Archive

Archive for April, 2014

Letter to the Editor: Labour’s cunning plan (v.2)

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FROM:   "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE:    Wed, 30 Apr 2014 21:33:36 +1200
TO:      "The Listener" <> 

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The Editor
THE LISTENER
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David Parker's Reserve Bank-Kiwisaver Variable Savings Rate
is a very clever piece of policy which is so elegantly
simple but so wonderfully clever at the same time. The
question I keep asking is why no one has thought of it
before!

It's intriguing that thus far the only criticism seems to be
based on Labour-bashing rather than any serious analysis.

Although it's interesting to note that Federated Farmers 
and the Northern Employers and Manufacturers' Association 
are open minded about it  - which is  all anyone can ask,
really.

For the Nats - they are panicking. The common spin is that
Labour's policy is "confused". Not exactly a resounding
rebuttal of the Variable Savings Rate - but expect their
Party strategists to get into high gear very shortly.

The funniest thing though, is the number of right wingers
who seem to prefer their cash to be siphoned off to overseas
banks - rather than invested and returned to them. I know
right-wingers are blinkered and see the world in Black &
White terms but this is a whole new  level of dogmatic
dumbness even for them.

If Labour can come up with more initiatives like this -
September 20th will see a new government. 



-Frank Macskasy
[address & phone number supplied]

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References

Radio NZ: Labour makes monetary policy change

Federated Farmers of NZ: Federated Farmers keen on Labour’s monetary policy detail


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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Letter to the Editor: Labour’s cunning plan

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FROM:   "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE:    Wed, 30 Apr 2014 12:13:21 +1200
TO:     "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz> 

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The Editor
Dominion Post

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Labour's new policy to replace OCR interest rates with a
variable Kiwisaver rate is ingenuous and common sense. It
beggars belief that it hasn't been thought up before.

Instead of higher interest rates which force mortgage rates
rises, New Zealanders will make higher payments to their
Kiwisaver account.

The difference is obvious - paid to Kiwisaver, we get to
keep our money. Paid to banks, that money disappears off to
Australia  as billion-dollar profits.

Bill English's criticism that Labour's plan would impact
unfairly on the poor and low/fixed income families is
laughable. When has National ever been concerned about the
welfare of the poor?

English forgets that when the OCR rises, so do mortgage
rates. And rents follow. So low/fixed income families cannot
escape the current RBNZ policy of restraining inflation
through interest rates. 

Australia has over A$1.6 trillion saved in their compulsory
savings account. Had we kept own own savings scheme,
implemented by the Kirk-led government in 1973, NZ would
have saved NZ$278 billion by now. We would not be so reliant
on overseas capital.

But Muldoon scrapped it shortly after the 1975 election, and
we have been "captive" to foreign banks ever since.

Let us not make the same mistake twice.





-Frank Macskasy
[address & phone number supplied]

 

 

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References

Radio NZ: Labour makes monetary policy change

Fairfax media:  Bob each way on effects of a lower dollar


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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Letter to the Editor: When Key and Collins can’t get their stories straight

30 April 2014 10 comments

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old-paper-with-quill-pen-vector_34-14879.

It seems that the Nats can’t get their official party line straight…

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Alcohol tobacco pricing

 

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Which elicited this response from me…

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FROM:   "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE:    Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:53:28 +1200
TO:     "Sunday Star Times" <letters@star-times.co.nz>

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The Editor
Sunday Star Times

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National Minister, Judith Collins, recently stated that "the
Government will not be introducing minimum pricing on
alcohol as this would hit moderate drinkers in the pocket
when there is no compelling evidence that increasing the
price of alcohol is the correct approach" (24 April).

This breath-taking piece of sophistry  flies in the face of
policies set by successive governments to reduce tobacco-use
by gradually increasing price. 

The gradual fall in tobacco use has been directly attributed
to increased pricing, as John Key himself stated on 2
February 2010, on TV3;

"The academic evidence shows that the most effective way to
stop people smoking is [to] raise the price and that's
because  as it gets more expensive, particularly young
people can't afford it, [and] eventually people actually
stop." 

The only conclusion that one can draw from this blatant
contradiction is that the liquor industry has had it's way
with National with secret lobbying, and public health
interests have been side-lined.

More than one person has made the point that National will
be banning "synthetic highs" - which has killed no one -
whilst alcohol, responsible for many deaths, injuries, 
community harm,  and billions in ACC claims and lost
productivity - is being ignored.

People may reflect on National's double standards on
election day on 20 September.


-Frank Macskasy
[address & phone number provided]

 

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Hypocrisy. Sophistry. Double standards. Call it what you will – but it is breath-taking nevertheless.

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References

Judith Collins: Government not introducing minimum pricing on alcohol

TV3: Key – Most smokers want proposed price hikes


 

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National out

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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Letter to the Editor: How anti-democratic is an un-elected leadership?

30 April 2014 2 comments

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This recent event in New Plymouth caught my attention and I couldn’t but help notice the strange contradictions it presented…

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Dismay as iwi voting rights denied

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So I put words-to-screen and sent off this email to the editor of the Taranaki Daily News,

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FROM: "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE: Tue, 29 Apr 2014 22:59:45 +1200
TO: "Taranaki Daily News" <editor@dailynews.co.nz>

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The Editor
Taranaki Daily News

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Kia Ora,

I was disappointed to learn that on 15 April the New
Plymouth City Council voted  against a proposal for Iwi
representation on the NPCC.

The most common rationale (if it could be called "rational")
given was that Iwi representation by appointment would be
"un-elected" and therefore "un-democratic". 

I was intrigued by that. 

I wonder how many of the Councillors and citizens of New
Plymouth who oppose Iwi representation on the Council
realise that our Head of State - Queen Elizabeth II - is
also un-elected.

This does not seem to bother a fair number of New
Zealanders.

How bizarre that so many people seem to view an un-elected
Head of State; living on the other side of the planet; with
marginal connection to our nation - as some kind of
"normality".

But a Treaty partner; our fellow countrymen and women; who
live alongside us, are kept well away from the council table
because they were "not elected". How convenient, also, that
being a minority,  Iwi is denied having elected
representation on Council. So sayeth the tyranny of the
Majority.

Skin colour wouldn't have anything to do with this clear
example of double standards, by any chance?




-Frank Macskasy
[address & phone number supplied]

 

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References

Taranaki Daily Mail:  Dismay as iwi voting rights denied


 

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The sacking of the national govt

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Union, and the NZ Herald

25 April 2014 7 comments

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Taxpayers Union website banner

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On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or ACT parties.

Recently, one of the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union” – John Bishop – had a letter-to-the-editor published in Wellington’s Dominion Post;

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John Bishop_taxpayers Union_21 march 2014_dominion post

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Bishop’s ideological rant on performance pay for teachers is stock-standard ACT policy – a Party he was closely associated with between April 2000 and August 2002, as a Constituency Services Manager  for the ACT Parliamentary Office. His role was described as  “developing relationships with key target groups and organising events” – whatever that might mean.

The job was most likely funded through Parliamentary Services. (One hopes that he delivered “value for money”?)

Bishop’s ideological and Party links are nowhere better illustrated than the recent (and on-going) scandal over Judith Collins and the “Oravida stop-over dinner”. When the “Taxpayers Union” finally caved in to pressure to comment on Collins’ trip to China, Bishop wrote with a fair dollop of sophistry;

Being involved in political activity makes it tempting to comment on each and every movement in the political dimension. Early on, the Taxpayers’ Union decided that it would focus on instances of waste and extravagance in central and local government spending, and on cases where spending had clearly not achieved its purpose.

Hence we criticised Tony Marriott of the Christchurch City Council for charging a visit to Hooters’ Bar to his council funded credit card. And we decried Transpower for spending over a million dollars on a swept up cafeteria in its building for staff when there are plenty of cafes within easy walking distance. 

We also decided that, generally speaking, we would not go after what politicians’ poor performance, bad decisions, and questionable judgements unless there were circumstances to justify our intervention. Much of that is partisan debate and we were simply not going to get involved in every public issue, particularly when there were plenty of others making the same points as we would make.

Yes, that makes us look selective in our criticism, but we have taken on Peter Dunne over the cost of passports, and Len Brown over Auckland’s debt burden. We were also quick to point out that Hekia Parata’s inquiry into the Te Kohanga Reo National Trust asked questions about the wrong body, but we have stood back from the row over Judith Collin’s trip to China. 

In the first matter large sums of public money are involved and the misuse of funds is alleged. In the second, the cost of the Collins trip is not large, and her “crime” is not about the misuse of money. It may be a fine distinction, particularly for those who wish to attack us for existing at all, but it is a real one.

Contributors to our blog pages and tip line are constantly urging us to get involved in issues, whether it’s the funding of programmes promoting recreation and sport, the operation of the ACC scheme, the worth of the defence forces, or whatever else is on their minds.  We would love to be able to question policy matters, and to test whether a wide range of policies actually deliver on their objectives and represent value for taxpayers’ money.

It’s early days.  We only launched in October and we are still reliant to a large degree on volunteer time. Because of that we’re focused on exposing instances of clearly bad, mad and wasted spending – until we have built up our resources to do more.  Our record shows that we’re not favouring one party or another. For example, our exposé of the DOC IT cost blowout is precisely why we were established.

Waste and poor spending are our targets, not people and or partisanship.”

Bishop says that “the cost of the Collins trip is not large”.

According to media reports, Judith Collins’ junket to China cost taxpayers $36,000.

Contrast that to Mojo Mathers’ trip to Masterton, to participate in a radio station’s programme for people with disabilities. Cost to taxpayers – an estimated $550, according a NZ Herald story.

Jordan Williams, from the “Taxpayers Union” was scathing on Ms Mathers’ trip;

It’s amazing that she has so little to do with her time to actually travel to a community radio that probably has as many listeners as you can count on your hand.  The only silver lining is that the time spent travelling to go on the station in the middle of nowhere is less time spent dreaming up new ways to spend tax payers money.”

So according to the “Taxpayers Union”,  $36,000 “is not large” – but $550 was worthy of the scorn and wrath of the same, self-proclaimed “champions of the taxpayer”?

Is this what Bishop meant when he asserted; “waste and poor spending are our targets, not people and or partisanship”?

There is little doubt that Bishop and his fellow Board members in the “Taxpayers Union” are little more than a front organisation for the National/ACT parties.

For the media to constantly refer to this group for commentary on issues – on the pretext that the “Taxpayers Union” is some kind of  credible, non-partisan, neutral source – is ludicrous and deceiving the public.

Going further, by not explaining and disclosing the “Taxpayers Union’s” ties to National and ACT, the media reinforces suspicions or perceptions that it has become a captured tool; a mouthpiece for the Key government.

It is time that the mainstream media reconsidered it’s policy to seek comment from the “Taxpayers Union” on any and all issues.  The “Taxpayers Union” has demonstrated by it’s highly politicised membership and it’s failure at  any measure of non-partisanship, that it cannot be trusted to deliver unbiased commentary.

This group is simply no longer credible.

When journalists fail to report the “Union’s” close links to National and ACT, the media is complicit in this dishonest charade.

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References

Taxpayers Union: Who we are

Finda.co.nz: John Bishop Communicator

ACT Party: Confidence and Supply Agreement with ACT New Zealand

Johnbishop.co.nz: Bill English – Minister of Infrastructure

Advisoryboards.co.nz:  Curriculum Vitae: John Bishop – Advisory Boards NZ

Taxpayers Union: John Bishop on Judith Collins

TVNZ: Judith Collins faces third week of questioning over Chinese trip

NZ Herald: Green MP’s 800km taxpayer-funded trip questioned

Previous Related Blogposts

A Query to the Taxpayers Union

A Query to the Taxpayers Union – ***UP DATE ***

Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Rua)

Other Blogs

The Dim Post: Slightly more thoughts on the Taxpayers’ Union

The Daily Blog – Chris Trotter: Dispelling The Negatives: Judith Collins refuses to cry over spilt milk

 

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Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 18 April 2014.

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That was Then, This is Now #24 – Key challenges Cunliffe – then doesn’t!

23 April 2014 2 comments

When in trouble – blame the “filthy benes”!

21 April 2014 7 comments

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I love a good switch hunt - beneficiary bashing

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A recent Roy Morgan poll had some very disturbing news for National and it’s shrinking support-base;

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National down as NZ First gains

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The poll results;

Right Bloc

National: 43% (down 2.5%)

Maori Party: 1.5% (down 0.5%)

ACT NZ: (0.5%, unchanged)

United Future: 0.5% (unchanged)

Conservative Party of NZ:  2.5% (up 1%)

Left Bloc

Labour Party: 32% (up 0.5%)

Greens: 13% (down 1%)

Mana Party: 0.5% (up 0.5%)

Internet Party: (0.5%, up 0.5%)

Wild Card

New Zealand First: 5.5% (up 2%)

The polling – which includes phoning respondents on cellphones – shows party/bloc support much more evenly divided than other polls. Any election night result is simply too close to call, and will depend on “wild cards” such as NZ First; how many Maori electorate seats will be won by Mana, at the expense of the Maori Party; and will the Nats cede an electorate seat to the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party).

(Despite the closeness of the Left/Right bloc, this blogger still maintains that we will see a change in government post 20 September.)

No doubt all this information was already available to National’s own party strategists, and, rather predictably, they were prepared to distract public attention with Default Strategy #2;

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Travelling beneficiaries' payments cut

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Note the dates on the two stories above; 3 April. Coincidence? Not very likely. All political parties are aware of when Roy Morgan polling results are made public and this particular result would have come as no surprise to  National’s back room strategists and spin doctors.

National and Labour both conduct their own internal polling and are acutely aware that public opinion of decided voters is evenly balanced between the Left and Right blocs.

To rebuild flagging public support, the Nats are focused on reclaiming “soft”, low-information,  swing voters – especially those susceptible to dog-whistle politics. And you can’t get more “dog whistle” than beating up on welfare beneficiaries, as Bennett did;

“The new rules recognise beneficiaries should be ready and available for work – not prioritising travel.  Every day we hear stories of how people cannot live on the benefit. Today you’re hearing that literally thousands can not only live on it but can afford to travel overseas as well.”

This is precisely the despicable tactic used by ex-National leader, Don Brash, during his infamous Orewa Rotary Club Speech in 2004, when he railed against a  “government-funded culture of welfare dependency“, “racial separatism in New Zealand“, and the  “development of the now entrenched Treaty grievance industry“.

Considering that the Maori Party is one of National’s few remaining coalition partners, and rely on their support for Supply and Confidence, slagging of at Maori and the “entrenched Treaty grievance industry” is a no-go area.

Which leave… beneficiaries. They are the “New Jews” of 21st Century New Zealand – blamed for an alleged “poor work-ethic”;  “wasting tax-dollars”; and living the “high life” whilst the rest of us have to work for a crust.

It is noteworthy that, in the main, the mainstream media published Bennett’s media release without question. There was no in-depth analysis by journos wanting to know who these “21,000 beneficiaries” were, or their circumstances. No questions were asked. No delving behind the reported statistics was carried out.

In fact, not one single journalist, newspaper, TV current affairs programme, etc, actually even bothered to report what the unemployment benefit was ($210 per week, net).

Instead, the Herald – which seemed to be the main media outlet for this “story” –  published an editorial five days later, supporting and endorsing the official Party Line.

Never since the days of the Soviet state-organs, Pravda, Izveztia, etc, have news media been so utterly and completely compliant as mouth-pieces for government policies, statements, and naked propaganda.

If this is what the msm such as the NZ Herald call “freedom of the press“, then I suggest to them that their much-vaunted independence is a fiction. When government ministers’ media releases are reported almost verbatim, then  any pretence of media independence , press freedom, and investigative journalism flies out the window.

Interestingly, when James Coleman on RadioLive interviewed Labour’s Sue Moroney on this issue, he started of by asking;

“Well I wonder how you can afford to travel overseas while on a benefit?”

Unfortunately, except for Julie Moffett on NewstalkZB, who made some effort to present an alternative to the official “Party line”,  that line of questioning was not followed through.

Ms Moroney did, however, make this interesting point;

“I think that people will have questions about why there so many people travelling overseas. And I think it tells us a story about how bad the job market is in New Zealand. I think that quite a number of these people, and many of them are travelling to Australia in desperation, because they’ve run out of the opportunity in New Zealand to get a job. They’re sick of sitting on the scrap heap here, and getting rejection letter after rejection letter after rejection letter and are going to Australia and are trying their luck over there instead.”

Ms Moroney’s assertion would seem to be confirmed by Paula Bennett, when she stated,

“Since the changes 4,880 peoples’ benefits were cancelled because they failed to reconnect with Work and Income eight weeks after their departure from New Zealand.”

If someone on an unemployment benefit (now referred to as “Jobseeker”) has left New Zealand for longer than  eight weeks, that implies they have left this country for reasons other than a so-called “holiday” or family bereavement. As Sue Moroney suggested, they have left this country for good.

So why not phone WINZ’s 0800 number to inform them that they are travelling overseas?

Anyone who has recently had cause to phone WINZ (0800 559 009) will have their question provided. Waiting to speak to an operator on that line can take anywhere from ten to twenty minutes. Sometimes longer. And there is no guarantee that the information provided by a welfare recipient will be accurately recorded or passed on to the relevant WINZ Branch, or acted on.

This blogger is aware of at least one beneficiary who followed proper procedures to  advise WINZ of a change in his/her circumstances – only to have that information disregarded and their benefit cut. Only when WINZ was contacted on subsequent occassions and questions asked why that information (earning an income through a casual job) was not accepted, was the recipient’s benefit eventually reinstated. S/he had done everything right; carried out their obligations; made full disclosures – and was still penalised.

How often is this happening to others?

And if a beneficiary is leaving New Zealand (often paid by loans, friends, or family) to seek work in Australia – why should someone utterly frustrated with the system bother to contact WINZ, which is time-consuming, stressful, and when that information is not always passed on?

Who would bother?

I submit to the reader that most would simply give the one or two  fingered salute to this country as they departed.

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evansknowlegewave

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However, such questionable “statistics” serve this government’s interests very well. They have a ready-made scape-goat to point the finger at – meanwhile distracting the public from the very obvious fact that there are simply not enough jobs to go around for everyone. Certainly not the 170,000 new jobs promised by National in 2011;

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Budget 2011 - Govt predicts 170,000 new jobs

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In turn, the media has ready-made, simplistic, tabloid-style headlines provided to it on a plate, to sell their advertising.

Whilst the majority (hopefully) of New Zealanders understand that this is red-neck, dog-whistle politicking in action, National need only  appeal to one or two percentage points of voters who unquestioningly digest this kind of prejudice –  and John Key is assured of a third term in office.

Unemployment is working – for National’s re-election.

Postscript #1

A bit of background into Paula Bennett’s life before she came to Parliament…

  • Paula Bennet was a solo-mother, at age 17
  • Just two years later, she got a Housing Corporation loan to buy a $56,000 house in Taupo.
  • All of this while on the domestic purposes benefit.
  • Paula Bennet was a recipient of the WINZ Training Incentive Allowance, which she scrapped in 2009
  • Paula Bennet obtained her degree at Massey University, through the TIA – a taxpayer-funded benefit

More

Postscript #2

Perhaps I spoke too soon. There appears one journalist willing to buck the National Party Line, it seems. Colin Espiner stands out from the maddened crowd of media sycophants…


 

References

NZ Herald: Travelling beneficiaries’ payments cut

Roy Morgan: 3 April 2014 Poll

NZ Herald: National down as NZ First gains

Scoop media: “Nationhood – Don Brash Speech Orewa Rotary Club”

NZ Herald: Editorial – Travel is not a right for those taking welfare

National Party: Benefits cut for 21,000 overseas travellers

RadioLive: Sue Moroney: Beneficiaries and overseas travel

NewstalkZB: Whip-rounds and debt paying for beneficiaries’ trips

TVNZ: Budget 2011: Govt predicts 170,000 new jobs

NZ Herald: Fran O’Sullivan – Bennett knows about life on Struggle St

Fairfax media: Beneficiary bashing just too easy

Previous related blogposts

Letter to the Editor: Is National in trouble in the polls?

National under attack – defaults to Deflection #2

Once upon a time there was a solo-mum

Hypocrisy – thy name be National

Benefit fraud? Is Chester Borrows being totally upfront with us?!

Other blogs/blogposts

Against The Current: Mike Hosking says Bash A Beneficiary Day!

The Daily Blog: Paula Bennett’s racist beneficiary flying hatefest

The Little Pakeha: Wrestling with the narrative

The Standard: Poverty denial – NZ Herald editorial

 

 


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Paula Bennet.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 14 April 2014.

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Not all photo ops are welcomed events…

20 April 2014 12 comments

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From Facebook

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John Key and Cameron Slater

Seen on Police 10-7…

 

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Nasty.

[Hat-tip: Kris]

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Letter to the Editor: The power of the vote

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FROM: "f.macskasy"
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE: Sun, 20 Apr 2014 14:38:19 +1200
TO: "Sunday Star Times" <letters@star-times.co.nz> 

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The Editor
SUNDAY STAR TIMES

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This year, if every Labour, Green, Mana, and Internet Party
supporter finds just one person who didn’t vote in 2011,
and supports them to go to the ballot booth on 20 September
– we will have a new government as our Christmas present.

Then we can have a government that focuses on more jobs;
building homes for young New Zealanders; alleviating child
poverty; protecting the environment, and all the other
critical problems confronting our nation.

Those should be our priorities - not endless scandals;
corporate welfare; tax breaks for the rich; dodgy deals
behind closed doors; rising inequality; falling home
ownership whilst speculators profit; farms sold of to
foreign investors; threats to our coastline through
unconstrained deep sea drilling; polluted rivers and lakes;
and not enough jobs for the 168,000 unemployed in this
country whilst National allows cheap foreign labour for the
Christchurch re-build.

To every Labour, Green, Mana, Internet Party supporter; find
one person who did not vote in 2011 and encourage him/her to
vote for change. The power of the Vote is greater than many
realise - which is why so many dictators around the world
fear it.

We can have the country we want. But we're going to have to
work hard to achieve it.

-Frank Macskasy

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(Address & phone number supplied)

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

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A message from Greenpeace about Simon Bridges

17 April 2014 4 comments

I received this email today, from Greenpeace;

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Hi Frank,

GREENPEACE

PHOTO: Simon Bridges

We’ve called for Simon Bridges to be sacked over his incompetent mishandling of the Energy and Resources portfolio. The final straw was him opening the Victoria Forest Park up for mining without even knowing it existed.

Within days over 15,000 people have joined the call but we’re missing your name!
 
CLICK HERE NOW TO TAKE<br />
ACTION

Last time the Government did something this stupid 50,000 people marched up Queen Street and the decision to mine New Zealand’s best ‘Schedule 4’ conservation land was overturned. But it seems they’ve forgotten how strongly we feel about our wild places.

Under the Minister’s watch the Government has opened vast areas of New Zealand’s oceans to risky deep sea drilling, and now he’s opened our largest forest park to new mining and drilling.

The Minister’s obsession with oil at any cost is robbing New Zealanders of the cleaner smarter economy that could create tens of thousands of jobs and provide real prosperity.

The decisions we make about our energy choices today will determine the prosperity of our children’s future. It’s clear that Bridges is not up to the job. He’s making the wrong decisions on really important stuff and New Zealand deserves better. It’s time for him to go.

Use our quick easy form to send a message to the Prime Minister now

– Nick and the whole crew at Greenpeace

 

 

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I was only too happy to oblige, and added my name to the on-line petition.

I encourage you, reading this, to do likewise. (And pass it on to others!)

Simon Bridges’ incompetance is such that he is too dangerous to remain as a Minister of the Crown.

 

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National dance to corporate interests

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

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Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder

17 April 2014 6 comments

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FROM:   "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE:    Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200
TO:     "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz> 

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The Editor
DOMINION POST

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A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more
precise - by a US drone attack in Yemen, and our esteemed
Prime Minister responds; 

"I think they are legitimate, at certain times, where
countries are trying to contend with very dangerous
situations and they are trying to deal with those terrorists
without putting their own people in harm's way... I think
all that shows is the things that I have been saying for
quite some time that we need our intelligence agencies to
track our people, that there are New Zealanders who go and
put themselves in harm's way have all been proven to be
correct".

The New Zealander concerned has not been convicted of any
offence. We don't even know the extent of his involvement
(if any) in any so-called "terrorist" organisation. 

His fate was simply signed and sealed by some unknown
person(s) in Washington.

This is what is known as an extra-judicial killing; where a
person is summarily executed by the State, without any due
process of the law.

This was not justice, it was murder.

And for John Key to wash his hands of this terrorist act
with sophistry shows the lengths to which he has abandoned
any pretense of justice and surrendered to faceless killers
in Washington.

God help us - who is next? And is this what we can expect in
the 21st Century?


-Frank Macskasy

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(Address & phone number supplied)

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References

NZ Herald: New Zealand, Australian men killed in Yemen strike


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

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From the mouth of Dear Leader…

11 April 2014 1 comment

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National Party leader

 

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Every so often, I dip into my files and use one of Dear Leader John Key’s quotes. They are highly useful to illustrate his flip-flops, broken promises, exaggerations, and fibbing, over the years.

They may prove equally useful to the reader. You never quite know when you feel the need to remind a faithful, loyal National Party sycophant that their Leader’s utterances can be quite revealing.

Ladies and Gentlemen, and the good folk on the LGBT spectrum, I present, from the National Party Politburo and Ministry of Truth,

.

the Thoughts of (Board) Chairman Key

.

 

 


 

re: ASSET SALES – WATER – MAORI

7 February 2012

“In my view no one owns the water. It’s like air, no one owns the air.”

http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/legal-threat-over-asset-sales-4713323

 


 

re: ASSET SALES – WATER – MAORI

9 July 2012

“We don’t believe anybody owns water. What we do accept is that people own water rights. We don’t think the sale of 49 per cent of Mighty River Power in any way impinges on those water rights.”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10818360


 

re: ASSET SALES – LIES – EXAGGERATION

26 January 2011

“If we could do that with those five entities … if we can make some savings in terms of what were looking at in the budget and maybe a little on the upside you’re talking about somewhere in the order of $7 to $10 billion less borrowing that the Government could undertake.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4582922/John-Key-reveals-plan-for-asset-sales


 

re: ASSET SALES – LIES – EXAGGERATION
2 January  2011

“I know the polling indicates people don’t necessarily like the concept, but do they like the concept of interest rates going up? Do they like the concept of the economy all of a sudden being controlled by bailout?”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10702285

 


re: ASSET SALES – BUYING “NEW” ASSETS

19 July 2012

“Those points around companies operating more efficiently and effectively have been well made by the Government, as has the view that we’d like to see New Zealanders investing more in their country and the fact that we want to buy new assets without having to incur more debt. I think those points have been made.”

http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/730281858-key-defends-asset-sales-policy-promotion

 


 

re: ASSET SALES – MUMS & DADS FIRST IN QUEUE

6 March 2012

“That’s what we are working our way through at the moment. But the intention is for that retail distribution, that opportunity for mums and dads to buy, to be absolutely front of the queue. They’re my number one priority.”
“We’ve made it absolutely crystal clear what our intentions are..If it comes to mum and dad, and they want to buy 1000 shares or whatever…I want to make sure they get their allocation, they’re not scaled and they’re at the front of the queue.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6530777/Key-No-referendum-on-asset-sales


 

re: ASSET SALES – INVESTMENTS – SHARE MARKETS

23 July 2012

“My view is that the debt element, which allows us to buy other assets without having to put more debt on the balance sheet, is a compelling argument in its own right. But it’s only ever been one of a small number of other factors – making the companies perform better, giving people places to invest, transparency.You’ve got all this money pouring into your KiwiSaver account but where do you invest it? There’s $12 billion there at the moment and it’s the same with mum and dad with their money in the bank.”

http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/push-soe-shares-worries-finance-experts-4979780


 

re: ASSET SALES – ON-SELLING SHARES TO FOREIGNERS

26 June 2012

“You can’t and wouldn’t want to stop them – but the question you have to ask yourself is why would they go and do that? The question comes down to, why would a foreigner find an investment in Mighty River Power to be far more attractive on the long run than a retail investor sitting in Karori? And there’s no logic that they would.”

http://www.3news.co.nz/Cant-stop-asset-shares-being-sold-overseas—John-Key/tabid/817/articleID/259174/Default.aspx#ixzz20Jj4nIKL


 

re: ASSET SALES – AIR NEW ZEALAND MODEL – SAME WITH OTHER SOES

26 June 2012

“They have Government control, but they also are on the market, they have continuous disclosure, they are at arm’s length from the Government, they make commercial decisions, they try and maximise their returns. The same can apply to Mighty River Power, Genesis, Meridian, Solid Energy.”

http://www.3news.co.nz/Cant-stop-asset-shares-being-sold-overseas—John-Key/tabid/817/articleID/259174/Default.aspx#ixzz20Jj4nIKL

 


 

re: ASSET SALES – WATER- MAORI – REJECT WAITANGI DECISION

July 10, 2012

“We could choose to ignore what findings they might have – I’m not saying we would, but we could.”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10818534


 

re: ASSET SALES – $7-$10 BILLION

26 January 2011

“If we could do that with those five entities … if we can make some savings in terms of what were looking at in the budget and maybe a little on the upside you’re talking about somewhere in the order of $7 to $10 billion less borrowing that the Government could undertake.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4582922/John-Key-reveals-plan-for-asset-sales


 

re: ASSET SALES – PROPERTY – FINANCE COMPANIES

22 July 2012

“But for a number of reasons, New Zealanders have tended to put their savings into property, term deposits and finance companies. We own relatively low levels of financial assets like shares, compared to people in other countries. “

http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/national-news/7325745/Kiwis-encouraged-to-take-up-SOE-shares

 


 

re: ASSET SALES – WATER- MAORI – REJECT WAITANGI DECISION

10 July 2012

“In the same way we don’t think anyone owns the sea and we don’t think anyone owns air.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7254329/Harawira-criticises-Key-over-Maori-water-claim?

 


 

re: ASSET SALES – STOCK MARKET

23 July 2012

Key said one of his motivators for selling assets is growing the stock market in New Zealand, which is currently 25% of the country’s GDP, while in Australia it is 80% of its GDP.

“You’ve got all this money pouring into your KiwiSaver account but where do you invest it? There’s $12 billion there at the moment and it’s the same with mum and dad with their money in the bank.”

http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/push-soe-shares-worries-finance-experts-4979780

 


 

re: CHARTER SCHOOLS

3 August 2012

“If they don’t work then the Government will close them down very quickly – if they do work then it will be great for the children involved.”

 

http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/220109/pm-vows-charter-schools-out-door-if-they-fail


 

re: COMPANIES GONE OFFSHORE

1 July 2011

“Basically it’s about using innovation to drive our economy. We have some of these companies already – the likes of Fisher and Paykel*, Tait and Rakon*. Our world-leading dairy industry also owes much of its success to innovation.”

http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?articleId=36398

Fisher & Paykel is now Chinese-owned, and Rakon shifted half  it’s manufacturing to China in 2011/12.

 


 

re: CRIME – TAKING CREDIT

3 July 2012

“The Government is committed to keeping New Zealanders safe – on our streets and in our communities. We’ve delivered the lowest crime rate in 30 years, but we want to continue to keep driving the crime rate down.” 

http://johnkey.co.nz/archives/1473-Prime-Minister-welcomes-first-action-plan.html

 


re: DEBT – LABOUR’S SURPLUS – ASSET SALES

4 March 2005

“Firstly let me start by saying that New Zealand does not face the balance sheet crisis of 1984, or even of the early 1990s. Far from having dangerously high debt levels, gross debt to GDP is around a modest 25 percent and net debt may well be zero by 2008.”
“In other words, there is no longer any balance sheet reason to justify an aggressive privatisation programme of the kind associated with the 1980s Labour Government.”

 

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0503/S00102.htm

 


 

re: DEBT – LABOUR’S SURPLUS

[undated]

“The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008. It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016. Without selling minority shares in five companies, it would rise to $78 billion. Our total investment liabilities, which cover both public and private liabilities, are $150 billion – one of the worst in the world because of the high levels of private debt in New Zealand.”

 

http://www.national.org.nz/mixed-ownership.aspx


 

re: DEBT – LABOUR’S SURPLUS

 

9 December 2013

“If you go back to 2005, when the previous government were in office, they had a number, you know, a little bit less than ours, but not a lot less, there was a 180,000 children in poverty, I think this shows 240,000 on that measure.

Back then, New Zealand recorded the biggest surplus in New Zealand’s history…”

@ 2.45

http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/mind-gap-key-tackles-child-poverty-video-5766147


 

re: EDUCATION – FREE EDUCATION

29 January 2008

 

“Because we don’t think it’s fair that a 16- or 17-year-old can get a free education at their local high school, but is asked to front up with as much as $4,000 in fees for a work-skills course at their local polytechnic. ” 

http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleId=11772


 

re: ENVIRONMENT – GLOBAL WARMING

28 November 2006

“When I left university, if anyone had heard of global warming they were keeping it to themselves. Now, no one with any awareness of the world can be ignorant of it. It is a mystery to me why the political Left acts as if it has a monopoly on environmental policies, when it is obvious to anyone who cares to look that all of us, across the political spectrum, with the exception perhaps of the Greens, have taken too long to put the protection of our environment at the forefront of our thinking. That needs to change. In the National Party we have taken steps to do this, and we will be taking more steps.”

http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleID=8778

 

 


 

re: ENVIRONMENT – GLOBAL WARMING

6 September 2008

“What global Leaders know, and what the National Party knows, is that environmentalism and a commitment to economic growth must go hand in hand. We should be wary of anyone who claims that one can or should come without the other.

And we should always measure a Government’s environmental rhetoric against its environmental record.” 

http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleId=28477


re: EXCUSES FOR POOR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE – GFC – RECESSION

16 September 2012

“The point here is we can’t magic away the European recession or the US recession or the issues the world faces. “

TVNZ Q+A
http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/interview-prime-minister-john-key-5085886

 

 


 

re: EXCUSES FOR POOR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE – GFC

11 September 2011

“We did inherit a pretty bad situation with the global financial crisis. We have had three terrible earthquakes in Christchurch. We have had the collapse of finance companies. We have had to bail out what is, in terms of the earthquakes, the single biggest economic impact on a developed economy as the result of a disaster. The public don’t agree with every decision… but I think they believe on balance it’s been a tough three years and we’ve handled most things well. The second thing is it’s all relative. Yes, our unemployment went to 7 per cent and now it’s 6.5, but in America it’s 9 per cent officially and 14 per cent unofficially and in Spain it’s 20 per cent… “

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/5602953/View-from-the-top


re: EXCUSES FOR POOR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE – GFC

17 November 2011

“While I think we have to acknowledge that the last three years have been pretty tough with the Global Financial Crisis, on a relative basisNew Zealand’s been doing a better than a lot of other countries.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/readers-reporter/5977596/Key-and-Goff-Q-A-Creating-jobs

 


 

re: FARM SALES

27 July 2010

“If we ended up in a position where New Zealanders are tenants in their own country, I can’t see how that would be in New Zealand’s best interests.”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10661724

 

2 February 2012

“No where is that better illustrated than in the Crafar farm deal where the tenant will be a Government state-owned enterprise, Landcorp.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6352464/Investors-should-not-have-to-live-here-Key-says

 


 

re: FAMILIES

28 November 2006

 

“As a husband and father, the things I value most in life are not anything you’ll see listed on the Stock Exchange. I think all New Zealanders would agree that the security, happiness and welfare of their family, which is also dependent on the security and welfare of their community and country, is the most precious thing to them.

http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleID=8778

 


 

re: FAMILIES – JUDGING OTHER FAMILIES

28 November 2006

 

“I support families. In modern New Zealand they come in many shapes and sizes, so let me tell you that I for one will not pre-judge the construction of them. They are in my view the most important institution in our society, and any government I have the privilege of leading will do what it can to support them. “

http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleID=8778

 


 

re: FINLAND – NZ INCOME DECLINE

1 July 2011

 

“Finland is another example of our relative decline. In 1979 our per capita income lines crossed – New Zealand going down and Finland going up. The Finns are now about 20 percent ahead of us.”

http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?articleId=36398

 


 

re: GOVERNMENT – ELECTIONS – MMP

2 July 2013

“But it’s been a funny thing. Ever since we’ve had MMP in 1996 the public have had a way of finding the Government that they want.”

“If National was to go out there and poll 46% or 47% – very similar to the result in 2011 – and not form the Government I think there would be outrage in NZ.”

 

http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/key-rethinks-options-form-next-govt-5484600


 

re: HEALTH – PRESCRIPTIONS

14 May 2012

“This is the first increase in any prescription charges in 20 years and New Zealand will continue to have low prescription charges compared to almost every other developed country. We could have chosen to leave prescription charges at $3 and had less money to spend on health or said to New Zealanders ‘look, we think you paying a small increase more will give you much more peace of mind.'”

http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/rise-in-prescription-charges-not-fair-labour-4887239

 


 

re: HOUSING BUBBLE

 

22 November 2008

“For well over a decade a glut of global credit created an illusion of almost limitless liquidity that in turn fuelled an unsustainable credit boom. This capital was mainly sourced from offshore.

The result of these seemingly unlimited foreign-capital flows was that New Zealanders were able to rely on cheap fixed-rate debt, which in turn drove house prices ever higher.

While the Reserve Bank worked hard to lean against these trends, the credit glut weighed against our Reserve Bank’s power to contain demand through monetary policy adjustments. “

http://www.johnkey.co.nz/index.php?/archives/580-Address-to-the-CEO-Summit,-APEC-Business-Advisory-Council-ABAC.html

 

 


 

re: INCOME INEQUALITY – LIE
2 August 2011

Hon PHIL GOFF (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that “I think we all have to accept that there is a degree of inequality in New Zealand”; if so, has he read any recent reports on the growing gap between rich and poor in New Zealand?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes, I do stand by that statement, and I have excellent news for the member: a very detailed scientific report on income equality actually went up on the Ministry of Social Development’s website at 2 o’clock today. It is titled Household Incomes in New Zealand. The report shows that the degree of income inequality in New Zealand, under standard measures like the Gini coefficient or the 80:20 ratio, has actually fallen in recent years. I go on to say that in fact the report shows that the distribution of income in New Zealand is more even now than it was at any time under the previous Labour Government. So I point out to the member that he is quite wrong to say the gap between the rich and the poor has been growing; in fact, it has been reducing. I urge the member to read the report.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1108/S00041/questions-and-answers-august-2.htm


 

re: INTEREST RATE RISES

13 March 2014

“It’s true we are the only developed country in the world that’s currently raising interest rates, but that’s because we are growing at a faster rate than most other countries around the world and we’ve got a very robust outlook. So while I think there will be some disappointment and frustration from homeowners, on the other side of the coin they can take real confidence that the strong economy will underpin good job opportunities and probably wage growth over time.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/9822918/Mortgage-pain-time-OCR-rises-to-2-75-per-cent

 


 

re: JOBS – INCOMES – WAGES – TAXES

27 May 2007

“We think Kiwis deserve higher wages and lower taxes during their working lives, as well as a good retirement.”

http://www.johnkey.co.nz/archives/135-SPEECH-National-Tough-on-Crime.html


 

re: JOBS – INCOMES – WAGES – MIGRATION

 

6 September 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.”

 

http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleId=28477


 

re: JOBS – INCOMES – WAGES

29 January 2008

“We will be unrelenting in our quest to lift our economic growth rate and raise wage rates.”

http://www.johnkey.co.nz/archives/306-SPEECH-2008-A-Fresh-Start-for-New-Zealand.html


 

 

re: JOBS – INCOMES – WAGES

15 July 2009

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.”

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0907/S00173/speech-key-business-breakfast-150709.htm


 

 

re: JOBS – INCOMES – WAGES

12 March 2010

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.”

http://www.johnkey.co.nz/archives/905-Boosting-Science-and-Innovation.html


 

re: JOBS – INCOMES – WAGES

21 December 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,

http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleId=37752


re: JOBS – INCOMES – WAGES

8 February 2011

“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.”

http://www.beehive.govt.nz/feature/statement-parliament-2011


 

re: JOBS – INCOMES – WAGES

19 April 2012

“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.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6769026/Key-wants-a-high-wage-NZ?

 

 


 

re: JOBS – UNEMPLOYMENT – WANT A JOB

25 November 2012

“Because at a high level, my belief is every single New Zealander wants to work, wants to provide for their family, wants independence and wants the comfort that comes from the knowledge that you can pay the bills and look after your family in the way that you want to. That’s the ambition of New Zealanders. “

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1211/S00355/shane-taurima-interviews-john-key.htm


 

re: JOBS – UNEMPLOYMENT – WANT A JOB

17 November 2011

“We salute your willingness to want to go get a job, ‘cos we believe that’s what most New Zealanders want to do.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/readers-reporter/5977596/Key-and-Goff-Q-A-Creating-jobs


 

re: JOBS – UNEMPLOYMENT – GOVT’s RESPONSIBILITY

17 November 2011

“We agree with you, it’s the government’s responsibility to do everything within it’s powers to try to get people jobs.” – John Key,

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/readers-reporter/5977596/Key-and-Goff-Q-A-Creating-jobs


 

re: JOBS – 170,000 NEW JOBS

“National’s Brighter Future Plan will help businesses create 170,000 new jobs over the next four years.”

(election flyer)

Click to access flyer.pdf


 

re: JOBS – AUSTRALIA – LABOUR

22 July 2012

“They say no to jobs that are coming from Australia and they even said no to those cute, furry, fluffy little hobbits. And the latest thing is they want the unions to help elect their leader – well good luck with that one”.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/111289/joyce-hits-out-at-labour-%27hypocrisy%27


 

re: JOBS – JOB CREATION BY BUSINESS

24 August 2012

“Nothing creates jobs and boosts incomes better than business growth. For New Zealand to build a more productive and competitive economy, we need more innovative companies out there selling their products on the world stage.”  

http://johnkey.co.nz/archives/1507-Key-Notes-Honouring-our-fallen-soldiers.html


 

re: JOBS – JOB CREATION BY BUSINESS – NOT ENOUGH JOBS

28 February 2012

“It’s true, ultimately if every one was to get off welfare we’d need to create even more jobs, but that’s the Government’s whole agenda is to have a vibrant economy that does produce jobs. I certainly accept there’s not a job for every single person, but I don’t accept there aren’t some jobs out there.” 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6489372/Welfare-changes-just-the-start

 


 

re: JOBS – LOST JOBS

8 February 2011

“Under the last Labour Government the economy got way out of balance. Since 2004, almost 60 per cent of new jobs have been in heavily government-dominated sectors, while jobs were lost in the export-focused agricultural and manufacturing sectors.”

http://www.beehive.govt.nz/feature/statement-parliament-2011


re: MIGRATION TO AUSTRALIA – POOR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

15 July 2009

“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. That’s why this Government is focused squarely on improving New Zealand’s economic performance. And to be frank, New Zealand’s economic performance over a number of years has been disappointing. “

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0907/S00173/speech-key-business-breakfast-150709.htm


 

re: MIGRATION TO AUSTRALIA – HIGHER WAGES

6 September 2008

“One of National’s key goals, should we lead the next Government, will be to stem the flow of New Zealanders choosing to live and work overseas. 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. We must cut taxes and grow our economy, and National will have policies to ensure both occur.” 

http://www.johnkey.co.nz/archives/454-SPEECH-Environment-Policy-Launch.html

 


 

re: MINIMUM WAGE

10 November 2011

“Look, I think it would be very difficult for anyone to do that.”

http://www.3news.co.nz/Raising-minimum-wage-wont-cost-jobs—Treasury/tabid/419/articleID/232338/Default.aspx


 

re: NATIONAL MPS

27 May 2007

“New Zealanders chose National MPs to replace them because National MPs can be trusted to listen and work hard for the causes their constituents care about.” 

http://www.johnkey.co.nz/archives/135-SPEECH-National-Tough-on-Crime.html


 

re: OUT ON PAROLE – COMMITTING CRIME

13 May 2007

“Karl Kuchenbecker – a good man, a father of two young boys – was tragically killed by a man on parole. A man who should have been locked up for life. A Government I lead will not put up with that. “

http://johnkey.co.nz/categories/9-Key-Notes/pages/connect/%20http/%20http/index.php?/archives/115-SPEECH-50-by-50-New-Zealands-Climate-Change-Target.html


 

re: POVERTY

9 December 2013

 

“If you go back to 2005, when the previous government were in office, they had a number, you know, a little bit less than ours, but not a lot less, there was a 180,000 children in poverty, I think this shows 240,000 on that measure.

Back then, New Zealand recorded the biggest surplus in New Zealand’s history…”

@ 2.45

http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/mind-gap-key-tackles-child-poverty-video-5766147


 

re: RESPONSIBILITY

27 May 2007

“The National Party is built on age-tested principles that reflect what is best about New Zealand. We are a party of enterprise; a party of personal freedom and individual responsibility; a party of family; an inclusive party; a party of ambition.”

 

http://www.johnkey.co.nz/archives/135-SPEECH-National-Tough-on-Crime.html


 

re: RESPONSIBILITY

30 January 2007

“We also need to remember the enduring principles on which the National Party is based – individual responsibility, support for families and communities, and a belief that the State can’t and shouldn’t do everything.”

http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?articleId=9215


 

re: TAX CUTS – RAISING TAXES – GST – LIE

10 February 2010/2008

“National is not going to be raising GST. National wants to cut taxes not raise taxes.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3311679/Key-no-GST-rise-video-emerges


 

re: TAX CUTS – LIE

19 November 2011

“We actually cancelled the first round of personal tax cuts in 2009/10,” he says. But Key is wrong. Despite calls from many commentators to cancel them, National passed its first round of tax cuts into law by December 2008, forgoing $1 billion a year in government revenue from April 2009, even though it was apparent tax revenue was about to take a dive in the wake the global recession. What National did do was defer its second round of tax cuts, worth $900 million a year, and instead rolled them into a 2010 tax package that included raising GST. Key cites the 2010 tax package, which raised GST to 15% while cutting personal tax rates, as another tough-minded decision…”

http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/can-john-key-lead-us-through-the-global-debt-crisis/

 


 

re: TAX CUTS – COST OF 2009 TAX CUTS

1 April 2009

“…The tax cuts we have delivered today will inject an extra $1 billion into the economy over the coming year, thereby helping to stimulate the economy during this recession. More important, over the longer term these tax cuts will reward hard work and help to encourage people to invest in their own skills, in order to earn and keep more money.”

http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/d/d/a/49HansQ_20090401_00000001-1-Tax-Cuts-Implementation.htm

 


 

re: TAX CUTS JUSTIFICATION

1 April 2009

“… The reason why we are having tax cuts at this time is that if we look at most of the stimulatory packages in countries around the world and not just in New Zealand, we see they have a tax cut component as part of those packages, and that is an important stimulatory part of those economies. In my view, if we were not to do that, then we would drive our economy into a much deeper recession… “

http://theyworkforyou.co.nz/portfolios/prime_minister/2009/apr/01/tax_cuts_1

 

 


 

re: TAXPAYERS BAILING OUT CORPORATIONS

22 November 2008

“So now the party is over and the taxpayers of the world are left to underwrite – in one form or another – the liabilities and obligations of banks and, by extension, their hedge-fund clientele. “

http://www.johnkey.co.nz/index.php?/archives/580-Address-to-the-CEO-Summit,-APEC-Business-Advisory-Council-ABAC.html


 

re: THIRTY YEARS AGO – LIFE DIFFERENT THAN BACK THEN

30 January 2007

“However, things are different now than they were 30 years ago. It used to be that any street in any community could be the launching pad for a happy and fulfilling life. That’s not the case anymore. Today many are being left behind.

There are streets in our country where helplessness has become ingrained. There are streets of people who believe they are locked out of everyday New Zealand the way most of us experience it, and are locked into a way of life for which the exit signs and the road maps have long since been discarded. These streets have become dead ends for those who live in them.”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10421543


re: THIS IS OUR COUNTRY

30 January 2007

“We are not four million spectators, having a passing interest in someone else’s game. This is our country; we make the rules and we should decide its direction.”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10421543


 

re: TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP – AUSTRALIA

15 June 2012

“I would be very surprised. I think we’re all in or all out. An exclusion solely for Australia and not for everybody else is unlikely to be something we would support.”

TPP: Australia odd man out over disputes
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10813233

 


 

re: WELFARE STATE – JOHN KEY – BENEFICIARY BACKING

27 August 2011

“I’m a product of the welfare state – there hasn’t been any great secret about that.”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/5516068/Socialist-streak-just-means-we-have-a-heart-says-Key

“My father died when I was young. My mother was, for a time, on the Widow’s Benefit, and also worked as a cleaner. But the State ensured that I had a roof over my head and money for my mother to put food on the table. It also gave me the opportunity to have a good education. My mother made sure I took that opportunity, and the rest was up to me.”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10421543

30 January 2007

” I have said before that I believe in the welfare state and that I will never turn my back on it.

We should be proud to be a country that looks after its most vulnerable citizens. We should be proud to be a country that supports people when they can’t find work, are ill, or aren’t able to work. “

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10421543

28 November 2006

“You can measure a society by how it looks after its most vunerable, once I was one of them. I will never turn my back on that.” 

http://www.johnkey.co.nz/archives/44-Speech-to-North-Shore-National-Party-luncheon.html

 


 

re: WELFARE STATE – JOHN KEY – BENEFICIARY BASHING

17 February 2011

“But it is also true that anyone on a benefit actually has a lifestyle choice. If one budgets properly, one can pay one’s bills. And that is true because the bulk of New Zealanders on a benefit do actually pay for food, their rent and other things. Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left.” 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10706851

 


 

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 4 April 2014.

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They marched against the TPPA and the threat to our sovereignty (part rua)

9 April 2014 7 comments

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Continued from: They marched against the TPPA and the threat to our sovereignty (part tahi)

 

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no-tppa

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The New Zealand government is negotiating an international agreement that could have a huge effect on the lives of ordinary kiwis. It’s called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), and it involves eleven Asian and Pacific-rim countries, including the United States. If it goes ahead, we risk damage to our innovative economy, our pristine environment, our health, and the ability to shape our own future.

Because the negotiations are being conducted in secret, what we know about the TPPA comes from leaked documents and detective work. We live in a democracy, which means we have the right to know what is done in our name and to have a say. “ –  It’s Our Future – Kiwis concerned about the TPPA

Wellington, NZ, 29 March 2014 – Over three hundred people in Wellington took to the streets on a fine Saturday afternoon, to protest at secret TPPA negotiations and the threats to our national sovereignty.

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (94).

The marchers took off…

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (166).

Some symbolism here?

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (164).

An eagle-eyed reader will notice… no police presence!

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (167).

At first, marchers  stuck to the footpaths to keep out of the way of traffic. But as on-lookers joined in, numbers swelled, and they took to the road;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (168).

Along the “Golden Mile” – Lambton Quay – the march of citizens made an impressive sight;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (105).

As the marchers reached the Cenotaph, a lone police vehicle appeared, to control traffic;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (106).

The protestors moved past the Cenotaph, toward Parliament’s gates;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (169).

In Parliament’s grounds, protestors made their way up the driveway;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (170) - Copy.

Standing before the People’s Parliament – behind steel barricades and a contingent of private security guards (off camera) –  Claire Bleakley, from the  GE Free Network.  Steel barriers. (Steel barriers. Obviously, National are terrified that 300+ anti-TPPA protesters might storm Parliament and seize control of the entire country.)

Claire gave a short, but ‘punchy’ speech on the link between the TPPA and genetically modified organisms entering our country through unfettered “trade”;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (125).

“…One of the biggest things that’s happening America is the advent of genetically modified crops. Which are coming into our country. With the TPPA we will will be trading away our right to know what we are eating…

… We have to protect our seeds. We have to protect our sovereignty. And we have to protect our food.”

Meanwhile, in a sign of some irony, anti-TPPA protesters  stood beneath the fluttering flags of other nations – several of which are participants in TPPA negotiations;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (117).

Green Party MP, Gareth Huges, (clockwise, from top left) being interviewed by a TV1 camera crew; Green Party supporters; Gareth and a young potential future Green voter; and Gareth addressing the gathering.

.anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (171) - Copy.

Chris McKenzie, from the Maori Party, voiced his opposition to the TPPA, saying it would harm Maori interests;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (144).

A couple of people in the crowd took exception to Chris’ comments and, after being handed a bullhorn, began to chant,

“Cross the floor!

Cross the floor!!”

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (146).

When Chris responded that he would pay no heed to “a couple of haters”, others in the crowd immediately took up the chant,

“Cross the floor!

Cross the floor!!”

 

Chris and his fellow Maori Party activists responded with a stirring haka, but the damage had been done – they had likely lost the support of most of the protesters. They are, after all, members of the Maori Party, which supports the National-led government with Supply and Confidence votes in the House. So what did they expect?

Kudos to them, at least, for having the balls to participate in the protest. That is courage of a magnitude several times greater than any Maori Party MPs – who could not be bothered to front.

Next up – Tim Jones, from the anti-coal-mining group, Coal Action Network Aotearoa, aka,  “Keep the Coal in the Hole”;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (133).

” We’re working to stop new and expanded coal mining because mining and burning coal is the single biggest threat to the world’s climate. This government is very keen to mine and burn coal, along with all the other mining, drilling, and fracking it wants to do.

We need a government that cares about climate change and we need a government that’s willing to take action on it. We also need a government that is actually able to take action on it. As you’ve heard, if the TPPA is passed, foreign corporations will be able to sue any New Zealand government that brings in tougher rules on the environment [and]  that brings in tougher rules against greenhouse gas emissions.

That means even a government that wants to act on climate change, and that certainly isn’t the current government, might have it’s hands tied.

Do you want overseas companies to have the last word on Aotearoa’s environment and climate change policies?

… So let’s stop the TPPA, and let’s get rid of this government, and it’s mining company mates, and let’s start taking real action on climate change.”

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (173).

Perhaps one of the longest banners ever at a protest rally, this one measured well over 20 metres, and the message read,

“TPPA: Taking Aotearoa’s sovereignty away! TPPA: No mandate. Stop gambling with our future! People B4 profits. Stop foreign corporate takeover! TPPA = selling out NZ. Signing the TPPA is treachery!!!”

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (172)

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NZEI members leaving the  International Summit on the Teaching Profession, holding their “Living Wage” placards;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (154).

When Iwi leaders condemned the protest, Mana’s Hone Harawira was none-to-happy at what he called  “iwi leaders becom[ing] so servile and sycophantic” to the National government.

Hone spoke from the heart and said some things that – for a politician – was quite extraordinary! In all my years listening to politicians speak, I have never heard any say the things he did;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (148).

“Whatever happens, whatever happens, don’t kid yourself that because you’re all standing that side of the fence, you’re all friends with each other. Know this, if you’re not fighting for the sovereignty of this nation, then you’re on the wrong bloody side, that side, or this side, of the fence.

If the TPPA is aimed at taking away the sovereignty outlined in the Treaty of the Waitangi and replacing it with an economic sovereignty owned by people from far, far, away, and unless we do something to stop it, all of us, those on that side of the fence and those on this of the fence that you can trust, then we ain’t going to change it. Be up for struggle, and be up for a fight.

And know that unless we stand strong on this, these bastards are going to win.

There’s no reason why anybody in this country should accept our sovereignty being negotiated [away] in secret, in Singapore, in New York, and in London. There is no reason, why anybody in this country should accept that this country, and this country’s own government, cannot legislate in the interests of New Zealand citizens only to have those decisions overturned by big tobacco in the World [Bank] Court. There is no reason why anybody here should accept that big drug companies can overthrow the right of PHARMAC to let all citizens in this country to get low cost medicines.

And there no reason to accept the reason why […background noise…] Maori and alternative medicines should be pushed out and made illegal simply to keep international drug lords in big fat profits.

So, I don’t really care about this being a Mana thing or a Green thing or a Labour thing or an anybody thing. Because this thing here is about all us standing together. Come the election 2014,  look only… to the parties that are absolutely dedicated to changing the government we have now. Look only to those parties that are absolutely dedicated to changing this government we’ve got now, and put your vote in any one of them.

And honestly, I don’t really care if you’re not going to vote for Mana, but vote only for those who will change the government. Don’t vote for those, don’t vote for those, who’ve got a dollar over here and a dollar over here.

This Agreement is not a win-win deal. Any party that signals their willingness to go with this government, or may go this way , or that way, is not a friend of what we’re trying to achieve on this stage…

… There are no deals on our sovereignty.”

It was  startling to hear Hone Harawira utter those words – made all the more amazing because it is not the usual thing one expects from politicians. I cannot recall a single politician ever, anywhere, calling on people to vote on an issue first, and not for themselves or their Party!

Finally, to remind ourselves,

” There are no deals on our sovereignty.”

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References

NZEI: Living Wage for Learning events to call for a fair go

TV3: Iwi leaders slam NZEI protests

Scoop media: No prestige In Trying To Hide Poverty

Additional

NewstalkZB: Thousands march against TPPA

Support groups

Facebook: It’s Our Future – Kiwis concerned about the TPPA

Facebook: Aotearoa is Not for Sale

Coal Action Network Aotearoa

Copyright

All images stamped ‘fmacskasy.wordpress.com’ are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

» Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
» Where purpose of use is commercial, a donation to Child Poverty Action Group is requested.
» At all times, images must be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals or groups.
» Acknowledgement of source is requested.

Acknowledgement

This blogger wishes to thank Mana Party organisor, Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati, for kindly lending me her camera. Mine finally gave up the mechanical ghost and I would not have been able to complete this blogpost without her timely assistance. I am deeply appreciative of her kindness and trust.

– Frank Macskasy

 

 

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vote mana labnour green

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 3 April 2014.

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They marched against the TPPA and the threat to our sovereignty (part tahi)

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no-tppa

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The New Zealand government is negotiating an international agreement that could have a huge effect on the lives of ordinary kiwis. It’s called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), and it involves eleven Asian and Pacific-rim countries, including the United States. If it goes ahead, we risk damage to our innovative economy, our pristine environment, our health, and the ability to shape our own future.

Because the negotiations are being conducted in secret, what we know about the TPPA comes from leaked documents and detective work. We live in a democracy, which means we have the right to know what is done in our name and to have a say. “ –  It’s Our Future – Kiwis concerned about the TPPA

Wellington, NZ, 29 March 2014 – Over 300 people gathered on a sunny, breezy day in downtown Wellington’s Cuba Mall, as party of a nation-wide protest against the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA);

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (17)

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James Nokise, Comedian/Performer, MC’d the event, and spoke with just the right ‘mix’ of humour and  seriousness to the people;

 

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James Nokise - Comedian - Performer

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Though an  estimated 300 people attended the protest,  at times there seemed far more, as Cuba Mall was packed;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (46)

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (68).

The TPPA is currently being negotiated in secret, a point of fact which many find anti-democratic; threatening; and just plain unfair;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (161)

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Others understand the reality that the TPPA is not concerned with our welfare – but of the welfare of corporates to do as they wish, with minimal democratic oversight;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (42)

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Tom Rippon, Vice President for New Zealand Actors Equity, addressed the people and  had this to say on implications for the TPPA;

“Some of you may be aware that New Zealand gave up nearly all of its ability to regulate local content on our televisions in 1994. Under the General Agreement for Terms and Trade, or GATT for short, Jim Bolger’s National government, promised unlimited market access to any foreign broadcast service and their products if they were a signatory to the The World Trade Organization. In other words any moves to introduce regulation for local content including a compulsory television quota, similar to those seen in most if not all western countries, would breach our WTO obligations.

Subsequently, when Helen Clark’s government sought to introduce ways to support the production of local content they were completely hamstrung by this agreement and were rendered powerless to turn back the clock.

I should note here that the government did make one reservation relating to Maori broadcasting. And we’re very glad they did, or we wouldn’t have the successful and culturally vital Maori Television Service — which to this day continues to screen the highest proportion of locally produced content compared to all the other broadcasters.

In 2011, New Zealand content accounted for a measly 31% of all programming from 6am to midnight. This compares to a much healthier 60% in Europe and 55% in Australia. New Zealand performers are the living embodiment of our culture. Every time we step in front of the camera, every time we perform, we tell a story articulating our nation’s hopes, dreams and experiences. This ability to speak to one another with our own voice must be maintained into the future.

[…]

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the GATT agreement on steroids. A corporate power grab on a scale never before seen in human history. This treaty is so repugnant that if a full text of the negotiations were released to the public tomorrow it would cease to exist by the end of the week because anyone with a brain and a gag reflex would reject it outright and the politicians involved in the negotiations, in our case John Key and his Trade Minister Tim Groser, would be forced to pull out due to overwhelming public pressure and condemnation.

Let’s not forget, this is an election year. As performers we have been stymied and constrained for two decades but this is where we draw the line, for the sake of our future generations our government must ensure that our culture is protected and reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And you must let them know that if they don’t, come Sept. they will pay the price and together we will vote them out.”

(For full text of his speech, please click here.)

In case Dear Leader believes that the hundreds who turned up on Saturday afternoon were “professional protesters”, the abundance of home-made signs indicated otherwise. These were ordinary Wellingtonians turning up, to show their opposition to the TPPA;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (158)

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Young and old, all cultures and races, and the ubiquitous Every Man and his dog;

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Some of the many signs expressing peoples’ views;

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Bolivian  Indigenous Rights activist,  Mayra Gomez, addressed the people, telling them how so-called “free” trade agreements had opened countries up to lawsuits by corporations. Ms Gomez said that the  the TPPA  would likewise allow foreign corporations to sue New Zealand for perceived “loss of profits;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (4)

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Ms Gomez gave three examples of how corporations had used “free” trade agreements to sue sovereign governments.

In her first example, she cited the case of  US-based Occidental Petroleum winning a US2.4 billion lawsuit against Ecuador, at a World Bank Court, under the US-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty, when the Ecuadorian government terminated its contract with Occidental citing breaches of licensing conditions and   environmental concerns.

In a second and even more bizarre example,   RENCO Group sued  Peru for $800 million because the Peruvian government had ordered the corporation to clean up lead pollution which had severely affected the children of La Oroya –  one of ten most polluted places on earth, according to Friends of Earth. RENCO used the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement to undertake it’s lawsuit.

And lastly, Ms Gomez revealed how US-based company, Lone Pine Resources, sought $250 million in “damages”,  claiming that  Canada had violated its North  America Free Trade Agreement committments – because it had imposed a moratorium on fracking in 2012, to conduct  environmental-impact assessments on the impacts of leached fracking chemicals and gases.

Ms Gomez concluded with a short, simple statement that drew heavy applause from the people;

“Until self-determination of indigenous people is not respected, there will not be sustainable goals achieved! Genuine sustainable goals! Lastly we call on the repeal of all existing agreements; a moratorium on all new agreements!”

Interesting to note that none of the problems caused by free trade agreements have ever been reported by any mainstream media in this country. It is up to overseas new media, bloggers, etc, and special interest groups to report on these events.

Because of the mainstream media “blackout” on these stories, very few New Zealanders are aware of what has happened in Ecuador, Peru, and even Canada – a fellow First World, Commonwealth state. Had these issues been properly reported, most New Zealanders would be horrified at the prospect of joining yet another free trade agreement that could leave us exposed to corporate lawsuits in offshore, secret tribunals.

The trivialisation of the media is so complete, that it is utterly derelict in it’s duty to report on issues that will have far-ranging consequences for all New Zealanders, for the foreseeable future.

As an example of media laziness, I refer the reader to this screenshot of NewstalkZB reporting on the nationwide protests;

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newstalkzb article - thousands march against tppa

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As the reader will notice, NewstalkZB could not even bring itself to post a photo of any of the actual protests, from any of the cities. Instead, it used a stock footage image of police, lined up against a building, from a totally unrelated event.

Ms Gomez was followed by  Victoria University economist, Geoff Bertram;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (163)

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“Following up the placard that’s to my right, that says “TPPA is not free trade”. Economists have put a lot of effort and time over the last century, into making the case that free trade can be a good idea from which all can benefit. And ndeed, any of you can go down and buy a flat screen tv and computer down at Tory Street will be familiar with the benefits you can get from free trade. But this deal is not about that. It’s being sold with two terms that you should not be taken in by. One is free trade. The other one is partnership. This is not really about partnership. It’s not really about free trade.

The sort things that are central to the so-called trade trade part of the agenda are in the area of non-tariff barriers. That is to say, restrictions on the ability of certain companies or agents to gain access to markets on terms thatr are favourable to them. So things like copyright,intellectual property, regulatory arrangements, and so on are central to negotiations agenda and it’s important to note that economic theory does not give the sort sort of support for removing non-tariff barriers.”

Geoff  explained about the “partnership” aspects of the TPPA,

“… About partnerships. Partnerships can come in various forms… in actual fact partnerships can also be extremely unequal and exploitative. And this one is not an equal partnership. This one is part of a geo-political project which has in the Pacific has the United States aghainst China, in a contest over influence and power and economic control across a wide area of the world. And New Zealand is stuck in the middle of this conflict because China is our biggest trading partner [and] the United States is a very major part-player in both our history and current economy and politics.”

Geoff Bertram pointed out a story in the Dominion Post where the United States was seeking to extend it’s influence by offering to help the European Union reduce it’s dependence  on Russian gas supplies by selling them gas instead. He said the US would first demand that Europe sign a Trans Atlantic partnership agreement. The Europeans, he said, “were  particularly anxious about the Investor-State Dispute Settlement arrangements” in the Partnership Agreement. Germany had refused to participate. There was strong resistance in Europe to signing the agreement.

Geoff said that the US pressuring of the Europe Union to join the partnership agreement “is what you’re looking at there is the exercise of power – it’s not the working out of economic theory, it’s the exercise of power“.  He read out a statement from President Obama, from a recent media story, that he said explained precisely was “free” trade agreements were all about,

“Once we have a trade agreement in place, export licenses for projects — for liquefied natural gas destined to Europe — would be much easier, something that’s obviously relevant in today’s geopolitical climate.”

He warned that power was “asymmetric in the modern world” and that New Zealand stood to be primarily on the losing side of any “power exercising that comes into play”. He further warned that we should be “very careful about stories” that the TPPA was supposedly about free trade.

His speech was simple, easy to understand by those of us who are not trained in the esoteric “arts” of economics, and had a ring of truth to it. He was warmly received by those listening.

As the afternoon progressed, numbers swelled, as more people arrived to join in with the protest and listen to speakers;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (30)

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Men and women, maori and pakeha, standing together in solidarity, on an issue that will affect us for generations to come;

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These are the faces of ‘ordinary’ (maybe not-so-ordinary – actually extraordinary!) New Zealanders who are concerned at the secrecy of the TPPA and the negative impact it will have on our sovereignty, as  New Zealand opens itself up to the threat of multi-billion dollar lawsuits by trans-national corporations;

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Eileen Brown, Policy and Programme Organiser from the CTU (Council of Trade Unions) spoke to the people;

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anti TPPA march_30 march 2014_wellington (15)

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“The Trans Pacific Partnership contains threats to our health system; to our public services; to public enterprises; and our ability to use government purchasing to develop our economy and to our improve environment; the working conditions of New Zealanders, and our right to make laws and regulations that are in the interests of most New Zealanders.

…This agreement could have governments preventing employers to meet conditions such as paying a living wage. It could prevent governments requiring suppliers  to meet health and safety conditions that are currently being developed to improve our apalling health and safety statistics in New Zealand workplaces.

Each of these is a major concern.

So, to, is the absence of consultation. The secrecy in which negotiations are being held, and the fact that it is being adopted by governments without full public examination and opportunity for comment.

But perhaps the greatest threat and the greatest concern in the long run is what this represents. This kind of agreement increases the power of international  corporations and it reduces the power of elected governments and it’s citizens to resist corporate demands. It fails to learn the lessons of the Global Financial Crisis which demonstrated the enormous damage that irresponsible corporations can do to the world economy.”

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This was an issue that cut across generations;

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Many faces, one message;

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The Nurses Organisation was represented at the protest, and was at the fore-front when the march to Parliament began;

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To be concluded: They marched against the TPPA and the threat to our sovereignty (part rua)

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References

Fairfax media: Hundreds join TPPA protest in capital

It’s Our Future:  What is the TPPA

Scoop media: Gordon Campbell on the leaks about the Trans Pacific Partnership

South Centre: When Foreign Investors Sue the State

Friends of the Earth: Pay the polluter $800 million! Trade deal injustice for the children of La Oroya

Friends Committee on National Legislation: Exposing Biggest Trade Deal in U.S. History

NewstalkZB: Thousands march against TPPA

ABC News: Obama Highlights Need for US-EU Energy Cooperation

Support groups

Facebook: It’s Our Future – Kiwis concerned about the TPPA

Facebook: Aotearoa is Not for Sale

Copyright

All images stamped ‘fmacskasy.wordpress.com’ are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

» Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
» Where purpose of use is commercial, a donation to Child Poverty Action Group is requested.
» At all times, images must be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals or groups.
» Acknowledgement of source is requested.

Acknowledgement

This blogger wishes to thank Mana Party organisor, Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati, for kindly lending me her camera. Mine finally gave up the mechanical ghost and I would not have been able to complete this blogpost without her timely assistance. I am deeply appreciative of her kindness and trust.

– Frank Macskasy

 

 

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vote mana labnour green

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 1 April 2014.

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Letter to the Editor: Is National in trouble in the polls?

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old-paper-with-quill-pen-vector_34-14879

 

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The latest bout of bene-bashing from Bennett and the rotten National government;

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Travelling beneficiaries' payments cut

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Bennett said;

“The new rules recognise beneficiaries should be ready and available for work – not prioritising travel.

Every day we hear stories of how people cannot live on the benefit. Today you’re hearing that literally thousands can not only live on it but can afford to travel overseas as well.”

My response;

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FROM:    Frank Macskasy
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE:    Sun, 06 Apr 2014 23:16:21 +1200
TO:      NZ Herald <letters@herald.co.nz>

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The Editor
NZ Herald
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Paula Bennett's recent attack on welfare beneficiaries,
where she claimed that "21,000 beneficiaries have had their
benefits cut for going on unapproved overseas trips in the
last nine months" is simply too fantastical to be believed.

For one thing, how on earth does one fund a trip overseas on
an unemployment benefit of $210 a week (net) and pay rent,
power, food, clothing, medical expenses, school fees,
transport, phone, etc, etc?

This doesn't make sense. The arithmetic simply doesn't add
up.

One thing is for certain; National must be in trouble. They
have defaulted to Deflection #2;

1. Blame previous Labour government
2. Release story on ‘welfare abuse’
3. Blame Global Financial Crisis or similar overseas event

Perhaps National's own internal polling has them falling in
public support and Labour/Greens doing better than public
polling is suggesting?

How else would one explain Bennett's latest foray into
Fairytale Land?

-Frank Macskasy
[address & phone number supplied]

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It is interesting to note that the Herald story, written by  deputy political editor, Claire Trevett, does not question anything that Bennett has said.

Not. One. Word.

I remember that this is what the media looked like when I lived briefly in Eastern Europe in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

This is what a media mouthpiece for an autocratic government looks like; faithful; reliable;  committed to the Party (in this case, National); and unquestioning.

This is what our media has become. They have been tamed.


 

References

NZ Herald: National down as NZ First gains

NZ Herald: Travelling beneficiaries’ payments cut

Previous related blogposts

Hon. Paula Bennett, Minister of Hypocrisy


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In remembrance of Ernie Abbott

5 April 2014 1 comment

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Ernie Abbott

Ernie Abbott, Vice President, Caretakers and Cleaners Union, d. March 27, 1984

 

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Wellington, NZ, 27 March 2014: Over a hundred people packed the lobby of Trades Hall, at 126 Vivian Street, in downtown Wellington, to commemorate the terrorist attack on the Wellington Trades Hall, thirty years ago;

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Wellington_trades-hall_ernie-abbott

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The bombing, by an unidentified person, instantly killed Ernie Abbott, Vice President, Caretakers and Cleaners Union, and caretaker of the  Wellington Trades Hall.

Live music, provided by the good folk of the  Brass Razoo Solidarity Band (in vibrant, socialist-red);

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Wellington Trades Hall Bombing_Ernie Abbott

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A diverse mix of people filled the lobby,

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Wellington Trades Hall Bombing_Ernie Abbott

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Numbers swelling through the late afternoon;

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Wellington Trades Hall Bombing_Ernie Abbott

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(Note: problem with camera-setting caused some unexpected blurring in images.)

Some of the rooms leading from the ground-floor lobby were opened up to make room for swelling numbers, as those who were not even born at the time mixed with those who lived through that bloody event in our recent history;

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Wellington Trades Hall Bombing_Ernie Abbott

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A rose between two thorns (love that cliche!), left-to-right (not necessarily a political description),  Grant Robertson, MP for Wellington Central; former Labour MP for “Island Bay” (now Rongotai) Electorate, Liz Tennett; and current MP for Hutt South, Trevor Mallard;

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Grant Robertson_Liz Tennett_Trevor Mallard

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From left-to-right, Henry; SFWU organiser, Daele O’Connor; and Rod;

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Wellington Trades Hall Bombing_Ernie Abbot

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As the time approached 5.19 pm – when the suitcase-bomb detonated  on 27  March  1984,  Paul Tolich called for everyone’s attention, and addressed the crowd;

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Wellington Trades Hall Bombing_Ernie Abbott

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Former Labour MP, Graham Kelly,  amongst the crowd, listening to speakers;

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Graham Kelly_New Zealand trade unionist

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As the clock neared 5.19pm, Paul Tolich, called for a minute of respectful silence, and the lobby and side-rooms fell quiet;

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Wellington Trades Hall secretary, Graeme Clarke,   who was Wellington District Secretary of the Federation of Labour in 1984,  was the next person to speak;

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Wellington Trades Hall Bombing_Ernie Abbot

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“In the 1970s, I wasn’t familiar with the idea that kids went to school hungry. I used to socialise with my workmates and people had enough money to put food on the table, to look after  their kids. But from the 1970, a campaign was organised against the Union movement and it’s been going on, off and on, ever since.

That campaign has been to weaken the Union movement, to divide it, to undermine it, and today we have a situation where 200,000 kids go to school hungry. And that is the legacy of that campaign… of which the bombing here was a part.

And I reflect on that, that as trade unionists, we need to re-double our efforts , to revive and rebuild the movement so that we can actually restore dignity and justice to working people.

My memory of the day was that we were in that room behind us, which in those days room room 2. Before that was that was the Harbour Board Workers Union rooms, and I was at the time the Secretary of the Wellington District Council of the Federation of Labour. We had a wage freeze on, because “wages were the cause of rising prices”, and so Muldoon had frozen wages and there was to be no wage increase whatsoever, while he squeezed rising prices out of the system.

As unionists we didn’t like that. We didn’t think that that was just or reasonable because prices were still going up. And so met in this room to plan ongoing steps in our campaign against the wage freeze. The print room was just around the corner, and our printer, George Thompson, was busy churning out the leaflets. And while we sat in that room, on the other side of the wall, just around the corner, a bomb was sitting.

If it had gone of earlier, it could have taken away the whole of the management committee of the Wellington Trades Council. It was some good fortune that I’m here today, because when we  left, I left with Pat Kelly. And we walked out that door with arms full of leaflets. Pat saw the suitcase, but our arms were too full to actually be bothered with picking up a suitcase that had nothing to do with us.

So we walked out and went to our meeting, and we heard a few minutes after we got to the meeting that there had been some kind of incident at Trades Hall. We came back, rushed back, to find out what had happened…

It was a bomb. There was one victim of that bomb, and that’s what has brought us all here today.”

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Graeme was followed by Richard Wagstaff, National Secretary for the PSA and Vice President of the CTU;

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Wellington Trades Hall Bombing_Ernie Abbott

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“Today we think back 30 years to the day when Trades Hall was bombed. 27 March of 1984.

Thirty years since Ernie Abbott was instantly killed when he picked up the booby-trapped suitcase lying in the foyer. Doing his job as building caretaker. The violence of his death shocked the nation.

Ernie was a working man. Like so many others, he had come to New Zealand for a better life. He was a union man and vice president of the Cleaners and Caretakers Union. He was a friend of Pat Kelly, the union secretary.

Nobody has been brought to account for the bombing. We don’t know who killed Ernie, though some amongst us have their suspicions.

We do know that it was an ugly time in New Zealand politics. The nation had been polarised by the intimidation and divisive tactics of a domineering prime minister.

Unions were amongst the few to challenge Muldoon’s increasingly dictatorial approach. As he tried to cling on to power, he set out to demonise unions and their leaders. That was the climate of the times.

The bombing was an attempt to kill people who worked for unions. Trades Hall was where the staff of several unions worked. Ernie was the unwitting victim. It could have been so many more.
As we remember that terrible event, let us not forget the other victims of anti-union aggression in New Zealand.

Frederick Evans, batoned to death by a police officer on the 12th of November 1912, during the Waihi strike. Like Ernie, he wasn’t someone in the public eye, but a union member who happened to be there.

Christine Clarke who died on the 31th of December 1999, two days after being bowled over by a angry driver as she stood on a picket-line at Lyttelton Port. Christine was there to show her support for workers in her community who were fighting to keep their jobs.

None of these people – Fred, Ernie and Christine – sought public attention. But we will always remember them.

As we also remember those who went to work and did not return.

This year we have set up a new fund to help the families who have lost a loved one, killed at work.

This Workers’ Memorial Day – Monday 28 April – we will be having a street collection. If you can give an hour or two between 7.30 and 9.30 in the morning, please give your name to Rebecca Matthews.

Let us now take a minute to think about Ernie Abbott and unionists everywhere who have been killed because of their beliefs.”

 

The last speaker, was Peter Cranney, who in 1984 was Vice President of the Wellington Cleaner’s Union, and is currently a lawyer specialising in workers’ advocacy;

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Peter Cranney

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“Our job is to continue the work that Ernie Abbott was doing. Our dear brother Ernie is not here, but what he suffered, and what he lost, is an important part of working class history and it must never be forgotten; his name must never be forgotten…”

Listening to the speakers, Cath Wallace (L) from ECO, and  Catherine Delahunty, from the Green Party;

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Cath Wallace_Catherine Delahunty

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Green MPs Denise Roche and Catherine Delahunty;

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Former Alliance activist, Carrick Lewis (L) and Martin (R);

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As the commemorative service drew to a close, people filed out of the Hall, with some continuing to chat, catching up, and sharing memories of past times;

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If we take one thing from this event, it is this…

The nameless individual who, through a vile, cowardly, criminal act, took an innocent man’s life will be forever unknown – much like society’s detritus that lies unmarked and forgotten in land fills dotted around the country.

But the name of Ernie Abbott will live on – remembered as a part of our history.

 

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  “Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.” – William Shakespeare

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References

Fairfax Media: 30 years on: Wellington’s unsolved Trades Hall mystery

NZ History: Trades Hall bombing

Other Blogs

Capitalism Bad; Tree Pretty : In Memorium: Ernie Abbott

G.Blog: Sorry Ruth, there is a more evil New Zealander than you after all

The Standard: 30th anniversary of the Trades Hall bombing

Copyright (c) Notice

All images are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

» Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
» Where purpose of use is commercial, a donation to Child Poverty Action Group is requested.
» At all times, images must be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals or groups.
» Acknowledgement of source is requested.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 29 March 2014.

 

 

 

 

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