Helen Kelly

Change of heart from Business NZ – promises to stop troughing

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Business New Zealand Chief Executive, Phil O’Rielly, announced this morning that Business NZ will no longer accept government funding.

The change of stance comes after the Taxpayers’ Union exposed what Judith Collins labelled a ‘cozy deal’ between ACC, the Council of Trade Unions and Business NZ earlier in the year.

The Taxpayers’ Union has welcomed the new stance.    Read more »

And to think Labour and the unions didn’t want the movies here

I wonder if Helen Kelly or the political branch of the CTU would care to comment, that is the ones that aren’t holidaying after being back at work for two weeks.

The Hobbit movies have injected a massive boost into tourism.

Middle-earth marketing of New Zealand has spurred on “remarkable” growth in overseas tourism, new research says.

A report just released by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) found that Hobbit-inspired marketing of New Zealand attractions had helped push the growth of the tourism industry beyond any projections.  Read more »

A bigger fail than the #manban?

Given the dire situation of Labour’s leadership and state of the party at the moment, they have been needing nothing short of a miracle to turn the polls around from the reverse momentum they have been currently experiencing under the leadership of David Cunliffe. One thing that I have seen echoing from this blog to social media to talkback radio is the apparent lack of policy, which almost seems to be replaced entirely by attack politics. Two days ago Labour leader David Cunliffe released a policy that they probably thought was a ‘game changer’, unfortunately it was exposed to have more holes than a block of swiss cheese outside a rat hole.

Stuart Nash yesterday went on the offensive explaining away as to why the policy was a winner, as he responded to a reader:

I have also worked in the forestry and wood processing industry, and it is an example of a sector of the NZ economy that has so underperformed as a result of massive underinvestment in value-added processing. You say you know what the problems are, but you don’t list any… I am suspecting that you don’t really know.

I would have thought the problems were pretty obvious to someone that has worked in the forestry and wood processing industry. For the last 10 – 15 years sawmills around the country have been closing down. Why is that? It is because the overseas market wants raw logs. You meet that market, or you lose it. They don’t want our sawn timber, and Labour’s policy will squeeze New Zealand out of the international market resulting in even bigger unemployment. There is only so much sawn timber the local market will absorb,  and no half thought out idea of only constructing buildings under four storeys out of timber or the Christchurch rebuild will save this policy from failure. The silly part is it would be still optional to builders/construction firms as to the materials they used as it wouldn’t be implemented by force, in effect making the policy a dead duck and a waste of time. To suggest  that part of the economy is under performing as a result of lack of investment is foolhardy: the demand isn’t there, so neither is the investment. If private investment won’t do it, that suggests the market isn’t there and it is bad business. You know, like subsidising large car manufacturers.

Nashy didn’t much like Mike Hoskings comments on it either,

If Hosking’s commentary was based on a reasoned analysis of Labour’s forestry policy then he would be taken seriously, but as per usual, he doesn’t let the truth get in the way of misinformed bile. He is articulate and intelligent, but he absolutely has an ideological axe to grind. That’s what makes him dangerous.

And it was pretty obvious as to why he took exception, as Hosking meticulously picked the policy to pieces like a vulture to expose the bare bones of what an incompetent idea it would be.

The other significant problem was that on one hand you have CTU President Helen Kelly screaming from her office that forestry death rates are too high, the government is doing nothing to fix it, while on the other hand you have David Cunliffe wanting to create more jobs to get people off welfare and into one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. How many lazy slackers are going to want to do hard forestry work, let alone avoid getting tangled with a chainsaw or have their block knocked off by a flying log due to inattention, being stoned or hungover from the night before. It is not the kind of job that accommodates  slackers, halfwits, poor time keepers  or self inflicted long weekends.

What does Helen have to say about it? Nothing. Not a peep, not a whisper, not a murmur.

It is much like the manufactured ‘manufacturing crisis’, this policy simply does nothing but provide bad solutions to non existent problems.  If this policy was David Cunliffes big ‘game changer’ policy, he’s in for a rough campaign. Wait for the next round of musical chairs on the Labour front bench.

If Labour got in and implemented this policy the forest owners and logging contractors in Russia, Washington State and Oregon will be laughing all the way from the side of the hill to the port with double the capacity of raw logs for export.

Union given kick in the pants, told to sling their hooks

Workers at VW’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee have voted to turn their backs on the possibility of union representation.

In a stinging defeat that could accelerate the decades-long decline of the United Auto Workers, Volkswagen AG workers voted against union representation at a Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, which had been seen as organized labor’s best chance to expand in the U.S. South.

The loss, 712 to 626, capped a sprint finish to a long race and was particularly surprising for UAW supporters, because Volkswagen had allowed the union access to the factory and officially stayed neutral on the vote, while other manufacturers have been hostile to organized labor.

UAW spent more than two years organizing and then called a snap election in an agreement with VW. German union IG Metall worked with the UAW to pressure VW to open its doors to organizers, but anti-union forces dropped a bombshell after the first of three days of voting.  Read more »

Helen Kelly coughs up furball of evidence to destroy her own argument

It has never been a strong point of CTU President Helen Kelly to stick to facts and avoid spin, but to ignore and manipulate the facts and accuse others of spin is downright revolting and dishonest. One has to laugh at her comment though, as she couldn’t make it sound more applicable to her if she tried.

less spin

 

A bit later she goes on to whip out her damning stats to slay the mother of any argument, but whoops, they don’t quite work in favour of her argument.

 

 

factually inept Read more »

Business NZ and CTU more even cunning than I thought [UPDATED]

 

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You’ve got to hand it to troughers Helen Kelly and Phil O’Reilly. Following some public expressions of doubt  ‘what the f*ks going on’ by Judith Collin’s last year, and some digging round by the Taxpayers’ Union, ACC, the CTU and Business NZ saw the writing on the wall with their nice little money earner.  So what did they do?  Quickly extended the contract before it all went public!

The Taxpayers’ Union has blogged:

 

Despite the ACC telling media yesterday that it decided ‘late last year’ to can the programme, we learned this morning that the contracts were renewed in December. The end date is now 31 December 2014.

It appears that ACC only changed its tune since the Taxpayers’ Union publicly exposed the rort.

Remember, it’s not the Taxpayers’ Union who labelled the training scheme a waste of money, it’s ACC’s own experts. Telling the public that they will scrap the scheme but waiting for the new contracts to expire is not good enough. They conveniently failed to mention that the contracts have just been renewed…  Read more »

Taxpayers’ Union uncovers Phil O’Reilly snout in the trough along with the CTU

pigs in the trough

Looks like the Taxpayers’ Union has uncovered its first decent story of union toughing.

Material released by the Taxpayers’ Union show a cosy deal between Business New Zealand, the Council of Trade Unions (“CTU”) and ACC has cost ACC-levy payers $19 million since 2003.

The documents 
 show ACC knew that millions paid to Business NZ and the CTU to provide health and safety training did little, if anything, to reduce workplace accidents.

Recent ACC analysis concludes that, even with optimistic assumptions, for every dollar spent on the training 84 cents is wasted. 

A 2013 briefing to the Minister for ACC, Judith Collins, states that the CTU has found it “challenging” to meet its performance obligations even though it has been contracted for service since 2003.    Read more »

The misogyny of the left

The left wing likes to accuse the right of misogyny. As they sanctimoniously point their fingers they ignore the latent and often overt misogyny that exists in their own ranks.

Sure they hide behind quotas and other artifices but it is there. One of the worst exponents is Martyn Bradbury. Yesterday he attacked Josie Pagani for no reason other than he doesn’t like where her politics lies…it isn’t far enough left for his liking.

Josie Pagani is no blouse though and she strikes back against his tyranny.

It’s time for the tolerant, open and compassionate left to stand up to vilification and abuse when it is practised by sections of the left.

The left should not be defined by political aggression, intolerance and bullying; it should be defined by decency, inclusion, ideas and respect for people.

Exhibit A: Martyn Bradbury of the Daily Blog denounced ‘three broadcasters of the apocalypse’, after the announcement that Guyon Espiner will host Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report.  He called Guyon ‘a hard right neo-liberal white rich male acolyte’ – and me a ‘Fox News democrat’.

I’ve had enough of this. This is abuse substituting for argument. Anyway it is absurd to conflate Guyon Espiner, a journalist respected on all sides, with Paul Henry’s history of raving racism.

Unless abuse is confronted it begins to define others on the left.  Read more »

Predictions results

Ok so here were my predictions from January…how did I go?

1. National Party MPs will cringe every time Hekia Parata is asked a question in the house, and will avoid being in the house when they know Hekia is going to be rinsed.

Went pretty much as predicted…and got progressively worse as the year progressed, saved only by inept Labour questioners who were more distracted by fighting amongst themselves over the leadership.

2. Nanaia Mahuta remains anonymous and never holds Hekia to account.

Yup, neither did anyone else which is bizarre because she is tits and a legend in her own mind.

3. Iain Lees-Galloway’s missus is still dirty with him every time he mentions a certain stenographer.

Not much has changed here.   Read more »

Is Labour looking after their rich mates in Finance?

Labour likes to talk about National looking after their rich mates and the top end of town. David Cunliffe even used the term in his stand up on Tuesday after his rather testy and some say shouty caucus meeting.

But could it be that Labour are the ones looking after their rich mates in the finance industry…I mean if the accusation is good enough for Labour to use it should be good enough for anyone else to use. The Herald reports:

Labour would raise the age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation to 67, make KiwiSaver compulsory for employees and increase the KiwiSaver contribution rate if voted into power.

Deputy Labour leader David Parker told members of the superannuation industry his party was not afraid to tackle the age of eligibility issue despite it being politically challenging.

“I am willing to deal with the age of eligibility for superannuation. This is not populist politics.”  Read more »