Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful demonstrators who were killed in Sharpeville, South Africa protesting against apartheid. The theme this year […]
Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23 years and this year it was moved from its traditional home at Western Springs park to […]
The minimum wage rose by 50 cents this month from 14.25 to 14.75. While it’s a small step towards ensuring minimum workers get a fair share, it’s important to remember that real wages only rose 1.5% while productivity rose by 10.1%. The average rent rose across New Zealand by $20, meaning that the rise has […]
Yesterday four men appeared in the Wellington District Court charged with more than 30 counts of ‘Obtaining by Deception’ after a two and a half year investigation into in an alleged $30 million pokie fraud. The four men have close links with the South Island racing industry. One of them – Patrick O’Brien is the […]
Earlier this week the Department of Internal Affairs reported on a campaign they had run over the last six months to test the host responsibility of pokie bars and casinos. The law says that gambling venues have to intervene if it looks like a gambler is exhibiting behaviour that could indicate they could be a […]
Unite is the latest union representing low paid workers to call for a stop to the lazy employer tactic of hiring staff on ‘zero hour’ contracts. This means that workers have absolutely no guarantee of hours and are literally at the beck and call of their boss as they wait at home for a phone […]
Today I sent a message of support to the hospital food services staff who were picketing at Middlemore hospital in South Auckland. The picket, by Service and Food Workers Union members is in response to a proposal to contract out meal preparations at the hospitals in the three Auckland District Health Board areas. The proposal […]
Last week the Department of Internal Affairs published the latest figures on how much New Zealanders lost to pokie machines in pubs and clubs over the last year. While it is good to see that in the year ending in September there was a 1.4 per cent reduction that still equates to a very large […]
Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing great work pushing for years to make our forests a safer place to work. Out […]
I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori news production units I’m really concerned that their slogan ‘So you can see more of […]
Today’s business section of the NZ Herald features a two-page spread by Christopher Adams with the results of their survey of the country’s 50 top chief executives. Their research is based on the 2013 annual reports of companies and state-owned enterprises and it shows that their average income was $1.4 million, having risen by an […]
This week the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (the NZCTU) released their latest economic bulletin today with economist Bill Rosenberg answering the question about whether workers who have a collective employment agreement get bigger pay rises than those on individual agreements. His research shows that: In the year to June 2014, 98% of CEA […]
Greenpeace is to be congratulated for defending our democracy with their marathon effort in defining the meaning of “charitable purpose” through the New Zealand courts. Last week’s decision from the Supreme Court says that political advocacy – in Greenpeaces’ case for peace and disarmament – can be seen as a primary activity for public good […]
I was pretty taken with the colourful collection of re-upholstered chairs which are testament to the organisations ability to add value to material that would otherwise end up in landfill.
I’ve written to the Minister a couple of times suggesting she utilise those powers – most recently asking her to declare single use plastic bags a priority product – but she insists that product stewardship will happen on a voluntary basis. Yeah, right.
In Auckland there are around 15000 people who are homeless. About 7000 of these people are under 25. We heard about this on Monday at a forum hosted by the Auckland Council for people and agencies who work with the homeless. According to some of those agencies young people make up to half of all […]
“Government must introduce advance disposal fees for e-waste sooner rather than later”.
Alarmingly, despite the growing disparity, New Zealanders display a hardening attitude towards those in need. The graph published in yesterday’s NZ Herald accompanying the article about the visit by authors of The Spirit Level: Why more equal societies almost always do better Professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, showed that only 50.1% of our people think the government should take some responsibility to reduce the income gap. We come last in the OECD countries for supporting government intervention.
It’s Workers Memorial Day. It is a time to remember those who went to work and didn’t come home. In the last year 51 people have died on the job and around 1000 people have been on ACC for a year for work-related injuries and illness. The most dangerous occupations are in forestry, agriculture, construction, […]
Clearly living a waste free life takes continual effort and requires vigilance to monitor the use of resources that are used in creating stuff that will be thrown away. After a week of this I have become far more conscious of the everyday items I use that end up in the waste stream. Today’s example […]
I’m travelling around with a bagful of stuff that I have to dispose of properly when I get home. This is because although many towns and cities have public place recycling bins that cater for plastic and aluminium and glass, and very few of them are for waste paper. And everywhere I go I seem […]
Day three of my waste-free week challenge and I realise that it takes quite an effort to minimise my own waste in this disposable world. Refusing single-use packaging and products takes a consciousness that I wouldn’t normally have. I normally run on auto like everyone else. Consequently I had some epic fails that happened while […]
I went to the Teddy Bear’s picnic yesterday to support another local “towards zero-waste” event in our community. Waiheke organisations have really got the hang of reducing waste at public events. Earlier this month the island hosted thousands of visitors at the famous Onetangi Beach races. It was organised by Waiheke Rotary and! as they […]
My first day of my waste-free week wasn’t too hard. I live on Waiheke Island and I started the day at the Ostend Market where I looked around at every stall with a waste-free lens. Our community has a proud tradition of waste minimisation which has been fostered for many years by community organisations like […]
Tomorrow I start a week-long challenge to create no waste. It’s primarily a fundraiser (feel free to sponsor me) however it is also an opportunity for me to look at my own consumer behaviour and how much I contribute to the growing amount of rubbish being buried in our landfills. I’m already starting to notice […]
The benefit of the so called rockstar economy to ordinary working New Zealanders is missing in action. As labour productivity is surging the benefits are definitely not trickling down to workers. Statistics New Zealand points out that from 1996 to 2013, labour productivity grew more in Australia than in New Zealand, up by an average […]
The New Zealand Herald reported today that the property and bank accounts belonging to Zhi Wei Yang, an alleged Auckland P dealer, has been seized under the laws around the proceeds of crime and that over a 19-month period this gentleman had a turnover of $14 million at Auckland’s SkyCity Casino. The Herald reported that […]
Earlier this week the Justice and Electoral select committee heard submissions on the Human Rights Amendment bill and learned from the Auckland Domestic Violence and Disability Working Group that its member not-for-profit groups did not feel they could submit on the bill for fear that it would jeopardise their funding contracts if they were to […]
The Government has announced that from April 1 2014 the minimum wage will be increased by 50 cents to $14.25 per hour.
New Zealanders buy 300,000 new television sets each year, leaving a lot of old unwanted ones that need disposing of. So the Government should be commended for its TV TakeBack scheme, which has so far seen more than 200,000 TVs collected for recycling. There’s only one problem with the initiative. It’s temporary. It started last […]
Last week two forestry workers were seriously injured and another killed in forests near Whakatane, Gisborne and Wairau. This comes on top of 10 deaths last year in the sector and another 90 serious injuries. Despite this the government – and Labour Minister Simon Bridges – is still silent on supporting an inquiry and tighter […]
Just for the record, I’m not opposed to gambling. Like most of us I have the occasional flutter. What I am opposed to is the harm caused by gambling and the deliberate strategies employed by the gambling sector to hoover as much cash as possible into their machines with no thought of where the millions […]
Today – December 5th – is International Volunteers Day. It’s a time to recognise contributions that thousands of volunteers make to our communities by giving their time, skills and resources freely for the benefit of others. Volunteer Day started in 1985 day as a United Nations initiative and is celebrated throughout the world. Here in […]
Three more workers lost their lives in forestry related deaths over the last 10 days and the government still sits on their hands and refuses an inquiry into health and safety in the industry. In February this year the NZ Council of Trade Unions embarked on a high profile campaign and petition to launch an […]
Last Thursday I went to a pub in Manukau to celebrate the launch of a campaign called Our Place is Proudly Pokie-Free and heard from the proprietor how after a career in the hospitality industry, top of his list of criteria for the business he wanted to run was a family-friendly venue that didn’t have […]
I was one of those thousands of people who spent a lot of my spare time last year collecting signatures to trigger the referendum on the sale of our state owned assets. Now that the voting papers have been delivered to people’s letterboxes I’m not wanting to see all that work wasted so have spent […]
We used to be a country where a fair day’s work gave you a fair day’s pay, but the gap between what workers are earning and how much they are producing is growing larger by the year. The latest news from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (the OECD) reported on Radio New Zealand […]
This morning there will have been a few tired MPs pulling themselves out of bed. Seven Green MP’s – Metiria, Gareth, Jan, Catherine, Julie Anne, Eugenie and I were joined by some Labour MPs and Brendan Horan last night to Clean up the House. This event was organised to raise awareness of the hard work […]
This week we physically demonstrated just how big the pokies-for-convention-centre will be by installing hundreds of cardboard replicas in Aotea Square. Over the day Aucklanders interacted with the pokies and wrote their messages about their opposition to the deal. The convention centre deal essentially sells our gambling law to Sky City and enables them to […]
I’m calling on all MP’s of whatever persuasion to help get a Living Wage for the parliamentary cleaning staff. The parliamentary cleaners have been in the media recently which has highlighted the fact that they get paid $14.10 per hour for their work while MPs salaries start at around $140,000 per year. The cleaning staff […]