Workers and Dear John

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, July 28th, 2010 - 35 comments
Categories: class war, john key, Unions, wages - Tags: ,

National is making a total mess of industrial relations. Two different news items yesterday tell the same story. The unions are angry:

PM broke his word to unions says Kelly

A union leader has written a “Dear John” letter to Prime Minister John Key, effectively announcing a divorce between unions and the Government and accusing him of breaking his word.

Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly has criticised Mr Key for leaving the unions out of the labour law reforms he announced last weekend at the party’s national conference. The changes include extending the 90-day trial period to all employers and requiring employer consent for union access to workplaces. …

“You also said you wanted to work with the unions,” she wrote. “And you portrayed yourself as a moderating influence in employment law matters. That has changed.” … Ms Kelly’s letter said the law changes were a “slur” on workers and painted them as “lazy, untrustworthy skivers that are out of control and need to be disciplined”.

The teachers are angry:

Teacher salary negotiations stall

Negotiations between the Ministry of Education and the union representing secondary school teachers have stalled, with the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) walking away from the bargaining table after what it calls 13 fruitless sessions.

“The ministry has had a month since members overwhelmingly rejected its unacceptable offer and it has come back to the table with nothing new – we are not going to waste members’ time and money talking about the same thing over and over,” PPTA president Kate Gainsford said. Ms Gainsford said the ministry appeared to have no will to address teachers’ concerns and continued to undervalue teachers.

That’s an awful lot of angry voters. Nats beware. Nice Mr Key could so quickly become Dear John…

35 comments on “Workers and Dear John ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Action on these industrial matters really needs to become a ‘never ending campaign’, a) to build and maintain union organisation regardless of what government is in office and b) to try and derail substantially the Natz desired changes in workplaces c) to assist in the end of this National government as a bonus, not the ‘holy grail’.
    • non union workers, consumers and communities (parents, patients) have to be included in various ways, confining this to protecting the organised will not be effective.
    • tactics need to be flexible, short sharp stoppages, instant stopwork meetings to discuss matters, working to agreement (a lot of workers have almost literally bent over backwards to assist employers over the last 2 years).
    • creative use of media including budget video clips, product boycotts
    • Anecdotes and a data base of employer abuse be started-thousands of families have workplace stories but for reasons such as Lprent has tabled here they are not being meaningfully recorded
    • The negative effect on our country of downward pressure on wages and physcological damage of management by fear and stress in a time of high unemployment

    • just saying 1.1

      Nailed it.

      Biggest problem (and the perennial one) is how to get the “non’organised” involved.

      This “never ending campaign” has to include equally strong resistance to weakening the provision of social welfare. The attacks on workers and welfare are a two-pronged assault, that will, if successful, significantly weaken the entire working class. That’s almost all of us. The effects would continue to deepen over time. And in IMO these, along with other ‘austerity measures’ will most likely worsen and prolong the recession, and that ’emergency’ will allow the government to take even more draconian actions against us.

      In the meantime, how could we help stop the working class ‘cannibalising’ itself, with the “deserving poor” blaming the “undeserving poor” for their plights, with all the attendant aggression and bigotries that involves? I’ve thought of spending a little bit of time politely giving an alternative view in “talkback-Taliban-land”, not expecting to win anyone over, just getting an opposing voice heard. But frankly, even tuning in for a couple of hours a week would seriously sap my will to live.

      • Bill 1.1.1

        “Biggest problem (and the perennial one) is how to get the “non’organised’ involved.”

        Easy.

        First though, it’s necessary to recognise that the likes of union members are not organised in any meaningful and empowering sense of the word. The union as an organisation utilises union membership to build bargaining power. But the individual union members are more or less spectators to the events that they make possible. Their role is reduced to a yeah or a neigh on various presented conclusions. And that is true of most organisations. A small group within the organisation possesses or has full access to knowledge and resources and they then determine the direction of the organisation and make the decisions with the role of members commonly reduced to that of making choices between predetermined options.

        So the first task is to free members of organisations from the restrictive regime of their organisations. And that is achieved by the simple measure of banning from meetings any representative views or arguments.

        At a traditional meeting (typically under the auspices of a coalition) if there was a Labour politician, a union official, a Green Party member and a person who is not a part of any group or organisation, then what would tend to happen is the following.

        The Labour Party politician, representing their party would enjoy most of the power in any decision making process. The union official and the Green Party member would have less, but a not insignificant amount of power and would have a corresponding amount of influence on any given decision. Meanwhile the individual, who may well be afforded a sympathetic ear,would have no power or influence at all.

        Which as an organisational structure is extremely anti- democratic and contains the seeds of its own destruction. There is a reason that coalitions do not persist through time or beyond single issues. They exist within and encourage zero sum game competitive environments, where each actor strives against the others to achieve access to the power and decision making abilities that reside with the most powerful element of the coalition. And so almost inevitably, disagreements become amplified and eventually lead to splits or expulsions and so on.

        In the second scenario, the Labour MP and the others attend the meeting as individuals. Not as representatives. So immediately the power differentials are levelled; the decision making processes are democratised and individuals equally empowered.

        That the Green Party member or the Labour MP or the union official has access to resources that the individual does not posses…photo copiers say…does not afford those people any more power than anyone else. All it means is that the broader movement might have access to certain resources.

        And because nobody is representing any constituency or organisation, the destructive competition inherent to coalition structures simply isn’t there. There is no Labour Party agenda or Green Party agenda or union agenda. Instead, there are constantly shifting sets of priorities which emerge, change and develop in line with what participants desire and in relation to the changing external political reality.

        This is far too long for a comment.

        I’ll stop now. Suffice to say, if you want the ‘non-organised’ involved, then organisational structures need to be looked at. But apart from that, paste or post a pile of A4 flyers around (churches, community groups, unions, political parties, universities, notice boards, cafes, etc, etc) laying out the basic premise for a nascent movement. Outline the expectations of participants (individuals, not representatives) and set a time and place for an initial meeting.

        Oh. And after you have done that. Lay a strategy for dealing with elements of the authoritarian left who will inevitably attempt to hi-jack proceedings at some point. Typically they bitch about the denial of their democratic rights, meaning their right to determine the agenda; their right to stamp their brand on literature and actions etc; and ultimately, their right to command and control.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          As much as I agree with you Bill there’s one problem with what you postulate. It’s impossible to get that sort of many to many relationship working. We don’t have the time or the resources.

        • just saying 1.1.1.2

          Thanks for taking the time Bill.

          I agree with you in the long term. When our way of life starts to change drastically and we are forced to live simply in non-capitalist oil-free communities, refusing to change our ‘minds’ will no longer be an option. In the meantime people will continue to think in much the same ways they always have, and live in their safe, comforting, fantasy worlds.

          Until then, hiearchical organisational structures, with their power dynamics and traditional leaderhips will IMO continue to “exist” in the minds of individuals; in their assumptions and world views. Without massive external change this will be very hard to shift in most people – it’s how we’ve been socialised.

          A huge amount of harm can and will be done before peak oil, peak water, peak soil etc forces our hands, and this harm will help determine the position the working class will be in to deal with the changes when they come. I guess what I’m saying is until our lives are completely turned around, to a certain extent we have to work with what we’ve got.

          I have taken on board, and thought about incorporating participatory economics into our current means of protest, and I think you are right about how the existing movements of dissent are self-defeating because they can alienate many unaligned individuals who are sympathetic to the causes. But I don’t think we can afford to just stop our current methods of resistance in the hope that better methods will somehow organically replace them.

          At the moment, it may be necessary to increasingly incorporate more democratic, particpatory methods into the current protest movements, I hope that is already starting to happen. And at the same time develop the participatory movements in parallel with them.

          • Bill 1.1.1.2.1

            Both you guys are being way too pessimistic.

            The organisational structure that I partly outlined is readily adopted by most people as a ‘natural’ way of doing things. The only people who attempt to hang on to hierarchical structures are those who are irredeemably wed to parties, organisations or cults with a predetermined agenda and a wont for domination. And that is by no means the majority of people.

            In 2001/02 there was the beginnings of a movement down this way that revolved around the invasion of Afghanistan. It was incredibly vibrant and encompassed a remarkable cross section of people, many of whom would never normally have come together to organise no matter the issue at hand.

            Right from the outset there was a concious decision by the instigators of the whole thing to avoid coalition politics/structures.

            Participation rates grew very fast. A number of different and imaginative actions were successfully undertaken. There was a general feeling of empowerment and inclusion which generated a mass of positive energy and some people were talking of things beyond the immediate issue. It was the beginning of a genuine movement. And I can’t stress this enough…people took to it naturally.

            What killed it was the authoritarian left who set up in competition. I kid you not. They literally set themselves up in opposition and competition. They devoted a lot of time and energy to undermining what was happening and eventually succeeded. So for a short time there was the march and the chant and the rally and the ‘corporatese’ banners and placards. And then nothing.

            The reason the cultists were able to destroy things lay in the fact that people had come to the movement scenario naturally, hadn’t thought through the structures and so couldn’t perceive the threats to the integrity of the movement that the activities and demands of the authoritarian left posed.

            By the time they did, it was too late, and things just faded away and ceased.

            Hopefully, the lesson as been learned and does not need to be learned all over again the next time around.

            edit DtB. Resources abound when meaningful participation is allowed. You’d be amazed at the amount of different and necessary resources that a wide cross section of people can access and muster up.

  2. The opportunity exists to derail Mr Key’s government in a way that he did not expect. ER was a secondary issue when he was elected. Ms Wilkinson, constantly missing in action and lacking any understanding of the portfolio, was a very lowly person in the Cabinet’s pecking order. The promise to do little in the area gave the unions little space to moan and rail. Ineptly, and contingently, Mr Key has allowed the area to become mainstream, and in a way that shows that he lied to the CTU, is wholly in the pocket of employer groups, and cares little for the average working punter. Issues of fairness, respect and trust are now front and centre and will be an important aspect of the debate in the coming election. Labour and the unions have been given a stick to beat Mr Key’s government; the rat will be in how it is applied.

  3. tc 3

    IR was always going to become bigger then they’d like it to be once it was handed to the ineffective lightweight Wilkinson but this is a sympton of this no-talent gov’t……her or tolley/bennett/collins/wong etc ah such quality choices.

    One of her first appearances had Holmes showing her ineptness which’s scary as Holmes is a lightweight. Problem for the Nat’s is this and other portfolios requires some degree of ability to both get the job done (to their backers satisfaction) and make sideshow look all smiley and wavey as they’ve dealt with their issues.

    Then again when you’re led by a banker with dickensian atitudes to the workforce you’re always going to be exposed as the luddites you are.

    • prism 3.1

      Hey don’t give the ladies all the credit when assessing the low talent of the government tc – what about Healey, Brownlee,Key, Joyce, Ryall, English to name a few of the other Great Idols in the running for in-fame.

  4. loota 4

    Tiger, unions also need to push for changes in the way businesses are managed and the way that Govt encourages home grown NZ skills and home grown NZ business.

    NZ’ers must see that unions are at the forefront of economic thinking, champions of productivity, technology and innovation, and not simply seeking a return to the widespread industrial disruptions of the 1970’s and 1980’s without new solutions.

    Basically the NATs next tactic will to position unions as being the enemies of business, productivity and profits, when in fact unions often lead the way in helping NZ business owners achieve each of these things.

    And then of course, ensuring that the union membership -and all workers- get a fair share of the benefits from that joint success.

  5. Firsttimereader 5

    Oh yeah because union leaders so voted for John Key last time and he can’t afford to annoy them. Just like the only reason Phil Goff will lose the election next time is the business roundtable thinks his policies are stupid.

    • I can assure you that Union leaders did not vote for Key last time.

      Key managed to suck in the moderates amongst us. Remember the talk of being “labour lite”, how we would keep everything that Labour had done but also get a tax cut? How there was to be no “scaring of the horses”?

      Well only the wealthy got the tax cuts and the rest of the population has watched as their rights have been slowly whittled away bit by bit.

      And the day that Phil Goff has to rely on the Business Roundtable approving Labour’s policies to be elected is the day that we can kiss our way of life goodbye.

      • Firsttimereader 5.1.1

        That was called irony ms. I do remember last time laboru and unions said key was the devil and all hell would break loose if he became pm, and now he’s more popular than anybody since polling began. So yeah you union buggers don’t have much credibility in predicting what the public will think. Key doesn’t need union leaders supporting him. The public are sick of unions holding the government to ransom. If they want a fight they’ll have one, and lose. If they lose then their members will start to think what the point is of having unions represent them who go on strike and achieve nothing.

        • prism 5.1.1.1

          ftreader Hey some good cliches here ‘unions holding the government to ransom’ etc. Now do some more reading.

          There are power blocs (farming, big business, particularly the liquor industry – the legal drug industry) that can influence government and there is a need to lobby (unions and social welfare organisations) for any other groups that will never be the favourite flavour of the month. To some people any concessions to those lobbyists is too much, hence ‘they are holding the country to ransom’.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        And the day that Phil Goff has to rely on the Business Roundtable approving Labour’s policies to be elected is the day that we can kiss our way of life goodbye.

        Already happened. The 4th Labour government was fully supported by the Business Roundtable.

    • Craig Glen Eden 5.2

      The point is Firsttimereader Key has bought a battle that he didn’t have to have with a group of people who can organise against him. If he had left well alone he would have no problem. Who is he helping? Not many good employers are going to champion this cause, all this policy does is to allow bad employers to escape adopting good practice. This intern means that companies who are competing with them in the market place and who are behaving well towards workers are to some degree penalised. While I accept that this is only short term because treating people well pays of in long term productivity it does mean the Nats are assisting bad employers to be bad employers.

      What needs to happen is any employer that uses these 90 day prevision needs to be identified and that companies services or products boycotted.

      I spoke to a guy last night who I would never have thought would stand against this new provision. I have known this guy for 25 years he would be considered to be a Pentecostal Christian type. He told me that he was at the march and how impressed he was with the speakers and the spread of people their. I asked him how come he went he said the law was terrible it was unfair and made vulnerable people more vulnerable and that he had received a notice via his email I think, from the Union he then said he contacted as many people as he could given the short notice. I can tell you I just about fell over after he told me this. The other thing he said was that the media’s painting them as rent a mob was not true and that there was all sorts of people there from all walks of life.
      So the campaign needs to start because this is going to grow legs I think, much to my surprise.

      • loota 5.2.1

        The last time large scale demonstrations like this were organised, in the early 90’s, there was no such thing as Facebook and only a few people were on email. Today a notice of a protest can go out and 50,000 people can receive it inside of 5 seconds.

        Frakin’ awesome.

  6. jbanks 6

    National will be a bit concerned about the growing annoyance of teacher. But unions? C’mon. Unions is still a word people outside of the public sector don’t want to be associated with.

  7. Maggie 7

    I have never been able to follow why conservatives had unions so much. They don’t hate the Law Society, Federated Farmers or Manufacturers’ Associations, why do unions get them all lathered up?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Because unions represent the people who conservatives think they own.

  8. Helen Kelly 8

    The full letter to John Key can be found here http://union.org.nz/sites/union/files/John%20Key%20letter%2021%20July%202010.pdf

    It provides more detail of how these changes will impact on working people and what the changes represent in terms of how the Government views workers. We are concerned about the process – but the substance will drive down wages and conditions in this country in the same way the Employment Contracts Act did -that is the real issue here. Join us 21 August for rallies to oppose these changes – more details coming soon.

    • r0b 8.1

      Thanks for that Helen – and all the best for the fight ahead.

      • Jenny 8.1.1

        Here, Here.
        And let’s see lots of Labour Party banners this time. And Labour Party MPs who can get up and speak at the rallys to show their support. This could enliven the stay at home vote.

        The electoral spin offs could be enormous.

  9. tc 9

    Good point prism however I do find it fascinating the Nat’s appear to be balancing up the male duds with female ones who are desperate to claw their way up the Nats greasy pole …collins/bennett are classics in this respect. Tolley/Wong/Wilkinson just appear thick as.

  10. Bella 10

    Thank you Helen – I look forward to hearing about the upcoming rallies. It may be that we now have to take to the streets more to protect our rights in the workplace. I believe a strong show now is very important. We never want to let John Key state that he has a mandate for wrecking the remains of the union movement in NZ.

  11. Fisiani 11

    Does anyone really actually care what union officials think? They never ever vote National but many of their members do and will continue to do so. The sky will not fall in in the next year with the 90 day right to prove yourself being, I predict, successful in over 90% of cases.
    Teachers, irrespective of their ability to do the job, will continue to have a secure well paying job with great holidays and enjoy a realistic pay rise.

    • Tiger Mountain 11.1

      “Teachers, irrespective of their ability to do the job, will continue to have a secure well paying job with great holidays and enjoy a realistic pay rise.’

      So Fizz you’ve now added the ability to predict the future to your previous repertoire of casual slander and mis-placed condescension.

  12. Olwyn 12

    This can be understood as a sop to productive businesses at the workers expense, along the lines of, “We can’t protect you from the vicissitudes of currency-trading, but we can give you premission to you kick your workers, and to chase the unions off your premises.”

  13. prism 13

    tc I was listening to an interview with Marilyn Waring by Laidlaw on Sunday, I think. She decided cool-headedly to enter politics with National as she had a better chance to win the local National seat. Eventually Muldoon felt forced by her into calling an election because his tight-right hold on power was weakened by her independent thinking, particularly if she chose to vote against him in a no confidence vote.

    It’s better for NACT to have compliant women who don’t have many ideals which would conflict with the thrust of NACTs self-serving policies. Women pollies who follow the classist materialist line wanted are the right choice for them.

  14. Gosman 14

    “That’s an awful lot of angry voters. ”

    Ummmmm…. voters who on the whole generally vote for left leaning parties.

    Why should John Key worry about alienatinf people who wouldn’t normally vote for his political party anyway?

    • Pascal's bookie 14.1

      Because a lot of them stayed home in 08.

      And a fair few people that ‘generally vote for left leaning parties’ voted for ‘Labour plus tax cutz north of fifty dollars a week’.

      • Gosman 14.1.1

        Well if they want bigger tax cuts that can be arranged. We just have to cut more government spending.

        • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1

          We just have to cut more government spending.

          But they don’t want that. Or at least, if you try and cut spending in the big areas enough to give a decent tax cut, umm. never mind, pollies always seem to chicken out. Wonder why? Oh yeah. The punters like their services more than they hate their tax cutz.

          Hence, and is why:

          Cut taxes—> budget blowout—> servce cuts —-> Fuckn yuck—-> opposition sez ‘let’s tax the rich pricks’ —> storms into power and starts rebuilding the decayed services that people like.

          Rinse:Repeat.

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    In the ever-evolving world of technology, server-based computing has emerged as a cornerstone of modern digital infrastructure. This article delves into the concept of server-based computing, exploring its various forms, benefits, challenges, and its impact on the way we work and interact with technology. Understanding Server-Based Computing: At its core, ...
    18 hours ago
  • Vroom vroom go the big red trucks
    The absolute brass neck of this guy.We want more medical doctors, not more spin doctors, Luxon was saying a couple of weeks ago, and now we’re told the guy has seven salaried adults on TikTok duty. Sorry, doing social media. The absolute brass neck of it. The irony that the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    18 hours ago
  • Jones finds $410,000 to help the government muscle in on a spat project
    Buzz from the Beehive Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones relishes spatting and eagerly takes issue with environmentalists who criticise his enthusiasm for resource development. He relishes helping the fishing industry too. And so today, while the media are making much of the latest culling in the public service to ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    19 hours ago
  • Again, hate crimes are not necessarily terrorism.
    Having written, taught and worked for the US government on issues involving unconventional warfare and terrorism for 30-odd years, two things irritate me the most when the subject is discussed in public. The first is the Johnny-come-lately academics-turned-media commentators who … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    22 hours ago
  • Despair – construction consenting edition
    Eric Crampton writes – Kainga Ora is the government’s house building agency. It’s been building a lot of social housing. Kainga Ora has its own (but independent) consenting authority, Consentium. It’s a neat idea. Rather than have to deal with building consents across each different territorial authority, Kainga Ora ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    22 hours ago
  • Coalition promises – will the Govt keep the commitment to keep Kiwis equal before the law?
    Muriel Newman writes – The Coalition Government says it is moving with speed to deliver campaign promises and reverse the damage done by Labour. One of their key commitments is to “defend the principle that New Zealanders are equal before the law.” To achieve this, they have pledged they “will not advance ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    22 hours ago
  • An impermanent public service is a guarantee of very little else but failure
    Chris Trotter writes –  The absence of anything resembling a fightback from the public servants currently losing their jobs is interesting. State-sector workers’ collective fatalism in the face of Coalition cutbacks indicates a surprisingly broad acceptance of impermanence in the workplace. Fifty years ago, lay-offs in the thousands ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    23 hours ago
  • What happens after the war – Mariupol
    Mariupol, on the Azov Sea coast, was one of the first cities to suffer almost complete destruction after the start of the Ukraine War started in late February 2022. We remember the scenes of absolute destruction of the houses and city structures. The deaths of innocent civilians – many of ...
    24 hours ago
  • Babies and benefits – no good news
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – Ten years ago, I wrote the following in a Listener column: Every year around one in five new-born babies will be reliant on their caregivers benefit by Christmas. This pattern has persisted from at least 1993. For Maori the number jumps to over one in three.  ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • Should the RBNZ be looking through climate inflation?
    Climate change is expected to generate more and more extreme events, delivering a sort of structural shock to inflation that central banks will have to react to as if they were short-term cyclical issues. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāMy pick of the six newsey things to know from Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix of the news links
    The top six news links I’ve seen elsewhere in the last 24 hours, as of 9:16 am on Thursday, April 18 are:Housing: Tauranga residents living in boats, vans RNZ Checkpoint Louise TernouthHousing: Waikato councillor says wastewater plant issues could hold up Sleepyhead building a massive company town Waikato Times Stephen ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the public sector carnage, and misogyny as terrorism
    It’s a simple deal. We pay taxes in order to finance the social services we want and need. The carnage now occurring across the public sector though, is breaking that contract. Over 3,000 jobs have been lost so far. Many are in crucial areas like Education where the impact of ...
    1 day ago
  • Meeting the Master Baiters
    Hi,A friend had their 40th over the weekend and decided to theme it after Curb Your Enthusiasm fashion icon Susie Greene. Captured in my tiny kitchen before I left the house, I ending up evoking a mix of old lesbian and Hillary Clinton — both unintentional.Me vs Hillary ClintonIf you’re ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • How extreme was the Earth's temperature in 2023
    This is a re-post from Andrew Dessler at the Climate Brink blog In 2023, the Earth reached temperature levels unprecedented in modern times. Given that, it’s reasonable to ask: What’s going on? There’s been lots of discussions by scientists about whether this is just the normal progression of global warming or if something ...
    1 day ago
  • Backbone, revisited
    The schools are on holiday and the sun is shining in the seaside village and all day long I have been seeing bunches of bikes; Mums, Dads, teens and toddlers chattering, laughing, happy, having a bloody great time together. Cheers, AT, for the bits of lane you’ve added lately around the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Ministers are not above the law
    Today in our National-led authoritarian nightmare: Shane Jones thinks Ministers should be above the law: New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is accusing the Waitangi Tribunal of over-stepping its mandate by subpoenaing a minister for its urgent hearing on the Oranga Tamariki claim. The tribunal is looking into the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What’s the outfit you can hear going down the gurgler? Probably it’s David Parker’s Oceans Sec...
    Buzz from the Beehive Point  of Order first heard of the Oceans Secretariat in June 2021, when David Parker (remember him?) announced a multi-agency approach to protecting New Zealand’s marine ecosystems and fisheries. Parker (holding the Environment, and Oceans and Fisheries portfolios) broke the news at the annual Forest & ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Will politicians let democracy die in the darkness?
    Bryce Edwards writes  – Politicians across the political spectrum are implicated in the New Zealand media’s failing health. Either through neglect or incompetent interventions, successive governments have failed to regulate, foster, and allow a healthy Fourth Estate that can adequately hold politicians and the powerful to account. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Matt Doocey doubles down on trans “healthcare”
    Citizen Science writes –  Last week saw two significant developments in the debate over the treatment of trans-identifying children and young people – the release in Britain of the final report of Dr Hilary Cass’s review into gender healthcare, and here in New Zealand, the news that the ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • A TikTok Prime Minister.
    One night while sleeping in my bed I had a beautiful dreamThat all the people of the world got together on the same wavelengthAnd began helping one anotherNow in this dream, universal love was the theme of the dayPeace and understanding and it happened this wayAfter such an eventful day ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Texas Lessons
    This is a guest post by Oscar Simms who is a housing activist, volunteer for the Coalition for More Homes, and was the Labour Party candidate for Auckland Central at the last election. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix of the news links at 6:06 am
    The top six news links I’ve seen elsewhere in the last 24 hours as of 6:06 am on Wednesday, April 17 are:Must read: Secrecy shrouds which projects might be fast-tracked RNZ Farah HancockScoop: Revealed: Luxon has seven staffers working on social media content - partly paid for by taxpayer Newshub ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Fighting poverty on the holiday highway
    Turning what Labour called the “holiday highway” into a four-lane expressway from Auckland to Whangarei could bring at least an economic benefit of nearly two billion a year for Northland each year. And it could help bring an end to poverty in one of New Zealand’s most deprived regions. The ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's six-stack of substacks at 6:26 pm
    Tonight’s six-stack includes: launching his substack with a bunch of his previous documentaries, including this 1992 interview with Dame Whina Cooper. and here crew give climate activists plenty to do, including this call to submit against the Fast Track Approvals bill. writes brilliantly here on his substack ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Is the science settled?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Apposite Quotations.
    How Long Is Long Enough? Gaza under Israeli bombardment, July 2014. This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • What’s a life worth now?
    You're in the mall when you hear it: some kind of popping sound in the distance, kids with fireworks, maybe. But then a moment of eerie stillness is followed by more of the fireworks sound and there’s also screaming and shrieking and now here come people running for their lives.Does ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Howling at the Moon
    Karl du Fresne writes –  There’s a crisis in the news media and the media are blaming it on everyone except themselves. Culpability is being deflected elsewhere – mainly to the hapless Minister of Communications, Melissa Lee, and the big social media platforms that are accused of hoovering ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Newshub is Dead.
    I don’t normally send out two newsletters in a day but I figured I’d say something about… the news. If two newsletters is a bit much then maybe just skip one, I don’t want to overload people. Alternatively if you’d be interested in sometimes receiving multiple, smaller updates from me, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Seymour is chuffed about cutting early-learning red tape – but we hear, too, that Jones has loose...
    Buzz from the Beehive David Seymour and Winston Peters today signalled that at least two ministers of the Crown might be in Wellington today. Seymour (as Associate Minister of Education) announced the removal of more red tape, this time to make it easier for new early learning services to be ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Will politicians let democracy die in the darkness?
    Politicians across the political spectrum are implicated in the New Zealand media’s failing health. Either through neglect or incompetent interventions, successive governments have failed to regulate, foster, and allow a healthy Fourth Estate that can adequately hold politicians and the powerful to account. Our political system is suffering from the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Was Hawkesby entirely wrong?
    David Farrar  writes –  The Broadcasting Standards Authority ruled: Comments by radio host Kate Hawkesby suggesting Māori and Pacific patients were being prioritised for surgery due to their ethnicity were misleading and discriminatory, the Broadcasting Standards Authority has found. It is a fact such patients are prioritised. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • PRC shadow looms as the Solomons head for election
    PRC and its proxies in Solomons have been preparing for these elections for a long time. A lot of money, effort and intelligence have gone into ensuring an outcome that won’t compromise Beijing’s plans. Cleo Paskall writes – On April 17th the Solomon Islands, a country of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Criminal ecocide
    We are in the middle of a climate crisis. Last year was (again) the hottest year on record. NOAA has just announced another global coral bleaching event. Floods are threatening UK food security. So naturally, Shane Jones wants to make it easier to mine coal: Resources Minister Shane Jones ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Is saving one minute of a politician's time worth nearly $1 billion?
    Is speeding up the trip to and from Wellington airport by 12 minutes worth spending up more than $10 billion? Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items that stood out to me in the last day to 8:26 am today are:The Lead: Transport Minister Simeon Brown announced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Long Tunnel or Long Con?
    Yesterday it was revealed that Transport Minister had asked Waka Kotahi to look at the options for a long tunnel through Wellington. State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the ...
    3 days ago
  • Smoke And Mirrors.
    You're a fraud, and you know itBut it's too good to throw it all awayAnyone would do the sameYou've got 'em goingAnd you're careful not to show itSometimes you even fool yourself a bitIt's like magicBut it's always been a smoke and mirrors gameAnyone would do the sameForty six billion ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • What is Mexico doing about climate change?
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The June general election in Mexico could mark a turning point in ensuring that the country’s climate policies better reflect the desire of its citizens to address the climate crisis, with both leading presidential candidates expressing support for renewable energy. Mexico is the ...
    3 days ago
  • State of humanity, 2024
    2024, it feels, keeps presenting us with ever more challenges, ever more dismay.Do you give up yet? It seems to ask.No? How about this? Or this?How about this?When I say 2024 I really mean the state of humanity in 2024.Saturday night, we watched Civil War because that is one terrifying cliff we've ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s Wellington tunnel vision aims to ease the way to the airport (but zealous promoters of cycl...
    Buzz from the Beehive A pet project and governmental tunnel vision jump out from the latest batch of ministerial announcements. The government is keen to assure us of its concern for the wellbeing of our pets. It will be introducing pet bonds in a change to the Residential Tenancies Act ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • The case for cultural connectedness
    A recent report generated from a Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) survey of 1,224 rangatahi Māori aged 11-12 found: Cultural connectedness was associated with fewer depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms and better quality of life. That sounds cut and dry. But further into the report the following appears: Cultural connectedness is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Useful context on public sector job cuts
    David Farrar writes –    The Herald reports: From the gory details of job-cuts news, you’d think the public service was being eviscerated.   While the media’s view of the cuts is incomplete, it’s also true that departments have been leaking the particulars faster than a Wellington ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On When Racism Comes Disguised As Anti-racism
    Remember the good old days, back when New Zealand had a PM who could think and speak calmly and intelligently in whole sentences without blustering? Even while Iran’s drones and missiles were still being launched, Helen Clark was live on TVNZ expertly summing up the latest crisis in the Middle ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt ignored economic analysis of smokefree reversal
    Costello did not pass on analysis of the benefits of the smokefree reforms to Cabinet, emphasising instead the extra tax revenues of repealing them. Photo: Hagen Hopkins, Getty Images TL;DR: The six news items that stood out to me at 7:26 am today are:The Lead: Casey Costello never passed on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • True Blue.
    True loveYou're the one I'm dreaming ofYour heart fits me like a gloveAnd I'm gonna be true blueBaby, I love youI’ve written about the job cuts in our news media last week. The impact on individuals, and the loss to Aotearoa of voices covering our news from different angles.That by ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Who is running New Zealand’s foreign policy?
    While commentators, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark, are noting a subtle shift in New Zealand’s foreign policy, which now places more emphasis on the United States, many have missed a key element of the shift. What National said before the election is not what the government is doing now. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #15
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, April 7, 2024 thru Sat, April 13, 2024. Story of the week Our story of the week is about adults in the room setting terms and conditions of ...
    5 days ago
  • Feline Friends and Fragile Fauna The Complexities of Cats in New Zealand’s Conservation Efforts

    Cats, with their independent spirit and beguiling purrs, have captured the hearts of humans for millennia. In New Zealand, felines are no exception, boasting the highest national cat ownership rate globally [definition cat nz cat foundation]. An estimated 1.134 million pet cats grace Kiwi households, compared to 683,000 dogs ...

    5 days ago
  • Or is that just they want us to think?
    Nice guy, that Peter Williams. Amiable, a calm air of no-nonsense capability, a winning smile. Everything you look for in a TV presenter and newsreader.I used to see him sometimes when I went to TVNZ to be a talking head or a panellist and we would yarn. Nice guy, that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Did global warming stop in 1998?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from our Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Did global warming stop in ...
    6 days ago
  • Arguing over a moot point.
    I have been following recent debates in the corporate and social media about whether it is a good idea for NZ to join what is known as “AUKUS Pillar Two.” AUKUS is the Australian-UK-US nuclear submarine building agreement in which … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • No Longer Trusted: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Turning Point: What has turned me away from the mainstream news media is the very strong message that its been sending out for the last few years.” “And what message might that be?” “That the people who own it, the people who run it, and the people who provide its content, really don’t ...
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates at 10% anyone?
    No – nothing about that in PM Luxon’s nine-point plan to improve the lives of New Zealanders. But beyond our shores Jamie Dimon, the long-serving head of global bank J.P. Morgan Chase, reckons that the chances of a goldilocks soft landing for the economy are “a lot lower” than the ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Sad tales from the left
    Michael Bassett writes –  Have you noticed the odd way in which the media are handling the government’s crackdown on surplus employees in the Public Service? Very few reporters mention the crazy way in which State Service numbers rocketed ahead by more than 16,000 during Labour’s six years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • In Whose Best Interests?
    On The Spot: The question Q+A host, Jack Tame, put to the Workplace & Safety Minister, Act’s Brooke van Velden, was disarmingly simple: “Are income tax cuts right now in the best interests of lowering inflation?”JACK TAME has tested another MP on his Sunday morning current affairs show, Q+A. Minister for Workplace ...
    6 days ago
  • Don’t Question, Don’t Complain.
    It has to start somewhereIt has to start sometimeWhat better place than here?What better time than now?So it turns out that I owe you all an apology.It seems that all of the terrible things this government is doing, impacting the lives of many, aren’t necessarily ‘bad’ per se. Those things ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago

  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    50 mins ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
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