GPJA #365: Monday: Auck Forum on Govt cuts; Wgton protest against TPP




Monday, February 14, 6.30pm, Trades hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn

As New Zealand’s economy struggles to achieve anything like the output required to ‘catch Australia’, the sale of state assets is on the agenda yet again. The failed experiment of the 80s and 90s looks to be recycled in a one off attempt to lessen the deficit. The Fabian Society welcomes this timely visit by David Hall of the PSIRU, an expert in public service provision, particularly in the water, energy, waste management and healthcare sectors. David’s thesis is that, far from being a burden on society, public spending is an essential driving force, providing universal services for human development – healthcare, education, social security – and also the essential infrastructure making other economic activity possible, such as water, electricity, roads. David’s visit to New Zealand is sponsored by the Public Service Association. This free seminar. You can register here. If you know of others who may be interested, please use the ‘Tell a Friend’ feature on the registration page,


Meet at Midland Park, Monday 14 February , 12.45 pm , to march to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 195 Lambton Quay, Wellington

RELEASE THE TEXT of the Trans-Pacific Partnership! This is a call to all New Zealanders, to demand that the New Zealand Government release the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free-trade agreement. Negotiations are about to recommence in Chile, and the text remains under lock and key! Are you concerned about a so-called ‘free trade agreement’ negotiated in secret? A free-trade agreement across nine countries that would put a straightjacket around what policies and laws the government can adopt for the next 100 years? Are you worried about the effect this agreement will have on the price of medicines? To have greater access to mining licences? To end voluntary local content guidelines for media? To restrict Treaty settlements? Are you worried about increased privatisation of water, prisons, schools and hospitals? Are you worried about rules that would allow foreign investors to sue governments?

Join us again, to march on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to demand that the Government reveal what they are secretly bargaining in the name of all New Zealanders! This march will again have a visual theme, centred around the release of the Text. Organised by TPP Action Group, a collection of union members opposed to the TPP. For more information please email: tppactiongroup

We will bring placards . Feel free to bring your own too, and noisemakers! To find out more about the TPP, check out this excellent website: On behalf of the Wellington TPP Action Group


Coal Action Network Public Meeting: 7pm, Wed Feb 16, St John’s Church Hall, cnr Willis and Dixon Streets, Wellington

Speaker: Jeanette Fitzsimons, climate change campaigner, former co-leader of the Green Party. Why Come Along?

Government-owned Solid Energy and other coal companies want to mine the massive quantities of lignite, a low-quality brown coal, that lies under Southland farmland. They plan to turn it into briquettes, urea fertiliser, and synthetic diesel. Mining and processing lignite will cause extensive local pollution. Even worse, it will lead to huge greenhouse gas emissions. In her recent report Lignite and climate change: The high cost of low grade coal, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, estimates that there are at least 6 billion tonnes of economically recoverable lignite reserves in Southland. Using all this, as the mining companies intend, would lead to at least 8.7 billion tonnes of Co2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions – a huge increase in New Zealand’s emissions, and a significant increase in emissions on a global scale. Dr Wright, Parliament’s environmental watchdog, has called for the lignite to remain in the ground. But the Government, blinded by its love for "sexy coal", isn’t listening. Government-owned coalminer Solid Energy has just announced plans for a pilot briquetting plant in Southland. As far as they’re concerned, that’s just the beginning. Find out why lignite mining is such a huge issue for the future of this country. Find out what the Government and the mining companies are planning. Find out why they have to be stopped. And join the campaign to stop them. The Coal Action Network (CAN) is a network of climate campaigners committed to fighting the continuation of coal mining in Aotearoa New Zealand.

CAN’s objectives are to:

1. Phase out coal mining and coal usage within 20 years, initially by opposing new and expanded coal mines.

2. Promote a cultural change so that mining and using coal are unacceptable.

3. Work towards a society where people and the environment are not exploited for profit.

4. Be part of a just transition to a coal-free Aotearoa New Zealand.

To get involved, please email coalactionnetwork and ask to be put on our mailing list

Coal Action Network blog:


Sunday February 20th,10am – 4.00pm, Canterbury Community Law Centre, 281 Madras Street, Christchurch

A teach-in is being held to coincide with the first day of the NZ – US Partnership Forum being held in Christchurch February 20—22.

Speakers: Murray Horton, “Overview – why building a campaign is important”; Bill Rosenberg, “National Implications”; Jane Kelsey, “International Implications”. One of the most important issues in this year’s election is whether New Zealanders will end up as tenants in our own country (to quote the Prime Minister). The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a “free trade” agreement currently under negotiation between NZ and 8 other countries, including the U.S.The countries want to complete negotiation by the end of 2011.Trade is only a minor part of the agreement. That’s just a clever branding exercise. A TPPA would be an agreement that guarantees special rights to foreign investors. Decisions – For us, By us, Made here! More Information nznot4sale


Jace Hobbs, a Quaker human rights advocate now living in New Zealand, will give two free presentations at the Quaker Meeting House, 113 Mount Eden Road, Mount Eden. Contact phone Barbara 8468399.

Why They Must Run”, Saturday February 26th, 2-4pm

This is a multimedia and first hand exposition of the situation of the Hill Tribes of Burma and why tens of thousands of them have sought refuge in neighbouring Thailand. Jace will show secretly filmed video footage of the military inside Burma and of the courageous people who risk all to assist the internally displaced persons inside that country. The tale is inspirational and shows the very best and the worst of human action. Jace is the founder and director of the Orphaned Burmese Children’s Home, a registered non-profit organisation that builds school facilities inside the Pao/Shan refugee camps on the Thai side of the border with Burma. Information about this project is available on the website

Hawaii, the Once and Future Nation”, Monday February 28th, 7-9pm

This covers the history of the nation of Hawaii and the unique nature of its supposed annexation into the United States. A powerpoint presentation shows the facts surrounding the unlawful and deceitful military takeover of Hawaii in spite of treaty obligations and other international legal agreements. The life of the citizens of Hawaii is presented as well as the inspiring actions of a generation of activists advocating for a just restitution of national rights. You will be surprised at the culture, the legal footings of their claims, and the steadfastness of their efforts. Jace was the educational director for the Reinstated Kingdom of Hawaii, a group of several thousand Hawaiians who claim they have lawfully reinstated Hawaii and demand recognition for their status in the courts of the U.S. and soon in The Hague.


Friday, February 25 (6pm) to Saturday February 26 (8.30pm) at Bishop Viard College, 20 Kenepuru Drive, Porirua

“Working for the Common Good: Being Salt and Light”. To Register: Ann Williams, Catholic Centre, Wellington. a.williams or 04 4961777





Greetings, The Latin American Forums of Melbourne and Sydney invite you and /or your organisation to participate in the first solidarity tour to Bolivia organised from Australia. Under the leadership of President Evo Morales, Bolivia is one of the countries in Latin America that is undertaking a radical progressive change. Bolivia is moving from the unjust and exploitative neo liberal capitalist state to a new form of participative community democracy, where the needs of the people are put before the drive for profits for the minority.

We invite you to participate in this solidarity tour to meet activists from community, environmental, indigenous groups and unions and see for yourself how this transformation is taking place. See attached leaflet for more detail. Please note the deadline for expressions of interest. Please pass on this information to your contacts. Please direct all inquiries to John or Fred (details below)

In Solidarity, John Cleary +61 407500839 or email johncleary271 Fred Fuentes +61 412 556 527 or fred.fuentes


The deadline for applications for White Poppy Peace Scholarships for research during the 2011 academic is Friday, 11 February. The Peace Scholarships comprise at least two grants that are awarded each year to assist students at any tertiary education institution in Aotearoa New Zealand with research into: the impacts of militarism, militarisation and warfare; alternatives to militarism, militarisation and warfare; or collective non-violent responses to state violence. Each grant is a minimum of $1,000 – one is for a Maori or Moriori student, with the other/s open to any student with New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency. The Peace Scholarships are funded entirely by donations, including those collected during the White Poppies for Peace Annual Appeal (17 to 24 April). The number and amount of grants awarded annually is determined by the amount raised during each year.

* How to apply for a White Poppy Peace Scholarship: Guidelines for applicants are available at peacescholarship The deadline for applications for Peace Scholarships to assist with research in the 2011 academic year is Friday, 11 February 2011.


TPPWatch, a coalition of New Zealand unions, groups and individuals who oppose the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement has launched a “release the text” sign-on letter to Prime Minister John Key, via its webpage .

The trade talks are currently taking place in secret, despite many commentators across the political spectrum condemning the secrecy surrounding to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPPA) negotiations in Auckland last month.

“We are calling on the government to tell Kiwis what it is proposing to do in our name in these negotiations, and permit an open public debate on the proposed deal,” said TPPWatch spokesperson Andrew Campbell, the campaigns director for the finance workers union Finsec.

“This trade agreement could increase the cost of pharmaceuticals, limit government controls over tobacco sales and give new rights to foreign owners over land and strategic assets. We deserve to know what is going on,” said Campbell.

“The idea that binding and enforceable restrictions on future governments can be signed, sealed and delivered behind our backs is what happens in a dictatorship, not a democracy. If the government is so confident the deal is a good one then it should let us know what it is negotiating” said Campbell.

Campaigns are being launched across the TPPA countries to cast daylight on this deal, starting with release of the draft texts and country papers.

The sign on letter echoes broader demands from the peak union bodies in almost all the TPPA countries that all working texts are published after each round of negotiations, along with government position papers, on a neutral electronic forum that allows for a frank exchange of information and views.

“Three decades of free markets and free trade deals show that while big business tends to be the winner, workers and poor communities, who have no say in the process, pay the price. These secret deals have to stop.”

“We call on the government to secure agreement to basic rules for transparency during the next TPPA talks in Chile in mid-February,” said Campbell.

For further comment: Andrew Campbell 027-548-7006


The ACTU and NZCTU in conjunction with AFTINET (the union-supported Australian Free Trade and Investment Network ) have scheduled seminars in Sydney and Melbourne in March to inform union and community groups about the implications of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and to begin to organise campaigns. There will be speakers from both countries. Jane Kelsey is one of them, and I will be speaking at least at the Sydney event. The seminars are also open to community groups, and those with fewer than 6 paid staff are eligible for a “no fee” concession. Eligible community groups should note this on the form in the “billing address” section. Groups with concerns about the agreement or a wish to be better informed are encouraged to consider sending a representative to one of these seminars. Details are in the notice below, and a registration form is attached. Those wishing to attend do need to register.


"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word" – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder" – Percy Bysshe Shelley

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." – Thomas Paine



Auckland Solidarity March with the Egyptian Revolution

Video- Auckland Solidarity March with the Egyptian Revolution

A video of the GPJA Forum discussing- Where Now for the Egyptian Revolution? With speakers Muhamed Hassan, Egyptian Solidarity Movement Billy Hania, Palestinian Human Rights Campaign and Joe Carolan, Socialist Aotearoa filmed by MR News Aka Vincent Eastwood.

CTU: New Zealand must condemn anti-democracy violence in Egypt and Tunisia

Time for foreign troops to leave Afghanistan—president/tabid/417/articleID/197903/Default.aspx Video:—president/tabid/313/articleID/197903/Default.aspx

John Minto: National’s Economic Heresy & Labour’s Soft-Shoe Shuffle

Matt McCarten: Top salesman faces his stiffest sell on assets

Welfare shake-up labelled a ‘punishment’

NZEI: Government Sticks With Failed Education Policy

CPAG: Peter Dunne fails his Report Card

Greens: Social policy recipe for failure

Quake law ‘gives too much power to Govt’

Victor Billot: New Zealand is ripe for an alternative: a new Left party

Nats’ work-first welfare all stick and no carrot

UN rebukes New Zealand for child poverty and abuse

On the ongoing saga of prisoners’ right to vote

Families struggle to buy school uniforms

Simon Collins (NZH): Govt’s debt fixation ignores social ills, says church report

Full report:

NZEI: Skewed Govt Priorities Take Their Toll on Children/Families

Review call into ACC’s surgery rejections

Private Prison Contract Unethical – Wellington Community Law Centre

Key Government succumbs to US pressure over SAS says Green Party


Hone Harawira’s statements on his caucus suspension

Harawira unlikely to get a fair hearing

Gordon Campbell: On the martyrdom of Hone Harawira

Greens: Coastal select committee process a farce

John Minto: To The Front! Mischievous media and Hone Harawira at Waitangi


Minimum wage adjustment is woefully inadequate

Burger King worker keeps her job

BK worker stands by Facebook comments

Burger King worker stands by Facebook comments – Audio Radio Live

Appeal over BK’s final warning to unhappy Facebooker

Final Written Warning For Facebook Comments "outrageous"

Burger King worker stands by Facebook comments

Burger King Should Listen To Its Workers – All Power To Julie Tyler!

Facebook comment could cost job

Facebook support page for Julie!

BK tries to fire worker over Facebook post – Video

BK tries to fire worker over Facebook post (Updated)

Burger King ‘bullied’ staffer over Facebook post

Unite: BK worker faces sack over private facebook use

Unite: Union says BK trying to smear worker to hide its bullying

Majority of NZers want holidays Mondayised – TV3

Labour Floats New Collective Neg Idea

SkyCity strikes

SkyCity Strike – Auckland, New Zealand 1 Jan

Unite claims victory with empty casino tables

Finance Minister’s attack on public servants shows lack of ideas and integrity

Workers duped, left to starve

Greenpeace action continues in Port Taranaki


Rise in jobless rate stokes recession fear

Economy and workers lose out under low minimum wage increase

Keith Rankin: Jobless Recovery

Key backtracks, says foreign firms can sue NZ government under TPPA

Key must clarify disturbing report from Washington

The $47 billion rural hangover

No return on PPP investment

SOE overlooking local workers for loco engineering jobs

PSA: Government’s plan lacks vision and won’t work

Bryan Gould Named Patron Of Network To Fight Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Metiria Turei MP: For My Father (Address in Reply)

Radio story on NZ and investor-state disputes in TPPA

Cuts to our public services to pay for elite’s tax cuts

The productivity lie

Bank profits reward CEOs and shareholders – when is it Kiwis’ turn?

NZNO slams privatisation agenda

Negative PPP report no surprise says PPTA


Mad Men

Interview with China Miéville – Fantasy, science fiction, and politics


Revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt: How ‘spontaneous’ are they?

Stephen Jay Gould’s Critique of Progress Richard York and Brett Clark


Inequality, leverage and crises

The Wrong Crisis – The FCIC forgets the housing bubble Dean Baker


Climate Protection Strategy: Beyond Business as Usual


Letter from Kabul: The Great Afghan Bank Heist


Fuel backdown shows pressures

Wonders of the Coca Leaf


China, Vietnam and the islands dispute: What is behind the rise of Chinese nationalism?


Egyptian Protestors Furious As Mubarak Refuses to Step Down, After Reports He Planned to Give Up Power

Strike wave across Egypt: `The working class has entered the arena with full force’

Egypt’s army ‘involved in detentions and torture’

Historian Joel Beinin on the role of the labour movement

Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous on the Ground in Egypt

Why Mubarak is Out

A Revolutionary Movement and the Future of Egyptian (In)dependence – Challenging America’s Pharaoh

Egyptian Protests Grounded in Decades of Struggle; Portend Regional Transformation

Tea with Rashid Khalid on Egypt’s protests

The Egyptian Uprising Is a Direct Response to Ruthless Global Capitalism

Noam Chomsky: “This is the Most Remarkable Regional Uprising that I Can Remember”

Washington’s Coup D’état in Egypt

Egyptian Textile Workers Confront the New Economic Order

Whither Egypt? ACHCAR Gilbert, SULEHRIA Farooq

Seumas Milne: The forces unleashed in Egypt can’t be turned back

Robert Fisk: Blood and fear in Cairo’s streets as Mubarak’s men crack down on protests

Robert Fisk: Secular and devout. Rich and poor. They marched together with one goal

Fidel Castro: Mubarak’s fate is sealed

Workers hold key to uprising

From Stalemate to Checkmate – Meet Egypt’s Future Leaders

Egypt’s landless have no love for Mubarak – The president acquiesed a phase-out of the 1952 land reform, forcing millions of people off ‘their’ land

28 hours in the dark heart of Egypt’s torture machine – A blindfolded Robert Tait could only listen as fellow captives were given electric shocks and beaten by Mubarak’s security services


“Big Setback” for Haitian Democracy as U.S. Gets Its Way; Forces Runoff Elections Between Two Right-wing Candidates


Left-wing candidate declares ‘war on rich and unfair taxes’

When Irish Eyes Are Crying: First Iceland. Then Greece. Now Ireland, which headed for bankruptcy with its own mysterious logic. In 2000, suddenly among the richest people in Europe, the Irish decided to buy their country—from one another. After which their banks and government really screwed them. So where’s the rage?


Papua New Guinea: West Papuan refugees terrorised


Fateh disrupts Egyptian solidarity protest


The ANC government’s ‘talk left, walk right’ climate policy


Royalist right, ultra-nationalists want war with Cambodia


Around 7,000 came out for our demo in solidarity with the Egyptian people on Saturday. For a great slideshow of the demo

And here’s a roundup of various demos around the country issued by the ANSWER Coalition:


An Assessment of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution at Twelve Year
“We don’t Need Coca-Cola” Says Venezuela’s Chavez

Socialist People’s Power: An Essential Feature of Any Revolution



CAFCA is sending Murray Horton on an election year national speaking tour (something he last did in the 2002 election year). The title is New Zealand Not For Sale, providing an overview of foreign control (a hot topic at present, specifically the perennial issue of land sales); free trade deals, specifically the one with the US being negotiated now via the Trans Pacific Partnership; and what people can do about it. The aim is to raise grassroots awareness of these issues and CAFCA’s work in election year. The plan is for it to take place over two to three weeks in April, starting at the Roger Award event in Auckland at the beginning of that month, then heading south, getting home to Christchurch in Easter week.

Thus far, he has confirmed invitations for: Auckland, Whangarei, Hamilton, Thames, Whakatane, Napier, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Wellington, Blenheim, Nelson, Golden Bay and Dunedin. There are one or two other possibilities still being explored. Some venues may have to be done as separate one-off trips; just because they can’t be fitted into that time frame and they involve a long journey to get there (this is what Murray did during his 02 tour). It looks like a busy itinerary, so it may need to be done in more than one bite. If you would like to organise a meeting for Murray in your city or town or be otherwise involved with the tour, please contact CAFCA ASAP, by e-mail to cafca The itinerary will be worked out early in 2011 and publicity started shortly thereafter.


The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network invites you to observe first-hand the inspiring Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela. The sweeping social changes being carried out by Venezuela’s “people’s power” movements are radically transforming life for the majority in that country – workers, women, Indigenous people, young people and all those who have suffered the injustices of poverty, exploitation and exclusion that accompany corporate globalisation. Along the way, this remarkable revolution is showing the rest of the world that a more rational, socially just and sustainable future is possible.

A special feature of the 2011 May Day brigade will be the opportunity it offers to observe the developing workers’ participation and workers’ control that is a vital part of the Venezuelan revolution, with visits to worker-run factories and cooperatives, and meetings with trade union and community management representatives in a variety of sectors and regions. The brigadistas will also observe Venezuela’s grassroots democracy in action, with visits to the social missions, communal councils and communes. They will meet and speak with grassroots activists in the free, high-quality public health and education services; sustainable development projects; community controlled media; and women’s and Indigenous organisations. Joining the huge May Day rally in Caracas on May 1st will be a another highlight.

This brigade is the 12th solidarity and study tour organised by the AVSN. Participants’ reports and photos from previous brigades are available at

Registration and costs: The deadline for registering for the 2011 May Day solidarity brigade is February 28, 2011. Participants will need to book their own international airfares, but the AVSN can help with advice (please do not book without contacting us to confirm the dates). The AVSN will organise all accommodation, transport and English-Spanish translation for the brigade. People joining from Australia will need to budget for a total cost of $3500-4000, which will cover international return airfares (between $2200-2600 from Australia); all food, transport and accommodation (on a shared basis) during the brigade; and the brigade registration fee ($500 for workers or $300 for full-time students, unemployed and pensioners).

For more information about this or future brigades, please email brigades or phone Lisa Macdonald +61 413 031 108, Roberto Jorquera +61 425 182 994 or John Cleary +61 407 500 839.

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