web analytics

Will the real National policy please stand up?

Written By: - Date published: 3:25 pm, July 28th, 2008 - 18 comments
Categories: election 2008, national, workers' rights - Tags:

A reader noticed a difference between National’s workplace policy as quoted by us and as quoted elsewhere.

We and some others have: “Continue to allow union access to workplaces with the employer’s consent.” taken from the PDF of the workplace policy.

While others have: “Continue to allow union access to workplaces with an employer’s consent, which cannot be unreasonably withheld.” taken from the press release of the policy

Important difference. Under current law, union access can only be reasonably withheld if it would “jeopardise national security or the investigation of offences”. If the second quote is the correct statement of National policy, that will remain the law. However, if the first quote is correct, the boss will be able to deny union access as they choose. That would obviously be a great union-breaking tool and bosses would be tempted to use it because a weak union or de-unionised workforce does not have the bargaining power to win good pay rises.

Our reader wrote to both Kate Wilkinson (the would-be Minister of Labour who has made no public comment on the detail of her party’s labour policy) and John Key, asking for clarification. That was last Thursday and no reply or even acknowledgment of receipt has been received. What a disgraceful way to treat concerned citizens (I should add our reader states he is a business owner, so his interests may be divergent to mine but he is appalled by the Nats’ failure to clarify this important discrepancy).

What this highlights is the ridiculous vagueness of the ‘policy’ releases National is making. We can’t even be sure whether union access will be dramatically curtailed, putting the ball entirely in the bosses’ court or will continue as is because two bullet-point statements disagree with each other and there’s no detailed material to clear up the issue. It’s beyond a joke when you can’t even rely on offical statements of National’s policy to be accurate.

18 comments on “Will the real National policy please stand up? ”

  1. rave 1

    What about allowing employers to set up their own agreements without unions?
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0807/S00291.htm

  2. rave. we explained what that means in the post at the time. It means the boss creates a collective (with lower pay and codnitiosn than the union would demand, of course) and refuses to deal with the union. It happened under the ECA in the 1990s.

  3. randal 3

    rave what about workers setting up their own unions and negotiating with the employer…no sense in having asnake in the grass if you dont need one

  4. Scribe 4

    Well, and maybe I’m making an incorrect assumption, I would have thought the press release would be accurate because the PDF is a summary of the policy that National seemingly tried to squeeze conveniently onto one A4 sheet, meaning some details had to be omitted.

    Our reader wrote to both Kate Wilkinson (the would-be Minister of Labour who has made no public comment on the detail of her party’s labour policy) and John Key, asking for clarification. That was last Thursday and no reply or even acknowledgment of receipt has been received. What a disgraceful way to treat concerned citizens

    I agree. He should have told him to move to Australia… http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10487279

    Or asked him if he is a member of the Exclusive Brethren… http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=177&objectid=10478288

  5. Scribe. There’s plenty of room on the A4 for those five words. We are elft in a situation where we just don’t know which National statement of policy to believe. It’s a disgrace.

  6. Scribe 6

    Steve,

    So if the press release is the correct version, do you plan to applaud National for maintaining a policy that you feared would disappear under a Tory government?

    And trust me, this isn’t a “disgrace”, no matter how much you try to suggest it is.

  7. Dan 7

    Last week, T Rex did his Tui ad with “John’s not slippery, he’s just sensitive…. yeah right.”
    This week it might be”John Key’s Unauthorised Biography….yeah right.” Why the pretence of reluctance, of subterfuge to get to the heart of this misunderstood man? It is so blatantly untrue that the biography is unauthorised: Key, the National Party, all on the right have all lined up to give photos, interviews, opinions. The right sees it as essential that New Zealanders get to know the man they see as their messiah, so why not simply John Key’s Biography.
    Will the real National policy standup? Unlikely, when even the leader has to put out an unauthorised biography so that any mistakes of fact or well designed spin can be blamed upon the enthusiastic but unauthorised authors.
    Holyoake would turn in his grave.

  8. roger nome 8

    Scibe:

    “So if the press release is the correct version, do you plan to applaud National for maintaining a policy that you feared would disappear under a Tory government?”

    That would be premeture, seeing as we don’t know what “reasonable” means – and National tend to be very crafty legislators.

  9. Matthew Pilott 9

    Scribe, while those responses weren’t ideal, it’s sad that you have to mention two unorthodox Labour responses to questions, implying that Wilkinson’s lack of a response is ok.

    I though Carter’s one was a bit of a laugh when I read it, guess there’s more than one way tomake a point about secret money! However the EB line was overused.

    And Cullen’s – well – you can’t say that he’s ‘on message’ and being stage managed to an embarrassing degree as Key is can you…

    Do you think it’s ok to have two versions of a policy out, and refuse to confirm which is correct? It’s not a minor difference as Steve pointed out.

    In Wilkinson’s defence, she’s probably aking Key what she can or can not say, after learning her lesson last time.

  10. Scribe 10

    MP,

    Do you think it’s ok to have two versions of a policy out…

    It’s not great to have two versions out there, and I don’t expect Steve or others to give National the benefit of the doubt, but I personally find it hard to believe that the PDF version is the correct one and they forgot to delete the phrase “which cannot be unreasonably withheld” from the press release.

    and refuse to confirm which is correct?

    I suspect I will be accused of using semantics here, but I haven’t seen anything to say that National has “refused” to confirm which is correct. That would require them saying that they’re not going to say.

    At some stage, when the full policy is released (something Steve has said will never happen), we will know for sure, if not before then.

    captcha: hard-hitting empty — hee hee

  11. Matthew Pilott 11

    True, Scribe, no such refusal has been received, from what I read on this thread. I think this is symptomatic of a deeper malaise though, and illustrates the problem of leaving everything up to just two MPs. Dysfunctional to say the least.

    I got ‘arrval labourites’! Indeed…

  12. johndoe 12

    While it’s true that even paranoids have enemies, you guys are really reaching for villany here.

  13. infused 13

    As usual.

  14. Julie 14

    I think National have been very careful with how they have worded their policy, to avoid frightening the bigger unions. For many in well unionised workplaces, particularly in the public sector, the Nat policy as it stands may not mean much change, which means they avoid scaring the teachers, the nurses, the doctors, and other professionals who are unionised and not Labour-cradle-to-grave voters through and through.

    I would have thought the benefit of having such a skeletal policy was that there was no equivocation, no fine print that might indicate a different intention from the bits highlighted in sound bites. And yet they’ve managed it!

    By the by I emailed to John Key with a query and it took I think six weeks to get any response, and when I did it was very light on detail (hmmmm, seems to be a pattern here).

  15. rave 15

    Julie, maybe access is not that important for already unionised sites, but non-union collectives certainly are. In Health, Education etc this would undermine the unions ability to fight spending cuts, bulk funding etc.

  16. Julie 16

    rave, I agree with you entirely, sorry if I gave any other impression. I’ve seen first hand the destruction that two unions scrapping over a site can cause, and I imagine it would be far far worse if it was between a genuine workers’ union and a yellow boss’s one. We’d all be so wound up in fighting to survive that other important organising work wouldn’t get a look in, and that would be bad for pay and conditions for sure, not to mention enforcement of rights.

    There may be some in the bigger public sector unions though who will be looking at National’s policy and thinking “well it could be a lot worse and it looks like they are going to get in anyway, so we might as well not burn our bridges.” And then they pull back in the election campaign… I really hope that doesn’t happen, but for those unions who feel comfortable about their high density, and the fact that their membership grew in the 1990s, it might.

    Here’s hoping I’m just being a bit too glass half empty tonight.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Agencies to have powers to secure maritime domain
    A Bill introduced to Parliament today aims to prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including transnational offending and organised crime, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced. “Aotearoa New Zealand will be better placed to keep our maritime environment secure against threats like drugs trafficking, wildlife trafficking and human trafficking with the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    25 mins ago
  • Critical support for New Zealand’s budding researchers
    Fellowships to attract and retain talented researchers in the early stages of their career, have been awarded to 30 New Zealanders, Associate Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “I am pleased to congratulate these researchers, who will be receiving funding through the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Bill to stop taxpayers having to fund oil field decommissions
    The Government is preventing taxpayers picking up the bill for the decommissioning of oil fields, says Energy and Resource Minister Dr Megan Woods.  “After the Crown had to take responsibility for decommissioning the Tui oil field, it became clear to me that the current requirements around decommissioning are inadequate and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand to pause
    New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand will be paused while the source of infection of new cases announced in Sydney is investigated, says COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. There are 10 new community cases of COVID-19 today in New South Wales, taking the Australian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little welcomed Ngāti Rangitihi to Parliament today to witness the first reading of The Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill. “I know it took a lot of hard work, time and patience by all parties involved to reach this significant milestone. I am honoured to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Speech to the Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Conference Aotearoa
    Mihi Tēnā tātou katoa Kei ngā pou o te whare hauora ki Aotearoa, kei te mihi. Tēnā koutou i tā koutou pōwhiri mai i ahau. E mihi ana ki ngā taura tangata e hono ana i a tātou katoa, ko te kaupapa o te rā tērā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Infrastructure Acceleration Fund opening for business
    Criteria to access at least $1 billion of the $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF), announced in March, is now available, and an invitation for expressions of interest will be released on 30 June, Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced.  “This is a key milestone in our plan to accelerate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bringing back the health of Hauraki Gulf
    New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations. The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today, draws on input from mana whenua, local communities, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to AI Forum – Autonomous Weapons Systems
    AI Forum New Zealand, Auckland Good evening and thank you so much for joining me this evening. I’d like to start with a thank you to the AI Forum Executive for getting this event off the ground and for all their work and support to date. The prospect of autonomous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand boosts support to Fiji for COVID-19 impact
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing additional support to Fiji to mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable households, Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Recognising the increasingly challenging situation in Fiji, Aotearoa will provide an additional package of assistance to support the Government of Fiji and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Round 2 of successful energy education fund now open
    $1.65 million available in Support for Energy Education in Communities funding round two Insights from SEEC to inform future energy hardship programmes Community organisations that can deliver energy education to households in need are being invited to apply for the second funding round of the Support for Energy Education in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Ngarimu scholarships to target vocational training
    Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis today announced three new scholarships for students in vocational education and training (VET) are to be added to the suite of prestigious Ngarimu scholarships. “VET learners have less access to study support than university students and this is a way to tautoko their learning dreams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Recognising the volunteers who support our health system
    Nominations have opened today for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, as part of National Volunteer Week. “We know that New Zealanders donate at least 159 million hours of volunteer labour every year,” Minister of Health Andrew Little said in launching this year’s awards in Wellington. “These people play ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Drug Free Sport supported to deal with new doping challenges
    Drug Free Sport New Zealand will receive a funding boost to respond to some of the emerging doping challenges across international sport. The additional $4.3 million over three years comes from the Sport Recovery Fund announced last year. It will help DFSNZ improve athletes’ understanding of the risks of doping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First period products delivered to schools
    The first period products funded as part of the Government’s nationwide rollout are being delivered to schools and kura this week, as part of wider efforts to combat child poverty, help increase school attendance, and make a positive impact on children’s wellbeing. “We know that nearly 95,000 9-to-18 year olds ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago