Te Kowhai, Hamilton

7 days ago

WEAVE Cultural Market

Community Activator from Red Cross - Waikato Service Centre

This year's WEAVE Cultural Market will be on the 11th of December in Garden Place from 4pm till 8pm. Come along and enjoy ethnic food, crafts, cultural performances and other entertainments, celebrating the diversity of our former refugee and migrant communities!

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7 days ago

hail the Maori Don Quixote love his style

Paul from Pukete

www.stuff.co.nz...

Matt McCarten's public revenge on exploitative employers
“Nothing scares me.”
Utu. Noun: Revenge, vengeance, retaliation, payback, retribution, cost, price, wage, fee, payment, salary, reciprocity
Also.. compensation, recompense, reparation.

It’s a serene, sunny … View more
www.stuff.co.nz...

Matt McCarten's public revenge on exploitative employers
“Nothing scares me.”
Utu. Noun: Revenge, vengeance, retaliation, payback, retribution, cost, price, wage, fee, payment, salary, reciprocity
Also.. compensation, recompense, reparation.

It’s a serene, sunny Sunday summer’s morning in the suburbs. Only birdsong and the odd lawnmower punctuate the serenity. Then a flame-red truck rolls around the corner and disgorges a uniformed squad of union activists, who leaflet-drop your neighbours, chant, sing, and organise a picket line at your front fence.
This, says, Matt McCarten, is utu. After three years of “plotting in the dark” since his exit from the Labour Party’s high command, this is his solution for worker exploitation.

The targets for his Sunday “church for sinners” will be the recalcitrant employers whom he cannot get to the negotiating table to hear complaints against them of bullying, sexual harassment and migrant exploitation.
With a forensic IT expert and a private detective, he’s compiled a list of nine wealthy employers he’s accused of serious labour law breaches, and intends to protest outside all their homes before Christmas. “They are leeches, absolute leeches,” he says, “and they are destroying our country.
“We will directly focus on the criminal boss, and we will expose them, because I am sick of them all being able to do it in the dark.”
The UTU truck is ready to roll out.

He’ll only do it when he’s absolutely certain, he says. Only when they’ve refused all entreaties to negotiate. Only when he knows they are guilty of serious exploitation, sexual harassment or bullying - and they’ve got the money to pay up for their crimes.
He’ll publish stories on Martyn Bradbury’s Daily Blog, use a social media team to disseminate it further, publish their names, photographs, home address and phone numbers. “I am going to be quite hardline on this,” he says, “and I know there will be some pushback.”
The words of a warrior back at the coalface. McCarten, former New Labour founder, Alliance Party president and leader, Mana and Maori Party insider, Labour party chief of staff and Unite Union creator has set up another union.

His One Union aims to take up the cases of unrepresented low-wage workers in small businesses. It has two offshoots: it has consumed the Migrant Workers’ Association, probably the most significant of a handful of campaigning migrants rights groups, and McCarten has also set up Utu - his direct action squad in the red truck.
He says he has about 40 volunteers lined up, with veteran Unite organiser Joe Carolan as ‘captain of the guard’, with another 30 primed to run the name-and-shame social media. The idea came to him, he says, after first considering constituting a French Revolution-style Court of the People.
He expects he’ll be charged with vigilantism, like the judge-and-jury types who pursue paedophiles. He has an answer for that: he’d go after paedophiles too if they could make a small payment, never admit their guilt, be allowed to retain anonymity and continue as they did before.

For that’s what tends to happen in a cumbersome system in which it can take over a year to secure a date for mediation, the compulsory first step when an employee complains an employer has breached their rights.

It can be another year before a case is heard at the Employment Relations Authority, while the Labour Inspectorate, which takes many cases of exploitation, is overloaded with case work and has an investigative backlog.

Financially, it’s a hard road. Most exploited workers are low-wage earners who cannot afford $15,000 to pay a lawyer’s costs through to a full hearing. Mediated settlements are often for just a fraction of the debt, barely cover costs and come with confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses.

That leaves most reliant on advocates such as McCarten, many of whom work on a percentage of the settlement. McCarten says One Union will take a case through to mediation for $500, payment deferred if the client can’t afford it, and ask for a voluntary donation of 10% of any settlement towards the union fighting fund - and he’ll cover his own wage through demanding his costs from the employer.
Since departing the Labour leaders’ office, McCarten has handled about 100 cases of worker exploitation. Never, he says, does the employer admit their guilt: all lie until the end.
Mediation hearings are confidential. What’s said cannot be used in court, and certainly not shared with the public.



If a worker steals $100,000 from their boss, McCarten says, they are arrested, convicted, shamed and fined. If the reverse happens, the boss can get away with paying a percentage and agreeing to confidentiality and a non disparagement clause.
McCarten doesn’t like those compromises. He wants to get everything back, and leave with his client feeling justice has been done - and the employer is paying enough that it “hurts”. He reckons his deals are several times better than others.
He begins reeling off rollicking tales of past negotiations. He’s ruthless. In one, every time the other side made an offer, he upped his own claim by another $5,000. In one where the offending was particularly vile, he told the other side he knew about their affairs and their regular visits to prostitutes. “Nothing scares me, I can’t be threatened.“

His approach is to open a mediation hearing with a short korero. That, he says, is “to change the battlefield”, re-balance the power equation from the employer with their hundreds-per-hour lawyer back towards the worker, and their humble advocate.
“I say ‘I am an utu man’. Let me explain what utu is. When you take mana away from someone… you must restore it. This kid you stole 100k from? You have trampled on his mana, and it must be restored. That’s what utu is. In Māori terms, it means recognition, responsibility, reparations, reciprocity. That’s that pathway.
“Then there’s the other pathway, which most Pakeha understand – revenge. It’s about putting it right - but if you don’t put it right, there’s another reaction.”
And so if they don’t see sense, he’ll roll the truck out.

But, he says, he’s reasonable and pragmatic. He knows in many cases, the exploited worker shares some culpability. He has some sympathy for a corner-cutting small business owner just trying to stay afloat: “I live in a world where there are shades of grey and I always let them find a way out of the predicament they have put themselves into.”
But when they don’t – “we have to do a campaign so that people think ‘f---, I better not do that again’.”
“I am braver”

Raised in orphanages, McCarten was politicised as a teenager by reading Steinbeck’s novel of the Great Depression, The Grapes of Wrath. He developed the belief that work brings dignity and hope, and began a life embedded in the union movement.
In his twenties, he says, he was helping migrant workers in his free time away from union work, and now he’s done with mainstream politics, he’s back in the same place. “I started off as a union activist and I will end as a union activist.”
A decade ago, McCarten, now 61, was dying of liver cancer. And then he wasn’t. It didn’t, he says, really change him. He considers. “It made me less fearful,” he says. “I haven't changed a lot but I think I might be more focused. I am braver.”

He’s been sued and lost four times, he says, and never paid up. He told one lawyer he would occupy their office and picket their client, and every time a bill for costs arrived, he wrote ‘f-- off’ on it and posted it back. He’s happy to be trespassed and sued by those who are visited by the Utu truck.
“This is the work of my life,” he says. “This is the stuff that has always driven me.”
Change, he says, must come from the people, not Parliament. He wants to campaign for a simple law change, one he suggested while inside the Labour elite: for any claim below $20,000, there should be a hearing within two weeks, with a binding mediator’s decision and no right of appeal for either side.
It would be one way of countering the stultifying delays in the ERA system and the ability it gives employers to run the clock down, knowing the pressures of an expiring visa and the need to earn a wage will have on the complainant.

But first, the Utu truck. “The way exploitation will end is when the community says we don’t want to have this s... here. People want to do something about it.. this is not the country we set out to build. This poison which is seeping into our land has to be cut out.”

McCarten says Labour have shown little political will to resolve the issue and he’s disappointed in their choice of Kris Faafoi and Phil Twyford to take the immigration portfolio. But he thinks once the wealthy neighbours of his targets are on board and public opinion swells, something can happen.
“Change the community’s thinking, then the parliamentarians will change the law. They won't do it first … they test the wind, is this popular? Is it unpopular?
“So you have to change people’s minds first … So I will come to those leafy suburbs and not let people think it is okay.

8 days ago

We help provide a pathway to employment

Career Moves

Career Moves supported employment agency is a multi-faceted agency working with disability, job seekers and open recruitment. We work in all of the smaller towns across the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and offer a range of ways to meet and engage with our clients.

We focus on employment for skilled, … View more
Career Moves supported employment agency is a multi-faceted agency working with disability, job seekers and open recruitment. We work in all of the smaller towns across the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and offer a range of ways to meet and engage with our clients.

We focus on employment for skilled, experienced people looking for work. Focusing on Diversity and inclusion. We strive to promote fair and equal work opportunities for people, in a safe environment. Getting back into work, in today’s job market takes planning and preparation.  With our additional services, Career Moves Recruitment can help with your game plan and match you to the right job.  Whether it’s a first job, the next big career move, or a role to fit in with your lifestyle. 

Employment placement programme in conjunction with Work & Income.
We can help you with:
- Career advice
- A CV that will stand out from the crowd.
- A cover letter that focuses on the keywords that employers are targeting.
- Interview peroration that gets you ready to impress employers.
- Job search plan.

Our team of consultants offer support with career planning, tailored specifically to you! Let us help you through the employment process, like interview coaching and so much more.
Find out more

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P
8 days ago

Cat

Paul from Whatawhata

Does anybody have a big black cat on laxon road please take note if comes onto my property and attacks my cat again 3rd time i will catch it and take it to the vet

8 days ago

Our Strategy Better Later Life – He Oranga Kaumātua 2019 to 2034

The Team from Office for Seniors

Last November, we launched our new strategy, Better Later Life – He Oranga Kaumātua 2019 to 2034. This strategy will help ensure we create opportunities for all of us to participate, contribute and be valued as we age. Many of the key areas for action in the strategy have become even more … View moreLast November, we launched our new strategy, Better Later Life – He Oranga Kaumātua 2019 to 2034. This strategy will help ensure we create opportunities for all of us to participate, contribute and be valued as we age. Many of the key areas for action in the strategy have become even more relevant in the wake of COVID-19.

Click here to read our strategy and find out more about what we want to achieve and what needs to happen bit.ly...

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8 days ago

Pop-Up Bookfair

Community Activator from Red Cross - Waikato Service Centre

On the 28th of November, we are hosting a Pop-Up Bookfair at Wesley Methodist Hall on Heaphy Terrace, Hamilton. We look forward to seeing you there!

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8 days ago

Get the inside scoop on Stuff's great travel finds

The Team Reporter from Stuff

Hey neighbours,

Here at Stuff Travel, our team of journalists have been furiously ferreting out Aotearoa’s best hidden gems. We've come across so many activities and places we never knew existed.

Typically, as soon as we report a great place on Stuff, the floodgates open. But … View more
Hey neighbours,

Here at Stuff Travel, our team of journalists have been furiously ferreting out Aotearoa’s best hidden gems. We've come across so many activities and places we never knew existed.

Typically, as soon as we report a great place on Stuff, the floodgates open. But subscribe to our newsletter here for a free ticket to ride with our travel team each week as we explore the best of New Zealand.

We’ll tell you about our great finds, before we tell anyone else. And we’ll throw in some great deals, giveaways and advice each week too.

Bon voyage!

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13 days ago

We Say, You Say: How much influence does Big Tobacco have?

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

New Zealand is one of the better countries at keeping the tobacco industry's influence on government policy, but the Cancer Society says New Zealand still needs to exercise vigilance.

New Zealand is currently ranked 5th on the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index, behind the United … View more
New Zealand is one of the better countries at keeping the tobacco industry's influence on government policy, but the Cancer Society says New Zealand still needs to exercise vigilance.

New Zealand is currently ranked 5th on the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index, behind the United Kingdom and Uganda. With New Zealand's goal to be smokefree less than five years away, the Cancer Society warns that the tobacco industry will be looking for new ways to weaken health policy.

In late September, the Hamilton City Council ruled unanimously in favour of a ban on vaping in smokefree areas after principals said that an increase in vaping led to school children taking up smoking.

Do you think that New Zealand's going to achieve its goal to be smokefree by 2025?

*Please type NFP if you don't want your comment featured in the conversations section of the Hamilton Press

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9 days ago

Save this summer with Scenic

Scenic Hotel Group

Take the scenic route this summer and enjoy exploring New Zealand at its best. With a myriad of accommodation all around our beautiful country, there is always a place you can #StayKiwi with us.

Stay one night, save 10%, stay two, save 19%, stay three or longer and you'll unlock up to 23% … View more
Take the scenic route this summer and enjoy exploring New Zealand at its best. With a myriad of accommodation all around our beautiful country, there is always a place you can #StayKiwi with us.

Stay one night, save 10%, stay two, save 19%, stay three or longer and you'll unlock up to 23% off when you book direct.
Check availability

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9 days ago

Neighbourly has its own Santa for our NZ suburbs...

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

He’s small, he’s blue and he has a sack of 28 amazing presents that need to be given away in the lead up to Christmas.

Simply find the secret Santa code hidden within a post on your Neighbourly newsfeed and use this to enter the daily draw on our Santa in the Suburbs competition page.

View more
He’s small, he’s blue and he has a sack of 28 amazing presents that need to be given away in the lead up to Christmas.

Simply find the secret Santa code hidden within a post on your Neighbourly newsfeed and use this to enter the daily draw on our Santa in the Suburbs competition page.

Don't miss out on today's daily prize!
Find Out More

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10 days ago

Kids should be heard

White Ribbon

Kids ask us for attention because they are learning how to navigate the world and build relationships - they need to be able to speak and be listened to so they can learn and grow. Challenge the #outdated rules - it’s time to shake off the old and reveal the new. Find out more

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11 days ago

Flume Road - perfectly positioned private panorama

Bayleys Realty Group

Discover the epitome of country lifestyle living with this stunning property. Comprising 30ha with a spacious family home that is perfectly positioned on an elevated site with some of the best panoramic views in the Waikato.

The 362sqm home is oriented to capture the warmth and light of the sun … View more
Discover the epitome of country lifestyle living with this stunning property. Comprising 30ha with a spacious family home that is perfectly positioned on an elevated site with some of the best panoramic views in the Waikato.

The 362sqm home is oriented to capture the warmth and light of the sun with doors opening out from the living areas to a wrap around veranda and expansive views. The rolling land features a stand of mature pine trees and a picturesque pond set amongst native plantings. Situated in a desirable lifestyle area less than 15mins from Cambridge.
Property details

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11 days ago

WEAVE Cultural Market

Community Activator from Red Cross - Waikato Service Centre

This year's WEAVE Cultural Market will be on the 11th of December in Garden Place from 4pm till 8pm. Come along and enjoy ethnic food, crafts, cultural performances and other entertainments, celebrating the diversity of our former refugee and migrant communities!

Image
13 days ago

Work off Christmas dinner in 23,573 easy steps

Smiths City

As we head into the eating season, you might want to think about tracking your fitness. Check out our range of wearable tech, from FitBit, Huawei and Samsung, in-store or online today. smithscity.co.nz – keeping Xmas honest. Visit us online

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14 days ago

This week's latest Blueprint

Hamilton Harcourts

View Hamilton Harcourts' latest interactive Blueprint.

If you'd like to receive Blueprint in your inbox each week, subscribe here.
Read now

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