Australia and New Zealand

New Zealand government, opposition housing policies grossly inadequate

By Tom Peters, 2 June 2016

Proposals by the National Party government as well as the opposition Labour Party and the Greens do not even begin to address the country's homelessness crisis.

New Zealand budget: Cuts to basic services, billions for the military

By Tom Peters, 27 May 2016

The budget does nothing to address the crisis in health, education and housing, while significantly increasing spending to prepare the country for war.

Spate of deaths in New Zealand’s forestry industry

By Chris Ross and Tom Peters, 24 May 2016

Four workers and one child have died at forestry sites so far this year, exposing claims that the industry’s safety record has improved since 10 workers died in 2013.

Panama Papers: Further revelations about New Zealand’s role as a tax haven

By Tom Peters and Sam Price, 19 May 2016

Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca promoted New Zealand to its wealthy clients, including some allegedly involved in illegal activity and one who assisted in the looting of Iraq.

Submarine project no solution for South Australia’s employment crisis

By John Braddock, 14 May 2016

Claims that building submarines will rescue the economically depressed state are false and any new jobs will be tied to preparations for war.

New Zealand’s housing affordability crisis worsens

By Tom Peters and Jeremy Lin, 13 May 2016

The political establishment is scapegoating foreigners, especially Chinese, for the unstable property bubble and lack of affordable housing.

New Zealand Labour Party leader visits Iraq

By Tom Peters, 6 May 2016

Andrew Little praised New Zealand’s troops in Iraq and pushed for their mission to be extended, underscoring the fraud of Labour’s vote against the deployment last year.

On Anzac Day, New Zealand leaders talk peace, prepare for war

By Tom Peters, 29 April 2016

A century after the bloody Gallipoli campaign in World War I, the New Zealand ruling class is once again preparing to support imperialist war.

New Zealand’s healthcare crisis worsens

By Tom Peters, 25 April 2016

Thousands of people are on hospital waiting lists, or being denied essential surgical operations or mental health treatment, due to government funding cuts.

New Zealand prime minister visits China amid tensions over South China Sea

By John Braddock, 22 April 2016

While seeking to preserve cordial relations with China, its second largest trading partner, the New Zealand ruling elite is committed to the US anti-China “pivot.”

New Zealand government plans major increase in military spending

By Tom Peters, 20 April 2016

The expansion is aimed at further incorporating New Zealand into Washington’s plans for war against China.

Moody’s warns Australian government of credit downgrade

By Mike Head, 18 April 2016

The warning highlights the crisis of the Coalition government which is under mounting pressure to implement deeply unpopular austerity measures.

Wave of closures and job cuts under way in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 18 April 2016

The global slowdown is impacting across the board with jobs being destroyed in the public sector, manufacturing and retail.

Australian prime minister skirts controversy in China

By James Cogan, 16 April 2016

Turnbull carefully avoided any contentious public remarks on the US-China confrontation in the South China Sea.

Police attack student protests in Sydney and Melbourne

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 April 2016

The violent actions of the police against a handful of student protesters are a warning of the preparations for a broader crackdown on any opposition to austerity cuts and war.

Panama Papers reveal New Zealand is a tax haven for world’s elites

By John Braddock, 15 April 2016

Successive Labour and National governments are responsible for New Zealand laws that allow foreign trusts to carry out massive tax avoidance.

CSIS report argues for strong US-Japan-Australia alliance against China

By Peter Symonds, 9 April 2016

The Washington think tank’s proposed “federated defence” is nothing but a system of military alliances to prepare for war with China—akin to the alliances that preceded the previous two world wars.

Australia: Socialist Alternative conference endorses US-led Syrian war and Syriza’s betrayal in Greece

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 April 2016

Like their counterparts internationally, Socialist Alternative responded to the global financial crisis of 2008 by junking even nominal opposition to imperialist war.

New Zealand First proposes army training for unemployed youth

By Tom Peters, 8 April 2016

The trade union-funded Daily Blog enthusiastically endorsed the proposal, reflecting the support for militarism and nationalism by Labour and the union bureaucracy.

New layoffs in New Zealand meat processing

By John Braddock, 31 March 2016

A new round of restructuring within the New Zealand meat processing industry is underway.

Escalating crisis hits New Zealand dairy industry

By John Braddock, 26 March 2016

The crisis in the New Zealand dairy industry following severe cuts to milk prices is a symptom of a broader economic slump.

Australia: Qantas reaps record profits by slashing jobs and wages

By Terry Cook, 5 March 2016

Deep cuts have been imposed on the airline’s workers through a combination of intimidation and the collaboration of the trade unions.

IYSSE campaigns against war at universities in Australia and New Zealand

By our reporters, 5 March 2016

The IYSSE’s campaign initiated a serious discussion among broad layers of students about the socialist and internationalist alternative to the preparations for World War Three.

New Zealand: Five years after the Christchurch earthquake

By Tom Peters and Matthew Carrington, 1 March 2016

Thousands of residents have been abandoned by the government, which has protected the interests of big business, including the insurance industry.

Australian feminists deride public sympathy for family murder-suicide victims

By Patrick Kelly and Linda Tenenbaum, 29 February 2016

Public grief and sympathy provoked anger from feminist commentators, providing a revealing glimpse into the political role of identity politics.

Labor Party steps up demands for Australia to “stand up” to China

By James Cogan, 20 February 2016

Labor is serving as the catspaw of the US military establishment and seeking to dramatically ratchet up military tensions with Beijing.

Fiji orders second arms consignment from Russia

By John Braddock, 20 February 2016

Moves by Russia to establish itself as a Pacific power, in response to the US drive to dominate the region, will only heighten tensions in the Asia Pacific.

Global volatility triggers concerns about Australian banks

By Mike Head, 20 February 2016

The ongoing collapse of commodity prices has placed question marks over the exposure of the banks to losses in the resources sector.

Rising school costs deepen class divide in New Zealand education

By John Braddock, 16 February 2016

Public education is supposed to be free, but families are being pressured to give more money to schools every year.

Australian government-union conspiracy to sack “underperforming” teachers

By Richard Phillips, 15 February 2016

The unions have torn up teachers’ hard-won struggle for job security by implementing new anti-democratic inspection regimes and streamlined sacking procedures.

Trans-Pacific Partnership signed in New Zealand amid mass protests

By Tom Peters, 10 February 2016

The protest organisers do not speak for the working class but express the interests of less competitive sections of business that fear losing out to global rivals.

New Zealand to host signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership

By Tom Peters, 4 February 2016

New Zealand’s opposition parties are leading a nationalist campaign against the TPP, but the entire political establishment backs the country’s integration into US war plans against China.

New Zealand’s first Labour Party leader was no socialist: A reply to the pseudo-left ISO

By Tom Peters, 4 February 2016

The claim that NZ Labour was founded as a socialist party in 1916 is a fabrication designed to justify the pseudo-left’s support for this pro-imperialist party.

New Zealand government arrests alleged student loan defaulter

By Tom Peters, 27 January 2016

The arrest of Ngatokotoru Puna sets the stage for more attacks on thousands of students and former students, who owe a combined total of $14.8 billion.

US threatens to withdraw from major Pacific fisheries treaty

By John Braddock, 25 January 2016

The US withdrawal from the 27-year-old Tuna Treaty threatens to devastate the economies of many small island states.

Australian industrial court bans port strikes

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 January 2016

The ruling will likely be invoked by the union to strike a backroom deal with the port company.

Australian prime minister visits US military commander in Hawaii

By Mike Head, 23 January 2016

Over the past year, the admiral has played a vocal role in inflaming tensions with China, particularly over its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Obama thanks Australian prime minister for war efforts

By Peter Symonds, 20 January 2016

While the tone was not as strident as his predecessor, Turnbull’s underlying message was the same: full support for US militarism around the world.

Australian nickel refinery crisis threatens thousands of jobs

By Mike Head, 20 January 2016

The livelihoods of workers in the northern city of Townsville and the French colony of New Caledonia are imperiled by the threatened closure of the Queensland Nickel plant.

New Zealand court approves Kim Dotcom’s extradition to the US

By John Braddock, 8 January 2016

The ruling is a significant legal victory for the US and New Zealand’s National Party government, which has operated in concert with Washington throughout the affair.

Australian government seizes on trade union report to attack workers’ conditions

By Will Morrow, 7 January 2016

While the immediate target of the royal commission report is the trade unions, the real aim is to clear the way for a fundamental transformation of Australian industrial relations.

Deepening social crisis in New Zealand

By Jeremy Lin, 6 January 2016

A series of recent reports paint a grim picture of worsening poverty and social inequality.

Australia: Over 100 houses destroyed in Victorian bushfires

By Margaret Rees, 4 January 2016

Victoria has been hit by more than 2,500 bushfires since October but the hottest months, when the most dangerous fires usually occur, are still to come.

Private operator to run New Zealand capital’s rail service

By our correspondent, 31 December 2015

Despite the denials of the trade unions, rail workers face a new round of attacks on jobs and conditions.

Widespread abstention in New Zealand flag referendum

By Sam Price, 29 December 2015

The opposition to the referendum reflects hostility to the promotion of nationalism and militarism to divert attention from social inequality.

Australia: One year after the Sydney siege, the cover-up continues

By Richard Phillips and Peter Symonds, 28 December 2015

The investigations into the Lindt café tragedy over the past year are above all aimed at obscuring the role of the state apparatus, especially the intelligence agencies.

Inhumane conditions in privately run New Zealand prison

By Tom Peters, 19 December 2015

The government has been forced to announce that it will not renew Serco’s contract to run Mount Eden Prison.

Australian PM unveils plan for indefinite detention of “terrorists”

By Mike Head, 12 December 2015

Turnbull’s announcement came amid an intensive campaign by his ousted predecessor, Tony Abbott, to demonise Muslims and call for ground troops to be deployed to Syria and Iraq.

As court bans racist rally, Australian media promotes far-right

By Richard Phillips, 12 December 2015

The media has provided blanket coverage of plans for an anti-Islamic rally in Cronulla, where racist mobs attacked Middle Eastern youth in 2005.

Toyota worker denounces union over shutdown of Australian car industry

By our reporter, 21 November 2015

“The only people who will win out from this closure are the company and the unions.”

BlueScope praises Australian unions for pushing through job destruction at Port Kembla

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 November 2015

The company will now try to use the threat to close the steel plant to extract more cuts to wages and conditions.

Australian PM refuses to halt deportations of New Zealanders

By Tom Peters, 26 October 2015

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull bluntly rejected a request to end the removal of New Zealand-born Australian residents who have received prison sentences.

Australian ex-treasurer spells out corporate elite’s agenda

By Mike Head, 23 October 2015

In his departing speech, Joe Hockey outlined the dismantling of welfare, health and education, as well as deep cuts to working-class wages and conditions.

Record suicide toll in New Zealand

By Tom Peters and Sam Price, 22 October 2015

Suicides are most prevalent among young people, the unemployed and those in impoverished parts of the country.

New Zealand union collaborates in cuts to mining and steel jobs

By Tom Peters, 16 October 2015

As part of its restructuring, Solid Energy has announced the closure of its Huntly East Mine.

Witness to New Zealand police shooting: “It was not necessary to kill that man”

By our reporters, 13 October 2015

The WSWS spoke to Christian Haider, who witnessed the killing of Pera Smiler by police in Upper Hutt.

Workers and young people speak out against the demonization of Muslim youth in Australia

By our reporters, 12 October 2015

Young people in Sydney’s western suburbs denounced the claims that the recent shooting at New South Wales police headquarters in Parramatta was an act of “Islamic terrorism.”

Oppose the destruction of the car industry in Australia! Launch a struggle in defence of jobs!

the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 10 October 2015

The closure of the car plants is not inevitable, but it can only be fought on the basis of a new political perspective and new forms of organisation.

Papua New Guinea trial obscures Australian responsibility for refugee’s death

By Max Newman, 10 October 2015

Two Manus Island locals accused of murdering Iranian Kurdish asylum seeker Reza Barati have won an order re-opening their trial.

New Zealand: Solid Energy privatisation threatens hundreds of jobs

By Chris Ross and Tom Peters, 3 October 2015

The state-owned coal mining company has agreed to a “gradual” sell-off that threatens over 700 workers.

Australia: Ausgrid plans far-reaching restructure ahead of privatisation

By Terry Cook, 3 October 2015

Power distribution business Ausgrid intends to close depots, phase out apprenticeships, sell off training facilities and outsource call centres.

New Zealand Maori leaders embrace charter schools

By John Braddock, 1 October 2015

The push for charter schools exposes the right-wing trajectory of the Maori elite and the fraud of “self-determination.”

New Zealand suspends aid to Nauru

By John Braddock, 28 September 2015

Amid growing protests against the Nauru government, New Zealand’s bullying is aimed at bolstering its own neo-colonial interests.

Reports forecast worsening economic conditions for Australia

By Mike Head, 26 September 2015

The mining investment boom that partly shielded the Australian economy from the full effects of the global financial crisis, has gone into sharp reverse.

New Zealand: Socialist Aotearoa supports US-led war in Syria

By Tom Peters, 23 September 2015

Echoing pseudo-left organisations internationally, Socialist Aotearoa used last week’s pro-refugee demonstration in Auckland to promote the imperialist intervention in Syria.

Malcolm Turnbull: Australia’s wealthiest prime minister

By Mike Head, 19 September 2015

Representing the financial elite, Turnbull has been assigned the task of imposing sweeping cuts to working-class living standards.

Outrage over banning of New Zealand novel Into the River

By Tom Peters, 19 September 2015

The decision to ban the popular novel after a complaint by a fundamentalist Christian group is an attack on democratic rights.

Withdraw all Australian military forces from Syria and the Middle East!

the Socialist Equality Party, 19 September 2015

The SEP condemns the government’s decision to expand its involvement in the US-led war in the Middle East by authorising air strikes in Syria.

Spate of killings by New Zealand police

By Tom Peters, 18 September 2015

As social tensions rise, the government’s response is to expand the prison system and boost the police, including by arming them with more deadly weapons.

Australia, New Zealand reject stronger climate measures at Pacific Islands Forum

By John Braddock, 15 September 2015

Many of the small Pacific Island states are low-lying and particularly vulnerable to the rising sea levels produced by higher global temperatures.

Another wave of job cuts in New Zealand

By Chris Ross and Tom Peters, 14 September 2015

A relentless corporate-government assault on jobs and working conditions is underway in response to the global economic crisis.

New Zealand: Substandard repairs to earthquake-damaged homes in Christchurch

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 5 September 2015

Five years after the first destructive earthquake, thousands of insurance claims have not been settled.

Union collaborates in attacks on New Zealand Steel workers

By Tom Peters, 29 August 2015

BlueScope Steel is threatening to shut down its Glenbrook steel plant in New Zealand and axe over 1,000 jobs.

Australia: Melbourne tram drivers strike over wages and conditions

By our correspondents, 29 August 2015

Despite denunciations by the Victorian state Labor government, metropolitan train drivers have voted for a similar stoppage next Friday.

Australia: Hutchison Ports dispute at the crossroads

the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 29 August 2015

Left in the hands of the MUA, the outcome is a foregone conclusion: the further destruction of the jobs and conditions of waterfront workers.

New Zealand rail company prepares further job cuts

By our reporter, 22 August 2015

Successive Labour and National-led governments, assisted by the unions, have already devastated the railway system over the past three decades.

New Zealand: Thousands protest Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement

By our reporters, 18 August 2015

The anti-TPP campaign is working overtime to divert opposition into reactionary nationalist and protectionist channels.

“Ferocious” slump in dairy prices rocks New Zealand economy

By John Braddock, 17 August 2015

New Zealand’s biggest company has announced a deep cut in its payout to dairy farmers amid a sharp downturn on world markets.

Sacked Hutchison workers barred entry after Australian union sells out strike

By Richard Phillips, 15 August 2015

The court ruling gave the union precisely what it wanted: to shut down the strike and demobilise workers, while it manoeuvres for a negotiated job-cutting deal.

Australia: Union officials force SEP supporters off Sydney dock picket

By Zac Hambides, 15 August 2015

The unions are trying to silence criticism because they cannot answer the truth—they are carrying out a betrayal of the Hutchison workers.

Melbourne transport workers vote for industrial action

By Terry Cook, 15 August 2015

After almost unanimous votes for industrial action, the union is seeking to cobble together a sellout deal with the state Labor government.

Australian government in turmoil as economic pressures intensify

By Mike Head, 15 August 2015

The corporate elite is venting its frustration at the Abbott government’s failure to deliver a far deeper onslaught on workers’ living standards.

The curious career of Cheryl Gwyn, New Zealand’s inspector-general of intelligence and security

By Tom Peters and John Braddock, 15 August 2015

Gwyn, who oversees New Zealand’s state spy apparatus, was once a member of the Pabloite Socialist Action League.

Australian waterfront union betrays Hutchison strike

By Mike Head, 14 August 2015

While claiming a “victory,” as it did in 1998, the MUA is sending the Hutchison Ports workers back to work today, with many to lose their jobs.

New Zealand Meat Workers Union calls off two-day strike

By John Braddock, 12 August 2015

The unions have been operating from the outset to isolate and wear down workers in the protracted 18-month dispute over AFFCO’s demands for further cuts to working conditions.

Hutchison Ports axes half its Australian workforce

By Richard Phillips, 8 August 2015

The maritime union has appealed to the global stevedoring corporation for negotiations on its multi-million dollar cost-cutting plans.

Australian waterfront workers denounce job cuts

By our reporters, 8 August 2015

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke with wharfies and waterfront maintenance workers at a protest outside Hutchison’s Port Botany container terminal in Sydney yesterday. It followed the late-night sacking almost 100 HPH employees nationally.

New Zealand government digs in after breakdown of US-led trade talks

By John Braddock, 8 August 2015

Protectionist opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership declared their satisfaction over the collapse of the negotiations.

Australian business demands deeper cuts to wages and conditions

By Mike Head, 7 August 2015

The Productivity Commission report sets out a framework for cutting wages and conditions to the levels already imposed on workers in Europe and America.

Australian state Labor government wracked by factional turmoil

By Patrick Kelly, 7 August 2015

The political crisis in Victoria is being fuelled by mounting dissatisfaction in corporate circles with the government.

New Zealand: Mana Party supports Labour’s anti-Chinese campaign

By Tom Peters, 5 August 2015

In an attempt to whip up xenophobia, the Maori nationalist party asserted that “people of Asian descent are buying too many homes.”

Australian unions promote anti-Chinese nationalism

By our reporters, 1 August 2015

Amid growing unemployment, union leaders are staging protests to denounce a Free Trade Agreement with China.

New Zealand: Thousands forced to live in accommodation “outside the norm”

By John Braddock, 13 July 2015

According to Statistics NZ, almost 100,000 people are living in institutions, hotels, caravans, motor camps, boarding houses and even garages.

New Zealand First Party attacks Pacific Island immigrants

By Matthew Carrington and Tom Peters, 11 July 2015

Emboldened by the support it receives from Labour, the Greens and Mana, New Zealand First’s denunciations of foreigners are increasingly vicious.

Australia Post to axe another 1,900 jobs in preparation for privatisation

By Keith Morgan, 4 July 2015

The claim of mail business losses is a smokescreen to eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs over the next three years.

World medical body denounces Australia’s refugee detention censorship law

By Will Morrow, 4 July 2015

The new law makes it a crime, punishable with two years in jail, to publicly reveal information about the conditions in Australia’s refugee detention camps.

Australian pseudo-left hails Syriza’s fraudulent referendum in Greece

By Oliver Campbell, 4 July 2015

Socialist Alternative’s promotion of the Greek referendum is an attempt to prevent the working class drawing any lessons from its experiences with the Syriza government.

Inequality in Australia rising at one of world’s fastest rates

By Cheryl McDermid, 3 July 2015

Australia’s mining boom benefited a tiny elite at the top of the income table.

The hypocrisy of the attack on the ABC

Murdoch’s Australian media put Zaky Mallah “up in lights”

By James Cogan, 3 July 2015

In 2012, today’s “terrorist” was a propagandist for Syrian “freedom fighters.”

War dangers in South China Sea continue to rise

By James Cogan, 20 June 2015

Military deployments are taking place in Asia that would be viewed in China as preparations for a potential provocation.