GPJA #490 (1 of 2): What’s on & News in Aotearoa



Tuesday, February 11, 5.30pm-7pm, Guildford Terrace, Connolly Hall, Thorndon, Wellington
Fabian Society Seminar: “Single buyer model for electricity – structure and numbers”. Labour and the Greens have proposed inserting a single buyer into the wholesale level of the New Zealand electricity market, as a means of forcing a reduction in electricity prices to final consumers. Geoff Bertram discusses how such a single buyer could be structured to exercise effective control over prices and asset values in the industry while avoiding several obvious pitfalls, and what the numbers might look like. Labour and the Greens have proposed inserting a single buyer into the wholesale level of the New Zealand electricity market, as a means of forcing a reduction in electricity prices to final consumers. Geoff Bertram discusses how such a single buyer could be structured to exercise effective control over prices and asset values in the industry while avoiding several obvious pitfalls, and what the numbers might look like.

Thursday, February 13, 7pm, Unite Theatre, 6a Western Springs Rd, MorningsideFILM: The Square. The Egyptian Revolution has been an ongoing rollercoaster over the past two and a half years. Through the news, we only get a glimpse of the bloodiest battle, an election, or a million man march. At the beginning of July 2013, we witnessed the second president deposed within the space of three years.

Now a Counter Revolution is in effect, Socialist Aotearoa host this film to provoke discussion about what we can learn from the Egyptian experience. The Square is an immersive experience, transporting the viewer deeply into the intense emotional drama and personal stories behind the news. It is the inspirational story of young people claiming their rights, struggling through multiple forces, in the fight to create a society of conscience. "We go to the square to discover that we love life outside it, and to discover that our love for life is resistance."

Thursday, February 13, 5.30pm, Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington

Thursday, February 20, 7pm, Unite Theatre, 6a Western Springs Rd, Morningside
When the gay community fought back against the police and led to the start of Pride Parades in the US

Tuesday, February 25, 7.45-9am, St John’s Church Hall, Cnr Willis and Dixon Sts.
Start the Day for Equal Pay: A breakfast fundraiser to support. Email Suzanne McNabb suzanne.mcnabb or Nanette Cormack nanette.cormack to secure your ticket now. $20 for breakfast; $25 for breakfast and a glass of champagne; $10 for caregivers; $20 for a “solidarity” ticket if you can’t make it but want to show your support.

Saturday, May 10, 7.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington.
DREAMS LIE DEEPER – A CONCERT COMMEMORATING MINERS EVERYWHERE. The Orpheus Choir of Wellington, the city’s much-acclaimed symphonic choir, has programmed a major concert entitled Dreams Lie Deeper, as a tribute to miners the world over. It brings together three premières of choral music dedicated to miners, inspired by historical events that recall the tragedies, the struggles and also the rejoicing when rescue from a mining disaster was achieved. The theme of the evening will be dedicated to mining communities and a commemoration of events that have irrevocably changed the course of their lives. The major work in the programme is the New Zealand première of 17 Days, by young UK composer James McCarthy. He was commissioned to compose a piece by Crouch End Festival Chorus, dedicated to the dramatic rescue of the Chilean miners in 2010. The work was premiered in the Barbican Theatre London in 2011 and received a standing ovation; a second performance last year was received with the same acclamation. It is a very moving expression of the tremendous emotion the whole world felt during those 17 days when the miners were underground and no word had yet been heard from them. At our concert, the award-winning Wellington Brass Band and Wellington Young Voices, a recently established children’s choir in the city, join us in this very powerful presentation. The second première is If Blood Be the Price, a work by New Zealand composer Ross Harris, inspired by the 1912 Waihi Miners’ Strike, and is set to a poem by NZ Poet Laureate Vincent O’Sullivan. The significance of the tragic consequence of the industrial action by those Waihi workers is indelibly written into mining history in this country, and the performance will be an evocative reminder of the working life of those who work under the ground. The final focus of "Dreams Lie Deeper" will be on the tragedy that threw a whole community into turmoil and brought their plight into every New Zealand household overnight – the Pike River Mine disaster. The concert will showcase a new work by high profile and well-loved singer/songwriter, Dave Dobbyn, who has been commissioned to write both the lyrics and music for a tribute to the miners who lost their lives in the tragedy of 2011.


Guy Standing, author of The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class in 2011 who spoke at several events in New Zealand early this year, is coming back to NZ in February 2014. His new book A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens is due to be published in April 2014. See here. This will focus more on ‘what can be done’.

  • Auckland: Monday 24th February, 2-4pm, The University of Auckland, Owen G Glen Building, Grafton Road, OGGB 5 on Level 0. Hosted by University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology.
  • Wellington: Wednesday, February 26, 12.30-1.30pm, Lecture Theatre 2, Ground Floor, Rutherford House, Bunny St.


The story of New Zealand’s Social Security Act of 1938 is one of our great stories.

And now that whole story is coming up on stage in Wellington in Once We Built A Tower.

It starts in the Waitaki valley, North Otago.

In 1928 a hydro dam was being built across the Waitaki river, near Kurow, with hillside camps to accommodate its work-force.

Waitaki River Hydro Dam

A Waitaki Hydro Medical Association was established as a health insurance scheme for the workers and their families and a doctor, Gervan McMillan, employed as medical officer.

Dr McMillan began bumping into the local Presbyterian minister and subsequent Party leader Arnold Nordmeyer, and the headmaster of Kurow District High, Andrew Davidson.

All three were Presbyterians, committed Christians believing in practical Christianity.

It was the time of the great slump. The trio discussed the hardship and desperation that the people of the Waitaki valley and the whole of the country were suffering.

They came up with a plan for national welfare based on the medical scheme operating at the dam. The doctor presented this to the Labour Party in 1934 who endorsed it as Labour’s Social Security platform.

The following year the doctor and the minister stood as Labour Party candidates in the General Election and were elected in a Labour landslide.


… Then came the hard work bit.

Labour had won control of the treasury benches, but New Zealand was a country devastated by economic depression and with a stubbornly entrenched ruling class opposed to reform.

It took three years of hard graft by the doctor and the Presbyterian minister before the Labour government finally passed legislation aimed at ending poverty in New Zealand.

Set in the 30s, Once We Built A Tower takes us back to Labour’s roots—and with fabulous music: “It’s only a Paper Moon,” “Pennies from Heaven,” “Brother Can You Spare a Dime.”

A hydro dam is constructed on stage.

There’s a power station so cathedral-like it requires Gregorian Chant.

There’s the winner of the Miss New Zealand contest 1928 who goes to Los Angeles and a studio engagement at MGM but is disappointed, saying it’s all sex and drink and she doesn’t drink… There’s Frances Nordmeyer, who keeps seeing the 19th century prophet Te Maiharoa…

Best of all, there’s Ethel McMillan, wife of fast-movin’, hard-talkin’ Dr. Gervan, who once wrote of her husband, “Had I known he would turn out to be a flaming red revolutionary, I probably never would have married him!”

You couldn’t make it up! Socialist miserabilism it’s not!

Presented by 2013 Chapman Tripp Theatre Critics’ Award winners (“Guts, Determination, Kiwi Ingenuity and Inspired Profligacy with Zero Budget”) The Bacchanals, it’s a great night out!

Once We Built a Tower, Bats theatre, Wellington, March 11-15.

From the director of the Greens Election Campaign Advert in 2011, Anton Steel, comes a community resourced feature film based on the anti-mining protests in the Coromandel in the 1980s The film depicts how a disparate community coming together united to defy the government & multinational mining operations. This film is an action-comedy that is light hearted but opens the door to the debates around current decisions being made by government in relation to mining & drilling. Anton plans to release this film in October this year, pre-election. This film is being made completely differently from the conventional film making methods – it’s got a zero budget and we’re using an Asset Based Community Development model, drawing on the strengths, talents and resources of the community around us and our wider networks to support its production. This is where you come in – we’d love to invite you to financially contribute ($5 upwards) to this film being made – here’s a link to a video for more details. Anton & Kylie Steel Ph: 027 2867993,


We want an independent Aotearoa, based on policies of economic, military and political self-reliance, using Aotearoa’s resources for the benefit of the people of Aotearoa. This country needs people power to let the world know that Aotearoa is not for sale. Murray Horton, spokesperson for the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) and the Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC), will speak on:

  • People’s Rights Before Corporate Profit
  • Public Service Not Private Profit
  • An Independent Foreign Policy
  • No Unjust Secret Treaties

See below for the national itinerary (as of January 2014). Full details will be publicised when all the details have been finalised. You can check out details of this speaking tour (such as venues, speaking times and local contact people) at


  • Monday March 31 – Dunedin
  • Tuesday April 1 – Timaru
  • Wednesday April 2 – Ashburton
  • Monday April 14 – Takaka
  • Tuesday April 15 – Nelson (2013 Roger Award event)
  • Wednesday April 16 – Blenheim
  • Monday May 5 – Auckland
  • Tuesday May 6 – Whangarei
  • Wednesday May 7 – Kaitaia
  • Monday May 12 – Hamilton
  • Tuesday May 13 – Te Awamutu
  • Wednesday May 14 – Thames
  • Thursday May 15 – Waihi
  • Monday May 19 – Ohope & Opotiki
  • Tuesday May 20 – Gisborne
  • Wednesday May 21 – Clive
  • Thursday May 22- Palmerston North
  • Monday May 26 – Whanganui
  • Tuesday May 27 – Paekakariki
  • Wednesday May 28 – Wellington

CAFCA & ABC, Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa, Foreign Control Watchdog, Anti-Bases Campaign. Box 2258, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand cafca / abc / / / / Facebook (CAFCA) / Watchblog: / twitter:@NZN4S / Facebook (ABC)

Applications for White Poppy Peace Scholarships for research during the 2014 academic year opened today, Human Rights Day, on the sixty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
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 the costs of research that includes analysis of one or more of these topics: the impacts of militarism, militarisation, military deployment and / or warfare; alternatives to militarism, militarisation, military deployment and / or warfare; opposition to militarism, militarisation, military deployment and / or warfare; military recruitment practices and messaging; state construction of national identity based on militarism and militarisation; the military-industrial complex; or media coverage of militarism, militarisation, military deployment and / or warfare. Research may be on the historical and / or present-day aspects of any of the above topics. Information about how to apply for, and support, the Peace Scholarships is included below.
Links: On Facebook – Formatted version –


Dear friends of Venezuela, Attached info In solidarity, Lisa Macdonald


Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network. Registrations are now open for the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s 2014 solidarity tour to revolutionary Venezuela.

The tour – to run from Tuesday December 2nd to Saturday December 13th (inclusive) – will be a unique an opportunity to observe first-hand, learn about and be inspired by a grassroots movement that is transforming not only Venezuela, but all of Latin America, and is challenging the greed and destructiveness of global capitalism by showing that a better world is possible.

Since 1998, Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution has achieved remarkable things by putting control of the nation’s politics and economy back into the hands of the poor majority. Despite the challenges created by the United States-backed opposition’s campaign to stall and destroy the revolution, this people-powered process of change continues to flourish.

The 2014 study tour is the 15th international delegation to Venezuela organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network. The detailed itinerary will be planned over coming months, but the 12-day tour will include visits to social missions, communal councils and communes, as well as production cooperatives, agro-ecology projects, public health and education services, community controlled media, and women’s and Indigenous organisations and projects.

The delegation will meet with a wide range of grassroots organisations, community activists and government representatives to learn more about the participatory democracy and “socialism of the 21st century” being created by the Venezuelan people.

Accommodation and transport within Venezuela, and English-Spanish translation throughout the brigade, will be organised for all participants by the AVSN. Participants will need to book their own international airfares (we advise that you talk to the AVSN before purchasing your tickets).

In addition to your international airfare, you will need to budget for approximately $1200. This will cover your brigade registration fee ($500 for waged workers or $350 for students/pensioners), and your food, transport and accommodation for the 12 days in Venezuela.

The registration deadline is October 3, 2014.

For a registration form or more information, please email: info , or phone Jim on 0423 741 734, Roberto on 0425 182 994 or Lisa on 0413 031 108.


Why this is important. Freedom for Five Cuban anti-terrorists unjustly imprisoned in the US.

The objective of the Five was to protect innocent lives in Cuba. The Cuban Five collected evidence of terrorists’ plots from Cuban American groups in Miami, which was then presented to the FBI. On June 17, 1998, a historic meeting was held in Havana. There, Cuban officials implored U.S. law enforcement officials to act on evidence presented, in order to end the cycle of terror. Instead of arresting the terrorists, the FBI rounded up the Cuban Five.

Fernando González, René González, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández, and Ramón Labañino were arrested on September 12, 1998, and placed in solitary confinement for 17 months. They were charged with failure to disclose themselves as foreign agents, to several counts of conspiracy. The Cuban Five were denied the right to an unbiased jury trial. The jury was intimidated, witnesses were bullied by the prosecution, and defense lawyers were denied access to some evidence. The Cuban Five were unjustly sentenced to four life terms and 75 years collectively.



Israel funds Batsheva troupe to white-wash crimes

GPJA: Boycott Israel’s Batsheva Dance Troupe ott-israels-batsheva-dance-troupe/

Waihopai Ploughshares: Crown drops damages claim

In the line of protest: Sixteen-year-old Scott Hita uses some of his spare time to lay under moving trucks.

Myths of nationhood: why I’m not "celebrating" Waitangi Day

Editorial: PM’s pot-shot attacks on Harawira unjustified

Warning about worsening water quality

GCSB deleted key evidence – Dotcom

Gordon Campbell on National’s election fling with NZ First

Auditor General’s immigration report a wake-up call

UN issues NZ 155 human rights tasks

Waihopai damages action dropped

Waihopai protest: Thanks Kim Dotcom

Deflated Dome after protest action

‘People’s power’ ends motorway madness

Gordon Campbell on Housing as an Election Issue

DOC needs extra money to protect native wildlife

Hone Harawira: Response to Prime Minister’s Speech

Brian Rudman: Principals who extort fees need re-educating

More people keep working after ‘retirement’ age


Poverty shaming students By Martyn Bradbury

Why Inequality Is On The Agenda

Right wing blogger makes fool of herself By Mike Treen


Matt McCarten: Rose-tinted view cruel fairy tale

Unite National Secretary Matt McCarten

Lies, damned lies and statistics

Roy Morgan Poll: Unemployment and Under-employment up in New Zealand! – See more at:

Electricity Authority brief based on flawed economic model

Brian Gaynor: Why everyone likes trading in our money

Obama’s ‘State of the Union’ downplays TPPA and Fast Track on Slow Burner, time to suspend the negotiations

CTU: Reserve Bank shouldn’t raise interest rate

Hillside was the heart of working class in the South: This is the transcript of a speech given at the anniversary of the closure of Kiwirail’s Hillside workshop in Dunedin by Andrew Tait on Friday 20th December, 2013.

State housing shake-up: Lease up on idea of ‘house for life’

Brian Fallow: Govt’s TPP benefit figures in doubt

Report claims TPP gains have been overstated

Jane Kelsey: National Government loses $5 billion-plus fig leaf for TPPA

The TPP’s economic benefits are less than a quarter of those the government has claimed – and the proposed trade deal would impose serious costs.


McD’s Kaikohe: No Air Conditioning – No Workers

Minimum wage debate: $14 an hour ‘not fair’

Aged care workers rally for gender pay equality

More join the fight for better pay for caregivers

SFWU: Caregivers equal pay case now “unstoppable” -business/9687310/Pay-spat-puts-spotlight-on-wider-issue

New Blog: Bad Employers and Employment Practices

Union head fights for forest safety

Workplaces are safer with a trained health and safety representative

Serious incident on fishing vessel confirms fears

South Auckland liquor shop accused of exploitation

Solidarity With Exploited Migrant Workers – Joe Trinder from MANA speaks

Pike River Manslaughter – review of ‘Tragedy at Pike River Mine:How and why 29 men died`By Wayne Hope

Helen Kelly: Is it always better late than never?

CTU welcomes launch of review into forestry safety

The real working life of a chef: a view from the inside

Christchurch: $1m for council to pay ‘living wage’

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