The Jackal: 2021

27 Jul 2021

Taxpayers' Union gets destroyed

The Taxpayers’ Union scored another own goal yesterday when they decided to have a go at well-known journalist David Farrier (not to be confused with David Farrar) over Government funding he’d received to make a documentary.


While that slinging match isn’t really worth reporting on, being that it was mainly just a couple of privileged white guys calling each other names, the adjoining thread by a guy called Nick is worth chronicling.

Nick absolutely demolishes the Taxpayers’ Union, which is likely why one of their founding members, Jordan Williams, attempted to distance himself from his organisations online activity.

So for posterity’s sake, here are Nick’s accurate and informative tweets concerning the TPU:


24 Jul 2021

When tough on crime goes wrong

If there’s one thing that you can safely rely on, it’s right-wing politicians grandstanding with tough on crime rhetoric. It's understandable being that such propaganda is usually a sure bet, obviously because a very large proportion of the public wants to see less crime and fewer criminals in their communities.

However every once in a while the tough on crime message goes terribly awry, which is exactly what has happened for the National Party lately. Their law and order messaging has largely been lost because of Judith Collins over-egging the situation, not to mention the various missteps by National's current police spokesperson, Simeon Brown.

Crusher Collins, who is clearly fighting tooth and nail at the moment to keep her job as leader of the opposition, was again crying wolf this week when she point blank demanded that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sack her Police Minister, Poto Williams.


On Wednesday, Newshub reported:


National leader Judith Collins calls for Police Minister Poto Williams' sacking

Collins made the call after Williams was interviewed by Newstalk ZB about National MP Simeon Brown wanting to bring back Armed Response Teams (ARTs), which were trialled last year and discontinued. 

Williams was asked if she agreed with a statement issued by the group People Against Prisons Aotearoa after Police Commissioner Andrew Coster confirmed ARTs would not go ahead.

Williams said she was "not giving them the time of day", referring to People Against Prisons Aotearoa's statement, but she did not condemn Rākete's words either, which Collins says is unacceptable.

"The interview was a train wreck from beginning to end and quite frankly it is time the Prime Minister steps in to replace her with someone who is capable of advocating for and caring about police officers."


Trying to bully the Minister of Police by calling for her to be sacked over what is essentially a none-issue isn’t going to sit well with anybody but the most deluded right-wing supporter. In fact what this type of false accusation does is dilute National’s overall law and order campaigning, particularly when an opportunity to make political capital out of a topical issue does actually present itself.

However that’s not the only thing that’s been diluting what should be brand messaging for the National Party. The Government has been very proactive about developing policies concerning crime prevention, which means there just isn’t much leeway for the floundering opposition to get very tough on crime in the first place. That unfortunately hasn’t stopped them from trying though.


Last Sunday, Stuff reported:


National Party leader Judith Collins asks auditor general to investigate $2.75m for Mongrel Mob-led rehab programme

“The money should never have gone to the gang, but what makes it more concerning is that the recipient of the funds is senior Mongrel Mob member Harry Tam and his company H2R,” she said.

“This is serious. At best this is a very bad decision from a Government who would rather cosy up to gangs than keep New Zealanders safe.”

National Party police spokesman Simeon Brown also wrote to the Auditor General over the Chief Human Rights Commissioner’s $200 koha to the Waikato Mongrel Mob. Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt spoke at an event in May and a koha was laid at the pōwhiri in line with tikanga or Māori custom.


The problem for the National Party in this instance is that they’re arguing against good evidence showing that the gang-run rehabilitation program actually works. It therefore doesn’t matter how many times National MPs say that the money is going to support criminals, because the facts speak for themselves.

Most voters will realise that if a rehabilitation program results in fewer gang members using meth, then the Government should be funding it. Better yet, if that funding comes from the proceeds of crime, which essentially means that P money is being used to help people get off meth, then why would anybody oppose it?

A very high percentage of Kiwis will also have a pretty good understanding of what koha is and find it entirely acceptable for the Chief Human Rights Commissioner to provide a $200 payment at the appropriate time and place. In fact it would be more newsworthy if the Commissioner had somehow failed to make such a contribution.

In my opinion, Simeon Brown really does need to find a better bogyman than a Government official who is simply doing the right thing by following many decades of Maori protocol.

Likewise, Collins would be well advised to keep a lid on her unbridled hatred towards the Labour Party, who according to the world's third largest market research company Ipsos is now crushing National on all 20 top issues of public importance, including law and order.

The National Party should also have learnt an important lesson about too much tough on crime rhetoric. When the MSM started reporting on Michael Laws for instance, who was making similar anti-gang noises, it pretty much signalled an end to his political career.

That result could well be why most of the MSM has chosen not to report very much on National’s latest bout of unhinged bravado, not just because it isn’t very newsworthy, but also because it makes the blue “team” look unelectable and incredibly short sighted! So myopic in fact that most voters will simply look right past Crusher and her cabal of closed minded fools when deciding who should govern this great country of ours.

22 Jul 2021

Talley’s Group Ltd - Arsehole of the Week


In our modern world, it shouldn't be too much to ask that businesses operating in New Zealand be run in an ethical and safe manner, should it? I mean surely our fellow Kiwis should be treated fairly while undertaking an honest days work, shouldn't they?

It’s not as if any of our large food and beverage producing companies for instance, with exports worth well over $34 billion per year, are somehow unable to afford safe and healthy work sites.

In fact in my opinion, if such companies refuse to improve and cannot maintain the bare minimum of standards, then they should simply be shut down. Otherwise we risk a substantial percentage of our workforce being permanently incapacitated either through injury or death, which is a true disaster in not just an economic sense of the word.

However despite our lawful employment regulations being well known, which should ensure every employee is valued and gets to go home to their families after work, here we are once again talking about workers being mistreated. We're still seeing numerous employees being injured and killed while at work, which is simply not an acceptable nor sustainable way to operate.

Perhaps the worst offender in New Zealand for treating worker’s as an expendable commodity is a highly profitable food manufacturer called Talley’s Group Ltd. This unethical company has been inexplicably getting away with ignoring people's valid concerns and the Governments already weak health and safety requirements for numerous years.


Yesterday, 1 News reported:


Over 170 Talley's staff injured at three sites in one year, probe reveals

Food manufacturing giant Talley’s recorded 174 separate injuries to workers over the course of a single year at its three manufacturing sites in Marlborough, a 1 NEWS investigation can reveal.

Earlier this month, photos were leaked of filthy machines at the Ashburton factory despite Talley's CEO Tony Hazlett saying the machines are cleaned regularly.

The company runs a massive operation in Marlborough - their marketing material showing the production of seafood, vegetables and more.

But now, 1 NEWS has obtained leaked documents, revealing what those ads don't show - the human impact.

An internal report shows there were 174 injuries in Blenheim, Havelock and Picton alone between October 2019 and September 2020 - an average of one every two or three days.


It’s one thing to have a dangerous work site to begin with, but it’s quit another to continue to put workers at risk of injury, sickness or death knowing full well that those dangers exist. In effect Talley’s has been playing Russian roulette with people’s lives, which isn’t just a bad look for the company, it’s a bad look for New Zealand as well.

Of course Talley’s is fully aware of what this type of bad press will do to their bottom line. That’s why when news recently broke about the dangerous and unsanitary practices at Talley’s factories, their first reaction was to try and close down reporters by threatening legal action.

Thankfully those legal threats failed, mainly because 1 News has been careful to report only the facts. But you’ve got to wonder what other underhanded tactics Talley’s has been employing that has allowed them to continue with such bad health and safety practices for so long?


1 NEWS has spoken to two anonymous whistleblowers who add to that - claiming health and safety concerns are regularly ignored at the Blenheim plant.

“They just want to ignore you, and brush it under a carpet because there's paperwork that comes with it, and it's put in the too hard basket, or it's going to cost too much money,” one said.

It was also alleged that when staff do file reports, they're often not followed up.

“I never heard back about any of it - one was very serious, I wouldn't have gone home to my family,” a complainant said.


It’s not as if Talley’s Group Ltd cannot afford to make proper improvements to ensure workers are safe either. After all, they had annual revenue of nearly a billion dollars last year, so any failure to upgrade and therefore continue to put workers in danger is clearly not just an oversight. Instead it's a cold and calculated decision to maximise profits at their worker's expense.

However that’s not the only reason Talley’s has won this week's Arsehole Award. With the world currently crying out for ethically produced goods, we simply cannot allow our credibility as a world leading food producing nation to be tarnished by substandard companies like Talley’s.

Without question the bad business practices as those displayed by Talley’s Group Ltd risks wasting years of hard work and millions of dollars in Government funded advertising campaigns. Sadly that substantial investment and our hard won international reputation is something that Talley’s has been trying to flush down the toilet.

Combine this substantial cost with their Managing Director Peter Talley bribing corrupt right-wing politicians in order to try and stop any oversight of their environmentally damaging fishing practices plus the more recent reports of them just dumping untreated chemicals down the drain, and Talley's is a clear winner for a prized Arsehole Award.

In truth, and considering their previous unwarranted legal threats against now deceased union leader Helen Kelly, plus the historic mistreatment of workers during their brutal 2012 lockout, it's surprising that Talley’s Group Ltd hasn’t previously won a coveted Roger Award as well.

Perhaps CAFCA, given just how bad this shameful company has become, might consider starting those prestigious awards again? They've certainly got at least one worthwhile winner, and likely many more nominations for Talley's Group Ltd, who are justifiably now receiving the recognition they so clearly deserve.

To this effect, please consider supporting better business practices by banning Talley's produced products. Because without the public sending market signals to these unethical businesses, it's unlikely that anything will change for the better.

20 Jul 2021

Plague ships put elimination strategy at risk


I’m sure you’ll agree that so far New Zealand has been very lucky in our fight against Covid-19. Even with the opening up of our borders with Australia, which is having a third wave of infections that's getting out of control, Aotearoa has dodged a bullet that most other countries haven’t been able to avoid.

However our luck might just be about to run out with the arrival of plague ships carrying numerous infected crew members who could potentially breach our borders, which are obviously a lot harder to maintain at harbours compared to international airports. 


On Sunday, 1 News reported:


Playa Zahara fishing vessel with Covid-positive crew arrives at Lyttelton Port

The Playa Zahara fishing vessel with 16 Covid-positive crew members on board has docked in Lyttelton Port this morning.

Three of the 18 crew members on the vessel Friday tested positive for the more contagious Delta variant, according to the Ministry of Health.

"The most recent crew aboard the Playa Zahara had arrived in New Zealand on June 18 and spent two days at a managed isolation facility in Auckland. They provided negative pre-departure tests before arriving in New Zealand and again tested negative before boarding the ship."


Two days in managed isolation is hardly enough time to ensure they weren't contagious. I mean who exactly is pulling the Ministry of Health’s strings here to get these fishermen released early?

But if that wasn’t bad enough, we also have container ships arriving with infected crews as well.


Today, 1 News reported:


Seven more crew onboard container ship at Bluff test positive for Covid-19

Seven more crew members onboard the Mattina container ship, currently in quarantine in Bluff, have now tested positive for Covid-19, this Ministry of Health has confirmed.

There are currently nine cases linked to the vessel after two were announced yesterday.

The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel came into port on Sunday night and all 21 crew members were tested yesterday morning after two crew members initially reported having virus symptoms.

All crew remain on the ship as health officials from Southern DHB work with other agencies to determine the next steps, the ministry said.

A further 16 Covid-positive crew members onboard the Viking Bay fishing vessel were also transferred to quarantine facilities in Wellington. Thirteen of the cases tested positive for the more contagious Delta variant.


You’ve got to wonder why authorities allowed people who haven’t been properly tested or quarantined to get onto these vessels in the first place? You’ve also got to wonder why the taxpayer and not the fishing or shipping companies are now picking up the tab for this failure?

Furthermore, how exactly did all their tests initially come back negative when so many of these crew members are infected? This clearly shows that the testing these companies use isn’t robust enough and therefore cannot be relied upon.

Evidently the MoH's systems for checking crews in New Zealand aren’t up to scratch either. And until this problem is rectified, we should be putting a halt to all foreign fishing crews from working in our territorial waters. It’s not as if our already depleted fishing stock couldn’t do with a break if Covid free crews cannot be found. Yet here we are still importing foreign labor and putting our entire Covid-19 elimination strategy at risk.

It would only take one infected crew member to leave their ship for all our hard work to be undone. However there's another risk to not turning these plague ships around as well. Studies have shown that Covid can survive on frozen fish and packaging for a very long time. We should therefore be doing everything in our power to ensure no more infected crews arrive in New Zealand. Because if there’s one thing that Covid-19 should have taught us by now, it's that any weakness in our defences will be exploited.

18 Jul 2021

Some farmers are sick puppies

I'm not sure if you're aware, but there's a significant problem within our farming community that needs to be addressed, and that’s this whole belief that Labour is anti-farming. The reality is that the current Government loves farmers. From free trade agreements that open up new markets to keeping farming largely out of the ETS and making trades training in critical industries like farming free, Labour has in fact done more for farming than National could ever have dreamed of.

The incorrect belief that Labour opposes farming couldn’t have been more evident than when a few farmers decided to have a protest this week. And despite all their bravado, the reason for the protest was as confused as the rabble that attended, who couldn’t write a good protest sign to save themselves. 

These signs are in fact the crux of the matter, so without further ado, here’s a sample of some of the more messed up messages that were on display:


This is not fantasy Island

We are at regulation saturation

David Parker hates farmers

Let farmers do what farmers do best - feeding our nation

You hug the mob and just leave us to growing food

What happened to being kind Jacinda?

Without farming you would be hungry, naked and sober

What does Jacinda & toilet paper have in common? They are both full of shit!

No! To the land grab!

No! To car tax No! To three waters No! To gangs

No farms No growers No food

Over ploughing through red tape

I am a proud NZ farmer NOT a Pakeha farmer “James Shaw”

Black Utes matter

Jacinda Kiwi’s do NOT want Communism

Fish + chips + Communism = your worst nightmare

You can buy my mongrel for $2.75 million

Minister Shaw will make us all poor

Farming is not an experiment

Aotearoa… the land of the long list of bullshit bureaucratic regulations

We want Democracy not Dictatorship!!

Cindy = Stalin

Taxinda is Uteless

Jacinda is a Communist bitch

Tanked economies ruin lives

Food for thought Less BS! More science

MAGA Make Ardern Go Away

Climate change happens every time it’s cold weather

Stop racial rural discrimination!!

Try milking a pine tree

Dump loony rules let us farm

No Utes No gas stoves No cows & sheep Just pine trees

Dirty coal = electric vehicles

Eat this Good intentions don’t excuse bad policy

We may be just some Pakeha farmers James Shaw, but guess what? You’re only an MP

We live in New Zealand not Aotearoa! Stop ramming Maori language down our throats.

Parker your tax up your arse!

No to Comy bitch

No farmer no food

We support Famers Labour Greens don’t

Don’t bite the hands that feed you

Us farmers love our land and love our animals. We are not rapists

Labour+Greens Policy Agenda = Systemic Genocide of NZ Famers


Judith Collins was even photographed posing next to that last sign in what could only be described as unspoken support for a claim that is clearly entirely incorrect! In fact most of those signs are well off the mark and make me wonder if there isn’t some sort of mass hysteria event going on?

The Government clearly isn’t trying to get rid of farms and no one is trying to ethnically cleanse farmers either. There’s also no comparison between the PM and Stalin nor any truth to the claim that Jacinda Ardern is a communist or a dictator.

Furthermore, the Government isn't ramming the Maori language down people’s throats. In fact my advice to anybody who doesn't like one of our official languages being used is to simply leave Aotearoa.

These racist right-wing farmers have clearly lost the plot, but none more so than this guy who took the time to paint a picture that depicts the Prime Minister raping a sheep.



But if all that wasn’t bad enough, the National Party also added to the cringe factor by running a hurt butt campaign as well.


On Friday, 1 News reported:


Farmers are 'getting it in the behind', Collins says of new National ad

"Farmers are actually really feeling like they're really getting it in the behind, they don't like it," Judith Collins said today as National released a new advertisement depicting arrows going into farmers' backsides. 

Collins said farmers were "united and the public are saying [that] too, they're with them".


Crusher is clearly living in la la land if she believes that a majority of the public thinks farmers are getting it in the behind from the Government. Even if there was some truth to the claim that farmers are being over-taxed or over-regulated (which there isn't), making light of anal rape is never a good thing, especially when we’re talking about an electioneering advert for the largest opposition party in Parliament. 



This type of politicking is sure to turn middle New Zealand off of Collins and her small cabal of reactionary idiots, many of whom are more interested in producing juvenile Twitter memes than developing any actual new policy initiatives that might help our farmers feed the world.

In fact this type of extremism on display doesn’t bode well for the right wing. Trying to attract voters by getting your supporters to waive objectionable placards around or simply opposing everything the Government is doing with outrageous and factually incorrect slogans is going to result in a hiding to nowhere for the National Party.

And as a show of force for the right-wing, the farmer protest was pretty piss poor really. So weak in fact that they had to steal images from overseas farmer protests to try and make Kiwis believe that they’ve got the numbers.



These sick puppies really are pathetic!

17 Jul 2021

Mike King needs to get his shit together

If there is one thing that we need more of in New Zealand, it’s good people who actually give a damn about preventing suicides.

That’s because despite a small reduction in 2020, our already incredibly high suicide rates have been getting even worse over recent years, which clearly points to a lack of adequate services and an increase of things that disproportionately effect those most at risk, like poverty and inequality.

However what we don’t need is people using their own failings to have a go at a Government who clearly cares about suicide prevention and is working hard to reduce those terrible statistics.


On Tuesday, Newshub reported:


Mike King lashes Jacinda Ardern over funding for Mongrel Mob rehab scheme but not Gumboot Friday

Mike King has hit out at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over funding a Mongrel Mob-run rehab programme, but not his charity Gumboot Friday. 

But King slammed the Prime Minister after his pleas for funding were turned down.

Last month, the Ministry of Health rejected funding for Gumboot Friday, which was founded by King and provides free counselling for young people. The ministry said Gumboot Friday's funding application was outside the timeframe for procurement, meaning it could not be funded. 

In a Facebook video posted on Monday night, King criticised the Prime Minister for giving the Mongrel Mob programme funding, but not his charity.


On Thursday, Newshub reported:


Mike King slams National for 'pretending' to care about Gumboot Friday, 'offensive meme'

Mental health campaigner Mike King has lashed out at the National Party, accusing them of 'pretending' to care about his charity Gumboot Friday. 

It comes after National MP Chris Bishop posted a meme on his Facebook page on Wednesday mocking Labour for funding a meth rehab but not King's charity. The meme was also shared by Simeon Brown. 

... 

On Monday, King slammed the Prime Minister's choice to fund the meth programme but not his charity, despite missing the funding deadline.  

In a Facebook video, King said he didn't have an issue with the programme being given money, but he took issue with Ardern taking credit for it despite telling him she couldn't be involved in deciding whether his charity got money or not.


If King didn’t have a problem with the Government funding a Mongrel Mob run meth rehabilitation program, then why did he complain about it on Tuesday?


"When I asked you to have a conversation about it in the Koru Club, you looked me in the eye and you said, 'Mike I cannot get involved in this, we have a fair and equitable system and I cannot be involved in funding decisions'.


Even though they're related, a drug rehabilitation program obviously has different funding criteria than suicide prevention services. King must know this, which makes his complaint even more dumbfounding!

However what really makes me wonder if King has his heart in the right place and isn't simply using suicide as a political weapon here is that he never applied for funding in the first place.


Yesterday, Newshub reported:


Mike King addresses 'misinformation' about Gumboot Friday funding, says he never applied

Mike King is blasting the Ministry of Health for its "blatant lie" that the mental health advocate failed to get his funding application for Gumboot Friday in by the deadline - arguing that in fact, he never applied at all.

In a video posted to his Facebook on Friday, King addressed what he says is misinformation circulating around the funding of Gumboot Friday, and urged people not to believe it.

"The fact is, I have never applied for funding for Gumboot Friday - we have never put in an application and if you haven't put in an application, it can't be late."


This is no joke. Surely the comedian should have actually applied for funding before going on the news to complain about not receiving any? We wouldn’t then have numerous right wing propagandists jumping on the bandwagon to have a crack at Labour about Gumboot Friday missing out.

Now I don’t mean to join the pile on, but King really does need to get his shit together. Because this type of flakiness obviously doesn’t help anybody who might be considering suicide. They will be taking these types of complaints and the mainstream medias misinformation at face value, and may even believe that there’s no help available at all.

You've also got to wonder how exactly we're meant to have the conversation about suicide with such a large amount of blatant disinformation going on?

Notwithstanding what the right wing wants us to believe, the Labour led Government has in fact been working towards solutions to turn the tide. First they had an inquiry that resulted in the He Ara Oranga report, a suicide prevention action plan and a dedicated Suicide Prevention Office. They also established the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. Combine that with increased funding for mental health and addiction services and we should soon be seeing a gradual reduction in our world leading suicide statistics.

Sure, not much of that unprecedented $1.9 billion the Government allocated to support the mental wellbeing of New Zealanders has gone out the door (23% allocated with 6.6% spent to date), but this is light years ahead of anything National ever did under John Key.

So just take a deep breath there Mike King. Because if you don’t do the mahi and get your funding applications in on time, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself.


Where to get help:


1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

thelowdown.co.nz – or email team@thelowdown.co.nz or free text 5626

Anxiety New Zealand - 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825

14 Jul 2021

National should move on from racism

If there was ever an argument to be made that National are an outdated dinosaur of a Party, their leader Judith Collins and her blue “team” have been making a pretty good fist of it over the last few months.

From murdering the word 'woke' to Collins being lampooned in Parliament as a Karen and the more recent Government is funding meth and the Demand The Debate debacles, which totally backfired, the National Party and its leader are just lurching from one electioneering disaster to the next. It’s almost as if they don’t actually want to be in Government at all.

Not only was their unpopular leader once again undermined by another leak last Monday when she was caught red handed being briefed by long-time ACT Party member and well known racist Don Brash, his advice to play the race card has clearly impinged upon Collins’ credibility and claim of being racially tolerant.

Crusher can therefore no longer speak with any authority on many important indigenous issues, not least of all on how the Government is going about creating a more inclusive and equitable Aotearoa by hopefully upholding our previously signed international agreements.


Yesterday, Stuff reported:


Email says Judith Collins asked Don Brash to raise $300,000 for billboards on 'Treaty of Waitangi' issues

Brash, who ran a similar campaign against alleged separatism in 2004, wrote that while his primary allegiance is now to the ACT Party, he shared Collins’ concern enough to donate $15,000 for the campaign and encouraged others to do the same.

“I share Judith’s deep concern about the implications of the He Puapua report and have agreed to try to raise these funds. I also recognise, as I'm sure you do, that there is little prospect of a centre-right government after the next election if National does not attract back many of the voters who were seduced by the Prime Minister at the last election,” Brash wrote.


Seduced by the PM? God these old kooks are creepy! I’d be very interested to know whether Brash’s email recipients included members of the Exclusive Brethren? Let’s hope the right-wing doesn't go down that broken campaign trail again.


Government ministers have rejected the notion that they are not consulting on their policies or taking them through a democratic process. The Prime Minister has stressed that He Puapua is not Government policy, but instead a working group report responding to a UN Declaration signed up to by the last National Government. 


He Puapua clearly isn’t the lightning rod issue National believes it to be, particularly because what is essentially a discussion document was a result of John Key’s National Government signing New Zealand up to the UN Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous People.

Essentially Collins is trying to criticize the Prime Minister for the actions of a previous National led Government. Talk about ridiculous!

You’ve got to therefore wonder if Brash’s advice was intentionally designed to undermine National, who in my opinion should be trying to gain the middle ground, or whether he and Collins are just so out of touch as to actually believe that a rehash of their failed Iwi verses Kiwi campaign would work. Perhaps they're both losing their faculties?

In today’s age of mass media and instant information, continually playing the racist card is a highly conceited approach to politics, an approach that is failing miserably if National’s polling numbers are anything to go by. After all, the white supremacists already have a far right party to support, well most of them anyway.

Of course this type of divisive race-based politicking is nothing new in New Zealand, and was even on display at National’s Northern Regional Conference earlier this year when their MP for Port Waikato, Andrew Bayly, decided to make fun of the Foreign Affairs Minister, Nanaia Mahuta.


On Tuesday, the NZ Herald reported:


Judith Collins' leadership is 1 year old and it's time her party grows up

"Nanna, manna, nan, um, nanny, manny, man, oh dear, whatever".

He then joked "There's no media here, is there?"


Making fun of someone because of their name or skin colour is an age-old practice of racists the world over who are looking to belittle and demoralize indigenous people.

But if that wasn’t evidence enough of National’s underlying and inherent problem, then there is the more recent campaign against the Government for funding a gang run meth rehabilitation program, which is evidently based on a successful program that the National Party had previously funded.

To try and make a point, the National Party even breached NZ copyright laws by stealing Trade Me’s well-known graphics to use in a spoof advert, which just goes to show that Collins isn’t at all concerned about doing the right thing when it comes to her race-based approach to politics.


Yesterday, 1 News reported:


Trade Me accuse National of breaching its intellectual property with 'Meth Rehab' image

Trade Me today accused the National Party of breaching its intellectual property after it uploaded a tweet in the likeness of the online marketplace, but instead it listed 'Meth Rehab' as the product for sale.  

Earlier today, National's Twitter account uploaded an image captioned, "Nothing to see here", as a satirical take on the $2.75 million in funding allocated to a Mongrel Mob-led meth rehabilitation programme.

On the fake 'Meth Rehab' listing image, it had the seller as 'gangs@gangHQ.com', with other listings shown as marijuana, 'misc pills' and an image of a bong - a device used to smoke marijuana.

Trade Me's Millie Silvester told 1 NEWS the company was not consulted about the image by National and believed it breached their intellectual property. 

"We don't want anyone messing with our brand, something we've built with pride over 22 years," Silvester said. 


It’s no wonder Brash and his associates don’t want their names or the ACT Party to be associated with National’s disastrous race-based electioneering. I mean it’s one thing to make an arse of yourself by prejudicially opposing a Government funding program that is trying to rehabilitate meth addicted gang members, but it’s quite something else to make billboards that criticise reports that were formed because of what your own party had previously done while in power.

Whatever the National Party hopes to achieve from such foolish and divisive electioneering, it's patently clear that New Zealand as a nation has grown up and moved on from such racially prejudiced campaigns. It's a pity that Judith Collins and her cabal cannot do the same.

13 Jul 2021

Billionaire circle jerk

What is it about older men who reach a certain age and feel they need to prove something? Often referred to as a midlife crisis, the men this blog post is about are in fact well advanced in years and are a prime example that age doesn’t always equal wisdom.

I am of course talking about Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. These three billionaires have been acting like children and wasting millions of dollars on their flights of fancy, and what have they actually achieved? There isn't even a small advancement in space exploration just as there is no scientific merit to what these billionaires are doing. It is an utter waste of resources, resources that could be better utilised elsewhere in the world.


Yesterday, CNN reported:


Richard Branson's disappointing space jaunt

First, there's the environmental cost of space travel. Virgin Galactic claims that the carbon footprint for passengers of its suborbital space flight is comparable to that of a business class ticket on a transatlantic flight (which is about 0.2 kilograms per kilometer or 0.44 pounds per .62 miles -- amounting to a massive 2,220 kilo output per passenger over a typical 11,100-kilometer flight or 2.45 tons over a 6,897-mile flight).

But space flights are longer than transatlantic ones, and carry far fewer passengers. Per passenger, per kilometer, Branson's 11,260-kilometer (6,996-mile) journey to the edge of space cost 12 kilograms (26 pounds) of CO2. The company says that emissions will be offset -- but it's still an enormous price to pay for the sake of a few minutes in zero gravity.


Despite the world being in the grips of one of the worst pandemics ever, and the effects of climate change running rampant in numerous countries, these idiots are busy stroking their egos in lower orbit, and for what? So Branson can take some weightless selfies at 60 kilometres above the Earth in vainglorious self-promotion! No wonder there are petitions for these guys to not come back home.


For all Branson's enthusing over imagination, his trip into space was effectively a much-diluted, far posher version of a feat already achieved more than 60 years ago by Yuri Gagarin's groundbreaking flight in Vostok 1. Gagarin, a Soviet carpenter's son who survived the Nazi occupation of Russia, actually accomplished something far greater, by orbiting for 108 minutes before returning to Earth. With reserved tickets for future Virgin Galactic flights priced between $200,000 and $250,000, the only barrier Branson has broken is that between the super-rich and their ability to spend a few minutes floating just within the sub-orbital zone which allows passengers to experience weightlessness.


Instead of realising that they’re making complete dicks of themselves by going where a Russian astronaut already went six decades ago, these billionaires are busy trying to sell a dream to the common man, a dream no common man can actually afford.

Branson in particular is terribly deluded about what he’s realistically achieved. Not only did he only manage to get up in low orbit for four short minutes, he arguably hasn’t furthered real space travel in the slightest by blowing a load of rocket fuel all over the Stratosphere and Mesosphere.

It would therefore be good if the mainstream media weren’t falling over themselves to promote Branson's rampant immodesty. Clearly such a bad use of the world’s resources shouldn't be reported as some sort of worthwhile endeavour. In fact the only thing these billionaires have thus far proven is that a persons wealth doesn’t really equate to their intelligence in the slightest.

12 Jul 2021

NZ should stick to COVID-19 elimination strategy

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s that right-winger’s will always put profits ahead of people’s safety. In fact not a week has gone by since our first lockdowns began without at least one right-wing propagandist arguing that New Zealand's border restrictions must be lifted, usually for purely economic reasons and not a lot else.

However if you take a good look at the evidence, it categorically demonstrates that an elimination strategy is the best and only way to go to safeguard both a countries population and economy. Even if some of our closest trading partners have decided to just give up, the NZ Government would be ill-advised to follow suit and allow the virus to run rampant in gods own.

Take for instance a recent study out of Germany showing that most people who survive Covid-19 are still suffering symptoms even twelve months on from when they first contracted the disease.


Last week, Oxford Academic reported:


Persistent symptoms in adult patients one year after COVID-19: a prospective cohort study

At month 12, only 22.9% of patients were completely free of symptoms and the most frequent symptoms were reduced exercise capacity (56.3%), fatigue (53.1%), dyspnoea (37.5%), concentration problems (39.6%), problems finding words (32.3%), and sleeping problems (26.0%). Females showed significantly more neurocognitive symptoms than males.


There are serious economic implications to this as well, especially when you also consider that many vaccines aren't the silver bullet we first hoped they might be. Even Pfizer's BioNTech vaccine is now showing limited long-term effectiveness against Covid-19 and its variants.


On Friday, Newshub reported:


COVID-19: Pfizer reveals immunity waning from vaccine, developing new booster

Pfizer chief scientific officer Mikael Dolsten said the recently reported dip in the vaccine's effectiveness in Israel was mostly due to infections in people who had been vaccinated in January or February. The country's health ministry said vaccine effectiveness in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease fell to 64 percent in June.

"The Pfizer vaccine is highly active against the Delta variant," Dolsten said in an interview. But after six months, he said, "there likely is the risk of reinfection as antibodies, as predicted, wane."


Despite the evidence clearly showing that an elimination strategy is an appropriate response to this deadly pandemic, many right wing hacks are continuing to bleat on about opening up our borders.

One in particular long-time Labour critic called Heather du Plessis-Allan even believes that keeping Covid-19 out of New Zealand will all end in tears.


On Thursday, Newstalk ZB reported:


Govt keeping the borders shut will end in tears

I think it’s becoming more and more obvious that we are drawing ever closer to some sort of crunch point with a worker shortage in this country.  

ASB this week warned that labour turnover has surged in the last three months, suggesting bosses are just desperately poaching staff off each other.

...

I think it’s also becoming more and more obvious that Covid isn’t the only reason workers can’t get in.

As immigration lawyer Alastair McClymont said to Mike Hosking Breakfast this morning, this is deliberate. The government is cutting off the foreign worker supply to try to force up wages.

It’s not going to work; it’s going to end in tears.


Despite what this doom merchant is saying, an end to our low-waged economy is actually a good thing. Heather du Plessis-Allan then goes on to provide an example from 1964, whereby Mexicans were apparently stopped from working in the US, but wages stayed the same.

There's little relevance to the current situation here and now in New Zealand, especially because wages have seen significant growth over the last twelve months while the country has been keeping Covid-19 out through a successful elimination program.

Of course Newstalk ZB aren't the only ones arguing for an opening up of our borders. Tracey Martin over at Stuff also draws a strange parallel to try and bolster the Open Our Borders movement; this time between Muldoon’s megalomania, Rogernomics and the current Covid-19 economic situation.


Yesterday, Stuff reported:


Covid-19: We need a plan to open Fortress NZ

When, a few years later, the Muldoon Government was swept out of power and along with it some of its extreme interventionist measures like wage, price and interest rate controls, we went from one of the world’s most closed economies, to one of the most open.


There were of course many problems with both Muldoon’s and David Lange’s economic management, particularly when Roger Douglas' economic mismanagement pushed wages down by causing mass unemployment, which rose from 3.6% to 11%. But, like du Plessis-Allan's argument, this has little relevance to the current situation.


We have become fearful of the world beyond our borders and most of us would rather things stayed the way they are for the foreseeable future.


I’m not sure that a valid fear of dying from Covid-19 is something to argue against. Personally I would rather things did stay the same meaning no community spread of Covid-19 in New Zealand. I would also prefer that other countries also got their response to the deadly virus right as well, but that’s not what’s happening.


As the world starts to open up, New Zealand is both blessed, but perhaps also blinkered, by our phenomenal success keeping Covid out.


Actually, much of the world is going back into lockdown as the Delta variant causes a third wave. Some countries that predominantly have right wing government's are however opening up their economies, despite them not having the virus under control. Thankfully this isn't a strategy that New Zealand should or needs to follow.


But the Government has not responded in kind; we have seen few signs of fresh thinking about the challenges that we are going to face us as an economy, or of a roadmap for navigating a world where Covid, and its variants, will be around for the foreseeable future.


Except the NZ economy under lockdown has been doing pretty well really. This has a lot to do with the Government acting quickly to protect people’s jobs. It also has a bit to do with our export driven economy being able to quickly adjust to meet the needs of countries still struggling under the pandemic. We can also trade amongst ourselves without much fear of catching Covid-19, which is a pretty big bonus if you ask me.

‘We must live with the virus’ is the catch phrase the right wing protagonists often use to try and convince the public and politicians to open up our borders. However what this really means is that people should simply accept their friends and family members dying, or becoming seriously unwell, from a virus that has claimed over four million lives worldwide so far.

With a mortality rate estimated at 3.4% and only 22.9% of victims fully recovering, the consequences to both a countries workforce and economy clearly outweigh any short-term financial benefits certain sectors might see from lowering our guard against Covid-19.

In fact if you think the skills shortage is bad now, just wait to see what happens in places like England, where the Tories have done exactly what du Plessis-Allan and other right-wing idiots have been advocating for here in New Zealand.

Perhaps, instead of complaining about no longer having cheap labor or being able to fly off on holiday every month, the elimination strategy neigh-sayers might like to contribute some new ideas on how New Zealand best lives without the virus, by keeping our borders closed and therefore our population safe. Because without a healthy workforce, there simply isn't going to be an economy worth arguing about.

10 Jul 2021

Crusher’s fear-based leadership is unpopular

Not that long ago, in what many considered a poignant moment, Judith Collins once said; “if you can't be loved, best be feared". Of course she stole this saying from Niccolò Machiavelli, which is apt being that a Machiavellian is someone who is cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous, especially in politics.

Perhaps there’s no more befitting description of Judith Collins, who seems to exemplify the nasty side of the National Party, a cutthroat side that the public doesn’t always get to hear about.

The kind of fear-based leadership that Crusher revels in doesn’t however always command loyalty from those not directly under her control, namely most voters. They simply don’t have the same fear-based response as people within her direct vicinity. The general public instead has everything to lose and nothing to gain by supporting the current National Party under Judith Collins, who is a far right politician that believes in austerity and governing with an iron boot to the throat of our hard won civil liberties.

Often modelling herself on Margaret Thatcher, but looking more like Piggy Muldoon every day, Collins is the take no prisoners kind of politician. The type of pistol-wielding, car-crushing politician you cross the street to avoid. Of course Crusher’s combative style is something that your average Joe Blogs might not even notice. However it’s a ruthless feature of Collins’ authoritarianism that former and present National Party MPs know all too well.


Last week, the NZ Herald reported:


National Party leaking: Ex MP Chris Finlayson says Todd Muller 'ritual disembowelling' a lesson to others

Asked about Judith Collins' move to force Todd Muller to resign after he was dobbed in for making unflattering comments about Harete Hipango to Newsroom, Finlayson told the NZ Herald that MPs had to learn "to stop sniping about your colleagues".

"There needs to be a bit of discipline brought to the show and if there needs to be a ritual disembowelling from time to time, then that's the way it goes.


Actually, Muller was right to inform the public about one of his colleges using the Parliamentary expense account to furnish her own houses. The only reason Muller got the chop instead of Hipango is because she’s within Collins’ inner cabal. What this shows is that if you’re loyal to Collins, then you'll get away with just about anything, including theft.


"Of course everyone talks to journalists, but if you're going to have a gripe about your colleagues say it to their faces."

"How many times do the National Party and its caucus need to be told to stop the leaking?

"Why are they so stupid that after a cataclysmic defeat in 2020, they haven't got that basic message?"

He pointed to the cases of former Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon and Upper Harbour candidate Jake Bezzant, both of whom were accused of inappropriate use of social media or texting.


If you were to critique those cases then you would have to conclude that Collins handled them very poorly. Not only must she have known that a Police investigation was being conducted into Falloon for his inappropriate behaviour, the former Minister of Police must have also been aware of Bezzant’s strange sexual proclivities prior to him being ousted.

Besides, it’s the fact that Collins still has faith in those who were embroiled in the Dirty Politics debacle, the very same people who selected numerous inappropriate candidates, that puts into question her ability to lead the National Party into the next election.

If there was ever a television program made of Crusher’s life in Parliament, perhaps it should be called knives at noon or pistols at dawn, because when Judith Collins is around, politics becomes a blood sport. In fact a litany of destroyed careers now lies in her wake, which is one of the reasons there are so many internal leaks looking to undermine her regime. National MPs are simply trying to get rid of her to save their own skins, and perhaps their party in the process.

This disunity has clearly taken a toll on National’s support base as well, so much so that Collins has now fallen behind ACT Party leader David Seymour in the most preferred Prime Minister stakes. 

Unfortunately for Collins, it’s not just her venomous nature that’s turning people away either. Her proclivity to support extreme viewpoints is also a problem, and couldn’t have been better exposed when Collins recently came out in support of a well-known TERF called Rachel Stewart. She's an outspoken bigot that rightfully had her guns confiscated by the Police for making numerous death threats online.

This may have become a career defining misstep for Collins if any mainstream media outlets had actually reported on it properly, however I suspect that they also fear the consequences of telling the truth about National's current leader. Many have certainly been scrubbing their websites clean of any incriminating articles that paint Collins in an unfavourable light.

Therefore perhaps the saying, “if you can't be loved, best be feared" should be Judith Collins’ political epitaph. Because without compassion or any new policy ideas, fear really is the only thing Crusher has going for her.

9 Jul 2021

ACT's leader is right, Lee Williams is an idiot!

Today's events in the life of a white supremacist are pretty funny. First the racist white guy confronts a far right politician about being sacked because of his blatant racism. He then gets all upset because the politician doesn’t sympathise with him enough, because the far right politician apparently believes in personal responsibility, even for racists.

The white supremacist then gets even more irate because the politician isn’t racist enough by his terribly racist standards. He even accuses the far right politician of helping Maori, who he believes will own 50% of New Zealand by 2040. Talk about some mental gymnastics.

It’s almost like a skit out of a Monty Python movie or something.

It also doesn’t portend well for the right wing when those they’re targeting for votes with their free speech dogma start turning against them. Lee Williams isn’t alone in his extreme racist beliefs. In fact in many ways he typifies the white supremacist movement in New Zealand.


Today, 1 News reported:


ACT's David Seymour confronted by angry man in Ashburton

ACT's leader David Seymour was confronted last night by a man who recently lost his job after being accused of spreading extreme white supremacist material online.

In a video posted to social media, Lee Williams, who was recently fired by the dairy company Synlait for his behaviour online, accused Seymour of not standing up for freedom at an ACT party event in Ashburton.


Here’s the video:



"You're saying it's OK if 10,000 people sign a petition to get a man sacked from his job and destroyed and cancelled - you're saying that's okay?" Williams asked.

 

Lee Williams was sacked because he’s a fool who cannot accept responsibility for his own actions.


A petition was launched two months ago urging Synlait to review Williams’ contract. Williams regularly attacked Māori politicians on social media, with YouTube recently banning him from their platform.

Seymour responded that Williams should ask himself, "why they've done that?"

"People make choices, you've made choices," Seymour said.

"It has consequences, and now you’re suffering the consequences of your actions."

Williams then called Seymour a fake and shouted at the meeting that, "Māori will own 50 per cent of the country by 2040".

Seymour told 1 NEWS today that Williams "stormed out after I told him he was an idiot and several people in the crowd called him a d**khead".


You cannot really argue with the ACT leader here. Lee Williams is evidently a complete idiot!

 

Seymour says it's very hard to sack someone in New Zealand and if Williams believes he was wrongly fired by Synlait he should take a case against them.


Of course such a case would fail because Synlait clearly had reasonable grounds. As well as being a bad employee, Williams was damaging the brand with his campaign of race-based hatred. It’s also a pity that Seymour doesn’t connect the dots between the ACT Party accepting donations from white supremacists and white supremacists wanting to bend his ear.

Even if their leader doesn’t realise it, racists such as Lee Williams are exactly the type of people the ACT Party currently stands for. I mean whom exactly did Seymour think he was speaking for when he was caught telling porkies about teachers forcing primary students to make speeches that acknowledged their white privilege? Whom exactly did David Seymour think he was appealing to when he requested that the Human Rights Commissioner resign for giving a $200 koha, which is customary at Maori gatherings?

These are but two examples of David Seymour using race based disinformation against a Government that is working towards equality in New Zealand. There are many many more.

Despite the obvious contradiction in David Seymour's mind between who and what the ACT Party actually stands for, I’m hopeful that the Lee Williams meltdown will be a lesson that the new leader of the opposition actually learns from. Because if you openly encourage racists and embolden them through numerous divisive political campaigns, you shouldn’t be surprised when a mangy mutt or two turns up at your door looking for some scraps and attention.

Tony Mair - Arsehole of the Week

What is it about environmentalists that make some people go crazy? They’re just normal human beings who want our natural world to be protected. It’s not like they’re terrorists or anything, just your bulk standard Kiwis who care a bit more about protecting nature than most folks.

So when environmentalists get set upon by a bunch of thugs in hi-vis jackets, and they use intimidation and violence to try to deter a peaceful protest, then you would expect the Police to intervene and do their job.

However that hasn’t been the case recently on Waiheke Island, where people who are just trying to protect Little Blue Penguins and their habitats were threatened and then assaulted by arseholes who work for an unethical developer called Tony Mair.



Yesterday, RNZ reported:


Waiheke Island marina: Video appears to show protester kicked in face

A video of an incident at the controversial marina development on Waiheke Island appears to show a protester being kicked in the face.

Protect Pūtiki has been occupying the site for 120 days, which they say endangers a nearby kororā (little blue penguin) colony. The developer rejects those claims.

Recent clashes between protesters and security guards for the development by Kennedy Point Boat Harbour Ltd have triggered police investigations.

In a video posted to Facebook, a protester on a pontoon is manhandled into the water by a man wearing a high-vis jacket.

While the protester is in the water, the man takes a step and kicks the person in the water in the head.


The video that has made the news is conclusive. The male security guard first throws the female protester in the water and while they’re trying to recover, he then kicks her directly in the face.

Unfortunately this isn’t the only case of excessive and potentially deadly force being used by these security guards either. If you watch the entire video, which is available on the Protect Pūtiki Facebook page, other security guards use kayak paddles they’ve stolen to assault protesters. At one stage a protester is strangled while they lay prone on the floating pontoon, another is held under the water in what could be considered attempted murder. One security guard even appears to use a can of pepper spray against a female protester, which is also against the law.

Obviously at least one security guard should be charged with assault here. There is no question about it. But other security guards should also be charged with possessing and using a prohibited weapon. Only the Police (and some corrections officers) are allowed to carry and use pepper spray in New Zealand, so unless they want to also look like a bunch thugs for hire, the Police must act to ensure charges are laid and the spray and other weapons are confiscated from these balaclava wearing goons. They must also ensure that all the items taken from these peaceful protesters are returned undamaged.

There is a hell of a lot wrong with this development. Firstly the gifting of public land to a private developer is highly questionable, but especially so because local iwi weren't properly consulted. The Auckland Council also giving the go ahead for such a large project on top of a Little Blue Penguin colony is suspect, and points to a secret deal being done at the old boys club.

Then there’s the work itself that’s not adhering to the consent. Penguins are clearly being endangered, which is reason enough to shut down the project. Then there are the multiple assaults on peaceful protesters, which categorically shows that the developer and his workers are a bunch of cutthroat bastards who are highly deserving of an Arsehole Award. Let's hope their pay packets are also docked when this environmentally damaging project gets closed down.

8 Jul 2021

NACT goes nuclear at Defence Minister

The opposition really is going hell for leather over any little thing they get their hands on at the moment. Apparently the Government cannot do anything right, and New Zealand has suddenly become a complete shambles because Labour is in charge. Unfortunately for National and ACT however, much of their criticism is so wide of the mark that they may as well be pissing in the wind.

A perfect example of their failure as the opposition went on display today when the National Party published another false accusation about the Labour led Government, and more precisely that Defence Minister Peeni Henare had interfered directly in a writing competition to apparently get a controversial essay removed from the Internet.


Today, the National Party reported on Scoop:


Defence Minister Slow To Advocate, Quick To Censor

“It is extraordinary that Minister Henare has appeared to remember that he holds a ministerial warrant only now, prompted by an essay competition of all things. In singling out a member of the Army’s lowest rank – who will not be afforded a right of reply – the Minister is ‘punching down’ in a way that has deeply disappointed many service people.


It should come as little surprise that Penk is wrong to blame the Minister for interfering. The claim then that the Minister is also punching down, which history has taught us is the modus operandi of right wing governments, is also just another catchphrase that is being incorrectly used here by another underperforming National MP.

In fact Newstalk ZB along with other news agencies reported yesterday that it was a Defence Force decision to remove the controversial essay:


'An awful look': Defence Force criticised for pulling controversial essay

The essay that won a New Zealand Defence Force writing competition has been taken down - as it undermines 'inclusive culture.'

Newstalk ZB's obtained a copy of the article, which centres on free speech and anti-diversity.

It took out first prize in the private writing category, was published online, and then vanished.

In a statement, Army Chief Major General John Boswell accepts the decision to award the piece first place was an error.


So the Defence Force itself removed the essay because it undermined inclusive culture.

This information didn’t stop NACT and their hacks going on the attack though. In fact even after the Defence Force said it was their decision, they doubled down on their accusations, which in my opinion is a good indication of just how shallow the opposition has become.




This really goes to show that the opposition isn’t interested in holding the Government to account. Instead they’re more interested in gotcha style politics that should've gone out of fashion when Cameron Slater lost his attack blog. Now that's some cancel-culture I'm sure we can all agree on.

Of course National and ACT don’t really believe in free speech…especially when people are criticising them for their dishonesty. If Judith Collins for instance actually believed in Kiwis being allowed to speak their minds, she wouldn’t have a Twitter block list from Stewart Island to Cape Reinga.

It's that type of double standard that makes National and ACT undeserving of any seat in Parliament, let alone the Government benches. They simply don't have any credibility on free speech, or any other important issues for that matter either.

Nurses should be paid more

If you’ve ever had to spend any time in a hospital, you’ll know that nurses are some of the hardest working and most dedicated people in New Zealand. Their jobs aren't exactly easy either.

Not only does their profession require long, demanding and often unusual hours, Kiwi nurses are being inadequately compensated especially in comparison to their comrades across the ditch.

So when Kiwi nurses say that they’re going to strike again if their pay and conditions don’t finally improve, then everyone should support them to put pressure on the DHBs and the Government to do the right thing.


Yesterday, Stuff reported:


Nurses will take part in multiple strikes unless deal made

Nurses will walk off the job for 24 hours on July 29 in the first of three strikes – unless a resolution to protracted employment negotiations with district health boards (DHBs) can be reached before then.

A majority of New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) members supported a ballot for three strikes: for 24 hours on July 29, eight hours on August 19, and 24 hours on September 9.

NZNO lead advocate David Wait said members clearly remained resolute about ongoing strike action to gain the recognition and working conditions that would ensure nursing remains a viable profession.

...

DHBs spokeswoman Dale Oliff said the DHBs were aiming to prevent the strikes and believed they could make an offer “to settle the pay talks”.

“We’re continuing to work on a range of options and will be working with the union again this week to progress those discussions before the DHB and NZNO bargaining teams get back together with the mediator next week.”

NZNO representatives and the country’s DHBs returned to mediation last Wednesday and Thursday following a nationwide eight-hour strike on June 9.


It’s not as if the DHBs cannot afford to increase nurses take home pay either. All they would need to do is cut a bit more of the chaff from upper management for instance. It's therefore not an either or situation between increasing benefits and paying nurses properly, because with our crown accounts in the black, the Government can actually afford to do both.


Oliff said a 24-hour strike would have a “significant impact on hospital services”.

Wait said the DHBs seemed willing to actively seek a solution.

“Progress has been made in our discussions and that has given us some hope a resolution can be found around pay and safe staffing.”

The current collective agreement – covering nurses, midwives and health care assistants (HCAs) employed by DHBs – expired in June 2020 and negotiations for a new one had now been going for more than a year.

The NZNO brought 65 claims to the bargaining process, which included a significant pay increase for all members, measures to ensure DHBs carried out safe staffing practices, and better support for wellbeing including increased sick leave, parental leave payments, and ACC payments for injuries.


An entire year for pay negotiations is far too long. In my opinion the Minister should have stepped in ages ago to ensure that these talks weren’t overly protracted. To save face, the Labour led Government must now ensure that pay negotiations don’t once again stall because of penny-pinching DHBs.


The claims included a 17 per cent pay increase, with an immediate 10 per cent bump to bring pay for DHB HCAs – who receive the lowest pay under the collective agreement – in line with those working in aged-residential care.

But other claims were made to increase rates by the same margin for all members “to help to attract and retain people within the profession” and “to address the disincentive for nurses to take on senior roles”.

NZNO members voted to strike for eight hours on June 9 after rejecting the third DHB offer in May.

The DHBs offer included different pay increases for different groups of members. Proposed increases ranged from 0.9 to 1.2 per cent for senior nurses, and 5.2 to 12.2 per cent for HCAs.

A lump sum payment of $4000 was offered in lieu of settlement for a separate pay equity claim “in recognition of the work done to date and the time it is taking to settle the claim”.


The DHBs previous offer was clearly inadequate! What they really should be offering is at least pay parity with other similar professions AND a lump sum payment to account for their heels dragging on the ground for so long.


The DHBs offer acknowledged the delay in progress over the pay equity settlement and that nurses had been “subject to historical sex-based undervaluation”. It was expected the process would take another six months.

Minister of Health Andrew Little said on Tuesday he had asked officials to speed up progress on the pay equity settlement as the Queensland Government had launched an advertising campaign aimed at attracting New Zealand nurses for its health service.


The thing is that we need our well-trained nurses so that New Zealand is prepared for a worse case Covid-19 scenario. What if for instance the Delta variant gets lose in Aotearoa? In that case we'll need as many of our locally trained medical professionals here to ensure that lives aren’t needlessly lost.

New Zealand has some of the most sought after nurses in the world because our training is second to none, and without proper pay or improved conditions, many excellent nurses will simply continue to be lured overseas. 

So let’s see the DHBs and the Government put their money where their mouths are...and let's see our nurses being paid properly. Because without these locally trained professionals staying in Gods own, the land of the long white cloud is pretty much akin to a sitting duck.