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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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  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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