Meet the Wharfies – Mita Skipper

via the tipline from a port worker

Last night John Campbell interviewed Ports of Auckland and MUNZ member Mita Skipper who told the viewers that he has worked at the Ports of Auckland for 5 years as a straddle driver and really loves his job.

Mita is the face of the MUNZ postcard which has been dropped in mailboxes all over the city.

The interview was so one eyed and very disappointingly researched by John and his team that it is worth bringing to light a few more facts so that readers can make up their own mind about what they saw on TV.

Mita was employed as a straddle driver 5 years ago but has been on ACC and light duties for the last 2 and a half years. His light duties entail that he has to turn up to work for 4 hours a day and he spends those sitting in the mess room talking to people.

Prior to going on ACC Mita sustained a pinched nerve in his neck which required surgery. The surgeon cut through a nerve and nearly killed him and has made his neck injury even worse. The injury prevents him from looking sideways which means that he cannot lash or drive or perform any stevedoring duties. The port has tried to look out for him and accomodate him the best that they can but the nature of the injury means that there is little he can do – except a full on haka when the firemen joined MUNZ on the picket line.

Mita Skipper is going to find himself not only redundant but not wanted by any contracting out company. Which is a shame as he has 12 children. His partner says she just wants to know what hours he’s going to work, and the answer to that is, none.

John Campbell and other media who do interviews are constantly going after MUNZ bait, and these guys are not the typical example of those who work there. Then you get idiots like Darien Fenton and Helen Kelly saying that those who speak out will be discriminated against when it comes to getting jobs with contracting out companies. Of course they will! These are the guys who are either milking the system, toxic and negative, lazy or atrocious liars.

Why on earth is John Campbell not going after the whole story? Obviously he wants those most contentious to keep the TV3 ratings up. But there are more than MUNZ being made redundant. All of the guys who have been keeping the port going while MUNZ have been on strike are also being made redundant, as are the labour allocators, support staff and a percentage of the administration teams. No one is interviewing them or asking about how they will know how many hours they need to work.

Shame on John Campbell.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.