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Zero hour contracts are history

It took a year and a half, 56,500 signatures and a whole lot of campaigning, but we did it; we’ve put an end to zero hour contracts.

Today’s victory is a win for all those Kiwi workers required to be available for work but who have no work guaranteed.

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Planning for tomorrow

This article was originally posted on the Radio Live website.

There’s an old saying that Auckland is great at planning – for yesterday’s needs.

So I was disappointed at the decision by Auckland Council to reject the plan for greater housing density in Auckland City. It betrayed short-term thinking and a lack of vision by our city leaders, and will leave our city about 200,000 homes short of what we will need by 2040.

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The Whipping Post

The Good

Talking about me, talking about you

Gulp. National’s Jo Goodhew found herself in more than a spot of bother yesterday when Damien O’Connor let rip with a series of questions to Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy about whether or not he had confidence in his associate minister. Goodhew is, of course, that person, and unfortunately for her Mr Guy wasn’t in the House. Check out the hilarious third person exchange that ensued here:

 

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We’re winning on zero hour contracts

This post was originally posted on The Standard here.

Last year the union movement, led by Unite, launched an amazing campaign against zero hour contracts. One of Andrew Little’s first moves as Labour leader was to get in behind that campaign and pledge that in government Labour will put an end to these unfair, exploitative contracts.

The campaign, which included industrial action by union members, a petition by signed by over 40,000 people, and an intense lobbying effort, caused the government to back down and commit to ending zero hour contracts.

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Talking trains, trucks, the future of transport

As Labour’s Transport Spokesperson, I want to visit as many regions as I can to hear what their issues are.

Listening to the locals is how we will get a well-informed transport policy that addresses not only the regions, but the pressing issues in Auckland and the opportunities that the rebuild of Christchurch presents.

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Helping Fiji

While it is now over a week since cyclone Winston hit Fiji, leaving at least 44 people dead and close to 40,000 people without homes, the islands are still reeling.

the heart-breaking pictures coming out of the region have prompted me to make a donation to Cyclone Winston relief. So many people have lost their homes and – in worst cases – family members. A little help can go a long way in a disaster zone.

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Diary Spy

Monday

The fifth anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake which killed 185 people.  Labour Leader Andrew Little went back to the Cashel St building he was in when the earthquake struck, before attending  a memorial service in Hagley Park with Labour’s Christchurch MPs.

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The Whipping Post: The Good, the Bad, the What The?

THE BEST

The luckier country

The week kicked off with a reminder of just how privileged we are to be living in New Zealand. First up was Victoria University’s climate change conference, where Kiribati President Anote Tong laid out the issues facing low-lying Pacific nations. Discussing his country’s future with Andrew Little he noted that even if there was a massive sea change on how the world responds to climate change the 102,000 islanders on Kiribati are unlikely to have a home within 50 years.  Just as poignant was the testimony of the young refugee who told a public hearing at Parliament of the heartache of having to leave two brothers in a Thai refugee camp after the family fled Myanmar following the torture and killing of her father – used by the army to minesweep. Despite that, she was, she said, ‘so grateful’ to be in New Zealand. “We’ll never forget what you have done for us, in the country we now call ours. New Zealanders should be proud of what they are doing.”  Food for thought.

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The Whipping Post: The Good, the Bad, the What The?

The year’s first House sitting week might have been and gone, but what a rip snorter.


The good

Bring it on home

First up - and we couldn’t let the week go by without mentioning it – was Waitangi Day. Serious issues got an airing, as they should, but this year's was surely the first to have a trending hashtag, and hopefully the last where a Minister gets walloped with a rubber body part. The palaver continued, during the usual Tuesday caucus-run standup. Like the proverbial dog with a, er, tasty morsel, the media just couldn’t seem to let it go. Andrew Little confirmed his status as a true professional, the journos not so much. Their reaction is priceless…

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National's Stairway to Heaven

All that glitters…

Official documents showing the Government has spent $19.5 million on a revamp of the Ministry of Education building serve as a reminder that National’s profligacy continues unabated.

The refit, the latest in a series of Ministry mega-spends, includes a $2.6 million grand staircase, a “Koru”-style transit lounge and a “concierge” style arrangement in the reception area. It comes as schools around the country are being told there’s no cash for desperately needed upgrades to past-their-use-by date buildings.

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