Why wharfies are striking in their own words

January 31, 2012

Originally published here, reprinted in February Spark.

The Thorton family: “They want drones when we are actually parents”

Shaun Thorton, 43, drives a straddle at the Ports of Auckland where he has worked for 18 years. He met his wife Leah at the port where she worked before becoming a fulltime mum looking after their four kids: Ben (9), twins Max and Amy (5) and Nina (4).

“We want predictability so we can have a family life,” he says. “We only get one weekend off every third weekend meaning I work 35 weekends in the year. I’m striking for the kids.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Dialectical Relationship between Work and Mental Health: part 2

January 31, 2012

ThisarticleisthesecondofafourpartseriesbyKellyPope.Thefirstpartcanbereadonline here orintheDecember-JanuaryissueofThe Spark.‘Consumer’inthisarticlereferstoapersonwhocurrentlyorhaspreviouslyusedpsychiatricservices.‘Bourdieuian’referstothetheoriesdevelopedbyFrenchSociologistPiereBourdieuand  ‘taangatawhaiora’isaTeReotermthattranslatesto‘personseekingwell-being’.

The instrumental value of employment is that it creates opportunities for mental health consumers to access additional resources to improve their health and wellbeing such as financial resources and supportive social networks. From a Bourdieuian perspective, therefore, employment allows people with experience of mental illness to beneficially increase their social and economic capital. The benefit of these resources has been expanded on in research exploring resilience factors for mental health. One example of this is a 2002 Ministry of Health publication which cites economic security as being crucial for well-being as well as the availability of opportunities. Because of the lower-than-minimum-wage rate of benefits in New Zealand society and difficulties attaining work without experience, the mental health benefits that come from economic security and accessibility of opportunities is likely to disproportionately benefit those in paid work in comparison to the unemployed.

Read the rest of this entry »


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