Tax justice petition presented at Parliament

Tax justice petition presentation at Parliament, Wellington, 16 August 2011

Representatives of many supporting groups and unions attended the presentation of the Tax Justice petition to take GST off food and introduce a financial transactions tax, at Parliament Buildings in Wellington today.

The petition was received by Labour MP Su’a William Sio, and attended by Green and Mana MPs.

The Tax Justice campaign is a joint initiative of the Alliance Party and Socialist Worker.



Why New Zealanders are backing no GST on food campaign

A petition signed by 40 000 New Zealanders asking for GST to be removed from food will be presented at Parliament at noon tomorrow Tuesday 16 August 2011.

The petition also requests that a financial transactions tax – sometimes referred to as a “Robin Hood Tax” or “Hone Heke Tax” – be introduced, which would cover the cost of removing GST from food. Continue reading

Rail campaign Dunedin meeting attracts positive public response

A public meeting in South Dunedin to support the campaign to build new trains for Auckland in New Zealand workshops attracted around 50 people on Monday 12 July 2010.
The message they heard was that Dunedin people will have to stand up and fight to make this goal a reality, with this years local body elections and next years national elections providing an opportunity to apply political pressure.
Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) Hillside Branch Secretary Les Ingram, who works at Hillside, said an estimated 500 to 1200 extra jobs and nearly $500 million dollars in income were at stake.
“Dunedin cannot afford to let opportunities like this pass it by if we want to provide jobs for local people in the future.”
The RMTU were continuing their campaign and wanted to get across to the public how building rail units locally would provide a massive boost in jobs and income.
The Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) is supporting the RMTU campaign and MUNZ General Secretary Joe Fleetwood, visiting from Wellington, addressed the meeting on free trade issues.
He told the audience that they needed to get behind the Hillside workers campaign and demand that politicians listen.
He said the push for free trade policies was largely responsible for the situation where jobs were threatened due to unbalanced economic policies.
Both speakers agreed that the notion that New Zealand did not have the expertise to do the rail work was discredited nonsense.
Mr Ingram detailed previous work done at Hillside and his view was backed up by a retired engineer in the audience who recounted the many large scale projects other Dunedin firms have undertaken in the past.
The meeting was chaired by Victor Billot of the Alliance Party who said that highly skilled, high value jobs that would be created through building trains locally were exactly what was needed in New Zealand at the current time.
The approach of the National Government was reprehensible, he said.

Campaign to build trains in New Zealand holds public meeting in Dunedin

The campaign by rail workers to get new trains for Auckland built in New Zealand workshops is pushing ahead with a public meeting to be held in South Dunedin.

The meeting will be held on Monday 12 July at 7.30pm at the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind for Hall on the corner of Hillside Road and Law Street (entrance on Law Street.)

Speakers from two of New Zealand’s leading transport unions will give an update on the campaign and related transport issues, and explain how the public can support the campaign.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) National President, Jim Kelly, who works at Hillside, will update the meeting on the RMTU campaign to get the work done locally.

The expertise and equipment needed to undertake this work exists in New Zealand rail workshops in Dunedin and Lower Hutt, he says, but the Government and KiwiRail management want to take the work overseas.

Mr Kelly says New Zealand rail workers are skilled, experienced, and want to do this work.

A large part of the work could be done in workshops like Hillside and would provide an enormous boost for Dunedin’s economy.

The RMTU have gathered thousands of signatures on their campaign petition.

Mr Kelly will be joined by the General Secretary of the Maritime Union of New Zealand, Joe Fleetwood, who will speak on transport issues and the effect of free trade policies.

The RMTU and MUNZ signed a strategic union alliance charter earlier this year and are working together in the transport industry.

The meeting is open to the public and is being hosted by the Alliance Party who are backing the RMTU campaign.

Alliance spokesperson Victor Billot says public pressure is needed to change the irresponsible attitude of the National Government, away from free trade ideology towards maintaining high skilled jobs and industry in New Zealand at a time of high unemployment.

No GST on food – Join us for launch of tax justice campaign!

The nationwide campaign to remove GST from food and tax financial speculation is being launched this Saturday 22 May.

That’s two days after National’s budget where a hike in GST to fund tax cuts for the rich was announced.

All supporters of our tax justice campaign are welcome to attend the petition stalls organised by Socialist Worker ( and the Alliance (

Here are the times and venues for this Saturday’s petition stalls:

8am-10am, Whangarei Growers’ Market, Water Street

12noon-3pm, outside Onehunga Supermarket, cnr Church Street & Selwyn Street, Onehunga.

9am-3pm, Rotorua City Focus, Tutanekai Street.

9am-12noon, Chadwick Road (opposite the post office), Greerton.

11am-12noon, Lower Hutt Markets, Riverbank carpark.

11am, The Square (next to the chalice).

10am-12noon, The Octagon.

At the stalls we will be collecting signatures on the tax petition, which has the following wording:

We request Parliament to:
• Remove GST from food.
• Tax financial speculation.

The campaign has a website up and running, ‘No GST on Food’, go to Updates on the campaign will be posted there.

Alliance Public Meeting in Wellington Thursday 29 April

The Alliance Party is hosting a “3 speakers 3 issues” meeting in Wellington on Thursday 29 April. It’s free and open to the public.

Transport, water privatization and local government are three areas where there are major concerns for many people about the direction of New Zealand and its current National Government.

Three expert speakers will give short presentations on their topic, followed by a brief opportunity for questions.

The aim is to catch Wellingtonians on their way home for a convenient but informative political update, and to learn about ways in which they can influence what is going on.

Transport will be covered by Alliance transport spokesperson Trevor Hanson.

Mr Hanson is the former General Secretary of the Maritime Union of New Zealand and New Zealand Waterfront Workers’ Union.

He says the development of shipping and rail is the answer to the environmental and social backwardness of the National Government’s moves to promote heavy trucking.

Water is a basic necessity which we take for granted. But access to water is a growing global issue.

Maria McMillan of Right to Water, a Wellington based community group, will speak about how we can stop user pays and privatization of household water supply.

Local government has been in the news lately with the Auckland “Supercity” and the replacement of elected regional councillors in Canterbury with unelected appointees. Is local democracy under threat?

Wellington regional councillor Paul Bruce of the Green Party will discuss the issues.

The meeting will be held at 5.30pm at Connolly Hall, on Guildford Terrace off Hill Street, Thorndon, Wellington on Thursday 29 April 2010.

Parking is available.

For more information contact Alliance Party Wellington convener Jocelyn Brooks on (04) 3851936 or Alliance transport spokesperson Trevor Hanson on 021390585

Alliance Party Conference opens in Christchurch – open session on global economic crisis from Jim Flynn

The Alliance Party has opened in Christchurch this morning. The conference is at the Canterbury WEA Rooms at 59 Gloucester Street.

A public session will be held at 3pm, Saturday 17 October at the above venue, where Alliance Party finance and tax spokesperson Professor Jim Flynn will speak on the international economic recession.
Continue reading

Dunedin Anti-War Coalition

Amidst pouring rain on Saturday January 15th around 150 people gathered in Dunedin’s Octagon to show support for the people of Gaza during the latest hostilities from Israel.

Beneath banners calling for an end to the war a diverse group of protesters heard a speech from local Imam Sheikh Gamael, who spoke about the pain and suffering being inflicted on the civilians in Gaza. Also speaking were representatives of the International Socialist Organisation, the NZ Alliance Party, the Workers Party of
New Zealand and a member of the local Jewish community. Additionally, Christina Gibb spoke on her time as a member of the Christian Peacemakers team in Palestine. A moment of silence was observed for the 1,155 Palestinians who have died in the conflict so far.

Several local political activists criticised the Israeli aggression, and signatures were taken for a letter addressed to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully, calling on the Government to sever diplomatic relations with Israel if it did not immediately withdraw its troops from Gaza.

Over $770 was raised from donations for the Christian World Service, whose Palestinian partner has been trying to provide medical aid and supplies to the besieged people of Gaza.

Speech given by Matthew Stephen to the demonstration in support of Gaza:

My name is Matthew Stephen and I’m a member of the Alliance Party. I just have a few words to say about the events in Gaza and New Zealand’s role, and the disgraceful conduct of our National-led Government.

Murray McCully and John Key have steadfastly refused to denounce Israel’s aggression. Palestinians are being slaughtered in their hundreds and New Zealand has “refused to take sides”. Well I think we should take sides – we should take sides with every civilian man, woman and child being bombed and killed. We should take the sides of those thrown out of their homes. We should take the sides of the millions forced to live in refugee camps. We should take the side of those fighting to defend their homes from demolition. We should take the sides of those fighting a racist state in defence of equal rights for Jews and Arabs.

If our National Government had any moral credibility New Zealand would cut diplomatic ties with Israel like Venezuela and Bolivia have done. The New Zealand Governments cut its ties with Israel when Mossad agents were caught with counterfeit kiwi passports, but it won’t when hundreds of people are being murdered. Evo Morales, the socialist president of Bolivia, is filing charges of crimes against humanity the Israeli Prime Minister, and New Zealand should stand up for the human rights of the people of Palestine and not the
chauvinist right of Israel to murder its enemies with impunity. New Zealand should expel the Israeli ambassador and fight to bring the Israeli government to justice. Continue reading