Australia and New Zealand

Fire risk in most New Zealand high-rise buildings

By Tom Peters, 21 July 2017

Following the Grenfell Tower inferno in London, experts in New Zealand have warned of the potential for a similar disaster.

New Zealand bus workers threatened with pay and job cuts

By our correspondents, 18 July 2017

The Greater Wellington Regional Council is seeking to slash wages under a deal with Tranzit Group.

Pseudo-lefts promote Corbyn as model for New Zealand Labour Party

By John Braddock and Tom Peters, 13 July 2017

Ahead of the national election in September, New Zealand’s pseudo-lefts are seeking to revive illusions in the Labour Party, which is widely seen by workers as a pro-business and pro-war party.

New Zealand Labour Party deepens anti-immigrant campaign

By John Braddock, 4 July 2017

Labour’s proposals, which blame foreigners for the worsening social crisis, are a sign of the right-wing agenda being advanced in the coming election campaign.

New Zealand: Mana Party leader calls for Chinese drug smugglers to be “executed”

By Tom Peters, 30 June 2017

The Maori nationalist party, which is supported by New Zealand’s pseudo-left groups, is joining the Labour Party and NZ First in seeking to whip up anti-Chinese sentiment.

New Zealand: Police suppressed images of bodies in Pike River mine

By Tom Peters, 29 June 2017

Families of the 29 men who died in the 2010 mine disaster have obtained footage showing at least two intact bodies in the mine.

The way forward for New Zealand meat workers

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 27 June 2017

A struggle to defend jobs and conditions is only possible through a break with the Meat Workers Union and the Labour Party, the formation of independent workplace committees and a political fight based on a socialist and internationalist program.

New Zealand: Public Service Association complicit in Auckland library job cuts

By Sam Price, 20 June 2017

The union has worked hand-in-hand with the Labour Party-controlled Auckland Council to eliminate around 194 jobs.

Library staff cut in New Zealand’s biggest city

By Sam Price, 19 June 2017

Just months after the election of former Labour Party leader Phil Goff as mayor, Auckland libraries are cutting staff in a cost-saving restructure.

New Zealand government to raise retirement age

By Tom Peters and Daniel Bradley, 15 June 2017

Commentary on last month’s budget did not mention government plans to raise the superannuation entitlement age from 65 to 67.

A reply to ANZAC Heroes author, Maria Gill

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 14 June 2017

Gill objected to the WSWS review of her book and claimed that she was an “anti-war person.”

US secretary of state visits New Zealand to counter China

By Tom Peters, 9 June 2017

New Zealand’s government has aligned itself more closely with the US military encirclement of China and threats of war against North Korea.

New Zealand: Wellington transport workers face attacks on jobs and conditions

By our correspondents, 6 June 2017

The Labour Party-dominated Wellington Council has awarded bus and rail contracts to private operators to cut costs at the expense of workers.

New Zealand budget deepens austerity

By Tom Peters, 3 June 2017

The election-year budget, fraudulently portrayed as a boon for working families, deepens the assault on health, education and other basic services.

New Zealand: Ashburton meat works closure threatens 370 jobs

By Tom Peters, 26 May 2017

The Meat Workers Union has accepted the closure of Silver Fern Farms’ factory in the South Island town, which is part of a wave of job cuts and attacks on meat workers.

Agreement terms expose New Zealand meat union’s sellout at Taylor Preston

By Tom Peters, 18 May 2017

The pro-company agreement pushed through by the Meat Workers Union entrenches poverty wages and gives Taylor Preston sweeping powers to cut hours and sack workers to boost profits.

New Zealand: Police suppressed video recorded in Pike River mine

By Tom Peters, 17 May 2017

Families of the 29 men who died in the 2010 Pike River Coal mine disaster spoke to the WSWS about their outrage that footage showing it is possible to re-enter the mine was withheld for six years.

Library jobs cut in New Zealand’s biggest city

By Sam Price, 13 May 2017

Just months after the election of former Labour Party leader Phil Goff as mayor, Auckland city is slashing library staff numbers.

New Zealand: Taylor Preston meat workers condemn union pay deal

By Tom Peters, 9 May 2017

The World Socialist Web Site has spoken to workers, who expressed their anger about the sell-out deal pushed through by the Meat Workers Union.

New Zealand: Peace Action Wellington endorses Anzac Day

By John Braddock, 8 May 2017

Far from opposing the Anzac celebrations, the middle-class pacifist group abjectly capitulated to the government’s war propaganda.

Trump and Australian PM Turnbull stage mutual embrace in New York

By Mike Head, 6 May 2017

A ceremonial dinner to highlight the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea against Japan became a platform for vows to “fight together” in Asia and the Middle East.

New Zealand: Gender pay deal used to promote unions, government

By John Braddock, 3 May 2017

The pay settlement, which follows in the wake of a court decision on equal pay, will not lift chronically underpaid workers out of poverty and grinding exploitation

New Zealand: Anzac Day glorifies imperialist war

By Tom Peters, 29 April 2017

Politicians and the media used the annual holiday to promote war to young people in particular, and to demonise any criticism of the military.

Anti-immigrant campaign intensifies in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 27 April 2017

The entire political establishment is promoting nationalism and scapegoating immigrants.

New Zealand fast food workers hold nationwide stoppage

By our reporters, 26 April 2017

Workers voted to strike after Restaurant Brands refused a pay rise of 10 cents an hour above the minimum wage each year, for three years

How the AEU is attempting to push through a sell-out of Victorian teachers

By Susan Allan, 17 April 2017

If the agreement is such a “significant gain” then why is there no framework or democratic process where teachers can discuss, debate, and seek clarification on its contents?

New Zealand meat union pushes through pro-company deal at Taylor Preston

By Tom Peters, 15 April 2017

The contract means another two years of poverty wages for meat workers while the cost of living, especially for housing, continues to soar.

New Zealand government and opposition back US war in Syria

By Tom Peters, 14 April 2017

Both the government and the Labour Party support Trump’s attack on Syria, with Prime Minister Bill English declaring he would consider sending troops.

Book details killing of Afghan civilians in New Zealand SAS raid

By Tom Peters, 5 April 2017

The book Hit and Run, by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson, indicates that the New Zealand government and Defence Force have covered up war crimes in Afghanistan.

Australian government withholds report on death of unemployed teenager

By John Harris and Oscar Grenfell, 1 April 2017

The Liberal-National government is covering-up the dangerous conditions facing unemployed workers and young people forced onto Work for Dole programs.

ANZAC Heroes: Promoting war to children

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 24 March 2017

A New Zealand government-funded children’s book glorifies Australian and New Zealand involvement in World War I and II.

New Zealand Labour Party installs new deputy leader

By John Braddock, 22 March 2017

Jacinda Ardern has been elevated as part of Labour’s desperate attempt to reverse the collapse in support caused by the party’s right-wing policies.

New Zealand union complicit in Cadbury factory closure

By Sam Price, 17 March 2017

The E Tu union opposes any industrial campaign against the closure of the Dunedin factory and 350 job losses.

Australian government flags “foreign policy reset” in response to Trump

By James Cogan, 4 March 2017

The Trump administration’s “America First” agenda has produced consternation within the political and strategic establishment.

Discontent and political volatility dominate Western Australian election

By Mike Head, 4 March 2017

Because of Labor’s pro-business record, the WA election has become a testing ground for Pauline Hanson’s anti-immigrant One Nation party.

New Zealand’s Maori parties sign election pact

By John Braddock, 3 March 2017

Mana and the Maori Party both promote Maori nationalism, which serves to divide workers and block a unified struggle against the ongoing attacks on living standards.

Former police union leader to stand for New Zealand Labour Party

By Matthew Carrington, 28 February 2017

Labour’s new candidate Greg O’Connor is a staunch defender of police brutality and shootings and calls for officers to be more heavily armed.

New Zealand Labour Party feud over candidate selection

By John Braddock, 27 February 2017

Former Alliance MPs are being brought into the Labour Party to give it a phony veneer of concern for the urban poor and Maori.

Ongoing investment plunge in Australia

By Mike Head, 25 February 2017

The slump has serious implications for jobs, economic growth and the government’s large budget deficit.

Inequality deepens in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 24 February 2017

In line with global trends, inequality levels are surging due to financial parasitism and the relentless assault on the working class.

New Zealand: Taylor Preston meat workers take industrial action

By Tom Peters, 21 February 2017

The Meat Workers Union is seeking to isolate and wear down the workers at the Wellington factory in order to impose a sell-out contract.

Australian stripped of citizenship, setting dangerous precedent

By Mike Head, 18 February 2017

By targeting Khaled Sharrouf, the government is continuing a pattern of using individuals demonised by the media to set legal precedents that threaten basic democratic rights.

Families demand investigation into New Zealand mine disaster

By Tom Peters, 17 February 2017

Families of men who died in the 2010 Pike River catastrophe have told a parliamentary hearing that the mine must be searched to recover the bodies and gather evidence to prosecute the company bosses.

Australian government reintroduces sweeping welfare cuts

By Mike Head, 11 February 2017

By resuscitating previously blocked budget cuts, Turnbull’s government is intensifying the assault on welfare entitlements.

New Zealand: Auckland protest against Trump’s anti-Muslim travel bans

By our correspondents, 8 February 2017

Demonstrators in Aotea Square voiced their anger over US President Trump’s actions, which the New Zealand government has refused to condemn.

Trump browbeats Australian “ally”

By Mike Head, 4 February 2017

Just two weeks in office, Trump’s aggressive “America First” economic nationalism and militarism are sending political shockwaves around the world.

Australian prime minister’s speech points to growing political crisis

By Mike Head, 4 February 2017

Donald Trump’s election as US president has sent shockwaves through the parliamentary elite and accelerated the global turn to trade war and war.

CIA files expose New Zealand Labour Party’s anti-nuclear posture

By John Braddock, 30 January 2017

Lange’s anti-nuclear weapons stance was a manoeuvre to put a “left” veneer over Labour’s pro-market assault on the working class.

Pseudo-left’s phony “socialist” campaign in New Zealand by-election

By John Braddock and Tom Peters, 28 January 2017

The campaign by Socialist Aotearoa, like the efforts of Sanders in the US and Corbyn in Britain, is an attempt to block the growing radicalisation of the working class.

Opposition parties feign support for New Zealand mine disaster families

By Tom Peters, 26 January 2017

The Labour Party and its allies, including the trade union bureaucracy, are complicit in the unsafe conditions that led to the 2010 Pike River tragedy.

Thousands protest Trump in New Zealand

By our reporters, 23 January 2017

Workers and young people attending the rallies were concerned about the danger of war, the rise of nationalism and bigotry, and social inequality in the US.

Australian state premier’s sudden resignation highlights political instability

By Mike Head, 21 January 2017

While Mike Baird claimed to be resigning for family reasons, he sent a barbed political message to Prime Minister Turnbull.

New Zealand prisoners subjected to abusive treatment

By Sam Price, 7 January 2017

As New Zealand’s prison population increases, the Ombudsman’s office has revealed widespread abusive and humiliating treatment of inmates.

Holiday season highlights social desperation in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 3 January 2017

Record numbers of people seeking assistance from charities over Christmas reveals deteriorating social conditions.

Soaring prison populations highlight social crisis in Australia

By Robert Campion, 31 December 2016

There has been virtually no media coverage of the spiralling trend, because it raises serious questions about the rising level of social inequality.

Australia: Political instability deepens as Liberal Party faces potential split

By Linda Tenenbaum, 29 December 2016

Returning from a three-month stint in the US, where he fraternised with Trump supporters, right-wing Liberal backbencher Cory Bernardi is testing the waters for a new far-right party.

Australia: Video reveals agonising death of Aboriginal woman in custody

By Zac Hambides, 29 December 2016

Although racism undoubtedly plays a role in the cruel treatment of indigenous people by the police, Dhu’s death points to the high rate of deaths for all prisoners.

Australian government exploits “Christmas terror plot”

By Will Morrow, 24 December 2016

Although the circumstances of the police raids remain unclear, the political establishment and media are using the events to foment an atmosphere of crisis.

Australia: Sacked brewery workers return after union “productivity” deal

By Chris Sadlier, 24 December 2016

The unions have repeatedly boasted of their role in boosting productivity and profitability at the CUB plant.

Trump’s election fuels foreign policy debate in Australia

By Peter Symonds, 22 December 2016

The disputes centre on the basic dilemma facing the ruling class: how to balance between China, Australia’s largest export market, and the US, its longstanding strategic partner.

Professor Marmot’s lectures in Australia chart extent of health inequality

By Cheryl Crisp, 21 December 2016

The lectures establish the connection between social inequality, the living and working conditions of the poor, and the deterioration in their health outcomes.

New Zealand: Labour candidate wins Auckland by-election amid low turnout

By Tom Peters and Sam Price, 14 December 2016

The by-election revealed widespread hostility toward the National Party government and the Labour opposition, which both support austerity, militarism and attacks on immigrants.

New prime minister installed in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 13 December 2016

John Key’s replacement by his deputy Bill English has exposed tensions within the government, accompanied by demands from big business for harsher austerity measures.

Inquest evidence shows Australian government was responsible for asylum seeker’s death

By Max Newman, 8 December 2016

The medical evidence makes clear that Hamid Kehazaei died as a direct consequence of the refugee detention regime imposed by successive Australian governments.

Australia: Thunderstorm-related deaths expose impact of health cuts

By Kurt Brown, 7 December 2016

Melbourne, a city of more than three million people, ran out of ambulances as thousands of people suffered potentially fatal thunderstorm-related asthma.

Shock resignation by New Zealand Prime Minister

By Tom Peters and John Braddock, 6 December 2016

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced his resignation from politics after eight years in the role and a decade as leader of the National Party.

New Zealand: Socialist Equality Group holds public meeting on US election outcome

By our reporters, 29 November 2016

The public meeting in Auckland presented a Marxist assessment of Trump’s victory to an audience of mostly young workers and students.

New Zealand: Auckland youth and workers concerned over US election result, danger of war

By our correspondents, 24 November 2016

The Socialist Equality Group is campaigning for a public meeting this Sunday on the causes and implications of Donald Trump’s election.

New Zealand’s capital caught unprepared for earthquake and flooding

By Chris Ross, 23 November 2016

After a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit New Zealand, the capital city was struck by aftershocks and cut off by a severe weather system.

New Zealand: “Week of Peace” promotes the Greens and Labour

By Tom Peters, 22 November 2016

The protests organised by Auckland Peace Action and the Peace Foundation sought to channel workers and youth who oppose war behind pro-imperialist parties.

Australian prime minister pushes Trump-style tax cuts

By Mike Head, 19 November 2016

Turnbull demanded “hard” economic and budgetary decisions that would “create winners and losers.”

New Zealand: International Socialist Organisation glorifies deceased Council of Trade Unions leader

By Tom Peters, 16 November 2016

The ISO portrayed the veteran union bureaucrat Helen Kelly as a champion for workers’ rights, covering up her record of enforcing mass job cuts and other attacks on workers.

Workers and young people in Australia and New Zealand concerned by US election result

By our reporters, 15 November 2016

Many noted that Trump’s victory was a product of the deepening social crisis and a breakdown of American democracy.

Magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits New Zealand

By John Braddock, 15 November 2016

The quake has caused major damage to roads, railways and other infrastructure, and isolated small rural communities throughout the upper South Island.

Perplexity, fear in New Zealand establishment over US election

By John Braddock, 7 November 2016

Many commentators and politicians who express horror over the prospect of a Trump victory are supportive of similar right-wing policies in New Zealand.

Push for harsher anti-immigrant measures in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 31 October 2016

The most significant voices in growing anti-immigrant agitation are the Unite union, which includes members of two pseudo-left groups, and the trade union-funded Daily Blog.

Report says New Zealand SAS is fighting in Iraq

By Tom Peters, 28 October 2016

The New Zealand government denied a report that the NZSAS is involved in combat operations in northern Iraq, but admitted that the elite fighting unit has visited the country.

New Zealand: The US warship visit and the fraud of Peace Action

By Tom Peters, 27 October 2016

Peace Action Wellington and Auckland Peace Action do not represent any alternative to the Greens and other organisations which have discredited themselves by embracing imperialist war preparations.

Public rifts erupt in Australian government

By Mike Head, 22 October 2016

The internal warfare wracking the Liberal-National Coalition cannot be explained by a dispute over gun laws.

Australian government hails New Zealand’s brutal welfare system

By Tom Peters, 17 October 2016

Australia’s government is seeking to emulate policies that have pushed tens of thousands of people off welfare.

New Zealand Labour Party marks its centenary

By Tom Peters, 29 September 2016

Contrary to the myths advanced by Labour’s apologists, the party was never socialist. It has always defended capitalism at home and supported imperialist war abroad.

New Zealand: Ex-Green Party MP launches pseudo-left think tank

By Tom Peters, 27 September 2016

Economic and Social Research Aotearoa is a nationalist organisation, inspired by identity politics and the anti-Marxism of Syriza and Podemos.

New Zealand public meetings: The US Navy visit and the drive to war

By Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 27 September 2016

The SEG and IYSSE are holding meetings in Wellington, Lower Hutt and Auckland to discuss a socialist program to fight against Washington’s war drive against China.

New Zealand: Maori king cuts ties with Labour Party

By John Braddock, 17 September 2016

The Maori tribal head, who presides over a substantial business operation, has thrown his weight behind an electoral alliance between the Maori nationalist parties.

New Zealand: Anti-TPP protests promote economic protectionism

By our reporters, 13 September 2016

The agitation for protectionist trade policies is a reactionary turn to the economic nationalism that erupted in the 1930s and led to war.

New Zealand: Daily Blog opposes jury trials in rape cases

By Tom Peters, 9 September 2016

The statement by the union-funded blog demonstrates how hysterical denunciations of “rape culture” are helping to strengthen the state and attack democratic rights.

New Zealand unions campaign against Chinese steel imports

By Tom Peters, 7 September 2016

The nationalist demagogy is part of a push to align New Zealand with the US drive to war against China, while diverting attention from the role of the unions in job cutting.

New Zealand defence minister blames Beijing for South China Sea tension

By John Braddock, 3 September 2016

The comments indicate a shift within the government, following US Vice President Biden’s recent visit, closer to Washington’s belligerent anti-China position.

Ongoing job cutting in New Zealand

By Chris Ross, 2 September 2016

Attacks on jobs, wages and conditions are intensifying, with the collaboration of the trade unions.

New Zealand unions intensify anti-immigrant campaign

By John Braddock, 30 August 2016

The Unite union collaborates with the government’s exclusivist immigration policies while agitating for further curbs on foreign workers.

Labour Party makes empty promises to New Zealand students

By Tom Peters and Chris Ross, 29 August 2016

Despite its highly conditional pledges, Labour has no intention of reducing ballooning debt and poverty among students.

Cross-party support for sweeping spy powers in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 26 August 2016

The ruling elite is erecting the foundations for a police state in preparation to confront social and political opposition.

New Zealand: WWI Home Front exhibition buries mass opposition to war

By Tom Peters and Sam Price, 22 August 2016

The exhibition about life “at home” during World War I hails New Zealand’s contribution to the war and covers up the opposition that emerged in the working class.

Families of New Zealand mine disaster victims seek justice

By Tom Peters, 15 August 2016

Sonya Rockhouse and Anna Osborne, who lost family members in the 2010 Pike River explosion, are seeking a judicial review of the decision to drop charges against CEO Peter Whittall.

New Zealand ‘Rich List’ dominated by property speculators

By John Braddock, 4 August 2016

Big investors have seen “huge gains” to their share portfolios, while the property boom has “seeded fortunes for astute and opportune investors.”

New Zealand rail union pushes pro-company collective agreement

By our correspondent, 3 August 2016

The Greater Wellington Regional Council is demanding $100 million in cost-cutting, which will be imposed by Transdev through attacks on jobs, wages and conditions.

New Zealand’s Maori nationalist parties discuss bloc for 2017 election

By John Braddock, 1 August 2016

The talks are driven by ambitions within both parties for a more direct role in government, whoever wins the next election

Australian PM sinks Rudd’s bid for UN secretary general

By Peter Symonds, 30 July 2016

The fracas this week over former Prime Minister Rudd has not only highlighted deep divisions in the Coalition government, but also raises a question about Washington’s hand in events.

Two more shootings by New Zealand police

By Chris Ross, 25 July 2016

The shooting of two men in separate incidents is part of an increasing resort to lethal force by police in response to the social crisis.

Biden visits New Zealand to strengthen military ties

By John Braddock, 21 July 2016

New Zealand’s balancing act between China, its second largest trading partner, and the US, its chief strategic ally, is becoming increasingly unsustainable.