Fair pay by Susan Grimsdell

The concept of fairness It always surprises me when there’s a huge angry uproar at the notion of introducing policies designed to make things more equal.  Recently the Labour government announced it will introduce fair pay legislation for the first time since the Employment Contracts Act overturned employees’ rights in the 1990s. The word is “fair”.  Have you noticed that one of the first phrases children use once they’re old enough to speak, is “It’s not fair!”  We seem to be born with a notion of fairness, yet as adults, this seems… Read More

No more new clothes! by Angela Caldin

I don’t usually make new year’s resolutions, but on 1 January 2021, I made one. It was this: not to buy any new clothes for a year. I subsequently discovered that lots of other people have made the same resolution, have written about the experience in various publications and have joined Facebook support groups to exchange ideas and encourage each other to continue. What’s the benefit? I’m still not sure of what the logic is behind this resolution or in what way it will benefit anybody at all. I’m no longer in… Read More

The rich get richer by Susan Grimsdell

Warning:  I’m in a particularly radical mood today.  This is because of a news item saying that rents in Wellington New Zealand’s capital have risen to above $600 a week on average (or mean, to use a more appropriate word).  This is so far above the affordability level of students, many of whom are working 20 hours a week as well as trying to pass a few exams, that they’re thinking of transferring to universities outside Wellington so that they can actually afford a place to live. The rent increase is way… Read More

Balancing acts by Trevor Plumbly

They don’t use balance scales anymore. It’s a shame really; we could learn a lot from the basic principle of equal weight. Unlike pre-packaging, the old scales and weights used to be part and parcel of everyday shopping, representing trust and fairness. Personal costing was an important part of the process, almost ceremonial: for the retailer the accuracy of his scales was the pivot between profit and loss, for the customer they were the dividing line between need and costs. The act of weighing provided a mutual bridge; old fashioned though it… Read More

Teamwork to defeat poverty by Susan Grimsdell

Every aspect of life and development of 6000 New Zealand children has been studied year on year since they were born.  They’re now 8 years old. The research entitled Growing Up in New Zealand, recently released its Now We Are Eight: Life in Middle Childhood report. The have-nots The results show that 25% of them have experienced poverty throughout their young lives. These children score higher on depression, they are behind in physical well-being and they are falling behind in many other respects as well.  More than one third of all children… Read More