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

 

2009 Roger Award Finalists Named

Chief Reporter

2009 Roger Award Finalists Named

The nine finalists for the 2009 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand are (in alphabetical order): ANZ, BNZ, Infratil, Newmont, Rio Tinto Aluminium NZ, Rymans, Telecom, Transpacific and Westpac. There are two finalists for the Accomplice Award – the Business Round Table, and the Auckland City Council and its officials (as part of the nomination of Transpacific Industries).

Telecom, the winner of the 2007 Roger Award, is the only transnational corporation (TNC) to have been a finalist every year since the Roger Award started a dozen years ago (although it has only actually won it twice). In 2009 it was nominated primarily for its shabby treatment of its phone technicians, whom it is forcing into becoming self-employed contractors, who will have to carry the costs and risks previously borne by their employer when they were wage workers. Transpacific is the only one not to have featured before, at least not under that name. In recent years it bought out Waste Management which, under its previous owners, was a finalist one year. All the rest have previously been finalists (and BNZ and Westpac were joint winners in 2005). This tells you something about these corporate recidivists. In fact this is such a strong field that the defending champion, BAT (British American Tobacco NZ), which won the 2008 Roger, couldn’t even make the finalists.

ANZ was nominated very specifically for its role in the ING frozen funds scandal, which is a continuation from 2008, when it was also a finalist for the same reason. BNZ and Westpac are there for a variety of sins but first and foremost because they have been found guilty of massive tax avoidance in a case that Inland Revenue has brought against all four Australian-owned banks (ANZ and ASB are yet to have their day in court). The total amount of tax avoided is more than $2 billion. Infratil is there again, as it was in 2008, because of union bashing (specifically for locking out Auckland bus drivers by its NZ Bus subsidiary. Last year it was for NZ Bus locking out its Wellington workers. Do you detect a pattern emerging here?). Newmont Mining, which was last a finalist in 2003, is there for the same reason – the appalling impact of its gold mine which has left Waihi with a huge hole in the middle of town. Rio Tinto Aluminium (which is still better known by its former name, Comalco), the 2008 runner up, was nominated for a range of reasons, but primarily for being the biggest corporate bludger in NZ vis a vis its power price; and for the huge amount that the public will have to pay for every job at the Tiwai Point smelter because the Government is making taxpayers carry the burden of NZ’s carbon emissions, and pay for the biggest carbon emitter in the country. Rymans, which people mistakenly think of as being New Zealand-owned (the same mistake is made about Infratil), has been a finalist once before and for the same reason – it is a prime example of the for profit retirement home industry and it treats both workers and residents poorly. Transpacific was nominated for its takeover, aided and abetted by the Auckland City Council and its officials, of the excellent locally owned and run rubbish and recycling operation on Waiheke Island.

The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation which is 25% or more foreign-owned) 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

Political interference – Interference in democratic processes, running an ideological crusade

The judges are: Paul Corliss, from Christchurch, a life member of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union; Christine Dann, from Banks Peninsula, a writer and researcher; Bryan Gould, from Bay of Plenty, a former Waikato University Vice-Chancellor; Joce Jesson, a Senior Lecturer in Critical Studies in Education, University of Auckland and an activist in various community organisations; and Wayne Hope, Associate Professor, Communications Studies, Auckland University of Technology. The winner(s) will be announced at a Wellington event on March 11. The Roger Award is organised by the Christchurch-based groups, Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) and GATT Watchdog. Bad luck to all the finalists and may the worst man win!


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>

ALSO:


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>

ALSO:


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>

ALSO:

Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels