web analytics

Working for a Living

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, February 24th, 2013 - 117 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: , , , , , ,

The thing I like about the Living Wage campaign is the branding represents strongly both the problem and the solution.  Even the Prime Minister fell into its trap the other day when he said that the Living Wage was not a priority for his Government.  What a load he got off there!  The statement says it all really.  Full Stop.  The Government don’t want you to work for a living, they just want you to work.

The thing is there is no mechanism in NZ to develop fair wages.  Collective bargaining brings a margin for workers that can access it, but even then, the outcomes are often wages below a living wage for workers in the service, hospitality, retail and care sectors for example (about 700,000 workers actually).

For most workers the employer sets the wages.  In Christchurch a major consortium of 5 construction companies (Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team – SCIRT) has a recruitment website that says it all really.  While urging people to come and undertake a state provided training in construction, on the pay issue it says:

Each employer sets their own pay rates and will decide what your wages will be .

Well that’s clear enough!  Many of these employers are reported to be paying the minimum wage for semi -skilled work  (labouring, traffic control etc).   Thank goodness they don’t get to completely decide – the minimum wage is at least a bottom!  The complaints they can’t recruit and want to increase migration to Christchurch needs to be challenged.  The market works both ways boys!

So instead of unions claiming the 2-3% settlements of wages being achieved from time to time in collective bargaining as a victory (which on low wages they clearly aren’t in the context of a living wage), they are changing the context and fighting the dominant narrative about work.  The campaign highlights that that the deal about work is broken and needs to be restored.  That in exchange to the obligations and duties owed by workers to their employer – honesty, loyalty, diligence – wages should be paid that afford a decent life.  Rest, time with family, a modest family holiday etc.  It is remarkable that we have to have this debate.

The narrative pushed by business and government is that work is a charity.  The business is the benefactor providing jobs as a community service – to be honoured and recognised.  That  workers are the beneficiaries – the recipients of the charity – for which they should be grateful and deferential and not bite the hand that feeds them.  They are lucky to have a job!

Pike River was the classic example – the PM rushing to the companies side to ensure the risk that  the dark side of business would be exposed was minimised.  The CEO was given a key place in the state memorial service to talk about how the miners were drawn to Pike because of its safety culture (safety culture – my next blog!).  The media were stigmatised if they were ‘mean’ to him in his hour of grief by asking insensitive questions like did he know what the hell he was doing in the aftermath of the explosion.  He was nominated for New Zealander of the year a few weeks after the explosion –he was described in the media as “god inspired”.  He promotes the narrative beautifully in an interview everyone should now re-watch.

The Hobbit was another – those ungrateful actors spitting in the face of the generous charity of Warners who were the ultimate charitable giver – 2000 jobs.  But also in every day dealings the narrative is tripped out.  The recent Business NZ new year party – Phil O’Reilly praised his membership on the basis that they worked every day to create jobs for our community (like at Contact Energy).

The Living Wage seeks to change the narrative.  While in the first instance it is relying on employers agreeing to pay a wage higher than the market demands them too, it raises the issue of what the exchange of work entails and who really pays for low wages.  The campaign sends a message broader than the actual employers that will buy into it.  It says the market is failing and needs to be fixed.  It makes the space for courageous politicians to step up and promote legislation that supports collective bargaining and industry wide agreements on the basis that the current law is failing to do that and the community is paying the difference (by way of health costs, family subsidies, crime costs, educational failure etc).  It changes the narrative of “be grateful and take what you can get”, to “the market is failing and business are taking advantage of it and its victims –workers – to pay wages that are destroying our community”

Sure the union movement as part of the  strategy will recognise those employers that come on board and encourage communities to do the same.  We will highlight these employers as the good ones – juxtaposed against those that don’t. But always within the story that the system is broken and needs fixing (because there will be employers that don’t).  We do a bit of this now – highlight Progressive Supermarkets for paying higher wages than others etc.  But the campaign painfully highlights that the things that humans, citizens, children, families, communities need to survive are not built into our economic model – they have to be shamed out – and then the model has to be changed.

I support the Living Wage campaign – it will bring about real change for many low paid workers, and highlight the inadequacy of the model – and it will lead to the bigger debate – we need fair laws, a balanced economy and a commitment to truly recognise that work is part of a deal – and that deal includes an exchange of time, skill, sweat and honesty for a wage that people can live on.

117 comments on “Working for a Living”

  1. QoT 1

    The market works both ways boys!

    I feel a disturbance in the Force, as though dozens of private sector chief executives screamed “But that’s not fair!!!!” in unison.

    • lprent 1.1

      What! You’re not suggesting that you think that CEO’s think an unbalanced market playing field is desirable. Are you?

      Rhetorical question… After all we only have to look at the GFC and who it impacted on to see the answer to that.

      • QoT 1.1.1

        But but but doesn’t an unbalanced playing field just make people work harder to be successful? Why do I even OWN bootstraps if not to pull myself up with them?

  2. geoff 2

    Great post, Helen.

  3. Bill 3

    The Living Wage (campaign?) seeks to change the narrative

    If that’s the case, can I humbly suggest that jobs be referred to as jobs and not work? The two concepts are worlds apart and really shouldn’t be interchanged.

    And then maybe have a wee think over statements such as –

    That in exchange to the obligations and duties owed by workers to their employer – honesty, loyalty, diligence – wages should be paid that afford a decent life.

    That so buys into the dominant narrative that it just isn’t funny. Fact is, neither I nor any other worker has ever owed an employer anything! Most people have a job in order to survive. End. Commonly, jobs deliver no pleasure or empowerment or sense of achievement. Remember the term ‘wage slavery’? If there wasn’t a socio-economic system compelling people to take up jobs, then people wouldn’t take up jobs. And please remember that the principle reason, and in many instances the sole reason jobs exist is to make money for other people. Meaning that most people waste most of their life doing pointless shit only because they have to – primarily in order that others get to spend most of their life doing exactly what they want to do.

    • lprent 3.1

      Given a choice between employing someone (and I regularly do) or working with someone who I think

      1. Is likely to rip the company and me off, sell its secrets (and therefore my wages) to competing firms and slack off whenever they are unsupervised.
      2. I can trust

      I’ll tell you which one I will be not be employing. Those three attributes are the basis on any employment agreement and for good reason. As an employer, who can be bothered wandering around cleaning up after such an arsehole?

      As a fellow employee, I’m uninterested in helping silly pricks who think that I have to waste effort preventing them thieving from me, destroying the work that I’m doing, or offloading their work on to me.

      Basically your criticism is just silly if you think it through. No-one likes working with thieving blabbermouth layabouts. Hell I don’t expect that you would.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        And the same principles apply not just to employees but also to business partners or even co-owners in a collective (whether it’s a for profit or not for profit). You want people onboard who are hard working, loyal, honest and have the best interests of the enterprise consistently at heart.

        Clock watchers and paycheck players can frak off.

      • Bill 3.1.2

        Not quite sure how you conclude that “thieving blabbermouoth layabout” is the counter position to “honesty, loyalty and dilligence” being excercised for the principle benefit of the employer.

        Way I see it, attributes such as honesty, dilligence and loyalty are for the sake of my co-workers and (where appropraite) customers/consumers – not the employer. Not saying they won’t benefit after some incidental fashion. But they ain’t the reason or focus of those traits.

        My focus for them has always been to unionise the workplace to the very best of my ability in order to keep the buggers in line.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        See, I look at it like this:

        To the employer I owe honesty and diligence. To the other workers I owe those plus loyalty. That means that if I get a better option then I’m going to tell the employer to fuck off and put a shout on for the workers.

        In a free-market there is no room for loyalty to the boss.

  4. Bill 4

    Would have added this as an ‘edit’ to my previous comment if I could have.

    Anyway, if your reading this Helen, do you have any thoughts on why unions don’t have a plethora of literature/information on the formation of worker co-ops or collectives?

    And any thoughts on why, after over a hundred years of this shit, that unions are still not in a position to arm workers with the necessary knowledge and confidence to assume control and ownership of companies that announce lay-offs or shut downs?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Bill. Worker co-ops and democratically run collective enterprises do not require unions. You don’t need to negotiate with the boss when you are the boss.

      For instance, in Spain, the Mondragon collective corporation has occasionally been accused of not strongly backing worker movements and unions in general. And why would they if workers choose their own senior managers and supervisors, amongst democratically making other major business decisions.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        No, worker co-ops and collectives don’t need unions. But unions could (and in my mind should ) arm workers with the necessary support and knowledge to move away from undemocratic – vertically divided – work environments.

        And if they were serious, then the ‘threat’ of worker control becomes a very effective leverage in negotiations.

        As for Mongradon and many similar enterprises that call themselves cooperatives – the persistence of a vertical division of labour kind of puts the lie to that claim. (Not saying they aren’t doing some things better, but….)

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Well, Mondragon doesn’t just “call” itself a co-op, it actually is a worker owned co-op, legally and in practice, there’s no if’s or buts about that.

          As for the “vertical division of labour” issue – I’ve got no issue if a co-op has hierarchical elements in how it’s organised and run, as long as it’s also highly democratic. Worker-owners being able to vote in and vote out both their CEO and immediate supervisor for instance.

          • Bill 4.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps not the thread for this discussion, CV. But the presence of any heirarchy has an inverse affect on democracy. Like you say, elements of democracy can be preserved, but that’s not the same as having democracy – it’s just making a heirachy less undemocratic than it could be.

            And so what if workers can vote people in and out of positions of power if those in power have a monopoly on the information people need in order to cast intelligent votes (and can be selective on what info is released or the spin put on info that is released)? And it’s no use saying that iinfo is freely available and just has to be requested, if most people are unaware of exactly what information exists. Or – in instances of voting where a depth and breadth of knowledge doesn’t come into play – who wants to partake in the bullshit number games and struggles necessary to progress up heirachical structures?

            It’s all unnecessary if the right (ie, democratic) structures are developed and put in place.

            Said this in simlar discussions. Preserve the functions – but don’t assign them as exclusive or individual roles. Then you have pre-empted any potential for individuals or cliques to gather power into themselves.

  5. Olwyn 5

    An excellent post. One important thing the LWC has done is to identify what a living wage actually is. Once a benchmark is in place the numbers can be updated to accord with changing conditions, but importantly, on the narrative level, just having that benchmark knocks a hole in the story that says “You must work, but we will decide your pay on our criteria, with no reference to yours.” What is odd is that we have sunk so low that we now need to re-harness the concept of “earning a living” to the concept of “work.”

    • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1

      What is odd is “the narrative pushed by business and government is that work is a charity” where workers should be grateful to be offered job, but these same groups will be quick to defend the idea of letting the market decide while insisting on minimum pay.

      Clearly workers aren’t grateful for minimum wages for a skilled job, especially in an area where accommodation costs are skyrocketing things still aren’t fixed. Shocker!

  6. chris73 acualy is Dolan 6

    “Living wage”, is this because the minimum wage campaign fizzled to nothin?

    [lprent: do you want me to fix the spelling mistake in your current apparently meaningless handle? ]

    • bad12 6.1

      What exactly is that supposed to mean???…

      • chris73 acualy is Dolan 6.1.1

        bda12 pls…

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Sure of course, that’s exactly how it happened 🙄

          • chris73 acualy is Dolan 6.1.1.1.1

            I just find it interesting the living wage campaign kicked off after the minimum wage campaign seemed to go nowhere, of course it could just be all a big coincidence…

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Allow me to assure you, no one expected the National Government to enact a $15/hr minimum wage.

              So the fact that Key hasn’t lifted the minimum wage to $15/hr is not some kind of set back.

              • chris73 acualy is Dolan

                Still I got to give credit where its due, change the name of something so it sounds “good” and who could possibly vote against something that sounds so “good”

                I can see the headlines “National don’t want kiwis to make a living…”

                Simple but eefective

                • David

                  Yep, semantics like that I have no problem with, National are the masters at framing the debate to suit themselves. So payback is a cruel beeatch mate, our income inequality makes for sobering statistics to read, but hey sure, inequality and poverty have nothing to do with poor crime, health and falling education statistics.

                • Except this isn’t just an empty marketing spin like National does. They’ve actually calculating how much you need to earn to be able to afford to live in a modest but reasonable fashion and said “why isn’t everyone paying at least this much?”

                  It’s an eminently reasonable question and National can’t answer it because their philosophy insists that the facts are wrong and that low wages are somehow good, because otherwise you wouldn’t have a job. (which is ridiculous, wages pay for other people’s jobs in the first place- you can’t get profits if nobody else pays their workers enough to afford your product, unless you’re marketing entirely to the elite property owner) Newsflash: facts can’t be wrong, at best you can argue with the “modest” part, but honestly, having a little money to pay for library fees and to be able to afford taking some unpaid time off occassionally is not unreasonable.

          • bad12 6.1.1.1.2

            We probably shouldn’t be giving this thing oxygen, it’s obviously acting to mock the post…

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    While urging people to come and undertake a state provided training in construction, on the pay issue it says:

    Each employer sets their own pay rates and will decide what your wages will be .

    Well that’s clear enough!

    And if you’re in Auckland that going to mean that you’re a dependent contractor and so the probable rates will likely be below minimum wage once you take everything else into account. Of course, contractors don’t have protections such as minimum wage.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    The narrative pushed by business and government is that work is a charity. The business is the benefactor providing jobs as a community service – to be honoured and recognised. That workers are the beneficiaries – the recipients of the charity – for which they should be grateful and deferential and not bite the hand that feeds them. They are lucky to have a job!

    Yep, setting our society up to be dependent upon the capitalists, other wise known as The Road to Serfdom.

    Even the Living Wage group are getting it wrong as they’re still looking at things through a capitalist mindset. I know it’s hard to get out of that delusion but people really do need to ask What is the economy for and what limits does it have? If people don’t ask those questions then their answers are always going to be wrong.

    It’s not, and can’t be, about a Living Wage any more. It can’t be about everyone going off to make a few people richer while being being given a pat on the head. We have so much productivity today that if we supplied only what we needed then the majority of people would be out of work and, under the current system, living in poverty.

    We need to change the system.

    • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1

      Ok so you’ve changed the system now what? Some people are born smarter, faster, more hard working etc etc than others, some people genuinely deserve more than others because of what they’ve achieved

      How will you/would you reconcile that with making sure everyone is better off

      • Bill 8.1.1

        On what basis are you rewarding people Chris? Innate ability (ie, a lucky throw of ‘gene dice’) or social contribution? Seems from your comment that you just don’t differentiate between the two. And unless you do, then a sensible system of reward will be impossible to envisage.

        • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1.1.1

          Ok so John Key went to uni, maybe he had a natural affinity with numbers maybe just natural ability for hard work (probably helped by his moms example) but hes amassed a fortune well in excess of what most people need

          Does he “deserve” his fortune?

          • David 8.1.1.1.1

            Present knowledge would indicate his ability with numbers is grossly over-inflated. Do you get your news from a different source than the rest of us?

            • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1.1.1.1.1

              A personal estimated fortune of 50 million suggests otherwise, don’t let petty jealousies cloud your judgement

              • Colonial Viper

                $50m in personal fortune doesn’t matter to the country

                The ability to correctly count new jobs as predicted in his Budgets does

                • David

                  Spot on there Mr Viper, doesn’t matter a jot. Still not sure where my petty jealousies came out, could you clarify for me? I’m missing some synapses here, but not as many as Chris, he spells mum as mom, says it all really.

                  • chris73 acualy is Dolan

                    “Present knowledge would indicate his ability with numbers is grossly over-inflated.”
                    – The guy made 50 million and he started from a less than humble background (no inheritance) to me that suggests that he is good with numbers (or at least very good at his job”

                    Yet in spite of this you instead state opinion as if it is fact ie ability with numbers is grossly over-inflated because deep down you know you’ll never be as successful as him (neither will I but I’m ok with that) and thats where the jealousy comes in

                    I must thank you for pointing out my difficulties with spelling, I’ve had issues with learning difficulties in the past but I appreciate you bringing it up especially as it had so much to do with the argument.

                    • felixviper

                      “Yet in spite of this you instead state opinion as if it is fact ie ability with numbers is grossly over-inflated because deep down you know you’ll never be as successful as him (neither will I but I’m ok with that) and thats where the jealousy comes in”

                      Massive assumption there chris. Seems far more likely that he’s basing his belief on Key and his govt fucking up everything they touch, don’tcha reckon?

                      ps can you give me a hint as to the new name?

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.2

            As he got it by throwing a lot more people into poverty (Helped crash NZ$, helped cause the GFC, etc, etc) so that someone else could get a lot richer than him – nope, he doesn’t deserve a damn thing.

            • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Yes Draco that’s exactly what he did…nothing to do with the study, long hours, postings to foreign countries

              • Draco T Bastard

                He studied long hours to do exactly what he did – screw over millions for his own personal benefit.

            • Mark 8.1.1.1.2.2

              I thought “crashing” the $NZ was a good thing.. isn’t that what you guys are calling for now?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Depends upon how and why its done. Done for the good of the country and in such a way so as not to hurt the country then it tends to be “good”. Done simply to make someone rich with no consideration to how it would affect the country with the inevitable damage done to the country as what Key did then it comes under the heading of “bad”.

          • Bill 8.1.1.1.3

            Are you suggesting that innate ability be rewarded ‘just because’? That social contributions be ignored or relegated? That luck of birth should determine rewards or potential for rewards?

            By what measure of contribution to society does John Key deserve millions of dollars while most people live in debt – includng many who make obvious and on-going contributions to society’s well being?

            • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1.1.1.3.1

              Are you suggesting that innate ability be rewarded ‘just because’? That social contributions be ignored or relegated?
              – Ok so who decides what these contributions are worth and who pays them?

              That luck of birth should determine rewards or potential for rewards?
              – It shouldn’t but for some lucky few it does

              By what measure of contribution to society does John Key deserve millions of dollars while most people live in debt – includng many who make obvious and on-going contributions to society’s well being?

              – Someone decided he was worth what they paid him…how else would you do it?

          • Foreign Waka 8.1.1.1.4

            Yes, if you work 80-odd hrs each week, contribute to the success of a business – why not. Nothing wrong with that. In the same way as some people are very intelligent and work hard others are infinitely stupid and/or lazy. Just hoping we do not use the latter as benchmark.

      • David 8.1.2

        So, those people will do better, be more successful and subscribe to the nbr. Does that mean that everyone else has to scrabble in the dirt for the leavings from the big boys table? Ho! We have the Secretary General of planet Key here! Please sir, can I have some more?

        • chris73 acualy is Dolan 8.1.2.1

          You want more go out and earn more, whats stopping you?

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1.1

            I like your philosophy of individualistic bootstrapping, but it’s also time for government to do its job to sort out the societal and economic roadblocks in the way of community success.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1.2

            The system that gives all the communities wealth to the few and thus keeps the resources from the use of the many.

          • Puddleglum 8.1.2.1.3

            You want more go out and earn more, whats stopping you?

            Speaking personally, it’s generally my ethics that have stopped me getting as wealthy as Key. What I mean by that, is that I understand the modern economy to be a deliberately designed machine for reproducing capital and wealth – and nothing else. Its process of design and construction required horrendous and widespread violence against millions of ordinary people (e.g., removing people forcibly from the land, colonisation, racist and oppressive laws, etc.).

            That machine – so immorally constructed – now leverages the wealth of the few who are morally and ethically compatible with its basic thrust and priorities. That doesn’t mean that a businessperson goes around treating everyone awfully – but, whether they like to admit it or not, their actions contribute to someone being treated awfully somewhere (e.g., if you out-compete a competitor business so that it goes out of business then a lot of people’s lives can be severely disrupted through no fault of their own).

            I know that some people can rationalise this to themselves by saying words to the effect that, ‘Well, life is just hard like that’, or ‘If I don’t do it somebody else will – so why not me?’, but I can’t. I’ve never been able to opt in to a generally harmful system by saying those sorts of things to myself.

            My incapacity is not laziness, lack of talent, intelligence, insight, innovativeness or even an entrepreneurial spirit – it’s the lack of an amoral/immoral perspective that I can use to go along with what you need to do to ‘succeed’ in our economy.

            • vto 8.1.2.1.3.1

              clap clap clap clap clap clap clap

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1.3.2

              +1

              Find myself in the same position. I quite literally cannot do what Key does because I know how much harm I’d be causing.

              • karol

                Many people do not have much choice. A person’s life-direction often depends on their family background, local opportunities, and the wider social, historical and economic context. It depends on how much they are supported and/or hindered by others, and the knowledge gain.

                I made a choice way back in my teens, to not follow my immediate family into business, because it seemed to me about accumulating money and contributing to capitalism. I chose to work in the public sector doing things I considered would contribute to society. My siblings are wealthier, but they have studied less. They do work hard and are considerate, caring and helpful people. But I have also worked hard, studied way more than them, and traveled and worked more overseas.

                I was lucky to have a choice due to my background. Others have less choice and just work hard to stand still…. or even go backwards these days. It’s harder for far more people now than it was when I was a young person, and it’s harder than when John Key got his start.

            • Rogue Trooper 8.1.2.1.3.3

              a veritable symphony of Truth

    • Bill 8.2

      Yup. We absolutely need to develop a new economy for a whole host of reasons including the dehumanising impact of workplaces in a market economy context.

      I sometimes wonder at this deeply conservative, well… malaise that seems to permeate NZ society. And it can be somewhat despairing when unions merely echo the thought processes that represent that malaise with calls for employers to ‘be nicer’ and/or ‘reasonable’ and imply that people would and should be content in jobs that are presided over by such ‘nicer’ or more ‘reasonable’ bosses.

      It’s a clear million miles from what we need.

  9. xtasy 9

    As much as I basically support the idea of a “living wage”, and as much I see a real need to first of all start increasing the so-called “minimum wage” to at least $ 15 to $ 16 an hour, I see this campaign not going to succeed, certainly not in present day New Zealand.

    It is based on voluntary participation by employers, and it is suggesting the ones that employ in the public service (therefore the state) to start and lead in introducing it.

    Only if workers start realising that they will only achieve improvements through solid, resolute, firm and collective actions, then will there be any realistic potential for improving the labour laws, wages, salaries and working conditions in NZ. That though I cannot see, in a society driven through endless division, disentitlement, FEAR and intimidation on a daily basis.

    Even when Helen likes to show how “Progressive Enterprises” should be given credit for paying their staff “more”, has she not learned, that they only do this by making the existing staff worker harder, to produce more per hour, minute and movement of a hand? They have not only abolished “Foodtown”, but with “Countdown” brought in more “efficiencies”, that are achieved by their workers. Working conditions have sufferes as a consequence, that is what supermarket staff told me in various markets.

    And we cannot rely on the “goodwill” and “generosity” of an alternative government either, as the pressures of business and employer lobbies will soon be felt by an alternative Labour led government.

    Of course, better wages and conditions mostly will necessitate better performance in various forms, requiring better skills, smarter investments, upskilling and jobs that can deliver better conditions.

    Add to that the “global” scenario, and it is clear, only working together with labour movements across the boarders and through the ILO can improve conditions for all. So it is all nice and positive at first sight, but workers need to take action to bring it about, and that is where Helen and her CTU are needed to organise more and more widely, to get members to change things. Not an easy task this is.

    Nevertheless, it is great to see Helen Kelly write posts like this here on the Standard!

    • Arfamo 9.1

      Very good points xtasy. Still, it’s a campaign that’s gotta start somewhere. This is as good a way as any to start it. People need to be reminded they are part of a shared identity and community with a stake in the success everybody’s futures, not just their own.

      • xtasy 9.1.1

        Yes, Arfamo, at least it raises the awareness in many, what is at least needed for a wage for a worker to pay the basic costs of living, and not be forced to make compromises on accommodation, health, clothing, diet, personal safety, education and many other areas.

        It has started a public debate, even in that otherwise so moronic mainstream media, and that is something positive, where so much else looks so grim anyway.

        It does not solve the “division” and competition and suspicion amongst workers and the population in general, and that is the ground that now really needs to be worked on, to inform, educate, unite, support and empower workers and citizens.

        United we stand, divided we fall, has anybody ever heard of this?

    • Foreign Waka 9.2

      I think the issue starts with hr rates being paid instead of annual income. If the annual net income is set against an actual (please no cars, lawnmowers and beer in the mix) indexed living expense it would count for something. By having a benchmarked set minimum income in conjunction with a lets say 35 hr week it would provide more income to more people. Incidentally, it would put an official number on the actual cost of living to measure the income of beneficiaries and pensioners. Just a thought.

  10. Wayne 10

    Helen, Still obsessed with the Hobbit issue. Presumably you have extracted a cast iron promise from Labour to repeal it. I know the Greens will, but they will do just about anything to prove they are more union friendly than Labour.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Worker unions are a critical part of our society Wayne, and an important part of the balance against the interests of financial capital. That’s why Key remains so intent on undermining unions.

    • felixviper 10.2

      “Helen, Still obsessed with the Hobbit issue.”

      Yeah, still obsessed with employment contract law.

      That’s unionists for you, eh Wayne?

      • chris73 acualy is Dolan 10.2.1

        I think its good that she keeps banging on about The Hobbit…I mean its right up there with T. Mallards strategies and Shearers mumblings for helping National

    • xtasy 10.3

      Wayne: You so “hobbitually” comment here, you are “hobbitually” welcome, even if you make little sense.

  11. Helen Kelly 11

    Thanks everyone. Some very interesting feedback (that sounds slimey- sorry!) . The trouble with nothing but a revolution being good enough, is you never start anything. Yes the union movement needs to organise more workers and the Living Wage Campaign is part of that. Yes the economic system is crapping all over working people but it is these types of campaigns that make that point strongly and as I said, create space for new policies. Yes we could spend our time advising workers on co-operatives but the super market workers stacking shelves and paying our wages don’t earn enough to live and they have prioritised this and we have to prioritise. I have been advised not to respond to the Trolls but I am not quite up to spotting them yet, so on the Hobbit, slightly obsessive yes, but it has been bought on by a huge sense of injustice and wrong doing which we continue to expose as more info is released. Speaking of which, the papers shd be released this Friday 🙂

    • QoT 11.1

      I love this comment.

    • xtasy 11.2

      Thank you Helen –

      well summarised, and I will await that new info on “Hobbitgate” with great interest.

      • chris73 acualy is Dolan 11.2.1

        No one cares about The Hobbit (and I mean the general voting public )so I’ll break it down for you:

        Sir Peter Jackson = respected and liked by the general public so not a good idea to keep on attacking him unless you think flogging a dead horse is a good course of action

        Choose your battles because this is over (unless you want to help National regain power in which case keep on flogging)

        (the invoice is in the mail)

        • felixviper 11.2.1.1

          So when someone is liked and respected we should just turn a blind eye to their employment practices?

          Serious question. (Also you still haven’t given me any hints as to your new name…)

          • chris73 acualy is Dolan 11.2.1.1.1

            Depends, is the loss of votes due to negative publicity worth the fight? You may well win the battle by “proving” something but the ensuing loss of goodwill…

            There are numerous battles that Labour could be fighting so I’d recommend picking the smarter battles.

            I mean attacking the mad butcher and peter jackson is not really the smartest thing they could do.

            If I was advising Labour I’d be saying keep asking the simple question of “are you better off now before or after National took office” and then follow it up with references to rising house prices, unemployment etc etc, keep it nice and simple and don’t get sucked into specifics

            Again the invoice is in the mail 🙂

            I answered your question above but its under moderation…not sure why

            • felixviper 11.2.1.1.1.1

              “If I was advising Labour I’d be saying keep asking the simple question of “are you better off now before or after National took office” and then follow it up with references to rising house prices, unemployment etc etc, keep it nice and simple and don’t get sucked into specifics”

              Totally agree, I gave Labour exactly this advice in 2011. Still haven’t been paid either. 😉

              However Helen’s job is not to get the Labour Party elected, it’s to represent her members in employment negotiations and disputes.

              This will from time to time involve dealing with employers with a high public profile. Why should this stop her doing her job?

              • chris73 acualy is Dolan

                It shouldn’t but the CTU is linked with Labour so whatever comments she makes is reflected back on Labour.

                I mean isn’t getting into power to make changes the important thing?

                [lprent: Hell I’m “linked” with Labour because I am a NZLP member, so when I abuse you in the course of my duties moderating here then do you think that Labour is persecuting you? I will give you a hint on the answer – read the policy.

                But let us look at you. Hell, you use the same sewerage system as Labour members. Clearly you have dangerous associations as well because you crap in common. And you’re apparently naming yourself after a duck. Does that mean you and Trevor are soul buddies?

                You are using a particularly stupid tinfoil hat argument.. Should I start to use the same logic on you? I’m sure you won’t like that absurdities that I choose to “discover”. But I’d suggest that using that particular style of argument will give me leave to Investigate you as if I was Wishart (ie paid well to do so). ]

            • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1.1.2

              Depends, is the loss of votes due to negative publicity worth the fight?

              The only negative publicity would be for Jackson. That’s what happens when you prove to people that someone is an arsehole.

          • Te Reo Putake 11.2.1.1.2

            The answer here, felix:

            http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/287088-dolan

            Not sure if the duck in question is also spelling challenged, acually.

        • One Tāne Huna 11.2.1.2

          Shorter Chris73: everyone has the same opinions as me.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      Not after a revolution, just want people to realise that the present system doesn’t work and so asking for a living wage also doesn’t work as jobs themselves are disappearing. Would prefer to see a campaign for Universal Income, the return of Penal Rates and the acceptance of the limits of the economy.

      • dpalenski 11.3.1

        +1

        Especially if applied to the most anti-social of shift the split shift pretty much at work for 12+ hours but only paid for 8.

    • Roy 11.4

      I think it is perfectly legitimate to keep banging on about The Hobbit because it was such a well-publicized and blatant example of the problems you are concerned about.

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    In a globalised world of manipulated exchange rates people in NZ are being paid well above global rates, way beyond what can be sustained, other than by massive borrowing at high interest. NZ cannot compete in manufacturing, in IT or in tourism, and soon won’t be able to compete in dairying or forestry. Once the international bond market goes kaput … and things are working up to that scenario….. jobs -in the present sense of the word- will largely disappear.

    In addition to the dysfunctional globalised employment market there is the matter of Peak Oil, another Elephant in the Room that most people are utterly determined to ignore: declining global extraction of oil is in the process of annihilating status quo economic arrangements, and the rate of demolition of the traditional economy will accelerate appreciably as EROEI falls off the cliff.

    In the meantime a large sector of NZ society believes in better living through denial.

    • Roy 12.1

      With whom will we not be able to compete in dairy or forestry?
      Also, I don’t think ‘global rates’ is a legitimate argument. It sounds more like an argument in favour of a race to the bottom.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        Also, I don’t think ‘global rates’ is a legitimate argument. It sounds more like an argument in favour of a race to the bottom.

        It is a race to the bottom but you’ll note that it’s the argument used by the farmers for why we pay so much for food produced here despite the fact that it costs less to buy elsewhere.

    • Foreign Waka 12.2

      Rubbish, unless you mean compete with India and 3rd world countries. Labor conditions and sustainable living standard has more to do with political will than with anything else. It is the moral and ethical bankruptcy of the financial class that gets people into poverty. History and current affairs is teaching us that fact every day. Why do we think NZ is any different?

  13. john ryall 13

    Good post Helen.

    The significance of the Living Wage Movement internationally is that it doesn’t just focus on big corporates and public bodies paying the living wage to their direct employees, but incorporating the living wage as a basis of their procurement policies. That means cleaning, security and other contractors have to compete for contracts on the basis of paying the living wage to their employees and ensuring it is paid by any sub-contractors as well.

    The living wage movment is a challenge to the massive income inequality that has developed in New Zealand in the last 30 years.

    While the Government is saying that the answer to higher wages is for economic growth to trickle down to wage levels at the bottom, the living wage movement is saying that it is time to measure all economic policies on the basis of whether they provide wages for New Zealand workers that are not just enough to survive on but to allow working families to participate in their school, family, church and other community activities.

  14. Rogue Trooper 14

    Love Helen Kelly yet i am still not “seeing” $18 an hour being paid without a “second coming”

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: Wasting our time again
    For the past two weeks delegates were meeting at the UN climate change talks in Madrid. The meeting finally ended, having achieved... nothing. The IPCC has made it clear that we need to halve emissions by 2030 if we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, so countries needed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 mins ago
  • Some fluoride-IQ researchers seem to be taking in each other’s laundry
    Image credit: Publish Peer Reviews. Illustration by David Parkins Scientific peer-review is often touted as a guarantee of the quality of published research. But how good is peer-review? Does it guarantee poor ...
    18 hours ago
  • Spread the Word
    If you like any article please help promote it (and the blog). Link to it on facebook and other social media, write about it anywhere or re-blog it. We’re very happy to have other people re-blog our material, all we ask is that you mention the original source and put ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Pronouns etc
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   John Fenaughty is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland. In a recent column Fenaughty suggested that school teachers should use students’ “correct names and pronouns (e.g., he, him, they, them, she, her, etc.)” ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • “People’s Faces” by Kate Tempest
    Heard this on Radio NZ this afternoon. Perfectly captures how I'm feeling just now.It's always good to find new music, though it would be nice to be hearing something celebratory. Even "Things Can Only Get Better" would be welcome, if it was accompanied by a thumping Labour victory. ...
    2 days ago
  • A reflection on the British general election
    by Don Franks Like New Zealand, Britain is officially a country of equal opportunity under the rule of law, with increasing hardship for those at the bottom. When there’s an election, and the party most obviously callous towards poor people wins, decent folks are dismayed and bewildered. “What the hell ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Well, crap
    UKanians went to the polls yesterday in early elections aimed at resolving the Brexit impasse. And they certainly have, delivering a huge majority to the Tories, and (barring internal rebellions of the sort which delayed Brexit) giving them the power to do whatever they want. And thanks to the UK's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Austerity meets fresh resistance in Iran
      by Karim Pourhamzavi Mass protests are occurring across Iran, taking place in over 100 cities.  The protests have been sparked by the government’s cutting of fuel subsidies, a measure which caused fuel prices to double overnight. Mass protests are hardly new in Iran, but there is an important difference ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Oh No! It’s a …..
    What other song could we play as the UK's political rule book gets torn up and thrown away?Video courtesy of YouTubeThis post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • Election 2019 – The Legendary Liveblog
    Legendary in my own mind, I mean.  All times are NZ, which is an hour10.00am (NZ) There's about an hour to go until the exit poll is released.  At that point, half of the British voting public will devastated, and the other half celebrating wildly.  Unless everyone is simply confused.Turnout seems ...
    3 days ago
  • Some Thoughts On Socialism As Jeremy Corbyn Loses The UK General Election.
    Forlorn Hope: When the call came down to make Corbyn unelectable, the Establishment's journalists and columnists rose to the challenge. Antisemitism was only the most imaginative of the charges levelled against the old democratic-socialist. There were many more and, sadly, they appear to have worked. Boris Johnson may not be much ...
    3 days ago
  • Cartoonist David Low’s Radical Sympathy.
    "Rendezvous" by David Low, September 1939.DUNEDIN IS THE BIRTHPLACE of, for my money, the world’s greatest cartoonist, David Low. At the height of his powers, in 1930s London, Low’s cartoons represented the visual conscience of the civilised world. His most famous cartoon, “Rendezvous”, penned a few weeks into the Second ...
    3 days ago
  • The UK has a choice as to whether it chooses to be manipulated… or not.
    If you want to study propagandist techniques, you are typically told to study Dictatorships. Not unfair, but what’s always been more interesting to me is so-called “democratic” countries and their broader information systems. Why? Because people opt for it, even as they decry “totalitarian regimes!”.. It’s quite an eye ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Today’s secrecy legislation
    Introducing legislation which shits on the public's right to know seems to have become a daily occurrence for this government. Today's example is the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The bill establishes a framework for the establishment of "special purpose vehicles" (SPVs) to hide debt from local government balance sheets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Time to vote!
    Below is the longlist of words and phrases generated in the korero phase of Public Address Word of the Year 2019, with some editorial moderation. Now it's time to vote. As you'll doubtless be able to see, you get three ranked choices. Use your power wisely. Or frivolously, whatever.As usual, ...
    4 days ago
  • Encryption, passwords, and self-incrimination
    The University of Waikato and New Zealand Law Foundation have released a report today on the law around encryption in New Zealand. There's stuff in there about principles and values, and how proposed government policies to provide for "lawful access" by creating backdoors would destroy the trust which makes encryption ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for two Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Insurance (Prompt Settlement of Claims for Uninhabitable Residential Property) Bill (Stuart Smith) Social Security (Exemption for Ex Gratia and Compensation Payments) Amendment Bill (Willow-Jean Prime) Neither bill seems likely to be particularly controversial. This is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bougainville votes for independence
    Earlier in the month, Bougainvilleans went to the polls in a landmark referendum to decide on whether they would remain part of Papua New Guinea or become independent. Yesterday, the results came in, with over 97% support for independence. The referendum wasn't binding - instead it means negotiations with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bus strikes, suspensions and solidarity
    by Daphna Whitmore This week 800 unionised bus drivers in Auckland were suspended from work after they refused to collect fares as part of a campaign of industrial action. Drivers working for Auckland’s largest bus company NZ Bus are asking for more pay and better working conditions after being offered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • How to support after the Whakaari/White Island volcanic eruption
    As details emerge about what unfolded on Whakaari / White Island two days ago, my thoughts go out to all the families affected by this terrible event. My thoughts are also with the first responders who worked in perilous circumstances to assist and protect those affected. Both local and ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarb Johal
    4 days ago
  • Final BMG poll – nothing to see here
    BMG research have unleashed their final poll of the 2019 campaign:Westminster voting intention: CON: 41% (-)LAB: 32% (-)LDEM: 14% (-)GRN: 4% (-)BREX: 3% (-1)via @BMGResearch , 06 - 11 Dec Chgs. w/ 06 Dec That's a bit of a "Dunno why we bothered" sort of poll. "Phillip, I'm afraid I've been a ...
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Spends Up Large – On The Establishment!
    Grant Keeps On Trucking: Out of the $12 billion Robertson has announced for infrastructure investment, $8 billion will be allocated to specific projects, with the balance of $4 billion held in reserve. What does it say about this Government's "transformational" ambitions that 85 percent of that $8 billion is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Boris Johnson … Hides … In a Fridge
    I am not making this up.First few lines of the Dail Mail write up:Boris Johnson's exasperated media minder swore on live TV today as the PM refused to speak to Good Morning Britain before trotting into a fridge as he started an early milkround in Yorkshire. Piers Morgan was visibly ...
    5 days ago
  • Shy Labour Voters?
    In previous elections pollsters have bemoaned the 'shy Tory' - the respondent who is so fearful of being judged as a cruel and heartless bastard by an anonymous pollster, or their spouses, workmates and friends, that they lie about their intention of voting Conservative, skewing the poll figures in Labour's ...
    5 days ago
  • Seven reasons to be wary of waste-to-energy proposals
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I was in Switzerland recently and discovered that they haven’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    5 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    6 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    6 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    6 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Courthouse redesign a model for the future
    The Government will invest $100 million on a new courthouse in Tauranga which will be a model for future courthouse design for New Zealand, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. The courthouse will be designed in partnership with iwi, the local community, the judiciary, the legal profession, court staff and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government enables early access to 5G spectrum
    The Government has given the go ahead to enable further development of 5G networks by making appropriate spectrum available. The Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has confirmed Cabinet approval for the allocation of short-term rights to an unused portion of 3.5 GHz spectrum. 3.5GHz is the first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago