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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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  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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