New Zealand

The tasteless joking between immigration minister Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Tony Abbott about the threat of rising sea levels to Pacific Islands — caught on a microphone after the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) meeting — sums up the Australian government's attitude to the victims of its climate inaction. The 46th PIF leaders' meeting in Port Moresby ended without reaching agreement on a united position to take to the Paris climate summit later this year. Pacific Island leaders could not convince Australia and New Zealand to agree on more ambitious targets.
There were huge protests against the Trans-Pacific Partnership held across New Zealand on August 15. About 10,000 protesters marched in Auckland, 5000 in Wellington, 4000 in Christchurch and thousands more in other parts of the country. The TPP is a free trade deal being negotiated by countries on the Pacific rim: the US, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and Japan. These countries represent about 40% of global GDP.

Photo: Unite.org.nz New Zealand's Unite Union, which organises fast food, hospitality and retail workers, announced a big win on May 1 with McDonald's finally agreeing to join Burger King and Restaurant Brands and cease using controversial “zero hour” contracts.

Photo: Unite.org.nz. Striking McDonald’s workers took part in marches and pickets in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin on April 15, with many speaking to the crowds and media about the hardship of living with insecure work and income.
Near the heartland of New Zealand’s renowned wine country, there is a place where visitors are not allowed to go. The peculiar large white domes that protrude from the earth in the Waihopai Valley are surrounded by razor wire and shrouded in secrecy.
Staring down scandals related to revelations in a recently published book, Dirty Politics, and revelations of mass government surveillance, incumbent Prime Minister John Key led his right-wing National Party to become the first party with an outright majority in parliament since the current electoral system was set up in 1996. The Labour opposition, however, slumped to about 24% of the vote ― its worst result ever.
Laila Harre, the leader of the newly formed Internet Party, told a September 16 stop-work meeting in west Auckland organised by the FIRST and Unite unions, that state spying was not due to concerns about terrorism, but to target people who “organise for change”.
John Minto is a veteran New Zealand activist who became known as a leader of a powerful anti-apartheid campaign in the 1970s. More recently, he was part of organising some of the largest pro-Palestine demonstrations ever in New Zealand.
Immediately after the September 15 “Moment of Truth” public meeting — in which NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed John Key’s National Party government complicity in the wholesale, and illegal, surveillance of New Zealanders — Internet MANA candidate in the September 20 elections, Joe Carolan, spoke to Green Left on the meeting’s significance.
It is a story that will be familiar to many residents of the Sydney suburb Millers Point: a suburb with long-standing public housing that provides affordable accommodation to low-income residents is at the centre government attempts, at the behest of property developers, to remove public housing tenants and free up land that just happens to feature prime water-side views.

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