To this Letters Main Page

Last Diary

Last Diary

To this Letters Features

To the Index







    Letter No.52
    20 December, 1996

5 December 1996

Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane says that data matching by the Social Welfare department is unreliable and possibly illegal, and he has begun a review of the practice.

A 'summit' of eleven exporting industry groups in Wellington urges the incoming government to freeze public spending to prevent the value of the dollar rising further. It also wants further reforms to ACC, local government, compliance costs and deregulation of domestic markets.

6 December 1996

A savage hailstorm in the Hawkes Bay has destroyed the livelihood of many fruit orchardists and wiped $25m dollars from the local economy.

A $300m upgrade of the Carter Holt Harvey's Kinleith mill will increase production by nearly a third, but will also cost 300 jobs.

9 December 1996

A flood of overseas-trained doctors and dentists into NZ a year ago, has now turned into a trickle after changes to immigration policies.

10 December 1996

NZ First announces it will go into coalition with the National Party. Winston Peters takes the top Finance portfolio, now renamed as Treasurer. Next year's tax cuts will be deferred in order to pay for increased social spending.

World Human Rights Day.

11 December 1996

Details of the coalition deal between National and NZ First start to emerge ... see items in this issue of the Jobs Letter.

About half of the 500 RHA workers are expected to be made redundant after the coalition government agrees to abolish the four regional health authorities and replace them with a central agency.

CTU economist Peter Harris says that a World Bank conference on privatisation being held in Wellington has 24 speakers either advocating privatisation or examining it, and only two speakers who are critical of the process. Harris: "The conference is designed to tell delegates how to do things, but not to let them decide whether they ought to do them ..."

12 December 1996

Less than a third of the 36 South Island teachers flown to Auckland for a special job fair last week have taken jobs in Auckland schools.

Act MP Donna Awatere-Huata says that raising the minimum wage will bar Maoris from entering the workforce. Huata: "NZ First's moral self-righteousness is costing people their future. It's Maori who are going to lose out."

13 December 1996

Parliament re-opens. The Opposition parties are outraged as Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters reveals previously unpublicised parts of the coalition deal.

Social Welfare staff in several central North Island towns walk out on strike over pay claims.

At the inaugural meeting of the World Trade Organisation, held in Singapore, ministers from 128 nations agree to a sweeping pact to free commerce in information technology, which should lead to lower prices for a vast range of consumer goods that use electronic parts.

The WTO declaration firmly rejects the use of labour standards 'for protectionist purposes". This is despite the United States and many European countries insisting on action to help the 250m child workers, mainly in the third world, and to improve on sweatshop conditions. Developing nations, led by India, Pakistan and Egypt, refused WTO interference in the area of workers rights, saying that it would undermine their main advantage in world trade -- cheap labour.

Fletcher Challenge announces the loss of 120 jobs in its forestry operations -- mainly management and administrative staff in Auckland and Rotorua.

14 December 1996

Latest NZ Herald opinion poll shows a sharp dip in support for NZ First party.

15 December 1996

Labour Leader Helen Clark is bitter about the "snouts in the trough" after what she describes as the 'National First' coalition deal. Clark: "Everything is so venal: the payoffs, the deals, the slush funds ...."

The new coalition cabinet is announced. Maori MP John Delamere is the new Associate Treasurer, and the first MP in 70 years to go straight from 'civvy street' to a cabinet post.

Tau Henare is made Minister of Maori Affairs, Peter McCardle becomes Employment Minister, Max Bradford is Minister of Labour, Immigration , and Business Development and Roger Sowry is Minister of Social Welfare. 24-yr old Deborah Morris is Minister of Youth Affairs.

The notable losers are Peter Gresham, who loses Social Welfare and Roger Maxwell, who loses his Associate Employment, Immigration and Business Development portfolios.

The Defence Force announces new pay rises of up to 9%, in efforts to help stem the flow of people leaving the military.

16 December 1996

As Applefields hands out redundancy notices to 120 full-time orchard staff, some of its investors are threatening legal action over plans to close the orchards and sell the land for lifestyle blocks.

A report on manufacturing competitiveness, commissioned by the Wellington Manufacturers Association, says that the high dollar is hurting 75% of manufacturing exporters, making 85,000 jobs only marginally profitable, with 20,000 possibly going next year. This is more than the 50,000 manufacturing workplaces created since 1992.

17 December 1996

Reserve Bank governor Don Brash says he could live with the recent drop in wholesale interest rates, although he felt the easing had been "somewhat excessive".

The major banks all move to lower home mortgage interest rates to below 10%.

The Vice-Chancellors Committee says that a record number of 20,000 students have graduated from universities this year, with 53% of the NZ graduates finding full-time jobs, usually at higher salaries than last year.

18 December 1996

More than 230 prisoners have been freed early so that they can find jobs, accommodation and register for benefits before Christmas.

The Rev Charles Waldegrave of the Lower Hutt Anglican Family Centre says that NZ First has dashed hopes that government priorities will be given to alleviating poverty. He says that social agencies were concerned at the low ranking in the new cabinet given to social policy portfolios: Social Welfare has fallen two places to No.20, Housing is down from No.17 to 18, and Health has dropped from No.10 to 14.

The Labour Party says that the appointment of Jenny Shipley to Minister for the ACC raises the spectre of a privatised accident compensation system.

To the Top
Top of Page
This Letter's Main Page
Stats | Subscribe | Index |
The Jobs Letter Home Page | The Website Home Page
The Jobs Research Trust -- a not-for-profit Charitable Trust
constituted in 1994
We publish The Jobs Letter