Work­place war­fare re­lived

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Name-call­ing and petty point-scor­ing – sound fa­mil­iar?

Dur­ing elec­tion week Auck­land will host a play set in 1991 in a cor­po­rate con­fer­ence room as $23 bil­lion of New Zealand as­sets are flogged to the high­est bid­der and labour laws are rewrit­ten.

Wild Bees has been buzzing around in Western Springs-based play­wright Phil Ormsby’s head for almost 20 years.

It is based on Ormsby’s own ex­pe­ri­ences around the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble in the 1980s and 1990s.

‘‘I re­mem­ber talk­ing with peo­ple at the time, say­ing ‘this should be a movie, peo­ple won’t be­lieve it’,’’ he says.

‘‘I’m al­ways amazed at how lit­tle this pe­riod in New Zealand’s his­tory is talked about. It was such a wa­ter­shed time. Roger­nomics, the Em­ploy­ment Con­tracts Act, as­set sales – it rad­i­cally al­tered New Zealand’s his­tory.’’

The play stars Grey Lynn’s Donogh Rees, cen- tral city-dweller Emma New­born and Pt Che­va­lier’s Damien Avery.

Wa­ter­shed time: Ne­go­ti­a­tions crum­ble be­tween union rep­re­sen­ta­tives and company bosses in a cor­po­rate con­fer­ence room in 1991 dur­ing the play Wild Bees.

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