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Bring back Simon Power

Written By: - Date published: 1:09 pm, November 8th, 2013 - 27 comments
Categories: crime, Judith Collins, law - Tags:

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.

She was responding to questions from Jan Logie and Andrew Little about Law Commission proposals in 2011 and 2013.

In September 2012 Judith Collins quashed the Law Commission work on Alternative Proposals for Prosecuting and Trying Criminal Cases, commissioned by her predecessor Simon Power:

The minister said she had no interest in progressing her predecessor Simon Power’s plan to introduce an inquisitorial system in New Zealand. Mr Power, a more liberal member of the National Party caucus, had been interested in an alternative trials process and visited courts in Europe to investigate a system in which judges were able to interview victims of sexual crimes, get assistance from specially trained jurors, or come to a verdict without a jury. The inquisitorial model was designed to protect victims or children from the pressure and stress of appearing in the courtroom.

Judith Collins said that while the sentiment for an inquisitorial proposal was sound the practicality was not.

However in squashing the Law Commission’s report she also effectively shelved two other sections  offering alternatives to better deal with the complexities of sexual violence c – a specialist sexual violence court (post-guilty plea), and an alternative process for sexual violence case outside the criminal justice system.

This morning on National Radio Jan Jordan of Victoria University called for the extensive work  done on this report to be revisited. I think she is absolutely right. I am sure Simon Power would have carried that work through to a better outcome than what we have at the moment.

Just to remind me of what might have been I went back and read Simon Power’s valedictory speech. Among his last words were:

It’s our job to tackle the tough issues, the issues the public pays us to front up to, and come to a view on. There are many debates that Parliament does not want to have for fear of losing votes or not staying on message: abortion, adoption law, children’s rights, and sexual violence issues. I don’t share this timid view.

The truth is, if we don’t have those debates here, where will we have them? Surely people don’t run for Parliament claiming they want to “make a difference”, only to vote for the status quo, otherwise presumably they would be so satisfied with the way the country was running that they wouldn’t feel the drive to seek public office in the first place.

I have a great deal of confidence in the public’s high level of intelligence and engagement in discussing those issues at some point, whenever that may be. But I also have confidence that Parliament is capable of rising to the challenge and dealing with those issues with dignity and distinction.

Collins has been concerned to distinguish herself from Power. She practised law for twenty years, he only did so for three, she said. But when it comes to wisdom and a willingness to work across the House with Jan Logie and Andrew Little on these sensitive issues, I wish we still had Power instead of the Minister for No.

27 comments on “Bring back Simon Power”

  1. Tracey 1

    And presumably no to increasing funding to school programmes that work… just to show how faux outraged she and the pm are

  2. karol 2

    So Judith Collins doesn’t want to mix the inquisitorial with our current adversorial system (article about Collins linked in above post. And she says this:

    Collins has equally strong views, but they are the opposite. “We don’t have an inquisitorial system, we have an adversarial system. The state has huge powers and I’m not going to have a system where someone has to prove their innocence

    And yet, with the way rape and sexual assault are treated by the justice system, the alleged victim often does have to prove hir innocence.

    Collins quotes her law experience. Yet her experience was in:

    After leaving university, she worked as a lawyer, specialising in employment, property, commercial, and tax law. She worked as a solicitor for four different firms between 1981 and 1990, and then became principal of her own firm, Judith Collins & Associates (1990–2000). In the last two years before election to Parliament, she worked as special counsel for Minter Ellison Rudd Watts (2000–2002).[4]

    Minter Ellison Rudd Watts areas of expertise:

    Banking & Financial Services; Corporate; Dispute Resolution; Employment; Real Estate; Tax

    From the linked peer reviewed article by Jan Jordan:

    The results of our adversorial system:

    Reviews come, reviews go, and women are still raped. Few cases reach the courts and when they do often result in the alleged offender being acquitted while victims today, like victims yesterday, continue to feel as if they are the ones on trial. In this paper I have considered
    whether rape investigation and prosecution is improving or worsening by examining six key
    areas. My brief assessments are as follows:

    1. Reporting rates are still low.
    2. Attrition rates are still high.
    3. The adversarial justice system is still revictimising complainants.
    4. The agencies supporting rape victims are still inadequately funded.
    5. Police specialisation is still not accepted as essential.
    6. Attitudes towards women who have been raped are still victim-blaming.

  3. xtasy 3

    While you may have a point there, re parts of proposed law reforms, Mike Smith, it is a bit ridiculous to write a headline calling for “Bring back Simon Power”! Was he not behind the “reforms” to tighten up legal aid access, which was challenged before the courts, and which has led to many now being denied access to justice, as few lawyers bother with doing legal aid work now? Perhaps a reality check would do well?

    I actually would want to maintain the adversarial system, as otherwise we will have the accused being pushed to prove their innocence, and being suspected and labeled “guilty”, before any fair trial may prove the opposite.

    I have some own experience dealing with the law, my friend, and one case also involved WINZ, and it was shocking what I had to go through, and what a few others I know had to go through, also being “classed” by a “designated” (hatchet) doctor paid by WINZ totally inappropriately as not as sick as my own doctor and specialists diagnosed (correctly). I was then having to go to a biased (hand-picked) Medical Appeal Board, which also had WINZ doctors hearing my “appeal”. Only taking matters further and threatening High Court proceedings, finally brought some WINZ staffers to their senses. I know of a fair few others, with such, and other experiences in other areas.

    Also was I once accused of something I never did (not sexual offending at all if that may make you feel assured), and I know how hard it is to get legal aid and to defend yourself against false accusations.

    In this case Judith Collins as a legal professional actually talked sense, although some of her comments were not making sense and offensive, I think.

    I would be very careful on what you comment and write about. This kind of stuff with sexual exploitation, rape and other allegations often has much detail hiding behind the headlines, which few would expect, know and understand. That is why I have refrained from commenting on this disgusting case of “Roast Busters”. We know injustices and abuse happen daily, and it is WRONG.

    But the law is a very difficult terrain, and I want nobody to change the system, where accused have to prove their innocence. Leave it as it is, to prove a person guilty. Persons should rather be educated more about the law, also at school, to understand, learn and prepare, for unforeseen incidents, and to protect themselves from bad outcomes.

    That – and holding the police and others to account, would probably make more productive change than changing the law as you suggest.

    • karol 3.1

      hmmm. xtasy, I agree on Simon Power overall and some of the very bad things he’s done.

      But I also have talked to someone very involved with sexual assault and rape issues in relation to the law, who was very pleased with what Power was doing in that piece of legislation.

      I’m not sure why you are so much for the adversarial system as opposed to the inquisitorial system. I’m sure both can be done well or badly. But I can see in the case of sexual assault and rape it could be appropriate given that it often gets stalled on being one person’s word against another.

      Also as I pointed out above, at the moment the adversarial system results in the alleged victim being put on trial and having to prove hir innocence. In the process a traumatised victim can be retraumatised.

      I don’t know a lot about the law, but I looked up the definition of an inquisitorial system, and first, this is what Wikipedia says:

      An inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court or a part of the court is actively involved in investigating the facts of the case, as opposed to an adversarial system where the role of the court is primarily that of an impartial referee between the prosecution and the defense.

      Basically rather than getting into a combative situation between two sides, the judge seeks to get at the facts.

      The main feature of the inquisitorial system in criminal justice in France and other countries functioning along the same lines is the function of the examining or investigating judge (juge d’instruction). The examining judge conducts investigations into serious crimes or complex inquiries. As members of the judiciary, s/he is independent and outside the province of the executive branch, and therefore separate from the Office of Public Prosecutions which is supervised by the Minister of Justice.

      I can see advantages to this over our system when it just comes down to a contest, and maybe who has the best lawyers.

      Arguments against the adversarial system are that it gives too much power to the “judge” or inquisitor, and that s/he may not be as motivated to find out the truth as lawyers fighting for their client.

      I note also the last link says this:

      At the very core of the adversarial system, in fact, is the belief that the individual is responsible for preserving individual rights.

      However, a few places, like Italy, use a hybrid of both.

      After the French Revolution, a more refined version of the inquisitorial system developed in France and Germany. From there it spread to the rest of continental Europe and to many African, South American, and Asian countries. The inquisitorial system is now more widely used than the adversarial system. Some countries, such as Italy, use a blend of adversarial and inquisitorial elements in their court system.

      The court procedures in an inquisitorial system vary from country to country.

      So, the current problem with the adversarial approach to sexual assault is that the victims often get put on trial. Therefore I can see the advantages of using some elements of an inquisitorial system in order to get at the facts: to break the stalemate of it being one person’s word against another’s, and to avoid re-traumatising victim by putting hir on trial.

      • xtasy 3.1.1

        karol I appreciate your research and position, and while we may disagree, I may make a point re this:
        “So, the current problem with the adversarial approach to sexual assault is that the victims often get put on trial.”

        That is simply not true, as the law is technical and not emotional. I understand what you mean though, which is that a victim will “feel” to be “victim” yet again, being involved in a trial before a court, judge only or jury. A victim is expected to give evidence, and as part of the evidence, some (defence lawyer and perhaps, potentially sceptical judge or jury) will put scrutiny onto the evidence given. But without evidence, and cross examination, anything could be said and claimed, and then not be challenged.

        The alternative is a statement or whatever by the victim, and then the defendant having to argue to disprove it.

        I see there are some justifications both way, but there are truly situations in life, where a person accused of something may not have an alibi or witness, even though innocent, and then the inquisitorial system would weigh against her or him, no matter what.

        While in the adversarial system the accuser and prosecutor have to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that the accused is guilty.

        This may seem to be a fine line of a difference, but believe me, if you end up being accused of something, and have no witness or alibi, you are stuffed under the system you suggest. It is not without a reason that the idea of “innocent until proved guilty” was ever put into law.

        There are risks in both approaches, I choose the one I stated.

        • karol 3.1.1.1

          xtasy, the thing of victims being Jan Jordan’s report, linked to in the post. And that is a direct result of the adversarial system, whereby the defense lawyer aims to contest the victim’s account of the events. So they often do their best to show the victim was far from “innocent” in the encounter.

          This has the effect of putting people off reporting rape and sexual assault.

          So, I am all for a different system being used in this case.

        • ann kerr 3.1.1.2

          Hi xstay,

          Firstly I am sorry to hear of all you have been through.

          However something needs to change regarding how victims of sexual violence are treated by the police and in the legal process. The inquisitorial system, proposed by Power and spoken of by Jan Jordon will I believe be an improvement for victims of sexual assault. Lets face it the situation we have now couldn’t be any worse for victims.

          I don’t have the statistics, if any exist, but my belief is very few women (or men) for that matter complain of rape, if it didn’t happen. Think about it. Why would you?

        • QoT 3.1.1.3

          Gee, I’m “sorry” you “felt” like you were “stuffed” under our current system. (I can use nasty scare-quotes too.)

  4. Murray Olsen 4

    I had a friend who was a criminal court judge in São Paulo, Brazil. I spoke with him at great length about the inquisitorial system. It was certainly not the case in his court that the defendant had to prove their innocence. The burden of proof was still on the prosecution.

    On the other hand, my experience with Kiwi courts is that the darker skinned the defendant is, the more they do actually have to prove their innocence. The police will lie, even if only by omission, and are automatically believed 99% of the time. I would actually prefer an inquisitorial system for all cases, but especially for sexual assault.

  5. Richard Christie 5

    Bring back Power?

    No thanks.

    He tried to remove the right to remain silent and get the defence to lay out its entire case before trial.

    The guy had so little clue he was dangerous to basic principles of justice.

    Easy to make fine speeches and then run away. Fine words in his valedictory about Peter Ellis, but he didn’t have the balls to stand up to the vested interests (some in MOJ some hidden) on that one. .

    • Tat Loo (CV) 5.1

      Power was always regarded as a decent lawyer. 6.5/10. One could do worse. Or better.

      • Richard Christie 5.1.1

        I don’t care about his reputation as a lawyer, I’m commenting on his actions as a Minister of Justice.
        I can also assure you there were many in the legal profession horrified by some of his proposals.

        • karol 5.1.1.1

          I agree that some of Power’s proposals/policies were/are very damaging.

          Actually, I’d rather that the issue wasn’t made about Power, but about the viability of proposals for a more inquisitorial approach to sexual assault and rape cases.

          I would look at the content of objections from those in the legal profession before accepting them. Many may just be unable to see beyond the traditional NZ adversarial approach. I understand that support from a less adversarial approach has come from women and anti-sexual violence advocates. In this case it may me that Power listened to them.

          I think the details of the proposed inquisitorial approach should be looked at, without presupposing they have been contaminated by Power’s involvement.

      • Craig Glen Eden 5.1.2

        Who said he was a decent lawyer he was only in the building three years. Im not sure many in any profession would look back at their 3 year professional development point and think yeah I was decent. If you are honest that is.
        Simon was a Nat and while he was at the left of their spectrum he was still way to the right of Labour. This was often lost on some in Labour ( Obviously the likes of Mike) and so it appears still is.
        I would ask this of MR Powers career progress. How did a guy who was a Lawyer for three years and then in Parliment for just short of 4 terms end up at Westpac managing the Business Unit?

        Personally I think this shows just how much the Nats and the Banking corporates are scratching each others backs.

  6. Tracey 6

    If something is failing it must be challenged. If it fails to stand up to the challenge it needs changing.

    collins need to be challenged on how she considers the appalling reporting and conviction rate can be better addressed.

    as a lawyer she should meet a challenge with evidence and facts not glib rhetoric.

  7. Tracey 7

    Xtasy

    if someone is charged with murder or rape their previous convictions cannot be considered unless the put forward as a defence their good character. However if you look at the weatherspoon trial or any number of sexual assault cases of the type these boys carried out the woman’s character is sometimes made an issue. That is what they mean when they say the victim is put on trial.

    inquisitorial could be used to determine if there is a prima facie case. All parties wld get name suppression by right at that stage. That is my suggestion.

    move back to adversarial for the trial if there is one.

    if the purpose of justice is finding the truth then we should try this.

    we see the police withhold evidence from defences as in the lundy case and so on.

    in inquisitorial a judge or investigator sees both sides and has powers to order information is disclosed and warrants etc…

    this idea that our system isnt perfect but its the best there is is a cop out.

    sexual assault case would be a great pilot for what I am suggesting.

    if people like slater breached the suppression order then he goes to jail until the case has ended.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 7.1

      I’m sorry…”the woman’s character is sometimes made an issue”??

      In agreement with the rest of what you say. System should have changed and it is disappointing to see Collins ignore recommendations by experts to the detriment of rape victims.

  8. Dumrse 8

    But it’s ok if a Labour Minister breaches the suppression order.

    • Murray Olsen 8.1

      I hadn’t thought of that, but I agree, as long as you include Mana and Green MPs as well. It’s the first good idea I’ve seen from you.

  9. Chris 9

    Collins practicalities are hogwash.

    If we can have offences such as assault, burglary upgraded to aggravated then surely if NZ was to go down the road of Inquisitorial trials for sex offences surely any crime outside of the rape itself could become an aggravated part of the charge. i.e. stupefying, kidnapping etc…

    Edit. I just re read my comment. I am not in anyway saying one rape is worse than another, any rape is hideous. But the excuse seemed to be separating other crimes committed during the rape couldn’t be heard under the inquisitorial system. Please correct me if my interpretation is skewed

  10. Lord Francis Sausage 10

    Be careful what you wish for.

    If Simon Power were to return to politics, I’d imagine he would be returning with the backing of some big money behind him. Imagine Don Brash when he entered the National Party, without the Mr Migoo level of political awareness.

  11. Vaughan M 11

    You said: “Bring back Simon Power”

    FFS wash your mouth out. . .

    I wish for NOTHING that involves this fascist National Party – including past, present or future members of this cancerous shit-stain on Aotearoa!

    How about we consider bringing back Labour + Greens to make a real difference to all Citizens of New Zealand?

    Roll on 2014.

    • Wayne 11.1

      Vaughan, the Nats typically represent around half of all voters, and the Nat MP’s and activists are drawn from this group. Possibly you are being a tad too disparaging of your fellow citizens.

      I have not been reading a lot of international commentary condemning the fascist govt of New Zealand, but maybe thats because my reading is a bit too myopic.

  12. Rogue Trooper 12

    “We know as a community New Zealand is not performing well in this area of law [ sex crimes ]…Nothing less than a complete re-examination of New Zealand law and practice is required”.

    -Geoffrey Palmer : From Real Rape to Real Justice ; Prosecuting Rape in New Zealand. 2011

    Sex Crime sex crime : 1984

    • RedBaronCV 12.1

      or IMHO any other civil or crimanl proceedings where the downside is borne by those female , brown and young in whatever order.

  13. Tracey 13

    Dumrse

    you are a dick. I used slater as an example. Anyone with half a brain reading my post would realise I meant anyone breaching a suppression order

    wonder if you have half a because your comment is so vacuuous

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    Auckland’s public transport patronage has been on a tear as of late and patronage is not only at its highest point in over 50 years but is currently up 7% on the same time last year. Included in that figure...
    Transport Blog
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #48A
    Air pollution costs Britain £10bn a year, report shows Britain left 'exposed' to more floods and heatwaves Central American civil society calls for protection of local agriculture Climate change is not just about science Climate change will slow China's progress...
    Skeptical Science
  • Sunday burnouts in Christchurch: electric motorsport comes to NZ
    New Zealand is going to get its first taste of electric motorsport this Sunday, when the Mike Pero Motorsport Park at Ruapuna near Christchurch is hosting EVolocity, an amazing line-up of electric racing machines and their creators — including the...
    Hot Topic
  • The very odd Slightly Left of Centre
    There’s a new voice in the blogosphere. Josh Forman, the author of SlightlyLeftofCentre: 27 years old, from the left, and on a mission to reclaim the centre left from the loopy extremists from the far left who have hijacked the...
    DimPost
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Support bill changes to keep students safe
    26 November 2014    The government has the opportunity to prevent major teacher opposition to the proposed new teachers council by supporting changes to the Education Amendment Bill (2). PPTA president Angela Roberts said one of the biggest risks of the...
    PPTA
  • Bold response required to Blueprint
    The Government must give urgent consideration to recommendations in The People’s Blueprint if it is serious about tackling New Zealand’s deplorable record of child abuse and domestic violence, Labour’s Justice and Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The ‘one family, one judge’...
    Labour
  • Private prisons poaching in state jails
    The Corrections Department-sanctioned poaching of public prison officers for the new private prison at Wiri has to stop, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It is unacceptable that prison staff are being trained by Corrections and then being poached by...
    Labour
  • Climate report- a must read for all New Zealanders
    A strong scientific analysis of rising sea levels in New Zealand by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment makes climate change the number one issue for our city planners, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “Dr Jan Wright’s report...
    Labour
  • Exports drop puts more pressure on surplus
    A 5 per cent fall in exports shows National’s reputation for economic management is taking a hit and even puts its golden surplus target at risk, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Exports Growth spokesperson David Parker. “Bill English’s...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman’s speech – Rod Donald Memorial Lect...
    It's been nine years since Rod's tragic death. I'd like to start out by talking about what Rod achieved. Then I want to talk about the things that I think he might want us to achieve in his absence. We...
    Greens
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • When the teflon is stripped away…
    . . To re-cap something I wrote on 13 September, regarding a hard-hitting interview between “The Nation’s” Lisa Owen and John Key; For possibly the first time since Stephen Sackur interviewed Key on Hard Talk in May, 2011, this [...
    The Daily Blog
  • My Select Committee submission against the “terrorist fighters” bill
    This morning I gave this “oral submission” to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee opposing the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill.  It is a pity only Greens are against the Bill. It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Pixies in the Garden? Making money
    In 2009, John Key said “there aren’t little pixies at the bottom of the garden printing cash” (John Armstrong, Colin Espiner). He was wrong of course. Just about every country has its own pixie-in-chief, though not at the bottom of the...
    The Daily Blog
  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE – Government must allow further scrut...
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • Tension inside the Blue Tent – questions that should be asked
    With Andrew Little on fire taking a straight shooting no crap approach to Key’s dead eyed duplicity, the tensions inside the Blue Tent of National are at risk of erupting again. When the TeamKey brand falters, National’s factions sharpen their knives....
    The Daily Blog
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • Need for whole-of-government approach to family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says The People’s Blueprint report by the Glenn Inquiry makes a strong case for a whole-of-government approach to combatting family violence, and highlights some of the ways we could do things better....
    Scoop politics
  • Stop Fracking in Our Big Blue Backyard – Frack Free Kapiti
    Evidence given at the EPA hearing of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at sea blows the industry accepted line that fracking is not happening offshore in New Zealand right out of the water....
    Scoop politics
  • Solidarity with West Papua on 1 December
    Below are the details of the solidarity events in Aotearoa New Zealand to mark West Papua Independence Day, 1 December - there are four events this year: one in Christchurch, one in Wellington and two in Auckland. If you are...
    Scoop politics
  • No charges laid over piggeries investigations
    No charges laid over piggeries investigations 28 November 2014 The Ministry for Primary Industries did not have sufficient evidence to lay charges following two animal welfare investigations into incidents at piggeries earlier this year. The investigations...
    Scoop politics
  • Deep Sea Drilling in Rising Seas
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's report on the effects of rising sea levels and climate change adds another argument against this Government's expansion of fossil fuel exploration....
    Scoop politics
  • Slower population growth in the long term
    New Zealand's population will likely grow by 1.4–1.8 percent a year during 2014–16, but growth will be lower in the long term, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics
  • Big Buddy on the Glenn Inquiry People’s Blueprint
    November 28, 2014 The inclusion of robust screening as a tool to prevent child abuse, highlighted in the Glenn Inquiry’s People’s Blueprint, is welcomed by Big Buddy CEO Richard Aston. “It’s heartening to see this high-calibre report come out...
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  • People’s Blueprint for tackling Family Violence
    The recently Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence (DCAFV) is pleased to support the fundamental changes in the way our legal system deals with family violence that the report calls for. We need to do more to support victims, and ensure...
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  • People’s Blueprint – Both Good News and a Wake-Up Call
    The Patron of the Glenn Inquiry, Dame Catherine Tizard, says there is some good news in The People’s Blueprint, after the shocking picture painted six months ago in The People’s Report....
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  • Glenn Inquiry Funder Keeps His Promise
    The founder and funder of the Glenn Inquiry, Sir Owen Glenn, said today he has kept the promise he made when he set up the independent inquiry in 2012. “I set up the Glenn Inquiry because it was clear to...
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  • Support for Blue Print call for a stand-alone agency
    Human Rights Commissioner lead on family violence, Dr Jackie Blue welcomes the Glenn Inquiry, ‘The People’s Blue Print’, which places at its heart that being safe and free from violence is a fundamental human right....
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  • People’s Blueprint Offers Solutions to Family Violence
    New Zealand has a fresh opportunity to reduce child abuse and family violence and save and restore lives under a powerful new model for combating the problem proposed by the Glenn Inquiry....
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  • Submission: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    My three key areas of concern relate to: • The duration of visual surveillance warrants; • The controls around warrantless surveillance powers; • Clarifying the continuation of controls around access to Passenger Name Record (PNR) data under...
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  • The case is clear for climate action that supports health
    The need for rapid action on climate change in New Zealand in order to protect health is clear, according to a group of climate and health experts. Countries elsewhere in the world are already taking significant action, while New Zealand...
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  • EDUCANZ Debate Ignores Teachers
    The legislation for the creation of the new EDUCANZ to replace the former Teachers’ Council body is now undergoing its second reading. Without warning, it was promoted to the top the queue this week....
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  • Phillip Smith en-route back to New Zealand.
    Police confirm that Phillip Smith has been deported from Brazil and is en-route back to New Zealand....
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  • Scaremongering and Showing Contempt for Democracy
    The government has been accused of fabricating an increased risk to New Zealand security to justify new invasive powers in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. And its decision to allow just 48 hours for public submissions on the Bill...
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  • Legislation “a travesty of democratic process”
    Peace Movement Aotearoa today called on the government to put the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill on hold - pending a comprehensive review of existing legislation - in a written submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee,...
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  • Bill needs amending to better protect human rights
    The Human Rights Commission submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee this afternoon on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill makes specific recommendations relating to passport denial; increasing safeguards around visual...
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  • NZ’s gender equality issues in international forum
    New Zealand faces similar gender equality issues and opportunities to those of its neighbouring countries, according to the latest international conference on women’s empowerment....
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  • Countering human trafficking is an ongoing challenge for NZ
    At first glance, it is difficult to believe that human trafficking is an offence that is taking place in New Zealand. It is a harsh reminder that the rule of law sometimes does not reach far enough....
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  • Government must allow further scrutiny of bill
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
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  • Calling on anti-violence activists to step up
    Māori Party co-leaders believe every individual, whānau, hapū and iwi can help stop the high level of family violence that exists in our country....
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  • More effective social services inquiry update Nov 2014
    The Productivity Commission’s More effective social services inquiry aims to shed light on how commissioning and contracting influence the quality and effectiveness of social services, and to suggest actions government agencies and others could take...
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  • Keith Locke presentation on Countering Foreign Fighters Bill
    It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and remember my 12 years on your committee. However, I don’t wish my submission today to be taken as endorsement of...
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  • Significant issues for NZ in sea level rise report
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has recognised findings of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright’s report released today on the impact of rising seas as significant for coastal areas of New Zealand, aligning well with work the...
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  • White Ribbon Campaign Shocked at Fatal Stabbing
    The White Ribbon Campaign extends its condolences to the family of a women fatally stabbed in Auckland's North Shore....
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  • One Plan signing is “historic moment” for the environment
    The signing of the Horizon Regional Council’s One Plan after a decade of debate, legal action and controversy is being hailed by Fish & Game as a landmark in the battle to protect the nation’s water quality. Horizons councillors approved...
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  • Look at the Road, Not the Speedo
    Responding to the Fairfax article that police will be issuing tickets over the summer to anyone driving 1km/h or more over the speed limit, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
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  • Worker immunity critical to safety in Meat Industry
    The Meat Workers Union has today urged the Select Committee hearing submissions on the Health & Safety Reform bill to strengthen provisions that protect the rights of workers to be involved and speak out, saying that it’s becoming increasingly...
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  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
    Youth climate organisation Generation Zero has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's ' Changing Climate and Rising Seas ' report and says it demonstrates climate change will affect all of us....
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  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
    The New Zealand Law Society says powers proposed in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill should be reduced to ensure they are strictly limited to countering the threats that have arisen....
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  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is asking the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) to widen the focus of her next report on climate change-driven sea level rise....
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  • Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science
    During my seven years as Commissioner, I have consistently said that climate change is the biggest environmental issue we face. This investigation has provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what is causing climate change and one of...
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  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties refuses to take part in the submissions process around the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill....
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  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
    The political and human consequences of war and civil unrest are widely covered in themedia but International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the body of law which exists to protect all parties to armed conflict, rarely gets attention....
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  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
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  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
    New Zealand’s first female Governor General and Mayor of Auckland has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by YWCA Auckland, for her services to the Auckland community and acting as a role model for Kiwi women nationwide....
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  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is urging the Government not to let animals down and vote for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill. The amendment would ban cosmetics testing on animals forever. The Bill had it’s second reading in Parliament...
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  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found Police failed to comply with policy during a pursuit in Auckland in 2013 which left an innocent man with serious injuries....
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  • US Warning against GMO threat
    An international warning about the impact of GMOs has been released. It comes just as Parliament's Primary Production Committee is to hear the response of the Ministry of Primary Industries to the 1700 signature "Freeze on GMO" petition that...
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  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
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  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
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  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
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  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
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  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
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  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
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  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
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  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
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