Video: Christchurch campaign launch

August 26, 2008

Below are the speeches given by Christchurch Central candidate Byron Clark and Christchurch East candidate Paul Hopkinson at the official launch of the Christchurch Workers Party 2008 election campaign last month.

Byron speaks on the problem with the ‘mainstream’ parties, and Paul on the alternative offered by the Workers Party.

Prohibition is not the answer!

August 18, 2008

The extension of the Wellington City Council’s liquor ban into Aro St and Aro Park is not the answer, says Wellington Central Workers Party candidate Don Franks.

“Banning alcohol in public is not the answer” says Franks

“This is a class issue. As more and more people find it harder to buy a drink in the pub, they find somewhere that doesn’t charge them an arm and a leg.”

“Mayor Kerry Prendergast says that the bylaw will only affect those who display anti-social behaviour. Public drinking is not anti-social behaviour.” says Franks.

“It’s true, there is an issue of homeless people in the parks,” said Franks.

“Many of those people will never afford housing at current costs”.

“We live in an alienating capitalist system, which actually restricts people’s choice”, states Franks.

“If I get elected to represent Wellington Central I’ll restore the option of half a dozen public bars with plastic jugs of cheap draft, damp sticky carpets, bar tables you can lean on and a covered part with a heater somewhere where you can smoke. There will be quart bottles, meat raffles, an old upright piano, a pie warmer and a guitar behind the bar.”

A cup of tea

August 11, 2008

Don Franks, Workers Party candidate for Wellington Central opening 5 minute address to Aro Valley candidates forum August 9th 2008:

I’d like to try and be constructive and see if there’s some stuff we all have in common.

Something we all probably have in common is enjoying a cup of tea. On many occasions, there’s nothing better to pick you up or settle you down. First thing in the morning, or after putting in some hours on the job, or later on at night. What’s that old saying ­ “the cup that cheers but not inebriates”. Well, of course a bit of inebriation is definitely called for sometimes.

However, when you feel like a little something, but need to keep going with a clear head and a steady hand it’s hard to beat a nice cup of tea. A cup of tea is such an ordinary routine part of our lives that we don’t think there’s anything all that special about it when we make one. But actually it’s quite a big deal.
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The environment - what do Workers Party candidates say?

August 8, 2008

- Byron Clark, Workers Party candidate for Christchurch Central.

As a Workers Party candidate in this year’s election, I am often asked for my opinion on environmental issues. These are important to me as a socialist, as environmental issues are also class issues.

Those who are suffering (and will potentially suffer most) from environmental damage are the poor and oppressed, especially those in the third world. With the climate warming, you get tropical diseases like malaria spreading further north and south, and rising sea levels causing island nations to depopulate, creating refugees. Changes in ocean temperature mean changes in fish migration and breeding, affecting what is a food source for a lot of people; and people world-wide, including in the first world, are currently suffering from rising food prices and lack of decent drinking water caused by drought.

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Election economics: theirs and ours

August 8, 2008

Winston Peters has been caught out being “economical with the truth”. After months of denials from Peters that NZ First had received a donation from multi-millionaire Owen Glen, Peters finally admitted to accepting a $100,000 donation towards his legal fund for his failed case to overturn National MP Bob Clarkson’s win in Tauranga.

In all probability, this undeclared donation did not breach parliamentary rules, so why was Peters so anxious to make the story go away?

The fact is, NZ First likes to pose as a party of the people, and most voters would regard taking money from a filthy rich tycoon based in a Monaco tax haven as being rather sordid. Yet that is how the game of mainstream politics is played. Owen Glen also contributed $500,000 to the Labour Party before the last election.

We’re counting on you

By stark contrast, the Workers Party has no wealthy backers. Our funding comes entirely from our activist members and supporters. On a shoestring budget, we managed to run four candidates in the mayoral elections last year, winning a total of 4705 votes.

But democracy don’t come cheap! We are currently registering for the party list, which will enable workers across the whole of New Zealand to vote for a revolutionary socialist party for the first time in history. To make the most of this opportunity, we need money to print leaflets, money to upgrade our website, money to pay candidates’ deposits… you get the general idea.

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Jobs should come before profits

July 24, 2008

- Workers Party Press Release

As the recession bites, workers are again carrying the heaviest burden.

The layoffs just announced at Silver Fern Farms’ Belfast plant are another sign that the current parties have nothing left to offer workers. The Workers Party thinks jobs for all should come before profits for private companies and supports action by workers to keep their jobs, including occupations of workplaces threatened with closure.

As a first step, the Workers Party of New Zealand will abolish GST because it is a regressive tax that hits workers particularly hard.

We are launching our Christchurch Electoral campaign at 7pm on Monday July 28th. The campaign launch will be held in the WEA at 59 Gloucester St.

The Workers Party is standing two candidates in Christchurch electorates: secondary school teacher and former meat worker Paul Hopkinson in Christchurch East and retail worker and student Byron Clark in Christchurch Central. We also have candidates standing in Auckland and Wellington.

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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)

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.

Workers Party talks to union officials

July 1, 2008

Workers Party Wellington Central candidate Don Franks reports on his recent meeting with NZ Council of Trade Unions representatives.

When the local CTU organiser emailed around to say the Local Affiliates Council was going to discuss General Election strategy, I called back and asked for a few minutes to put our case at one of their monthly meetings. They stalled for weeks and wanted more information in writing before they finally gave me a hearing, at the local AGM.

I explained that the Workers Party is standing several electorate candidates this election and we’re also running on the party list. So, for the first time in New Zealand’s political history, every worker will have the option of voting for a socialist candidate.

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Don Franks on the importance of class in New Zealand

June 23, 2008

Appearing in a segment on yesterday’s Radio NZ “Ideas” program, Workers Party Wellington Central candidate Don Franks explains the reality behind the superficial rhetoric about New Zealand being a “classless” society.

Download the podcast here or the audio stream here