Australia and New Zealand

New prime minister installed in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 13 December 2016

John Key’s replacement by his deputy Bill English has exposed tensions within the government, accompanied by demands from big business for harsher austerity measures.

Inquest evidence shows Australian government was responsible for asylum seeker’s death

By Max Newman, 8 December 2016

The medical evidence makes clear that Hamid Kehazaei died as a direct consequence of the refugee detention regime imposed by successive Australian governments.

Australia: Thunderstorm-related deaths expose impact of health cuts

By Kurt Brown, 7 December 2016

Melbourne, a city of more than three million people, ran out of ambulances as thousands of people suffered potentially fatal thunderstorm-related asthma.

Shock resignation by New Zealand Prime Minister

By Tom Peters and John Braddock, 6 December 2016

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced his resignation from politics after eight years in the role and a decade as leader of the National Party.

New Zealand: Socialist Equality Group holds public meeting on US election outcome

By our reporters, 29 November 2016

The public meeting in Auckland presented a Marxist assessment of Trump’s victory to an audience of mostly young workers and students.

New Zealand: Auckland youth and workers concerned over US election result, danger of war

By our correspondents, 24 November 2016

The Socialist Equality Group is campaigning for a public meeting this Sunday on the causes and implications of Donald Trump’s election.

New Zealand’s capital caught unprepared for earthquake and flooding

By Chris Ross, 23 November 2016

After a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit New Zealand, the capital city was struck by aftershocks and cut off by a severe weather system.

New Zealand: “Week of Peace” promotes the Greens and Labour

By Tom Peters, 22 November 2016

The protests organised by Auckland Peace Action and the Peace Foundation sought to channel workers and youth who oppose war behind pro-imperialist parties.

Australian prime minister pushes Trump-style tax cuts

By Mike Head, 19 November 2016

Turnbull demanded “hard” economic and budgetary decisions that would “create winners and losers.”

New Zealand: International Socialist Organisation glorifies deceased Council of Trade Unions leader

By Tom Peters, 16 November 2016

The ISO portrayed the veteran union bureaucrat Helen Kelly as a champion for workers’ rights, covering up her record of enforcing mass job cuts and other attacks on workers.

Workers and young people in Australia and New Zealand concerned by US election result

By our reporters, 15 November 2016

Many noted that Trump’s victory was a product of the deepening social crisis and a breakdown of American democracy.

Magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits New Zealand

By John Braddock, 15 November 2016

The quake has caused major damage to roads, railways and other infrastructure, and isolated small rural communities throughout the upper South Island.

Perplexity, fear in New Zealand establishment over US election

By John Braddock, 7 November 2016

Many commentators and politicians who express horror over the prospect of a Trump victory are supportive of similar right-wing policies in New Zealand.

Push for harsher anti-immigrant measures in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 31 October 2016

The most significant voices in growing anti-immigrant agitation are the Unite union, which includes members of two pseudo-left groups, and the trade union-funded Daily Blog.

Report says New Zealand SAS is fighting in Iraq

By Tom Peters, 28 October 2016

The New Zealand government denied a report that the NZSAS is involved in combat operations in northern Iraq, but admitted that the elite fighting unit has visited the country.

New Zealand: The US warship visit and the fraud of Peace Action

By Tom Peters, 27 October 2016

Peace Action Wellington and Auckland Peace Action do not represent any alternative to the Greens and other organisations which have discredited themselves by embracing imperialist war preparations.

Public rifts erupt in Australian government

By Mike Head, 22 October 2016

The internal warfare wracking the Liberal-National Coalition cannot be explained by a dispute over gun laws.

Australian government hails New Zealand’s brutal welfare system

By Tom Peters, 17 October 2016

Australia’s government is seeking to emulate policies that have pushed tens of thousands of people off welfare.

New Zealand Labour Party marks its centenary

By Tom Peters, 29 September 2016

Contrary to the myths advanced by Labour’s apologists, the party was never socialist. It has always defended capitalism at home and supported imperialist war abroad.

New Zealand: Ex-Green Party MP launches pseudo-left think tank

By Tom Peters, 27 September 2016

Economic and Social Research Aotearoa is a nationalist organisation, inspired by identity politics and the anti-Marxism of Syriza and Podemos.

New Zealand public meetings: The US Navy visit and the drive to war

By Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 27 September 2016

The SEG and IYSSE are holding meetings in Wellington, Lower Hutt and Auckland to discuss a socialist program to fight against Washington’s war drive against China.

New Zealand: Maori king cuts ties with Labour Party

By John Braddock, 17 September 2016

The Maori tribal head, who presides over a substantial business operation, has thrown his weight behind an electoral alliance between the Maori nationalist parties.

New Zealand: Anti-TPP protests promote economic protectionism

By our reporters, 13 September 2016

The agitation for protectionist trade policies is a reactionary turn to the economic nationalism that erupted in the 1930s and led to war.

New Zealand: Daily Blog opposes jury trials in rape cases

By Tom Peters, 9 September 2016

The statement by the union-funded blog demonstrates how hysterical denunciations of “rape culture” are helping to strengthen the state and attack democratic rights.

New Zealand unions campaign against Chinese steel imports

By Tom Peters, 7 September 2016

The nationalist demagogy is part of a push to align New Zealand with the US drive to war against China, while diverting attention from the role of the unions in job cutting.

New Zealand defence minister blames Beijing for South China Sea tension

By John Braddock, 3 September 2016

The comments indicate a shift within the government, following US Vice President Biden’s recent visit, closer to Washington’s belligerent anti-China position.

Ongoing job cutting in New Zealand

By Chris Ross, 2 September 2016

Attacks on jobs, wages and conditions are intensifying, with the collaboration of the trade unions.

New Zealand unions intensify anti-immigrant campaign

By John Braddock, 30 August 2016

The Unite union collaborates with the government’s exclusivist immigration policies while agitating for further curbs on foreign workers.

Labour Party makes empty promises to New Zealand students

By Tom Peters and Chris Ross, 29 August 2016

Despite its highly conditional pledges, Labour has no intention of reducing ballooning debt and poverty among students.

Cross-party support for sweeping spy powers in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 26 August 2016

The ruling elite is erecting the foundations for a police state in preparation to confront social and political opposition.

New Zealand: WWI Home Front exhibition buries mass opposition to war

By Tom Peters and Sam Price, 22 August 2016

The exhibition about life “at home” during World War I hails New Zealand’s contribution to the war and covers up the opposition that emerged in the working class.

Families of New Zealand mine disaster victims seek justice

By Tom Peters, 15 August 2016

Sonya Rockhouse and Anna Osborne, who lost family members in the 2010 Pike River explosion, are seeking a judicial review of the decision to drop charges against CEO Peter Whittall.

New Zealand ‘Rich List’ dominated by property speculators

By John Braddock, 4 August 2016

Big investors have seen “huge gains” to their share portfolios, while the property boom has “seeded fortunes for astute and opportune investors.”

New Zealand rail union pushes pro-company collective agreement

By our correspondent, 3 August 2016

The Greater Wellington Regional Council is demanding $100 million in cost-cutting, which will be imposed by Transdev through attacks on jobs, wages and conditions.

New Zealand’s Maori nationalist parties discuss bloc for 2017 election

By John Braddock, 1 August 2016

The talks are driven by ambitions within both parties for a more direct role in government, whoever wins the next election

Australian PM sinks Rudd’s bid for UN secretary general

By Peter Symonds, 30 July 2016

The fracas this week over former Prime Minister Rudd has not only highlighted deep divisions in the Coalition government, but also raises a question about Washington’s hand in events.

Two more shootings by New Zealand police

By Chris Ross, 25 July 2016

The shooting of two men in separate incidents is part of an increasing resort to lethal force by police in response to the social crisis.

Biden visits New Zealand to strengthen military ties

By John Braddock, 21 July 2016

New Zealand’s balancing act between China, its second largest trading partner, and the US, its chief strategic ally, is becoming increasingly unsustainable.

Deep concerns in New Zealand ruling elite over Brexit vote

By John Braddock, 18 July 2016

Running through much of the media commentary is a growing alarm about potential instability, as well as a seething hostility to the working class.

Fractured Australian government under intense US and economic pressure

By Mike Head, 15 July 2016

Even before Prime Minister Turnbull names his ministry, the government is wracked by recriminations and rifts.

Australian parliamentarian calls for Iraqi war crimes trial

By James Cogan, 9 July 2016

Andrew Wilkie declared that he would like to see an international court to hear the “pretty compelling case” against George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard for war crimes.

Australian election outcome heightens divisions within the Greens

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 July 2016

Poor election results by the Greens have provoked bitter recriminations in the party's ranks.

Deepening social inequality in New Zealand

By Tom Peters and Chris Ross, 8 July 2016

The richest 10 percent now control 60 percent of the country’s wealth, while the working class is suffering from soaring housing costs and cuts to welfare services.

New Zealand pseudo-lefts silent on Maoist alliance with Philippine president

By Tom Peters, 5 July 2016

Fightback and Redline have long promoted the CPP, which has now taken cabinet posts in the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, a fascistic figure.

New Zealand extends military deployment in Iraq

By Tom Peters, 27 June 2016

Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, New Zealand soldiers are assisting the predatory US war to dominate the Middle East.

25 April: Animated documentary on New Zealand’s role in the Gallipoli invasion

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 25 June 2016

The film shows the horrors of war but fails to challenge the nationalist mythology surrounding the Anzacs.

New Zealand: Family denounces “cold-blooded execution” by police

By Chris Ross, 22 June 2016

As New Zealand’s social crisis worsens, the police are increasingly resorting to deadly force.

New Zealand PM’s diplomatic debacle in Fiji

By John Braddock, 21 June 2016

Bainimarama bluntly refused to accede to NZ Prime Minister Key’s agenda.

New Zealand First demonises Muslim immigrants

By Jeremy Lin and Tom Peters, 20 June 2016

The Labour Party and the Greens hypocritically tried to distance themselves from the NZ First leader’s inflammatory and xenophobic statements.

New Zealand Defence White Paper prepares for war

By Tom Peters, 17 June 2016

Military upgrades worth $20 billion will support US-led war preparations against China and New Zealand’s own imperialist interests in the Pacific and elsewhere.

New Zealand: Labour, Greens sign Memorandum of Understanding

By Tom Peters, 15 June 2016

Claims that the Labour-Greens alliance offers a “progressive alternative” to the National Party government are a fraud.

Vicious media campaign in New Zealand over child abuse

By Chris Ross, 9 June 2016

The death of three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri has been seized on to vilify the most poverty-stricken layers of society.

New Zealand government, opposition housing policies grossly inadequate

By Tom Peters, 2 June 2016

Proposals by the National Party government as well as the opposition Labour Party and the Greens do not even begin to address the country's homelessness crisis.

New Zealand budget: Cuts to basic services, billions for the military

By Tom Peters, 27 May 2016

The budget does nothing to address the crisis in health, education and housing, while significantly increasing spending to prepare the country for war.

Spate of deaths in New Zealand’s forestry industry

By Chris Ross and Tom Peters, 24 May 2016

Four workers and one child have died at forestry sites so far this year, exposing claims that the industry’s safety record has improved since 10 workers died in 2013.

Panama Papers: Further revelations about New Zealand’s role as a tax haven

By Tom Peters and Sam Price, 19 May 2016

Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca promoted New Zealand to its wealthy clients, including some allegedly involved in illegal activity and one who assisted in the looting of Iraq.

Submarine project no solution for South Australia’s employment crisis

By John Braddock, 14 May 2016

Claims that building submarines will rescue the economically depressed state are false and any new jobs will be tied to preparations for war.

New Zealand’s housing affordability crisis worsens

By Tom Peters and Jeremy Lin, 13 May 2016

The political establishment is scapegoating foreigners, especially Chinese, for the unstable property bubble and lack of affordable housing.

New Zealand Labour Party leader visits Iraq

By Tom Peters, 6 May 2016

Andrew Little praised New Zealand’s troops in Iraq and pushed for their mission to be extended, underscoring the fraud of Labour’s vote against the deployment last year.

On Anzac Day, New Zealand leaders talk peace, prepare for war

By Tom Peters, 29 April 2016

A century after the bloody Gallipoli campaign in World War I, the New Zealand ruling class is once again preparing to support imperialist war.

New Zealand’s healthcare crisis worsens

By Tom Peters, 25 April 2016

Thousands of people are on hospital waiting lists, or being denied essential surgical operations or mental health treatment, due to government funding cuts.

New Zealand prime minister visits China amid tensions over South China Sea

By John Braddock, 22 April 2016

While seeking to preserve cordial relations with China, its second largest trading partner, the New Zealand ruling elite is committed to the US anti-China “pivot.”

New Zealand government plans major increase in military spending

By Tom Peters, 20 April 2016

The expansion is aimed at further incorporating New Zealand into Washington’s plans for war against China.

Moody’s warns Australian government of credit downgrade

By Mike Head, 18 April 2016

The warning highlights the crisis of the Coalition government which is under mounting pressure to implement deeply unpopular austerity measures.

Wave of closures and job cuts under way in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 18 April 2016

The global slowdown is impacting across the board with jobs being destroyed in the public sector, manufacturing and retail.

Australian prime minister skirts controversy in China

By James Cogan, 16 April 2016

Turnbull carefully avoided any contentious public remarks on the US-China confrontation in the South China Sea.

Police attack student protests in Sydney and Melbourne

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 April 2016

The violent actions of the police against a handful of student protesters are a warning of the preparations for a broader crackdown on any opposition to austerity cuts and war.

Panama Papers reveal New Zealand is a tax haven for world’s elites

By John Braddock, 15 April 2016

Successive Labour and National governments are responsible for New Zealand laws that allow foreign trusts to carry out massive tax avoidance.

CSIS report argues for strong US-Japan-Australia alliance against China

By Peter Symonds, 9 April 2016

The Washington think tank’s proposed “federated defence” is nothing but a system of military alliances to prepare for war with China—akin to the alliances that preceded the previous two world wars.

Australia: Socialist Alternative conference endorses US-led Syrian war and Syriza’s betrayal in Greece

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 April 2016

Like their counterparts internationally, Socialist Alternative responded to the global financial crisis of 2008 by junking even nominal opposition to imperialist war.

New Zealand First proposes army training for unemployed youth

By Tom Peters, 8 April 2016

The trade union-funded Daily Blog enthusiastically endorsed the proposal, reflecting the support for militarism and nationalism by Labour and the union bureaucracy.

New layoffs in New Zealand meat processing

By John Braddock, 31 March 2016

A new round of restructuring within the New Zealand meat processing industry is underway.

Escalating crisis hits New Zealand dairy industry

By John Braddock, 26 March 2016

The crisis in the New Zealand dairy industry following severe cuts to milk prices is a symptom of a broader economic slump.

Australia: Qantas reaps record profits by slashing jobs and wages

By Terry Cook, 5 March 2016

Deep cuts have been imposed on the airline’s workers through a combination of intimidation and the collaboration of the trade unions.

IYSSE campaigns against war at universities in Australia and New Zealand

By our reporters, 5 March 2016

The IYSSE’s campaign initiated a serious discussion among broad layers of students about the socialist and internationalist alternative to the preparations for World War Three.

New Zealand: Five years after the Christchurch earthquake

By Tom Peters and Matthew Carrington, 1 March 2016

Thousands of residents have been abandoned by the government, which has protected the interests of big business, including the insurance industry.

Australian feminists deride public sympathy for family murder-suicide victims

By Patrick Kelly and Linda Tenenbaum, 29 February 2016

Public grief and sympathy provoked anger from feminist commentators, providing a revealing glimpse into the political role of identity politics.

Labor Party steps up demands for Australia to “stand up” to China

By James Cogan, 20 February 2016

Labor is serving as the catspaw of the US military establishment and seeking to dramatically ratchet up military tensions with Beijing.

Fiji orders second arms consignment from Russia

By John Braddock, 20 February 2016

Moves by Russia to establish itself as a Pacific power, in response to the US drive to dominate the region, will only heighten tensions in the Asia Pacific.

Global volatility triggers concerns about Australian banks

By Mike Head, 20 February 2016

The ongoing collapse of commodity prices has placed question marks over the exposure of the banks to losses in the resources sector.

Rising school costs deepen class divide in New Zealand education

By John Braddock, 16 February 2016

Public education is supposed to be free, but families are being pressured to give more money to schools every year.

Australian government-union conspiracy to sack “underperforming” teachers

By Richard Phillips, 15 February 2016

The unions have torn up teachers’ hard-won struggle for job security by implementing new anti-democratic inspection regimes and streamlined sacking procedures.

Trans-Pacific Partnership signed in New Zealand amid mass protests

By Tom Peters, 10 February 2016

The protest organisers do not speak for the working class but express the interests of less competitive sections of business that fear losing out to global rivals.

New Zealand to host signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership

By Tom Peters, 4 February 2016

New Zealand’s opposition parties are leading a nationalist campaign against the TPP, but the entire political establishment backs the country’s integration into US war plans against China.

New Zealand’s first Labour Party leader was no socialist: A reply to the pseudo-left ISO

By Tom Peters, 4 February 2016

The claim that NZ Labour was founded as a socialist party in 1916 is a fabrication designed to justify the pseudo-left’s support for this pro-imperialist party.

New Zealand government arrests alleged student loan defaulter

By Tom Peters, 27 January 2016

The arrest of Ngatokotoru Puna sets the stage for more attacks on thousands of students and former students, who owe a combined total of $14.8 billion.

US threatens to withdraw from major Pacific fisheries treaty

By John Braddock, 25 January 2016

The US withdrawal from the 27-year-old Tuna Treaty threatens to devastate the economies of many small island states.

Australian industrial court bans port strikes

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 January 2016

The ruling will likely be invoked by the union to strike a backroom deal with the port company.

Australian prime minister visits US military commander in Hawaii

By Mike Head, 23 January 2016

Over the past year, the admiral has played a vocal role in inflaming tensions with China, particularly over its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Obama thanks Australian prime minister for war efforts

By Peter Symonds, 20 January 2016

While the tone was not as strident as his predecessor, Turnbull’s underlying message was the same: full support for US militarism around the world.

Australian nickel refinery crisis threatens thousands of jobs

By Mike Head, 20 January 2016

The livelihoods of workers in the northern city of Townsville and the French colony of New Caledonia are imperiled by the threatened closure of the Queensland Nickel plant.

New Zealand court approves Kim Dotcom’s extradition to the US

By John Braddock, 8 January 2016

The ruling is a significant legal victory for the US and New Zealand’s National Party government, which has operated in concert with Washington throughout the affair.

Australian government seizes on trade union report to attack workers’ conditions

By Will Morrow, 7 January 2016

While the immediate target of the royal commission report is the trade unions, the real aim is to clear the way for a fundamental transformation of Australian industrial relations.

Deepening social crisis in New Zealand

By Jeremy Lin, 6 January 2016

A series of recent reports paint a grim picture of worsening poverty and social inequality.

Australia: Over 100 houses destroyed in Victorian bushfires

By Margaret Rees, 4 January 2016

Victoria has been hit by more than 2,500 bushfires since October but the hottest months, when the most dangerous fires usually occur, are still to come.

Private operator to run New Zealand capital’s rail service

By our correspondent, 31 December 2015

Despite the denials of the trade unions, rail workers face a new round of attacks on jobs and conditions.

Widespread abstention in New Zealand flag referendum

By Sam Price, 29 December 2015

The opposition to the referendum reflects hostility to the promotion of nationalism and militarism to divert attention from social inequality.

Australia: One year after the Sydney siege, the cover-up continues

By Richard Phillips and Peter Symonds, 28 December 2015

The investigations into the Lindt café tragedy over the past year are above all aimed at obscuring the role of the state apparatus, especially the intelligence agencies.

Inhumane conditions in privately run New Zealand prison

By Tom Peters, 19 December 2015

The government has been forced to announce that it will not renew Serco’s contract to run Mount Eden Prison.

Australian PM unveils plan for indefinite detention of “terrorists”

By Mike Head, 12 December 2015

Turnbull’s announcement came amid an intensive campaign by his ousted predecessor, Tony Abbott, to demonise Muslims and call for ground troops to be deployed to Syria and Iraq.