nightBy Ewan Tavendale

Wellington’s Mayor and city councillors have agreed a massive programme of privatisation of public property. This time (for land and buildings have been flogged-off cheap before) the privatisation is around the civic complex at the heart of the city, the public’s crown jewels so-to-speak. The privatisation will take the form of century-long leases being offered to developers to commercialise parts of council buildings and build on open spaces. The excuse is that revenue is needed for earthquake strengthening the Town Hall and other buildings.

At the same time the councillors are splashing money on business-friendly initiatives. One of these is a deal with a local developer to build, and Hilton Hotels to run, a 5-star hotel-cum-convention centre.  Under this compact the public will stand the risk by agreeing to lease the ugly waterfront monstrosity for $4 million a year. [Read More…]

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Socialism makes sense

by Ben Hillier It’s sensible, anyone can understand it. It’s easy. You’re not an exploiter, so you can grasp it. It’s a good thing for you, find out more about it. The stupid call it stupid and the squalid call it squalid. It’s against squalor and against stupidity. The exploiters call it a crime but […]

RichardIII

Proving a villain: the Bacchanals’ Richard III

Richard III, directed by David Lawrence. Bats Theatre, Wellington, until 31st January.   Reviewed by Dougal McNeill Stabbings, strangulation, child murder, an earl drowned in a barrel of wine, sword fights, dirty politics, and – naturally – one of the best baddies in the whole of literature: Shakespeare’s Richard III sets out how villainy needs […]

Charlie Hebdo crime scene-a

Don’t let this horror be used to stoke bigotry

[We reprint here a statement from the International Socialist Organization (US) about the killings in France.] THE HORRIFIC killings at the offices ofCharlie Hebdo in Paris have shocked the world. The outpouring of sympathy and solidarity for the 12 people killed–mostly editors, writers and cartoonists for the magazine–and 11 wounded is widespread and justified. But […]

Report on Experience

Socialist Summer Reading: the Best of 2014

Socialist Review asked writers, campaigners and performers to suggest some of the best discoveries from 2014 – we hope there are good suggestions here for your holiday reading! Michael Field: One of New Zealand’s defining books was Report on an Experience, published in 1947, two years after its author, John Mulgan, had killed himself. His World […]

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Zero-hour contracts, Poverty Pay, Rest Breaks Gone: We Need Our Unions

The scandalous practice of illegal wage deductions came to light in November when the media took up the case of Kerry McIvor, who resigned his Gull petrol station job in Masterton in disgust. McIvro was only paid $14.75 an hour. Over several occasions Kerry’s pay was docked hundreds of dollars by the owner of the […]

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Solidarity with ANZ Workers!

By Josh O’Sullivan On Friday unionised ANZ workers walked out on their jobs to protest the underhanded offers of the ANZ bosses during collective bargaining negotiations. After posting consecutive profit records that just last year amounted to $1.7 billion, CEO David Hisco gave himself a 11% pay rise, leaving his paycheck $4.7 million a year […]

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Jai Davis’s Death: Corrections’ Disgrace

What is a man’s life worth? Very little, if they are a prisoner. That must be the attitude of the Department of Corrections, as the terrible details coming out of the inquest into Jai Davis’s death at Otago prison in February 2011 make clear. Anyone with a conscience reading about Mr Davis’s death must feel […]

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The Lie of Opportunity

Stephen Laidler was laid off on the 14th of November. He put on a suit and printed a sign saying “Employ me please”. The media loved his “proactive” attitude and his photo was published nationwide. In a matter of days he had five “definite” job leads. While we support Mr Laidler’s efforts to find work, […]

From the archive

Anzac Day: Against the Carnival of Reaction

mobiliseagainstthewarOn Anzac Day 1967, at the height of New Zealand involvement in the ‘American War’ in Vietnam, with New Zealand troops taking part in the suppression of the Vietnamese struggle for national liberation, members of the Progressive Youth Movement in Christchurch tried to lay a wreath following the dawn service in memory of those killed by imperialism in Vietnam. They were arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour. Feminists a decade later faced down a media-driven public outcry when they laid wreaths to the victims of sexual violence during war.

Lest we forget? It’s more like lest we remember. Anzac Day serves as a carnival of nationalist reaction, a day of public ritual aimed at promoting forgetting: forgetting the real legacy of New Zealand imperialism and militarism in favour of a sentimental nationalism, an anti-political celebration of national unity. [Read More…]

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