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Another dark day for NZ in Afghanistan

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, August 20th, 2012 - 220 comments
Categories: afghanistan - Tags:

3 New Zealand soldiers have been killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. 5 dead in a fortnight. That’s a big cost. All in the same area of Bamiyan Province. John Key has used American chickenhawk language saying “we won’t cut and run”. Actually, we’re leaving in 2013 anyway. The question is whether its worth the cost of hanging around another year.

220 comments on “Another dark day for NZ in Afghanistan”

  1. Carol 1

    Yes, I can see no reason for NZ troops being there, except because our government didn’t want to say “no” to the US government.

    It’s never too late to say “NO”.

  2. freedom 2

    small thing but i saw on TV3 that Shearer also said ‘we should not cut and run’

    It was interesting on TVOne that Petrapology almost looked like she had had enough of Key’s bs

    There is no reason for NZ to be there, there never was a reason for NZ to be there, and there are a growing number of reasons why we should not be there, The list of reasons now stands at ten.

    • Gosman 2.1

      Ummmm…. wasn’t one of the reasons to go supporting a United Nations effort at reconstructing a UN member? It had little to do with the US engagement in the country beyond that this kicked started the reconstructing efforts.

      Do you agree that the NZ Military should be involved in this sort of work ? If you are against it are you also against the similar efforts in Solomon Islands and East Timor?

      • crashcart 2.1.1

        Nice red herring man. As someone who has served in both the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste I can tell you they are completely different environments and reasons for being there. Both of those were basically policing actions. I am not saying the work we are doing in Afghanistahn isn’t worth doing and shouldn’t be done just stop comparing apples with oranges.

        • Gosman 2.1.1.1

          No, you missed the point. All those operations were sanctioned by the UN and all involved reconstruction and security work after a period of civil disorder. In this regard they are pretty much similar in nature.

          • crashcart 2.1.1.1.1

            If sanctioned by the UN was the reason we decided to go places then we would be in a shit of a state. It is one of the ticks in the boxes that need to be made before we will go any where however every single military deployment is individual and decided upon based upon its own merits. It is pointless to try and compare them and say one justifies another. Real life and WAR are just not like that. Although I suppose it is easy to look at it that way when you are sitting on your couch watching war on TV.

            • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1.1

              That is pretty much the main reason, (coupled with what Public opinion wants), that drives NZ involvement in overseas engagements. What other reason were we in Bosnia in the mid 1990’s?

      • freedom 2.1.2

        The UN involvement was is and always will be nothing more than window dressing for the warehouse wars of oil and opium.

        The Solomon Islands and East Timor are vastly different scenarios than the Afghanistan situation. They are also large cans of worms that this Government has pushed well to the back of the cupboard in case the public remember they exist and begin to ask why we have allowed the Indonesian Government to effectively resume its oppressive and dangerous attacks on a Nation’s desire for Independance.

        The only common element to all three is the use of a military machine to control resources.

        ( Gosman, when you do not get any reply to your next comment, know i am not running from the dialogue, I simply do not have full time access to a computer at the moment. My machine died a few weeks back and i do not have the resources to replace it, so once i leave work in about ten minutes and return to the studio, it may be days before i am next near a machine. I try to post from my phone but that always seems more like a roulette game than an assured action. On the plus side, life without FT access to the web is proving most interesting )

        • Gosman 2.1.2.1

          Whether or not the Western military engagement in Afghanistan is being driven by oil and opium is a matter of opinion. I have also seen arguments that the East Timor enagagement is also similarly affected by Oil. In fact there is more oil being pumped out of East Timor than there seems to be from Afghanistan.

          Regardless of this the UN sanctioned the deployment in all these places and asked for assistance. NZ responded. To argue there is NO reason for the deployment is plainly not accurate.

          • Jackal 2.1.2.1.1

            There are many reasons for the deployment Gosman, whether these are justifiable is a matter of opinion. The problem here is that New Zealand’s reconstruction team has been put in a situation where they simply cannot undertake their primary objective. In war, if you have no ability to achieve your primary objective, any secondary objectives become less achievable as well. The sooner the government wakes up to this and gets a bit more advice on what exactly is happening on the ground, the better. Without the government doing the right thing, and withdrawing our troops from United States’ lost war in Afghanistan, we will continue to have a pointless loss of life, and we will continue to have a country in mourning.

      • Bastables 2.1.3

        More canards from the plastic hero.

        Solomon Islands was conducted with initially unarmed troops from 5 Signals Sqn, there were no reconstruction teams. It was an operation planned to defuse tribal/government tensions through interposing unarmed NZ soldiers between the parties. 5signals/5log was based in Hobsonville airforcebase and could be deployed from whenuapai airforcebase faster than units based in Waioru/Linton or Burnham, being unarmed there was no requirement for Infantry coy’s. As there was no reconstruction there was no requirement for engineers.

        Tim Tim included NZ landing an entire infantry battalion (1RNZIR) with RAN/ support Australian infantry regts and associated support in order to halt Milita violence and insure no TNI interference. Reconstruction was not a NZ army role as the most we had was a Engineer platoon that was to support the battalion. A Pakistani engineer battalion in our AO kept a spotless vehicle park and engaged in desultory attempts at repairing bridges when some one yelled at them long enough.

        Banyman was initially mixed detachments of Army, Navy and Airforce, (logistics, engineers, spare ruperts/officers) driving around conducting various forms of CMA in hi lux’s. Infantry platoon/coy/battalion was unworkable the Timor operational tempo had pretty much burnt out our battalions (1 RNZIR and 2nd/1st) and were supposed to be switching over to Mounted rifles with the new LAV III as opposed to pure “leg” infantry.
        This has changed to mounted infantry patrols/QRF in borrowed armoured US Humvees and our own LAV III ‘s. There are no NZ engineer units conducting “reconstruction” in the gan similar to our experience in Iraq.

        Stop talking about shit you don’t know chickenhawk.

        • Gosman 2.1.3.1

          You are focused on ireelevant detail and not the overall concept behind the deployments. The point being all forces were sanctioned via some form of international agreement and that the forces deployed were involved in reconstruction and security work. In the Solomon Islands the Australian military even lost a soldier to an ambush. I do not see why that is any different to NZ soldiers involved in security and reconstruction work in Afghanistan also coming under attacks from anti-Afghan Government elements.

          • crashcart 2.1.3.1.1

            Sorry the guy who has military service on the ground in both arena’s you are talking about is talking irelivant detail and your TV3 news analysis is more relevant? Holy shit man do you believe the stuff you write or are you a troll.

          • Bastables 2.1.3.1.2

            Jesus really Gos, do you have any operational service medals and associated operational medals? No because you are a plastic hero. Do you even have/had a regt number?

            Overall concept behind deployments. . . go sod yourself you filthy chickenhawk.

            • The Baron 2.1.3.1.2.1

              People under pseudonym don’t get to claim to be war heroes either, guys, so you can all get your hand off it as far as I’m concerned.

                • The Baron

                  Good for you, Bastables – happy now?

                  Tip for next time – establish your credentials before you claim them, or alternatively structure an argument that doesn’t need them.

                  • Bastables

                    Pro tip, don’t go calling out people, get proved wrong and then continue to be a condescending jackarse after the fact.

                    • Gosman

                      It is an irrelevant argument. The fact that you may have been, or may still be, a person in the military gives you no more rights in discussing this matter than anyone else. Just as I wouldn’t argue that my working in banking gives me more rights over you in discussing banking. It might give me more information about the subject however that can be determined during a discussion.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The chickenhawk armchair warrior speaks!

                    • Jackal

                      I seem to recall you trying to close down a debate precisely because of your banking experience Gosman… Yep! Here’s what you wrote:

                      I have 15 years experience in banking Jackal. What is your experience of the subject? Perhaps you read a book on the subject once?

                      Contradicting yourself much Gosman?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Nice work Jackal. Gosman is such a dick.

                    • Gosman

                      You were calling into question my facts regarding banking. As such I was right to point out that I had a lot more experience than you in the area. That is different to stating that someone can’t even discuss the issue because they have no experience. I have no problem with you discussing banking. I have a problem with you trying to state you know more than I do on the subject. I have never stated I know more than Bastables about Military matters.

                  • Akldnut

                    The Baron *facepalm* Ssssssmmmack

          • Bastables 2.1.3.1.3

            You are a chickenhawk.

            Your lack of knowledge concerning actual details and context of our deployments is a direct result of you being a chickenhawk. (aka you don’t know wtf you are talking about) You are a example of the Dunning–Kruger effect, as described by C. Darwin : Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.

            Your input and discussion is offensive due to being specious and ignorant of even the basic details. American movies sum up my reactions to your appeals to schoolboy debating form and argument pedantry.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0

            (could not reply to your latest post as the reply button is missing).

            • Gosman 2.1.3.1.3.1

              Resorting to ad hominem attacks tends to support the view that your case is merely one of I’m in/been in the military therefore my view is more valid than yours.

            • IrishBill 2.1.3.1.3.2

              Hi Bastables, I’ve emailed you.

              • Bastables

                I’ve emailed you back mate.

                • vto

                  Gidday Mr Bastables. Tell me, how do you think military commentary should fit within a national debate about the role of the military and its deployment, outside of technical and operational parameters?

                  • Bastables

                    I’m not sure I understand your question or purpose? Is it about opsec breeches by serving soldiers?

                    Can you explain “military commentary.” Or are you alluding to the fact that the Defence forces are instruments of the crown and in particular the elected parliament ( NZ army is not titled Royal NZ army for a reason) and therefore are ineligible to publicly speak against crown policy?

                    • vto

                      Perhaps if I put it another way by way of example.

                      Should the defence force have a say in whether or not NZ should be in Afghanistan? Clearly it needs to regarding what it could or could not do and the risks etc, but outside of those operational matters, should the military have a say? I suspect not.

                      It is an important issue, and with your military status it affects your own view and its value in the debate, which you and others were arguning over above.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Should the defence force have a say in whether or not NZ should be in Afghanistan?

                      If one is talking about internal deliberations with Government, certainly the defence force has a say. How the Government of the day chooses to recognise that advice, is another matter.

                    • Bastables

                      Can’t reply button you Vto:

                      So you’re alluding to if or should the defence force tell the Parliament to take a running jump or conduct it’s own separate foreign/ domestic policy? Obviously not, NZ defence force serves the Crown. This is not a military Junta or a second shadow military government like historical 20th century Turkey/Egypt/Indonesia Brazil ect.

                      It’s a democracy, the military should always be beholden to it’s people/civilian Government. It should never be a constitutionally 4th independent tier of government along side the Judiciary/Crown/Parliament. Utterly horrid idea.

                      Can it advise minsters, can individuals legally voice their opinions both professional and personal at the appropriate time and place; I believe yes.

              • Akldnut

                Guest Post pending?

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      small thing but i saw on TV3 that Shearer also said ‘we should not cut and run’

      That is USA style political wording. It is unconsidered and not helpful to NZ. Someone needs to assess if Kiwis are now being deliberately (and successfully) targetted as enemy in Afghanistan. If so, that is a major change and the consequences need to be thought through carefully. Has Shearer based his comments on such a formal report.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      Its more than ‘being there’ the current deaths are a result of a recent extension of the patrolling area.

      So its even more absurd than ‘staying the course’

      • Kiplingesque 2.3.1

        It sounds like an escalation. All parties are well aware of the history. Afghans will try to make the best of the situation, and the US has stated they intend to stay indefinitely in well-fortified enclaves in Bagram, Kandahar, and Herat. Many countries are heading for the exits. It will be interesting to watch how priorities change with increasing attention to internal affairs during the northern winter.

        • Bastables 2.3.1.1

          Fully agree, It seems to be ramping up, increased ambush, more so called green on blue incidents. This is not a war/police action we are winning.

    • Vicky32 2.4

      small thing but i saw on TV3 that Shearer also said ‘we should not cut and run

      According to Radio NZ it was Key who said that…

      • McFlock 2.4.1

        The quote from TV3:  “The question really is how do we get out, I think as soon as practicable, without cutting and running and leaving more instability behind us.”
             

         
         

  3. Gosman 3

    “Yes, I can see no reason for NZ troops being there, except because our government didn’t want to say “no” to the US government.”

    Weren’t they sent to Afghanistan under the last Labour led Government?

    Wasn’t this Government the same one that did say no to the US Government over involvement in Iraq?

    • crashcart 3.1

      No Gosman those troops who died weren’t sent there by the last Labour government. Labour stopped sending anyone anywhere in 2008. Thats when National took over. I thought you would at least be aware of who won the last 2 elections.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        That’s not how it works as I suspect you realise. The miltary is committed to an operation up front. It takes a conscious decision from the political leadership to stop this operation before it was due to end. National may well have extended the operation beyond the planned end date but I am unaware this is the case. Essentially Labour committed the troops and National have just gone along with this decision.

        • crashcart 3.1.1.1

          You do realise National took a concious decision to extend the deployment. You are also talking out your ass. Military deployments are very fliud operations that have to react to changing environments. It is very rare that you book a time to go in and come out. Each new deployment (they change out every 6 months) requires governmet sign off to go. So sorry Gosman. Every 6 months National has sent a new batch of troops.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1

            I think you will find that the Government reviews the decision based on the original deployment decision and if nothing major has altetred and the mission they went in for is still regarded as valid they will stick with the status quo. It isn’t as if the country is getting involved in Afghanistan all over again every six months.

            • Dr Terry 3.1.1.1.1.1

              A tragedy such as this happens for the nation, and all we get is the heartless rationalising of Gosman. I sincerely hope Key’s son has no little baseball games scheduled this time.

              • Dr Terry

                Apologies for the personal words re Key family, above. Am not well, and they were made without thought.

              • Gosman

                Equally others could argue that we have a tragedy like this and we get people politicising this for their own purposes so they can attack the Government. It is equally a nonsensical emotionally based argument.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Equally others could argue that we have a tragedy like this and we get people politicising this for their own purposes so they can attack the Government.

                  Sounds like you don’t think the Government should be questioned over NZ’s military goals of being over there, and whether or not they are achievable.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.2

          It doesn’t really run on auto pilot Gosman, and nor should it. If circumstances change, as they always do, the govt of the day is the one that is responsible. Continuuing to do something, is a decision a government is just as responsible for as any other.

          The govt realises this, kind of odd that you don’t.

          http://johnkey.co.nz/index.php?/archives/778-Afghanistan-review-decisions-announced.html

          • Gosman 3.1.1.2.1

            Ummmmm…. What part of my statement below is not consistent with the point you are making?

            “I think you will find that the Government reviews the decision based on the original deployment decision and if nothing major has altetred and the mission they went in for is still regarded as valid they will stick with the status quo”

            • crashcart 3.1.1.2.1.1

              The part where you tried saying Labour sent these troops. Or have you forgotten that? National took responsability for every deployment and the decision to send it the day they took hold of the purse strings. You keep flopping arguments between should they be there and who is responsable. I don’t wish to get into the should as I am a serving member of the Defence force but as to who is responsable well that is easy. The government of the day has final say on every deployment that goes. Simply saying they decided not to end it early doesn’t change the fact that they decided.

    • Eddie 3.2

      Labour, not National, chose not to send soldiers to Iraq.

      It was Labour policy in 2011 to withdraw from Afghanistan this year.

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        That’s right, they did say no to the US over Iraq. So to argue the Government can’t say no to the US over troop deployments is plainly wrong.

        • felix 3.2.1.1

          Who said they can’t?

          I saw someone earlier point out that the gov’t didn’t appear to want to say no. Haven’t seen anyone say they couldn’t if they did want to.

          Who are you going to war with on this point Gen. Armchair?

    • alex 3.3

      It doesn’t make a blind bit of difference which party sent the troops in, it matters that the government should pull them out now.

  4. Carol 4

    David Shearer, pay attention. Read the Maoriland Worker

    http://www.natlib.govt.nz/about-us/news/media-releases/maoriland-worker

    Seditious, libellous and blasphemous: read the Maoriland Worker on Papers Past
    The Maoriland Worker was a leading voice – and recorder – of the development of the labour movement in New Zealand in the first half of the 20th century.

    Capitalism and War by H. Carll

    Maoriland Worker, Volume 4, Issue 111, 2 May 1913, Page 8

    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=MW19130502.2.33&cl=CL1.MW&e=——-10-TS-1—-2%2522burlington+street%2522–

    Modern capitalism cannot prosper without war. These two are twin brothers. Heaped-up capital in the hands of the few is a product sought for profit and the accompanying accumulation of surplus value. To find markets for its surplus values, Capitalism must thrust itself upon defenceless lands. And it rends its territory just where development is backward and the consequent gain greater.

    Imperialism is closely united to that madness which buries the people’s well-being under a policy of preparations for war…

    • Gosman 4.1

      I think you are mistaking causation with corelation.

      I could equally argue that Communism requires wars and highlight all the Communist countries involved in wars.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        I think you are mistaken full stop.

        • Gosman 4.1.1.1

          That’s nice.

          Nothing further to add though beyond your personal opinion on whether I am mistaken?

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            Please describe to me all the communist countries who started wars in the last 10 years then. I don’t think there are any.

            • Gosman 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Nice try but as you are well aware the age of imperial communism died back in the early 1990’s.

              However if you want to look at Communist involvement in foreign wars post 1917 I can give you a list pretty much as long as any involving the US during the same period.

              • Zorr

                Okay, go for it Gosman. Feel free to actually prove your point by listing them.

                • Gosman

                  Fine –

                  Countries with outside Communist military involvement during periods of conflict

                  Mongolia 1921
                  Poland 1939
                  Estonia 1939
                  Latvia 1939
                  Lithuania 1939
                  Finland 1939
                  Iran 1941
                  Eastern Europe 1944
                  Japan 1945
                  China 1945
                  Korea 1950
                  Egypt 1955
                  Hungary 1956
                  Vietnam 1960
                  Cuba 1962
                  Czechoslavakia 1968
                  Cambodia 1970
                  Angola 1974
                  Ethiopia 1978
                  Afghanistan 1979
                  Grenada 1983

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Poland 1939
                    Estonia 1939
                    Latvia 1939
                    Lithuania 1939
                    Finland 1939

                    Take these out for starters…the U.S.S.R. weren’t the aggressor here, if you remember.

                    And several more of the ones you list weren’t “wars” at all (eg Cuba, where the US initiated the Bay of Pigs fiasco), or were primarily escalated by the West during their “Reds under the Bed” campaigns.

                    Gawd you are full of it today.

                    • Gosman

                      Not to up on your history are you CV?

                      Please tell me exactly when and over what Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland attacked the Soviet Union in 1939.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah thanks for this history lesson. (I mean it). I see now the U.S.S.R. and the Germans decided to carve Europe up between them in an early agreement. But you know, they did make it look like there was sort of a basis in law for their actions haha…

                • joe90

                  Attempts involving the US to overthrow foreign governments, most of which had been democratically elected.

                  Albania 1949-53
                  East Germany 1950s
                  Iran 1953 *
                  Guatemala 1954 *
                  Costa Rica mid-1950s
                  Syria 1956-7
                  Egypt 1957
                  Indonesia 1957-8
                  British Guiana 1953-64 *
                  Iraq 1963 *
                  North Vietnam 1945-73
                  Cambodia 1955-70 *
                  Laos 1958-60 *
                  Ecuador 1960-63 *
                  Congo 1960 *
                  France 1965
                  Brazil 1962-64 *
                  Dominican Republic 1963 *
                  Cuba 1959 to present
                  Bolivia 1964 *
                  Indonesia 1965 *
                  Ghana 1966 *
                  Chile 1964-73 *
                  Greece 1967 *
                  Costa Rica 1970-71
                  Bolivia 1971 *
                  Australia 1973-75 *
                  Angola 1975, 1980s
                  Zaire 1975
                  Portugal 1974-76 *
                  Jamaica 1976-80 *
                  Seychelles 1979-81
                  Chad 1981-82 *
                  Grenada 1983 *
                  South Yemen 1982-84
                  Suriname 1982-84
                  Fiji 1987 *
                  Libya 1980s
                  Nicaragua 1981-90 *
                  Panama 1989 *
                  Bulgaria 1990 *
                  Albania 1991 *
                  Iraq 1991
                  Afghanistan 1980s *
                  Somalia 1993
                  Yugoslavia 1999
                  Ecuador 2000 *
                  Afghanistan 2001 *
                  Venezuela 2002 *
                  Iraq 2003 *

                  (* successful ousting of a government.)

                  • Gosman

                    Ummmm… we are discusssing military intervention not overthrowing governments. If we were to include those the list would be much longer on the Communist side as well.

                    However you don’t seem to be smart enought to realise the point being made.

                  • joe90

                    If we were to include those the list would be much longer on the Communist side as well

                    http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175442/

                    However you don’t seem to be smart enought to realise the point being made

                    If providing material help to ensure regime change isn’t military intervention the WTF is it?.

              • KJT

                Name me a communist country.

                Cuba. A lot of wars?

                Russia was communist for about two weeks before they were taken over by a totalitarian dictatorship.

                I thought you RWNJ’s think China is capitalist.

                Wasn’t that the basis of a comparison with India not long ago.
                How it was better to be poor in China than India because China is becoming capitalist. LOL.

                • Gosman

                  Cuba has been involved in a lot of military conflicts over the years.

                • The Baron

                  This argument is so banal.

                  But to play this idiotic game, it was Cuba that was going to host the short range nukes on behalf of the Soviets, that lead to the Cuban Missile Crisis and nearly the start of WW3, wasn’t it?

                  Very pacifist, aren’t they.

                  • Gosman

                    I agree it is banal. That was my point, which seems to have flown over the heads of many of the leftists here. It is silly to try and argue one politicial ideology is more inclined to military action than others.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Fuck, next they’ll be trying to defend Stalin.

                      Where exactly does it say that being left wing means you have to defend all the atrocious crap as well?

                    • Gosman

                      I do find it amazing that so many leftists miss the point here.

                      I am not interested in seeing a defence of these military interventions by communists countries. I merely highlighted them to show that it is not just Capitalist countries that engage in military action.

                      I believe military intervention is far less a result of the system a society is run under than part and parcel of human interaction at a international level.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    That’s the Cold War for you. In the decade before that Turkey hosted Jupiter missiles for the USA, which were 10 minutes flight time from the Eastern Bloc.

                  • lostinsuburbia

                    Yep they hosted them after being invaded the previous year by an invasion force sponsored by the United States and also after suffering a number of sabotage missions by forces hosted and trained by the United States.

                    They also had to put up with a hostile US base on their own territory at Guantanemo Bay.

                    And don’t forget that the United States had ringed the Soviet Union with military bases and was undertaking agressive flyovers of Soviet air space. The Soviets were trying to achieve some degree of strategic paraity, but seriously overestimated the US response. Similar to the NATO deployment of intermediate range missiles in Europe during the early 80s and the Soviet fears that they would be used in a pre-emptive strike (which lead to the Soviets increasing their war prepareness footings during the Able Archer exercise in 1983).

                    I’m not calling Castro a perfect by any means, but by blindly thinking the USA is a good guy all the time is a poor position to take.

                    While “Communist” regimes are guilty of taking unilateral action against their enemies and suppressing their own people, the realpolitik of the Cold War, Gulf War, and the War on Terror has left a lot of blood on the hands of the United States.

                    • The Baron

                      Not sure who you’re claiming was “blindly thinking the USA is a good guy all the time”. I was merely challenging the earlier statement that Cuba was/is a good guy all the time, which I attribute to KJT.

                    • lostinsuburbia

                      Sorry Baron, trying to do too many things at once, but yes I agree that in international relations there is rarely “innocent parties” at a nation state level (as opposed to the many innocent civilian casualities in wars, diplomatic incidents etc).

                      I’m no where as anti-american as I was when I was younger, but do feel that a lot of the sabre rattling types need to take off their rose tinted glasses – international relations are seldom ethically or morally guided.

                      Robert Fisk’s Great War of Civilisaton demonstrates this quite well, no one has come out of international relations in the Middle East over the past 100 years with clean hands.

                    • McFlock

                      “I was merely challenging the earlier statement that Cuba was/is a good guy all the time, which I attribute to KJT.”
                         
                      Link, then… 

                  • Morrissey

                    But to play this idiotic game, it was Cuba that was going to host the short range nukes on behalf of the Soviets, that lead to the Cuban Missile Crisis and nearly the start of WW3, wasn’t it?

                    Cuba was being (illegally) blockaded by the U.S., and the Soviet Union was prepared to help it. Blame the U.S. for driving Cuba into the Soviet umbrella. Of course, you would know that, if you knew anything about this topic.

                    Why on earth are you posting about something you clearly know nothing about?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Do kindly explain then how the capitalist blockade of Cuba forced Castro to round up all his homosexuals and herd them onto a boat?
                      Or for that matter forbid freedom of speech and supress the Catholic Church?
                      Etc? Etc?

      • Polish Pride 4.1.2

        So then both systems are no good and we need to move to one that doesn’t need war to survive and prosper.

        • Gosman 4.1.2.1

          Or perhaps it isn’t the system which causes the problem but how humans interact at a inter-societal level which is the problem.

          • Polish Pride 4.1.2.1.1

            “Or perhaps it isn’t the system which causes the problem but how humans interact at a inter-societal level which is the problem.”

            It is in my view both. where we have a system that enables and in many cases encourages the darker side of human behaviour to flourish then the problem is both the system and the resultant behaviour.
            Under Capitalism….. a system which is predominantly about the aquisition of capital and profit above all else. We find ourselves in a world where companies such as Lockheed Martin and Halliburton maximise their profits when there is a war.
            Where companies like Johnson & Johnson, Roche & Glaxo Smith Kline make far more money from treating the side effects of illnesses such as Cancer than they would make if they provided the cures.
            Where free energy tech is suppressed to protect economies and the profits of big oil companies.
            Where media cartels no longer report the news in a ‘fair and balanced’ manner but instead decide what to report and what not to based on the propaganda that they want the masses to receive and thus believe to be the truth.

            Don’t worry though Gos, Communism too is a failed system as are all systems throughout history that have ended with a hierarchical structure for ruling the people.

            and that is my soap box speech for today.

  5. Kiplingesque 5

    Thanks ‘freedom’. I was there long before Shearer.

    In Afghan eyes foreign troops are the latest bunch of invaders since George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland, GCB, PC (25 August 1784 – 1 January 1849), Governor-General of India between 1836 and 1842, decided on war, and on 1 October 1838 in Simla published the Simla Manifesto dethroning Dost Mahommed Khan. After successful early operations he was created Baron Eden, of Norwood in the County of Surrey, and Earl of Auckland. However the Afghan campaign ultimately ended in disaster

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dost_Mohammad_and_the_British_in_Afghanistan

    .. with only one survivor stumbling down the Khyber Pass.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dost_Mohammad_and_the_British_in_Afghanistan#First_Anglo-Afghan_War.2C_1838-1842

    Shearer’s language does not strike me as being consistent with that of a UN representative in Afghanistan.

    • Gosman 5.1

      The British had at least three major engagements involving Afghanistan. Onlt one ended in defeat. The other operations they achieved their aims, (which was to create a complient buffer state between British India and the Russian empire). It is a rather tired argument to make that Afghanistan is somehow some sort of graveyard for foreign intervention.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        And yet after those “successful” (gufffaw) interventions, Imperial Britain still ended.

        (which was to create a complient buffer state between British India and the Russian empire)

        Afghanistan didn’t stay compliant for long, did it.

        • Gosman 5.1.1.1

          I wouldn’t state the British had any real problems with the country post the last time they involved themselves militarily and up till the end of the Raj.

          Miltary operations are always short to medium term in terms of their success. Taking a different view would be like trying to argue the Prussian’s lost the War of 1870 against France because they ultimately lost WWI 40 years later.

          • Strategos 5.1.1.1.1

            “I wouldn’t state the British had any real problems with the country post the last time they involved themselves militarily and up till the end of the Raj.”

            Regrettably, this statement only goes to prove your ignorance.

            I would suggest you study

            “The Anglo_Afghan wars 1838-1919″, by Gregory Fremont-Barnes, Osprey ‘Essential Histories’ series, 2009, Osprey Publishing Ltd., ISBN 978 1 84603 446 6

          • henry olongo 5.1.1.1.2

            Gosman I am another ex-NZDF person who is getting sick of your bogus pronouncements on things military. I had to draw the line at the crap you are talking about military interventions in Afghanistan- the idea that Great Britain has had successful military campaigns is ridiculous.

            • Gosman 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Explain why they weren’t successful then?

              As stated, I don’t doubt your knowledge on this area. I do have a problem if you attempt to state others cannot discuss matters around this though. It would be like me trying to argue you can’t discuss anking because you don’t work in a bank.

        • Populuxe1 5.1.1.2

          And yet after those “successful” (gufffaw) interventions, Imperial Britain still ended.

          Yes. Because Britain chose to end it and devolved authority to its former colonies with the exception of the 14 overseas territories. 

          Afghanistan didn’t stay compliant for long, did it.

          Perhaps not, but did the Russians get through it?

      • Morrissey 5.1.2

        Afghanistan is “a compliant buffer state”?

        Congratulations, Gosman—that little gem means you’re a contender for this week’s John Banks award.

  6. IrishBill 6

    I’m really hoping that Key’s armchair warrior bullshit is just empty spin rather than honestly held thought informing our policy on deployment. That said, even if it is just spin it makes it politically harder to withdraw if that’s deemed necessary.

    • felix 6.1

      I think it’s worse than either of those scenarios Irish.

      My sense is that the empty armchair warrior bullshit spin is his honestly held thought informing our deployment policy.

      • Jackal 6.1.1

        I do hope you’re wrong felix… I also hope that it’s not ultimately a decision Key makes. Surely politics should take second place to the safety of our soldiers?

        • felix 6.1.1.1

          Of course it should. Let me know when you see Key start to make decisions based on evidence, and also when he starts taking the impact on people other than himself into consideration.

  7. vto 7

    So very sad. Heartfelt condolences to the families.

    But on a political note … I heard one of the earlier deceased soldiers family saying that he died for his country. I don’t understand this, in this Afghan, war-on-terror, post-9-11, imperialist stroom trooper US, middle east invasions by the English and French and Italians and US, context. How have they died for NZ? From what I can see they have died for something but quite what that is is quite unclear.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      It is natural to have to assign reasons to such violent and untimely deaths.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      It’s a genuine sentiment V. The oath they give is to serve the country and follow their orders.

      When ordered to deploy, they go because the country has asked them to. The point, or pointlessness, of the mission is for the country to decide. Either way, they died doing what we, as a country, told them to do.

      • chris73 7.2.1

        Nicely put.

      • bad12 7.2.2

        Nah sorry i reject that, our troops are in Afghanistan on behalf of the New Zealand Government, i had no say in that decision and take no responsibility for what befalls them there…

        • chris73 7.2.2.1

          No ones asking you to take personal responsibility

        • Gosman 7.2.2.2

          Did you not get the opportunity to vote between 2001 and now?

          • bad12 7.2.2.2.1

            To suggest that voting in an election makes me in some way responsible for any action a Government undertakes is spurious…

            • Gosman 7.2.2.2.1.1

              I didn’t state you were personally responsible. I am pointing out that you are wrong to claim you had no say in the matter to deploy troops. You had a say at the election. If enough people like you voted for parties that wanted to cut and run then your views on the subject would have been achieved. Unfortunately for you this did not happen. It is called democracy.

              • Polish Pride

                Bubble its not Democracy – Its Representative Democracy. There is a massive difference. Representative Democracy merely provides you with the illusion of having democracy because you get to have a vote once every 3 years..

            • Polish Pride 7.2.2.2.1.2

              Sorry Bad12 it does in my new book of political responsibility – This is why unless its a vote on changing the whole damn system. I will no longer vote. That way I am in no way responsible for the idiotic decisions that the government makes and the state the country ends up in as a result. If you voted for the idiots then you share some responsibility in my book.
              But take heart this is my new rule on understanding who bad things are getting. So as I voted last time I too am responsible right now but never again!

              • Jackal

                I don’t accept that reason for not voting Polish Pride, mainly because it discounts group responsibility no-matter who’s in power.

                Firstly by way of example… Do you think the Taliban care if you voted or not when our soldiers are killing them? No! They just see a New Zealand soldier and want revenge on New Zealand. The fact that you’re a non-voter has no bearing on the way they see you. In the eyes of the world, a country and its entire people are responsible for its actions.

                Secondly your non-vote only reinforces the dictatorial aspect to our so-called democracy. If enough people fail to vote, the powers that be will have less reason to care about and understanding of what the public wants. It might be that they even take away everybody’s right to vote, because not enough people would care about that right anyway.

                Thirdly your non-vote will mean there’s no change to the system. Therefore the protest of not voting means absolutely nothing at all. The government of the day will simply not give a damn.

                Lastly working to change the system from within or voting for people who share your ideas is far more likely to work than wanting the entire system to change all at once.

                It takes a long time for systemic dysfunction to become entrenched in the system, and there’s no doubt that it also takes a long time to change that dysfunction, but to forgo the democratic process in hope that change will somehow miraculously happen just ensures that dysfunction remains. Therefore I think you should reconsider your decision not to vote.

                • Polish Pride

                  I don’t accept that reason for not voting Polish Pride, mainly because it discounts group responsibility no-matter who’s in power.

                  I’d disagree (provided I have understood your response correctly) there is still group responsibility. on 3 seperate levels
                  1. Those voted into power making the decisions.
                  2. Those who voted them into power.
                  3. Those who gave consent for the system (that voted them in) by voting and actively taking part in the system thereby continuing the argument for its validity.

                  “Firstly by way of example… Do you think the Taliban care if you voted or not when our soldiers are killing them? No! They just see a New Zealand soldier and want revenge on New Zealand. The fact that you’re a non-voter has no bearing on the way they see you. In the eyes of the world, a country and its entire people are responsible for its actions.”

                  The fact that I am a non voter would mean that I am in no way shape or form responsible for those in power deciding to send our troops there in the first instance.
                  A better way to think about this is what happens if no one votes or if that is too abstract if only 500,000 people vote. Does any party then have a mandate to govern? Does the system still have validity? Do the troops still get sent to fight wars that are for the benefit of American big business and America?

                  “Secondly your non-vote only reinforces the dictatorial aspect to our so-called democracy. If enough people fail to vote, the powers that be will have less reason to care about and understanding of what the public wants. It might be that they even take away everybody’s right to vote, because not enough people would care about that right anyway.”

                  I disagree the less people who vote the less validity the (sham of a) democracy has. The Party governs effectively by the consent of the people (as are laws enacted by parliament) through their active participation in the system by voting. If the people do not vote, consent is being withdrawn.

                  Thirdly your non-vote will mean there’s no change to the system. Therefore the protest of not voting means absolutely nothing at all. The government of the day will simply not give a damn.

                  Again if I were to vote I am giving my consent to the system. In effect saying that I believe the system works….. I do not.

                  “Lastly working to change the system from within or voting for people who share your ideas is far more likely to work than wanting the entire system to change all at once.”

                  Those in power have no motivation to give me the system I want as in doing so they are no longer needed. They lose their power, their perks, their paychecks. The vote and decisions would belong where it should, with the people.

                  “It takes a long time for systemic dysfunction to become entrenched in the system, and there’s no doubt that it also takes a long time to change that dysfunction, but to forgo the democratic process in hope that change will somehow miraculously happen just ensures that dysfunction remains. Therefore I think you should reconsider your decision not to vote.”

                  Again I disagree and my non vote is my exercising of this view. If you want me to vote simple put the option ‘None of the above’ on the ballot paper. I am sure that there would then be record numbers voting and I am sure that ‘Non of the above’ would win by a landslide!

                  But I also very much like the fact that by making the decision to not even take part in the system I am in no way shape or form responsible for anything that those in power screw up. I can have a go at you lot, afterall you are (unless like me you elected not to vote) responsible.

          • Carol 7.2.2.2.2

            Yep, voted for a party that didn’t support sending the troops. And I also have been on demonstrations protesting about our government sending troops to Afghanistan and asking them to reverse that decision.

      • Morrissey 7.2.3

        Either way, they died doing what we, as a country, told them to do.

        No they didn’t. They died because our governments (Labour and National) have been browbeaten into sending a token force to lend a fig-leaf of “international backing” to the United States’ confused adventure.

        Polls show that most New Zealanders are opposed to our troops being in Afghanistan. And polls in Afghanistan show that almost all citizens there want the foreign troops to leave immediately.

        The resistance is only getting stronger and bolder—even Mr Key had to acknowledge that on TV One this morning.

        • Pascal's bookie 7.2.3.1

          The fact remains that our elected Governments gave them orders, and they followed them.

          If we, as citizens, collectively dont like the orders our government is giving to our armed forces, the solution has been in our hands.

      • KJT 7.2.4

        Exactly. I know many members of the NZDF.

        They consider they are doing good things in Afghanistan.

        In Fact, knowing what most of the NZDF are actually doing daily, they are. The same as in Timor Lest and other operations.

        Whether we should be supporting the USA in Afghanistan is another matter. One for the politicians and people of NZ to decide, not the troops.

        I don’t think we should be in Afghanistan any longer, but that does not take away from the fact our soldiers work for us.

        It is the politicians who are OK about them dying for little gain that are at fault.

        • Morrissey 7.2.4.1

          “They consider they are doing good things in Afghanistan.”

          Most of our soldiers are decent fellows. So were most of the Germans in Poland and Russia in the 1940s.

          • Populuxe1 7.2.4.1.1

            You are a fuckin nasty horrible little man who has obviously never had much to do with our armed forces to even suggest that sort of crap.

    • Vicky32 7.3

      How have they died for NZ? From what I can see they have died for something but quite what that is is quite unclear.

      Agreed!

  8. Scott 8

    It’s good that The Standard is making this point. We’re told that our soldiers are in Afghanistan defending freedom, and yet chided for discussing the politics of their deployment in the wake of disasters like these deaths.

    Most folks on the left are opposed to the New Zealand deployment in Afghanistan, but this mission is only one a of a series of foreign ventures our forces have been involved in over the last thirteen years. I’ve argued that the template for Bamiyan was set in places like East Timor and the Solomons, where the humanitarian objectives of Kiwi troops were often thwarted by the big power politics of coalition led by Australia and advised by America:
    http://www.readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/the-real-reasons-for-mission-failure-in.html

    • Gosman 8.1

      I admire your consistency. I disagree with your position but think it is at least acknowledging the similarities in the other deployments the NZ military has been involved with recently.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    In the US politicians like John Key are sometimes referred to as “ChickenHawks”. They talk tough, i.e. no “cutting and running” and generally grease up the military command but have never served personally.

    There is no particular reason a leader should have a military background these days and it was probably more common in the past, Eisenhower, JFK ex colonial countries etc. But ShonKey’s rhetoric is really off putting coming from him the anti-statesman ‘prime mincer’.

    Just expressing condolonces to the dead soldiers families would do and leave it there unless he has something truly useful to add like “we are bringing the troops home forthwith and not propping up this women hating narco-theocracy a minute longer…” Dreams are free of course.

  10. Kiplingesque 10

    Some things don’t change ..

    A scrimmage in a Border Station —
    A canter down some dark defile —
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail —
    The Crammer’s boast, the Squadron’s pride,
    Shot like a rabbit in a ride!

    http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/arithmetic_on_frontier.html

    I would like to express my condolences to the familes of the deceased.

  11. AmaKiwi 11

    Follow the money.

    Foreign wars are ALWAYS about money. I have read about this one being about an oil pipeline that avoids Pakistan and gives better access to nearby Central Asia oil fields. I’m no expert. But I do know this war has NOTHING to do with freedom or democracy or liberating women from oppression. For more than a century the USA has maintained ruthless dictatorships in its backyard (Latin America) so it could have cheap resources and captive markets. The British, French, Israelis, Russians, do precisely the same. Now its China’s turn.

    We humans have a very generous, self-sacrificing side of us. But our dark side is greedy and vicious. That’s how we stay at the top of the food chain.

    • Gosman 11.1

      I do find the hard left’s views on wars as being driven by money quite funny. I remember the early 1990’s and the Bolshevik’s at Uni attacking Western involvement in Yugoslavia as if the country was going to be some sort of major market for evil Western capitalist companies as soon as they got rid of the pesky commies. The fact that other motivations behind the conflict might be playing a part never really entered into these people’s heads.

      • Strategos 11.1.1

        So you were at Uni in the 1990’s. “Hard left” and “Bolsheviks” in Aotearoa/NZ ?

        How would you characterise the anti-apartheid movement, Te Whiti, Rua Kenana, and others ?

        Have a look at

        “The Collapse of Yugoslavia 1991-99″ by Alastair Finlan, Osprey Publishing (2004),
        ISBN 1 84176 805 7

        for a good overview.

        • Bored 11.1.1.1

          Gos at university in the early 90s…that just about confirms a couple of pet theories I have about the current state of universities…

          1. Neo lib concepts including Chicago school ideas have like prior orthodoxies been spoon fed to paying students with no counter views offered. The upshot is no dissent allowed, no contrary thought encouraged. Hence thousands of Gos like grads, neo lib automatons. Zombies akin to the “commissar” grads of Soviet “universities”.
          2. Satndards are dreadfully low…..enough said.

          • Gosman 11.1.1.1.1

            I had an Economics lecturer who made a point of teaching Economics from a Keynesian perspective for the very reasons you try and argue. She was trying to influence the people coming out of the University down a particular path. Funnily enough I didn’t come across too many lecturers pushing the alternative viewpoint so openly.

            • Bored 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Only a single Keynesian? Why am I not surprised, generally it pays to keep faith with the ideals of the person paying you (if you want to stay on the payroll).

              Hearing an alternative view does not appeared to have swayed you away from whatever “received wisdom” you were force fed (and eagerly ate). Nor to have given you even a flicker of the possibility that there are multiple views and all might possibly have some validity.

              Gos, you mirror the low standard of discourse that is the norm in zombie graduates of todays academic world, they the mere printer of meal tickets, you a mere buyer.

              • Gosman

                Ummmmm…. I believe I gave you an example of the only person I came across in Economics which was openly pushing some sort of politically motivated agenda was not a neo-liberal one. How you then turn that into some sort of affirmation about the failure of Universities to teach critical thinking is beyond me frankly.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Perhaps we can look at you as an example, then.

                • McFlock

                  Funnily enough, a few of the economics lecturers I had at around the same time were rabid neolibs. No Keynesians that I could see, but there were some who managed to make their beliefs not so obvious as the neolibs. Something about the deranged grin.
                                     
                  I guess we only see the biases that are contrary to our own.

          • Raa 11.1.1.1.2

            QED, +1

      • Polish Pride 11.1.2

        Any War initiated by America IS about money, resources be it oil, defence contracts or contruction contracts. When your economy is failing their ain’t nuthin better than a war. Wait for Iran to be next.

        • Vicky32 11.1.2.1

          Any War initiated by America IS about money, resources be it oil, defence contracts or contruction contracts.

          Sadly true…

  12. Hilary 12

    Very good interview with Phil Goff on RNZ just now. Authoritative, informed and committed to workable solution. Miss that quality of ministerial comment.

    • Carol 12.1

      Thought so too. Also, Goff pointed out that Key is now talking about withdrawing the troops by the beginning of 2013, whereas before he was saying the end of 2013.

      And the interviewer asked some pertinent questions about why the soldiers were traveling in a Humvee and not one of the available light armoured vehicles that provide a bit more protection.

    • deuto 12.2

      Agreed – Goff spoke with compassion while making his views very clear.

      Stuff’s latest report on the tragedy also reports Goff’s comments rather than anything from Shearer

      Goff, a former defence minister, said it was not a case of ”cutting and running”.

      ”It’s a case of managing an orderly transition out of Bamiyan which the Government should have been embarking on already.”

      New Zealand had done everything it could in the province.

      “There is nothing further we can do to influence outcomes in Bamiyan or in Afghanistan. To justify sacrifice, you’ve got to have obtainable objectives.

      “Things are going backwards in Afghanistan, not forwards. Not because of what our guys are doing but because the [Afghanistan] government has failed utterly to win the support of its own people.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/7507715/Woman-among-three-Kiwi-soldiers-killed

      Herald mentions Shearer very briefly rather than Goff

      Labour Party leader David Shearer said troops should be withdrawn as soon as practically possible.

      “We’re talking about the end of the year – I would like to think that we could bring that forward,” he told TV3’s Firstline.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828065

    • felix 12.3

      “Very good interview with Phil Goff on RNZ just now. Authoritative, informed and committed to workable solution. Miss that quality of ministerial comment.”

      I miss that quality of leader of the oppositionial comment too. Seems odd now that Phil was considered too wishy-washy and not a good enough communicator to lead the Labour Party.

      • deuto 12.3.1

        It does seem odd now to me also, Felix. Although I must say Goff looks so much more relaxed and 10 years younger these days, now that he is now leader.

      • Colonial Viper 12.3.2

        Yep, I liked Goff in the lead up to elections and still do.

    • Chris 12.4

      Heard that also and so do I.

    • TEA 12.5

      Yes – but useless as a leader

  13. AmaKiwi 13

    Holy sh*t.

    The NY Times is reporting that most of the recent attacks on NATO troops were by our “allies,” the Afghan army, NOT by the Taliban!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/world/asia/afghan-attacks-on-allied-troops-prompt-nato-to-shift-policy.html?ref=global-home

  14. shorts 14

    The Gunner’s Lament

    A Maori gunner lay dying
    In a paddyfield north of Saigon,
    And he said to his pakeha cobber,
    “I reckon I’ve had it, man!

    ‘And if I could fly like a bird
    To my old granny’s whare
    A truck and a winch would never drag
    Me back to the Army.

    ‘A coat and a cap and a well-paid job
    Looked better than shovelling metal,
    And they told me that Te Rauparaha
    Would have fought in the Vietnam battle.

    ‘On my last leave the town swung round
    Like a bucket full of eels.
    The girls liked the uniform
    And I liked the girls.

    ‘Like a bullock to the abattoirs
    In the name of liberty
    They flew me with a hangover
    Across the Tasman Sea,

    ‘And what I found in Vietnam
    Was mud and blood and fire,
    With the Yanks and the Reds taking turns
    At murdering the poor.

    ‘And I saw the reason for it
    In a Viet Cong’s blazing eyes –
    We fought for the crops of kumara
    And they are fighting for the rice.

    ‘So go tell my sweetheart
    To get another boy
    Who’ll cuddle her and marry her
    And laugh when the bugles blow,

    ‘And tell my youngest brother
    He can have my shotgun
    To fire at the ducks on the big lagoon,
    But not to aim it at a man,

    ‘And tell my granny to wear black
    And carry a willow leaf,
    Because the kid she kept from the cold
    Has eaten a dead man’s loaf.

    ‘And go and tell Keith Holyoake
    Sitting in Wellington,
    However long he scrubs his hands
    He’ll never get them clean.’

    James K Baxter
    1965

    when will we learn?

    RIP

  15. Carol 15

    Posted by a new Labour MP, David Goff:

    http://www.labour.org.nz/news/labour-mourns-the-loss-of-kiwi-soldiers-in-afghanistan

    Labour mourns the loss of Kiwi soldiers in Afghanistan

    David ShearerPhil Goff | Monday, August 20, 2012 – 10:02

    Labour is offering its heartfelt sympathy to the families, friends and colleagues of the three New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device.

    “These soldiers gave their lives in the service of their country. Their sacrifice will always be respected and remembered.

    “New Zealand can be proud of the contribution it has made in the Bamyan province to assist the lives of the local people. However the ability of our troops to continue to make a real difference there is undermined by the corruption of the Karzai regime.

    “We have done our best over nine years but without a government that can win the support of its own people we cannot win the war there.

    “We must bring our troops home as soon as practicable,” said David Shearer.

    Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Phil Goff says that staying longer in Bamyan will not achieve any significant purpose.

    • Bored 15.1

      Goff and Shearer might have been more credible if they had stated that Labour had sent the troops into Afghanistan, and that the decision they made was WRONG!

      Is nobody in Labour ever going to state any personal responsibility? These guys lack credibility, to admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness might be a bloody good start for them torecover our faith in them.

      • Te Reo Putake 15.1.1

        They have nothing to apologise for, Bored. The original decision was perfectly sound, particularly as it involved recontruction work rather than gung ho soldiering. I’m glad we went, sad about the deaths, but proud we played our part in ridding Afghanistan of the Taliban Government.

        • Bored 15.1.1.1

          Te, I am on record as objecting when our troops were first deployed on the basis that if it required military personnel to do a civilian job then it was too dangerous. So respectfully I wont agree with you on this issue.

          With regard to forgiveness Labour might take that more generally, there’s the whole neo-lib legacy for starters.

          • Te Reo Putake 15.1.1.1.1

            Fair enough, Bored, you articulate your position well. However, I think you may have missed that armies regularly do construction work in combat zones. Reparing roads, building bridges and digging wells is just part of the job.
             
            As for the neo lib thang, it’s ancient history and of no relevance to voters these days, so I doubt we will ever hear an apology from Labour. Most of the main players left and formed ACT anyway and it’ll be a cold day in hell when Roger “I’m entitled’ Douglas apologises!

            • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.1.1

              However, I think you may have missed that armies regularly do construction work in combat zones. Reparing roads, building bridges and digging wells is just part of the job.

              Bamiyan province was never considered so insecure as to be a “combat zone”, IIRC. They are not a majority Pashtun province, for starters. However, the security situation there has deteriorated, not got better, over the last 12 months.

  16. felix 16

    Chicken John must be feeling a right wally now. He’s going to have to either:

    a) attend the memorial services, suggesting that they’re more important than the last ones were,

    or

    b) same as last time: pretend that a personal event scheduled for 4 days after the services prevents him from attending, exposing himself as a cheap liar and a con-man,

    or

    c) refuse to attend, having played armchair warrior in the media, and look a callous prick.

    • The Baron 16.1

      Pretty tasteless felix, but don’t let a tragedy prevent you from trying to score points.

      Unless JK’s son has yet another tournament scheduled, I would imagine he would be there.

      • felix 16.1.1

        The Baron picks option (a), these deaths are more important than the others and the PM should be expected to show.

        (as long as there are no urgent sporting events, dog shows, dinner parties, or romantic walks scheduled for any time 4 days either side of the services of course, in which case option (b) should apply)

      • pukeko 16.1.2

        Kaua koe e whai atu i ngā mahi a te hukehuke rā, kei raru kōrua tahi.

  17. AmaKiwi 17

    Hello?

    Am I the only one who thinks it is significant that the Afghan army has turned against us and is killing our soldiers? This is what NATO commanders are saying!

    For God’s sake, and the sake of our remaining troops in Afghanistan, READ IT.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/world/asia/afghan-attacks-on-allied-troops-prompt-nato-to-shift-policy.html?ref=global-home

    The people we thought we are helping are MURDERING our soldiers!

  18. AmaKiwi 18

    Thank you, Carol. But as usual the NZ version pretends this is “a problem that can be solved.”

    If MOST of the attacks on NATO troops are from the Afghan army (NY Times article), the Afghan army has been thoroughly infiltrated. Or maybe not “infiltrated” so much as outraged about European armies causing civilian deaths and destruction of their homeland. Either way, European military involvement in Afghanistan is rapidly coming to an end.

    • Carol 18.1

      Well, yes, it’s a pretty sanitised version from within NZ. The NYT article is from the perspective of the US military. The Guardian story on it more directly claims it is likely to be due to infiltration:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/17/afghanistan-insider-attacks-us-soldiers

      An Afghan soldier and police officer have turned their guns on foreign troops they work with, killing two and injuring several others, hours after the Taliban’s leader boasted about his fighters’ infiltration of government security forces and called for more attacks.

  19. Johnm 19

    I haven’t been following Afghanistan but it seems to me that when our soldiers were just doing reconstruction work, no fighting except in self-defence, there were no casualties. Then the SAS get involved and start fighting to assist the allies and that’s when the casualties begin
    My 10 cents worth it’s very hard to beat an enemy whose “way of life” is war compared with our people for whom its just a profession and that enemy can disappear effortlessly back into the civilian population when retreating in their war of the flea. Also if they’re killed they get to go to Paradise with 70 virgins waiting for them- hard to beat that! :-D

    • shorts 19.1

      its very hard if not impossible to successfully occupy a country when you’ve not actually won the war from the get go – we’re part of an occupying force

      for some strange reason there are elements in Afghanistan who don’t take kindly to being invaded, occupied and targeted for death

      so they fight back… and all occupying forces are targeted as and when they have the means to

      we should be ashamed of our involvement in this war

      • Populuxe1 19.1.1

        As the Soviets found out, you could be building them schools and swimming pools and they’ll still try to kill you in big numbers

    • lprent 19.2

      The SAS (as far as we can tell) have largely been deployed in Kabul in this current mission and quite a way from the rest of our troops. Your idea is quite unlikely.

      What appears to be happening is what can only be described as a political positioning prior to the removal of the occupation forces. Afghan political manoeuvres often bear a striking similarity to military manoeuvres, and have done so for as long as I have been able to see in the history of the area. That is why it is a hell of place for all of their neighbouring states because they’re usually in the spillover of politics there.

  20. AmaKiwi 20

    People defending their families and homes have an immeasurable psychological advantage over an invading army who “lay waste to the land and call it peace.” (Tacitus, 117 A.D.)

  21. Steve Wrathall 21

    The attempt by many here to declare that the Taleban will be ultimately victorious is sickening. These thugs are slaughtered whenever they engage with coalition troops. They have no hope of defeating large enemy formations, capturing large stocks of enemy hardware or occupying major strategic positions. These roadside bombs have no military value in and of themself. Their “added value” is when useful idiots in the coalition countries react to such tragedies by advocating policies that will make the world safe for theocratic terrorism. In this case, to cut and run, and leave Afghanistan to their tender mercies. Reacting in this way only rewards and encourages terrorism. We can fight such vermin in the hills of Afghanistan with professional volunteers, or we can fight them in the aisles of aircraft with fire extinguishers. Which do you prefer?

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      The attempt by many here to declare that the Taleban will be ultimately victorious is sickening. These thugs are slaughtered whenever they engage with coalition troops. They have no hope of defeating large enemy formations, capturing large stocks of enemy hardware or occupying major strategic positions.

      The Taleban are highly effective users of assymetric warfare. A $100 road side bomb takes out a $75,000 Hummer. And 3 NZ troopers.

      Reacting in this way only rewards and encourages terrorism. We can fight such vermin in the hills of Afghanistan with professional volunteers, or we can fight them in the aisles of aircraft with fire extinguishers. Which do you prefer?

      You do know that the “vermin” are in their own homeland, and we are the foreign occupying force, right? You do know that every Pashtun killed by Western fighters will generally rally 5-10 family members against us? Do the math for a sec.

    • lostinsuburbia 21.2

      Hmm, it was Saudi Arabians that piloted the planes on 9/11, not Afghanis.

      If you want to avoid terror attacks, there are plenty of targets other than mountain sheppards and truck drivers.

      And given the likely fluid movement of weapons from the Afghani National Army to warlords and insurgents, I doubt any of them would need to be on a plane to bring it down. And don’t forget the Americans gave the same folks stinger missiles in the 80s (though I imagine that they haven’t been stored correctly and may not be all useable now).

      • Colonial Viper 21.2.1

        And don’t forget the Americans gave the same folks stinger missiles in the 80s (though I imagine that they haven’t been stored correctly and may not be all useable now).

        And much more than that. Including funding, and training in guerilla warfare tactics against superior military forces (the U.S.S.R. at the time).

      • Polish Pride 21.2.2

        Hmmm interesting want to check something around censorship….
        and it was Mossad Agents that ‘pulled’ the twin towers and building 7 on 9-11. They were then seen celebrating moments after the collapse and were arrested by NYPD after calls from members of the public but were later released.
        But you’l never see the US invading Israel over 9-11

        • Populuxe1 21.2.2.1

          But you’ll never see the US invading Israel over 9-11

          Mainly because everything you’ve just said is a big pile of bullshit

          • Polish Pride 21.2.2.1.1

            Then you need to educate yourself further around the events of 9-11!
            perhaps you’d like to start by doing a google search on ‘Mossad agents 9-11′
            Then educate yourself on ‘Susan Lindauer’ the ex CIA agent that they imprisoned and wanted to chemically lobotomise to stop her speaking out.

            I hate arrogance, what I hate even more is arrogance from someone who is uninformed Populuxe1. Educate yourself!

            [lprent: Starting to get way off topic which is on our role in Afghanistan and the troops killed there. If you want to start (yet) another of these discussions, then move it to OpenMike before I decide that you’re trying to deliberately threadjack a post. You might want to educate yourself by reading the policy to avoid these pleasant wee warnings in the future. ]

            • Gosman 21.2.2.1.1.1

              You might very well be right in your views on this. I personally think the chances of you being right are very, very tiny indeed. However it is still a possibility.

              What I find interesting is that you don’t seem to acknowledge that your views could be wrong, or even that they are held by a very marginalised section of society. No mainstream politcian in the West would ever express such views for example.

              What I also find interesting is that all the ‘Truthers’ out there like you aren’tr very effective at changing the reality that their view is not accepted by the mainstream. Sure you could argue that some in positions of power are manipulating people against you but that only holds for a short while. Eventually I would expect someone in the mainstream to start pushing this view if it held up as much as you like to think it does.

              The fact that over ten years after September the 11th 2001 nothing much has changed on this front suggests there is something seriously wrong in the ‘Truther’ movements arguments or at least the approach they are taking.

              • Polish Pride

                Gos (and I have reverted back to calling you Gos because your posts of late have been intelligent).

                You might very well be right in your views on this. I personally think the chances of you being right are very, very tiny indeed. However it is still a possibility.

                It doesn’t matter if I am right on this… what matters is that you (or anyone else) look at the evidence and make up their own mind. Ask why?

                What I find interesting is that you don’t seem to acknowledge that your views could be wrong, or even that they are held by a very marginalised section of society.
                Actually the information on Mossads potential involvement has only started coming out recently in comparison to the rest of the information on 9-11
                As for believing the official story. There are a growing number of people even in America who don’t believe it. Anyone with an intelligent mind (and I know you have one Gos) would, on looking at the evidence not believe the official story.
                I have made up my mind about Mossad involvement based on a large number of sources and piecing together things from eye witness accounts. Things such as explosions in the basement powerful enough to through people against walls…..before the towers collapsed (one tiny piece btw)

                No mainstream politcian in the West would ever express such views for example.
                I don’t have a great deal of respect for politicians Gos – in my experience they often tend not to tell the truth on a number of things.

                What I also find interesting is that all the ‘Truthers’ out there like you aren’tr very effective at changing the reality that their view is not accepted by the mainstream. Sure you could argue that some in positions of power are manipulating people against you but that only holds for a short while. Eventually I would expect someone in the mainstream to start pushing this view if it held up as much as you like to think it does.
                Gos You clearly do have a level of intelligence but this statement says that you have a great deal to learn about how the world really works and who is in charge. The good thing for you is that if you become privy to the information that I have over the past 7 years you have the intelligence to put all the pieces together. I am not saying I have all the pieces btw, because everytime I used to think that something else comes along that needs to be added to the mix.
                I will say this given your level of intelligence (despite what many on here think about you) If you believe the official story on 9-11 then you haven’t looked deep enough.
                I suspect you will find you tube Vids on the ex CIA agent very interesting, especially given her role with Iraq and the part about Dick Cheney.

                The fact that over ten years after September the 11th 2001 nothing much has changed on this front suggests there is something seriously wrong in the ‘Truther’ movements arguments or at least the approach they are taking.
                Wrong Gos in light of overwhelming evidence it suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the system on a myriad of different levels.
                The question is did that University education of yours teach you ‘what to think’ or how to think for yourself with logic and reasoning even faced with something that seems illogical.

                I’m not a truther, this is just one tiny part of a much much bigger picture of the reality of our world.

    • gobsmacked 21.3

      We can fight such vermin in the hills of Afghanistan with professional volunteers, or we can fight them in the aisles of aircraft with fire extinguishers.

      Steve, are you proposing that the USA should invade Pakistan, with NZ support?

      Do you understand that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are not the same?

      Do you understand that there have been terrorist killings in the last week alone, everywhere from Russia to Yemen? How are they being prevented by NZ troops in Bamiyan?

    • Strategos 21.4

      “We can fight such vermin in the hills of Afghanistan with professional volunteers, or we can fight them in the aisles of aircraft with fire extinguishers.”

      Are you volunteering ?

    • joe90 21.5

      These roadside bombs have no military value in and of themself.

      Really?.

      Of the 240 fatalities so far this year 108, 45%, by IED

      http://icasualties.org/OEF/Index.aspx

      • Colonial Viper 21.5.1

        maybe Steve Wrathall thinks that level of casualties is not militarily significant.

    • Morrissey 21.6

      Something called “Steve Wrathall” is as confused as it is angry….

      The attempt by many here to declare that the Taleban will be ultimately victorious is sickening.

      “Taleban” is a technical term for “anybody that shoots at us.” It’s used to discredit the resistance in the same way German propagandists used “Jewish communists” to describe partisan resistance fighters in World War II.

      These thugs are slaughtered…

      “Thugs” is a technical term for any women and children our brave occupation troops slaughter.

      ….useful idiots…theocratic terrorism… vermin….splutter…drool… curse…spit…

      Normally I’d advise someone as worked up and stressed as this bloke to take a break, but I think what he really needs is an education. Read a book, buddy, then another one.

      Then read some more.

      And please stop recycling what you’ve just heard on talkback radio.

    • Murray Olsen 21.7

      Gee Steve, that reads like a cut and paste from a 1960s Domino Theory speech, with a few words changed. How many countries need to be destroyed in order to save them? I seem to remember that the Vietcong/NVA also had no hope of winning and victory for the forces of freedom was just around the corner.
      Please also be kind enough to remember that it was Al Queda and not the Taleban who hijacked the planes. The same Al Queda who were in Libya helping fight for democracy there.

      • Gosman 21.7.1

        A few things you need to take into account when attempting to compare Afghanistan to Vietnam

        Vietnam was engaged in a struggle for full independence after a colonial war. The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were less fighting against foreign occupation than fighting for unification. The Afghan fighters have a less clear goal. Some are fighting against Foreign Troops, some are fighting for an Islamic Theocracy, and some are fighting for Pushtun tribal dominance.

        Vietnam had a secure territoryfrom which both regular and irregular troops could be trained and supplied from as well as planning for what they were going to do. Additionally they received material support in abundance from external nations like the Soviet Union. The anti-Afghan Government forces only have unofficial support from elements of the Pakistani regime and are often in conflict with the Pakistani state. No State is providing them with anything like the military arms that the Viet Cong, or even Mujhadeen, received.

        The Vietnam war was won via a convential invasion of South Vietnam by the North in 1975. The Afghan rebels have little chance of staging something similar.

  22. Kiplingesque 22

    Twas ever thus .. !

  23. Snakeoil 23

    Steve Wrathall: Are you proposing to fight the Taleban and Al-Qaida in Syria ?

    Seriously, have a look at

    http://physics911.net/

  24. Blue 24

    Let’s be honest – the war in Afghanistan is a complete failure. Afghanistan is not a jot better off now than it was before the US invaded, and once the invaders are gone it will revert to business as usual under Taleban control.

    Invading the country and killing the people has virtually ensured the next generation of suicide bombers and extremist governments.

    Why are we involved in this madness again? Oh, right. Sucking up to the US so they’ll give us a free trade deal.

    Somehow, I don’t think that’s the ideal those young soldiers have gone off to die for.

    • gobsmacked 24.1

      It would be really good to debate this with people who think the current policy makes sense.

      Unfortunately they just like to dump and disappear – they say “you lefties iz traytors” or some such well thought out argument, and then when asked to explain what our soldiers are dying for, they are silent.

      Still, worth one more try …

      What are our soldiers dying for? Why should they remain in Afghanistan? Do you support them leaving in 2013? If so, why? If Key brings the departure date forward (as currently speculated), is he “cutting and running”? Or do you just agree with whatever random date the PM happens to announce?

      • Colonial Viper 24.1.1

        What are our soldiers dying for? Why should they remain in Afghanistan?

        We are simply paying our levies to obtain/retain the membership benefits of Pax Americana.

        • gobsmacked 24.1.2.1

          Yes, we can all Google a press release.

          What’s your point?

          • higherstandard 24.1.2.1.1

            That the NZDF are likely to be the most reliable on offering coherent reasoned opinion in relation to their activities rather than all of us anonymous critics on blogs.

            http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/operations/overseas-deployments/afghanistan/default.htm

            If we had any compassion we would simply offer the families and the NZDF our deepest sympathies and leave it at that for the moment.

            • Colonial Viper 24.1.2.1.1.1

              Of course, as is of no surprise, that link contains no assessment of the pros and cons of why we are over there.

            • gobsmacked 24.1.2.1.1.2

              If we had any compassion we would simply offer the families and the NZDF our deepest sympathies and leave it at that for the moment.

              Phil Goff has no compassion? He’s buried his nephew.

              He doesn’t seem to be “leaving it at that”, the scoundrel. I guess he believes in this “freedom” thing that people are supposed to be dying for.

            • felix 24.1.2.1.1.3

              “If we had any compassion we would simply offer the families and the NZDF our deepest sympathies and leave it at that for the moment.”

              Alright. What’s a reasonably compassionate amount of time to leave it for?

              • gobsmacked

                A couple of hours, according to Mark Sainsbury, John Campbell, and the rest of the NZ media. And they’re now being briefed on air strikes and the SAS and other matters, by … the NZDF. Do they have no compassion?

                I’m not sure when “anonymous critics on blogs” are allowed to comment. Awaiting the green light from Higherstandard.

                • felix

                  Also, does one set of fatalities rule out all such discussion for the as yet unspecified time?

                  Or does it rule out only such discussion directly related to the specific fatalities which triggered the embargo?

                  i.e. if the time limit has been met for last week’s deaths (and I have no idea if it has), can we now discuss the political ramifications of those events or do these latest deaths reset that ban as well?

            • lprent 24.1.2.1.1.4

              Nope – I disagree.

              All deployments into combat zones are political issues and this one has been no exception from the initial decision to go in until now. Having casualties are a legitimate reason to question the reasons for being there, as do budgets, equipment upgrades to support the deployments, and who we’re associated with. Trying to muffle dissent on deployments with either the flag of patriotism or the burial shroud is just a irritating tactic that is unhelpful to avoid looking at the military and political choices. In my view it isn’t a particularly useful or legitimate debating technique.

              Deployments should always be questioned, and it is something that you’ll notice that military never comments on. They have more sense than to want to have an unthinking patriotism backing them because that usually increases their risks with foolish political direction. They’re always perfectly aware of the risks of their chosen profession.

              BTW: I’ve always supported having troops go to Afghanistan pretty much for the same reasons that the government gave at the time (and was heartily glad that we didn’t follow the jackass yanks into their mistaken invasion of Iraq). I also consider that the various deployments have not achieved their overall mission objectives but I think that is more of political problem in Afghanistan. My opinion is that both the Afghans and ourselves would have a far worse problem if we hadn’t deployed. However we’ve been there far too long now….

              • Morrissey

                My opinion is that both the Afghans and ourselves would have a far worse problem if we hadn’t deployed.

                Nonsense. That could have been written by an Army PR spokesperson. In what way has the presence of New Zealand troops improved anything in Afghanistan?

                (And handing a few sweets out and teaching the haka to some kids is not improving the lives of the locals in any meaningful fashion.)

                • Colonial Viper

                  The mission was a fail from the moment Afghan civilians became routine casualties of Allied action. You bomb a wedding, and thats a dozen extended families and 3 local tribes who are going to want payback.

  25. joe90 25

    A reminder about who the villain is.

    http://dgibbs.faculty.arizona.edu/sites/dgibbs.faculty.arizona.edu/files/afghan-ip.pdf

    Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

    Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

    Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

    Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

    Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

    Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

    Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

    Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

    Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

    Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      Nice interview. Good old superpower geopolitics in play. The Soviets apparently got sucked into it.

      Of course, none of this US/Russian/(Chinese) manouvering applies to Syria etc. today. Does it.

  26. bad12 26

    Listening to the Chief of Defense Reece Jones on RadioNZ i suspect that we are in for more body bags being flown home via Bagram in the future,

    Apparently permission has been given for the New Zealand contingent in Afghanistan to conduct operations in the neighbouring province,

    I would suggest that the latest deaths as a result of the road-side bomb have directly resulted from the fire-fight that killed and wounded a number of Kiwi soldiers earlier,

    The bomb in my opinion being a matter of Utu where the Afghan tribesmen involved suffered a number of casualties when the New Zealand troops intervened in a local issue,

    Being involved in ‘reconstruction’ is a totally different action than deliberately engaging in the factional fighting which is, and has been for decades, akin to a number of well armed gangs engaged in their own particular brand of gang warfare and in so doing the Kiwis have basically put their hands up to be in the fight,

    The Afhgani’s will happily oblige and i fear that the latest 3 to come home in a bag will not be the last in what will become an escalation into hostilities where ‘we’ have little chance of ‘winning’…

  27. Kia Ora

    There is nothing wrong with questioning why we are involved in the so-called “War on Terrorism”. I think the real “War on Terrorism” ended years ago, and this is something else. For ideological reasons it suited to have a campaign against terrorism only for as long as it suited the ambitions of the United States State Department and Pentagon. Their real focus was somewhere else.

    http://willsheberight.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/is-this-really-war-on-terrorism.html

    Rob

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    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • “I said surface, not surplus”
    Here are ten explanations, excuses or distractions Bill English might like to employ over the coming days in response to news that his long promised budget surplus looks to have disappeared....
    Imperator Fish
  • Talking terror
    [Content note: discussion of terrorism and violence] Last month I wrote about the aims of ISIS as NZ’s terror legislation ramped up, how their structure and organisation has become almost impossibly fluid, adapted to social media and the internet in...
    On the Left
  • Letter to the editor – Time to milk a tragedy again, by our Dear Leader
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Once again, predictably, our esteemed Prime Minister has exploited a tragic situation for his...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Hard News: Word of the Year 2014: #dirtypolitics
    A transient political scandal which has been dealt with, resolved and thoroughly moved-on-from with no hard feelings at all has somehow been named as the Public Address Word of the Year 2014."I honestly can't understand how this has happened," said...
    Public Address
  • Station Boarding Stats for 2013/14
    Late last week Auckland Transport provided me with some fascinating stats related that broke down rail patronage results by station. The data is for the previous financial year -so from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 – and covers 10.05 million...
    Transport Blog
  • US drones: target one, murder twenty-eight
    U.S. drones kill on average 28 unidentified people for every intended target, according to a report published by Reprieve, a group that represents civilian victims of drone strikes. The CIA launched two drone attacks, claiming it was trying to kill...
    Redline
  • US drones: target one, murder twenty-eight
    U.S. drones kill on average 28 unidentified people for every intended target, according to a report published by Reprieve, a group that represents civilian victims of drone strikes. The CIA launched two drone attacks, claiming it was trying to kill...
    Redline
  • The Sydney siege: the day after
    One of the several different faces of Man Haron Monis by Jeff Sparrow Unfortunately, we have now sufficient experience of terrorist incidents to formulate a simple rule: namely, almost everything said in the first few days after the event will...
    Redline
  • The Sydney siege: the day after
    One of the several different faces of Man Haron Monis by Jeff Sparrow Unfortunately, we have now sufficient experience of terrorist incidents to formulate a simple rule: namely, almost everything said in the first few days after the event will...
    Redline
  • Two degrees: Will we avoid dangerous climate change?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Simon Evans Limiting warming to no more than two degrees has become the internationally accepted target for climate policy, as we saw in  the first blog of our series of pieces looking...
    Skeptical Science
  • Terrorist Threat Increases Alarmingly!
    The terrorism threat is mounting in New Zealand, the Prime Minister claims there are up to 40 people here who are capable of repeating the sort of action tragically experienced in Sydney. New Zealand's terrorist threat has has been upgraded...
    Local Bodies
  • The state of the working class in New Zealand today
    Redline’s readership has, since we began, grown consistently and substantially. At the same time, it can be quite daunting going to a website for the first time and reading a few things on the home-page and then wondering what to...
    Redline
  • The state of the working class in New Zealand today
    Redline’s readership has, since we began, grown consistently and substantially. At the same time, it can be quite daunting going to a website for the first time and reading a few things on the home-page and then wondering what to...
    Redline
  • Media Link: The Sydney Hostage Crisis.
    Amid the flurry of media interviews I did as a result of the Sydney hostage crisis, this one may not have received the attention other outlets have received....
    Kiwipolitico
  • Good old-fashioned Kiwi values
    [Content warning: contains links to and quotes from violent and anti-Muslim hate speech.] David Farrar has some … interesting ideas about how to tighten up immigration policy in the wake of the Sydney “siege”. I think countries such as Australia,...
    Boots Theory
  • My letter to Santa Claus
    In which I urge Santa Claus to consider a number of reforms....
    Imperator Fish
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Treasury says failure to cut emissions could cost $34,000 per household
    Treasury figures, released by the Sustainability Council today, show failing to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions will cost between $2,000 and $34,000 per household, the Green Party said. The Sustainability Council has obtained figures previously redacted from a...
    Greens
  • Greens call on the Auditor General to investigate serious conflict of inter...
    The Green Party has asked the Auditor General to investigate serious conflicts of interest over Food and Grocery Chief Katherine Rich's membership on the board of the Health Promotion Agency (the Agency)."I've asked the Auditor General to investigate because the...
    Greens
  • Central Govt to blame for Auckland rail delay
    The National Government is delaying Auckland's rail development, while pushing ahead with the expensive Puhoi to Wellsford motorway, a motorway with declining traffic volumes, benefiting fewer people and business, said the Green Party today.Yesterday, Mayor Len Brown proposed to push...
    Greens
  • Govt grants mining licence in marine protected area
    The Government is making a mockery of our marine protections by granting a mining licence for Chatham Rise Phosphate to mine for phosphate in a marine protected area, the Green Party said.Chatham Rock Phosphate was granted a mining permit today,...
    Greens
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Disabled parking spaces are for the disabled
    Many districts across the country have been changing the mobility parking spots to the vivid blue colour scheme as opposed to the simple yellow sign. This has been done as an attempt to make the designated spots more visible to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Government cutting back health services to dangle tax cuts
    The health service is already too stretched, and cutting further into New Zealanders’ health services to fund tax cuts is irresponsible, the CTU said today. Leaked cabinet committee papers have revealed District Health Boards need an additional $440 million...
    Scoop politics
  • Christian Network calls for prayers and understanding
    New Zealand Christian Network director Glyn Carpenter is calling for people to pray and exercise understanding over the Sydney hostage incident....
    Scoop politics
  • Labour congratulated on withdrawing bill
    Euthanasia-Free NZ congratulates Labour leader Andrew Little and MP Iain Lees-Galloway for resisting sponsorship of the ex-Maryan Street voluntary euthanasia bill....
    Scoop politics
  • Commissioner very pleased with results of predator campaign
    Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright has congratulated the Department of Conservation on the initial results of its major campaign to tackle a predator plague this year....
    Scoop politics
  • Largest ever control campaign knocks back predators
    The Department of Conservation’s largest ever aerial 1080 campaign to combat this year’s rat and stoat plague has successfully knocked down predator populations in key target areas....
    Scoop politics
  • Brazil introduces 10-year validity, NZ overdue
    Brazil has just joined a long list of nations who have moved from 5-year to 10-year biometric passports....
    Scoop politics
  • National lead down after Little takes Labour leadership
    Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows National 46% (down 3.5% in a month). Support for Key’s Coalition partners is higher with the Maori Party 2% (up 1%), Act NZ 1.5% (up 1%) although United Future is 0% (unchanged)....
    Scoop politics
  • Part V of Te Urewera Report Released
    On 15 December 2014, the Waitangi Tribunal released in pre-publication form the fifth part of its report on Te Urewera claims. This part deals with Treaty of Waitangi claims in respect of Lake Waikaremoana, lodged by Tuhoe, Ngāti Ruapani, Ngāti...
    Scoop politics
  • C17 Fantasy Not for New Zealand
    New Zealand First is stunned by news that the New Zealand Defence Force has enquired about buying the $400 million C17 Globemaster III....
    Scoop politics
  • MFAT Spends $9 Million on Four Day Conference
    New Zealand taxpayers forked out $9 million to pay for a recent four-day UN conference in Samoa that included hiring the luxury P&O Pacific Jewel cruise liner. New Zealand covered the accommodation and operating costs of September’s Small Island...
    Scoop politics
  • State Services Commission Staff Highest Paid in Govt Sector
    The average salary for staff at the State Services Commission is higher than at any other government department, according to figures released by the Taxpayers’ Union. This morning’s Dominion Post reported the Commission staff earn an average of more...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA 1080 annual report released
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has released its seventh annual report on the aerial use of 1080. Findings are again consistent with previous years. The 1080 regime is working as intended with the benefits of using 1080 being seen while...
    Scoop politics
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