New Zealand

JB Hi-Fi staff at the company’s Wellington store have engaged in a series of strikes and protests as part of a campaign by the Unite union to win higher wages for retail workers. The strikes are the first at one of the company's stores in either Australia or New Zealand in over 27 years of the company's history.

The Unite Union has been negotiating with JB Hi-Fi management for over six months for a collective agreement but the Australian bosses are refusing to raise wages for staff this year.

The Residents’ Action Movement has been growing rapidly in the last month (with around 100-300 people joining per week) as a result of the popularity of their key campaign — to remove the 12.5% goods and services tax on food.

Below is a statement from the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Visit http://space4peace.org.

In a May 1 statement, Socialist Worker-New Zealand hailed the developing revolution in Venezuela, arguing it would have a profound impact on not just world politics, but on the international socialist movement. It urged all socialists to relate to the mass revolutionary movement headed by President Hugo Chavez, and in particular expressed solidarity with the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), a party of revolutionary militants being constructed to advance the revolution. SW-NZ urged socialists around the world to build solidarity with the revolution and seek to use the inspiration and example of the gains in Venezuela to advance the global struggle for “socialism of the 21st Century”.

Green Left Weekly’s Bronwyn Jennings, spoke with Vaughan Gunson, an activist with Socialist Worker (Aotearoa), which actively participates in the Residents Action Movement, about RAM’s activities in defence of peoples’ rights and against corporate greed.

Starting on October 15, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service officers and police began raids on the homes of environmental, unionist and Maori activists in an unprecedented police action allegedly in response to a “terrorist” threat. Peter Robson from Green Left Weekly spoke to New Zealand-based activist Joe Carolan, who is involved with the Civil Rights Defence Committee (CRDC), the Solidarity union, and is a member of the national executive of Socialist Worker, about the raids and who is affected by them.

Carrying signs reading “Police are the real terrorists” and “Free all political activists”, up to 1000 people rallied outside the Rotorua District Court on October 25 to protest against police raids that resulted in the arrest of 17 people a week earlier, as three of those arrested had their court cases transferred to Auckland.

Sam Watson, a Queensland Murri leader and a Socialist Alliance Senate candidate in the coming Australian federal elections, condemned the recent raids by New Zealand police on the homes of Maori and other social movement activists, in the following statement released on October 24.

Across the board, the right made gains in Greater Auckland’s council elections at the expense of both the political centre (Labour-aligned tickets) and the grassroots left (notably RAM — the Residents Action Movement).

Two-hundred people protested outside the Wellington District Court on October 17 to protest the arrest of four Wellington men appearing in the court following massive police raids on the homes of many social activists two days earlier, according to a NarcoNews.com article by Julie Web-Pullman. Aotearoa Indymedia reported on October 17 that 80 people protested in Christchurch and 30 in Melbourne on October 16, and 50 protested in Rotorua and 30 in Sydney the following day.

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