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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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    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • National Standards are awesome: Parata
    Hello everyone! I am the Minister of Education and I am more stoked than an illegal Christchurch log-burner. How exciting is a day like today when we can release a vast amount of information to our good friends in the...
    My Thinks | 24-07
  • Neo Liberal interest rate hike
    In order to honour his commitment to keep inflation in check, and due to the gross negligence of the current Government in failing to deliver large scale housing developments in Auckland and Christchurch, the Reserve Bank Governor today increased the...
    Closing the Gap | 24-07
  • The Dark Snow team investigates the source of soot that’s acceleratin...
    Around the planet, wildfires are becoming larger and more destructive. This summer, a series of wildfires enveloped large areas of Canada’s Boreal forest, blanketing western North America with smoke. One key question is, do these fires have an effect on...
    Skeptical Science | 24-07
  • Hosking votes National
    It never ceases to amaze me just how arrogant and/or deluded the right wing media are here in New Zealand. Not only did we have TVNZ trying to portray Cameron Slater, a blogger known for his hate speech, as some...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Gerry Brownlee offers to resign
    Gerry Brownlee offered to resign as Transport Minster today after getting caught out skipping security at Christchurch airport. Prime Minister John Key says he was “really disappointed” after Gerry Brownlee bypassed airport security this morning, but he has been quick...
    Transport Blog | 24-07
  • Step back: What WWI can teach us about Ukraine
    For the past year I have been on the World War I Commemoration Panel. The members include people as diverse as Sir Peter Jackson, Dame Anne Salmond, and Sir Bob Harvey. One of the most interesting things I have done...
    Pundit | 24-07
  • There’s a name for this…
    The latest atrocity in the Australian government's war on refugees: covering up the rate of self-harm and attempted suicide:Harrowing eyewitness accounts from the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission and a team of medical experts say there is a...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Deep State Power Crimes: An Anglo-American News Blindspot in MH-17 Coverage
    MH-17 vs Ukrainian SU-25? Russian Defense Ministry claims a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet was within 5-10 km of MH-17. By Snoopman, 24 July 2014 No Brainer vs No Brainer It’s fascinating to see TVNZ’s One News ask its viewers on...
    Snoopman News | 24-07
  • UK police spied on their critics
    First, it was the family of Stephen Lawrence. Now we learn that the UK police spied on other people seeking justice from them as well:Undercover police gathered intelligence on grieving families who were battling the Metropolitan police for justice, including...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Gerry
    So Gerry's a complete screw up. (Again.) That sounds like something for Gerry to explain all by himself. Have fun, Gerry. Filed under: nationalGerry Brownlee...
    Polity | 24-07
  • An answer to the anti-fluoride critics – in one image
    Click image to enlarge.  The chemical website Compound Interest, is producing a series of infograms to communicate some chemistry.  Here is an excellent one they produced on fluoride. I think it would make a great poster. It is accompanied by...
    Open Parachute | 24-07
  • Everything in moderation
    I’m not sure it really warranted being front-page news (Gaza? MH17? Anyone?) but the announcement of Mike Hosking as the anointed moderator for TVNZ’s political leaders’ debates was always going to lead to a bit of head-scratching. Hosking’s political leanings...
    Boots Theory | 24-07
  • Key and Hauiti – don’t ask, don’t tell
    How much money did National’s soon-to-be-former List MP Claudette Hauiti misspend on parliamentary credit card? We don’t know. As a mere backbencher, her credit card information can’t be OIAd, meaning that they only way we’ll ever find out is if...
    Occasionally erudite | 24-07
  • Exports continue to simplify under National
    Export data released today from Statistics New Zealand today shows a continuing and disturbing trend in the New Zealand economy — we are exporting less high-valued manufactured goods (down 12.5 percent) and less high-valued manufactured goods as a proportion of...
    frogblog | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking is not a Thing That Matters
    TVNZ plans to have Mike Hosking as its moderator for the network’s televised leaders’ debates. To my mind, it’s a stupid choice, but then I’m someone who can’t stand Mr Hosking’s brand of ageing hipster, Paul Henry-esque, elitist minority bashing “broadcasting”....
    Occasionally erudite | 24-07
  • Another botched execution in the US
    Another US execution has gone horribly wrong:The controversy engulfing the death penalty in the United States escalated on Wednesday when the state of Arizona took almost two hours to kill a prisoner using an experimental concoction of drugs whose provenance...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • A serial offender
    So it wasn't just a holiday in Oz Claudette Hauiti tried to stick us with:Outgoing National MP Claudette Hauiti admits using her parliamentary charge card to buy petrol for her personal car in a further breach of the rules on...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Should we charge tourists extra for driving on NZ roads?
    There have been a few suggestions recently that international tourists should be paying more to drive in New Zealand, or have to pass a driving test, or things along those lines. Winston Aldworth, the Travel Editor at the Herald, wrote...
    Transport Blog | 24-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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