How the EPMU and declining media hurt my home town

I went on a road trip down memory lane last weekend to show my daughter where I grew up. Our family home was across the road from a walkway that led to Kawerau Central School, which was my primary school. We visited my old home, which was neat as a pin in a street that had a number of neglected homes in need of repair.

My old family home in Kawerau PHOTO-Whaleoil.co.nz

My old family home in Kawerau

I wanted to show my daughter my old school but was puzzled as to why the walkway was blocked off. When we tried to access the school from another street we realised the sad truth: it was gone.


Original Filename: Central_Demolition_1.jpg

In 2011 the remaining three primary schools in Kawerau were merged into one and the intermediate-aged students were merged with Kawerau College, which was renamed Tarawera High School. They did this because they were losing 60+ students a year from each school. So, what happened to this once prosperous and vibrant town of my childhood?

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Andrew Little insists this story is true, but is it?

Yesterday Andrew Little told us a story about a car wash.

The problem with the story is that it bears a remarkable similarity to a scene from a television programme called One Foot in the Grave, where Victor Meldrew suffers the exact same fate as the unnamed union official in Little’s story.   Read more »

E tu Part 3: Are Unions friends or enemies of Labour?


The dwindling union membership of private sector workers has meant that the two biggest private sector unions, the EPMU and the SFWU have merged.

Both the EPMU and the SFWU were affiliates of the Labour Party, and there was a strong anti-Government feeling at [yesterday]’s launch, fuelled by acting leader Annette King.

“Ministers like Minister Jonathan Coleman say unions are our political enemy… they should be our political allies,” she said.

“We were born out of the union movement and when you have organised labour and a strong political movement in parliament, you’ve got a far better country.”

Lets stop and consider whether the union movement is actually good for Labour.   Read more »


E tu Part 2: Jonathan Coleman comes good


The launch of the new E Tu union showed us that at least one member of the National Cabinet actually gets it.

Both the EPMU and the SFWU were affiliates of the Labour Party, and there was a strong anti-Government feeling at today’s launch, fuelled by acting leader Annette King.
“Ministers like Minister Jonathan Coleman say unions are our political enemy… they should be our political allies,” she said.

Yes Annette, Jonathan Coleman is right. The unions are the political enemy, they have absolutely failed to provide you with candidates who can win seats from National, or the money required to win elections. They demand Labour oppose all sorts of things that the New Zealand voter does not care enough about to change their vote on, handicapping Labour as much as they do when they send people like Sue Moroney or Carol Beaumont to Parliament to represent their interests.  Read more »


E tu Part 1: Where have all the union members gone?


Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The Service & Food Workers Union and the EPMU have amalgamated to form a new mega union with 50,000 members.
The 2014 Union membership stats show that the two unions had the following membership:
SFWU 21,346
EPMU 33,203
Yet in 2010 the two unions had:
SFWU 22,447
EPMU 39,371
In four years the combined unions lost 7000 members. Why?
What has happened to make unions less relevant?

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The Union’s Governance Rort

The left are always going on about the 1% and the cost of executives and directors.

One would assume that they would be tough on their own executives and directors, not paying them vast amounts of money for governance.

Most Unions hide their governance costs in their accounts but four do not.

IncomeGovernance% of Income spent on Governance
Dairy Workers Union$2,783,802$138,9364.99%

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How much cash do Unions take each year?

Following on from a series of posts that discovered the union movement has a massive amount of equity, we have taken a look at the amount of money the unions take each year. Remember the six unions that are Labour affiliates have equity of $46,275,893.

Subscriptions Non Sub IncomeTotal Income
DWU Dairy Workers Union $2,637,578 $146,224 $2,783,802
EPMU Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union $10,155,961 $988,360 $11,144,321
MUNZ Maritime Union of New Zealand $2,180,817 $898,594 $3,079,411
MWU Meatworkers Union $2,801,507 $301,359 $3,102,866
RMTU Rail, Maritime & Transport Union $1,788,741 $242,018 $2,030,759
SFWU Service & Food Workers Union $4,928,506 $1,189,550 $6,118,056
Total   $24,493,110 $3,766,105 $28,259,215

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Labour’s affiliate unions and their $46,275,893 war chest


As incorporated societies the Union movement is compelled to release their financial records online at www.societies.govt.nz.

In the most recent data for the six unions who contribute to Labour and get a vote in the Labour leadership race there is an absolutely staggering amount of equity held by these unions.

 Equity 2013 or 2014
Dairy Workers Union $5,026,901.00
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturering Union $15,124,477.00
Maritime Union of New Zealand $11,877,039.00
Meatworkers Union $4,554,513.00
Rail, Maritime & Transport Union $4,063,310.00
Service & Food Workers Union $5,629,653.00

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Why doesn’t Andrew Little face the same type of questions as Bill Shorten?

Australia has a Royal Commission investigating Union Corruption. It is asking a lot of questions of ALP leader Bill Shorten about his time as a union leader before he entered Parliament.

The main stream media has glossed over Andrew Little’s time at the EPMU, when there were a long series of questionable financial matters that have not been investigated properly.

Here are the questions we want answers to. They are all based on documents available on the www.societies.govt.nz web site.

Engineering Training and Education Foundation:            The EPMU advanced $6m to the Engineering Training and Education Foundation in 1995.

  1. Why did the EPMU give the Engineering Training and Education Foundation a $6m Loan?
  2. What was the purpose of the loan?
  3. What is the current book value of the loan?
  4. What happened to the money?
  5. What does “Impairment Provision” mean?
  6. Is the Engineering Training and Education Foundation trading as insolvent?
  7. If it is not trading as insolvent how can it continue trading with negative equity of $2,282,264 in the 2012 year?

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Will the MSM ever look at Andrew Little’s record, Ctd

His leadership is a dog's breakfast and tastes like a dog's leavings

What do you mean there are irregularities?

Over the past few weeks we have been looking into the EPMU under Andrew Little’s stewardship. There are a series of financial anomalies that need explaining, especially for a man who wants to be Prime Minister and be responsible for the Government Accounts.

Previous Questions were asked here, here and here.


We also provided the original documentation from the Societies web site. This is all public source information so anyone can find it if they visit the Societies web site.   Read more »