Tag Archives: Hunger strike

Union News to 10/10/12

10 Oct



Demolition derby: National’s approach to solving unemployment by Sue Bradford http://pundit.co.nz/content/demolition-derby-nationals-approach-to-solving-unemployment

Teens hit back over proposed youth wage http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7794054/Teens-hit-back-over-proposed-youth-wage

Youth wage seen as sending ‘a poor message’ http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbnat/1055361113-youth-wage-seen-as-sending–a-poor-message-

Call for same minimum wage for all workers http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/call-same-minimum-wage-all-workers-video-5124406

Dave Feickert: Dark day as coal mines shuttered http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10837523

Foot chopped off in accident at Port of Tauranga http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10839569

Indian workers keen to unite http://www.indianweekender.co.nz/Pages/ArticleDetails/7/3265/New-Zealand/Indian-workers-keen-to-unite

New Port union deal ‘inferior’ says MU http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/7775653/New-Port-union-deal-inferior-says-MU

Ports demo Teal Park Oct 5 http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151250774682889.519811.596362888&type=1

Govt’s ‘starting out’ wage rubbished http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7787031/Govts-starting-out-wage-rubbished

Lower wages no solution https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/lower-wages-no-solution/

So-called ‘free market’ thrives on the enslavement of others http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/227867/so-called-free-market-thrives-enslavement-others

Helen Kelly on the Health and Safety Taskforce

Union joins international campaign for decent work http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1210/S00086/union-joins-international-campaign-for-decent-work.htm

Govt needs to send clear message about migrant work abuse http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1210/S00121/govt-needs-to-send-clear-message-about-migrant-work-abuse.htm

Key’s Film Jobs Being Filled by Migrants http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1210/S00081/keys-film-jobs-being-filled-by-migrants.htm

Maritime Union laughs off rival in Auckland port dispute http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838820

The Union Report with Syd Keepa & Laila Harre: Issue 1: How significant a step between Maoridom and the Union movement was the Tauranga hui last month? Issue 2: Solid Energy jobs on the line – what should Government do to protect them? Issue 3: How does publishing National Standards on line help parents make decisions? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM1gX89KdIs&list=UU7Jit_xt-bd0g_Z8CIneUeg

NZ probe into child labour claims http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838723

Korean fishing firm gags crew with ‘peace’ contract http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7779794/Korean-fishing-firm-gags-crew-with-peace-contract

Tiwai workers want Govt intervention http://www.3news.co.nz/Tiwai-workers-want-Govt-intervention/tabid/421/articleID/271703/Default.aspx

Crew who fled fishing boat seek $917,000 http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7754330/Crew-who-fled-fishing-boat-seek-917-000


Bryce Edwards: Political round-up: The politicisation of poverty http://www.nzherald.co.nz/best-of-political-analysis/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502734&objectid=10839172

Solutions sought to poverty http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/7777248/Solutions-sought-to-poverty

Protester’s plea to minister http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10839487

Hunger striker fights for kids http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/northland/northern-news/7788321/Hunger-striker-fights-for-kids

Harawira praises hunger striker http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10837346

Sam Kuha facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sam-Kuha-Campaign/466039110107129

Over 57,000 benefits sanctioned http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/15079608/over-57-000-benefits-sanctioned/

Nation-wide protests oppose welfare reforms http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/nation-wide-protests-oppose-welfare-reforms-5116865

Matt McCarten: No need to starve yourself, just give poor some more http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10838827

Child Poverty Special report: Searching for a way out http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838726

Six of the best ideas for change http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838701

Jonathan Boston: Three myths about child poverty http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10839028

National Day of Action against Welfare Reforms – Mana Party http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1210/S00107/national-day-of-action-against-welfare-reforms-mana-party.htm

Battle against beneficiary bashing http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7759711/Battle-against-beneficiary-bashing

The latest issue of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services’ newsletter Kete Kupu is now online. Kete Kupu includes information and commentary on a wide range of social service issues and provides updates and commentary on social service policy and practice. Some of the higlights of this September 2012 issue include: Help the Children’s Commissioner do well for our kids; Liability or Citizen? Welfare Reform; Income Inequality Reaches News Heights; Taking Action on Reducing Inequality; Poor Quality Housing is making our children & older people sick; Watch Out For Burnout; Quality of Care in Rest Homes http://www.nzccss.org.nz/uploads/publications/KeteKupu%2024%20%28web%29.pdf

Govt signals it will feed hungry kids http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838730

Homeless problem demands attention http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7779779/Homeless-problem-demands-attention

Business eye on poverty report http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10838658

1400 Kiwis try poverty for a week http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10837292


EPMU call urgent meeting to tackle job crisis http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10839181

Kim Hill interviews journalist Max Rashbrooke on his upcoming book about the increasing divide between rich and poor in New Zealand – listen to: Max Rashbrooke – social inequality and boarding houses. http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sat/sat-20121006-0940-max_rashbrooke_-_social_inequality_and_boarding_houses-048.mp3

Income survey shows stagnant incomes for most New Zealand families http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1210/S00052/income-survey-shows-stagnant-incomes-for-most-nz-families.htm

Jane Kelsey: Hollywood lays down its own law http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10839218

CTU: New ideas to manage the exchange rate welcomed http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1210/S00077/new-ideas-to-manage-the-exchange-rate-welcomed.htm

TPPWatch Action Bulletin #18 – 29 September 2012 http://www.nznotforsale.org/2012/10/01/tppwatch-action-bulletin-18-29-september-2012/

Aus banks making more money from Kiwis – Greens http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7773762/Aus-banks-making-more-money-from-Kiwis-Greens

So-called ‘free market’ thrives on the enslavement of others http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/227867/so-called-free-market-thrives-enslavement-others

The case for Financial Transaction Taxes in NZ: A FACT SHEET http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/3084113/the-case-for-financial-transaction-taxes-in-nz-pdf-august-18-2011-5-28-pm-454k?da=y

Union News to 28/9/12

28 Sep

Strike averted as NZ Bus and Unions reach agreement http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/strike-averted-nz-bus-and-unions-reach-agreement/5/135467

Disgraceful injury figures show health and safety policy needs to change http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00206/injury-figures-show-health-and-safety-policy-needs-to-change.htm

Shocking work death toll revealed in report http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7686055/Shocking-work-death-toll-revealed-in-report

Injured workers would fill Eden Park four times over http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/injured-workers-would-fill-eden-park-four-times-over-5085775

Historic CTU/Iwi Relationship Hui – Hui Whakawhanaungatanga http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00213/historic-ctuiwi-relationship-hui.htm

Work trials ‘adding to skills shortages’ http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7666692/Work-trials-adding-to-skills-shortages

Bullying rife in public service – survey http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7664815/Bullying-rife-in-public-service-survey

Public sector pay lags private firms http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7664578/Public-sector-pay-lags-behind-private-firms

Port dispute unresolved a year on http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7671598/Port-dispute-unresolved-a-year-on

ACIL confused about their role in Port of Auckland dispute http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1209/S00276/acil-confused-about-their-role-in-port-of-auckland-dispute.htm

Port secrecy fuels Labour law bid http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10834473

Ports of Auckland wharfie dispute hasn’t gone away http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/ports-auckland-wharfie-dispute-hasnt-gone-away-ca-128266

Auckland bus drivers vote against offer from NZ Bus http://www.firstunion.org.nz/content/auckland-bus-drivers-vote-against-offer-nz-bus-0

Organised student job scam probed http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10832529

The online submission to support extending paid parental leave is now live and circulating! Please spread amongst your networks, Facebook pages, twitter accounts and websites – Thanks! http://www.actionstation.org.nz/campaigns/26-for-babies/submission/more-time-for-babies

Union accuses Govt of a cop-out http://www.3news.co.nz/Union-accuses-Govt-of-a-cop-out/tabid/1607/articleID/269121/Default.aspx

Spring Creek: Hundreds of jobs to go http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10836211

EPMU: Miners to travel to Beehive to plead for jobs, communities http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00296/miners-to-travel-to-beehive-to-plead-for-jobs-communities.htm

Union Report: In this week’s episode: Issue 1 – 6% GDP with 6.8% unemployment rate, how does the economy provide the momentum to create growth and secure jobs? Issue 2 – Are safe staffing and healthy workplaces being ignored for cost cutting? Issue 3 – Does the real cost of private prisons make a mockery of the public private model?


Exit strategy: Has the ACC been on a determined campaign to “exit” long-term claimants? And does it use select doctors for its medical assessments with one principal aim – to reduce costs? http://www.tv3.co.nz/September-9th—Exit-Strategy/tabid/1343/articleID/79380/Default.aspx#ixzz26h1ElolC

ACC pays specialists $500,000 a year http://www.3news.co.nz/ACC-pays-specialists-500000-a-year/tabid/1607/articleID/269243/Default.aspx

ACC specialist stats revealed by Greens http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10833828

Editorial: ACC assessments need independence http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/opinion/7684231/Editorial-ACC-assessments-need-independence

Winz joins ACC in firing line for ‘hatchet doctors’ http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/7686104/Winz-joins-ACC-in-firing-line-for-hatchet-doctors


CTU: Jobless growth http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00261/jobless-growth.htm

Peter Conway: Inequality is now at its highest level http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/7688627/Inequality-is-now-at-its-highest-level

CTU secretary Peter Conway

Peter Lyons: My top ten economic contradictions and con jobs http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10833333

Critics Gearing up for TPP round in Auckland in December http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1209/S00246/critics-already-gearing-up-for-tpp-round-in-auckland.htm

Parliamentary Services Monthly Economic Review (September) http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/D6DA06E8-0368-46C0-805A-CF6A90016AEF/241896/Sep13.pdf

A ‘Dear John’ letter on trade http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/local-blogs/off-pat/7694565/A-Dear-John-letter-on-trade

Deborah Gleeson: US proposal on Pharmac a bitter pill http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10836007

CTU: Highest Ever Loss of Kiwis to Australia http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00276/highest-ever-loss-of-kiwis-to-australia.htm


Thousands of Kiwi children living in poverty http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/thousands-kiwi-children-living-in-poverty-5099909

Blame game won’t prevent poverty http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/chris-trotter/7724070/Blame-game-won-t-prevent-poverty

Welfare protest – back to the cells by Sue Bradford http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/welfare-protest-back-to-the-cells

Gordon Campbell on Paula Bennett’s yawning credibility gap http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/09/24/gordon-campbell-on-paula-bennetts-yawning-credibility-gap/

Precious little sense on Planet Paula By Tapu Misa http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10834480

Latest reforms an atrocious attack on NZ’s most vulnerable http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00224/latest-reforms-an-atrocious-attack-on-nzs-most-vulnerable.htm

Gordon Campbell on Paula Bennett’s latest welfare plans and Labour’s exchange rate cynicism http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/09/12/gordon-campbell-on-paula-bennetts-latest-welfare-plans-and-labours-exchange-rate-cynicism/

Poverty group slams sanctions for beneficiaries http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/poverty-group-slams-sanctions-beneficiaries-5075347

Lunchbox differences in decile 1 and decile 10 schools http://www.3news.co.nz/Lunchbox-differences-in-decile-1-and-decile-10-schools/tabid/367/articleID/269617/Default.aspx

Take a step to end child poverty By Metiria Tūrei http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Take-a-step-to-end-child-poverty/tabid/721/articleID/30738/Default.aspx

‘One strike’ rule for beneficiaries http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10834762

Gareth Morgan: Benefit tightening won’t reduce unemployment http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10836003

Hunger strike goes on http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10835932

NZCCSS Policy Watch September 2012 http://christiansocialservices.blogspot.co.nz/

Welfare ‘reform’ – Paula Bennett’s 143-page second welfare changes bill is out – with a nasty added sting in the tail. http://thestandard.org.nz/welfare-reform/

Arrests at Auckland protest over benefit plans http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7696512/Arrests-at-Auckland-protest-over-benefit-plans

Matt McCarten: Sam goes hungry because no one fights for him

24 Sep

By Matt McCarten
5:30 AM Sunday Sep 23, 2012A Winz office window was smashed. Photo / APN
A Winz office window was smashed. Photo / APN

I’ve spent most of this week in bed sick, so had the rare opportunity to listen to hours of radio talkback while lying semi-comatose.

Most of us live in an insular world of our own families, our work and our own interests.

The news about other people is what we hear manufactured through our mass media in sometimes sensational soundbites. Rarely does it impact on our lives directly, so it’s relegated to background noise.

Talkback land is different. Real people call with uncensored opinions. It can be rough and banal. Much of it is interesting. At times I felt like I was in a bar or a party somewhere. Most politicians, senior bureaucrats and business leaders have no idea how their bad decisions affect others.

Mid-afternoon on RadioLive I caught up with Sam, a “first-time caller” from Kaikohe. Sam told us he’d smashed the windows of his local Work and Income office with a hammer after the staff refused to give him a food parcel. He has been trespassed from the Winz office.

Sam is a 58-year-old invalid beneficiary. He was run over 20 years ago in a car accident. He lost an eye, an arm and a leg. Since then he’s spent his life in a wheelchair.

He raised his daughter as a sole parent while working in his own takeaway business. He owns his home.

Sam said he didn’t drink, take drugs or smoke. But after paying his fixed living costs, including his mortgage and insurances, there was virtually nothing left for food.

A week ago he had no money for food or petrol. Previously, budgeters had told Sam to go to Winz as he didn’t have enough to live on. So he was forced into setting out on a 4km journey in his electric wheelchair.

He took his bank account details and his budget to request an emergency food voucher. When he got there the first staffer wouldn’t even look at the figures and flatly turned him down. Another staffer agreed that no one could live on Sam’s budget but, as they had given him help twice before, and he wasn’t any different from anybody else, they weren’t allowed to help him.

Sam left humiliated. Only someone who has had the misfortune to rely on Winz can truly understand that.

He took the trip home again and starved for several days. Then a light went off. He made a pact with himself that he wouldn’t eat again until he died or this Government changed its policies so no other person would have to go through what he has had to.

To bring attention to his cause he wheeled back into town with a hammer. He smashed two windows of the Winz office before it opened. He hadn’t lost his temper. It was a political act.

The radio host asked if he was sorry. It kind of missed the point.

When Sam was asked if he had any empathy for the Winz staff, he wryly mentioned that they looked well-fed and comfortable.

The Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett, revels in her power over the poor. She preens when she’s criticised.

When interviewed about Sam, the best she could come up with was that violence was not acceptable.

Most politicians see what they do as a bit of a game. But political ideals can be the greatest calling where an individual is prepared to die to protect them.

Sam Kuha has unintentionally taken the Gandhi path of the peaceful hunger strike.

I don’t believe for a minute that Sam isn’t serious about taking his hunger strike to finality – it’s now almost two weeks old.

The wife of the US president, Michelle Obama, said earlier this month that people like her (and Bennett) who through good fortune rose above their humble beginnings should always remember that they didn’t do it alone. They had an obligation to not raise the drawbridge behind them.

How fitting that a starving invalid in a wheelchair is pitted against a well-coiffed, plump Cabinet minister. Who represents the real “bludgers”, as Bennett seems to think they are, in our society?

By Matt McCarten

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