New Zealand

Fighting Covid: the police or workers' control?

A new campaign was launched on 14 November, called ZeroCovid. It takes up full isolation pay and public-sector Test and Trace, two of the demands raised by campaigns like Safe and Equal, and it is backed by a number of left-wingers, notably in and around the SWP. Yet its chief demand is a “full” and indefinite lockdown of everything which is not “absolutely essential” until we get to zero or “near-zero” infections. And its second demand is for international travel to be “reduced to an absolute minimum”. As we shall see, that means closing borders. The model for ZeroCovid “working” is New...

Virus: indict the Tories!

Of people who test positive for the virus and should self-isolate, only 20% or fewer are doing so fully. That’s an official estimate. No one knows what percentage of people who are identified as contacts of the infected — and may be infectious themselves, without having symptoms — are self-isolating. Most people asked to self-isolate get no or minimal isolation pay, so isolated properly is economically difficult or impossible. Of those who do self-isolate, many can do so only in overcrowded housing. However careful they are, they’re likely to infect others there. In New Zealand, the government...

The pandemic in New Zealand

There has been no community transmission of Covid-19 here in New Zealand since early April. The only cases currently being identified are New Zealanders returning from overseas, who are being detected in border quarantine facilities. Life is essentially back to normal. Workplaces, shops, pubs, sports etc have all been back to business as usual for about a month. We can travel freely around the country.

Muslim women, the veil and the Christchurch massacre

Marieme Helie Lucas, an Algerian socialist feminist, has written this open letter: to people of good will, solidarising with victims of the Christchurch massacre; to the New Zealand Prime Minister; and to the management of Mount Royal University, Calgary, Canada. In response to massacres perpetrated by extreme-right white supremacists in two mosques in New Zealand on 15 March 2019, several symbolic actions took place that aimed at conveying to Muslims — who were attacked as such, since they were praying in the mosque when it happened – that they could count on their fellow citizens’ solidarity...

After Christchurch, organise against far right

Friday 15 March was a day of contrast in both Australia and New Zealand – exuberance and militant action by students striking for climate action in both Australia; followed immediately by immense sadness, horror and anger at the mass murder by a fascist at a mosque in Christchurch. The apparent attacker, an Australian, made it clear in his manifesto that the murders were inspired by white supremacist neo-Nazi ideology. He was on no police or security service list, nor known to socialist or anarchist anti-fascists who monitor the right’s social media and other publicity. Apparently he was...

Tūmanako*: New Zealand’s Labour-led government

Twenty-six days after a general election, and on the eve of the Labour Day holiday weekend, (21-23 October) Aotearoa (New Zealand) has a new Labour-led coalition government. New Zealand’s Labour Day public holiday was celebrated for the first time in 1900. The Liberal government of the day offered the new public holiday instead of acceding to labour movement demands for a lawful eight-hour working day. It is poignant that it was this weekend when we learned our wish to be rid of the outgoing National (Tory) government meant swallowing the rat of a coalition government with the nationalist New...

NZ schools go gender-neutral

New Zealand’s secondary school teachers’ union has called on all schools to offer gender-neutral uniform, toilet and changing-room options. All students should be able to “choose from a range of shorts, trousers, skirts of different lengths and styles, with both tailored and non-tailored interchangeable shirts... access to specific uniform items [should not be] not limited on the basis of biological sex or perceived gender identity”. The union also calls on schools to provide “individual toilet and shower units with lockable doors and floor-to-ceiling divisions” and “options for students to...

How New Zealand workers took on the fast food companies, and won

This article is republished, with permission, from the Unite website here. Workers in the fast food industry in New Zealand scored a spectacular victory over what has been dubbed “zero hour contracts” during a collective agreement bargaining round over the course of March and April this year. The campaign played out over the national media as well as on picket lines. The victory was seen by many observers as the product of a determined fight by a valiant group of workers and their union, Unite. It was a morale boost for all working people after what has seemed like a period of retreat for...

New Zealand McDonald's workers beat zero-hours contracts

Unite Union has reached an agreement with McDonald's over ending zero hour contracts and other issues in dispute with the company. "This is a historic agreement" says Unite National Director Mike Treen. "Now all the of the major fast food chains have committed to ending zero hours. This is the culmination of a decade long campaign for secure hours by Unite Union. It will be welcomed tens of thousands of workers in the fast food industry and hundreds thousands more who will ultimately benefit in other industries. It represents a fundamental shift in the employment relationship of the most...

The battle over Anzac Day

25 April 2015 will be the 100th anniversary of the landings by British, French, Australian, and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli, in Turkey, in an unsuccessful effort to seize Constantinople (now Istanbul) during World War One. More than any other imperialist sally, this one has become a nationalist legend. This article by Tom O’Lincoln, abridged with thanks from the Australian socialist newspaper Red Flag, recounts the history. From 1916, 25 April was officially named Anzac Day. Australian troops marched in London, and a sports day was held in the Australian camp in Egypt. In the Sydney march...

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