Addressing unemployment stressed by factions

Shane Jones’ push for ‘work-for-the-dole’ schemes to get people off couches and into work has highlighted a number factions that put stress on any policy making and implementing.

The factions include:

  • NZ First Party
  • Labour Party
  • Maori MPs
  • Unions
  • Green Party

Jacinda Ardern has to somehow try to manage all of their interests and mould it into an effective policy to address generational unemployment, especially Maori unemployment.

Richard Harman at Politik: Willie Jackson: Working for dole won’t work

Employment Minister Willie Jackson says he shares Shane Jones’ passion to get Maori unemployment down and he has proposed a package of measures in a paper to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to address the issue.

He met Jones yesterday and agreed to incorporate some of Jones’ ideas in his paper.

But he says he stops short at Jones’ “work for the dole” proposals.

And he says that idea would never be accepted by Labour or “the boss” – Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.

An idea that also wouldn’t be acceptable to unions, which Labour rely on for funding and support.

Jones’ language was probably provoked by a desire by NZ First to brand themselves as distinct to Labour.

But the imperative for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is to maintain a seamless unity between Labour and NZ First.

And the Maori caucus and the unions.

So at her post-Cabinet press conference yesterday she said that what Jones was calling “work for the dole”, Labour was calling “ready for work.”

We are essentially talking about the same thing,” she said.

Asked about Jones’ proposal to end dole payments if unemployed didn’t take up jobs she said there already was a sanctions regime in the welfare system.

“That’s provided us with the tools to ensure that people do take up the job opportunities that are available to them.”

The Green Party is strongly opposed to sanctions, another complicating factor.

Jackson though wants to see an employment strategy which strengthens communities and provides real jobs.

“You don’t fix unemployment by following Jonesy’s idea and chucking a few Maori out there cutting scrub for a few months,” he told POLITIK.

“You have to create a real job, jobs with dignity, by forming relationships with local Maori, with trade unions, with businesses.

But these are only minor differences between the two Maori MPs.

“I can work hand and hand with Jonesy,” said Jackson.

“The thing is we have seen inter generational unemployment; both of us.

“I’ve seen it in the urban sense, he’s seen it in the north.

“We are both of the same mind and the same sentiment. It’s just Jonesy has got his own way of expressing things.

“But his sentiment is right; his passion is right, but we have to be careful that we are not penalising our own.

“We came into this Government to offer hope to our people.”

‘Our people’ being Maori people, who have three times the unemployment rate of non-Maori. Jackson and Jones are capable of putting their interests ahead of their parties, but need the MPs of three parties to back their schemes to get people into work.

It will be a challenge, especially with the politics involved, but some sort of solutions need to be tried.


Leave a comment


  1. George

     /  6th December 2017

    And how many will pass the pre-employment drug test?
    They -are- going to treat them as workers for the duration of the job?
    And H&S… will they be issued with suitable new personal equipment ?
    And supervisors ?
    Who and from where?
    Transportation, accommodation, catering and record keeping.
    Getting sort of job making outside of the original scheme

    • Corky

       /  6th December 2017

      John Tamihere tried getting Maori initiatives going when he was a Labour MP. Steve Maharey and others in Labour wouldn’t support Tamiheres initiatives. John spoke of his Labour colleagues not being able to get their heads around what he was suggesting.

      Ah, good ole paternalistic Labour, with a slash of casual racism added.

      Lets see if things have changed.

    • Gezza

       /  6th December 2017

      The coalition is gonna struggle to make this work, especially if they hand it over to public servants to organise, I’m afraid. Going by past unsuccessful attempts to do this sort of thing efficiently on a large scale, the sheer amount of departmental & NGO & contractor ineptitude, inadequate financial management & on the ground supervision & reporting systems, & crushing logistics of organising & running an overall project of this size will be a huge challenge.

      • PartisanZ

         /  6th December 2017

        Localize it …?

        • Gezza

           /  6th December 2017

          Yes, that would be the plan would be, that is how it’s usually been tried. The problem arises principally with the policy & their ops management wombles in Wellington approving to local orgs not being able to tell which organisations (& contractors) in the areas concerned are actually genuinely up to the task of running it (i.e. spending the taxpayers money) effectively. Bumbling, incoherent reporting & management & straight out rip offs at the local are the biggest risk.

  2. PartisanZ

     /  6th December 2017

    We could also address unemployment and employment stress by fractions?

  3. PartisanZ

     /  6th December 2017

    Can I add a few factions please?

    – The National Party and their infantile Opposition (who can’t recognize their own ‘Social Investment’ policy when they see it. It’s suddenly too expansive for them)
    – The intrinsically regressive, conservative, violent and deadening nature of a Government vs Opposition system where opposition is automatic and intractable.
    – Federated Farmers
    – Employers Federation
    – Large Corporations, plus their lobby groups and individuals
    – Wealthy elites
    – Right-wing Think Tank sophistry sponsored by large corporations and wealthy elites (often indistinguishable from Lobby Groups)
    – A *factionalized* media and social media
    – A corporatized Charitocracy …

    and the beat goes on …


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