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Archive for December, 2013

2013 – The Year that Was

31 December 2013 11 comments

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2013

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National – High Point Achievement Award

Staying high in the polls despite controversies; scandals; obvious lies told by it’s Leader; making it harder for first home buyers to own their own home; rising child poverty and inequality; kids eating out of rubbish bins and increasing poverty-related diseases;  damage to our precious image as a “Clean and Green” nation; rampant corporate welfare; ongoing harrassment of welfare beneficiaries; lack of jobs; threatening to kick tenants out of State Housing; cuts to early childhood education; reducing worker’s rights and attacks on Unions; increasing wage gap with Australia; … and on it goes.

New Zealanders must have cast-iron-stomachs to tolerate such a blatantly  anti-Kiwi party that goes so badly against our much-vaunted “fair go” and supposed “egalitarian” nature.

National – Low Point Screw-Up Award

Hard to choose.

There is so much ghastliness from this shabby government – where does one start?

Perhaps this little story, that recently appeared on Radio NZ’s website;

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Pharmacies 'carry cost' of increases

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Perhaps nothing better illustrates the transfer of wealth better than the poorest people having to pay for higher prescription charges, whilst those on higher incomes received a $4 billion tax cut.

Someone had to pay for Key’s generosity, and New Zealand’s poorest and lowest paid workers drew short straws. That is how a wealth transfer occurs; high income earners get a tax cut and low income earners and welfare beneficiaries  get increased user-pays government charges; a rise in GST; and costs for  privatised services.

Meanwhile, the Middle Classes scratch their heads and wonder why the poor can’t put food on their table?

National MP of the Year Award

Maurice Williamson – for his “Big Gay Rainbow” speech.

Priceless.

For that speech alone, he deserves his seat in Parliament.

Labour MP of the Year Award

David Shearer – for grace and courage under fire from those around him; the Left; the Right; the media; et al.

We yearn for decent politicians in Parliament who look, sound, and behave like ordinary Kiwis – but savage them to pieces when we actually get one.

Typical.

NZ First MP of the Year Award

Tracey Martin – one of Parliament’s best kept “secrets”. One to watch out for as her career in politics is on the rise. Recently elevated to Deputy Leader of NZ First, she has the potential to increase her Party’s public approval (once Peters has taken retirement – perhaps in Tauranga?).

She may actually make serious inroads into the left-wing vote…

Green MP of the Year Award

Russell Norman – for calling John Key out as the new Rob Muldoon.

Unerringly accurate.

Maori Party MP of the Year Award

Tariana Turia – for her unceasing battle against Big Tobacco. This woman has more cojones than half of Parliament rolled into one.

It’s a shame she’s resigning. This blogger would love to see her carry on her Associate Health Minister role in a Labour-led government. God knows we need someone of her integrity and determination to stand up to corporate power.

Best Party Policy Award

Mana Party – for it’s Feed The Children Bill. Hone Harawira and his Party managed to forced National to take some action on this problem. It may not be enough, but Mana got the ball rolling.

Mana deserves to be back in Parliament next year. Hopefully with a couple of extra MPs?

Leftwing Blogger of the Year Award

Burnt Out Teacher, on The Daily Blog, for her poignant insights into the teaching profession; the education system; our children; and how National government ministers simply haven’t a clue.

As an example of her brilliant writing, check out her blogposts here.

Honestly, she is bloody good.

Honourable mentions go to blogger Marama Davidson for her deep social conscience and feminist ideals, and Martyn “Bomber”  Bradbury (the latter for trying to herd bloggers cats) for making “The Daily Blog” one of the Left’s most effective tools.

Rightwing blogger of the Year Award

Cameron Slater. Always.

The man is a constant reminder why we carry on the struggle for a saner, fairer, society.

Thank you, Cam. Please don’t ever give up. You’re the best motivational we have.

Most Coherent Rightwinger Award

Matthew Hooton. The guy is scarily rational-sounding. Please god, do not let him take leadership of the ACT Party. Pretty-pleeeaassse! (See previous blogpost: Suggested candidates for new ACT leader)

Runner-up: none. The rest are as mad as a box of cats.

Muppet of the Year Award

Len Brown.

’nuff said.

1st Runner-up: Colin Craig.

Chemtrails. Moon Landing Hoax conspiracy.

Again, ’nuff said.

2nd Runner up: again, Colin Craig. For being daft enough to threaten The Civilian with a law-suit. (Unless… it was a clever conspiracy by Craig to gain more publicity for his Party?! What next – chem-trails in the sky spelling out “Vote Colin Craig in 2014“?!

Naive person of the Year Award

Bevan Chuang.

Dealing with Cameron Slater?! What were you thinking, woman?!?!

Really, Really, Dumb Comment of the Year Award

John Key, on the asset sales referendum,

Well the numbers don’t look like they’re that significant. I mean at the moment it’s sitting at around about 40 per cent.

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Key added that the number was  “not absolutely amazing, it’s not overwhelmingly opposed”.

Not “significant”?!

More people voted in the referendum (1,297,281) than voted for National in 2011 ( 1,058,638).

Only an idiot who is hell-bent on losing an election dismisses a voter turn-out that was significantly larger than those who voted for your Party.

It seems that Aaron Gilmore was not the only one who allowed his Tory arrogance to slip out.

Really, Really, Dumb Action of the Year Award

Goes to John Key for taking two ex National Ministers, who supported the 1981 Springbok Tour,  to Nelson Mandela’s funeral – whilst deliberately not inviting any of the anti-Tour leaders of the protest movement.

On top of which, Key then abused Hone Harawira for going to South Africa – and Harawira was actually a part of the anti-Tour leadership!!!

“This is a guy that went to South Africa on a jolly and shouldn’t be billing the taxpayer for it. The bottom line is we took a delegation – whether he likes it or not – that represented, in our view, the right mix. I personally don’t believe there was a role for him to go to South Africa.”

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Class act, Mr Key, real classy.

Curious Story of the Year Award

The blockade of our meat exports to China for, ostensibly, “paperwork problems”… (see previous blogposts:   What’s the beef, guv? and Taiwan FTA – Confirmation by TVNZ of China pressuring the Beehive?)

By “coincidence”, at the same time, New Zealand trade officials were also negotiating a Free Trade Agreement deal with Taiwan – which Beijing China considers a renegade province.

Did Beijing flex it’s muscles with a subtle warning of what might happen if the FTA deal went too far? Was the “paperwork problem” a face-saving cover-up by Key’s government?

I believe it was.

Reality Check of the Year Award

Whilst the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) currently has unemployment at 6.2% – the recent Census Survey revealed that true unemployment was actually 7.1%!

So next time the Nats are crowing that unemployment is dropping, just remember, as the old song goes,

“… it ain’t necessarily so!”

See previous blogpost: The REAL level of unemployment

Runner-Up: The same Census revealed that 12.9% of households rely on some form of communication other than landlines: ie, cellphones (see previous blogpost: Census, Surveys, and Cellphones (Part rua).

Which makes the Roy Morgan poll the most accurate, as it is the only one that currently phones respondents on their cellphones. Other pollsters call only landlines.

Stasi Award for the Year

Peter Dunne and John Banks – both of whom voted for the GCSB and Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security (TICS) Bills. New Zealand moved a couple of steps further toward being a policed surveillance state.

The irony of Banks voting for these two Bills should not be lost on us. ACT is supposedly the Party that wants to get government “out of our lives”.

Voting to increase state powers of surveillance and data gathering is anything but.

Epic fail.

Direct Action Award

The chap (chapess?) who left this message on the footpath outside a National MP’s electorate office:  One Dunedinite’s response to the passing of the GCSB Bill…

Direct. Too the point. Nicely done.

John Key Liar of the Year Award

… goes to ****drrrrrumrolllll****

Luigi Wewege!!

For lying about *not* being in a relationship with Bevan  Chuang – and then being sprung by Kiwiblogger, David Farrar. (See: Not in a relationship!)

Hint to Mr Wewege: if you’re going to deny a relationship, make sure you haven’t been Tweeting her with naughty messages. Doh!

Honest Blogging by a Rightwing Blogger Award

This Award is rare as hens-teeth – but this year it is given to David Farrar, for reporting on Luigi Wewege who lied about *not* being in a relationship with Bevan  Chuang (see above).

Good stuff, DPF.

 Spiteful, Hateful, Intemperate, Tosser*Award

To Michael Laws! Ten years in a row – a world record for tossers!

This time, for abusing women who decide to bear, raise, and care for children with Downs Syndrome, instead of aborting them. (See: How human is Michael Laws?)

This was a new personal-best low for Laws, whose humanity is in dire question.

Laws,  you really, really need to STFU.

(*note the acronym)

Runner-Up: Bob Jones, for his bizarre and downright repugnant comments about encouraging someone to commit suicide. (see:  Calling all white, old, rich men who are decent – please rein in your peers!)

Jones was put firmly in his place with this beautifully written blogpost by Sarah Wilson –  What is the cost?

H is for Hypocrite Award

Paula Bennett – for her on-going vendetta against welfare beneficiaries. National’s victimisation of the unemployed, solo-mums, widows, etc, is nothing more than a nasty attempt to blame these people for being out of work.

Yet, when Key, English, or one of their other taxpayer-bloated,  National cronies have to explain why the economy is not doing so well – they refer to the Global Financial Crisis as an excuse.

Of course, when Bennett was on the DPB, she did very, very well out of the system (see previous blogpost: Hon. Paula Bennett, Minister of Hypocrisy).

Runner-up: National MP and Associate Social Welfare Minister,  Chester Borrows. For aiding and abetting Bennett’s rampage against the poor and the dispossessed (see:   OIA Request points to beneficiary beat-up by Minister Chester Borrows).

Shame on them both.

Victorian Era Bash-The-Poor  Award

Destiny Church co-leader, Hannah Tamaki – for suggesting on an episode of TV3’s The Vote that the poor in New Zealand shouldn’t be complaining if they live in cold, drafty houses and can’t afford heating.

They should all just cuddle up under a blanket.

Well, there y’go! Sorted!

Event of the Year

The death of Nelson Mandela – one of the most inspirational human beings in modern times.

#1 Suggestion to National Leader, John Key

Call an early election.

Lose.

Then feel free to enjoy another holiday in Hawaii.

Permanently.

#1 Suggestion to Labour Leader, David Cunliffe

Nothing would better send a strong message to New Zealanders that child Poverty is a growing crisis in this country, than if you took on the portfolio of Minister for Children.

It would send a message that the welfare and future of this nation’s children is our number one priority. Nothing else is as important.

Quite simply, our children are our future.

Wouldn’t this look good on the door to your new office on the Ninth Floor,

Rt. Hon. David Cunliffe
Prime Minister
Minister for Children

Ticking Time Bomb for the Nats

Increasing child poverty?

Widening wage gap between Aussie and Kiwi workers?

Growing wealth inequality?

Dangerous deep-sea oil prospecting/drilling of our coast?

Stubbornly high housing prices?

Lack of jobs?

Nope. Whilst all those things are growing problems  and a toxic brew for any  government, none of them will bring down the Nats.

But this will;

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Mortgage woe looms

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Further mortgage rate rises 'inevitable'

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Most people can easily become accustomed to a constant ‘diet’ of bad news of poverty, inequality, environmental damage, etc. They aren’t affected by such problems on a day-to-day level.

But as interest rates rise, so will mortgage payments increase  for the middle classes,  and that, people,  will  be a weekly (or fortnightly) reminder. Coupled with low wage growth and rising prices – and home-owners will start to be seriously hurt in their back pockets.

Every week/fortnight.

In their wallets.

This will put a stake through the heart of  Key’s aspirations for as third term.

Dear Leader’s last remaining ‘gloss’ will be stripped away. And all his pathetic attempts to blame the previous  Labour government will be treated with the derisory contempt it deserves.

As always, it will be naked self-interest from the middle classes that undoes this wretched, incompetant government. (A government that can casually throw millions of tax-dollars at Rio Tinto, Warner Bros, Skycity, et al – but seems paralysed – like a possum caught in the glare of approaching headlights –  when it comes to feeding hungry kids at school.)

Self-interest by the middle classes – the central theme of neo-liberalism.

Gotta love the irony.

On a positive note, summer is here; we’ve survived another year of Tory mis-management and Key’s lies; and our economy may start to pick up if Aussie and Chinese markets stay bouyant. Fingers crossed.

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Kiwi-Xmas2anim

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Merry Christmas to one and all!

And Kiwis – vote yourselves a really neat prezzie next year: vote yourselves a new government!

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 26 December 2013.

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References

Radio NZ:  Pharmacies ‘carry cost’ of increases

NZ Herald: Budget 2012: ‘Paper boy tax’ on small earnings stuns Labour

NZ Herald: Norman – Key ‘acting like Muldoon’

TVNZ: Williamson’s ‘big, gay rainbow’ speech makes world headlines

NZ Herald: Peters’ new kid plunges into fray

Radio NZ: Further mortgage rate rises ‘inevitable’

Fairfax media: PM playing down voter turnout

Radio NZ: Key criticises Harawaira for tax-funded trip for Mandela funeral

NZ Herald: Mortgage woe looms

Fairfax media: Wewege denies relationship with Chuang

Kiwiblog: Not in a relationship!

Fairfax media: School breakfasts bill goes before Parliament

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Once Were Leaders…

30 December 2013 Leave a comment

Once upon a time, in a little nation of a few million people, we elected great leaders who strode the world, setting an example that we could live a better way…

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Norman Kirk anti nuclear testing at moruroa

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Now, this country elects leaders like this…

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trending on twitter - NZ's leader questioned over apartheid amnesia

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What is it they say – in a democracy we get the politicians we deserve?

I’d like to think we deserve much better. We’ll certainly get a chance to put that to the test next year.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 23 December 2013.

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References

Twitter: Rudolf Hills

Huffington Post: New Zealand’s Leader Questioned Over Apartheid Amnesia

NZ Listener: Influentials: Speeches that helped shape us

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Congratulations to the Daily Blog…

29 December 2013 2 comments

Congratulations to The Daily Blog – 2,000 subscribers thus far!

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2000 subscribers to The Daily Blog

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May it gain more supporters and go from strength to strength!

(And if you haven’t subscribed by clicking on TDB’s Facebook page – do it now! Gowan, you know you wanna!)

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Categories: Media Tags:

Some pure wisdom from Facebook…

28 December 2013 1 comment

Amongst all the dross, BS, and outright hoaxes, occasionally one finds something on the ‘net that is a little nugget of wisdom…

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Hoax stories on the internet

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Hat tip

Duncan Lucas

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An Open Letter to Len Brown’s Council Critics.

28 December 2013 3 comments

This is an Open Letter to those on Auckland’s City Council – specifically those right wing Councillors who are now ‘gunning’ for Len Brown’s resignation. I refer to Councillors Dick Quax, Cameron Brewer, Christine Fletcher – though others should take note as well.

Are you purer than virgin snow?

Holier than the Pope?

More innocent than a newborn lamb?

I hope so.

Because just  in case it may have escaped your attention, politics in this country just got a whole lot dirtier and smellier.

It may have started with the so-called “expose” by the Sultan of Sleaze, Cameron Slater, and aided and abetted by others connected to the Polino mayoral campaign-camp (John Slater, Luigi Wewege, et al) – but certain right-wing Councillors have ramped up the temperature to white-heat by demanding Brown’s resignation.

All because Mayor Len Brown wasn’t found guilty of mis-using Council funds – he was found “guilty” of not declaring free hotel rooms and free hotel room upgrades.

Big whoopty-doos.

Brown is guilty of gross stupidity – especially for accepting freebies from SkyCity – but these are not offences demanding a resignation and a million dollar mayoral by-election.

If Aucklanders want to waste a million bucks on a needless by-election, then they have been spending too much time on their motorways breathing in mind-altering engine fumes.

But back to my point.

Quax, Brewer, et al, need to be 100% that they themselves have led blameless careers whilst in local body politics.

Have they declared everything?

Evidently not.

Cr  Brewer – one of Brown’s staunchest critics – seems to have been caught out as well,

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mayor's critic didn't declare trip - 2012.2013

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If Brown goes – Brewer must resign as well. No ifs or buts. Just p*ss of.

And to the remaining opponants to Len Brown – you are all on notice. Your actions from now on will be under a microscope and every blogger in this country will keenly scrutinising your actions.

If you so much as spit on the footpath, we’ll know.

You better make sure every donation is scrupulously recorded; every allowance legally claimed; every freebie faithfully registered; every action fully justifiable.

Because a million eyes will be watching. And we’ll know.

And not just left wing bloggers either. There are even Right Wing bloggers like David Farrar who take a dim view of liars,

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Kiwiblog - not in a relationship

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(Kudos to David Farrar for taking a principled stand on this issue.)

So let’s hope that Brown’s detractors sitting around the Auckland Council table are squeaky clean and, like Caesar’s wife, are above suspicion.

The bar has been raised.

Expectations are now higher.

And precedent has been established.

So, behave yourselves.

We’ll be watching.

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Postscript

A note to Len Brown.

Dear gods, let this be an end to it.

The next time you F**K up, it won’t be Quax, Brewer, Slater, et al, calling for your arse to be chucked out – it will be left wing bloggers. And we will be even more relentless and merciless.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 21 December 2013.

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References

Radio NZ:  Mayor’s critic didn’t declare trip

Kiwiblog: Not in a relationship!

Counterpoint View

The Daily Blog: Len Old Friend: This Is Why You Must Stand Down

The Dim Post: Thinking my way through the whole Len Brown thing

Additional

The Standard: Ernst and Young should investigate Cameron Brewer

The Daily Blog: Cough-cough, so doesn’t this kinda make Cameron Brewer a smug hypocrite?

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Confirmed: National welcomes low-wage economy

28 December 2013 2 comments

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From the mouth of our Dear Leader, Prime Minister John Key;

We think Kiwis deserve higher wages and lower taxes during their working lives, as well as a good retirement.” – John Key, 27 May 2007

We will be unrelenting in our quest to lift our economic growth rate and raise wage rates.” – John Key, 29 January 2008

We want to make New Zealand an attractive place for our children and grandchildren to live – including those who are currently living in Australia, the UK, or elsewhere. To stem that flow so we must ensure Kiwis can receive competitive after-tax wages in New Zealand.”   – John Key, 6 September 2008

I don’t want our talented young people leaving permanently for Australia, the US, Europe, or Asia, because they feel they have to go overseas to better themselves.” – John Key, 15 July 2009

Science and innovation are important. They’re one of the keys to growing our economy, raising wages, and providing the world-class public services that Kiwi families need.” – John Key, 12 March 2010

We will also continue our work to increase the incomes New Zealanders earn. That is a fundamental objective of our plan to build a stronger economy.” – John Key, 8 February 2011

The driving goal of my Government is to build a more competitive and internationally-focused economy with less debt, more  jobs and higher incomes.” – John Key, 21 December 2011

We want to increase the level of earnings and the level of incomes of the average New Zealander and we think we have a quality product with which we can do that.” –  John Key, 19 April 2012

Since 2007, Key has been explicit in his pronouncements; his policy is to see wages rise for New Zealanders. He has made those utterance every year.

Then, on  10 April 2011, on TVNZ’s Q+A, Guyon Espiner interviewed  Bill English and we heard this extraordinary admission from the Finance Minister;

GUYON Can I talk about the real economy for people?  They see the cost of living keep going up.  They see wages really not- if not quite keeping pace with that, certainly not outstripping it much.  I mean, you said at the weekend to the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum that one of our advantages over Australia was that our wages were 30% cheaper.  I mean, is that an advantage now?

BILL Well, it’s a way of competing, isn’t it?  I mean, if we want to grow this economy, we need the capital – more capital per worker – and we’re competing for people as well.
 
GUYON So it’s part of our strategy to have wages 30% below Australia?

BILL Well, they are, and we need to get on with competing for Australia.  So if you take an area like tourism, we are competing with Australia.  We’re trying to get Australians here instead of spending their tourist dollar in Australia.

GUYON But is it a good thing?

BILL Well, it is a good thing if we can attract the capital, and the fact is Australians- Australian companies should be looking at bringing activities to New Zealand because we are so much more competitive than most of the Australian economy.

GUYON So let’s get this straight – it’s a good thing for New Zealand that our wages are 30% below Australia?

BILL No, it’s not a good thing, but it is a fact.  We want to close that gap up, and one way to close that gap up is to compete, just like our sports teams are doing.  This weekend we’ve had rugby league, netball, basketball teams, and rugby teams out there competing with Australia.  That’s lifting the standard.  They’re closing up the gap.

GUYON But you said it was an advantage, Minister.

BILL Well, at the moment, if I go to Australia and talk to Australians, I want to put to them a positive case for investment in New Zealand, because while we are saving more, we’re not saving more fast enough to get the capital that we need to close the gap with Australia.  So Australia already has 40 billion of investment in New Zealand.  If we could attract more Australian companies, activities here, that would help us create the jobs and lift incomes.

Source

Key responded in his typical fashion that we are all familiar with by now; he blamed the previous Labour government;

We inherited a mess from Labour and a real recession. We have a plan.”

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Considering that the previous Labour government had posted eight straight budget surpluses in a row, and paid down most of the country’s sovereign debt – it is unclear just what “mess” Key was referring to.

But as we all know by now, Key has zero hesitation in blaming others – especially the previous government – to avoid taking responsibility for any of his own shortcomings (which, by now, are legion).

So was English correct? Is it deliberate National Party policy to suppress wages in this country?

One might have accepted that English’s comments on Q+A were “mis-interpreted”.

However, two years later, National Party backbench MP, John Hayes, wrote this on his website,

Australian workers will get a 2.6 per cent rise to $A622.20 a week or $NZ750.50 at the prevailing exchange rate. That’s $A16.37 ($NZ19.75) an hour for Aussies’ 38-hour working week compared with $NZ13.75 an hour or $NZ550 for Kiwis’ 40-hour working week. I note that the Labour Party spokesperson on Labour issues is wringing her hands in despair at this news. I think we should celebrate because a rise in the minimum wage in Australia makes our labour force more competitive and will be helpful in attracting investment and jobs to New Zealand. About 18 months ago CHB Mayor Peter Butler and I approached Australian based food processors with the suggestion of moving across the Tasman to establish plants in New Zealand to process food produced under newly irrigated areas. We established that Australian food processors are interested to do this when our new irrigation is in place. A driver from the Australian perspective is that the New Zealand labour force is well educated, more productive and less unionised than their Australian counterparts.” – John Hayes, National MP, 5 June 2013

Bill English’s contention, that lower wages are a desirable means by which to be “so much more competitive” than Australian workers,was no mistake. It has been confirmed as covert National Party policy.

This is further backed up by National’s recent introduction of legislation to “reform” our labour laws.

Firstly, National reintroduced youth rates, euphemistically called the “Starting Out Wage” to young workers. Taking effect on 1 May 2013, the new youth rate cut wages  for  16-to-19-year-olds to  80% of the minimum wage.

National further disempowered workers and undermined their ability to negotiate by implementing the 90 Day “Trial Period”. First introduced in 2009 for small business of up to 20 employees, it was extended to all companies in 2011.

Unsurprisingly, the introduction of the 90 Day Trial Period had no appreciable effect on creating jobs,

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One of the most far-reaching aspects of National’s covert agenda to make the country’s workforce  “more flexible” (translation; more exploitable)  is their stated intention to remove Part 6A  of the Employment Relations Act (ERA),  which continues (or transfers under similar conditions and pay) the employment of  low-paid employees such as caretakers, cleaners, catering workers, hospital orderlies and laundry workers,  after a business is restructured or sold.

See: Part 6A – Continuity of employment if employees’ work affected by restructuring

Part 6A gives vulnerable, low-paid workers, the right to keep their jobs on the same terms of employment when  transferred to the new contractor.

See: Labour law changes announced

Then-Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson had assured the public that this law-change would apply only to  small and medium-sized businesses with less than 20 employees.

Which was precisely the same tactic used to implement the 90 Day Trial Period law, by degree,

Trial employment periods for up to 90 days for workplaces with fewer than 20 employees will be available from April 2009.” – Kate Wilkinson,  11 December 2008

See: National policy – 90-day trial period to provide job opportunities

Once National’s so-called “reforms” were bedded in, they changed it, implementing the real policy  they had wanted all along,

The 90-day trial period is to be extended to enable all employers and new employees to have the chance to benefit from it.” – Kate Wilkinson,  18 July 2010

Once Part 6A is removed from the lawbooks, the lowest-paid workers in our communities will be vulnerable. A new employer will  be able to re-write their contracts at whim; reduce  their pay; change their conditions, or dismiss them altogether. There are many such small business and the impact on their workers could be severe (Source).

Green Party industrial-relations spokeswoman, Denise Roche, was 100% on-the nose when she described these – and other “reforms” as,

This decision is straight from the Bill Birch era of industrial relations.”

Source

This is indeed a return to the Employment Contracts Act – by stealth. National is too gutless to present such radical plans to the voting public at election time.

This is indeed what National MP, John Hayes was referring to when he stated, 

…A driver from the Australian perspective is that the New Zealand labour force is well educated, more productive and less unionised than their Australian counterparts.”

And if National MP (Botany) Jamie Lee-Ross gets his way with his even more extreme Bill,  employers would be able to legally hire scab labour to replace striking workers .

Quite brazen in his actions, Jami-Lee Ross  admitted that he had colluded with POAL (Ports of Auckland Ltd) bosses to draft his proposed  strike-breaking amendment, the Employment Relations (Continuity of Labour) Amendment Bill.

On TV3′s The Nation on 22 June 2013, Ross confirmed that he had been in talks with employers during the height of the industrial dispute between the POAL and MUNZ (Maritime Union).  (source)

Ross’s hatred for Unions is on public record,

Up until recently, cool heads and rational people sitting around negotiating tables have meant that little focus has been placed on the role that unions play in society. However, with the bare-faced mockery that the Maritime Union is making of civilised negotiations New Zealanders will soon begin to question what position unions should hold in the modern Kiwi workplace.

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None, it would seem, according to Ross.

Though this radical move may be  a step too far, even for the

Make no mistake, National’s secret agenda is for a low wage economy, with minimal collective protections for workers, and as much power in the hands of employers as they can digest.

National has no other means by which to create jobs.

They intend to rely solely on the “market place”, and to do that, this country’s labour must become “more competitive”.

Translation; our wages must be driven down by any and every means possible.

Just ask Messrs English and Hayes.

Postscript

21 February 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

AUS-NZ Wage Gap Now $180, More Than A Kiwi’s Daily Pay

How To Work A Four-Day Week? Move To Australia

The wage gap with Australia is now so large that Kiwis across the ditch earn a New Zealander’s weekly pay in just four days, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker

“The median weekly wage gap with Australia has ballooned by $60 to $180 per week under John Key’s leadership, despite National’s promise to close the gap.

“In Australia the median wage is $1067, in New Zealand it’s $887, according to the latest statistics[1]. To make up the difference Kiwis need to work another full day and another hour on top of that. It’s no surprise 182,000 Kiwis have left under National.

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National’s Grand Plan is a roaring success;  in July 2010 the wage gap was $22.36.

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 24 December 2013.

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References

TVNZ Q+A: Bill English

TV3: Key blames Labour for his Govt’s wage gap failings

John  Hayes MP for Wairarapa: From the House: 5 June 2013

ODT: Labour law changes announced

Scoop media: Balloted Bill possibly a bridge too far

Green Party: Vulnerable workers’ rights go under National

Scoop media:  Union biting the hand that feeds – Jamie Lee-Ross

Scoop media: AUS-NZ Wage Gap Now $180, More Than A Kiwi’s Daily Pay

Previous related blogposts

Key’s broken promise on raising wages

Johnny’s Report Card – National Standards Assessment y/e 2012 – incomes

National MP admits collusion with bosses to set up strike-breaking law!!

Hat Tip

Paula Fern

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That was Then, This is Now #19 – A “Decade of Deficits”

27 December 2013 4 comments

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19. decade of deficits

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 20 December 2013.

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Previous related blogpost

That was Then, This is Now #18

References

Fairfax media: Nats blame Labour for ‘decade of deficits’

TVNZ: Breakfast Show

National: Government Share Offer

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