it you are stupid.

          • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1.3.1

            WTF?

            Seriously. You said that people that don’t vote for the greens, do so because they are not stupid enough to do so. That’s clear enough. You are saying that people that vote green are stupid. And yet you claim that this isn’t a slur on their intelligence?

            So what’s this alleged difference between ‘stupid’ and ‘not intelligent’?

            People can be intelligent and ignorant. That’s clear enough. Wisdom is another thing that has a feel of being possibly independent from intelligence, (and ignorance for that matter).

            But stupid? To me that means exactly ‘unintelligent’. It’s not a comment on someone’s knowledge about something (ignorance), but their ability to think clearly. Which would be intelligence. No?

            So the way I see it, is this:

            I never said you weren’t intelligent. But sorry the way I see it you are stupid.

            is either ignorant of the most common use of the word ‘stupid’, or an honest but un-recognised contradiction, (a and ~a) which would be stupid. Perhaps both.

            Or perhaps some devilishly clever irony. In which case stop it at once. The lefties make the funnies around here thankyouverymuch.

  12. Billy 12

    What’s to be done?

    I know. Why don’t you think of a product or service that people want, get a loan, start a business and employ some people on as generous terms as you can afford?

  13. vto 13

    What’s to be done?

    Billy has a good suggestion.

    Rex alerts us to another, which I like the sound of. It is kind of like what I was suggesting a few daze ago (govts will end up having to ‘lance the boil’ in some radical way. Take drastic measures which will result in splatter in short term but better in medium term. They effectively already are with buying up toxic poop).

    Such a lancing could easily be ‘legislating’ the terms of loans for a period of time or similar. Stop banks from calling up loans. Restructure the banks. all sorts of possibilities to stem the blood.

    Bugger the banks I say – they are shitting all over us. Spray the money all over the place and then all of a sudden stop, leaving all those who the banks had encouraged, in the freakin’ lurch. It is just wrong.

    I know there are myriad factors that go into downturns such as this, but banks have a lot to answer for in this instance. And given the vital role the money-changers play (for better or worse) it is too important to simply leave it up to the market – at this stage of the game especially. There is without doubt a national interest in the role of banks. It is not that much of a free market anyway – they are regulated to hell. And the cost of money is to a large extent set by a govt body ffs. So it is hardly a radical idea to drive the long arm of regulation in to the hilt.

    How that helps Sealord right now I don’t know. Probably not much instantly.

    p.s. would Fairfax get the same sympathy if it had to lay off workers?

    • r0b 13.1

      Bugger the banks I say – they are shitting all over us. Spray the money all over the place and then all of a sudden stop, leaving all those who the banks had encouraged, in the freakin’ lurch. It is just wrong

      Nahh vto, it’s just unregulated capitalism in action. The banks are acting to maximise their profit (or perhaps in this case, to minimise their loss). That’s the holy grail, right? I thought you liked unregulated capitalism? Aren’t the banks behaving exactly as they should?

      You’ve argued here before that failing companies should go to the wall – bailouts are for whimps and all the rest. If companies fail because of the acitions of the banks then that’s just campitalism, right? As it should be? But now you seem to be changing your mind:

      And given the vital role the money-changers play (for better or worse) it is too important to simply leave it up to the market – at this stage of the game especially. There is without doubt a national interest in the role of banks.

      We’ll make a big government socialist out of you yet vto!

      • vto 13.1.1

        not quite r0b. I haven’t argued bailing out banks, I’ve suggested puppetering them to look after, well, pretty much everyone – the workers, the retired, the biz folk, the bludgers even.

        I have never been an unfettered free market capitalist, but imo much of it has great merit. There is an overlap of course – between those things that require community control for the wellbeing of the entire community (police, justice, monopoly service providers such as electricity (currently), etc) and things that are not such as corollas and ferraris. Banks have clearly been blurred but they would seem to fall in the middle and veering towards the national interest end of the spectrum.

  14. Bill 14

    Think I said this before, but here we go again.

    Is it the welfare of people that is to be protected, or is it profit margins?

    If it was the general welfare of workers, their families and communities, then ways would be explored that allowed businesses to operate on much reduced profit margins.

    In some cases this could involve a government agency compulsorily buying collapsing company shares cheaply and passing them on through various mechanisms with caveats attached to the company’s workers.

    This would greatly lessen the pressure applied on businesses by shareholders demanding returns and allow them to continue producing or servicing on vastly reduced profit margins or even zero profit margins.

    Might even lead to some enterprises moving away from the insane market based ‘supply and demand’ trade altogether.

    But as that would be good for us and a six foot hole for the present day profit driven business model ( and those who have enjoyed privilege through its dynamic), it’s not a possible solution as far as leaders are concerned.

    But apart from the usual and obvious suspects ( the media, politicians, business leaders and high rollers) telling everyone that such things ‘can’t happen’, what is to prevent the promulgation of ideas that seek to safeguard people’s well being and security regardless of any profit considerations?

    • Ari 14.1

      Basically, people who don’t care about whether others are sacked so long as businesses post as large a profit as possible. Who they are is not worth trying to generalise- but you need to be willing to piss them off, and our current government isn’t.

      • Rex Widerstrom 14.1.1

        Nor, to be fair, is any Western government of which I’m aware. Niall Ferguson’s article, which I’ve linked to above, was written in the context of Obama’s however-many-trillion barrel of pork.

        What scares me is that these “leaders” are leaving the cupboard bare with their handouts. They won’t get a second chance to get this right, and I (for what it’s worth) don’t believe any of them have.

        • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1

          Niall Ferguson.

          Ain’t he that fella that was all

          “The British Ehm-pire was the best thing before sliced bread, and probably made sliced bread possible”

          who went on to

          “The American Empire needs to recognise itself as such, along the lines of a non ironic reading of Kipling, lest we all revert to having to eat unsliced bread, or possibly even naan. Though more likely hummus”

          and finished up at

          “The American Imperial project has failed, possibly because they over-extended themselves regarding bagels”.

          Though I could have some of the details and nuances jumbled.

          Which is not to say he isn’t right about this. But I’m suspicious of famous (popular/populist) historians bearing politically convenient and media friendly advice. Has he got a book due out? 😉

        • Ari 14.1.1.2

          To be fair, Obama is doing quite heroically, given that there is roughly a seventy percent chance that any given member of Congress or the Senate is an ideological whackjob of one sort or another.

        • Bill 14.1.1.3

          So Rex, let’s assume (reasonably in my mind) that governments will do nothing but try to preserve ‘business as usual’ which means that many, many people will have their lives turned upside down.

          What’s a second chance got to do with it?

          After the so-called ‘Great Depression’ they got a third chance. The second chance came after the 25 year long depression of the late 1800’s. Actually, that’s not numerically accurate insofar as we have carried on with the same abysmal and destructive forms of governance and business after every depression and there have been more than just two notable ones.

          Anyway, if no solution is going to come from above and one is not going to bubble up from below, then we are already accepting that business will continue as usual.

          So in terms of chance, I think it only makes sense to talk in terms of us not taking ours now, rather than in terms of not giving a ‘second’ chance to political and business leaders later. Not taking our chance now is due (at least in part) to us accepting their right to rule and make unilateral decisions that affect us all.

          So their ‘second chance’ is already in the bag.

  15. I hope New Zealand is NEVER a country that has a Government that’s “in the business of telling businesses how to run their business’.

    • Ari 15.1

      I hope we always have one in the future, but that it’s threshold for action is low enough to scare people like you, but high enough that it actually leaves New Zealand a good place for ethical employers to do business. (Though I could care less if we lose the other type.)

  16. burt 16

    Now somebody correct me if I’m missing something. Last year (or the year before) Jim Anderton swept up a popularity storm declaring large areas of the west coast as fisheries reserves. Has a reduced catch from not having the west coast based fishing vessels been a factor in this closure or are fish sales down? The retail price of fish is horrendous?

    So if it’s an environmental policy that is the root cause of the companies inability to retain the staff how would we all talk about it then?

    • Felix 16.1

      Have you actually seen anything that would indicate this or are you fishing for info yourself? (sorry)

      Remember the fishing industry gets hit by the cost of fuel harder than most others. I’d guess that would be a big factor. Emphasise “guess”.

  17. burt 17

    Felix

    I’m fishing. I recall when Jolly Jim declared that vast areas of the west coast were to be set aside as marine reserves that the local fisherpeople said it would cause job losses and increases in the retail cost of fish.

    I like fish and I have noticed that the retail price has gone up. I’m interested to know what is really going on because the shallow analysis of “National don’t care’ ignores the root cause of people loosing their jobs in an industry that has been effected by environmental policies (Is it policies or just random actions that seemed like a good ideas at the time?)

    The thought that the fish and chip shops in southland won’t be selling Blue Cod as the standard fish because of Jolly Jim’s random knee jerk actions is quite depressing. The fact it’s almost impossible to now buy Blue Cod in my local supermarket is also annoying. Still Gurnard is almost as good if you can get it really fresh.

  18. grumpy 18

    Hang on a minute!

    I thought you guys said there was “only one brown face” at the Summit.

    So far the media have named 30! What else have you got wrong?

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    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    5 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    6 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    7 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago

  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Visit to Viet Nam strengthens ties
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