Essential Information on an Essential Issue
17 January, 1995
- MEANS TESTINGTHE UNEMPLOYED
The Dominion last week obtained confidential papers to the Cabinet committee
on education, training and employment which show that the government is investigating
means-testing young people's unemployment, training and sickness
benefits by what their parents earn.The long-term agenda is to align all youth benefits in the same way that student
allowances are means-tested for under 25-yr olds.
This cabinet committee was successful last month in
raising the eligibility of benefits from 16 to 18 yrs of age (from the beginning of 1996), and getting the family support
payments for 16 and 17yr olds increased to compensate parents. The committee
recommended that government should evaluate in two years time the effects of last month's
announcements before implementing further changes.
- MEAT PROCESSOR ASKED TO RE-OPEN
With the drought putting pressures on the North Island meat processors,
the Meatworkers Union is pressing for the re-opening of Weddel plants to help
out. Many unemployed former Weddel workers were prepared to re-open the showpiece Aotearoa
Cambridge plant in order to help farmers struggling to find feed and having to wait to get
their stock processed. Weddel Aotearoa general manager Neil Bridgland says the plant
could be operating within a fortnight, provided the right sort of skills were available.
Source - The Dominion 19/1/95 Meat processors `not coping' by Anna Komink, Daily News 19/1/95 Former Weddel
staff ready to reopen plant in drought move, New Zealand Herald 19/1/95 Meat works needed says farmers by Glenys Christian
- CALL FOR SUPPORT TO BUSINESSES WHO TRAIN YOUNG PEOPLE
McDonald's Boss Al Dunn says that private enterprise could do more to train
youth and provide jobs. He believes there is an apparent lack of concern among private
enterprise employers on the issue of employment, and he cites the number of submissions to the
Task Force on Employment last year to illustrate his point. Of 750 submissions received by the
Task Force, fewer than 50 appeared to be from the 107,000 private employers in NZ.
McDonald's, which employs 5000 young people, is piloting a programme (with Rotary),
offering employers a free service for creating youth employment systems.
Source - New Zealand Herald 11/1/95 Jobs for young `a shrewd bet', The Dominion 11/1/95 Business sector
`should provide youth training' by Denise McNabb
- SMALL LOANS SCHEME SUCCESS
Small loans can make a difference. That's the story of
Just Dollar$, a Christchurch based ethical loan
fund which started just over two years ago. Sixty-four people have
gained full or part-time employment as a result of 39 loans totalling $113,000. Some of the loans
were as small as $200. All ventures assisted were unable to obtain loans from other sources
and most of those involved were previously
unemployed. All ventures are vetted to ensure
they will have no negative effects on the community or the environment. Just Dollar$ is
seeking more deposits or gifts to increase their loan fund, contact : P. O. Box 4232, Christchurch.
- NZ DOLE FIGURES
People registered as unemployed with NZ Employment fell 14.7% over the last year
to 181,091. This is the lowest December result since 1990. This figure excludes the annual flood
of vacation workers on to the job market, but does reflect the school leavers and tertiary
graduates looking for permanent work.
Jobless numbers are still up on
November. While the annual figure of registered
unemployed has fallen, overall numbers are increasing in most regions, which is a seasonal pattern.
The Central region (across the middle of the North Island) increased 7.3% on the November
figures, the Northern Region (Kaitaia to Pukekohe) increased 5%, Wellington was up by 5.3%, and
the Southern region up by 0.4%.
Long-term unemployment. NZ Employment figures show those registered as
unemployed for over six months dropped 15,217 to 90,558 people in the year to Dec 94, a drop of 14.4%
This means that almost exactly 50% of the registered
unemployed are long-term unemployed.
Where are the jobs? NZ Employment's figures show that most of their 11,274 vacancies
in November were in factory jobs (2,995), followed by clerical work (2,856) and the service
industries (1,718). Other sector vacancies were agriculture, mining and forestry (1,300),
construction (663), metal and electrical (552), professional and technical (281) and admin and
management (104). You had to be in quick ... 43% of the jobs on file with NZ Employment
were filled in five days.
Source - The Dominion 20/1/95 Jobless totla lowest since 1990, New Zealand Herald 20/1/95 Jobless total down 31,208
for last year, Daily News 20/1/95 Rise in number of Taranaki jobless by Avalon Willing and NZPA,
- UN YEAR OF TOLERANCE
1995 has been dubbed The Year of
Tolerance by the United Nations, acknowledging
that the cause of many international conflicts and human rights abuses was the intolerance of
other religions or races. The NZ United Nations Association will mark this year with a series of
seminars on tolerance.
Source - The Dominion 7/1/95 Welcome to the Year of Tolerance by Martin Kay
- ETHNIC DISCRIMINATION FOR JOBSEEKERS
Intolerance is certainly an issue in the local job market in NZ. Steve Marshall of the
Employer's Federation last week told Massey students that
discrimination against Maori and Pacific Island
job-seekers was a major problem in dealing with their high rate of
unemployment. The figures : Maori unemployment rate is 20.8%, and the Pacific Island rate is 22.2%.
This compares with the overall NZ average unemployment rate os 7.8%.
Cultural issues and geographic isolation, together with shortcomings in educational
achievements and a lack of technical skills were generally blamed for the high unemployment rate,
says Marshall. "These are all valid. However, even when all these are accounted for, I believe there
is an underlying discrimination issue that must be addressed." Marshall says that as NZ
becomes more of a multi-cultural society "we must develop new understandings".
Source - The Dominion 19/1/95 `Discrimination' an issue in unemployment by Anamika Vasil
- MORE YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING AT HOME
In the last Jobs Letter we reported from Australia on concerns of
young people continuing to live at home because award wages and training allowances were insufficient to guarantee
their independence. Latest Statistics NZ figures show a growing `at home' trend in NZ with 57% of
all 15-24 yr olds living with their parents, compared with 51% a decade earlier. Government
Statistician Len Cook says that young men (79%) were more likely to be living at home than
young women (73%), and young Maori left home earlier than other ethnic groups.
Source - The Daily News 19/1/95, More choosing to live alone, The Dominion 19/1/95 Stats show young adults staying at
- CANADIAN TV ON NZ ECONOMIC POLICIES
Hot, and in photocopied circulation: Transcripts of the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporations "Ideas" programme on "The Remaking of NZ", a two
part radio broadcast on NZ's free market
revolution. It is an overview of the social and economic forces at work in this country
over the last decade, and includes interviews with David Lange, Roger Douglas, Jim Anderton,
Brian Easton, Tony Simpson, Phillida Bunkle, Roger Kerr, Sandra Lee, Jeanette Coughlan and
Sue Bradford. There are moves afoot to get the programmes broadcast on our National Programme.
- Canada has taken a great deal of interest in NZ's free market revolution and our
experience is touted as a way for the Canadians to pull themselves back from the economic abyss. The
popular TV programme Fifth Estate recently devoted a full hour to a documentary profiling
NZ's reforms, and national newspapers have carried
editorials urging Canadians to copy the NZ
way. Sir Roger Douglas frequently appears on TV news programmes, and acts as a freelance adviser
to the Alberta Premier. Other visitors to Canada have included former Treasury Secretary
Graham Scott, and NZ's High Commissioner to Canada (and former Employment Minister)
Maurice McTigue is said to be regularly consulted by Canadian Ministers.
Speaking on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporations "Ideas" programme, Listener
economist Brian Easton doesn't pull any punches when describing the revolutionary zeal of the
"New Right" ideologies that have come to be accepted as the norm within our
government departments.Easton says that people have found career paths in the public service
blocked because they were no longer ideologically
correct, whereas ideology hadn't been a factor in
Says Easton : " ... Another factor was government funding was switched away from
people who in the past had been mild dissenters of the politically correct line and was pushed entirely
into financial consultancies who supported the government
line. The terrorisation was extraordinary. People who had been invited, say, to Christmas parties for the last umpteen years, were
no longer invited because they were not politically correct. The result was that lots of people
who might be thought of as good simply hid, partly because they were not used to real politics
where, essentially, nobody took any prisoners
Source - New Zealand Herald 16/1/95 Canada looks to us in crisis by Mark Hill
- PROJECT K - YOUTH TRAINING SCHEME
Graeme Dingle's Project K youth training
scheme will be designed for directionless teenagers who will be in danger of falling through the cracks of our community through
unemployment, juvenile crime or family breakdown. Dingle and his partner Jo-Anne Wilkinson
are raising funds for the project with an adventure trek and kayaking through the North
Island. Project K - named after the Koru which is a symbol for life - aims to put 2000 teenagers
through a 3-month training scheme in its first 3 years. The first month of the course will be a
wilderness experience followed by two months carrying out community or voluntary work, acquiring
a driving licence and first aid training.
Source - The Dominion 13/12/94 Dingle plans youth project
- 25,000 NZ HOUSEHOLDS SUB-STANDARD
A report on serious housing needs prepared for Murray McCully by his officials last
year has been obtained last week under the Official Information Act. It shows that
25,000 NZ households are in sub-standard, overcrowded or temporary
accommodation or in homes they cannot afford. About 2,000 households had no hot water and 500 were homeless. More than
half the overcrowded dwellings were in Auckland or Northland.
- FULL EMPLOYMENT A "DESTRUCTIVE MYTH"
The notion of full employment is a
myth, an illusion and a destructive trap according
to David Macarov, Emeritus Professor at the Hebrew University, Israel, speaking to the Basic
Income European Network Congress in London in November. Macarov : "The world does
not need and cannot use all the human labour
available, and it will need less and less as time
goes by. Attempts to increase the use of human labour, in the face of continually weakening demand,
is personally degrading, societally corrupting, economically self-defeating and ultimately
dangerous. We must find a way to distribute the resources created by technology
on a basis other than work, and we must promote other attitudes and activities to the same value level enjoyed by
Macarov suggests a number of ways of distributing
income other than on the basis of work : (1) expanding entitlement programmes not based on work such as family
allowances, children's allowances, and in some countries, guaranteed minimum incomes; (2) paying people
to engage in activities not now defined as work such as homemaking, parenting, engaging in
sports and music; (3) dividing the societal resources created by technology equally among the
population, as is done on a partial basis in Alaska with oil revenues; (4) providing all the
elements needed for decent living to everyone without preconditions, as is done in the Israeli kibbutz.
"Understanding the present World Economy" is a kit of papers and video prepared
for individuals and groups by Katherine Peet, WEA, which gives
new perspectives on our current economic
system. Published by the Mental Health Foundation, P O Box 37 438, Parnell
- REPLACING STAFF COSTLY
US research suggests that the cost of replacing a staff member may be up to 150% of
the employee's annual salary, once you include the cost of recruiting, selecting, training, and getting
a new employee `up to speed', plus the cost of supervisors and co-workers involved in the
transition. Jacqui Shilton of Massey University suggests that there are considerable savings to be
made by undertaking programmes and providing facilities that encourage workers to stay
longer, such as childcare facilities for women.
- AUSSIE COMMISSION STUDIES CHARITIES
The Australian Commerce Commission has been carrying out an
inquiry into charitable organisations with a focus on community social welfare organisations. The draft report,
released in November, says that the review seeks to strengthen the contribution the charitable sector
makes to Australian society. It recommends multi-year (typically three-year) funding
agreements which take account of the full cost of the service provided. It says the funding agreements
should also include overheads, training, research and development, and programme development
The procedures used by the Australian Commission are also of interest: Public
hearings were held in the main centres, submissions were called for, and a draft report was presented to
a conference of 250 people. The report was then
opened for public comment with the final
report due for presentation to Government in the middle of this year.
"The risk of being a reforming government, being a radical government, is that you develop
an enormous appetite for the adrenalin of change and you take it beyond what is acceptable
and rational. We got thrown out of office because we went beyond that which was essential and
we started to pursue things for their own sake and for the sake of ideology. "
-- David Lange, from the transcript of the CBC Ideas radio programmes.
"Roger Douglas told the Reform Party convention in Saskatoon in 1991 that ... concensus
for "quality decisions" is achieved after they are made. He advised them not to reveal their
programme - but if elected, to implement it as quickly as possible to overwhelm the opposition."
-- Murray Dobbin, Saskatchewan freelance journalist, writer and narrator of the CBC
Ideas radio programmes
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