Australia and New Zealand


Australia’s industrial tribunal allows “super-union” merger

By Terry Cook, 19 March 2018

For decades, the three unions that amalgamated this month have imposed cuts to the jobs, wages and conditions of maritime, mining, textile and construction workers.

New Zealand: Reject the union sellout of Wellington rail workers!

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 16 March 2018

The RMTU, private companies Transdev and Hyundai Rotem, and the Greater Wellington Regional Council want to impose a pro-business deal that freezes wages and paves the way for job cuts.

New Zealand’s “Pacific reset” aims to reassert imperialist dominance

By Tom Peters, 12 March 2018

Prime Minister Ardern’s government has outlined a strategy to reassert neo-colonial hegemony over the South Pacific and push back Chinese influence.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 March 2018

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

New Zealand opposition leadership change reflects tensions over social unrest and drive to war

By Tom Peters, 7 March 2018

National Party leader Bill English’s resignation followed criticism from the US ambassador of his government’s refusal to fully endorse Trump’s warmongering against North Korea.

Obituary: Jim Anderton, a pivotal defender of New Zealand capitalism

By John Braddock, 3 March 2018

As leader of NewLabour and the Alliance, Anderton played a critical role defending the capitalist order by blocking any rebellion against the Labour government.

New Zealand governments lied about “non-combat” role in Iraq

By Sam Price, 2 March 2018

Successive governments falsely claimed that New Zealand soldiers in Iraq are engaged in a training capacity.

New Zealand government intensifies campaign against Chinese “interference”

By John Braddock, 1 March 2018

The government’s investigation into claims of Chinese “intimidation” of an academic points to a state intelligence operation.

Australian and New Zealand transport workers must unite their struggles

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 28 February 2018

The trade unions in both New Zealand and Australia are seeking to isolate workers in each country from each other in order to facilitate further attacks on jobs, wages and conditions.

Job cuts continue in New Zealand under Labour government

By Sam Price, 23 February 2018

The ongoing job destruction exposes the Labour Party-led government’s claims that it will raise living standards.

New Zealand: Breakdowns and lack of safety in Wellington’s rail network

By our correspondents, 21 February 2018

Wellington’s passenger rail service has been repeatedly crippled by infrastructure failures this year.

New Zealand government makes false promises to address Maori poverty

By Tom Peters, 19 February 2018

The Labour Party-led government has handed millions of dollars to Maori tribal capitalists, while offering empty promises to tackle inequality.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 February 2018

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Families’ spokesman on New Zealand earthquake building collapse: “Are there people who are above the law?”

By Sam Price, 6 February 2018

Maan Alkaisi, whose wife died when the CTV building crumbled during the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, condemned the police decision not to prosecute anyone over the disaster.

Australian government unveils sweeping anti-democratic “foreign interference” bills

Part 2: Criminalising overseas links and donations

By Mike Head, 1 February 2018

These measures have serious implications for freedom of political expression and organisation.

Australian Labor leader sounds alarm about popular hostility to political establishment

By Mike Head, 1 February 2018

Shorten told the National Press Club that the first “mission” of the political elite was “restoring faith in parliament.”

Australian government continues deportations of New Zealanders

By Tom Peters, 17 January 2018

New Zealanders who have spent most of their lives in Australia are being detained and expelled for minor offences or on “character” grounds.

New Zealand spy agency illegally accessed immigration data

By Tom Peters, 15 January 2018

For decades the Security Intelligence Service accessed Customs data illegally to monitor people entering the country.

New Zealand police refuse to prosecute over Christchurch building collapse

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 9 January 2018

No one has been held accountable for the unsafe design of the CTV building, which collapsed in the 2011 earthquake killing 115 people.

New Zealand government seeks to contain outrage over Pike River mine disaster

By Tom Peters, 6 January 2018

The Labour Party-led government has no intention of holding any corporate leaders responsible for the 2010 explosion that killed 29 people.

Australia continues punitive treatment of refugees on Manus Island

By Max Newman, 5 January 2018

Despite protests and UN condemnations of Australia, the detainees confront worsening conditions.

New Zealand government offers false promises to reduce poverty

By Tom Peters, 30 December 2017

The Labour-led government’s meagre welfare increases and social spending are subordinate to keeping corporate taxes low and upgrading the military.

Anti-Chinese witch-hunt against New Zealand MP intensifies

By Tom Peters, 28 December 2017

Deputy Prime Minister Peters denounced Yang as a “Manchurian candidate.”

Continuing attacks on New Zealand public transport workers’ jobs and wages

By our reporters, 22 December 2017

The Labour Party-aligned Auckland and Wellington councils are moving to axe jobs and working conditions.

New Zealand: Wellington rail workers hold 24-hour strike

By our reporters, 22 November 2017

Rail workers struck for 24 hours over attacks on conditions by the private transport companies contracted by the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Campaign continues over “Chinese influence” in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 21 November 2017

The aim of stirring up paranoia over China is to pressure the incoming government to further align itself with Washington’s drive to war.

New Zealand Labour-led government prepares attacks on working class

By John Braddock, 10 November 2017

Labour Prime Minister Ardern, with trade union approval, has threatened to further proscribe the right to strike.

New Zealand PM visits Australia, confirms Labour government’s support for war

By Tom Peters, 9 November 2017

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has endorsed the war in Iraq, threats against North Korea and Australia’s brutal treatment of asylum seekers.

New Zealand: Labour-led government promotes nationalism and militarism

By Tom Peters, 7 November 2017

The recently-installed Labour-New Zealand First-Greens coalition is scapegoating immigrants for the social crisis, while promoting militarism and war.

New Zealand pseudo-lefts embrace new right-wing government

By John Braddock, 4 November 2017

The line-up of pro-Labour commentators, trade unions and pseudo-left groups is fraudulently portraying the Labour-led coalition government as “progressive” and “left wing.”

Rising death toll from health sector cuts in New Zealand

By Sam Price, 3 November 2017

Underfunding of health care by successive National and Labour governments has contributed to shortened lives and baby deaths.

More MPs face disqualification after Australian Senate president quits

By Mike Head, 2 November 2017

Parry’s resignation demonstrates that what has become, in effect, a nationalist purge of parliament, is far from over.

Australian rail union suspends industrial action in Pacific National dispute

By Terry Cook, 2 November 2017

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union called off all industrial action as it moved to broker another sell-out agreement.

New Zealand: Socialist Equality Group meeting discusses new Labour-NZ First government

By our reporters, 2 November 2017

The meeting in Wellington discussed the danger of world war, the right-wing character of the new government and the need to build a New Zealand section of the ICFI.

High Court disqualifies five MPs, demanding “single-minded loyalty” to Australia

By Mike Head, 28 October 2017

The entire political establishment has immediately lined up behind the anti-democratic and deeply reactionary ruling.

Meeting in Sydney on December 17

100 years on: The significance of the 1917 Russian Revolution for today

28 October 2017

The Russian Revolution stands as irrefutable proof that the working class—providing it is guided by a genuine Marxist perspective and leadership—can overthrow the outmoded social relations of capitalism.

Labour Party details coalition agreement with New Zealand First

By Tom Peters, 25 October 2017

Despite winning just nine seats, the right-wing and anti-China NZ First has been given the key roles of deputy prime minister, foreign minister and defence minister.

New Zealand: Official silence over Taylor Preston meatworks death

By John Braddock, 23 October 2017

The ongoing silence serves to protect the legal and financial position of the company at the expense of workers.

Australian university union blocks debate at WSU stopwork rally

By our correspondents, 21 October 2017

Trade union enterprise agreements have been the vehicle for facilitating all the government-employer attacks on university staff and students.

Western Sydney University workers denounce cuts to jobs and conditions

By our correspondents, 21 October 2017

Academics and other campus workers condemn the worsening conditions for university staff and students.

Right-wing nationalists hand power to New Zealand Labour

By Tom Peters and John Braddock, 20 October 2017

The Labour Party’s coalition with New Zealand First is tasked with aligning with Washington against China and imposing deeper austerity measures.

US ambassador intervenes in New Zealand’s political crisis

By Tom Peters, 18 October 2017

Ambassador Scott Brown has stressed New Zealand’s importance as a US ally and defended Trump’s threats of war against North Korea.

New Zealand First delays decision on forming a new government

By Tom Peters, 14 October 2017

Three weeks after the election the right-wing, anti-immigrant NZ First still has not decided whether to form a coalition with the National Party or Labour and the Greens.

Australian economy “going into a hole”

By Nick Beams, 7 October 2017

The record run of the Australian economy, 26 years without a recession, has “flattered to deceive,” as major economic problems come to the surface.

New Zealand workers and youth discuss the growing danger of global war

By our reporters, 5 October 2017

“Whichever party makes up the next New Zealand government with NZ First’s Winston Peters, it will be devoted to attacking workers and preparing for war alongside US imperialism.”

New Zealand First to dictate make-up of next government

By John Braddock, 3 October 2017

The right-wing, anti-immigrant NZ First is only able to play the role of kingmaker because it has been relentlessly promoted by Labour, the Greens, and pseudo-lefts as “progressive.”

A reply to the RMTU on the anti-working class record of the New Zealand rail unions

By Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 29 September 2017

Butson, national secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU), responded angrily to a WSWS article exposing the union’s complicity in attacks on workers.

New Zealand military mobilised during Auckland Airport fuel outage

By John Braddock, 27 September 2017

The week-long fuel crisis exposed the precarious state of infrastructure and the government’s growing use of the military to deal with domestic problems.

New Zealand: Workers and youth speak on election, social crisis and war

By our correspondents, 26 September 2017

Socialist Equality Group members spoke with people who were deeply concerned about homelessness, suicide statistics and the drive to war.

No clear winner in New Zealand election

By John Braddock and Tom Peters, 25 September 2017

The incumbent National Party and the opposition Labour Party are both negotiating with the right-wing, anti-Asian NZ First Party to form a coalition government.

New Zealand election: Bipartisan agreement on war and austerity

By John Braddock, 23 September 2017

The final election debate between Labour and National Party leaders demonstrated that whichever party is elected will deepen the attacks on working people.

Anti-Chinese witch-hunt launched days before New Zealand election

By Tom Peters, 22 September 2017

The campaign against Chinese “influence” is intended to shift New Zealand into even closer support for US-led war preparations in Asia.

New Zealand election: The fraud of Labour’s “free education” policy

By Tom Peters and Daniel Bradley, 21 September 2017

Labour’s promise of three years’ tuition-free tertiary education would be fully implemented only in 2024.

Documentary exposes the fraud of New Zealand “peacekeeping” in Afghanistan

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 20 September 2017

Afghan villagers say New Zealand's elite SAS forces desecrated bodies and terrorised a village in Uruzgan to deliberately provoke a battle in 2004.

No to war and social inequality! For world socialism!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Group on the New Zealand election

19 September 2017

Both major parties, Labour and National, support deeper austerity, attacks on immigrants and democratic rights, and preparations for war.

Anti-Chinese witch-hunt against New Zealand MP

By Tom Peters, 15 September 2017

Claims that National Party MP Jian Yang is an “agent” for the Chinese government are aimed at aligning the political establishment more closely with US war preparations.

Socialist Equality Group public meeting in Wellington

After the New Zealand election: The way forward in the fight against war

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 15 September 2017

The meeting will discuss the urgent need for a socialist alternative to war and austerity, in opposition to the entire capitalist political establishment.

New Zealand: The right-wing politics of the Opportunities Party

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 9 September 2017

The Opportunities Party, founded by multi-millionaire Gareth Morgan, is falsely promoted as anti-establishment and in favour of social equality.

Australia’s refugee detention regime claims its fifth victim on Manus Island

By Max Newman, 19 August 2017

Hamid Shamshiripour’s story is one of immense psychological suffering, as well as abuse at the hands of guards, overseen by the Australian government.

Right-wing Australian senator stages anti-Muslim “stunt” in federal parliament

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 August 2017

Labor and Liberal-National MPs, who incessantly promote xenophobic nationalism, feigned moral outrage over Pauline Hanson entering parliament wearing a burka.

New Zealand government would “consider” joining US war against North Korea

By Tom Peters, 15 August 2017

For the government and opposition parties alike, the threat of war has been the great unmentionable in their campaigns for the September 23 election.

Australian unions, pseudo-left sign up to Labor’s re-election campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 August 2017

Underlying the unions campaign is fear in ruling circles that widespread disaffection over social inequality threatens the stability of the parliamentary set-up.

New Zealand: Job cuts planned for Auckland rail services

By Sam Price, 28 July 2017

Auckland Council is working with private contractor Transdev and the rail trade union to eliminate as many as 300 jobs.

Green Party adopts fake “left” posture in New Zealand elections

By John Braddock and Tom Peters, 26 July 2017

The Greens are seeking to position themselves to channel deepening popular alienation and opposition with establishment parties back into the parliamentary set-up.

Australia: Anger grows over fire at Melbourne recycling plant

By Will Morrrow, 22 July 2017

Firefighting services have been called to the plant nine times in the last five years—four times this year, three times in 2015 and once in both 2012 and 2013.

Disqualification threats hang over Australian MPs

By Mike Head, 22 July 2017

A witch hunt has been launched to identify every member of parliament who was born overseas or might have dual citizenship.

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.