On April 17th, 2013, marriage between persons of the same gender became lawful in New Zealand after parliament voted 77 to 44 in favour of the passing of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act. This law passed with widespread support from the New Zealand public with most opinion polls showing up to 70% of those polled supporting same sex marriage.
This makes New Zealand the 13th country to legalise same sex marriage and the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so.
The Westpac television advert showing the house-sharing pensioners arguing about their food and chores may not be so funny in a few years' time. The Government has concluded that it can no longer afford a decent standard of living for pensioners. The problem is that there will be too many of them – as people are living longer and into the bargain, there is the baby boom.
The Household Labour Force Survey, which is the official measurement of unemployment in New Zealand, reveals that the unemployment rate is 7.3% of the work force (or approximately 299,000 people). Yet, the numbers of people on the unemployment benefit are around the 50,000 mark according to the Ministry of Social Development.
This perspectives document is a Marxist analysis of New Zealand. Such an analysis provides Marxists with a guide to the developing situation of the country. This perspective document is not intended to be a blueprint of future events which is beyond the scope of scientific socialism and nor is it our intention to present it as such.
The National-led government has passed the legislation by one vote in parliament to part-privatise 4 state owned energy companies. This is a highly unpopular policy with the public with all polls showing 70% or more members of the public opposing the sales. Such opposition is not surprising as New Zealanders have learned through the bitter experience of the consequences of privatisations in the 80s and 90s.