web analytics

Chilling

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, November 5th, 2009 - 38 comments
Categories: law and "order", national, Spying - Tags:

democracy-under-attack

The Search and Surveillance Bill is making its way though the bowels of the government law making process. This is a terrible law, described by the Human Rights Commissioner as “disproportionately invasive” and “chilling“:

Sweeping powers to spy, bug conversations and hack into private computers could be given to a web of state agencies as diverse as Inland Revenue and the Meat Board

The Human Rights Commission yesterday warned Parliament of the “chilling” implications of a proposed law that would see the intrusive powers usually only available to the police extended to all agencies with enforcement responsibilities. …

THE POWERS:

Video surveillance, watching private activity on private property, installing tracking devices, detaining people during a search, power to stop vehicles without a warrant for a search, warrantless seizure of “items in plain view”, power to hack into computers remotely, power to detain anyone at scene of search.

WHO WILL GET THEM:

Every agency with enforcement responsibilities, such as: Inland Revenue, Meat Board, local councils, Overseas Investment Office, Accident Compensation Corporation, Environment Risk Management Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Pork Industry Board.

You got that citizens? Inland Revenue can bug your house. The Pork Board can hack your computer (watch out Rocky!). Combined with the recent passing of the DNA samples bill we are clearly moving to a surveillance state. I find it immensely discouraging that Labour not only introduced both these bills while in government*, but they also voted in favour of the DNA bill (despite being fully aware that it breaches the Bill of Rights, and despite National voting down Labour’s proposed amendment). What is up with that Labour? Trevor at Red Alert said that they would post an explanation – still waiting…

What I find just as chilling as the Surveillance Bill itself is the media response, which has been – strangely muted. When the same word – “chilling” – was used by the Electoral Commission to describe the EFA it was the star exhibit in The Herald’s cynical “Democracy Under Attack” politicking (by my rough count between 50 and 200 quotes in The Herald). Now that the Human Rights Commission describes the current surveillance legislation as “chilling” I count exactly one quote. (DPF at Kiwiblog shows exactly the same pattern of course, flogging the EFA quote to death, one mention of the current chilling development.)

Where is the “Democracy Under Attack” campaign this time? Where is the “Free Speech Coalition” and its “public rallies”? Where is DPF’s billboard campaign? Was all that just faux “outrage” and politicking perhaps? Or do attacks on privacy, democracy and free speech simply not count if they are made by a National government?

[* Update: According to the Otago Daily Times Labour’s original Surveillance Bill was withdrawn and National introduced this new one extending powers to a much wider range of agencies.]

38 comments on “Chilling”

  1. singularian 1

    bowls? [oops – typo fixed – thanks! — r0b]

    National – Eating YOUR democracy since 2008.

    Jeezzz, I make myself laugh sometimes.

  2. What I find just as chilling as the Surveillance Bill itself is the media response, which has been strangely muted

    Exactly.
    4th Estate? what a joke. our msm are an absolute disgrace.

    • George D 2.1

      Well, the media are pretty stupid, but when Labour aren’t opposing it you can hardly expect them to think it’s much of an issue.

  3. Deemac 3

    amazingly there was a good discussion on this topic on Back Benches last night. It is good to have all the powers codified in one place rather than scattered about with a variety of powers held by a variety of agencies in a mass of different legislation. Next step however – and the one this administration may not get right – is to make sure the powers are appropriate and that there are proper safeguards about their use.
    We only sound like American survivalists when we get hysterical about govt powers per se – the devil is in the detail.
    Personally I can’t see any big difference between DNA records and fingerprints – both passive and far preferable to actively intrusive methods like CCTV and ID cards.

  4. sean14 4

    The Bill does indeed require much more attention than it is getting, and it’s also good to see The Standard thinks the Human Rights Commissioner is now worth listening to.

  5. lprent 5

    I’m going to have quite a lot to say on this. In fact I think I’ll dedicate a weekend or two to writing some posts on the subject.

    Apart from the draconian powers, the biggest problem with the whole bill is that there is virtually no judicial oversight of when and who issues warrants to do ANY of these actions. For instance the police may issue their own search warrants without having any effective oversight about if what they are doing is legal.

    The existing system of requiring that search warrants are issued by the courts is pretty damn useless. I’ve seen the police make search warrants out of any old crap they find on the internet – usually incorrect. They are passed by court registrars, who often seem to have a rubberstamp mentality.

    However at least the search warrants can be reviewed by the courts before the police are allowed to intrude into peoples activities. If the police don’t get the warrants, then their activities are subject to examination about tainted collection of evidence. This is exactly what has been happening in the Oct 15 ‘terrorism’ raids and is why the case is taking so damn long.

    I get the impression that much of the impetus for this bill is coming from the police because some of the ‘special’ squads are too incompetent or lazy to gather evidence or run a successful case. They’d prefer to be in a position of judge, jury and probably executioner.

    If we need new powers (which is questionable) or consolidation of the existing powers, then I’d prefer to have judges doing it. They are a lot better trained in the social and legal consequences of what rights are trampled for the sake of security. Giving these types of powers without effective redress or oversight to some ill-trained testosterone soaked pinheads from the terrorism squads gives me no confidence at all.

    If this bill passes in anything like its current form, I think I’d join the resistance.

  6. Popular culture such as movie “The Island’ has shown where powers described in the Search and Surviellance Bill may lead. Everyone monitored at all times, or at least anytime desired by the authorities.

    Extensive state snooping achieves two things: it politically disempowers and enforces compliance, and it locks individuals in as end consumers of the capitalist “system’s” products.

    A significant “curtain twitching’ junior stasi element exists in the NZ population already so do not expect much resistance to this Bill as per the photo driver licence debacle when the proles eagerly queued up in the malls to be snapped.

  7. dave 7

    Now that the Human Rights Commission describes the current surveillance legislation as “chilling’ I count exactly one quote

    If you read a little wider, learn how to count, or learn how to use Google, you may find another. The blogs have mentioned it here, and here also..

    • r0b 7.1

      One count on The Herald dave. Democracy Under Attack and all that…

    • burt 7.2

      Oh dave, the use of the word ‘chilling’ is not valid when applied to legislation drafted or passed by Labour. Only National have the ability to stir up rOb and get him worried because as we all know – Labour good !

      • r0b 7.2.1

        It’s a little sad burt that in response to this legislation all you can do is post the same “Labour did it too” nonsense that you post every time. Open your eyes – your right to privacy and due process is being taken away from you. Don’t you care?

  8. Bill 8

    Quick question. Is this really state surveillance? Would we not be more accurate to term it corporate surveillance?

    edit. And since the media is, by and large, corporate, why would they question an augmentation of corporate power?

    • Quoth the Raven 8.1

      This is really state surveillance. Its just hard to tell the difference between state and corporate like the church and state in times past.

  9. burt 9

    lprent

    You should join the resistance.

    As an aside, would you think it was a good idea if you needed to publish your full name and residential address to protest against a bill like this one ?

    • lprent 9.1

      Yes for whoever is running organization of the relevant campaigns…. But you are being as stupid as ever (BTW how is that website going?)

      The main area of initial resistance is in the select committee, you already have to give those details.

      Most organizations who are likely to resist this change already have public names and people. For that matter they also tend to have pretty transparent accounts unlike say the Sensible Sentencing Trust or Farrar’s anti-EFA body. Both have/had some VERY murky finances. Of course the RoundTable and even the National and ACT parties finances are even murkier and even more suspect.

      Generally we don’t have a lot of money, so people make it up with time and creativity.

      Of course my name and address are public already on internetnz.

      Your point obviously was that the Right have an issue with transparency in protest movements. The Left doesn’t apart from the right’s nutters being somewhat dangerous – see our about.

  10. George D 10

    This is why I hate the New Zealand Labour Party so much. Because we have to spend so much of our time and energy fighting the awful, fucked up shit they throw our way.

    • r0b 10.1

      It’s National sending this “fucked up shit” our way George D. Note also the update to the original post. National have made this bill much broader than the original.

      • George D 10.1.1

        Because a bill this bad can’t be Labour’s?

        No. This bill is Phil Goff’s baby. We have him to thank for this monstrosity. He thought it up. He introduced it. He is supporting it. Just like most of the legislation with massive rights implications that is being sent through Parliament at the moment. And the few bills that aren’t the seed of Labour are being happily voted for by those pricks.

        That’s the other thing that makes me hate Labour even more – they send this shit our way and we have to spend so much effort fighting it (and failing most of the time), and their supporters have the temerity to tell us that Labour cares about human rights. No they fucking don’t.

        • r0b 10.1.1.1

          Because a bill this bad can’t be Labour’s?

          It might have been – if you read the original post you see I thought that it was. Anyone can write bad legislation, that isn’t a crime. What matters is what you do when the errors are pointed out to you. What matters is what finally gets passed.

          But as it happened, National dumped Labour’s bill, wrote an even worse one, and now seem to be pushing it through despite it’s flaws being pointed out. You can’t blame Phil Goff any more, it’s Simon Power’s baby now – National’s baby. You hate Labour, fine whatever, but don’t let it blind you to what is actually happening.

          • George D 10.1.1.1.1

            I can blame Phil Goff, and I will blame Phil Goff.

            Phil Goff is the father of this bastard child of legislation.

          • George D 10.1.1.1.2

            Anyone can write bad legislation, that isn’t a crime.

            You’re making excuses again. Writing legislation with severe human rights implications was a common practice for the last Government not an accident. It brushed off human rights concerns, and continues to do so, this week, last week, and I daresay they’ll do it again next week.

            • George D 10.1.1.1.2.1

              You hate Labour, fine whatever, but don’t let it blind you to what is actually happening.

              I have a very real reason for attacking Phil Goff and the New Zealand Labour Party here, rather than the Government. It is true that the Government has control of this bill, intends to pass it, and has the numbers to pass it in some form.

              However, currently the only people in Parliament with a clear voice against it are the Green Party, and they are effectively marginal to this discourse, precisely because they are so regularly the only voices calling for bills to be dropped on the basis of human rights concerns.

              Until Labour actually stands up for human rights, bills like this will receive only a fraction of the scrutiny they deserve. They will pass much more easily. They will contain worse clauses than would otherwise be the case. Labour will be seen to be endorsing them by the media and the public, even if their endorsements are sometimes half-hearted. Quite simply, we need Labour in order to achieve this.

            • r0b 10.1.1.1.2.2

              Well there I agree with you. Labour needs to stand up and oppose this bill.

      • George D 10.1.2

        Yeah, National made it even worse than the original, but that’s not an excuse for anything.

  11. dave 11

    Just like to remind you that National voted against the EFA ( and the Foreshore and seabed legislation) in its first readings Labour voted FOR this ” chilling” bill surveillance bill to go to select committee, “:warmly recommending it to the house”, despite being aware that it breaches the BORA.

    Obviously, as we also saw with the Foreshore and seabed, the BORA means nothing to Labour. because chilling bills and blatantly discriminatory bills are “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic ( Labour) society”.

  12. r0b 12

    ( and the Foreshore and seabed legislation)

    Ahh yes – because they considered it too weak, not too strong. Careful on that high horse there buddy. Labour got it wrong, National much much more so.

  13. dave 13

    Labour got it wrong, National much much more so

    No, Nationals position was wrong, Labour’s much more so. It drafted and passed the legislation. It said it was demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society, without a demonstrable justification. It pissed off Maori. It lost Maori seats. It had the responsibility to govern responsibly. Not National.

    • r0b 13.1

      Dave, you lost this argument long ago. National were constantly criticising Labour for giving too much away to Maori. Even Don Brash has apologised for National getting it so wrong on the foreshore and seabed. Didn’t you get the memo? Yes Labour got it wrong. Yes Iwi/Kiwi National were much worse.

      • George D 13.1.1

        Dave, you’re wrong, because Labour did it.

        • dave 13.1.1.1

          No I`m right because I said Labour did it. “It” refers to Labour. I`m not one to defend Brash, but, r0b, Brash has only apologised for his position on one part of the F&S, not everything IMHO he should have. Clark didn’t apologise – she wouldn’t know how. Isn’t Key a much better PM than Clark, of course he is.

  14. Deemac 14

    Dave sounds as if he needs to lie down in a darkened room for a bit – hysteria isn’t very convincing pal. Your need to hate someone/something whatever the arguments or evidence is not a political problem but a psychological one

  15. dw 15

    One interesting question comes to mind, if this crap legislation breaches the BORA, what happens if someone’s rights are breached in the course of execution of some of the nasty elements in this bill? Does the person on the receiving end have to fight this out in court as a breach of the BORA?

    • dave 15.1

      The same thing that happens when people break laws that should not be made in the first instance: It gets referred to the police. the police then say they are not going to prosecute because it is not in the public interest. No one else prosecutes either unless they are willing to spend loads of money to take out a private prosecution. Never mind the view that it is not in the best interest of the public to pass these laws in the first place…..

      • burt 15.1.1

        dave

        I’m not sure that you are right here. I don’t think the Police are actually supposed to be assessing if the law is sensible or not. As an agent of the Crown their role is to enforce the law as passed by the legislature. The legislature is not expected to pass crap law and the Police do not have the role of determining if it is valid or not – that is the role of the courts and judicial reviews if required.

        Of course without a written constitution this is all convention based and as we saw in 2006 rOb’s special friends (apparently heroic for their courageous corruption) bailed themselves out of court because the law was inconvenient for them and enforcing it threatened to impose democratic elections on NZ by restricting the amount of influence unlimited marketing budgets create.

  16. dave 16

    As an agent of the Crown their role is to enforce the law as passed by the legislature.

    Unless parliament or the PM declares otherwise ie the smacking legislation.

    Police do not have the role of determining if it is valid or not that is the role of the courts

    The courts don’t determine whether a law is valid, either.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    17 hours ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    17 hours ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    19 hours ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    21 hours ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    2 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    2 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    2 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    3 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    6 days ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    7 days ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    7 days ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    7 days ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    1 week ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    1 week ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    1 week ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    1 week ago
  • More voices call for review of immigration policy
    The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is the latest credible voice to call for a review of immigration and skills policy, leaving John Key increasingly isolated, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister is rapidly becoming a man alone. He ...
    1 week ago
  • Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill
    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco circus has no place in NZ
    A High Court judgment proves National’s private prison agenda has failed and the Serco circus has no place in New Zealand correctional facilities, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless
    The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing
    Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ae Marika! Māori Party Oath Bill fails
    The Māori Party must reconsider its relationship with National after they failed to support Marama Fox’s Treaty of Waitangi Oath bill, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police Minister all platitudes no detail
    The Police Minister must explain where the budget for new police officers is coming from after continuously obfuscating, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lost luggage law shows National’s lost the plot
    The Government has proven it can’t address the big issues facing the tourism industry by allowing a Members Bill on lost luggage to be a priority, Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kris Faafoi said. “Nuk Korako’s Bill drawn from the Members’ Ballot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hiding behind the law – but can’t say which law
    National is refusing to come clean on what caused the potential trade dispute with China by hiding behind laws and trade rules they can’t even name, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “National admitted today that an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Work visas issued for jobs workless Kiwis want
    Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “A comparison of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis nationwide now paying for housing crisis
    The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now affecting the entire country with nationwide house price inflation in the past year hitting 26 per cent, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “None of National’s tinkering or half-baked, piecemeal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut piles pressure on Government
    Today’s OCR cut must be backed by Government action on housing and economic growth, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s monetary policy statement underlines the limits of Bill English’s economic management. He says growth is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must explain the McClay delay
    Todd McClay must explain why it took two months for him to properly inform the Prime Minister about China’s potential trade retaliation, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “This may be one of the most serious trade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut would be vote of no confidence in economy
    If Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler cuts the OCR tomorrow it would show that, despite his loudly-voiced concerns about fuelling the housing market, the stuttering economy is now a bigger concern, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill
    Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, it’s time to listen to the Auditor General
    Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the independent advice of the Auditor General and review the capital charge system imposed on District Health Boards, says Labour’ Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The capital charge on DHBs has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peas explain, Minister
    The Minister of Primary Industries needs to explain how the failure of its biosecurity systems led to the Pea Weevil incursion in the Wairarapa, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says “The decision to ban the growing of peas in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PM’s police numbers wrong
    The Prime Minister has said that police numbers will increase in-line with population growth, however, the Police’s own four year strategy clearly states there are no plans to increase police numbers for the next four years, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial double speak on GP Fees
      The Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga was simply making it up when he claimed today that General Practitioners had been given money in the Budget to lower fees, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In a reply to a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must close loophole in LVR rules
    The Government must urgently close a loophole in loan to value ratio mortgage restrictions which are stopping homeowners from buying new houses before they sell their old one, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank was forced to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bulk funding means bigger classes
    National’s plan to bulk fund schools can only result in bigger class sizes and a reduced range of subject choices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for John Key to sack his Housing Minister
    It is time for the Prime Minister to take serious and meaningful steps to address the housing crisis – and start by sacking Nick Smith as Housing Minister, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Clearly whatever it is National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman puts skids under cheaper GP visits
      Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders with high health needs are missing out on cheaper GP fees as the cost of going to the doctor hits $70, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “The number of practices subsidised to ...
    3 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere