web analytics

What would Wilberforce say?

Written By: - Date published: 3:51 pm, February 21st, 2012 - 33 comments
Categories: uncategorized, workers' rights - Tags:

Consciences are uncomfortable things and mine’s been giving me a bit of trouble lately.   I’ve been on the horns of a dilemma (sorry for the cliche but who can resist the imagery?) about employment practices.

We allow ourselves a handwringing moment, a short burst of outraged righteousness and then run off to buy  a pair of jeans for $35 or an entire dinner set for $15.  Do any of us truly believe goods made on the other side of the world – or any where else for that matter -can really be this cheap? We can no longer avoid – well I certainly can’t –  that most inconvenient of truths; that the dark flip-side of retail therapy is slavery by any other name.  The appalling working conditions in some Asian factories are being exposed by unions and human rights groups and there’s really no other word for it; 18 hour working days, 7 days a week with no rights and no protection. What else can we call it?

As world wide consumers we have huge, albeit unleashed, power.  It’s time for a campaign.

We could do with the Asian-worker-plight version of Sue Kedgley in a pig crate.  Perhaps Labour and Green MPs who have teenage and young adult children could coerce them to participate in a week long reality show which mirrors the exact working conditions in an Asian factory which supplies, say, the Warehouse. We must remember to provide nets for the jumpers.

When I was a kid my mother was forever reminding us that Wilberforce freed the slaves.  Turns out our mindless retail greed has enslaved another generation of them.

 

33 comments on “What would Wilberforce say?”

  1. Before we think Slavery is that far away – the US is looking at our shipping fleets.

    [United Fisheries CEO] Kotzikas said that while the national labour laws are “a thousand pages of, you know, beautiful stuff,” he believed that they did not necessarily apply beyond New Zealand’s 12-mile territorial radius.

    We may need to be boycotting our own fishing companies to start with.

    But love the program idea – hope someone picks it up!

    • mik e 1.1

      The Dairy Farming industry needs a close look at as their practices are similar to the fishing industry!

  2. Blue 2

    What would Wilberforce say? – he would say “Jenny you have no idea what slavery is, so stop being hysterical”

    [lprent: Remember the policies about personally attacking authors. If you can’t do argue about the contents of the post, then you don’t need to be here. Banned for 3 months because your last ban was for the same thing and I usually just double it up. ]

    • Jenny Michie 2.1

      I am going out on a limb here and guessing you’re a male. Actually I’m feeling perfectly calm Blue so let’s stick to the facts.What would you call those working conditions?

      • Blue 2.1.1

        Slavery is when a person is owned and doesn’t get paid, and is abhorrent. To use it to try and explain a poorly constructed argument is equally abhorrent. Also please save the “I’m guessing you’re a male” bullshit. What the hell has that got to do with it? Unless your anti-male? When people get hysterical I call it as I see it, its not because your a woman, or a man, or black, brown, white, or bloody blue. Its not because of your religion or your sexual orientation. Its because your being bloody hysterical and just a little bit precious.

        • mik e 2.1.1.1

          Blue a lot of these people don’t get paid or their pay is cut short i.e. Foxxcon only paying $2.00 a day for 13 to 16 hrs ,just like what’s happening to dairy farm workers who are only paid for 9 hrs a day but are forced to work up to 16 17 hrs a day the other 7 to 8 hrs they receive no pay slavery. bonded labour!
          Fishing workers getting no pay at all.Under Nationals regime of little or no workers rights.

        • mik e 2.1.1.2

          Bonded labour is another type of slavery that the right wing just love to bits otherwise we would have idiots like you defending such an abhorrent practice.
          Its the same as when as a finance company says in its prospectus guarantees a rate of return but looses all your money fraud by deception !

  3. crite40 3

    Well! “Soapy Sam”, )so called becuase he was always
    wringing his hands as though washing them) wouldn’t have turned a hair of his wig!
    He was as you say very much against negro slavery,
    but, this concern did NOT apply to anyone actually employed. If you don’t believe me look up his words on the employment of “climbing boys” to clean chimneys. They had a horrible job with a short life expectancy and yet, in theory, they were not slaves.
    Therefore Wilberforce refused to outlaw their use.

    Basically he was a conservative with a “bee in his bonnet” about slavery. This may have been due to
    economic as much as moral factors.

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      Um, think you’re barking up the wrong tree here, crite. His prime motivation was his dislike of exploitation, which crystallized in a conversion to Christianity, not any commercial motive. And he was actually a founder of the movement that eventually ended the practice of sending 5 year olds up chimneys, rather than an opponent.

  4. Ianupnorth 4

    Interesting thoughts Jenny; if I were to aspire to get rich quick I could buy all manner of trash from the Far East and on-sell for a quick buck (indeed I have done when I bought three USB bluetooth gizmo’s and sold one for a $5 profit on Trade Me). The problem doesn’t quite finish at the point of production; those who mine the ore, farm the cotton for T-shirts, etc, are all equally in that food chain.
     
    The issue is two fold – globalisation, the purchasing off all stuff off shore because it can be produced more cheaply, and, the brand lifestyle, where brands coerce us to aspire to their lifestyles (as I look at my Nike trainers, wear my Hilfiger glasses, etc).
     
    Yes we could go to a ‘buy Kiwi only’ model, but who could afford it and when would we get factories to produce shoes, clothes, let alone all the techno gizmo’s we are slaves to.

  5. vto 5

    It was best put by someone on here who recently opined that … slavery is in fact more expensive than employment because otherwise the employer would have to pay the full amount of keeping the man.

    • Mike 5.1

      Yep, that’s why a very smart slave owner, back in the day thought at length about the problem (cost of owning slaves.) If you owned slaves, you had to pay for their food and housing, as well as their medical bills if you wanted your investment to remain productive, etc,etc

      The smart slave owner came up with a genius solution. He decided to tell his slaves they were free. He then paid them a small wage, which he taxed. He rented their house back to them recovering some of the wage costs. The ‘former slaves’ had to pay for their own food and medical care. He saved a fortune, and the best thing was that the ‘former slaves’ became more productive due to the fact they actually believed they were free, thus had higher morale and motivation to work hard.

      His system was copied throughout the world of slavers. That brings us to the present day and the ‘former slaves’ now known behind closed doors as wage slaves.

  6. Nick C 6

    Im glad you have considered the problem, but this is hardly a solution. Stop the spending and the jobs go. If the jobs go then at best the people in these countries go back to a nasty, brutish agrarian society. At worst they all starve to death.

    The only solution guarenteed to produce tangible gains on a large scale: Open immigration to the first world. Obviously the immigrants will be poor relative to the average first world citizen, but still worlds apart from the conditions you describe.

    • Uturn 6.1

      Stop the spending and the jobs shift. We still need to eat and manual labour would be the only alternative to lack of machinery. But property rights will need to change to support that. A domino effect that would have you in a cold sweat.

    • Bill 6.2

      This might well be first time I’ve agreed with you Nick C. Freedom of movement of people across borders smacks apart the ‘containment cell’ strategy of Globalisation that presently allows them to play one domestic work force off another in a race to the bottom (ie, wages, benefits, safeguards and provisions).

      It’s a good idea. A very old idea. And (until now?) a very ‘left’ idea.

      Also agree, though for different reasons, that the ‘consumer’ argument doesn’t stack up.

      • djp 6.2.1

        I support freedom of movement across borders. The main barrier to this I would guess is state provided services (social wellfare, social heathcare, state education etc) they would collapse pretty fast under an open border situation

        • Bill 6.2.1.1

          No, state provided services wouldn’t collapse. Globalisation would collapse. And with the dynamics of globalisation gone, there would be no need for people to cross borders in search of a decent livelihood. (There would be no ‘low wage’ economies.)

    • mik e 6.3

      Nick caveman such an irrelevant example and on top of that you use the repuplicking parties elephant have you seen their border control policy recently I think not.Bonded labour has always been abhorrent, multinationals are to blame they are usurping the gains the developed world has made because they answer to no one and you and your cohorts are directly responsible for this state of affairs.
      Chinese labour is not free market it is run under a totalitarian dictatorship.

      • Bill 6.3.1

        Mike e. For the most part, Chinese labour is at the beck and call of corporate dictatorships. When the Chinese government suggested it was going to increase min wages and conditions, those corporates ( y’know, the ones that sell us our favorite household brands…the ‘good’ guys) said they’d ‘up sticks’ and relocate in other countries that had wages and conditions at levels less than those proposed by the Chinese government. So the reforms were duly dropped like ‘hot potatoes’.

        In some respects China is a ‘free’ market…corporations are more or less free to have things as they wish. Politically, China is controlled by a single party state. These are two quite different beasts (the politics and the economics) and it’s best not to confuse or confound them.

  7. Uturn 7

    We are all parasites; the more we consume the greater the parasite.

    There are two options once you realise this: ignore it via justifications, or voluntarily reduce your consumption. Being aware is the first step. No matter what you do, without major national culture change, the end can only be delayed. But that isn’t so bad – the Boomers are feathering their coffins right now.

    Re, reality show of sweat-shop conditions – BBC has beat you to it. It aired here a few years ago. Based around young fashion career hopefuls spending a month in the Indian cloth-making/sewing factory reality. Lots of tears and not quite believing they were comfortable entitled conceited rich kids when it was exposed to them. They went home. The Indian families were at home.

    Profit, over-consumption, waste, conceit, ignorance = basis for New Zealand collective psyche. People come here to escape the hell of the rest of the world, not fix it.

    Long term solutions to this fact are everyday dismissed on this website. So why not say it again. Real solutions could be implemented, but it would mean the end of new cars – two or four per family – fashion and general retail chains; countrysides covered in grass and sheep; fast internet connections; property speculation; climbing the corporate ladder… shit, why go on, that alone is completely unpalatable to 99% of the population – even the 99% who protest our 1percenter system. The economic policies and attitudes of our politics, especially, but not limited to the Right, are simply greed based unsustainable pipe dreams.

    It’s amusing, in a sad way, that the social disintergration happening in Greece now is still not as bad as parts of the USA, such as Detroit and other industrial towns, but Detroit stopped making the headlines decades ago. The only difference is that the people starving were black, so no one really cared. If that kind of social devolution comes here, it will be quite common to watch the thrashings of the dying middle classes as they fail to comprehend how they aren’t going anywhere but down. They were owed. They believed. They were better than the already poor. There should be a hierachy of who goes first. They should starve last. It meant nothing in the end. Ironic that those so fond of making plans for success, will make none for failure.

    Reduce consumption voluntarily. We are born to live our lives, not prop up pathological economic systems.

    • one of the most idyllic life/fun balance cultures/periods.i have come across/read about..

      ..was northern new south wales before the rise of cattle/sheep farming..

      ..the reason was that growing potatoes/root-vegetables was the main economic activity..

      ..and with spuds..there are two periods of activity..planting..and harvesting..

      ..and for those periods the farmers worked co-operatively..farm by farm..

      ..and the rest of the time/year was party/relaxation time..

      ..and a culture grew up of days/week-long gatherings at each others’ houses/properties..

      ..and built around group games/picnics/parties etc…

      …then the animal-slavery industry started..

      ..and it was bye bye to all that…

      ..they then became wage-slaves/bosses..and that idyllic togetherness/socialising ended..

      ..i’ve always thought that was a model to work towards..

      ..which we will be able to do actually..

      ..’cos a combination of ‘pure/clean’ lab-grown meat/flesh grown locally on industrial scales..worldwide..

      ..and the clearer defining of the health implications/outcomes from consuming animal flesh/fat/blood will see to that…

      ..our current exporting bits of animals industries are sunset-industries..

      ..how can they not be…?

      ..then our farmers can start growing food..

      ..eh..?

      phil-at-whoar.

  8. djp 8

    So suppose the first world stops importing goods from the third world… what do you think will happen to those factory workers?

    I have no doubt the conditions are bad relative to what we enjoy but what makes it slavery?

    • Bill 8.1

      Don’t you mean what would happen if western corporations stopped using cheap labour economies as cheap ‘assembly line cogs’ in their production processes; ie places to send pre-made parts and materials to be assembled?

      As for slavery, well how about what’s been cut and pasted below? (And if you don’t want to call it slavery, then fine, call it by whatever name you want.) Regardless of the label given, is in in any way acceptable?

      (T)he payment to workers is below the value of labor power (the costs of reproduction of the worker). [ meaning you will die if you work there long term. my insertion for clarification] The KYE factory in China produces manufactured goods for Microsoft and other U.S. factories, employing up to 1,000 “work-study” students 16–17 years of age, with a typical shift running from 7:45 A.M. to 10:55 P.M. (…) The factories are extremely crowded; one workshop, 105 feet by 105 feet, has almost 1,000 toiling workers. They are paid 65 cents an hour, with 52 cents an hour take-home pay, after the cost of abysmal factory food is deducted. Fourteen workers share each dorm room, sleeping on narrow bunk beds. They “shower” by fetching hot water in a small plastic bucket for a sponge bath.38

      (…) Chatting with other workers during work hours can result in the loss of a day and half’s pay.

      Meitai workers are locked in the factory compound four days of each week and are not allowed to take a walk. The food consists of a thin, watery rice gruel in the morning, while on Fridays they are given a chicken leg and foot as a special treat. Dorm rooms are similar to the KYE factory with bunks lined along the walls and small plastic buckets to haul hot water up several flights of stairs for a sponge bath. They do mandatory unpaid overtime cleaning of the factory and the dorm. If a worker steps on the grass on the way to the dorm she is fined. Workers are regularly cheated out of 14 to 19 percent of the wages due to them. The workers are told that “economizing on capital…is the most basic requirement of factory enterprise.

      http://monthlyreview.org/2012/02/01/the-global-stagnation-and-china

    • mik e 8.2

      djp maybe if its so acceptable to you why not go to china and see if you could last even 1 day in a sweat shop, I think not.
      I’ve seen sweat shop conditions in New Zealand and I don’t think you’d last a day in an NZ sweat sop let alone in Asia!

  9. Bill 9

    If people could migrate freely across borders, the manufacturing sectors in many countries could develop fully (rather than being comprised of ‘assembly line factories’ for foreign corporations); pay decent wages (without fear of overseas corporations shutting down plants and shifting to a new low wage economy), and in effect have a manufacturing sector that catered (at least principly) for the domestic population.

    There would be no ‘mass migration’ swamping any particular country’s social resources if such freedom came to pass. Why? Because people would be paid ‘proper’ wages (ie, enough to participate in their economy). The Globalisation game would be dead as there would be no opportunity for corporations to play one captive labour market off against another.

    • Wayne 9.1

      Agreed. Once economic conditions improve in poor countries people will not be all trying to get into rich countries. It is hardly ever about political freedoms (short of outright ethnic or religious pogroms), but simply economics which impels people to move to different lands.

      The way the global system is set up, if by fate you are born in a third world country you have to work 10 or 20 or 30 or even 50 times as long as what one person in an industrialised country has to do for the same things. That is in terms of the exchange of labour, the average Westerner can work for one hour, and on the global market place demand that a Third world person work 50 hours for his benefit and pleasure.

      Westerners go to China, India, all over the Third world, and can live lives of luxury, wine, song, and women. Why? Because of the unequal exchange of labour. And within Western countries themselves there is also the same situation. A cleaner has to work perhaps a couple of weeks to earn what a corporate lawyer makes in a day. So the situation is also unjust and unequal in Western countries, particularly the US.

      John Key works in an industry where wealth concentrates itself –the banking industry. So earns a fortune of 50 million dollars. But is his contribution, his ‘labour’ worth thousands times more than an office cleaner? Of course not! Did he invent something that could make peoples lives a lot easier, or even save lives. No. So this is where the system is rooted.

      It is serfdom. The true value of peoples labour is not recognised nor rewarded, but rather skimmed off by a tiny wealthy elite who understand how to ‘game’ the system.

      So the appalling conditions in Asia and Africa and other developing countries has nothing to do with the fact that these people are any worse as people than Westerners. It is simply the place they happen to find themselves in the economic pecking order, an order put in place and maintained by imperialism.

      Countries with per capita GDP 1/10th or 1/20th that of Western countries simply will not be able to pay their workers or have conditions similar to those of Western countries. Not because they have inferior ‘values’ or care less for the environment or are worse people, as some on this website often like to snootily point out. And it is certainly not because they lack ‘freedom’ or ‘democracy’ in the limited Western understanding of these terms.

      There is an alternative way of course. Go the way of Maoist China or North Korea or Cuba or Albania, and completely get out of the global capitalist system.

      But of course expect demonization, isolation, trade embargoes, military threats, subversion, and the resulting economic deprivation arising out of these actions (althought it should be said many of these socialist countries did extremely well in improving the material conditions of their people, even in the face of international hostility and pressure).

      Jenny Michie should perhaps concentrate more on the real structural and historical reasons for the conditions she mentions in her article, rather than just present it as a case of evil Third worlders, with Westerners guilty only of neglect or moral blindness. No it is more than that. The real underlying reason for these conditions is Western imperialism, both historically and now.

      • Jenny Michie 9.1.1

        Wayne I grasp the historical and economic realities of capitalism and globalisation. I’ve lived and worked in the labour movement for many, many years. There aren’t easy answers to any of this but I do know that workers taking collective action through strong unions has been the single most important factor in improving the lives of workers around the world through the past 100years or so.

        Unions are declining in the west and rising in the east. It’s hardly surprising. In the west we are falling for the conceit that individuals are all powerful, that its’s all about ME, that hard won conditions fell from the heavens like mana and are forever, and that the relationship between worker and employer is an equal one. And that, to come back to my post, the ability to buy cheap crap made by virtual slave labour is our right as consumers.

        As consumers we do have great power. Look at fair trade coffee. Why not demand that the goods we buy are produced ethically by union labour and in a way that doesn’t damage the environment?

        • Bill 9.1.1.1

          …the ability to buy cheap crap made by virtual slave labour is our right as consumers.

          It’s more a situation that too many of us have an inability to buy anything but cheap shit made by virtual slave labour. And sure, it’s not a bad thing when those with a high enough disposable income buy (say) products from unionised workplaces. But again, most of us simply cannot afford the luxury of that choice.

      • Bill 9.1.2

        There is an alternative way of course. Go the way of Maoist China or North Korea or Cuba or Albania, and completely get out of the global capitalist system

        Or, then again, a democratic economy as opposed to either a command economy or a market economy. And a genuinely democratic polity as opposed any form of governance that systematically ensures the privilege and empowerment of some elite or other through the disempowerment of ordinary people.

  10. those who say we can’t change because of the economic-implications..

    ..should remember these were also the arguments against ending human slavery in the western world..

    ..the british empire was built on/sustained by slavery..

    ..and at the peak of african slavery in america those slaves were actually the biggest single asset in the american economy..

    ..economic-armageddon would ensue if slavery was abolished ran the argument..

    phil-at-whoar.

  11. you do know that 1phone 4’s feel slighty damp ‘cos of the workers’ tears…eh..?

    ..and i had an edgy shop assistant the other day tell me a badly made product was that way..

    ..”cos the children who made it have problems paying attention all the time.. for all the hours they work’..

    ..(all said straight/po-faced..as a matter-of-fact..)

    and a new slogan for apple is:..

    ‘shiny on the outside…and rotten to the core’..

    ..did you know that when steve jobs went back to apple..

    ..that he closed down the/any philanthropic-giving at/from apple..?

    ..they gave no more…

    ..’st steve’…eh..?

    phil-at-whoar.

  12. Wayne 12

    “…free men and women forced into industrial servitude, bound by chains, faced with subhuman living conditions and subject to physical torture. That plight was horrific. But until 1951, it was not outside the law.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/10/books/10masl.html

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand First calls for tahr cull halt
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industry New Zealand First is supporting calls by hunters and the New Zealand Tahr Foundation (NZTF) to halt a large scale cull of Himalayan Tahr by the Department of Conservation in National Parks. The calls are supported by a 40,000 strong petition and the ...
    2 days ago
  • Response to Spin-off allegations
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First leader Winston Peters today scoffed at suggestions that a team of six political operatives have been dispatched to New Zealand to assist his campaign. ‘As President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘there they go again.’ ‘The clickbait journos can’t ...
    2 days ago
  • Jenny Marcroft MP to represent New Zealand First in Auckland Central
    New Zealand First is pleased to announce Jenny Marcroft as the party’s election 2020 candidate for the Auckland Central electorate. Jenny spent years working in Auckland Central, having spent a vast proportion of her broadcasting career there. She says she, "knows the place and knows the people." Ms Marcroft says ...
    3 days ago
  • Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers
    New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades. That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation. ...
    4 days ago
  • Jacinda Ardern: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Jacinda Ardern's speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    4 days ago
  • Kelvin Davis: 2020 Labour Congress Speech
    Kelvin Davis' speech to the 2020 Labour Party Congress. ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Another week of major progress
    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    7 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    1 week ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    1 week ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    1 week ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    1 week ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    1 week ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing more than $7.5 million in Northland ventures to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment is going to the Northern Adventure Experience and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
    The law to boost the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 by speeding up resource consenting on selected projects has passed its second and third readings in the House today. “Accelerating nationwide projects and activities by government, iwi and the private sector will help deliver faster economic recovery and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
    Five port-related projects in Whanganui will receive a $26.75 million Provincial Growth Fund investment to support local economic recovery and create new opportunities for growth, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is a significant investment that will support the redevelopment of the Whanganui Port, a project governed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago