Red Alert

Posts Tagged ‘business’

Where are they?

Posted by on February 17th, 2013

Last year, Labour questioned why a company called King Facade Ltd had been given approval in principle from Immigration New Zealand to bring in 110 “Facade Installers” from China on the basis that there were no New Zealanders skilled enough to do the work. There were  questions about the granting of this approval that were not satisfactorily answered by either the Minister of Immigration or Immigration New Zealand, with only a cursory attempt to find New Zealand workers, and a exaggeration of the skills required ensuring that any Kiwis would not meet the requirements.

The parent company of King Facade Ltd is Mainzeal, and this week King Facade Ltd also went into voluntary liquidation.

The then Associate Minister of Immigration, Kate Wilkinson gave assurances that the parent company Mainzeal had a good record with Work and Income. Another big justification from the government was that King Facade would work with Mainzeal and the Industry Training Organisation to develop a Facade Installer Apprenticeship programme, so New Zealanders would be skilled to do the work in future.

Well that’s all fallen over, along with the collapse of Mainzeal, the loss of jobs and contractors out of pocket.

Who knows what’s happened to the poor Chinese Migrant workers, who were promised a three year employment contract.

My guess is they were on the next flight home, with no pay in their pockets for the work they have done.


David Shearer and Clayton Cosgrove announced today that Labour will legislate for a fairer deal for subbies.

Some Monday morning wisdom

Posted by on August 1st, 2011

It was a great pleasure to speak at a graduation ceremony in Auckland on Friday.

More of an honour was to share the stage with the other speakers such as Dr Dave Roberts, director of Faculty of business and law of University of Southern Queensland and Dr John Hinchcliff, former president of AUT.

I’ve known Dr Hinchcliff for many years. His speech was witty and relevant. I wished the Cabinet would take some notes. I thought I would share some of my highlights with you below:

We can learn an interesting emphasis from the derivation of the words ‘economy’ and ‘ecology’. In Greek ‘eco’ means ‘home’ (from oikos). And ‘nomy’ (from ‘nomos’) used in ‘economy’ means ‘care of’ or ‘management of’.

The word ‘logos’ in ‘ecology means ‘wisdom’. Before we know how to care for the home we must know what it means and what it represents. So ‘wisdom’ takes priority. Thus, ecology should take precedence over economics just as wisdom should take precedence over knowledge.

Our existence is a wonderful phenomenon. But the fragility of our home has been threatened by our lack of care, and by our poor and unthinking management. Nature urgently needs our wise support, just as millions of poverty stricken people need our care, and our democratic governance needs our active engagement.

Tags: ,
Filed under: asian, economy

Labour ideas spark interest on major Chinese website

Posted by on March 5th, 2010

An article by Stuart Nash has gained some attention on the popular Chinese-language business website

Following my columns on NZ-based Chinese-language websites I have now gained a platform for my articles to be published on Shanghai-based features major business stories and market developments from around the world (including updates from the NZX) and it seems as though Stuart Nash’s thoughts on National’s tax reforms have caught the eye of many in the Asian business world.

Keep an eye on the site to see more articles from Labour MPs in the future.

Click here to read Stuart Nash’s article.

Tags: ,
Filed under: asian, ethnic

Off to Clandeboye

Posted by on October 12th, 2009

Chippie posted on his Parliament Business Trust time with Sky City.

I’m doing one with Fonterra – main focus for me will be the capital structure issue with a look at their Latin America strategy. I was involved in lots of discussions on the former when in government and Chair a group of MPs interested in the latter.

This is not new for me I did a week with EDS in about 1997 and a more extensive programme with Telecom in 1995. Those contacts awakened me to the potential of ICT which was useful especially as Minister of Education. Most importantly they made links with individuals and then sites that help with my ongoing education.

Because I haven’t seen a factory or a working dairy farm for years I’m off to Timaru soon.

The only contact I’ve had with Clandeboye (thanks for correction) was around a school closure – one that went pretty smoothly. I’m sure it is going to be an interesting day.

Business placement at Sky City

Posted by on October 3rd, 2009

I spent most of the past week up in Auckland on a Business and Parliament Trust placement at Sky City. The placements are a great opportunity for MPs from all parties to spend some time in a large company learning more about their business and the business environment in general. I chose Sky City for a variety of reasons, including my role as Labour’s spokesperson on gambling issues. I was also interested in the hospitality and conventions side of their business.

Throughout the week I had an opportunity to sit down with most of the company’s senior team and discuss everything from their HR practices through to their approach to foreign exchange, interest rates and debt management. Naturally we spent quite a lot of time talking about the gambling side of the business, their host responsibility policies and the constraints the regulatory and legal environment places on them.

Although I’ve worked for a large corporate before (I spent a couple of years working as a training manager in the oil and gas industry), I’d never seen the inside of a large hospitality business before. We did a tour of the convention centre and the various kitchens throughout the complex and I was simply blown away. I’d always wondered how the catering was handled for a 1,000+ conference dinner – now I know!

The Business and Parliament Trust does a really great job of providing MPs with the opportunity to stay in touch with business and providing business with opportunities to engage more with politicians. I found my week at Sky City an incredibly valuable one and I’d highly recommend a business placement to any MPs who haven’t already done one. I certainly hope to do another one in future years.