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(en) Anarkismo.net - Struggles Against Neoliberalism in Aotearoa/New Zealand in the 1990s by toby boraman II. (2/2)

Date Thu, 26 Jan 2006 16:33:23 +0200

> The tino rangatiratanga movement of the 1990s
The British invaded Aotearoa in the 1800s. In comparison to many
indigenous societies overseas, Maori were offered a Treaty – the
Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 – that guaranteed Maori access to,
and control of, traditional resources such as land, fishing areas, and
so on. The Treaty was then systematically ignored by the English
state. Maori were forcibly dispossessed of almost all their former
resources. Because of this dispossession and near genocide, Maori
have a long tradition of rebellion against the “colonial state.”

After 1945, many Maori migrated to urban areas, and consequently
became more integrated into the working class. Maori became
disproportionately employed in low-paid blue-collar manual labour
and service industries, occupations such as freezing workers and
timberworkers. Maori became a significant sector of the working
class. Most blue-collar industries were “restructured” in the
1980s, and thus working class Maori bore much of the brunt of
neoliberal reforms; indeed, Maori suffered significantly higher levels
of unemployment and poverty than Pakeha from the 1980s.

Some commentators claimed Maori represented the biggest threat to
the imposition of neoliberal regime of accumulation on the working
class. Maori had a long tradition of autonomous resistance, were
opposed to the colonial state, had only relatively recently been
incorporated into capitalism, and had a distinct culture which valued
communalism rather than individualism. For many Maori,
neoliberalism was the continuation of long-standing theme of theft
and colonialism. For Jane Kelsey, “It was not surprising, then,
that the most (some would say the only) sustained political
resistance to the structural adjustment programme had come
from” Maori.25 Kelsey’s view is romantic because, as seen
above, many working class Pakeha – together with working class
Maori and Pacific Islanders – opposed the benefit cuts, ECA,
and closures of hospitals and other rural services. The biggest threat
to the imposition of neoliberalism, in my view, came from the
self-activity of the working class as a whole, not just working class
Maori. Yet Kelsey is correct in stating that a major form of resistance
to neoliberalism came from Maori, although she overlooks the fact
that the wave of Maori protest in the 1990s mostly came from
disenfranchised working class Maori. While Maori protest is
undoubtedly a reaction to colonialism and Pakeha racism, and
cannot be reduced to class struggle, I argue that a clear division
emerged between working class Maori and “corporate
warriors” or capitalist Maori in the protests of the 1990s. Hence
a class based analysis of this rebellion is relevant and useful.

From the late 1960s, Maori protest activity renewed. It was given
impetus by the New Left, anti-Vietnam War movement,
anti-apartheid movement, new social movements and the strike
wave of the late 1960s and 1970s. The Tino Rangatiratanga (or
Maori self-determination) movement had two major wings, both
with substantial support. One wing was “middle-class”
dominated and aimed to gain concessions from the state through
legalistic activity; the other was firmly opposed to the state, and
more focussed upon direct action to achieve its aims. This flaxroots
based self-activity culminated in direct action in the form of land
occupations in the late 1970s at Raglan and Takaparawha/Bastion
Point in Auckland. Bastion Point was a particular highlight as it saw
a fledging class based alliance between local iwi (tribes), trade
unions, and Pakeha sympathisers. Unions placed a “green
ban” upon construction at the site to support local iwi.26

In response, capital and the state aimed to co-opt and divert this
movement. It attempted to achieve this through the establishment of
the Waitangi Tribunal (in 1975) and Maori Language Commission.
From 1985, Labour allowed Maori grievances lodged with the
Waitangi Tribunal to date back to the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
Thus from 1985 Treaty claims became a route for Maori to place
pressure on the state to demand monetary compensation for the
colonial theft of resources. The Labour Government of 1984 to 1990
also sought a policy of co-opting of Maori elites into the state, a
policy that it called “biculturalism.” The result of this policy
was the enrichment of a few Maori who controlled the neotribal
capitalist businesses created by treaty settlements. Correspondingly,
working class Maori were made much worse off.

In the 1980s most of the Tino Rangatiratanga movement was
focussed upon reviving Maori culture and language. Hundreds of
autonomous Maori schools were established, cultural groups were
formed, and people fought to have Maori studies introduced into the
state education system. However, this cultural nationalism often led
to an exclusive focus on cultural change rather than a more holistic
approach. As Teanau Tuiono states,

By focusing on cultural issues this allowed the co-optation of a
Maori elite within the structures of the state and forced many Maori
leaders to straddle the uneasy gulf between pushing the Maori
struggle forward and maintaining the existing state of affairs. The
prestige and wealth that went with such privileged positions in the
settlement process meant that Maori leaders became increasingly
removed from the concerns and vitality of the flaxroots Maori
struggle. Tino Rangatiratanga could be then seen as economic
independence because we were free to enter the ‘free
market.’ Capitalism with a smiley (Maori) face. Bullshit.27

The National Government of the early 1990s saw the Maori
movement for self-determination as a threat to its neoliberal policies.
The National Government was concerned that the backlog of Treaty
claims created a climate of uncertainty for capitalists because it left
the ownership of a number of key resources in doubt. Treasury
officials called major Treaty claims an “unquantifiable fiscal
risk.”28 National thus attempted to put a lid on these claims by
negotiating a final settlement of all claims – at minimal cost to

As a result, National offered a $1 billion deal in secret negotiations
with a number of “corporate warriors” and “tribal
executives” called the fiscal envelope. It also brokered a deal
with middle class Maori to end fisheries claims through the Sealords
Deal. The 1992 Fisheries Settlement Act included a settlement
between the state and some Maori to purchase a $150 million share
in a major New Zealand commercial fisheries business, Sealord
Products Limited.

As the state publicly admitted the existence of the fiscal envelope in
1994, Maori protest swung into action. On Waitangi Day in 1995, a
militant protest of 500 Maori turned into a full-scale battle with
police. The protest group Te Kawariki explained their grievances:

The recent deals struck by Maori leaders have done nothing to
reverse that trend, and in fact those deals have been disasterous for
all future generations of Maori people. These so-called leaders must
be sidelined, and ALL Maori given a chance to have a say in
determining what our destiny will be…We were conned by false
Maori leaders into thinking we were on the road to success. We were
told that Maori were ‘coming out of grievance mode and into
development mode.’ We were touted as the ‘New Corporate
Warriors’. Maori graced the covers of all the ‘right’
[wing] magazines…It seemed that after 150 years of oppression,
we’d finally made it. Unfortunately, for Maori people, all the
promises, all the hype, turned out to be a load of
BULLSHIT!!!…There are Maori for whom cutting a deal with the
Crown has been a sweet little number. These people are traitors and
sellouts. They sold the Sealords Deal to our people, and picked up a
cool million bucks for their treachery…As we prepare to fight
against the Crown Proposals, we must also exposethe treachery
within our own ranks.29

Whanganui Maori occupied Moutoa Gardens in Wanganui for 79
days in early 1995. They renamed it Pakatoire, after the site of a
Maori pa that was located in the gardens. Pakatoire had been a
disputed site between local Maori and the state since 1887,
especially over control of fishing rights in the Whanganui River. This
occupation “was to emerge as the Bastion Point of the 1990s and
represented the single largest collective act of ‘civil
disobedience’ since the anti-Springbok Tour protests of

The occupation involved thousands of Maori from all walks of life
– church groups, gang members, trade unionists, as well as
Pakeha sympathisers. Evan Poata-Smith paints a picture of the hive
of self-activity during the occupation:

The gardens resembled a motor camp with tents and caravans set
in place, with work crews responsible for different tasks throughout
the day. Cooks prepared meals for a steady stream of visitors who
arrived to give their support to the tangata whenua. A makeshift
kitchen was constructed and the dining room was able to hold up to
150 people a sitting. Rented ablution facilities were placed at one end
of the gardens and electricity was supplied with a generator. Security
surrounding the gardens was tight [there was the constant threat of
forcible removal by the police, as well as constant police harassment]
with people rostered on shifts throughout the day and night. There
were people stationed at every entrance and corner of the gardens.31

Hundreds of people visited the occupation. Far from being
“separatist”, the occupation was open to the public.32 When
the Wanganui District Council, who formally “owned” the
gardens, gave the occupiers a deadline to leave, numbers swelled
from 150 to 2000. A festive atmosphere ensued on the day of the
deadline. Occupiers organised an impromptu concert and sung
waiata until the deadline past.33 The result was that the Council
decided not to force the eviction, and entered a process of
negotiation. Numbers of occupiers declined. The Council then
acquired a court order requiring the occupiers to remove all the
buildings they had erected and leave the site. On 18 May 1995,
almost three weeks after the failed attempt at eviction, protesters
voluntarily left the site “saying they did so reluctantly but in
preference to being moved on by the police.”34

The occupation of Pakaitore triggered a series of occupations by
Maori in the North Island. By April 1995, there were six major
occupations in progress. Many Maori saw that the legalistic
framework set up in the 1980s for treaty grievances was not
delivering any real benefits to working class Maori and hence took
direct action. There were occupations of schools, Marae,
courthouses, farmland, railway yards, airports, and even the site of
the Taumaranui police station. The police evicted protesters from
some of these occupations, resulting in dozens of arrests. The
25-week occupation of the former Takahue School near Kaitaia in
1995 resulted in the occupiers burning the school down after police
moved in to evict them. Children set alight tyres that had been
stockpiled outside the school. Sixteen arrests resulted. As well, some
more novel forms of autonomy were established, with the Tuhoe
tribe setting up their own embassy at Tanetua in the East Cape of
the North Island, and issuing property owners with eviction notices.

Many of these occupations and protests led to direct and
open conflict between Maori capitalists and working class Maori. For
example, the occupations of Coalcorp land at Huntly and the
Waikato University Marae were in direct opposition to the $170
million Raupatu settlement between the state and the Tainui Trust
Board. Iwi were transformed into corporate bodies (such as the
Tainui Trust Board for the Tainui tribes) to manage settlement
assets and negotiate with the government, but everyday Maori were
excluded from having a say in these boards. They claimed they were
not being “represented” by the corporate bodies, but being
“sold out” by them. Maori were placed under intense
pressure by capital and the state to choose commodified forms of iwi.
Hence while corporate warriors were (and are) in control of
corporate iwi, these new governance structures are also largely
shaped by the Office of Treaty Settlements. As such, corporate iwi
ought to be seen as the creation of capital and the state.

Working class Maori often occupied land in direct protest against
proposed settlements between their local corporate iwi and the state.
Their protest was directed at their own capitalists as well as the state.
For them, the hapu (which can be loosely translated as sub-tribe)
and not the neo-tribal capitalist elite was the legitimate kaitiaki
(guardians) of the land.35

Rata has called this new Maori capitalism created by treaty
settlements a “neotribal capitalist regime of
accumulation.”36 This regime centres on the transformation of
tribes into capitalist enterprises, and the creation of a new tribal
based capitalist elite. This elite emerged in the treaty negotiation
process of the 1980s and 1990s: namely, those Maori lawyers,
leaders, and bureaucrats who used their privileged positions to
become the chief executive officers of neotribal capitalism. Yet
Maori iwi as a whole were guaranteed access to their traditional
resources, fisheries, land and so on under the Treaty of Waitangi.
Under neotribal capitalism, this access to what paltry resources have
been returned to Maori is effectively exclusively controlled by the
new tribal capitalist elite. Even if ownership of resources is nominally
owned by the whole tribe (the corporate tribe, and not an individual,
is the legal owner), and even if iwi members have a shareholding in
the business, the undemocratic nature of neotribal capitalist business
ensures that working class iwi do not have any real say in the
corporate iwi head office.

The link between economic development and wealth
accumulation meant that economic development could not occur
without commodity production, and commodity circulation must
occur within the capitalist sphere of accumulative exchange.
Commodification, with its intrinsic split between buyers and sellers
of labour-power in the creation of surplus value (i.e., of wealth that
can be used as capitalist investment), means class exploitative
relations and not communal relations [prevail], despite the existence
of communal ownership of the means of production. 37

Such a claim is somewhat debatable as the means of production is
effectively owned and controlled by tribal capitalists.

Initially, many working class Maori supported neotribal capitalism
because they saw it as a means to economic independence, a route
out of poverty, and the basis for a revival in Maori society in general.
Yet overall neotribal capitalism has amounted to a new dispossession
of working class Maori. “The neotraditionalist ideology of
communal kinship relations, originating in the pan-Maori
ethnificiation and indigenisation movements of the 1970s and 1980s,
has become the means of access and privileged relationship to
traditional lands, waters and knowledge by particular groups of
retribalised Maori…Communal relations of families and kin-based
communities revived within the prefigurative movements are
conceptualised as ‘softening’ and humanising counters to
the dehumanising class relations.”38 As well, detribalised Maori,
who make up the majority of the Maori population and are primarily
concentrated in working class urban areas, have been excluded from
corporate iwi.

Class relations within tribes are concealed by an ideology of a revived
Maori culture and community. Working class Maori are encouraged
to identify with their tribe as a whole, overlooking exploitative class
relations within their own tribe. Thus working class Maori are
encouraged to identify culturally with Maori capitalists. Maori
capitalists can falsely claim that working class Maori resisting their
business are resisting traditional Maori society and culture.
However, many working class Maori, especially in rural areas, use
Maori culture as a card to undermine capitalist Maori who they see
as having ‘colonised thinking’. Corporatism is often
associated with ‘Pakeha colonised’ thinking and therefore as
‘bad’. In that respect, Maori culture is used by both
capitalist and working class Maori. Capitalist Maori use it to mask
their own privileged position within tribes, and working class Maori
use it to criticise capitalist Maori.

Corporate iwi claim to be the legitimate inheritors of the traditional
iwi that were dispossessed by the English state since 1840. This is
highly questionable, as traditional iwi were not corporate in
structure. In fact, they practised some aspects of anti-state
communism. For example, traditional iwi had a moneyless gift
economy and communal ownership of property; however, early
Maori society was still some form of class society, complete with
chiefs, commoners, and slaves. Perhaps this hierarchy within Maori
society meant it was easier for the Pakeha elite to co-opt Maori
leaders in the 1980s and 1990s.

By the late 1990s, the occupation movement had largely died down,
although disgruntlement and a number of occupations directed
against the state and sometimes the new Maori capitalists continues
to this day. Militant Maori had become isolated and temporarily
defeated. Protest against neotribal capitalism became increasingly
difficult as it was so personalised, as often working class Maori
opposed Maori capitalists within their own extended family. Yet the
massive Hikoi of May 2004 against the privatisation and
commodification of the seabed and foreshore, attended by 20 000 to
30 000 people, even more than the land march of 1975, shows that
working class Maori resistance is alive and kicking.

The main aim of this article was to prove that the imposition of
neoliberalism in Aotearoa was resisted. Far from being passive in the
face of devastating neoliberal reforms, many working class Pakeha
and Maori struggled against their imposition. Even if it is true that
the majority of Pakeha did not overtly attempt to resist neoliberalism,
a significant minority did. The features of this resistance was that it
was mainly working class and grassroots based; it was generally
autonomous from political parties and the left; it was
extra-parliamentary; it was often community based rather than
workplace based, especially after 1991; and it was often co-opted,
whether by the left – as with the union bureaucrats who
suppressed the movement for a general strike in 1991 – or by
neotribal capitalists.

Nonetheless, this resistance failed. The movements that attempted
and still attempt to resist neoliberalism in Aotearoa have been
isolated and defeated, and have not led to a more widespread
opposition to capitalism. For example, these movements never
developed into riots, insurrections, workplace occupations, general
strikes and near revolutions (such as in Bolivia and Argentina) that
have characterised opposition to neoliberalism overseas. Indeed,
resistance in Aotearoa never reached the level of even the
miner’s strike and the Poll Tax riots of the Thatcher years in

Subsequently, I believe it is more accurate to call the period a defeat
rather than one of passivity in the face of an onslaught from the
capitalist class. Furthermore, the temporary “success” of
neoliberal technocrats and ideologues in imposing their will upon a
working class that in general did not support neoliberalism was not
inevitable. I believe if resistance to neoliberalism had been better
linked (horizontally, and not vertically), and was able to
outmanoeuvre the attempts of leftist recuperators to sanitise revolt,
many of the worst aspects of neoliberalism could have been averted,
if not rolled back. Such resistance could have developed into a more
generalised opposition to capital and the commodity system.

If the myth of passivity is false, so too is the myth of a naturally
insurgent working class outside the control of unions and parties.
Undoubtedly, the working class in Aotearoa is quite conservative
and hence probably the majority did not actively oppose
neoliberalism. This is partially because the tradition of working class
direct action had largely disappeared by the 1980s and 1990s. This
was due to a variety of factors, including the influence of reformism
and the suppression of the radical wing of the union movement (for
instance, the 1951 waterfront lockout). There has been little mass
support for radical movements, apart from perhaps the radical wing
of the Tino Rangatiratanga movement. Hence the resistance against
neoliberalism has in general been quite mild. Perhaps this explains
why resistance in Aotearoa never reached similar levels as in Britain,
despite the more brutal nature of neoliberalism in Aotearoa (for
instance, Britain never introduced a similar employment act to the

Nonetheless, it is essential to study the recent defeat of resistance to
capital so it can be challenged more effectively in the present. What
can be learnt from these defeats? How can we avoid our struggles
being co-opted and fragmented?

The reforms were imposed in spite of much opposition for many
reasons, including – but not limited to – a lack, in general, of
a radical tradition of working class autonomy, self-activity and
self-organisation; the role of the Labour Party, union bureaucrats
and neotribal elites in recuperating revolt; A Labour Party which
weakened resistance by granting some reforms, such as recognition
of Treaty of Waitangi claims dating to 1840, anti-nuclear legislation,
homosexual law reform, and so forth; delusions about the Labour
Party and most unions as being representative of workers’
interests and being on the side of working class people; the speed of
reforms, which gave opponents little time to organise resistance; and
clever divide and rule tactics by capital and the state which picked off
each opponent to neoliberalism one at a time. Once a movement was
isolated it was often crushed by police – for instance, the raid by
police against the Auckland unemployed group in 1992, and the use
of police to break up Maori land and student occupations. Crucially,
there was a lack of linkages made between the various sections of
the working class, and thus each movement became isolated and
more easily defeated. For example, the racism of some working class
Pakeha meant that they opposed the land occupations of working
class Maori; and the cultural nationalism of some working class
Maori meant that they saw Pakeha culture and society as a whole as
the enemy. Another example was that most working class people did
not see beneficiaries as part of the working class, but instead viewed
them as “bludgers”.

Compared to overseas, two unique examples of recuperation
occurred. Firstly, the neoliberal reforms were introduced by the
Labour Party. The Labour Party before 1984 was a social democratic
party. This shift to the right is unsurprising, as almost all social
democratic parties have become neoliberal parties the world over.
Yet the Labour Party recuperated revolt largely through a relatively
unique strategy of combining liberal social policy (such as banning
American nuclear warships from Aotearoa) with neoliberal
economics. This confused many people, particularly leftists, who
initially supported Labour. Secondly, a large, radical, and
autonomous indigenous movement was somewhat subverted by a
state sponsored policy of attempting to transform Maori iwi into
corporations under the pretence of settling treaty grievances. This
neotribal capitalism was an important factor in dividing Maori
amongst themselves and further dispossessing working class Maori.

The left was unable to provide much opposition to neoliberalism. In
my view, this was because of its state capitalist ideology of
left-nationalism and liberalism. By the 1980s the moderate Pakeha
left was a predominantly a liberal movement that focussed upon
opposing apartheid in South Africa (primarily based on support for
the nationalist group the African National Congress) and nuclear
ship visits (primarily based upon a simplistic anti-American
nationalism). This meant that the left was busy supporting
nationalist struggles overseas, or trying to stop American warships
from visiting Aotearoa. The radical left was ironically focussed upon
supporting state capitalist regimes (such as the USSR, China and
Albania) or nationalist movements overseas, hence it did not see
domestic class struggle as of central importance.39 Indeed, many
leftists initially supported neoliberalism. Once the Labour Party had
banned American warships from visiting Aotearoa, many leftists
actually voted for a Labour government that was simultaneously
kicking workers in the stomach. When the National Party, the
traditional enemy of leftists, assumed power in 1990, the left was
demoralised, disorganised and weakened by years of abuse and
“betrayal” from Labour, and hence it provided little effective
opposition to National’s strengthening of the neoliberal agenda.
In response, some social democrats split from the Labour Party in
the late 1980s, eventually forming the Alliance. Great hopes were
placed in the Alliance to revive social democracy, but when the
Alliance joined Labour in a coalition government in the late 1990s,
they unsurprisingly succumbed to neoliberalism and supported
much anti-working class legislation. For example, the
coalition’s Employment Relations Act of 2000 was in some
respects more draconian than the ECA of 1991.

Class struggle in Aotearoa during the 1990s did not contain much
that pointed beyond capitalist social relations. The resistance was
defensive, reactive and lacked positive anti-capitalist content. The
extra parliamentary opposition to neoliberalism was not based upon
autonomous working class direct action – apart from a few
exemplary examples, such as occupations and reconnecting water
supplies – but largely symbolic street protest pleading to
politicians that they not introduce certain draconian laws (such as
the ECA and benefit cuts). Only on a few occasions, such as
occupations, did people develop a nascent self-organisational form
that could have provided a constructive alternative to capitalism. The
spontaneous mutual aid and free provision of food during these
occupations foreshadows a possible future society where people
co-operatively come together to meet their needs themselves without
the mediation of the market and money.

Often people saw the enemy in personal terms. Many viewed
neoliberalism as a conspiracy foisted upon the country by a few nasty
individuals in the Labour Party, National Party, the Business
Roundtable, Treasury, Trade Union bureaucracies and so on, rather
than a global shift in the class struggle away from the class
compromise of Keynesianism to more open class conflict.
Sometimes people saw the enemy in idealistic terms. “New
Right” ideology was the problem, rather than capitalist social
relations. Some left nationalists claimed neoliberalism was the result
of American imperialism, but clearly local capitalists were the
driving force behind the reforms. As well, many people nostalgically
looked back to the welfare state, and claimed it was some sort of
utopian society where class exploitation, poverty, alienation and so
forth did not exist; this was clearly false, as the welfare state was a
bureaucratic form of capitalism that just mitigated some of its worst

The chances for further resistance to capitalism today are mixed. I
believe we live in a fairly contradictory and complex time. On the
one hand, there is much anger, a general resentment about shit
wages, overwork, low benefits and so on. There is a general
scepticism about all political parties and a general resentment
towards wealth being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The
decline of Leninism and social democracy has produced an
unprecedented opportunity for a praxis that cannot be recuperated
and straightjacketed into some form of bureaucratic state capitalism.
There has been a rise in extra-parliamentary protest with the
emergence of anti-globalisation, anti-war, anti-genetic engineering
movements in the last few years. Yet on the other hand, many
people are demoralised, more alienated, beaten down, and struggling
to survive with huge debt and inadequate income. The anger against
modern capitalism is mostly translated into largely individualistic
rather than co-operative forms of resistance. We are living through a
period of one of the lowest amounts of formal strike activity in
Aotearoa’s history. Most people are too scared to lose their jobs
to risk “illegal” strike activity, although there has been an
encouraging sign of a number of wildcat strikes in the last few years.
Yet this does not mean we should be too pessimistic, and place our
main hopes in movements overseas, as the New Left and
anti-apartheid movements mistakenly did. Capitalism is
fundamentally contradictory and unstable. Overall, I believe we are
living through a transitional period, one that could swing towards a
retrenchment of neoliberal capitalism or develop into a more radical
opposition to it. It could swing either way.

originally published in 2004 by irrecuperable distribution
po box 812, Dunedin.
a revised version of this pamphlet appeared in Red and Green 5
(2005), pp. 25-48. this is the original version.

no copyright for non-profit and non-academic purposes. if you use
this article, please cite the source.


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by toby Thursday, Jan 26 2006, 11:29am


1The Economist, quoted in Jane Kelsey, The New Zealand
Experiment, Revised edition, Auckland: Auckland University Press
and Bridget Williams Books, 1997, p. 8. Kelsey’s book was
published overseas as Economic Fundamentalism (Pluto, 1995).

2 Kelsey, The New Zealand Experiment, p. 347. Kelsey has written
a number of other books about neoliberalism in Aotearoa, including
Rolling Back the State (Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 1993).
For other leftist accounts of neoliberalism in Aotearoa, see Mike
O’Brien and Chris Wilkes, The Tragedy of the Market: A Social
Experiment in New Zealand, Palmerston North: The Dunmore
Press, 1993 and the various books by Bruce Jesson (Fragments of
Labour (1987), Behind the Mirror Glass, and OnlyTheir Purpose is
Mad (1999).

3 Kelsey, The New Zealand Experiment, p. 297.

4 Huw Jarvis, “A Disengaged Society,” Revolution, 20
(March/May 2003), pp. 16-19.

5 For autonomist Marxism, see Nick Dyer-Witheford, Cyber Marx;
Harry Cleaver, Reading Capital Politically, Leeds, San Francisco and
Edinburgh: Anti/Theses and AK Press, 2000; and Steve Wright,
Storming Heaven. Autonomist Marxism has many limitations, such
as a tendency to fetishise working class struggle without examining
the content of that struggle, but it is useful as a historical method to
turn capital centric views on its head.

6 The only publication that I am aware of which addresses this
movement is Ellen Dannin, Working Free: The Origins and Impact
of New Zealand’s Employment Contracts Act, Auckland:
Auckland University Press, pp. 136-151. In addition, see the
unpublished thesis by Sarah Heal, “The Struggle For and
Against the Employment Contracts Act 1987-1991,” M.A.
thesis, University of Otago, 1994.

7 Tom Bramble with Sarah Heal, “Trade Unions”, in Chris
Rudd and Brian Roper eds., The Political Economy of New Zealand,
Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 137.

8 Sarah Heal, “The Struggle For and Against the Employment
Contracts Act 1987-1991,” M.A. thesis, University of Otago,
1994, p. 130.

9 Heal, “The Struggle For and Against”, p. 121.

10 Dannin, Working Free, p. 146.

11 As quoted in Dannin, Working Free, p. 146.

12 Dannin, Working Free, p. 147.

13 Kelsey, The New Zealand Experiment, p. 186.

14 Quoted in Heal, “The Struggle For and Against”, p. 110.

15 See Heal, “The Struggle For and Against.”

16 Heal, “The Struggle For and Against”, pp. 109-110.

17 Quoted in Heal, “The Struggle For and Against,” p. 175.

18 Bradford quoted in Kelsey, The New Zealand Experiment, p. 186.

19 “Anti-Capitalism as ideology…and as movement?”,
Aufheben, 10 (2002), p. 7.

20 Curtis Price, “Fragile Prosperity? Fragile Social Peace?”,
Collective Action Notes, 16/17 (2000), p. 16.

21 Sources: John Deeks and Peter Boxall, Labour Relations in New
Zealand, Auckland: Longman Paul, 1989, p. 248; John Deeks and
Erling Rasmussen, Employment Relations in New Zealand,
Auckland: Pearson, 2002, p. 89; and Key Statistics, Statistics New

22 Sources: Bramble with Heal, “Trade Unions,” pp.
127-128; Deeks and Rasmussen, Employment Relations in New
Zealand, p. 89; and Key Statistics, Statistics New Zealand.

23 For accounts of the beneficiaries movement, see Karen Davis,
Born of Hunger, Pain & Strife: 150 Years of Struggle against
Unemployment in New Zealand, Auckland: The Peoples Press,
1991, and Cybele Locke, “Organising the Unemployed: The
Politics of Gender, Culture and Class in the 1980s and 1990s,”
in Pat Moloney and Kerry Taylor eds., On the Left: Essays on
Socialism in New Zealand, Dunedin: University of Otago Press,
2002, pp. 151-168.

24 Dannin, Working Free, p. 141.

25 Kelsey, The New Zealand Experiment, p. 318.

26 See Evan Te Ahu Poata-Smith, “He Pokeke Uenuku i Tu Ai:
The Evolution of Contemporary Maori Protest” In Paul
Spoonley, David Pearson and Cluny Macpherson eds., Nga Patai:
Racism and Ethnic Relations in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Palmerston
North: The Dunmore Press, 1996, pp. 97-116.

27 Teanau Tuiono, “Tino Rangatiratanga and Capitalism,”
Thrall 24 (Spring 2002), p. 7.

28 Quoted in Poata-Smith, “He Pokeke Uenuku i Tu Ai”, p.

29 Te Kawariki, The Maori Nation: Where to From Here (1995)
quoted in Evan Poata-Smith, “The Political Economy of Maori
Protest Politics 1968-1995: A Marxist Analysis,” PhD thesis,
University of Otago, 2001, p. 304.

30 Poata-Smith, “The Political Economy of Maori Protest,”
p. 308.

31 Poata-Smith, “The Political Economy of Maori Protest,”
p. 309.

32 Paul Moon, The Occupation of the Moutoa Gardens, Auckland:
Trumps Copy Centre, 1996, p. 48.

33 Poata-Smith, “The Political Economy of Maori Protest,”
p. 309.

34 Poata-Smith, “The Political Economy of Maori Protest,”
p. 309.

35 Poata-Smith, “The Political Economy of Maori Protest,”
p. 349.

36 Elizabeth Rata, A Political Economy of Neotribal Capitalism,
Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2000, p. 225.

37 Rata, A Political Economy of Neotribal Capitalism, pp. 208-209.

38 Rata, A Political Economy of Neotribal Capitalism, p. 231.

39 Although of course even if the left did see domestic class struggle
as important, it aimed to act in a mediating role in that struggle,
attempting to recuperate it into the confines of its state capitalist
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