GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Politics, Polls and Property

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In 1984 when the 4th Labour Government led by David Lange and Finance Minister Roger Douglas came to power and introduced neoliberal economics to our country, I was a teacher.

With my degree, two years of my salary was roughly equivalent to the price of the average house in our country. Today, depending on where you live, the average house price is equivalent to 8 or 9 times the salary of a degreed teacher with 10 year’s experience ( even with the recent wage increases).

That’s just one real life measure of what neoliberalism has done to make our lives worse, not better as former Labour finance minister Douglas promised.

Here another. When I was a teacher my salary was roughly equivalent to that of a backbencher. Today backbenchers earn roughly twice as much as a degreed teacher. So they are now up in the top 10% of wage earners and withe xpenses they are doing just fine .

Last week National MP Nathan Guy announced he would retire from politics. He’ll be comfortably off. Apart from his generous parliamentary superannuation The Parliamentary Register of Pecuniary interests shows that he has seven real property interests, and interests in 15 other commercial properties.

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He is one of many National MPs who have substantial interests in property
Amy Adams, MP for Selwyn and National’s finance spokesperson, owns three residential properties in Cromwell, West Melton and Wellington, has another two in Templeton and Temuka and owns two areas of bare land in Darfield and Te Kauwhata, as well as a farm property in Aylesbury.

Other MPs with multiple properties include Nationals’ Parmjeet Parmar (seven), Gerry Brownlee (six), Nicky Wagner (six) and Anne Tolley, who owns and jointly owns four properties plus six shops in Napier.

All but 5 of our 120 MPs own property. So there is a broad vested interest in not taxing wealth creation out of property ownership which is why we are not seeing it on the neoliberal agenda of the current government .

Labour will also be aware that National is on 45% in the polls and they are on 44%.

A one percent difference isn’t much, especially when there is not much difference in their economic austerity policies. But what those figures tell you is that the party that owns the most property is still very popular.

The poll figures also tell you that the housing crisis isn’t going to be solved anytime soon as long as property remains the No1 way of accumulating wealth in our country and land prices continue to be pushed up.

The poll figures also explain why Labour is not going to do what is morally right- namely . to distribute the wealth of the nation for the benefit of the many and not the few .

Those who say the current government is more caring than the last I say look beyond the warm fuzzy rhetoric . The low income inmates of our economic prison may have been given slightly softer mattresses to lie on but they are not going to escape economic bondage to own their own shelter anytime soon.

Because, at the risk again of repeating myself, you cannot fund the politics of well-being with the economics of selfishness.

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Both wings belong to the same Bird. Election promises are the only tool they have to maintain their employment contracts. CGT, Cannabis reform, a change in the Social System to raise everyones standard of living, bridge the inequality gap, Kiwi Build, living wages, blah de blah blah blah… Only the faces change in Politics the intention isn’t enough to make anything change.
    Wouldn’t it be funny if they gave an election & nobody showed up?
    Trickle trickle little stars, how we wonder where you are?

  2. Brian,as i was born on September 22,1984,i have only lived in the post Orwellian version of AO/NZ.

    But my dad informed me since i was around 5 years old that we once had a first world society here.
    Its a real shame to look on TDB and MSM only to find that they are filled with stories detailing the same negative socio economic scenarios that we were forewarned would be a natural side effect of Globalisation.
    Its not a surprise,just a shame,as the ultimate outcome was known in the same instant that the agenda was formalised,before i was even born.

    My dad was no social scientist,but he was also no fool.

    I am a 4th generation resident of the historic mining town of Waihi(since C 1893).

    My Great Grandfather joined the Waihi Miners Strike in 1912 with his cobber’s,who included the martyr,Frederick George Evans.

    After battling with the Government thugs otherwise known as the Armed Constabulary,(the same Armed Constabulary who attacked Parihaka no less,and whom the unwise of today still worship on 25th April,as members of the Armed Constabulary were active in the failed ANZAC Gallipoli Campaign)and witnessing the State sponsored Murder of one of their own in the Miners Union Office(now our town hall),they were then expected to serve the Crown on foreign battlefields.

    The Government then sent my Grandfather to Italy and Egypt to help the British crown secure and acquire assets and prepare for the Magical appearance of the pseudo State of Israel.

    By the time that Vietnam had become an issue,my dad had turned against the State,he wanted nothing to do with it.

    Our family kept our original family land in the East end of town until 1998,when the Multinational Normandy Mining Company broke its agreement with the town and applied to extent the size and life of the mine.
    This changed our rural/residential lifestyle block into an industrial zoned,24/7 nightmare.

    We were the first of the Waihi family’s to force Normandy Mining to pay us market value plus amenity effects Compensation for the fact our lifestyle had to be destroyed to make way for industry.
    We saw local and central Government complicity with Normandy Agendas at Waihi.

    The family moved to a new lifestyle block 10 minutes out of Waihi.
    But,in 2006,we had a visit from the New Zealand Police (Cannabis Eradication Squad).
    They had found some cannabis growing on the property and charged my dad with Cultivation.
    In front of my Granddad,the legally illiterate thugs,dressed in black balaclavas,black clothing,with black semi automatic weapons pointed at my dads head,told him he would be losing his freehold property for these plants.

    Dad was in his 50’s and had never had a speeding ticket,let alone a criminal conviction.

    The though of losing the family land did things to the inner workings of his mind…

    I am sure Tangata Whenua can relate to this..

    Instead,3 days later,having being charged and bailed for the cultivation offence,my dad put down his hunting dogs,took his rifle and disappeared…

    We never saw him again…

    In 2010,a Coroners Inquest declared him dead….

    Around this time,off duty Detective Simon Everson came around,cap in hand,to apologise to my mother for any role that NZ Police may have played in her husbands death.

    In 2006,i was 21,and i will never forget or forgive these events.

    In 2010 i found a Bay of Plenty Kiwifruit Contractor conducting Discriminating against NZ citizens.
    I informed,MSD,IRD and INZ,all of whom did absolutely nothing to address this.
    It was left to me,the individual,to take a Personal Grievance Claim against this non compliant Employer,which i successfully did.
    The Employment Relations Authority upheld my claim for Unjustified Dismissal due to my questioning my Employer about the legal status of an illegal migrant worker.

    The Employer was FencingWORXBOP LTD and it now features on the ERA online list of bad Employers.

    Fact is there were problems with MSD,IRD and INZ in that case
    They were all in breach of a duty of care.

    The Employment issues of 2010 happened under a National Government which aided and abetted such corrupt practices.

    Now in 2019,under a Labour led coalition Government,the Universe has granted me an opportunity to restore some balance in our society.

    I have previously posted on TDB about the Employment related issues i am now having with the non compliant Kiwifruit Labour hire company Garcia Contracting Sevices LTD.

    I have been working with Labour Inspector Alex Magill to assess the extent of my Employers liability and put it before the ERA and the Employment Court if need be.

    I can say that so far,MBIE and Inspector Magill are the only Government agents who have taken the issues seriously.

    Because MSD is on the public record supporting Garcia Contracting with taxpayer funding ($30K+),it looks foolisha now…
    MSD is embarrassed and Tauranga Branch Work Broker Marion Jamieson is the one in the cross hairs as she negotiated the Agreement with Garcia,handed over the taxpayer funding and failed to monitor the companies subsequent conduct towards its employees.

    Local BOP MSM reported back in February how MSD was committing to a pilot programme with this company and its stated objective was to get beneficiaries or work seekers into permanent,meaningful employment.

    MSD Regional Managers interviewed for these two stories accepted that MSD has a “Mandate” to facilitate the prioritisation of all available work offers to NZ citizens in the first instance,then RSE workers and tourists,in that order.

    The reality is MSD financed Garcia’s obligation to INZ to prove it was doing everything it could to hire NZ workers,but now that i can prove at least half a dozen examples of how permanent employee,NZ citizens are disposed of in the instant that Garcia gets its annual RSE quota confirmed by INZ,i will require INZ to strip this non compliant entity of its RSE accreditation and at the same time explain to the general public how it was able to turn a blind eye to the case with FencingWorxBOPLTD.

    Observations and conversations have confirmed the Kiwifruit Industry has a strong preference for exploitable migrants and is very wary of people such as myself, who can do it a lot of PR damage and may even be capable of forcing a Government Inquiry.

    Zespri is really struggling with the non compliance notice i issued in late June.

    Because Garcia Contracting are guilty of non compliance and they worked in a non compliant way with their fellow contractor and client DMS Contracting,this creates an issue for Zespri executives.

    Because the sole client at Garcia Contracting’s Waihi Operation is Trinity Lands,this creates a compounding issue for Zespri.

    Allow me to elaborate….

    Zespri is supposed to be the Monopoly kiwifruit seller and also the Industry regulator.

    If i find a corrupt contractor,i should inform Zespri in the first instance,this is what its own guidelines advise.

    DMS Contracting is majority owned by a Zespri Board member!!!

    Trinity Lands is majority owned by Peter McBride,who was until recently Zespri Chairman and is now directing Fonterra!!!

    This is why my non compliance notice is causing problems at the top.

    People need to remember that Peter McBride and his brother Murray McBride,who owns and operates Bombers favorite packhouse,Eastpac,are the main players in the industry via their shareholding in Zespri and monopoly ownership of the industry.

    Their company Trinity Lands has registered assets in Dairy and Kiwifruit exceeding $300M.

    Yet they are operating as a tax exempt charity!!!

    Trinity lands have been under investigation by the Department of Internal Affairs for its strange charity/commercial ratios.

    Zespri has also faced Investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for obvious reasons.

    However,having spoken to the people who initiated these investigations,and given the timing of these investigations under a corrupt National Government which is itself implicated in the Zespri corruption scandal,these are to be regarded as token investigations,designed to fail.

    Trinity Lands is an Open Brethren agenda and so it donates to all willing political parties in exchange for future political favours.

    Peter McBride has a personal interest in the main Orchard where i work at Waihi.

    He owns it…

    My Application at the Employment Relations Authority will open with an incident that took place at Peter McBrides Goldwood Orchard,25 Capamagian Drive,Waihi.

    In due course,i intend to release the ‘Goldwood Papers’…

    Due to the scope of this case and the fact that it involves corrupt government officials and will expose corruption in the Zespri Mafia,i have contacted First Union Secretary Jared Abbott,explaining to him the situation and he has expressed an interest in joining the case.

    We will be meeting this week to discuss strategy.

    I have also contacted Prominent Tauranga Commercial Lawyer Marcus Wilkins about my concerns surrounding Kiwifruit industry corruption.

    Marcus has been an outspoken critic of this Zespri corruption for many years,as have i.

    He is representative for the Independent Kiwifruit Growers Association which was formed specifically to combat this corruption from Trinity Lands and the Open Brethren,who hide under the Zespri brand.

    Bomber,in response to your recent blog reminding us that despite its failings,this current coalition government is the lesser of two evils,i totally agree with you.

    Given that its first term will consist of taking stock and damage control,it cannot fix the damage done by National in a single term.

    It needs a second term.

    My personal interactions with MSD since 2010 and including 2019 confirm your assertion that Government in Wellington may change but if it fails to purge corrupt,pro National agents from its regional department offices,then it can appear to the general public as more of the same.

    I need to be clear that my historical issues with MSD,IRD and INZ are the fault of the National party under John Key.

    It will become the fault of the current coalition Government when it hears my complaints and fails or refuses to fix these governance issues.

    I have mentioned for you guys here my family history and my personal circumstances for a reason.

    My circumstances are a scale model of the results that were always known to be the natural,collateral damage that results from Crown interference and associated, accelerated neo liberal agendas.

    The issues with Fletchers at the moment,the issues with Oranga Tamariki,they are all evidence to me that the People and the State are at War.

    At Waihi,we know about Civil War,because the town was under siege in 1912 while well meaning New Zealanders took up arms and fought each other in the streets.

    There is a reason why the British Crown had amassed a Redcoat professional fighting force of over 58,000 in early colonial NZ to deal with a part time ‘Rebel’ force of not more than 2000.

    The Crown understood we cannot be measured in numbers alone,the First Nations of Aotearoa in particular,are more than the sum total of their constituent parts.

    Let us not forget that our most ancient heritage,Maori and European,lies with the HOTU Nation,from whom many but not all Maori tribes share genetic lineage.

    I note that the first and most lucrative treaty settlements have generally gone to those tribes who have contracted with the Crown to rewrite the history books.

    In summary,Waihi has played a pivotal role in NZ politics,with the Union movement and FOL setting the scene for the rise of what is now known as the Labour Party.

    It would do Labour and its coalition partners well to remember its roots in the working class.

    I am prepared to work with the left to give the coalition a second term,an opportunity to prove it is not the National Party wearing a Red dress.

    This is the last chance any New Zealand Government will ever be given,and this is not just my personal opinion…

    You all know things have gone too far…

    If the Government of this pacific island nation will not serve its people,then it will be removed,along with its enablers.

    There is no place for the British Crown in a United Aotearoa/NZ…

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