Health Employment Dispute – NZNO issues next strike notice

Source: New Zealand Nurses Organisation

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) has today issued strike notices to the country’s district health boards (DHBs) after its 30,000 members who work in DHBs voted in favour of an eight-hour nationwide strike on 19 August.
The notice is for the second of three planned strikes and comes after members voted by clear majority to reject the latest DHB offer on the grounds that if fails to set out clearly how safe staffing will be addressed and how the DHBs will be held accountable for it.
Lead Advocate and NZNO Industrial Advisor David Wait said members are taking a stand for the future of the nursing profession which is in a state of chronic crisis because nurses work in unsafe environments every day and cannot adequately care for their patients.
“Let’s be really clear. This is about the standard of care you and I receive when we go to hospital, and it is about making sure nursing is a job people want to do. We need to be sure nurses will be there when we need them in the future – and we will need them!
“Nurses, midwives, health care assistants and kaimahi hauora have been working under horrific and unsafe staffing conditions for a long time, made much worse by the pandemic and RSV, and they are genuinely worried about the future of nursing in Aotearoa New Zealand.
“Nurses are leaving the profession or are moving overseas where wages and conditions are often so much better and we must achieve better and safer working conditions to help prevent that.”
He said the latest offer is completely unclear about how the DHBs will be held accountable if they do not provide safe staffing and just repeats the same old vague promises that the problem will be fixed at some point in the future.
“Nurses are fed up after years of such promises and have no trust or confidence that the situation will improve on the basis of what has been offered around safe staffing guarantees.
“It’s just not good enough, and the stakes are too high not to take such a stand.”
However, he said NZNO was eager to get back into talks so strike action could be avoided.
“We invited the DHBs to continue urgently with the negotiation/mediation process through this weekend past. But were advised they are not available to meet until this coming Thursday (5 August).
“This delay on the part of the DHBs is regrettable, especially with impending strike action.”
He said the DHBs and Government need to come up with an offer that doesn’t just recognise the contribution of nurses through pay, but one that also assures them the future of nursing is secure.
The nationwide strike will take place on 19 August from 11am-7pm. MIQ and border workers will be exempt and life preserving services will be provided in negotiation with the DHBs. 

Animal Welfare – Petition to ban greyhound racing heading to Parliament on Wednesday

Source: SAFE For Animals

SAFE and the Greyhound Protection League are delivering their 37,000 strong petition to Parliament on Wednesday, which calls for a ban on greyhound racing and to rehabilitate and rehome all dogs bred for racing. This petition was supported by Grey2K USA Worldwide.
The greyhound racing industry has killed 31 dogs on its racetracks during the 2020/21 season, compared to 34 in the previous season. According to Greyhound Racing New Zealand’s annual report, a further 165 dogs were reported to have been killed during the 2019/20 season for ‘other’ reasons. It was later revealed that 47 sudden deaths occurred that were not included in the report.
SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe said the petition shows that the social licence for dog racing has expired.
“This industry is killing hundreds of dogs every year. People are justifiably outraged,” said Appelbe.
“It is unacceptable for dogs to risk injury and death for the sake of gambling.”
The petition will be handed over to Labour MP Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan at an event on Parliament steps. Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick will also be in attendance and speaking at the event.
“Thirty one dogs are confirmed to have lost their lives this season and hundreds have been injured. How many more dogs must suffer before the Government acts? These dogs belong on the couch, not the racetrack.”
“As one of only a handful of countries that allows dog racing, it’s time for Aotearoa to find other ways to amuse ourselves that don’t needlessly put the lives of dogs at risk.”
SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal rights organisation.
We're creating a future that ensures the rights of animals are respected. Our core work empowers society to make kinder choices for ourselves, animals and our planet.
The event handover will begin on Parliament steps at 1pm on Wednesday 3 August 2021. Event officials and a media spokesperson will be present from 12pm. We will hold a minute’s silence for the 31 dogs who have lost their lives this greyhound racing season.
Speakers will include SAFE CEO Debra Ashton, Greyhound Protection League spokespeople Emily Robertson and Aaron Cross, Labour MP Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick, and year 13 student and animal advocate Holly O'Connor.
– In April, the Government announced a review of the greyhound racing industry, following reports from SAFE, the Greyhound Protection League and Grey2K USA Worldwide of ongoing cruelty within the industry. In the announcement, the Minister for Racing Hon Grant Robertson said he was not satisfied the industry was improving animal welfare, and that Greyhound Racing New Zealand had failed to provide sufficient information on changes they are making.
– Greyhound Racing New Zealand’s 2020 annual report.
– Photos of dogs rescued by the Greyhound Protection League.
– Greyhound racing is legal in only seven countries. A ban in the Australian Capital Territory came into force in April 2018, followed by a ban in Florida, USA, in November 2018. Since Florida is home to 11 of the USA’s 17 active dog tracks, this is a signal that greyhound racing will soon become a thing of the past in the United States.
– Information about greyhound racing in New Zealand.

Employment – Do shareholders realise Marsden Point conversion could cost more than half a billion dollars?

Source: First Union

FIRST Union, the union representing workers at Refining NZ, are querying whether shareholders voting on Friday on whether to convert the Marsden Point refinery to an import-only terminal realise the conversion could cost $650-700 million dollars.
“Refining NZ’s investor documents place the costs of conversion at around $320-340 million over five years, but we estimate those costs could ultimately be much higher and are concerned that shareholders may be being misled,” said Jared Abbott, FIRST Union Secretary for Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing.
“A 2016 NZIER report noted that the costs of remediation alone were in the order of $300 million, while we estimate the costs of paying out redundancies could come to around $50 million.”
“The long-term cost of a $700 million loan could put a dent in any potential dividends for years to come.”
Mr Abbott said there is little public information about the level of site contamination, and wonders whether shareholders have been provided with any information in this regard. The site has been subject to a self-monitoring regime for decades.
“Shuttered refineries in Australia have left high levels of contamination and a major demand for rehabilitation works, as well as having a massive impact on local communities,” said Mr Abbott.
“It’s vital that remedial work is costed correctly so that shareholders are aware of the magnitude of risk they will be taking on.”
Mr Abbott says a large number of refinery workers are already leaving their posts in frustration at what is perceived as a rushed process, and if the refinery remained understaffed during the transition and wind-down, it could risk a hard shutdown of the plant.
“A hard shutdown of the plant due to a loss of expertise could have significant implications for New Zealand’s fuel supply on top of everything else,” said Mr Abbott.
“Shareholders would be advised to err on the side of caution before irreparably impacting NZ’s long-term fuel security.”

Business – Oyster Investor Team Poised for Growth

Source: Oyster Property Group

Oyster Property Group’s latest internal promotions support the company’s focus on maximising opportunities for growth and strong investment outcomes for New Zealanders.

Oyster Property Group (Oyster) has announced two senior internal promotions into newly created roles, a move that comes as a result of Oyster’s ongoing growth and one that will support the company’s strategic plans for expansion.

James Molloy will lead the Oyster Investment Team as General Manager – Investment, while Rich Lyons steps into the role of Retail Investment Manager.

“Over the past 18-months, our portfolio has demonstrated its inherent value and Oyster has come through the challenges of COVID-19 in a good position. We are now focused on building on this to take up what we see as an expanded range of investment opportunities in the commercial property sector,” says Oyster Chief Executive, Mark Schiele.

“These new roles reflect this momentum and are a key part of driving it, alongside our continued commitment to delivering strong investment outcomes for our investors.”

James Molloy promoted to General Manager – Investment

A respected leader, both internally and within the sector, James will head up the Oyster Investment Team in the newly created role of General Manager – Investment. Building on his previous role as Head of Transactions, James will be responsible for executing Oyster’s investment strategy, driving new areas of strategic focus and leading Oyster’s Transactions, Investor Relations and Equity Raising teams.

During his 11-year tenure at Oyster, James has played a hands-on role in some of New Zealand’s most successful unlisted commercial property funds, including the establishment of Oyster Industrial Limited and the Oyster Large Format Retail Fund.

James has been involved in several high-profile property transactions including the acquisition of the Millennium Centre in Auckland for $210M, which was the largest office transaction in New Zealand at the time (2016).

Rich Lyons promoted to Retail Investment Manager

With over a decade of experience in property and banking, including equity raising and commercial property finance, Rich will step into the newly created role of Retail Investment Manager.

His mandate includes leading equity raising for Oyster transactions, the growth of Oyster’s investor base and continuing to build on Oyster’s service offering to current investors. In addition, Rich is responsible for the performance and management of the Oyster Direct Property Fund.

Oyster Property Group
Oyster is a leading New Zealand commercial real estate property and fund manager. The company has expertise in property fund structuring and equity raising and currently manages over 20 property funds structured for retail and wholesale investors including Oyster Industrial, the Oyster Large Format Retail Fund and the diversified Oyster Direct Property Fund. Oyster partners with institutional capital and private equity investing in commercial property and holds management mandates with third party property owners across development, asset management, property and facilities management, and retail leasing. Oyster manages a range of retail, office and industrial assets throughout New Zealand, with a combined value in excess of NZ$2.0 billion.

Health – Māmā Aroha; a world first breastfeeding app created in Aotearoa to be launched in World Breastfeeding Week 2021

Source: Hapai Te Hauora

Sunday 1st August marked the first day of ‘ World Breastfeeding Week 2021’. Māori Public Health organisation Hāpai Te Hauora are thrilled to have collaborated with Amy Wray, a wahine Māori and creator of a world first app for breastfeeding Māmā and their whānau alongside the health workforce who work with them. The team will be launching the app at the Tāmaki Makaurau office of Hāpai on Friday 6th August at 11am.
Māmā Aroha is the brainchild of Amy Wray. Amy is a qualified Midwife and Lactation Consultant and has been working as a health professional for over twelve years. Amy comes from a family of health professionals including her Mother and Sisters who are also Lactation Consultants. During this time she has worked in many roles within the community, she has been a BFHI co-ordinator and trained as a New Zealand Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor Administrator. She’s been involved in teaching Antenatal Classes/Hāpū Wānanga and various breastfeeding education workshops for a range of health providers throughout NZ. She has also helped develop and launch several breastfeeding services and is now currently running another business called Puku Ora in Gisborne with her sister where they run a healthy eatery and feed 3,500 children everyday as part of the Free School Lunches Programme, and has been sitting on the Tairawhiti DHB board.
The Mama Aroha app is the newest iteration of the ‘Breastfeeding Talk Cards’ Amy developed 10 years ago. The cards are a well-established, breastfeeding tool within Aotearoa and internationally. This resource is designed to support breastfeeding mothers and health professionals (nurses, midwives, lactation consultants, breastfeeding peer support in general) who are helping mothers with their breastfeeding, particularly when they are experiencing problems. It connects visuals and kupu Māori to provide a more visually informative resource that is easier to understand.
The National SUDI Prevention Coordination Service held by Hāpai Te Hauora are wanting to see a reduction in the number of SUDI (Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy) occurring in Aotearoa and are aware of the importance of wai u – breast milk as a medicine/rongoa for baby. We believe this tool assists health professionals to help whānau Māori and others to successfully breast feed for longer. As an indigenous and distinctly Māori tool it was the right and appropriate stand for us. We see Amy as a wahine toa and wanted to support her in the continuing development of this resource. This app is a collaboration between Amy Wray, Hāpai Te Hauora, New Zealand Breastfeeding Association, Mokopuna Ora and Kiwa Digital.

Motor Sport – Four from THoR for Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship

Source: Toyota

A huge four car team from racing philanthropists The Heart of Racing will provide opportunity for up and coming young racers to win big in next season’s Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship.

The four car team will be run – like THoR’s successful New Zealand endurance team – by International Motorsport. The cars will be run for the season as part of a new academy programme with three competing in the full season and the fourth as an additional entry for certain events and for testing duties.
The announcement of the new team will mean more drivers have the opportunity to race for a fantastic prize pool on offer from TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand and the Tony Quinn Foundation. That prize pool includes a test in Toyota’s FT60 TRS racer and a test with Triple Eight Race Engineering in a Supercar.
“As the pieces of the jigsaw fall into place it’s becoming clear that the 2021-2022 Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship is going to be the biggest in our nine year history,” said Category Manager Geoff Short.
Short expects a 22 plus field of cars for the next edition of the championship, which over the past few seasons has produced some memorable title battles and door-to-door racing that has meant it has become New Zealand’s top saloon car championship.
“Having The Heart of Racing so involved in the next championship is going to be great for the category and is an endorsement of how far we have come over the years,” he said.
“We’ve never been busier in the build up to a championship and fingers crossed we can put the challenges of the recent Covid affected seasons far behind us and look forward to some very big fields and some very tight racing, with the most successful drivers securing what are some hugely significant opportunities.”
The Heart of Racing is partnered with the Starship Foundation in support of the Starship Children’s Hospital. They race to spread awareness and raise funds for children’s hospitals across the globe. To date, the programme has raised over nine million dollars to support the demands of quality paediatric care.
On track they have enjoyed huge success in a short space of time in their Aston Martin Vantage GT3 driven by works racer Alex Riberas and drifter-turned-racer Darren Kelly.

Media – Christian Radio Launches in Wellington

Source: LiveFM

Christian Radio station, Life FM is now available on 98.1 FM in Wellington, New Zealand.

New Zealand, Monday 2nd August 2021- Life FM, a listener supported Christian radio station, has expanded into the nation's capital, on 98.1 FM, with overwhelming support from Wellington locals.

Operated by Rhema Media, a not for profit Christian media organisation, Life FM broadcasts on 37 frequencies across the country from Kaitaia to Invercargill, playing a mix of pop, rock and urban music from New Zealand and around the globe.

Life FM Content Director, Luke Weston says the turn out for live events from ‘Percy’ the Life FM caravan exceeded expectations this week, with over 360 people attending the launch celebration event on the evening of Friday 30th July, with Christian artists The Sations and Te Rautini playing at Old St Paul’s Church.

“LifeFM is centred around faith, music and culture. Its energy, authenticity and laughs makes it a popular alternative to mainstream channels. At our live events, we have consistently heard stories of how listeners' family dynamics are changing for the better after listening to Life FM’s family friendly, positive, and uplifting content.”

Life FM was first launched in 1997, but it’s origins date back to 1961, with the founder of Rhema Media, Richard Berry having a “God given” vision to establish a Christian radio station in New Zealand. Rhema was officially opened in 1978, by then Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon.

Today Life FM has 120,276* listeners, and expects an extra 11,000 with its Wellington reach. Rhema Media Head of Marketing and Development, Chris Price points out that with the onset of digital technology, the reach is becoming global.

“We know we have people who support Life FM from far flung places like Norway and Germany, having come across it online or while visiting New Zealand. The relationship and companionship radio provides is unique and still retains an impressive share of the media market.”

As a not for profit, Life FM is a listener supported radio station headquartered in Auckland with a team of 70 staff and 80 volunteers. The opportunity to expand into Wellington was identified in 2018 and supporters from the region and across the country responded to “The Key to the Capital Appeal” in October 2018 to raise the necessary funds, totalling $350,000”.

*(GfK Comm RAM, S2/21, Total NZ, Cume, AP10+, M-S 12mn-12mn (unless otherwise stated)


Rhema Media is a Christian media organisation for New Zealand with 85% of Rhema Media’s funding coming from generous supporters who donate to keep their stations going strong. Rhema Media’s purpose is to draw New Zealanders into an increasingly meaningful, personal relationship with Jesus |

Business – Kiwi Prohibition Tonic Brand Secures Trans-Tasman Export Deal

Source: Impact PR

One of New Zealand's fastest growing non-alcoholic beverage brands is set to launch into the Australian market – having secured a new export deal for its prohibition-style brand of tonics.

Bootleggers, which produces a collection of handcrafted tonics and mixers made from locally sourced and organic ingredients designed for gin drinkers, is riding a global wave of category growth – with gin sales up 34%.

The company’s first export shipment will land in Australia in the third quarter of this year – following the appointment of a local sales agent and the inking of a new contract to supply the country’s largest liquor retailer.

James Waugh, a Wellington bartender who founded the Bootleggers brand in his basement, says they hope to double current production and sales volumes in the coming year as their trans-Tasman distribution grows.

Waugh says they have also had export enquiry from Europe and the US East Coast with North American distributors recognising the local connection to the product’s brand identity.

He says the use of mixers became fashionable during the prohibition period as bartenders in speakeasies blended ounces of it with various mixers from bitters to soda, juices and fruit garnishes, to hide the flavour of the poorly made alcohol or ‘bathtub gin’.

Waugh’s research into this period found dry ginger ale was the most popular mixer to offset the potent taste of the contraband alcohol.

“We have had positive initial interest from distributors in the US who originally approached us based primarily on what they know about the brand and its potential appeal to their market.

“The history of Bootleggers as a ‘grandmother’s recipe’ gin mixer with its underground origins which was ‘smuggled’ into local bars that had licensing agreements with competing brands, resonated with the US importers and we are hopeful it will help open a door to a lucrative export market,” he says.

Waugh says the company will launch new three low sugar options along with new flavours, a redesigned label and bottle sizes which will be used in both the domestic and export markets.

He says premium tonic and soda is one of the fastest-growing beverage categories globally and is forecast to continue growing at >7.5% in volume each year.

“The New Zealand market has been underdeveloped for some time but more recently there has been an explosion of gin consumption with over 200 brands available here now. There is a lot more science and experimentation with gin now and the growth of premium tonics is a natural extension to that.

“The priority for us at the moment is to meet the demand of the local market, we are heavily focused on growing our distribution through hospitality and FMCG channels and as a result, our annual sales are up over 100%,” he says.

Waugh says Bootleggers is one of the largest locally owned and manufactured tonic brands, and global supply challenges faced by their competitors during the pandemic have provided the company with an opening into a number of new retailers including Liquorland and premium hospitality venues such as Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers.

“We have used the last year to prepare the product and increase our workforce for the coming expansion programme which will see us move into new channels and global export markets.

“As we move into supermarkets for the first time, we have introduced a pack size of 200mls as well as a new 500ml SKU in recycled glass bottles, completely redesigned the labelling of the product and will also be introducing new flavours over the coming months,” he says.

Banking – ASB’s new Support Finder tool helps connect customers with thousands in government support

Source: ASB

ASB research alongside benefit numbers from the Ministry of Social Development shows an increased number of Kiwis are struggling financially, and many may not be aware they’re eligible for government support.

ASB data indicates 30,000 of the bank’s customers could potentially be missing out on government financial support available. This is despite a two percent increase in the number of New Zealanders receiving government support in the last year, to 12 percent of the working age population.

To help connect customers with benefits they might qualify for, the bank has developed Support Finder – a new digital tool available in ASB’s mobile banking app. Support Finder asks customers a few simple questions and identifies if they may be eligible for financial help before guiding them to relevant government agencies, where they can apply for support.

ASB Chief Executive Officer Vittoria Shortt says Support Finder is a practical way ASB can help customers improve their financial wellbeing.

“We take a holistic view of our customers’ financial situations. We know that many of our customers are living pay-day to pay-day and may be under significant financial stress, and we’re determined to do all we can to help.

“We have many ways in which we can help our customers improve their financial wellbeing, however we also want our customers to feel educated and empowered to explore potential financial assistance available, and that includes government support they may not be aware of. Every little bit counts, and we know the difference it can make for customers when they are able to comfortably pay for everyday expenses and to save for a rainy day.”

Research on ASB customers’ financial wellbeing shows 39 percent are living pay-day to pay-day, often experiencing multiple payment problems and an additional 18 percent of customers were spending more than 80 percent of their income every month.  

This supports insights from the Financial Services Council’s Financial Resilience Index which reports that 77 percent of those under 37 years of age say they worry about money daily, weekly or monthly, with the majority saying this also affects their mental and physical wellbeing.

Support Finder is available to all customers in the ASB Mobile app and Ms Shortt encourages every ASB customer to give the tool a try.

“While customers experiencing personal or financial setbacks right now may benefit the most, it is still valuable for any Kiwi to know what financial support may be available to them.”

Support Finder currently includes 12 government financial assistance options from the Ministry of Social Development and Inland Revenue, with plans to add more in the coming months. ASB will also be training its staff to help identify customers that may be eligible for these benefits.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to get ahead and to achieve their financial goals, and this is just one more tool we’re adding to help them do that,” says Ms Shortt.

Charities – Dick Frizzell’s iconic design re-imagined for Daffodil Day

Source: Cancer Society 

Move over Mickey Mouse, it’s Daffy’s turn to get the Dick Frizzell treatment.

The Cancer Society has teamed up with the legendary New Zealand artist to create an exclusive run of prints for Daffodil Day. Essentially you can look fab sporting a one-of-a-kind print while at the same time being a hero to the 71 people who hear the words ‘you have cancer’ every single day.

The Daffy to Daffy artwork follows Frizzell’s famous ‘Mickey to Tiki’ format of a beloved cartoon character morphing into a significant symbol– in this case, turning Daffy Duck into a daffodil.

From 1 August t-shirts, hoodies and prints will be on sale across Aotearoa with the proceeds going to the Cancer Society.

Cancer Society Events and Fundraising Coordinator Pip Taylor said she decided to be bold and reach out to the well-known artist for this year’s design and is thrilled with the result.

“Frizzell agreed to give it a go and ‘see if inspiration struck’, and to our great joy it did. We suspect this will be our most popular t-shirt yet.”

Frizzell says he was happy to give back to a cause that affects so many New Zealanders. “My mother died of breast cancer. In one form or another it is never very far away from most families, including mine.”

Cancer Society of New Zealand CEO Lucy Elwood says: “Many people don’t realise that the charity receives minimal government funding and relies on the generosity of individuals and business in our community to continue its work.”

“We’re so grateful and honoured to have Dick turn our emblem – the daffodil – into one of his iconic designs.”

Daffodil Day this year is Friday 27 August and raises vital funds so the Cancer Society can provide free support to people during and after treatment, education and awareness programmes, and fund research into the causes and treatments of cancer.

The Dick Frizzell Daffodil Day t-shirt, hoodie and exclusive print are available to purchase from 1 August 2021 for a limited time at

T-shirt: $35
Hoodie: $60
Prints are available at for $99

About the Cancer Society of New Zealand
The Cancer Society of New Zealand is the country's leading organisation dedicated to reducing the incidence of cancer and ensuring the best cancer care for New Zealanders. We are committed to working with communities and decision makers by providing leadership and advocacy in cancer control, with core services in information and support, research and health promotion.