Workers stand up for their rights, Nats still evasive

Written By: - Date published: 4:04 pm, August 1st, 2008 - 48 comments
Categories: national, wages, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The EPMU launched its ‘Work Rights Wage Drive’ today with a rally in Christchurch. Despite the rain, over 1500 Kiwi workers turned out to stand up for their work rights and wages. This is just the first of 25 rallies the EPMU will be undertaking this month, in what will easily be the biggest series of public demonstrations in years.

In conjunction with the Wage Drive, the EPMU has launched its Work Rights Checklist, a point by point account of what parties need to include in their work rights policies if they are to make Kiwis more secure in their work and help boost wages. It’s a substantive yet accessible document, condensing a lot of info into two pages. Well worth a read and a comparison with National’s workplace policy.

Speaking of which, Ben Thomas of NBR has followed up on the ambiguity in National’s policy over union access – in the press release, National seemed to say unions would remain able to access work-sites unless there was good reason to deny them; in the policy paper, it said access would be at employers’ discretion. It’s a pretty important issue, without site access unions are severely weakened.

Kate Wilkinson, National’s Labour spokesperson who hasn’t yet delivered a speech or press conference on her party’s policy, told Thomas that ‘she ‘doesn’t envisage’ that the actual wording of the provisions of the act around union access will be changed.’ From which, I think it’s safe to say, all we can conclude is that National’s wannabe Minister of Labour is completely out of the loop on National’s work rights policy.

The Nats may not have a clue but it is clear from the Christchurch rally that Kiwi workers know what they want: stronger work rights, leading to higher wages.

48 comments on “Workers stand up for their rights, Nats still evasive”

  1. 1500 people turned up?

    Ya having a laugh?

    It doesn’t help your cause, when you make up a figure.

  2. 1500 ? Don’t you mean 15 ! Your photo has blue sky in it. Where is the blue sky in Christchurch? Liars.

    [lprent: It is a stock photo of a union rally. It has been used many times before in this site. It is a ‘type’ graphic, like my dolphin. ]

  3. Patrick 3

    Were either of you there?

  4. Daveo 4

    Brett, D4J – pathetic.

    From Fairfax’s BusinessDay.co.nz:

    “About 1,500 unionists attended the first of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union’s planned 25 Work Rights Wage Drive rallies in Christchurch today.”

    http://www.businessday.co.nz/industries/4639899

  5. Daveo 5

    Patrick – of course they weren’t. Some of my mates from the Servos were though and they reckoned well over 1000, if that figure’s being backed by the tory press I’m inclined to believe them.

    (Unless of course anyone has a reason why I should take the word of Brett Dale and Dad4Justice instead.)

  6. DaveCo; Ok, you got me on the numbers, but that photo wasn’t taken in Christchurch today.

    Edit – just read Iprent’s interpretation of the photo. Comment retracted and I’m a Union Man and say what I f##king well think !!

  7. Do you know how they get rallies for these numbers?

    Well its basically a guessing game, Normally its done by someone in the media asking the police who are there how many people have turned up and of course the people leading the rally asks the police to up the number.

    Heck i remember when that no talent girl band, “Bardot”, did a free concert in catherdal square several years ago, the so called media, said 10 thousand people turned up, when in fact there would be about 500 people.

    By the way are there any actual shots from todays rally?

  8. Daveo 8

    Brett, stop embarrassing yourself.

  9. Ben R 9

    “Brett, stop embarrassing yourself.”

    Hey, it’s Friday. Be nice. Also, he’s totally correct. Bardot did suck.

  10. Felix 10

    So Brett, did you, enjoy, the Bardot, concert?

    btw who are the “the so called media”?

  11. Daveo: thats a solid argument.

    Seriously about a couple of weeks ago, there was an item on the web about how crowds figures get boosted by the media. They used a series of Central park concerts, saying that the media always asked the police, how many people turned up, and the police would go back to the promoters, who would basically tell the police, “Just give them a higher number than the previous concert.

    Thus concerts by sting, Bon Jovi got boosted by some fuzzy math.

    Although when Paul Simon filled out the whole North Meadow, and Garth Brooks did the same in 1997, the estimates for those concerts were probably on the money.

    But Take a look at the old days here, they use to say, 60-70 thousand people use to cram into Lancaster park (AMI stadium) ,their wasn’t even a stand there back then!!!)

    The liberal media just give a huge number, because they know people will think they are part of something special, if they think a lot of people were there.

    Please provide photographic evidence of this march.

  12. Actually I was trying to get home from work (you know something that us big bad right wingers do) I wasn’t listening to that girly band.

    The so called media is the NZ media in general, just turn on the news at night or listen to the radio, its a sad indictment on Journalism in this country, no matter what part of the media we are talking about, Political, sports, music, we must have the worst in the world, because they never report the stats or hard data or the science, they just prey on peoples feeling.

    That lady who didnt pay her power bill, that scum who the tried to murder the policeman with a baseball bat, how certain achievements by kiwis never get coverage.

    How media is the lowest of the low, and Marion Hobbs cannot wash her hands of this.

  13. Daveo 13

    Brett – Sometimes crowd figures get boosted by media but in my experience it’s usually the opposite with union rallies. I’ve never been to a union rally that didn’t have its turnout grossly underreported. On the reports I’ve heard 1500 seems pretty accurate, and you’ve offered nothing to suggest it isn’t.

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    Brett, if you’re really concerned, here’s what you do. Take the number given, and provide whatever formula you see fit to find the real number. Here, you’ll notice it all breaks down when comparing these rallies to the EFB rallies, because some numbers just ain’t divisible.

    What are you worried about? That people care about work rights? That quite a few do? They have good reason to, you know…

    If you think every rally number is doubled then you can keep that number in your head – but is will be proportional to any other rally, and not really mean a damn in the end!

  15. If there is photos of the rally or video footage, then I could tell you, but until I see some still pics or footage, I would take any crowd number with a grain of salt.

  16. Sarah 16

    This blog is so over-the-top and blatantly anti-national that no one (apart from your occasional estranged worker) can actually take it seriously. You have no sort of evidence that details that National intends to hurt workers’ rights, yet you still come to conclusions like “the Nats don’t have a clue.”

    Even if National was to release a good policy from your perspective, you would still pull it down, find something else inane to complain and wine over, before coming to another drawn out, fraudulent and biased conclusion.

    Where is the fair and balanced within that?

    [lprent: You appear to think that we should be fair and balanced? Why? We aren’t a news site, we are a commentary site. Please read our About to find out what our likely viewpoints are going to be. ]

  17. Quoth the Raven 17

    MP – What is Brett worried about? The workers of course members of the lower classes should not be allowed to freely associate with one another only the bosses are allowed to do that.

  18. Benodic 18

    Sarah if you’re a regular reader then you’ll have seen the series of posts on National’s history on wages and on how National’s policies will impact negatively on workers.

    “I think you say bad things about National and I like National so I don’t like you” isn’t an argument, it’s a signal to the rest of us you’re a partisan hack.

  19. outofbed 19

    “Even if National was to release a good policy from your perspective,?
    what like keeping
    WFF,
    KIWISAVER,
    KIWIRAIL,
    KIWIBANK,
    FREE EARLY CHILDHOOD,
    ANTI NUCLEAR,
    NO AIRFORCE STRIKE FORCE,
    INTEREST FREE STUDENTS LOANS,
    CAPPING GP FEES
    KYOTO
    NOT INVADING RANDOM MIDDLE EAST COUNTRIES ?
    NOT SELLING STATE OWN ENTERPRISES
    (there are probably more)
    I think a lot of people on this site would agree with many of these policy releases I say good on them

  20. Anita 20

    outofbed,

    I must’ve missed it – what’s National’s policy on GP fees?

  21. randal 21

    $2,500,000 if we are going to buy a nuclear aircraft carrier and a coouple of squadrons of the new tfx navy fighter and other support aircraft and personnel….yahooooo

  22. Scribe 22

    Despite the rain, over 1500 Kiwi workers turned out to stand up for their work rights and wages. This is just the first of 25 rallies the EPMU will be undertaking this month, in what will easily be the biggest series of public demonstrations in years.

    That’s an impressive turnout. Were these people who happened to have the day off work? Or did they leave work to participate in the rally?

  23. Felix 23

    Brett,

    I was just kidding about Bardot 😉

    Btw I agree with just about everything you wrote about the media in NZ – and of course it’s not just in NZ either. News that’s carefully packaged to appeal to our emotions (and not usually our higher ones) does no-one any good in my opinion.

    Most of our “news” has all the integrity of the average gossip mag. Maybe less actually – at least gossip mags don’t pretend to be serious news filters.

  24. outofbed 24

    They wemt back on the policy after thier disasterrous health policy release when it was found out that they were going to remove the cap on gp fees
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0709/S00531.htm

  25. Felix 25

    oob / Anita: I missed that one too. It’s not even surprising any more though.

  26. Anita 27

    Hm… so from those two links it seems that National has agreed to keep a capping mechanism, but not to maintain the same level of subsidy. So they could still remove the fee subsidies for adults, the elderly or children.

    Also no commitment to the current higher prescription subsidy.

    One of the most visible Labour initiated changes for me has been the massive reduction in health costs – GP visits for me are less than half the old cost, prescription items only 20% of the old cost.

    To be honest the Health policy has been one of the National ones I’ve been really waiting for – I’m expecting quite a lot of change.

  27. Felix 28

    Well don’t expect much change back when you pay your doctor’s bill under National!

    Thanks you’re a great crowd, I’ll be here all week…

  28. Sarah 29

    Do you not realise that John Key presents a different national party to the national parties of the past and that his policies don’t necessarily reflect the policies of national in the past? I think you will that is an argumentative fallacy. The only way you can suggest his policies are the same is if you find evidence within his policies that are similar to policies of the past. I think you will find many policies take on a different tact to what other National Party’s have put forward in the past.

    At the same time, John Key’s committment for tax cuts should be pleasing to most workers in the community as it will give them the monetary aid necessary to get ahead and work for themselves.

    Calling me a “partisan hack” is not only rude and insensitive but also cruel and demeaning. Benodic, considering I am not even right wing (more centralist to be exact) I have no allegiances to the national party whatsoever. I actually consider John Key to be a sleaze, indecisive and a liar. But I still think each policy should be judged on it’s credentials, which does not make me a “partisan hack” as you like to say, rather an intelligent and reasonable individual.

    And to your comment that this blog is a commentary, I still believe that even a commentary should come to conclusions that are reasonable to the evidence that is given. This particular post does not achieve this, and as a well-thought-about Progressive member, I would consider future blogs to take this into account.

  29. Pascal's bookie 31

    Sarah. You seem nice. Very reasonable. Not like a troll. I’m sure your concern about the writing style of the post is genuine.

    Why should I take Key at face value though? You yourself consider him to be a sleazy indecisive liar, so that would count to me as a point against accepting his assurances at face value. No?

    Seems like not that long ago, he was saying that many of the policies he now endorses, were communism by stealth. That’s quite a turnaround don’t you think? Or has he converted to communism per chance? In any case he hasn’t really explained his change of heart. And if the National party has converted to communism, I think Key owes it to the people to let us know. A lot of people don’t like communism Sarah, and would feel aggrieved should they unwittingly vote for the new communist version of the National Party.

    He may not be a communist though, perhaps when he was calling all those things communism by stealth, he was confused and meant Centralism. Whatever that may be. Or Australia. Or something. It’s hard to tell, because like you say he’s such a sleazy lying jellyfish.

    I also seem to recall that one of the old “National Parties” that was not led by the ‘centralist’ Mr Key, was led by a Don Brash. A gentleman many felt was an actual right winger, as these things are determined. Funny thing is that this actual right wing National party that existed, oh like, ages ago, had pretty much all of the same people in it that this current fuzzy puppy centralist (possibly communist) one does. It’s all very strange. But it get’s weirder Sarah.

    The right wing Don Brash, who I’m sure you disliked what with you being a centralist and all, picked John Key to be his Finance Spokesman! Like I said, weird! What was he thinking? I mean Finance is a pretty important gig. Especially for right wingers of the Brashist faction. And he picked Key who is a total centralist type apparently (though we should not forget he also stands accused of being a lying sleaze artist, and by his own admission may have possible communist leanings.)

    It’s almost like we are not getting the full picture with all of this highly detailed policy that the new National party, is feeding us.

    Why, I can’t hardly throw my piss pot out of the window without it hitting in the face some earnest young National party staffer with a wheel barrow full of solidly reasoned policy detail.

    Actually no, that’s not right is it? They are bloody miserly with policy. Even their spokespeople don’t get to see them.

    So, why on earth would you object to people engaging in a bit of speculation about what the National party is up to?

    And what evidence do you have to convince me that I should just accept all things at face value? That sounds like a stupid plan to me. No offence.

    All of a sudden the criticisms that are turning up are of the “why did you write this post in that way, if you’d written it another why, I may have liked it more” variety.

    I just don’t get why someone would bother saying that.

    ‘night all.

  30. Felix 32

    Hi Sarah, welcome to the internet.

    All of National’s policy releases have been dissected, scrutinized, and surgically examined in minute detail by the posters and commentors here. Perhaps you might like to have a browse through the archives and get some grasp of what’s already been discussed?

    Well said Sarah.

    Probably not a good portent…

  31. Razorlight 33

    I agree Sarah.

    Key is not Bolger. His National party is not the party of the 90’s. Is that so difficult to understand.

  32. Felix 34

    Except for English, Brownlee, McCully, Smith, the other Smith, Ryall, Carter, Roy, Williamson, Simich, Mapp… I’m sure there are more but gee, that’s just about the whole front bench already isn’t it?

    Not the party of the 90s? Yeah right.

  33. rave 35

    But . . . what about the EPMU challenge to the ‘parties’?
    Idea is good buts lack a bit of bite.
    Calls for decency, fairness and respect from the employers, and equal partnership to share the productivity.
    Key could agree to all this in one of his slippery moments.
    Needs some devlish detail I think.
    “Maximum hours’ WTF. Needs 38 hour week, overtime back.
    Respect union rights? Fat chance. Needs no bosses unions.
    Fair wages? Pull the other one. Needs wages inflation proofed.
    If they say “Close the gap with Australia” they should mean it.
    Needs some actual teeth to bite both Labour and National’s bum on work rights.
    Meanwhile up the road in Foxton a Scoop item ‘Tears flow in Foxton’
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0808/S00015.htm
    gets sentimental over the loss of jobs at the Feltex plant. Pictures a very moving closing ceremony by the workers, former workers and local school children, and ends on the note “Though its a sad day, your children have shown us that the future is bright”. That’ll be the day.
    The plant is now up for sale. Workers, former workers and kids should take it over as a permanent social centre that also makes carpets.
    The NDU as another likely ‘3rd party’ should put that proposal to Helen Clark and John Key.

  34. Leftie 36

    So lets see… I work one hour of overtime everyday. I shouldn’t be concerned that if I am on leave for a day, I won’t get paid this one hour overtime under a National Government anymore?

    Key has so far got NOTHING to offer workers in this country, except a kick in the guts.

  35. higherstandard 37

    Leftie

    No you shouldn’t be concerned.

  36. Do you not realise that John Key presents a different national party to the national parties of the past and that his policies don’t necessarily reflect the policies of national in the past?

    What evidence is there to suggest such? It was less than three years ago that then National Party leader Don Brash was about to embark on Ruthenasia v2. A party which, as its finance spokesperson, John Key was privy to, and personally endorsed.

    Sarah, until National strongly repudiates the policies of Ruth Richardson, of which many of its 2008 front bench were in caucus at the time, then voters are right to be cautious. Labour rightly repudiated Rogernomics as a policy platform post 1993.

    This is the question that journalists should be asking – “Does National now repudiate the policy platform of the 1990s, and 2005 as harsh and negligent?”

  37. Gustavo Trellis 39

    I think most people would be happy if John Key stood for something else. But it’s not really about him. Money talks, and policy listens. You could put Helen at the forefront of the Nats and it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference.

    As a potential Nat voter, I’m saddened that John Key wasn’t the start of a new era for the Nats. I was hoping for think big, public works and infrastructure overhaul. Instead, they seem bent on cutting up what little pie we have. Invest in infrastructure, more jobs and put wages up at the same time you make life cheaper for everyone else. No one seems to support this philosophy, maybe I’m just a dinosaur.

  38. Sarah 40

    As for Working for Families, there is a legitimate reason as to his change in tact.

    When said comments were made referring to his anti-working for family stance, the economic climate was fast approaching its best position in years, and working for families was not as neccessary as labour put it out to be.

    However, in the previous six months, the economic climate has deterioated to a point where as most reasonable people can agree most families are struggling to make ends meet. For John Key to remove working for families now would be absolutely riduculous, considering it would put most of these families in jeopardy. No reasonable politician who cares about the livelihoods of the people he is elected to look after would remove this necessary financial aid now.

    And to your point felix, since John Key has control of leadership of the party, the views of his subordinates are most likely not the views going to be put forward in the primary policies. Ever since John Key came into power, in the first week to be exact, he has taken a far more centralist stance. However if you can find substantial evidence in his policies that dictates otherwise, then I will have to change my tune.

  39. Felix 41

    Sarah you either have no idea how political parties operate or you’re being deliberately obtuse.

    The idea that Key – a man with zero political experience and until recently no apparent interest in politics – is actually in control of a bunch of the most battle-hardened politically savvy players and operatives in the country is one of the most absurd and ridiculous ideas I’ve heard put forward anywhere this year.

    You’ve apparently not read any of the Nat’s “policy releases” and you don’t seem to care what’s in them as long as that nice Mr. Key tells you he’s “centrist”.

    You’re either dreaming or lying and I don’t care which. You make me laugh. And then cry a little.

  40. Anita 42

    Sarah,

    Two quick points

    1) Key is leader because caucus voted him in. That was the exact same caucus that Brash led – do you really think caucus radically changed what they wanted?

    2) When Brash started as leader he spend a lot of time telling us he was centrist – he wasn’t. Why should we believe it when Key and his mates tell us?

  41. Matthew Pilott 43

    Sarah, you’re asking for the impossible here… “Ever since John Key came into power, in the first week to be exact, he has taken a far more centralist stance. However if you can find substantial evidence in his policies that dictates otherwise, then I will have to change my tune.

    To find substantial evidence in National policy, we’d have to have substantial policy.

    That’s so far from the case these days that even the “I Heart John Key” section of the media are getting sick of it.

    I see it as a deliberate ploy to release as little policy as possible before the election, because they have not changed a bit from the 90’s, and are pulling the wool over people’s eyes with a dead-rat swallowing fest (of damn good Labour policy) led by the guy with the nice smile.

    Let me ask you a question, if I may. What evidence, apart from some nice platitudes, Key’s smile and the wholesale adoption of Labour policy, have you seen that makes you think National have moved on from the 90’s? As I see it, they’re either bereft of ides and Labour Lite (why vote for that?), or they’re hiding everything they have, which leads to the obvious conclusion that whatever they want to so wil go down poorly with the electorate.

    How have you avoided those conclusions?

  42. Matthew Pilott 44

    That last line was terribly proofed…

    “…which leads to the obvious conclusion that whatever they want to do will go down poorly with the electorate.”

  43. “terribly proofed”

    Haha – only on the standard. You should employ a poof reader like I do Miss Pilott or should I say Matthew pillock??

  44. Matthew Pilott 46

    Keep it real, D4J. How is the flooding going?

  45. The rain has stopped and the Bat Cave is finally dry today thank you Matthew. Mr Henry has gone fishing , Richie flew away in a glider and the pretty pin up boy wonder Dan the man done another underpants add for the TV girls.
    Talk about a BIG WET in feminist New Zealand mate.
    Would a Real bloke PLEASE STAND UP?

  46. Paul Robeson 48

    Sarah,

    John Key is not a centerist by nature, he is a centerist by necessity. He would have happily been Don Brashs’ finance minister. To quote Mr Armstrong from the Herald he will do “whatever it takes” to get into power. Presenting a less alarming face to the National party is one of these.

    However, perhaps you could tell me how you view these two things. First ACC. This is a system that has benefitted New Zealanders enormously, and kept the litigious society of ambulance chasers at bay. Reports agree changing it would not benefit New Zealand.

    Mr Key will do this, opening the market to Australian insurance companies. The policy was released, not by National party choice, but because of an embarrassing statement in a report by an Australian insurance company lining up for this New Zealand business.

    Another thing is increasing borrowing to allow larger government expenditure, but then pretending that offering large tax cuts play no part in the borrowing. It is like saying I’m getting Sky Tv, but I’m not borrowing money for that, only for the milk and veges.

    He’s just not as nice as his image, and nor are his chums.

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    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    6 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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