Little on immigration, jobs and drugs

Andrew Little has just been interviewed on RNZ. While critical of Bill English’s comments about drugs causing employment problems – “It all starts to look like an excuse for the government not to do anything about our young unemployed” – he is not against drug testing nor against immigration.

Little actually adds anecdotal evidence of employers needing to know if potential employees are drug safe.

Little slams the Government but in part doesn’t disagree with aspects.

These aren’t simple issues.

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56 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  February 28, 2017

    They may not be simple issues but they invite simplistic political public pronouncements designed to deceive.

    Of course it is sensible to drug test in some environments. Of course some fail. Of course there are some who won’t try for jobs because they prefer their drugs. Of course some immigrants may fill some jobs not filled by ‘locals’.

    Quite handy to have headlines pandering to ignorant masses and supporters of the Government. Around the country will be, “The unemployed are drug addled lazy layabouts, who won’t front up for testing.”
    “We need immigrants to do the vital jobs.”

    There you are, unemployment covered, druggies covered, immigration covered. This Government really has it sussed!

    • Kevin

       /  February 28, 2017

      The danger is somebody being caught out because they had a smoke one or two weeks prior while on holiday and trace amounts of THC is still in their system.

      • patupaiarehe

         /  February 28, 2017

        I really don’t understand why a fruit picker needs to pass a drug test (one of the employers in the 3news article was an orchard owner). Back when I used to pick kiwifruit, one of the highlights of an otherwise mindlessly boring day, was the 2 hourly spliff with the rest of the gang. 😀

        • Conspiratoor

           /  February 28, 2017

          Sounds like spiffing good fun pat. What about the tractor driver. Should he join the boys in a fat dak?
          “ORCHARD COMPANY TO PAY $134,500 OVER WORKER DEATH”

          • patupaiarehe

             /  February 28, 2017

            He did C, & the boss used to complain constantly about how bloody slow he drove!

            Look at that useless Maori, he’s a slow as a wet week! And WTF is he smiling about??

            😀
            In spite of this, the only injuries over that entire season, on the gang I was on, were strained backs.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  February 28, 2017

              ‘wet wig’ pat …unless you’re an ocker

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 28, 2017

              I do agree C, that in some occupations, drug testing should be mandatory. No-one wants someone who is ‘off their chops’ behind the wheel of a petrol tanker. But someone who is standing under a vine/tree all day, picking fruit, is only ever going to put themselves at risk.

  2. PDB

     /  February 28, 2017

    People have their heads buried in the sand if they don’t realize that New Zealand unemployed not passing, or being in a position to ever pass drug tests is a problem in this country.

    A different argument is whether or not the drug-free workplace policy required under H&S is too harsh, but it is what it is currently, and in the industries that most of these people are seeking to reenter or enter the workforce (lower skilled, manual work) is where the largest risk is to employers and the general public.

    • NOEL

       /  February 28, 2017

      You missed out employees PDB
      .Had the unfortunate experience to work beside a drunk and a stoner. Both were sent home and both were a risk to themselves and their fellow employees.

  3. Blazer

     /  February 28, 2017

    so what are the real stats….out of 150,000 employed ,how many would fail drug/alc testing?Of course the govt has the …data…yes?

  4. more double standard B-S.. ZERO-tolerance to ‘weed’ but not even a mentioned of drinking/drunk on the job (at least as dangerous)

    what adults do, in the privacy of their home, should be no-ones business, IF they are not harming others.. 😦

    • NOEL

       /  February 28, 2017

      Get your head out of the haze Zedd.

      The post is about workplace safety.
      “Generally, an employer may only require employees and other workers to submit to alcohol or drugs tests if this is a condition of their appointment and recorded in the employment agreement or other document.”

      Most places I have worked at don’t distinguish between drugs and alcohol in the employments agreements. They are both treated the same.

      What you do in your home IS your business.

      • Conspiratoor

         /  February 28, 2017

        Tends to make you wonder noel whether zedd has ever had a job, or at least since drug and alcohol testing has been a mandatory clause in employment contracts

        • … really makes me wonder… guess all you like.. reality strikes 😀

        • Drug and alcohol testing has never been mandatory in employment agreements, Conspiratoor. It’s not required by our H&S legislation either. Lord knows what you’re smoking that makes you think that it’s compulsory, but you should probably lay off, maaan.

          • Conspiratoor

             /  February 28, 2017

            Hey there Te Reo, I’ve been clean since I was forced to close the P Lab down after the boss made drug and alcohol a condition of appointment and added it to the employment agreement and workplace policies. Just a cheeky aside but you wouldn’t perchance be a union man?

            • I’ve been a member of many unions down the years. They do great work, tho I guess the problem nowadays is that much of what they battled for is legislated for (holidays, minimum pay, that sort of thing). Thankfully, there’s still arses like the Talley family to keep reminding workers of how bad things can get and why we still need unions.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  February 28, 2017

              Te Reo, while drug testing itself is not enshrined in law, Health and Safety legislation places an obligation on employers to keep their employees free from harm. What are the consequences for an employee if hiser refuses a drug test? What rights does an employer have to take disciplinary action for a refusal, or a failed test?

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 28, 2017

              The problem with HSE legislation C, is that it has gone too far. So much so, that the directors of the company I work for, will no longer allow friday drinks, lest they be held responsible for an irresponsible employee

          • patupaiarehe

             /  February 28, 2017

            Too right TRP. In my workplace, no-one is expected to take a drug test, unless there is ‘reasonable cause’ for one. It is explained, in no uncertain terms, to any new employee, that there is ZERO tolerance for intoxication, while you are at work.

        • Blazer

           /  February 28, 2017

          TRP just showed you up as B/Shitter and or totally ignorant with little regard for…facts.

          • Conspiratoor

             /  February 28, 2017

            Thanks for sharing blazer. You’re a treasure my dear old thing

            • Blazer

               /  February 28, 2017

              channeling …Henry Blofeld now….down and down…you go….

  5. duperez

     /  February 28, 2017

    Blazer, the real stats were on RNZ just now.

    Less than 1% over three years. Depending on how many failed more than once, maybe down to .5%.

    Any is too many but English is grandstanding.

    • The election year blame game begins … or continues …

    • Blazer

       /  February 28, 2017

      the Natz have obsfucation and grandstanding down to a …fine art.

    • NOEL

       /  February 28, 2017

      Too get a better picture you also need those who failed to turn up.

      • Blazer

         /  February 28, 2017

        what sort of testing is carried out on SOE managers and politicians.Half of Muldoons cabinet were drunks ,him and Keith ‘stagger’ Allen 2 prime examples.But they were only….running..the…country.

        • NOEL

           /  February 28, 2017

          No drug and alcohol testing in Muldoons day,

          • Blazer

             /  February 28, 2017

            so as there is today those I mentioned need to line up….just as a gesture of…goodwill.We know the ruling class are bounders and lushes,sexual deviants and drug takers…..their record is …compelling.

  6. so heres my main point; ‘mandatory drug testing in Aotearoa/NZ’ is not about proving intoxication, BUT about finding any miniute amount of cannabinoids in the system eg THC or CBDs. These can be detected weeks after use. Surely a rational person would not believe that a person who smoked a joint last week is still high, even if the tests says ‘positive’ ?

    It has often been stated that these tests are FLAWED, for this reason. There has even been allegations of people failing drug tests, reportedly from inhaling ‘second-hand’ smoke.

    btw; I do not promote ‘stoners’ in the workplace.. BUT lets get our heads into REALITY, shall we folks.. cut out the hysteria & B-S ! 😦

    • patupaiarehe

       /  February 28, 2017

      Interestingly enough Zedd, a urine test for cannabinoids discriminates against the overweight. THC is stored in fat cells, so an athletically built person, will return a negative test, a lot sooner than a ‘portly fellow’, with the same level of consumption…
      A saliva test is the only reliable way to prove recent consumption.

  7. John Schmidt

     /  February 28, 2017

    Asked the local temp agency for a couple of labourers. Requested that they not have a criminal record or are suspected druggies.
    They sent me two tourists on a working holiday. I guess they had no drug or crime free Kiwis available.
    Go ask employers to find our what is going on specially employers of labourers or truck drivers or like vocations. I think you will find English is right.

    • patupaiarehe

       /  February 28, 2017

      My guess is that they can pay the tourists less than a Kiwi, but still charge you the same John 😀

    • A problem for English though is that these aren’t measured statistics. It may be what happens frequently but the critics are pointing at the limited number of measure drug tests.

    • Blazer

       /  February 28, 2017

      so how could they confirm the people you were sent had no…form?

    • Blazer

       /  February 28, 2017

      do you charge them for accomodation and take it off their wages?

  8. Interesting discussion, folks. From my POV, I’d say drug testing is a huge con. Its very rarely used to identify intoxication or impairment and is more about a moral panic. By it’s very nature, it misses P and many actually harmful drugs and really only pings folk who enjoy a joint and still have it in their system days or weeks later. If we were serious about it, we’d do saliva based tests, which show actual impairment at the time of testing.

    But hey, the folks at the drug testing place are getting rich and the big companies are getting discounts on their ACC without actually having to make their workplaces safer. Win/win (except for the workers who die in NZ workplaces at rates higher than just about any other western country).

    • patupaiarehe

       /  February 28, 2017

      Lets not forget the ‘elephant in the room’, TRP, which is alcohol. Undetectable the following day, except after a really big night on it….

      • Yep. But then, the boss likes a drink, and it’s legal, so that’s OK then. Elephant number 2 is tiredness. Us Kiwis work some ridiculously long hours, particularly in industries like forestry, manufacturing and construction. Dya reckon Bill English knows that stats on road deaths attributable to fatigue?

        • patupaiarehe

           /  February 28, 2017

          Probably not. Rumour has it, that these guys had just finished a double shift, before pulling out in front of a logging truck…
          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11686070

          • That’s a great example (tho a terrible tragedy, obviously). No doubt more will come out in the coroner’s report. However, it won’t be regarded as an industrial accident, because it took place on the way home from work.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 28, 2017

              Will probably be put down to ‘inattention’, & ‘unfamiliarity with NZ roads’, even though they had been working there for ? days straight…..

            • Yeah, there’s no way the boss is going to get criticised. Remember when Peter Whittall was a hero, despite his direct responsibility for the deaths of 29 men? We can be so naive sometimes.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 28, 2017

              People just do what they have to, to make a living. Years ago, when I was driving a forklift during kiwifruit season, I worked 32 consecutive days, starting at 10am, until any time between 10pm & 2am the next day. Good money, but ‘running on empty’, constantly. Living on coffee, pies, & codral pills (the old ones 😉 )

            • Did a season or two myself. Packing pallets. The main thing I learned is that we sell the good fruit overseas. That also applies to meat, cheese etc. I guess.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 28, 2017

              What I learned, is that someone who left school, with no formal qualifications, could earn over $700 per week in the hand, if they were prepared to work hard. And this was 20 years ago. Twenty something years later, they can do the same, and think they are being paid well…

    • Keyloggers 4U

       /  February 28, 2017

      I agree with much of what you say TPK. The active blood stream life of hardcore drugs is way less than humble dak. I personally would go for hair analysis. That would give an approximate 3 month window of drug use for all types of drugs, including sleeping pills.

      • Yeah, but so what? That’s the moral panic I mentioned earlier. What have the social habits of workers got to do with H&S? Impairment at work, yes. Impairment at home, no. That’s nobodies business but the users.

        • Keyloggers 4U

           /  February 28, 2017

          Well said for a socialist, but its not that simple. Just because there’s no drugs in the system doesn’t mean other effects aren’t still operating in the body, eg slow reflexes, muddled thinking and paranoia in all its forms. I have seen that all in the work place.
          Where we draw the demarcation line between home and work , I don’t know.

          • Blazer

             /  February 28, 2017

            We know the ruling class are bounders and lushes,sexual deviants and drug takers…..their record is …compelling.’…have they turned into,…socialists…now?

          • Quite right, it’s tricky. And as a nation, we’re also big on using anti depressants, so there’s lots of us legally functioning on pharmaceuticals.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 28, 2017

              Yup TRP, there are. Fortunately enough, yawning a lot doesn’t interfere with my work. My ‘subordinates’ find it quite entertaining, actually… 😀

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 28, 2017

              “Yo Patu, are we keeping you up? You don’t look like you enjoy being here!”
              “I don’t, but you look like you do, e hoa. I think you need a pay reduction…”

        • One of the reasons P is such a huge drug in Central NI is due to its short shelf blood life, as the Forestry Industry is a prolific tester. It has to be, but I’m sure as hell that register on a profile or not, the use of this is counterproductive to any job. As someone who had a farm manager on the stuff I can attest to that

  1. Little on immigration, jobs and drugs — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition