Michael Barnett

The Living Wage doesn’t work

“Focus on improving skills and paying what a job is worth is best way for businesses to recognise their responsibility to the communities in which they operate – not paying a ‘subjective and artificial’ Living Wage.”, writes Michael Barnett, head of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

All businesses, including councils hire on merit, so paying a higher rate without asking for better performance is not sound business practice. Private sector businesses would soon go out of business, but councils take the easy option – they simply pass the cost on to rate payers.

“That’s why the ‘living wage’ is not good business, or good for business. Most businesses recognise this. “It is of concern, however, that Auckland Council and others are leading the charge on this flawed concept – they don’t face up to ‘real business’ price-cost pressures like other businesses do, and instead are expedient in exploiting the revenue they receive from ratepayers,” said Mr Barnett.

The $10,000 difference between the just under $32,000/year minimum wage and new $42,000/year living wage is a significant extra ‘social’ cost to make up.

Of course, the Auckland Chamber recognises that low wages can make it difficult for workers and their families. But Government welfare policies exist to address this, including the setting of a ‘minimum’ wage to prevent unscrupulous employers paying too little. Read more »

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.

Where are the small business owners?

Labour has announced the make up of what they call their “Future of Work Commission“.

Most Kiwis work in small business, or own one. Yet they are not represented in the future of work commission.

Labour’s Finance spokesperson and Chair of the Future of Work Commission Grant Robertson has announced the membership of the External Reference Group which will guide the Commission’s work over the next two years.

“The External Reference Group brings a wide range of knowledge and experience to this important project. We have people from business, union, academic and community backgrounds, all of whom bring specialist skills that will provide expertise to ensure the Commission meets its goals.

“We have deliberately cast a wide net to get people who will challenge us. We want to be clear that each person who has agreed to be on the reference group is doing so because they believe in the importance of the issues the Commission is considering. Their involvement should not be construed as indicating any political preference by them or their organisation.”   Read more »

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.

Auckland Council ‘not fit for purpose’ says Chamber

Michael Barnett has delivered the Auckland Chamber of Commerce’s submission on Auckland Council’s draft budget…and he is damning.

Auckland Council is not yet ‘fit for purpose’ and in some areas appears out of control, says Auckland Chamber of Commerce in a submission on a new 10-year budget.

“In a real sense Auckland is at a crossroads,” chamber of commerce chief executive Michael Barnett said.

“One road has us continuing to jolt along a conflict-riddled and ‘jumping from crisis-to-crisis’road.

“We have yet to find the other road we need to get onto and travel if we are to deliver the ‘better Auckland’ we all want,” he said.

The chamber today released a 17-page submission on the draft budget, a few hours before public consultation closes at 4pm today.

The council has received more than 15,000 submissions on the budget, which includes an overall rates rise of 3.5 per cent this year and a choice between a basic transport plan or raising an extra $300 million a year from motorway tolls or a mix of a regional fuel tax and higher rates to fund a much larger programme.

The chamber of commerce recommends rates should be limited to the rate of inflation.

It wants the $385 uniform general charge raised to $500. The charge is what every ratepayers pays towards council services regardless of property value.

The chamber is opposed to the regional fuel tax/higher rates option for transport and wants the motorway toll option to be debated further with the view of looking at other revenue sources.

Read more »

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.

Boag snatch to fund Sky City blowout?

boag-grinch

There’s a new candidate for who is paying Michelle “The BoaganBoag and her offsider Cedric “Senile” Allan for their campaign to snatch $2.1 billion in Vector shares from the people of Auckland and South Auckland to give to Lyin’ Len Brown’s council.

Whaleoil still doesn’t quite believe it but its overloading the tipline so here goes: The theory is it’s SkyCity casino. Here’s why it could be true.

Since Friday SkyCity has been saying it needs another $130 million from the government to build its new National Convention Centre. Or else it’ll pull out of the deal. The government has to make the SkyCity deal work because all the rest of its convention centre plan is falling apart.

Steven Joyce seems to be saying he’ll open up some of his trough but not for the full $130 million and wants Auckland ratepayers to front up with the rest.  

In a world first, everyone from Lyin’ Len to Dick Quax have lined up and told Joyce to shove it. (The one exception is Cameron “Mr Fiscal Responsibility” Brewer who sounds like he’s had too many nights in the SkyCity corporate box.) Read more »

Who is paying for the Boagan’s $2.1 BILLION snatch?

business woman with lots of money

Everyone smart is running a mile from Michelle “The BoaganBoag’s plan to snatch $2.1 billion in Vector shares from Aucklanders and South Aucklanders to give to Lyin’ Len Brown for him to build his trainset.

But one question is still be to explored. Who is paying The Boagan, 60? And who is paying her offsider Cedric “Senile” Allan, 102?

These people don’t do anything for free. The Boagan even got Doug Myers to pay her when she was running for National Party President.

The tipline is running hot with theories. Read more »

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.

The Boagan signs up Brian “Opinion-for-Hire” Rudman

rudman

By now, regular readers will know all about Michelle “The Boagan” Boag’s campaign to steal $2.1 billion from the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust to give to her new friend Lyin’ Len Brown so he can build his trainset a bit earlier than planned.

But remember, this is The Boagan we’re dealing with here. Her campaign is going about as well as when she got caught videoing the Winebox Inquiry, or when she made Bill English leader of the National Party, or the Blackheart America’s Cup fiasco, or her “help” in John Banks’ mayoral campaign

If The Boagan’s involved you don’t have to wait long for a fiasco.

And so it has happened again.

Of the original Ten Dwarfs, The Boagan recruited to her $2.1 billion snatch, it turns out some didn’t even know they were meant to be involved.

The original Ten Dwarfs were:

  1. Kim Campbell – from the Employers’ and Manufacturer’s Association
  2. Michael Barnett – from the Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce
  3. Tony Garnier – from the Auckland Business Forum
  4. Stephen Selwood – from the NZ Council for Infrastructure Development
  5. Barney Irvine – from the Automobile Association
  6. David Aitken – from the National Road Carriers Association
  7. Heather Shotter – Committee for Auckland
  8. Cameron Pitchers – from the Campaign for Better Transport
  9. Connall Townsend – from the NZ Property Council
  10. Jeremy Sole – NZ Contractors Federation

Whaleoil’s spy at the big meeting to plan The Boagan’s campaign say as soon as they got wind of what she planned, Barney Irvine, Connall Townsend, David Aitkin and Jeremy Sole decided not even to show up.

Tony Garnier did show up but made clear he was there only to listen and wasn’t signing up to anything. Stephen Selwood turned up and spoke strongly against The Boagan’s $2.1 billion snatch.

Now the tipline is running hot with news Michael Barnett of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce had his eye off the ball and didn’t really know how he was being used by The Boagan. His board is furious. They knew nothing about the snatch.

Even the Boagan’s old winebox mates at Russell McVeagh weren’t impressed either when they found out they were being asked to unleash the legal dogs of war against AECT.    Read more »

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.

A Chamber board member writes about AECT

boag-grinch

There is much scrambling occurring behind the scenes after Michelle Boag’s little plan to raid the AECT consolidated fund and hand the cash to Len Brown was rumbled.

A humber of people named are now backing away from the plan, and some feel they have been mis-represented by their attendance at Kim ‘The Clown’ Campbell’s little meeting the other day.

Clearly people are frustrated at the Boagan’s old school whispering campaign and it looks and sounds like the Chamber is running a million miles away from her nationalisation/theft scheme.

One Chamber of Commerce board member writes:

Dear Cameron,

I have long been a reader of your blog, and appreciate that you have a desire to put the truth out in front of your readers.

I also understand that you suspect the motives of some people, and use your blog to raise these issues into the sunlight.

I know that you accept that you don’t always get it right, and have, in the past, been happy to acknowledge this, and apologise accordingly.

Your recent attack on Michael Barnett and the Chamber of Commerce is one of those errors.

I am not a neutral bystander in this, and write as someone who chose to be a Director of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. This choice was made through years of watching the way the Chamber, and Michael work.

The Chamber is the rational voice of business within Auckland. An organisation which works to make sure that the physical and political landscape is shaped to serve the interests of Auckland, by ensuring that the business environment is the best it can be.

This is not an easy task, and for many years the Chamber has worked away to ensure that business has a rational and respected voice.

Michael has been a voice promoting initially the need for significant transport projects in Auckland, and then promoting the debate on where the funding will come from. Auckland faces a dramatic shortfall in funding for transport projects whether or not the Central Rail Link is built.

Government has accepted the Central Rail Link case, and has said that it will provide funding when certain conditions are met, and after a certain date if they are not.

The debate that needs to happen is for Auckland City to determine where it will source its funding, and how it will achieve that.

The only way for this to happen fairly is to bring all of the options on to the table, and work out which ones are available for use. Read more »

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.

Christmas Countdown: Boagan Dwarf Three – Michael “Dopey” Barnett

barnett-elf copy

Michael “Dopey” Barnett

There’s still six days until Christmas but the early presents for Whaleoil readers keep on coming.  Today’s gift is a cracker –  the story of Boagan dwarf number three, Michael ‘Mayoral-Wannabe’ Barnett.

Auckland readers will of course know Mr Barnett as the face of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.  If you don’t really understand what the organisation does, fear not you’re not alone. I can happily confirm their key role is to organise business lunches and breakfasts.   Kim The Clown Campbell is a regular attendant.  The Mayoral Wannabe actually celebrates his 25th anniversary at the Chamber this year.  What better way to party than to steal a cool $2.1 billion off the people of Auckland.     Read more »

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.

Christmas Countdown: Boagan Dwarf Two – Kim “The Campbell Clown” Campbell

Kim_Campbell

 

There’s a bit of a change of plan.  Kim “The Campbell Clown” Campbell made such a goose of himself on Larry Williams last night we’re looking at him today rather than Michael Barnett.  But don’t worry, we will deal with all The Boagan’s friends soon enough.

For those just catching up, the story goes like this.  It looks like Michelle “The Boagan” Boag is working for someone like Hawkins to try to get Lyin’ Len’s trainset underway sooner rather than later.

The Boagan and John “The Dining Table” Collinge, now 104, have a decades-old feud with Warren Kyd and other members of the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust (AECT) – the outfit that owns $2.1 billion in Vector shares in trust for the people of Auckland and South Auckland, and which pays them a Christmas dividend of $335 a house each September. Read more »

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.

Christmas Countdown Special: EMA reaps what it sows

Kim_Campbell

EMA boss Kim “The Campbell Clown” Campbell can’t be too much longer in his job.

Members of the EMA board have called the tipline begging not to be included in the Christmas Countdown series.

They reckon they didn’t know anything about what The Campbell Clown was up to when he decided to launch a campaign to steal $2.1 billion in Vector shares from the people of Auckland and South Auckland and cancel their $335 Christmas dividend and give the shares and money to Len Brown so he can build his trainset.

They didn’t know The Campbell Clown had come under the spell of Michelle “The Boagan” Boag.

Well it may be too late for the EMA board.  Look what fell off the back of the bus:   Read more »

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.