Saturday night, June 1, Wellington – Fightback against McDonald’s!

mcdonalds bunny street wellington strikeAs part of its 2013 conference Fightback (Aotearoa/NZ) is supporting a Unite membership campaign to lift pay and establish guaranteed hours of work at McDonald’s workplaces.

We’ll be distributing this leaflet to McDonald’s customers: WHY FIGHTBACK SUPPORTS MCDONALDS WORKERS

Between 7pm and 9.30pm on Saturday June 1 Fightback members and other supporters of the Unite-led campaign will be going to McDonald’s stores throughout Wellington City. We’ll be telling customers why we think McDonald’s workers should be supported by the public. This comes on the back of last week’s strike at the Bunny Street store (pictured).

If you want to join the fight meet at 6.30pm at Newtown Community & Cultural Centre @ corner of Rintoul & Colombo Sts, Newtown.

For further information or to make any enquiries email us at

Workers Party day school – Auckland, Saturday November 17

On Saturday November 17 Workers Party members, contacts, and supporters in Auckland will be holding the third monthly day school in a series of three.
In the previous day schools we examined why we need a revolutionary party and studied Lenin’s pamphlet on Imperialism.
This month the topic will be how socialists relate to the union movement. The day school is being held at Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Auckland.

Full Agenda

10.30 -11am Meet and greet, refreshments

11.00am -12.15pm Study: “Transitional and democratic slogans as bridges to socialist revolution”, by Joseph Hansen

12.15-1.30pm Study “Teamster Power”, Chapter 3 “A class struggle policy” by Farrell Dobbs

1.30-2.30pm Lunch Break

2.30-4pm Discussion “Organising a workers’ fight back in Aotearoa in 2013: Tasks and Perspectives”

Please confirm attendance in advance so that we can provide adequate handouts on the day. For further enquiries, if you wish to attend, or if you want the readings emailed out please contact Mike Kay on  021-288-5601 or email

Marxist day school for Auckland contacts and supporters, Saturday September 8

Auckland WP contacts and supporters will be holding a day school this Saturday, September 8, in Grey Lynn.

Existing members and contacts will be meeting from 11am till 4pm.

This will be the first of a new series of monthly day schools being held each month until the end of the year.

The first day school will be focussed around a study of Lenin’s Three sources and three component parts of Marxism which can be viewed here:

This will be followed by a study of James Cannon’s The Revolutionary Party and its role in the struggle for socialism which can be viewed at : 

We welcome new contacts to attend. For anyone interested in attending please contact Rebecca on 022-671-9656 for venue details or to see if transport assistance is available.

Advance Pasifika takes living standards demands to Auckland’s Queen Street

Pasifika people have hit the streets of Auckland in large numbers for the first time since the infamous dawn raids thirty years ago. Mobilising behind the organisation “Advance Pasifika”, about 800 people marched on Saturday to demand affordable housing, better educational outcomes, quality healthcare and decent jobs with a living wage for Pasifika people in New Zealand. A fresh morning breeze raised up the national flags of numerous Pacific Island countries, the largest number being Samoan and Niuean. They were joined by the banners of trade unions as well as Mana, Greens and the Labour Party.

The march was a little bit different to your run-of-the-mill demonstration. It kicked off with songs, hymns and even an aerobics work out. At the half way point, marchers were treated to an energetic performance of drumming and dancing, turning the heads of passers by on Queen Street. When the marchers reached Aotea Square, they were greeted with a pōwhiri from Ngāti Whātua on behalf of the tangata whenua of Auckland. The overall vibe of the march was exuberant, but also angry at the impoverished position of Pasifika people and the institutional racism they face.



120 attend Workers Party national conference in Wellington

By writers for The Spark

In early June the Workers Party held its annual national conference – this year called Socialism 2012 – in Newtown, Wellington.

Public event
The event opened with Jared Phillips of the Hamilton branch putting forward a class analysis and economic forecast for the coming period. Guest speaker Sue Bradford from Auckland Action Against Poverty and MANA spoke about reorganising the unemployed and the vulnerable sections of the working class, which was followed by Mike Kay, a WP member in Auckland, looking at the current position of meat-workers and wharfies who have both recently been in significant struggles.

On Saturday Mike Kay presented on the concept of the combat propaganda organisation, examining what type of Marxist organisation it is possible to build in the current period. Kassie Hartendorp of the Wellington branch then spoke about Safer Spaces, touching on some of the problems in Occupy and putting forward strategies to deal with unsafe spaces.

After those sessions a panel was held on ‘Eco-Socialism in Australasia’. Grant Brookes of the Wellington branch spoke about the idea of forming an Eco-socialist network in Aotearoa and Ian Anderson – also of the Wellington branch – then spoke on the connection between socialist policy on immigration and the environment. Guest speaker Ben Petterson of Socialist Alliance spoke about the state of the Eco-socialist movement in Australia.

Continuing with Australian guests, Yarra City Councillor Anthony Main from Socialist Party Australia spoke about the way in which  that organisation participates in elections and the connection between the transitional method and their work in council. This was followed by a panel ‘Against the capitalist education system’ in which Joel Cosgrove of the Wellington branch spoke about new forms of organising being required as student unions are increasingly becoming the tools of the university administration.  Rowan MacArthur of the International Socialist Organisation spoke on student resistance and reasons for increased activity amongst students. University teacher Dick White then spoke about the idea of the university as the critical conscience of society and counterposed that idea to the reality of the role of the university.

On the last day of public conference Byron Clark and Paul Hopkinson presented on imperialism with Paul focussing on the PFLP solidarity campaign and Byron focussing on NZ imperialism. Jared Phillips then outlined the emergence of new analysis within the Workers Party in favour of pro-working class Tino Rangatiratanga. James Froch of the Wellington branch pointed  to a socialist programme for queer  liberation in New Zealand. The final session consisted of a panel with a representative from each of  Socialist Party Australia, Socialist Alliance (Australia), International Socialist Organisation, and Workers Party putting forward perspectives of their organisations.

Internal meetings
The Workers Party convened several internal meetings. There were reports from all those holding elected positions in the organisation. There was agreement that the organisation now has the beginnings of a finance consciousness, that the organisation endorses the internal document now published on the WP website titled ‘The Treaty, the foreshore & seabed, and Tino Rangatiratanga’, and that a debate will continue regarding changing the name of the organisation.

Socialising, bands, fundraising
Over the conference weekend there was plenty of socialising and fundraising. On the first night for example the bands Kittentank, Big Rick, and Man/Woman played a fund-raising gig at Bar Bodega which took $450 at the door. On the following night there was a Greek food theme, and there was also a raffle for art and wine.

Strong attendance
Whilst attendance is not the sole criteria for assessing the strength of a socialist conference, and is not the key criteria, it has to be said that the organisation was pleased with the hugely increased turnout in comparison to previous annual national conferences. Over the last five years attendance had plateued at no more than approximately 75. The increased turnout indicates the increased opportinuties for socialist building and reflects the organisation’s increased invovlement in mass work in areas such as workplace, student movement, queer liberation movement, and MANA movement. The Workers Party is looking towards holding next year’s national conference in Wellington at Queen’s Birthday weekend for the second year in a row.