Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dumb Down, If You Want To Get A Job In NZ

Edward Gay in The Herald is telling the story of a graduate who was allegedly told to by the Department of Work and Income ( WINZ) to remove her degree and experience from her CV if she wanted to find short term work.
"Work and Income staff told a woman with a university bachelor degree to "dumb down" her CV before applying for jobs.

Natalie Meehan hopes to join the Navy later this year and said she wanted to take on some short-term employment before the next in-take later in the year.

She went into her local WINZ office in Napier for help finding a job or a short-term allowance and was told to remove her Bachelor degree and any mention of her two administration jobs from her CV before approaching prospective employers at Pak'n Save and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Work and Income deputy chief executive Patricia Reade said the WINZ case manager was trying to help Natalie target her CV at the kinds of jobs available for short term periods...

Ms Meehan said

"They said in order to get interviews I would have to dumb down my CV.
She said she hoped to get some part-time temping work but the WINZ officer told her to apply for jobs that do not require qualifications including Pak'n Save and KFC.

"She said: Make it look like you're completely unqualified because otherwise employers in Napier will feel like they're less qualified than you," she said.

Ms Meehan is living with her parents before she joins the Navy but said she felt sorry for anyone who had to pay their own way.

"What are you supposed to do?" She said.

Ms Meehan emailed the Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett and told her what happened. She said she also asked the Minister to look into the practice of WINZ staff telling people to leave qualifications off their CV.

A spokeswoman for Ms Bennet told the Minister did not approve of people "dumbing down" their CVs.

She said the Minister was looking into Ms Meehan's case.

Ms Reade said WINZ did its best to help Ms Meehan. She said the Hawkes Bay Regional Manager will meet with Natalie to discuss her concerns."

Back in May WINZ  struck up a deal with global fast food giant McDonalds to provide 6,000 new jobs in New Zealand over the next three years.

The arrangement was later changed to allow for 7,000  McDonalds jobs to be advertised and trained for by the Department of Work and Income over the next 5 years. The Dom Post told its readers that “McDonald’s restaurants will receive up to $16,000 a year of taxpayers’ money every time it recruits a beneficiary under a partnership with Work and Income".

That's a $112 million bill for the tax payers (see "Would You Like A Future With That? The Burgerization of McZealand, Up To $16,000 A Head (updated) for the full story")
At the time MP Jacinda Arden asked the minister of youth affairs Paula Bennett this question across the floor of parliament:
“Will the Minister adopt any ideas other than those generated by McDonald’s, such as those ideas generated by the Youth Jobs Summit I hosted last week, including greater investment in skills and training, lifting the cap for tertiary education, and introducing a guaranteed employment or training scheme for the long-term unemployed under the age of 25 years, given that the Minister sees the power of working together to create creative solutions?”
Was this the best they could come up with? Is a job with a fast food company a career for life which will give all Kiwis higher wages and a brighter future? and was this THE initiative that will give “young New Zealanders a country that they’ll want to stay and work in” or just a cynical (and expensive) attempt to hack a few digits off the unemployment figures?

On 20 May 2007 John Key promised:
“If I have the great honour of becoming Prime Minister of this country then I want to leave a legacy too.
My legacy will be a strong New Zealand economy with higher wages, lower taxes and greater competitiveness. My legacy will be a country that young New Zealanders want to stay and work in.That’s what a National government will give you.”
What we're getting is a country where a government department  is telling job seekers to dumb down their CVs to get low paid, unskilled work. Looks to us like a gradual de-skilling of New Zealand is well underway.

Interestingly, today it was announced that unemployment fell to 6% in New Zealand over the last quarter, in a country where engineers, teachers and radiographers are driving taxis  it makes you question in which sectors the employment has been created doesn't it.

This story generated a massive readers' response on the webpage. Here's a selection of their comments:
"I can understand the frustration the lady has with her qualifications, my husband has been told many times he is 'over qualified' for the positions he has applied for, having been out of work for many months(being made redundant) we have lived off our savings and not gone 'cap in hand' to the dole office pleading for a hand out, we have worked all our lives but it seems if you have no debts are not drugs dependent, not a 'overseas visitor' or are not from a ethnic..."

"Our case sounds a lot like yours - when my husband was made redundant they told him numerous times he was to overqualified and they wouldn't suggest him to employers for jobs. He would have done any job, and done it well, rather than getting the benifit but they wouldn't help us out on that front at all. Makes me so mad!"

"like many other people out there in newzealand. I have worked hard to get myself into better positions with companies this has now been a waste of time as alot of companies do not want to employ me as i have too much experiance and skills. i was also told to DUMB down my cv by winz."

"Work and income treat everyone out of work like f#cking morons, My husband has never previously been out of work, but was recently made redundant. He went to a "seminar" provided by W&I and came home demoralised and angry, He was treated like a desperate pauper, this "service" is neither productive or in any way helps jobseekers, I think a review is desperately needed"

"When I lost my job due to government cuts I went to WINZ to help me find a job, I was told to dumb down my CV in order to get a job as well. reading other comments on here I see that this is a common this. Its a sad thing that to get ahead in life we are told to hide who we are and pretend to be stupid."

"I was also asked to dumb down my CV by WINZ, so its nothing new. The few companies that have ever bothered to get back to me when I sent my CV have said that I am far too experienced, and this includes several so called Recruitment agencies. I have got the same comments when the job I have applied for is exactly the same as the last two jobs I had. Age discrimination is also rife, given that WINZ supplied me with a list of jobs where there were age restrictions, even though this is in..."

"I was told a similar thing after I left my husband 10 years ago - I was studying at Uni and I was told to give up the study as, and I quote "it wont get you any where, look at me, [The WINZ person] I did the same degree and now I work here." I was encouraged to stop study and get a cleaning job! I didn't listen, I found a job on my own and continued study and now have a great career."

"Well, our eminent Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is on public record saying in Parliament, that there is a 'job available for everyone.' Perhaps she should get her well-paid backside out of Wellington and direct her staff to find these elusive jobs for the unemployed, including those public servants who were recently sacked by this caring Government."

"I have recently been told by WINZ not to tell a future employer about a medical condition that I have that would affect my ability to do the job. WINZ said leave it out until I were asked. I was also told to dumb down my CV. Nobody wants to employ somebody over quilified because they will only be there until something better comes up. Edwin, I used to think a wee bit like you, but after being fully employed for 35 years and being made redundant I have changed my views somewhat. Better go pubs..."

"I did an unemployment thing with WINZ a couple of years ago. The most depressing thing I have ever done in my life. I have sworn that I would rather become a wino and live under a bridge than ever repeat that experience. I have a Masters degree and they thought the appropriate job for me was cleaning. When I get my doctorate next year, there is no way I am takeing that off my CV."

"Nothing new for all immigrants. We have to do this to run our families. Though NZ immigration requires qualified people (with master/bachelor degrees) but do not (can't) offer jobs of their profession. It is pity that it has come up in news now."

"I have been told to omit the fact that i have had back problems by acc. While it is not the same as taking a degree out of your cv, it does show that these people are basicly dishonest!"

"I got the same treatment twice, once from Winz and once from an independent agency. However, I don't know whether the recruiters or employers are at fault. I was told to remove astronomy from the interests in my CV in case, an employer thought I would not be able to, "talk to workmates during smoko." Laughable or ridiculous?"

"I agree regarding the seminars provided by WINZ. I went to one years ago and was disgusted how they treat you like a dole bludger straight off the bat. The guy giving the seminar told everyone that the unemployment benefit was a privilige not a right. In my books it is a right, I pay higher taxes here than in other countries who don't provide unemployment benefit simply as an insurance in case I need, making it a right as far as I am concerned."

"This seems to be the standard case manager bs line at Work & Income: "You're obviously not going to get a job in ______ (your trained field), is there any reason why you aren't working at McDonald's?" or cleaning?"

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Norwegian Hunters Blasted For Killing Pigeons Whilst DOC Asks To Slaughter An Entire Weka Population

The New Zealand press is today covering the story of the Norwegian  hunters, who filmed themselves shooting Kereru whilst on holiday in New Zealand, facing criminal charges if they ever dare to return to New Zealand. From the Herald:
“The men caused outrage both here and in Norway after posting a video of their trip on YouTube, including a clip where one of the men used a high-powered rifle to shoot a native kereru pigeon.
The video showed a man holding two dead kereru and also had a clip showing a paradise duck being shot illegally with a rifle.
Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson said the Department of Conservation (DOC) had completed its investigation into the hunters and found two paradise ducks had been shot out of season during a four-day hunt near Franz Josef.
“I have received an emailed apology from the five men, and while I accept they now regret what they have done, I don’t consider their excuses to be credible,” Ms Wilkinson said today.
“The callous disregard these men showed for our native wildlife was outrageous and New Zealanders were justifiably angered by the footage they released.”
Do New Zealanders also  feel “justifiably angered” by DOC’s announcement that they’re planning to slaughter the entire population of native Weka (photo above) from the Open Bay Islands? (source 3News)
“3 News has learned the Department of Conservation is planning to kill the entire weka population on two remote islands off the West Coast of the South Island.
The weka is a cheeky, pesky little bird and the mass extermination will see around 100 native birds killed off.
The killing is to protect rare geckos, skinks and an indigenous leech, which are themselves threatened by the weka.
The dead birds may be given to local Maori for food.
Bird lover Mike Bennett is fighting to save up to 100 of the birds, which DOC wants to eradicate from the uninhabited Open Bay Islands off the West Coast.
The people of New Zealand own those wekas,” says Mr Bennett.
Publicly DOC is saying no decision has yet been taken, but 3 News has obtained internal emails which show its intent on the weka cull.
DOC is planning on advising the Minister of Conservation that “euthanasing” the weka is “legal and defendable” and its “duty”
..Mr Bennett says Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson needs to bring a stop to the killing.
“I think she needs to take a firm grip on the controls, and say ‘I am the boss’. She has the bureaucrats to advise her but the buck stops with her,” he says.
Ms Wilkinson says she needs for information before making a judgment.
Well the weka are a native species and of course I have an interest in native species as the Minister for Conservation, but again I have to get the full facts of what’s happening down there,” she says.
Killing one native species to save another is a hard decision and questions will be asked about whether DOC has kept its minister and the public properly informed.
Ric Cullinane, from Fish and Game says it is not only the death of the animals which is disturbing. They’ve broken laws around hunting without a license, hunting outside a season and using a rifle. He  says ignorance is no excuse. There’s no information given to visitors about hunting regulations.

DOC, you may recall, is  responsible for drops of the highly toxic 1080, which indiscriminately kills countless numbers of native wildlife, as well as the possums, stoats and other small mammals that it’s supposed to be targeted at. See posts tagged 1080 for details
After a 1080 drop at Mount Edmont National Park there was allegedly No Bird life left”.
Back in March we wrote about a possum skin trader, Stu Bracegirdle of Inglewood,  who had visited the park twice since the drop. He said that it’s not just the possums that  were killed, he said there is no bird life left :
“Mr Bracegirdle said he often set traps to catch possums around the Mangaoraka picnic area, 2.3km up from the park entrance and 4.5km below the North Egmont Road.
He could not hear or see any birdlife there now. “It was just dead. There was nothing.
“It’s a funny feeling, eh? I’ve spent 15 to 20 years on the mountain as a trapper, and you always had fantails, tomtits follow you round – there’s just nothing.”
Mr Bracegirdle claimed that when he visited that area following the first 1080 drop in the mid-1990s, he took “heaps of pictures of dead birds”. However, because they were not in J-peg format, DOC would not look at them.”
Talk about double standards! Let’s hope that Kate Wilkinson applies the same reasoning to the slaughter of the Weka as she did to the killing of the brace of ducks and Kereru.

Today's posts - click here

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

10 Year Old Girl A Hero In New Plymouth Dairy Robbery

  The Taranaki Daily News is carrying a story about an amazing little girl who phoned police whilst a gang of robbers held a gun to her Dad's head. Just look at the ages of the thugs responsible - the youngest was only 14, not much older than the girl herself.

Police managed to catch them but her father thinks that teenagers are dealt with too leniently in New Zealand, his business has been robbed numerous times over the last 4 years:
"A 10-year-old girl kept her cool and rang police while a gang of teenage robbers held a gun at her father's head.

Five youths, two aged 17 and three aged 14, burst into the Belt Rd Dairy in New Plymouth about 6.30pm on Sunday and threatened the owner with what appeared to be a pistol.

Owner Ben Sun praised his quick-thinking daughter yesterday.

"She went out the back and rung the police and told them what was happening," Mr Sun said.

He was pleased the offenders were caught quickly but believed teenagers were dealt with too softly in New Zealand.

His eight-year-old son didn't want the family working in the dairy any more.

"He says it is not safe," Mr Sun said.

The business has been robbed numerous times during the past four years.

New Plymouth CIB Detective Sergeant Greg Gray said the group grabbed a large quantity of cigarettes and tobacco and cash before leaving the shop...more"

It's been a bad few days for dairies in New Zealand, with another shop in Palmerston North also robbed by armed kids yesterday. That was attributed to the recent hike in tobacco tax.
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Another Armed Robbery In Palmerston North

New Zealand's violent crime epidemic continues with yesterday's gun point robbery at a Palmerston North dairy (corner shop) by four youths in their mid to late teens. It follows Sunday's robbery of a New Plymouth dairy by a gang of five teenagers and this morning's Armed Offenders Squad call out to an armed man sighted at a Gisborne shopping centre.

A NZPA report said
Four masked men have robbed a Palmerston North dairy at gunpoint, threatening the owners and an elderly customer.

Police are today still searching for the men who burst into the Gloriana Dairy in the suburb of Highbury about 7.40pm last night, their faces covered with hoodies and clothing.

One of the men threatened the male and female shop owners, and an elderly woman who came into the shop, with a long-barrelled firearm.

They stole the cash register and a quantity of tobacco before fleeing and eluding a police cordon.

The offenders would not have got more than few hundred dollars in cash and a similar value of tobacco, said Detective Sergeant David Clifford.

The firearm has not yet been recovered. Police were trying to identify the offenders by going through security camera footage. They may have been in their mid- to late-teens, he said.

The Association of Community Retailers (ACR) today linked the robbery with the Government's sudden hike in tobacco tax last week.

"They don't need to rob a bank for a mere $5000 when it's easier to rob a dairy of double that amount of value in tobacco products," said tobacco spokesman Richard Green.

Someone had also tried to break into his own Palmerston North Discount Tobacco business early on Sunday morning, he said.

A Ministry of Health proposal to outlaw tobacco displays would also make things worse for tobacco retailers, he said.

"It will be nothing for a couple of criminals to walk into my shop, close the door, assault me and steal my tobacco stock -- all without being seen because my windows will have to be blacked out under the new rules."
But regardless of the cost of tobacco, banks are still seen as easy targets.

This was evidenced by last week's armed hold-ups of the Wespac Bank in Blockhouse Bay and the ASB Bank at Three Kings Plazza, at the end of April. They were latest in an epidemic of bank robberies that's hit New Zealand in recent years.

During 2009 there were 84 Armed Robberies just in banks in New Zealand and hundreds more in dairies, clubs, pharmacies, hairdressers, video shops and other premises.

Much of the increase in armed robbery has been attributed to rising poverty levels in New Zealand, an increase in substance (drugs and alcohol) abuse and mental health problems.

Alcohol offences skyrocketed in Palmerston North during 2009, up from 87 to 409 on the previous year and the Salvation Army issued 1880 food parcels to more than 1130 Palmerston North families in the year to March.

For background see:

"The rise in violent crime in New Zealand continues unabated today with three more armed hold-ups. The first was at the Balance Street Village pharmacy in Gisborne at 8pm yesterday by a man with a handgun who escaped with a quantity of drugs. The second was at the BNZ bank on Ti Rakau Drive, Manukau where two security guards were robbed by two men wielding a shotgun at 9.50am, that was followed by a pistol wielding thug holding up a Palmerston North branch of Kiwi Bank at 4pm.

After a three year climb armed robberies reached a high in 2009. Armed robbery must be one of fastest growing occupations right now in a country where there are enough firearms for one in four of the population.

There were officially 84 armed hold-ups in NZ banks during 2009. See “Armed Robberies reach historic level

What’s causing this rise, could it be a massive increase in drug and alcohol abuse?

Drug and alcohol dependency are expensive habits to feed in New Zealand, substance abuse causes severe mental health problems that makes people to do irrational and dangerous things (Look at the thug who bottled a grandmother in Tauranga on Sunday morning, hardly the behaviour of a rational person) unless something is done to curb it violent crime is going to continue its upward trajectory.

Here’s a look at what the residents of Gisborne think about their town’s drug problem and the effects it’s having on their once pleasant community. It may come a surprise to anyone thinking about emigrating to the town ‘looking for a better quality of life’ to find out that New Zealand has these issues and how widespread the problem is...more"
Did you know:
There are currently 362 listings for rifles on the NZ online auction site TradeMe. Isn't it time to curb the sale and ownership of firearms in New Zealand, it seems that everyone has gone one...except the police. See: Police Call for Guns.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Migrant's Tales - IT Whiz Can't Find A Job

Continuing in our series of Migrants’ Tales, first hand account of the migrant experience in New Zealand taken from locations around the net.

Today’s tale was sent in by Charlie, who left it as a comment on our Wordpress blog.

Charlie is American, a high end IT and Corporate Governance Professional with many years of experience. He describes his emigration to New Zealand as being the single greatest tragedy of his life.

For background see the newspaper article “why can’t this IT whiz find a job?”
“Thank you!
Thank you for telling the truth about New Zealand!
Before coming here – I was told for six years what a wonderful place this was, how “forward thinking” the government and corporations were, how “progressive” the culture was, and how “friendly” the New Zealand people were.

As a high end IT and Corporate Governance Professional with 24 years of experience, I was tired of the hated in the USA, and after being told for those six years of research that I would be welcome in New Zealand, I packed up my cat and came here.

Well, after almost three years, and being unemployed for the last 16 months, and having lost everything in the world I had – I must admit that I have failed completely.

This has been the single greatest tragedy of my life.

One of many examples: The Electrical Commission (a ministry of government) told a friend of mine that they had just hired (a German), that “we would tolerate a German – but we would NEVER hire an American.” At the time they had 97 jobs open that they could NOT fill with kiwis.

I have been told that the reasons I cannot have a job in New Zealand is:
“You are too over qualified” (this should be the national anthem of New Zealand – as every foreigner I know has heard this over and over again).
“You are a foreigner – we would never hire a foreigner”.
“You are an American – we would never hire an American.”

As for being friendly – I have not had one date with a woman since I arrived here. I have been told repeatedly, and with no hint of regard or regret that: “Yes, we’re kiwi women, we hate American men!”

Corporate management in New Zealand is directly out of the “kindergarten school yard” – I was black listed after two newspaper articles came out on me, asking “why can’t this IT Whiz find a job?”

Gen-i (Telecom) hired me immediately – only to fire me five months later.
I have been told time and time again that Kiwis: “hate, loath, despise, and fear” foreigners – and the higher your level of professional background is the less likely you will every get a job here.

I came here by myself, so I feel so very sorry for the families that came here, believing in that lie of a “quality of life”. There is no “quality of life” here – not even for the kiwis themselves.

I have never seen a people so terrified of “reality”. And I did not think it possible to have an entire culture based on “lying”.

Why? Because you cannot be afraid of reality and tell the truth.

New Zealand is a collective “fantasy world” which – because of fear – is falling backwards through time at an exponential rate: in other words, its dropping like a rock towards the Stone Age.

One of the many shocks I suffered here when I got off the plane in August 2007 was the realization that New Zealand was 25 years behind the rest of the entire world.

And now, barely three years later – it is 35 years behind the rest of the entire world – and no one cares.
I know foreign PhD’s here who came to be part of the “quality of life” and are scrubbing test tubes and mopping floors (based on the fact that actually have real experience in their profession).

I know doctors and executive managers who are driving taxi cabs (based only on the color of their skin).
I know industrial designers who are making beds (based only on the color of their skin).
I know Project Managers who are pressing sheets (based only on the color of their skin).

And always, there is the “rage” – that rage that is barely beneath the surface of all kiwis. It comes from being afraid all the time. It is the only way they can express themselves.

Go to a “Sevens” after party on Courtney Street and you can see it (or after midnight any night). They are going to have a good time – and they do NOT care who they hurt.

And the streets are a sea of broken beer bottles – and we all KNOW not to be out after midnight. That is when what little control the kiwis have over their rage is let loose.

The crime rate here is off the charts, but because that does not sound “good” – it is never reported.

I worked for ten months for one small company here, with 15 employees. Two of them had been attacked by drunken gangs with empty beer bottles (the kiwis’ weapon of choice) on two separate occasions. What are the odds of that?
Over one million kiwis have fled New Zealand. The “best and the brightest” that New Zealand has to offer are gone. So, if the “best and the brightest” are gone – who does that leave behind?

An additional 100,000 kiwis leave every year – those coming up through university, and those who just cannot take the abuse any more.
Again – living in a fantasy world means you can never face “reality” – you can never tell the truth.

I am an aboriginal in my own country, but I never knew bigotry, prejudice, or racism until coming to New Zealand.

To this day, I still get emails from New Zealand Immigration that say things like: “yes, its true that skilled migrants with proper work visas and job are randomly being deported, but that’s no reason for you not to come!”
The new Prime Minister, Mr. Key, made a statement last year about how New Zealand did not have enough “high end professionals” and that was why the corporations were loosing money.

He then went on to say that he would pass a law that would make it easier for high end professionals to “bring their money with them”.

After reading that – I was physically sick for a month. I then wrote to Mr. Key, assuring him that I was already here, was a high end professional, and I needed a job.

I went on to say that I could easily find him all the high end professionals that he needs – they are already here: washing dishes, cleaning toilets, and digging ditches.

Why? Because they have been “blacklisted” by the very corporations that Mr. Key was talking about.

In New Zealand, if you actually know how to do your job, you are considered a threat, and must be removed from sight.

This same story about “not having enough high end professionals” was told back in 2007 after I first got here, and which is why those newspaper stories were done on me. They got me two jobs, and then cost me everything I had.
Please encourage your friends and families to speak out here, and in your own countries. Convince people NOT to come to New Zealand.

Let’s see if we can prevent other innocent people from being hurt and harmed here.

I can speak out now because I know that I have no future here, but those foreigners who are trapped here in dead end jobs with no hope dare not speak out.
Because we all know how vindictive the kiwi is.
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