Robert Reid

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Robert Reid


Robert Reid is the National Secretary of the National Distribution Union in New Zealand. He used to be the Union's president until he took over the role from Laila Harre in August 2009.[1]

In 2018, General Secretary at National Dstribution Union. Partner of Maxine Gay, Father of Tony Reid, and Andy Reid.

Maoist

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Robert Reid first met Rona Bailey when he arrived in Wellington in 1972 as a 19-year-old International vice-president on the New Zealand University Students Association and worked with her on the Committee on Vietnam and on various anti-apartheid groups. He became part of The Paper Group with Rona and later both were key members of Wellington Marxist-Leninist Organisation which eventually became the Workers Communist League.[2]

In 1990, Robert Reid and Maxine Goldsack’s Palmerston North phone number was a contact for the Philippines Solidarity Network and Left Currents, the shortlived revamp of the WCL, which had dissolved that year.

Welfare Expert Advisory Group

May 28 2018 Minister for Social Development, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, has today announced the formation of an expert advisory group to support the overhaul of the welfare system.

“This Government is committed to overhauling the welfare system to ensure it is accessible and fair for all New Zealanders,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“An overhaul of the welfare system was initiated as part of our confidence and supply agreement with The Green Party and is unreservedly supported by all of Government.

“The Welfare Expert Advisory Group has been asked to undertake a broad-ranging review of the welfare system. It will deliver advice to the Government on ways to ensure people have an adequate income and standard of living, are treated with respect, can live in dignity, and are able to participate meaningfully in their communities.

“Areas that the Welfare Expert Advisory Group has been asked to focus on range from considering the overall purpose of the system, through to specific recommendations on the current obligations and sanctions regime.

“I’m very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Cindy Kiro today as Chair of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group. Her relentless focus on building on the potential in people reflects the principles of this government,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“The Welfare Expert Advisory Group will deliver its advice to the Government in February 2019. I am looking forward to receiving the Group’s recommendations.”

Under-Secretary Jan Logie said the Greens welcome the establishment of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.

"This Government knows there are immediate changes we need to make to our welfare system, which we are working on. But we also need to take a long term view and ensure the whole system is working effectively and compassionately.

“Too many New Zealanders are stigmatised and trapped in poverty because of our welfare system. The advisory group will help us ensure every New Zealander can flourish.”

Minister Tracey Martin said the working group would be a great support to the much needed overhaul of the welfare system.

“Having a range of experienced perspectives outside of government contributing to the Government’s vision in this sector is crucial to getting it right and delivering better outcomes for New Zealanders.”

Media contact: Amanda Snow

Members were:

Robert Reid was also part of the Beneficiary Advocates Advisory Group established by Hon Steve Maharey as Minister of Social Development from 1999 to 2002.[3]

Pines delegation

“The world is watching.” This was the stern warning that former Australian Senator Lee Rhiannon said after a four-day mission. Rhiannon was among the group of international church leaders, trade union organizers, and foreign dignitaries who arrived in the Philippines for a series of meetings with human rights defenders, and representatives of marginalized sectors affected by various government policies – ranging from its anti-illegal drug drive to the crackdown against dissent particularly in the island of Negros.

The delegation, too, conducted interviews and meetings with concerned government officials.

“Our many meetings with communities from across the Philippines have left members of our delegation appalled by the continuing gross violations of human rights in the Philippines. The outright disregard for human life is unacceptable,” said Rhiannon in a statement sent to the media.

Among those who joined he mission were Rev. Jeong Jin Woo of the Korea Democracy Foundation, Robert Reid of New Zealand’s FIRST Union, Teanau Tuiono of New Zealand’s Green Party, and Rev. Marma Urbano of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.

In a forum on Dec. 6 2019, Rhiannon shared that the “shocking stories” she heard from the ground is somehow “personal” for someone like her who has her own children and grandchildren.

“We came here with deep concern and deep commitment for the respect for life,” she said.

Women who are left behind by the drug-related killings, the former Australian senator shared, need not only contend with the grief of losing their loved ones but also how they hold onto life – working from the break of dawn until evening – to provide for their children and grandchildren.

Rhiannon said that “every death must be investigated and accounted for.”

Participants of the four-day mission visited the Negros province, where they spoke with families and victims of the apparent crackdown against farmers and activists. The Negros province is among those subjected to increased military deployment per President Rodrigo Duterte’s Memorandum Order No. 32.

“We heard disturbing accounts from indigenous youth about harassment and killings perpetrated by the military and paramilitary groups against their schools and communities. The displacement of indigenous communities by extractive industries and the targeting of environmental defenders is reprehensible,” said Tuiono.

Reid, who was among those who joined the delegation leg that visited Negros, shared that the delegation is grateful to the “brave men and women who shared with us disturbing accounts of murder, harassments and continued attacks.”

During the Dec. 6 forum, Reid stressed how shocked and astounded he was to find out that the human rights violations, including the fabrication of evidence, is not at all isolated. He described Negros as in a “state of siege.”

“What we found is not a war against illegal drugs but a war against workers, peasants, sugar cane producers, attorneys, and activists,” he said.

Reid also stressed how activists are charged with false non-bailable offenses, where they have to languish for a long period of time in jails only to be acquitted later on.

He added that they are are committed to bring the findings to its widest audience, including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations and other international bodies.[4]

FIRST Union comrades meet Adern

Dennis Maga September 19, 2017 ·

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Jacinda Adern with the leadership of FIRST Union...#LetsDoThis #ChangeTheGovernment — with Maxine Gay, Louisa Rains Jones and Robert Reid.

First Union comrades

Dennis Maga November 16, 2014 ·

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With Cameron Walker, Joe Hendren, Hyra Evangelista, Edward Miller, Amie Dural-Maga, Oliver Christeller, Mely Feria, Kathryn Tucker, Robert Reid, Mandeep Singh Bela and Tali FirstUnion.

New Zealand Cuba Friendship Society

Cuba Solidarity - New Zealand Cuba Friendship Society public Facebook group. February 16 2020.

Members included Robert Reid.

Union career

Between 1974 and 1984 Reid was a member of the Engineers’ Union; a delegate from 1975, executive member from 1976 and its representative on the Wellington Trades Council. Between 1984 and 1992 he was a member of the Clerical Workers Union during which time he worked for the Wellington District Council of the CTU as its Industry and Employment Officer from 1987 and then Central Districts Organiser between 1988 and 1992.

When the Clerical Workers’ Union disbanded in 1993 Robert founded the Administrative and General Workers’ Union which together with the Unemployed Rights Centre became UNITE in 1998. He was the founding president of UNITE until 2007. Through much of the 1990s he was also national secretary of the Footwear Workers Union until it merged with the Clothing Workers Union.

On a broader scale he was council member and the international officer of the Trade Union Federation (TUF) for its period of existence. He became a council member of the NZ Council of Trade Unions following its merger with the TUF in 2000. Internationally he has been co-ordinator of Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Links and chairperson of Transnational Information Exchange (Asia).[5]

ARENA

2001 - Initial Sponsors of ARENA, Dr Jane Kelsey, Professor of Law, Auckland University; Moana Jackson, Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Porou; Maxine Gay, President, NZ Trade Union Federation; Cherryl Waerea-i te-rangi Smith, Ngati Apa, Ngati Kahungunu, Te Aitanga A Hauiti; Robert Reid, Campaign Coordinator, Jubilee 2000 Aotearoa; Radha D’Souza, APEC Monitoring Group; Aziz Choudry, Coordinator, GATT Watchdog; Annette Sykes, Ngati Pikiao; Bill Rosenberg, CAFCA; Leigh Cookson, GATT Watchdog; David Small, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Canterbury; Gillian Southey; Joe Davies, Coordinator, East Timor Independence Centre Otautahi; Murray Horton, CAFCA; Trish Murray; GATT Watchdog; Aotearoa/New Zealand APEC Monitoring Group; NZ Trade Union Federation; PSNA; Christian World Service; CAFCA.

Since 2001 Maxine Gay has also been a trustee of Christchurch based anti-globalisation organisation ARENA, with Robert Reid, Peter Cranney, Joe Davies, Jane Kelsey, Gillian Southey, Nick McBride and Prue Hyman.

NZ Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Circa 2009, the list of Initiating Members and Supporters of the New Zealand Committee to Free the Cuban Five, included Robert Reid, National President National Distribution Union, Wellington.[6]

US Embassy letter/Cuban 5

On 6 April 2009 US Embassy in Wellington refused to accept a hand delivered letter from MPs, City Councillors, trade unionists, church leaders,academics and other New Zealanders calling on the US Government not to oppose the petition to the US Supreme Court for the release of the Cuban 5.

An attempt to deliver the letter was made by Wellington City Councillor, Ray Ahipene-Mercer and Secretary of the Weliington Cuba Friendship Society Gillian Magee but US Embassy Guards said they would not accept a hand delivered letter.[7]

Dear Attorney General Holder
We, the undersigned New Zealanders are writing this letter to you on the eve of the US Government submitting a brief in response to the 30 January 09 petition to the Supreme Court and the twelve separate amicus curiae briefs that were filed in the US Supreme Court on 6 March 2009 regarding the unjust incarceration of five Cuban citizens - Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, René González Sehweret, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez and Fernando González Llort - known as the Cuban 5.
We urge the United States Government to acknowledge that a complete miscarriage of justice has taken place regarding the Cuban 5 and to support, rather than oppose, a review of the conviction by the Supreme Court. We urge you to immediately release the Cuban 5.

Signatories included Robert Reid.

"Cuban 5"

Auckland, 15th of June 2013. A group of Cuban residents in this city joined the political-cultural evening organized by the Cuban Friendship Association in supporting worldwide efforts for the release of the Five. Daniel Gallo Villalon, Raudell Conte Morales and Ricardo Izquierdo Pestana Ricardo Morales shared the emotional journey with union leaders, former MP Keith Locke, members of the Communist League, renowned writers, poets and artists of New Zealand, and the Ambassador and Councilor of the Cuban Embassy and the general public.

Cuban residents also took the stage to contribute songs to the evening of Cuban solidarity. Speaking on the case of the five were the Cuban Ambassador Maria del Carmen Herrera Caseiro, the Former MP Keith Locke and First Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

The occasion was also conducive to the sharing of a lively exchange on various issues between Cubans resident and the Ambassador and Councilor Manuel Sánchez Oliva.[8]

Cuban Embassy connection

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Auckland Cuba comrades

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Robert Reid, Mike Treen, Annalucia Vermunt and Gillian Magee.

Greeting Filipino delegation

Auckland Philippines Solidarity March 21, 2018; ·

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With Bryce Hamilton, Oliver Christeller, Romy Udanga, Robert Reid and Daphna Whitmore, Luke Coxon.

PP21

In late 1989, Maxine Goldsack travelled with Robert Reid to Tokyo and Osaka, as part of a 9 person NZ delegation to attend a “workers conference“.

The conference was actually highly significant. It was the launch of the “People’s Plan for the 21st Century.”

Launched as the Soviet Bloc teetered, PP21 coordinated dozens of NGO’s and “peoples organisations” across South Asia and the Pacific. The grouping was unusual because it united Maoist leaning organisations with organisations known to be influenced by the Soviets-even the KGB.

In October 1989 Goldsack co-wrote with Robert Reid and George Talbot a double page article on PP21 “Pacific Century or Japanese Century?”, in the pro-Soviet, Socialist Unity Party’s “Tribune” newspaper.

Dunedin friends

Robert Reid September 5, 2017 near Dunedin, New Zealand ·

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Look Facebook can bring people together in the real world. Thanks for meeting up Dunedin fb friends. Missed you Don Mackenzie!!!! — with Rachel Scott, Jenny Bryant-tokalau and Margy-Jean Malcolm.

WCL friends

Robert Reid January 9 2020·

When we were very young.

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Jane Stevens, Dave Macpherson, Peter Franks, Geraldine Whiteford, Sarda Nana, Saraka Paulette Keating. Peter Cranney.

VUWSA Maoists

Robert Reid February 6 2020·

And now I have discovered the unmounted photo of the VUWSA 1972 Exec.

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Robert Reid, Graeme Collins, Graeme Nesbitt, Byron Cullen, Lisa Sacksen, Peter Cullen, Don Carson and Barbara Leishman.

Old Maoists

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Robert Reid, Chris Lipscombe, Colin Feslier, Sylvain Goldstein.

External links

References