Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


2013 Roger Award People's Choice

2013 Roger Award People's Choice

The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand are: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2.

The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance - monopoly, profiteering, tax dodging, cultural imperialism; people - unemployment, impact on tangata whenua, impact on women, impact on children, abuse of workers/conditions, health and safety of workers and the public; environment - environmental damage, abuse of animals; and political interference - interference in democratic processes, running an ideological crusade.

There is also an Accomplice Award for an organisation (not an individual) which was the worst Accomplice during the year in aiding and abetting transnational corporations in New Zealand to behave as described in the criteria. The Accomplice’s award is in addition to the Worst Transnational Corporation award and will not necessarily be awarded every year. There were several nominations for the Accomplice Award, all for the Government, mainly on general grounds. But the nomination for Chorus also nominated the Government for the Accomplice Award specifically in connection with Chorus.

ANZ has been a regular finalist and won the 2009 Roger Award. In 2013 it has been selected as a finalist because of profiteering, and treatment of its staff. One nomination specified “excessive pay for CEO; excessive profits; and charging excessive fees to customers”. ANZ is the first of the major banks to appear in court to defend the class action suit about excessive fees.

Chorus makes its first appearance in the Roger Award line up of corporate villains (perhaps it should be called the chorus line). It was specifically nominated in the economic dominance category and, within that, for profiteering. To quote from the nomination: “Chorus continues the worst features of the old Telecom, from which it was split in 2011 (as a touted “solution” to those worst features). It strives to preserve a monopoly; it grossly overcharges and tries every trick in the book to keep those inflated prices, including special pleading to its backer and accomplice, the Government. This story is very far from resolved at the time of this nomination and it remains to be seen how it turns out. But it is yet another example of the corporate welfare for which this Government has become notorious – Warner Brothers, Sky City, Rio Tinto, Media Works and now Chorus. The list goes on”.

IAG is a finalist for the second consecutive year. The reasons why are distressingly well known to anyone living in Christchurch in the last three years. The nomination is worth quoting in full: “Because instead of making thousands of Christchurch house owners feel looked after and doing their job, they quibble, penny-pinch and weasel out of their obligations. They have worn people down until they feel stressed and defeated. Despite their PR hype, they don’t ‘Love Christchurch’. They love maximising their profits and pleasing their shareholders. They are hated and despised for their chain-dragging and changing the rules in the middle of the game. May they rot in Hell!”

Imperial Tobacco continues a long and dishonourable history of tobacco companies featuring as finalists and winners of the Roger Award. The very detailed nomination specified Imperial’s “crimes against the health and safety of its workers and the public; and endeavouring to expand its market in NZ, after the Government has committed to making the nation smokefree by 2025”. An extract from the conclusion: “Tobacco kills about 5,000 New Zealanders annually. It is the greatest preventable cause of death and illness in New Zealand… If Imperial Tobacco were genuine in regard to their corporate social responsibility, they would cease to manufacture all of their existing brands. Instead, they conducted ‘testing programmes’ where thousands of cigarettes were distributed to their employees in breach of the Smokefree Environments Act: they proudly boast a growing market share in New Zealand even after this nation’s Government has committed to making the nation Smokefree by 2025: and they cynically settle disputes with the agreement to donate thousands when their profits remain in the millions. They must be shamed”.

Rio Tinto won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”. So, 2013 has seen more of the same from the biggest recipient of corporate welfare – the Bluff smelter is the biggest bludger in the country. The 2011 Roger Award Judges’ Report concluded that the company has a 50 year history of “suborning, blackmailing and conning successive New Zealand governments into paying massive subsidies on the smelter’s electricity; dodging tax, and running a brilliantly effective PR machine to present a friendly, socially responsible and thoroughly greenwashed face to the media and the public”. The 2012 Judges’ Report is more succinct: “…it has us by the balls and has continued to squeeze ever since. It is corporate welfarism, but somehow doesn’t attract the same vindictiveness as the sickness beneficiary”.

Sky City Casino was nominated by several people because of its “more pokies for convention centre” deal with the Government. One nomination refers to the “current Key government essentially selling our laws in return for Sky City building an international convention centre” and to Sky City’s “ability to profiteer from others’ misery”. It concludes: “…Sky City is attempting to lock future governments into this dirty deal. (It) is pushing for draconian compensation provisions should a progressive Government decide that it is not OK to pay for a convention centre to be paid for by others’ misery”.

Talent 2 makes its first appearance in the Roger Award because of the complete and utter balls up that is its Novopay payroll system for long suffering teachers. Media reports routinely use words like “debacle” and “mess” in the headlines about Novopay. It has become a byword for an expensive IT failure, which has cost teachers’ millions in missed or mucked up salaries, plus it has cost taxpayers millions more as the Government has attempted to get it sorted out. The nominator specified: “monopoly” and “impact on teachers, teachers’ families, administrators and schools in general”.

The judges are: Christina Stringer, a Senior Lecturer in International Business at the University of Auckland; John Maynard, from Wellington, President of the Postal Workers Union of Aotearoa, spokesperson for People's Power Ohariu and founding member of the Brass Razoo Solidarity Band; David Small, a lawyer and Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Canterbury; Sam Mahon, an artist, author and activist from North Canterbury; and Wayne Hope, Associate Professor, Communications Studies, Auckland University of Technology

The winner(s) will be announced at a Nelson event on the night of April 15th.

Full details, including previous winners and annual Judges’ Reports, can be read online at http://canterbury.cyberplace.co.nz/community/CAFCA/publications/Roger/index.html.

Bad luck to all the finalists and may the worst man win!

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: A Govt. Christmas Bad News Dump -The Skycity Convention Center Blowout & A Negative MBIE Review

If the government really did have good tidings of great joy you can bet it wouldn’t be strewing them about at Christmas time – which is, traditionally, the dumping ground for terrible news that the government fervently hopes the public will be too distracted to notice. And so verily this Christmas Eve we learn of (a) the explosion of costs to the taxpayer and ratepayer of the vile SkyCity convention centre in Auckland and that (b) the government’s flagship MBIE “super-ministry” run by its Minister of Everything is a disaster zone of incompetence and mismanagement. MBIE is a Titanic looking for an iceberg, or so it would seem. More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news