Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, November 14th, 2013 - 38 comments
Wikileaks have released the TPP advanced draft chapter on intellectual property. It includes the government positions on the main issues, including all those where the New Zealand negotiators are opposed to the US. As citizens we should all support our New Zealand negotiators and insist that the Key government does not cave in to US interests. The stakes are too high.
Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, November 12th, 2013 - 22 comments
In today’s Herald Judith Collins again sidesteps the questions on trial processes on sexual abuse cases posed last week by Jan Logie and Andrew Little. The Minister for No is now dead keen to be seen to be doing something. I think she should take up Metiria Turei’s suggestion to set up an all-party group to consider the issues. One thing is absolutely clear; all wisdom does not reside in the mind of this Minister.
Written By: - Date published: 1:09 pm, November 8th, 2013 - 27 comments
This week in Parliament Judith Collins was in full-on “no” mode – no to alternative trial process for sexual abuse cases, and no to changes to the law of evidence in sexual abuse cases rising from Law Commission work commissioned by Simon Power. This morning on National Radio Jan Jordan of Victoria University called for that extensive work to be revisited. I think she is absolutely right; if carried through it can only lead to a better outcome than what we have at the moment.
Written By: - Date published: 10:35 am, November 7th, 2013 - 23 comments
Parliament’s Chief Nanny has been in full flight this week, trying to slap down questions from Jan Logie and Andrew Little about trial processes for sexual abuse cases. Nanny was very strict. Everyone else had got it wrong, and needed to be corrected. When Nanny got it wrong herself, as she did when answering Andrew Little, she backed off quickly. When he challenged “so you don’t want to change anything”, she found the mild heckling “abusive”, which certainly does raise the bar, at least for herself.
Written By: - Date published: 8:15 pm, November 4th, 2013 - 12 comments
Democrat Bill de Blasio is almost 40 points clear of his Republican rival in the race for Mayor of New York City. His parents were investigated for communist sympathies. An anti-apartheid poster hangs on his kitchen wall. He loves Europe’s social democrats, admires Latin American liberation theology and is poised to confound the conservative trend in US politics by sweeping to an improbable triumph as the next Mayor of New York in this week’s elections. There are some lessons from our local elections too.
Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, October 31st, 2013 - 14 comments
Clare Trevett details in today’s Herald how Key has taken to bringing Ministers with good news to his Monday news conferences “to lambast the media with good news about the progress being made in a certain area.” Sources tell me that the good news goes well beyond the Monday presser. Ministerial staff run a filter across all portfolio announcements: if it’s good news, the Minister gets to make the announcement. If its not such good news, the job goes to the Departmental head.
Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, October 30th, 2013 - 27 comments
Rebekah Brooks, once Rupert Murdoch’s favourite editor, is in the dock in London charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice. Rupert then turned his attention to his former home, Australia, again focussing the weight of his tabloids on Labor, first Gillard then Rudd. With a few exceptions, when it comes to politics it is the proprietors or the boardrooms that make the decisions, not the editors.
Written By: - Date published: 3:37 pm, October 26th, 2013 - 50 comments
David Jones QC argues Banks could not have signed a false declaration of election donations because he did not read it. But Banks’ campaign manager’s evidence was that Banks “glanced at it before signing it.” The Oxford dictionary defines “glance” as “take a quick or hurried look;” “read quickly or cursorily.” So Banks did read the donations return. It would have been hard to miss the $15,690 recorded as both a radio expense and an anonymous donation which he had personally solicited.
Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, October 18th, 2013 - 33 comments
It’s starting to look pretty shredded. Increasingly, it seems that John Banks has “got nothing to hide” – behind. The key question is what Banks knew when he signed a declaration recording known donations as anonymous. Paul Holmes did put the question directly to Banks on Q+A last year. He didn’t get a straight answer; Banks tried the cabbage boat defence.
Written By: - Date published: 11:17 pm, October 17th, 2013 - 43 comments
Simon Bridges rose to John Banks’ defence in today’s snap debate in Parliament. For one of National’s supposed bright hopes, a leader of the future we are told, I thought he was pretty pathetic. Watch and contrast it with Grant Robertson’s superb speech. I think the tide is running out for National.
Written By: - Date published: 6:54 pm, October 17th, 2013 - 104 comments
The latest Roy Morgan poll has Labour 37%, Green 12.5%, and National down to 41.5%. As Roy Morgan says, this is the closest Labour has been since 2008. Morgan’s comment: “If a National Election were held now the latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows that a Labour/ Greens alliance would win easily.” The Conservatives have dropped from 2% to 0.5% – no help there.
Written By: - Date published: 8:12 pm, October 16th, 2013 - 91 comments
Today’s decision that John Banks will stand trial for signing a false donations return signals the beginning of the end of the Key government. Increasingly it resembles the last days of the Shipley government only worse, as corruption replaces shambles. The decision also puts the famous tea party conversation between Key and Banks, where they stitched up the deal to provide the present Government’s majority, into new perspective.
Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, October 16th, 2013 - 15 comments
The Republican majority in the US House of Representatives changed their standing orders to remove the right of any Representative to move that a Senate resolution be adopted. Watch Rep Chris van Hollen explain it. If his motion was allowed to come to the floor, there would be enough moderate Republicans in the House who would support the Democrats, and the gridlock that threatens the world economy would be removed. No wonder the Republicans are tanking in the polls.
Written By: - Date published: 9:22 pm, October 15th, 2013 - 177 comments
Len’s acknowledged affair can’t have been a secret until today – there are affidavits involved. It can’t have been about the campaign for mayor – otherwise the Slaters would have dropped it before the election. I think there is a bigger story that may come out tomorrow, involving Len’s opponent in the previous mayoral election. For what it’s worth, I also don’t think Len’s affair is a hanging offence. He’s a good man and has been a very good mayor, for Manukau and for Auckland.
Written By: - Date published: 12:59 pm, October 15th, 2013 - 27 comments
The District Court is hearing evidence today as to whether John Banks should stand trial for signing a donations return that he knew to be false. Kim Dotcom has given evidence – the Herald reports that when he agreed to give Banks a donation of $50,000, Banks asked for it to be split and to be made anonymous., so that if Banks helped DotCom in the future it would not be known that he had donated to him.
Written By: - Date published: 4:27 pm, October 2nd, 2013 - 21 comments
Banner ads for UnitedFuture’s signature policy on flexible superannuation have been appearing on Kiwiblog for the last week or so with no promoter’s statement. Yesterday a post promoting the policy with David Farrar’s byline included a photo of Peter Dunne and the parliamentary crest. After several commenters queried whether it was indeed written by Farrar, DPF responded: [DPF: It's not a press release. It's a paid advertisement as indicated by the tag, and also the use of the parliamentary crest which is required for advertisements by MPs]. It didn’t have a promoter’s statement either.
Written By: - Date published: 9:52 am, September 15th, 2013 - 35 comments
Julia Gillard on power, purpose, and Labor’s future. Well worth a read.
Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, August 21st, 2013 - 18 comments
It’s not just journos who should watch out if the GCSB Bill goes through. David Miranda, partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained by British police yesterday while in transit through London. All his electronic equipment was confiscated. After the nine hour limit was up this “terrorist” was released into Britain! All because his partner has been the journalist who wrote about Snowden’s revelations about internet surveillance by GCHQ, NSA, and GCSB.
Written By: - Date published: 9:07 pm, August 5th, 2013 - 13 comments
Rupert’s at it again. The Murdoch media were vicious in their pursuit of Gillard but it wasn’t personal. Now they’re after Rudd. And with Rudd as well, it isn’t personal or even political, it’s business as usual. Content download on high-quality broadband is the main threat to pay tv, and Labor’s NBN is perceived as worse for Murdoch’s SkyTV than the Coalition’s version.
Written By: - Date published: 7:21 am, August 3rd, 2013 - 82 comments
There is a fascinating article in today’s Guardian re links between Britain’s GCHQ (equivalent of our GCSB) and the US’s NSA. All three are linked in the UKUSA network. It puts a whole new light on why Key wants to loosen our laws.
Written By: - Date published: 9:20 pm, July 11th, 2013 - 7 comments
Robert Wade will speak on “Inequality and the We st” in Christchurch tomorrow Friday – 4pm in Lecture Hall A3, Arts Centre, University Drive, Christchurch. His lectures in Auckland and Dunedin have been packed – had to move the venue in Dunedin and could have filled it twice over in Auckland. He is speaking in conjunction with the launch of Max Rashbrooke-edited book “Inequality; A New Zealand Crisis” produced by Bridget Williams Books. All welcome.
Written By: - Date published: 9:51 pm, June 29th, 2013 - 11 comments
Labour has a strong new addition to its caucus – Meka Whaitiri beat two strong candidate fields, first in her selection and then in today’s by-election. Her percentage of the votes cast was higher than Parekura’s in his first go in 1999 – I’m picking he knew what he was doing when he encouraged her to put her name forward.
Written By: - Date published: 9:55 pm, June 18th, 2013 - 10 comments
Nicky Hager recently participated in a multi-country investigation of a huge leak of tax haven information. He will speak about what they discovered and the implications for New Zealand and other countries. 5:30pm, Friday 21 June, Connolly Hall, Guildford Terrace, Wellington. All welcome – should be fascinating.
Written By: - Date published: 10:17 pm, June 6th, 2013 - 35 comments
Dr Brent Layton of the Electricity Authority has produced a 28-page paper to refute the claims of Molly Melhuish, Dr Geoff Bertram and Bryan Leyland that “the Authority’s approach is a light-touch approach to regulating the electricity markets.” Layton says that forcing prices and asset values down will have a “chilling” effect on fearful investors. The ‘”chilling” metaphor is particularly inapt when used to defend wealth transfers from the poor to the rich.
Written By: - Date published: 9:47 pm, May 29th, 2013 - 8 comments
“The Auckland that never was” in my view is the most interesting chapter in Chris Trotter’s “NO LEFT TURN”. It details the Ministry of Works’ post-war plan outlined in a document The Shape of Things to Come that was scrapped by the Sid Holland National party. Now we see history repeating itself. In what Labour accurately describes as a “War on Auckland” Key, Joyce and Brownlie are following in the footsteps of the much unloved Sid Holland.
Written By: - Date published: 9:06 pm, May 26th, 2013 - 3 comments
I’ve always been in favour of contested selection for parliamentary candidates. Being a Member of Parliament requires commitment, energy and above all a robust mental and physical constitution – clear values and strong bodies.When Parekura Horomia was selected in 1998 there were a little over 20 Labour party members in the electorate. This time its different. Media reports have party membership at 850, and the three selection meetings in the huge electorate attracted 180 in the Hutt, 110 in Tolaga Bay, and 430 in Napier. That’s the base from which Meka Whaitiri, Labour’s chosen candidate comes.
Written By: - Date published: 3:37 pm, May 23rd, 2013 - 21 comments
Labour will hold three selection meetings in the very large electorate, in Seaview, in Tolaga Bay, and the final one in Napier on Sunday. Labour has a very strong slate of six high-calibre candidates. New members are flocking to the party, and with over 500 electorate members having a say this time the meetings will be full on as well as full. All Party members can attend; anyone can register to get the result.
Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, May 10th, 2013 - 60 comments
Key on Gilmore on front page of today’s DomPost: “In the end, to make a contribution, you have to have integrity, and to have integrity there has to be a directness and fullness in your answers.” That’s why Key has no integrity about GCSB – there was no directness and fulness in his answers about it, either in Parliament or to the “knucklehead” media.
Written By: - Date published: 6:43 pm, May 6th, 2013 - 19 comments
Spying on Kiwis is ok if “the responsible Minister” says so – this was how the Herald described today’s announcement from John Key regarding the GCSB clean-up Bill. Responsible Minister? Yeah right -that’s an oxymoron when applied to John Key.
Written By: - Date published: 9:36 pm, April 30th, 2013 - 116 comments
The Independent Taskforce on Workplace Safety finds the New Zealand workplace health and safety system is “not fit for purpose” and is an indictment of employer self-regulation. An average of 100 people die each year in New Zealand, and the Taskforce thinks National’s target of reducing workplace deaths by 25% by 2020 is modest – I think it means the government still doesn’t get it. One death at work is one too many - zero tolerance should be the policy.
Written By: - Date published: 9:03 pm, April 29th, 2013 - 11 comments
Geoff Bertram states in today’s DomPost that he advised the Select Committee on the Mighty River Power sale that power companies’ excessive profits were potentially subject to regulatory interest by any government that placed consumer interest ahead of the companies’ interests, and that this would significantly affect their values. The Government and the companies cannot say they were not warned.