web analytics

Why does the Right think port workers’ pay should be cut?

Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, January 12th, 2012 - 74 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

National high flyer Jami-Lee Ross, Ports of Auckland’s chief shill, and Fran O’Sullivan all joined the fray over the port dispute yesterday. How does their line that the workers are overpaid marry with the Port’s claim that they’re offering pay rises? Does the Port project its wage bill would rise or fall if its offer were to be accepted? And what to make of this ‘national interest’ line?

I wonder if Ross jumped the gun or its part of the plan. Until now, National has conspicuously stayed out of the Port dispute but yesterday Ross went blundering in claiming that workers’ rights to organise for collective bargaining are too strong and repeating the line that the Port workers are overpaid. Ross wrote:

“This isn’t a story of a David versus Goliath battle where workers are being ripped off or paid a pittance. Few could call poverty on an average annual wage for a wharfie understood to be north of $90,000, with a proposed 10 percent hourly rate increase and performance bonuses of up to 20 percent, sitting on the table. To the average person on the street, the latest Ports of Auckland offer to the Union would almost seem generous… the bare-faced mockery that the Maritime Union is making of civilised negotiations New Zealanders will soon begin to question what position unions should hold in the modern Kiwi workplace.”

Of course, Ross doesn’t mention that workers would end up with less pay at the end of the week. And he would know something about good pay. He’s been paid over a hundred thousand dollars for doing … what precisely? … since he became the Member for Botany.

But what’s Ross’s point here? That the workers are paid too much? That they should suck up some cuts and just be glad it isn’t more? I wonder if Ross will be putting forward a proposal to cut his own pay when Parliament resumes after its two month holiday. Oh, and what’s up with his grammar?

[incidentally, Ross calculates that Fonterra sent $1.4 billion of exports through Ports of Auckland before it shifted. What he didn’t calculate is that is only about 10% of Fonterra’s exports and only 5% of the $26 billion of cargo that the Port handles in a year. And don’t get me started on his line that workers shouldn’t ‘bite the hand that feeds’ – it’s the workers doing to work and generating the wealth, not the bosses].


Yesterday, Catherine Etheredge, Senior Manager Communications at the Port, came on The Standard to similarly smear her colleagues – which the Port praises so highly in its last annual report – as overpaid and lazy. In the process, she also provided some detail of the tricky accounting that the Port has used to get the mythical $90,000 a year figure. Very useful.

I note there’s no suggestion that her salary or break times should be cut.

In fact, the Port’s figures show that ‘Key management personnel‘, which are defined as the CE and the people reporting directly to him (6 middle-aged white guys by the looks), were paid a total of $3.25 million last year. That’s $750,000 for the CE and $500,000 for each senior manager. Don’t forget $80,000 per director for a few days work a year.


Fran O’Sullivan took a slightly more refined angle, which I suspect is set to become the Right’s new main line:

“the Productivity Commission which estimates exporters and importers spend upwards of $5 billion a year on freight and has forecasted annual trade could be boosted by $1.25 billion if transport costs were shaved by 10 per cent. There is a national interest issue at stake here.”

Therefore, O’Sullivan reckons, the greedy workers should accept a pay cut, so that the Port can cut its charges and importers and exporters could trade more stuff and we will all be richer (except the workers).

Except, as O’Sullivan knows full well, the Ports of Auckland make up only 3.5% of the $5 billion importers and exporters spend on freight. While freight costs, by the Productivity Commission’s numbers, are worth 6% of total trade, the cost of getting $26 billion worth of stuff through the Port is less than $175 million, or 0.6%. Knocking a fraction off that by cutting wages and passing the savings on (which isn’t the Port’s stated intent) would have no discernable effect on trade levels.

If you wanted to boost trade by knocking 10% off freight costs, the only way to do it would be to slash the price of oil. If freight costs are a barrier to trade (and the Productivity Commissions numbers don’t actually suggest they are a serious barrier), it’s not a few stevedores that is making some trade uneconomic, it’s peak oil.

To put it in a way that might grab O’Sullivan a little more personally. Her argument is like saying that New Zealand businesses spend $5 billion a year on advertising and, if only advertising were cheaper, businesses could sell more stuff. And then saying that, therefore, there is in the national interest in making advertising in the Herald cheaper by cutting the paper’s wage costs, starting with, say, senior businesses columnists who, I’m sure, pocket a lot more than $27 an hour. Funnily enough, I think O’Sullivan would see lots of holes in that argument.


So, you’ve got a few very wealthy elitists pointing at a bunch of working class people who get decent pay if they put in some serious hours of heavy physical labour and saying ‘they have it too good, cut their wages’. That’s the rightwing elite for you, of course. Gain is always for them. Pain is always for everyone else.


PS. Etheredge also came on The Standard to deny that the Port is paying Cameron Slater anything. Far be it from me to doubt the word of a well-paid spin-doctor. But, I wonder if she could answer one more question: How much does the Port project it would save on wages if its offer were to be accepted?

74 comments on “Why does the Right think port workers’ pay should be cut?”

  1. John Dalley 1

    Jamie-Lee Who?
    Do you mean waste of time local (Ex) poli and first term National party hack?

  2. infused 2

    “Yesterday, Catherine Etheredge, Senior Manager Communications at the Port, came on The Standard to similarly smear her colleagues”

    Wow. I thought she came here to clear up all this shit you lot were spewing. God this place is a cesspit.

    IrishBill: then you won’t mind taking a month off. Goodbye.

  3. queenstfarmer 3

    How does their line that the workers are overpaid marry with the Port’s claim that they’re offering pay rises?

    Where did Jami-Lee Ross and Fran O’Sullivan say that?

    • “Few could call poverty on an average annual wage for a wharfie understood to be north of $90,000, with a proposed 10 percent hourly rate increase and performance bonuses of up to 20 percent, sitting on the table. To the average person on the street, the latest Ports of Auckland offer to the Union would almost seem generous.” – http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1201/S00020/union-biting-the-hand-that-feeds.htm

      • queenstfarmer 3.1.1

        That quote in no way says that the wharfies are overpaid. Oh dear. I do hope that this entire post by James is not based on a complete fiction.

        • Blighty

          yeah, right. Ross, Slater and the rest of the Right aren’t opposed with overstating the wharfies’ wages to justify cutting them. They just happen to be mentioning the alleged size of those wages in passing …. at every opportunity.

          • queenstfarmer

            That’s your opinion. The author stated that specific individuals have said that “the workers are overpaid”. Now you have conceded that (to your knowledge) they didn’t actually say such a thing – you just have a hunch that they might have.

            I’ll see if the author can actually point to the quotes he is presumably referring to. Surely he is able to do so, given that he went to the effort of writng an entire article based around those alleged comments.

            • RedLogix

              To the average person on the street, the latest Ports of Auckland offer to the Union would almost seem generous.

              Which is a pretty back-hand way of saying ‘overpaid’…. is it not?

              Sure you can quibble around with literal meanings, but the intent of the line is fairly obvious.

              • Colonial Viper

                The average person on the street has a median income of $30K pa.

                That’s how shit this country has become. Maybe we should keep following the neoliberal prescription in this matter, after all if it hasn’t worked over 30 years we should just keep doing the same but this time with more gusto?

                • queenstfarmer

                  I think you’ve replied to the wrong post. All I asked was where Ross and O’Sullivan said that the workers were “overpaid” – the premise of this article. Perhaps you can enlighten us?

              • queenstfarmer

                Which is a pretty back-hand way of saying ‘overpaid’…. is it not?

                No, it’s not. In fact that quote isn’t even talking about the workers current pay. It’s talking about the port’s offer. And it’s even expressly falling short of calling the offer generous.

                Sure you can quibble around with literal meanings, but the intent of the line is fairly obvious

                Ah, so once again it appears that the foundation of an attack piece is based not upon what people actually said or did, but what they didn’t say – quite a difference, don’t you think? Attributing false positions (eg strawman attacks), besides being poor form, generally indicates a lack of ability to attack on substance. To do so as the premise of an article would be, I suggest, very poor form.

                • RedLogix

                  The so called ‘generous’ 10% pay increase is accompanied by a reduction in paid hours, so that for the same work they will receive less money. Quite a big reduction in fact.

                  Not so ‘generous’ at all really.

                  But if as you state, neither Ross nor O’Sullivan are saying, or even implying, that the MUNZ workers are ‘overpaid’ .. then can we assume that they think the port workers are indeed paid correctly for their work?

                  In that case what on earth is everyone getting so upset about? Turns out that this putative $90k pa is perfectly ok. Glad to have that one sorted.

                  You can stop fussing about it now qsf.

                  • queenstfarmer

                    I haven’t made any comment about whether these people are overpaid, and how would I know if they were or not? I was just curious to read the author’s assertion that specific people had claimed that the port workers were overpaid, and asked where they actually said that (the one link provided does not say that).

                    • RedLogix

                      I haven’t made any comment about whether these people are overpaid, and how would I know if they were or not?

                      So why all the fuss then qsf?

                      If you are not prepared to know enough or commit to a position; then why bother commenting?

                      On the other hand if noted right-wing voices like Ross and O’Sullivan are not arguing that the port workers are ‘overpaid’… then you have to assume that the workers are in fact paid reasonably, and that it’s perfectly acceptable for them to negotiate to preserve their existing terms and rosters.

                      Because accepting PoAL’s current offer is a substantial 20% pay cut for the same work. Logically that would make them underpaid would it not?

                      Which position do you think is fair?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Nice petard you’ve got there QSF, perhaps you could avoid hoisting youself on it by quoting the section where this alleged quote is contained.

                      I see it described as a ‘line’ that is being pushed, a message if you like, but I don’t see this supposed quote you’ve been blathering on about.

                    • queenstfarmer

                      Pascal, the author stated this:

                      Ross went blundering in claiming that workers’ rights to organise for collective bargaining are too strong and repeating the line that the Port workers are overpaid. Ross wrote: … [Ross quote]

                      Now where in the Ross quote, or the link to his article, or anywhere else, does anyone state, or express in some other way (sign language??), that they think the port workers are overpaid? Where is Ross’ “line”? In fact, where is the original “line” that Ross merely “repeated”?

                      The inability of the author, or anyone else here including you, to show where such an assertion was expressed indicates that the author’s assertion – and the premise of the article – is false. Unfortunately, not an uncommon occurence.

                    • queenstfarmer


                      If you are not prepared to know enough or commit to a position; then why bother commenting?

                      I happily admit I don’t know what the hypothetical “fair pay” for the hypothetical average wharfie would be. And as you missed it the first time, I’ll repeat it – I’m not commenting on anyone’s pay.

                      I commented because the author made a factual allegation, which he has been unable to back up.

          • Hami Shearlie

            What about mentioning the salaries of Tony Gibson et al – examine their salary packages publicly and ask them to justify them, then, watch them squirm – Free entertainment!!!

            • Spratwax

              Yes -take note that when you mention the salaries of Gibson and other management at POAL, and why this isn’t being questioned (Stratospheric salaries which make what the port workers get, seem like slave labour!), there is no comment from the RWNJ’s- complete silence actually!

              Don’t hear O’Sullivan et al talking about that now, do we!

  4. higherstandard 4

    Actually I commend POAL via Catherine Etheredge posting information on this site so people can comment on it and as for the smearing most of that on this forum has not been coming from her.

    Perhaps MUNZ could be encouraged to post a rebuttal of her figures on this site so people could similarly reflect on their comments ?

    • “Smearing”?

      You’ve got it wrong (again), HS.

      Put out your calculator. Enter “27”. Multiply by “40”. Then multiply by “52”. The annual salary comes out as $56,160.

      Well short of $91,000.

      Nek point.

      The 10% wage increase was an offer by Ports of Auckland management – not a demand from the Maritime Union.

      The issue here is casualisation – not a pay increase, which only reactionaries seem fixated on.

      • higherstandard 4.1.1

        Frank I was suggesting that the majority of smears on this site were coming from the authors and commenters rather than any imagined smears James seems to have found in her comments.

        In relation to the 56k figure I think even the most partisan have moved on from that figure and accept that the pay is OK and that it is about workflow planning and rostering which neither party wish to budge much on.

        • RedLogix

          Yes the $56k figure was only ever in play to illustrate that the base rate is perfectly ordinary. All MUNZ members would take home more cash than that (excluding of course PAYE).

          But that is way short of the $91k figure that was also only ever in play in order to try and discredit the workers.

          The real number for most of them is somewhere in between. If we can all accept that and as you say move onto the real substance of the debate, which is rosters and casualisation…. then I’m 100% on the same page as you.

          • higherstandard

            Who knows if we’d the discussion in a pub over a beer and a meal we could probably have avoided frothing at each other for a couple of days.

        • Frank Macskasy

          “…I think even the most partisan have moved on from that figure and accept that the pay is OK and that it is about workflow planning and rostering which neither party wish to budge much on.”

          I concur.

          ‘Tis a shame others have not moved past that, HS.

          On the issue of “workflow planning and rostering”, I’d suggest that very few staff employed on
          a full time basis would want to suddenly become casualised. Aside from the unfairness of such a move, it would not engender much staff loyalty.

          Indeed, I think it would increase the migration flow from NZ to Australia.

          As it is, this recent report should be cause for concern;

          “Sentiment on work prospects gloomy”

          By the way, I luvved your comment above, about “rogering” the scoundrel who maligned firefighters. Well put.

  5. randal 5

    as adam smith noted in his theory of moral sentiments, what human beings desire mots of all is command over labour.
    i.e. they want to be the boss.
    so money is justa tool for psychopaths to whip others for their egregious gratification.
    as for fran sullivan she says the workers are threatening the long term viability of the port.
    what the hell does that mean?
    the port isn’t going anywhere.

  6. It’s nice of National MP Jamie Lee-Ross to confirm the following;

    “”Every Aucklander has a stake in the Ports of Auckland. It is not a privately owned company. Nor is it listed on any stock exchange. Each and every share in the company is owned by the Auckland Council on behalf of 1.4 million Auckland residents and ratepayers.””

    No doubt he will steadfastly oppose privatisation of the Ports?

  7. Draco T Bastard 8

    Get it right – The RWNJs think all workers pay should be cut so that the owners and administrators can have more.

    • mik e 8.1

      they won’t be happy until wages are comparable to Chinese workers

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        And more to the point, that wealth inequality is as extreme here as it is in China.

        This isn’t just a throwaway line as far as I’m concerned. I believe that the fight to eliminate the extremes of wealth and poverty is one of the great moral pivots of our age.

        For the last 10,000 years or so since the adoption of agriculture our society has been dominated by patriarchal power, and obsession with property, material wealth and the means to accumulate and protect it.

        The economic system we now have, privileges and enables a tiny wealthy elite to accelerate that process beyond all sanity. It harms every human, every living thing … and ultimately threatens extinction on a mass scale.

        Undoing this lunacy is I suggest one of the most challenging, most vital tasks facing all of humanity.

        • Colonial Viper

          We’ve got to make sure that on the downslope of energy availability that we do not slip into a neo-feudalism.

          • RedLogix


            Of all the many, many things you’ve written here…. that is the most concise statement and precise statement of the challenge.

  8. beachbum 9

    I think there is plenty of shit that can be sorted by both parties – they are poles apart at the momoent.
    As for the Nat MP going to print – he is just out of touch and should be ignored. MSM finally found someone to quote…

  9. tc 10

    Possible JLR jumped the gun (hardly the sharpest tool in the shed) as granny has rolled out the next phase with “Govt should tackle ports union ‘problem” backed up by the NACT’s productivity commission and their massive business and practical real world store of experience they draw on.

    As predictable as night following day.

    • Hami Shearlie 10.1

      JLR sure isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed – mind you beside Tau Henare and Paul Quinn, the man is an intellectual giant!!!! Reminds me of The Incredible Hulk without the green glow!!!

  10. Colonial Viper 11

    Internal POAL Management document proves bad faith and intention to escalate


    Total incompetence at the executive management level.

    • beachbum 11.1

      This shows 100% competence. It shows they are forward thinking and exploring all likely scenarios. It shows they have a handle on their cost structures etc. You might not like their line of thinking but that does not mean they are incompetent.

      If MUNZ had any sense (And I am not saying they don’t) they would also have a plan of attack for the negotiations and what all the scenarios are and how they might work out.

      If these parties are not doing any planning and strategising then they should be sacked.

      Any decent manager will know their business drivers and have scenario workouts for various situations. They don’t just turn up to work and see what is on their desk for that day…

      • RedLogix 11.1.1

        mmm … yes but the point is that the PoAL clearly had a strategy from the outset and an intended goal of causalising/contracting all their labour.

        In other words PoAL have not been negotiating, they have been imposing a pre-determined solution. And this is before Maersk and Fonterra announced their ‘change of port’. Indeed the document shows that these moves were anticipated as a useful ‘threat’ to the Union.

        And as I demonstrated in another thread; when you unilaterally impose things on other people that they regard as unreasonable.. they react.

        Understand why MUNZ have been taking industrial action now?

        PS.. having said all that; the damned document is undated and unsigned. I’d be more comfortable with it if the provenance was clearer.

        • higherstandard

          I had a look at the document thinking it may have been a smoking gun and it is somewhat weak to say that least.

          Between the press release from MUNZ and those from POAL today post mediation I have the distinct feeling that the writing is on the wall.

          • RedLogix

            No I don’t see it as a ‘smoking gun’either, but it strongly suggests that that PoAL management has not been negotiating in good faith.

            They determined that they wanted casualisation from the outset and nothing the Union said or did was going to change that.

            Moreover it clearly anticipates Maersk and Fonterra moving to Tauranga, and how that would be useful extra pressure in the process. (I don’t think the term negotiation applies anymore.)

            Given Gibson’s close links with Maersk, it’s certainly no longer a long bow to suggest that these moves were ‘engineered’ for just this purpose.

            In other words the Board and Management may well be deliberately damaging their own business in order to de-unionise the port.

            • higherstandard

              I don’t read it that way at all.

              Firstly it appears to be an unfinished, unofficial document probably typed up as a discussion piece for a management meeting.

              That aside it does set out the key concern which is no surprise to anyone, which is covered in the first couple of paragraphs. I wonder if things would have turned out any differently if MUNZ had been invited along to parts of these meetings where the major concern regarding workflow improvements were being discussed.

              I can’t see that there will be any outcome apart from a bad one for MUNZ at this stage assuming that the figures in the document are correct in relation to the cost per container difference between Auckland and Tauranga.

              • RedLogix

                I’m inclined to agree about the provenance of the document. I’d expect more to be revealed before anyone starts taking it too seriously.

                But IF it is legit, then clearly it is a strategy planning document. It’s evidence of what management had in mind BEFORE they started the negotiations.

                But on the other hand, if as you say its just a bit of unofficial fluff… then you don’t get to cherry pick which bits of it you like or not.

                I wonder if things would have turned out any differently if MUNZ had been invited along to parts of these meetings where the major concern regarding workflow improvements were being discussed.

                We can’t know that now can we? Except that the Union appears to have been sincere all along in it’s desire to participate in meanignful productivity improvements.

                Indeed improvements they have already been achieving.

                • Ross

                  This document, undated but prior to the end of workers’ employment contracts, indicates that the company always intended to casualise its workforce. “There would need to be an 8-12 week timeframe for contractors to commence operations…[t]he current workforce…is insufficiently flexible to meet the challenges of our business and for many years there have been many service failures.”

                  The document says that the company’s current wage bill is $30 million which is 33% of total costs. If staff hours per container were the same as Tauranga, “we would spend approximately $6m less.” Hmmm that suggests that the company were, and are, wanting to shave 20% off the current wage bill, though there is no indication that there would be cuts to the pay of middle and senior managers. It is also unclear why wages are being attacked, since they comprise only one third of total costs. What about the other two thirds?

                  At no stage did company spin doctor Catherine Etheredge say that the company wanted to reduce its wage bill by 20%. In fact, she said that hourly pay rates would increase by 10%.

        • beachbum

          I would be pretty sure it is in advance of negotiations. And they would argue that what they predicted has come to fruition. Just like the Qantas lockout/close down. They obviously had a plan in place – it was not designed over 12 hours…

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.2

        beachbum go back to the 1970’s and 1980’s, that’s where your management style belongs, that’s also where this confrontational approach was last considered “competent”.

        Any decent manager will know their business drivers and have scenario workouts for various situations. They don’t just turn up to work and see what is on their desk for that day…

        This is a strategy document not a contingency planning document. Can you not tell the two apart. But let’s assume you are correct – where the fuck are management’s scenario workouts for forming excellent working relationships with their own workers and driving productivity improvements together as a team?

        Or did management just focus on the wargaming the negative contingencies, as well as backhanding their own Board of Directors and the port’s owners?

        Fire executive management now.

        • beachbum

          No argument with your second last paragraph – we can disagree on your first part. I would imagine that the workout on forming excellent relationships was gone as an option well before the CEO arrived. – I note other comments that this CEO may have been brought in to “break” the union. I am not sure how long that relationship has been so bad.

    • Blue 11.2

      That document is pretty damning.

      It definitively shows that POAL’s strategy going into this was to casualise the workforce and they had no intention of negotiating with the union. No good faith to be had there.

      Particularly interesting is this:

      6. Other
      a. Threat of Actual Loss of Maersk volume will facilitate change
      b. Threat of Loss of Maersk volume will not facilitate change

      It’s hard to read that any other way. It’s a specific statement that merely threatening that Maersk might go will not achieve what they want. Maersk actually going will be necessary for them to get what they want.

      And this:

      3.0 Step 3 – Identify the alternatives
      a. CEA (Collective Employment Agreement) changes enable objectives to be achieved – Not achieveable as changes too great for MUNZ (Maritime Union of New Zealand).

      And then there’s alternative e:

      e. Status Quo – focus on cultural change and improved leadership.

      Cold day in hell before a company considers that, eh?

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        And Gibson, a former Maersk NZ managing director, was in the perfect position to coordinate POAL industrial action with Maersk NZ.

  11. randal 12

    wages must be cut so if POA is privatised then the shareholders get all the gravy.
    shame on TVNZ for not running the item about the productivity commission who seem to be in collusion with the stock exchange.
    how about getting off your bums and investing in some new productive capacity instead of using the government to grab everything for the rentiers.

  12. Jenny 13

    What gives Jim?

    Why are you continuing to repeat the right wingers lying narrative that this dispute is all about wages?

    From the beginning, Ports Of Auckland Ltd. (POAL) have been demanding that the union agree to allow contracting out of ports jobs.

    What part of this don’t you understand?

    • RedLogix 13.1

      PoAL make their real intentions for workers crystal clear here:

      The port company has refused to say what its offer would mean for labour costs at the port, except that its staff hours per container were about 1.21 hours and it would like to reduce that figure to less than 1 hour.

      In other words more than a 20% pay cut for moving the same containers. Of course Gibson isn’t offering to improve ‘productivity’ by taking 20% pay cut for himself.

      And can we hear no more of this nonsensical 10% pay rise drivel please?

      • Ross 13.1.1

        A wage cut is obvious by the fact that management want to trim $6 million from their $30 million wage bill. This equates to a 20% cut in wages.

        • Colonial Viper

          Board members and the CEO will get nice fat bonuses for taking pay away from workers.

          This is a dysfunctional, screwed up economic system.

  13. Eduardo Kawak 14

    This is exactly the type of business practice that continues to widen the gap between rich and poor. Jonkey is a villian for pushing these types of agendas while telling New Zealand that he’s doing the opposite. All the while his fat cat pals at POAL are milking it for all its worth. That strategy paper is crazy scary. How can you make an apples for apples wages comparison between the ports in Tauranga and Auckland? The cost of living in Auckland is miles higher and the salaries should always be well in excess of those in Tauranga, regardless of whether the ports in question are council or privately owned. Any idiot, POAL management excluded here, knows its cheaper to live in Tauranga than in Auckland and that salaries reflect this. NZ is screwed with clowns like these running the show.

    • RedLogix 14.1

      NZ is screwed with clowns like these running the show.

      Well I’m not sure, but apparently Rodney Hide appointed them…

  14. Eduardo Kawak 15

    Short-man syndrome fancy Epson Banks wannabe

  15. Interesting…

    It is further worth noting about Ms Etheredge’s (PoA Communications Officer) statement;

    “This is not a cost-efficient nor sustainable labour model, especially when the company is not covering its cost of capital…”

    “Not covering its cost of capital”? Yet, according to the National Business Review, Ports of Auckland posted a $24.9 million profit in the year to June – up 2.1% on the previous year.


    And in October 2010, Managing director Jens Madsen said that “overall container volumes in the three months to September 30 were up nearly 8% on the same period last year”.


    So that statement from PoA’s “communications officer” doesn’t ring true.

    More shortly – still putting the finishing touches to a blogpiece.

    • Ross 16.1


      What the company spin doctor really means by her ‘not covering the cost of capital’ comment is that the company would like to make larger profits! That’s pretty obvious by its wish to slice $6 million off wages. But bear in mind that the wage bill ($30 million) is only one third of total costs. You would think if the management of the company wanted to look at ways of trimming costs, it would examine the other $60 million of its expenditure.

      • Fyully concur, Ross.

        Interestinglyt, it was the PoA management that was throwing a 10% wage increase at the workers.

        The workers weren’t interested – they wanted job security instead. Which is kinda understandable, really…

  16. And…

    “Plea for ratepayers to give up port control”

    I think we’re starting to get the picture here…

  17. Jenny 18

    Union leaders have called this dispute “A Patricks situation” after the 1998 Australian dispute. In 1998 just like what is planned here, the Maritime Union of Australia members were made redundant and replaced with contractors hired by the notorious anti-union contract firm, Patricks.

    Just like the notorious Patrick’s Dispute, Ports Of Auckland Ltd. are in the end game of edging the union out of the water front and replacing them with non-union contractors.

    This is not a new strategy, and was attempted piecemeal by POAL in 2010. In late 2010 POAL illegally replaced the unionised shuttle drivers with contractors. (Shuttles are the long flat bed trailer units that transport containers between the wharves.) This action was taken despite POAL being legally bound by the collective contract, which made their actions illegal.

    Since the expiry of the collective agreement POAL are now demanding that the union agree to allowing them to outsource union jobs during the period of any new collective agreement and are refusing to negotiate until this concession is agreed too.

    For the union to sign up to this, would mean giving POAL complete power to replace all union members with non-union contractors. The union would be powerless to stop them, bound as they would be under the ERA from taking industrial action. Strikes and lockouts are illegal during the period of a contract, under penalty of huge fines confiscation of union property and even workers homes.

    The Right, have captured this debate and tried to frame it as a case of greedy wharfies making unrealistic wage demands during a recession.

    Those who frame the debate usually win it.

    This is all part of the propaganda war to isolate the wharf workers from the majority of other workers who, are on the whole getting lesser wages and suffering poorer conditions than the unionised wharf workers.

    I get tired of this stupid wrangling of what the wharfies are paid or, not paid.

    I would be disappointed if the wharfies were getting paid less, as the wharves are one of the few strong union hold outs left, as such they are a powerful object lesson in the value of unions. Of course they get better wages and conditions.

    • Jum 18.1


      + 1

      ‘I would be disappointed if the wharfies were getting paid less, as the wharves are one of the few strong union hold outs left, as such they are a powerful object lesson in the value of unions. Of course they get better wages and conditions.’

      Totally agree – can’t people understand that logic? Also, I wouldn’t want to do the job for less. I’m equally sure that the POAL is stacking the wages detail to sound more than it actually is.

  18. Spratwax 19

    Gibson has been brought in to fast-track privatisation of the port- there is no desire to negotiate at all. Read this speech by previous CE:


    Note the line- “Here in Auckland , we have our challenges. We have higher labour costs than elsewhere.We must work faster, more efficiently and more productively.”

    and…”For New Zealand ’s sake we need to move above the infighting and the distractions.
    We do not have much time.We must work constructively on how to get the best out of our existing investments”.

    Something to do with ‘Hubbing’ and competing with Australian ports. Interestingly, the port of Brisbane (referred to in the speech) was privatised in Nov 2010- the new owners being Q Port Holdings.

    Enter Mr.Gibson, December 2010.

    Another interesting read:

    Food for thought!

  19. beachbum 20

    “I would be disappointed if the wharfies were getting paid less, as the wharves are one of the few strong union hold outs left, as such they are a powerful object lesson in the value of unions. Of course they get better wages and conditions.”

    And if that is the main reason why you are worried for them then you are backing a lost cause.

    UNions with attitudes like MUNZ have done their time and being replaced – a bit like Steam Engines – a relic of the past

    • The Voice of Reason 20.1

      “UNions with attitudes like MUNZ have done their time and being replaced – a bit like Steam Engines – a relic of the past”
      In your head, maybe, Beach bum. Care to give some examples to illustrate your point? And what do you think they are being ‘replaced’ with?

    • What are threse “attitudes” you refer to?

    • Jum 20.3


      ‘a bit like Steam Engines – a relic of the past’ – but still capable of setting brush fires I hear!

  20. beachbum 21

    In your head, maybe, Beach bum. Care to give some examples to illustrate your point? And what do you think they are being ‘replaced’ with?”

    Read again – I referred to attitudes. MUNZ has not moved on from the 70’s.

    Thats why they had to bring in Helen Kelly who at least does not appear to be weighed down by generations of indoctrination.

    • The Voice of Reason 21.1

      Yep, that’s what I read. So where are your examples of these unions being replaced? And what are they being replaced with?
      PS, regarding Helen Kelly and ‘generational indoctrination’, you obviously don’t know her family history!

  21. beachbum 22

    Have a look at POT, unions are there but they dont get away with the shit that they do at POAL. They have what you call casualisation there and seems to work quite well.

    • Tom Gould 22.1

      Swings and roundabouts. The right have the whip hand these days, in cahoots with the media. They get what they want. The system will correct itself, in time.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • National cries wolf over Coronavirus
    Opposition MP Michael WoodhouseLast week, the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, claimed that the Minister of Health wasn’t leading on ‘significant issues that matter to New Zealanders within his Health portfolio’ when commenting about the Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.This silly comment was made despite David Clark working ...
    8 hours ago
  • Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    10 hours ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    1 day ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    1 day ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    3 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    3 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    4 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    4 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    5 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    1 week ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    1 week ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Is the prostitute the seller or the sold?
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the third part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna Whitmore. Part 1 was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis
    Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    5 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    6 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago