Australia and New Zealand

ANZAC Heroes: Promoting war to children

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 24 March 2017

A New Zealand government-funded children’s book glorifies Australian and New Zealand involvement in World War I and II.

New Zealand Labour Party installs new deputy leader

By John Braddock, 22 March 2017

Jacinda Ardern has been elevated as part of Labour’s desperate attempt to reverse the collapse in support caused by the party’s right-wing policies.

New Zealand union complicit in Cadbury factory closure

By Sam Price, 17 March 2017

The E Tu union opposes any industrial campaign against the closure of the Dunedin factory and 350 job losses.

Australian government flags “foreign policy reset” in response to Trump

By James Cogan, 4 March 2017

The Trump administration’s “America First” agenda has produced consternation within the political and strategic establishment.

Discontent and political volatility dominate Western Australian election

By Mike Head, 4 March 2017

Because of Labor’s pro-business record, the WA election has become a testing ground for Pauline Hanson’s anti-immigrant One Nation party.

New Zealand’s Maori parties sign election pact

By John Braddock, 3 March 2017

Mana and the Maori Party both promote Maori nationalism, which serves to divide workers and block a unified struggle against the ongoing attacks on living standards.

Former police union leader to stand for New Zealand Labour Party

By Matthew Carrington, 28 February 2017

Labour’s new candidate Greg O’Connor is a staunch defender of police brutality and shootings and calls for officers to be more heavily armed.

New Zealand Labour Party feud over candidate selection

By John Braddock, 27 February 2017

Former Alliance MPs are being brought into the Labour Party to give it a phony veneer of concern for the urban poor and Maori.

Ongoing investment plunge in Australia

By Mike Head, 25 February 2017

The slump has serious implications for jobs, economic growth and the government’s large budget deficit.

Inequality deepens in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 24 February 2017

In line with global trends, inequality levels are surging due to financial parasitism and the relentless assault on the working class.

New Zealand: Taylor Preston meat workers take industrial action

By Tom Peters, 21 February 2017

The Meat Workers Union is seeking to isolate and wear down the workers at the Wellington factory in order to impose a sell-out contract.

Australian stripped of citizenship, setting dangerous precedent

By Mike Head, 18 February 2017

By targeting Khaled Sharrouf, the government is continuing a pattern of using individuals demonised by the media to set legal precedents that threaten basic democratic rights.

Families demand investigation into New Zealand mine disaster

By Tom Peters, 17 February 2017

Families of men who died in the 2010 Pike River catastrophe have told a parliamentary hearing that the mine must be searched to recover the bodies and gather evidence to prosecute the company bosses.

Australian government reintroduces sweeping welfare cuts

By Mike Head, 11 February 2017

By resuscitating previously blocked budget cuts, Turnbull’s government is intensifying the assault on welfare entitlements.

New Zealand: Auckland protest against Trump’s anti-Muslim travel bans

By our correspondents, 8 February 2017

Demonstrators in Aotea Square voiced their anger over US President Trump’s actions, which the New Zealand government has refused to condemn.

Trump browbeats Australian “ally”

By Mike Head, 4 February 2017

Just two weeks in office, Trump’s aggressive “America First” economic nationalism and militarism are sending political shockwaves around the world.

Australian prime minister’s speech points to growing political crisis

By Mike Head, 4 February 2017

Donald Trump’s election as US president has sent shockwaves through the parliamentary elite and accelerated the global turn to trade war and war.

CIA files expose New Zealand Labour Party’s anti-nuclear posture

By John Braddock, 30 January 2017

Lange’s anti-nuclear weapons stance was a manoeuvre to put a “left” veneer over Labour’s pro-market assault on the working class.

Pseudo-left’s phony “socialist” campaign in New Zealand by-election

By John Braddock and Tom Peters, 28 January 2017

The campaign by Socialist Aotearoa, like the efforts of Sanders in the US and Corbyn in Britain, is an attempt to block the growing radicalisation of the working class.

Opposition parties feign support for New Zealand mine disaster families

By Tom Peters, 26 January 2017

The Labour Party and its allies, including the trade union bureaucracy, are complicit in the unsafe conditions that led to the 2010 Pike River tragedy.

Thousands protest Trump in New Zealand

By our reporters, 23 January 2017

Workers and young people attending the rallies were concerned about the danger of war, the rise of nationalism and bigotry, and social inequality in the US.

Australian state premier’s sudden resignation highlights political instability

By Mike Head, 21 January 2017

While Mike Baird claimed to be resigning for family reasons, he sent a barbed political message to Prime Minister Turnbull.

New Zealand prisoners subjected to abusive treatment

By Sam Price, 7 January 2017

As New Zealand’s prison population increases, the Ombudsman’s office has revealed widespread abusive and humiliating treatment of inmates.

Holiday season highlights social desperation in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 3 January 2017

Record numbers of people seeking assistance from charities over Christmas reveals deteriorating social conditions.

Soaring prison populations highlight social crisis in Australia

By Robert Campion, 31 December 2016

There has been virtually no media coverage of the spiralling trend, because it raises serious questions about the rising level of social inequality.

Australia: Political instability deepens as Liberal Party faces potential split

By Linda Tenenbaum, 29 December 2016

Returning from a three-month stint in the US, where he fraternised with Trump supporters, right-wing Liberal backbencher Cory Bernardi is testing the waters for a new far-right party.

Australia: Video reveals agonising death of Aboriginal woman in custody

By Zac Hambides, 29 December 2016

Although racism undoubtedly plays a role in the cruel treatment of indigenous people by the police, Dhu’s death points to the high rate of deaths for all prisoners.

Australian government exploits “Christmas terror plot”

By Will Morrow, 24 December 2016

Although the circumstances of the police raids remain unclear, the political establishment and media are using the events to foment an atmosphere of crisis.

Australia: Sacked brewery workers return after union “productivity” deal

By Chris Sadlier, 24 December 2016

The unions have repeatedly boasted of their role in boosting productivity and profitability at the CUB plant.

Trump’s election fuels foreign policy debate in Australia

By Peter Symonds, 22 December 2016

The disputes centre on the basic dilemma facing the ruling class: how to balance between China, Australia’s largest export market, and the US, its longstanding strategic partner.

Professor Marmot’s lectures in Australia chart extent of health inequality

By Cheryl Crisp, 21 December 2016

The lectures establish the connection between social inequality, the living and working conditions of the poor, and the deterioration in their health outcomes.

New Zealand: Labour candidate wins Auckland by-election amid low turnout

By Tom Peters and Sam Price, 14 December 2016

The by-election revealed widespread hostility toward the National Party government and the Labour opposition, which both support austerity, militarism and attacks on immigrants.

New prime minister installed in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 13 December 2016

John Key’s replacement by his deputy Bill English has exposed tensions within the government, accompanied by demands from big business for harsher austerity measures.

Inquest evidence shows Australian government was responsible for asylum seeker’s death

By Max Newman, 8 December 2016

The medical evidence makes clear that Hamid Kehazaei died as a direct consequence of the refugee detention regime imposed by successive Australian governments.

Australia: Thunderstorm-related deaths expose impact of health cuts

By Kurt Brown, 7 December 2016

Melbourne, a city of more than three million people, ran out of ambulances as thousands of people suffered potentially fatal thunderstorm-related asthma.

Shock resignation by New Zealand Prime Minister

By Tom Peters and John Braddock, 6 December 2016

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced his resignation from politics after eight years in the role and a decade as leader of the National Party.

New Zealand: Socialist Equality Group holds public meeting on US election outcome

By our reporters, 29 November 2016

The public meeting in Auckland presented a Marxist assessment of Trump’s victory to an audience of mostly young workers and students.

New Zealand: Auckland youth and workers concerned over US election result, danger of war

By our correspondents, 24 November 2016

The Socialist Equality Group is campaigning for a public meeting this Sunday on the causes and implications of Donald Trump’s election.

New Zealand’s capital caught unprepared for earthquake and flooding

By Chris Ross, 23 November 2016

After a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit New Zealand, the capital city was struck by aftershocks and cut off by a severe weather system.

New Zealand: “Week of Peace” promotes the Greens and Labour

By Tom Peters, 22 November 2016

The protests organised by Auckland Peace Action and the Peace Foundation sought to channel workers and youth who oppose war behind pro-imperialist parties.

Australian prime minister pushes Trump-style tax cuts

By Mike Head, 19 November 2016

Turnbull demanded “hard” economic and budgetary decisions that would “create winners and losers.”

New Zealand: International Socialist Organisation glorifies deceased Council of Trade Unions leader

By Tom Peters, 16 November 2016

The ISO portrayed the veteran union bureaucrat Helen Kelly as a champion for workers’ rights, covering up her record of enforcing mass job cuts and other attacks on workers.

Workers and young people in Australia and New Zealand concerned by US election result

By our reporters, 15 November 2016

Many noted that Trump’s victory was a product of the deepening social crisis and a breakdown of American democracy.

Magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits New Zealand

By John Braddock, 15 November 2016

The quake has caused major damage to roads, railways and other infrastructure, and isolated small rural communities throughout the upper South Island.

Perplexity, fear in New Zealand establishment over US election

By John Braddock, 7 November 2016

Many commentators and politicians who express horror over the prospect of a Trump victory are supportive of similar right-wing policies in New Zealand.

Push for harsher anti-immigrant measures in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 31 October 2016

The most significant voices in growing anti-immigrant agitation are the Unite union, which includes members of two pseudo-left groups, and the trade union-funded Daily Blog.

Report says New Zealand SAS is fighting in Iraq

By Tom Peters, 28 October 2016

The New Zealand government denied a report that the NZSAS is involved in combat operations in northern Iraq, but admitted that the elite fighting unit has visited the country.

New Zealand: The US warship visit and the fraud of Peace Action

By Tom Peters, 27 October 2016

Peace Action Wellington and Auckland Peace Action do not represent any alternative to the Greens and other organisations which have discredited themselves by embracing imperialist war preparations.

Public rifts erupt in Australian government

By Mike Head, 22 October 2016

The internal warfare wracking the Liberal-National Coalition cannot be explained by a dispute over gun laws.

Australian government hails New Zealand’s brutal welfare system

By Tom Peters, 17 October 2016

Australia’s government is seeking to emulate policies that have pushed tens of thousands of people off welfare.

New Zealand Labour Party marks its centenary

By Tom Peters, 29 September 2016

Contrary to the myths advanced by Labour’s apologists, the party was never socialist. It has always defended capitalism at home and supported imperialist war abroad.

New Zealand: Ex-Green Party MP launches pseudo-left think tank

By Tom Peters, 27 September 2016

Economic and Social Research Aotearoa is a nationalist organisation, inspired by identity politics and the anti-Marxism of Syriza and Podemos.

New Zealand public meetings: The US Navy visit and the drive to war

By Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 27 September 2016

The SEG and IYSSE are holding meetings in Wellington, Lower Hutt and Auckland to discuss a socialist program to fight against Washington’s war drive against China.

New Zealand: Maori king cuts ties with Labour Party

By John Braddock, 17 September 2016

The Maori tribal head, who presides over a substantial business operation, has thrown his weight behind an electoral alliance between the Maori nationalist parties.

New Zealand: Anti-TPP protests promote economic protectionism

By our reporters, 13 September 2016

The agitation for protectionist trade policies is a reactionary turn to the economic nationalism that erupted in the 1930s and led to war.

New Zealand: Daily Blog opposes jury trials in rape cases

By Tom Peters, 9 September 2016

The statement by the union-funded blog demonstrates how hysterical denunciations of “rape culture” are helping to strengthen the state and attack democratic rights.

New Zealand unions campaign against Chinese steel imports

By Tom Peters, 7 September 2016

The nationalist demagogy is part of a push to align New Zealand with the US drive to war against China, while diverting attention from the role of the unions in job cutting.

New Zealand defence minister blames Beijing for South China Sea tension

By John Braddock, 3 September 2016

The comments indicate a shift within the government, following US Vice President Biden’s recent visit, closer to Washington’s belligerent anti-China position.

Ongoing job cutting in New Zealand

By Chris Ross, 2 September 2016

Attacks on jobs, wages and conditions are intensifying, with the collaboration of the trade unions.

New Zealand unions intensify anti-immigrant campaign

By John Braddock, 30 August 2016

The Unite union collaborates with the government’s exclusivist immigration policies while agitating for further curbs on foreign workers.

Labour Party makes empty promises to New Zealand students

By Tom Peters and Chris Ross, 29 August 2016

Despite its highly conditional pledges, Labour has no intention of reducing ballooning debt and poverty among students.

Cross-party support for sweeping spy powers in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 26 August 2016

The ruling elite is erecting the foundations for a police state in preparation to confront social and political opposition.

New Zealand: WWI Home Front exhibition buries mass opposition to war

By Tom Peters and Sam Price, 22 August 2016

The exhibition about life “at home” during World War I hails New Zealand’s contribution to the war and covers up the opposition that emerged in the working class.

Families of New Zealand mine disaster victims seek justice

By Tom Peters, 15 August 2016

Sonya Rockhouse and Anna Osborne, who lost family members in the 2010 Pike River explosion, are seeking a judicial review of the decision to drop charges against CEO Peter Whittall.

New Zealand ‘Rich List’ dominated by property speculators

By John Braddock, 4 August 2016

Big investors have seen “huge gains” to their share portfolios, while the property boom has “seeded fortunes for astute and opportune investors.”

New Zealand rail union pushes pro-company collective agreement

By our correspondent, 3 August 2016

The Greater Wellington Regional Council is demanding $100 million in cost-cutting, which will be imposed by Transdev through attacks on jobs, wages and conditions.

New Zealand’s Maori nationalist parties discuss bloc for 2017 election

By John Braddock, 1 August 2016

The talks are driven by ambitions within both parties for a more direct role in government, whoever wins the next election

Australian PM sinks Rudd’s bid for UN secretary general

By Peter Symonds, 30 July 2016

The fracas this week over former Prime Minister Rudd has not only highlighted deep divisions in the Coalition government, but also raises a question about Washington’s hand in events.

Two more shootings by New Zealand police

By Chris Ross, 25 July 2016

The shooting of two men in separate incidents is part of an increasing resort to lethal force by police in response to the social crisis.

Biden visits New Zealand to strengthen military ties

By John Braddock, 21 July 2016

New Zealand’s balancing act between China, its second largest trading partner, and the US, its chief strategic ally, is becoming increasingly unsustainable.

Deep concerns in New Zealand ruling elite over Brexit vote

By John Braddock, 18 July 2016

Running through much of the media commentary is a growing alarm about potential instability, as well as a seething hostility to the working class.

Fractured Australian government under intense US and economic pressure

By Mike Head, 15 July 2016

Even before Prime Minister Turnbull names his ministry, the government is wracked by recriminations and rifts.

Australian parliamentarian calls for Iraqi war crimes trial

By James Cogan, 9 July 2016

Andrew Wilkie declared that he would like to see an international court to hear the “pretty compelling case” against George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard for war crimes.

Australian election outcome heightens divisions within the Greens

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 July 2016

Poor election results by the Greens have provoked bitter recriminations in the party's ranks.

Deepening social inequality in New Zealand

By Tom Peters and Chris Ross, 8 July 2016

The richest 10 percent now control 60 percent of the country’s wealth, while the working class is suffering from soaring housing costs and cuts to welfare services.

New Zealand pseudo-lefts silent on Maoist alliance with Philippine president

By Tom Peters, 5 July 2016

Fightback and Redline have long promoted the CPP, which has now taken cabinet posts in the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, a fascistic figure.

New Zealand extends military deployment in Iraq

By Tom Peters, 27 June 2016

Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, New Zealand soldiers are assisting the predatory US war to dominate the Middle East.

25 April: Animated documentary on New Zealand’s role in the Gallipoli invasion

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 25 June 2016

The film shows the horrors of war but fails to challenge the nationalist mythology surrounding the Anzacs.

New Zealand: Family denounces “cold-blooded execution” by police

By Chris Ross, 22 June 2016

As New Zealand’s social crisis worsens, the police are increasingly resorting to deadly force.

New Zealand PM’s diplomatic debacle in Fiji

By John Braddock, 21 June 2016

Bainimarama bluntly refused to accede to NZ Prime Minister Key’s agenda.

New Zealand First demonises Muslim immigrants

By Jeremy Lin and Tom Peters, 20 June 2016

The Labour Party and the Greens hypocritically tried to distance themselves from the NZ First leader’s inflammatory and xenophobic statements.

New Zealand Defence White Paper prepares for war

By Tom Peters, 17 June 2016

Military upgrades worth $20 billion will support US-led war preparations against China and New Zealand’s own imperialist interests in the Pacific and elsewhere.

New Zealand: Labour, Greens sign Memorandum of Understanding

By Tom Peters, 15 June 2016

Claims that the Labour-Greens alliance offers a “progressive alternative” to the National Party government are a fraud.

Vicious media campaign in New Zealand over child abuse

By Chris Ross, 9 June 2016

The death of three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri has been seized on to vilify the most poverty-stricken layers of society.

New Zealand government, opposition housing policies grossly inadequate

By Tom Peters, 2 June 2016

Proposals by the National Party government as well as the opposition Labour Party and the Greens do not even begin to address the country's homelessness crisis.

New Zealand budget: Cuts to basic services, billions for the military

By Tom Peters, 27 May 2016

The budget does nothing to address the crisis in health, education and housing, while significantly increasing spending to prepare the country for war.

Spate of deaths in New Zealand’s forestry industry

By Chris Ross and Tom Peters, 24 May 2016

Four workers and one child have died at forestry sites so far this year, exposing claims that the industry’s safety record has improved since 10 workers died in 2013.

Panama Papers: Further revelations about New Zealand’s role as a tax haven

By Tom Peters and Sam Price, 19 May 2016

Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca promoted New Zealand to its wealthy clients, including some allegedly involved in illegal activity and one who assisted in the looting of Iraq.

Submarine project no solution for South Australia’s employment crisis

By John Braddock, 14 May 2016

Claims that building submarines will rescue the economically depressed state are false and any new jobs will be tied to preparations for war.

New Zealand’s housing affordability crisis worsens

By Tom Peters and Jeremy Lin, 13 May 2016

The political establishment is scapegoating foreigners, especially Chinese, for the unstable property bubble and lack of affordable housing.

New Zealand Labour Party leader visits Iraq

By Tom Peters, 6 May 2016

Andrew Little praised New Zealand’s troops in Iraq and pushed for their mission to be extended, underscoring the fraud of Labour’s vote against the deployment last year.

On Anzac Day, New Zealand leaders talk peace, prepare for war

By Tom Peters, 29 April 2016

A century after the bloody Gallipoli campaign in World War I, the New Zealand ruling class is once again preparing to support imperialist war.

New Zealand’s healthcare crisis worsens

By Tom Peters, 25 April 2016

Thousands of people are on hospital waiting lists, or being denied essential surgical operations or mental health treatment, due to government funding cuts.

New Zealand prime minister visits China amid tensions over South China Sea

By John Braddock, 22 April 2016

While seeking to preserve cordial relations with China, its second largest trading partner, the New Zealand ruling elite is committed to the US anti-China “pivot.”

New Zealand government plans major increase in military spending

By Tom Peters, 20 April 2016

The expansion is aimed at further incorporating New Zealand into Washington’s plans for war against China.

Moody’s warns Australian government of credit downgrade

By Mike Head, 18 April 2016

The warning highlights the crisis of the Coalition government which is under mounting pressure to implement deeply unpopular austerity measures.

Wave of closures and job cuts under way in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 18 April 2016

The global slowdown is impacting across the board with jobs being destroyed in the public sector, manufacturing and retail.

Australian prime minister skirts controversy in China

By James Cogan, 16 April 2016

Turnbull carefully avoided any contentious public remarks on the US-China confrontation in the South China Sea.

Police attack student protests in Sydney and Melbourne

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 April 2016

The violent actions of the police against a handful of student protesters are a warning of the preparations for a broader crackdown on any opposition to austerity cuts and war.

Panama Papers reveal New Zealand is a tax haven for world’s elites

By John Braddock, 15 April 2016

Successive Labour and National governments are responsible for New Zealand laws that allow foreign trusts to carry out massive tax avoidance.