Workers Party applies to register with Electoral Commission

July 7, 2008

The Workers Party has today made an application to the Electoral Commission to register as a political party able to contest the list vote in the upcoming national elections.

In the 2002 and 2005 elections (standing as the Anti-Capitalist Alliance) it has contested a number of electorate seats in the main centers, and will be doing so again this year.

In the coming election the Workers Party will be campaigning on issues that are of importance to working people, such as abolishing GST (not just on food), jobs for all with a shorter working week and no loss of pay, no restrictions on the right to strike, and scrapping undemocratic laws such as the Electoral Finance Act and the so-called “Terrorism Suppression” Act.

The Workers Party also stands for workers power and a working people’s republic. All Workers Party candidates pledge if elected to parliament to live on the average worker’s wage and to fight for the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with an economic system based not on private profit and private ownership, but on human need.

A list of the Workers Party’s 2008 electorate candidates announced to-date is available here.

For more information contact Workers Party national organiser Tim Bowron on 027 715 9178 email tim.bowron(at) or Workers Party national secretary and Manukau East candidate Daphna Whitmore on 029 494 9865 email wpnz(at)

Auckland WP forum - Abortion: Whose choice is it?

July 6, 2008

Mon July 7 6pm – Mon
Level 1, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn

The anti-choice lobby group “Right To Life” are jubilant over a High Court judge’s review that questions the legality of many abortions. Daphna Whitmore discusses the legal, social and practical realities of abortion in NZ today

(rescheduled from 23 June)

WP leaflet on increased road user charges

July 4, 2008

Below is the text of a leaflet distributed by members of the Workers Party Auckland branch at the protest earlier today by truck drivers against the recently announced increase in road user charges.

Independence from the bosses - A workers’ response required in the campaign against rising cost of living

The boss class is to blame for the recent barrage of rising costs that is hitting working people in New Zealand and internationally. The following leaflet puts forward the Workers Party’s basic position on the increase to road user chargers.

Major companies are required to pay within the market system Should the major companies pay for the costs of maintaining the roads? We think that under a market system the major companies should be forced to pay but this should not be at the expense of their employees’ wages and conditions which such companies have been driving down for decades. If they were not called to pay, then the public would be bearing costs incurred while the companies make profits. However, it should also be understood that, within a market system, the employers’ profits come from the work that their employees do for them. Therefore, even if the companies lose profits, the main issue is that workers are able to increase real incomes.

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Spark Audio: Cuba - resisting imperialism

July 2, 2008

In this talk Mike Treen looks at the history of Cuba since the revolution and Cuba’s place in the world today.
Recorded at Marxism 2008.

Download the MP3 here.

Why socialists oppose GST

July 1, 2008

We publish below a talk given by Philip Ferguson at a recent Christchurch Workers Party forum.  It is an expanded and updated version of an article originally published in the Spark in 2005 available here.

Most of the parliamentary parties favour tax cuts both for individuals and companies. Indeed, under Labour there has been a small cut in company tax and also tax credits for companies investing in R&D - and, in the latest budget, some personal tax cuts. Although the personal tax cuts are presented in a populist way, as if they would benefit workers, these parties vigorously oppose measures such as substantial increases to the minimum wage, serious across-the-board wage rises and increases in welfare payments to keep up with inflation, let alone living real wages and incomes for people on benefits. And all the parliamentary parties oppose the abolition of GST.

During the upcoming election campaign, one of the minimum platform points of the Workers Party will be demanding the abolition of GST, something that would be done by any government with even a token desire to make life a little easier for workers, especially the poorest workers.

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Spark Audio: The mass movement in the Philippines

July 1, 2008

In this talk Dennis Maga from the KMU (May 1st union movement) talks about the issues facing the oppressed workers and peasants in in the Philippines and the mass movement for change in that country.
Record at Marxism 2008.

Download the MP3

No ties to capitalism

July 1, 2008

This election year the Workers Party is standing candidates in the main centres of the country.

Discussing his candidacy with workmates at smoko time, one of our comrades was challenged:

“If you get into parliament and you’re walking down the road with a suit and tie on and we see you, you might not want to know us any more!”

Our comrade replied: “Mate, there’s not going to be any tie. Look at this publicity photo on my pamphlet. I’m in my overalls like you, and that’s how it’s going to stay. Our party is trying to do something different in this election. We’re not standing for ourselves, and we’re not standing to try and make the system work better. We’re standing 100% for the workers and against the bosses.”

Any Workers Party candidate elected to a position in national or local government will transform their seat into an active organising centre to push workers’ interests. Our members will take a minimum wage sufficient for genuine expenses and put the rest of their parliamentary salary towards the struggle. Successful socialist electoral candidates have already taken this road in Ireland, Australia and other countries.

Socialist parliamentary candidates stand against capitalism, to represent the ideas of the future, and to build the practical struggles of today. Inside this issue of the Spark you can read about some of the ways we’re trying to do that.

If you like the look of our new way with no ties to capitalism, please join us.

Abortion: whose choice is it?

July 1, 2008

- Daphna Whitmore

A High Court judge has sparked debate about abortion rights in New Zealand. Reviewing the committee that oversees abortions, Justice Miller has announced that many abortions are simply not lawful. His sponsors, the Right to Life organisation, are thrilled to have him championing their cause. It may just turn out that Justice Miller has sent a timely reminder that New Zealand’s abortion laws hark back to the dark ages of Muldoon.

While it may seem that abortions are relatively easy to get, behind the scenes doctors have to stretch the letter of the law to provide a much needed service. Over 98 percent of abortions proceed on the grounds that there is serious danger to the woman’s mental health. (Report of the Abortion Supervisory Committee 2007)

The grounds for abortion are extremely narrow and set out in the Crimes Act. It’s telling that what should be a basic right, or at least a right to a health service, is treated as a crime.

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Armed cops no solution

July 1, 2008

- Alastair Reith

The recent series of killings in South Auckland has led to a frenzy of  politician’s calls to “get tough on crime”, and for increased powers for the police and the state in general. While such “law and order” orgies come and go, there are some disturbing concrete proposals emerging from this one, in particular the call to put armed cops on the streets of Auckland 24/7.

The police are recommending a six-month trial period; if the idea is approved by Police Commissioner Howard Broad, the armed patrols could be on the streets of Auckland by March next year.

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Obama: image and reality

July 1, 2008

- Eli Boulton

Much has been made about Barack Obama’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the last remaining Democratic primaries of the United States election year. Numerous capitalist media outlets hailed the outcome as a “tremendous step” for civil rights, while right-wing smear attacks centred on his supposed links with communism or radical Islam (due to his Arabic middle name). Many newspapers have said how Obama’s candidacy has given hope not only to Americans, but to many people all over the world, since Obama is “for the people”.

However, if you go scrape away his populist rhetoric, you will find a very different image of the man.

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