How about some transparency for the unions?

Darien Fenton is having a whinge because her attempt to bypass normal parliamentary procedure for entering private members bills in the house was rejected.

Today I asked the House to agree to introduce my members’ bill, called the Local Government (Council Controlled Organisations) Amendment Bill and set it down for the next Members Day. The government said no.

The bill would have made information held by ports accessible under the Official Information Act and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

Currently, Ports are excluded in the definition of CCOs under the Local Government Act.  An easy amendment to the Local Government Act, as proposed by No Right Turn, (thanks NRT) would have fixed this deficiency.

It is ironic that while attempting to hold the bosses to account with the clarion call for transparency the very same unions that donate heavily to the Labour party and are affiliate members are performing so woefully in the transparency stakes themselves.

The Maritime Union, the EPMU, the Meat Workers union, all Labour affliates have rather large discrepancies in their accounts. The Maritime Union hadn’t even filed accounts as required by law for several years and it wasn’t until the ever watchful Owl, one of my commenters, noticed that the accounts were duly filed.

The EPMU hasn’t filed one years accounts and another years accounts is not in the proper audited form, they simply filed an excel spreadsheet.

Even when they do file accounts they are showing millions of dollars disappearing from members funds. They show excessive travel and they also show an rather incomplete picture as to the financial state of the unions.

So, when Labour calls for the bosses to be held to account over financial mis-management why will they not also demand that the union bosses are likewise held to account? When they call for control and transparency over the bosses, why not a call for transparency over the unions?

In Australia they have a monitoring and regulatory body that keeps an eye on the unions. There is a massive scandal underway in Australia over dodgy union finances and dodgy union bosses that is threatening to take down the Gillard Government. I would suggest that given what Owl and I have discovered inthe accounts of key unions here that a similar forensic examination of union finances would find some very dodgy behaviour by the union bosses, especially around their attempts to disguise remuneration for bosses like Garry Parsloe.

I’m all for transparency, but let’s have it apply to all, even Labour party affiliate members.


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  • Guestosterone

    Can we ban pictures of Fenton being posted at breakfast time!

    • AzaleaB


    • Dave

      Why only breakfast – i just read it, now its beeroclock time, its put me off. 

  • Greg M

    Remove the picture at once, you are frightening the children.

  • Richard B.

    Has Peter Jackson released some images from the Hobbit?

    • AzaleaB

      I hope you mean Orcs or Goblins…do not insult a hobbit!

  • Blokeintakapuna

    Strewth – she should try sucking on a lime or three to sweeten her smile… and attitude…

    • akka

       She is, you should of seen her before then !

  • johnbronkhorst

    “Today I asked the House to agree to introduce my members’ bill, called the Local Government (Council Controlled Organisations) Amendment Bill and set it down ..”…You mean you admit now that your 2002 bill was flawed???According to you!!! Wasn’t labour in power then???, Unintended consiquence of your own law was to actually give the power to the OWNERS of the port (Auckland council) and now you want a National Govt. to effectively hand that power to a group without the vested interests of the wider Auckland populace at heart (THE MUNZ)!!!

  • johnbronkhorst

    As for union transparancy….unions thrive on secrecy (from their members, primarilly), misrepresentation (sometimes blatant lies) and the apathy and gullibility of their members. But don’t dispair…..union membership (since being made voluntary) has dropped by 80%. Now, surely, if unions were of any value to the workers as a whole, their membership would have held up over the years and they would not be trying to get a Labour govt. back in, in order to bring back compulsory membership. Afterall union dues aren’t that expensive!

    • Mr_Blobby

      The only people who want to belong to a Union are unemployable time wasters, hiding behind the perceived power of the Unions.

      • jackwhite

        blobby you are talking shit again…..

      • Whafe

        Tend to agree…. I like to have accountability! Union members generally have very little if any real accountability

  • Owl

    Ok the EMPU has five to six years to file. They have dragged this out longer than UNITE, NZCTU and MUnz who obliged when notified.

    The OWL has written to MED on behalf of people of NZ to review EMPU failure to file audited accounts 2005 and 2006 and deregister them as a Union.

    happy Easter

  • Killjoy

    My comment on Red Alert:
    My understanding Darien is that ALL private members bills go to a ballot so that even those members outside of govt can have a chance for a bill/ their voice to be heard.
    You wanted the govt to go outside that privilege- that, I suppose, is why they said no.
    One day, in a decade far far away when Labour are back in govt you could then ask the House to consider this. 
    … is still awaiting moderation….