Scapegoating international students

Green Party workplace relations spokesperson Denise Roche

A recent New Zealand Herald article with the headline ‘International students ‘cheat system, take jobs’ is incredibly disappointing. It unfairly scapegoats international students and blames them for the conditions that have led to their systemic exploitation. Some facts first Let’s start off with some facts, shall we? Out of the 100,000+ students who are studying […]

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Health and Safety Act fails to reduce work fatalities

2015 NZCTU Pike River vigil

After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of the South Island. Six years on, the battle to improve our health and safety continues, […]

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Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials

On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by firms on average, either overall or into employment that lasted beyond the trial period” – which is what National said it would do. It also had no effect on the number of “disadvantaged jobseekers” being hired. In short, 90-day trials have failed to do what National said they would do.

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Shameful refugee quota increase still leaves NZ at the bottom of the list

Minister for Immigration Michael Woodhouse announced this week that the government will put off increasing the refugee quota to 1000 places until 2018.  It’s a shameful decision that undermines the Government’s claim that it takes its international humanitarian obligations seriously, right before we celebrate World Refugee Day on the 20th June. The Green Party, like […]

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Dog-whistling on immigration ignores the real issues

Immigration is once again in the news, with NZ First leader Winston Peters engaging in some furious dog-whistling to gain attention. I fear that his antics give the small, but vocal, portion of New Zealanders who hold racist beliefs an avenue for expressing their destructive opinions.   At the very least it makes newcomers feel uncomfortable […]

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Blog – Budget 2016: What about ordinary working people?


Ordinary working New Zealanders don’t fare very well from this Budget. Setting aside the spin from the Government, it contains a lot to be concerned about and a fudging of the numbers. For example, the forecast is that the average wage is set to increase to $63,000 per annum by 2020, but when you consider […]

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Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt I


I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals to not just double New Zealand’s intake of refugees, but also double the funding we allocate to help them settle into life in New Zealand. The Government has signalled that it’s been thinking about the refugee quota, and the Budget would be an ideal time to announce that it’s prepared to invest a bit more so New Zealand can take a step towards doing its fair share to help the global refugee crisis.

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TPPA people power protests

The protests against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yesterday were an energetic show of people power. It was great to see such a big turnout – at least 15,000 in Auckland by some estimates. That’s a lot of people not buying the National Government’s spin on the TPPA. I was at the Auckland protests […]

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It’s time to work with our Pacific neighbours on a plan for climate change

Today, Ioane Teitiota will be deported to Kiribati after Associate Minister of Immigration refused to intervene against his deportation on humanitarian grounds. He will be returning to a country dealing with the impacts of climate change and sea level rises. The sea is lapping at homes on the islands, the gardens have been deluged with […]

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