Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Sharples hears impassioned pleas from AFFCO workers


The Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Tamaki Makaurau
28 April 2012

Sharples hears impassioned pleas from AFFCO workers

“How can one family inflict so much pain and poverty on the workers who have served them for decades?”

“AFFCO Talleys forces hundreds of families into poverty.”

These were the impassioned pleas of locked-out workers in Wairoa, who met with Maori Party Co-leader and Minister of Maori Affairs Dr Pita Sharples at Takitimu marae yesterday.

Dr Sharples attended a hui to discuss Maori representation on the Wairoa District Council, and found the industrial dispute at the AFFCO freezing works was the main topic of talk in the town.

“Incidents of extreme hardship were laid out before the hui – of senior rangatira who have contributed hugely to their community, and who have worked for AFFCO Talleys for thirty years, facing the humiliation of going cap in hand to WINZ for financial relief,” said Dr Sharples.

“These are people in their fifties now, who have provided for their families and supported their community, but who are without the means to pay their mortgages, service their overdrafts, or pay their rates,” he said.

“The community has rallied, and provided breakfasts and lunches for some of their mokopuna, but this does not relieve the feeling of shame and embarrassment felt by the older workers in Wairoa.

“I know this situation is the same all across New Zealand where there are AFFCO Talleys plants. It is especially severe in Wairoa and Moerewa and other towns where there are very few other job opportunities.

“The lockouts have seriously affected not just the hundreds of workers, but all of their families, and the local and tribal communities they belong to,” said Dr Sharples.

“In Wairoa, Kaitoko Whanau from Te Puni Kokiri have been guiding families who have never before had to seek a mortgage holiday, rates relief or a bank overdraft. They have had some success in helping whanau secure the government assistance they are entitled to.

“I have also written to iwi leaders right throughout Aotearoa, asking them to consider how they might best support their communities under stress, in accordance with Maori values of collective action to look after each other and protect vulnerable whanau. Some have responded, saying they are discussing plans to withhold stock from their farms, to show their displeasure with AFFCO Talleys.

“I have also been trying hard to meet with representatives of the Talley family, to see if we can find a way forward through this dispute, in the interests of the parties and of rural communities who are caught up in this dispute,” said Dr Sharples.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news