New Zealand

New Zealand: Occupy protests in six cities

By Tom Peters and John Braddock, 17 October 2011

The protests, organised by local “Occupy” groups, were led by banners proclaiming, “We are the 99 percent.”

Ship grounding creates New Zealand’s worst environmental disaster

By John Braddock, 14 October 2011

The Liberian-registered vessel that ran aground had been allowed to continue operating despite faults identified during inspections.

New Zealand government amends surveillance laws after “anti-terror” case collapses

By John Braddock, 11 October 2011

The Video Camera Surveillance Act and a new Search and Surveillance Act establish vast powers for a web of state agencies.

Support for Labour slumps ahead of New Zealand poll

By John Braddock, 22 September 2011

Falling support for Labour is testimony to the fact that broad sections of working people no longer view it as even a “lesser evil” compared to the Nationals.

New Zealand universities cut staff and courses

By Tom Peters, 8 September 2011

The cutbacks are a result of the government’s austerity measures over the past three years, and are a part of a global assault on workers and youth.

New Zealand government imposes punitive welfare measures for teenagers

By Tom Peters, 26 August 2011

Amid worsening levels of poverty, the Key government has announced draconian policies to slash welfare spending on young people.

Four killed in New Caledonia airport blockade

By John Braddock, 19 August 2011

The protests are a sign of explosive social unrest in New Caledonia, which is beset with endemic unemployment among indigenous Kanaks and a deepening divide between rich and poor.

Inquiry hears damning evidence of unsafe conditions at New Zealand mine

By Tom Peters, 8 August 2011

Experts provided further evidence that 29 miners lost their lives because Pike River Coal sacrificed their safety on the altar of corporate profits.

WSWS/ISSE meeting discusses austerity measures in New Zealand

By our correspondents, 15 July 2011

The Wellington meeting brought together an audience of young and older workers and unemployed to discuss “The New Zealand budget and the fight against austerity.”

Slave labour conditions in New Zealand’s fishing industry

By John Braddock, 9 July 2011

The reports of abuse highlight the atrocious conditions on foreign-crewed vessels chartered by local companies, notably Maori-owned tribal businesses.

New Zealand: Entire suburbs to be abandoned after earthquakes

By Tom Peters, 6 July 2011

New Zealand’s government has condemned some 5,100 houses in earthquake-devastated Christchurch.

Further evidence of lack of safety at New Zealand mine

By John Braddock, 1 July 2011

Families of miners killed in a methane explosion at the Pike River mine last November denounced successive New Zealand governments over appalling safety standards.

Public Meeting in Wellington

The New Zealand budget and the fight against austerity

24 June 2011

The National government’s budget, handed down on May 19, is part of an international offensive on the working class.

New Zealand worker killed in water pipe blast

By John Braddock, 20 June 2011

The circumstances of the tragedy, including the rush to resume work, are an indictment of New Zealand’s terrible record of industrial deaths and accidents.

Social disaster deepens after third New Zealand earthquake

By Tom Peters, 18 June 2011

The earthquake-devastated city of Christchurch was shaken by two large aftershocks on Monday afternoon, further damaging homes and infrastructure and creating greater hardships for working people.

Deep budget cuts ahead of New Zealand election

By Tom Peters, 30 May 2011

With an election due in November, the National government budget contains the deepest spending cuts seen in 20 years.

New Zealand SAS troops implicated in Afghan war crimes

By John Braddock, 16 May 2011

An investigation provided damning evidence that the elite force is complicit in human rights abuses, with successive governments, including Labour, covering them up.

Worker killed in New Zealand tornado

By John Braddock, 5 May 2011

Tuesday’s twister ripped roofs off houses, shopping malls and commercial buildings in Auckland’s northern suburbs.

Living costs soar in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 4 May 2011

The soaring cost of living is part of a global trend and one aspect of the austerity measures being inflicted on working people in the wake of the international financial crisis.

Inquiry into New Zealand mine tragedy begins on “no blame” basis

By John Braddock, 23 April 2011

The presiding judge’s opening statement flowed directly from the terms of reference set by the National Party government of Prime Minister John Key.

Social disaster deepens following New Zealand earthquake

By John Braddock, 9 April 2011

Prime Minster John Key has announced the phasing out of the government’s paltry earthquake relief package.

Memorial service used to divert attention from inadequate relief for New Zealand earthquake victims

By Tom Peters, 22 March 2011

None of the speakers mentioned the desperate situation still facing thousands whose houses have been ruined.

Memorial service used to divert attention from inadequate relief for New Zealand earthquake victims

By Tom Peters, 21 March 2011

None of the speakers mentioned the desperate situation still facing thousands whose houses have been ruined.

New Zealand: Growing anger over inadequate earthquake relief

By Tom Peters, 10 March 2011

Thousands of Christchurch residents have received little or no government assistance since the city was hit by last month’s earthquake.

Christchurch residents denounce lack of basic services

By our correspondents, 10 March 2011

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to residents in Christchurch’s hard-hit eastern suburbs about the government’s response to the city’s devastating earthquake.

Call for “national unity” following New Zealand earthquake

By John Braddock, 2 March 2011

Prime Minister Key is seeking to divert attention away from where culpability lies for the extent of loss of life, injury and devastation.

Christchurch earthquake likely to be New Zealand’s worst natural disaster

By John Braddock, 24 February 2011

The devastation that laid waste to Christchurch has increased over the past 24 hours

Another earthquake devastates New Zealand’s second largest city

By John Braddock, 23 February 2011

Yesterday’s earthquake in Christchurch was the second disaster to hit the city within five months.

New Zealand government outlines spending cuts, asset sales

By Tom Peters, 14 February 2011

Prime Minister John Key has announced plans to reduce debt by cutting social services and selling stakes in several major publicly-owned companies.

New Zealand government outlines spending cuts, asset sales

By Tom Peters, 11 February 2011

Prime Minister John Key has announced plans to reduce debt by cutting social services and selling stakes in several major publicly-owned companies.

New Zealand mine recovery attempts abandoned

By John Braddock, 17 January 2011

New Zealand police commissioner Howard Broad announced on Thursday that efforts to recover the remains of 29 miners killed in the Pike River coal mine last year are to be abandoned.

WSWS/ISSE meeting discusses New Zealand mine disaster

By our correspondents, 24 December 2010

Meeting told that last month’s Pike River coal disaster constitutes a devastating indictment of the company’s safety procedures and of the profit system itself.

WikiLeaks cables reveal commercial motivations behind New Zealand troop deployment to Iraq

By Tom Peters, 22 December 2010

Cables released by WikiLeaks show that New Zealand sent soldiers to Iraq in order to safeguard a lucrative contract for dairy giant Fonterra.

New Zealand: Former Pike River Coal miner hits out at lack of mine safety

By Tom Peters, 10 December 2010

While the bodies of the 29 men killed in New Zealand’s Pike River mine remain trapped inside, a former miner there has spoken out, insisting that the disaster was caused by the company’s neglect of workers’ safety.

WSWS and ISSE public meeting in New Zealand

Political lessons of the Pike River mine disaster

6 December 2010

The Pike River tragedy, which saw 29 miners declared dead on November 24th after being trapped in the mine for five days, constitutes yet another grim indictment of the private profit system.

Remembrance service held for New Zealand miners

By Tom Peters, 4 December 2010

A remembrance service has been held in Greymouth for the 29 men killed in an explosion at the Pike River Coal mine on November 19. The government ensured that no family members spoke, and that no questions were raised about the unsafe practices that led to the disaster.

New Zealand government announces inquiry into mine disaster

By John Braddock, 1 December 2010

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has announced a royal commission into the Pike River mine disaster, which killed 29 miners last week.

Labour’s majority slashed in New Zealand by-election

By John Braddock, 29 November 2010

Despite the National government’s imposition of brutal austerity measures in the wake of the 2008 recession, working people are deserting Labour and refusing to return.

Growing anger over New Zealand mine deaths

By Tom Peters, 26 November 2010

One week after the initial explosion at the Pike River Coal Mine, mining experts, relatives and friends of the 29 dead miners have condemned the company’s unsafe practices and its failure to carry out a rescue operation.

New Zealand miners declared dead after another massive explosion

By Tom Peters, 24 November 2010

Twenty-nine coal miners, ranging in age from 17 to 62, have been declared dead following a second massive methane explosion this afternoon deep inside the Pike River Coal mine on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

Rescuers preparing for “loss of life” in New Zealand mine disaster

By John Braddock, 23 November 2010

Twenty-nine miners remain trapped following an explosion last Friday at Pike River mine in New Zealand. Rescue efforts have been prevented by the persistence of toxic gases within the mine and rescuers are preparing for “possible loss of life”.

New Zealand: 29 miners still missing after underground explosion

By Tom Peters, 22 November 2010

Three days after an explosion ripped through the Pike River Coal mine on New Zealand’s South Island, 29 miners remain missing. Evidence is emerging to suggest that the mining company jeopardised workers’ safety in order to speed up production.

29 missing after explosion in New Zealand mine

By Tom Eley, 20 November 2010

Twenty-nine New Zealand miners are missing after an explosion believed to have been caused by methane gas tore through the Pike River Coal Company mine on Friday afternoon.

New Zealand government attacks film workers, gives millions to Hobbit producers

By Tom Peters, 11 November 2010

Following a threat by Warner Brothers to move production of The Hobbit to another location, the New Zealand government handed over millions in extra subsidies to the studios and passed a law stripping film workers of basic rights.

US ends 25-year defence rift with New Zealand

By John Braddock, 10 November 2010

The two countries have signed the “Wellington Declaration”—a document that commits them to a new “strategic partnership”.

New Zealand workers protest new industrial laws

By Tom Peters, 2 November 2010

Thousands of workers joined nationwide protests on October 20 against the National Party government’s industrial laws, but the unions used the “day of action” to divert workers’ anger into safe parliamentary channels.

New Zealand government uses earthquake to enact sweeping new powers

By Tom Peters, 13 October 2010

The National Party government has exploited the devastating Canterbury earthquake to pass anti-democratic legislation that gives ministers the power to effectively change laws by decree.

New Zealand teachers, health workers strike

By John Braddock, 30 September 2010

Health workers and teachers have taken strike action against the austerity measures being imposed by the National Party-led government.

New Zealand earthquake costs continue to rise

By John Braddock, 10 September 2010

Over the past week, an estimated 300 aftershocks up to magnitude 5.4 have shaken Christchurch, causing ongoing anxiety and further dislocation.

New Zealand government bails out collapsed finance company

By John Braddock, 10 September 2010

New Zealand’s second biggest nonbank finance company, South Canterbury Finance, went into receivership last month, prompting the country’s costliest publicly-funded bailout.

New Zealand: Hundreds left homeless after Christchurch earthquake

By Tom Peters, 6 September 2010

Hundreds of people have been left homeless by Saturday’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, but the National government has not committed to assisting those without insurance.

New economic slowdown hits New Zealand workers

By John Braddock, 3 September 2010

Statistics released over the past month have revealed a slowing economy, with working people bearing the brunt both of job losses and the government’s austerity measures.

New Zealand union rallies mount sham opposition to new labour laws

By John Braddock, 26 August 2010

New Zealand unions staged rallies against new labour legislation last weekend, effectively appealing a return to close working relations with the conservative National Party government.

New Zealand soldier killed in Afghanistan

By Tom Peters, 23 August 2010

Tim O’Donnell’s death is a tragedy for his family and friends, for which the entire New Zealand political establishment is responsible. Both the National Party government and Labour Party opposition have supported the war.

ISSE meeting in Wellington, New Zealand

The global financial crisis and the National government’s assault on the working class

11 August 2010

The International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) will hold a meeting at Victoria University, Wellington to discuss the impact of the deepening global economic crisis on the working class, internationally and in New Zealand.

New Zealand government launches fresh attack on workers’ rights

By Tom Peters, 2 August 2010

The National Party government has announced a swathe of changes to the country’s labour laws that will make it easier for businesses to sack workers, drive down wages and further curtail workers’ ability to defend their pay and conditions.

New Zealand government attacks beneficiaries

By Tom Peters, 12 July 2010

The government has launched a policy of austerity in line with the demands of international investors.

New Zealand government brings down austerity budget

By John Braddock, 31 May 2010

The 2010 budget hits working people by raising the consumption tax and slashing public services, while engineering a tax windfall for the wealthy.

New Zealand universities move to cut admissions

By Tom Peters, 24 May 2010

Thousands of would-be students will be turned away next semester, after announcements this month that four New Zealand universities will drastically restrict admissions.

Socialist Equality Party (Australia) conferences in Sydney and Melbourne

The World Economic Crisis, the Failure of Capitalism and the Case for Socialism

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 21 May 2010

The conferences in July will be forums for discussion on the origins of the global crisis and the program necessary to build a genuine socialist movement of the Australian and international working class.

Available now from Mehring Books

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)

21 May 2010

Mehring Books has published both The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and The Socialist Equality Party (Australia) Statement of Principles.

New Zealand government imposes economic austerity measures

By John Braddock, 8 April 2010

The National government is slashing public spending and introducing regressive new taxation measures in order to make the working class pay for the downturn, while engineering a further transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.

As academic year begins: ISSE to hold meetings in Australia and New Zealand

19 February 2010

The International Students for Social Equality will be holding a series of meetings in Australia and New Zealand over the next three weeks.

New Zealand: Public sector workers protest government wage freeze

By Tom Peters and Chris Ross, 15 December 2009

Low-paid state sector workers held protests across New Zealand on November 27 against the government’s wage freeze, but the trade unions used the day of action to divert workers’ anger into support for the opposition Labour Party and the Greens.

New Zealand bus drivers reject union-backed pay deal

By Chris Ross and John Braddock, 24 November 2009

The deepening resistance by New Zealand workers to attacks on living standards was highlighted this month by the rejection of a union-backed management pay offer by Auckland-based drivers and cleaners from NZ Bus.

New Zealand university administration calls police on protestors

By the Victoria University of Wellington ISSE, 16 November 2009

In a blatant attack on democratic rights, two former university students were arrested when they attempted to deliver a petition to the administration of Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) in New Zealand on October 21.

Australia-Sri Lanka deal for joint crackdown on Tamil asylum seekers

By Richard Phillips, 13 November 2009

By reaching a deal with Colombo—that is, with the regime responsible for the oppression of Tamils—the Australian Labor government is legitimising its police state measures and nullifying the basic right of all people to seek asylum under international law.

Trial by media in Australian terrorism case

By Mike Head, 13 November 2009

Despite objections by defence lawyers, highly-prejudicial and untested prosecution evidence was released to the media in Australia’s latest large-scale terrorist trial.

Australian Pabloites prepare NPA-style dissolution

By Laura Tiernan, 12 November 2009

The Democratic Socialist Perspective will dissolve itself into the ailing Socialist Alliance electoral front in January 2010. Modelled closely on France’s New Anti-capitalist Party, the DSP is making a pitch for allies in official bourgeois politics, above all the Greens.

Australia’s “rock solid” banks: the financial crisis one year on

By Alex Messenger, 11 November 2009

The corporate press claims that the Australian financial system has survived the global financial crisis because of good regulation and sound banking practice. In truth, Australian banks only survived because of unprecedented government intervention.

Australia: Julian Moti defence closing submission outlines “oppressive and unfair” prosecution

By Patrick O’Connor, 10 November 2009

Defence counsel for former Solomon Islands’ attorney general Julian Moti issued its closing submission to the Queensland Supreme Court on Friday.

Tamil asylum-seekers reject Australian government demands

By Richard Phillips, 9 November 2009

The Rudd government is intensifying its pressure on 78 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking to disembark and enter Indonesian immigration detention centers.

Fiji expels Australian and New Zealand diplomats

By Frank Gaglioti, 7 November 2009

Tensions between Fiji and the two regional powers, Australia and New Zealand, intensified further this week after Suva expelled two top diplomats for interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

Unanswered questions over Australian offshore oil spill

By Mike Head, 7 November 2009

Throughout the oil spill crisis, the Rudd government has been preoccupied with protecting the image and profits of the multi-billion dollar offshore drilling industry.

Australia: Qantas aircraft engineers vote for industrial action

By Terry Cook, 7 November 2009

About 190 professional engineers at Qantas voted by 98 percent to take industrial action after seven months of negotiations for a new work agreement failed to resolve issues over pay and working conditions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 November 2009

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Julian Moti case: Enormous sums paid by Australian police to alleged victim’s family

By Patrick O’Connor, 6 November 2009

Hearings over the past two days have been dominated by two key issues—Australian complicity with lawyer Julian Moti’s allegedly unlawful removal from the Solomons in December 2007, and the staggering amounts of money paid to members of the alleged victim’s family.

Australian Labor “left” bestows medal on General Petraeus

By Laura Tiernan, 6 November 2009

The photograph published in yesterday’s press of John Faulkner, the Defence Minister in the Australian Labor government, draping an honorary Order of Australia around the neck of General David Petraeus, speaks volumes.

End the persecution of Tamil asylum seekers by Sri Lankan and Australian governments

By Wije Dias, 6 November 2009

The plight of Tamils living in intolerable conditions in Sri Lanka has been brought into sharp relief by the tragic drowning of 12 Tamil asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia in a small vessel.

Australia: Latest refugee deaths—the Rudd government’s SIEV X

By Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 4 November 2009

The tragic drowning of 12 Sri Lankan Tamils northwest of the Cocos Islands on Sunday is another grim reminder that the election of the Rudd Labor government in November 2007 has changed nothing for refugees and asylum seekers.

Julian Moti defence counsel attacks Australian government’s “politically driven prosecution”

By Patrick O’Connor, 4 November 2009

In Queensland’s Supreme Court, defence counsel for former Solomon Islands’ attorney general Julian Moti condemned Australian authorities for “bringing the administration of justice into disrepute”.

“Pressure politics” at Sydney protest over asylum seekers

By Mathew Benn, 3 November 2009

A rally called by the Refugee Action Committee to protest the Labor government’s callous treatment of refugees was dominated by futile appeals for “compassion” from Prime Minister Rudd.

Australian government’s industrial “cop” prosecutes union over Qantas strikes

By Mike Head, 3 November 2009

The Rudd government’s Fair Work Ombudsman and Qantas are seeking fines, multi-million dollar compensation

Australian government’s “Indonesian Solution” in disarray

By Richard Phillips, 2 November 2009

Two weeks after an Australian customs ship rescued 78 Tamil asylum seekers, the unresolved standoff over their future has focussed attention on the Labor government’s inhumane and illegal treatment of refugees.

Australian imperialism, the 1999 East Timor intervention and the pseudo-left

By Patrick O’Connor, 2 November 2009

September marked the tenth anniversary of the Australian-led military intervention into East Timor. It is also a decade since a layer of pseudo “left” groups organised “troops in” demonstrations—performing a vital service for the Howard government and the Australian ruling elite.

Australian man faces lengthy jail term for “offensive” letters

By Mike Head, 30 October 2009

A Muslim man faces up to 14 years in prison for sending allegedly offensive letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Bridgestone closes plants in Australia and New Zealand

By Terry Cook, 29 October 2009

The Bridgestone closures, which end tyre production in Australasia, are part of a global restructuring of the auto industry, in the wake of the worldwide financial crisis.

Australian government intensifies crackdown on asylum seekers

By Richard Phillips, 28 October 2009

The Rudd government is planning an “Indonesian solution” paying Jakarta to incarcerate refugees intercepted while trying to reach Australia.

Sri Lanka: Plantation unions accept wage sell-out

By M. Vasanthan, 28 October 2009

All the plantation unions, including those that initially opposed it, have effectively fallen into line behind a deal that binds workers to poverty-level wages and productivity speed-up for the next two years.

Australia: Five men convicted of terrorist “conspiracy”

By Mike Head, 22 October 2009

Following one of the longest jury deliberations ever recorded—23 days—five Sydney Islamic men were convicted last week on terrorist “conspiracy” charges.

Australian government prosecutors suffer significant blow in Moti case

By Patrick O’Connor, 21 October 2009

Justice Mullins concluded that the police and prosecution’s failure to disclose all the relevant documents on time meant that defence’s cross examination of the prosecution’s witnesses could not proceed this week.

Moti defence counsel challenges Australian Federal Police witness

By Patrick O’Connor, 20 October 2009

Australian Federal Police agent Peter Bond was cross examined yesterday in the Queensland Supreme Court case brought by former Solomon Islands’ attorney general Julian Moti.

Australia: Rudd intervenes to block Tamil asylum-seekers

By Richard Phillips, 17 October 2009

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s response to the Tamil refugees is completely predictable and reflects the views of the entire political establishment, from the crisis ridden Liberal-National coalition to the corporate media and the unions.

Australian Federal Police disclose 1,500 pages of documents in Julian Moti case

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 October 2009

On Thursday morning, Moti’s counsel Jim Kennan SC explained that in the previous 48 hours, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) had handed over more than 1,500 pages of documents.

New Zealand workers face deepening assault on jobs and conditions

By Chris Ross and John Braddock, 16 October 2009

Over the past two months, workers in New Zealand have faced an intensifying barrage of attacks on their jobs, wages, and working conditions.

Australia: Contradictory witness testimonies in Julian Moti hearing

By Patrick O’Connor, 15 October 2009

The Queensland Supreme Court resumed hearings yesterday on the application by former Solomon Islands’ attorney general Julian Moti, for a permanent stay of proceedings in the attempt by Australian prosecuting authorities to try him on charges relating to statutory rape allegations that were discharged by a Vanuatu magistrate in 1998.

Australia: Productivity Commission report rules out curbing executive pay

By Terry Cook, 13 October 2009

A recently released report by Australia’s Productivity Commission into CEO salaries has opposed any significant restraint on the multi-million dollar remuneration packages.

Australian government deports Sri Lankan asylum-seekers

By Richard Phillips, 12 October 2009

In line with the previous Liberal-National coalition administration, the Australian Labor government has begun deporting refugees it claims do not qualify as asylum-seekers.

SEP public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne

Seventy years since World War II: lessons and warnings

8 October 2009

The SEP/ISSE meetings will discuss the historical lessons of World War II. That terrible conflagration was not inevitable. It was above all the product of the treachery of Social Democracy and Stalinism, which betrayed the working class and enabled capitalism to survive the revolutionary convulsions of the preceding period.

The Australian Labor Party and the war in Afghanistan

By Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 7 October 2009

Since its election in November 2007, the Rudd Labor government has escalated Australian military involvement in the Afghan conflict. Just as Afghanistan is now referred to as Obama’s war, so it has become Rudd’s war.